“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
–Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)
Last week, Timothy and I had the pleasure of going shopping for a Christmas tree. Both of us grew up blessed by the smell of real Christmas trees, but since those take too much work and maintenance, we decided to always settle for an artificial one.
At first, we considered buying a tree from Walmart, since they were very reasonably priced there. However, one thing settled my decision at once: the plastic stand. The tree we had used for the past 2 Christmases broke under the strain of all the ornaments, and it had sported the very same flimsy stand. We needed a much sturdier stand to bear the weight of all those ornaments (far too many, according to Tim).
We found the perfect tree on the day before Thanksgiving, at Home Depot. It’s housed in a sturdy pot. It features white lights, and it even includes lots of little decorative touches, like pine cones and glittery “snow” dusting the branches.
Tim and I really enjoyed shopping for the tree together, and with the help of my dad we got the tree home. Dad and his partner came to our apartment last night, and we had a tree-trimming party. The tree is now beautifully decorated, and it’s brightening up our living room.

Today it seems like we live in an artificial world, and everywhere we look, we are surrounded by either automation or astroturf. A simple example of this would be our Christmas tree, which my wife spoke about above.
Here are some interesting excerpts from an article which ask a question I believe we all need to think about, but for other reasons than are stated.

The world’s demand for meat will soon outpace our supply of cows, pigs, chickens or other edible animals. And one-third of what we cultivate goes to waste.
Given that traditional approaches haven’t mitigated the problem of global food insecurity satisfactorily and the issue will in all likelihood only aggravate in the future, we might ask what technology can offer.
Experiments with producing meat-have multiplied over the past few years. There’s a $2.7 trillion global market for meat ( by 2040. Scientists in Maastricht, Tel Aviv or Tokyo are experimenting with stem cells and the future of meat production while figuring out a way for mass production.
Today even fast-food chains use artificial meat, like plant-based natural or lab-grown substitutes. Burger King’s plant-based meat options, Taco Bell’s Cravetarian or McDonald’s McPlant are all on this list.
There are multiple ways to “fake” meat. Plant-based means creating the texture and the taste of meat with its key basic ingredients. Scientists take a live animal’s adult muscle stem cells and allow them to grow around scaffolds to help them achieve the desired shape.
Researchers of the Cultured Beef Project remove muscle cells from the shoulder of a cow and feed the cells with a nutrient mix in a Petri dish, and they grow into muscle tissue. From a few starter cells, one can derive tons of meat.

The above ideas may have some merit under certain circumstances, but instead of changing how we make meat, I would suggest that we primarily need to humbly ask God to change our hearts. This, in turn, will change our view of Him, and instead of putting God into the petri dishes of our minds, we will examine our own lives. Rather than putting Him under the microscope of our subjectivism, I believe we need to let the microscope of God’s Word continually purify our hearts. Eventually, when the artificial climate that surrounds us doesn’t agree with what God says, we will refrain from giving Him a makeover according to our own understanding.
Instead of taking a stand, though, many of us have chosen to only go along with everyone else, which leads to the artificial existence which we see in the body of Christ today. We need to ask our Father for the boldness we read about in the book of Acts, which caused the early disciples to speak up.
Rather than receiving wisdom from the Bible, though, the beliefs which we share have often become a matter of personal opinion. But when we dismiss God’s wisdom in favor of our own folly, and do away with the absolute truths which bind believers together, everyone loses. For instead of timeless values, we have erected artificial boundaries which can be adjusted at any time. To put it another way, we attempt to move the absolutes of God’s Word when they don’t suit us, and we put the immitation in place of scripture.
Like pieces on a chess board, this type of thinking leads to long-term values and morrals being discarded. We think we know what is best for us, but unlike our all-knowing God, we have to remind ourselves that we are blind to the future.
The God who loves you and me has put principles to live by in His Word for our protection and security. He will lead you on the correct path at this moment, if you allow Him to do so. But He also wants to bless you in the future as you walk with Him. And that’s not all. Christ offers the promise of eternal life to those who will trust Him.
While He doesn’t promise us a life free from trouble or pain, God does promise us His peace and joy as He walks through the fire with us. So why not trade in an artificial existence today, for the reality of knowing Christ?
The article which was quoted in this devotion is “Can Artificial Food Put an End to Famine?” It was featured in The Medical Futurist on August 19, 2021. The author’s name is not included in the article. No copyright infringement is intended.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
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