Monday, April 24, 2017

Blending Together as One

By Andrea Merrell

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts
form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized 
by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 
Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
1 Corinthians 12:12-14


To blend is to mix elements together so they become one … possibly something intricate or complex.

Some people have an eye for blending colors. They know just the right shades and tones to use to design beautiful clothing, paintings, and interior design.

Others have an ear for blending musical notes. They hear the notes that fit together to make a symphony come to life.

Seasoned cooks and chefs have a sense of smell and taste for blending foods together. They know just the right ingredients to use to create a wonderful, mouth-watering meal.

Skilled craftsmen have the fingers for blending together the right materials to create sky-scrapers, beautiful gardens, furniture, or any number of wonderful creations.

But what about each of us as a part of the Body of Christ? How well do we blend together with others to create the perfect tapestry God intended?

Just as a husband and wife are to become “one flesh,” each member of the Body comprises a small part of the whole. Each one is essential to the success of the other—none more important or special than the other. When we work together to fulfill God’s plan and purpose on the earth, it becomes a beautiful blending together of love and unity.

And that’s the way God intended it to be.


(Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Stuart Miles/Ben Schonewille.)


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Monday, April 17, 2017

You Can't Get There From Here

By Andrea Merrell

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. 
No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6 NIV

It’s hard to admit, but I’m directionally challenged. Sometimes, my brain goes tilt when trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B. It’s like the old farmer giving directions to a city slicker whose never been to the country: “Well, sir, you just can’t get there from here.”

That’s the way I feel sometimes.

My husband is just the opposite. No matter where we go, he has this uncanny sense of direction. While I have to depend on my GPS, he never seems to get lost or even go in the wrong direction.

In a lot of cases, there are many ways to get to a destination. I tend to always go the same way, not straying far from my comfort zone. My husband, on the other hand, will go a different route each time. We still end up in the same place.

Not so with heaven. If someone asks directions, there’s only one route available, and that route is Jesus Christ. He is the only way possible to get to our destination. While some say there are many roads and paths to heaven, Jesus said, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

The next time someone tells you they’re headed to heaven because they’re a “good person” or because they go to church and sing in the choir, you might want to tell them, “You can’t get there from here.”

As Jesus said, So don’t be surprised when I say, “You must be born again” (John 3:7 NLT).

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/jk1991.)


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Monday, April 10, 2017

Never Give Up on God's Promises

By Andrea Merrell

for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Galatians 6:9 KJV

My orchid had two blooms on it when it was given to me as a gift. When the blooms died, a single bare stick remained. My daughter-in-law told me

Monday, April 3, 2017

Destroying Bridges to the Past

By Andrea Merrell

She was torn. Commitment to Christ or to her old friends? The choice was hers alone. Would she make the right one?

Bridges to the past can be dangerous to our spiritual health. Any negative influences that keep us looking back at the “pleasures of sin”—and keep our focus away from the Lord—must be burned.

Ephesians 4:27 says, Do not give the Devil a foothold (NIV). But this Scripture refers to more than just anger. When we refuse to get rid of those links to the past—people and things that try to pull us away from God—we leave the path unguarded and wide open for the Enemy to advance. Those bridges can lead back to the wrong type of friends, alcohol or drug abuse, or any number of destructive behaviors.

So, how do we blow up those bridges? By effectual, fervent prayer, and by turning our back on them. To repent means to turn around and go the other way, walking away from those habits and sins that can harm us and those around us. When we become new creations in Christ, everything becomes new … and the old has to go.

My friend made the right choice. She cut off communication with the wrong crowd and walked away from all the harmful influences in her life.

Won’t you do the same? If you have bridges that need to be destroyed, pull out the powerful, life-changing Word of God and put it to work.

Kaboom!


(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Stuart Miles/Graphics Mouse.)

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Don't Waste Your Time

By Andrea Merrell


It was one of those friendly little tips you wish you’d learned long ago.

According to a lot of people, Facebook may not have too many redeeming qualities, but aside from meeting new people and keeping up with friends and family, you can harvest some helpful tips and a bevy of wonderful recipes.

There’s no way to count how much celery I’ve thrown away in my lifetime. It’s something I like to keep on hand, but we all know it doesn’t last long. The Facebook video showed me how to cut the celery and wrap it firmly in aluminum foil. Simple. The best part? It really works. Keeps it fresh for a long time.

Eliminates wasted time, wasted money, and lots of frustration.

But just like He always does, God used this little tip to show me how much time I’ve wasted over the years by not doing what His Word tells me to do.

We’re admonished to refrain from judging others, esteeming them higher than we esteem ourselves.  We’re told to love, serve, and trust in God with our whole heart. We’re expected to offer forgiveness, give unselfishly, pray about everything, and let His light shine through our lives.

All simple things. Yet we tend to forget the blessings we receive by being obedient.

Time is a precious commodity. A gift. It’s also short and should be used wisely. Let’s make a decision today to make every minute count—for Him.


(Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Stuart Miles/phasinphoto.)

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