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30 Pieces of Silver Changed the World

Much like the vantage point of the photograph, Judas Iscariot had an obstructed view of all the potential Jesus had in mind for him.

In Matthew 26, we see how this man was overcome by satanic influence. It seems that there was greed, jealousy, bitterness and hatred afoot. He chose the dark side rather than to pursue the calling that would have been pleasing to the Lord.

When he went to seek out a price to betray the Lord, he was granted 30 pieces of silver. He was so bold to plot and plan and look for the first opportunity to betray Jesus.

When the time came, he went up to Jesus and gave him a kiss on the cheek. All the while, Jesus calmly still called him friend. I truly believe that if he had repented at that time, he would have been saved. None of us were there at his last moments and there is possibility that as he was preparing to hang himself he cried out in anguish asking for forgiveness. I’m not here to debate one way or the other on that. We do know that the Bible tells us it would have been better for the man that betrayed the Son of God to have never been born. And we know that God loves each and everyone of us.

We also know that the Word tells us that some vessels were created for clean and some for unclean purposes. It also states that the Father doesn’t want anyone to perish but to find eternal life through Jesus His son.

And clearly, we read that Christ could have called down armies of angels and spared him the agony of the cross.

But, I want us to evaluate the impact that one choice can make. One selfish, fleshly decision, was part of an event that changed the whole world. Even though Judas later felt remorse and threw the 30 pieces of silver back into the temple, the dye was already cast.

So may we walk as wise, not as fools, especially as this segment of time and opportunity is rapidly coming to a close. We will all be accountable for the good and the bad that we have done. May we remember to be quick to repent when necessary. May we be readily kind and show forth God’s grace to a world in need.

He said that whatever we do to even the very least, we have done it unto Him. Quite a sobering thought.

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Have You Ever Been Stung?

Until today, I could honestly say that I had never been stung by a bee, wasp or hornet.

As a human being, we are all tempted to be reactive out of fear. Today, while breaking up some compacted wood chips to spread in my yard, I unwittingly disturbed a wasps’ nest. All of a sudden, there was quite a swarm. While I stood still and declared that in the name of Jesus they would not sting me, three of them in fact did impact me in that manner.

In seeking the Lord about the experience and what is to be learned from it, he has shown me a few parallels in the spiritual realm. While I meant no harm to the wasps, their instinct was to respond out of fear as they thought they were going to be destroyed. So too, we as humans can be moved by the spirit of fear if we are not fully controlled by Love. Only true and perfect love can cast out fear according to the Word of God, the Holy Bible. So many of us have hurt others and been hurt. It all goes back to fear.

Sometimes that fear has anger, hatred or bitterness layered upon it, worn like a mask And that’s one lesson from the wasps today.

Another lesson, is how subtle the satanic realm is. As we are blithely going along trying to live our lives, even do good, we can be surprised by the unseen. All of a sudden, evil will spring forth in attack.

Sometimes we have allowed cracks in our Spiritual armor that gives opportunity. But sometimes, as I was reminded earlier while reading a book called Emerald Eyes by Lois Vogel-Sharp, we live in a world that has evil alive and working because it was given permission by man to dwell in this realm and influence our behaviors and our emotions.

The Word tells us that we are not ignorant of the enemy’s devices.

We must stay alert by leaning into God. We do this by embracing Him in worship that comes directly from the depths of our spiritual being and by continuing to read and meditate upon the Word of God, the Bible.

Worship is a deep topic in and of itself. I would encourage you to be aware of how you can worship the Lord in spirit and in truth daily. That’s where the rubber meets the road for me and for you. It’s not about an experience on Sunday mornings. When we have an experience in church, I hope that that is merely an extension of what is going on for us on a regular basis outside of that setting. And I hope that we don’t confuse praise, volume and emotion with true worship.

God bless you this evening, morning or afternoon as you read this passage and beyond.

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Boundaries Are Loving

When I think about boundaries, I think about love. Just like fences, walls and gates can make for healthy, neighborly relationships, and trimming potentially deadly ivy from strangling a tree, setting up relational limits and expectations, can really demonstrate love for self and others.

Remember, before, I’ve discussed love as a verb, an action word that does not have to be in any way connected to one’s emotions. Recently, I’ve chosen to set boundaries to protect the sanctity of my family, home and well-being. It can be difficult to do; yet sometimes, it is the only wise option.

I think family, rather by blood in the natural or via Christ’s blood, are often the most challenging to show boundary love toward. Any one of us may at any time choose to pull back from intentional living. It is at those times that we can open the door to the enemy. While a Christian cannot be possessed by demonic forces, they can choose to cooperate intentionally or be oppressed while living in a state of unintentionality. This is part of what creates confusion in how to proceed in relation to our Christian family members.

To stay in the effective flow of the Holy Spirit and claim what God promised us in 2 Timothy 1:7, sometimes we have to continue to bless those that curse us and pray for those that intentionally misuse us as the Word commands and at the same time not compromise the emotional, physical or financial wholeness of those God has appointed to be in our care.

So be encouraged today, to seek the Lord and ask Him, if you are in a difficult situation, how you can show true love and courage in the face of adversity.

Special thanks to my daughter who wanted to type this blog for you.