Tag Archives: salvation

The Game of Pin the Tail ~ Strategies for Sowing God’s Truth

Pin the TailHave you ever played the game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey?  It is a fun group game where someone posts a picture of a tail-less donkey, then people take turns trying to tack its tail back on the proper place, a task at which few participants succeed.  That is because the real enjoyment of the game comes from watching when players, spun and blindfolded earlier, miss the spot on the donkey, landing the tail on random, hilarious sites instead.

Although humorous as a game, there are situations in life when missing the mark is not at all fun and games.  This is especially true when sharing our faith.

Do you ever feel like the truths of God you try to sow or ‘pin’ into another person’s life miss the mark?
Have you ever experienced times, where it seemed like the enemy so spun the circumstances around, that it seemed like the words bounced right off and fell to the ground? 

As followers of Christ, we must be ready in season and out to share His truth in love.  So often when we do, though, those same truths seem to fall on deaf ears.  When we rarely see a harvest for our labor, it is easy to start concluding we missed the mark, from inadequate sowing. 

Proverbs depicts the ideal:

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”
Prov. 25:11

When I read this, I imagine a canvas still life showing a fine silver goblet surrounded by luscious golden apples.  Words of truth spoken in such a timely, Spirit-directed way that they reap a harvest as lovely as a masterpiece.  Sadly, that is rarely the case anymore.

The reality of our culture is an outright refusal of truth, predicted years ago by the prophet Isaiah:

“And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” (59‬:‭14‬)

Do you see this happening in your efforts to share the gospel?  The precious words of Truth seem to fall on the street, left for trampling underfoot.
Does the lack of receptivity tempt you to give up?
If rejected, should we continue to cast the treasured pearls of God’s word, as if to swine?

We cannot and must not give up on anyone, but we do need to understand the mission.  To explain, I’ll take us back to the game of Pin the Tail.

First, it is never our job to decide when, where, or how a person needs a word of truth.  Our only responsibility is in the sowing, or for illustration purposes, the pinning of the Word.

Also, we must remember that although it can seem like it, we are not blindfolded or alone, as we go about this call.  The Holy Spirit is always there to direct and give us the boldness needed in every situation.  He is the One completely capable of effecting the intended purposes of the Word, despite the devil’s attempt to spin things in a wrong direction.

Even when we do not see results, we can rest assured that the Word does not come back void.

We always err in assuming that what we see now is the reality of what will be in eternity.  Doing so only sets the stage for discouragement or the temptation to take matters into our own hands, both of which are futile.  Discouragement weakens our own faith and self-effort only pins truth further away from the intended goal of winning people to Christ.

Finally, for effective truth-pinning, we don’t wear blindfolds, but actually could use blinders, of sorts.  Anything that would enable us to shift the focus from an outside monitoring of truth’s effectiveness, to an inward inspecting of our own obedience. Willingness is all that God asks of us.  He is Lord of the harvest and the One who gives the increase.

The word of God is NOT the tail, even though that is exactly what the enemy deceives people into believing. That God’s word is irrelevant, unnecessary.
Jesus is Author, Finisher, the living Word.  He is Alpha, Omega and lifted high above all.  We are the body of Christ, but He is always the Head. 

Am I clear?

Like any other, this attempt at sharing truth may miss the mark.  However, God knows how to pin His truth to accomplish His purposes, and as such, will use even this.  That is because only He knows how to reach each of us lost (by nature, clueless as a donkey?) sheep!

Though Hand Join in Hand ~ Proverbs Post

Proverbs Post“Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished; but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.”
Prov. 11:21

****

Take my hand.
I will lead you into places
unknown.
Places deep,
Where I can teach you how to walk with Me on water.
To stand beside Me, as we walk on water.
Let Me take you to places that are beyond anything you can comprehend.
Grab a hold of My promises and don’t let go.

****

Souls

My heart hurts for the lost.

I want to see people healedI long for breakthroughs to problems, but more than anything I yearn for souls.

If only we could grab the hand of our lost loved ones and pull them into heaven with us.

We can’t.

But we can grasp the hand of Jesus in prayer, believing that He will grab a hold of their hand and pull them in.  That they will come to the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God is calling to us.  To trust deeper.  To hope higher.  To walk on water in our believing.

For me, it is believing that no matter the outlook or what the circumstances say ~

“the seed of the righteous SHALL be delivered!”

Will you join me in believing for the souls of our lost or wayward loved ones?  Christ loves them all.

To see similar posts, go to Proverbs Post

Don’t You Love God’s Mercy?

God's majesty in sunset

God’s majesty in sunsets

Don’t you love God’s abundant mercy;
His amazing, saving grace?
Just thinking about it now
Brings a smile to my face.

Aren’t you astounded by His love
And the wonders of His majesty?
Just knowing that the King of kings
Came here to rescue you and me.

****

Though trapped in sin’s dark grip
And bound by the curse it brings,
Just in time, God’s Son did descend,
A swaddled babe, born while angels sing.

No more need we flounder alone,
No more face deserved penalty.
What we could never do on our own,
The cross accomplished, setting captives free.

****

Don’t you love God’s abundant mercy?
Aren’t you astounded by amazing grace?
Evermore I’ll sing of His love
Rejoicing that one day, we’ll see Him face to face.

