Sacrifice

DE80CA3B-1070-48F8-AF49-9B5B76039381“Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!””
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭5:11-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Sacrifice

In a world full of materialism and self-centeredness, it is miraculous that many people do actually sacrifice for others. Often these extreme acts of love and kindness are overlooked. As a parent, I now know how parents often sacrifice so much for their children; but, it happens with perfect strangers as well. The ultimate sacrifice is giving one’s life to save others and while that occasionally happens in our modern day world, nothing compares to what Christ did for everyone on The Cross. He died to cover our sins and make us righteous to God. My mind cannot comprehend such love, but my heart can feel the joy of salvation.

 

Path of Righteousness

CEF38A05-C71E-4B44-B9B7-C165159CABE8“So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it,”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭2:20-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Path of Righteousness

Everyday I try to walk in the path of righteousness, but there are so many temptations from our world. We now live in a society that has strayed far from the path and tries to condone sinful behavior as okay. We have to remember to love the sinner and hate the sin. All of us fall short of righteous so we should try not to be self righteous. Thankfully we live in hope by faith and that is all we need.

Wine

97B1C982-4688-49E5-976A-D169A51966F1“(No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.)”
‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭5:23‬ ‭ESV

The first miracle that Jesus performed was turning ordinary water into the finest wine at a wedding. We are all just “ordinary water” that only He can transform into our finest state. Clearly there is lots of symbolism in this story, but I like to think how glorious it will be to dine with our Savior and enjoy tasting His perfect wine. Last night as we celebrated the marriage of our friends and shared some fine wine, I envisioned my departed family and friends toasting us in Paradise. Some claim that Benjamin Franklin said, “I know that God loves me because He created wine.” Whether he said this or not, I believe the concept is valid—He loves us and wants us to be happy.

End of Time

D420BA52-7C5D-40F8-BF72-72D50E830863“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3:1-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

End of Time

In my teenage years, I had this recurrent dream of the end of time. It vividly captured the moment of Christ’s return as I collapsed to my knees.  My dream accurately depicted Biblical verses that I had yet to read and understand, but somehow subconsciously I knew.  Last night, the above Bible verses seemed to beckon me from someone’s Facebook page to pause and take notice.  This morning, some crazed man kept tailgating me on the highway and flashing his bright lights and passing while using obscene gestures and then slowing down in front of me, and repeating the cycle until I called 911 and got state trooper assistance.  I cannot help but think that the end of time is upon us, as I consider how our society has embraced so much evil.

Abide in me, and I in You

DC4D75A0-32C3-4D01-B6E5-6DC1F51E0A28“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Today I had a brief health issue that required minor intervention; yet, it reminded me of my own limitations—my mortality as a human. We sometimes forget how each day is a blessing that we can’t take for granted. Our entire life is dependent on His grace and yet we fail to trust in Him under all circumstances. When we focus on Him and abide in Him, and allow Him to abide in us, our true selves will bear our best fruits and we can experience joy beyond all understanding.

Father

7156C89B-88F4-4D2F-9601-010E47FF3EDB“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Father
The greatest joy in my life is being a father. I love my children in a way that is so immense and intense, far exceeding anything rational. One of my daughters just left after spending some time alone with me and my heart already aches from missing her. This kind of love though pales in comparison to the kind of love our Heavenly Father has for us, giving us His Son to deliver us from evil. It comforts me to know that despite not deserving it, His Love pours out—never failing.

Faith

EC19608F-2DE2-43F8-995E-54E2D0400741“He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭17:20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Faith
Today it is gorgeous in the mountains of Virginia; and, as I sit on my deck and look at a view similar to the above painting by my daughter ( http://www.sincerelysarahstudios.com ), I reflect on my own Faith and how much it has grown and still needs to grow. Truly just as a tiny mustard seed grows with the proper environment over time to be a huge plant, our Faith can grow so strong over time that nothing is impossible.