Friday, July 30, 2010

Wildflowers and the enduring Word

Withering mules ear
Originally uploaded by SeabeeCook
One of my favorite mountain activities is to photograph wildflowers. With camera in hand, I enjoy walking through fields of bright wildflowers.

Spring is the best time to view and capture their bright images in the Sierra Nevada. But this year I didn't get up into the high country until mid-summer.

Many flowers were clearly past their prime. I found a sun-bathed field of mules ears near our campsite at the Kit Carson Campground (see picture).

Once vibrant yellow, these flowers are just days from loosing their peddles. They would soon shed their seeds, whither and die.

Wildflowers bring to mind a passage of scripture in Peter's First Epistle. Unlike flowers, which only display their vibrant glory for a short time, the apostle reminds Christians that God's word endures:
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because:
All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
But the word of the LORD endures forever.
Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you (1 Peter 1:22-24).
Peter's message is clear. Once God's incorruptible word has been planted in our souls, we respond by loving the brethren "fervently with a pure heart."

With obedient hearts from the moment we're saved, the Christian bases all of his actions on the incorruptible "word of truth" (James 1:18). Unlike mules ears, says Peter, which "whithers" and "falls away," our salvation comes through reliance on God's promises.

We need to place our trust in God's word and it ability to save and guide us through life. As Peter states through the quote from Isaiah 40:6-8, our lives are too short to place our trust in anything else but the word.

Like the flower, man's glory will fade someday. But God offers a cure, a way to transform our feeble bodies into imperishable beings one day. It is through obedience to His word.

Peter noted earlier in the chapter that it is this incorruptible word that guides us in our daily walk:
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:13-15).
I'm reminded of the passage in Peter (and others like it) each time I see a pretty flower, whether in the wilderness or the garden. It's a reminder to me that God's word abides continually and that it acts in my life.

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