every day since the heart attack has been filled with a plethora of emotions.
There are days I feel awesome! And I appreciate those days because they’ve been
less than more. I ask not for pity. It’s just the process of aging and the
result of having poured more junk into the vessel the Lord gave me rather than
healthy fuels. The truth hurts… sometimes literally. The same is true spiritually.
spent a lot of time in the book of Psalms lately. It’s my go to place when I’m
in need of encouragement. Most likely because I can relate to many of them which
were penned by David, who certainly experienced more than one lifetime of
emotions through tribulations and celebrations. Take Psalm 103… Just in the first 5 verses it
describes my day to day:
That is my prayer this
morning as I approach the Easter weekend and attempt to dry nigh to the Lord
Jesus. It’s difficult when you’re in the flesh and throwing a pity party for
your aching arthritic bones. I find myself saying “Oh my stars!” more than “Oh
is exactly why I needed to fuel my body with His words instead of mine!
The Benefit Package
1Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within
me, bless his holy name.2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his
While insurance companies are paying less and
less on the average health care bill, the benefits of serving the Lord have
been multiplied. A fact I need to remember. As a matter of fact it’s a
prescription dose we all need this week.
Because of the cross our benefit package is out
of this world. There is nothing that our God cannot do so long as it’s His
will. And His will is for certain that His children walk in truth and joy.
The Prescription Plan
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;
who healeth all thy diseases;
In 2017 I took no medication. At the beginning
of 2018 I took 2, by mid 2018 to now I’ve been on 9-13 daily meds to make this
body of mine function. How ridiculous is that!
Well, I may not like it, but it’s what keeps me
going. Missing anyone of those pills can make life difficult. The same holds
true with my spirituality. Failure to take the prescribed daily dosage of God’s
word and time in His presence takes its toll on me. I feel terrible. And not
only that, I miss the blessing of
feeling clean and whole through His forgiveness. And for certain I lose sight
of the fact that He has the power to heal this body and strengthen me for His
The Forgiveness Clause
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with
lovingkindness and tender mercies;
This was an
“oh my stars!” moment for me today. Only God has the power to take back the
damage that I have inflicted to this soul and body. He created me, through sin
and poor decisions I destroyed me, through doctors and medicine He restored me,
but He can just as well heal me. He has that ability and His mercy may go there…
or it may not. But either way He has given me so many opportunities I did not
deserve. Yes Glory to God it is an Oh My Stars! Kind of day.
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good
things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Unlike the insurance world enrollment isn’t
limited to a certain time. It’s any time. God’s ready and willing for us to use
our benefits and renew our relationship with Him. This is a good week to think
Boy does it! I’ve been
thinking a lot about my fleshly ways. You know… trying to justify it. One such
occasion is my frequent trips to our little town of Grantsville, West Virginia
for which I always seem to be in a hurry. And somebody else doesn’t. On multiple
occasions over the past few weeks I’ve been behind a Sunday driver in the
middle of the week. Our speed limit is 55 mph. Although people unfamiliar with
West Virginia roads would say that is likely too fast! And obviously some of
our locals who are content at driving 40 mph. And I truthfully have a freeway
brain. I would like to go 70 mph. I have places to be!
Let’s get real.
Nowhere that couldn’t wait a few minutes. But the problem with my freeway brain
is; our West Virginia roads have very few passing zones. So if you’re behind a
Sunday Driver on a Friday. It really does feel like it may be Sunday before you
get to town, which sometimes causes my flesh to kick into a higher gear. One
such occasion happened last week.
I had followed
this guy until my head was about to explode. At least a couple of miles. But
the passing zone was coming up and I was praying, (I’m godly you know?) Lord
please let the zone be clear. As I come around the turn I think it’s okay, until
I see a mail lady stopped half in the passing lane and half out, delivering
mail. She’s in the middle of the zone! so now I have to wait again.
I wait and as soon
as I’m past her I dart out into the passing lane and low and behold another
truck is coming around the turn in my lane. So I gun it! And my little Kia Soul
almost sounds like it’s rubber band is going to break but it’s got the power
when I need it. Praise God! And then I think about the lettering on the back of
And I’m not quite
so impressed with my car or myself anymore. I wonder if the guy I just gunned it
passed seen my decals and thought… such a godly woman. Umm. Probably not.
So yesterday I had
another rising of the flesh but I managed to keep this one internal. I was
invited to a new place to sing and I met some people who didn’t know me from Adam.
Certainly they didn’t know I was the Jesus Chick. Two minutes into meeting
them, they’re trash talking everyone around them and I’m nauseous. “Why did I
come here?” I thought. And then I remembered, because my idea of saying no is “no,
I wouldn’t mind.” And then I remembered why I do what I do. So people can see
Jesus. And so I did just that… I changed the conversation. Woohoo! This was a
win. Well partly… they still had the occasion to trash talk.
three, I was home alone scrolling social media. Which can so easily get me in
trouble. After about the fiftieth social media jab by liberals about everything
from abortion to the President my head was about to explode again. It’s very
well my biggest pet peeve. I’m so tired of this liberal agenda and the
inability to defend our rights as a nation and more importantly the agenda of
Almighty God without being attacked. So I say nothing. I just don’t want the
negativity on my social media pages.
I delete who I
must (anyone who speaks filth) and I scroll past who I can (those who I hope
will see my post and want Jesus.)
So this morning
when I read 2 Peter 2:9-10. I praised God that He delivers people like me. And
that He forgives people like me.
Peter spoke of Lot
a few verses before when he said, “And
delivered Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked. (For that righteous man dwelling among them,
in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful
deeds;” ~verses 7-8
Oh be careful
little eyes what you see… you probably know the song.
The word of God
was a reminder for me that I need to sing that song to myself. I need to watch
what I do for certain. I need to shut some people out… yes indeed! And I need
to be grateful that God will deliver my soul some day from this wicked, wicked
world. And then the judgement.
How sweet are Thy words unto my
taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.
verse keeps popping up in various places. In my mind, social media posts, again
and again. I don’t believe that things like that just happen. I think that God
needed me to focus on the sweetness of His words for a reason.
to mind somethings that have left a “bad taste in my mouth” as the old adage says.
Words that were spoken in anger, pride, or without regard for the feelings of
others. Some by me, some by others; but that is not the case with the word of
God. There is not one word that was written without the intent of doing good.
Isn’t that an awesome thought? It’s why the Bible is such an encouragement to
the child of God and such a missing link to their successful walk if we’re not
the writer was describing how the word of God brings enjoyment to the senses. In
every form, be it written or spoken, sung or quoted, it brings joy the person
who has the Spirit of God within their heart. It can also cause alarm like a
spicy dish or like the savoryness of a good plate of food it can satisfy the bones.
I do not know how that works. But like the writer of Psalm, I know it’s true.
knew it too when he wrote Jeremiah 15:16
Thy words were found, and I did eat
them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am
called by Thy name, O Lord God of
does the word have the ability to nourish and it can bring refreshing like a
cool drink of water on a hot summer day.
As cold waters
to a thirsty soul, so is good news
from a far country.
Oh my stars how awesome and true! Just as the
spring rains replenish the earth and cause our spring flowers to bud forth, so
does the word of God. We soak it up, we bloom where we’re planted and all who
pass can see the beauty of God in our lives. It’s a miracle that no other book
can boast. Another book may entertain, but the word of God nourishes and
satisfies. It builds physical strength for the day ahead.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog post today. But
it was just the appetizer. The meal comes when you read what God has
specifically for you!
many years if you’d have ask me if I was saved I’d have said yes.
