Reflections by the Pond

#803: Seasons

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March 2017

The seasons through which we pass as a follower of Christ are the warp and woof of our life in Him. The fabric, the rich tapestry that is our life, the myriad colors, light and shadow—everything that comprises who we are in Christ dwells in these seasons. They define us, they shape and mold us, they make us into what we will become...

#802: To Be Like Him: Submission

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March 6, 2017

On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?
Romans 9:20-21

The rules don't change just because we are unable to explain God's logic. His justice and wisdom are not malleable, but steady and true. God does not adapt to our level of understanding, but steadily encourages us to rise to His.

Are events taking place around you that don't make sense? Are you having a hard time explaining that God's hand is in them? Fine. Then everything is as it should be, for nowhere does it say that the clay is to understand every decision made by the potter.

Any god who can be fully explained is no god at all...

#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...