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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tulip & barn Mastersonville, PA (4/10)
Tulips and barn in Mastersonville, PA

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"Foxes Have Holes"

"Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go."  Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head" (Matthew 8:19,20). "But He gave up His place with God and made Himself nothing.  He was born to be a man and became like a servant" (Philippians 2:7).

TrailSaturday afternoon Brooksyne and I were walking on the old tractor trail we often write about which is a well worn path between two rows of trees. However I chose to walk on the freshly harvested field side while Brooksyne walked on the trail.  She prefers level ground due to the lack of dexterity in her left ankle that she broke nearly two years ago. As we walked along we continued to talk but due to the dense foliage we couldn't really see each other.

Fox holeI heard her let out a loud shriek and immediately wondered if she had stumbled over some of the strewn limbs or small rocks on the path. Ester and I have become protective since her fall and we often worry about her falling again. (Brooksyne thinks we're overprotective.)  I ran through the trees to investigate and she excitedly told me she had seen a fox pup go into the hole pictured above.  When she first spotted the animal she thought it was a cat but soon realized it was more than a cat.  I tried to throw some rocks into the hole hoping to stir the pup out for a view, but to no avail.

Yellow foxYesterday I walked over myself to take a photo of the hole. As I approached it I heard a loud barking sound from the field and looked to see an adult fox running. I assume she was the mother who was threatened by my presence since perhaps the pups were in the hole.  We are going to have to keep an eye on this and perhaps we'll have some photos to share!

When I saw the hole I immediately called to mind the daily verse. I don't recall ever specifically trying to memorize it but it just came out.  I returned home and saw Ester's friend Jenny who was visiting. I told them my story of seeing the fox and Jenny immediately quoted the verse she had memorized from Bible Quizzing days!

Jesus used the illustration to reinforce the seriousness and cost of discipleship. A scribe had come to Him and said, "Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go."

Our Lord tests the sincerity of the scribe's loyalty by warning him that He was so poor that beasts of the fields and birds of the air have nicer accommodations than He Himself had. "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head."

If the popular leader fared so badly, what was the follower to expect?  How great was the humiliation of our Lord and King! He had no royal palace, no silken canopy.  He who created the universe and provides for the needs of humankind had no family looking for Him at the end of the day with a warm meal sitting on the dining table.  No memory foam pillow or select comfort mattress to comfortably lay at bedtime.

Jesus' statement reveals His poverty from an earthly viewpoint; and yet "we through His poverty are made rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9). We are not told if the scribe chose to follow Jesus after this outright disclosure; but the strong implication is that he did not. Perhaps, like the rich young ruler, he found the conditions too rigorous, nothing warm and fuzzy about Jesus' living conditions.   No bonus provided or awards banquet guaranteed if the scribe converted a certain number of souls to the kingdom.  No pension fund thrown into the offer.

We who follow Jesus must do so without ulterior motive. The riches, recognition and comforts in this life God never promised.  In fact we must be willing to die to selfish ambition and vain conceits if we are to follow Christ in the humility which pleases Him.  Are we willing to do so today?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, You have given us the greatest example of a humble spirit in the person of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who had nowhere to lay His head.  He went to where the needs were rather than the place where comforts awaited Him.  This is most especially expressed when He gave up His position in heaven where Jesus, being in very nature  God, did not consider equality with You something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature  of a servant, He was made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!  From the heights of the heavens to the depths of the earth we submit our will and our attitudes to Your conformity for our lives in Jesus' name.  Amen.

Study note: The title "Son of man," as applied by Jesus to Himself, is first used at this point. It was His most common designation of Himself, and He used it no less than forty times; but only once is it ever found on anyone's lips except His own (Acts 7:56).   Some believe our Lord took this title from Psalm 8:4, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him; And the son of man, that thou visitest him?"

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"Lead me Lord, I Will Follow"  Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir Outstanding song, it blesses us so!  Brooksyne directed a musical with this as a theme song, and it has been a special blessing to us ever since.

"Follow Me"
  Kelly Willard  We both  enjoy the unusual thought provoking lyrics of this song written by Ira Stanphill.

"All To Jesus I Surrender"  Video  

"You Are My All In All"  Video  

"Foxes Have Holes"  Video  This is the only song I could find using the title and I commend the young man for writing a song based on this Scripture.  Although I don't disagree with the sentiment of the song in caring for the homeless, I feel the main emphasis that Christ makes in the context is the call to sacrificing all in following Him.

Fox bark  Video  This is the same bark I heard yesterday afternoon.

Cute video of a fox hunting

A sermon titled "Foxes Have Holes"  webpage

Another message on discipleship based on today's passage. webpage

Note: I did not take the photo of the live fox shown in today's message. I have seen fox on numerous occasions in our walks and drives but they are always moving along very fast. I did take the photo of the fox hole though!

Yellow foxDarryl Eckert, a friend of ours, has this mounted red fox in his living room.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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