About Transformation Garden

Transformation Garden is a worldwide Christian ministry dedicated to encouraging and empowering women in their daily walk with Jesus. The devotional thoughts presented in Transformation Garden have their foundation in the Bible – the inspired word of God.

Transformation Garden - January 13, 2015

January 13

Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:

“Blessed are all they that wait for Him.”

Isaiah 30:18
Amplified Bible

 All’s Well

“Is the pathway dark and dreary?
God’s in His heaven!
Are you broken, heart-sick, weary ?
God’s in His heaven!
Dreariest roads shall have an ending;
Broken hearts are for God’s mending.
All’s well! All’s well!
All’s…well!

Are life’s threads all sorely tangled?
God’s in His heaven!
Are the sweet chords strained and jangled?
God’s in His heaven!
Tangled threads are for Love’s fingers,
Trembling chords make heaven’s sweet singers.
All’s well! All’s well!
All’s…well!

Is the burden past your bearing?
God’s in His heaven!
Hopeless? Friendless? No one caring?
God’s in His heaven!
Burdens shared are light to carry,
Love shall come though long He tarry.
All’s well! All’s well!
All’s…well!”

John Oxenham
Bees in Amber

Today’s Study Text:

“Now the land was not able to nourish and support them so they could dwell together, for their possessions were too great for them to live together.”

Genesis 13: 6
Amplified Bible

EXPLORATION:

The Farce We Call Fear” Part 4
“The Move, The Monarch, The Mammon, The Mistress and the Mountain”

“If we have God in all things while they are ours, we shall have all things in God when they are taken away.”

Anonymous

Do the things I possess make me feel fearful because I don’t know what I would do if these things were taken away from me?

How can my possessions cause me to be afraid?

“It is not the fact that an (individual) has riches which keeps (them) from the kingdom of heaven, but the fact that riches have (them).”

John Caird
alver

INSPIRATION:

“Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”

Luke 12: 15
N.R.S.V.

My husband Jim is what I call “car crazy.” Automobiles are his hobby. When he was 14-years-old, he got a job and began to save his hard-earned cash so he could purchase a car. For Jim, having “wheels” meant freedom and when I met him, he was still driving his well cared for Volkswagen Beetle, a “tomato soup red” one. Over the past 30 plus years, Jim has had a variety of cars and for the most part he has enjoyed every one.

I share this information because it relates directly to our topic on fear, for believe it or not, something like a car can even place us in a position of fear. Having an interest in cars, Jim really enjoyed going to events where exotic cars were displayed. And at some of these events, he met other car enthusiasts – many of them. One question Jim would ask the owners of these gorgeous vehicles was:

Do you ever drive your car?” Inevitably, the answer would be, “No!” The reason given was the fact that the lower the mileage, the higher the value of the car. This has baffled both Jim and me because as Jim has expressed, “Why not enjoy the car? Drive it, use it.” Obviously, Jim’s perception that a car is a functional item colors his viewpoint. As one of Jim’s car buddies, who I might add won’t ever park his fancy car beside another automobile, told Jim, I‘m afraid I’ll spoil my car if I take it out of the garage and drive it. And who knows, someone may ding my car if they touch it?”

Strange how material possessions can cause us so much trouble. We want “things,” we even get “things,” only to find out there’s a price to pay. And way too often, the price is extremely steep as our study text for today shows us. As we will learn, the challenge caused by too many possessions not only divided a family, but it also cost lives.

Our story for today begins with Abram leaving the land of Egypt. We read in Genesis 13: 5-7 the following: “But Lot (Abram’s nephew), who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. Now the land was not able to nourish and support them so they could dwell together, for their possessions were too great for them to live together. And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdsmen of Lot’s cattle. And the Canaanite and the Perizzite were dwelling then in the land, making fodder more difficult to obtain.”

I’d like to share with you the insight Biblical commentator Matthew Henry offers on this specific story about Abram and Lot: “(Abram) was very rich. He was very heavy, so the Hebrew word signifies; for riches are a burden, and those that will be rich do but load themselves with thick clay.” What I found so instructive is that author Henry then makes reference to a small Old Testament book penned by the prophet Habakkuk who warned: “Woe to (them) that piles up that which is not his. How long will (they) possess it?” (Habakkuk 2: 6). The entire book of Habakkuk is like a siren, alerting us to the fact that hoarding riches causes a great deal of pain and heartache and yes, fear.

It is a “possession-heavy” predicament that we find faces Abram and Lot. Too many flocks…herds…and tents. But not only did Abram and Lot have too much of what could be a good thing, they now had neighbors in Canaan who wanted “fodder” for their animals, too.

What the Bible tells us is that the working staff for Abram and Lot got to fighting with each other. I’d like to again share the thoughtful observations of Matthew Henry: “Riches are often an occasion for strife and contention among relations…Riches can stir up a spirit of pride and covetousness…Poverty and travail, wants and wanderings, could not separate Abraham and Lot; but riches did!” Henry further notes that it was very likely the surrounding tribes knew about this family feud and they also found out the way the bickering was halted.

You see Abram learned something very important in Egypt. Fear drove him to try and solve the problem of a beautiful wife and a wishful Pharaoh. But now, the Bible states that Abraham, with a generous heart, went to Lot and said, “Let there be no strife, I beg of you, between you and me, or between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are relatives. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself, I beg of you, from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if you choose the right hand, then I will go to the left…Then Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley and he traveled east. So they separated” (Genesis 13: 8-11, Amplified Bible). What a sad passage – “so they separated.” Riches divided the family. And Lot chose not only the most beautiful parcel of land for himself and his family, he also pushed ahead of his gracious Uncle Abraham and chose first.

In his terrific book, Waiting, author and Pastor Ben Patterson gives us this picture of the generosity shown by Abram: “There is not enough land to feed Abram and his family and Lot and his family. (Abram) could pull rank on Lot and flex his muscles and get a better deal, but instead he tells (Lot) to take what he wants…(Abram’s) future well-being is in God’s hands, not his own, so he will settle down and wait to see what God will do…Abram can’t see what is out there, but he knows Who is out there…He doesn’t have to worry about what will happen if Lot gets the good land and he doesn’t because he knows his future well-being is in God’s hands, not his own.” Sadly, Lot’s choice came with an expensive price tag attached. All his possessions didn’t even last him a lifetime. Instead, they were consumed, along with most of his family, in the fiery destruction of Sodom.

In the book, Gathered Fragments, author Rubye Goodlett pens these thought-provoking words, “Turn loose what you are striving to hold on to and claim Jesus as your portion in this life. Your relationship with Him is your only possession that no one can take from you.” As I read these words, my thoughts turned to one of my favorite old-time gospel hymns, “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” Today, I’m including some of the words from this song as our “Affirmation” and I’ve linked them with a version sung by the late George Beverly Shea who sang for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for 66 years. As these words express, “I’d rather have Jesus than anything, this world affords today.” This is the solution to fearless living – a life with Jesus!

“I will place no value on anything
I have or may possess, except
In relation to the kingdom of Christ.”

David Livingstone

“Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee,
All things else I have forsaken,
Thou from hence my all shalt be.
Perish every fond ambition,
All I’ve sought, or hoped, or known;
Yet how rich is my confidence,
While I prove the Lord my own.”

Henry Fl. Lyte
1824

AFFIRMATION:

I’d Rather Have Jesus

“I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold,
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands,
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand.

Than to be the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread away;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This word affords today.”

Rhea F. Miller
1922

www.youtube.comwatch?v=Fp1p6Aud1w8

George Beverly Shea – “I’d Rather Have Jesus”

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
[email protected]

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