Monday, October 26, 2009

Too busy to sit at Jesus feet?

Today I was having a wonderful time with the Lord. I am reading through my Bible and finally have arrived in the New Testament. I am in Matthew right now and I try to get 5 chapters a day in. Well, I have these wonderful reference Bibles (the Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible edited by Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D and the Companion Bible edited by E.W.Bullinger). Maybe you are just supposed to read when you read, but I like to read the notes and look up meanings of words, to try and get the sense (Neh.8:8)
Well, there I am and I start feeling this pressure to hurry up and just get through the readings. Like, I have so many IMPORTANT things to do, like work on my writing.
Whoa! Am I going to be like those with indignation at the breaking of the alabaster box and say "Why this waste?(of time- Mark 14:3-9) As if time with the Lord is a waste.
"If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer." (Martin Luther) What a contrast to me when I can barely get 15 minutes for prayer in!
Maybe we think we have advanced in our present state. But when I get too busy for the things of the Lord, than I am too busy. Is Facebook, emails, writing submissions, and all the clamor of the world more important than my relationship with the Lord of this Universe?
The Lord has given me so very much wonderful teaching and resources to know Him better. I have been given much, so much will be required.(Luke 12:48) Oh God, let me remember that nothing in this world will matter one day but what I did with what You gave me.
To quote the chorus of a beautiful old Twila Paris song:
He Is no Fool
If He Would Choose
To Give the Thing He Cannot Keep
To Buy What He Can Never Lose
To See a Treasure in One Soul
That Far Outshines the Brightest Gold
He Is no Fool, He Is no Fool

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Giving thanks changes everything!

In the seventies I had a Phil Keaggy record that had a song called Disappointment His Appointment. In the lyrics it said, "Disappointment, His appointment, change one letter then I see, that the thwarting of my purpose is God's better choice for me."I have found that instead of grumbling, it is so much more mentally healthy to give thanks, even when my plans don't work out the way I want them to.
Today, I had a small disappointment. I had an online class that I very much wanted to take. But my husband said no, that I had too many commitments right now. I was tempted to get discouraged and even argue with him. But the verse "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."(I Thess. 5:18) came to mind. I decided to thank God that He used my husband to perhaps prevent me from not fulfilling His will, but mine. After all, my way will only lead to futility. God, in His wisdom, has a plan for my life, that is so much better than what I could concoct.
I heard the beautiful testimony of the late Sabina Wurmbrand,co-founder of Voice of the Martyrs about giving thanks. This humble servant told of how the hell she suffered in Romanian prison was transformed when she and the other believers greeted each other in the morning with "O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good,For His mercy endureth forever." Psalm 107:1 She said that transformed their outlook. She was forced to go in a dress only to throw large rocks into the freezing Danube, which would subsequently cause her dress to get wet and freeze, and yet she and countless others not only survived, but thrived by following the Biblical principle to give thanks in everything.If anyone wants to read about her amazing life, get the book "The Pastor's Wife" which she wrote. You will be glad you did.
May I give thanks to you Lord this week in all things.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Undergoing sufferings for the cause of Christ

I recently had a fellowship meeting for the Voice of the Martyrs and had a wonderful speaker come and share with us. Believers in other countries are giving all for the name of Christ. They have so little, while we here in America have so much. Yet I wonder if the reverse is really true instead. Maybe they are the ones who are rich, and we are the poor ones.
Doesn't it say to the church at Laodecia,"Because you say, I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing-and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked..." (Rev. 3:17)
I need to examine myself! Do I think I can rest on my laurels, that I know enough already? I was reading from one of their books, The Trimphant Church, where their founder encourages us to prepare NOW for possible persecution. He said we need to rehearse in our minds what our answer will be when persecution comes knocking at our door.
Tnis is not a pleasant subject. Most prefer not to think about it. But Jesus did promise us that "in this world you will have tribulation" (John 16:33) and "For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but to suffer for His sake."(Phil. 1:29)
Lord give me courage to stand for you in that day.