Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Rock...True Love

Your dwelling place is secure, 
your nest is set in a rock;...
Numbers 24:21

We tend to build nests...we mothers and grandmothers and wives and sisters.  We want our home to be comfortable and the people that live within to be loved and nurtured.  It is a rare occasion when that love is reciprocated in a meaningful and lasting way
such was the case the other day.

My grandson went for a walk with Grandpa the other day and returned with this heart rock.  I have a few that I have saved for myself and he said, "Grandma, I found this heart rock and I thought you might like to add it to your collection."  How sweet!  I was so touched that he thought of me and as a rock lover himself, he sacrificed his find for me. 
 That is true love...
something you love and sacrifice for another.

That is what God did for us when He sent His Son to die for our sins.
That is true love!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Perfect Unity

"Holy Week Sunset" photo by Sally L. Smith

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,  that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—  I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me... Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God
John 17:20-23

It amazes me that Jesus was thinking of those of us who WILL come to know him even after his disciples die.  He wrote these words for us and He expects us to get along with each other, to be united with no fighting, backbiting, arguing or hateful speech,no gossip, idle talk or ridicule...just love.
Sounds easy but we know it is not.  Only through understanding the perfect love of Christ can we get along with everyone around us, even those who get on our nerves, even those who think they are a god, even those who do not love us back.  Sounds easy but we know it is not...not without the love of God through Christ in us.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Path to Love

"Sky Islands" photo by Sally L. Smith

... make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;  and to knowledge, self-control;  and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-8

I have heard this scripture preached for years but never paid attention to the process it describes.  Today, after reading it again, these thoughts came.

The Bible tells us that believing in Jesus is a commitment process.  Following His teachings and living a life like His should be our goal and our whole life should be straining toward that goal.

So, you've accepted that Christ was and is,  now you will want to lead a better life. How do you do it?  Maybe following the progression in the scripture above will help.

Try goodness for starters: Do something good for someone.  Simple? Yes, but you must act and not just think.  Continue walking this path as you...

 gain more knowledge about Jesus.  Reading the Bible, especially Jesus' words, is a good start toward what He expects from us.  This is a life-long process since He reveals new things every time we read.

Try a little self-control. Start with the little things and work (yes, I said "work") at it.  This does not come easy for one who has had no control over his/her own life.

Gaining control over oneself takes perseverance.  It is a stick-to-it road and not something that comes over night.  Persevering puts us closer to Christ because it is a sacrifice to stick with it.

As we grow in all these things we gain godliness, thinking and doing things as God would.  We listen to our "leanings" toward godliness and act on those thoughts and feelings from the Holy Spirit.

We look for others with whom we can share our God-experience...those who share this passion to be more godly.  We find a mutual affection with them and we work together for good and God.  That affection helps us reach out to non-believers to share His hope with them.

Then we can truly love because we can better understand God's love for us.

Each is a step in the right direction.  Should one decide that it is just too difficult to do all this, then he/she does not really want to be an effective and productive Christian. (Sitting in a pew is  much easier.) Yes, we stumble but He picks us up. We then start on the path of love again where we got off because our goal is to be like Him and live with Him in His Glorious Forever. 

It's not always easy to be a Christian, especially in our fallen world, but it is not impossible.  We just have to take it step by step everyday.  You may have to start at the top some days but this progression has been given to us for a gain a love like His.

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Spotlight

"Sundown Spotlight" photo by Sally L. Smith

See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:24  NIV

The Lord doesn't have to look long to find my "offensive way."  Oh, if I had only one!  Mine come in multiples and yet, He still loves me and forgives me when I ask.  Even after spotlighting my faults, He continues to provide peace at the end of the day.  
Oh, sweet forgiveness!

(I don't know why my phone's camera highlighted something in the middle of the page with a ray from the sun.  It reminded me of God spotlighting my sins and loving me anyway.)

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Palette in the Sky

"God's Sky Painting" photo by Sally L. Smith

Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens,
 your faithfulness to the skies.
Psalm 36:5

I never get tired of looking at the clouds.  They are a constant reminder of their Creator.  The closest man can come to making a cloud is exhaust of some kind and that does not bring rain to nurture the earth.  Clouds are proof that God loves everyone.  

These clouds were so beautiful that I had to pull over to take a picture.  What a palette!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Growing Up

"Two Growing Boys" photo by Sally L. Smith

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk,  
so that by it you may grow up in your salvation...
1 Peter 2:2 NIV

Our baby grandsons are growing up.  One turned two a week ago and today his brother is four.  My, how the time flies.  Today is also the birthday of another of our grandsons who is 16.  How did that happen so fast?

Each is growing at his own pace, that which is set by our God who created them.  Each is different in his own way, just as God has decided.  If we raise them to be just like us, we have messed with God's design.  We treat them as individuals who were created to perform a special purpose in God's creation.  I'm eager to experience each as he grows...both physically and spiritually.