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Spiritual Blindness:

John 9:1-6  Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

This is such a great story of Jesus healing a man born blind.

First, Jesus sees the man.

Then, we are presented with the disciple’s question of whether this man was born blind because of his parents, or because of his own sins?

I love the answer Jesus gives, that this man has been born blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

In an unconventional way, the blind man is healed. Jesus spits on the ground, makes mud with His saliva, and puts it on the man’s eyes! Jesus tells the man to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam.

The man does as Jesus says, and goes home seeing!

This isn’t the end of the story, because it also happened on the Sabbath. When religious leaders find out that the man who was blind from birth can see, they are angry. They go as far as to say that Jesus can’t be from God, because He didn’t keep the Sabbath.

The religious leaders exasperate the man who was healed, and interrogate him, and hurl insults at him. Finally the man who can now see, sensationally refutes the Pharisees.

The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.

I am reminded of “Spiritual Blindness”. — Many people refuse to believe, though they have been presented with the evidence.

I pray, Dear God, that we would be men and women of faith, and that we would shine with Your light in this world. Help us to see the needs of others, and help them. I am so thankful for Your willingness to die on our behalf. You died for us while we were yet sinners, and spiritually blind. Open our eyes to the truth, and keep us from being deceived. I pray for workers for the harvest. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

-Dawn-

Throw Off Sin:

 Hebrews 12: 1-3:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

We can get so ‘tangled’ up in sin.

I watched a spider through our kitchen window, one evening. It built a magnificent web. It was a huge ‘popcorn’ or ‘chicken’ spider.

Soon, a fly was trapped in the web, and the spider quickly confronted the captive. He began wrapping him up with a continuous web, until the fly was encased, and completely entangled.

Many people are oblivious to ‘webs’. I am sure the fly was not expecting that sticky web to capture him, but it did. It also brought him to a terrible end.

We need to be aware of our enemy, the devil. He is on the hunt, looking for someone to devour! Once trapped in sin, He makes quick work to encase us in it, and entrap us, making it almost impossible to get out of it.

We luckily have a man of action, who cares enough to rescue us from the devil. Jesus is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Rescuer!  He knows what it is like to be surrounded by His enemies. He endured the cross, He endured opposition from sinners. He also conquered all these things, and is an example, and a mentor, that we can fix our eyes on, so that we do not become weary and lose heart.

He knows how to escape the devil’s web, and is willing to help us, and deliver us from it too.

God’s Word is a great weapon against sin. Psalm 119:11, tell us, “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.” 

Know your enemy’s tactics, put on your armor, and put God’s Word in your heart. Don’t become weary, keep your eyes on the prize, and remember what Jesus endured for our sake.

Dear God, I am feeling weary. I pray for your strength and help, and keep me from being deceived. Direct my paths, and keep my mind and heart on You, on the joy that is to come. Forgive me of all my sins, and keep me in Your care. Thank You for giving me victory through Jesus, Amen.

-Dawn-

Broken Sea Glass:

mosaics416  Isaiah 53:4,5

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

I am back from a trip to the Pacific Coast, and from my son’s aviation camp.

It was an extraordinary time of reflection, fun, and new experiences.

I was able to walk the beach, enjoy sunsets, take my dog for walks, and look for treasures from the sea, among other things.

I wasn’t aware of ‘sea glass’, before this trip. Sea glass is broken shards of glass that are tossed and turned by the sea. They look ‘frosted’ and their edges are smooth. Their color is usually brought out by the constant abrasion of the sand, sun, and churning of the glass. Cobalt blues, emerald greens, soft whites, browns, and many other colors can be found. Some glass is from rare, old objects, and can be very valuable.

Crafty people make beautiful objects with this glass. Mosaics, mirrors, lights, and concrete are decorated with it.

How can brokenness be so beautiful?

At Communion, broken bread is eaten, in remembrance of the broken body of Jesus. He was ‘broken’ for us. He took our punishment, our sins, our iniquity, and His brokenness brought about something beautiful! — Our salvation and redemption.

Some of us are broken, and it is hard to see the beauty of God’s handiwork in this world. It is very possible that your brokenness is bringing about something very beautiful, and is being used for a greater purpose than you can imagine right now.

Maybe the colors of your tapestry include dark threads of a hard life. Those dark colors are needed, as well as the colorful ones, to bring about the beautiful life that God has planned. Darkness exposes the highlights in a picture. God is a great designer, creator, and builder, and can change brokenness into something beautiful!

Dear God, I thank You that You showed me that brokenness can be beautiful. Many people are broken and wounded, today, and You can sympathize with them, because Jesus was broken, wounded, and bruised too. You raised Jesus from the dead, and He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He didn’t stay broken. He was resurrected, changed, and made immortal. Even the ugliness of death is made beautiful with Your promise that we will be raised up with Christ. Thank You for hope, comfort, and peace. Thank You for everything. Amen. In the Name of Jesus.

-Dawn-

Photo above is from: http://media.photobucket.com/user/tannalee/media/sea%20glass/mosaics416.jpg.html?filters[term]=sea%20glass&filters[primary]=images&filters[secondary]=videos&sort=1&o=23

Savior:

Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

1 John 5:5

This is an absolute statement. There is only one way to overcome the world, and that is by believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Overcoming this world starts with belief in the One who can save us.

