There are amazing creatures that live under our feet every day that we never notice. I was sitting in my front yard enjoying the weather and I looked down at the grass. It was alive with ants and bugs. I saw one particular area that had constant movement of ants going up and down. It is fascinating how God created such small beings and that they have their part in maintaining this life that we have. A quick search on the internet showed me that ants take care of other insects, spread some seeds, cultivate the soil and are food.
Usually the only time I notice ants is when they bite me and then I am ready to do whatever it takes to remove them. During Easter some of my grandchildren hunted Easter eggs in my front lawn. We soon realized that we would have to check every plastic egg for little black ants because they had infiltrated the eggs through the small holes in the short time between them being placed in the yard and the children finding them.
They are a nuisance but I am not going to put a lot of chemicals on my front lawn to kill them off. They also deserve a place to live but maybe not in my front yard. I want to find natural solutions to this problem. And once again the internet does provide several suggestions. I am amazed how much information is on the internet for easy access to help with just about any problem.
I am also amazed that when I have a problem or need encouragement there is a place that I can go to understand how to solve the problem or get my encouragement. I am not talking about the internet now but rather the Word of God. Inside the pages of those 66 books lies all that anyone would ever need to live a fulfilling life. And yet so many people do not take advantage of this wonderful life giving item that God has given us. That makes me sad because I know that God’s Word brings life and life abundantly.
The ants may scramble around in my front yard until I find a way to remove them but I will do all I can to keep the Word of God circulating through my mind. I pray that I never reach the point where His word has left my mind, because on that day life will not be worth living.
We may not enjoy the pests in our lawn but we can enjoy our week and the Word of God. I will be back next week with more.
Living in abundance
Have you ever heard one of those statements that just didn’t make sense but really made you think? “Life is wasted on the living,” is one of those statements. I heard it in a movie and it made me think.
It made me ask myself, am I really living? Am I just mechanically walking through this life going to work, paying the bills and getting along? And if I am is that really living? In John 10:10 Jesus said that He came that we might have life abundantly. When I read this in context I see that Jesus was speaking about being the Good Shepherd and how the other shepherds were just out to kill, steal and destroy the sheep.
Abundant life comes through the one we follow. If I follow anyone but Jesus my life will never reach abundance. And if I follow the abundance I have lost my way. Clearly the parable of the Good Shepherd is one that should help us focus on what matters eternally. We can’t take the things of this life with us to eternity, but we take our reputation with us. On judgment day God won’t ask us how big a TV we owned or how much money we had in the bank, but He will ask us to account for what we did and our motives for doing those things.
It is easy to get distracted by things and begin to follow them instead of following the One who made all things. In the story to the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), the son got focused on himself and took what was his and went the way of his flesh. He soon found out that the things of this world run out when you just follow your desires. His life only improved when he humbled himself and returned to his father. He submitted himself to his father despite the consequences and experienced a warm reception. For a while he wasted his life but when he humbled himself and submitted to his father’s authority his life became abundant.
I have never connected these two stories before but they clearly show the same thing from two different perspectives. The son was a follower who took what was given to him and used it unwisely not thinking about the future. In essence he quit following the shepherd and followed what he perceived as abundance. When the abundance ran out he realized who was the source of his abundance and eventually humbled himself and returned to his source.
God is the source of life and Jesus brought abundant life for us. But before you can partake in that abundant life you must humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and realize He is the source. We are nothing without Him. Following Jesus to get abundance won’t help you, but following Jesus because you realize that He is the One who died for your sins and made a way for you to connect with God the Father will change your life. Just like the prodigal who realized that the source of his physical life and his abundance was his father we need to realize the same about God the Father.
Join me this week in re-focusing on the Good Shepherd and God the Father who sent Him. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend and I’ll be back next week with more.