On Wings Of Eagles

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Saturday, April 30, 2016

White garment

Ecclesiastes 9:8 (ESV)
Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.

In the olden days there were two brothers, the elder good and devout, the younger a libertine who reveled with unsavory companions. The elder brother prayed for the younger and often begged him to change his life, but all seemed in vain.

One night as the elder brother sat in his study reading, the younger brother rushed into his room, begging, "Save me! The police are after me! I have killed a man." There were bloodstains on his clothes.

The older brother grasped the situation immediately and said, "I will save you. Let us change clothes." He took the bloodstained suit of the criminal and gave him his white robe.

The two had barely dressed when the police arrived. They had pursued the criminal from the place where the deed had been committed and seized the brother in the bloodstained garment.

Brought before the judge, he pleaded guilty, saying, "I bear the whole responsibility for the crime." Faced with the evidence before him-the pursuit, the blood, the confession-the judge had no doubt. He sentenced the man to death, then asked him his final wish. "Only one," said the supposed criminal. "I want my brother to receive this letter, which I have prepared for him, at the very moment I am hanged." The wish was granted.

The next day, his brother received the letter. Opening it, he read: "My beloved, at this very moment, I die in your place, in your bloodstained clothes, for your crime-and I am happy to offer this sacrifice on your behalf.

"But I would like you, in the white clothes I gave you, to lead a life of righteousness and purity. I have no other desire!"

The younger brother, on reading these words, was taken by remorse. He ran to stop the execution-but it was too late. Then he ran to the judge to confess his crime, but the judge would not listen to him. "A murder was committed; it has been expiated. What was between you two brothers is of no interest to us."

After that, as often as his former comrades in revelry called the young lad to drinking parties and loose living, he would say, "In the white clothes left to me by the brother who gave his life for me, I can no longer do the evil deeds I did before."

Because of the forgiveness that we have received because of what Jesus has done for us we to our covered with white clothes we should no longer participate in evil deeds.

Dear Lord, thank You for covering us with your spotless clothes.  Help us not give into the evil thoughts or deeds. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Jesus is our bridge

John 14:6 (ESV)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in Japan , also known as Pearl Bridge , is the longest suspension bridge in the world to date. The bridge crosses the Akashi Strait ; it links Maiko in Kobe and Iwaya on Awaji Island as part of the Honshu--Shikoku Highway . As measured by the length of its center span (6,532 ft), the bridge is substantially longer than the second longest suspension bridge, the Eastern Bridge (5,328 ft) of the Danish Great Belt Fixed Link. The total length of the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge is 12,831 ft. It was planned to be one of three Honshu--Shikoku connecting bridges, annexing two borders of the Inland Sea .

Before the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge was built, ferries carried passengers across the Akashi Strait . This dangerous waterway often experiences severe storms, and in 1955, two ferries sank in the strait during a storm, killing 168 children. The ensuing shock and public outrage convinced the Japanese government to draw up plans for a suspension bridge to cross the strait. Construction on the bridge began in May 1988, and the bridge was opened with six lanes of traffic on April 5, 1998.

The bridge has three spans: the central span and two other sections each 3,150 ft (960 meters). It was designed on a two-hinged stiffening girder system, allowing it to withstand 178 mph winds, earthquakes measuring up to 8.5 on the Richter scale, and harsh sea currents. The bridge also contains pendulums that are designed to dampen forces on it. The two main supporting towers are 978 ft (298 mts) above sea level.*

Yet, there is a GREATER BRIDGE that spans an even GREATER CHASM...

Our sin has caused a GREAT SEPARATION from God: “Your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).

Many “bridges” have been built to try to span the distance between sinful man and a holy God.

* Some have tried to reach God through good works. This bridge is far too expensive! Although important, one cannot do enough good works to EARN one’s way to heaven (Eph 2:8-10).

* Some have sought to bridge the gap to God by living good, moral lives. This bridge just isn’t long enough. Being good isn’t good enough, for even at our best, we still FALL SHORT (Rom 3:23).

