G is for Guarantee

 

 [He has also appropriated and acknowledged us as His by] putting His seal upon us and giving us His [Holy] Spirit in our hearts as the security deposit and guarantee [of the fulfillment of His promise]. (2 Corinthians 1:22 AMP)

Dogwood Blossoms

Dogwood Blossoms

Raise your hand if you remember lifetime guarantees. Some of you younger readers look puzzled. But it’s neither myth nor legend. Lifetime guarantees actually existed and accompanied all major appliances and most small items as well. Many years ago—back in nineteen hundred and froze to death—manufacturers took pride in their products. So much pride in fact, they assured the consumers of quality merchandise with lifetime guarantees. Therefore, people received free replacements if their purchase failed to function according to the advertised specifications—no questions asked.

Nowadays, few products come with a limited-lifetime warranty. Limited being the key word, giving the manufacture a huge loop-hole of escape. And guarantees? Purchase necessary. Most offer up to three years, in which case you’ve paid one-third again the price of the item. Even major, expensive purchases such as refrigerators, stoves, clothes washers, and clothes dryers require extra guarantees, which are available up to three years. Why? Manufacturers use cheaper materials to cut costs. Knowing cheaper materials equals inferior merchandise, the manufacturers can no longer afford to offer guarantees.

Although free, lifetime guarantees vanished from our stores, one lifetime guarantee remains as stable as the day it came into effect over 2000 years ago. The guarantee God has placed on us at the moment we committed our lives to Jesus Christ shall never fail or expire. He has marked us with His seal, which can never wear off or become invalid. He has deposited His Holy Spirit within our hearts—His personal guarantee that we are His and will remain His for eternity.

I trust God’s word and guarantee on my life. I hope you do as well.

How about you? What “G” word comes to your mind when you think about the attributes of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? I’d enjoy reading your thoughts in the comments below.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

Sifted

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)

Sandcastle 2As a small child, I played in my sandbox for hours. I dug and sifted the sand, hoping to find buried treasure, too young for understanding pirates didn’t hide their valuables in a child’s sandbox.

Long after growing out of the sandbox stage of life, I visited my uncle in Massachusetts. He took me to the Cape Cod Sand Dunes—miles and miles of unbelievable, white-sand mountains, a sandbox-child’s paradise—which offered an opportunity to sift sand for treasures. Not hidden pirate chests bursting with precious gems and gold coins, but weathered glass smoothed by years of shifting sand awaited discovery. Shades of brown glass popped up frequently. An occasional blue or green nugget remained in the pan after sifting. And then, if the “glass gods” favored you, your pan captured the rarest of all—reds and purples.

Without walking miles, searching, and sifting, we had no hope of discovering the rarest and best pieces of glass. I remember finding a couple brown ones, a green one, and a blue one. I never saw a red one or a purple one, but my uncle assured me they did exist.

Likewise, Jesus assured his disciple that Satan not only existed, but desired to sift Peter like wheat. The enemy knew Peter held very valuable spiritual gems.

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Next Week:

We’ll take a look at what it means to be the light of the world. Prepare by studying Matthew 5:14-16

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

F is for Fire

For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:29)

Consuming Fire Campfires mesmerize me. I can sit and stare at the flames for hours. I enjoy the crackling sounds of the burning logs, the sparkles swirling and spiraling upward, and the warmth emitted. The glow of the flames illuminates the faces of those sitting around the pit, giving everyone an angelic radiance. Campfires calm and exhilarate me at the same time.

Nevertheless, it’s a commodity that we can never take for granted. It demands our respect. Its power can easily get out of control. Uncontrolled fire puts all living matter in danger. It wipes out homes, forests, and life. It consumes and devastates.

The author of Hebrews compares God with a consuming fire. Not a pleasant analogy when we consider the possibilities of destruction. Even Jesus said to fear no man, but fear God who can destroy both body and soul.

