Saturday, April 22, 2023

April 22, 2023

Have you heard or seen the saying, “No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace.”? It is the truth. Jesus is the cornerstone of all our peace. He has conquered everything that alienated us from the Father, reconciling us to Him through the cross. Do you know what divides us? The flesh! He calls it the dividing wall of hostility, middle wall, or partition. 

For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. Ephesians 2:14-16

Paul tells us that because of Jesus, gentiles are of one body with the Jewish believers. I’m sure that didn’t sit well with those people who were raised to revere ceremonial law, so he had to teach them the truth about what Jesus did for all of us. Together, we are the dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:22

Friday, April 21, 2023

April 21, 2023

Forgive me for writing so much about my garden; it’s my current obsession. When I started my garden a couple of months ago, I planted English peas. The packet came with a handful which seemed like too many. Why would I need so many? I didn’t plant them all and decided to save some for another time. Little did I know that I probably should have sown them all because they are not heavy producers; I found that out when it was time to harvest them. There wasn’t even enough for a snack! I’ll know next time.

Jesus sent us, those who are saved, out into all the world to help bring in everyone chosen for salvation; that is our calling. We don’t have to work for it, but because we are saved, we are compelled to become the hands and feet of Jesus and spread the message of salvation through him. We don’t know who is chosen, so we must tell everyone the gospel message the Holy Spirit prompts us to tell. If we tell a few, we will reap little, like my snack-sized harvest of sweet peas, but if we sow many seeds of the gospel, we can expect a bountiful harvest of souls for Jesus. Sow a lot, eat a lot; sow a little, eat a little.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Thursday, April 20, 2023

April 20, 2023

When I was a child, my allergies were so bad that I would wake up with my eyes glued shut and so swollen I could barely see. I eventually overcame some of my allergies, but believe me; I still have reactions to certain things. Yesterday, I was cleaning some wood off an arbor using a small chainsaw, and some sawdust got in my eye. I had a hard time getting all of it out, and the more I touched my eye, the worse it got. Today, I woke up as I did as a child, with my eye glued shut. I look like someone punched me! One good thing is that it doesn’t prohibit me from being able to see; it’s merely a distraction and an eyesore. Many still cannot see even though they have their entire vision. My prayer and desire for all who are called by Christ’s name are much like Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians; that you would receive wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God and have the eyes of your hearts enlightened. Only then will you become settled about the current events that are making you anxious and taking away your peace. 

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, Ephesians 1:16-18

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

April 19, 2023

Some things cannot be explained. How do you explain the ability to overcome past hardships with euphoria? And, how can you have an encounter with a painful past and bring about new life, opening doors for the future, if God is not involved? Jesus has positioned us in such a way to defeat the emotions the enemy has toyed with, so he can no longer continue to sear us with the hot stick of pain. When that pain is defeated, there is joy and elation that only God can provide. God supplied freedom through Jesus’s blood to cover and release us from the prison of thoughts that have captured us and were stopping us from living the extraordinary life he gave us. Now is the time to overcome your past and move in the freedom Jesus has afforded us. For us, eternity is now; live in it! Don’t wait until Heaven to live joyfully in eternity.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, Ephesians 1:3

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

April 18, 2023

If you emphasize people over things, you will start to see the pathway God has set before you. Our destination is clear, but our path to get there often differs from what we expect. We've spent nearly three days at a wedding venue that is being sold to a developer, and I am exhausted. We planned to purchase some tables and a few other items for one of our businesses, but as it turns out, God's reason for having us there was beyond what we had expected. I can't tell you the whole story because it's not mine, but I can say that 40 years after a life-altering, traumatic event, hearts were healed, closure was given, and a new chapter of life began. Tears filled with laughter replaced the mystery of the unknown. God knew that certain things needed clarification so true healing could begin. And God, in his Fatherly fashion, began orchestrating this event a very long time ago and made sure we chose the direction he had intended. As for me, he made sure that my strength in him was so strong that I could help in the healing process rather than become a hindrance. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don't rely on your own understanding because his thoughts are not our thoughts, and his ways are not our ways. When you see the big picture, you can genuinely understand the faithfulness of God. 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

Monday, April 17, 2023

April 17, 2023

We are finally getting a good rain. It has been months since we’ve gotten more than a drizzle, and it’s like gold falling from Heaven. I’m so grateful and making my thankfulness known to our Almighty Father. When you go without anything for a while, you appreciate what God does when he opens the sky and pours out his blessings. I’ve prayed for months for God to bless us with rain, and he has answered my prayers. My crops are doing good because I’ve watered and fertilized them, but there is nothing like a drenching rain to help ease the burden of drought. I could say that I’m reaping what I sowed. I fervently sowed my prayers daily for rain and was grateful for a sprinkle, but God heard my cries for help and answered with the blessing of rain. The rain is fantastic, but the blessings are everlasting when we sow into God’s kingdom. Do what you must do to live, but don’t forget to build your treasures in Heaven. The rain will dry, and we will eventually need it again, but whatever we sow for God and his kingdom will benefit us forever.

For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:8-10

Sunday, April 16, 2023

April 16, 2023

We went to the auction I wrote about yesterday, bought some nice things, and had a great day. But, As we were driving in, we stopped to talk to someone we knew who was parking vehicles. We held up the truck behind us for a moment, but the woman in the passenger seat got out before being parked, angrily shook her head, and hurried to get inside. I could understand if she needed to use the facilities, but the scowl on her face lasted the entire day! 

We all have a history, some of which we are not proud of, but we have grown in our love for Jesus, and because of him, we are forgiven those trespasses and easily forgive others. The problem some people have is lingering in their shame and self-pity, which leads to becoming chained to it. We create a pattern in our behavior, and our treatment of others comes directly from the pain we suffered because of that sin. It is so unnecessary. We must stop beating ourselves up over our past, accept Jesus’s work on the cross, and renew our minds; then, maybe the look on our faces will change to one of peace. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24