The ONLY Bridge by which we can reach God is through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Jesus spanned the gulf between man and God by dying on the cross for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2).

Dear Lord, thank You for being the bridge that we need.  Help us share the way to those that come into our path today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bought for a price

Matthew 11:28-29  (ESV)
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

During the years when slavery was legal in the United States, a gentleman happened upon a slave-bidding in a crowed street. The man paused to observe the activities. As he watched from the edge of the crowd, he saw one slave after another led to a platform, their arms and legs shackled with ropes as if they were animals. Displayed before the jeering crowd, they were auctioned off, one by one. Some onlookers would inspect the "merchandise", grabbing disrespectfully at the women, examining the muscular arms of the men. The gentleman studied the group of slaves waiting nearby. He paused when he saw a young girl standing at the back. Her eyes were filled with fear. She looked so frightened. He hesitated for a moment and then disappeared briefly. When he returned, the auctioneer was about to start the bidding for the young girl he had noticed beforehand.

As the auctioneer opened the bidding, the gentleman shouted out a bid that was twice the amount of any other selling price offered that day. There was silence for an instance, and then the gavel fell as; "sold to the gentleman" was heard. The gentleman stepped forward, making his way through the crowd. He waited at the bottom of the steps as the young girl was led down to her new owner.

The rope which bound her was handed to the man, who accepted it without saying nothing. The young girl stared at the ground. Suddenly she looked up and spit in his face. Silently, he reached for a handkerchief and wiped the spittle from his face. He smiled gently at the young girl and said, "follow me". She followed him reluctantly. As they reached the edge of the crowd, he continued to a nearby area where each deal was closed legally.

When a slave was set free, legal documents, called manumission papers, were necessary. The gentleman paid the purchase price and signed the necessary documents. When the transaction was complete, he turned to the young girl and presented the documents to her. Startled, she looked at him with uncertainty. Her narrowed eyes asked, what are you doing? The gentlemen responded to her questioning look. He said, "Here, take these papers. I bought you to make you free. As long as you have these papers in your possession, no man can ever make you a slave again.

The girl looked into his face. What was happening? There was silence. Slowly, she said, "You bought me, to make me free?" "You bought me, to make me free?" As she repeated this phrase over and over, the significance of what had just happened became more and more real to her. "You bought me, to make me free?" Was it possible that a stranger had just granted her freedom and never again could she be held in bondage and servitude to any man? As she began to grasp the significance of the documents which she now held in her hand, she fell to her knees and wept at the gentleman's feet. Through her tears of joy and gratitude, she said, "You bought me, to make me free....I'll serve you forever!"

You and I were once bound in slavery to sin. But the Lord Jesus paid the price, to make us free, when He shed His Blood at Calvary. That's what the Bible calls redemption. "In Christ Jesus, we have Redemption through His Blood, the Forgiveness of sins, according to the Riches of His Grace." (Ephesians 1:7) "For you were Bought with a Price, therefore Glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Corinthians 6:20) The Blood of Jesus was not spilled; it was Shed. It was no accident. The Lord chose to Die in our place, Shedding His Precious Blood on our behalf. Jesus Said of Himself, "The Son of man did not come to be served, but to Serve, and to Give His Life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:28)

I wondered as I read this story, the girl had spit in her masters face once. When he gave her the papers of her freedom, she could have spit in his face again, not believing him. How often have we spit in our Master's (Jesus') face. He Who paid His All, for our freedom? As I read this story, I could see myself in the girls position and could see the gentleman as Christ Jesus, Himself. The gentleman gave of himself and only required that the girl Accept her freedom that he had freely given unto her.

Jesus, Paid our debt when He Gave His Life on a Cross at Calvary almost 2000 years ago. Christ Jesus poured out His Precious Blood to cover all of our sins, past, present and future.

Dear Lord, thank You for paying the price for our sins.  Thank You for paying the price that we couldn’t ourselves.  In The Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A lesson from a Blue Hummingbird

John 3:16 (ESV)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

I found this little story that has some good lessons for each of us.

