“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 KJV
“9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:9-10 KJV
“18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” Matthew 15:18-20 KJV
“7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:7-10 KJV
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18 KJV
“16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:16-17 KJV
I had a hard time finding a flower that began with the letter “O”. This is a plant I have never grown. I found the name on an alphabetical list of plants, and it sounded familiar. When I saw some pictures I thought they were pretty. As I read about them I discovered they are quite poisonous (fatal if ingested) to people and most animals. I read one article that said that if any part of the plant fell into a container of water, it would make the water poisonous to animals that drank it. Another article said that if oleander was burned the smoke would be toxic if you inhaled it.
Why would anyone want to plant this? Well, they are large, beautiful, and often fragrant shrubs that grow quickly and require very little care. They also bloom continuously throughout summer and early fall. They even (sometimes) bloom year round in frost free zones.
Why would a righteous God want us when we are so utterly sinful? He wants us, because He loves us. He will cleanse us, and purify us if we respond to His call, and answer. We require constant care, but He has promised to care for us. Aren’t you glad? I am.
“Oleander” by Theresa Anne Moore
She sprang up swiftly and bloomed with zeal.
Her fragrance carried enormous appeal.
Yet Ironically, despite her charm
Her presence would do certain harm.
She was toxic through and through
There was nothing that man could do.
They both shared the same condition,
But the Holy Spirit brought contrition.
The word brought hope unto the man
When it revealed God’s loving plan.
It promised life if we’d believe
Our Loving Savior and receive.
This post was submitted as part of the A to Z Challenge, where participants agree to post an article that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet and publish an article every day during the month of April (except Sundays).
Here at Serenaded Softly, my theme for the month is Blossoming Verses, where I’ll share a picture of something in bloom, a passage of scripture, and a poem.
If you are looking for a more in-depth devotion you may visit my companion blog, Moore To Ponder.
Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord? Please click here:
http://pronetoponder.wordpress.com/category/about-salvation-very-important-words/ and make sure.
Do you have a Bible? If you don’t have one, you need not worry. Just click here: www.biblegateway.com They have many versions and translations of the Bible that you can read. Some of the best things in life are free!