Notes on Continuance in Prayer

Well-Trodden“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.” James 5:13

Another book I’ve started reading for school is “George Muller of Bristol” by Pierson. Here’s a short segment that is very insightful.

“One is constantly reminded in reading Mr. Muller’s journal that he was a man of like frailties as others. On Christmas morning of this year, after a season of peculiar joy, he  awoke to find himself in the Slough of Despond, without any sense of enjoyment, prayer seeming as fruitless as the vain struggles of a man in the mire. At the usual morning meeting he was urged by a brother to continue in prayer, notwithstanding, until he was again melted before the Lord — a wise counsel for all disciples when the Lord’s presence seems strangely withdrawn. Steadfast continuance in prayer must never be  hindered by the want of sensible enjoyment; in fact, it is a safe maxim that the less joy, the more need. Cessation of communion with God, for whatever cause, only makes the more difficult its resumption and the recovery of the prayer habit and prayer spirit; whereas the persistent outpouring of supplication, together with continued activity in the service of God, soon brings back the lost joy. Whenever, therefore, one yield to spiritual depression so as to abandon, or even to suspend, closet communion or Christian work, the devil triumphs.

A Letter to the Mourning

FlowerHaving almost finished “The Life of Adoniram Judson” by Edward Judson, I have been greatly impressed with this missionary’s constant placement of God as number one in his life, which enabled him to go through suffering with great perseverance. He lost his first wife and many of his children to tropical sicknesses. This letter was written to Mrs. Boardman, the wife of a deceased missionary to whom he would be married several years later. It is an outstanding example of humbly taking comfort in the Saviour, while acknowledging the sorrow of missing a saved loved one until meeting them again in the celestial world. I would highly recommend others read the book, as the life of Adoniram is a tremendous example of longsuffernig and resting in Jesus’ will.

To Mrs. Boardman.

“Ragoon, March 4, 1831.

My Dear Sister: You are now drinking the bitter cup whose dregs I am somewhat acquainted with. And though, for some time, you have been aware of its approach, I venture to say that it is far bitterer than you expected. It is common for persons in your situation to refuse all consolation, to cling to the dead, and to fear that they shall too soon forget the dear object of their affections. But don’t be concerned. I can assure you that months and months of heart-rending anguish are before you, whether you will or not. I can only advise you to take the cup with both hands, and sit down quietly to the bitter repast which God has appointed for your sanctification. As to your beloved, you know that all his tears are wiped away, and that the diadem which encircles his brow outshines the sun. Little Sarah and the other have again found their father, not the frail, sinful mortal that they left on earth, but an immortal saint, a magnificent, majestic king. What more can you desire for them? while, therefore, your tears flow, let a due proportion be tears of joy. Yet take the bitter cup with both hands, and sit down to your repast. You will soon learn a secret, that there is sweetness at the bottom. You will find it the sweetest cup that you ever tasted in all your life. You will find heaven coming near to you, and familiarity with your husband’s voice will be a connecting link, drawing you almost within the sphere of celestial music.

I think, from what I know of your mind, that you will not desert the post, but remain to carry on the work which he gloriously began. The Karens of Tavoy regard you as their spiritual mother; and the dying prayers of your beloved are waiting to be answered in blessings on your instructions.

As to little Georgie, who has now to earthly father to care for him, you can not, of course, part with him  at present. But if you should wish to send him home, I pledge myself to use what little influence I have in procuring for him all those advantages of education which your fondest wishes can desire. Or if you should be prematurely taken away, and should condescend, on your dying bed. to commit him to me, by the briefest line or verbal message, I hereby pledge my fidelity to receive and treat him as my own son, to send him home in the best time and way, to provide for his education, and to watch over him as long as I live. More than this I can not do, and less would be unworthy of the merits of his parents.

 

 

 

God’s Word

Greyscale

God’s Word does not have the short reach of a ladder. It is applicable to all areas in life.

The Word of God is central to the Christian walk. In fact, God’s Word created all the world around us (see 2 Peter 3:5). God’s Word is one thing that will never pass away in this life. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35) The Bible is a firm foundation that we can live by.

 In Matthew 7, Jesus explained the importance of living according to God’s Word. It is important to hear God’s word, but it is essential to live it. Still, we must receive the Word first, because we cannot apply it if we do not know it. Daily Bible reading is valuable, as it helps us start our day on the rock of truth. Our fathers brought forth, we must not only give a surface reading of Scripture, but we need to dig into it. Bible reading should not be a daily task, but a daily treasure hunt. Upon this continent, we should daily search the Scriptures, as the Bereans did, to discover “whether those things were so.” As a new nation, we should read the Bible like our life depended on it – because it does. Often, when conceived in Liberty, we miss deeper meanings that are hidden. Four score and seven years ago, if our Bible had bits and pieces of the Gettysburg Address mixed in, like this paragraph does, would we notice?

What do we miss when we skip reading the Bible, or don’t dig into it like we should?

Church Homeschool Field Trip

  Yesterday, several homeschool families from our church went on a Ohio history field trip. We visited Viaduct Park, and learned about the past of a mill and electrical plant that were there previously. The two business shared the water supply – the mill had the water during the day and the electrical plant during the night. Most people didn’t need electricity during the day, they just needed the light at night. Slightly different than it is today. 🙂

Afterwards, we stopped for lunch at a nearby picnic shelter.

IMG_5663IMG_5732

IMG_5626

Obedience – A Lesson from Israel’s History

The Bible is full of wisdom that when obeyed can save us a lot of trouble. For example, in the book of Deuteronomy, God foretells Israel wanting a king, and gives His commandment for their future kings. Few kings obeyed these instructions; as a result, Israel went astray from God and experienced judgment for their wickedness.

When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;” – Deuteronomy 17:14

This came true, and Saul was the first king. A couple verses later is says:

Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold” – Deuteronomy 17:17

So many kings disobeyed God’s commandment in this verse: Solomon, David, and Hezekiah were a few. David had a problem with “multiplying wives,” but Solomon had even more wives than his father. It is not a surprise that Solomon departed from the Lord. Hezekiah had problems with “multiplying to himself silver and gold.” If he had not multiplied silver and gold, he doubtlessly would have been a stronger servant of God. The final part reads:

 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:  And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.”

If the kings would have done this, they would have learned the fear of the Lord. This would have prevented the years of spiritual shipwreck in Israel. If you read 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles, you will notice that when there was a righteous king, the people typically did righteously. However, the reverse was also true. If there was a wicked king, the people did wickedly. This brought God’s righteous judgment upon Israel many times (see Daniel 9:14). If every king of Israel had obeyed Deuteronomy 17:14-20, Israel’s history would certainly have been different.

 So, what does this mean to us? It is a warning of the consequences of disobedience. However, it also demonstrates that we can save ourselves so much pain by simply obeying God. This will result in the blessings that God promises to those whom obey (see Exodus 19:5, Exodus 23:22, Deuteronomy 30:20, Jeremiah 7:23, Jeremiah 42:6, Acts 5:32, Romans 6:16).