The What Ifs

AUGUST 3

MATTHEW 6:27_Which of you by taking thought…

Jesus lets you know where worry, fret, and stress begin – your thoughts.

You have a problem. Your brain creates a scenario of possibilities. What if this happens? Or even worse, what if that happens? And what if the very thing I want the most doesn’t happen at all? Your thoughts rehearse the scenario over and over imagining an abundance of possibilities, none of which are currently reality – and may never become so.

Taking thought allows the brain to fill the heart with stress. Proverbs 4:23 (KJV), “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” God wants your heart to issue life, not stress which brings an abundance of health problems. If envy consumes your thoughts … Proverbs 14:30 (KJV), “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.” 

God doesn’t want thought patterns to damage your heart, which in turn damage health. God wants things like John 14:1 (KJV) to rule thoughts, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me [Jesus].”

Those what ifs trouble your heart. God wants hearts free to not only believe in Him, but on Him. 

PRAYER

God of My Heart, Help me not allow my thoughts to trouble my heart. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ does not want my heart troubled—He helps me!

The Only Creation Made in His Image

AUGUST 2

MATTHEW 6:26_Are ye not much better than they?

Do you agree with Jesus’ question? Are you better than the birds? Better in what kind of way? Better looking? Hmm, when’s the last time you’ve seen a Roseate Spoonbill? A Franklin’s Gull? A Red-breasted Merganser? A Wood Duck? An American Goldfinch? A Cardinal? An Eastern Bluebird, or a Mountain Bluebird?  And it would be hard for me to decide who is more handsome – the Indigo Bunting, the Painted Bunting, or the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak? If you are not familiar with these, look them up. Talk about good looks?!

Perhaps, you think you are far more useful to the world, than a bird. Well, farmers and gardeners sure welcome the handsome Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. One of the Grosbeak’s favorite meals is potato beetles – they like the larvae as well. Talk about intelligent design!!

On the other hand, when I see Godly people performing self-sacrificing deeds, making wise decisions, and spreading love in the world, I don’t think there is any greater part of creation. 

Yes, I think God considers us much better than animals. He gives us the opportunity to bear the name of Christ when we become Christians.

I believe God thinks very highly of the only creation made in His image. 

PRAYER

God of Intelligent Design, Praise You for the opportunities You give me to be like You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ values me over all creation—I praise Him!

Intelligent Design

 AUGUST 1

MATTHEW 6:26_yet your heavenly Father feedeth them…

Birds are well fed. Not only do they have people like me who feed them, but the Creator feeds them. As we have already said, God created the birds’ food before He created the birds.    

God’s creation glorifies Him. He designed it that way. To become a student of nature is to become a student of God’s workmanship. Remember Psalm 19:1-2 (KJV)? “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.”

Intelligent Design. I like that. What goes on in the world of nature every day and every night is a testimony of intelligence far beyond anything man can fathom.

You may decide to become some kind of hermit because you just don’t like people. They keep hurting you and trespassing into your life. Whatever rock you hide under or cave you hide inside – you cannot escape the world of nature. The rock and cave themselves are designs of God’s incredible intelligence, along with any and everything that dwells in them. They speak God’s name constantly.

God feeds His birds. God creates. God takes care of His creation.    

By the way, God’s intelligent design is for you to allow Him to teach you how to respond to the hurts and trespasses with good works. Hermits are not a part of His design.

PRAYER

God of Creation, Open my eyes to see Your greatness all around me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ’s intelligence is in all of nature—I see it!

Jesus Turns to Nature

JULY 31

MATTHEW 6:26_Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns…

Jesus turns to nature. Consider birds, their work habits. 

I love to watch birds. I keep my feeders full, and water in the bird bath. It is a joy to watch the birds flock to the feeders. Don’t get me started on squirrels and my feeders (don’t want to discuss demons at this time).

During the season, I make nectar and keep my hummingbird feeders full. 

The birds did not plant the black oil sunflower seed I pour into the feeder. Neither did they harvest the seed, nor separate the seed from the hull. The hummers did not plant and grow the cane, nor go through the process of pressing, extracting, etc., to produce the sugar I use to make nectar. 

It is true that all the birds in my yard will eat well without my feeders, and without me. Genesis 1 (KJV), “11 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.”

God had provision on His mind before He created who would need it.   

PRAYER

God Who is the First and the Last, Thank You that You know my needs before I need them. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ provides—I receive!

Don’t Give Him the Satisfaction!

JULY 20

MATTHEW 6:22_if therefore thine eye be single…

When Jesus refers to the eye being single He does not mean a person with just one eye. Neither does He mean a person who has sight in only one eye. Jesus is teaching a principle here, not a lesson in physical science.

If you are a person who only has sight in one eye or if you’re totally blind – don’t you dare think you are in some way inferior. Thoughts of inferiority come from the devil – never from Jesus. As the Creator, Jesus understands the body, soul, and spirit. He understands the principles by which they operate. He created them to function together, with the spirit being the mainspring.

The devil has no understanding, or even knowledge of how Jesus’ principles of life work. He is the deceiver.  It doesn’t really matter to him how Jesus’ creation works, because he plans to deceive you into believing his lies and not the truth. He knows how to discourage. He knows how to intimidate. He knows how to tempt.

The devil wants to deceive you out of your hope. He knows if he can get your focus off of Jesus, and into a defeated, giving up, I-don’t-stand-a-chance attitude, he’s won a major battle in your life. Don’t give him the satisfaction!

Remember, light expels darkness.

PRAYER

Holy God of Heaven, Help me not to be discouraged by the devil’s lies. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows the devil’s lies—He helps me overcome!