Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jewel # 52 (Dec 22, 2009)

To my dear Grandchildren,

Alone?

The story is told of some Native American Indian tribes and the 'rite of passage' to manhood each boy in those tribes went through when turning age 12.

When the day came that a boy was to go through this 'rite of passage', late in the afternoon his father led him alone deep into the forest.  The boy likely would never before have been so far away from his village, and so deep in the thick, dense forest through which his father was leading him.

After a long trek through the almost impenetrable, dark forest the boy's father stopped in a small clearing.  Indicating to his son that they were at their destination he told his son to sit down on a huge fallen log.  As the boy sat down, his father carefully, but securely, blindfolded him.  While he was doing that he explained to his son that he must sit there for the whole night.  Only when the sun was rising and its rays of light began to seep into the dark forest was the boy to remove his blindfold.

His father continued the instructions - if he heard the unmistakable sounds of wolves, mountain lions, or even bear nearby, still he must not cry out for help.  He was to sit, unmoving, without whimpering, groaning, sighing or speaking.  His Father told him "once you survive this night, you will be a man."  Reminding the boy that he could not tell the other boys in the village of his experience, his father was silent.

The boy sensed that he was now alone.

During the long night, he heard may noises which he was sure were wild animals prowling nearby.  He thought other noises he heard were humans that were stealthily coming to harm him.  The eerie sound the wind made as it blew through the trees was particularly unsettling to the boy.  Yet he knew that to become a man he must stoically sit on the log and never give expression to the fear he felt inside.

Though the night with its unseen terrors seemed to the frightened, lonely young lad as though it would never end, the morning with its light and gentle breezes, finally came.  The boy who had bravely endured that night, eagerly removed his blindfold.

The first thing he saw, sitting on the ground in front of him, was his father who had spent the night silently watching and guarding his boy from danger.

". . . He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5).

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Jewel # 51 (Dec 9, 2009)

"And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up MY JEWELS."
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren,

The Broken Eggs

Chris hadn't quite learned to walk yet when we went to visit our friends on the farm.  It was an interesting place.  They had a yard full of clucking chickens, hungry cows and curious turkeys, all trying unsuccessfully to get fat on desert grass.

The turkeys were funny.  They seemed interested in everything around them and came over as a flock to look us over as we got out of the car.  They were probably hungry and thought we might have something for them to eat.

Arnold, the farmer, brought the eggs he had gathered into the house and set them on the kitchen table.  We were all talking and laughing about the curious turkeys when we heard a CRASH!  Chris had crawled over to the table and pulled himself up onto his feet by grabbing the tablecloth.  Of course, the cloth slid off the table and with it all the eggs.  Now they were all a gooey yellow-and-white mess on the floor.

Our laughter stopped in a hurry.  It wasn't just a big mess on the floor to clean up; it meant our farming friends had no eggs to sell.  It was a sad situation.  We didn't have enough money with us to pay for the eggs, so all we could do was help clean up the mess.

We've all made a sinful mess of our lives.  And in God's sight we are not just poor; we have no money at all and are in debt.  There's not one thing we can do and no way to pay for our sins.  That's why we I am so glad to tell you that the Lord Jesus Christ saw our sad, sinful lives and took pity on us.  He left the glory of heaven to come live in this world full of sin.  He was born a tiny baby just as you and I were, but He never sinned.  The Bible tells us in Luke 2:51-52 that He grew to be a fine young boy, obeyed His parents, and "increased in wisdom . . . and in favour with God and man."

But the Lord Jesus was also the Son of God.  First John 3:8 tells us, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested [came], that He might destroy the works of the devil."  He came to pay for our sins.

Later we were able to pay our friends for the broken eggs, but we'll never be able to pay the Lord Jesus for what He's done for us.  All we can do is receive Him as our very own Saviour and thank Him from the bottom of our hearts. "Our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity [sins]"  (Titus 2:13-14).    

Have you accepted His work on the cross for your sins?