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Perspective

From ‘The Little Things’

By Andy Andrews

In the fast food industry, it is a fact that Sunday is the biggest day for sales. McDonald’s brings in extra workers, Chic-fil-A closes its doors. 

In a story about ‘perspective’, two resturants have the same data, but from different perspectives make two distinctly different decisions. Chic-fil-A chooses a day of rest.

Interesting the average McDonald’s, while choosing to work on the biggest money making day of the week, takes in $2.6 million per year; the average Chic-fil-A while resting on the biggest money making day. . . $4 million.

“Perspective is such a little thing, but it’s the only thing that can dramatically change the results without changing any of the facts.”

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The jungle gym I made for my granddaughters was to be a place where we could all enjoy together. We would enjoy watching them play and they would enjoy us as they played. 

I believe that might not be too far from an accurate picture of what God had in mind when He created the world. With us in mind, He created what He knew we would enjoy. Always intended as a place where we could all enjoy together. He would enjoy watching us play and we would enjoy Him as we played. 

It would not be good if I turned and made the jungle gym off limits. Neither would it be good if the girls turned and made us off limits while they played. It was made be enjoyed together. 

I know there are exceptions to every thought, but does it make sense that God would create all things for our enjoyment and then turn and make them off limits? Unless we make God off limits, I don’t believe He will.  

“When the plowman plows, he does so in hopes of sharing in the harvest.” As I labored to build the jungle gym, my reward is the time I get with the girls; God’s reward in creation . . . His time with us.  

We are His reward.

 

I recently built a play structure for my grandkids. I thought about it for weeks. There’s an upper and lower level. There’s a picnic table on the lower and from the upper you can slide down a fireman’s pole. There’s a rope to climb and a bell to ring if you climb it. There’s a swing and trapeze bar. Every time I thought of something to include, my thought was always . . . “They’re gonna love that.”

 

It has made me wonder if that was how God was during creation. While He “hovered” over the earth, thinking about all He was going to do, I wonder how many times He said to Himself . . . “They’re gonna love that”.

 

The Hope of Glory

Before sin entered the picture, God enjoyed walking and conversing with Adam and Eve. It was as He had intended and hoped for. It would be 1500 years before someone else came along that would give Him this pleasure. Evidently Noah chose God. He had a heart for God. As a result, God enjoyed walking with him.

With that hope, once again in mind, He started over with just Noah and his family. Later, He would try again with Abraham. With that hope in mind, He singled out a people to care for in hope that they would choose Him.

Finally, and again with that hope in mind, He came Himself. This time, He provided a means – forgiveness – by which any who would choose to accept it would have the opportunity to walk with Him. Forgiveness is not the end; it is the beginning of what He hopes for.

Forgiveness is the point of conception by which a new nature is born in us. This new nature, if fed and nourished properly, will do in us what we could never do for ourselves. Neglected, the new nature withers and will never reach the point of life to which the conception was supposed to lead.

But the hope that it will, is and forever will be, “The Hope of Glory”.

 

 

The Object of Pruning

From Refiners Fire

T. Austin-Sparks

The Object of Pruning

 

A rose bush that has not been properly pruned will produce what some call, dog-roses. They may be pretty, but they are not the real thing; it is something inferior; it is not what might have been.

 

It is easy for us, if the Lord spares the knife and leaves us alone; if we get out of the Lord and run free, to lose distinctiveness of character.

 

It is not until the knife comes back, saying, ‘No, no, not that way,’ that the Lord recovers the thing which He first intended as His own satisfaction.

 

From:    The Refiners Fire

Austin-Sparks   ‘The Lord’s Attitude to His Children in Adversity’

“In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” Isaiah 63:9

In this context, the word ‘adversity’ means ‘straightness’. It refers to Israel’s time in the wilderness. They were shut up with regard to many things which the world had and the world could do. In Egypt they had everything, but out here they never knew.

It’s a life of faith, and faith is a life of straitness so often cut off from much and shut up to this wilderness where things are to the natural mind “narrowed down” to God. But the goal of this earthly narrowing is heavenly enlargement?

When we find ourselves in this kind of shut up straitness, how quickly the enemy comes in and says, The Lord is against you! How often the enemy shuts the doors and then says the Lord has shut them because He is against you. How often the enemy tries to becloud our assurance with accusation and then says it is the Lord.

Oh how the enemy will take hold of everything to use it for our destruction! It is not the case at all. The Lord is after an enlargement. “In all their adversity, He was no adversary.” In all their straitness, He was not against them.

The Craving of God

I have been in the first 8 chapters for 6 weeks. I kept having the sense that there was more God wanted to show me so I have read and reread these chapters. I especially had that sense about Noah. I kept thinking about all that he went through to build the ark and that it would lead somewhere . . . and it did.

God started with a ‘heaven on earth’ setting. He had two people that he could walk and converse with. By the time we get to Noah – 1,500 hundred years later – “all the people on earth had corrupted themselves”. Noah was the only one, “blameless among the people of his time”, that chose to “walk with God”.

If God “hovered over the waters” of the earth, devising a way to bring life into it, is it any wonder that he could hover over it once again to devise a way to preserve that life while he destroyed the part of it that had become corrupted? Once again, the waters would cover the earth. Through Noah’s toil and hard labor, a means was provided.

At an appointed time, God will once again destroy this corrupted world. Through the toil and hard labor of Jesus, a means has been provided to preserve the good. God will finally get what he has craved from the beginning of all creation – people in the purest setting with whom he will be able to walk and converse with.