The Best Preservative

   My childhood memory goes back to time spent with my grandparents “over on the farm” when I think of preserving food supplies.  They had a large metal “bowl” which sat on a frame with a fire under it in the side yard.  This was where apples were stirred and stirred and stirred to prevent sticking as they boiled down into delicious apple butter.  A wood stirring “paddle” with a long handle was used to stir and mix ingredients to completion, and then finished results were put in mason jars and stored.  I thought it was great fun to push the paddle around in the kettle.


They raised most of what they ate in the garden behind the house, neat row after row of vegetables which were harvested and preserved for future use.  Apples and potatoes had their own cavities in the ground covered with straw to prevent freezing when cold weather arrived.  The “smoke house” contained preserved meats and other items needed during the long months after the garden died.


Then there were chickens, milk cows and Papaw’s delicious molasses!  Folks from the neighborhood said he had the best molasses around.  Set a short distance from the house were honeybee hives which he “robbed” from time to time with his veil covering his face and gloves to  prevent bee stings.

Today, I go the grocery store to fill my pantry with foods preserved with chemicals to prevent spoilage.  Maybe not as healthy as natural preservation, but very important to avoid food poisoning.


We, as Christians, are “preserved” for eternity, not with chemicals, but something far more potent to prevent “spoilage.”  It is the Love of God!  Sin has “spoiled” the human race since it occurred in the Garden of Eden, but God’s Love is so great that He would not leave man in the spoiled condition.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life”  (John 3:16).


“We are like stone ruined temples that still bear the marks of the original splendor.  Only the architect who designed us can fully repair and restore us to our original purpose and beauty.”  (NKJV Commentary)

At the beginning of time, God knew what we needed before we knew we needed it; so He made provisions for our preservation through His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

“…your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8).

The Psalmist had insight into this when he penned, “…Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me…” (Psalm 32:7), and “The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot” (Psalm 16:5).


The Love God has for us is the gateway to His attributes of Mercy and Grace.  It is His Love that looks at us with Mercy and Grace and (His) Glory.  At his request, Moses saw the attributes of God’s Glory:  Merciful, Gracious, Longsuffering, Goodness, Truth (Exodus 34:6-7). 


Some of the arrows the devil uses to try to wound Christians are doubt and worry.  All we have to do is bring to mind “what God has preserved, the devil cannot spoil!”  Someone has said:  If God lets your ship sink, it is because He has an anointed board He wants you on—so hang on—you are preserved.

We don’t know how long our journey here will be nor where it may eventually take us, but we have the assurance that every ship or board we sail on is for our preservation.  You see, God has long-range plans in His view for us.  This plan began at Calvary and reaches into eternity.  We can’t see past the moment with any certainty, but the Love of God will keep us in any situation and perform that which God intended.


In addition to God’s preservative of Love toward us, He has instructed us to use the same ingredients He has instilled in us as a horizontal preservation toward others as well.  God loved us so much He gave His Son; the Son loved us so much He gave His life.  Jesus gave His ALL!  We have been implanted with this kind of Love when we allow Him in our lives.

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

That is easy to understand, no hidden agenda, no personal gain—just “as I have loved you.”  How much did He love us?  Without exceptions!  He withheld nothing; when He gave His life, He had nothing else to give.


Does He love me because I am so good and obedient at all time?  (I wish!)  Of course not!  His Love is ‘in spite of’ my not being perfect.  Ah, now the picture emerges:  We love each other in spite of our imperfections, just like Jesus loves.

My relationship with Jesus is preserved by His Love; and you know, that is how we preserve human relationships. 

Love preserves relationships!

If my friends dumped me when I displayed undesirable traits, I would be friendless!  But love covers faults.

“And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity [love] shall cover the multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

Strong’s Concordance defines “charity” as:  affection, benevolence, dear, love, feast of love.

Because Jesus loves me unconditionally, I must reciprocate that kind of love toward Him who gave His all.

Simply stated, that is the preservation I need to get me through this life successfully and will take me all the way as it works out in my life day by day.  If it fails, it will be because I didn’t reciprocate! 

The world is in the throes of a famine of Love.  If it were not, we could disband our armies and close police stations.  The basis of the famine is due to the lack of God’s love “shed abroad” in the hearts of mankind.  If we loved each other, we would automatically keep the commandments.  We would not lie, kill, cheat, etc., but we would love each other as Jesus loves us.

“…the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5).


When marriages fail, when families are at war with each other, when relationships flounder, there is usually one underlying cause:  They were not preserved by the Jesus-kind of Love.  To make it work, the Jesus-kind of Love has to be reciprocal, present on both sides.


We can’t mend the world’s lack of love, but we Christians can shore up the Levee of Love between us to avoid erosion and together reach out to the love-starved world to display the kind of love that is available to all and any who will receive Jesus' love.

A little humor laced with truth (below)


 How to Preserve a Husband/Wife

Be careful in your selection.  Do not choose too young.  When selected, give your entire thoughts to preparation for domestic use.

Some insist upon keeping them in a pickle, others are constantly getting them into hot water.  This may make them sour, hard, and sometimes bitter; even poor varieties may be made sweet, tender and good, by garnishing them with patience, well sweetened with love and seasoned with kisses.

Wrap them in a mantle of charity.  Keep warm with a steady fire of domestic devotion and serve with peaches and cream.  Thus prepared, they will keep for years.

(Author unknown to me)


Seriously, can you imagine what a peace would prevail if we would determine that we Christians are going to love like Jesus loves us and consider the welfare of others above our own; love and forgive like God does us; quit expecting perfection in others until we have achieved it “consistently” in ourselves (that may take a long, long time).  It’s hard to be mean or hateful to someone who just loves you all the time—anyhow!

May we all be filled with the reciprocal Jesus-kind of love!






 Music:  "Love Was When"

Love was when God became a man,
Locked in time and space, without rank or place;
Love was God born of Jewish kin;
Just a carpenter with some fishermen;

Love was when Jesus walked in history,
Lovingly He brought a new life that's free,
Love was God nailed to bleed and die
To reach and love one such as I.

Love was when God became a man,
Down where I could see love that reached to me;
Love was God dying for my sin
And so trapped was I my whole world caved in.

Love was when Jesus met me, now it's real;
Lovingly He came, I can feel He's real!
Love was God, only He would try
To reach and love one such as I.

Words and Music by Don Wyrtzen


@ There's Good News February 2013

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