Once, long ago, there was a young boy who lived in a distant land called Tandow. He was a cheerful lad with not a care in the world. A special friend had he, the little blue hummingbird. Now this little boy didn't have a lot of great friends, but the little bird and the boy were inseparable friends. The boy loved the little hummingbird so, he built him a home. The bird also loved the boy and would follow him wherever he would go. As time went by their love grew and grew.

Then one day the young lad met a pretty young girl in school. The girl had long blonde hair, blue eyes, and a cute little smile. This was about the time of the biggest dance of the year. All the boy could think about was how he would love to take the girl to the dance. He gathered his courage all day and at the end of school confronted the girl and asked her to go with him to the dance.

Now this young girl was very popular and felt she did not want to be seen with the boy who cared for her so, but she did not want to hurt his feelings and so figured out a way to avoid saying no or yes. She told the boy if he brought her a red rose she would allow him to escort her to the dance. This hurt the little boy because he knew that in the land of Tandow there had never been a red rose, in fact the only roses in the land of Tandow were white.

On the way home the boy kept mumbling to himself why couldn't she have asked for a white rose. There were hundreds of them in his front yard. Feeling sorry for himself the boy didn't even notice his friend the hummingbird fluttering above him. Now the bird loved him so, that it could tell instantly the boy was troubled. The bird hovered closer as the boy mumbled on home. Now the bird knew why the boy was so troubled.

The bird could not rest all the night long, it pondered all night, a solution to the boy's problem. Finally as the sun began to rise the answer to how the bird could help his best friend entered his mind. The little blue hummingbird flew to a rose bush and searched for a large rose with a stem bearing thorns directly above it. Now the bird chose a thorn and with all the power in his wings cast his small body against the sharp thorn. It entered with great pain, as the tear drops of blood fell upon the white petals of the rose.

Now as the boy was ready for school, as he left the house he saw a red rose, he could hardly believe it, he ran to the bush and plucked the red rose. In his excitement he failed to notice the lifeless little body that lay below the bush in a puddle of blood.

Happy as could be, he began with his red rose on his way to school. Before he got there some other boys playing football in a field called to him and asked him to come and play. His first thought was, no, he had something more important to do. But they begged him and said they really needed him to even the teams. He looked at the rose, then them, then back at the rose. He said to himself. Ah!!! She didn't really want to go with me anyway. Then, throwing the rose down, the boy went and played football.

You've probably already figured out the allegory...

1. The boy is each of us.

2. The humming bird is Jesus Christ.

3. The girl is eternal life.

4. The rose is the atonement.

5. The football game is the worldly things we sometimes feel are so important.

Dear Lord, we thank You for all that You have done for us. Help us not get distracted by the things around us to take us away from You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Best of intentions can't save us

Isaiah 64:6 (ESV)
We have all become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
    and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

The 80-year-old woman, a member of Sanctuary of Mercy Catholic Church in Zaragoza, Spain, was upset.

She was upset because moisture was playing havoc with a beloved church fresco of Christ, which had been painted by the famous artist Elias Garcia Martinez. Without asking for permission, and with the best of intentions, the lady scraped away at the paint -- a scraping which left the underlying white plaster show through.

Seeing the painting was not any better for her efforts, the lady -- still with the best of intentions -- grabbed her paintbrush and painted over the old painting with her rendition of the Christ.

It was all done with the best of intentions, but since the lady could hardly be called an "artist," the picture is now a disaster. That's terribly tragic because money had just become available to restore and protect the fresco.

Experts are discussing whether such a restoration is possible, or if the church will be forced to hang a picture of the painting to cover the ruined original.

It all goes to show that sometimes even the best of intentions is not good enough.

That's a lesson the Bible teaches again and again. Wanting to be like God, Adam and Eve had good intentions when they ate the forbidden fruit. Abraham had good intentions when he fathered Ishmael. If we could visit with Judas, he might even claim he had good intentions when he betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

The truth is our best intentions and efforts aren't ever good enough to save us. Knowing we are helpless is really a shot to our human egos and intelligence. That's because we want to be in control and will do just about anything to avoid having to depend on the Lord for our salvation. The best we can do will never improve on God's plan. That's what Isaiah was saying when he was inspired to write, "all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment."

