Friday, July 15, 2016

TANGLES

     Home in Ontario, Canada for the summer, I took a  case of necklace chains in a hopeless tangle out of my suitcase. If bumping around on the journey got them into that mess, why did they not fall back into order when held up and given a shake? Why is creating a problem often less effort than solving it?

     A thoughtless remark can lead to the destruction of a relationship. A hasty action may set off a chain of negative events. The results may require oodles of patience, wisdom and time to unravel. Eve's bite into the forbidden fruit opened the door for Satan to wreak havoc on mankind. Every one of us still contends with the consequences of that choice.
     
     Freedom is getting things untangled no matter how long it takes. We tackle the simple challenges on our own, but the Lord is willing to help us with even those. Natural and spiritual issues are bound up together and He can straighten out any of them. It took His death, burial and resurrection to counter and defeat Satan so freedom can be ours.

     In John 8:36 we read, "if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."(NIV) His truth frees us. Lies spin a web. God told Adam he would die if he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:17) The serpent told Eve she would not die. (Genesis 3:4) Had she acted on God's truth man did not have to be caught in the snarls of our enemy's lie.


     We can know the truth, choose to believe it and act on it. Romans 8:2 tells us we are free from sin and death through the Lord Jesus. I Peter 2:24 says Jesus took our sin; we can live in righteousness and we were healed by His wounds. If Jesus is our Lord and Saviour the promises are ours.

     It's easy to get tangled up in the bed sheets on a hot night. When that happens we can't move freely. Freedom is a natural desire for all of us in everything, and it is the right of every believer in Christ. We can focus on God's truth and live free in Christ. And if those chains get packed into the suitcase again in Sept. I will tape them down. That takes lots less time than working at getting them untangled later.

Friday, July 1, 2016

IN TUNE

     A few days ago the sweet fragrance of the mock orange shrub drew me across the back yard. I picked a tiny sprig and put it in a small bottle with water on the windowsill above the sink. Its perfume filled the kitchen. The bees are still feasting on the few blossoms remaining on the bush.

     I love that our Father/Creator is aware and attentive to each one. He knows the little things that bring us joy. He delights in our pleasure. This One who is love wants to "love on" every individual. Hagar, Sarai's maid, called Him El Roi, the God who sees me. (Genesis 16:13-14) He knew her need and cared for her.

     Since the veil of separation between man and Father God was ripped open when Jesus died on Calvary, only the decision of each individual can shut God out of our lives. He's chosen to work through believers as His instruments. The moment a heart opens to Him, if someone is in tune and willing to be used, the one asking will receive. (Matthew 7:8)

     An Ethiopian returning from a time of worship in Jerusalem longed to know what is true. Philip was willing to go where God needed him to go and do what He needed him to do. The Ethiopian accepted Philip's teaching about the Father's great love and provision for him and continued on his way rejoicing. (Acts 8:26-39)

     Simon Peter took a bit of convincing, but he obeyed the Holy Spirit and traveled to Caesarea to explain the way of salvation through faith in Jesus. He was sent to Cornelius, a centurion, a devout man who had not heard the Gospel message. God knew the desire of Cornelius' heart. He and his family and friends who had gathered received an outpouring of the Holy Spirit while Peter was still teaching. (Acts Ch.10)

     Ananias was God's man in Damascus when Saul of Tarsus prayed, trying to come to terms with the revelation that Jesus is the Son of God. He was in tune with the Holy Spirit and in fear ministered to this one who was known to hate followers of Jesus. (Acts 9:17)

     If we are attentive and willing, Father God is well able to orchestrate circumstances to bring us into relationship with those who will welcome and respond to His unconditional love.