Today, we have GPS apps and map software available on our phones, or even installed in our car - few of us have to stop while driving and ask others for directions anymore. However, we still benefit from the knowledge and wisdom of other travellers. When we visit a new region of our country or travel overseas, we often consult guidebooks, reviews from other travellers, and recommendations from experts.
Our spiritual journey is the same. We can benefit so much from the hundreds of years of wisdom and experience that other Christians have left us as their legacy. When we read the writings of ancient pilgrims of the faith, we are able to look into the heart of another brother or sister in Christ. We can understand their struggles, appreciate their insight, and learn from their timeless faith in the Lord.
The wisdom of other Christians provides us with a bigger road map on our journey. We can see beyond what we've experienced and realize that we will be stretched and called to venture into unknown territory, places that have already been blazed by other believers who have gone ahead of us.
We are never traveling alone.
While the right words at the right time can be as sweet as honey, they must also include a little spice. Without seasoning, most foods would remain bland and flavorless. Salt brings out the flavour in virtually everything - meat, bread, soap, crackers, even sweets such as salted caramels.
Grace filled conversations are the same way. They're not only sweet tasting, but flavourful and challenging, with just enough of an edge to inspire, encourage and motivate. When we speak the truth of God's love and mercy, we are seasoning and bringing out the life changing flavour of the gospel.
When our speech is both sweet and salty, we offer a message to those around us that's irresistible.
Does what you do during the course of the day match the words that you speak during that same day? Does what you say align with what you're actually doing? As followers of Jesus, we all want to "walk the talk" and not just give lip service to our faith. But, to put a fine point on it, this is easier said than done!
Words can flow easily, almost effortlessly at times. We tell people what they want to hear and get on with our day. Problem solved, issue sorted, and case closed. And yet, do our words reflect the grace of God and the truth of his Word? And does our behaviour match our message?
It's easy to say one thig and do another. The real evidence of our commitment to following Jesus emerges in the synchronicity between our speech and our actions.
Today, let your Christlike actions speak louder than anything you say.
Fear has a way of creeping up on one. It often begins with some small detail getting derailed or something we counted on going awry. One thing leads to another, with the problem getting bigger and more out of control. The insignificant ripple we had tried to ignore becomes a full blown tsunami.
Many children are afraid of the dark. When they awake from a bad dream and cry out, a loving parent goes to them and their fear of the darkness disappears. The dark doesn't disappear, but the FEAR does. WHY? It is because someone is with them, holding their hand.... the fear dissipates.
In the same way, even in the darkest times of our life, when we are in the shadowy and dark valleys, the LORD is still with us (PSALM 23). No matter how large or small your concerns, he wants to comfort you, and calm your heart. He know about emotions - after all he created us in his own image.
He is not only with us, He will not only help us, He will not only strengthen us...….
but He is the one who's holding us in his hand.
When a garden has been well planned, well tendered and maintained, it becomes a work of art..... And it obviously requires work. Young trees have to be staked so they grow strong and tall, undeterred by the forces of wind and rain. Hedges must be trimmed and shaped rather than allowed to grow at odd angles. Flower beds require weeding to make sure that only the desired blooms receive the nourishment the soil has to offer. Gardeners know their tasks produce health, beauty, and fruit in the plants and trees they're devoted to nurturing.
Our Christian faith requires the same kind of attention. We need nourishment from God's Word, the light of his presence, and the Living Water of Christ's love. We also need pruning from time to time, straightening and correcting. We must weed out temptations and harmful influences that would pull us away from our first love.
As every gardener knows, their craft requires daily practices.
Today, make sure that you're tending your soul with all that it needs to flourish and bloom.