As the tenderest grass, and the most delicate of flowers continue to live beneath the cold, snow packed winter ground, so our hearts are to remain tender, loving, and joyous beneath the snow of life’s trials, burdens, and sorrows. Life will come upon us, but in Christ is found a calm, a peace, and the simplistic trust of a child.
“If God sent two angels to earth, one to rule an empire and the other to clean a street, they would each regard their employment as equally distinguished.”
Some people are given big things to do, and some are given little — but no task given by God is unimportant. Many people grow discouraged because praise and recognition go to the big and mighty. But to do the small things faithfully is to grow in skill and ability, and be ready for the larger when it comes.
True faithfulness regards nothing as small or unimportant.
Many Christians profess that they could never stand before a group of people and speak, whether in the form of reading, praying, or teaching. Yet, that does not mean they cannot preach a sermon.
Each of us should be an inspiration wherever we go and with whomever we find ourselves. People should feel more fortified, more valued, more intent, come content, and filled with joy after being around you. Silently we ought to touch others with a saintly influence. The holy light of Christ ought to beam through our eyes onto the dark, and sad, and weary souls who surround us. There is a beauty of holiness in our life, be sure it is a benediction to human sorrow and need.
What work of most tender love and fellowship is the life sustaining act a mother performs when she brings a child to her breast. From her own life she surrenders the food of life to her child — without which the child would perish.
Just so is the Word of God for the Christian. By his tender Word, God brings us into close and warm fellowship with himself. By his adjoining Word, he feeds us with the very power and wisdom which we need to make it in this world. By his nourishing Word, our weakness is fitted with the strength of God himself.
“Like newborn babes, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation” -I Peter 2:2
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” goes the old saying. There is much truth in that, and it is just as true with all perceptions of life. Fear, reward, sadness, discontent — each is made stronger or weaker by our perceiving.
Thankfulness is most certainly dependent upon us. To look at our life —the experiences it produced, the friends it revealed — give the opportunity to see through the lens of dejection or joy. It is our job to pray that we see God’s goodness in all, and to find thankfulness in even the deepest sorrows.
It only requires our heart to remember the ever present care of God.
People are not inanimate objects which have no influence upon what surrounds them, and neither are those around us isolated from being swayed. A soul is the most sensitive thing in God’s creation. Every thought, every word, every deed finds its way into the life of another person. Therefore, a Christian must be careful of all that is said and done, otherwise his or her encouragement may prove wrong for someone else.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” -Mark 9:42
Do we pay less attention to anything than we do the words we speak? Words come from our mouth as fast as leaves from an autumn tree. We live under the misguided notion that we have the right, if not the expectation, to say whatever we like.
For the Christian this is not right. Words have power - to heal, or to hurt; to be a blessing or a hindrance; to point toward good, immortality, or holiness. Therefore, a Christian must think about what words are to be spoken before they leave the tongue. Otherwise, malice comes forth and love remains unexpressed.
“Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord, keep watch over the door of my lips!” -Psalm 141:3
To look at the engine of a car is to see very little of what goes on there. But inside are controlled explosions, the energy from which gets joined to a transmission, this is linked to drive shaft, which is tied to a differential, that connects to the rear axle to which the wheels are mounted, and it all results in the car moving.
Many Christians spend a lot of time and energy doing ministry in the belief that someone else is being helped. Then, later on, it is discovered that their efforts really made no difference. We forget that good results are not of our own doing, or at the very least the timing of those results — God determines both.
We do not know what our works will accomplish — how God will use them or to what end he will bring them. Generations from now, a seed which we plant today, an act with which we touch another, may turn someone’s life toward God.
Who of us has not laughed at people who refuse to “act their age?” The middle aged woman who dresses like her 14 year old daughter; the “senior citizen” male keeping up with the 30 year old on his arm. God has placed boundaries in life, by which we are to discern the pleasures and the actions reserved for that stage of life. Many things which youth may enjoy are ridiculous when acted out by a person of more advanced years.
We really should have grace enough to not overstep the boundaries, or stay within them too long, when God calls us to pass from one to the other through life.
“When I became a man I put away childish things.” -I Corinthians 13:11
We say that God is the strength of our lives, but that becomes real only when we believe that we ourselves are weak. The ability to see ourselves as being weak is very difficult, because we are always dignifying our actions, or thinking highly of ourselves, thereby we continue to prove trust in our self and faith in our own wisdom. But it is only when we see our self as weak that true humility begins, and all of our expectations of life are placed upon the Lord.
So the Christian must know this: humility brings strength. The paradox is that through humble weakness God grants unfathomable strength.