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Desert bloomHarmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting. Psalm 133:3

Normally, when we think of a desert we think of a harsh wilderness with little or no plant-life. A climate that has little value or beauty. Nothing could be further from the truth! The desert can actually be a very beautiful place. It may not have lakes with sky-blue water, or luscious grass and shade producing trees, but even without these things, Deserts can be far from a harsh wasteland of nothing-ness.

What allows the desert to be able to produce such beauty? The answer may be dew!

Professor Pinhas Alpert of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences states that, even though dew is considered a nuisance in some areas, it is actually very beneficial for plant growth. This is especially true in arid areas of the world.

In temperate zones of the world, plants grow best in the middle of the day, when the most sunlight is available. But in arid areas, plants tend to shut down during the hottest part of the day to preserve moisture. They grow best in the early morning hours and it could very well be due to dew!

Dew surrounds the plant with much needed moisture from the air. Moisture the plant needs to grow healthy and strong so that it can withstand the harsh climate of arid areas. Alpert states, “In the early morning, dew surrounds the leaves of a plant with moisture, and the plant does not close its stomata. Therefore, it can grow.”

Just as dew protects the plant and spurs its growth, the psalmist says that harmony protects the human soul and allows it to be healthy. Our world is full of crisis. Families are in disarray, our political system is broken, new diseases seem to be developing every day and natural disasters seem to be just around the corner.

The best way to keep our spiritual and emotional health is to be surrounded by the ‘dew’ of harmony that can only be found in close relationship to Jesus Christ and our Christian family. To neglect those two essentials is to abandon the one thing that will help us grow strong when life becomes a wilderness.

Hebrews 10:25 tells us to never avoid the opportunity to fellowship. Fellowship creates the ‘dew’ of harmony we need to endure the wilderness.

PRAYER: Father God, surround us with the dew of sweet harmony we can only get through the indwelling of your Holy Spirit. Surround us with your love and protect us from the harsh world in which we live. Amen.

So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:5 (NIV)

Take a look around you. Right now. While your reading this. What do you see? Look for details. Colors. Shapes. People and the various details of their presence (hair color, eyes, voice inflections, clothing tastes and colors).

Now take a deep breath and smell whatever aromas are around you. Listen to the various sounds. Try for a moment to let your senses take complete control of you and focus on the details, not the whole.

Have you ever take time to contemplate the huge variety of differences around us? Even just looked out the window to take notice of the many shades of green? Our world is full of a vast amount of variety. All of that ‘stuff’ that makes up our environment works together in perfect harmony. Were it not for man’s influence on our environment many of the problems it has would probably be non-existent because nature, in and of itself is marked by two things: variety and harmony, or if we want to narrow it down further, all of nature works together in unity.

Isn’t it interesting that when Jesus prayed his last prayer in the garden, just hours before he was brutally murdered, he prayed for unity among believers? He didn’t pray that we’d all have the same doctrinal beliefs. He didn’t pray for one denomination (frankly I think the idea of denominations was one reason he sweat great drops of blood!). Jesus prayed that all of us would work together just like the world he created, in perfect harmony amidst the variety.

How many marriages would be saved if the parties involved worked together in unity? How many churches would thrive if they let go of the denominational distinctions long enough to work towards bringing people to Jesus? How many people would be fed in third-world countries if rival political groups would set aside the things they disagree with to focus on feeding the starving people?

When God created the world, he created diversity because there is beauty in diversity. When he created you and me he didn’t use a rubber stamp because you and I working amidst the variety to create harmony is a thing of beauty.

Notice when Paul wrote to the Roman believers he wrote that we are all one body and not a group of bodies? We who claim to follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior must celebrate the differences if we hope to win the world for Jesus. Set aside race issues. Destroy the ‘gender gap’. Eliminate the seclusion of denominational affiliation. Jesus calls us to go to ALL the world to bring the needy to him. Our time is short. It’s time to celebrate the differences!

PRAYER: Father God, You have created such a beautiful world full of variety and harmony. I pray that we, as your followers would celebrate the differences you have given us. Show us how to live in harmony and set aside the things that divide us. Please start with me. In Jesus name, Amen.

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:14-15

I knew a man who loved to talk about himself and others. When he talked about himself the comments were always positive. He apparently could do no wrong and was an unsung hero in many ways. On the other hand when he talked about others (except of course for those in hearing range) he could always find something wrong with what they did, say, or wore for clothing. No one else measured up to his standards.

Needless to say he didn’t have many friends. We’d sit at lunch during work and hope he didn’t sit at our table. One day he was going on and on about himself when another co-worker, a gentle, soft spoken and well respected believer in Jesus, came into the lunch room. He was still out of earshot when our ‘prophet’ said, “I don’t like him”. I was curious so I asked why he didn’t like that person and he replied, “I don’t know. I just don’t like him. Nice guy though.”

His statement made no sense, as was the case in many of his tirades, but his words stuck with me. The writer to the Hebrews tells us to live at peace with all people as much as is possible. The co-worker that entered the lunchroom that day, I’ll call him Jeff, did nothing to deserve the ‘prophets’ disdain. In fact, the ‘prophet’ even admitted his feelings were unwarranted.

Jeff had done ‘everything right’. He lived the Christian faith in a non-threatening, non-judgmental way. He wasn’t afraid to share his faith but he would far rather share it through actions than through words. He wasn’t always liked by people. But even those who disliked him could find no reason for accusation.

As a Christ-follower we each have an opportunity to share the love and grace of God to others by our actions. We may not always be accepted. Some will point out our weaknesses and failures and completely disregard the positive aspects of who we are. Our goal as Christ-followers is to live in such a way that others may not like us but will have no grounds for their negative feelings about us.

Live in such a way that you are the solution to the bitterness in people’s lives, not the cause.

PRAYER: Father God. I come to you today realizing that there are things in my life that have caused bitterness in the souls of other people. I confess this to you and ask that you would forgive me for the pain I’ve caused others even if they refuse to forgive me. From this day forward empower me with your Spirit to spread grace and love to those around me so that Christ will be glorified in me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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RSS Podcasts from Zion

  • I AM the Good Shepherd
    From our series "Who Am I? The Seven I AM statements of Jesus". Our Good Shepherd, Jesus values us emotionally (he knows us), physically (sacrifices himself) and spiritually (brings harmony)
  • The Gate to Abundant Living
    From our series, "Who Am I?: The Seven I AM Statements of Christ". Jesus identifies himself by seven I AM statements found in the Gospel of John. In today's lesson, Pastor Mike teaches us what it means to have Jesus as the Gate in our lives.
  • I AM the Light
    From our series, "Who AM I: The Seven I AM Statements of Jesus", Jesus came into a world full of darkness politically, spiritually and relation-ally. He is our light in the darkness and we are his light to others when we allow him to shine through us.
  • I AM the Bread of Life
    From our series, "Who Am I: the Seven I AM Statements of Christ". Jesus shows us that as our bread of life he fills us in ways that will help us live life to the fullest.
  • Healing Prayer
    From our series, "Praying with Purpose". Pastor Mike teaches us from Jesus' parable in Luke 18:9-14 on the Pharisee and the Publican. Prayer that heals is prayer that sees us as we are and accepts the mercy God offers.


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