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Jesus and the Teddy Bear

Just trust Me

I know that most of you have probably seen this meme on social media over the past year or so. There is that saying that says “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but I think this photo meme is worth about ten thousand words lol. There is so much spiritual meat that can be pulled from this illustration, and I imagine that a ton of sermons can be preached off of it as well. However, in this post I just want to share some of my personal revelations that I take from what this meme is saying…

What God has in store for us is bigger than any IDOL that we try to hold on to. His plan is so much greater than the plan that we concoct for our lives. However, in order to ever see this reality manifest, we must be willing to let go. We must be willing to DIE to ourselves and allow His spirit to live through us. He has to become LORD over our lives.

Matthew 16:24-26 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (NKJV)

The big teddy bear that Jesus is holding behind His back in the picture can represent your destiny. I believe it can also simply mean the “bigger picture” and represents something that is of eternal value. We have our own ideals, interests and infatuations with whatever moves us, or gives us instant gratification. This is represented by the small teddy bear to which the little girl clings. The small teddy bear represents the temporal and the rewards that will eventually gather up dust and rust, just like Jesus said.

I also believe that the small teddy bear represents selfishness and ultimately the desires of the flesh, while the larger teddy bear represents something that is much greater than ourselves. The little bear also reminds me of when Esau sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for some soup. He gave up the bigger teddy bear for something temporary, something that would give him instant gratification. In his case, it was the very course of his destiny that he forsook. We all have a marvelous journey He has planned out that will end with eternal rewards being reaped due to the spiritual fruit that will be bared, but only if we find that narrow path and stay the course.
The big teddy bear can even represent rewards in the natural, however, we have to be willing to embrace the process that the Lord desires to put us through because He is shaping our character so we can properly handle the enlarged territory that He desires for us to claim. However, this process can only began when we are willing to forsake our way for His way; just like in the photo meme.

John 12:24 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. (NKJV)

The choice is ours. Either we trust Him or we don’t. People like me have held on to disappointments and have harbored some resentment towards the Lord because He shut some doors that we desperately wanted open. We need to be reminded that He is lord and is constantly protecting us from ourselves and dangers seen and unseen. We also have to realize that He already knows the beginning and the end. It would be in our best interest to get back to reverencing Him and understanding that His plan will always be far greater than our plans, despite what we appear to experience in the natural. The world says to live in the moment and we should. However, we who are followers of Christ Jesus are peculiar people who are supposed to be living from an eternal perspective. Do we have enough faith to believe that the teddy bear Jesus is holding behind his back is in fact bigger and greater than the one we want to cling to? Are we willing to embrace transformation so that our hearts are moved more by spiritual things (big teddy bear) and not the things of this world (little teddy bear)? I wonder if we truly realize that by clinging on to the smaller teddy bear, we are in fact settling for less. I declare that it is time for many of us to truly die to ourselves so that we can live the abundant life; hence, the giant teddy bear. Blessings to you all.

Nathan Allen Copyright ©2015

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The Best Wine: Restoring the Years

Joel 2:24-26 24 The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. 25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust,[a] My great army which I sent among you. 26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame. (NKJV)

Several months ago, I was counseling with my spiritual mother and her pastor. He shared a revelation with me that has remained lodged in my head and in my heart. It was about the first miracle that Jesus performed when he turned water into wine and restoration.

Many of you are looking at your lives right now and probably asking “What the heck happened?” The years have flown by like a whirlwind and left you in the dust, and when it cleared; you don’t like what you see… Some of you probably thought you would already have started a family, while others had business ideas that they thought would’ve changed their lives by now. Some of you had aspirations involving education, careers and even ministry, but life happened… Fast forward to now and those dreams seem light years away based upon your circumstances and you’re fearing the worst; that it might be too late. Some of us just thought we’d be much further along in life in general.

The truth is that sometimes our desires don’t line up with God’s will for our lives. The influence of the world has us focused on things that were never meant to be a part of our individual paths. Other times, His plan does involve our dreams and desires, but it is all about His timing and our character development. After all, we are supposed to be conforming to the image of His son, and to Him; that is all that matters.

However, despite these factors, the other truth we must acknowledge is that bad decisions and sinful behaviors have often played a part in the delay of our blessings. They are very much a part of the reason why God’s promises haven’t manifested and why we haven’t attained certain goals and dreams for our lives. All of these factors can be overwhelming and ultimately make our hearts sick, just like it says in the book of Proverbs.

dry ground

So what does this all have to do with “the best wine?” Well, it takes several years to make what is considered to be a “fine wine.” These wines often cost several hundred dollars and are considered to be a luxury. Producing a fine wine is a lengthy process, according to the ways of man, but it can be done in an instant supernaturally.

John 2:6-10 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom.10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” (NKJV)

Isn’t it fascinating how the wine that Jesus made was far better than even their “best” wine? Yet, this was wine that was created instantaneously! This means that the years that we have lost can be restored in an INSTANT. However, it also means that our best is yet to come! Remember, the new wine was even better than the first. That tells me that the things that we think we missed out on fail in comparison to the reality that He can bring forth! I believe that when He restores, it’s like we didn’t miss a beat! Hence, the BEST WINE. Hallelujah!

fine_wine_1

But there is something I want to draw our attention back to… His restoration of our years in our lives is contingent upon our OBEDIENCE.

John 2:1-5 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” (NKJV)
In verse 5, Mary tells the servants to do whatever Jesus tells them to do. The miracle took place in part because of the servants TRUSTED in Him enough to follow His instructions. The same holds true for us. We must be obedient to the Holy Spirit in order for the Lord to restore the years that the locust has eaten. He will not restore the years of someone who is living in sin and disobedience. He will not restore the years to someone who still doesn’t trust in Him. However, we see clearly that the servants’ obedience to Him led to a miracle and the very best wine being produced. I don’t know about you, but I want that in my life like yesterday! I believe He will exceed our expectations when we are willing to yield our lives to Him completely. He is a good father who will not disappoint us. I believe we can all taste and see that He is good; the best wine.

Nathan Allen Copyright ©2014

 

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