In the Path

In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.

—Proverbs 12:28

Walking along in the wooded area, I chose to follow the pathways through the trees and thick brush. Although I had seen snakes, large birds, and alligators in the area before, I felt comfortable as long as I was staying on the way marked before me.

Had I decided to go foraging through the mass of trees and bushes, away from the path, I would have been faced with any number of possible dangers.

God has given us a path to follow in life. If we choose to stay on the way He has provided, we will experience life. Now, and for eternity.

Streams

On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and called out in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said: ‘Streams of living water will flow from within him.’” He was speaking about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. For the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

—John 7:37-39

Love is Kind

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

–1 Corinthians 13:4

I went to a wedding this afternoon.

The couple had been together for five years.

The pastor spoke of love.

Of making a commitment not just to one another, but to Jesus.

Jesus’ love for us is patient and kind.

We need to show that love to others.

Everyone needs to know that love, don’t you think?

If

Then Jesus told this parable: “A man had a fig tree that was planted in his vineyard. He went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the keeper of the vineyard, ‘Look, for the past three years I have come to search for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Therefore cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone again this year, until I dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine. But if not, you can cut it down.’”

—Luke 13:6-9

Has it been two years?

Maybe just one?

I don’t really remember how long it’s been, but I will probably remember the lesson that came from it for a long time.

I had purchased a multi-colored plant and placed it in a pot.

It wasn’t doing well, and after a while, it was just a stalk protruding up from the dirt, as I recall.

Still, I didn’t dig it up out of the pot.

One day, quite a long time afterwards, I saw a leaf or two budding.

It wasn’t dead!

Now–this autumn–it has grown out to be a beautiful and healthy plant!

God gives us second chances, many times.

If we find ourselves in such a condition that we feel we are nothing but a withered stalk in the dirt, we can cry out to God to restore us.

He can make something beautiful of us, even then.

Praised

From the coming up of the sun to its going down, the Lord’s name is to be praised.

—Psalm 113:3

This morning, the sun was coming up beyond the overcast sky.

The moisture obscured the light, but the sun could still be seen.

It is dark now, but until the sun rises tomorrow, the Lord is to be praised.

And from every sunrise and sunset that will ever be, He is to be praised!

This Is The Way

Isaiah 30:21

And whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: “This is the way. Walk in it.”

Do I hear God’s voice telling me which way to go?

Am I listening for His voice, or I am I too focused on the concerns at hand to notice Him speaking?

Grow In

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

—2 Peter 3:18

Grow.

Grow in grace.

The grace of our Lord.

The grace of our Savior.

The grace of Jesus Christ.

Grow in knowledge.

The knowledge of our Lord.

The knowledge of our Savior.

The knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Redeem

For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with Him is great power to redeem.

—from Psalm 130

This morning, as I read this passage, the words resounded within me as though they were meant for me to hear.

The power to redeem.

The great power.

The greatest power.

It’s with God.

My heart longs for the redemption of those I

love.

God knows this longing.

With Him, and with Him only, is the great power to redeem.

Acknowledge Him

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

As I was driving to church early this morning, the sun was just coming up.

I hadn’t actually seen it yet, but I saw beautiful hues of pink on some high clouds as I left my neighborhood.

After traveling about fifteen minutes or so, I was on a road headed south. I wasn’t paying much attention to anything but what was in front of me.

Suddenly, I looked to my left and saw a blazing sunrise in the east.

Such dazzling, blazing light coming through the palm trees and past buildings….I had been driving along without even noticing it.

The Bible tells us to acknowledge God in all our ways and He will make our paths straight.

I think there are times when God is right there with us, wanting us to acknowledge Him, but we aren’t looking.

What do you think?

Cliffs

While visiting my cousin in another country, I was privileged to do some sightseeing.

One of most beautiful scenes to behold is very close to her home. Huge cliffs overlooking the ocean draw many tourists each year. I can certainly understand why.

As I looked toward the cliffs one morning, it was quite foggy. Later, when walking along the “approved” pathway, I became nervous as other visitors went closer to the edge.

Didn’t they understand the risk? Who could survive so great a fall?

There would be no one to save them.

Psalm 118:13-14 in The Message reads, “I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall, when God grabbed and held me.  God’s my strength, He’s also my song, and now He’s my salvation.

I’ve seen a cliff’s edge first hand. Just imagine a “spiritual” cliff that high! Then, imagine God saving us from falling off the edge of that cliff.

That’s exactly what He has done.

He’s my strength, my song and my salvation.

Is He yours?

Washed

Jesus washed His disciples’ feet.

The idea of washing feet has come to me in two different ways during the past year.

I attended a wedding where the bride and groom washed each other’s feet as part of the marriage ceremony.

In an extremely impoverished area that I have visited, an elderly believer in Christ came to some of the residents and washed their feet as a act of faith and love.

Am I willing to serve others by washing their feet?

Usually, that’s not the need that presents itself. Instead, am I willing to take a few moments to listen to someone who is hurting? Am I happy to take the time to call a friend to check on them? Am I available to tell another person about the faith I have in Jesus when the opportunity arises?

All of these needs can be met as an act of faith and love.

Is there someone you could serve today?

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.  Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;  so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

—John 13:2-5

Victory

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

—1 Corinthians 15:57

Lately, I have become more aware of the power of God to work in our lives.

He is victorious in all things.

All things….

All things in your life and all things in mine.

There is a song that speaks of this.

“Your Name, Your Name, is Victory. All praise will rise to Christ our King.

By Your spirit I will rise
From the ashes of defeat
The resurrected King, is resurrecting me
In Your name I come alive
To declare Your victory
The resurrected King, is resurrecting me.”

(Resurrecting–Elevation Worship)

I decided to buy a necklace with the letter V to remind me of victory.

For those that ask why I’m wearing it, I will have the opportunity to explain why the Name of Jesus is Victory.

He has given me new life, He will never leave me and His Name is to be praised forever!