Some fish can really fight!

 

Bluegill_fish_caught_on_a_hook_using_an_earthworm_lepomis_macrochirus

 

As I mentioned in a recent post about fishing where I talked about resisting the Lord just like the fish fought against being landed I had some thoughts that were nearly opposite; that perhaps we, like the fish, are in the right place, in the stream or river, enjoying the life giving waters of salvation and are tempted by some sort of lure or bait and are then “hooked” by the false promise of something good which ends up leading us into damnation and death.

Yeah, thinking about the fishing, how some fish really fight, resist getting landed and some are able to throw the hook or break the line, then they return back to their place in the stream. They are tempted by some choice, yummy looking bait, or a lure. Many times in life we face temptations, things we want, things we think we want, things that promise happiness, pleasure, wealth, alcohol, drugs, a fancy car, a nicer house or some other rewards. Usually those temptations seem like easier ways to get what we believe we should have in life than to maintain the faith and follow Christ. So, we go after it, then, once we have that thing, like a fishing lure or a baited hook, we eventually feel the sting of succumbing to the temptation. At times, even though there is some sting, fighting against it is more painful than just going along and following the temptation further. Its just easier to go with it, maybe the bait still seems good and one is enjoying it so they ignore the pain. Maybe they don’t even notice the pain and focus so much on the pleasure aspect that it is the only thing of concern.  As in fishing, the fish often comes in easily at first, not fighting much at all. Eventually, the fish will realize that it is hooked by that and are being lead further and further away from the part of the river that is best for them. As we as Christians often don’t think as much about it because we are still mostly in His will and following Christ but eventually get pulled further and further away from Him. Out of the main part of river of life with the living water and spiritual food we need. Then, into the shallows, barely living a Christian life until suddenly, we are completely out of the life giving water He has for us and are trapped. Oh, when we realize that we are getting further and further from where we should be we will start to fight some, trying to get back, but the temptation keeps drawing us away. If we do not fight the temptation we will eventually be lead to death and destruction.

Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly [is] ready, but the flesh [is] weak. Mark 14:38

 

There is no shortage of temptations out in the world. We all know how hard the devil is trying to tempt us and lead us away from God. He even tried to tempt Christ.

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.  Matthew 4:1

 

God warns us of the temptations and tells us to avoid them.

And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.  Luke 22:40

Christ even tells us to pray that we not be lead into temptation when he taught how to pray in the Lord’s Prayer.  And, we are promised that we will not be tempted more than we can resist. Oh, sometimes we don’t resist but He promises it won’t be so much that we are unable to do so.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]. 1 Corinthians 10:13

 

And, for those able to resist temptation (in the past I have resisted some, but sadly for me, not resisted all yet He helps me with that now and I am more able to resist with Christ helping me) He promises rewards and blessings.

12 Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

James 1:12-16

 

Lord, I praise Your Name and thank You for all the blessings. I thank You for the simple lessons that help me understand the mind of Christ better and the ways in which I can be a better Christian. Lord, I know I have so much I can improve on but I also know that You have brought me a long way. In Jesus Name I pray that You continue that work in me. Strengthen me in my faith and help me avoid the temptations in the world. Draw me, and my loved ones, closer to You. Show each and every one of us Your true plan for our lives and help us better learn to follow Christ.

Amen

Thanks for your time today. I hope everyone has a blessed day, and that you have the chance to be a blessing to someone else.

 

 

Lets Go Fishing!

BentRod

 

 

I mentioned in my last post about going fishing while on my trip. Well, if you read that you know that there was some bad with it. However, that is much better now. But, I guess, like some of the Star Wars and such, I talked about the last part before the first. While there, yes, as you know, I went salmon fishing. I know I went a couple times as a young child, but I don’t personally remember catching any but did see the adults catch some and I remembered that the fish fought pretty hard. I have fished for all kinds of fish, mostly in ponds and lakes, some in streams and rivers, a little surf and deep sea fishing. But, I really don’t remember any fighting as hard as the salmon did when hooked.

When I was fishing, sometimes they would barely nibble, other times they would grab the bait or lure hard and it was on. Once on the line, they would fight, sometimes not too much, but usually they fought pretty good. Sometimes, they fought REALLY HARD, heading in the other direction, diving deep, suddenly take off a different direction and jump out of the water. It was a lot of fun to see them jump like that. Sometimes, they would seem to be nearly exhausted and one could reel them in almost to the bank and suddenly they would take off again and the fight was on again. Eventually, either they would finally tire out and could be landed or at times, thankfully only a few the fish would be lost when they would manage to either throw the hook or break the line.

