Peace

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

—John 14:27

A troubled heart can be calmed.

A restless mind can be quieted.

A sleepless night can be changed to one of healing rest.

A broken life can be made whole again.

Jesus gives us peace….

peace

His Promises

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It was a windy afternoon coupled with an overcast sky and cool temperatures.

I decided that it would be a perfect time to visit a lakeside park in a nearby city.

As my husband and I walked around, we saw a bird on the grass past the wooden bridge we were standing on.

Having some stale biscuit bread in a bag, he threw a small piece into the grass below.

A different bird saw the morsel and eagerly ran up.

This commotion caused a bit of a stir in the long blades of grass, sufficient enough to flush some colorful butterflies out and into the open.

As they settled back down, once again lighting and being still, I took a few photographs of them.

Not knowing what type of butterfly I had seen, I did a bit of research.

It seems that I was watching some White Peacock butterflies.

Delicate and fragile, they truly were captivating to behold.

I’m not sure why butterflies remind us of a sense of freedom and serenity.

Perhaps their playful sprint from one place to another along with their carefree ability to do so is what does it.

In another way, their vulnerability might bring a sense of trust or confidence to mind.

1 Corinthians 1:9 reads,

“God faithfully keeps His promises. He called you to be partners with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”

We must trust God to keep His promises.

We must be confident in who He is and in His love for us.

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faithfully

The Benefits of Freedom

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Christ has freed us

so that we may enjoy

the benefits of freedom.

Therefore, be firm in this freedom,

and don’t become slaves again.

—-Galatians 5:1

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What does it mean to be free?

The dictionary says,

“to make free; set at liberty; release from bondage, imprisonment, or restraint.”
In the verse above, what if we thought of it this way?
“Christ has made us free, set us at liberty, released us from bondage, released us from imprisonment, and released us from restraint.”
Butterflies are a perfect picture of a creature released from bondage.
As a caterpillar, they cannot fly.
Trapped within the chrysalis, they cannot even move along the ground.
But then, freedom comes!
As they emerge from the the darkness around them, they are suddenly flooded with light and with wings made for flight, they soar into the air, free to fly!
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benefits of freedom

Wonderful New Bodies

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She sees the entire life cycle.

I have a friend who raises butterflies.

Getting a leaf with only an egg on it, she places it in a netted cage.

Later, a caterpillar becomes the only resident.

The caterpillar will then form a chrysalis, and go into hiding…

At the proper time set by God, a beautiful butterfly emerges!

I had the privilege of being with her one day as she released a butterfly from a netted cage.

At first, it remained on her hand, then it flew out into the big, giant sky in the sunshine.

Caterpillars don’t have very good eyesight.

Butterflies do.

A caterpillar must stay near the ground, creeping along.

A butterfly can soar to the heights!

One day, those who believe in Jesus will have new bodies:

For we know that when this tent we live in now is taken down—when we die and leave these bodies—we will have wonderful new bodies in heaven, homes that will be ours forevermore, made for us by God Himself and not by human hands.

—2 Corinthians 5:1

Right now, our eyesight and understanding are so limited.

We are bound here to this earthly life.

There will come a time when we will soar to Jesus in glorious freedom to live forever in Heaven!

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final correct wonderful two

Enlightening the Eyes

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A lot depends on your point of view.

If someone is generally unhappy, they may say,

“What an awful, gray and rainy day. I should have stayed in bed this morning.”

If someone just said “Yes” to a marriage proposal while at breakfast on that very same morning, they may say,

“This is the most wonderful day I could’ve imagined! I will remember those soft drops of rain on our umbrella and the beautiful clouds forever!”

Same day.

Same rain.

Same gray clouds.

So, what’s the difference?

It’s how we see things.

I photographed a swallowtail butterfly in my yard a while ago.

In the back of my mind somewhere, I thought I remembered that there was something special about a butterfly’s vision.

Doing a little research, I found that swallowtail butterflies can see ultraviolet, purple, blue, green, red and wideband light from red to purple.

There has been a lot of research on just what a swallowtail can see and how it sees it.

There’s even research about why they see like they do.

Although I can’t tell the difference between how a butterfly views my backyard and how I view it, I can easily assume that it’s not the same.

For one thing, I can’t see ultraviolet light.

The psalmist says,

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
 the fear of the Lord is clean,
    enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
    and righteous altogether.

–Psalm 19:7-9

If I am looking at life with eyes that have been enlightened by God’s guidance, my viewpoint will be vastly different from that of others.

Through every situation, whether it be a happy occasion or a difficult trial, we will not perceive it in the same way.

As a swallowtail butterfly sees ultraviolet light, so we can perceive the love and direction of God in our lives.

Perfect.

Sure.

Right.

Pure.

Clean.

True.

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enlightening

My Mind Tastes Truth

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The sun was shining so brightly on the flowers in the yard this afternoon.

After looking out the window for a few moments, I decided to get my camera and walk outside for a closer look.

I noticed a butterfly on a lantana bush.

He was a busy guy, and I only took two photos of him.

Looking at those photos more closely on the computer screen, I could clearly see the butterfly’s proboscis inserted into the yellow flower.

It was dinner time!

Or, perhaps, just part of his regular day-long activity, taking in nourishment as he found it.

He would not have found any nourishment in plastic flowers, even if they had graced my patio table with delicate colors.

Nor would he have found it in neatly lined stones on the ground.

What he needed could only come from specific sources.

Sources that God created to do certain functions—like feeding butterflies.

Wisdom and truth come from God.

We can’t find it anywhere else.

Looking for wisdom and truth apart from God is like a butterfly trying to feed off a plastic flower.

Discerning what our eyes see and our ears hear is vitally important.

Are we seeing and hearing truth?

That is a significant question to ask—-

all day long.

From the book of Job, chapter 12:

Just as my mouth can taste good food, so my mind tastes truth when I hear it. –verse 11

But true wisdom and power are God’s. He alone knows what we should do; He understands. —verse 13

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mouth can taste