Monday, November 28, 2016


God would have all of us to be like a tree sustained through heat and drought by Jesus, our Living Water.



I’ve noticed when deciduous trees shed their leaves in the fall, some shed them from the top down and others from the bottom up. And some species drop their leaves much earlier than others. Not being a botanist, I don’t know the whys and wherefores, but my guess is their seasonal habits have something to do with the trees’ water supply.

The Bible contains dozens of references to how our Christian faith compares with trees. One of my favorites is found in Jeremiah 17:7-8. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

These verses show us that when we trust in God, we won’t be free from problems and adversity, but God will bring fruit and blessing in and through our difficulties. In nature, many trees and animals become stronger from having faced such enemies as drought, wind or evil. God promises that we also will grow in character and strength when we go through adversity.

Our drought may come in the form of repeated rejections or disappointments. We may be forced to confront the “heat” of disease, family death or perhaps abuse. How we respond while in the midst of such problems will determine the rate of our spiritual growth. If we allow ourselves to live with anxiety and fear of change, we won’t yield the fruit God would have us express to others. How will we show His love, joy and peace, His kindness, patience and goodness when our hearts and minds are focused on our problems rather than on His promises and presence?

Jesus, our Living Water, overcomes the drought of our life problems when we trust in Him. Like a tree that will not fear during drought but remains fruitful in all circumstances, we too can stay healthy—when we allow God’s Spirit to boost our faith. Without His living Word and presence, we will surely die.

Lord, thank You for strengthening our faith in You during the hard times. Our seasonal habits may differ from those of trees, but like them we seek Your Living Water. Keep us thirsty for You so we will remain as fruitful as a tree that stands beside a river. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Jesus, the Light of the world, is the only One who can keep us from the darkness that surrounds us. Seek His Light through the Word and His presence each day.

ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES             by Sally Bair

Light has come

While the sun sweeps from east to west along its southerly arc in winter, our eyes become blinded to its glare. Driving against the low sunlight is especially hard. And the direct sunlight against our windows shows every speck and smear and spider web. We may think life spent in the shadows is better sometimes, because then others won’t see our specks and smears.

We also may feel like living in the shadows of our sins rather than in the exposing light of God’s Word. Jesus told Nicodemus, a seeker of the truth, “He who believes in [God] is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” (John 3:18-20)

Realizing sin is God’s enemy—and ours—is the first step toward walking in the light of God’s love. Our sin must be treated like the enemy it is. When we are spiritually passive, content to remain in our sin, it shows how static our life is. As our body loses strength when it’s not moving and as our mind loses its ability to function well when it becomes stagnant, so our spirit begins to atrophy when we refuse to move in His direction. God would have us move, act and change for His sake and ours.

We may have experienced a troubled past or the future may appear dark and frightening. But God has given us a choice. We can wallow in our self-pity, our fear or our hopelessness, or we can look to the light—the Son-light—knowing God will forgive us when we repent of our sins. He will heal our wounds and guide us along His sun-bright path toward wholeness and growth.

No matter where we’ve been or where we are in relationship to God, we can know that He is loving, patient and merciful. The Bible tells us that. “Seek the Lord while He may be found …. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:7)

Lord, thank You for being our Light in the darkness. Forgive us our sins that we may leave our shadows of fear and faithlessness behind and be made in Your image. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Nothing compares to the inner peace Jesus gives to those who call Him their own. May it be so with you.

Eternal Perspectives               by Sally Bair


No matter the season, when we walk along a quiet wooded path, across a meadow or even in our own backyard, our emotions calm. Our heartrate drops to normal. Our senses become sharper. A deep sense of peace usually envelops us.

The English word peace usually refers to the absence of conflict. Inner calm. We all crave it. And if we aren’t able to find it on a wooded trail, we may look for it elsewhere.

The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, means so much more. It implies wholeness or completeness, safety or wellness, even perfection. And it comes from living in harmony with God. But how do we find such harmony?

When, through the words of an angel, Gideon received God’s call to judge and deliver the Israelites from Midianite control, he experienced angst. How could the Lord possibly use him, a member of the weakest tribe, Manasseh? Why had God abandoned His people, he wondered? Gideon doubted the Lord’s promise to be with him so he asked for a sign. He prepared a meal of meat and flatbread, which the angel touched so it was consumed by fire. Gideon became terrified by the frightful display, but the Lord calmed his anxious spirit with these words: “Peace be with you; do not fear ….” (Judges 6:23)

God’s words made such an impression on Gideon that he built an altar and called it “The-Lord-Is-Peace.”

Like Gideon and the Israelites, we may be facing our own enemies that cause angst and fear. Broken relationships, broken dreams, separation from God or a too-busy life may be stealing our peace. Or we can be fooled into believing our security lies in money, education or prestige. But like Gideon, we can experience God’s peace—our only true peace—through His Word. We may not hear Him in person, but we can through His written Word.

One of my favorite Bible verses tells us exactly how we can obtain God’s peace. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Peace is part of the fruit of God’s Spirit. When we experience it within ourselves, it can be powerful enough to flow out of our pores, like a healing balm, to others.

Lord, thank You for Your perfect peace, which is ours whether we walk along a wooded trail or deal with life and conflict within a crowded room. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


God offers so many promises, yet we must remember they’re for those who love Him in return. When we think of all He’s done for us and what He gives us moment by moment, how can we not love Him?

ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES             by Sally Bair

God’s love

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him … set him on high because he has known My name … He shall call upon Me and I will answer him … be with him in trouble … deliver him … honor him … With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.” (Psalm 91:14-16)

These final verses of Psalm 91 contain seven of God’s prophetic promises to those of us who love Him. God takes great stock in our love relationship with Him. To love God is to know Him intimately. It cannot come through education, heritage, maturity or religious good works and rituals. Loving God requires time spent with Him daily, even hourly, in our “secret place.” (See Psalm 91:1)

His first promise, that of deliverance, takes in all the circumstances listed in previous verses of Psalm 91. If you haven’t read the entire Psalm, I urge you to do so. His deliverance includes that from lion, young lion, cobra and serpent problems. It includes night terror, arrows, pestilences and destruction. It covers every aspect of life that we confront when we are weak in spirit.

God’s second promise, setting us on high, means He pulls us up to where He is. What a promise! When we’re seated with Him, we can look down at any problem and know He will keep us from falling when we avail ourselves of the power of His name.

And when we love God and call on His name, He will answer us. Whether we pray alone or in a group, as did whole nations during past wars, God promises to answer. Countless stories told by servicemen and women about God’s miraculous deliverance prove He does indeed answer prayer. The same applies to His promise of rescue.

God wants to honor us, too. We all know the value of giving credit where credit is due. And we have the promise that God loves us so much He honors us. He recognizes each one of us when we are serious about His Word and about our faith and love for Him.

God’s sixth promise is for a satisfying, long life. When we choose to fill our internal, empty spaces with Jesus, we will be satisfied. In the same vein, God promises His salvation, which includes more than salvation from sin. It also promises health, healing, rescue and deliverance, safety and protection and provision.

Lord, thank You for Your promises of Psalm 91. Increase our love for You and our obedience to and faith in Your Word. In Jesus’ name, amen.