Still, salvation and reconciliation will only be completed when a repentant heart trusts in the substitution and sacrifice of the Savior. Only by faith can we be saved.

That's the great truth of Scripture. It is God's truth which cannot be improved upon, even if someone thinks he has the best of intentions.

Dear Lord, forgive our hearts, which although well intentioned are often arrogant. Forgive us for thinking we can do better in the work of salvation than You. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Monday, April 25, 2016

God used a moth

Acts 2:38 (ESV)
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Years ago, a British express train was racing through the night.

Its powerful headlamp speared the fog ahead. This train was special for it carried Britain's Queen Victoria. Suddenly, revealed in the beam of the train's headlight, the engineer saw a figure in a black cloak. On the middle of the tracks, he was waving his arms.

It took but a second for the engineer to throw the brake lever, a little longer for the train to scream to a halt. The engineer, along with the other railroad employees, got out to find the fellow who had stopped them.

The man was gone.

They did, however, find a section of track, which had been washed out by a swollen stream. The engineer cringed at the thought: if the unfound man in the black cloak had not stopped them, they would have derailed, creating a national catastrophe. Eventually, the bridge was repaired, and the train finished its trip in London.

There, the mystery of the man in the black cloak was discovered.

At the base of the engine's headlamp was a great moth. The engineer studied it, wet its wings, and pasted it to the glass of his lamp. Climbing back into his cab, he switched on the lamp and saw the "phantom flagman" in the bright beam. Seconds before the train reached the ruined track, the moth had flown onto the lamp.

In the fog, it appeared to be a black-cloaked man waving his arms.

Queen Victoria's reaction to the strange occurrence? She said, "I'm sure it was no accident. It was God's way of saving us."

Most certainly, we are all saved through the sacrifice of the Savior. His gracious act wherein He carried our sins, resisted temptation, and conquered death is the common denominator for all who are forgiven and redeemed. Many of us have been saved by simple means whereby the Holy Spirit has placed faith into our transformed hearts. How has the Lord saved you? What delivery system did He use? Was it through the preaching of a faithful pastor, a never-to-be-forgotten teacher, your parents, a radio or television broadcast? Did He use a watershed moment in your life to make plain His commitment to rescue you?

No matter how you were saved there are two things to know:

1. You couldn't save yourself. No matter how hard you tried, you remained a condemned sinner.

2. God's love for you is so great He was willing to sacrifice His Son, so you could be adopted into His family of faith. God's mercy and grace ... that's what saved the Queen ... it is what saves us, too.

Dear Lord, without You we would have been lost forever. For our salvation, a gracious gift which comes to us through Jesus' sacrifice and the Holy Sprit's work, we are saved. In the Name of Jesus.  Amen.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Are you connected?

Revelation 21:6 (ESV)
And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.

As we begin a new week, and I have a question for you: Are you connected?

Recently, a Midwestern hospital found out it wasn't -- connected, that is.

Here's the story: for 35 years the hospital had relied upon its water safety equipment in case of fire. Surprisingly, the water main had never been attached to the city's water supply.

The pipe that led from the building extended four feet underground -- and there it stopped!

For 35 years the medical staff and patients had placed confidence in that system. Theirs was a false security. The costly equipment, the polished valves, and the well-placed outlets were adequate except for one thing -- there was no water!

Now, are you connected?

Now I know your life may have all the necessary outward trappings. You have a home, food, television, radio, and clothing. But are you connected?

Are you connected to the one Person who can save you in case of catastrophe -- a catastrophe which, sooner or later, is going to come? Is Jesus Christ your Savior? I pray He is. In Him there is hope, peace, joy, happiness, and heaven.

He wants you to be connected.

So the Holy Spirit might connect you, Jesus our Savior lived, suffered, died, and rose. Now all who believe on Him are given a blessed and complete connection to Him who is the "water of life."

Christians, do you know someone out there who is not connected?

