The Porch Light

sized-front-porch-entry-beach-style-with-beam-rectangular-area-rugs

 

I like to find similes, ways that real life experiences can help me better understand the Bible and how to apply it to my spiritual life. Maybe sort of like parables that Jesus used to teach people things. It just makes the concepts easier to understand for me. Some of these concepts, thoughts, should be and often are, things I learned as a child. Maybe similar lessons in Sunday School, maybe the same concepts taught other ways. Regardless if the lessons He teaches me are the simple ones, the more complicated, or if He is reteaching me things that I know, but sort of put way in the back of my mind and He wants them brought more to the front; He does remind me, teach me and I praise God that He is able to use so many things to show me what He wants me to know and think about.

And, the most recent of many lessons.

 

 

moth

 

The other night I went outside after it was dark and as I went out the door I turned on switch for the porch light, but it didn’t come on. So, I step back inside because, well, maybe I only thought I turned it on, but nope, switch was on and realized the light bulb had burned out. I went inside, got a new bulb and using a flashlight to see I replaced it. When the new bulb came on I noticed the cobwebs in the fixture as well as all the bugs that had been trapped and consumed. First thought was that I needed to clean it, but decided to wait until it was light outside so I could see better. Then, I went about what I was going to do initially (which sadly when I get distracted by one thing, I forget what I was doing to begin with and end up not getting it done, is that age? Naw, always been that way, maybe some attention deficit. BUT, I digress.) I finished and as I was going back inside I noticed that the new light was surrounded by insects, moths, gnats, flies, mosquitoes and whatever else. I thought about how many had been attracted to the light before and ended up consumed. As I thought about it more, I thought about my recent post on spider webs.

I thought about how the insects were attracted to the light. I always wondered why they do that. Why do moths fly to and into flames sometimes? Is it for warmth? Security? Do they for some reason think the colors are some sort of flower and as such food for them? I may have learned in school what instinct draws moths to the flames, but I can’t recall why at this time and as I think about it, I don’t believe they have definitive proof of why, only different theories. But, they are attracted to the light, the flame, and once there, despite what, they often find themselves either in a flame, trapped in a web or in some other way consumed and destroyed by what attracted them.

Further thoughts and the analogy of humans being drawn to what we think is light often leads to our destruction. Why are we lured by the false light of the world? What is it about the human psyche that makes us want things that, from a different perspective, one should know would lead to our spiritual demise? Why do we worry so much about the things of this world such as money and the things it can buy like fancy clothes, new cars, fancy houses and such? What instinct or desire is it that inexplicably lures us into destruction? All over media whether that be television, radio, magazines, billboards are advertisements that promise so much and cause us to want those things. Cars, clothes, perfume, alcohol, and endless other things. Trying to obtain these things, or obtaining and proceeding in the lifestyle necessary to obtain and “enjoy” all the things promised in the ads takes us down paths that in the long run are not in our best interests.

I see others lured into situations and lifestyles that as I look from a distance it is easy to see is going to be harmful to them in the long run. I know in hindsight I have taken the wrong path while seeking a false light. One gets so fixated on things that one is not able to see what is truly happening. We are being lead to our destruction. We compromise ourselves, our values, knowing initially that something is wrong, but somehow we justify our actions as we seek whatever we are seeking, whatever light is attracting us at the time, that we ignore the dangers until we are pulled in too closely and either get consumed by the flames, trapped in a spider’s web close to the light or some other way are destroyed as we try to move as close to the light as possible. Maybe we think we will only “almost get burned” and can enjoy whatever benefit we think we can derive from whatever light we are focused on at the time. But, it ends up the closer we get, the harder it is to resist and we realize too late we are unable to escape. Things that for whatever reason held such promise for us end up causing our destruction.

Well, as I think further, part of the lesson He was teaching me is that one needs to be ever vigilant, to be on the look out for possible traps, for things that may attract us and lure us into the flames.