Largely because of shame and because I couldn’t admit that I didn’t even
understand that concept. Most people who knew me assumed I was saved for no
other reason than because I went to church. That was it. That was all it took. Not because there was any evidence of it in my
personal walk with Christ. Which I didn’t have.
So yesterday, as I was blessed to sit
in church and hear a convicting message of the gospel; and by convicting I
don’t mean I felt like a dirt dog, because I’ve been in those sermons too. But
by convicted I knew there were areas in my life that needed more
commitment. And one of those areas was
my Monday morning video “Not Another Manic Monday.” I had lost sight of what I
wanted to accomplish. I wanted to draw people closer in their walk with Christ.
So today’s topic is one that I believe
every child of God has an occasional if not consistent struggle with. The
assurance that you’re saved, and three possible reasons that I think will help
in winning that battle.
People Don’t Read Beyond the
So what’s the norm? Unfortunately, I
think people rarely, if ever read the word. I think that because that’s who I
was in my previous church life.
Hebrews 10:22 ~ Let us draw near with a
true heart in full assurance of
faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies
washed with pure water.
A preacher friend of mine (and I’ve
used this illustration so many times) said that the Word of God was like a
spiritual “warsh” cloth. I know it’s wash cloth, but that’s how he said, and I
love that memory.
It’s a phrase that has stuck in my
head because I know it to be true. And it’s one of the primary reasons people
lose their assurance of salvation. Because they don’t understand the importance
of reading the word of God.
Prior to salvation, my idea of reading
the word of God was, #1~ it was the preacher’s job. # 2 ~ it was there if I
felt troubled. But the problem with the second notion, is at that time I wasn’t
saved. So it was like reading the owner’s manual of a product I didn’t have. It
made no sense what so ever.
But once I became saved, and the
Spirit of God came into my heart that changed and I was blessed with an
immediate desire to soak in the word of God in every form. Spoken, written and
recorded. I know I’m not the norm and many people may not have the time that I spend
in His word. But the writer of Hebrew spoke a great truth when he said
… having our hearts sprinkled from an evil
conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
That evil conscience (that
causes us to doubt our salvation) is covered by the blood. But without the
reading of the word to remind us of that, we lose the feeling of being clean.
There is one thing I can tell you with
bold assurance because I’ve lived it and I’ve failed at it; without the reading
of the word of God, you will forever battle the assurance of salvation.
When the writer of Hebrews wrote
10:22, and when my preacher friend was inspired to say “warsh cloth” it was
because both of those men had a relationship with the Lord beyond the norm.
People Don’t Live Beyond the
~ For our gospel came not
unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in
much assurance; as ye know
what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
God has blessed me with some amazing
Spirit filled saints in my life. People who live out the faith. They’re not
perfect, but they’re living in the perfection of Christ.
By Spirit filled I don’t mean that
they have more of God in them than the average saved person. When we get saved
we all get all of God.
Ephesians 3:19 says And to know the love of
Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
When I think of the fullness of God I
think of it like shaking a soda pop. When you do the carbonated bubbles explode
to the surface. Well that’s what it’s like when you’re filled with the Spirit.
It’s not that you have any more of God that anyone else. But rather the Spirit
in you begins to bubble up with excitement because of the work God is doing in
your life. And when it bubbles up and out, it’s evident to not only you, but
the people around you.
At those times, nobody can tell you
you’re not saved. Because you’re living it. And while we can’t live on the
mountain all the time, if we’re serving God enough, those experiences will
leave very little room for doubt in your eternal state. Not for you. Or for the
people around you.
I was successful in my early walk with
Christ because the people around me bubbled with excitement. And I wanted it
People Don’t Attend Church
Beyond the Norm
~ That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love,
and unto all riches of the full assurance of
understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father,
and of Christ;
Growing up I thought that faith was a
Sunday morning thing. Sunday night and Wednesday Night Bible Study was for the
blue hairs and old men. And most churches are still like that today, if they
even have a Sunday night or Wednesday night service.
