Sunday, October 21, 2012

Jewel # 123 (Oct 21, 2012)


"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 Desert Tortoise

"God made the beast of the earth . . . and everything 
that creeps upon the earth after his kind.
(Genesis 1:25)

The desert tortoise, with its twelve-inch- diameter arched shell, stumpy hind legs, flat feet and short tail, lives in the deserts of Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona and Mexico.  It is an expert digger, sometimes digging a burrow up to thirty feet long where it will hibernate for six months during the winter.

Some of these tortoises have been known to live well over fifty years.  How do they find enough food to stay alive in such a harsh climate?  They feed on the plants that grow there - grass, flowers, wild fruit, certain shrubs and even prickly desert cactus.  Sometimes they eat snails and insects too.  But if food is scarce, they can go without eating for a month.  They hunt for food only in the cool hours of the morning and evening, crawling into their burrows when it is hot.

The tortoise, though wonderfully designed by the Creator to withstand fierce desert heat, does need water, which is scarce in the desert.  God has given their bodies the ability to get all the water they need from the vegetation they eat.  They do drink water when they find it, usually from pools in a rainstorm, but that does not happen very often.

Early in June the females digs a dirt nest several inches deep, making a cavern under the hard surface soil.  Her eggs (about ten) look like ping-pong balls.  As each one drops into the nest, she packs dirt around it.  Then she fills the whole nest with dirt, tamping it down and smoothing it over so it is cleverly concealed.  From then on the eggs are on their own, as are the young tortoises that hatch about three months later.  It is amazing how they can hatch underground and stay alive as they dig their way to the surface.  The Creator, who watches every living thing, takes care of them.

The newly hatched tortoises are exact miniatures of their parents and are about the size of a half-dollar.  They have soft shells and need to hide or run quickly to avoid being eaten by vultures, coyotes and snakes.  As their shells harden, they become like pieces of armour.  The young tortoises soon learn that they have no need to fear harm from their enemies, and so they just go about the desert slowly and peacefully.

The world in which we live is often compared to a desert, in spite of all its glamour and attractions.  God's enemies, encouraged by Satan, seem to be increasing daily.  Yet for those who love God and know His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as their own Saviour, He has provided an armour to protect from all evil. (See Ephesians 6:10-17)  The important thing is not just to know that the armour is provided, but to "put on the whole armour of God."

Love you all,

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Jewel # 122 (Oct 9, 2012)

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

To do my dear grandchildren,
A Mother's Rescue

One hot summer day, my two youngest children and I were walking along a busy city street.  Just as we got to a large oak tree, a squirrel's nest fell at our feet.  It was about the size of a large beach ball and made out of sticks and leaves.  Part of it split open when it hit the sidewalk so that we were able to see what was inside.  There lay four, tiny squirrels, squirming and squeaking.  Like all newborn baby squirrels, they were naked with just a trace of fur, and their eyes were still closed.

"What shall we do?" asked one of the children, and the answer arrived just at that moment.  Down the tree came the mother squirrel.  She sniffed her babies all over to see if they were all right.  Then without a moment's hesitation, she picked up one in her mouth, ran with it as fast as she could across that busy street, and went directly to a tree with a hole in it.  She climbed the tree and placed her baby inside the hole.

As we stood and watched, one by one the mother rescued each tiny squirrel until all were safe.  She must have been very smart to make those seven trips safely across that busy street!  It is wonderful that God gives His creatures a mother's tender care and an instinct to know just what to do in a time of danger.  The mother squirrel already knew about the hole in that tree across the street, and her little ones were safe.

As we think about those helpless baby squirrels, we see a picture of helpless, lost sinners.

Sinners are blind.  "The god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Sinners are naked.  God sees all our sins; we can't cover them up.  "All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him [God] with whom we have to do" (Hebrews 4:13).

Sinners have fallen and are at the mercy of destroyers. "The devil,  as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).

Those little squirrels were in real trouble.  Death was ahead for them, until their caring mother rescued them and provided a place of safety.  Death and hell are ahead for lost sinners, but a loving God has provided a rescuer in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).  The death and resurrection of of the Lord Jesus has provided that place of safety for you and me.  By faith, we can be washed clean of every sin through the blood He shed on Calvary's cross.

Will you accept the Lord Jesus as your rescuer from everlasting death and hell and receive His promise of everlasting life in heaven?  "He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36).  "Whoso puts his trust in the Lord shall be safe" (Proverbs 29:25).     

Love you all,