Reflections by the Pond

#801: To Be Like Him: Character

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February 27, 2017

If we are to "work out" our lives by the pattern set by Christ, then our days will include times of trial, sacrifice, and suffering, because these were all a part of His path toward "perfection."

For us, that path toward completeness includes a transition through perseverance—endurance, a hardening of our shell, what in another time might have been called "strength of character"...

#800: To Be Like Him: Practice

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February 20, 2017

People think it should require little effort to be like Christ.
But why should it be any easier for us, than it was for Him?

We never graduate from the school of Christ-likeness. Until we meet Him face-to-face, until the moment when we have no more use for this mortal form, we remain in school, learning how to become increasingly like Him.

And the process is not always pleasant; like film in its acid bath, that which is not needed must be cut away to improve that which remains. There's no getting around it: Trials will come, and it's not that trials aren't painful, but that the pain is good for us...

#799: Plenty of Time

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February 13, 2017

...but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
John 20:31

None of us, believer or no, has a guarantee that when our time comes we will be in our right mind. What a horrible contemplation that someone—not antagonistic toward God, but simply a chronic procrastinator—might put off their decision indefinitely, only to lose their reasoning faculties before the decision is made...

#798: Tracks in the Snow

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February 6, 2017

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.
2 Peter 3:10-12a NIV

No one moves through life without leaving behind traces of their passing. Every person leaves tracks in the snow. People know where we've been, and from our tracks they can usually figure out where we're going. More than that, others know how we've made the passage. They've watched our steps, observed our behavior, and listened to the words that have passed our lips. Like it or not, we leave something behind...

#797: Total Immersion

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January 30, 2017

For some peculiar reason there are believers who want to get "married" to Christ, but have no interest in getting to know the One to whom they have been united. They love Jesus enough to take Him as their Savior, but then, after the rings have been exchanged, they lose interest in Him. They give no opportunity for that initial, immature love to deepen and mature, but steadfastly insist that they are quite content, thank you very much, with things as they are—which is very much like a man marrying a woman, then living apart from her, in a separate house...

#795: Planting Seeds

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January 16, 2017

We're all planting and growing something. Some of us plant crops, some of us plant children. Some of us plant goodness and grace in the community, helping others, while some of us plant the hard truth that bruises before it restores. Some of us plant words and ideas that are woven into the lives of strangers, but some of us weave anger and hatred even into the lives of family and friends. Some plant evil. Some plant righteousness. Some plant disease. Some plant health...

#793: God on a Shelf

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January 2, 2017

There comes a point in every person's life—every person, without exception—when this truth is either gloriously or painfully confirmed. The God of heaven will not be set aside, ignored or denied. He will not be treated as simply a handy resource for quick and painless absolution, for the way out of a bad situation, for wish fulfillment...

#792: A Life of Praise

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December 26, 2016

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
Psalms 150:6

By the breath of God the universe was spoken into existence, and by His breath man was given life. By the breath of God the apostles were given understanding; by His breath the written word was set down for all to read, and only by His breath can we understand it.

It all came from Him, and to Him alone it is to return...