Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord

Teach me Thy way, O Lord, teach me Thy way!
Thy guiding grace afford, teach me Thy way!
Help me to walk aright, more by faith, less by sight;
Lead me with heav’nly light, teach me Thy way!

When I am sad at heart, teach me Thy way!
When earthly joys depart, teach me Thy way!
In hours of loneliness, in times of dire distress,
In failure or success, teach me Thy way!

When doubts and fears arise, teach me Thy way!
When storms o’erspread the skies, teach me Thy way!
Shine through the cloud and rain, through sorrow, toil and pain;
Make Thou my pathway plain, teach me Thy way!

Long as my life shall last, teach me Thy way!
Where’er my lot be cast, teach me Thy way!
Until the race is run, until the journey’s done,
Until the crown is won, teach me Thy way!

(Benjamin M. Ramsey)

“I Will Not Be Negligent”

We are well into the spring season and you know what that means – baby chicks and ducks! Here’s Anna introducing Rowdy to one of the baby ducks.

I really hate to report to you that our little flock from last year didn’t quite make it…not at all.  Even with our efforts of having a new, more secure coop built, we lost all of them – apparently to a rather large predator. Because of this, we knew we had to strengthen the fencing. The existing chicken wire just did not do its job.

We bought a much stronger welded wire at Tractor Supply to put on the outside of the coop.

In preparation for when the chicks are big enough to move outside, we went ahead and constructed a divider – just in case there’s strife in the coop. 😉

Finally, we added chicken wire to the above frame as well as the top of the coop…for added protection from the scores of hawks that hovered around last year.

We sure are hoping the above efforts will help protect our little feathered friends this year.

After last year’s experience, if we were to place this year’s baby chicks and ducks in the very same coop – without first reinforcing it – it would be an act of negligence on our part. Why would we do that?

This morning, the girls and I spent some time talking about the following passage:

“Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.” II Peter 1:12-15

In short, Peter is telling the believers that he will not neglect to remind them of the spiritual truths that they have already been taught. As long as he is alive, Peter’s desire is to continually bring to their remembrance Biblical doctrines necessary for their steadfastness as Christians. Peter said, “I will not be negligent…” – in other words, for Peter to fail to consistently remind them would be an act of negligence on his part.

As a mother, that stirs my heart! I certainly don’t want to be guilty of negligence in the lives of my children…my grandchildren…as well as others that the Lord may allow me to influence. When I fail to faithfully pass on Bible truths to those whom the Lord has entrusted to me, I am being negligent. When the Lord nudges my heart to teach a truth to my girls and I have fallen into the mindset of…

“I’ve already told them – they know it”

or

“Pastor preached on that two months ago – I don’t need to say it again”

or

“They’re learning it in Sunday School – no sense in repeating it”

I am being negligent.

Repetition is like adding welded wire to an existing coop. Repetition is like stapling chicken wire to the top of a coop. Repetition strengthens truths that have already been taught. Repetition helps prevent predators from swooping down or breaking in and snatching away truths from young minds.

Ahhhh – as mothers, may we not allow discouragement or weariness cause us to faint. May we not allow apathy blind us of our God-given responsibility. By God’s grace may we, like Peter, say

“I WILL NOT BE NEGLIGENT”

“Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;” II Peter 1:13 

Patience vs. Impatience

“Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” James 5:11

The above verse is just one of several verses that I have read recently – all dealing with patience. Yesterday, part of my reading was James 1:2-4 – “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” 

The other day, I read – “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:36

No, these verses are not new to me…I’ve read them many times. But, as I read and reread those first verses in the book of James yesterday morning, I just stopped and thought about the phrase “let patience have her perfect work”. In my Bible, above that phrase, I have written – “stop fighting!”  For God to say “let patience…” indicates our human nature to resist.

If we are to “let patience”….if we are to allow patience to work in us, I think it would be a good thing to understand what patience is as well as what it is not. Can you guess what I did yesterday morning? Another little word study! 🙂

patience – “1) The suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. Patience may spring from constitutional fortitude, from a kind of heroic pride, or from christian submission to the divine will. 2) A calm temper which bears evils without murmuring or discontent. 3) The act or quality of waiting long for justice or expected good without discontent. 4) Perseverance; constancy in labor or exertion. 5) The quality of bearing offenses and injuries without anger or revenge.”

I don’t know about you, but I find that phrase “without discontent” rather convicting.

Here are some synonyms for patience:

synonyms – composure, diligence, endurance, fortitude, grit, humility, moderation, perseverance, persistence, poise, restraint, self-control, tolerance, backbone, calmness, constancy, guts, submission

I went ahead and scrolled down to see the listed antonyms for patience. Are you ready for this?

antonyms – agitation, arousal, cowardice, idleness, indifference, indolence, laziness, lethargy, weakness, fear, resistance, frustration, impatience, intolerance

Can anyone say, “OH ME!”

And now, the definition of impatience:

impatience – “Uneasiness under pain or suffering; not enduring pain with composure; restlessness occasioned by suffering positive evil, or the absence of expected good. Impatience is not rage, nor absolute inability to bear pain; but it implies want of fortitude, or of its exercise. It usually springs from irritability of temper.”

synonyms – anger, annoyance, anxiety, eagerness, edginess, excitement, nervousness, restlessness, uneasiness, agitation, fretfulness, hastiness, irritability, rashness

antonyms (a couple of these really stood out to me) – calmness, contentment, enjoyment, happiness, JOY, PEACE, control, endurance, forbearance, patience, waiting

This little word study, along with the verses mentioned at the beginning of this post, have really given me some food for thought the last few days. Is God waiting for me to stop resisting and “let patience have her perfect work”?