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

 

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.   1 Timothy 6:9

 

Of course, it would even be better if, rather than get trapped or nearly trapped, we watched and avoided the temptations of the world that is not always the case.   But, if we remember that there are many perils and temptations, watch for them and constantly seek Him, those things are easier to avoid.

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  Matthew 26:41

 

But, being warned, sometimes we still fall victim. When we find ourselves in these situations, where we thought we were proceeding to something good, when we realize maybe it isn’t so good for us but that we can still escape without harm but then too late find we are not so easily able to escape, when we are first tempted by something, we have someone that WILL BE THERE to help us escape and save us from our foolishness. Regardless of how close we get, when we know we need Him, He will save us.

 

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

 

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.   Revelations 3:10

 

He is there to help us fight temptation and to deliver us from the temptations that we find ourselves too weak to resist. When we are lost because of that, He will deliver us. What an amazing Lord!

 

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

 

It is far too easy to get attracted to “the porch lights” of the world and then it can be difficult to escape but He can help us avoid those things and should we not avoid them He will save us from whatever trap we find ourselves in. All one needs do is ask Him. Such a simple concept but at the same time difficult for humans and that’s why we need Him. I have been caught up in things and very nearly destroyed by them but He has saved me from them and is working to save me from others. Praise God for His faithful dedication to me and all of us.

 

 

Lord, I praise You for all the life lessons, the simple things that You use to help me better unsderstand what You want me to learn. I praise You for the grace, mercy and forgiveness You give me. I pray in the Name of Jesus that You continue to teach me, help me understand, use me to help others see You. Help me better understand the heart and mind of Christ. I pray that You help me know the temptations in life that will draw me away from You and lead to my destruction. Help me recognize that the lifestyle I as a human may want is the wrong thing and will only serve to harm me and my Christian walk. Show me what things I am allowing me to move towards the fire, towards damnation and eternal death. Help me walk away from those things and know how to seek the true Light of Christ. Thank You for my salvation and the forgiveness that Jesus earned for me. Please, draw us to You and teach us all the mercy You have for us.

Amen

 

Thank You all for the visit and time to read my post. I hope something is helpful and blesses someone. Sometimes, He teaches me things in strange ways. But, I do hope that all are blessed somehow today, and are a blessing to others in the process.

 

Advertisements

The Spider Web

 

Spider_web_with_dew_drops04

 

The garden spiders are starting to appear again. The big, multi-colored spiders that are kind of pretty while kind of creepy at the same time. They build huge webs and some put an interesting zig zag pattern in part of it. I don’t know it that makes it stronger, if something about the pattern attracts the prey or what but it does seem to attract them. Other times the insects just are not aware of the web and get trapped. But they do catch the bugs. One thing I have noticed, is that when they catch something, usually wrap it in silk. Totally enveloping it so it has no way to escape and then they feed on it, not eating, but by injecting venom that breaks down the tissue so the spider can, well, basically suck the life out of the pray. Once it has done so, the spider, at least these I see, discard the remains of their prey so other potential victims won’t see the danger and to make it easier for the spider to trap another. But, if you look around the web, below it on the ground, you see the discarded remains of the victims of the spider, dead, empty shells.

Insects are either lured to the web, or happen into it because they don’t see some of the strands that ensnare them. Have you ever been walking an suddenly felt part of a web on your face? I have, sometimes when I go hunting I have walked into spider webs and to be honest, it kinda freaks me out. Usually its a bit dark, so I don’t know how much of the web I have on me or if the spider was in that part and wonder if I now have a spider on me. It would be sort of comical to see me as I get near frantic and do the “spider dance” trying to get the web off of me and hopefully brush a spider off if it is there. Other times, I feel just a little something on me and when I go to brush it off, I find a spider had gotten on me and to be honest, it always creeps me out a bit. How did it get there? Was it a more dangerous one or just there accidentally? Was that feeling a bite? and, many other such thoughts.

