Father, this day can go many different directions. I pray that Your hand will be upon us regardless of the direction it takes. Use us for Your glory even in the midst of the mundane. Amen.
OK…I am not a fan of stinging insects. (I’m sure those who are are few and far between!) Anyway, this past week I have been working to clean up around where we stack our wood. Now I haven’t been stung (thankfully!) and I haven’t even seen a nest but as I was working I saw, what I would classify as, a hornet! I guess technically they are a part of the yellowjacket wasp family – it is commonly known as the bald-faced hornet but one of its names is the Blackjacket. Regardless, I jumped back and scrutinized my surroundings. I saw none but the one on the wood but from then on I kept my eyes peeled for any others. I sure didn’t want to give them any reason to sting me!
Lord, why don’t we respond to sin that way? You would think that once we are “stung” by sin, we would want to avoid it. But no, we go back again and again regardless of the pain and misery that is inflicted. It would be different if it only stung us once, but like the Blackjacket, sin can sting over and over again.
I also read that they can squirt venom from the stinger into the eyes of nest intruders. The venom causes immediate watering of the eyes and temporary blindness. Doesn’t sin do the same? Its venom blinds us – it may be temporary but eventually we sin so repeatedly that our blindness no longer fades.
Lord, I may have been the fool but I am so grateful that, no matter how many stings and squirts I’ve taken, that Your grace overrides them all.
Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
T’was blind but now I see
Aug 31st, Thurs, 7:13 am
I am a little out of sync this week, Father. Help me this morning to grasp Your message for me this day. Amen.
Revelation 3:17-19 (<<click the green)
Lord, I am grateful for individuals and companies who have put together study Bibles that help us to see the bigger picture. You, Lord, open our eyes to Your truth but You also use scholars to bring forth concepts and historical data that flesh out Your word. I remember my first NIV Student Study Bible in college. Later I got an NIV Study Bible (which I still use for Bible study at church) and I use my NLT Life Application Study Bible for my personal study time.
Case in point – the historical background my LASB brings out really expanded my understanding of this particular passage. Here’s a portion of the passage and then the paragraph from verse 18:
17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. 18 So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.
“Laodicea was known for its great wealth; Christ told the Laodiceans to buy their gold from him (real spiritual treasures). The city was proud of its cloth and dyeing industries; Christ told them to buy white garments from him (his righteousness). Laodicea prided itself on its precious eye ointment that treated many eye problems; Christ told them to but ointment for their eyes so they could see the truth (John 9:39). Christ was showing the Laodiceans that true value was not in material possessions but in a right relationship with God. Their possessions and achievements were valueless compared with the everlasting future of Christ’s kingdom.”
Lord Jesus, are not we in the same predicament? We think we have it all together – we’ve got everything we need and we don’t need anyone else to help us – especially God! But we, too, are “wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” May we see the state we are in and look to You, Lord. You still fulfill our need! Amen.
Aug 2nd, Wed, 5:42 am