Spawning is a process that usually ends in death for fish. The fish battle rapid upstream currents, getting stuck between rocks, flipping out of the water onto the river bank, stranded with the possibility of being food for a predator. This upstream journey takes them thousands of miles from their warm water home in the ocean. Why do these aquatic creatures expose themselves to such torment and eventual death? Because they have a goal!
For the species to continue, they must leave the warm waters of the oceans and return to their nesting places. This means swimming upstream through cold rivers, lakes and creeks. It’s an inborn instinct for them to endure absurd, life threatening conditions. Each spring massive numbers (ten of thousands or more) of adult fish,of many species, begin this treacherous journey. However few make it to their destination. They usually return to areas in the northern United States, Canada and Alaska where they hatched several springs earlier. Once the female lays her eggs, she dies. Then the males come along, fertilizes the eggs and die as well. When the hatched eggs grow into small fry, they make the journey to warmer waters (for example; the Gulf of Mexico) to live most of their life until it’s time to travel to their instinctual destination, where they propagate the species. This process is truly astounding. When I recently saw photos of people with fresh caught salmon, I realized it was spawning season. As I thought about it, the idea brought verses of Scripture to mind.
Romans 12: 1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
1 John 4: 5-6 “They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”
Matthew 7: 13-14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”
We must plant and water the seeds of the one True Gospel of Repentance, Reconciliation, Redemption and Sanctification with anyone and everyone we know or meet! The Christian life means battling against all odds–the enemy, our old nature and the ways of the world.
Our Heavenly Father “gave” us all the armor we need for this battle. 1.) *the helmet of salvation* He gave us the payment required for sin by sending His Son, Jesus to die in our stead so that we may be set free from eternal death. 2.) *breastplate of righteousness* I may be theologically incorrect, but when I think of the ‘breastplate’ I see it as Jesus righteousness covering my sinful heart with His precious blood. 3.) *the girding of the Truth* I see this as a solid desire to live according to the Truth and not the lusts of the flesh; the eyes and the pride of life. Since it is the Truth, I see it as a place for the Sword of the Word. 4.) *shoes that are prepared with the Gospel* No matter where we go, He has given us the proper foot ware for the task–and that is hope 5.) *the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God* I believe we need to keep our sword sharpened, which can only be done by daily care by reading the Word with deliberate study. The sword is our only offensive weapon–again given to us our God to ward off the enemy (as Jesus did after His 40 days in the desert when tempted by Satan). If you keep a sword in the sheath for any length of time–it’s going to corrode and become useless! 6.) *the shield of faith* and we are told this is to quench the fiery darts of our enemy– 7.) *praying always with all prayer and supplication for all the saints* I believe we must use the beautiful gift of prayer, being able to speak to our Father through our Mediator Jesus Christ. Using for ourselves spiritually and for the True Church; the Body of Christ; the Bride of Christ throughout the world. So…with our Heavenly Father’s gifts and our Savior Jesus as Lord, we have no excuse in not fighting the many wiles of the enemy. Like the fish spawning, they are willing to forsake their life if need be to accomplish their job… are you and I willing to ” be more than conquerors through Him that loved us ” everyday, until our job here on earth is done? Are we faithful to swim upstream, as it were, to sow the seeds of the Kingdom of Heaven? ♥ Streim
** I initially published this post very early in my blogging experience. I desired brothers and sisters in Christ to to be equipped for this 21st century Christianity we have with its great deceptions on every front! We hear people claiming to be Christians on secular news programs, christian television, christian musicians, etc; disgracing our Heavenly Father, our Savior Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit with lies and chopped up biblical references! I urge you brethren to be sure what you believe is Truth. We are only sojourners here…eternity is just ahead! **
God’s Holy Word is of the utmost importance in the growth of a Christian’s life, it’s the “food” for our newly created inward man. So, do we as Christians SEARCH, STUDY, DILIGENTLY SEEK AND HONOR THE WORD OF OUR GOD as He desires us to? My immediate answer is NO!! Now I’m not saying each and every believer is remiss in their time with the Lord in His Word, but in this chaotic, fast paced world we live in, it seems my assessment is close to reality. Here are some of the reasons I’ve heard people use. “I am too busy I just don’t have time”, “it’s hard to understand the Bible, I’m not a preacher”, “I go to church every week and hear my pastor preach the Word that should be enough”, “I read from my devotional booklet everyday” and so on.
