“But now ask the animals, and let them teach you;
and the birds of the sky, and let them tell you.
Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; and let the fish of the sea declare to you.
Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this,
in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?”
This week I pray you have experienced the joy of knowing who you are “in” Christ……… surrendering more of your life for His. I love the words that Hudson Taylor used, “The Exchanged Life.” We exchange our life for Christ. A verse that I have included before, so profound as you take time to reflect deeply on it:
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit,
for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Make sure you have John 15:5 memorized………
We’ve had desert cicadas in our yard for as long as we’ve lived in our house here in Las Vegas….. almost 37 years. I have a particular kinship to them because they emit the same sound as my tinnitus. Who knew my tinnitus had an upside, the noise from cicadas seldom bothers me, because I assume it’s my tinnitus 😊
I have shared with some of the guys in the past just how amazing these insects truly are. They start as a tiny egg about the size of a grain of rice, hatch out, fall to the ground, burrow in and stay there for the next 2 to 17 years eating roots and digging tunnels… and yes, they do NOT hibernate. When the order is given (by Who?), simultaneously a vast number dig to the surface, climb up the trees and “break out” of their exoskeleton and are set free! (watch this short Vimeo video). You can see all the exoskeletons in the top photo I took yesterday and the photo on the right where they come out of the ground. There is so much information on these insects, but let me give you a few additional facts:
- Of the 3300+ species of cicadas around the world, the Brood X cicadas emerge every 17 years. How did they learn to count out 17 years? The last huge emergence was in 2004
- This year was a banner year for the 17 year cicada, especially on the eastern part of the United States. Entomologists estimate that several trillion emerged
- One entomologist, Jeffrey Lockwood, at the University of Wyoming said, “It’s a phenomenon that ought to generate awe and respect and wonder.” Reminds me of Romans 1:20
- In the forest areas, 1.5 million can surface in a single acre
- These Brood X cicadas (male and female) emerge from the ground when the temperature is exactly 64° F above ground.
- Who gave them little “above ground” temperature gauges?
- Cicada brains have to figure out when to dig upwards, climb a tree, shed it skin, find a mate, mate, and then die all within a 6 week period.
- So these insects can do something that no human can do…………… Let’s take Jerry Lockwood’s words above and say, “God generates awe, respect and wonder with his little cicada creations!
Grateful slave to King Jesus,
“He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.”
(2 Cor 5:15)
Men: Do we understand the depth of this verse and the devotional?
Giving to God What Is His – Day 211 Red Book
Remember the title of the Red Book: “Warning for a People Not Listening to God”
PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS CONFERENCE
See attached flyer. Please share with the men in your men’s groups and churches.
Facts of the Matter
Everywhere I look I see people who are stressed out. Too many activities, too little time. Fear of losing their jobs, fear that the Country is in serious decline, fear of increasing debt, fear of a gutted middle class. Fear that their kids are being polluted by their peers, the media, and the culture to the point that they are losing them. Jesus had it right when he said, In this world you will have trouble (Jn. 16:33b). That word trouble coveys the idea of stress, to be crushed and pressured by evil forces. In a word: suffering.
Talk about the suffering that accompanies our fears: Just in my lifetime I survived a global war that killed over 50 million people, have lived with implacable predictions of nuclear holocausts, over population, global food shortages, the AIDS epidemic, the depletion of fossil fuels, the threat of expanding deserts, plagues, growing global poverty, terrorist threats, the thinning ozone layer, mad-cow epidemics, Y2K computer bugs, killer bees, global warming, asteroid attacks, the disintegration of the family, declining morals, the loss of jobs to overseas competitors, etc., etc. To put it mildly, this world we live in is a scary place.1 Again, Jesus words of comfort, In me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33).
Why do we suffer?
God is disciplining us to make us more like Himself: Take a good look at Romans 8:18 -27. In a word, life is tough in a sin soaked world, and God is using its degradation and pain to fashion us into the likeness of His Son: We know that in all things (the hard stuff of Romans 8:18-27) God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son (Rom. 8:28, 29) (See Isa. 1:35; Zech. 13:9; Mal. 3:2, 3 Heb. 12:11)
God disciplines us by teaching us from the Scriptures: Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord, the man you teach from your law (Psa. 94:12).
God purifies our lives by entering into an adversarial relationship with us: I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities (Isa. 1:25). (See Zech. 13:8; Mal. 3:2, 3)
~R. Dwight Hill~
1 Adapted from The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley HarperCollins Publishers New York, New York 2010 p. 280
Voice of the Martyrs – May 2021
Hypothetical Scenario: You are caught having an on-line Bible Study. The authorities find out and immediately do the following:
- Cut off your electricity, water, natural gas, and internet service
If you continue, you are forced out of your home and possibly imprisoned. Do you think what I just described could happen here in the United States? Just know it’s happening with certain Christian groups in China. Take a moment to visualize no electricity, water, gas, or internet service……. And no one is allowed to take you in. Our only long-term hope is to stay grounded in the Word……… and the Word is Christ!
On Sunday, May 30th, cries of terror filled the scattered homes that make up the rural community of Nwori Nduobashi, Nigeria. It was around 3 in the morning, and people were still asleep when an armed band broke into their homes, flashing light in their eyes to confuse them while they swung their machetes. In the meantime, some attackers stood by the door and windows, killing those who tried to escape…………
Click Here to read this heart-wrenching article!
Do we have any clue as to what this kind of suffering is like……………??
Hudson Taylor – (1832 – 1905)
Founder of the China Inland Mission