As a believer in Jesus Christ, I’ve learned to find the smallest of blessings in the things that God provides for us each and every day. One wouldn’t think that gourds are a blessing but I do. As you look at this photograph, look at the beautiful colors! As Summer comes to an end, we see the Fall foliage and crops pop with their exquisite beauty! I pray this 30-day devotional (written in 2007) will help you to concentrate on God’s creation and see how we can learn about Him through it all.
Day 1 – Wolves
I thought it would be a blessing to spend the next thirty days looking at God’s Goodness through His creation. The Lord loves stories and analogies – He used so many when teaching His disciples. One of those heard often is:
Can you just imagine an actual wolf dressed up like a sheep and what the impact is? What can we learn from this? What can we learn from the characteristics of a species? God’s Goodness is revealed through all of His creation. So for the first in our series of God’s Goodness, let’s take a look at the wolf.
As we observe the wolf’s habits, we can apply teachings and warnings to our own Christian lives. Wolves live in packs with the alpha male and female leading the way. Where they go, the pack follows. As the Pastor leads the church he has been called to under shepherd, the church follows, as long as his leading is scriptural. Does this mean that a church can follow a female pastor (the alpha female)? The Word says that a pastor is the husband of one wife (1 Tim 3:2). No where is it recorded that she is the wife of one husband.
The wolf pack follows the alphas by instinct. If Christians followed by instinct, we would be easily deceived. However, Christians have the Holy Spirit to guide us. We are warned to beware of false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing but are ravenous wolves. Whatever this wolf in sheep’s clothing is saying, it can be compared to what the Word of God says – the Word is Truth. Jesus is the Word and is there to guide us – to be our Shepherd.
We that are His, hear His Spirit guiding us and He keeps us safe from these wolves.
An interesting trait of the wolf is his hunting habit. The hunting habits revolve around the chase. They are able to run for long periods of time before giving up on their prey. There are two ways we could look at this characteristic. The Christian should learn from this wonderful trait and be long suffering as they work toward winning the lost to Christ – not giving up quickly. But on the flip side, the devil is relentless in his attacks. He will attack (run) for long periods of time before he gives up on the Christian. He will keep after us until he sinks his teeth into us. The more prepared and vigilant the believer is, the better prepared he is to see ole slew foot’s attacks coming!
As I searched the Scriptures for the words “wolf” and “wolves,” I discovered there were twelve verses dealing with this species – ten that dealt with that of devouring the weaker animals. There were, however, two encouraging verses in Isaiah depicting the millennium period:
Isn’t this exciting? I love the fact that although this animal was depicted in a negative way in the Word, the Lord portrays the wolf in a peaceful way when Christ’s reign here on earth brings peace, even to nature. Once again like in the Garden of Eden, carnivores will become herbivores and will no longer be a threat. It will be a joy to walk up to the wolf and be able to pet him, won’t it?
I’m looking forward to focusing the next thirty days on the Lord’s creation and how He speaks to us through it! I hope it will be a blessing to you as well.
All creation has a story
Where we learn a truth
Each one unique in his own way
Each pointing toward You
Day 2 – Lions
Today’s Goodness from God revolves around the lion. What a majestic animal this is! What beauty this animal possesses. The Word has so much to say about the lion. As I read the verses, many compared the lion to the devil. The devil’s tactics to prey upon the believer are very much like the lion’s tactics as it preys on the weak and defenseless.
Let’s look at some of the lion’s characteristics today and be blessed. The Lion is the King of the Jungle. My Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Juda:
My Lion is the ultimate of lions. The female lions hunt at night or before sunrise and they hunt in packs. This reminded me of the darkness of sin and that Satan abides there. He and his minions do not cut any slack but come and attack in packs. Lions also steal food from other predators. Isn’t that just like Satan? He doesn’t play fair. He will take whatever he can get no matter what the expense. At times, lions prey on the younger of the species and the infirmed. The devil gets believers when they are at their weakest. He can attack a full grown spiritual adult but he cannot succeed because the Christian has the Shepherd watching out for him.
Lions can reach speeds of about 37 mph! However, they cannot run for long distances because they don’t have the endurance. Therefore, they have to get really close to their prey before they can attack. The other lions circle around the prey to prevent escape. Doesn’t that just sound like the believer’s life under attack from the devil? We are attacked in spurts, from all around at times – never for the long haul, however, because our Father wouldn’t allow that. Our Precious Father allows a way of escape for us – oh His wondrous love for us!
The Book of Psalms uses lion(s) eleven times to depict the behavior of the lion and how it relates to the believer’s life. Yes, we have our bouts with ole slew foot, but the Lord has the victory over him! Each verse shows the desperation felt – placing the lion here as an example truly depicts where we are at times!
We may not have the enemies David had but we do fight against the flesh, evil and the devil. Everyone’s battle may be different but they are battles nonetheless. We should not underestimate the devil’s power. He is not compared to the lion for nothing. The devil waits to devour us – he waits until we are weak and never, ever plays fair.
In the end, however, the lion will be brought down from being a predator to being a big cat.
He will no longer devour flesh but will eat straw! The devil will be brought down by the King of Kings, the Lion of the Tribe of Juda and He will defeat sin once and for all.
Your creation amazes me
I stand in wondrous awe
Each creature You designed
For enjoyment one and all
Day 3 – The Beaver
Having grown up in Northern Maine, seeing beavers was quite common for me. My father owned land which had a beaver’s dam on it. He and I would sit for hours watching them at work. As I meditated on these memories, I noticed a few things about them that blessed me.
A beaver is hard-working and diligent. They do not stop working to build their dam until the job is finished. As Christians, we should not grow weary in well doing but continue on in our work for the Lord.
The beavers use this same process to build their lodge. They don’t quit until their home is built. The mud gets packed so tightly with the wood that when it freezes, no predators can get through. I thought about our “temple.” The Christian’s foundation must be solid and impenetrable.
With Christ as our foundation, the enemy cannot and will not prevail. As I meditate on the mud-packed lodge, I’m impressed that our spiritual lives should be so “packed” with the Word of God that ole slew foot can’t step in. When we are equipped with the Word of God, the devil cannot penetrate us because God is our strong hold and protector.
I also noticed that the beaver is quite tenacious. My father would purposely go remove a few pieces of wood from the dam. This caused the water to start flowing out. The next thing I saw was a little head come popping above the water and he would cautiously swim toward the break in the dam. He would make sure that there wasn’t a predator lurking about. A few minutes later, a few more beavers would show up to give a helping hand.
Dad and I would sit for hours watching them patch the dam. They didn’t dilly dally either, nor did they wait until night fall. If they did, the water level would get so low that their lodges would be exposed to predators. We should be so tenacious as we “build” our temples with the reading of the Word, our study habits and serving the Lord. Working at our spiritual lives is not easy but it produces great results. It keeps us close to the Source and protected.
And lastly, I noticed that beavers have poor eye sight so they rely on their other senses. When one hears an enemy lurking about, he slaps his tail on the water. The sound is very similar to when you hit the top of the water with your hand. This signals their family members to be on the alert and to swim back to their lodge. Christians who are in tune with God will be able to hear warnings from the Holy Spirit. When danger lurks, we should run back to our Lodge (the Word of God). Our Stronghold awaits there to protect us. It also reminds me of our church – the Pastor slaps the water by preaching a warning from the Water of Life (our Bible) and warns us of danger lurking. We band together and stay strong as a body and church. The Pastor exhorts us to righteous living. He feeds our spirit so we can leave the church house and go into the mission field.
I have the most wonderful memories watching these beautiful creatures with my father. I am awed at how God reveals Himself through His creation. It’s such a blessing to be able to pick out certain characteristics and apply biblical principles to them. I look forward to each of the mornings ahead as I search for God’s Goodness in His creation. I look forward to not only look at animals, but to also look at the beauty of our heavens and our earth!
I pray that I learn from this creature
To be fervently seeking Your way
Quick to see when danger is lurking
And by Your side walking each day
Day 4 – The Stars
One of the topics of discussion at Our Final Authority (now no longer a message board) is that of God’s creation. This is what prompted this series I’m currently writing. One of our administrators, Pastor John, shared some things on the stars that had such an impact on me! I wanted to spread the blessing with you today.
One of my favorite creations of God is the stars. There are more then 300 references to astronomical objects found in the Bible. The Bible is clear that all creation can teach us of God. The Psalmist teaches that the stars teach that they were created by the Almighty One:
Because of the stars telling the story of their Creator, Paul was able to write: Romans 1:20, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”
The Bible has much to say about the constellations. The people of biblical days only knew of 48 constellations. Aratus gives the earliest description of these constellations in his poem Phaenomina, 270 B.C. This is the poem that Paul quotes in his sermon on Mars Hill in:
The Greek writer Homer referred to the constellations as early as 1000 B.C. Speaking of his hero Odysseus observing the starry sky as he sets sail:
There viewed the Pleiades and the Northern Team,
And great Orion’s more refulgent beam.
To which around the axel of the sky
Notice the words of Job in:
Another interesting constellation is Virgo. The Hebrew word for this constellation is Bethulah, which means virgin. The brightest star in Virgo is Spica, which the Jews call Tsemach, which means branch. This Hebrew word is used in the Old Testament to refer to the Messiah.
The fact that the Branch is found inside the Virgin is no accident. We know that the Messiah, Jesus Christ was born of a virgin.
Just beside Virgo is Leo the Lion. This should cause our minds to go to:
Below Leo is Hydra, the Great Serpent. Here, again, we should be brought to the book of
The fact that Leo is above Hydra alludes to the fact that Jesus is the victor over Satan.
The Fool Loses His Belt
In the Bible, the writers mention many of the constellations that are seen in winter. The prophet Amos points our attention to two in particular.
The constellation Orion is easy to spot because of the star that marks the left foot, Rigel. Rigel is one of the brightest stars in the night sky. This star is actually 21,000 times brighter than our sun, but because of its distance from us, it appears as a dot in the sky.
In the center there are three stars that seem very close together, they are called The Belt of Orion. The star to the right is Alnitak, an Arabic word meaning “the belt.” The star in the center is Alnilam, “the string of pearls.” The star on the left is Mintaka, an Arabic synonym for “belt” or “girdle.”
In ancient times Orion was known to be a giant, a mighty man, or a great hunter. We know that the Greeks knew Orion as a great hunter because that is what Homer called him in The Odyssey. The Arabs thought of Orion as a giant, calling him Al Jabbar, “the giant.”
In the Old Testament, Orion is referred to four times in an astronomical sense. The Jews call him “lesil,” which means fool. This Hebrew word is interesting in that it does not refer to someone who is mentally deficient, but to someone who is ungodly, someone who is rebellious to God. In the book of Proverbs, the fool is referred to as someone who rejects God.
In the book of Job, God asks an interesting question,
1) This may refer to Orion as being bound in his place in the sky, as a rebellious person is bound in his sins.
2) Or, it could refer to the belt of Orion. The people of that day wore cords as belts. I am amazed that modern astronomers have discovered that the three stars that compose the belt of Orion are moving in such a way as to appear as if the belt has been loosed and is falling off. This is a proof to us of the wisdom and power of God.
Thank you, Pastor John, for this wonderful blessing! We just touched upon a few stars and constellations. The universe is vast – endless. Can you just imagine what is in store for us as we seek God in His creation? This is one way to encourage your spirit when you are down.
How wonderous are the stars You’ve made
Your Word revealed in all
A golden nugget we receive
Gazing on them as night falls
Day 5 – Trees
We can get a glimpse of the Creator’s imagination and eye for beauty when we look at the various types of trees He created. I’m no arborist, by any stretch of the imagination. But as I look at trees, I see each one as having three parts: the roots, the trunk and the branches. I see God through these three parts, don’t you? I see our Heavenly Father as the roots. He is our stronghold and the basis of all that is Good. I see the Son as the trunk, receiving from the Father and giving to the branches. I see the branches as the Holy Spirit, feeding what He receives from the Son to conform us, the Christian, to His likeness.
The Heavenly Father is the Provider of all things. He is Jehovah-jireh. The roots provide the tree and branches with everything needed.
God provided Abraham with a lamb to use (Gen. 22:8 ).
The tree trunk (or the vine) is symbolic of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
The branches represent the Holy Spirit, who lives within all of those who are born again. Although there are many different types of trees, all have roots, trunks and branches.
The branches are symbolic of the Holy Spirit, who resides within every born again believer. Each branch varies from species to species and even within the same species – some blossom and bear fruit, some have leaves that change colors, etc. I see the born-again Christian from all of time reflected in this. Many bear fruit, many don’t. Many only “produce or getting going for the Lord” when they have been through fiery trials (changes in their spiritual lives like changes in the leaves’ color). Some who are weathered, break due to pressures from the elements. Many spiritual comparisons could be made at this point between the branches and the Christian. But that could be a whole other post for another day!
The tree cannot have branches without the trunk. The Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus Christ – He brings glory to Jesus Christ. Those who are in Christ will bear fruit and will be growing in Christ through the convictions of the Holy Spirit.
