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Posts tagged ‘Bible’

Ants and God’s Word


antThere 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.

God’s Blessing


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While doing my daily bible reading I came across the account of Balaam. Balak saw that the children of Israel were coming toward his land and he did not know what to do so he sent for Balaam. He requested that Balaam curse the Israelites. In Numbers 22:6 Balak says “Therefore please come at once, curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.” (NKJV)

From Balak’s perspective whatever Balaam says happens. Numbers 22:38 Balaam says to Balak “’Look, I have come to you! Now, have I any power at all to say anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that I must speak.” (NKJV) This verse confirms that it is not Balaam’s words that have power, but the words that God puts into his mouth.

Balak did not believe in God, he believed in Balaam. After Balaam came to him he did everything that Balaam told him to do hoping this would cause Balaam to curse Israel. But Balaam stayed strong and insisted that it was God’s words not his that had the power. Balak learned a lesson, because every time Balak asked Balaam to curse Israel, Balaam added another blessing to Israel.

As I contemplated this situation I realized that it had practical application in my life. I have experienced some success at my job lately and I realize that the success is not because I am the most amazing person who does everything right. It is because I am blessed by God and He has given me the grace to succeed. I am blessed and not cursed.

When I read the chapters before and after this account of Balaam and Balak I saw Israel sinning and causing God grief, but God still blessed them. God was dealing internally with Israel, punishing their evil and directing their steps. He was also dealing externally with them by blessing them in front of their enemies. He protected them.

In Numbers 22: 12 we can see what happened the first time Balaam was asked to curse Israel.  “And God said to Balaam, ‘You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.’” (NKJV)

That verse tells me that if I am blessed by God, I am always blessed. Israel had been blessed by God. He would not allow the enemy to curse what He had blessed. I get excited when I realize that God’s blessing is forever. If I understand this correctly God will not allow the enemy of our souls to take away His blessing. This doesn’t mean that we won’t go through things because of our humanity and disobedience.  Israel was going through plagues and all kind of stuff because of disobedience, but God would not allow the enemy to put a curse on them.

The real key is to remember that the blessing comes from God and the abilities that He gave me. It is not my strength but His. Join me this week in spending some time thanking God for what He has done, and realizing that God is the creator of all things and the one who blesses and curses.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

GOALS


I was studying this week and came across something interesting. It was a little section on process goals versus outcome goals. I have never really thought of it in this way, but it is good to set goals to lead us down the path to the desired outcome. When it comes to personal goals most of the time I see a big goal and try to walk toward it, but if I were to set smaller goals–like stopping off points–I would actually get some built-in encouragement as I reach the smaller goals. These encouraging steps could be just what I need to keep going.

Every day we are in the process of being perfected in Christ. Can we set ourselves some goals to aid the process? If I think about my life I try to achieve the goal of reading my bible and praying every day. When I accomplish these two goals I always feel like I can go on to something else. But these goals are not outcomes they are part of the process that renews my mind so I can think like Jesus. When I think like Jesus I begin to act like Jesus. When I act like Jesus other’s can see Jesus in me. When others see Jesus in me I have the opportunity to expand the Kingdom of God. When I take advantage of that opportunity the outcome is that God’s kingdom expands and I not only act like Jesus, but I begin to experience the love of God shed abroad in my heart. With this I am being perfected in Christ.

Wow what a trip! So, reading my bible and praying lead to some interesting stops which encourage me to move up in my life and I get to take others with me!!! Reading my bible and praying leads to a process goal of thinking like Jesus– which leads to a process goal of acting like Jesus–which leads to a process goal of looking like Jesus–which leads to the outcome goal of kingdom expansion.

Ok, I thought that was pretty cool. So this week I challenge you to give yourself some process goals that will lead to your ultimate life goal. Enjoy your week and I’ll be back next week with more.

 

Shadow


Human shadow

Image via Wikipedia

Two statements entered my mind and have dominated my thoughts this week:

THE SHADOWS OF MY PAST SHOULD NOT BECOME THE DEFINITION OF MY FUTURE.

I CAN OVERCOME ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST.

Have you ever seen a scary looking shadow? Remember the cartoons where a very small character cast a monstrous shadow. What caused the shadow seemed insignificant when you looked at it. But if you just focused on the shadow you might run in fear.

As I sat and prayed this week I realized that the shadows of my past had defined how I see my future. I define a shadow as the gloom cast by a mistake or bad decision.  From a physical standpoint a shadow shows up when an obstacle blocks light.

Have you ever had something that just haunted you, a mistake you made that just wouldn’t leave you alone? Pondering the gloom around my mistakes and bad decisions has always stopped me from moving forward. It was as if I was staring at one of those monstrous shadows. Countless times I would start down a road but I had been there before and messed up. Could I really go that way again and make it? The answer was always a resounding, NO!

I have decided this week to no longer look at my shadows and allow them to limit my future.  Looking past the shadow to the problem will help me learn and move on. But even focusing on the problem is not a good idea. I will now see my future looking through the eyes of the Lord.

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” NIV

It is strange how we have trouble forgiving ourselves for our mistakes, but God forgives as soon as we ask. Why can’t we be more like Him? Good question! The answer is “we can” if we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us. The power of the Holy Spirit will allow us to overcome weakness.

If I believe what the Word of God has to say about me:

  • I will not look back at my past and let it define my future.
  • I will look at my future through God’s grace and see hope.

In John 8:12 Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Since Jesus had the same Holy Spirit that God has given to all believers we can be the light of the world too. The light in us can shine through the darkness. I write this week to encourage myself and I hope it will encourage you too.

Enjoy your week. I’ll be back next week with more.

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