The following guest editorial is written by retired pastor, Wayne Easley. Pastor Easley is an avid birder and nature lover and we will also share nature editorials from him from time to time. Enjoy!
We had been in Costa Rica on a two week birding trip. And now, we were on our way to the United States and back to our homes. As we maneuvered through customs in San Jose, we found ourselves in a long line of passengers who were in the same situation as we were. In glancing over at one of the ladies in our group, I noticed she was crying. No, she was not just crying, she was in distress! I walked over and calmly asked her, "What's happening and how can I help you." Through the tears she blurted out, "I can not find my passport; I have looked everywhere." I am sure she was having thoughts of spending the rest of her life in Costa Rica and that we would leave without her in a few minutes. I motioned for her to step out of the line and suggested we ask the Lord to help us with this problem." After petitioning the Lord to help us, I quietly suggested we do another search for the passport. Sure enough, after a short search, there was the passport hiding at the very bottom of her suitcase. By the way, we learned something from that experience; we found out that she could have traveled on MY PASSPORT to our first destination in the United States which was New Orleans. At that point she would have had to arrange to fly to Chicago but everything would have been in English and it would have been much easier. A second lesson we learned was THAT A PASSPORT IS VERY IMPORTANT WHEN YOU ARE TRAVELING OVERSEAS , maybe not the most important thing in life but MIGHTY IMPORTANT. In my new series entitled, JESUS IS EVERYTHING TO US, I want to show how JESUS IS OUR EVERYTHING: He is our Savior, our peace, our forgiveness, our example, our brother, and our protector. I want to point out our great need for Jesus and the fact that we are not going to make it without Him.
I love what the Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4: 13, "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS US." Now, it does not say, "I can do a few things or I can do many thing through Christ." It says, "We can DO ALL THINGS." A few verses later in the same chapter, Philippians 4: 19 we are told, "My God (that is Jesus) shall SUPPLY ALL YOUR NEED according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." I believe that one of the greatest texts in all of the Bible is what we are told in Matt. 6: 33, "Seek ye FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD (that is Jesus Christ) and his righteousness and ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE ADDED UNTO YOU." And what are these things? Look closely at the few verses that lead up to Matt. 6:33 and it becomes clear that the essentials of life are : FOOD AND DRINK, CLOTHING AND SHELTER. These are things we need on a a daily basis and here we have the promise that He will supply them. And further, another of my favorite texts is Ephesians 3: 20 and 21, " Now to Him (that is Jesus) WHO IS ABLE TO DO EXCEEDINGLY, ABUNDANTLY ABOVE ALL THE WE ASK OR THINK, ACCORDING TO THE POWER THAT WORKS IN US, TO HIM BE GLORY IN THE CHURCH BY CHRIST JESUS TO ALL GENERATIONS, FOREVER AND EVER, AMEN." Wow! That text seems to crescendo, adding more and more BLESSINGS as it continues. Not only is Christ able to help us find our passport when we need it, He keeps adding more and more of the things that will help us and might I add, that will delight us. He keeps adding on the blessings that will enrich our lives. Psalm 103 records it like this, "Bless the Lord (that is Jesus Christ) and FORGET NOT ALL HIS BENEFITS; WHO FORGIVES YOUR SINS, WHO HEALS ALL YOUR DISEASES, WHO REDEEMS YOUR LIFE FROM DESTRUCTION AND CROWNS YOU WITH LOVING KINDNESS AND TENDER MERCIES AND SATISFIES YOUR MOUTH WITH GOOD THINGS SO THAT YOUR YOUTH IS RENEWED LIKE THE EAGLE'S." Are we aware of these benefits? Are we tapping into the Benefits that Jesus offers us? Are you? Am I? We are if we believe that JESUS IS EVERYTHING TO US. Next in this series is Part 2, "JESUS IS OUR SAVIOR!"
Wayne Easley/written on May 2, 2023/in Sierra Vista, Arizona!