The trunk also receives its nutrients from the roots. The Son receives all things from His Heavenly Father.
I find it interesting that the branches cannot know the root unless they are “in the trunk.” Doesn’t that make you want to whoop and holler? The branches cannot get to the roots on their own. They have to be attached to the trunk in order to receive the benefit of the roots and its nutrition. Neither can we come to the Father unless we go through His Son!
The branches receive their nourishment from the trunk, which in turn receives it from the roots. Our Saviour recognized that He was nothing without the Father. The trunk is nothing without the roots.
Both the Holy Spirit and Christ cannot be set apart from the Father any more than the branches and trunk be set apart from the roots.
As the tree grows and bears fruit, it matures into a beautiful piece of art work from God. The believer grows in Christ by yielding himself to the Holy Spirit who molds us into His image. We mature as believers and grow. The age of a tree can be measured by the rings found in its trunk – measured from the bark to the center of the trunk. Some trees are so old that they become hollow in the center as the dead heartwood rots away. Oh what a beautiful picture this was to me. As we grow in Christ and become one with Him, our old flesh will become dead heartwood and it will rot away.
All parts of the tree form the tree – none can exist without the other. The Trinity is One.
All creation speaks of this. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Rom 1:20)Thank You, Lord, for these blessings this morning!
My heart is overwhelmed today
At what Thou hast given me
The beauty all around doth speak
Of the magnificence found in Thee
Day 6 – The Sun
In Genesis 1:1, God created heaven and earth. The Hebrew word for God in this verse is Elohim (plural use of the Supreme God). In verse 2, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters – another part of the Trinity depicted. God created light in verse 3. The Word says that Jesus is the light of the world.
It excited me to see that the Trinity is depicted in these three verses – the Three in One are completed in verse 3. Each verse shows each part of the Trinity. Doesn’t this excite you?
As we look at God’s Goodness today, I would like to share what the Word has to say about it. I have been asking others for input about God’s creation and would like to share some thoughts from a couple of people. Pastor John Snipes of Fundamental Baptist Forum (no longer an active message board) put it together so well.
The sun is the most important astronomical object to mankind. It has been both feared and worshipped. The rays of the sun supply us with vitamin C that is necessary for our bodies to function. Through the process of photosynthesis, the sun provides the energy for plants to grow which provides us with food. Scientist are hard at work to find how to use this energy to replace gasoline.
The sun is mentioned in Scripture at least 154 times. The first mention is of the creation of the sun found in:
The sun seems so very large to us. It has a diameter of about 864,000 miles and can hold 332, 000 earth’s. Yet our sun is an average star. It seems so big to us because it is so close to us, averaging 93,000,000 mile away from earth. If the sun were any closer, the earth would be baked by the heat and would be no more than a cinder. If it were any farther, the earth would be a ball of ice. Our Lord, in His infinite wisdom, has placed the sun so that it is of the greatest benefit to man.
In the Old Testament, we see the Lord using the Sun as a tool to demonstrate His power. Joshua was locked in battle with the kings of the Amorites. The battle was going well; however, the Israelites were running out of daylight so that they might have the final victory. Joshua prayed a most unusual prayer that God answered.
How our Lord accomplished this, we cannot not say. What I can say is that the Creator God who established the laws of nature is able to suspend those laws; the laws that modern man holds to so tightly that they cannot see the spiritual aspect of creation. This was a miracle of God and cannot be explained.
A second miracle involving the Sun is found in the book of Isaiah. There was a godly king, Hezekiah, who was sick and about to die. He knew this because the prophet Isaiah had brought the Word of the Lord to him. Hezekiah prayed for mercy and God granted him 15 more years. When Isaiah returned to the king with the good news, the king wanted to know that what Isaiah had said was the truth. Therefore, God granted a miracle.
Will the Sun last forever? Scientist tell us the answer to that question is no. The Bible does not say that the Sun will end; however, it does tell us that it will not be needed.
It is interesting to note that the sun was created on the forth day of creation. Then how were there “morning and evening” on the first three days? It was the light of the glory of God that that caused the first three mornings and evenings and this glory shall shine forever on those who live in the New Jerusalem.
“The last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, closes with the mention of the Sun of Righteousness which is yet to rise. It holds out a hope for a cursed earth, and that hope is the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Book of Revelation closes with the Bright and Morning Star, which is a figure of Christ at His coming to take the church out of the world. The Rapture is the hope of the New Testament, just as the revelation of Christ was the hope of the Old Testament. And the Book of Revelation will complete the revelation of Christ.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, [Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers] 2000, c1981.)
Brother Jerry Bouey had these thoughts to share:
I wrote this in my Bible, next to Matthew 5:
Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
“Like the moon reflects the light of the Sun – we are to reflect the light of the Son of God, the Sun of Righteousness.
When the world comes between the Sun and the moon, it creates an eclipse (darkness) and the Sun’s light is not reflected. Even so, the world (worldliness) coming between us and Christ causes His light not to be reflected through us because there is spiritual darkness in our lives. Also, the moon (our flesh) coming between us and the Sun (the Son) creates an eclipse.” – Jerry Bouey.
Sunlight is the main source of energy on earth. So Christ, our Sonlight, should be our main source for our spiritual energy. He sustains us, feeds us through His Word and gives us that spiritual nourishment and energy we need to walk this earth and be testimonies for Him.
Without Him, we are lost and on our way to eternity in hell in total darkness.
The ultraviolet rays from the sun have antiseptic properties, according to Wikipedia. The Word of God, also known as the Son (John 1:1), has antiseptic properties which heal us spiritually. The Word says there is a Balm in Gilead (Jer. 46:11) Our Balm of Gilead, Jesus Christ, heals us spiritually. Without Christ, we are sick with sin – we are lepers – with no hope of being healed. Praise God for our Balm!
The shape of the sun’s path is known as the “analemma” – it forms a figure 8. The number 8 represents “new beginnings.” Jesus Christ is the New Beginning – the New Covenant!
Through His precious Blood, we have a new beginning when we were born again. I love this correlation!
I find it interesting that even in darkness, the Lord God has given us enough light to find our way. We are never in total, complete darkness as long as there is some kind of light appearing in the heavens. (John 1:5) It is also true for the believer in our spiritual lives. The Word promises that it lights up our path showing us the way.
The Son IS the Word (John 1:1) and He is the light (John 1:4). As Pastor John wrote, when we reach Heaven, we will no longer need the sun or the moon. The Lord God will be our light.
Wikipedia also notes that scientists have studied the sun intensively, however, they cannot figure out why its outer atmosphere has a temperature of 1 million K while its photosphere has a temperature of less than 6,000 K! Like the Son, we won’t be able to understand fully what He (God) is all about until we reach Heaven.
I love to see You through
All that You’ve created
Each with its own story,
In them Your love is stated.
Day 7 – The Eagle
I took this photo of a beautiful eagle when John and I were on vacation in Alaska. What a majestic bird it is indeed! He had been injured and was going through rehabilitation.
According to Wikipedia, there are 8,800–10,200 living bird species! Does this not simply amaze you? If we did not have any other living, breathing creature on this entire earth, just looking at the number of different birds should be enough to point us to the Creator! Each has something different – a different size, a different color, a different song to sing – some can fly, some cannot.
The eagle is a beautiful and majestic bird with strength in its wings. He is quite the fisherman – fish is 90% of his diet. The Master Fisherman, Jesus Christ, came to be a fisher of men and teaches us to be fishers of men as well.
Eagles have exceptional eye sight and can spot a fish from one mile away! Have you ever tried to spot a fish more than three feet away from you? It’s not easy. This is how we should be able to spot sin – from “a mile away.” Sadly, however, we venture way too close to sin and come away with its stench upon us. A good analogy is the skunk – you only have to come within a few feet of it to walk away smelling like one. God promises us that His Word shines a light on our path so that we can plainly see sin – we can spot it from afar.
Most of the time, the eagle snatches fish from the water’s surface rather than diving into the water like other birds. I see a beautiful analogy of the Christian’s soul winning techniques here. We should fish for men but not plunge into their life style just so we can win them. We must keep ourselves spiritually above them so we can be a testimony. How can we throw them a Life Saver (the Gospel of Jesus Christ) if we are treading water right along side of them?
The Lord does not tell us to become “like the world” to win them. This would contradict 2 Cor 6:17. Yes, Christ ate amongst the sinners but so do we whenever we go to a restaurant, don’t we? That excuse just doesn’t hold water. Would you buy stocks and bonds from a homeless person or someone who had the “Wall Street” look about him? We are children of the King of Kings, let’s put on the appearance of princes and princesses.
I also love how the Word compares this beautiful eagle to God. The eagle’s wings portray strength and we can rest in the strength and protection of the Lord – under His wings.
God protected Jacob just as an eagle protects her young. This same protection is available to the born-again believer! What comfort!
Another beautiful analogy is that of God renewing our strength as that of the eagle.
Remember the joy of your salvation? God had filled your mouth (your soul) with His Word and you felt as though you could conquer anything! Your spirit had been renewed like the eagle! I remember a time being in the depths of despair and cried unto God to restore me, and He did. I came out of that trial feeling renewed and as though God had lifted me up! My spirit soared as the eagle! The most popular verse in Scriptures depicting this is:
What a blessing! This has been an encouragement to many throughout these thousands of years!
God also used the eagle’s flying capabilities in His Word. Did you know that an eagle can fly as high as 10,000 feet? It is no wonder that God used the eagle in describing the height and depth of a man’s pride.
I find it interesting that Hitler named his command complex the Eagle’s Nest. A coincidence? I don’t believe so. If you’ve ever seen pictures of it, you’ll note that it sits high on a mountain overlooking the German and Austrian Alps. Hitler was definitely full of pride, but God sure brought him down.
The Word compares God’s judgment to the strength of eagles.
Yes, woe unto those who deny Christ as their Saviour. Woe to those whose pride stands in the way where they wish to seek “another way” to Heaven.
Acts 4:10-12 says it clearly.
You can justify your religion all you want, but the Bible still says there is only one way and that way is Christ Jesus. Wouldn’t you rather mount up with wings as eagles and be saved rather than be spoiled (burn eternally in hell) when He returns on horses swift as eagles?
Under His Wings
William O. Cushing
Under His wings, oh, what precious enjoyment!
There will I hide till life’s trials are o’er;
Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me,
Resting in Jesus, I’m safe evermore.
Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.
Day 8 – Water
The term “living water” appears only three times in the Word. What a wonderful depiction of the Trinity, once again. The Father provides a way, the Son IS the way, and the Spirit prepares the way (the heart of man) for salvation. All Three are One pointing to the Living Water – salvation through Jesus Christ. Without each of the Truine God working, we would not be able to be saved!
As I meditated on the water molecule, I began to see several correlations. The water molecule is made up of three atoms: two atoms of Hydrogen and one atom of Oxygen. God gathered the waters together in Gen. 1:10.
The Hebrew word for God in this verse is Elohim (plural use of the Supreme God). The Trinity created water (which is made up of three atoms) and all known forms of life on earth depends upon it to live. Without water, they die.3formsWhen we look at water, we see that it can be in three different forms: liquid, frozen, and gas. All three forms are made up of two atoms of Hydrogen and one atom of Oxygen. However, each is in a different form – each having a different function. What a beautiful depiction of the Trinity! Each member of the Trinity is God, but each has a different function.
Seventy-five percent of the earth is covered with water and only three percent of that is drinkable. Out of the three percent, 75% of it is frozen in the polar ice caps. It is not only a precious commodity, but it is vital for life. It amazes me that only a small percentage of the water on this earth is drinkable. It reminded me that only a small percentage of mankind will accept Jesus Christ, our only source of Living Water.
Although a person can live without food for more than a month, a person can only live without water for approximately one week. Only God can sustain a person after a week. We know that He is able because the Word says God sustained Moses twice for 40 days and 40 nights.
As vital as water is to sustain life here on earth, it can never cause us to live forever. Only the Living Water can give everlasting life. Jesus gave Himself for us so He is the only One who is able to give us everlasting life. It is His to give. There is nothing we can do on our own to achieve this.
The only thing we must do to get everlasting life is to drink of the Living Water. We must be born again. Jesus says we will never thirst again! What a wonderful depiction of eternal security! If we were to lose our salvation, we would thirst again. Even for those who say that we can freely give up our salvation – in doing so we would have to thirst again to be saved again. But Jesus said that we would NEVER thirst again. Never is forever. Only man adds a time limit to the word never. God does not. God says He never breaks His covenant (Judges 2:1) which means NEVER. Jesus is our new Covenant and is everlasting.
Praise the Lord that our eternal life is secure through the everlasting life provided by Christ and His Living Water! Glory be to God!
Thank you for the Living Water
In which our salvation rests
Its bless’ed life giving power
If the work of Your Son we confess
Day 9 – Volcanoes
The beauty of volcanoes lighting up the night sky is breath taking, isn’t it? How can something so beautiful also cause such destruction!