Right after I got saved our church
began a Wednesday Night Study called “Journey to the Heavenlies.” It was a
study on the book of Revelation. A pretty heavy topic for a new believer. And
while I certainly didn’t understand all of it, I understood enough, because of an
excellent teacher. I was fascinated about the prospect of Heaven and no longer
feared the end times.
That understanding helped inspire me
to read and live beyond the norm. And it gave me the desire to come back again
and again to learn more. I was so thankful for the truth of God’s word being
taught to me that I wanted to live and do more for my Lord.
When Paul wrote to the Colossians he hadn’t
been with them for a while. But they were holding on to each other and it
multiplied their assurance.
That’s what attending a church does
and why it’s crucial to your assurance.
When I got saved I was attending every
revival around me. I couldn’t get enough church, be it mine or someone else’s.
I just wanted to be with God’s people. I still do.
I know that in being with God’s
people, I’ll not only be encouraged, I’ll be accountable. We need people in our
lives that will keep us from slipping in our faith which causes doubt.
Last night the preacher told the story
of some old time saints in a remote village. They didn’t have a closet to get
into for prayer, but realizing the importance of spending time alone with God
they would carve out a path in the woods. Each would have their own.
But if someone’s path started having
grass grow on it, it would be evidence that they weren’t spending time alone
with God. And one of their friends, in a nice tone would say, “Friend, your
path has grass on it.”
They were letting them know that they
were concerned that their friend wasn’t spending enough time with God.
So that’s my question for you. Friend, does your path have grass on it? I
hope not. And I don’t stand in judgement. Because my path any day could start
growing grass because I’m just flesh and blood.
That’s why I go to church, read the
word and live beyond the norm. Because I’m not normal.
A quick drawing and a quick thought this morning as I prepared my heart for church. I needed to remember, and perhaps you do as well, that God’s idea of mercy and mine are two entirely different notions. Mine has limitations, His goes higher than my mind can fathom.
As I prepare my heart for worship, Satan loves nothing better than to bring my failures into view in hopes that rather than glorifying God, I’ll remember me. But the fact of the matter God has thrown them as far as the east is from the west.
showers bring May flowers, provided they’re properly cared for by the gardener.
And while wild flowers can grow with seemingly no care whatsoever, my
sometimes, confessedly neglected flower beds begin to dry up within hours of me
forgetting to water them. My spiritual life is much the same. Left unattended,
without the water of the Word and I’m as shriveled and parched as a raisin in
the sun. It’s also true if I don’t spend time nurturing my relationship with
the Lord. I cannot do it for the Jesus Chick, not for my Sunday morning class
or my Wednesday night class, but for me alone. It’s personal.
down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let
the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness
spring up together; I the Lord have created it.
Getting in the word
is just like my spring time flower beds; digging around always unearths
something. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. The word is always good, but
sometimes there’s some bad in me that needs rooted out cast out. If I spend all
my time focusing on ministering to other people, I miss the ministering I need.
And the weeds of this world will prevent my own spiritual growth. We need to
take time for us.
Isaiah understood that concept when he
received the word of God. Isaiah was a vessel, filled with the seeds that God
had given him and a relationship that allowed him to be used mightily by God.
We too are that vessel!
Stop Striving with
unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the
potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What
makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?
Striving against God? Who would be
that stupid, right? Me. That’s what I do every time I feel the coercing of the
Holy Spirit to spend time alone with God and I spend it in the world. When I read
verse nine I could hear God say, “That is not what I created you for. I didn’t
create you to be exhausted with things of no eternal value. Stop striving.”
Stop Doubting God
unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What
hast thou brought forth?
Why do we question why we were created
as we were? Boy, oh boy does that question hit me hard. I’ve never made any
bones about it when it comes to my always questioning God’s direction in my
life. Even though I know. Even though it’s as obvious as the nose on my face.
