My words for you this day, while I think of so many of you putting your foot forward for your next step on that tightrope, are prayers for joy in the soaring moments and the gut-wrenching struggles; for confidence in what’s true about your sure foundation in Christ regardless of insecurities that swarm around decisions about math books or DVDs or ability to keep your children healthy and growing in wisdom; for strength for the long days and rest for the sleepless nights; for union with Christ, wherein we find our only rest and from whom flows our only strength.
In short, I pray for perseverance.
We have a wonderful opportunity to know the exquisite richness and beauty of God’s word and to share its bounty with others. To approach it without acknowledging Him reduces it to meaningless history or storytelling. To read and study it without honoring the Author’s intent risks burdening yourself and others with the shackles of legalism or moralism. It becomes irrelevant as soon as we dismiss the context God has determined for each passage and each word. We attempt to usurp His authorship when we insert ourselves into the text as the hero, stealing glory from God, who alone deserves praise.
This article first appeared at Servants of Grace on May 17, 2021, as part of the series, “Fighting Biblical Illiteracy Through Study and Discipleship”.
In honor of Grammar Day: March 4th.
When we raise up Christ and introduce him to our children, talking about him and pointing out where he touches every part of their lives, we demonstrate our hope that their desire will be to see themselves as “friends of Jesus.” By coming to identify themselves in the context of who Jesus is, what he’s done for them, how he helps them make decisions, how he comforts them in times of trouble, they move out of the center willingly and beam with delight when he gets the glory—“That’s my friend, Jesus!” And if it doesn’t seem to be happening willingly, remember how stubborn your heart was before it was redeemed, and don’t give up. Pray to this end out loud and in front of them to show them that you rely on Jesus’s centrality in your life.
Persevere, moms, “as the snail to the ark.” (Charles Spurgeon) The ark is ahead. That great deliverance beyond the flood is ours, sealed by the trustworthiness of the Holy Spirit, and we inch forward according to the pace God sets for us. I’m praying for you.
The vineyard owner could have chosen not to return to the market square. He could have chosen to go to a different market. He could have chosen not to hire anyone. Just as God could have chosen not to give mercy to anyone, he instead chose to give it to a few despite our absence of merit.
And in no way does this trample upon our rights.
Saying yes is dying to self. I say yes when the carefully charted (and idolized) plans for the perfect life crumble around me and I submit the unknown to a trustworthy God, knowing that His more perfect plan has been crafted for my good and His glory.