SEASONS ORDAINED BY GOD

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven . . .

(Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Autumn on display in all its splendor. The color tours. Driving the back roads. Walking trodden paths in the woods. Looking upward as the leaves swirl downward. The ground below covered in fallen beauty.

A season lasts for the time ordained by God. The leaves fall and cannot be put back on the trees.

14 . . . whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  (James 4: 14)

We take the tour through life, witness the beauty, experience the loss, ponder the questions.

. . . But how can a man be just before God? (Job 9:2)

. . . If a man die, shall he live again?  (Job 14:14)

God gives the answers through His Son. Through Jesus and our faith in Him, we can come before God when our life season ends on earth and have an eternal home with Him.

23 . . . since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 they are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as an expiation by His blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over former sins; 26 it was to prove at the present time that He Himself is righteous and that He justifies him who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:23-26)

“Not every one who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)

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Snow covers fallen leaves. The final season. We look back at our spring, summer, and fall. Memories. People. Places. Transient passages. If we have followed Christ, our focus shifts forward to a permanent home with God–

A season that never ends.  

(Sharon G. Tate blog 10/11/2020 blog) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

 

SHARING OUR BLESSINGS FROM GOD

“When I stand in a blessing, my first question is
“How can I be used?” 1

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Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.
(Proverbs 3:27)

Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4)

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If we have been given a blessing, it is our responsibility, per God’s Word, to look to the needs of others. It is not just what we can give in a physical sense but, also, in a personal way:

“HOW CAN I BE USED?”

Can I be used to help someone through a cancer diagnosis, because I have been through one and am now cancer-free? Can I be used to teach a young couple how to deal with their financial debts, because I was helped by a caring, older couple when I faced a similar issue in my marriage? There are as many possibilities as there are blessings.

We should—and must–be grateful to God for the blessings in our lives, but what about the use for the blessings beyond ourselves. Have we prayed for wisdom to share and give in appropriate ways? Have we asked for the sight and insight to recognize opportunities?

24 “He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’” (Matthew 25:24-30)

God does expect us to make good use of the blessings He bestows. With all the problems in the world today, the way we can each make a positive difference is to share what we have been given with a good heart, a heart striving to be more like that of our Lord and Savior.

HOW CAN I BE USED, and HOW CAN I USE THE BLESSINGS

I HAVE BEEN GIVEN BY GOD TO HELP OTHERS?

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16)

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. 15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

 “Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God has done.” 2

 

 1 Nash, Niecy. Quoted in Reader’s Digest. September 2020.  p15.

2 Oatman, Jr, Johnson. “Count Your Blessings.” 1897. https://library.timelesstruths.org/music.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 10/04/2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

Walking by Faith: The Sight of Blindness

Snow-capped mountains, violet valleys, peaceful sands;

Earthquake ruins, flooded towns, tsunami whiplash.

We view the beauty, witness destruction, wonder why.

With mortal eyes, we watch; with spiritual eyes, we see.

Human vision is dim; Spiritual faith is Light.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”  (II Corinthians 5:7 )

With all that our eyes can witness and watch in the world around us and beyond us, we cannot truly see/understand the creation of God and the ways of God unless we have the faith that suspends physical sight, interpretation, explanation, and analysis. Science demands a logical, tested, proven reason and answer. Faith accepts the Creator—and He is the reason and the answer.

When we close our eyes, the full panorama of the mountains, the valleys, and the sands can be seen, not merely the captured snapshot of what is   physically before us with open eyes. What we can envision in this “blindness” is far greater than what we can view in the limitation of physical sight. Such is the power of inner light, what we see by faith, not by sight.”

Through the outer light of physical sight, we view the destruction–the  earthquake ruins, flooded towns, tsunami whiplash. Through the inner Light of spiritual faith, we see beyond the destruction and find the child under the collapsing debris, the woman unable to swim in flood waters, the man trapped in the pull of the wave. We change our focus to see the person, the need, and we listen to hear their cries. This happens through a God-Light within us that emits Light when we obey Him in faith.

 “Behold, a King will reign in righteousness
The eyes of those who see will not be dim,
And the ears of those who hear will listen.” (
Isaiah 32:1-3)

When we follow the King, we walk by faith, we see with faith, and we hear in faith. In the physical sense, we are blind to the world’s view- but we are not blinded, for we have our faith and can see much more than those who view life without God-Light. Our eyes are not dim, for by faith we gain   understanding and perception; our ears are not dull, for through faith we are able to listen, not just hear.

A computer can “see” mountains, valleys, sands, ruins, floods, tsunamis. It cannot close its eyes and activate a God-Light within its parts and pieces. It has no conscience, no consciousness, no soul-and human scientists cannot create this inner Light. The sight of blindness, illumed in faith from one Source, will light our way up the mountains of life, down through its beautiful valleys, and across its scorching sands. It will lead us out of the debris of self-pity, save us from the floods of emotion, and lift us out of the tsunami waves that threaten to drown us in discouragement and loss of hope. If only, we walk by faith in the sight of blindness to shine His Light within us.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/27/2020) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

 

OPEN THE DOOR TO JESUS

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door,

I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20)

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In a recent Facebook post, the picture presented is of a door standing alone without a structure around it, an unopened door positioned in the middle of the woods. Should it be opened? The message is that the year 2020 has too many surprises to dare open the door and walk through to what might be on the other side. Even though the picture reveals woods behind, why is the door out there in the middle of nowhere? Is there something to fear?

