Living Life to the Fullest!

ImageThe second command is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” The author of Hebrews exhorts us to live that command before unbelievers and the world that they may see the Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday as He is today and will be forever! The world needs for you and I to show that truth in and through us.

First personally spread your joy to others in all situations that God brings to you each and every moment of the day. Remember that as you show brotherly love you might just be entertaining an angel sent from the Father. Abraham did such and received the blessing because he chose to show hospitality, willing to give without considering what he might receive in return. Throughout your walk, learn as Paul did to be content and then live that principle.

Secondly, pray and imitate the wise leaders that God has placed over you. Be discerning as to their needs even before they are spoken and meet them. That means we need to keep our eyes and ears open so that we can share out of our abundance. Pray diligently that they are pure and holy representatives for the kingdom.

The adventure has just begun, the past is behind us, the future lays before us. Are you ready to persevere? Are you ready to live out the first as well as the second command? Take the truth of the Book of Hebrews and spread it far and wide! Will you join me?

Gardening 101 Skills

ImageI love to garden, and daily I find I am out there weeding. It is a never ending occupation in the summer months here in Georgia. But, I am thankful that my garden is flourishing because I know that my efforts are paying off. Yes, gardens need tending and weeds, which are remarkable for their tenacity, must be removed so that the productive plants can flourish. We can remove them by digging in the earth or apply the discipline of poisons to destroy. The problem with the latter is that often the good plants suffer as well.  But if we are wise we will tend the garden with the tenacity of the weeds so our gardens are pure. There are four weeds the author of Hebrews notes in chapter 12 that must be eradicated so that we can persevere to the very end.

The Drifter Weed (Ch 2 and Ch 12:12 & 13) This is the believer who is weak and lame. He/She drifts into the path and robs the good plants of sunlight. The solution has already been given in Heb 3:13 “exhort one another daily.” It must be an ongoing process to eliminate this weed.

The Bitter Weed (12:15) It looks like the real thing but if tasted it is bitter and causes trouble. The solution? Heb 12:2 keep our eyes on the one who ran the race with excellence: Jesus Christ. Rom 12: 1-2 Do not be conformed to this world!

The Fornicator Weed (vs 16) This is the weed of immorality.  Solution: Heb 10:22 Check your heart. Is it sincere?

The Godless Weed (vs16) This is the weed of Esau, who sold his birthright. If not eradicated quickly their roots become entrenched and are removed only with much effort. This weed can and will destroy.

There is a nursery rhyme that goes:

Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockleshells
And pretty maids all in a row.

So is our garden blossoming or filled with weeds?

Believers are God’s Tapestry [Eph 4]

ImageTapestry; what a beautiful word to describe the body of Christ, His church. A tapestry is a form of textile art, imitating paintings, which is woven so that there are two sets of interlaced threads, the warp which runs parallel to the length and the weft which is passed back and forth across all parts of the warps.  A tapestry is weft-faced weaving, in which all the warp threads are hidden in the completed work, unlike cloth weaving where both the warp and the weft threads may be visible.

We as Christ’s church are a tapestry, being woven together uniquely. We are the weft of beautiful colors which make up a glorious representation which is on exhibit to the principalities and authorities in the heavenly realm as well as here on earth. And just as a tapestry utilizes many colors, many strands of threads to complete this “painting” so it takes many believers in Christ to be the strands, the threads,  used by the Holy Spirit to weave together Christ’s church. Thus, Paul charges the Ephesians and us in turn to be a weft thread by demonstrating the gifts of humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another in love, and to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit.

When you work on a tapestry you must have adequate light. The Holy Spirit is our light which illumines our understanding and allows us to see each thread for its color and beauty. If we work in the dark we are unable to see our design, the colors, the next warp to go under. So too when we are not in unity in the Body, Paul says we give the devil an opportunity and thus mar the tapestry being woven. Therefore, “he turns from exposition to exhortation, from what God has done (in the indicative), to what we must be and do (in the imperative), from doctrine to duty . . . from mind-stretching theology to its down-to-earth, concrete implications in everyday living” [Stott].

Speak truth, be angry and sin not and in fact do not let the sun go down upon your anger! Put away all bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling and evil, slanderous talk. Instead, weave the threads of kindness one to another, compassionate, forgiving one another, Just as Christ also forgave you. Thus, “Christians must preserve the unity between believers that God has created in the church.”[Constable]

As a believer in Christ you are a weft thread.  Precious ones, let the Holy Spirit illumine your weaving so you are a glorious and beautiful tapestry for the entire world and those in the heavenly realms to see!