Mushroom Bisque

Here is another recipe that is very healthy for you and still has a lot of taste.  If you like mushrooms, you will love this recipe, if you don’t then you probably won’t like this.  This would be really good dish to make on a cold day.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.  Enjoy!

Mushroom Bisque

What you will need:

1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup light cream
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons flour
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon marjoram)
1/3 cup sherry
Chopped parsley (for garnish)

How to make it:

In 3 quart saucepan heat butter until melted. Saute onions and mushrooms 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Sprinkle with lemon. Blend in flour. Gradually stir in chicken broth. Cook, stirring until slightly thickened. Stir in cream and sherry. Heat and serve.

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Living the Sermon (Part 4)

mount 4

In Part 1 of this blog, we talked about the Sermon on the Mount and a little of the history behind this historic teaching by Jesus.  We also read Matthew 5, which is Part 1 of the Sermon on the Mount.  If you missed it, you can read it here.

In Part 2 of this blog series we read through Matthew 6, which is part 2 of the Sermon on the Mount.  If you missed this blog, you can read it here.

In Part 3 of this blog series we read through Matthew 7, which is the final part of the Sermon on the Mount.  If you missed this blog, you can read it here.

One of the problems in understanding the Sermon on the Mount is that we tend to break the sermon into segments without understanding that the colors of the whole transcend its individual parts.  The Sermon is a total and compelling word-painting.  It is a complete canvas. It begins with the Beatitudes.  The Beatitudes are a description of the one who follows Jesus; the Beatitudes are also a description of Jesus Himself.  In the Sermon, Jesus moves from this prologue to the Law of God and reveals what God had intended His Law to be from the moment of its revelation to Moses on Mount Sinai: It was to be the spirit of the Law that was to define one’s life, not legalistic encrustations of human tradition that it later became.  Many of the religious Jews of Jesus’ day were much more interested in their elders’ interpretations of the Law then they were in its original intent; their traditions painted over the bright, primary colors of the Law and dulled them with none essential dos-and-don’ts. God intended that the devout Jew through the Law would live his or her life.

If we say red to fifty different people, each individual will have their own specific mental image of red.  This is because colors can be deceptive.  A special collector’s edition of the magazine Scientific American Mind explored 187 optical illusions.  One article in this collection written by Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde entitled “Colors out of Space” revealed how colors can change with their surroundings and spread beyond the lines.   Two figures of the same color can appear absolutely different when featured upon backgrounds of different colors.

The Sermon on the Mount must be placed in its proper background in order to be properly understood.  If the Sermon is imposed upon an alien background, its colors will become distorted.  This true background for the Sermon consists of this: The Law of God was given out of God’s love for us so that the Law could reveal the sinfulness of the heart, drive the heart to grace and through grace conform the heart to the true image of God that originally comprised male and female.  When the Law does this, then we enter into a state of blessedness.  Jesus says in Matthew 5:17-18, Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets: I have not come to abolish them but fulfill them. 18For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

How, then, has Jesus fulfilled the law?  The Law of God consists of moral, civil and liturgical codes.  Many of the laws of the civil code applied to Israel and do not necessary apply today, at least not in their literal sense, although these laws do contain principles that are timeless; the laws pertaining to slavery have application to employer-employee relationships, and the laws of cisterns and ramparts contain principles pertaining to liability, to name a few.

The liturgical code, the laws of sacrifice for sin, all pointed to the future fulfillment of Christ’s one-time, perfect sacrifice on the cross (see Hebrews 8-10).   Perhaps it is theoretically possible that one could earn one’s salvation apart from grace by living the total Law of God perfectly, but, because of the Fall, not one of us could actually live up to this standard; it is an impossibility.  But Jesus did the impossible and lived the Law perfectly; He did it for us because none of us were capable of doing so.  He lived what we could not live so that we might become righteousness in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).   As Paul says in Romans 5:19, For as by the one man’s disobedience [Adam’s disobedience] the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience [the obedience of Jesus] the many will be made righteous. So Jesus fulfilled the Law by being the perfect sacrifice on the cross for our sins and by living the Law perfectly for us.

Jesus also fulfilled the Law and the Prophets by His having given us the Holy Spirit in our lives (John 16:7).  This fulfills the prophecy of Ezekiel 36:27 which says, And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules, as well as fulfills the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:33 which says, I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.  And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Paul states in Romans 8:2, For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.  Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:21 and Galatians 6:2 speaks of the “law of Christ” whereas James in 1:25 states,  But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
Jesus thus fulfills the Law three ways:

  1. in His perfect life lived for us because we could not live it
  2. in His work on the cross as the atonement for our sins
  3. in His now enabling the Law to be written in our hearts by the presence of the Holy Spirit within us.

