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Covid-19 Devotionals

You Cannot Twist Scripture

It’s one thing to work hard creating something and another thing for unwanted guests to destroy your hard work. Let me explain. From a previous Daily Note you will recall me speaking about the winter frost hitting our plants, bushes, shrubs and ground cover and in many cases, destroying them. We shopped to buy hardy ground cover that looks nice. Some even produces flowers. There was lots of hard work mixing landscape soil and compost, buying the new “plants” and planting them, including spiking them with a powder plant food mixed with water. Everything looked great until the birds ‘hit town’, literally destroying two ‘rooms’ where we planted “Creeping Jenny”, a ground cover. Other juicy plants and flowers are being eaten as well.

There seems to be two problems. The one is an oversight and the other is my fault. My fault is that I placed two bird baths amongst the ‘rooms’ I created. Bird baths attract birds. They don’t only drink but also wash and play in the water. The oversight is that I did not have any protection … to chase the birds away from the garden. We went to a nursery and the consultant said all they have is net to cover the plants as people cover fruit trees to protect the fruit from scavenging birds. The difference between fruit trees and a garden is that the fruit trees provide something edible whilst the garden is a feature. You cannot have net covering the garden, so that’s not an option. She then said I need to remember we live with nature on this plant. Good point.

Then I called a friend as we had spoken about this before. She said they purchased those plastic “windmills” the children play with in the wind. She used these successfully. We purchased some of these at Checkers in Queenswood. I could only get threaded rods which I used to lengthen the “windmills” and hope they will work to ward off the ‘bird onslaught’. It’s no use buying ground cover and shrubs for the birds to feed upon. The lady at the nursery also said that at this time of the year the trees and bushes don’t have a lot of food for the birds to eat, that is why they attack gardens. Although Jesus was teaching His followers not to worry … He says:

Mt 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.”

God feeds the birds of the air! Does that mean God uses my garden to feed the birds? One could twist this to mean that … but we can’t twist or distort or use verses or passages out of context to suit our own interpretations. We cannot superimpose our mind on the mind of God! I informed our small Bible Study group tonight that Jenny’s mom was a member of the Church of Rome. When I was an ordinand in training, we took mother-in-law to church with us one Sunday. She was moved by the message and purchased an NIV Bible and started reading it almost immediately. She was used to reading set readings from the Weekday and Sunday Missals. This prevented her from reading through the Bible cover to cover as those books provided selected readings. As she progressed through the NIV Bible, reading Mark’s Gospel, she came across two passage that needed some explaining, so she called Jenny. The passages were:

Mk 3:31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” 33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. 34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.

Mk 6:1 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.”

You can quickly see how these passages would be concerning to her for she was taught (and indoctrinated) that Mary remained a virgin and the worship of Mary was key to her church’s dogma. Such is known as Mariolatry … the worship and adoration of “the Virgin Mary”. The problem is that Mary, the wife of Joseph, gave birth to Jesus but Joseph was not the father.

Mt 1:20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

The pregnancy was through the agency of the Holy Spirit … and Joseph and Mary had no union … ‘intimacy’ until after she had given birth. Joseph fathered four sons and a few daughters … half siblings to Jesus. Once mother-in-law saw that the Bible actually taught this … she soon became a Christian. Correct doctrine is easily seen in the Bible as it is explained properly and leads to salvation. Just like I cannot twist Matthew 6:26 to say God feeds the birds of the air from my garden, so a church cannot twist Matthew 1:20-25 to say Mary remained a virgin. It is fundamental for all Bible Teachers to use proper Biblical tools of interpretation to prevent creating false doctrines that could keep people in bondage, sending them to eternal hell, irrespective of how sincere they were in their belief! Equally, it is vital for all Christians to be like the Bereans and compare teaching with the Bible Itself.

Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

They even checked up on Paul! How much more us?

Dear God, thank You for the Bible. Help me to use it wisely. Guide me by Your Spirit to understand truth. Amen.

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