“O” Is For Oleander

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Oleander (Nerium oleander)
Image credit, pixabay.com

Scripture reference;

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

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

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!

 

 

 

 

Letting Go

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Scripture reference;

1 Samuel 8 ESV

Israel Demands a King

8 When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. Yet his sons did not walk in his ways but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice.

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”

Samuel’s Warning Against Kings

10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. 11 He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. 12 And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14  He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. 15 He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16 He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men[a] and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18 And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

The Lord Grants Israel’s Request

19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, 20  that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. 22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

 18If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. John 15:18-19 KJV

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We get things wrong sometimes. Sometimes people will forgive us and sometimes they won’t. Then there are times when we have done no wrong at all, yet we find cold shoulders on nearly every turn. It hurts deeply when that happens. However, the Lord loves us very much, and he brings people along at just the right time who will also love us.  We make things much harder on ourselves than they have to be. Let it go.  Look right over your shoulder! Isn’t that the Lord motioning for you to come near? He wants to give you a hug and whisper something in your ear.

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!