By His Grace: You are precious to God
"But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."
As a native New Yorker who enjoyed all four seasons as a child, especially springtime, I am still amazed at the beauty of God's creation. Flowers would bloom effortlessly as if summer, fall and winter could do no harm. It is apparent that life comes and goes like the seasons. It truly begins in the soil from which it springs, Jesus.
In recent columns I shared that the benefits to being blessed by God include mercy through unlimited compassion, love and forgiveness. But they also include approval and, most importantly, happiness.
You may ask how so?
What does the word confidence mean to you?
Do you have a challenge believing in others or perhaps yourself?
To have confidence is to stand firm in your belief you can rely on someone or something regardless the circumstance.
Confidence in the lord always brings peace and security. Enjoying this blessing requires us to be anchored in the word of God.
"He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure."
As you may have guessed, I am a nature girl who loves flowers. I recently was given a plant, more like a bulb that appeared at first sight in need of some TLC. Unsure how to care for the bulb, I was instructed to provide sufficient water and sunlight and with care, I would reap the benefits of my effort with amazing results.
God instructs his children whom he loves through his written word. When you and I meditate and apply what has been provided through the scriptures, we too will reap life-changing and amazing results.
"My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one's whole body."
Now on the surface, one would have questioned the bulb's ability to regenerate into something beautiful. After three weeks, I began to witness a marvelous change. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the bulb was a mature bulb of several years that had over time developed strong roots while nourished in soil rich for growth. The bulb turned into what is known as an amaryllis flower.
I began to ponder how much we are like the bulb.
When we direct and maintain our focus on the lord, we bloom into a beautiful and delicate flower.
Not once did it occur to me the bulb would cease to continue growing. Not only does it continue to produce magnificent flowers, I now have five strong, long, green stems. When one part of the flower withers, it is replaced by something new and unexpected that is pleasing to the eye.
When you and I seem to be on the verge of withering under the weight and heat of life's uncertainties, just remember God has provided a way for us to keep on growing like my flower.
Remember you are precious to God, and he loves you very much.
You may ask how one begins to receive this love if you have never had a sincere relationship with God.
By your own free will, you accept Christ as lord and savior. Do not allow this moment to pass; tomorrow is not promised.
When you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. It is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Please repeat this prayer: "Lord Jesus, forgive my sins I committed against you. I believe Jesus died for my sins and has risen again. Please come into my life and heart and lead the way. I confess you as my lord and savior from this day forward. In Jesus' name, amen."
Welcome into the family of Christ.
Until next week, be blessed and continue to bless others along the way. Shalom.
(Bible references Jeremiah 17:7-9 NIV; Isaiah 33:6; Proverbs 4:20-22. To obtain the full benefits of each verse, please read the five verses before and after each verse.)
Contributing Writer Edith Nevis can be reached at 985-857-2200 or at email@example.com.