When some of us were growing up we were given the proverbial carrot. If you do well in such and such a subject you will receive, Chatty Cathy, Barbie Doll, plastic army men, Match Box cars, etc. Parents would bribe us with almost anything to have us study and achieve good grades. Even our teachers got in on the act. They would give us extra time in the library, candy, or a neat looking pencil.
Yes, we did get older and learned to dangle that carrot in front for ourselves. Wanting that new car, some new cloths, new home, a baby was the carrot to save our money. We would save up for an exotic vacation, trip to Disney with the family. We learned well, didn't we?
Then along came the day of our Salvation. There was no carrot there. There was nothing we had to do to achieve an everlasting relationship with Jesus. It is free to all who believe and confess with their mouth. Oh, the Kingdom of God is at hand! His righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Come Lord. Jesus come and become closer than a friend.
From that day forward all we have had to do is stay focused on the Cross and know we live in the Kingdom of God. All things are possible there. There is nothing we have to do to secure our salvation, to procure our healing. The Holy Spirit is the one who does all the work and we just follow along!
The problem comes when we lose our focus and loose our closeness with our Lord Jesus. Our ears become dull and our hearts become hardened by the kingdoms of this world. We replace His Kingdom with the kingdom of man. How did that happen? Was it because we were trained with the carrots of this world? Are we still trying to fill the void with those things? Are we trying to treat the things of God like the things of the world?
Maybe we can begin with our children and grandchildren. It is time to reward them out of love and not of possessions. Time spent in a fun loving environment is more effective than a Chatty Cathy or Match Box! Our Father in heaven bestows love upon us. In return we love Him and listen and obey. As we love Him His kingdom is present in our lives along with all those precious gifts He has for us! AMEN -- dianne
You will show me the path to life,
abounding joy in your presence,
The delights at your right hand forever.