Watch the Bubbles
As my car crawled along the automated car wash track, my thoughts drifted to times past, when my husband and I would take our children through the car wash for the express purpose of playing “watch the bubbles.”
“Daddy, my bubble is racing yours!” our son would say.
“Mine is turning swishy circles!” our daughter would say.
I stroked my silver-steaked hair and prayed, “God, why do I still want to watch bubbles? My children are driving their own cars now. This is silly.” Just then, a scripture came to mind,
“… for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:11b KJV)
For God’s pleasure, and for ours, He creates. God invents the science behind what makes car wash bubbles fascinating to watch, but He doesn’t stop there. He creates snails with stripes and bushes with glitter dots. He makes a dove’s feathers to sing as she takes flight. He fashions the honeybee’s wings to interlock like a zipper during flight. God, the masterful creator, wants us to enjoy His creation the way He does. But there’s more …
Father God loves His people so much He gives them the innate ability to create, for He made mankind in His image. Only after God created people did He see that,
“… it was very good …” (Genesis 1:31b KJV)
Of the rest of His creation, He saw that
“… it was good.” (Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25 KJV)
Paul records the works that we are created to accomplish with the Lord’s empowerment,
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 KJV)
There is even more …
The Heavenly Father treasures mankind so much He comes into the midst and sings His children a love-song. Scripture records His thoughts,
“The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty … he will joy over thee with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17 KJV)
Even though this is a song a person can’t hear with the natural ear, rest assured that He sings. And sometimes, when a worshipper is in the midst of praising His Creator, the Lord allows this melody to bubble within the heart.
Friend, since you are loved so much by your Creator that He sings over you, then enjoy the world He has fashioned. Next, praise Him for the ability He places within you to accomplish the works He has ordained you to do. But most of all, Praise Him for being the magnificent Heavenly Daddy who has uniquely created you.
Father God, thank You that You created all things, including me, for your enjoyment.
A Spiritual Workout
By: Ryan Duncan, Crosswalk.org
“So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.”- 2 Thessalonians 2:15
In some of my previous devotions I’ve written about my habit of working out during the week, and my time at the gym has taught me a few important lessons. First, never go running after eating Mexican takeout unless you want to experiences some excruciating gastro-intestinal distress. Second, always know what a machine does before you try using it or you may end up looking like a complete idiot. Finally, and most importantly, all exercise takes commitment and perseverance. You see, we live in a world that is obsessed with immediate results.
Don’t believe me? Look at the TV commercials that promise rock hard abs in thirty days, or the diet plans that promise to slim our waistline after a week of light work. We are all looking for an easy way out, but if you really want to become strong and healthy, it takes many days of hard work. The same is true for spiritual workouts, just read 1 Thessalonians 5,
And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. Brothers, pray for us. Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:14-28
I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted just reading that passage. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop it from being true. Save for the grace of God, there are no magical fixes in life. If you want to get physically healthy it means running, dieting, and doing a whole lot of heavy lifting. If you want to become stronger in Christ, you can’t just rely on going to Church each Sunday.
Growing closer to God means forgiving your enemies, encouraging others, and praying continuously day after day. It’s some serious work, and there will be moments when you may get discouraged, but over time when you look back at the things it has allowed God to do in your life, you will know that it was all worth it.
“The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.” – Proverbs 29:25 NASB
Fear and anxiety confront us on every side – wars and violence, crime and diseases, job or boss problems, practical relationship issues, an uncertain future, financial pressures.
In many ways, fears are fostered by concerns over what others might say or do. But the Bible reminds us that fear of other people causes us to falter because it “brings a snare.”
The Hebrew word here suggests a noose or hook used for catching animals. In other words, fear of other people literally can hook us in and draw us deeper as if we were caught by a noose. This fear distracts, traps, and controls us.
What is the answer? The Bible simply says that if we want to be “exalted,” we will trust in the Lord. This means not giving in to worry and fear, no matter what others say or do, no matter the circumstances, whether or not we feel threatened.
Our greatest defense and protection is to trust Him. Our greatest weapon is not giving in to fear or anger, but resting in Him and letting Him defend and protect us.
Does any person or situation cause fear in your heart and mind? Commit that situation or person to the Lord. Turn everything over to Him. And place your trust in Him. Don’t be snared by fear. Commit your needs to Him. Make Him the Rock on whom you depend.
Love to Jesus
By: Charles Spurgeon
“O thou whom my soul loveth.” Solomon’s Song 1:7
Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 103
The Christian, if he had no Christ to love, must die, for his heart has become Christ’s. And so if Christ were gone, love could not be; then his heart would be gone too, and a man without a heart is dead. The heart, is it not the vital principle of the body? And love, is it not the vital principle of the soul? Yet there are some who profess to love the Master, but only walk with him by fits, and then go abroad like Dinah into the tents of the Shechemites. Oh, take heed, ye professors, who seek to have two husbands; my Master will never be a part-husband. He is not such a one as to have half of your heart. My Master, though he be full of compassion and very tender, hath too noble a spirit to allow himself to be half-proprietor of any kingdom. Canute, the Danish king, might divide England with Edmund the Ironside, because he could not win the whole country, but my Lord will have every inch of thee, or none. He will reign in thee from one end of the isle of man to the other, or else he will not put a foot upon the soil of thy heart. He was never part-proprietor in a heart, and he will not stoop to such a thing now. What saith the old Puritan? “A heart is so little a thing, that it is scarce enough for a sparrow’s breakfast, and ye say it be too great a thing for Christ to have it all.” No, give him the whole. It is but little when thou weighest his merit, and very small when measured with his loveliness. Give him all. Let thy united heart, thy undivided affection be constantly, every hour, given up to him.
For meditation: The members of the Godhead are the only joint-owners of the Christian. May God teach us his way—that our hearts may be united and wholly for him (Psalm 86:11-12).