Saturday, December 15, 2012

No Offence Intended

     My feline buddy and a snowflake gave me an object lesson a few days ago. We had no snow on the ground, but it had turned cold and there was snow in the air. Mr. Whiskers sat out back, his head jerking this way and that as he watched one flake after another falling toward him. He had fun batting his paw at ones that passed close to him, jumping to catch others. His take on the action reversed when a snowflake fell toward his face just as he was about to step into the house. He was angry. To his way of thinking that innocent speck of frozen vapour had chosen to attack him deliberately. A moment before the snowflakes were playmates. Now they were his enemies. The only real change was his perspective.

     A word or even a look can do to us what the snowflake did to Mr. Whiskers. If a person is already feeling others don't think much of him when someone smiling approaches, the individual may think he's being mocked. The person passing by may just have thought of something funny at the moment. He may not have even noticed the one who took offence.

     Psalm 119:165 says, "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." (KJV) The heavenly host that appeared to the shepherds the night the Lord Jesus was born spoke of peace on earth. God wants His people to have peace. Satan delights in causing upset and trouble. Often we may take offence when the one who spoke or did something intended no harm and probably has no idea of how it was perceived. We need a healthy sense of self-worth. In Christ there is a perfect balance. When we keep close to Him there's less danger of thinking too highly or too meanly of ourselves. We can let the snowflakes or words or looks fall where they may, knowing that, most often, no offence is intended.
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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hope with an Unlimited Warranty

     Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (NKJ) 
     A narcissus bulb can illustrate this truth. To a squirrel it may be a mouth-watering treat, but to humans it has no beauty. Nevertheless a gardener knows that drab brown object is bursting with life even before it begins to sprout. Leave it in a box without light or moisture and yet it will struggle to grow. Give it light, soil, water and it will produce green stems and leaves so quickly its growth charted on a graph will amaze children.

     Faith is like that bulb. A promise from God's Word is the germ of life we wrap our faith around. We believe the Word and trust God for the answer before anything has transpired that we can show to the world as proof. The Apostle Paul said, "if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance." (Romans 8:25 NKJ)

     With our faith based on the life-giving Word, we can be as sure that we will receive the answer we need as the gardener is that delicate white flowers will appear on the tips of the paperwhite's stems. The fragrance of the narcissus is the ultimate evidence that we were justified in expecting exquisite blooms to be produced by that brown lump. We have much greater reason to anticipate amazing results from our prayers.