If so, let's remember that individual in our prayers. If not, give thanks that you are so blessed and join with those who are going to bring a special individual to the Lord.

Dear Lord, thank You for the life you have given us through the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus. Now we pray for those who don't know You. Help us be the ones for You to use. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Jesus is the only way to salvation

Luke 13:23-24 (ESV)
23 And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

Years ago, a minister donated some items of furniture to a family. He was moving to another church, with a smaller house, and thought someone else could use the extra pieces for their home.

One item was a beautiful walnut cabinet dresser, which had lots of drawers for accessories and clothes. It was about seven feet tall and just as wide, made in the good old days when furniture was sturdy, solid and hand-made. The family was delighted to receive such a handsome piece of furniture, but there was only one problem. They couldn’t get it through the front door.

So they had to take it apart, piece by piece, shelf by shelf, drawer by drawer. It took almost two days to do that, and then they had to put it together again. As usual, they ended up with more screws than they started out with, so somewhere along the way, they had missed putting some in.

It didn’t fall apart and served for many years at the top of the stair landing. When they left Scotland to come to Tennessee, they had to leave it behind because they would have to take it apart again.

Having faith in Jesus is what gets us through the narrow door into heaven. We just can’t turn up and expect God to take us apart so that we will fit the doorway to enter in to His Kingdom. If we have any "fitting" to go through, it must be done on this threshold of life. If we don’t take the opportunity to shape our lives according to Christ’s ways, then we lose the ability to get through the narrow gate.

Heaven is not a given, no matter who we are or how highly we think of ourselves. Jesus is the only way to salvation. Everything else is just wishful thinking.

Dear Lord, You were very specific when You stated that the doorway to heaven is narrow. We can only enter one at a time. Help us and all our loved ones to recognize how serious You are about reshaping our lives according to Your ways. In the Name of Jesus.  Amen.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Wrapped in God's Mercy

Romans 6:23 (ESV)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The following true story relates to a man who went from England to America, and thence to Cuba. He had not been in Cuba long before the Cuban war of 1867 broke out, and he was arrested as a spy. He knew nothing about what he was arrested for, as he could not understand a word of Spanish. He was court-martialed and ordered shot. When he realized his peril, he sent for the American and English consuls, and laid the case before them.

The consuls looked into the case, and found that he was perfectly innocent. They went to the Spanish authorities, and endeavored to secure his release; but the Spanish officers said: "He has been tried by our law, and found guilty. The law must take its course, and the man must die." There was no submarine cable then, hence the consuls could not telegraph to their governments, and they had not time to write and get an answer back.

When the morning set for the execution came, the condemned man was brought out. A grave had been dug, and a coffin placed beside it, and the man took his seat upon the coffin. Then the black cap was pulled over his head. There stood the Spanish soldiers, awaiting orders to fire; but at that moment the American and English consuls rode up, and jumping from their carriage, ran and wrapped the Star-spangled Banner and the Union Jack around the man, and turning to the Spanish officer, said, "Fire on these flags if you dare." He did not dare. There were two great governments back of those flags.

If you will but accept Christ as your Savior, God will forgive all your sins and wrap the flag of mercy around you, and sin and death will no longer have power over you.

Dear Lord, we thank You for the flag of mercy that You will wrapped around us so that sin and death doesn’t have power over us anymore. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The ant and the grasshopper

1 Peter 2:24 (ESV)
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

Here is an old story that has a great lesson for all of us. A mother of a 9 year old boy, Mark, received a phone call in the middle of the afternoon. It was the teacher from her son's school.

"Mrs. Smith, something unusual happened today in your son's third grade class. Your son did something that surprised me so much that I thought you should know about it immediately."

Mother seldom want to hear from their child's teacher in the middle of the day. The mother was uneasy and nervous by such a beginning to a phone call. "What now?" The mother wondered.

The teacher continued, "I have been teaching for many years and nothing like this has happened until now. This morning I was teaching a lesson on creative writing. And as I always do, I tell the story of the ant and the grasshopper. The ant works hard all summer and stores up plenty of food. But the grasshopper plays all summer and does no work.