Throughout history, we have seen the havoc wreaked by one of these awesome mountains. As we look at the volcano, we can see how God can use one to accomplish His wrath, but what good can come from them? As I searched the Internet, I learned that volcanoes provide hydrothermal vents which are responsible for almost all of our iron, copper, nickel, platinum, gold, silver, zinc, etc. The metals available to mankind are a result of this fabulous creation! Don’t you see God’s Goodness in that? The Lord can take something He created, which we consider bad and destructive, and He can use it for good. That is why I included the volcano in my series on God’s Goodness.
The Word is filled with God using His creation to fulfill prophecy – the Great Flood, the plagues on Egypt, etc. It is no different with the volcano. Our text verse in Revelation shows a possible volcano turning the sea into blood. Volcanoes which erupted in history will be considered child’s play compared to the end times.
In history we learned that Mount Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum. In May 1980, Mount St. Helen destroyed 57 people, miles of highways and flattened millions of Douglas fir trees over a fan-shaped area of 230 square miles! The blast was likened to 2500 Hiroshima’s! This picture shows trees knocked down like match sticks. The ash columns were almost as high as 6,600 feet (that’s 1.2 miles)! My brother lived 250 miles away from Mount St. Helen in 1980 when everything in his town was covered in ash! This was from 250 miles away! Today, just six miles from the base of Mount St. Helen, are flowers and life rising through the flattened trees. The devastated landscape is now scattered with green and various wildlife. It will take years for a new landscape to emerge but new life is sprouting.
A friend shared a story he remembered about Mount Pelee.
I thought I would share some of what I remember. I used the illustration once in a message on soul winning.
The story was the eyewitness account of a local scientist who lived in the town or close to it anyhow. He was very well educated in the earth and I believe he was a vulcanologist(?) This town was a sea port, a very rich seaport. It was the main revenue for the town.
Any way, the scientist started noticing different things starting to happen. Water turning color and putting off odor, fish dying, animals disappearing, minor thing at first. As he investigated he started to become sure that the volcano would soon erupt. He went and told the town counsel, but they were more concerned with their revenue than anything this guy had to say.
Well more and more strange things started to happen, people started disappearing, small fissures opening in the ground,and smoke starting to rise from the mountain. The signs were becoming more and more evident that disaster would soon strike and if the town did not evacuate thousands of people would perish. still the counsel would do nothing. The scientist warned who he could but few would listen, they were to tied up in their affairs to really care.
Then it happened, the Mount exploded with such violence, it is hard to imagine, some people most likely did not even know what happened, they were simply dead. The pyroclastic(?) flow, which is nothing but intensely heated gas vapors moves so fast and with such force and with such a searing heat, something like an atom bomb. Many people were killed were they stood, it is the ones that survived, for a while that stuck in my mind. That flow of super heated vapors was so hot that it burned the eyes out of the socket, seared the throat shut, and burned limbs so severely that they could no longer feel anything but burning. They could not see(utter darkness) they thirsted but could not drink, the only thing they could do was hear the weeping and feel the burning.
So my point was that these people were suffering yes, But the suffering in Hell is much, much worse, and their will never be relief. Jesus, like the scientist has warned us that the end is coming, we see the signs, we have the evidence, but will we sacrifice our comfort, our lifestyle, our income, to go out and reach those that are lost.
I liken the eruption of a volcano to unconfessed sin in our lives. If a person is not saved, sin will wreak havoc and cause destruction in his life and in his path. Sin separates man from God. It will also destroy the unsaved person’s relationship with his family, and it can destroy him in death, both spiritually and physically. Someone else pointed out, he looks at volcanoes as “the joy of the Lord which erupts from a heart surrendered to the Holy Spirit within”! What a beautiful picture! When a yielded believer allows the Holy Spirit to work within, everyone who comes in his path will be permanently affected as that believer shares the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Another said that she remembered hearing a message once where the preacher said that whenever a volcano erupted it was Hell expanding because more people had died and gone to a Christ-less eternity. What a thought, huh?
Your creation brings such wonder
To this simple heart of mine
Through each and every aspect
I can see Your handiwork so fine
Day 10 – The Dove
Everything about the dove is gentle – its appearance, its sound, and even its motions. Have you ever observed one in flight? The grace and beauty of its landing upon a rooftop appears to be effortless – light as a feather. One of the most relaxing sounds I have ever heard is the cooing of the morning doves in the mornings. Their beautiful sound could calm the most restless soul. I can’t think of a better way to start my day than to hear those coos. This helps me to truly appreciate why God used the dove to represent His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not barge into our lives. His entrance is gentle, His sound is gentle and His motions in our lives are gentle. He speaks to us in that still small voice. I once heard preach that the Holy Spirit was a Gentleman – He does not force Himself upon us like a roaring lion but as gentle as the dove. I love that about Him, don’t you?
Therefore, when our lives are filled with noise and confusion, we know it is not from the Holy Spirit but from the god of this world. It’s so important for us to be plugged into God’s word to receive our necessary spiritual power, just as it’s necessary to plug in a lamp in order to receive electricity.
All four Gospels give the beautiful account of the Holy Spirit descending like a dove upon Jesus after He was baptized. It is in this account that the Trinity was evidenced – The Son submitted, the Spirit rested upon Him, and the Father spoke. The first appearance of the dove in the Bible is in:
Isn’t it wonderful that The Holy Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters in Gen. 1:1 and the first mention of the dove was to send it out over the face of the waters to see if the waters had abated? God’s Word is so thorough – nothing is by chance – God reveals Himself throughout the Word. I thought that was so like God to show His Spirit in these two verses! Gen. 1:1 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
I also discovered that the dove (turtledove or young pigeons) was the only bird that was used in sacrificial offerings, Luke 2:24. God’s justice requires atonement for sin but sacrificial offerings could never provide complete atonement because our sin is never ending. But God’s love was so great for us that He provided the perfect atonement by taking on the form of man and becoming the perfect, sinless sacrifice on our behalf. It is only through the sacrifice of the Cross that we can have atonement for our sin. God no longer sees the born-again believer as a sinner because His Son’s blood was the atonement needed – the price had been paid over 2,000 years ago.
The gentle and quiet Holy Spirit draws us to Jesus Christ. He testifies to us of Christ through the Word of God.
What a beautiful depiction the two turtledoves were – they were a testimony of the coming of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus Christ to us and presents us this wonderful Gift. Oh thank you, Lord!
With the acceptance of Christ’s work on the Cross, we receive eternal life and the sweet peace that accompanies salvation. I can’t think of sweeter more gentle animal than the dove to depict the Holy Spirit and how He introduces us to Christ. We are not forced to believe in Christ. We are gently stirred and called – and when we yield ourselves and accept Christ, the Spirit comes to reside within us. Thank You, Lord, for the beautiful picture of Your Holy Spirit today!
My Father lovingly prepared a way
And provided an atonement for sin
The Holy Spirit like a dove
Pricked my heart and entered in!
Day 11 – The Pearl
The pearl is a beautiful gem stone. All other gems are taken from the ground by man. However, this gem is formed by one of God’s creation. In my research, I discovered that the irritant is rarely from a grain of sand but typically from parasites, organic material (ingested when the shell opens for feeding) or other broken pieces from other parts of the oyster’s body.
Two beautiful analogies can be seen when looking at the pearl. The Lord Himself compared the Kingdom of Heaven to a pearl of great price. The merchant found this pearl of great price and sold all he had to purchase it. This merchant was willing to sell everything in order to buy this pearl.
A major hurdle for unbelievers is that they do not wish to part with their sin or worldly ways. Repentance has its cost – forsaking known sin for salvation is not easy but it is most certainly necessary.
The unrepentant sinner is no better than these disciples who followed Jesus but could not continue to do so for His teachings were too difficult for them.
It’s not that Jesus’ teachings were so intellectual, they could not understand what He was saying. Jesus taught repentance and salvation but they did not believe. But there are some of you that believe not.
Don’t you find it interesting that those unbelievers who chose not to walk with Jesus were described in Chapter 6, verse 66 (666)? They went the way of god of this world, the devil, in this verse. I love how every jot and tittle was inspired by God – even the chapter divisions and verse markers.
Another wonderful analogy is to the Christian’s life and how the pearl is formed. As believers, the Holy Spirit brings convictions which form us into the image of Christ.
We will have trials and tribulations in our lives – each one teaching us and growing us spiritually – each layer making us more like Christ. With each one, we learn to draw nigh to Him. Just as the irritation in the oyster produces a pearl, our trials and tribulations will strengthen our faith and conform us into the image of our Saviour.
I also noticed that there are different types of irritants which bring about this pearl of great price: parasites, organic material, other broken pieces and occasionally that grain of sand. All sources were different but all produced a pearl! Our trials, like the pearl, come from various sources also. The parasite in the Christian’s life can be those unsaved friends or those we think to be friends. Noah Webster defined a parasite in his day as:
In modern usage, a trencher friend; one that frequents the tables of the rich and earns his welcome by flattery; a hanger on; a fawning flatterer
No wonder we are warned not to be unequally yoked.
These parasitic friends can produce quite the irritation in our spiritual lives and yield tribulation. You become who you hang around with and we must guard ourselves in this area.
The key here is to grow from it and not repeat it. This is a trial that we can avoid if we heed the Word. It is also a trial that will build us and form us as we grow from our experiences.
The second irritant is organic material which I liken to the world’s goods and what the world offers. We are not to love the things of this world. It is difficult to control the lust of the flesh. However, in so doing we are building up our pearl – we are being conformed to Christ’s image Who is the pearl of great price.
Notice the pearl is also formed by broken pieces from inside the oyster’s body. What a beautiful comparison to the believer letting go of sin in our lives – breaking away from sinfulness and being more and more like Jesus. When we are broken, we are ready to receive what the Lord has to teach us.
As a broken vessel in the Potter’s Hand, we can be molded and reshaped into a vessel unto honour.
Lastly, on occasion that one grain of sand can produce a pearl as well. Do you realize how small a grain of sand is? A grain of fine sand is measured between 1/8 mm – 1/4 mm!! No matter how small the trial you are going through, God will still use it to produce this pearl: conforming you into the image of Christ, the ultimate pearl of great price.
What trials and tribulations are you experiencing today in your life? Are you allowing the Holy Spirit of God to conform you into the Saviour’s image? What kind of pearl are you producing in your spiritual oyster? Are you producing a pearl at all? It’s only through our submissiveness to changing as we experience these irritations that we produce that pearl. If we do not yield to the Holy Spirit’s convictions and forsake sin, we won’t yield a beautiful pearl. But a yielded vessel will grow from each trial and will become more and more like that Pearl of Great Price, the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
More Like the Master
by Charles H. Gabriel
More like the Master I would ever be,
More of His meekness, more humility;
More zeal to labor, more courage to be true,
More consecration for work He bids me do.
Take Thou my heart, I would be Thine alone;
Take Thou my heart, and make it all Thine own.
Purge me from sin, O Lord, I now implore,
Wash me and keep me Thine forevermore.
More like the Master is my daily prayer;
More strength to carry crosses I must bear;
More earnest effort to bring His kingdom in;
More of His Spirit, the wanderer to win.
More like the Master I would live and grow;
More of His love to others I would show;
More self denial, like His in Galilee,
More like the Master I long to ever be.
Day 12 – The Wind
Wind is defined as the rough horizontal movement of air across the earth. The Holy Spirit is likened to the wind in the Word.
Wind does not blow from the bottom or from the top but horizontally. The Holy Spirit does not crush us with burdens too great to bear. Nor does He cause us to stumble or be swept off our feet. Instead, he guides us through the Word in a Godly direction. We can’t see the wind in this picture but we know it is there by looking at the flag and the direction it’s pointing.
I found it interesting that the first time the wind is mentioned in the Bible is in chapter 8.
The number eight is symbolic of “new beginnings.” Jesus Christ is our New Covenant and that Covenant provides a new beginning for all born-again believers. Through His shed blood, we have remission of sins. After His resurrection, He left us the Holy Spirit to reside within us and to stir us, move us to be more like Christ. If find it a blessing that the Holy Spirit is compared to the wind. I believe that even the chapter and verse divisions in the Word of God are there for us to be blessed with! The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (Joh 3:8 ) Isn’t it interesting that this chapter heading is the number three (indicative of the Trinity) and the number eight, New Beginnings? I won’t know for sure until I reach Heaven if the chapter and verse numbers were meant to bless me in this way, but in the mean time, I consider myself blessed!
In my research on the wind, I discovered that still air is a great insulator. That means that heat does not flow well in still air. This is the reason why heat rises in a still room. When there is a fire, we’re told to lay on the floor and crawl out of harm’s way. Where there is no breeze, that heat goes upward. The wind (breeze) stirs up that heat, circulates it and the fire grows. When we are spiritually not moving forward, we are still. We are like that still air, insulating our spiritual lives and not moving. When we are not growing in Christ, the fires of the Holy Spirit aren’t moving within us. Our spiritual embers need to be stirred by the movement of the Spirit in our lives. Only then are we productive Christians and yielding spiritual fruit.
