As we all look for truth and hope while we embark further into this uncertain year, my prayer is that we will continue to be eager for His word, be diligent in prayer, and allow Him to speak clearly to us. I want to share some excerpts from various books that have really encouraged me this season in the hopes that they will inspire your hearts for godliness as well.
This first book, A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love by Milton Vincent, was a reminder to me to preach the gospel to myself every day. “God did not give us His gospel just so we could embrace it and be converted. Actually, He offers it to us every day as a gift that keeps on giving to us everything we need for life and godliness.” (Vincent, pg. 5). In the first part of his book, the author lists out 31 reasons of why we should preach the gospel to ourselves every day. This is his second reason listed as:
2. My Daily Need: The gospel is so foolish (according to my natural wisdom), so scandalous (according to my conscience), and so incredible (according to my timid heart), that it is a daily battle to believe the full scope of it as I should. There is simply no other way to compete with the forebodings of my conscience, the condemnings of my heart, and the lies of the world and the Devil than to overwhelm such things with daily rehearsings of the gospel. (Vincent, pg.14)
Yes!!! What a wonderful reminder to humble ourselves and remember the sacrifice God made for us. He sent Jesus into this world as a baby, to live as a servant, and then to die on the cross (despite his absolute holiness) to pay for our sins and grant us eternal life with Him. Grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love all the main truths that I am pondering on as I allow the gospel truths to indwell in me. How about you? Have you preached the gospel to yourself today? What is He teaching you as you read and reflect on His word?
Another encouraging book I like to read at least two or three times a year, is Sarah Mackenzie’s book titled Teaching from Rest. It is a quick read but it is packed with such simple godly truths that really keep me focused on my “why” of homeschooling and how to wisely and faithfully live that out instead of getting completely distracted or discouraged. I highly recommend that book if you need a quick way to refresh and refocus your priorities and your heart, as you pour into your children. Although there are so many fun nuggets in this book, I love the SIMPLE reminders to begin with God and focus on pleasing Him. That discipline sure does make all the difference and that is my prayer for all of our families!
When we begin the day by offering it up to God, we acknowledge that no matter what comes our way, we are doing it all for His pleasure. We remind ourselves that He is who He says He is, and that nothing matters except pleasing Him. Whether or not our children bicker all day, whether or not we get through the lesson plans, whether or not we barely hang on while everything falls apart around us—none of it matters except that we offer it up to God. And then all of it matters, but in a whole new light. (Mackenzie, pg. 16).
Lastly, I pray that we will all be led to pick up our bibles more often, reach out for Him continually, and to pray earnestly in the ways He leads us. Sisters and Brothers in Christ, let’s be BOLD in our faith, press on to seek HIM, and get to truly know Him, while producing godly fruit along the way. Blessings as we look to Him to lead us in being effective and productive followers of Jesus!
2 Peter 1:3-8
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge or him, who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness, and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you posses these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Your sister in Christ,