Saturday, July 25, 2020

God’s Masterpieces

Our Christ in the Manger cactus put on quite a show for my husband and me one night in early July. During the 30 plus years we’ve nurtured it, it generally opens one or two, sometimes three, blooms on any given night. But this year there were four, each having an exquisitely beautiful interior that resembles a baby in a manger, complete with a large star. Each bloom releases a heavenly fragrance, too. 
The large pods open around 10 p.m. and reveal their inner beauty for only a few hours. By morning each one has closed and is hanging limply, giving no hint of what was revealed in the darkness. That plant, which is rather plain (some would say UGH-LEE) during the year, astonishes me when it blooms. As I shine a light on each one to better see its incredible interior, I praise the Creator who designed it. I realize He loves beauty and detail and uniqueness and symbolism and perfection...As I do, I reflect on two of my favorite Bible verses:

 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
—Psalm 139:14, NKJV


For we are His workmanship, 
created in Christ Jesus for good works, 
which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
--Ephesians  2:10, NKJV

Indeed, God creates masterpieces! Or, as one person said, “God doesn’t make junk!” Aren’t we glad He doesn’t?

Friday, July 3, 2020

Glorious Freedom

Photo courtesy of artist Kathy Barlow and
photographer James Magnus
When I first saw this photo, the thought "Symbols of Freedom" popped into my mind. Indeed, they are. 

That thought reminded me of a deeper understanding I'd received several weeks ago while reading the 8th chapter of the Gospel of John. When I came to verse 32, I noticed that the translators of that particular version had capitalized the word Truth, something I'd not seen in other versions. 

So, I read the verse again (and the one preceding it), in which Jesus said, "If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free" (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition). 

Indeed, the more we know the truth (what is right), which He taught, the more we know Him (who is the personification of all truth). After all, He clearly said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me" (John 14:6, AMPC). 

He is the One, the only One, who can set us free from the tyranny and guilt of our sins and give us a new and abundant life--now and throughout all eternity.