We’ve had some pretty powerful wind storms the past few days due to a Nor’easter sweeping up the East coast. Prior to the winds, the ground was saturated with rain and the root systems of the trees were weakened. The wind caused much more damage because of this. We have a cedar tree on the side of our house that is leaning into another cedar tree. If it weren’t for that supporting tree, this leaning tree would have come down on our fence. If the wind were to switch directions, it would push that leaning cedar into our house. The winds are now dying and I’m thankful that my Heavenly Father has protected us yet again! As I meditated on the power of this Nor’easter, I made some beautiful correlations to the Spirit’s movement within our lives. When our lives are not saturated with worldliness, we are yielded and the Spirit’s wind will move us, conforming us to the beautiful image of our Saviour.
However, when our lives are saturated with worldliness, we are unyielding to the Spirit and He must draw us back with stronger winds. Sometimes the spiritual winds break us, sometimes the winds cause havoc in our lives as a result of our own actions. Isn’t it easier to yield to the Holy Spirit than to have to pick up the broken pieces later on? God will not force us to submit to Him but, like a loving Father, will allow the storms of life to come upon us so we can turn once again to Him. Look at your own children and how you deal with them. You don’t force them to decisions but you guide them. When they make the wrong decision, they have to reap the consequences of those decisions. It’s the same with the Holy Spirit in our own lives, my friend.
This same wind has the power to rejuvenate and encourages new growth on this earth. The wind carries pollen from one place to another to create new life. The wind stirs up the ground from the winter’s effects. The wind prepares that ground for Spring. What a beautiful picture of the Holy Spirit. Our dead heart is made alive by the Spirit moving in us. He converts that fallow ground of our heart into a good soil, ready to receive the precious seed of the Gospel. Upon salvation, that seed will grow and will bare the fruit of the peace of Jesus Christ! And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (Jam 3:18 )
What a blessed analogy the Lord has given me this morning! I love to find Him in His creation, don’t you? The Word could not describe the Holy Spirit in a better way than to compare Him to the wind. Thank You, Lord!
Thank You for Your Spirit
May He direct my way
Help me to be yielded
With each and every day
Day 13 – The Horse
I discovered that it is the nature of the horse to flee from danger. They only stay to fight if it involves their offspring or if there is no where for them to flee. They put up a good fight, too! But is there something about this magnificent creature that we can apply to our spiritual life? All of God’s creation has something to teach us.
What do we do when sin comes knocking – do we do as the horse and run? Or do we stay and and toy with it? When we do have to fight, do we have the ammunition with which to fight – the Sword of God? Or are we weak in the Word and have nothing to encourage our heart in that time of need?
The horse is ever vigilant of what goes on around him. The horse watches and stays alert. His seeing and hearing senses are much better than the human. The horse’s eye is second to the ostrich of all land animals in its size. The horse’s eyes can see 350 degrees! Their ears rotate so they can catch sounds from every direction. Oh that we Christians should be so keen in spotting sin and listening for false doctrine!
The riding horse is known for its speed, agility, alertness and endurance. Isn’t this a beautiful comparison to how a believer ought to run the Christian race? We must be quick and agile to spot danger and speedily run away from sin. We should also use this same speed to go out into all the world to win souls.
We should be alert, ever watching and vigilant so we are not caught unawares by ole slew foot.
Endurance to finish our race here on earth is another fine quality we can learn from the horse. We must not be easily discouraged.
Paul encourages us to run the race with patience – have endurance – don’t give up – we must keep on keeping on for the Lord.
Horses are also very social animals and have “friends” amongst their own species as well as with other animals and humans. It would be difficult for a horse to make a “friend” with a dog unless the dog reciprocated, right? The two animals are in agreement in their “friendship.” Although the horse loves the dog, he does not become “like” the dog nor does not adopt the mannerisms of the dog. We Christians need the equally yoked fellowship we get from our church family. We should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers where we learn their ways. An unbeliever will never fully understand our Christianity – never! Remember that. They are serving their father the devil and cannot understand. What you believe is foolishness to them.
I love the way a horse communicates to other horses and to us humans. It is beautiful to watch a horse’s body language when it sees its master. When I went to visit my brother in Oregon, he introduced me to his three horses. One of his favorites came right up to him and pushed up against him so he would rub its face and head. Whenever my brother stopped rubbing, his horse would push up against him again. This magnificent, huge animal was desiring to be touched by his master. This powerful and beautiful animal showed its need to touch and be touched. Do we react toward our Master, Jesus Christ, in the same manner? Do we desire to be touched by His Word and to touch others with His Word?
We have only to read the Word with the same eagerness my brother’s horse had to be touched and we, too, can be made perfectly whole spiritually. Yes, I know we are already saved. But how many times have you gone to the Word desperately in need and God has met you there and met that need? Even when your prayer was not answered, God gave you the calm sweet assurance that He is in charge. Oh my, the Hand of God reaches down and touches us when we make that first move to touch His garment through His Word!
I’m sure there are many other characteristics about the horse that I could look at and correlate with the Christian’s life and God’s Word. Thank You, Lord, for this blessing today!
Your creation always bless me so
The simplicity of life each day
I see Your perfect hand in all
Teaching me along the way
Day 14 – The Rose
Not only has God given us one of the most beautiful and fragrant flowers to enjoy, but He also has given us countless different types of roses! Each species bringing its own beauty and wonderful fragrance! Our God is a God of detail and imagination, isn’t He? As I meditated on the rose this morning, I was so totally blessed by its intricacies. I stand amazed at how our Heavenly Father poured Himself into this one part of His creation!
There are so many different species of the rose to choose from! It was difficult to pick one. I was going to pick the obvious rose found in many florist shops, however, I wanted to pick something unique. Then I saw it – the rose that jumped off the page at me – the Dog Rose. The Dog Rose’s similarities to Virginia’s Dogwood tree caught my eye. I would never have thought this flower to be a rose, would you? It’s not the typical looking rose. This Dog Rose is found in Europe and the Middle East. The Creator of all gives us a glimpse of His power by giving man so many different types of roses to enjoy. I stand amazed at how awesome God is!
Have you noticed the petals of this beautiful Dog Rose? There are five petals – the number five symbolizes God’s grace. The Victorian “language of flowers” says that different colored roses each have their own symbolic meaning – how appropriate that the color pink, according to this language, stands for grace! Grace is defined as unmerited favor! No more appropriate definition can be given to our salvation! There is nothing we can due to earn this favor – it is freely given to us by our Heavenly Father through His Son, Jesus Christ.
When we see the Dog Rose, or any other five-petal flower, it should remind us of the grace, the unmerited favor, the Father has given to us.
This beautiful rose has another distinct quality about it. Its center explodes with bright yellow rays, resembling the sun’s rays shooting outward. When we accept Jesus Christ, His love and the light of His Word should be radiating from us. We are to be a witness to the unsaved world with the light of His Word.
When we see a beautiful rose bush, we do not realize the tender care and love that has gone into it. It is for the rose bush’s health that the gardener prunes it and keeps harmful bugs away. He meticulously prunes each branch so that it can produce more beautiful flowers. He carefully pulls the weeds so the plant will be healthy and strong. Then he painstakingly picks out every bug which would ruin his work and he sprays to keep future bugs away. What a beautiful portrayal of the Holy Spirit caring for the believer! It is for our own spiritual health that He prunes us – He desires us to bear precious fruit. He prunes us into the image of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
Like every plant, this Dog Rose bush grows toward the sun which provides the light. So should the Christian grow “toward” the Son – becoming more like Him. Our yielded vessel will be used of the Holy Spirit to glorify Christ. The Spirit teaches us and prunes us to be more like Jesus!
The Dog Rose does not interfere with the gardener – she allows him to carefully tend to her needs so she can become beautiful. So should the believer be – do not interfere with the Gardener (the Holy Spirit) as He carefully tends to our needs and molds us into vessels unto honour for the Master.
I thank Thee for the rose’s beauty
It’s color and fragrance sweet
Within each petal and each leaf
Thy Hand I clearly see
Day 15 – The Butterfly
As I meditated on God’s goodness this morning, my heart rested on the beautiful Monarch Butterfly. The wonder of God is shown through its beautiful lines and structure. The vibrant colors make this creature stand out, don’t they? The first thought that popped into my mind was the four different stages the butterfly goes through from the time of its inception. The number four represents the number of creation – isn’t it interesting that the butterfly’s final “creation” stage results in a new creation?
The Monarch Butterfly begins its life in the form of an egg. This egg represents the beginning of the born again believer’s life.
The egg hatches and next is the caterpillar stage. This second stage represents the baby Christian.
How interesting to note here that the caterpillar feeds on “milk”weed. Isn’t it just like the Lord to give us this lesson through His creation? During this stage, the caterpillar stores energy in the form of fat and nutrients, which will be needed for the next stage.
I found it interesting that the milkweed is poisonous to the Monarch’s enemies but not to the Monarch itself!
Because of this poison, the Monarch’s enemies have learned to stay away, recognizing the Monarch by its colors. Because we are a new creature in Christ, the world should not want to have anything to do with us. They prefer to live in darkness.
The caterpillar prepares himself for the next stage, the pupa stage, where transformation will take place. He spins a silk pad on a leaf or twig and hangs upside down from his pad by his prolegs. The Holy Spirit forms us into the image (shape) of Jesus Christ!
The Holy Spirit begins a work in us at the time of salvation. We begin with the pure milk of the Word. As we go through trial and tribulation leaning on the Lord, we begin to take on His characteristics! Praise the Lord!
It is through these trials and tribulations that we learn to be yielded vessels. The beautiful yielded vessel will not only be conformed into the image of Christ but will be able to be used by God for His purpose.
What was ugly on a branch, the pupa goes through a miraculous change inside. He molts, becoming encapsuled in a green casing. It is then that the butterfly begins to be shaped. I have been taught that when the butterfly begins to emerge from its casing, it struggles for quite some time to be set free. If a human being were to “help” the butterfly in this process, the butterfly would die. The struggle it goes through to reach freedom is what is necessary for the butterfly to fly. The arduous task of setting itself free from the casing is what gives it the ability to live and fly! What a beautiful picture of the maturing Christian. Each of our trials is necessary to pave the way to be more like Christ. Do not take light of each difficult period of time in your life. When one leans on the Lord during these times, one draws closer to the Source. We become more beautiful because we become more like Christ!
At last, the beautiful Monarch Butterfly appears. Its beautiful colors are categorized as the “warm colors,” which are defined as colors of excitement. The more like Christ we become, the more vibrant and excited we are toward the cause of Christ – that of spreading the Gospel! As the butterfly’s egg passes away and forms a totally different creature, the born again believer dies to self and becomes more like the Master.
Won’t you rejoice with me today in the trials and tribulations our precious Heavenly Father has allowed us to go through? The Holy Spirit works through us to form us into the Ultimate Beautiful Butterfly, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!
More Like Jesus Would I Be
by Fanny Crosby
More like Jesus would I be, let my Savior dwell with me;
Fill my soul with peace and love—make me gentle as a dove;
More like Jesus, while I go, pilgrim in this world below;
Poor in spirit would I be; let my Savior dwell in me.
If He hears the raven’s cry, if His ever watchful eye
Marks the sparrows when they fall, surely He will hear my call:
He will teach me how to live, all my sinful thoughts forgive;
Pure in heart I still would be—let my Savior dwell in me.
More like Jesus when I pray, more like Jesus day by day,
May I rest me by His side, where the tranquil waters glide.
Born of Him through grace renewed, by His love my will subdued,
Rich in faith I still would be—let my Savior dwell in me.
Day 16 – The Cardinal
When I first moved to Virginia, one of the first things I noticed was the variety of different species of birds! We were astonished at the variety of wildlife just in our backyard alone. The house we lived in at the time had 22 trees out back and they were home to all kinds of critters. We had our own little National Geographic episode right before our eyes. Amongst the Morning Doves, Blue Jays, woodpeckers, squirrels and turtles, we were excited to see that the Cardinals made their home in our trees. Their colorful feathers make it so easy to spot them. Even when they are hidden, we can listen to their beautiful songs ringing out.
I do believe one of my fondest memories is that of the Cardinal perched in one of our trees in the winter time. The plumage of the male is a bright scarlet red and he wears the crest proudly on his head like a crown! This species does not migrate South for the winter but sticks around for the cold. So we are privileged to see it in all four of our seasons. I do believe, however, that its greatest beauty is seen in the winter! Its colors pop out over the blanket of white snow.
As you can see in this picture, the female is much lighter, but beautiful in her own way. Again this morning, God’s Goodness was seen in this creature’s colors and habits. When I behold the awesome scarlet red feathers of the male, I think of Christ shedding His blood on the cross. Throughout the Word of God, we see that Scarlet Thread of Redemption and God’s creation drawing us toward Him and His redemptive work.
I’m sure if we truly set our minds to it, we could see God’s Hand in each piece of His creation. Why not take advantage of the lessons He has for us in nature?
