Monday, August 11, 2014

January  , 2014   

Today's Photograph . . . . May He Find Each Of Us As Grapes In The Wilderness, Ready To Turn Loose Of The Vine That Gives Earthly Life So That We Can Abide [n The Vine  (EPA.GOV
Bible Study Verse
Hosea 9:10
"I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season. But they went to Baal Peor, and separated themselves to that shame; they became an abomination like the thing they loved. (NKJV)

Wild blackberries are one of my favorite outdoor foods. They're not nearly as seedy as the hybrid garden-variety berry, and they're much sweeter. I know of several places where blackberries grow wild. This gives me an additional incentive to hike or fish in those areas. Because I know where to look and when they're in season, I know I'll find them when they're ripe and ready to harvest.

God knew exactly where Israel was, too; not only where they were in the wilderness, but also where they were in relationship with Him. And He "found" them and made them His people. The message here is not so much about His searching, since He knows where everyone is; but about His delight in "finding" people who desire Him to be Lord. 

Likewise, He knows where we are in our relationship with Him. If we're without Jesus as Lord of our lives, then we're not ready for the final harvest. When God finds us by His word of truth, we become a kind of first fruits of His creatures, just as Israel was before Jesus came (James 1:18), we become children of the living God. May He find each of us as grapes in the wilderness, ready to turn loose of the vine that gives earthly life so that we can abide in the Vine Who gives eternal life. Read John 15:1. 
(Don H)

Action Point
Even as Christians, we experience highs and lows in life. Sin, wrong choices, or just the heavy weight of daily living can cause our sweet, ripened life to be bitter and unsavory. (Kingdom terms, of course) 

Think of how you will look to God if He should suddenly find you in any of these situations. Remember, He already knows where you are in your relationship with Him. It's a matter of how much you want to be like Jesus every moment of every day. In your daily prayer time, pray to be more and more like Him.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When picking wild blackberries, also pick some leaves. They make a soothing warm drink when dried, crushed and steeped like tea. As with any wild harvest, be sure to wash them thoroughly.