Cake and Eat It Too

Spies are trained to observe and gather information.   This information is then analyzed and a decision is made to gather more information or take a course of action based on the information gathered.   Spies are as old as the Garden of Eden.  Every nation has spies that constantly try to learn other nation’s secrets and use that information to their advantage.

When the fledgling nation of Israel left Egypt they stood on the edge of the Promised Land.   The leaders sent spies into the land to determine how difficult it would be to take possession of the land.   The spies returned and gave their report.   The consensus was not unanimous.   Most feared the inhabitants and counseled not to enter the land.   Only two said the land was flowing with milk and honey, and those dwelling there presented only a small problem.   Even though God had told them He would give them the land, fear ruled.   The decision was made not to take the land, and God was displeased.

“The Lord’s anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the desert forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight were gone.” Numbers 32:13

The next generation entered the Promised Land and made history.

God let the nation of Israel have their cake and eat it too.  But sometimes, you have to be a bit of a lock-pick to make it work!

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Sealed With a Kiss

The story is as interesting as it is appalling.  Betrayed by a friend you’ve known for years.  You simply cannot turn away from all the grisly details.  Who could imagine a show of affection would result in death?  Some have said his destiny was “Sealed with a kiss”!  With an ordinary greeting, a smile, and a kiss on the cheek, one man would die from such a simple gesture.  What a horrifying turn of events.  What started out as a peaceful evening, sharing a meal with friends, would turn into a “death sentence”!  Two thousand years have passed and it still baffles wise men.

The setting is late in the evening in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus is with his disciples, praying in a secluded garden.  Jesus goes off by himself to pray alone.  Jesus knows that this is the night history has been waiting for.  Jesus is arrested and brought to the authorities; tried on false charges; quietly in the middle of the night and under the influence of the prince of darkness (Satan himself); and without any evidence.   Although it looked as though Satan was getting the upper hand, everything was proceeding according to God’s plan.  Every Roman and Jewish legality was ignored for expediency. Those who played a role in this tragedy weren’t aware that prophecy had to be fulfilled. Even though the events of the day were horrible, they had to happen. No death – no resurrection!

Even today, the kiss of death is still part of the mystery.  The moment Judas kissed Jesus, his fate was sealed: Judas’ fate–not Jesus’!  Jesus’ fate was already prophesied.  Judas could have lived another 75 years, but betraying the Son of God was just too much.  Mark 14:45 “And Judas leaned in to kiss Jesus…”   It appears to be a fate worse than death!

Heart Healthy Habits Hardly Happen

Everybody is searching for the fountain of youth. Our culture is obsessed with youth and artificial beauty. Can you count the number of paid programs trying to sell you exercise equipment, anti-aging creams, or age-defying plastic surgery? We’ve taken our eyes off the prize and concentrated on winning the, “best-in-show” ribbon for the current year!

The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms that God doesn’t look at our outward appearance, but instead looks at our heart! The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7  When people judge by mere outward appearance, they may overlook quality individuals who lack the particular physical qualities society currently admires. Appearance alone doesn’t reveal what people are really like or what their true value is. Fortunately, God judges by faith and character, not appearance. And because ‘only’ God can see on the inside, only he can accurately judge people.

“Servants, obey in all things [your] masters according to the flesh; not with eye service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward
of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”   Colossians 3:23-25

We can eat healthy 24/7, exercise healthy 24/7, diet healthy 24/7, work healthy 24/7, play healthy 24/7, and medicate healthy 24/7. We can spend great amounts of time and money and resources on an outward appearance. Will that get God’s attention? No! If we want God’s attention, we must start the cleaning process from within. Obedience, service, and a contrite heart, that will get God’s attention. Who will be remembered 100 years from now; a famous movie star, a famous singer, a famous athlete, a famous inventor, a famous President or…Mother Theresa, Albert Schweitzer, Dwight L Moody, Billy Graham?

Ladies and gentlemen… please make your selection carefully.

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