Then winter comes. The grasshopper begins to starve because he has no food. So he hops to the ants house and begins to beg. 'Please Mr. Ant, you have much food please let me eat, too.' Now boys and girls your job is to write the ending to the story.

Your son, Mark, raised his hand. "Teacher, may I draw a picture?" "Well, yes, Mark, if you like, you may draw a picture. But first you must write the ending to the story."

The papers came in. As in all the years past, most of the students said that the ant shared his food through the winter and both the ant and the grasshopper lived. As always, a few children said, 'The ant said, "No, Mr. Grasshopper. You should have worked in the summer and not played. Now, I have just enough food for myself." So the ant lived and the grasshopper died.

But your son ended the story in a way different from any other child, ever. He wrote, "So the ant gave all of his food to the grasshopper; the grasshopper lived through the winter. But the ant died."

And the picture? At the bottom of the page, Mark had drawn three crosses. "He gave everything to us so that we might live; but Jesus died."

Dear Lord, thank You for giving Your all so that we may live eternally in heaven. In the name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The answer to "I don't know"

1 John 5:11-13  (ESV)
11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.

One of the traits of a three year old is whenever they are asked something which they don’t have the answer for, or would rather not give the answer to, responds in a little sing song voice with these words-I don't know--.

I don't know is often our answer as well when others ask us deep and probing questions about why God allows certain things to happen in our world. We may be Christians, followers of Christ, wholehearted believers in God, yet this does not mean we possess the answer to all things spiritual for has not God said:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

There is one very important spiritual question however which we can all respond to with a definite answer. That question is: how can anyone know for sure that they are going to heaven? The apostle John revealed this when he wrote:

"And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." (1 john 5:11-12)

These two verses make it very clear that we can know our eternal destiny. We can know what awaits us at the end of this life, for he who has the Son has life while he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. There is no maybe here. There is no perhaps only certainty regarding ones destiny according to this, the word of God.

Do you have Jesus in your life? Have you trusted Him as the Christ, the forgiver of men's sin, the redeemer of mankind? Has his forgiveness been applied to your heart by faith? If so then God has given you eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

So the next time someone asks you this very important question, or asks how they can know their eternal destiny, the response I don't know is no longer an option for indeed we have "The Answer!"

Dear Lord, thank you that none of us have to hang in limbo concerning what awaits us at the end of this earthly life. Your word makes it clear that we can know our destiny. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


2 Corinthians 6:18 (ESV)
And I will be a father to you,
    and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.

Bhaawa,a five month old baby, was found in despair, bogged down in the mud of a drying waterhole in the Kirisia Hills near Maralal in Northern Kenya. He was suffering from shock and grief.

Were it not for the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, these orphan elephants would have died.

Sheldrick began doing these kinds of rescue missions in 1952, and not only did he rescue orphan elephants, but orphan rhinoceros as well. Though he passed away in 1977, his wife continued his dream, and as a result, more than 100 elephant orphans, as well as numerous rhino orphans, have been saved. All of these elephants and rhinos were raised by the Trust and gradually rehabilitated back to communities in Tsavo National Park.

To a baby elephant, his mother and extended family are of utmost importance. Without them he is completely lost and vulnerable, both physically, and psychologically.

When an elephant baby is found alone, these ties have to somehow be re-established through humans. Elephant keepers remain with these orphan babies 24 hours a day, travelling as a group during the day, and sleeping next to them at night. Different keepers sleep with different cubs every night, so that strong attachments to one person can be prevented. As elephants are highly tactile and sociable animals, great care is given to shower them with love and acceptance.

Initially, feeding is a 24 hour job, but bit by bit the elephant babies are weaned onto a 3 hour feeding routine. When they reach one year of age, they are transferred to Tsavo National Park and absorbed back into older elephant families. In this way, they can begin their gradual integration back into the wild. This transition is made easier by the fact that elephants are highly sociable and that they are automatically fond of their young.

Elephants also have a remarkable memory. They are often able to recognize people who cared for them, even after more than 37 years. This happened to Eleanor, age 42, when she recognized the one who had been her keeper when she was just 5 years old!

None of these elephants would have ever been able to survive if it hadn't been for these keepers who devoted their life in saving them. I am sure if elephants could applaud, they sure would cheer their human rescuers! Hurray!

We too were doomed for a solitary life with no hope in sight. As we wandered into forbidden territory, we became lost and entwined by the vicious snare called sin, and we, too, became orphans from our Heavenly Father, "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." (Rom 3:10-12)

Someone did reach out to us, however, offering us eternity with Him: "Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God's gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master." (Rom 6:)

We don't need to wander around as orphans any longer. We can be adopted by the Most High God, and thus experience His immeasurable love for each one of us: "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (2 Cor 6:18)

All we need to do to have such a wonderful gift is to stop running away from God! We need to accept His offer. We need to welcome Him, as well as His adoption, into our lives.

Thank you Jesus for rescuing me when I was utterly lost and desperate! Thank you for bringing me home and allowing me to experience your out-of-this-world love.

Dear Lord, we thank You for rescuing us when we were trapped in our sin. Thanks that we can come to You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

Take a minute to just listen to God.

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) 
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Some years ago on a hot summer day in south Florida a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house.

In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.

His mother, in the house, was looking out the window and saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could. Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his mother.

It was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two.

The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go.

A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator. Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived.

His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And, on his arms, were deep scratches where his mother's fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.

The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs; and then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, "But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my mom wouldn't let go."

You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too.

No, not from an alligator, or anything quite so dramatic. But, the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to you.

The Scripture teaches that God loves you. If you have Christ in your life, you have become a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way.

But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril - and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That's when the tug-o-war begins - and if you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very, very grateful. He did not - and will not - let you go.

God has wonderful plans for your life.

Let us each take just a moment to stop talking and listen to what God has to say to us.

Dear Lord, today we pray that we would just sit back and listen to You. Help us focus on the plans that You have for each of us today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Insulin and the blood of Christ

Hebrews 9:22 (ESV)
Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

I have a friend who has diabetes. He told about how he had to be trained to give himself insulin, and how it was explained to him that the insulin is the key that unlocks the body's cells so they are able to absorb necessary sugar to promote body energy.

As I thought about the definition of insulin's job, I found myself thinking how this was so like the blood of Christ in regards to it being the key which unlocks the way to restoration between God and man through forgiveness. And with forgiveness comes abundance of life eternally.

Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. And without forgiveness of sin there is no relationship with God. And without relationship with God there is no eternal life.

Just like insulin however, forgiveness must be chosen. If a patient with diabetes refuses to inject their insulin their cells remained locked. Sugar is denied to the body and they eventually go into diabetic shock which leads to death. Adjusting to taking a daily shot, especially for a child is difficult, but in order to be healthy they must come to the acceptance of this fact.

Many people do not want to accept the fact that they are sinners and need God's forgiveness. And yet this too is a fact. God states:

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Romans 3:23.

Forgiveness of sin is a free gift offered to all by God through faith in Christ Jesus. To obtain his gift however one must accept the truth that everyone has thought or done things displeasing to God leaving a breach in their relationship with Him. This breach can only be restored as a person acknowledges their sin, repents of it and turns by faith to the work of Jesus Christ on the cross: a work which unlocks the healing power of forgiveness between God and man, allowing man to be born again from spiritual death unto the abundance of eternal life now and forever more.

Dear Lord, we thank you for the provision which you have made for all people to have eternal life in You. We pray today that many will come to the realization of their sin and humbly repent and turn from it as they accept by faith the gift You give because of what You did on the cross.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Two thousand plus years

2 Corinthians 6:2 (ESV)
For he says, 
“In a favorable time I listened to you,
    and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”

On a dull, sultry day some years ago, a young man was seated in a railway train with a clergyman across the aisle reading the daily paper. The young man, a recent convert to Christianity, was gazing out of the window in happy contemplation when he began to sing quietly the gospel song "Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It!"

When he came to the end of the first stanza, the minister softly joined in the refrain, and then remarked, "I take it, young man, that you are a Christian."

"Yes, sir," the younger man replied.

"How long is it since you were redeemed?" Asked the minister.

"Two thousand plus years, sir," came the prompt reply.

"But I mean," said the preacher, a little confused, "how long since you yourself were redeemed?"

Again the new convert replied, " 2 Corinthians 6:2 (ESV)
For he says,

“In a favorable time I listened to you,
    and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”

On a dull, sultry day some years ago, a young man was seated in a railway train with a clergyman across the aisle reading the daily paper. The young man, a recent convert to Christianity, was gazing out of the window in happy contemplation when he began to sing quietly the gospel song "Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It!"

When he came to the end of the first stanza, the minister softly joined in the refrain, and then remarked, "I take it, young man, that you are a Christian."

"Yes, sir," the younger man replied.

"How long is it since you were redeemed?" Asked the minister.

"Two thousand plus years, sir," came the prompt reply.

"But I mean," said the preacher, a little nonplussed, "how long since you yourself were redeemed?"

Again the new convert replied, " Two thousand plus years, sir."

With this answer the conversation lapsed, and the minister resumed his reading. As the lad was about to leave the train, he said, "Pardon me, sir, I did not wish to appear smart or clever in my reply just now. I meant what I said. I was redeemed Two thousand plus years ago, but it was only last year that I found it out."

Never were truer words spoken of the philosophy of salvation. Two thousand plus years ago our Lord purchased our pardon on Calvary's cross.

Dear Lord, thank You for purchasing our pardon two thousand plus years ago. Help us to be diligent to share that great news with all we come into contact with. In The Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Don't be a glass. Become a lake

1 Peter 5:7 (ESV) 
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

An aging master wanted to teach his apprentice an important factor of living life, and so, one morning, sent him for some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it.

"How does it taste?" The master asked.

"Bitter," spit the apprentice.

The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake, and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, "Now drink from the lake."

As the water dripped down the young man's chin, the master asked, "How does it taste?"

"Fresh," remarked the apprentice.

"Do you taste the salt?" Asked the master.

"No," said the young man.

At this, the master sat beside this serious young man who so reminded him of himself and took his hands, offering, The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things by trusting God. Don't be a glass. Become a lake.

Dear Lord, help us take the pains of life and let You make them small. Help us to rely upon You in all that we do and not let things around us cause us to be bitter. In The Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

We truly are! Yummy salty pistachios!

Matthew 5:13 (ESV)
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.

I was asked once what kind of food do I eat when I am frustrated.  Strange question! As I thought about it something salty came to mind. Chips or nuts!

Yes, I like nuts or chips, preferring salt over sugar. I especially love pistachios. Purely heavenly! Now-a-days pistachios can be bought shell free. No more heavy labor to release these delicious tasting pistachios. Yum!

Nowhere in the Bible does it say "You are the sugar of this world!" There is a reason for that. Even though in our society almost everything is laced with refined sugar, sugar isn't our best friend. The same is true with the news that is broadcasted day in and day out: murder, hatred, finances, temptation, indulgence and vengeance . . . I always find myself disappointed when I listen to such news.

How can others savor something that is way better for them than what they are experiencing? This is only possible if we are "salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors!" Notice: salt-seasoning believers!

Many believe we are nuts to promote God-flavors. We truly are! Yummy salty pistachios!

Even amidst sugar-hungering individuals, if we leave a bowl of pistachios in their vicinity, these nuts disappear quite quickly and many ask for more. The same is true with our "salt-seasoning" influence. We may be considered nuts, but still society hungers for people whose interest is in helping others. They urge for more and more of us to do so as well. Once "God-flavors" are tasted, we can't help but ask for more!

If we are among the sugary kind of believers, we will be left wanting. Come on over and taste the "salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors!" You will ask for more and more, as our reality is well beyond the confines of our world!

Dear Lord, help us each be the salt that the world and it’s people need. Give us the opportunities to spread the good news to all those that come into our path today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.