Another wonderful characteristic of the Cardinal (and most perching birds), is the way they sleep. Brother Aaron Adams of Fundamental Baptist Forum, shared some thoughts on perching birds. “Have you ever watched a bird sleeping on it’s perch and never falling off? How is it possible? The secret is the tendons of the bird’s legs. They are so constructed that when the leg is bent at the knee, the claws contract and grip like a steel trap! The claws refuse to let go until the knees are unbent again. The bended knee gives the bird the ability to hold on to his perch so tightly.
Isn’t this also the secret of the power of the Christian? Daniel found this to be true. Surrounded by a pagan government tempted to compromise with evil, urged to weaken his grip on God, he refused to let go and bent his knee at least three times a day. He held firm when others faltered, because he was a man of prayer. He knew the power of the bended knee. From sleeping birds we can learn the secret of how to get a hold of God’s power! That secret is the knee bent in prayer.” Thank you, Brother Aaron, for this beautiful comparison.
I also noted in my research that the more soundly the Cardinal sleeps, the tighter his claws grip to the perch. The more we rest in God’s care the stronger we become as Christians. We grip to the Creator of all because He provides us with the help we need.
The power in a Christian’s life can be directly linked to the amount of time this Christian spends in prayer.
God answers the prayers of those who walk in His will.
Furthermore, I noted that the Cardinal cannot move until he has raised himself up and straightened his legs, thus setting his claws free. After the Christian has met with the Master in prayer, he is ready to meet the day and all it has in store for him. The believer walks away from prayer time with God’s arm of protection over him.
He is equipped for the day knowing that each moment rests in the hands of the Creator.
Another beautiful characteristic of Cardinals is the way they keep themselves warm in the winter as they sleep. I did not know that the air around the Cardinal (and all birds) is what keeps them warm. That totally amazed me! The Cardinal hides his head under his wing and fluffs up his feathers, like in the picture above. As the air comes in and settles among the soft down, it warms up and warms the Cardinal. Isn’t that a beautiful picture? As we are yielded vessels resting in the Word of God, the Holy Spirit “heats” us up – He energizes us – and He fuels us with what we need for the day. The Creator of all took time to create a beautiful creature and provide it with a way to warm its tiny body in the cold of winter. So much the more, will our Heavenly Father care for His children who trust Him!
As the bright crimson male Cardinal can be seen at a distance, even with trees and bushes full of foliage, so should the Christian be different. The world should be able to see something different about us because we have put on Jesus! We are the only “Jesus with skin” they will ever see. Do we appear to the lost as the beautiful Cardinal or do we appear like the vulture? We are children of the King and we should represent the King in how we look, how we speak, and how we walk.
God has given us salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. Those who deny Jesus Christ wear the “strange apparel” but we do not. We have been washed in the precious scarlet Blood of Jesus Christ. He went through much so that we could have salvation through Him and the opportunity to wear royal robes.
Each time I gaze upon this beautiful creature, the Cardinal, I cannot help but meditate on Christ’s complete work on the cross. Won’t you join me this morning in God’s Goodness and glorify His name through His creation of this beautiful creature? Hopefully, the next time you see a Cardinal, you will be reminded of what Christ went through for you.
Another blessed time with You
Has been given me this day
Drawing me to Your Precious Blood
For my soul You dearly paid
Day 17 – Sundogs
Sundogs are formed by the refraction of sunlight by small ice crystals making up certain types of clouds. As I found this picture of a halo-type sundog, it reminded me that our Creator’s finger paints the skies for us and provides us with a beautiful tapestry of shapes and colors to behold. Does this picture not look like it could be God’s eye looking over the earth? This type of sundog is a halo. It sent shivers up my spine to see the awesome wonder of all that occurs in the skies that we are unaware of. I’m certain I could write a devotional each day for one year and not exhaust the heavenlies! When I found pictures of today’s topic, I was totally blessed – I had not even penned a word. I guess it’s true that a picture paints a thousand words!
I know that if I had not seen them with my own eyes, I would have thought these photographs to be camera tricks. However, witnessing such a spectacular event caused me to want to know more about my Heavenly Father. I stood in wonder and awe and meditated on the Creator and His Goodness. I know that I’ve used this verse several times but I can’t help but understand it more clearly with each part of God’s creation I write about.
The halo-type sundog appears at sunrise or sunset. It reminded me that we should seek our Father’s face from the time we rise until we go to sleep.
John and I see the rainbow-type sundog frequently as we ride motorcycle. I spot them quickly if I am wearing sunglasses as they are harder for me to see with the naked eye. These types appear at any time of the day but I see them more clearly when the sun is high in the sky. The colors are like those of the rainbow and quite beautiful. It’s as though God Himself painted a piece of rainbow in the middle of His sky just for us to enjoy! Each time I see this type of sundog and its colors, I think of the rainbow. The rainbow appeared twice in the Word – once in Genesis and once again in Revelation – in the first book and in the last book. It reminds me of my Alpha and Omega, my Beginning and my End, my Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
All these phenomena require light in order to appear. Without light, there is utter darkness. Nothing can be seen – nothing can be appreciated. So are we without Christ. We are in utter darkness and the Father does not see us. But the moment we are born again, the Father sees His Son’s blood over us and we now are precious in His sight.
Without the Light of the Word, many souls will go into that eternal, utter darkness. But the born again believer has received the Light of the Son and we will spend eternity in a City that needs no light.
Thank your Heavenly Father for providing you with glimpses of His nature through the various lights in the sky. Let these lights remind you of His holiness, His covenant with us through Christ, and His coming Kingdom!
Thy wondrous beauty I behold
Each morning and each night
Just gazing to the heavenlies
I see Thy glorious might!
Day 18 – Deer
Our God is not only responsible for creating this beautiful animal, but He is also responsible for them multiplying and their very lives! Our Father’s Hand is on all His creation!
I thought of the useage of the word hind in Scriptures. Hind is another word for deer. I recalled Psalm 18:33 how God said He will make our feet like hinds’ feet and will set us upon our high places. I did a phrase search for hinds’ feet and it resulted in three verses. Isn’t it neat how the number three shows up again? Again, the Three-in-One are caring for us… God provides us with sure footing and a place for spiritual renewal!
It is God who gives us the strength we need to walk the paths of difficulty in this life. My father owned acreage in a forest which was home to the beautiful white-tailed deer – we called this land “the Beaver Dam” because it also was home to a family of beavers. Oh how I loved going there with my Dad! Some of my fondest memories rest there with him at that Beaver Dam. The white-tailed deer were plentiful and we would sit ever so still for long periods of time, not wanting to scare them away. Dad loved to watch them graze and it showed me the tender side to my father. Growing up on this haven of rest, I saw deer run like the wind and not falter – not one step when danger was near. They would run up the steep hill as if it were nothing. It’s as if they didn’t even need to look where they were going – they just flew! Did you know that they can move up to 40 mph through the forest and dart side to side as they run?
As I meditated on these three verses about the hinds’ feet, I could not help but remember all those difficult hills (spiritual battles) I have been through in my saved life. Looking back, I notice that when I rested in the Master’s care I had that sure footing. I had a confidence that all would work out and I didn’t need to worry about a thing. It’s those times that I was in the Word, daily feeding my spirit and encouraging myself in the Lord – strengthening myself and learning to recognize God’s Hand in each detail. Despite the storms around me, I did not fear. I knew that the same God that stilled the storm and the waters, would still my storm!
I grew to appreciate why Fanny Crosby could pen the words to Blessed Assurance. Especially the following stanza:
Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
I believe she knew how to reach the mountain top. I believe she knew how to watch and wait as God handled matters. How else could she be lost in His love and filled with His goodness as she watched and waited?
Upon further reflection on these beautiful verses, I noticed that the Lord tells us three times that He will set us upon the high places. When we are abiding in Him, our spirit is lifted and encouraged and the Lord places us on the mountain top of sweet fellowship! When we finish each trial and see the wonderful Hand of God throughout, it becomes easier to place those trials in His care when they surface.
The high places are a place of refreshing – spiritual renewal – rest awaits there for us. It’s these times of spiritual refreshing that should be foremost in our memory as we see a trial approaching. This is how we encourage ourselves in the Lord – we know that He will be right there to help us be sure footed and again, He will be faithful to lead us to the mountaintop.
The picture above was taken at a safari place near Natural Bridge, Virginia. There were several white-tailed deer just grazing nearby. As we drew closer, the young deer perked right up as if posing for me. She wasn’t afraid because her tail was still down, but she sure was watching every move we made.
We should be alert, ever watchful of the deception around us so we do not fall prey to it.
On another one of our trips, we stopped at an overlook where we saw the beautiful view. From this viewpoint, we can see for miles on a clear day. Also from this viewpoint, we can see danger from afar.
We should be able to spot deception from afar, my friend. However, we cannot spot it if we are not in the Word long enough to find out what deception is. There is comfort and encouragement when we have been in God’s Word and He has shown us what too look out for. We are not caught unaware.
When we’re in God’s Word, the Holy Spirit teaches us what to expect in these end times so we are not caught off guard. Rather, we are encouraged by the signs of the times and rejoice that our Saviour is soon coming! Not only does God provide us with a spiritual refreshing on that mountain top but He gives us the ability to see when danger approaches! We are spiritually acute because we have been walking with our Shepherd.
He has guided us and cared for us! What a beautiful picture of Him, amen?
We can be assured of going through many valleys on our path here on earth.
As a child of God, it’s important for us to follow David’s example and how he encouraged himself in the Lord. He feared no evil in his valleys because David knew God was with Him. He reflected on God’s Goodness with each previous trial and knew that the same God would be there for all future trials. Psalm 23 is such a beautiful picture of David’s relationship with God. It is to our downfall when we don’t spend extra time in the Word during these valleys – we do not prepare ourselves and, therefore, have nothing to draw from. It’s like going on a long trip and not putting fuel in the gas tank before leaving! David was an excellent example of someone who could encourage himself in the Lord. Reading about his trials and then his accounts in Psalms encouraged me in my times of need. It was because of his example that I was able to write the devotional on Discouragement and Encouragement.
Dear Christian, spend time in the Word and let God teach you and feed you. Then you, too, will be able to have the sure-footedness of the deer and God will place you on that mountain top of spiritual refreshing! And the next time you see a deer, I pray you will be reminded of this devotional and be encouraged to get in the Word, find the Lord there and reach your high place!
May I never cease to meet You, Lord
Each day must I seek Your face
Please guard my step as You do the deer
And set me on that high place.
Day 19 – Fish
Did you know there are about 30,000 species of fish today? With so many different species, we could park on this topic for a while and learn from God as He instructed us to do in the Book of Job.
What can we learn from the fish? No matter how many different types there are, they all have some things in common. Did you know that fish would die unless they are in motion? That is because it gets its oxygen through its gills. The blood flows through the gill in one direction and picks up the oxygen it needs from the water flowing in the opposite direction. Fish must pass new water over their gills continuously to keep a supply of oxygenated water available for diffusion. I can see why God told us in Job to study His creation, can’t you?
If the Christian stops moving forward in his spiritual walk, it is because he is not in the Word of God. The Word is where we get our fuel (oxygen) needed to survive. As the fish picks up its oxygen from the water, so do we pick up our spiritual food from the Water of Life.
We receive life through the water of the Word, my friend. Our Bible is a gift to us. How can we leave it so neglected? We perish spiritually if we do not drink from it.
As I observe the habits of the fish, I find that most travel in schools. I wonder what God would have to teach me through this characteristic? A school is a group of fish (school sizes vary with different species) which travel together as a group. The school concept has several advantages: (1) safety in numbers from the enemy (2) feeding (3) protection, and (4) helping one another.
Only forward moving (living) fish can belong to a school. I liken this to the church. Only born-again believers can belong to the church. Amongst the brethren, we feel safe – we can enjoy fellowship and the preaching of the Word of God. For a fish to remain in a school, it cannot be a straggler or it becomes dinner. It cannot move away from the school or it becomes free game for the predator. How true of the believer! If the believer does not continue to grow in the Spirit by being in the Word and hearing the preaching, he falls for every wind of doctrine.
If that believer continues to lose ground spiritually and falls out of church, he becomes prey to ole slew foot.
Staying in church is so important – just as it is important for the fish to remain in the school.
When dinnertime comes, food is easier to find with a school of fish. Having 50 sets of eyes and noses gives the school a better chance of finding dinner. How true of believers gathering together to feed on God’s Word. Interacting with believers to hear what they gleaned from the Word and share experiences is so rewarding. I love Sunday School classes for this reason. Interacting with one another as we learn always produces a spiritually “meatier” class, don’t you think? As a body, we teach one another and help each other to grow in Christ.
I learned that some fish schools are more like gangs where they patrol their territory and run out the intruders.
Those who are strong in the Lord and His Word, are able to discern what is evil in the church. Our Pastors and deacons need to be spiritually full so they can protect those in their charge.
Scientists have stated that it is believed that fish who swim close together reduce friction and this allows the fish to conserve energy. When a church works together, exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit, much can be accomplished. I’ve been in churches where it felt like we were spinning our wheels. Energy was not being conserved, that’s for sure. However, when each Christian blooms where he is planted and utilizes the gift(s) God has blessed him with, you have a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ.
