Saturday, March 25, 2023

March 25, 2023

Last night, we went to see the play Wicked. It is a prequel to the Wizard Of Oz. It is a story of how the Wicked Witch of the West became evil and how, as it turns out, she wasn't evil at all, at least that's how this play portrayed it, but that the propaganda minister started a rumor that she was. She was shunned as a child because her skin was green. There was much more to the description, but I won't go into detail. As I was watching, I couldn't help but see the underlying political message. Do they have to tell us the truth about what they are doing? Is that a requirement of evil beings? It replicated what we are currently experiencing with the world's governments controlling the narrative and feeding lies to the people to keep them under control. When you wake up to the truth, it's nearly impossible to go back to sleep, though it would have been great to enjoy the play without seeing the underlying message and being oblivious to how we are being controlled to keep us in line. I've been trying to keep my head out of the news, whether mainstream or otherwise, but even when I try not to become influenced, it is woven into every aspect of society, making it nearly impossible.

God is in control, and your strength in him will depend on you submitting to him and not others. For this reason, you and I must stay in close contact with God through prayer and reading the scriptures. Keep the lines of communication open with him, so you don't fall into the trap of lies created to control your behavior.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 2 Corinthians 5:10

Friday, March 24, 2023

March 24, 2023

There are a wide variety of food plants that I’ve never heard of, and after browsing a rare seed website, I have found several that I would like to try. Because my garden is complete, I decided to make room to add a few of these unusual crops. After digging out weeds, new pathways, and building a couple of trellises, the beds are ready for me to plant, but my body is in pain. I have muscles in my shoulders that have never hurt in my entire life; aging is getting to me. The pain reminds me that I’m still alive. I sure hope I like these new yard-long beans and sour cucumbers! 

My work in the garden will eventually pay off by producing interesting food. Still, those plants will die, and I will have to plant more if I want to provide fresh food, but the time and effort I put into my relationship with Jesus and planting new crops for the Kingdom of God will continue into eternity. That harvest will meet me at the pearly gates when I enter Heaven. 

Chapter 4 of 2 Corinthians is beautiful. If you need a pick-me-up, take a moment to read it; it’s short but impactful.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Thursday, March 23, 2023

March 23, 2023

Today is my grandson’s birthday. I was thinking about how we look like our parents because of genetics. Trey looks like his mother, almost a carbon copy. However, she has a mild manner, remains calm in challenging situations, and is very even-tempered, but not Trey. Trey may not look like anyone from our family, but he acts like it! His personality is in the image of his grandfather Richard, who is anything but calm. If personalities had a reflection, Trey would be the perfect replica of Richard. 

When we trust Jesus and accept him as our Savior, we transform into his image. Don’t get me wrong, this process can take some time and requires a daily renewal of our minds, but how awesome is it that we reflect the image of Jesus and are transformed from glory to glory? We are so privileged. We go from looking like our parents to becoming the image of Christ. People try to better themselves by making more money when all they need to do is accept Jesus as their Savior; that’s when the true transformation begins. 

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV

This is an old picture of them together, but it reflects their personalities. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

March 22, 2023

Can you imagine challenging God? Yesterday, I read that Israel is trying to pass a law that makes it a crime to speak, write, or make posts about Jesus in that country; they will send you to jail! If that happens, the church will go underground, and that means the strength of Christ will become even more powerful. Try as they may; they cannot stop God! It will not end well for them. Their faces will continue to be covered with the veil, and some people will never know about the freedom they could have because of Jesus. Here is the question; do we pray for this law to fail, or should we pray for it to pass? People don’t like their freedom being taken, and like spoiled children, they will become defiant and go against a law that stifles it. The truth is, we don’t pray for either. We pray for God’s will to be done, and if that means he has to go to extremes, then so be it. The people who need to hear about Jesus will hear; I can guarantee that. 

Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:15-17

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

March 21, 2023

Consistently will pay off in the end. Years ago, I begged God to give me a voice. In my mind, I needed him to open my mouth to speak in front of people, but little did I realize the voice he gave me would be through writing. I started by posting Bible verses; then, I became brave and added commentary or an analogy. I committed to posting daily and have been posting biblical messages since 2015. It's not always good, but I'm committed and consistent, and my heart is right. Whatever task God assigns to you, do it diligently. Remember, some will accept the gospel's message and see it as life; others will reject it to their own demise, but we are responsible for getting it out there. Hopefully, others will see God's grace in it, accept Jesus, and live in eternity. We are the sweet aroma of Christ as we spread the word of his love, grace, and mercy. I want to encourage you to keep trying; at some point, God will make your assignment clear, and like me, you will be grateful. 

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:14-17

Monday, March 20, 2023

March 20, 2023

Did Jesus give the woman at the well a drink of water? Yes! He asked her for a drink and then shared with her the living water he had to offer. She believed him and told her village that she had found the Messiah. He knew she was a sinner! When we deny lost souls the opportunity to serve us or for us to help them, we also withhold Jesus from them. I’m not saying to participate in their sin, but we can profit from them or buy products from them and, in turn, show them the love of Jesus. We have a light within us that others don’t understand. How else are they going to see his love at work? I’m not talking about the big conglomerates who could care less about Jesus, but the mom and pops who may not know of his love for them. I’m not telling you to get your palm read; we know they know what they are doing is wrong, but maybe the local sandwich shop or bakery; their soul may need salvation in Jesus, so don’t feel bad about planting seeds there, or if they require service from you, help them; in doing so you will become the hands and feet of Jesus. Their particular sin may cause you to cringe, but think about how Jesus feels when we sin. Don’t withhold the love of Jesus because someone sins differently than you. Jesus covers your sins; their sins send them to hell forever because they don’t know him! Help them if they can be helped.

Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” John 4:26-29

Sunday, March 19, 2023

March 19, 2023

I went out to my garden early yesterday morning to check on my plants. I wanted to ensure nothing was eating them and eliminate any harmful bugs. The first thing I saw was some of my cosmos lying on the ground; they were flowers I planted to help draw the insects away from my peas. Something had cut them off right at the base! I decided to pull back the layer of mulch and see if I could find anything, and there it was, the culprit, a caterpillar! He wasn’t eating the stems; he just cut them off for no good reason. He had cut his last stem in my garden. Those flowers were beginning to flourish, and it’s disappointing to have to throw them out. It shows that not everything planted in the garden will make it.

I also went to a funeral yesterday. We didn’t know the person who died; we were there for her brother, so we were unsure of the status of her salvation. However, the priest prayed for her to get out of purgatory to go into Heaven. Though it seems like a nice thing to do, praying for the dead is not biblical. If you don’t decide to follow Jesus before you die, you won’t get into Heaven. No amount of prayer by the living will help. There is no holding area called purgatory, waiting for the prayers of others to help you. You must make that decision in the flesh, or you will be cut off like my cosmos. Pray that all of your family accept Jesus as Savior while they are still alive; it’s too late after they die.

Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1:9-11