As seen in the HEARTbeat and the Village Voice



            The preservation of food has been an issue for centuries.  When it needed to be stored, say for a long journey, different techniques were devised to keep it from spoiling.  Ancient mariners would put meat in containers filled with salt to preserve it.  The moisture would be pulled out of it allowing it to last for a very long time.  After all, it was the moisture that gave the bacteria a foothold for spoiling the meat.

            When I was young, I can remember summertime at my grandparent’s house, and summertime meant gardening.  I guess the necessity of having a garden was learned from their parents and passed down.  Produce, fruit, and other items would come from the garden to either be cooked and eaten immediately or “put up.”  The latter is a phrase used by my grandmother when she cooked and preserved food by placing it in Mason jars for storage and later consumption.  I remember seeing her meticulously sealing each glass jar in a big pan of boiling water, so as to keep the contents from spoiling.

            I’ve thought a lot about the Garden of Eden.  It must have been a beautiful place, perfect in every way.  It had everything Adam and Eve would ever need, and they didn’t have to plant it!  God put them there and told them to tend the garden.  The produce from the garden could have only been the best ever!  Everything was perfect except for one thing – a spoiling agent.

            It’s amazing to me how one small serpent could ruin things for all humanity.  God created the perfection of the garden and the perfection of Adam and Eve.  But it was humanity that allowed the spoiling process to seep into the garden and spoil what was most important to God – our relationship with Him.

            In ancient times letters and messages from royalty were sealed with wax, into which a royal seal was placed signifying the sender.  Only the recipient of the letter could unseal the letter.  It meant certain death for anyone else to tamper with the seal.

            The Apostle Paul reminded the people in Ephesus they were sealed.  He told them, “In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Basically, Paul was telling them if they believed in Jesus, that He had died for their sins, and accepted Him as their Savior, they were “sealed” by the Holy Spirit.

            The Holy Spirit has sealed us with His mark.  We are being sent to God the Father in a place where He resides forever.  Just as in ancient times, a royal seal has been placed on us and only the recipient can unseal it!  God is that only person!

            Don’t be afraid of the “Spoiler.”  You have been sealed, you have been preserved.  All else will rot away, but you who are sealed have been saved for the Master – forever!

  Mountainside Church · 301 Elcano Drive
Hot Springs Village · AR 71909

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