The Gospel goes out effectively when everyone works together.
I truly believe that God has a wonderful sense of humor! In most of His creation, there’s one that is odd looking – at least in my opinion! I find this flatfish as God showing us His sense of humor, don’t you agree?! Notice how this flatfish has both eyes on one side of its head? Look at his mouth – it almost looks like this picture was morphed or something! It seems to me that the flatfish could only see off one side of its body and miss the predator on the other side. However, God in His infinite mercy, took care of this part of His creation. He gave this odd looking fish the ability to spot his predators. The flatfish lies flat on the bottom so he actually sees better because he has two eyes scanning in the same direction! Isn’t that just awesome? I thought of Christians who are not watching for the devil – some walk into traps blindly and some do so willingly!
Lastly, the one thing that is true of all fish is their awful stench soon after they die. Sin in our lives causes our testimony to stink, my friend. The unbelieving world will look at us and despise us because of our stench. David recognized that and penned it for us.
No wonder David was the apple of God’s eye! He did not blame his sin on someone else or on the circumstances around him. He said that the wounds of his sin stunk and were corrupt because of his foolishness! How many Christians have you heard excuse after excuse from because they weren’t in church or they didn’t read their Bible that day or they succumbed to temptation – whatever the case! Instead, we should be growing in Christ, more like the Master with each day – producing a sweet odor – a beautiful testimony for the unbelieving world.
I have to be honest with you, when the fish came to my mind for today’s devotional, I honestly did not think I would have much to glean from! God is so Good! Thank You, Lord, for Your Goodness to me today!
From the smallest of creation
You have given me delight
To see Your hand in each of them
And to teach me of Your might!
Day 20 – The Ant
This is the first time the word ant appears in the Bible. I love how God uses different species to teach us a lesson. The ant is used to teach us how not to be lazy! As I was researching this strange little creature, I found out some interesting facts.
Did you know there are 11,880 known ant species? This is just one piece of creation! God amazes me more and more each day that I work on this series. What a blessing this has proven to be. When ant colonies have been observed, they are likened to a super organism because they seem to function as one! I found that quite interesting. Could it be that God wants us to learn from this part of their makeup? The church should function as “one” just as the ant. All working together for the cause of the Gospel!
Brother Lee Pierson, of Our Final Authority (message board has disbanded), was sharing his thoughts about the ant.
I have always been fascinated with ants and other social insects. Ants have a structured hierarchy and each ant knows his function within his family. Each ant is born with a specialized function and he has been given the tools to perform his task. There are workers and guards, gatherers and builders. They grow gardens and milk cows and there are even some that just work in the nursery caring for the eggs. They work and sacrifice for each other and the colony. They do not get jealous of each other and they all work together as one.
What a beautiful picture of how the church should be! Working as one unit for the glory of God!
God knew this tiny creature would need a method of communicating amongst themselves. When an ant finds food, it leaves a trail of pheromones for other ants to follow. God gave them different types of pheromones: there are alarm pheromones, food trail pheromones, sex pheromones, and many others that affect their behavior or their circumstances. An ant that has been crushed will give off an alarm pheromone which sends nearby ants into an attack craze. Brother Lee witnessed an event that truly blessed my heart:
When I worked near a river that was overflowing with floodwaters, I really became impressed with the local ant colonies. It had stopped raining a couple of days earlier but the river had not yet crested. As the water level came out of the banks of the river and slowly rose to claim the surrounding fields, the local ants began to gather dry leaves and twigs to use as life rafts. When the water reached their nest, they all jumped on board their rafts and floated away hanging onto the raft and to each other!
We are a lot like these ants. We can see the flood of judgment heading our way and we have our raft to float away on. Like the ants, we did not build our rafts we just accept God’s Gift when He provided the raft for us. One day soon, we are going to just float right out of this place!
Thank you, Brother Lee, for your contribution! What a blessing this was to me!
I also noticed that the Word mentions the ant twice. I wondered what God was trying to communicate to us through observing the ant. I realized that both verses encouraged us to be wise – to see after wisdom.
Again, God says that if we pattern ourselves after the ant, we are wise. Solomon, the wisest man ever to live (past, present and future) wrote the Book of Proverbs. It is to our benefit that we heed what God is telling us. God is telling us to “get wisdom” – let’s look at that a moment:
All four verses tell us to get wisdom but they also encourage us to get understanding. Only the fool, in the fourth verse, “hath no heart to it” – meaning he didn’t understand – he read but didn’t get understanding. I think of the unbeliever who does not understand the Word of God.
Christians have no excuse – we have the Word of God – it is Perfect, without error! We have every opportunity to get our wisdom and understanding! Especially in our country! Come on, people – many of you have more than one Bible sitting on the shelf gathering dust. Shame on you! God is waiting to open our understanding!
Two of my favorite verses in the New Testament were both penned by James.
This wisdom is given by God, not man. God is not cheap – He gives us wisdom liberally to all men if they ask. Mankind has no excuse – if they don’t ask, they won’t receive it and be saved. How ashamed will the Christian be when he stands before Christ Himself having to justify why he didn’t read the Word!
The world’s wisdom is of their father the devil. The world’s wisdom would be totally opposite of what God provides. Breaking down this verse truly blessed me. Let’s look at this verse as if it were the devil encouraging the world to get his wisdom:
But the wisdom that is from below is first polluted, then tumultuous, unkind and wild, stubborn, unmerciful and evil fruits, having favorites, and hypocritical.
Wow! This is the wisdom the devil wants you to have. We get this kind of wisdom in the world’s entertainment, the world’s goodies, and the world’s habits.
Be careful! Learn from the ant – get wisdom and understanding as God’s Word tells us.
The ant is but a tiny thing
But much from it I’ve learned
To diligently seek Your Word
And to Your wisdom turn.
Day 21 – The Sun
As you can tell by now, I like to add some graphics to each of my posts. I feel that it gives us a preface of what that day’s post will be covering. Today is no exception – isn’t the beautiful sunrise breathtaking? My friend Jill took this picture and just wow!
Without the sun, our earth would die, plain and simple! Plant life requires sun for photosynthesis and without plants and trees giving us oxygen to breathe, the beautiful balance that God created is not there. From the beginning of time, the sun has been the center of mankind’s attention. Not only is the sun a source of light, it is a source of energy, it is a source for plant life to grow – it was and still is in some cases used in forms of worship – it provides man with essential vitamins – and it heats the atmosphere and the earth.
The word sun appears in 152 verses in the Word of God. Although its first appearance is found in Gen. 1:14-19, the actual word sun does not appear until Gen. 15:12.
Creation goes full circle – God provided light prior to the sun’s creation and God provides the light after the sun is no longer needed! A pastor friend shared this blessing about the sun:
It is interesting to note that the sun was created on the fourth day of creation. Then how were there “morning and evening” on the first three days? It was the light of the glory of God that that caused the first three mornings and evenings and this glory shall shine forever on those who live in the New Jerusalem.
I found it interesting that our Triune God’s light is what shown for the first three days! God is seen in every verse and every part of creation – just when man thinks he is so smart, God shows man just how little he knows.
Pastor Snipes insight continued to bless me with the following:
The sun seems so very large to us, and it is! Did you know that it has a diameter of about 864,000 miles and can hold 332, 000 earth’s? Wow! Yet our sun is an average star. It seems so big to us because it is so close, averaging 93,000,000 miles away from earth. If the sun were any closer, the earth would be baked by the heat and would be no more than a cinder. If it were any farther, the earth would be a ball of ice. Our Lord, in His infinite wisdom, has placed the sun so that it is of the greatest benefit to man.
Man thinks the universe just happened – a big bang. What foolishness this is! It takes more faith to believe this theory (and that is all it is), than it does to believe that God created everything. It takes more faith to believe that living organisms came from non-living organisms! This belief is called abiogenesis. Scientists have had numerous debates over this belief, which began in the early 20th century. With all their head knowledge, they lack wisdom. Why do I say this? I say this because they mislead people into believing something that has no facts. Were these scientists present when it first happened? No, of course not! Yet, they theorize that life came from non-living organisms. The wisdom of man is foolishness.
God’s Word says that by His hand, He holds everything together. At any time, God could take His hand off and all things in the universe would collide!
God used the sun in the Bible to show us His power. Pastor Snipes continued to share:
In the Old Testament, we see the Lord using the Sun as a tool to demonstrate His power. Joshua was locked in battle with the kings of the Amorites. The battle was going well; however, the Israelites were running out of daylight so that they might have the final victory. Joshua prayed a most unusual prayer that God answered.
How our Lord accomplished this, we cannot say. What I can say is that the Creator God, who established the laws of nature, is able to suspend those laws; the laws that modern man holds to so tightly that they cannot see the spiritual aspect of creation. This was a miracle of God and cannot be explained.
A second miracle involving the Sun is found in the book of Isaiah. There was a godly king, Hezekiah, who was sick and about to die. He knew this because the prophet Isaiah had brought the Word of the Lord to him. Hezekiah prayed for mercy and God granted him 15 more years. When Isaiah returned to the king with the good news, the king wanted to know that what Isaiah had said was the truth. Therefore, God granted a miracle.
Even scientists agree that the sun will not last forever. They believe that the sun will die in 5 billions years! Oh the ignorance of man. God is still in control. The Bible says that at some point we will have no need for the sun or the moon.
Thank you, Pastor Snipes, for your help in putting this beautiful piece of creation into this devotional.
The Word says that Jesus is the light of the world! He sheds the blessed light of His Word into our hearts so that we are no longer blind. I remember the day of my salvation like it was yesterday! Not two minutes after I accepted Christ as my Saviour, I opened His Word to the Book of John and I could read and understand His Word! I never could understand the Bible before that day. It was like drinking sand to me. But on that beautiful, glorious day April 1st, 1980, Christ shined His light into my heart and I could clearly see!
Jesus is our Sonlight!
Judson Van Deventer
I wandered in the shades of night,
Till Jesus came to me,
And with the sunlight of His love
Bid all my darkness flee.
Sunlight, sunlight in my soul today,
Sunlight, sunlight all along the way;
Since the Savior found me, took away my sin,
I have had the sunlight of His love within.
Though clouds may gather in the sky,
And billows ’round me roll,
However dark the world may be
I’ve sunlight in my soul.
While walking in the light of God,
I sweet communion find;
I press with holy vigor on
And leave the world behind.
I cross the wide, extended fields,
I journey o’er the plain,
And in the sunlight of His love
I reap the golden grain.
Soon I shall see Him as He is,
The Light that came to me;
Behold the brightness of His face,
Day 22 – The Moon
As the sun provides radiant heat during the day for earth’s precious fruit, the moon provides needful moisture in the night to nourish these precious fruit. God’s own Goodness provides His creation a nightly drink! God goes one step further and gives us the dew, (sparkling like diamonds in the morning sun) to behold just because He can! Our Father paints a picture for us so beautiful, so intricate, so delicate!
Today’s picture was taken in my back yard as we sat by the firepit. With a full moon shining its beautiful light, we can see the clouds and trees! As each following phase of the moon appears throughout the month, we see less light but yet we know it is there.
The moon’s light is viewed in many ways, isn’t it? Couples view its romantic aspect:
Meteorologists and farmers watch it for seasons:
While the child of God sees God’s handiwork:
God created the moon for our enjoyment – for us to gaze upon, to draw us closer to Him. Surely one cannot look at a lake with the moon’s light reflecting upon it and not be drawn closer to the Creator!
Mankind attributes the wonders of the skies to science, but God will be exalted in the end – the truth will be revealed to all.
Remember when Joshua asked God to make the sun still? God did cause the sun to be still but little do we hear that the moon was also made still.
I never noticed that before – God’s Word always has something in there to take notice!
One day, these lights will be gone – their purpose no longer needed.
We will no longer need the lights in the skies because God will be all the light we need. I can’t even imagine this in my finite little mind!
But God says it will be so and, therefore, it will be so.
A lunar and solar eclipse is a phenomenon that is beautiful to witness, isn’t it? I’ve seen a few in my life time and each time I’m filled with wonder. Prior to salvation, I viewed it as a scientific wonder. But after salvation, I could not help but see God in it – beholding His wonder!
A friend shared some notes that he had written in his Bible next to Matthew chapter 5. What a blessing!
“Like the moon reflects the light of the sun – we are to reflect the light of the Son of God, the Sun of Righteousness.
When the world comes between the sun and the moon, it creates an eclipse (darkness) and the sun’s light is not reflected. Even so, the world (worldliness) coming between us and Christ causes His light not to be reflected through us because there is spiritual darkness in our lives. Also, the moon (our flesh) coming between us and the sun (the Son) creates an eclipse.”
Amen! We can see God’s Goodness throughout His Word and throughout all of His creation!
Lastly, I thought it appropriate to end today’s topic with one of Noah Webster’s definition of the word eclipse,
“All the posterity of our first parents suffered a perpetual eclipse of spiritual life.”
What a wonderful use of God’s handiwork in the sky to reveal the spiritual condition of mankind!
