Apples and Oranges

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I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “that is as different as apples and oranges.” While both are fruit, their flavor and texture are very different. Some of you prefer apples over oranges and some of your prefer oranges over apples. I personally enjoy both, however, by winter’s end I have had my fill of apples and eagerly await the wonderful bounty of summertime fruit.

What about you? As a believer in Christ do you appear different than the world? As God’s human creation we are all human, but is your ‘flavor and texture’ different?

The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John. Revelation 1:1 NIV.

From Revelation 1:1 we begin to see a picture of Jesus being set apart and if we follow the path of Scriptures that connect with it we are led to John 17:19.

For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. John 17:19 NIV.

The word sanctify means to be set apart as holy and it is connected to a similar word that means to be different. We are different from the world because of our likeness in character and personality with Jesus Christ.

Growing up I didn’t want to be different because that made me feel awkward, and, well, different, like I didn’t belong.

Being different in Christ is part of your identity in Christ.

He asks us to be different and act according to His character not because he wants us to feel awkward but because he wants us to think beyond ourselves to a hurting world that needs to see the different we are and desire what we have. And, what we have is Him. Jesus Christ, who came not to judge the world but to save the world through his own sanctifying; being set apart as holy and accepting willingly the job God gave him to do.

Precious One, are you as different as apples and oranges?

Shalom!

All Sufficient Power

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I love the hope of these verses. They remind us to remember God is able. We don’t have to strive, he cares for us and wants His best for us. He gives us the capacity for every decision we make because we are made in His divine image. We simply need to remember to ask. Ah, yes, I know, it’s the remembering to ask. Many times we are so intent on working things out for ourselves we forget to ask God for help. Or, maybe we remember to ask for his help but we have forgotten how to wait patiently for his answer.

A few weeks ago my husband and I needed to make an important decision. The ‘old’ us, from not long ago, would have conferred with one another, and if we agreed on a course of action, would follow through in our agreement, however, one important aspect was left out, we would forget to seek God’s wisdom before making a decision. This particular time we decided to commit our concerns to God and wait for his answer, praying for his wisdom and knowledge on how to proceed. Three days later, he provided exactly what we needed and we felt confident and at peace with the decision we made. Is it really this simple? I believe it is, but many times we might allow our worldly decisions from the past to interfere, or the enemy comes in with lies attempting to discredit God’s integrity and the truth of his word, or we are just plain impatient!

It is a process and we are all works in progress. The word power in the above verse is God’s intrinsic ability at home in us helping us to grow everyday. It is sanctification cultivating us toward glorification! Hallelujah! His power in you is his marvelous work.

You are a marvelous work, that is your identity in Christ, sanctification that is your inheritance in Christ and the choice to ask him for his help is your authority in Christ!

Precious One, live marvelously, live loved, live in His divine image!

Shalom!

Wisdom, Sorrow, Knowledge, Grief, Happiness

vintage-crown_zksjzYduPerhaps he began to feel this way because he had turned his back on his first true love. He had known this love since he was a young boy. This love had guided him and loved him with a love so rich and so deep, I imagine it was overwhelming at times. Perhaps it was because he allowed others to attempt to fill the hole in his heart. Expecting them to love him the way his true love did; using them as a substitute rather than exploring the depths of love his true love provided him.

One day he wrote these words, “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” King Solomon wrote these words in Ecclesiastes 1:18. Wisdom Close up portrait of Eurasian Eagle-owlwas the very thing King Solomon had asked God for. As I read this verse I wondered what had caused the king to feel such despair. Perhaps it is because he did one of the things God had told the nation of Israel not to do – intermarry with women from other nations. You may be asking yourself, “why would God care if Solomon married women from other nations?” The answer is simple, God knew that if his beloved nation intermarried with other nations, who worshipped pagan god’s, they would turn His children away from Him. And, that is what happened to Solomon.

 King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 1 Kings 11:1-2.

Was this the reason Solomon felt like wisdom had become such a burden to him? Perhaps it is why Solomon also wrote these words in Ecclesiastes 2:26a-b, “To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God.” Did Solomon feel he had gone too far and couldn’t find his way back to God? Perhaps we will never know this side of heaven.

This caused me to think about the necessity in my own life about seeking God more and more intimately. About the importance of staying connected to him, so that the wisdom of God will not become of burden of conviction but a continuing expression of his love.

Precious One, if you believe in Christ as your Lord and Savior, nothing you have done or can do will ever separate you from the love of God! His love for you is so vast and so deep, that He has graciously provided confession and repentance as part of your relationship with Him. It is the restoration that maybe Solomon was looking for but gave up trying to find.

Hand drawing heart in sand on the beach

Precious One, if Christ isn’t your Lord and Savior, He wants to be. He loves you so much and longs for you to freely choose Him!

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. King Solomon – Proverbs 4:7.

Shalom!