2006-11-01 - Illustrations From Nature: 1
Please note: I accidentally sent Part 2 of Tim's series before sending Part 1. I apologize for any confusion this caused; we are human and will mess up from time to time. But this gives everyone the opportunity to exercise some grace. ; )
Psalm 19:1, "The Heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands."
This is the first of three short devotionals that are simply some random observations that have reference to nature in some manner, but also have a lesson for us. I have three of these done, and I am not sure if I will do more or not. I will wait to see if these are enjoyed, or if the feedback is that these really are not that helpful. How's that? I will leave it up to you. Here is the first installment.
Scripture: Our growth in the knowledge of Scripture does not come overnight. It takes time. We slowly gather its pearls here and there, as a child goes out into a field and picks flowers and makes an arrangement, a bouquet, to give to his mother. So it is with us. We glean from one passage, then another, and slowly we collect an understanding of the Scriptures that begins to flourish into a bouquet like beauty. It is not done overnight. Like the child who does not collect all his flowers from the same plant in the field, so we glean from various passages in our reading. As we hear the Word preached, and as we glean from what others have collected from the Word, we thus begin to fill in the whole picture of the Word of God, and get a sense of its overall teachings.
Self-Righteousness: It is often not our sins that keep us from applying grace to our hearts, but rather our righteousness. Self-righteousness is like a python which coils itself around us and our spirit, and crushes all the grace that the gospel would bring us. When we look upon ourselves as righteous, we constrict the grace of God which comes to us in our sin, need and helplessness. He that thinks he already knows will never learn. He who thinks he is already righteous will not see his need for the righteousness of Christ. The more we view ourselves as inherently good or "put together" the less we will know our need to look to Christ - and that python squeezes another notch tighter.
Harkening unto God's voice: The sheep know the voice of their shepherd. There is a story told of a shepherd, who having some friends was asked to lend one of them his clothes, to see if the sheep would follow his friend when he was dressed as the true shepherd. The friend, now dressed as the shepherd called to the sheep, but not one of them moved. Even the youngest of the sheep remained still. They may have been dumb sheep, but they knew it was not their shepherd calling, and he could have called until his voice grew hoarse, and none of them would have come. They would only follow the true shepherd, and so it is with the Christian. His sheep know His voice. John 10:1-5, 16, 27
Bible Memory: We ought to learn from creation in the Fall season. The animals that hibernate know that they need to store up for the future, and so they gather and collect, that when there is no abundance, they have a ready store available to their needs. The bees do the same with honey. They bees store an over abundance of honey in the honey-comb, and they guard their stores.
We should do the same with God's Word. We may not always have a Bible with us, and we may need a verse or passage for any number of reasons. We ought to learn from nature to store up these things for the future, that when the time of need comes, we will not be without a resource to draw upon.
Soli Deo Gloria,