But even with the knowledge of what I’m supposed to do, I’m always playing the
comparison game with other writer, artists, and singers. Basically telling God
that what He did in me, isn’t enough.
Stop Bossing God
saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come
concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.12 I have made the
earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the
heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
When I read these verses I immediately
knew that God wanted me to know. To Shari quote it in the manner I heard it
inside of my head, I heard God say “Why don’t you ask Me and My Son what we have
planned for you instead of telling Us what you have planned. I’ve created the
universe and the host of all of Heaven. What have you created by comparison?”
Wow. That is so true.
I’m learning at a snail’s pace to love
myself and my work. But it’s hard. I criticize myself until I feel like a dirt
dog unworthy to eat from the scrapyard. True story. But the reality is, who
created strife and doubt? and Who created confidence and love? We know the
answer and yet we buy the lies of Satan every day.
Stop Striving. Stop Doubting. Stop Bossing. Start enjoying the gifts God has given you.
I feel foolish a lot. There
are days that every dream and imagination I’ve had seems like the dumbest ideas
ever. True story. Not an exaggeration. But the one solid foundational belief
within me is that the cross made all the difference in my life, and when the
rest of my world falls apart the cross still stands.
This morning I needed
that truth. I guess I need it every day, but today more than ever. I don’t want
to give credit where it’s not due; and there are times that I’m pretty sure it’s
me attacking my mind and not Satan. My self-doubt is running haywire today. So I
turn to the one sure thing in my life. The cross.
The world may view it as
foolishness but my work in the ministry I’ve never doubted. I’ve never doubted
my purpose in that place because I always stand in amazement at what God has
done in my life and it’s all because of the cross.
The Cross brought
I love the image of the
veil being rent from top to bottom (Luke 23:45)
the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
As Jesus “gave up the ghost” and the work was
finished on the cross, the final price was paid so that we could have a
relationship with God. So that I could talk to the Creator. I have no need to
go through a priest. The High Priest is at the right hand of God saying “that
child is mine, she can approach the throne any time she needs.”
I have never been turned
The Cross brought Comfort
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father
will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to
your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
When the world says I’m foolish, the Holy Spirit say, “You’re
That comfort that comes from within cannot be explained, it can
only be experienced. It’s heartbreaking to think of the world who does not have
it because I know what it’s meant for me to have the indwelling of God. Especially
on days like today.
Please don’t think that I’m asking for sympathy or a pat on the
back for what I do. I’m just sharing with you what you too have probably
experienced. Doubt is a powerful tool. It’s the avenue of quitters and I have a
hard time not traveling down that road.
The Cross Brought Compassion
It’s what keeps me going. I know
the world needs to see more of it. It’s the reason I can kick doubt out of the
way and keep on keeping on; because I have compassion for the people of God who
need words and images of encouragement. I don’t know what the future holds for
the Jesus Chick, but as the song says “I know Who Holds” it.
With the Easter season upon us and the many worldly images of the season, it’s good to have a reminder set before us. God created the bunnies and the chicks, but He communes with this chick, and I am so grateful for the cross that made it possible.
I’ve recently watched a few Christian friends, and
by watching I don’t mean “watching” in the sense of waiting for them to fall or
judging their walk. I watch because they’re drawing attention to themselves and
the fact that they are drawn to the wild side. To my knowledge, they’re not
actively participating in a bad lifestyle, but they’re fascination of it brings
me to the realization that I too, and likely every child of God, can be drawn
into a desire to walk on the wild side. And there is a danger.
For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by
nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much
more shall these which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this
mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is
happened to Israel, untill the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.
And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There
shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungoliness from
Apostle Paul is speaking to the Jews about the
wild side of the Gentiles. They didn’t appreciate it. They’d always steered
clear of the Gentiles; and now, this Gentile loving Jew was telling them that
they should embrace them and call them brothers and sisters. What? That rebel
nation is now God’s people too. Yes! Hallelujah. Because we were made new. We
were not a heathen branch grafted into a healthy tree that would have weakened
it. But rather we were a newly formed branch, not formed by nature which grows
wild, but rather formed by the Creator with purpose. I just wrote myself happy!