“Doors present themselves to us in various places and times in our lives. Should they be opened slightly with a peek, opened slowly with caution, boldly opened with anticipation, or not opened at all? Caution may be the wiser option with “doors.” Think before proceeding. Pray before contemplating the “what ifs.” Seek God for wisdom.

 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously

and without reproaching, and it will be given him. (James 1:5)

Even in the year 2020, when there is so much uncertainty, the door that is open to all without fear is waiting. If we have the faith to enable us to hear His knock, hearken to His voice, and, then, open this door without fear, we will find ourselves in the presence of Jesus.

I am the door; if any one enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. (John 10:9)

27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.”  (John 10:27-28)

The “doors” we encounter during this year 2020 may present challenges when opened. But we know, through faith, that there is a door we can open always in our hearts, at any time, where Jesus awaits to give us hope, direction, peace, and love.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?

(Psalm 27:1)

The door in the woods, standing alone, can be circumvented by walking around it to encounter the beauty of the forest. There is no fear or superstition here. God is on the other side in His creation. Jesus is on the other side when we open the door to Him where He awaits entrance into our hearts. Keeping the door open to Him is how we face the fears, superstitions, anxieties, and worries of other “doors” in our life path.

“Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” (John 14:1)

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by Me.” (John 14:6)

 WE MUST OPEN THE DOOR TO JESUS.
IT IS THE ONLY DOOR THAT MATTERS.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 08/30/2020)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

THE GREATEST OF THESE

IF ONLY WE WOULD ALL LIVE WHAT LOVE IS. 

I Corinthians 13: 1-13

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

 LOVE IS: (4-7)

 Patient–

 Kind–

 Not jealous or boastful–

 Not arrogant or rude–

 Does not insist on its own way–

 Is not irritable or resentful–

 Does not rejoice at wrong–

 Rejoices in the right–

 Bears all things–

 Believes all things–

 Endures all things.

8 Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  9 For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; 10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. 13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

WE MUST BE THE EXAMPLES– 

and LIVE WHAT LOVE IS. 

“So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

(Sharon G. Tate blog 08/23/2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

EVERY GOOD AND PERFECT GIFT—

 1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:1-3) **********************************************************

August 11th, 2020. My father had been gone three years. Although I am at peace that his spirit is with the Lord, I miss the man, my dad, every day. His passing left an empty space in my heart that no one else could fill. I was not looking forward to waking up to this day of remembrance of his last, labored breaths.

This day, however, started out, not with images of dying and death, but of life and living. I looked at my phone. The first image showing on Facebook in my feed was a video of a baby, just a few hours old. My great-niece Zoey. Her name means “life.” The day became one of life renewed in my dad’s great-granddaughter. She was not quite due yet. A breach baby. More of a struggle to enter the world, but God brought her safely through on August 11th. On the date of her great-granddad’s passing, she entered. A life remembrance was now born on this day. The cry of new life, not the last breaths of life departing.

God has a way of bringing good out of heartache. We may be unable to see it until we change our focus to Him. There are little miracles all around us just waiting to be noticed with wonder and awe and gratitude.

17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

 “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” Here, below, we are the recipients. To receive His gifts, however, they must be opened with our sight, hearing, sense of smell, taste, touch. He gave us these five senses, along with the sense to use them and a heart to appreciate and love these gifts. Yet, He, also, gave us the option of choice to not use these senses and open our heart to His gifts.

This day, I chose the life image that I saw and heard in the video, a new baby born to remind me that God is a life-giving, life-sustaining Father. I envisioned my dad gently holding his great-granddaughter, talking to her with the biggest smile on his face. God gives us these gifts on, otherwise, dark days, if we are open to them– and open them up to experience clearly with His Light.

Dad is ahead of us going home to the Father. The greatest, most perfect gift awaits beyond this life when we join the Lord and abide where Jesus awaits in our eternal Home. Until then, His gifts abound all around us. Hear the life-cry of the newborn. See the beauty of the sunrise. Taste the richness of fruit picked from trees. Smell the aroma of lilacs. Touch the wrinkled hands of your elderly neighbor. Choose the gifts. Open them on the days of chaos in the news, violence around the world, strife in your town, disagreements at home, unrest in your heart—

–REMEMBER–
“I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.”

(Sharon G. Tate 08/16/2020 blog) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Peace Within Amid Chaos Without

 

 

 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)
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Stillness. A slight mist in the air,
Low fog suspended over the pond.
A bird dropped by and then another.
Perched on top of the deck rail,
Chirping toward the rising sun,
Their song in perfect harmony.