Now, as I thought about the fishing, how they fought, resisted, but with rare exceptions eventually succumbed and were landed; I got to thinking about how I and I suspect most Christians are when it comes to confessing our sins and asking for forgiveness. Now, obviously, fish do not have a happy ending when they are landed, but Christians, well, life is much better for us when we do, but, back to my initial thoughts. I know that I, for a long time, felt convicted about things, mostly that, even if no “big sins” I wasn’t living a Christian life and God was reminding me of that. But, I fought him, in my mind I justified the wrong I was doing, I convinced myself that it was fine to not go to church, not pray, not read the Bible. I fought against God. I resisted His convictions to do as I should. I would ALMOST decide to go to church, read the Bible, pray; but I would not quite do it. I fought against Him.

How many of us have done that? Most I suspect are in the same situation. Not doing the right thing for God and ourselves. Convincing ourselves we are okay to stay in the stream, stay in the life we are currently living, even though we know that He has a better life to offer us. He puts the “bait” of salvation, forgiveness and life eternal there right in front of us and sometimes we ignore it, or nibble at it, but won’t take it. Then, when we start to do so, we reject Him, we spit out the bait. Yet, Christ does not give up on us. If the bait is gone, He is patient and will put more bait on the hook and start all over again. When we resist Him, He does not simply yank hard, but maintains that steady love and patience, showing us that He has a better way for us, that we will not become exhausted if we follow Him. He gives us the free will to run from Him, while He knows the truth that we will be better if we didn’t run from him. The pain that comes with the convictions and knowledge of our sins, our guilt, won’t be felt if we follow His lead and let Him “land us” by accepting Him as the son of God, confess our sins, ask Him for the forgiveness that He offers.

Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.     Romans 13:2

 

And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. Acts 6:10

So, when we resist Him, we condemn ourselves, but He promises that we will not be able to always resist the wisdom of the Spirit.

 

He is such an amazing God and Savior. No matter how hard we resist the truth of His word, His grace and mercy, He continues to try to lead us back to Him. So that WE have rewards beyond measure.

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for all the mercy You show me and that despite my resistance You did not give up. You at times gently lead me to You and at other times were more harsh in how You tried to bring me to salvation by allowing hardships and challenges that I suffered alone because of my stubbornness. But, You did not quit loving me. I thank You so much for Your patience, love and forgiveness.  I know I am not always the man I should be, but with Your love, guidance and grace I am getting closer to who You would have me to be for Christ’s glory. I pray in Jesus Name that You continue Your work in me, that You help me better know the mind of Christ that I be a better example of His work in me. I ask that You draw me and my loved ones closer to You and show us all Your love, mercy and the salvation You have for us. Show us all Your plan for our lives so we know what to do and that You break down the resistance to Your will and way for us and instead of resisting You we succumb to Your perfect way. I thank You for the gift of salvation and forgiveness, paid for through the sacrifice and blood of Jesus when He was crucified and suffered to pay the price of my sins.

Amen

 

Thanks to all for your time today. I hope all have a blessed day and are able to be a blessing to someone else as well. Oh, by the way, I had some near opposite thoughts on fishing so check back in the next few days for the other analogy.

The fish bites.

fishpic

 

Well, sometimes after travelling and time off work I have a hard time getting back into the regular swing of things, particularly so when I have been essentially off the grid while visiting somewhere with minimal to no internet. Belief it or not there still are a few places like that out there. I was up in Nome, Alaska and while I know it would not be everyone’s cup of tea, I love the place. I must confess, my visits have been in the summer time and I seriously doubt I would ever want to visit in the winter. But, as they say, there is no place like Nome. But, as I said, trying to get used to the time change, get caught up on things at home and work and deal with whatever other issues came up while I was away makes it difficult to get back into the normal flow of life. I am finally caught up, mostly…..I think. But, on to the post of the day.

During my visit in Nome I had the chance to do some salmon fishing and the silver salmon were biting GREAT! One problem I found is that salmon have bigger and sharper teeth than most of the fish I have caught in the past. And, I found out the hard way. Someone, tried to remove a hook from one fish’s mouth before LOOKING and was bitten. A salmon’s teeth are not shark huge, but they are fairly big and very sharp. I had several little puncture wounds from the bite and was foolish enough to have had fingers on both hands in the fish’s mouth. After I finished finding needle nose pliers and removing the hook I washed off my fingers and tried to avoid those teeth on the rest of the fish. As time went I find that I did not wash as well as I should have and some ended up getting infected. I tried washing them better, scrubbing out the wounds, and that sort of helped, but some still got more infected and I ended up needing to start antibiotics and some of the spots needed to be lanced and drained. NO FUN! Now they are getting better and I thank God for that.

