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Four Apples...

Bob was so very hungry. His friend, Steve, had two apples. Bob approached Steve and asked, "Steve, would you mind sharing one of your apples? I haven't eaten all day and I am rather hungry." Steve looked at him picked up one of the apples and took a bite. He then picked up the other apple and took a bite of it. Bob was crushed. Steve knew he was hungry and he stood there in front of him and took a bite of both apples right there in front of him. How selfish and cruel, Bob thought. Maybe Steve wasn't a friend after all. Just as Bob was getting ready to walk away, Steve spoke. "Bob, here you go." He handed Bob one of the apples. "It tastes much better than the other one. I wanted to make sure you got the best one. You can't always tell with these apples." He hugged Bob and went about his business.

Jane lived on the corner. At 95, she still tended to her garden and managed to share the fruits it bore with her neighbors. She would wave as people passed by and always appeared to be the sweet old lady on the corner. Her granddaughter, Beth, lived down the street and was one of the most beautiful women in the city. Beth mainly kept to herself and most people did not know much about her. She worked hard and poured so much into her volunteer work and career. What she didn't do was spend a lot of time with Jane. She did ensure Jane was taken care of and all of Jane's needs were met. One Saturday afternoon, Jane showed up on Beth's doorstep and rang the doorbell. Beth opened the door and Jane offered her the most perfect apple. Jane explained it had come from her apple tree and due to its beauty and perfection, it reminded her of Beth. Beth hugged her, took the apple and immediately took a bite. Jane told her she didn't want to interrupt her day and she would see her later. As Beth shut the door and Jane left the walkway and turned towards her house, Beth fell to the floor dead. Jane simply smiled as she heard a thump.

In the garden, Eve was minding her own business when the enemy approached her. The enemy said, "Eve, why is it that God gave you this perfect place, walks with you, talks with you, gives you freedom and you can do all these extraordinary things but you are forbidden from eating from that one tree? What is it about that one fruit? Do you really think it should be that way?" Eve started to think about what the enemy said. She walked to the tree and picked an "apple" and took a "bite" from it. When she did, she immediately understood things she didn't know before. She called to Adam and handed him the "apple" and had him take a "bite" as well. The enemy, lurking about, had accomplished what he set out to do.

Four Apples. Three Stories. What is the point of them all?

  • "For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." ~1 Corinthians 2:11. (NIV) You cannot determine what a person's motives or thoughts truly are.

  • "Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbor hath put thee to shame." ~Proverbs 25:8 (KJV) In other words, don't jump to conclusions, there may be a perfectly good reason for what you just saw.

  • "Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. Though their speech is charming, do not believe them for seven abominations fill their hearts. Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly." ~Proverbs 26:24-26 (NIV) Often times, we can be fooled by sweet words or what we think something should "look like."

  • " But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger." ~James 1:19 (NIV) How often do we "knee jerk" react to a situation based on how we feel at the moment?

  • "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." ~Exodus 3:14-15 (KJV)

Do you find yourself like Bob? Do you judge people or situations before you know all the facts? Maybe you subconsciously look for the bad or negative because "this world" hasn't been all sunshine and roses. Does that mean there aren't any Steve's left? Have you forgotten how to share or put others first or even consider doing it worse yet, there are some that do? Do we have "good intentions" (we do the bare minimum when it comes to friends and family) but have no idea how they really feel about us because we just don't take the time mainly because we are "too busy" or maybe because we simply don't care. Are we so trusting we completely miss all the Jane's in the world? Do we have a bit of "Jane" in us - whether it be jealousy, resentment, entitlement or other quality that isn't Christ-like that has taken root in our heart? At first it was small but slowly it is growing, maybe not just towards one person but to many people and/or things, causing us to justify poisoning the "preverbal apples" we have to offer? Do you know the right thing but don't do it? Did you notice the enemy didn't tempt Eve to commit any specific sin. Instead, he planted seeds and managed to somehow convince her to question God's Word. Ask yourself, do you find yourself, with the noise, chatter, propaganda, friends, co-workers, "news", etc. of the world, are you tempted or worse yet, find yourself compromising or breaking God's Word? Have you forgotten, do you doubt, is there a question in your heart that GOD IS GOD - He is the SAME I AM that created you, that loves you, that longs for you, that is here for you, that forgives you, that knows your heart, that believes you are worth saving, that has never left you or forgotten you nor will He ever. HE IS AND FOREVER WILL BE.

Whether you are a Bob, Steve, Beth, Jane, Eve, somebody, anybody - have an apple to share, need an apple to eat, getting ready to take an apple, have an apple you are thinking about giving to someone, getting ready to pluck an apple, don't know what an apple is or simply don't understand all the apple references, know this: GOD IS WAITING FOR YOU! Right here, right now. He sent His son, Jesus Christ and thru Him, ALL things are possible.

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