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Our Sacrifices . . .

Our Sacrifices . . .

 "Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)

 When we sacrifice, we give up something valuable . . . even precious. King David, in bad judgment, had his military commander Joab carry out a census of fighting men in the country. In repentance, David built an altar to offer an atoning sacrifice to God. The site of the altar was at the threshing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite. This location is unique in Bible history in that it was on Mount Mariah where Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac (See Genesis 22:2,9-14), and where Solomon would later build the Temple (See 2 Chronicles 3:1). Araunah gladly offered to provide the site, the fuel, and the sacrificial animals to the King at no cost; however, David responded in a classic Bible verse, "But the king replied to Araunah, 'No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.'" 2 Samuel 24:24 (NIV)

 In our lives, we willingly give our time and resources to rearing children, gifting friends, providing for our families, and donating to charitable endeavors of all kinds. What do we sacrifice in gratitude to Jesus who gave His life for our salvation and for an eternity in Heaven?

 In Romans 12:1, the Apostle Paul urges readers to offer their bodies (their lives), as living sacrifices in an expression of worship and adoration. This includes the aforementioned, but also it encompasses everything we say and do. Daily activities with the Lord will bless not only those we know and love, but also those who are recipients of the overflow.

 "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased." Hebrews 13:15-16 (NIV)

 Ray Newbold

 

Professor of Forestry, (Ret.), Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana

Writer, OPEN WINDOWS; Deacon--FBC, Ruston; Mission Work: Mexico

  

eThoughts Team--Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. XII, No. 09-18RN -- Archived

Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher

If you received this email as a forward, we invite you to sign=in at  www.ethoughtsteam.com

Scripture marked (NIV) is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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The Miracle of Life . . .

The Miracle of Life . . .

 

"And God said, 'Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.' And it was so." Genesis 1:24 (NIV)

 

I sat in a lawn swing as dusk fell and listened to the male cicadas in the trees singing to the females. They had their own reasons for singing, but the song to me was about the God of Creation instilling in all the creatures the ability and the desire to sustain future generations in perpetuity. All of the intricate details of life, the cells and the chemistry that drives it all, were in place and working perfectly the first week in the Garden of Eden . . . and yet today we remain in stages of discovery.

 

God's hand sustains the earth, actually the Universe, which in turn sustains its inhabitants. We gardeners believe we produce wonderful fruits and vegetables, sometimes in abundance . . . enough to preserve a source of food through the winter, and even some to sell or give away. Alas, we only tend God's garden produced from seed that another generation of plants left on their departure . . . grown in soil enriched from the decomposition of generations that returned to the good earth.

 

Farms and woodlands produce meat for the table, fiber for our clothes, and lumber for our houses . . . all from seed God designed in the beginning. Even a crossover of plants and animals exists. As bees and other insects gather nectar for their sustenance, they pollinate flowers that produce seed that birds and other animals eat. Though, an element of pesky and destructive insects and other such creatures exists, they are all part of God's grand design that works to our benefit . . . even when we are aggravated at their presence.

 

"How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom

you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures."

Psalm 104:24 (NIV)

 

Ray Newbold

 

Professor of Forestry, (Ret.), Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana

Writer, OPEN WINDOWS; Deacon--FBC, Ruston; Mission Work: Mexico

 

 

eThoughts Team--Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. XII, No. 09-17RN -- Archived

Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher

If you received this email as a forward, we invite you to sign=in at  www.ethoughtsteam.com

Scripture marked (NIV) is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

You are receiving eThoughts . . . either with your permission or by a friend's forward.

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Tags: ethougts

Our Words and Actions . . .

Our Words and Actions . . .

 Matthew's gospel contains Jesus' parable of two sons. The father told each to go work in the vineyard. The first son said no, but later he went and worked. The second son said he would go. but did not. Jesus asked his listeners, which one did the will of the Father?

I recall a film on television that included this scene. In that portrayal, it was a listening child who spoke up confidently, "The first one." That was the easy answer to Jesus' query and it causes us to reflect on the question . . . "Are we obeying the Father or is our 'obedience' in words only?"

 James' letter in the New Testament also asks a similar question about our faith (See James 2:14-26). The deeds that others see . . . speak to them louder than the words we declare. It doesn't take monumental actions to confirm that we care about them. Gestures are offered that we never expect to be acknowledged or remembered. Smiles, greetings, favors . . . all establish a personal bond that others can feel.

 Words are important and convey in specific terms our message, as well as our nature. "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing . . .." James 3:10 (NIV)  We should frequently revisit the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians . . . love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We are to proclaim the good news of Jesus . . . salvation, fellowship, worship, giving, and all the facets of our faith that make it precious. Our words are important and essential to our message; however, our actions confirm our love.

"What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.' 'I will not,' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go. Which of the two did what his father wanted? 'The first,' they answered." Matthew 21:28-31 (NIV)

 

Ray Newbold

 Professor of Forestry, (Ret.), Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana

Writer, OPEN WINDOWS; Deacon--FBC, Ruston; Mission Work: Mexico

 

eThoughts Team--Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. XII, No. 08-15RN -- Archived

Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher

If you received this email as a forward, we invite you to sign=in at  www.ethoughtsteam.com

Scripture marked (NIV) is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

You are receiving eThoughts . . . either with your permission or by a friend's forward.

eThoughts Team | P. O. Box 605 |  Ruston, LA 71273

Posted by Ray Newbold with
Tags: ethougts