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Fences: Proverbs 1:32-33

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Buddy is inspecting the posts for the new fence about to be set up. He’s still suspicious of the fence and, fortunately, stays away from it. He doesn’t realize that the fence is there to keep him safe.

The same with God’s Word. The Lord doesn’t give us rules of living to keep us from having fun, but to keep us safe. We’re free to run anywhere we like as long as we stay within the fence line. But when we disobey His laws for living in the Bible, then we come to harm.

Like Buddy who almost got hit by a van in the nearby street, sometimes God is merciful and protects us when we act foolishly. But sometimes, if we persist in disobeying, we may be disciplined or do ourselves harm. It doesn’t always come immediately as I’ve found, in my experience, He gives His children a chance to repent (which merely means to “change your mind and go the other direction”) before allowing the consequences of disobedience to occur.

“For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,…But he who listens to me (God’s wisdom) shall live securely and be at ease from the dread of evil.” NASB

Watching My Path: Psalm 142:1-3

 

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Buddy and I recently went to Ocean Shores, Washington State. It was fun to watch him find his own way from the beach along the various paths through the dense brush back to the hotel area. I tried not to guide him but, holding onto the leash, allowed him to find his own way.

Sometimes it seems like we’re just wandering through life all alone and no one cares enough to walk with us. But the invisible Lord is watching over us at all times. If we’re a child of God, (the Holy Spirit dwelling within us), then we can be certain that when we call out to Him, He hears us.

“I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord; I make supplication with my voice to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walk…” NASB

Wandering: Hebrews 10:23b-25

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Buddy gets a daily walk. In our neighborhood is a small pond, habitat of ducks, crows and on occasion a blue heron. Every Spring the large flock of ducks scatter to other areas while a few stay and begin families. This year one mother duck had 7 eggs but four were destroyed somehow. Three ducklings survived to hatch.

When walking Buddy around the pond, I checked on the three survivors. Two ducklings always stuck closely together while the third wandered alone, circling around the pond. I feared greatly for this adventurous duckling, because occasionally bald eagles would perch in the limbs of the cedar trees in the small park above. Last year a family member intervened to prevent an eagle from carrying off a small duck.

Just as I feared, one day the third duckling was gone. I never saw her again. The other two, nearly grown now, still stick closely together and rarely are out of the mother duck’s watchful eyes.

I feel sad every time I walk past the pond because I think about that little duckling who didn’t survive, who may have been carried off by an eagle or raccoon or some other carnivore.

Because she would not stick close to her family.

“He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…” NASB

There are some Christians who don’t believe they need to attend a church; they can go it alone. But we not only need the encouragement of other Christians, but our brothers and sisters prevent us from straying away and getting “eaten up” by a world system that is hostile to our faith. It’s also easier to engage in good deeds as a group. For instance, the Protestant churches in our area rotate, taking turns providing fresh (usually homemade) food for the homeless in a Catholic Services program that provides shelter and training to help them get back onto their feet. That way, the burden does not fall onto just one group of people. Most churches, such as ours, also has a benevolence fund to assist Christians in need.

We need each other. Try not to get eaten.