A New Season
We had just had our first “cold” spell of the season in Houston. Having been born and raised near Chicago, I found it quite amusing that the temperature falling to the high 60’s was considered a cold sn
Everyone, it seemed, could not get enough of the faint, cool, breezes that crooned through the trees. The crisp, new, chilly, autumn air unearthed an enthusiasm and a “get up and go” attitude that had been missing for quite some time.
What is it about a simple change in weather that can bring out the best in people? It’s almost like each new season is a new beginning of sorts. Its very representation of newness stirs up changes in our souls. Autumn visions of our favorite warm cozy sweater, rich hot cocoa, and steaming hot apple cider spring into action in our hearts.
The Bible also references new changes and beginnings in our lives as being seasons. Seasons are metaphors for God’s perfect timing in delivering us through all the changes He makes in our lives. These certain seasons can bring about the blessings we reap from having been obedient in following him through those changes even if we did not fully understand or welcome them.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 ESV)
This scripture tells us to never give up. No matter how long, strenuous, and painstaking the road or trials are in our lives, there is always a new season ahead, a season of new beginnings.
Every day we can make the decision to begin again. We can adopt a positive mindset to overcome, conquer, and live triumphantly. All beginnings must eventually come to an end so a new beginning, a new season, can commence. We need to take the opportunity to look ahead at what can be and forget the what-might-have-beens. We can challenge ourselves to be better, live higher, rise above our own self-appointed limitations. We can look ahead to a new season of thinking, speaking, acting, and living more positively. Each subtle change we implement towards living a more positive life will eventually take root and manifest itself into our days, weeks, months, and years.
A beautiful tree full of wonderful green foliage and rich, ripened fruit can offer shelter, nourishment, and shade, but only temporarily. The leaves eventually turn brilliant hues of crimsons, golds, reds, and oranges, offering us a wonderful spectacle to behold, a brushstroke of genius only God can artfully paint. Then, those leaves must fall, leaving that beautiful tree bare and vulnerable as it must survive the harshest of seasons. The tree must go through that season to begin a new life, a new cycle, with budding blossoms fragrant and beautiful.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:3 ESV)
We need to be incessantly grateful and thank God continually even when our future seems unclear. We can still stay firmly planted in faith so we will never wither but always prosper and produce good fruit.
All glory comes then from daring to begin, daring to change, ushering in each new season, and forever trusting God with each unpredictable new step. Never stop believing and growing. We can never fully know what God’s intentions are for us, but we can always do our absolute best with where He has placed us right now. Only then, when we have learned all there is to learn and are truly grateful in this place, this season, will God move us to a new, more bountiful, and blessed season.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV)
Elbows & Ears
By Shawn McEvoy, crosswalk.com
I will redeem you with an outstretched arm. – Exodus 6:6
Once, when my son was just shy of three, he informed his mother he was drawing a picture of God.
“Oh… What does God look like?” she asked.
“Well, I put some elbows and some ears,” he replied, and he went back to his work.
I was told that story when I came home from work. Cute, I thought. Not exactly as awe-inspiring as Ezekiel’s vision, but sounds like a weird picture. I mean, where is the face?
“The face of the Lord is not one you could look upon” ( Exodus 33:12-23), came the voice inside my head.
Where are the hands and feet?
Oh yeah, that’s true…
So… elbows and ears, huh?
Well, I guess God does reach us, and move us, and nudge us, and hold up the light to our paths. As Wayne Watson sang, “No one in this world can slip beyond the reaches of the long arm of the Lord.”
And I know he hears us. He created us for fellowship. He desires praise and prayer. He’s absolutely listening. He can even hear things we don’t even know we’re saying. As Steven Curtis Chapman sang, “The cross should have been mine, But His love broke through time, And heard my heart’s cry.”
So in one statement about one drawing by one child, I had digested a complete meditation on the nature of God, who He is and what He does, even what He leaves for us to do. As Casting Crowns sang, “If we are the body… Why aren’t His hands healing… Why aren’t His feet going?”
“The tenth day … is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly … present an offering made to the Lord. Do not do any work … This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.” – Leviticus 23:26-28, 31 NIV
Today beginning at sunset, Jews from around the world will commemorate Yom Kippur, the holiest and most important day on their calendar. But its principles remain true for everyone!
Yom Kippur means Day of Atonement. It was a day set aside to atone for the sins of the past year. It was so serious that no one could work or eat. Everyone was to pray, spend time in contemplation, and examine themselves.
As God designed this day, the high priest was to make atonement for his sins and the sins of other priests through a sacrifice of an animal. Then a scapegoat was sent into the wilderness, symbolically taking with it the sins of the people.
Through the symbolism of this day, we are reminded of all that Jesus has done for us. He sacrificed Himself, so we might be forgiven. While “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins…we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:4, 10 NKJV).
Jesus then became our high priest. Like the scapegoat, He took our sins away “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).
Today, seek to cleanse your heart and mind from sin. As you confess your sins, receive God’s forgiveness. Then rejoice in the freedom and victory that are yours through Christ!
Streams In The Desert
Author: Mrs. L.B. Cowman
I have found an atonement (Job 33:24, margin).
Divine healing is just divine life. It is the headship of Christ over the body. It is the life of Christ in the frame. It is the union of our members with the very body of Christ and the inflowing life of Christ in our living members. It is as real as His risen and glorified body. It is as reasonable as the fact that He was raised from the dead and is a living Man with a true body and a rational soul today at God’s right hand.
That living Christ belongs to us in all His attributes and powers. We are members of His body, His flesh and His bones, and if we can only believe and receive it, we may live upon the very life of the Son of God.
Lord, help me to know “the Lord for the body and the body for the Lord.”
–A. B. Simpson
“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty.” (Zeph. 3:17). This was the text that first flashed the truth of Divine healing into my mind and worn-out body nearly a quarter century ago. It is still the door, wide open more than ever, through which the living Christ passes moment by moment into my redeemed body, filling, energizing, vitalizing it with the presence and power of His own personality, turning my whole being into a “new heaven and new earth.”
“The Lord, thy God.” Thy God. My God. Then all that is in God Almighty is mine and in me just as far as I am able and willing to appropriate Him and all that belongs to Him. This God, “Mighty,” ALL Mighty God, is our INSIDE God. He is, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in the midst of me, just as really as the sun is in the center of the heavens, or like the great dynamo in the center of the power-house of my three-fold being. He is in the midst, at the center of my physical being. He is in the midst of my brain. He is in the midst of my nerve centers.
For twenty-one years it has been not only a living reality to me, but a reality growing deeper and richer, until now at the age of seventy years, I am in every sense a younger, fresher man than I was at thirty. At this present time I am in the strength of God, doing full twice as much work, mental and physical, as I have ever done in the best days of the past, and this observe, with less than half the effort then necessary. My life, physical, mental and spiritual, is like an artesian well–always full, overflowing. To speak, teach, travel by night and day in all weather and through all the sudden and violent changes of our variable climate, is no more effort to me than it is for the mill-wheel to turn when the stream is full or for the pipe to let the water run through.
My body, soul and spirit thus redeemed,
Sanctified and healed I give, O Lord, to Thee,
A consecrated offering Thine ever more to be.
That all my powers with all their might
In Thy sole glory may unite.–Hallelujah!
–Dr. Henry Wilson