Archive | May, 2019

The Cocoon

24 May

The Cocoon…

It was one of those warm afternoons where Grandfather and I sat beneath a tree reminiscing, when his attention was drawn downward to a small dark object moving across the ground. It looks like a worm, he said, but different from a worm, a caterpillar, a fascinating creature, the child of a butterfly. An ugly crawling wormlike creature born of a beautiful winged creature. It has no idea of its origins or who its parent is. It goes through life crawling on the ground. The only life it knows is a wormlike life. He then picked up the caterpillar and placed it on the tree.

But one day the caterpillar climbs a tree, hangs itself upside down and begins to form around it’s body a hard protective shell, a cocoon. In the cocoon, that which was the caterpillar comes to its end. Only in its dying as a caterpillar can the creature undergo a metamorphosis. And when the metamorphosis is complete, a new being emerges from the shell of the cocoon. The new creature no longer has anything wormlike about it. It is now winged and beautiful. It will never again crawl through and never again be earthbound. It will live in the image of the one who gave it life, as a winged creature it was always meant to become.

It is an amazing phenomenon, I said. Yes, Grandfather said, but within a shadow. A shadow of what? I asked.

The caterpillar is given life by the butterfly. We are given life by God. As the caterpillar crawls through life, earthbound and unaware of the purpose for which it was born, so man goes through life earthbound and unaware of the purpose for which he was born. We see with earthlike eyes, think wormlike thoughts and live wormlike lives. But to some of these earthbound creatures a miracle happens. They allow themselves to die to the old, to the earthbound wormlike life. And yet in their dying of their old self they begin a metamorphosis. The earthbound life dies. But what emerges in its place is a different life, a new creation, beautiful and no longer earthbound, but heavenly and made to dwell in heavenly realms, and what it was always meant to be, a heavenly being in the image of Him from whom it was given life in the first place.

The new birth, the new creation!, I exclaimed. Yes, Grandfather replied, the metamorphosis of the children of God, born as earthly creatures, but reborn as children of heaven… the Gospel of the butterfly.
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4
What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly. Move away from the earthbound, everything in your life that is tied to the world, to the flesh and sin. Move into the realm of the heavenly. Start flying.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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The Jesus Vaccination

23 May

The Jesus Vaccination…

In Isaiah 1, it’s written: “Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” How can sins become as white as snow? When God forgives a sin, and when we receive it, our past sins become as white as snow. What was evil is neutralized and is used for good. But a sin forgiven and repented of becomes something else altogether.

In the same way, a deadly bacteria is something dangerous, but if that disease is neutralized, rendered ineffective, and put into the form of a vaccination, its nature is changed. It becomes something altogether different. It becomes an inoculation that prevents and protects the person from the very disease it once was.

So too, to have your sins forgiven and truly receive the fact that your sins are forgiven and your past is wiped clean, and that you’re free because of the grace and mercy of God – this is what inoculates you against sin and causes you to become new. For your sins forgiven and your past redeemed by the blood of Jesus is what truly makes them as white as snow.

Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool. Isaiah 1:18

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Psalm 32:1

Truly embrace the fact that your sins are forgiven and your past is wiped clean by the blood of the Lamb.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Secret Of The Cup

22 May

The Secret Of The Cup…

Granfather used to tell us a story about an old farmer who advertised that he would give away 40 acres of good farmland to anyone who was perfectly satisfied with what he had.

One day, a man seeking the land came up to the farmer and said, “I would like to have the land.” The farmer asked him, “Are you perfectly satisfied with what you have?” “Yes,” answered the man, “I am perfectly satisfied.” “Then,” said the farmer, “why on earth do you want this land?”

Thus the old farmer never parted with his land, because the only ones perfectly satisfied with what they had weren’t interested in getting it, and those who wanted the land weren’t perfectly satisfied.

Jesus told us, “If you will lose your life for My sake, you will find it.” And He told the rich young ruler, “If you wish to be complete, go sell your possessions and give the money to the poor.” It’s a paradox, but it’s true. If you want to be full, empty yourself. If you want to be content, then let go of your want. For having nothing but God is to have everything— an abundant life and perfect satisfaction.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6

Empty yourself and seek His righteousness that fills and satisfies.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Cup Of The Fruit

21 May

The Cup Of The Fruit…

Adam fell through the partaking of a fruit. Jesus came as the second Adam to undo his fall. As Adam partook of the fruit of the trees, so Jesus, on the sixth day, also partook of fruit as He drank the cup of the fruit of the vine.

