Encouragement 12-08-04



December 8, 2004    
Encouragement for Today

Autumn Glory
Van Walton, Certified speaker and Director of Spanish Ministries

Key verse

Blessed is the (wo)man  who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers, but her delight is in the Lord... and she will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water. Psalm 1:1-3 


Every morning I take my dog for a walk.  We step onto the driveway and stand for a moment to breathe in the new dawn's freshness.  Another day has begun and I am a part of it. Life begins again and I have new opportunities. Yesterday is gone. This is a new day! I tell God how thankful I am for his new-every-morning mercies; I ask Him to use me today for His purpose, and then habitually climb down the hillside by my house. I always enjoy these first moments.  It seems God uses this time to teach me a lesson or delight me with His love.  He points out the beauty of His creation or some humor in nature.  My experience each morning sets the tone for the rest of my day.

One morning in particular stands out above the rest. It was a typical day in autumn.  It was cool and clear. The temperature had dipped overnight giving me a sense of urgency.  The year was ending. Had I done everything I had set out to accomplish back in January?  As I noticed the colors of the leaves, God said, "Consider".

He didn't say consider the flowers how they spin nor did He say consider the birds how they toil. He drew me to consider the leaves on the trees. I noticed how many shades of color graced my yard.  I couldn't decide which red or gold, orange or bronze, was my favorite. As I rounded the corner, moving to the back of my house, I was met with a sight that took my breath away. The yellow of the maples literally shone like gold.  Leaves dotted the forest floor and it was a dazzle of bright yellow. For one split second, I thought I had caught a glimpse of heaven. I had to shade my eyes because of the bright golden glow.  Not only were the yellow maples blazing, but the reds and oranges were also dancing brilliantly.

What was it that had so suddenly changed?  Yes, it was fall and with that came the tremendous show of color, a huge contrast to the first trees I had seen. What was it? I looked back at the trees on the hillside. They were colorful, but not brilliant like the ones in my back yard. I had walked past the yellow, red, orange, bronze, and copper trees. However, I stopped, when I looked at the same trees in the back yard. Unable to take my eyes off of the stunning masterpiece before me, I took in the entire scene.  It didn't take long for me to realize that the leaves that shone and danced did so because they were bathed by the sun's rays, reflecting its brilliance.  Whatever the sun touched was blazed with color. Elsewhere else, the leaves just blended in.

I learned a lesson that fall morning.  In order to shine, dance and attract, I need to place myself in the direct path of God's brilliant glory. I found a new goal for my life that day: to be just like those leaves. I know I can do that by facing the Son and reflecting His glory. After all, that was His intention when He created you and me.

My prayer for today

As I wake today from a night of rest, let the first light I see, be Yours, Lord.  Son of God, shine on me that I might serve You and glorify You today. 

Application steps:

After reading Psalm 1:1-3, consider how differently your life would be lived if you bathed yourself in Christ's brilliant glory each morning before stepping into your daily routine.  

Reflection points:

Do you attempt to be a light to your family and friends on your own accord or do you depend on God's strength?

What would it take to begin each day a few minutes earlier so you could spend time with God?

If you were to ask God to highlight your life, what part would shine?

If you could introduce God's glory to one person in your life, who would it be.

To glorify means "to give a correct estimate of". How do you glorify God?

Power verses:

I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.  Psalm 86:12 (KJV)

In a great chorus they sang, "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty! The whole earth is filled with his glory!" Isaiah 6:3 (NLT)

...but when a (wo) man turns to the Lord the veil is removed. 2 Corinthians 3:16   (RSV)

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18  (RSV)

Be glad about this... your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed.  1 Peter 1:6-7 (GNT) 

Additional resources:

Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God by Sharon Jaynes

Who Holds the Key to Your Heart by Lysa TerKeurst

Originally published Wednesday, 08 December 2004.