Well, all those thoughts got me to thinking how sometimes we accidentally walk into Satan’s webs. Sometimes we are enticed by a pretty pattern, a promise of sorts, of something that looks to be something else. We get deceived.

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

Other times we get a little complacent and aren’t as alert as we should be and get a little entangled in something and at first, it doesn’t seem so bad but then we get more and more entangled, a little at a time, slowly getting so caught up in things that before we realizing it we have been wrapped up in the silk and are being consumed.

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

1 Peter 5:8-9

Either way, we become caught up in Satan’s web of deceit and he feeds on us, in the process stealing our eternal lives from us, taking all that God wants for us and leaving us empty shells, hollow and devoid of the life Christ died to give us. He warns us to be watchful and alert, to pay attention, to not fall victim to the deceiver but sometimes, often, we are not on guard and end up in situations we know we need to escape but can’t get free.  If we are watchful we can avoid the trap, if we start to become entangled and fight early we can escape.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

BUT, the great thing is that God has a way for us to escape that web, no matter how badly we become entrapped. We can end up so badly entangled in sin because we like some of the things sin brings us, things like possessions, prestige, pleasure but we eventually become so wrapped up that it becomes harder and harder to escape, at least on our own. When we reach that point, and even earlier on when only caught by a small thread, if we call out to Jesus to save us He will break the bonds and we will be free. He will give us the strength to escape and avoid being devoured.

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. Luke 21:36

 

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

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

 

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9

 

 

My Heavenly Father,

I thank You for the many blessings, grace and mercy You give me. I praise Your Name. I thank You for helping me avoid, and at times escape from, the webs of the enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy; that you helped me avoid the destruction that would have come to my soul had You not been protecting and helping me. I pray in the name of Jesus that You continue to help protect, save and guide me as I try to avoid the pitfalls and snares. I pray that You help loved ones escape from the webs in which they find themselves so that they can avoid harm. Draw us all to You and show us Your perfect way for us. Thank You for the sacrifice of Your son, Christ, who died that I may be forgiven.

Amen

 

Thank you all for your visit today. I pray you all have many blessings come your way and that you are a blessing to others as well.

Fear

fear

 

Of what are you afraid? I mentioned in a post a while back that I was afraid of dentists, TERRIFIED actually. I used to be afraid of litter, the trash on the side road you see a lot. That comes from my time in Iraq, the insurgents would build bombs and hide them in trash, concrete rubble, boxes, or sometimes bury them, but the trash was most common place to hide the bombs. I am also afraid of heights, funny part though is up fairly high in a tree, or in the mountains, those things don’t bother me, but if I climb tall ladders, get on the roof of a building or on bridges and such, I get that sick feeling in my stomach. Maybe because I trust God’s building of things more than man’s.

But, what of what other things are people afraid? Oh, snakes, spiders, the dark, thunder and many things. Yet the most terrifying thing I can imagine being afraid of is that someone’s sins will come back to them. The very thing that one person did to another will be revisited on the one who did the other wrong. One of the guys I am acquainted with that works at the same hospital as I was parking at the same time as I and he got out of his truck, then locked the doors, walked all the way around it and checked both sides, twice and then, unlocked, opened and then locked the tool box that was mounted in the back. We walked in at the same time and I asked why he did all that and he said he was making sure it was all locked so that no one will steal his chainsaw that he just got a few days ago. I asked him about it and at first he was vague, then said, somewhat grinning, “I found it in the back of a pick up at Walmart.” I asked what do you mean found it? He said that he saw it sitting in the back of the truck and figured if the guy didn’t care enough to lock it up, then he wasn’t that worried, so he didn’t want it that badly so he took it. I asked, “Oh, so you don’t want someone to steal your stolen chainsaw?” Hmmm, interesting I thought. He said, “Well, no, I don’t want someone taking it.” I asked if he always worried that much about people taking things from his truck and he said yes, he did, because he would steal from a truck and if he would, he knows others would. I asked, “well, if you weren’t stealing other peoples’ things, would you be as worried about someone stealing from you?” He said, “oh probably not, honest people don’t worry about that as much.” Well, I told him that seemed to me to be a rough way to live, constantly worrying about someone stealing something he had stolen and he said, “well, maybe some.” That was a couple weeks ago and I haven’t talked to him since, bumped into him in the hall a couple times, but only nodded as we passed. I had thought he was a pretty decent guy before, but when I found that he had no respect for other’s property and had no problem stealing from someone, taking what wasn’t his, well, I just lost all respect I had for the guy.