“We must let it have its perfect work. Do nothing to limit it nor to weaken it; but let it have its full scope: if one affliction come upon the heels of another, and a train of them are drawn upon us, yet let patience go on till its work is perfected. When we bear all that God appoints, and as long as he appoints, and with a humble obedient eye to him, and when we not only bear troubles, but rejoice in them, then patience hath its perfect work. (3.) When the work of patience is complete, then the Christian is entire, and nothing will be wanting: it will furnish us with all that is necessary for our Christian race and warfare, and will enable us to persevere to the end, and then its work will be ended, and crowned with glory.” ~ Matthew Henry

Who’s Driving Out Who?

“But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.” Numbers 33:55

A sobering reminder this morning in the above verse. From Matthew Henry’s commentary:

“Let us hear this, and fear. If we do not drive sin out, sin will drive us out; if we be not the death of our lusts, our lusts will be the death of our souls.” ~ Matthew Henry

Today, who or what is in control of our lives? Are we actively driving out sin in our lives? Are we fleeing temptations? Are we resisting Satan’s lures with the Word of God? Or, are we allowing sin to drive us down a path of destruction?

Today, “who’s driving out who” in our lives?

Faith – Samuel Chadwick

Not long after I completed my word study yesterday, (explained in my previous post), I read the following in a little book entitled “God Listens to the Crying Heart in the Secret Place” by Samuel Chadwick.

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Faith is explained by its opposite. Doubt is double-minded and unstable. Like a troubled sea, it is driven by the force of the wind and tossed by the surge of the deep; it is at the mercy of a double motion of oscillation and undulation. Internal conditions disturb, and external circumstances drive. Such a man gets nothing because he is not of one mind and a two-minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Ships go East and ships go West

Whatever the winds that blow;

The set of the sail; and not the gale,

Settles the way that we go.

Faith sets the sails.

Faith vs. Doubt

“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” James 1:6,7 

I was sharing something with a dear sis yesterday and thought I would do a post on it – in hopes that it will be a blessing to someone this morning.

Yesterday morning, in the midst of taking some things to the Lord, my heart’s desire was to better understand “faith”. During that time, the Lord seemed to impress my heart to do a little word study on “faith” and “doubt” and here is what I came up with:

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FAITH

Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another; resting on his authority and veracity, without other evidence; the judgment that what another states or testifies is the truth.

synonyms – acceptance; belief; confidence; conviction; hope; assurance; certainty; surety

DOUBT

To waver or fluctuate in opinion; to hesitate; to be in suspense; to be in uncertainty; to be undetermined; to fear; to be apprehensive; to suspect; to fill with fear.

synonyms – apprehension; confusion; disbelief; distrust; fear; hesitancy; misgiving; skepticism; suspicion; uncertainty, wavering

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I printed the above and posted it in a visible place where I have my devotions – to serve as a continual reminder and even a tool for self-examination:

“TODAY, do I have FAITH in God? Do I have complete confidence in His Word? Am I resting on His promises? Am I certain that He will do what He said?”

OR…

“TODAY, am I apprehensive? Am I wavering on God’s promises? Do I feel confused? Am I fearful of the future? Am I skeptical of God’s ability?”

I’m just going to be honest right here. Yesterday, as I typed those synonyms for “doubt”, my heart was convicted. Oh, may we be continually reminded that we serve a FAITHFUL God Who is in complete control of our circumstances! We can fully trust Him! Will we choose to do so?

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

Prayer – Corrie ten Boom

The following reminder, by Corrie ten Boom (survivor of the Holocaust), was a blessing to me this morning – I trust it will be to you as well.

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How important are our prayers in God’s eyes? Do you know that not one of our prayers is lost? Your prayers – for your son, your daughter, your mother, your father, your friend, or whoever you prayed for – are so costly in God’s eyes that they are stored in heaven.

“And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.” Revelation 8:3

Lord, forgive me that I have underestimated my intercessions. I prayed to You in Jesus’ name, and therefore they are so precious. Hallelujah!  ~ Corrie ten Boom

The Fruit of the Spirit

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” Ephesians 5:18 

To be filled with the Holy Spirit is not a suggestion for Christians but rather a command, as we see in the above verse. It was A.W. Tozer who said, “The Spirit-filled life is not a special, deluxe edition of Christianity. It is part and parcel of the total plan of God for His people.”

As with any duty of a Christian, in order to strive for the spirit-filled life, one must first get a better understanding of what God’s Word is speaking. Galatians 5:22,23 gives us a description of the fruit that will be present in a spirit-filled believer:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

As the girls and I talked about these verses the other day, we took a closer look at each virtue listed and then, I encouraged them to follow my example and copy the words down along with the comments that follow them.

love“to God especially, and to one another for his sake”

joy“by which may be understood cheerfulness in conversation with our friends, or rather a constant delight in God”

peace“with God and conscience, or a peaceableness of temper and behaviour towards others”

longsuffering“patience to defer anger, and a contentedness to bear injuries”

gentleness“such a sweetness of temper, and especially towards our inferiors, as disposes us to be affable and courteous, and easy to be entreated when any have wronged us”

goodness“(kindness, beneficence), which shows itself in a readiness to do good to all as we have opportunity”

faith “fidelity, justice, and honesty, in what we profess and promise to others”

meekness“wherewith to govern our passions and resentments, so as not to be easily provoked, and, when we are so, to be soon pacified”

temperance – “in meat and drink, and other enjoyments of life, so as not to be excessive and immoderate in the use of them”

(taken from Matthew Henry’s Whole Bible Commentary)  

The list is a lot to remember, isn’t it? But, if it is God’s will for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit then we can be assured that He will help us…if that is our heart’s desire.