The Jews were represented by the olive tree, a
valuable, fruit bearing tree. But their focus wasn’t on the fruit, it was on
their status as the original tree. Apostle Paul was trying to reintroduce them
to the Fruit Bearer. Christ. The long awaited Messiah that they had rejected because
they didn’t understand the mystery of the work that God had done. They didn’t
want to understand. That would be key.
And sometimes we don’t want to understand the
price God paid to turn us from that wild branch, into a Holy Nation. You see,
there’s a side of me that can look back on the wild side of life and think “that
was fun.” But then I remember what life was really like outside the True
Branch. And nothing on the backside of where I am now, seems appealing. I don’t
want to mar the beautiful Branch that I have been allowed to become a part of.
That’s what scares me about the friends of mine
that find joy in reliving the wild side memories and walk dangerously close to
marring the branch.
Glorifying Sin Mars the Branch
When someone speaks of the past life’s sin in a
manner that makes it sound fun and exciting, it can cause the unsaved to think
that we’re missing out on something by being saved. That’s a mark on the
branch, because it is the furthest from the truth.
I lived unsaved 34 years. I had plenty of
experiences in life that the world deems as fun. I also know the miserable
state I was in at the time. That somehow gets forgotten by those glorifying
But now… Glory to God I’m having more fun, and
more excitement than I ever had pre-salvation. Hands down, it is not an
Glamorizing Sin Mocks the Branch
makes me nauseous. But for me it’s what happens when I hear someone laughing
and joking about sin. Whether it’s their sin from a previous life, or someone
else living in sin. There’s nothing funny about it.
views as a funny story about a drunk, reminds me of the lives I’ve seen ruined,
absolutely destroyed because of alcohol. When a Christian speaks of alcohol as “not
sinful,” when drank in moderation, I wonder who they’re trying to convince.
While few people
joke about drugs, the legalization of marijuana reminds me of a night at 15
years of age, I almost died because someone laced mine with PCP. You may say one has nothing to do with the
other. I disagree. Because one is a gateway drug to the other. Just as beer is
the gateway to a stronger fix for an alcoholic. And one time just may be the
end to a life that wasn’t saved. It’s a game that is too dangerous to play, and
certainly doesn’t need glamorized by God’s people.
Glossing over Sin Moves the
Making light of
any sin, or looking at the wild side of life as a fond memory causes an
instability in the life of the believer not just the unsaved. I’ve watched it
play out too many times.
I heard a
preacher mock the “Baptist” about not being drinkers for months and months, and
then I watched him fall to alcoholism. He did eventually win the victory over
it, and I praise God for that, but he paid a high price.
I watched as a
woman made light of her indiscretions and almost destroyed her marriage.
I was broken
hearted when a preacher friend fell to a sexual sin. I also remember his last
sermon, the title of it was “Finishing Well.” He did not.
I didn’t get my
20 plus year badge of the Christian faith without being broken hearted, hurt,
and yes, I too have fallen because I’ve walked too close to the wild side. It’s
too dangerous to make light of and Satan loves it every time a Christian “fondly”
remembers a day of sin. Don’t give him one drop of glory.
Remember what the
price for that sin was. We are not heathen branches grafted into a healthy
tree. We were made new! Let us act like it.
For God doth know that in the day ye eat
thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good
don’t want to scare you but I have a 22 point message. And before you tune me
out, they’re actually sub points of a __ point message and they’ll only briefly
be mentioned, and in a manner I think you’ll come to appreciate regarding the
tree of good and evil from Genesis 3.
think often about that doggone tree in the garden that started it all when it
comes to sin and mankind. If it hadn’t been for that tree, life would have been
so much different for each one of us. And Then I think of who I’ve become
because of many the evil things in my life, and it makes me ponder the tree a
little deeper today.
