A little farther south there are stands of conifers. A lump rises in my throat. I haven't realized I missed them until I see them again! The contrast has been striking...this move from 'The Evergreen State' to the wilds of Orkney, where trees are few and far between. By the time we reach 'The Borders', signs of Spring are EVERYWHERE! The countryside is painted with a palette that seemed to include countless shades of green! Tiny wild violets adorn the footpaths...more reminders of 'home.' It was a blessed, timely diversion...
2. Prosperity and over-indulgence lead to complacency.
3. Those who are complacent drift into apostasy - 'abandonment of former loyalty'
4. Faith is replaced by meaningless cynicism.
5. Lack of meaning in our lives leads to idolatry.
6. Persistent, unrepentant idolatry brings JUDGMENT.
There comes a time when God even forbids prayer for the rebellious: "As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you..." (Jeremiah 7:16)
It is time to make our calling and election sure. God gives a staunch warning for those whose lives are characterized by being 'lukewarm'. In Revelation 3:16 He says, "I will vomit you out of my mouth!"
The stakes are high. If we want to follow the Good Shepherd, we must pick up our cross every day and follow Him. I know from experience that this is COSTLY! It may feel all wrong! What He asks of us is often contrary to worldly wisdom! But whoever 'loses his life' for Jesus' sake will find true life...life that is eternal. There is no greater reward.
Our future here is uncertain. Jesus warned us ahead of time, so we would be prepared: