It Is that Time of Year

 

It is that time of year when you can’t decide what to wear. Is it too cold for shorts? Is it too warm for a jacket?

The weather is chaotic. One day it’s cold and rainy. The next day it’s warm and dry.  Hey, I’m trying to get my painting done!

It seems that even the leaves are undecided. Should I stay green or should I turn brown and orange?

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Little Fat Birds Sitting On Tree Branches

 

It’s hard to see these birds in such poor light, but because of the hair standing up on the back of their head, and their round size, I would say, maybe they are a Rufous-naped Tit (Periparus rufonuchalis). Anyway, it looks like they are quite a social little bird and a very cute little fat bird. And, as it looks, though they like to hang together, they don’t get too close to each other—I mean, you can see that when they sit on a branch together there is always a good space between them.

Aren’t we like that too. When we sit in the chairs (or pew) at church, we like our space on either side of us.

Look into God’s Mirror and Obey – James 1:21-25

The still, clear waters of a lake or creek is like a mirror and provides us with the following lesson from James 1:21-25.

 

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

 

The question so many people ask themselves is, Why do I keep returning to my sin even though I want to be good and pure? I have asked myself that question too. Well, I found the answer in this James passage.

The message James gives us here is that so often when we read the Word of God, we just casually read and hear what it says, without really thinking about it and obeying it. James tells us that when we do that, we are like a man that looks at himself in the mirror and sees what he is like (his sins and all), and then just goes away and forgets what he saw about himself. So he just continues in his sin without making any changes.

But the answer, James says, is to look intently into the mirror of the word of God (“the perfect law of liberty”) and then obey what God tells us. Yes, the Word of God is like a mirror. But not like any mirror we have ever seen. This mirror will show you what you are really like—including your sins. Then, if you “continue in it,” that is, if you keep gazing into this mirror, which is the living Word of God, it will show you how to change, how to be pure.

But the next step is mine: I must obey what God is telling me. James, in verses 216-27, gives us three examples of works we can do.

  • Control my tongue
  • Care for others in need
  • Refuse worldliness

As I thought about this passage, and about my own life, I came to this conclusion: I don’t look long enough and intently enough into the mirror of the Word of God.

The “magic mirror,” as Charles R. Erdman has called it, will show you…

  1. Your sinful self.
  2. God and His righteousness and what He wants you to do.
  3. What you can be like if you obey Him. God promises blessing for all who obey Him (“this one will be blessed in what he does”).

My Conclusion

A quick look into the mirror of God’s Word will not show me much of anything. I will only see a glance of myself and a glance of God. A quick glance into the mirror, without meditation, will cause me to quickly forget—to forget my sinful condition, and to forget God. I must make it a habit to daily meditate on key passages of the word of God, and then to commit myself to obey what He is telling me.

 

 

 

Animal Shaped Clouds

 

I’m sort of a cloud watcher. Mostly, I like to see the beautiful clouds. But once in a while I laugh and marvel at the animal shaped clouds and the very large clouds that look like prehistoric dinosaurs and dragons.

 

Job 35:5

Look up at the heavens and see;

gaze at the clouds so high above you.

 

Job 36:29

Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds,

how he thunders from his pavilion?

 

Which Mushrooms are Edible?

 

Just like anything that grows in the wild, it’s hard to tell if they are edible or not. I wouldn’t want to just try it. It might be poisonous. One of these days I will half to study up on it, get a book on mushrooms.

We have to do the same thing with theology,  and bible teachings. That is, we have to study it ourselves to see if it is true. Paul commended the Berean Christians for doing just that–for searching the scriptures daily to see if his teachings were true (Acts 17:11).

Doubly Dead Trees – Jude 12

 

Jude 12

These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;   NASU

 

This verse in Jude describes pastors and leaders in the church who are false teachers or apostates. These men are hidden reefs or dirty spots on the garment of the church. They are empty clouds that give no rain. John MacArthur said, “They preach a false gospel that leads only to hell.” And they are like trees without fruit—dead tree, as depicted in the photos.