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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Learning From A Horse

The other day I watched as a horse stuck its head and neck through a barbed wire fence to reach a patch of grass growing on the opposite side. The distance between the layers were not very far apart and I could not help but wonder how much pain the horse was putting itself in just for a small bit of grass. As I began to think about this, I realized that the very thing I was wondering about the horse, in an abstract way, applied to myself. How much pain do I put myself in just to satisfy a desire to sin. God has given me green pastures with flowing streams (His grace, love, and wisdom) to live in and a protective fence (His commandments) not to keep me in but to protect me from that which is on the outside. Yet there are many times when I find myself sticking my head through the barbed wire fence, causing great pain, just to feed on the sins of the world. Why do I do this? The only answer that I can think of is this; I do not know/understand all that God is and all that He has for me in this life and the life to come, so I look beyond the pasture of God's treasure to the distraction and imitations that the world offers. Just as a horse harms itself to reach the grass outside the fence because it does not realize all its master has provided, so do I cause much pain to myself, others and especially God when I am not satisfied in Him alone. What sin/desire/lust are you sticking your head through the fence for? It is not worth the pain and anguish that comes with its fulfillment! Seek to know and understand God and all that He offers and you will find all that you could ever want.

1 The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23 (NASB)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Have You Ever Wondered...

1 Peter 3:15 says, "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you..." What a compelling verse! It makes us strive to be diligent in studying the Bible to make sure we know the right thing to say when we are asked. BUT, have you ever wondered why people do not regularly ask us to give a defense for the hope that is in us? I have many times. Just the other day I was listening to John Piper, the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church and founder of the Desiring God Ministry. The message was "Don't Waste Your Life". Piper asks "Has anybody asks you recently for a reason for the hope that is in you? Do you know why they haven't? Because it looks like you hope in the same things that the world is hoping in!" That's why! Where is your hope? Is it in the things of this world (money, success, material possessions, friends, family, looks, intelligence, etc.)? If our lives appear to be rested on the things of this word and not God in Christ and the work that He did and is doing in and through you then the world has no reason to ask.

So think about it! Does your life reveal that there is a supernatural hope living within you or are you just like everybody else? Yes, you may be a fairly moral person who goes to church, helps others, and the like but so do may other people that are destined for hell (Mormons, Buddhists, Muslims and many others that are without Christ). So what sets you apart? Are you living a life so radically sold out for Christ that everything you do is pointing to a hope that only can come through Him? It is not too late! Christ is worthy of all that we have and all that we are, so start giving Him your all right NOW!