Saturday, January 22, 2022
Saturday, January 15, 2022
Before scientists invented magnifying lenses, the beautiful, delicate crystalline shape of the snowflake could be fully appreciated only by God Himself, which may be why He, in illustrating His great power, asked Job if he had ever entered into the treasures of the snow (Job 38:22).
Six, like the sides of the snowflake, is the number of man (Revelation 13:18), for God created man on the sixth day to be the crowning jewel of His creation, made in His image (Genesis 1:26-31). How amazing that Creator God has a distinct design for every snowflake, even though we don’t usually see it because the flakes clump together or dissolve before our eyes.
Small wonder, then, that the Creator Who devoted so much attention to the snowflake also created each of us to be unique. Each of us is special, not only physically based on our DNA structure (Psalm 139:14), but in terms of the soul that motivates us and the plan He has predestinated for each of His children since before the beginning of time (Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:5,11).
Like the snowflake, our physical existence is all too short, like a warm breath that escapes our lips only to disappear into the frosty air (James 4:14). The snowflake may transform from a crystal to vapor, or it may compact with others into a glacier of tremendous power, sculpting the earth and depositing precious soil where it is needed. Or it may melt, becoming part of a mountain stream that nourishes the earth in early spring, not only with water, but with dissolved minerals.
Whether melted or evaporated, the snowflake enters the never-ending water cycle that hydrates the earth, a fact that was supernaturally recorded in the book of Job, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, thousands of years before science had discovered it (Job 6:15-17; 24:19; 37:6,9-12; 15-22; 38:22-37). If we are born again (John 3:3-8) by trusting in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), we may mingle together in rivers of His Living Water, bringing spiritual refreshment to all whose lives we touch (John 4:10-11; 7:37-38; Song of Solomon 4:15; Jeremiah 2:13; 17:13; Revelation 7:17).
Snow does not last long in the form it originally appears, and our time on earth is also limited (Job 14:1). Once the curse of sin entered the Garden of Eden through Adam and Eve’s disobedience (Genesis 3), death and dying entered too, so man could no longer live forever in his earthly body.
But the apostle Paul tells of the amazing transformation that occurs once our corrupt, mortal body enters the earth. Although it decays, like a snowflake melts or a seed appears to shrivel away, it awaits God’s awakening power. When Jesus Christ returns for His children, the bodies of those saints who have died will be resurrected into glorified, immortal bodies, never again to age; to feel pain, sickness or sorrow; to sin or to die (1 Corinthians 15:35-58).
And like the snowflake that vanishes or sublimates, God’s children who are still alive when Christ returns will disappear from the sight of those who are left behind, for we too will be changed into immortal bodies that are caught up into the air to meet with Jesus Christ and live forever with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
When snow blankets the grime-covered, muddy streets, all appears new, fresh and pure, reminding me of the new beginnings God gives us every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Job speaks of cleansing his hands in snow water (Job 9:30). But true, complete cleansing comes only from the shed blood of Jesus, which has washed away our sins, turning them from scarlet to the pure white of driven snow (Psalm 51:7; Isaiah 1:18).
When we trust Him as Lord and Savior, He clothes us with the whitest robes of His righteousness (Job 29:14; Psalm 132:9; Isaiah 61:10) and remembers our sins no more (Psalm 103:12). One day we will see Him face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12) and perceive that His clothing and even His head and hair are white as snow (Daniel 7:9; Matthew 28:3; Mark 9:3; Revelation 1:14).
May those of us who are blessed to see snowflakes this winter take the time to reflect on their pristine beauty and to admire the handiwork of the Master Designer, with His infinite attention to every detail. May we thank Him for the cleansing power of His shed blood. May we remember that He created each of us uniquely beautiful, to fulfill the perfect plan He has for each of us until He raptures us to live forever with Him!
© 2016 Laurie Collett
Saturday, January 8, 2022
I dreamed that I was being conscripted into the Armed Forces and sent to a different country for boot camp. My husband is helping me pack. I take three pairs of ballroom dance shoes, made of cloth rather than leather, and am pleased that they fold up compactly and fit easily in my duffel bag. I realize that I don’t have a military ID, but my husband says I can use his, because “they’ll never check.”
Upon awakening and thinking about the meaning of the dream, I realized that once we are saved and born again (John 3:3-8) by trusting in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), we are not meant to be passive bystanders, but to be soldiers in God’s army. He has designed each of us specifically for His unique purpose, each individual assigned their own rate and rank, working together corporately under the command of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12).
Yet He also has a general plan that applies to the life of every believer – our marching orders, if you will. We are to seek God’s kingdom first, and His righteousness, and then He will supply each of us with all our needs (Matthew 6:33). Each of us is to spread the Good News, or Gospel message, so that others can be recruited into His ranks (Matthew 28:18-20). Each of us is to love Him and one another (Luke 10:27), following His commandments (John 14:15), which is only possible through the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 7). Each of us is to study and follow His Word (2 Timothy 2:15), which is the code of conduct we must live by.
The dance shoes in this dream could represent the talent of dance God has given me to serve Him through our dance ministry, with the three pairs reflecting both the Trinity (Galatians 4:6) and man’s number (6; the total number of shoes). Their being made of cloth, easily folded and packed, could indicate my desire to carry this gift with me into my service in God’s army, to be flexible in its use even in what seems to be an incongruous situation.
Dance shoes would seem to be a strange weapon of choice. Yet throughout Scripture, God has used not only ordinary people, but ordinary things, to accomplish His purpose. David carried five smooth stones to the battle in which God used him to fell Goliath (1 Samuel 17:40-51); a small boy gave his lunch for Jesus to transform into a feast for thousands (John 6:5-13); and Christ’s followers used palm fronds to worship Him (Matthew 21:1-9). What matters is not what we bring to the battle, but whether we yield ourselves and what He has given us to His command.
Yet the dance shoes may represent not only our dance ministry, but also a personal passion of mine to express myself through dance. This could be a warning not to be encumbered with personal desires as we seek to follow and obey Him. The shoes in the dream were not made of the customary supportive and durable leather, but rather of cloth that could easily wear out or even cause blisters or a twisted ankle.
Not exactly combat boots! While dancers strive to have pretty feet, with flexibility and line enhanced by proper footwear (Song of Solomon 7:1), Scripture refers to beautiful feet as belonging to those who preach the Gospel (Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:15). Christ’s disciples and missionaries throughout the ages have trod on dusty, rocky roads, no doubt with calloused, bleeding feet, lacking physical attractiveness but reflecting the spiritual beauty of the truth of salvation.
In His second letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul warned his young protégé to endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, and not to get entangled with the affairs of this life; that he may please Christ, who chose him to be a soldier (2 Timothy 2:2-3). Like Timothy, all believers are to fight the good fight of faith so that we may lay hold of eternal life (1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7).
The centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant sick with the palsy recognized that His authority far exceeded his own over the many soldiers he commanded, and that His spoken Word was sufficient to bring about the healing he desired. In turn, Jesus commended him for his great faith and granted his request by merely speaking it as a fait accompli. (Matthew 8:9-13; Luke 7:1-10). May we have such faith!
Not having my own military ID in the dream, and considering using my husband’s ID, was a reminder that each of us must pledge our own allegiance to our Supreme Commander. We must each have our own identity in Christ by personally asking Him to be Lord and Savior of our life.
We can’t depend on church membership, or being born into a Godly family, or associating with Christians to get us into Heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9). If that is our only claim to salvation, we will be sorely disappointed. It’s not enough to talk the talk -- we have to walk the walk, not only in the good works that spring from our salvation (James 2:18-26), but in our heart attitude of trusting and obeying Christ.
Those without that personal allegiance to Him face an eternal future in hell rather than in Heaven, as Christ bars them from the gates of pearl (Revelation 21:21) with the words, “Depart from me, for I never knew you.” (Matthew 7:21-23).
But those of us with legitimate credentials – those who trust only in the blood of Christ to wash away our sins (Romans 3:25, Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14) and have been sealed with the Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13, 4:30) – will be enlisted in the most glorious army of all time.
After the Rapture of believers (1 Corinthians 15:52-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17) and Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9), Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 17:14; 19:16), will return to earth to defeat the enemies of Israel, Antichrist, the false prophet, and Satan, with the Word of His mouth. Accompanying Him will be an army of all believers of every time and nation, each in fine white linen, riding a powerful white horse (Revelation 19:11-21).
In my dream, I was packing for boot camp in a different country. In a way, our life on earth is like the boot camp where we are being trained for that great ultimate battle, which will take place once we have attained citizenship in a new, heavenly country.
May we be willing to endure the hardness of battle for the blessing and honor of being in God’s army, not only in this life, but when Jesus Christ comes again!
© 2022 Laurie Collett