This time, the fruit was crushed, as Jesus’s life would likewise be crushed. Adam ate the forbidden fruit and was sentenced to death. Jesus drank the cup of crushed fruit and then was led to his death. Adam was taken from a garden to the place where he would die. Jesus would also be taken from a Garden, the Garden of Gethsemane, to his death.

We who follow the Lord are told to partake of that same cup— the cup of the Lord’s Supper. It’s not just a cup of fruit, but of crushed fruit. For by partaking of the crushing of Jesus and His death and dying to self is the power to overcome the curse of Adam. The more we do so, the more we will overcome, for the blessings of the Tree of Life now come to us in a cup of crushed fruit.

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

Today, partake of the crushing of Jesus by dying to yourself and overcoming the curse.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

What You Also Need

20 May

What you also need…

What father would give his son a stone instead of bread, a snake instead of a fish, or a scorpion instead of eggs? Jesus used this illustration to share how our Heavenly Father gives good things to His children.

If Jesus went on, he might have noted that good fathers will also make their children eat vegetables: asparagus, broccoli, spinach. But most of us didn’t ask for those things and didn’t want them when they came.

You see, a good father will also give his children what they need, even if they didn’t ask for it and didn’t want it. In other words, God also gives us what we don’t ask for or want, but what we need— that trial, that problem, that person, that disappointment, or that crisis.

Those are God’s vegetables. You don’t have to like them, but when you see them on your plate, start looking for the good. If not in the way they go down, then in what they will produce for you in the end. God is not just the God of bread and fish, but also of vegetables.
Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7: 9-11

Remember, if you are going through a trial, look for the good it will produce.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Our Miracle World

19 May

Our Miracle World…

It was late into the night and especially dark. The moon was nowhere to be seen. Grandfather and I were sitting in an open expanse not far from the school house while everyone else was asleep.

Imagine, he said, if we lived in a world where everything was night, a world where we could never see the blue of the sky, the yellow of the sun, the green of the grass and trees. Imagine we could barely see each other. Now imagine that something takes place in this world that has never happened before, a sunrise. What would that be like?

It would be indescribable, I said, a miracle.

Yes, said Grandfather, for the first time in our lives, the black sky begins to transform, subtly changing it’s color, the first hints of dawn. Then comes the first orange yellow rays of daybreak and then the circle of blazing light rising up from the horizon as if floating on nothing, and our entire world is transformed. For the first time we see everything in vivid color and clarity. It would be a miracle, a miracle as dramatic and amazing to our world as the parting of the Red Sea.

Grandfather paused, turned to me, and said, but the miracle has happened. The miracle happens every day. Should we not then be living in the miraculous all the time? And why don’t we? It would be as if the Red Sea parted at about six in the morning every day. We would no longer be amazed by it.

Yet was there ever a vision given to any prophet as vivid, as full of detail and brilliance as the vision we experience every day of this world? But when the miracle happens every day, we no longer see it. We become blind to it and blind to the fact that there is nothing supernatural as existence itself and that existence from nothing, and that natural world is the witness of the supernatural.

The sun, I said, is beginning to rise.

Behold the miracle, Grandfather said. This life, this universe, everything you see and touch, everything you hear and have known, it’s all a miracle, a vision come to life. Open Your eyes and see the world as if for the first time, as if your first sunrise and your first Red Sea, as the miracle it is. Live in the miraculous. For you are already living in a miracle world!

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.

Psalm 19: 1-6

Live your life as miraculous everyday for you live in a miracle world and miracles happen everyday.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Contentment

17 May

Contentment…

One afternoon Grandfather sat us all down under the shade of a tree and told us a story about a stone-cutter.

One day, a stone-cutter named Hashnu became miserable and discontent while cutting stone, despising his life as a stone-cutter. As he complained, the king rode by on his horse. “If Hashnu only a king could be,” said Hashnu. A voice said, “Be thou the king.”

Hashnu became king. But while king, Hashnu was overcome by the heat of the sun and realized that the sun was stronger than he was. So he desired to become the sun. But then a cloud came and blocked out the light of the sun. So Hashnu became the cloud. Then the cloud burst on the land, flooding everything, moving everything in its path, except for a huge rock.

The rock was stronger than him, so Hashnu became the rock. Then a man with a hammer and chisel came to the rock and began cutting it. Only then did he realize that he was more powerful being content as himself.

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you;

never will I forsake you” Hebrews 13:5

Remember and give thanks that no matter what your situation, station, or circumstance, you are blessed and loved by the Lord.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed