IMG_20130321_153101I went digging in the basement today and found a box of dearly loved books that were exceedingly influential on my heart and found this little gem – “The Reformed Pastor” by Richard Baxter(1615-1691). I laughed out loud for two reasons – a) My brain used to process so much more stuff, my nose is more likely to be found in a Toot & Puddle book and b) HAH! At the time I read this  I never could have imagined I would actually be married to a reformed pastor – I distinctly remember thinking that it was sooo freeeing to not be tied to someone in the clergy.

(Sam, you are a precious gift and I am amazed that God chose you for me. I don’t even play piano.)

Apparently I had held a page with a post-it and on that page was underlined “Now if the work of the Lord be not soundly done upon your own hearts, how can you expect that he will bless your labours for effecting it in others.”

Thank you vicar of Kidderminster for speaking straight to my guts.

I have been a hot (and I say hot because when I have cried tears of frustration they have felt like hot, angry tears. Don’t judge. Jesus says not too, it’s in the bible) mess lately – feeling overwhelmed by scheduling, upset and disillusioned. TGC had this great post that spoke to every {negative} thought I’ve been having.

Which brings me back to this – I need the gospel, I need to be reminded of it, refreshed by it and keep it in its rightful prioritized place.  I need it so I can be a minister of it to my husband when he is discouraged, my daughter when she needs to be disciplined and my small group girls when they share their burdens.

God sent Jesus to rescue me. At Easter we celebrate that he has risen from the dead conquering the punishment I deserve. Often, I learn about obedience through suffering, and it is hard and tough. But my inheritance is great.  People are lost, discouraged and looking for the good news. Today, I am encouraged because incredibly difficult seasons are opportunities for growth, illogical as that may seem.

God’s word is powerful, accomplishes much and changes me.  Last month I bumped into a girl who I had shared a verse with and she told me that I set her soul free with that verse.  Honestly, she had been getting on my nerves and I just wanted her to stop talking so I gave her that verse. And God used it. I gave it to her out of impatience (that’s not a fruit of the spirit by the way) and he used it.  Now you all know how awful I am. It’s okay, I believe in total depravity.

So I give you some of God’s word – and I pray he sets your soul free. If the gospel were drinkable, I’d want a whole pitcher. If I could eat it, we’d have it for dinner. I just need it so badly- the good news is, that everything the gospel encompasses is satisfying (Psalm 63).  Keep thinking about the gospel.

isaiah 25:8 

he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth.

deuteronomy 4:31

31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.

psalm 147:3

He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.

psalm 72:12

For he will deliver the needy who cry out,
the afflicted who have no one to help.

isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

isaiah 59:1 

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.

romans 8:18

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

 

By |March 21st, 2013|ashley ponders|0 Comments

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