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“To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.”
Jude 1:25

Blessings, blogging friends.  I’m still struggling to get back into blogging.  Miss each of you.  No matter what, God is good and daily amazes me with His majesty!

God’s Love Invading

Color invading the surroundings

Invading ~ the surroundings

God’s Love Invading

I look around
And see God’s love
Invading
Every aspect of my life
And that’s a good thing

It’s flame
Igniting every fiber of my soul

I look behind
And see God’s mercy
Covering
Every sin-stained part of me
And that’s a saving thing

It’s benefits
Blessing every step of my eternity

I look ahead
And see God’s faithfulness
Fulfilling
Every one of His promises
And that’s a wondrous thing

It’s encouragement
Conquering every doubt in my being

I look above
And see God’s handiwork
Amazing
Every crevice of my heart
And that’s a glorious thing

It’s majesty
  Rising up as praise in my spirit

****

“Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.”
Psalm 40:16

I took the photo above, while on a trip with my husband to the Gulf earlier this year.  This was just one of the stunningly beautiful sunsets we saw.  It was as if the hues of orange and red invaded our surroundings, rendering permanent change to the landscape. 

God invaded the landscape of our world with love, when He sent us the Son. Through Jesus, the Father’s love drew near, and dwelt among us. However, God never intended that love simply to come near and just surround us. He longs for Christ’s sacrificial love to invade us, in a good way.

*If you let God, His love will invade your depravity, erase your past, and rearrange your destiny.  He will interrupt your plans and ignite your spirit with a song of praise.

Have you merely heard of God’s love?  Will you allow His love instead to invade your life, for good?

For more of my poetry, see Poetry Corner

God's Love Invading poetry corner


Grace, Grace ~ Oldie Hymn

I felt compelled that someone needed to hear this old hymn today.  Didn’t hurt myself ~ just a link to a video with lyrics copied and pasted below.  I love this video version; it reminds me of an old-time black and white movie. 

Nothing you have ever done is outside the power of God to forgive.  His grace is greater than all our sin!

Blessings as you listen and remember this timeless message:

Grace Greater Than All Our Sin

by Julia H. Johnston

VERSE 1
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt,
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt

REFRAIN
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin

VERSE 2
Dark is the stain that we cannot hide;
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide;
Whiter than snow you may be today.

VERSE 3
Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe,
All who are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Subtle Gospel Message Portrayed ~ Flowering Dogwoods

Dogwood Portrait

Dogwood Portrait

Drive or stroll past the woods in Mississippi during spring and you are sure to find flowering dogwood.  Although very lovely, like the trees on which they grow, their blossoms are comparatively timid.  Partial shade-loving, dogwoods grow best hidden under the shadows of their larger woodland companions.

The forested landscapes near my home are currently speckled with white dogwoods.  However, to get these close-up photos of the flowers, I needed a tree with low-lying branches.  Unfortunately, most of them were above my reach, but after diligent search, I found one that cooperated.

Dogwood Cross

Dogwood Cross

Legend has it that the Romans used wood from dogwood to make the cross of Christ, but the story has no Scriptural support. However, the blooms lend themselves nicely to the tale and certainly have a hint of the Passion.

Consider the cross shape of the flowers with blood-like stains on their edges, their fluted striations resembling stripes and the wounded appearance of the petal ends.  It does make for convincing comparisons to the account of how Jesus died. 

Subtle Hints

Subtle Hints

The dogwood legend is likely just that.  However, blooming as they do around Easter, the flowers will always remind me of the cross.  Within them, there is a subtle hint of the Gospel message.

Subtle Gospel Message Portrayed

Hidden dogwood tree,
Boldly lower your branches.
Reveal your story;
For the lost, don’t take chances. 

Although just legend,
Golgotha’s wood was yours,
It’s worth repeating,
Since nobody knows for sure.

Revisit the tale
About your lovely flowers.
How cross-like they form
Amid gentle spring showers.

Blooms that hint of Christ;
His Passion, of which we’ve heard.
Petals bearing wounds,
Reminding what He endured.

So, tell it once more;
Dying onlookers to sway.
A portrait of Him;
Subtle gospel you portray.

****

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”
Isaiah 53:5

Dogwood B&W

Dogwood B&W

Words and photos by Sue Nash/ © 2014

For similar posts, follow this link to Easter

Should I Assume? ~ Keep Praying for Prodigals

Should I AssumeShould I assume all is OK,
When I never hear from your lips
That you long for God’s word
And that His presence, you miss?

Should I stop worrying
That you are teetering on the edge,
When the world means more
Than following Christ instead?

Should I just leave you alone
And stop longing for your return,
Since you seem happy far from home
And seem content to stay lukewarm?

The truth is that I will never give up
Or stop praying because, you see,
Heaven and hell are both real
And last for an eternity.

****

“It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment
Hebrews 9:27

“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
1 Peter 4:7

Like me, do you have a prodigal who has wandered far from home?  Are you unsure about the certainty of their salvation?  No matter what the circumstances look like, purpose in your heart never to give up.  Instead, keep praying and believing for their return to Christ. 

God loves His prodigals.  He never gives up on them.

© Sue Nash/2014

For more of my poems, see Poetry Corner