You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Did you know that God studies His children? He does! He is a student of your ways and my ways, and He is intimately acquainted with everything about us. Just as God studies His children, we parents should study ours. We should become “intimately acquainted with all their ways,” because every child is different. For that reason, we must learn to give our children the kind of love they need. We may be great at telling our child that we love him, but what he’d really respond to is a hug. If we haven’t studied that child and observed his particular bent, we won’t know. Parenting is not easy. It’s not for cowards. But when we study and discern the uniqueness of our children, they are honored and affirmed in who they are.
When the writer of Proverbs instructed parents to “train up a child in the way he should go,” he did not mean the way we think he should go, but in the way he is already bent. You don’t try to make an artistic child athletic, or vice versa. You don’t try to force a shy child into public speaking. You discern the natural, God-given bent of your child and do all you can to encourage growth in that direction. It is impossible to do this kind of training in scheduled, five or ten minute “sessions.” Intense, focused “quality time” is a child-rearing myth. Quality time is a result of quantity time. The high moments of parenting are unscheduled and fleeting. We must be present when they happen to participate. Given a choice between “quality time” and “quantity time,” a child will choose quantity every time. Be there. Study your child. Encourage his growth in the bent that you see.
~ Dr Edwin Young ~
A REAL DEATH
Being put to death in the flesh.
[1 PETER 3:18]
Today’s verse indicates that Jesus Christ’s physical life ceased. Some dispute the resurrection of Christ from the dead by claiming that He never died but only fainted. Supposedly He was revived by the coolness of His tomb, got up, and walked out. But Peter is clear: Jesus was dead—the victim of a judicial murder.
Christ’s Roman executioners made sure He was dead. They broke the legs of the thieves crucified alongside Him to hasten their deaths. (A victim of crucifixion could postpone death as long as he could elevate himself on his legs.) However, they didn’t bother to break Christ’s legs since they could see He was already dead. To verify His death, they pierced His side, out of which came a flow of blood and water— only blood, not water, would have come out if Jesus had been alive (John 19:31–37). Christ was surely dead. And that means His resurrection was real.
~ John MacArthu
COMING FROM GLORY TO DWELL IN OUR HEARTS
But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
It’s easy to be confused about something—or someone—you cannot see.
In order to make the unseen clear, Jesus devoted much of his last discourse to the subject of the Holy Spirit—the helper, the third person of the Trinity.
R. A. Torrey explains who the Holy Spirit is and why his coming would be a source of comfort for Jesus’ followers.
WALK WITH R. A. TORREY
“If we think of the Holy Spirit only as an impersonal power or influence, then our thought will constantly be, ‘How can I get hold of and use the Holy Spirit?’
“But if we think of him in the Biblical way as a divine person—infinitely wise, infinitely holy, infinitely tender—then our thought will constantly be, ‘How can the Holy Spirit get hold of and use me?’
“If we think of the Holy Spirit merely as a divine power or influence, there will be the temptation to feel as if we belong to a superior order of Christians.
“But if we think of the Holy Spirit in the Biblical way as a divine being of infinite majesty, coming down from glory to dwell in our hearts and take possession of our lives, it will put us in the dust, and make us walk very softly before God.”
WALK CLOSER TO GOD
Christ knew it would be advantageous for his disciples if he returned to the Father, for his departure meant that the helper was coming! Not an “it” but a “he.”
Not an impersonal force, but a personal teacher, guide, consoler, and advocate. Reread Mr. Torrey’s final paragraph above. Then come to God today with soft steps and a grateful heart for the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.
They were the potters who lived in Netaim and Gederah; they lived there and worked for the king.
[1 Chr 4:23]
A lowlier task on them is laid,
With love to make the labor light;
And there their beauty they must shed
On quiet homes, and lost to sight.
Changed are their visions high and fair,
Yet, calm and still, they labor there.
~ HYMNS OF THE AGES ~
Anywhere and everywhere we may dwell “with the King for His work.” We may be in a very unlikely or unfavorable place for this; it may be in a literal country life, with little enough to be seen of the “goings” of the King around us; it may be among hedges of all sorts, hindrances in all directions; it may be, furthermore, with our hands full of all manner of pottery for our daily task. No matter! The King who placed us “there” will come and dwell there with us; the hedges are all right, or He would soon do away with them; and it does not follow that what seems to hinder our way may not be for its very protection; and as for the pottery, why, that is just exactly what He has seen fit to put into our hands, and therefore it is, for the present, “His work.”
~ F. R. HAVERGAL ~
I Am In Your Midst, And I Am Mighty!
I AM IN YOUR MIDST, AND I AM MIGHTY! JUST as the sun is at the center of the solar system, so I am at the center of your entire being—physical, emotional, and spiritual. I, the Mighty One who created the universe, live inside you! Let this amazing truth reverberate in your mind and soak into your innermost being.
Ponder what it means to have so much Power dwelling inside you. One implication is that you don't need to worry about your lack of strength. In fact, my Power shows itself most effective in your weakness.
Remind yourself frequently that I live inside you and I am mighty! Let your awareness of My indwelling Presence drive out discouragement and fill you with great Joy. As My Life flows into yours, you are strengthened with divine might.
The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
[The Lord] said to me, My grace (My favor and lovingkindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!
[2 Corinthians 12:9]
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.
~ Sarah Young ~
LISTEN TO ME CONTINUALLY. I have much to communicate to you, so many people and situations in need of prayer. I am training you to set your mind on Me more and more, tuning out distractions through the help of My Spirit.
Walk with Me in holy trust, responding to My initiatives rather than trying to make things fit your plans. I died to set you free, and that includes freedom from compulsive planning. When your mind spins with a multitude of thoughts, you cannot hear My voice. A mind preoccupied with planning pays homage to the idol of control. Turn from this idolatry back to Me. Listen to Me and live abundantly!
Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
~ Sarah Young ~
Though I Bring Grief, I Will Show Compassion
THOUGH I BRING GRIEF, I WILL SHOW COMPASSION. So do not despair when hard times come your way, and do not try to escape them prematurely. Timing is My prerogative! There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. Grief is a season, and I use it for your good.
Unlike the four seasons of the year, the seasons of your life are not orderly or predictable. When you are grieving, you may feel as if sorrow will accompany you the rest of your days. But remember that I have promised to show compassion. So great is My unfailing Love for you!
When you are suffering, search for signs of My merciful Presence. Even during your darkest days, streaks of Light break through the storm clouds—providing hope and comfort. My unfailing Love shines upon you always. Look up to Me and see My Face shining down upon you. I never run out of compassions. They are new every morning.
Though [the LORD] brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.
The LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you.
Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I hope in Him!”
~ Sarah Young ~