E Thoughts

Looking for the Cure . . .

Looking for the Cure . . .

 For over 2,000 years, people have been looking for the cure for human miseries.  Six hundred years before Christ, Jeremiah, the prophet, asked, "Is there no balm in Gilead?  Is there no physician there?  So why has the healing of my dear people not come about?" Jeremiah 8:22 (HCSB)

  When Jesus began His earthly ministry nearly 2,000 years ago, why didn't He wipe out human misery then?  According to the record, He gave sight to three blind men . . . why not eliminate blindness?  He touched cripples and they walked, made the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak . . . why not do this for all cripples, all who are deaf or dumb?  He healed sickness . . . why not rid the world of disease?  He fed thousands with a few scraps of food . . . why not eliminate hunger entirely?  The record says He brought three people back to life . . . why not cancel out death completely?  This is the kind of question asked about Jesus when His friend, Lazarus, had died:  "Couldn't He who opened the blind man's eyes also have kept this man from dying?" John 11:37b (HCSB) 

 Had Jesus reached the limit of His power?  Or, did He become indifferent finally?  Did He just lose interest in people's needs?  Why didn't He stay alive . . . eliminate sickness, poverty, death, misery . . . in His generation and permanently?   

 Why?  Because He was the Great Physician!  He knew people's miseries are symptoms.  He knew the disease itself was sin, and the only cure for sin was the shedding of blood.  ". . . without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." Hebrews 9:22b (HCSB)   Jesus' mission was the cross.  His cure for the disease was the sacrifice of His own blood (the only human whose blood was completely sinless).  He was born to be crucified.   

 Jesus could have dealt only with the symptoms . . . generation-after-generation, ad infinitum, but so what?   

 He came to cure the disease of sin altogether, to eliminate the virus, so people would no longer be infected by it!  He did precisely that!  That is the whole point of His birth, life, teaching, death, and resurrection.  He is God's once-for-all cure for people's deepest needs.

 Obviously, a cure will not work unless people take it.  It's somewhat pathetic to see people still preoccupied with symptoms, still trying to solve their sociological problems while they ignore the affliction that produced them.   

 "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29b (KJV) 

  Andrew (Andy) Johnson

 

Senior-Adult Pastor, Emeritus -- First Baptist Church, Ruston, Louisiana

Fighter Pilot, U. S. Marine Corps (1952-66, Ret.); Chaplain, U. S. Navy (1969-90, Ret.)

 

eThoughts Team - Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. XII, No. 10-13AJ -- Archived

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

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Scripture is taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible. Copyright 2004 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee. Used with Permission. All Rights Reserved.

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Time Is Always Fleeting . . .

Time Is Always Fleeting . . .

 

"And we urge you, brothers and sisters,

warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage

the disheartened, help the weak, be patient

with everyone." 1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NIV)

 

In the pre-dawn hour . . . before the street traffic noise starts, before the birds sing, and before the squirrels start dropping pecans on the roof . . . in the quietness, we hear the tick tock of the clock counting off time. Time is measured in days, seasons, years . . . and in the end, even our lifespan. However, that is the big picture.

 

Daily . . . we have work schedules, appointments, meal times, and sleep times. Our football games are measured in seconds and our basketball games in tenths of seconds. As the clock ticks, we can hear time passing . . . and we just may be tempted to remove the clock battery; however, time marches on, regardless.

 

In a world of work and commerce, we feel pressed for time, yet we turn on the TV, scan our social media, or phone a friend . . . because it is "just something we do." Leisure hours and days account for a significant portion of most folk's time. While we are not expected to be slaves to our pursuits, needs exist that could be met . . . when we take an interest. Membership in service clubs, providing both social and physical assistance, seems to be experiencing a decline and even when numbers grow, participation wanes.

 

In our Christian service, when we take interest in a family, a mission, or other efforts to "encourage the disheartened and help the weak," our lives as well as the lives of others are enriched. We would better appreciate God's blessings to us and know the real joy of time and life. Our days would be a testimony to our love for Jesus and His example of compassion and care.   

 

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time,

for that is the stuff life is made of."--Benjamin Franklin

 

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. 10-19RN -- Archived

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

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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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Walking into Autumn

 DAY ONE . . . "Autumn Adventure Ahead" with Glynn

 

BEING THERE

 

 For an outdoors-oriented person like me,

each of the four seasons holds something special.

 

Winter brings with it thoughts of a duck blind, hissing sleet, cold north wind nipping at my nose, watching a brace of mallards . . . wings cupped settling in over the decoys.

 

Spring and its promise of new birth conjures memories of standing on a hill at dawn, hearing the first raspy gobble of a wild turkey on the roost . . . anticipating the challenge he's about to give me.

 

Summer means the bass are schooling, churning the water to a froth as they feed on shad and I cast a lure . . . hoping the fake will fool a bass or two.

 

My favorite time of year is autumn . . . for it's the time of year when I pull on my camo and head for the woods.

 

One of my favorite things to do in autumn is to herald the opening day of squirrel season.  When I was young, the thought of bagging a "limit of squirrels" was foremost in my mind.  Now that I'm older and have had more than a few opening days under my belt, my primary reason for rising early and heading out to sit in the woods is not to see how many squirrels I can bag; it's just the incredibly simple thing of just "being there."

 

Those who don't hunt find it hard to fathom why a grown man would crawl out of a warm bed before dawn to go sit on a log in the woods.  For me, there is no time more special than to be there when darkness gives way to a peach-tinted dawn and shadowy forms of trees and stumps begin taking shape.  During that enchanted time, it is natural for me to feel close to God who formed all this and binds it together.

 As I sit and feel a chill on my face and watch the woods begin gathering light, it's hard not to feel close to Him as the words of Psalm 46:10a (KJV)  come to mind, "Be still and know that I am God . . .."

 Attempting to sneak-up on the first squirrel of the season is exciting, but experiencing an autumn dawn in the woods is so much more than that.  It's the simple joy of "being there" in the presence of the Creator . . . smack-dab in the middle of His glorious creation.

   Glynn Harris

 

Award-winning Outdoors Writer/Broadcaster, who is married to Kay.

Deacon, First Baptist Church, Ruston, Louisiana

 

eThoughts Team - Extended Week-day Free Devotions -- Vol. XII, No. 09-68G -- Archived

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

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Posted by Glynn Harris with
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