But God doesn’t want to destroy us. He controls His power. He uses it to refine believers like fine gold. And yes, He will use it to consume the wick and rebellious. But again, that is not His desire or His purpose. God wants everyone to enter His kingdom. So if He must employ His consuming fire, it is not His choice, but those who choose to deny His sovereignty.

How about you? What word beginning with F reminds you of our Lord? I’m looking forward to your thoughts in the comments below.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

Adoption vs Foster Care

 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:16-17)

Jesus Cares for MeWhen my daughter and her husband adopted two teens, those children received the same provisions, the same shelter, and the same protection as our biological grandactives. The adopted children’s school photos were added to our family photo wall. We celebrated their victories and offered assistance during their struggles. Actually, they received all the benefits of being part of the family long before the paperwork made it official.

Although they had no choice when they entered the Walter household, when it came time for those papers to be signed, both teens were given a choice. They could have chosen to remain in foster care and still received all the necessities of life and the love, care, and nurturing. Even their pictures would’ve remained on the wall. So why opt for adoption?

It boiled down to security, knowing they belonged, knowing they always had a place to go to—a place to call home.

Entering the Kingdom of God is much the same.

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Next Week:

About being sifted like wheat at the enemy’s hand. Prepare by studying Luke 22:28-34

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

E is for Everlasting

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Continuing with the Alphabet Challenge, I chose Everlasting for my “E” word.

He Loves Me 1

    He Loves Me 

As a child, I loved my father with all my heart. And I knew he loved me. But he couldn’t be with me always. He had to work. He had interests, like golfing, fishing, and hunting, that didn’t involve me. And I felt sad and lonely when he wasn’t home.

Then I grew up, and although Daddy’s love never ended, I found I needed a different kind of love—a love that extended beyond a father/daughter relationship.

So, God sent Gene into my life. He loves and adores me. He treats me like a princess—forty-one-years’ worth. His life verse: Thou shalt spoil thy wife rotten (Ephesians 5:25-30). Okay, that’s a condensed interpretation by my beloved, but it works for me. Even as loved as Gene makes me feel, he cannot be with me always. Like my father, Gene works. He has interests that don’t necessarily involve me. And I feel sad and lonely when he’s not home.

Here’s the Thing

God has used my father and Gene to show me the significance of having an Everlasting Father. Their gentleness, provisions, and concern for my happiness closely resembles that of our heavenly Father. There is one major difference, however. He never leaves me alone.

Jesus promised He would never leave us as orphans but would send the Comforter to dwell in us, to teach us God’s will, and to help us through all of our difficulties (John 14:15-18, 26).

How about you? What “E” word comes to mind that describes one of God’s attributes? Let a message in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

Dead but Now Alive

But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. (Romans 8:10)

God's Not DeadA few years ago while Gene was at work, I discovered a small water snake cheerfully sunned himself on our driveway. I wasn’t about to give the creep-crawly the opportunity to take up residence in our garage or under our front deck, so I grabbed a garden hoe and chopped at it. It took several good blows before its head was severed from its body enough to suit me. However, the stupid creature would NOT stop wiggling. I knew it was dead, but the snake refused to acknowledge the fact and continued to squirm. I became so unnerved by the sight of it, I ran to the neighbor for help. He laughed, picked up the snake, and dropped it in the burn barrel. I was relieved to see it gone from my sight.

That wiggly, dead snake bears a strange resemblance to sin and our flesh.

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Next week:

We’ll talk about sonship. Please reread Romans 8:9-17 in preparation.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

Fine China Breaks Easily–The Past Not So Much

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

 Every family seems to have at least one person who is directed to the sturdiest chair in the house and given a paper plate for his/her meal, while everyone else is eating off of fine China. Some people have a knack for breaking things. They’re the reason plastic was invented, I’m sure of it.

If only the past could be broken as easily as fine China. We’d all line up, eager to hand our past to these I-break-everything-I-get-my-hands-on people. They’d be commended for their special gift and mostly likely well paid.

At least, I’d be glad and grateful to paid someone to break my past for me.

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Next week:

We’ll discuss being alive in Christ. Prepare by studying Romans 8:9-17

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendrick