Thursday, August 27, 2015

Watch Out For The Little Foxes

"Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes."
Song Of Solomon 2:15 (NKJV)

There is a saying that has been around for a long time, "Don't sweat the small stuff", which is meant to convey the idea that we should not let little things bother us.  Generally speaking this is true, but not always; some small things can create very big problems.  For example, termites in your home, driving over a nail that gets stuck in your tire, or a sliver in your finger are all small things that can lead to some big problems.  It is not the size of the thing that makes something a problem; it is what the thing can do that matters.

Song Of Solomon 2:15 contains an unusual phrase that has an important point, it talks about little foxes that spoil, or ruin, the vines.  This is similar to how the devil will work in our lives and try to ruin our relationship with Jesus.  The devil will not necessarily do something big against us, but he will work in small ways.  He will try to fill our mind with the wrong kind of thoughts, try to get us to focus more on our circumstances than on God, or try to make us think what we are doing for God is a waste of time.  If we let those little thoughts get into our thinking then we will be in trouble.

Another thing the devil likes to do is to fill up our time with a lot of little things that keep us so busy that we do not have time to do the things we really need to do.  Or the devil will try to convince us that we are too tired to go to church or that being involved in some area at the church just does not fit into our schedule.  We need to be on guard at all times against these attacks of the enemy.  We need to watch out for the little things that will try to ruin our relationship with God through either wrong thoughts or by distracting us through being too busy.  Don't let the little foxes ruin your vine.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Let Your Light Shine

"You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV)

When you enter a dark room you naturally turn on the light to see where you are going.  Normally rooms have a lighting system with light bulbs in some fixtures that were designed to help people find their way around the room.  That lighting system was not put there just for decoration; it is there for a reason.  The light bulb that lights up the room is not the electric company itself but the bulb is displaying a light that is created by the power that is coming from the electric company.  In a similar way we need to be a kind of "Christian light bulb" in a world that is in darkness without Jesus.

In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus told His disciples that they were the light of the world.  The Bible also tells us in 1 John 1:5 that "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all".  From these two scriptures we can see that God is light and we are His lights in the world.  We need to shine our light and do what we can to help direct people to Jesus and to display godly characteristics that are a reflection of our heavenly Father. We need to show people how through a relationship with Jesus Christ we can live successfully in this world and overcome the difficulties that come our way in life.

Jesus walked the earth 2000 years ago.  He is now in heaven, seated at the right hand of God the Father.  That is His place to be, our place is here on the earth, in this world, being representatives of Jesus.  The point is that if Jesus is going to do anything or help anyone on the earth today in any way it is going to be through us, we are here to do His work and to shine as a light for Him.  As followers of Jesus Christ we are representatives of God, our life should reflect His light.  Once we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior we become that light of the world, let's shine bright for Jesus!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Our Work For God Is Not In Vain

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 15:58 (NKJV)

The length of time something takes to grow is different depending on what you plant, the conditions you are growing something in, and how well you take care of what is planted.  Some plants take weeks to grow while others take months before they are ready for harvest.  It is not reasonable to expect every type of plant to grow at the same rate.  If we understand this principle then we are able to be patient during the growth of a plant; if we don't understand it we can become impatient and give up on something that is growing and developing because we don't see the growth happening.

God has a plan for our lives and there are things He wants all of us to do, God expects us to do things that will help to build His Kingdom.  But, those things we do often do not produce instant results.  If we understand that in advance it makes what we do easier; we must be consistent in our work for God regardless of what results we do or do not see.  We have to realize that we are dealing with eternal things and we may not see some results as fast as we like.  If we are sowing the incorruptible seed of God's Word into the life of another person we can expect results.

We may work in the children's ministry at our church, or with the youth, or adults, and not see the fruit of our labors for many years.  We might have the opportunity to speak to a neighbor or coworker about Jesus but that person does not receive Jesus right away.  We can make investments into the lives of someone or our church today that will only bear fruit years later.  But to keep on doing this we must be unmovable in our work for God.  Knowing that what we do for God is never in vain helps us to do God's will regardless of any immediate results or the lack thereof.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

What Is It Worth To You?

"I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure."
Psalm 119:162 (NKJV)

The value of something can be determined by what someone is willing to pay for it or what that thing means to a person, what it is worth to them.  There are some things that people have paid millions of dollars for, such as art work or other collectables, that have no real function in life but to those people they have value.  There are other things, like a family heirloom, or a personal memento of some kind that have value to the people who own them.  Even something simple like water can be valuable depending on the situation; value depends on how significant someone sees something as being.

In Psalms 119 David said he rejoiced at God's Word the way someone would if they had found a great treasure.  It is interesting to notice that of all the Psalms that David wrote, the Psalm he wrote about God's Word, Psalm 119, is the longest.  David understood the value of God's Word and because of that he rejoiced about it.  But this is certainly not the attitude of many people, including Christians, today.  Most people do not really see the Bible as valuable as a great treasure but that is what it was for David because David was a man who knew the Word and what the Word could do.

In Psalm 119 David talked about the Word being his counselor (v. 24), he was comforted by remembering the Word (v. 52), his hope was in the Word (v. 81), he did not perish in his affliction because the Word had been his delight (v. 92), the Word was a lamp for his feet and a light to his path (v. 105), those who love the Word have great peace and nothing makes them stumble (v. 165), and there are many other things he said besides these.  What value do we place on God's Word, do we realize what God's Word can do for us?  David rejoiced about the Word like it was a great treasure, do we?