Turnabout Tuesday~~ “if” is a BIG word

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

God’s love is freely given to all people without condition, however, what is done with His love is conditional!  Each person, sometime in their life, is given the opportunity to accept His love personally, as our own, by receiving His forgiveness through the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Should we make the choice to accept His love, then the “if” process begins.

Romans 10:9 says “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” 

Deuteronomy 4: 29 says “But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

The purest definition from Websters Dictionary defines if as a) in the event that b) allowing that c) on the assumption that d) on condition that.  Simply it requires a conditional event or  a conditional attitude.

The “IF” process begins at that moment of salvation and continues daily throughout our earthly life.  I can say that with certainty because every day is filled with “ifs“.  So how do we handle these “ifs” as followers of Jesus?  Solomon gave us a dynamic truth in Proverbs 2: 1-9:

My son, if  you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding;  yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding,  If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures;  then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.  For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding;  He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;  He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path.

What is the result of the “if” process?  Understanding the fear (awe) of God and finding Godly wisdom for every “if” we may encounter.  May you be blessed as you  grow in the Lord daily through studying His Word and humbly praying for His guidance.

The Cracked Pot

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her shoulders behind her neck.   She carried them daily to a small stream about 2 miles from her home.  One of the pots was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water, but the other pot had a crack in it.  At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
Daily for two years this went on, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. 

But the cracked pot ashamed of its own imperfection was miserable that it could only do half the job the perfect pot did. 

After two years of what it perceived as bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.  “I’m ashamed of myself, because of this crack in my side, water leaks out all the way back to your house.”
The old woman smiled, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path?  There aren’t any growing on the other side of the path.  Do you know why?”  She continued, ” I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.
For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.  Without you being just the way you are, there would not be the beauty of these flowers to grace the home everyday.”    (an old Chinese proverb, author unknown–with edits by Streim)

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Each of us has our own unique flaw.  But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.  We just have to take each person for who they are and look for the good in them.

In 1 Samuel 16:7 the Lord was speaking to Samuel about David’s youth and small stature.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

We would all do well to listen with “ears that hear” to our Almighty God’s words. 

Show the world your love for the Lord Jesus Christ by never judging, but always accepting the imperfections of others, for there is none among us who is perfect!  

Romans 3: 10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;

Monday Moments

Proverbs 12:25  “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”

In the extreme cold of life we need each other.  Don’t be fooled by the facade of strength that some put on to protect themselves.  Put a little May and June into someone’s life.  Don’t hide behind propriety.  As you kindergarten teacher taught you, “be a buddy”.  Look both ways–who needs a hand, a word or one of your ears for a few moments.  Lending yours might mean making someone’s day.  Reach out and warm a heart!   

Taken from Barbara Johnson’s “Boomerang Joy– Joy That Goes Around, Comes Around” devotional