Tuesday's slice of bread

A weekly post premised on this: Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord (Prov. 16:20)

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Location: Florence, Kentucky, United States

married to my best friend, writer, teacher, avid reader, occasional poet, volunteer

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Considering the Father's Love

The Father's love is shown above,
And on earth as well,
For we see it in His Son,
Who came to earth to dwell.

The Son came willingly,
Knowing what He faced,
Drawing with each breath
On the Father's grace
To do the Father's will.

What did the Father will?
A wife for His Son,
But at what cost?
The Son would die for the lost.

O perfection for corruption,
The holy for the unholy,
The eternal for the mortal,
The righteous for the unrighteous,
The just for the unjust,
The worthy for the unworthy,
The loving for the unloving.

"Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him, purifies himself as He is pure" (1 John 2:28-3:3; NASB).

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Pruned

Today some workers pruned four bushes that are close together
Outside our window, and until today appeared to be one,
And gathered up the leaves and branches with cheerful care.
In this season, pruning is called for,
Whether a bush or tree or me.

Jesus says in John's gospel:
"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away;
And every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it that it may bear more fruit"
(John 15:1-2; NASB).

What is the nature of the fruit believers bear?
Paul tells us in the letter to the Galatians:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law"
(Galatians 5:22-23; NASB).

(Jesus warns us in Matthew's gospel:
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit. But a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits" [Matthew 7:15-20; NASB].)

When the right season comes,
The bushes will be full of healthy leaves,
Branches where birds can rest.
And similarly,
When the right season comes,
I will be more spiritually fruitful.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

A Refuge for the Weak and the Weary

Like a weary pilgrim, with flesh and spirit contending,
I yearn for Jordan and this life's ending.
Like a weary pilgrim, tent grown tattered,
Sand and windstorm rim'd, heart and eyes increasingly dimmed.
Like a weary pilgrim, travel-stained and sore,
Yet I yearn to serve until I reach heaven's door.

"For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart" (Hebrews 12:3; NASB).

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28; NASB).

"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will real if we do not grow weary" (Galatians 6:9; NASB).

"The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him" (Nahum 1:7; NASB).

"Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His lovingkindness, to deliver their soul from death and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart rejoices in Him, because we trust in His holy name" (Psalm 33:18-21; NASB).

"The righteous cry, and the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all" (Psalm 34:17-19; NASB).

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might, He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will walk and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary" (Isaiah 40:28-32; NASB).

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

BEFORE, as wrestled with by the blogger

Like forever, before is hard to comprehend.
We have no real context for either forever or before,
No matter how intelligent we are,
Or how educated we are,
Or how highly thought of by others.
Forever and before escape us, if we are honest.
"Before time" means what for those who only know time?
God is eternal,
The Creator of time,
The Sustainer of our days;
And in concert with
God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, God the Father
Determined--and what was determined
Will most certainly come to pass.
And we must trust that timing determined from
Before time to be perfect,
As God is in all ways perfect--
Perfectly knowing and
Perfectly trustworthy
Among those ways,
However our days "seem" to us to work out.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Thinking about Hope (revised from 20 December 2014)

Romans 15:13 reads: "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

"Hope" is a slippery concept.

We hope for a certain outcome, yet anxiety often colors that hope. Even from the time God promised a Savior in Genesis 3, generations hoped yet did not see that hope fulfilled. And when God chose to be silent for 400 years, perhaps anxiety overcame hope in the hearts of many. But hope remained in the hearts of those who believed--hope against hope perhaps. Then God did more than break the silence.

God became Incarnate, Immanuel, "God with us."

Never a sinner like us but in all other ways like us, experiencing the joys and the sorrows and the hopes.

But because of not being like us, He could be what no one else could be, fulfill a hope no one else could.

Because He was fully God and fully man and fully without sin, He could be the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, the One in whom and through whom God and man could be reconciled.

And so, having lived a sinless life, Christ died a sinner's death for all who would have from all time believed and been reconciled to the Father through Him.

Hope fulfilled.

Let us adore Him!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Why do we celebrate this season? Read Romans 15:9-13, NASB

Romans 15:9-13, NASB:

"And for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written: 'THEREFORE I WILL GIVE PRAISE TO YOU AMONG THE GENTILES, AND I WILL SING TO YOUR NAME.' Again he says, 'REJOICE, O GENTILES, WITH HIS PEOPLE,' And again, 'PRAISE THE LORD ALL YOU GENTILES, AND LET ALL THE PEOPLES PRAISE HIM.' Again Isaiah says, 'THERE SHALL COME THE ROOT OF JESSE, AND HE WHO ARISES TO RULE OVER THE GENTILES, IN HIM SHALL THE GENTILES HOPE.' Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Immortal While Incarnate

Immortal while incarnate,
Christ Jesus the Lord.
Immortal while incarnate,
Due by all to be adored.

Immortal while incarnate,
Fully God, fully man.
Immortal while incarnate,
Life fully lived He understands.

Immortal while incarnate,
Tempted in all ways yet ....
Immortal while incarnate,
Yet without sin, temptation met.

Immortal while incarnate,
Truly dying on the cross.
Immortal while incarnate,
Such sorrow for sinners lost.

Immortal while incarnate,
Triumphant He would be.
Immortal while incarnate,
Life and death for me.

Immortal while incarnate,
The sinless Son of God.
Immortal while incarnate,
Lord of glory on sinful sod.

Immortal while incarnate,
Giving life to lifeless men.
Immortal while incarnate,
And soon to come again.