I deal with similar issues with patients frequently where the develop cellulitis, basically infection in the skin. Other times where they develop abscesses where pockets of bacteria and white blood cells collect (pus.) Well, some abscesses are small, like the ones I had but others get pretty large. All of these skin infections require some type of damage to the skin, cuts, scrapes, puncture wounds from bug bites, spider bites, thorns, etc. One thing I have noticed, and to me it is interesting, is that the big wounds usually do not become infected. Some is due to a larger amount of bleeding that washes dirt and bacteria out of the wound but a lot is that people tend to take larger wounds more seriously and wash them carefully, try hard to keep them clean, and thereby avoid infections. But, the smaller wounds, well people tend to not worry as much about those but they are the ones that normally get more infected, the infection spreads, and can get very severe. Once treated the infection resolves and the person heals fine but even small areas of infection, if not treated, will get worse and cause loss of tissue and if let go too long, result in death.

SO…..nice you are thinking, he got some fish bites on his hands, gave us a little lesson on skin conditions and such. BUT WHAT IS THE POINT?

I got to thinking how my spiritual life is similar. The big trials, the big temptations, the BIG EVILS when they show up are much easier to deal with for the most part. They are easier to deal with in a way. One can recognize the dangers to one’s spiritual well being when they are the big issues, the temptations and hardships are much more quickly recognized and dealt with by most. Avoid those things, or if a significant hardship is encountered most of us take time to look to the scripture and pray about things for God’s help in dealing with the difficulty at hand and He helps us. But, the little things, the tiny small trials we sometimes ignore and smaller sins are the say way. We sort of ignore the little things sometimes, let them go without addressing them. Now, I realize, sin is sin.

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:10

If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.    Genesis 4:7

 

There really are no big or small sins, but most of us consider some things as lesser sins. Maybe it is a little white lie, make a promise we don’t intend to keep; we make little mean comments about others, nothing TERRIBLE, but still negative comments that do not please God, treat others poorly but not really badly. Many ways we make these small sins and we ignore them. But, the small sins still impact our spiritual well being. These acts put barriers between us and God and human nature is such that once one thing is there we justify slightly more significant sins. The effects of these small sins, the progressively worse sins and the person’s ignoring them is they begin to fester. Maybe one fails to forgive someone, not forgiving someone causes the feelings of hurt and anger to remain, eating away at the person holding on to the hurt, creating more intense anger and bitterness. That anger and bitterness builds, it spreads into other areas of one’s spiritual life. It creates a spiritual infection and eventually needs dealt with in a more aggressive manner to rid one of that disease. One must drain the infection and treat it. Spiritually that requires looking to God and His guidance. Read the scripture to see what He wants us to do. As with any sin He wants us to recognize the sin, confess to Him that we have sinned and ask for forgiveness. God is good and faithful to forgive us of those sins and cleanse us. He and His word are our spiritual scalpel that drains the infection from us and the antibiotic that rids us of the sins.

But, as I said, interesting to me is that the more obvious, bigger so to speak, sins are in many ways easier to deal with overall because we more quickly recognize them but the smaller things slowly creep in, spread and cause more problems in the long run. Avoiding completely and seeking His protection can prevent problems, just like vaccinations that protect us from diseases.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Ephesians 6:10-11

 

Using protective devices, gloves when dealing with sharp items or getting vaccinations to protect ourselves are a couple examples on how to avoid infections, but spiritually we need to constantly seek the Lord and try to think with the mind of Christ, put on our spiritual armor and let God protect us.

Yeah, sin is sin, big or small, and sin is a spiritual infection, avoiding is best, but when it is present, it must be dealt with and when we deal with it, He will take care of us, forgive us, He redeems us.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 3:16-17

 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for helping me understand Your desires for me to avoid sin and if I fail to avoid it, recognize it and deal with it as You wish me to deal with sin. I know I have sinned in many ways and I ask Your forgiveness of those sins. I thank You for Your sacrifice of Your Son Jesus Christ who died for my sins. I thank You for your grace and mercy. I pray in Jesus name that You continue to help me grow spiritually, that You continue to help me in my walk and help me better have the mind and heart of Christ. Please show me how to improve myself for You and how to better serve You. Help my loved ones see their own sins, show them they need to confess the sins to You and ask Your forgiveness. Help them walk away from the sins in their lives so they may better serve You and know You and Your will in their lives. I worship You for your grace, mercy and for all that You are.

Amen

 

Thanks for the visit today. I apologize for the absence and I pray all have been well. Try to be a blessing to others today. He will bless you for your efforts.