Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘God’s Word’

Your Reasonable Service

Romans 12: 1-2 “1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

We’re working through a really great, effective discipleship programme at Church at the moment, called “Daily in the Word“.  Once the disciple has been through the introductory pages and made a firm, faith-based commitment to Jesus’ saving gift on the cross, the focus of the course is on getting us grounded and established in God’s Word, spending time with Him each and every day.

For starters, they require you to read and write out just two or three verses each and every day, without fail.

I love my Quiet Times in the Word, and have had periods of intense connection with the Most High on a very regular basis. These have been periods of growth, peace and joy. In the midst of these times, I have wondered how I could ever not spend as much of every day as possible utterly immersed in God’s Word.

Then I’ll miss a day for some or other excellent and understandable reason. I’ll catch up tomorrow. The next thing I know it’s been a week since I opened the Bible and I have a bit of reading to do to stay on track. When I next look, I find myself months down the line with my Bible collecting dust on the bedside table. (Okay, not really, since I use it every day for school, and every week for Church and Sunday School, but it’s all about imagery).

This week I found myself feeling bitter about the demands that were being placed on me as a discipler. (You can see I’m not in the Word daily just by my attitude). I was enumerating my responsibilities to God, defending my slackness in this area: home school, housework, work-work, family needs, exercise, Church responsibilities etc etc … I’m too busy.

There was a gentle, quiet peace in the kitchen and it was as if God said, “I didn’t ask you to do all of those things. I didn’t ask you to do any of those things except your role as mother and wife. And how do you expect to achieve all those things without Me? I’m not asking a lot. Two or three verses a day. Surely that’s the least you can do? Surely you owe it to yourself to feed your soul? I want to speak to you. Let me. It’s a reasonable request.”

When our minds are exhausted and bitter and defeated, wouldn’t it be great if they could be replaced – renewed? That beautiful passage in Romans 12 leapt to mind: “be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind … which is your reasonable service”. How are we transformed? By renewing our minds. And how do we renew our minds? Through God’s Word. Is it too much to ask? Nope. It’s our reasonable service: the least we can do.

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Lesson #14: Feelings Follow Faith

“When we walk with the Lord,
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way.

While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey.”

When we step out in faith and obey the instructions we receive from God – from His Word, prayer, His people and circumstances – He blesses us by changing our hearts to match the Truth revealed in His Word.

I did not know that.

I have spent years and years feeling guilty about my lack of faith. I didn’t feel like I could or wanted to do the thing asked of me. Whether it was serving in my local church, obeying my husband, reaching out to a friend in need, honouring my parents, or any of a host of instructions so clearly laid out in God’s Word. And because I didn’t feel it, I wouldn’t do it. I’d think it would be hypocritical – an “act”, if you will.

Recently, with the help of a wise friend, I took a leap of faith and did as I was told. Sounds simple, but in reality it can be hard for to do. I was still convinced I would be a hypocrite and I wondered if I would ever get the feeling that would motivate me to do good works. I felt guilty about not feeling motivated, and that led to a kind of low-grade despondency and a lack of joy.

Then, the most amazing thing happened. After taking that step of faith, performing the righteous “act” required of me, I was amazed to find that my heart followed suit! Within a very short time, I actually felt what I should have felt. Resentment, bitterness. anger, malic, unforgiveness … they all dissolved away. My devotions became easier, my joy soared.

What an amazing gift from our gracious Lord, who works in our hearts both to will and to do of His good pleasure. (Phil. 2:13)

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