Your hand has placed a lovely moon
On Your canvass in the sky
As Your children look up below
Your Name do they glorify
Day 23 – The Wild Columbine
I normally reduce the size of my pictures but I simply could not do it with this one. It took away from its intricacies. This beautiful flower, the Wild Columbine, can be found growing in the State of Wisconsin. It reminded me of a dear, precious sister in the Lord who lives there. Today’s devotional is for this dear friend. I am praying that the Lord would bless it and use it to encourage her.
Looking at this magnificent piece of God’s creation, I noticed that its colors are so vivid! The bright yellow center, like rays streaming from the sun, is surrounded by a beautiful reddish-dark pink blanket. It reminded me of Christ’s precious blood covering our sins and how His Spirit should shine forth in our lives. Christ’s agape love drove Him to die for us so that our sins would be covered! It sure opened my eyes to the true meaning of:
At its center lies the sweet nectar used in pollinating! Oh that our lives should be sweet nectar to the unsaved world! We should be ready with the sweet honey from the Word – ready to show them salvation through Jesus Christ. Doesn’t the entire flower look like a lantern bursting forth with light? This beautifully clad flower is an example to us that we should be a light to a lost and dying world.
The little buds on the plant are waiting for the perfect time, God’s time, to open up and reveal the beautiful flower within. Our new life in Christ produces a spiritual bud which will burst forth as we grow in grace. When we are born again, we become new creatures.
We possess the wonderful Holy Spirit who molds us and forms us into the image of Jesus Christ.
Buds on a plant pop up and grow at different times. The bud cannot survive without the plant – apart from the plant, this bud would die.
As we view the life of a Christian as it relates to this plant, we see the new born again believer – he is like a new bud. The bud then begins to open, beginning its life as a flower – so the believer grows in grace and begins to look like his Saviour. The more the bud opens, the more it looks like the flower it is going to become. The same goes for Christians – the more we grow in Christ (through trial and tribulation), the more we become like Him.
Each bud belongs to the same plant just as each believer belongs to the Vine. Yet each is unique in its own way. They are all Wild Columbines but yet different in the time they bud and in their appearance. Some may have blotches due to disease – some may have little holes due to insects. Each Christian goes through life experiencing trials and tribulations which produce blotches. Each Christian will go through physical trials because of Adam’s sin. But we have encouragement in the Word because nothing is unique – somewhere, someone has been through the same trial (whether spiritual or physical) and we are not alone.
The Lord’s mercy is seen here – we can encourage one another during various trials so that a brother or sister does not get totally discouraged. We are to use the gift(s) God has given us to lift up those who desperately need to see the Lord. What a beautiful picture of the body of Christ it is when each Christian is using his gifts for His glory! The church works together as one to bring glory to the Son! All our gifts working together in harmony will form a church family that is ready to meet the needs of a lost and dying world. These same gifts will be as a healing salve for the hurting Christian. Just as these buds on the Wild Columbine plant contribute to the whole plant, so does each born again believer contribute to the Body of Christ!
Lastly, this beautiful flower reminds me that not all Christians are at the same place spiritually. We are all growing at different paces – we are a work in progress. We need to be patient with one another. We will not achieve perfection until we reach Heaven. In the mean time, our Heavenly Father is busy molding us into a vessel fit for His use.
As Christians, we will fail as we walk this pilgrim’s path. However, God’s Word promises that He can pick up the broken pieces and make something new fit for His use.
Did you notice that the potter here did not throw away the marred vessel? Instead, he “made it again” into another vessel! God can take our sins, our mistakes, our messed up lives, and mold us into something new that he can use! He is the God of second chances – and, yes, third, fourth and even more!
Never did I dream when I started meditating on the beautiful Wild Columbine that I would walk away this blessed! Oh Lord, “Marvellous are thy works.” Ps. 139:14
Thank You, Lord (for saving my soul)
Words and Music by Mr. and Mrs. Seth Sykes
Some thank the Lord for friends and home,
For mercies sure and sweet;
But I would praise Him for His grace
In prayer I would repeat:
Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul,
Thank you, Lord, for making me whole;
Thank you, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free.
Some thank Him for the flow’rs that grow,
Some for the stars that shine;
My heart is filled with joy and praise,
Because I know He’s mine.
I trust in Him from day to day,
I prove His saving grace;
I’ll sing this song of praise to Him
Until I see His face.
Day 24 – The Cockroach
Probably one of the worse subjects for me to talk about is that of cockroaches – or any bug for that matter. As disgusting as this little creature is, there is something there that God can use to teach us something from His word. God’s lessons can not only be found in the most beautiful of His creation but also in the most loathsome creature! When I think of cockroaches I think of the pestilences of Scriptures. Whether the cockroach was a part of these pestilences or not, they certainly are pests to be reckoned with today.
Unless you have experienced an annoying pest problem, you can’t begin to imagine in your mind’s eye what a pestilence can truly be.
Did you know that here are roughly 3,490 species of cockroaches in six families? Cockroaches are found worldwide, except for the polar regions. Only a handful of these species dwell in buildings. But once you find a cockroach in your house, you can be sure there are a lot more hidden in the walls.
The most common cockroach in the U.S. is the German cockroach. Their female carries an egg case on the end of her abdomen. (OK – I just had a chill run up my spine!) The egg case holds about 30–40 long, thin eggs, packed like hot dogs in its case. As disgusting as all this sounds, it brought to mind how the world is filled with lost sinners, packed together living their lives without thought of their spiritual condition. There is no better place to view this than at a night club. I do not need to elaborate on this – all you have to do is remember your unsaved days and when you visited these places – sinners crammed together like sardines just so they can fulfill the lusts of the flesh – all in the guise of fun!
Yet, in this darkness sin runs rampant – no one is seeking to walk righteously. God says in His Word that pestilence walks in the night. I wondered if He was referring to the likes of cockroaches.
One thing that I did find fascinating about the eggs were how they hatch. The hatchlings continuously gulp air until they “swell” like a balloon. Their combined pressure causes the case to break open. These little nymphs are initially white in color and they continue inflating themselves with air. Within about four hours, they have hardened and darkened in color. This process reminded me of a baby coming into this world. As this baby grows, the sin nature takes hold and this beautiful innocent child becomes harder and harder to win to salvation because the sin nature now reigns. The inflating cockroach brought to mind how our sins are multiplied every day – I can see why God likens them to filthy rags.
Once salvation is found, those filthy sins – those scarlet sins are made white as snow because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Our hard, sinful nature has been replaced with a heart filled with the seed of the Gospel planted into good soil.
Because of our sin nature, our sins are multiplied daily. Just think of it this way – if you were to live until you were 80 years old and you commit only one sin per day, you will have sinned 29,200 times! And that’s only one sin per day! Our Heavenly Father created Adam and Eve perfect and sinless! It was not His desire for them to be sinners. He created them perfect, as well as the entire earth. God gave them a free will so they would serve Him willingly, not as robots. They exercised their free will by succumbing to sin. This sin had them kicked out of the perfect Garden of Eden! This sin brought curse to this earth.
It is not God’s choosing but ours.
Anyone who has had roaches in their kitchen can verify that they are a nocturnal creature – they come out by night. The minute you turn the light on, they scatter, thus the phrase, “scatter like roaches.” The sinner finds comfort in the night because he thinks he cannot be seen.
The sinner is blind to the things of God.
A believer cannot hang around a lost person for very long because he will find himself going back spiritually.
We do not need to walk in darkness any longer. We have the ability to say no to sin and to walk in the paths of uprightness.
In looking at the cockroach we can see God’s Goodness in the lessons He has for us. So as the cockroach scatters when the light is brought forth, so should we scatter when sin crosses our path. We have the blessed light of the Word of God to lighten our way.
We do not need to stumble as the lost do.
Learn from the cockroach. Use this piece of creation to teach you how to be a better Christian.
You have used the vilest of creatures
To teach Your child today
May we watch and diligently listen
As Your word lights up our way!
Day 25 – The Senses
I wanted to do something unusual and not “obvious” in today’s post. The senses came to mind so I meditated on that for a while. As with any part of life, I found the Lord in all of our senses. We are so blessed! Of course, the first thing I noticed was the number five – for five senses. By now, you’ve noticed I have a love for God’s references to numbers in the Bible. The number five is the number for grace. So how does God’s grace affect all of our senses? Let’s dig in! I hope this is as much of a blessing to you as it was to me!
Let’s look at the the first sense – sight.
Can you imagine this? Just think of the most beautiful waterfall or majestic mountain that you have seen. God says that your eye (or anyone’s for that matter) has never seen what awaits you in Heaven. Glory!! It amazes me how God intricately created the eye. Just the eye alone has so many parts and all work together to enable us to behold God’s beauty! Have we ever stopped to think what we would do without our eyes? We would stumble in darkness. God likens the lost in this way:
Does not this just illuminate the song verse “I once was blind but now I see”? Truly such amazing grace!!
The next sense is that of hearing.
As Paul was quoting Isaiah, he pointed out that nothing that we have heard with our own ears can be compared to what we will hear in Heaven! I have heard the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir singing Handel’s Messiah, the Hallelujah Chorus, and I thought this was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. I was certain this would be sung in Heaven when we gather to worship Christ. I’ve also enjoyed listening to the beautiful coos of a sweet, precious baby! But God tells us that no one has any idea, or even a clue, of what we will hear in Heaven! Double Glory!! Christ used the sense of hearing seven times in the Book of Revelation Chapters 2 and 3. The Word says that with our sense of hearing we will come to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
God is so good to His children. He has given us eyes and ears with which to enjoy the beauty and sound of His creation!
Next is the sense of taste.
How can you “taste” God? Have you not walked away from your Bible reading with the feeling that you ate sweet honey because God has healed your broken spirit? Have you ever walked away from your reading with a “bitter” taste in your mouth where God has revealed a sin to you?
I think of how Christ used the sense of taste in His words to us. He is the water of life – He said we should be like salt to the unsaved! Christ used the senses as examples to us so as to teach us. So did Peter.
The sense of touch is next.
We touch thousands of things in the course of a day. Our hands touch what our eyes see and our brain leads us to touch. We must be so careful to protect our eyes so that our hands are not led to touch what we should not. If we protected ourselves in this manner, we would be able to fulfill 2 Co 6:17 without a problem. Our desire (our heart) should be to touch what is good in God’s eyes. I love sitting with my Bible and running my fingers across its leather cover and eagerly anticipating my time spent in reading its blessed pages. I love to hold a rose and touch its velvet-like petals. I love to touch a baby’s skin and nuzzle my nose into its sweet, precious soft neck.
Lastly, let’s look at the sense of smell.
God even used the sense of smell to reveal to us His desires and His will. God does not want the work of our hands – He does not want us to play religion. This verse says that God hates the smell of our unrighteous sacrifices. God wants us to have a relationship with Him. Man’s relationship with God was severed in the Garden of Eden. However, Christ came to restore that relationship. He has saved us and His sacrifice is the sweet savour that God smells. In kind, our testimonies should be a sweet savour to a lost and dying world.
The lost should be able to see that our “religion” is not one of burnt offerings of our own works but the blessed sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is what they should see in us – our testimony should smell like a rose to them, not like a skunk.
God’s Word has so much on the senses. I never gave it much thought until this morning. Just doing a word search in my Bible software showed me just how much God used the senses to teach us. What an awesome God we serve!
Day 26 – The Wind/Part 2
The first mention of the wind is in Genesis 8:1. You all know my love for God’s use of numbers in the Word – and I believe He continues this love right down to the chapter numbers and verse numbers. The number eight symbolizes “new beginnings.” When we are born again, we have a new beginning – we receive the Holy Spirit of God within us who seals us. The Holy Spirit stirs our hearts like a breeze stirs the embers in a fire.
Another beautiful analogy I noticed was how the wind blew across the waters and caused them to asswage (to move and pull back). Christ, through His Word, is our Living Water and His Spirit moves within us to convict us, grow us, and pull us away from the world.
The Living Water of the Word of God is stirred by the Wind, the Holy Spirit.
As the Holy Spirit stirs our spiritual embers, we grow in grace. He stirs us and reveals to us what His Word says. He guides us in our spiritual walk and reveals false doctrines so we can be equipped when cultists come our way. He pricks our hearts when we “hear” a different gospel. He reveals God’s will in every page of the Word. He shows us how to communicate to our Heavenly Father. God uses examples of the wind and makes His Word come alive through examples. The Master Painter paints a picture in our mind’s eye so we can better understand what He is communicating to us. God didn’t just give us His Word but He uses His creation to explain Himself more clearly. How blessed we truly are!
Another aspect of wind is its force. Wind carries dust and debris and sometimes it clutters the way and creates obstacles, like in the instance of a tornado. The Christian who spends time in the Holy Spirit breathed pages of the Bible will be able to discern teachings which are not scriptural. The new believer is a prime candidate for falling victim to deception. They are not yet experiencing the meat of the Word and they will be easily deceived. Spending little time in the Word invites debris and obstacles in their spiritual path.
