Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Strength from Struggles

Last evening I was at my friend's house after arriving home from our trip to GA. Her brother had some eggs in an incubator and the one chick had hatched with one almost hatched and another that was working at making a hole. We stood there watching the eggs and the chick that was hatched and discussing how if you help the chick hatch, they usually die. While we were standing there, we were watching the chick that was almost out and I had to think how easy it would be for us to help the chick. But in the long run, it would have mean an early death because it needs the struggle of hatching out of the egg, to gain strength for its life outside the egg.

Watching that chick working hard to break out of its egg, got me to thinking how God uses the struggles He brings into our lives to make us stronger. Not saying He doesn't offer assistance but He doesn't hinders the work He wants to do in our lives. Also He never gives us more than we can handle! I know I can see in my own life how the things God had brought me through, have helped me in a tremendous way to face the things I have faced and am facing. I just love how He does know what is best for us and it all comes back to just being willing to trust in Him and being willing to let Him lead and guide us.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
-1 Corinthians 10:13

Monday, May 12, 2014

Bitter Taste of Sin

A friend of mine and I are reading through the Bible together and while reading through Genesis I had to think of Adam and Eve and their eating an apple from the Tree of Knowledge. I just had to wonder if the taste of the apple left a bitter taste after realizing all the implications of what they had done hit them. Then thinking of that, made me think of how sin can look so good but in the end leave such a bitter taste!
Which leads me to my point of sin and its bitter taste. Initially sin is sweet in the mouth but eventually it turns sour in our stomach. Job says it quite well:
Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue; Though he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth: Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him.  He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly.
-Job 20:12-15
Sin is so hideous and ugly to God but Satan has this way of making sin look so appealing and attractive to our selfish nature. One thing that I have learned is that though the initial taste may be sweet, the pleasure is very short and the consequences and regret that follow, far outweigh the pleasure! I have found that the closer I walk to God, the farther away from sin you walk. One thing that has helped me a lot with the different things I have struggled with and overcome, is not putting myself in situations that would set me up to fall, putting out safeguards, to daily be reading in God's Word (and applying what I have learned) as well as also praying and thinking on things that are pure and holy! Two books that can say this much better than I are listed below. I have read both and both have been a big encouragement to me in my walk with the Lord.
A few verses that I have been thinking a lot of lately and I think apply:
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
-Philippians 4:6-8

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Boy and His Lunch

And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children. -Matthew 14:14-21

I read this passage last week in my devotions  and what stuck out to me was the fact the boy gave his lunch, and it seems like he gave it without question.. We like the boy, are asked to give our the Lord the what we have, whether that is material things, our gifts and talents with which He has blessed us: really it is anything that the Lord asks of us.

The little boy gave his lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fishes and with that lunch, Jesus fed 5,000+ people and they ate till they had their fill. When the disciples had taken up the fragments they had 12 baskets full remaining! I love how they didn't have just a little bit left over, but a whole 12 baskets! I had to think how so often, I don't give the Lord all I have to offer and not only am I cheating Him, I cheat myself out of His blessings. When I give my all to the Lord, He blesses me above and beyond what you could ever imagine! So as the boy gave his lunch, so should we and God will use the little that we have to offer Him and use it for His honor and glory!