The Fallacy of the Fruit
God created the fruits of the tree, it says in Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground made the
Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for
food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of
knowledge of good and evil.
doesn’t say there was any difference,
with the exception that in verses 16-17, God said And the Lord God commanded
the man, saying of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the
day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
were all good for food, but one was forbidden, and yet it wasn’t entirely evil.
It was the tree of good and evil. That’s where some confusion on my part comes
in. How can a tree be filled with both. And why was it even there? Why would
God put something so tempting in the garden that He knew would reap such destruction
for all of mankind?
there’s one thing that I have figured out in my 56 years of life on this earth,
it’s that “Nothing just happens.” God has purpose for every single thing on and
in this earth. And while it was not ever God’s intention for man to sin; God
still knew the story before it happened. He also knew Satan’s starring role in
the story and how Satan twisted the words of the Lord to confuse Eve.
shall not surely die:” he said.
so Eve ate of the tree and the rest, as they say, is history. But what Eve set
in motion isn’t just history, its future as well. There are things that have
happened and things that are going to happen that are horrible because of the
circumstances of the original sin.
the fruit of the garden was good, and Eve could have had any one of them and
been satisfied. But it says that upon the temptation of the Serpent’s words,
6 … saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to
the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit
thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they
were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Something happened when they discovered evil. They already knew
good, but now they’d discovered the opposite of good, which is evil.
They knew they were naked.
For the first time they experienced fear, shame and guilt. They no
longer had confidence in who they were. Where they had once looked forward to
the arrival of the Lord in the garden, now they were hiding and covering their
bodies up because of that doggone fruit of the garden. And we’re still doing it
today, even though it’s no longer necessary.
I created the drawing and used all the words I could think of that
began with “D.” But there’s a thousand others that start with many other
letters that could fit on the branches as well. All things that cause our
relationship with the Lord to suffer. That was Satan’s goal. He was jealous of
Adam and Eve and what they had with the Lord. He was out to destroy it. And
he’s still destroying it today. He hates our relationship with God. How many of
us are suffering one of the afflictions I’ve listed on the tree, or multiple. And
how many times do they drive us away from God because Satan convinces us that
we’re unworthy of God’s love. That’s what Adam and Eve discovered that day.
That they were unworthy. Shameful. They didn’t know that before they discovered
evil. But from that one act of disobedience, look at how many problems came.
When I think about how many offshoots of sin came from the seeds
of that one forbidden fruit I realize how very important it is to get to the
Root of the matter. Pun totally intended.
The Foreknowledge of the Father
What happened in the garden did not catch God off guard.
9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none
else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the
things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all
“Why” God created the tree in the garden isn’t as
important as the fact that He “created it.” He spoke it, and it came to be. We
want to question everything, rather than acknowledge that God is just amazing!
He knew everything that would happen and he allowed it to happen because
everything has purpose.
For certain Satan is to blame and there will come
a day that he’ll be taken care of. But what the fall of man proves is that man
and woman need God. The very thing Satan didn’t want. Every single bitter fruit
on the tree does one thing, it causes us to search for hope and hope is found
at the root of the tree.
I’ve experienced every single
thing on that tree. But I’ve also experienced everything at the root of that
tree. And because Christ is, (and this is the final point)
of our Faith
He is the Root of all we need in Life.
10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which
shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his
rest shall be glorious.
We can find rest in His knowledge that is provided to us through the Holy
Spirit because of His sacrifice.
All of the evil that Eve unleashed on that tree is covered by the blood
of Jesus. Adam and Eve tried to use fig leaves to cover it up. Something else
from a tree. But that wouldn’t do it, only the blood sacrifice would cover up
what they’d done.