However, the Christian who spends time in the Word, growing thereby, can recognize the devil’s winds about him.
The devil is the father of lies according to John 8:44. But God did not leave us helpless, my friend. We have two of the most powerful defense weapons known to man: the Bible and prayer. The Holy Spirit wrote the Word of God through men and He speaks to the Father through us when we cannot find the words. How many times have I searched for just the right words to express to the Father what my heart contained. Yet, the Spirit had already told Him! The Spirit had already completed the mission and was revealing God’s will and plan through the blessed pages of my Bible in my reading time.
The wind is a magnificent part of creation to which much of God’s teachings can be attributed. How blessed we are that we can look at every facet of creation and see our God and His character. As Christians, we should take advantage of it and meditate on whatever it is that God puts in our path each day. God is waiting there to teach us and bless us through His creation. Thank You, Lord!
Your blessed Holy Spirit
Is seen in the softest breeze
Please move and stir within my heart
And mold me as You please.
Day 27 – Thunder & Lightning
One of the most awesome of God’s wonders to me is a good lightning and thunder storm! I love to sit and watch one; I stand amazed each time a lightning bolt goes across the sky and the sound of thunder claps afterward.
Man in his “finite wisdom” still does not know exactly why this phenomenon occurs. Here we are in the 21st Century and it is still a mystery! But here is what they do know. Lightning is an atmospheric discharge of electricity that happens mostly during a storm. It also occurs during a tornado, along with hail, as well as when a volcano erupts. It also occurs when it’s hot, called heat lightning. Scientists say a bolt of lightning travels at 100,000 miles per hour and that its temperature reaches almost 50,000 °F! It is said that the average bolt of lightning can produce enough energy to power a 100 watt light bulb for two months!
When I see lightning, I think of the Lord’s return.
A lightning bolt shoots across the sky so quickly (100,000 mph), so will Christ’s return be! What a glorious thing to behold!!
When I was a little girl, my father told me that when I see lightning, all I have to do is to start counting when I hear the thunder. The number I reach is the distance in miles the lightning is away from me. It’s amazing what people attribute thunder to: the angels bowling, the clouds colliding, etc.! But even today, scientists do not completely understand what causes thunder. The current theory is that plasma expands in the lightning bolt’s trail and creates a sonic shock wave caused by the rapid heating and expansion of the air around the lightning. We see lightning before the thunder because light travels faster than sound.
I love the fact that even with all the head knowledge of our scientists today, they still cannot figure out lightning and thunder completely. They have but a “theory”!
God’s Word says that thunder is in the secret place … I wonder if God intends to keep it a secret from man until His return!
How appropriate to end today’s devotional with the great song, “How Great Thou Art” by Carl Boberg! In 1885, he was walking home after church and watched a storm over Monsteras Bay in Sweden. The storm captured his attention and inspired him to pen the words to this beautiful hymn.
How Great Thou Art
O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
Day 28 – Waterfalls
What a beautiful work of the Master’s Hand! The waterfall’s beauty brings such peace as we behold it. All along the water’s edge one sees the life that the water produces.
Our Heavenly Father provides everything for His creation. Not only is His provision useful for our bodies but also for our spiritual nourishment. The thunderous sound of the waters falling remind me that no matter how beautiful the waters are, the force of the water as it hits bottom stirs up the loose earth and debris below. So should God’s Word stir up our souls and move us forward in our Christian walk toward spiritual maturity.
When we “pant” for God’s Word and time spent with Him, we are rewarded with refreshing waters from the water of Life. Thank You, Lord!
My heart was full this morning after my time with Him. All I could do was pen what He had done for me. I share this with you now in hopes that it will bless you.
My Heart Panteth for You
Kate Plourde (May 21, 2007)
My heart is full as I sit with You,
During this time of solitude.
A time ever precious and so sweet
Each day my heart’s made new!
Despite the problems of the day
I’m not feeling overwhelmed.
The loving Captain of my ship
Stands watchful at the helm.
The Master of the sea loves me!
My best is His loving plan.
He guides me through the storms of life.
I find rest in His bless’ed Hand.
Dear Lord, be the Commander of my life,
For You care so diligently.
The Word has promised You’ll never sleep,
While you guide me on life’s sea!
Day 29 – Snow Flakes
Most snowflakes are known to have six sides. Some do have three sides, which I found to be interesting because scientists say that this three-sided snowflake is still a mystery. Don’t you love it? Man still cannot figure out God’s creation!
Although it’s widely believed that no two snowflakes are alike, scientists cannot prove it nor can they disprove it. Their finite minds want to believe that it is impossible for no two things in the whole universe not to be alike in some way. But their “fact finding” minds have to concede that it could be possible. They hate the fact that the Christian’s God could make something so beautiful and unique so they deny it.
But as Christians, we know that God created all things, including each snow flake. Job 37:6 says that God places them on this earth. What more proof do we need? None whatsoever! When I think of all the sizes and shapes of snow flakes, I am astounded at God’s wonders! It equally boggles my mind to know that He has every hair on my head numbered, as well as yours and every other human being that has ever lived on this earth!
Jesus, Himself, said this! If you are not baffled, you should be! Meditating on the intricacies of creation, such as the snow flake, will cause you to know the God you serve!
The snow flake, on the most part, has six sides. The number six is the number of man. I wonder if no two snow flakes are alike because no two human beings are exactly alike. We see this truth in finger prints. God teaches us that as the snow flake is unique, so are we. He knows each one of us intimately. Have you ever stopped to think about that? Our Father knows us better than our spouse. He knows us better than our parents. He knows us better than we want to admit in knowing ourselves.
God knows our thoughts (afar off) even before I have thought them and my words even before I have spoken them. This makes me trust in my Maker, my Creator, so much more because He knows who He is dealing with and knows how to mold me into His image. Knowing what God knows about each one of us, He molds us into unique creatures – each one of us having different talents, different colored eyes, different skin, different hair, etc.
God also creates snow flakes with three sides reminding us of his Triune nature. There is none like Him. It is this Triune God who made man.
How can we look at a snow storm and not see the Lord God in it? Growing up in Northern Maine allowed me to witness the most beautiful snow flakes ever! I remember those storms where the flakes were huge! You could see each of the designs so beautifully. More recently, we had such a snow storm in Northern Virginia and viewing those beautiful nickel-sized flakes revealed God’s Goodness to me. I was awe struck!
Oh Christian, we don’t have to look far to see God’s Goodness in His creation. All we have to do is to be still for a moment and behold the beauty around us. Why do you think God tells us to be still? Yes, He means for us to stop getting in His way and let Him work in our lives. But He could also mean for us to be still long enough to recognize His Goodness.
When we look at snow flakes and their simplicity, we can see God. This beautiful pure white, six-sided (man’s number) piece of creation is likened to our Precious Saviour and His work on the cross for us. The next time you behold snow with your eyes (whether in real life or in photos), meditate on Christ’s purity and how God sent Him to save your wicked soul. Meditate on His purity and allow His Spirit to change you.
So, my friend, did you think that meditating on a snow flake would be so rewarding? I didn’t and walked away this morning totally blessed! Thank You, Lord!
Whiter Than Snow
James L. Nicholson
Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul.
Break down every idol, cast out every foe;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow.
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Lord Jesus, let nothing unholy remain,
Apply Thine own blood and extract ev’ry stain;
To get this blest cleansing, I all things forego—
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Lord Jesus, look down from Thy throne in the skies,
And help me to make a complete sacrifice.
I give up myself, and whatever I know,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat,
I wait, blessèd Lord, at Thy crucified feet.
By faith, for my cleansing, I see Thy blood flow,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Lord Jesus, Thou seest I patiently wait,
Come now, and within me a new heart create;
To those who have sought Thee, Thou never saidst “No,”
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
The blessing by faith, I receive from above;
O glory! my soul is made perfect in love;
My prayer has prevailed, and this moment I know,
The blood is applied, I am whiter than snow.
Day 30 – Trumpeter Swan
The largest of the North American waterfowls, as well as the largest of all swans, is the graceful Trumpeter Swan. What a beautiful bird it is with its pure white feathers and long slender neck. Next to the dove, eagle and cardinal, this is the one bird that has had the most spiritual impact on me. When I see a Trumpeter Swan, I think of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! His grace and beauty are seen in many of the swan’s characteristics. I wanted to share with you what the Creator of all gave me this morning as I meditated on this remarkable creature. God’s Goodness cannot be matched – His Greatness cannot be exceeded – His love never ends!
About 25 years ago, John and I went on a motorcycle trip from Virginia to Northern Maine. We stopped overnight in a small town in Connecticut. The motel had the most beautiful large pond in front of our room. This beautiful pond was surrounded by Weeping Willows all around. It was picture perfect, so serene! Unfortunately, those were the years of 35 millimeter cameras and Polaroids and I do not have a picture to post here. We watched these beautiful Trumpeter Swans lazily gliding across the pond. Back and forth they would go with their young cygnets frantically swimming behind them. As they swam, the peaceful waters were disrupted, creating ripples all the way to the shore line.
The swan’s beautiful white feathers remind me that the Redeemer’s blood has made me white as snow.
My sin is seen no more by my Heavenly Father because He sees His Son’s blood over me. The white feathers also remind me of when Jesus was transfigured.
The Creator, Jesus Christ, gave this beautiful swan colors and its grace to bless our hearts. In turn, it reminds us of Him – it draws us to Him.
As the swan glides across the waters so gently and gracefully, it reminds me of how the Holy Spirit gently works in our lives to mold us into the image of Christ. As we read the Word and are convicted by the Spirit, we become more and more like Jesus.
God patiently works in our lives, leading and directing, molding and forming us so we can be like Him.
Jesus promises us peace and rest when we come to Him.
Not only does our Saviour give us peace but He carries our burdens if we allow Him to do so!
It took me a while to grow in this area of allowing the Lord to carry my burdens. Once I learned this blessed truth, what a fool I felt I was for not having done so sooner. There is no happier and more peaceful place to be than in the center of your Saviour’s Hand. We are secure there.
As the Holy Spirit works to change us and mold us into the image of Christ, the changes create a rippling effect in our lives, just as the swan creates when it swims. These changes touch other lives through our testimony and leads them to Christ. Their lives touch other lives, etc. Thus the rippling effect goes to the shores of our lives. My testimony should have this effect on others, reaching out to the uttermost!
I did a little research on the internet about this magnificent creature. I learned that they often mate for life. The female (known as the pen) molts and loses her flight feathers shortly after her young hatch. She is vulnerable to predators at this point. The cob (the male) goes through this process about a month later when the female has completed her molt. The Creator knew that they would have to protect one another during their flightless time. What a merciful God we have – He watches over every creature in such a tender and caring way!
Our Heavenly Father does not leave us defenseless. He is not like the devil who will kick us while we are down. Peter warns us that ole slew foot is like a roaring lion.
God does not leave us to be devoured by the devil. We have nothing to fear because while we are spiritually molting, the Lord is right there protecting us against evil and the evil one. God wanted us to rest assured so much so that He penned it in the Word by giving us an example when Jesus prayed for us.
One of the swan’s predators is the wolf. This beautiful creature can be attacked without notice and quickly. We’ve all see nature shows about wolves and how they run in packs and have no mercy on their unsuspecting victims. Just because we are saved does not mean that we are exempt from the wolves of this world. The devil sends his minions out within the very walls of our churches to attack from within.
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (Act 20:29)
We are to be vigilent, ready and prepared for the enemy. Notice that Luke does not say that the wolves are from the world but these wolves are among us in our very churches! This tells me that we should be even more vigilent in this case. We have a tendancy to let down our guard when we are in church because we believe we are in a safe haven. However, the wolves are among us and the Word says they are grievous. Noah Webster says that grievous means
“Causing grief or sorrow.”
Have you ever been prey to a grievous wolf in your own church which has caused you grief or sorrow? The Word says it will happen – Luke said “I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you,”! Luke knew it would happen. Don’t be deceived – be alert! Know your Bible so that you can spot trouble from afar. God gives us more and more discernment and wisdom and we grow in grace.
And lastly, I discovered that the swan makes a trumpet-like sound like that of a french horn. That is why it is called the Trumpeter Swan. God used the trumpet sounds quite often in the Scriptures. The word trumpet appears 59 times in the Bible. A trumpet was sounded when danger was spotted. Christ left us His Word so that we would be able to find encouragement within its pages. He left us His Word so that we could learn to spot danger. Seeing a swan encourages us to be in the Word, seeking out the warnings. The prophecies of the end times are good examples of these warnings. The trumpet was also used to make an announcement. My favorite verse relating to a trumpet is found in Rev. 4:1, where the rapture is depicted.
Jesus Christ will call us up, “Come up hither!”
Glory! Does this not comfort you? Just as I sat tranquil and comforted watching the beautiful swans on that pond, so should you be with these words!
The next time you see the Trumpeter Swan, I hope you see our Magnificent and Almighty Lord in its beautiful features.
Oh Lord, my God, I sit amazed
At Your creation, with beauty bright
Revealing Truths in such bless’ed ways
Reflecting Your power and might.