My response to all of the above excuses (notice I am calling them excuses here-not reasons) is simple. First, every minute we live is given to us by God; you don’t have to be a preacher to understand God’s Word, just ask Him to guide you; hearing the Truth of the Word in your church weekly is very important–but it’s not enough and finally reading a devotional is good, but it’s not what the Lord God intended for our lives. I know this because we are told in Deuteronomy 8:3 “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” Jesus himself quoted this verse to Satan when He was tempted to turn stones into bread.
Paul wrote to Timothy in his second epistle chapter 2 verse 15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” In the Complete Jewish Bible it says “Do all you can to present yourself to God as someone worthy of His approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth. “
There are three very important spiritual truths in this verse.
First, we need to study the Word of God, not just read. Study means to apply one’s mind purposefully to the acquisition of knowledge or understanding and to give careful thought to; contemplate. Secondly, there is INTENT in Paul’s words here: “…to show thyself approved…” Approved by man–no! So that we are approved by God, our Father. And finally, why this intent study? Because not only are we His children; we are His workman. As His workman we must rightly divide and appropriately understand, apply and give the Gospel to all. John Wesley said “But they that give one part of the gospel to all (the promises and comforts to unawakened, hardened, scoffing men) have real need to be ashamed.”
2 Timothy 3: 16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” NIV
2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.” NIV
Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” KJV
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is , and that He rewards them that diligently seek him.” KJV
My prayer is for all believers to become True Workman for the Lord God Almighty and our Savior Jesus Christ. We must use God’s Word daily to correctly live our lives in this present time. There are far too many deceivers and wolves in the churches today. Do you truly know what you believe in written in the Word of God.. or has some ‘person(s)’ told you what you believe. Hold up everything you read and hear up to the Light of Scripture. ♥ Streim
R. A. Torrey summed it up very well “Do not study commentaries, lesson helps or other books about the Bible: study the Bible itself. Do not study about the Bible, study the Bible. The Bible is the Word of God, and only the Bible is the Word of God.”
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.“
When I repented and returned to my Father’s arms in July of 2006 my relationship with God the Father and my Savior Jesus was renewed. I wanted to learn more about my Savior and Lord. I had no church, hadn’t read the Word in over 25 years, so I chose ( the Holy Spirit in the new me led me there) to read the Gospel of John. Astounding, amazing mercy and love is what I found! WOW!! I spent months in John’s gospel, all the while trying to find a home church. I visited 4, but a huge thing was missing from each one! The commandment of Jesus to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). A local Christian radio station became my place of worship, learning and fellowship. I lived alone and didn’t/couldn’t drive because of my illnesses, some people call it “being home bound”. I don’t consider ‘bound’– I consider it a blessing. Anyway, I’m getting off track here. Every morning I turned on the radio as soon as I got out of bed. It played almost the entire day. I called that station so often, almost everyone who worked there, knew me by name. God supplied my needs for a home church with a radio station.
The song in today’s ‘message in music’ came on the radio one afternoon. I was struggling spiritually and a song came one the radio I hadn’t heard before. The first time I heard the lyric ‘ tell me how far is the east from the west?’ I pondered.. then the response came ‘ from one scarred hand to the other’. WOW! I stood there in tears as I pictured my Savior on the cross, bearing the burden of my sin. I share this song praying you reflect on the lyrics and God’s amazing grace and mercy. ♥ Streim