But, stealing from someone, taking what isn’t yours or, sinning in anyway, worried that it might come back to you, that someone else will do you exactly as you did to another, that has to be a terrible fear to live with all the time. Especially when people know they have sinned. Besides that fear of having the sin revisited on them, knowing that unless they repent, seek God, and ask for his forgiveness, they will face an eternity in hell. I have to ask myself, anyone that sins to get something but then thinks they enjoy the rewards of their sins, while at the same time fearing the sins will come back to them, well, how much enjoyment will they ever truly have from their deeds? And, no matter what some people may seem to think, or how they act, they know that their wrong doings will be returned. I have sinned, I make no pretense otherwise, but I have never horribly wronged a person. My sins were more against God. Oh, there are some who say I have lied about them, but they know that is not true. There are probably some who would say I somehow wronged them, and there are some that I have, but they are few, but those were issues as I mentioned where I bailed on a buddy to go with some other guys. Those sins have been revisited on me. I wish I could say I never did wrong, ever, but I am human and had times of bad judgement and did not resist temptation. But, that is part of the human existence unfortunately. He gives us the chance to confess those sins and make ourselves right with God. But, if we continue to live in the sin, we dishonor God when we pretend to confess and surrender to Him. Especially if we do so while trying to enjoy the fruits of our sins. Trying to seek Him while still in sin and not seeking forgiveness will be of no benefit as He will not listen to those who are sinning and not seeking to change or give up the benefits of the sins.

13 I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.
14 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;
15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:
16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.

Leviticus 26:13-16

 

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.  Isaiah 59:2

 

Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.  Jeremiah 5:25

 

But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23

 

But, there is hope, one must confess that Jesus is the Son of God who died for their sins, confess their sins to Christ, surrender to Him and turn away from sin, then He will forgive and redeem all those who come to Him.

6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?
7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.

Romans 3:6-8

 

22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Romans 3:22-26

 

We all have some fears as that is normal and the fear exists to help us know we are at risk for some sort of harm. Failure to pay attention to those fears and the uneasy feelings that come with the fears can result in some sort of injury whether it be physical or spiritual. I will hope to be sensitive to those fears and know what I need to do to protect myself. I also know that sometimes fear, fear of change, fear of what may happen if I do certain things, fear of taking steps that should be taken will only result in my not meeting His expectations of me that I have faith that He will guide me and provide for me. I will pray that He help me know which fears to heed and which to face.

 

Lord, I thank You for showing me that while fear is good at times, there are times that fear is not a warning, but from the enemy trying to keep me from the rewards You have in store for me. I ask in Jesus name that You help me know the difference and show me the path You have for me and help me have the faith to take the steps that You want me to take to have the blessings You have planned for me and to help me know which fears are from You so I avoid pitfalls that will cause me to stray from Your desired path for my life. Give me discernment to know the truth of these things. Help me be who You want me to be in this life that I may better serve Christ. I praise You God for all the blessings, mercy and grace I have received, for the salvation Jesus paid for on the cross. I ask that You work in my heart to help be better know how to seek You. I give Christ the fears and pray I face those worrisome times with faith. Please work in the hearts and minds of loved ones and draw them to You. Teach them Your true plans for them and help them face the fears You want them to face. Bring us all closer to You.

Amen

 

Thanks to all who take time to visit my blog. I hope someone gets something of benefit from my these thoughts. Please, be a blessing to someone else today.