Family Devotions is something that we can struggle with, but we have been making special efforts lately to get back to where we should be in that area. I find it tremendously encouraging that each and every time we read and discuss scripture together, the following week in church that very topic is addressed.
Several weeks ago around the dinner table, we were discussing the ten commandments and helping Corynn to memorize Mt. Sinai and who the name of the man who delivered the commandments to the people. That very Sunday, our Pastor began his sermon in Exodus. When Corynn heard the Pastor speak the name Moses, and tell of him going on the Mountain...she leaned over and whispered excitedly into our ears "That's OUR Moses. That's Mount SINAI!"
Fast forward a couple of weeks, Papa read about the people of Israel worshipping a golden calf. She asked what the verse "Eyes who don't see, ears that don't hear, and mouths that don't speak" meant and Papa told her that it referred to idols. Sure enough~the Sabbath message was one of serving idols. And sure enough, once again, excitedly she whispered the connections to us as the Pastor spoke on.
Listening to Corynn make those connections and have those things firmly reestablished in her mind warms my heart. I am certain it is not coincidence. In fact, I feel as though it is God blessing us by way of encouraging us in our pursuits.
Luke 1: 48.49 ~ ..."For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And Holy is His name."
Reading the account of the angel Gabriel coming to Mary to bear to GREAT news of the coming Saviour and of her reaction TO this news was a great blessing for me this week.
She said to her cousin Elizabeth, "All Generations will count me blessed! The Mighty one has done GREAT things for me!" I think this is quite profound a response from her. Here she is, now suddenly and mysteriously pregnant. Out of wedlock! People don't exactly nod their heads with approval at situations like that!
Mary was in a precarious situation. Being pregnant out of wedlock was a shame! A disgrace! She would certainly be the topic of many tongue waggings. Her situation might even have put her at risk to lose the man she was betrothed to! Yet, she thought not of what others thought or believed, in their ignorance.
Her heart saw things long term. From this time on ALL generations will count me blessed. What happened in the future was more important than the tongue's that would wag that day. It was all for a greater purpose.
I need to fix my eyes on the future. I need to focus on how the Lord is using me LONG TERM. Each little squabble resolved, each lesson learned, each question answered, each bit of discipline given-these are not for the good of the day. They are for the good of the future.
In the same way, I mustn't worry about the people who thwart my efforts with their discouraging comments, tongue's wagging or direct opposition to that which I feel is right. My actions are for a greater GOOD.
God told Jeremiah to do some ridiculous things! He told him to buy a new waistbelt and then take that perfectly good, brand new waistbelt and hide it under a rock for a few weeks. WHY would he want to ruin a perfectly good waistbelt?!? One that he just spent money on?!? Yet, we find out, there is a good reason for His request as He wanted to convey a message that He would and could ruin the people of Judah just as the waistband had been ruined.
He told him to go to a Potter's house and said, "Don't worry. Once you are there, I will announce my words to you." Not only did he go there, but he stayed there while the Potter fashioned something from clay, found it flawed, scrapped it, and made another vessel that was more pleasing. All of this happened BEFORE God revealed what it was that Jeremiah was to say!
The obedience of Jeremiah strikes me because His obedience was not conditional. It didn't depend on his understanding. (For how did ruining a brand new waistbelt make any sense?!?) It didn't allow him to stay in his comfort zone. (It had to have been uncomfortable for him to go to someone's house having no idea WHY He was there, WHAT he was to say, or WHEN He was to say it.)
It is easy to be obedient when you know and understand and agree with all that needs to happen. The same is true with submission. It is NOT easy to submit and obey when it doesn't make sense to you. It isn't true obedience if you were going to do it anyway.
Just a few thoughts from this week...
PS. I wanted to share with you my Bible cover. It was lovingly made for me by my husband a few years ago. I love it so. A treasure to hold another treasure.