On John 15:12-13

He gave everything, and he asks the same of us. He asks us to sacrifice freely, with full knowledge that it may not be valued, appreciated, or even understood. No love is greater to receive than a friend giving their very life.

Nail

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

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On Proverbs 4:23

Life flows out of your heart, so tend it! Don’t abandon everything that you have growing there. Don’t let weeds or predators overtake it. Don’t let in anything toxic, or the whole stream will be poisoned. Stream

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

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On Proverbs 10:17

It doesn’t make sense to ignore directions offered by a local when traveling. We like to think we know where we’re going, but maps can be outdated and no amount of research can account for every unforeseen possibility.

The worst part is there are others on the path behind us! Our own ignorance can be the very reason that they end up lost too.

Road Block

Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.

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On Hebrews 4:12

God’s word is powerful and precise, a sharp scalpel in the surgeon’s hand. He uses it to cut right through us, all the way to our core, to get at exactly what needs to be removed. None of us on the operating table can hold up against it.

Scalpel

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

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On Jeremiah 31:2-3

Even in the desert, there is grace. While we’re out searching for a place to rest, God is out searching for us! He will find us and comfort us. His love for us will never end.

Cactus Bloom

Thus says the Lord: “The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

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On Psalm 16:11

If I were alone in the wilderness, what hope would there be? Just having to survive would consume every moment if it weren’t for your presence here with me. You show me the way forward.

My confidence in you is enough to bring peace and hope into this weary place. With you, it’s not a matter of surviving, but flourishing. I no longer feel the pain of hunger or the agony of knowing that I’m lost. Instead, my days with you are filled with simple joys: sharp birdsong nearby, smell of a wildflower, breeze on my neck, sweetness of a berry, vastness of this mountain. By your side, this joy becomes all I know.

Breeze

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

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