Month: July 2013

The Beauty of Creation

Do you stop to smell the roses? This is such a familiar question and a great reminder to slow down and enjoy those things we pass by without giving much thought. Time passes ever so quickly and it’s very easy to get caught up in our jobs, chores, and everyday lives. Daily we should take a few moments and appreciate all God has given us, seek His glory and purpose in it, and prayerfully give thanks.

Psalms:19:1: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Psalms:19:2: Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

When I read those verses from Psalms it brings to mind so many things and I would like share just a few of those thoughts. During the spring I thank God for the newness of life which begins coming forth, and it is a great reminder of birth. Summer brings to mind warmth, strength, maturity, and the toils of life. Autumn shows the signs of wear, a turning of seasons, the end of a prosperous time. Winter then comes and takes the withering life from autumn, a time of cold and death. Spring then follows and life comes forward from the death of winter.

God, through the seasons which He set in motion, has shown to us His plan. There is birth, life, old age, and death. Following death there is life, a resurrection, just as spring follows winter, God has revealed his purpose by His creation. Just as there is darkness in the night, the sun arises and the darkness disappears. Just as in the natural, the spiritual is even more true. Darkness does exist, but when the Son rises in your hearts the darkness has no choice but to flee! The trees and plants bare fruit, just as those who follow Christ bare spiritual fruit.

We have a wonderful creation, made by God, which glorifies God. We, being created by God, also should be glorifying Jesus Christ in every age and in every season. Stop, see the rose-bush and notice the thorns which are but a reminder of His suffering. Notice the rose, its beauty and fragrance, even among the thorns. Give thanks to God for the beauty of the cross, for even in the crucifixion, there is a beauty even more stunning. Take time, see the roses, smell the roses, notice the day, feel the season, and give thanks to God!

The Wages of Sin

We work and are taught to work from a very young age. As children in school we begin to learn, to take on assignments, and the payment is based on how well we have accomplished our task. It is a very simple system, a system which follows us through life.

At the age of five or six it doesn’t seem like work. The older we grow, the harder the tasks, the more we begin to realize what work is. We begin to labor, we begin to exert ourselves and push our known boundaries. While the work becomes harder, the reward does not seem to change. Whether we wanted to do the assignments, no matter if we enjoyed the assignments, even if we did not do the assignments, a grade would be issued. A wage would be paid. This brings me to the point:

Romans:6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The wages of sin is death. There is no escaping what is rightfully do a sinner. A person in sin will be paid with death, which is hell, eternal torment, and separation from God. You see, intent does not matter. You live a good life, you are good to people, and you are full of good intentions? That sentence is full of one thing, “you”. God is not found in that sentence and Hell is full with people that had good intentions.

Isaiah:64:6: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

By ourselves, we are worthy of only death. Yet, when we speak of wages, there is One who has already paid the wages of death. Do not let today end with good intentions, let today be the day of salvation! The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Today, give up the wages of sin, leave behind the good intentions, receive the gift of eternal life and call upon the Savior, Jesus Christ. Let Him clothe you in His righteousness. His Gift is free and greater than all the wages you have and will earn. Praise God for His gift to us!

Seeking Him

How do we seek God? The easiest answer, of course, is by praying. We also seek Him in His word. As Christians these are two of greatest things we can be doing, praying and reading the Bible. These should be a part of our daily lives. If this is part of your daily life, the question must then become, are we really seeking Him?

All too often our daily rituals become habit which then turn from routine to mundane. It is easy for prayer to become a one-sided conversation, a monotone speech with little or no urgency, not differing much from the repetition of the previous days. We should not be so complacent. Do we pick up the Bible and read verse after verse with much the same attitude? Are we just going through the motions? If there were not times this described me perfectly, I would be afraid to ask these questions, but I have been guilty. If you are falling or have fallen into this type of pattern, let today be the day of change.

Hebrews:11:6: But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

This verse is a great reminder and motivator. He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. Diligently means to be attentive, persistent, constant in effort. This should be the description of our pursuit. We must be actively looking for Him and to Him.

If you go looking for a dry well, there is a good chance you will find a dry well. Yet, according to the verse we must be faithful when seeking Him. Without faith it is impossible to please God. If you seek Him in prayer and in His word with faith believing, you will be rewarded! You have His word on that. What a joyous occasion to go expecting, to go seeking, to go faithfully and to be rewarded by the Master. Let the beauty of the day be your thanks to Him, let the love of family become His goodness toward you, let the coming storms be an opportunity for Him to be your shelter and strength. He can always be found, when you search, diligently!

The brass serpent

Throughout the Bible we find many types of symbolism, much of it being prophetic in nature. For me, it is truly joyous in studying these things and learning how much Jesus is glorified through them. One of my favorite studies of this type is the tabernacle which Moses was told to build. That study is much too long and detailed for the purpose of this writing, however, at a later time I may break it down into smaller segments and include them in multiple, sequenced writings. One good example, for this writing, is the brass serpent found in Numbers 21:

Numbers:21:7: Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
Numbers:21:8: And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
Numbers:21:9: And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Although this literally happened, it was also a precursor to a greater fulfillment. The serpents bit people which is the literal event. The symbolism can be seen in the serpent (satan and sin infecting the people). Moses then is told by God to make a serpent on a pole and whoever will look upon it shall live, so Moses made a brass serpent and put it upon a pole.

The symbolism here is what we now know as the crucifixion. In the Bible, brass usually represents judgment. When we see the brass serpent upon the pole it is symbolic of God’s plan for redemption. Jesus became sin, which is why the brass serpent is a representation of Him, and the sin of the world being judged. Yet, we must understand that only applies to those who look to Him.

If you have ever wondered why many ambulances are adorned with the “serpent and stick” logo, you can now see the symbolism and have a greater understanding of the true meaning. Let Jesus be praised, just as He heals the physical ailments He also heals the spiritual ailments eternally for all those who look to Him!