Monday, May 30, 2011

Jewel # 86 (May 30, 2011)

imgres.jpg                   imgres.jpg

"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 Always-Hungry Grasshopper

"The locusts went up over all the land of Egypt . . . and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees."  (Exodus 10:14-15)

People who live where there are  grasshoppers know about these insects.  Even if you can't see then, you know they are there by the noise they make.  Actually, the noise is not made with their mouths but by rubbing their wings with their hind legs.

A grasshopper is a most unusual creature.  Its head has two long antennae extending forward and curving upward.  Its head, shoulders and other body parts are protected with tough armour.  It has wings that fold smoothly along its back and extend past its large hind legs. 

Locusts are similar to grasshoppers, but that name usually refers to those species that migrate in great swarms and are very destructive to crops, as told in Bible accounts such as the opening verse.  But grasshoppers of the Western world can also be very destructive, as farmers in Canada and the United States will tell you.

In late summer, a female digs a hole in the ground with her ovipositor and fills the hole with foam.  Then she lays as many as 120 eggs in the hole and covers the opening with soil.  The eggs hatch the following spring, and the newborn grasshoppers look like the adults except that they have no wings.  They immediately begin feeding on tender vegetation and grow so rapidly that they soon shed their armour skins.  This is called molting.  They molt five or six times before they reach full size.  Their wings grow to full size during the last molt.

A grasshopper has six legs.  The hinged back legs have strong thigh muscles that power its long leaps.  It can leap about twenty times as far as the length of its own body.  These powerful legs also push it off to fly.

The Creator has not only provided them with the ability to leap or fly away from enemies (ever try to catch one?), but he has also given them excellent camouflage among the green and brown vegetation they eat.

Perhaps grasshoppers are given to us as a solemn lesson, speaking of those who are destructive, creating nothing good in themselves and trying to spoil the truth of God's goodness.  There are many people who fit this description today, and the Bible warns us about them: "There are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers . . . teaching things which they ought not" (Titus 1:10-11).

How can we keep from being deceived?  Those who do not know the Lord Jesus as their Saviour will most easily fall into the snares of such deceivers.  But if you have put your trust in Him, a good answer is also provided: "[Build] up yourselves on your most holy faith . . . keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life" (Jude 20-21).


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Jewel # 85 (May 14, 2011)


"And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts,

in that day  when I make up "My Jewels."
(Malachi 4:17)

To my dear grandchildren

Saved Through Queen Mary

I first met Alice in 1986 when I visited a nursing home where she was a resident.  Without even greeting me, she immediately said, "I was saved through Queen Mary."  I thought to myself, How did she know that I was a Christian?  It turned out she did not know, but, rather, she just delighted to tell everyone that she was saved through Queen Mary.  I heard her greet many others in the same way that she had greeted me.  Here is her story:

It had happened 47 years earlier, and Alice was then a young woman 32 years old.  She stood outside the gate of Buckingham Palace.  She could see the splendors of the royal residence and wished that she could go in.  The famous guards of Buckingham were like statues; they stood silently with their eyes looking straight ahead.  Alice knew that they were forbidden to speak, but she tried to start up a conversation with one of the guards anyway.  Somehow she got him to say something.  But very quickly a messenger was sent, and Alice was summoned before the Queen.

You can imagine her fears as she was brought into the presence of Her Majesty, knowing she had been the cause of the guard breaking the rule.  However, her mind and her conscience were soon set at rest as she was warmly welcomed and made to feel at home.  Queen Mary spoke to her of the joy of salvation and of the hope of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Have you ever felt like Alice, that you were outside looking in?  The Queen saw on the face of Alice that she so much wanted to come inside, but Alice could not go into the palace unless she was brought in by the guard.  God would like to invite you into His palace, but you cannot go into His palace unless you go with Jesus, God's Son.  Jesus Said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (John 14:6).

If you were brought into God's heavenly palace and you were about to stand before the Majesty of the holy God, would you be like Alice and have fears about the wrong things that you have done?  God has a message of peace for you.  "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).  "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).

The guard who escorted her out of the palace told Alice that the queen had often brought in others to give them the same message of salvation and hope.  She said that it was her job.  If you have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you have the same job as Queen Mary and the same job as Alice - to tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ, your Saviour.  We are told in in Psalm 107:2, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so."

Have you accepted God's offer of salvation and peace 
through His Son Jesus?  If so, have you told anyone about Him today?