What I came to realize from this study, is that all of the things on the
tree that I thought were evil, God used it for His good. That’s why I believe
it’s called the tree of good and evil. Satan could only see the evil. The
destruction, death, doubt, depravity of man. But God, who knew the ending would
see what His Son would offer in its place. Devotion, deliverance, defense, our
Too many other good things to count. But we have to take responsibility
for our part of the evil. And then God’s shows us the goodness of His
We are the good fruit of someone. God handpicked us for a purpose.
I pray today you’ll remember that when Satan tries to show you the bad
fruit in your life. And you’ll remind him of the good that’s come out of it.
There is some.
And I pray you’ll never lose sight that we’re going to get to see that
perfect garden someday when it’s redesigned by God.
try my best to keep life in perspective. My friend Gloria has a saying about vain
people that “They’re all that and a bag of chips.” I don’t know where the
saying comes from, but I like it. Because it sums many of us, including myself,
who sometimes need an attitude check on life.
Paul said it like this in Galatians 6:3
if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth
word “something” was on my mind when I woke up this morning. It was just there,
lingering around, waiting to be searched out. I thought it odd that such a
common word of today was only found eight times in scripture. But it only took
one of those times to capture my mind.
The Perspective of Our Performance
let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself,
and not in another.
our performance is not what gets us into Heaven, that is the acceptance of what
Christ did and that alone, it is important to God. We just have to put our
performance into perspective. Our performance should bring “rejoicing.”
is so often not the case. Be it in the secular world or the spiritual world.
Performance often brings with it a competition, frustration, or self-condemnation.
My work isn’t as good as theirs? Why am I not where I want to be? It’s not good
enough? I speak from experience, not judgement. Knowing that happiness (rejoicing)
will not be found there.
only comes when we prove (demonstrate) our work for God. When it is done to
please Him, not anyone, nor even ourselves. We don’t have to like it, although
we should. We just need to do it for Him. That is the perspective of our
performance, is it being done for Him?
The Perspective of Personal
every man shall bear his own burden.
single one of us have been given a role to play on this earth until God says we’re
done. He did not say it would always be easy, but what we do for Him will be
productive. While there is certainly teamwork within the church, we each carry
a responsibility for the ministries of God. For some reason the church has lost
that perspective. It’s the preacher, teacher, deacons or some other person’s
job. Not the congregation. Their job is just to show up right?
according to scripture.
him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good
things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth that
shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap
corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life
Apostle teaches that we’re to take care of those that teach and preach the gospel.
The word “communicate” means to “provide.” This also brings reward. The word
sowing has such a negative connotation in this modern day because of television
preachers who have greedily used scripture for their own gain. Not the Lord’s.
husband David fell asleep with the television on a few days ago and when I woke
up I could hear a TV evangelist shouting for $100, $500, $1000 seeds that he
assured the listener would come back 1000 fold. Are – you – serious! I was
angry. I quickly turned that charlatan off.
guarantees that we will never out give Him. But He didn’t say it would come
back monetarily. And Jesus didn’t look like Mr. T with gold dripping from His
neck. That’s a perspective we need to understand. But ministry work costs
money. And for those who cannot go and do, God may have called them to provide.
Some way, some how, every child of God is called to be a part of the ministry.
Not just a pew sitter.
The Perspective of Perseverance
let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint
not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially
unto them who are of the household of faith.
easy to lose sight of the goal. Again… I speak from experience. While I spend
every day in some way in service for the cause of Christ, sometimes it’s me
trying to survive and that’s not how God intended His children to live.
plan for His kids is to do good; take care of ourselves, take care of each
other and rejoice in it all. I must confess that somedays I’m not rejoicing.
But when I think about how good God has been to place me in the place I’m in,
with the people I’m with, I can rejoice on the worst of days.
I pray you have a blessed day, and that you understand that in and of ourselves, we are nothing, but in the Lord’s eyes you really are all that and a bag of chips!
Writer, Speaker, Singer… but most of all, Servant of Jesus Christ