Savior is defined in the online dictionary:

noun
  1. a person who saves someone or something (especially a country or cause) from danger, and who is regarded with the veneration of a religious figure.
    synonyms: rescuer, liberator, deliverer, emancipator;

    champion, knight in shining armor, friend in need, good Samaritan
    “he was hailed as the country’s savior”
    • (in Christianity) God or Jesus Christ as the redeemer of sin and saver of souls.
      noun: Saviour; noun: Savior

Let us overcome this world, and believe in the saving power of Jesus Christ, God’s Son!

Dear God, we needed a Savior! Thank You that You have given us One who will help us to overcome this world! I believe that Jesus is at Your right hand, interceding on my behalf, and preparing a place for me, and I thank You for Your great love, mercy, and forgiveness. I pray that people would repent of their many sins, and find forgiveness through Jesus, Your Son. Amen.

-Dawn-

What are the Requirements?

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:26,27

Every two years, I have to get a physical to keep up my Class A CDL Driver’s License.

Two years went by really fast since the last time I saw a doctor.

In a Department of Transportation physical, your eyes are checked, your hearing, blood pressure, blood sugar, and you are checked for color blindness. Your liver is checked for swelling, and you are asked many questions about previous health conditions on a form. You are asked about any substance abuse or mental problems.

You have to meet all the requirements, or else you cannot drive a vehicle over 26,000 pounds on the Interstate.

I met all the requirements, and won’t have to have another physical for a couple years!

What are the requirements of true religion?

We are to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep ourselves from being polluted by the world! It is difficult to live in this world, without being affected by the sin in it.

Each day we need to put on the full armor of God, and have His Holy Spirit within us, so that we can extinguish all the fiery darts of the evil one. It is not easy to pass the true religion test. We are offered forgiveness when we fail.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness!

With God’s Spirit in us, there is a doctor in the house, and He is the greatest Physician of them all!

Thank You, God, for giving us the armor we need to live in this world. You have given us salvation, faith, righteousness, truth, and peace. You have given us Your Word, which is the sword of the Spirit. With this armor, and Your great help, we can extinguish those fiery darts that the evil one throws at us. I pray that You would give me a right Spirit within me, to be wise as a serpent, but gentle as a dove. Help me to not be deceived. I pray for Your guidance in helping others. There are many widows and orphans, and this world needs Your help. I pray for Your presence, and for the means and the wisdom to know how to help those who are in distress. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

-Dawn-

Life is Short!

You have made my days like handbreadths; for you, the length of my life is like nothing.” Yes, everyone, no matter how firmly he stands, is merely a puff of wind.

Psalm 39:6 (Complete Jewish Bible)

This life on earth is very short, merely a puff of wind in the face of eternity.

God’s design before Adam and Eve sinned, was for man to live forever.

Can we really see the enormous consequence of the first sin, of disobedience to God’s Word? It ushered in death, sin, sorrow, and separation from God. From the time we are born, our mortal clock is ticking, and time is running out.

Our bodies will die, but our souls are eternal. We will either rise to be raised with Christ, or we will die in our sins, separated from God, forever.

Sometimes, there are only two choices we get to make.– Either we are slaves to sin, or slaves of righteousness; either we are saved, or condemned; either we are forgiven, or not forgiven. Sometimes ‘gray’ areas are not allowed, and there are absolutes.

There is only one way to the Father, God, and that is through Jesus Christ.

In our earthly bodies, this life is short, but in our spiritual souls, eternity is a very long time.

Dear God, life on this earth is short. We are dying from the time we are born. Our earthly bodies will perish, but thank You fro the gift of life through Jesus, for our eternal souls. Thank You for redemption through Jesus Christ, and for Your grace, love, and mercy. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

-Dawn-

A Temporary Resident:

Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; before, you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and temporary residents not to give in to the desires of your old nature, which keep warring against you; but to live such good lives among the pagans that even though they now speak against you as evil-doers, they will, as a result of seeing your good actions, give glory to God on the Day of his coming.

1 Peter 2: 10-12

I am reminded that I will always be ‘a foreigner’ on this earth. I do not belong here, because I have received mercy from God, Himself, and have become one of ‘His people’. I do not conform to the label of ‘American’, I am a ‘Christian’, and my King is Jesus Christ.

While on this earth, I will always live among ‘pagans’, and they will speak of me as an evil-doer. My hope is in Jesus Christ, the redemption that has been offered to me, as a former ‘pagan’. (Merriam -Webster defines ‘pagan’ as: one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods :  an irreligious or hedonistic person)

I have been set free from the slavery of sin, and been redeemed by my Lord, Jesus Christ. He paid such a great price for my freedom. I am a citizen of Heaven, now, by the saving power of Jesus, God’s Son.

Peter calls us ‘friends’ and tells us we are aliens and temporary residents, and he urges us not to give in to the desires of our old nature, which constantly war against us. Instead, we should live such good lives among the ‘nonreligious’ of this world, that even though they condemn us, they will give glory to God on the Day of His coming, because of our good actions.

We may not see them glorify God in our lifetime, but every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, when He returns.

Dear God, thank You for the great advice that Peter gives us. Help us to live good lives among the pagans, and help us to react with good actions to the glory of You. Also, help us not to give in to the old nature that wars against us.. I pray for the power of Your Holy Spirit in me, to be a good ambassador for You. Keep me from being deceived, and from temptation, and deliver us from the evil one. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

-Dawn-