 

 

As fog lifted and mist departed,
 PEACE entered my soul.
 A gift. A moment from God.
Did I say, “Thank you, Lord?”
The moments are many and daily if our eyes see, our ears hear, and our minds open to the unfolding gifts from our God.
PEACE may not be a word we think of much in today’s societal and pandemic chaos. It seems elusive and difficult to find. Yet, here it was in the early morning dawn. So simple. Yet, so magnificent.
“THANK YOU, LORD.”

(Sharon G. Tate blog 08/02/2020) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

TO KNOW GOD IS TO LOVE:BEING A CARE GIVER TO OTHERS

 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.

Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (I John 4:16)

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A wave of the hand over the sensor. I remember. The door opens to the cancer floor. I did not expect to be here again. The last times . . . Dad getting chemo, blood transfusions, platelet transfusions, the final doctor visit before hospice. Wheeling him in, wheeling him out. He waved his hand over the sensor to open the door to leave that floor-forever. . .

God blesses us with moments and memories. Some are beautiful– even through the storms. They can be times of togetherness, unity of heart, strength of purpose. A time of special love flowing through tears, hand holds, hugs, a kiss on the forehead– unspoken love clearly spoken.

We love because He first loved us. (I John 4:19)

 Maybe the world has forgotten this love. Isolation can make us more selfish and me-centered. That self-focus will make its way outwardly through our actions and words. We may show less kindness around others, feel little unity with others, and struggle with purpose toward others.

We should be each other’s care giver.

 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”

 He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9)

 YES! We are and must be. “There are no random acts. . .We are all connected. . . You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind. . .1

 The world needs a LOVE transfusion.

 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:12)

 A daughter is called to be her father’s caregiver.

A son is called to be his mother’s caregiver.

Duty. Commitment. Love.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (I Corinthians 13:4-5)

 Do everything in love. (I Corinthians 16:14)

 Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know.” 2

 We must be each other’s care giver.

Duty. Commitment. Love.

 TO KNOW GOD IS TO LOVE.

 

1 Albom, Mitch. The Five People You Meet in Heaven. goodreads.com

2 Albom, Mitch. The Five People You Meet in Heaven. goodreads.com

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/19/2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFLECTION ON GOD’S ENDURING LOVE

 

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
(1 Corinthians 13:12)   
Remembering the innocent child whom we must become again to enter heaven;
Embracing the warmth of family love and protection in our youth;
Facing the reality that evil exists– shaking our belief in innocence and protection;
Leaning on the Lord when doubting the direction for our future;
Emerging as the children of God through faith, obedience, and baptism;
Changing our lives as new Christians to follow in the path of Christ;
Transitioning to an outward focus on others;
Investing in quiet time with the Lord in prayer;
Owning the legacy of suffering as a Christian in this world;
Needing to hold onto faith until the last age when the child in us returns home.
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Remembering the past, reflecting on the present,
embracing the future–which God holds.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three;
but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Faith: Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will uphold you. . .”
Hope: 2 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
Love: Matthew 28:20 “. . . and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
God is with us always:
at birth—through life—in death—
in heaven . . . waiting–for us to come home.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/12/2020 ) teacherforjesus.com    Meditations on God’s Word

LISTEN TO HIS VOICE

 

10 ” I AM the Lord your God,
    who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
    Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

11 “But My people did not listen to My voice;
    Israel would have none of Me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
    to follow their own counsels.
13 O that My people would listen to Me,
    that Israel would walk in My ways!
14 I would soon subdue their enemies,
    and turn My hand against their foes.
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe toward Him,
    and their fate would last forever.
16 I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
    and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

                             (Psalm 81: 10-16)

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A different people, a time long past.

A relevant message, the time today.

The same God, then-now-forever.

Listen and Silent. The letters are the same to form both words: Harmony.

Noise and Clamor. The letters are not the same to form both words: Discord.

 Have we heard His Voice? Can we listen and be silent to hear Him, amid the noise and clamor of our time today?

How richly He would bless us if we had all of Him in our hearts,removing our stubborn selves to allow Him to fill us.

 In our time of noise and clamor, He is still the Lord our God. He will fill us fully with Him if we but “open our mouth wide.” What comes out of our mouth, then, will be His Voice, His Words. The world in our time needs us, His adopted sons and daughters, to speak and proclaim His Truth, not in noise and clamor above the world’s but in listening silence to know how to speak before those who have not really heard God’s Voice and allowed Him entrance into their hearts.

Our time is a decisive one for Christians to take a stand and speak God’s truth. In harmony, not discord, showing His truth in our words, our actions, and our lives, we can make a difference. And we must make a difference, for the “Israel” of our time does not “walk in {His} ways.” That difference will be beyond us for our children and their children.

Listen and be silent. Hear His Voice. Ask Him to help us know how to be the difference of change to reach stubborn hearts and unknowing hearts as we, also, pray for our own hearts to be right with Him.

(Sharon G. Tate 07/05/2020 blog) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word