February 27 – Say What?

musk-thistles

When you move back home, you find so much that is familiar. And those things are constantly warming your insides up because it’s all connected to your childhood “hard drive.” I’ve been experiencing that over and over the past few weeks, and wow, I like it!

But another part of the familiar is the small part of UN-familiar. We’re in western Oklahoma flatland here, and the hills and gullies we have are few and far between. In the continuous spaces of grass pasture, there is an evil and devious enemy to all who live and work in these parts: the musk thistle.

Now if you’re like me, you have trouble even pronouncing that! And I don’t know a thing about this tacky weed. I have no familiar memory of battling it while I was being raised here. My cousin brought up his task of the day a few weeks ago: spraying all of the musk thistle.

I just looked at him in confusion. Say what? What is a musk thistle? Oh, by the way, it’s even against the law to allow them to grow. They have to be sprayed or dug up from the roots. Hmmm, that pesky intruder has to be eliminated, or else.

Sin is like that. Evil, deceptive, destructive, as Romans 6 says, it leads to DEATH. We’re talking basic right and wrong here. I know it’s not politically correct to talk about it, but the facts are, sin exists, it can ruin our lives, and it is insidiously persistent.

It doesn’t need an invitation, and no one is exempt from its advances! But like the musk thistle, with determination and a plan to root it out, the weeds of sin and all the little tiny seeds they hold can be bagged up and stopped in their tracks.

Don’t let those thistles and thorns of sin overtake your time here on earth. Place your trust in the One Who paid for them, and follow His directions for chopping them down. One at a time. You won’t be sorry!

Jennifer

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Biblical Meditation: 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 

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September 26 – Erasing the Scarlet Letter

Proverbs 7:4,5 MSG

Talk to Wisdom as to a sister.
 Treat Insight as your companion.
 They’ll be with you to fend off the Temptress—
that smooth-talking, honey-tongued Seductress.

As long as time has been, the grass has had a tendency to look greener on the other side of the fence. It’s “human nature,” as Michael Jackson once sang, but still, NOT okay. If you’re wondering if our present national divorce rate and number of wandering spouses is something new, check out the Old Testament and look for David, Solomon, and Gomer (more about her later.)

Even though Solomon had hundreds of wives and concubines, he still was obviously inspired to write these scriptures warning against the “seductress.” (Check out all of Proverbs 7 for a clearer picture.)

And this is refreshingly encouraging! Since we can easily identify with making mistakes, sometimes very serious ones, it is so sweet to know God still loves us and cheers for us . . . much as He did for King David of old.

No, this is not to say that the consequences won’t be severe. But as we’ve been seeing this past week in Proverbs, God hates a gossiper or a haughty look just as much as a murderer (Proverbs 6:16).

Hang on, I’m going somewhere here.

Look at the following verses in Proverbs 7:

Proverbs 7:19, 20 KJV For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.

After we are heavily implored to stay away from the “harlot,” verse 19 and 20 says the goodman is away from home on a journey and he will come at an exact and special time. Hmmm. My thought is that the “goodman” represents Jesus. And the rest of this chapter’s instructions about the harlot are for everyone, no matter what the distraction might be.

As with Gomer (the consistent adulteress married to Hosea – their story is the book of Hosea), God’s message is abundantly clear: WE are the adulteress. WE are the unfaithful. But HE is faithful, and unconditionally forgiving!

Yes, Jesus the Good Man is returning. And the distraction level is at an all-time high. So no matter the sin or level of depravity, He is willing and able to erase it all and restore us.

And just as importantly, it’s the time to offer mercy and forgiveness to those around us who are knee-deep in the distractions.

Because, but for the grace of God, there go I.

Jennifer 🙂