As Paul says in Romans 10:4, For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.  The Greek word that Paul uses in this passage for “end” means “goal,” “completion,” “perfection.”  Jesus is thus in all respects the perfection of the Old Testament Law.

The background for the Sermon on the Mount is this: The Law of God was given out of God’s love for us so that the Law could reveal the sinfulness of the heart, drive the heart to grace and through grace conform the heart to the true image of God that originally comprised male and female.  Jesus in this heart-penetrating sermon does not reinterpret the Law nor does He do away with it but reveals that the Law rips away all defenses of the heart and reveals its true motives.  The Law was never to be just simply a matter of obedience in and of itself, but to be a matter of obedience expressing one’s love and gratitude to a God of mercy and grace.

When God revealed His Law to Moses, He had already blessed Israel by delivering it out of the bondage of slavery and darkness.  God has now blessed us in Christ Jesus by delivering us from the domain of darkness and transferring us to the kingdom of his Beloved Son (Colossians 1:13).  We are now to view the Old Testament Law through new transplanted eyes, eyes that see through the lenses of the law of the Spirit and the law of Christ. When we do so, the principles embedded in these Old Testament Laws, the perfect law of liberty, become God’s instruction, or guides, to us; they teach us how we can love God with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength and how we can love our neighbor as ourselves.
If we are to become wise, we must heed God’s instruction as given in His Law because it is colored red with the blood of Christ.  When we learn and apply the principles embedded in the Law, we will be blessed with the blessings Jesus describes in the Beatitudes, as well as the blessing that the Psalmist describes in 1:1–2—provided we do what David says we must do in order to enter into this blessing: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Put on Jesus, as we see Him in the Sermon on the Mount, and you will gain wisdom in the process.  Simply put, we need to study the type of person Jesus was and the life He lived and try to emulate that in our own lives.  In doing so, we will grow closer to Him and live to the full potential God has in mind for our lives.  We can’t be everything we were meant to be apart from Him.

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Living the Sermon (Part 3)

mount 3

In Part 1 of this blog, we talked about the Sermon on the Mount and a little of the history behind this historic teaching by Jesus.  We also read Matthew 5, which is Part 1 of the Sermon on the Mount.  If you missed it, you can read it here.

In Part 2 of this blog series we read through Matthew 6, which is part 2 of the Sermon on the Mount.  If you missed this blog, you can read it here.

In today’s blog, we will be looking at and reading through the third and final part of the Sermon on the Mount, which is also Matthew 7.

 

Matthew 7

New International Version (NIV)

Judging Others

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Ask, Seek, Knock

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day,‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

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Living the Sermon (Part 2)

mount 2

In Part 1 of this blog, we talked about the Sermon on the Mount and a little of the history behind this historic teaching by Jesus.  We also read Matthew 5, which is Part 1 of the Sermon on the Mount.  If you missed it, you can read it here.

In today’s blog, we will be taking a look and reading through part 2 of the Sermon on the Mount, which is Matthew 6.

 

Matthew 6

New International Version (NIV)

Giving to the Needy

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Prayer

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Fasting

16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[c]your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[d] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

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Living the Sermon (Part 1)

mount 1

One of my favorite parts of the Bible is found in Matthew 5-7.  It is called The Sermon on the Mount by those who know it.  In this one sermon, Jesus speaks to the people gathered that day and to all of us ever since who read His words.  It tells us exactly what we need to know to lead a life filled with purpose and fulfillment.  I like to think of these 3 chapters as a guide to living full life.

To give you a little background leading up to this sermon, Jesus was now an adult in his early thirties.  He was traveling all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues.  Jesus was preaching the Good News of the Kingdom.  Jesus was also healing disease and sickness among the people.  News about Jesus, what He was teaching and the miracles He was performing quickly spread around the region.  Soon people were bringing all kinds of afflicted people to Jesus so He could heal them.  They were bringing people with diseases, those with intense pains, those who were demon-possessed, those who were epileptics, and those who were paralyzed.  Large crowds came to hear Him speak and these large crowds were following Jesus and the disciples around from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and other areas beyond the Jordan.  As Jesus was getting ready to give this particular sermon, the crowd was so large that Jesus wanted everyone to be able to hear Him so He chose to go up to a higher point on a mountainside so He could talk down upon the people gathered below.  Thus, the Sermon on the Mount.

If you have never had the chance to read this sermon before, you really need to.  If you have read it before and it has been awhile, you need to read it again.  I think we should all take the time to carefully read it again so that is exactly what we will be doing over this 4 part blog.

Here is what we will be covering over this blog series:

Part 1: Matthew 5

Part 2: Matthew 6

Part 3: Matthew 7

Part 4: What the Sermon on the Mount really means.

During the first 3 parts of this series, we will just be reading through the three chapters of Matthew containing the sermon.  I only want us to read one chapter per blog so that we can go through it slowly and really reflect on what it is saying.

Well, let’s get started with reading Matthew 5 today.

 

 

Matthew 5

New International Version (NIV)

Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The Fulfillment of the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Murder

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.  Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

Adultery

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Divorce

31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Oaths

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.[g]

Eye for Eye

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

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The Dash

dash

I ran across this poem called The Dash a while back and I thought it was great.

It really makes you think about your life and what you have really accomplished during your time here on planet Earth.  Each day that we are given is a gift, but how we choose to use that gift is up to us.  Each day is a new day to use this gift for positive instead of negative.  We can choose to help others instead of being selfish.

We all have a birth date.  It was a gift and we were not even aware of it at the time.  We all have an end date.  None of us knows when that day will come so we have very little control over that too.  It is the dash between those two dates that we have ultimate control over.

As you read this poem reflect on your life and how you have spent your dash.  What things can you do, starting today, to make your dash even more meaningful?

 

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who love her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard;
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile…
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

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Come Inside

kermit

Today, I want us to take a look in the Bible at Psalm 12 

Psalm 12 (NIV)

Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
    those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
Everyone lies to their neighbor;
    they flatter with their lips
    but harbor deception in their hearts.

May the Lord silence all flattering lips
    and every boastful tongue—
those who say,
    “By our tongues we will prevail;
    our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”

“Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
    I will now arise,” says the Lord.
    “I will protect them from those who malign them.”
And the words of the Lord are flawless,
    like silver purified in a crucible,
    like gold refined seven times.

You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
    and will protect us forever from the wicked,
who freely strut about
    when what is vile is honored by the human race.

 

One of my favorite shows to watch when I was a kid was Sesame Street.  I can remember watching it each and every morning before I would go get on the bus to go to Orange Elementary School.  Even though that has been more than a quarter of a century ago, there are still some specific scenes from that show that still stand out in my mind.  I can remember this one scene as though it was yesterday.

Kermit the Frog is inside on a cold winter’s day, warming himself in front of a fire.  Grover knocks wildly on the door, announcing his arrival.  He is complaining: “It’s cooooold out here!  I can’t stand the cooold!”  Kermit keeps trying to break in, but Grover complains all the more loudly and persistently, until, at last, Kermit hollers, “Grover, come inside!”

“Oh,” says the beloved monster.  And into the shelter of Kermit’s warm living room he comes.

The lesson that I took from this scene is that if something’s not right, look for the best place to go to fix it and then go get it fixed.  If you are cold, go where it is warm and don’t be afraid to go there boldly.

Our generation of believers is a bit like Grover, me thinks (like what I did there?).  We cry out, as in Psalm 12, “Lord, it’s so sinful out here.  People are so mean.  Everyone lies and flatters and deceives just to get what they want!”  We keep complaining and shivering in the sinful cold of our earthly night.

Meanwhile, God, like Kermit, has just what we need.  “The words of the LORD are pure words, flawless like silver refined in a furnace or gold purified seven times” (v. 6).  It will do us no good to whine, complain, and wring our hands about the “cold” conditions of this wintry world if we’re not willing to “come inside” and warm ourselves at the fire of God’s truth.

God, David insists, “will keep” His Word and “guard us” with it.  But we must come to it, shelter in it, derive light and warmth and truth from it.

The Word of God is the shelter we need against the “vileness” (v. 8) of our sinful age.  Only the Word can revive and renew us, and equip us with grace to love our neighbors and serve them as best we can.  So you have a Bible. You read it from time to time.  You’re even part of a Bible study group.  Sometimes you even pray, even somewhat regularly.

None of that will be of any benefit to you against the threats of wickedness and sin unless you “come inside” the Word of God and live there, and let it live in you (Col. 3:16), so that you obey its teachings and entrust yourself entirely to the Lord.

If the world’s feeling a little cold and threatening, don’t dwell there in the cold.  Come inside!

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