LUKE 10:19 ON 10/19

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 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.  – Luke 10:19

I respect anyone who takes these portions of Scripture literally and handle snakes…  but in my mind, this is taken figuratively of the devil, and his principalities and powers, and all his emissaries, who, for their craft and cunning, and for their poisonous and hurtful nature and influence, may be compared to serpents and scorpions.

Serpents are poisonous and scorpions hide so well, they sort of curl up when they’re waiting for someone, and look like an egg.  The enemy of our soul is poisonous but we don’t realize he’s struck until it’s too late.  He doesn’t come along in a red cape and a tail either.  He is the best looking temptation you can imagine.  What’s more innocent looking than an egg?  I know, right?

That’s why we must claim the blood of Christ to overcome the power of the enemy…  the sneaky snake – the cleaver scorpion that will surely cause harm to us and our souls.gods-not-waiting

As Christians we sometimes think we’ve got it all figured out – and that’s when we get in trouble.  About the time we think we’ve risen above the ability to be tempted – BOOM!  We have to walk humbly with our God, remembering that our help comes from HIM and we can do nothing apart from HIM.

Christ is the Vine – we’re only branches – and we need to stay attached to the VINE or we will wither and die – we will be weak in temptation if we forget that it is our LORD Who will protect us and fight our battles.

Stay strong – but make sure you’re not strong within yourself – but strong in Jesus’ Name.  Everything good comes from Him and is unattainable without Him.  The fruits of God’s Holy Spirit are not from our own determination and willpower.  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Goodness, Self-Control…  those qualities go completely against human nature.  Those are qualities that flow through us by His Spirit.  Having these fruits gives us added strength to trample snakes and scorpions in Jesus’ Name.

When we learn to forgive quickly when we get hurt, correct with God’s Word, offering a gentle nudge instead of a pop on the head, and recognize a temptation to sin, then hand it to God as soon as possible…  God will be by our side.  He will help us overcome because He is faithful and He loves us.  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (20)

YOU ARE THE VINE

We are in the process of choosing a flowering ground cover. There are so many varieties, which is both good and bad. They are vines with smaller branches and flowers in most cases. It reminds me of a verse in the Bible about how God is the vine and we are just the little branches. We are either producing fruit (flowers) or we are not, depending on our relationship with the Vine.

I’m leaning toward the Creeping Phlox. Plant taxonomy calls it a Phlox Subulata. It’s also known as “moss pink,” a name that captures its bloom color as well as its growth habit. I don’t want a ground cover that is going to burn up in the Kansas summer heat. It should be tough, and it sounds as though this one fits the bill. Are you a tough branch? You are if you are staying attached to the vine that provides everything you need to thrive and survive in any kind of weather.

Creeping Phlox plants are herbaceous perennials which means they are very low maintenance. As a Christian, are you low maintenance? Do you know where to go for spiritual nourishment, or do you just go from Sunday to Sunday with a definite slump somewhere around Wednesday? Riding on emotions does not work. I’ve been there, done that. Trust me, it does not work.

In spring, Creeping Phlox plants produce small flowers in dense clusters. If massed together as a groundcover, these plants make a powerful landscaping statement. The colors available are red, white, blue, pink, rose, lavender, purple or variegated. Creeping Phlox plants reach 6″ in height and spread out 2′. Some of the needle-like foliage remains green throughout the winter.

What color are your flowers? When you are really connected to your POWER source, God… what color are your flowers? Yours may be red and mine may be purple (I like purple) but that’s okay! How beautiful it is when we are attached to the one VINE and blooming for Him! What a lovely springtime ground cover it is!

Some serve in churches and some serve in other places, but as long as we are in service wherever we are planted, God can and will use us if we let Him.

Sometimes the branches need to be pruned, or “pinched” after the blooming period. This makes them thicker and more attractive for the summer months. They adore full sun! Do you adore full SON??? Is Jesus your best friend? Do you have daily devotions with Him so that you can be an attractive branch that yields many pretty flowers?

Finally, if you want to divide the Creeping Phlox plants, it’s best to do it immediately after they bloom. Did you know the best time to share your personal testimony and the love of God with someone is right after you have had a mountaintop experience with Him? That is the time you have the most courage to share your story of faith and others will respond much better.

Just remember… we don’t do the saving. We just scatter the seed and God supplies the increase. I’m just a branch. He’s the vine! 🙂