The Pilgrim Path (4-28-2020)
The Pilgrim Path---Proverbs 22: 4--6 (4--28--20)
The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life. Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them. Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
In the providence of God, some remarkable people were placed along my path as a young Christian: A. J. Perteet owned an Entertainment Center in my hometown. He was a godly man---and one of my first Sunday School teachers. He tagged-teamed with Jake Guest. Mr. Guest was a U. S. Postal Service worker---often walked his route. Nothing fancy, but honored the Living Christ and took Scripture seriously. I graduated from them to Ollie Penson (carpenter) and Mr. Berryman (glazer). Both godly men with the ability to laugh. From them--- I made my way up to Reginald Reynolds---butcher at the local Kroger's (he had a couple of-- less than normal finger's---to indicate--a problem with the trade). He was a particularly prayerful and insightful soul. Then it was Norm Ivey---accountant with the Anaconda Corporation. Now that man was about as astute as some seminary trained soul---but so practical. Then: into High School---one of the godliest people I've ever known---Lewis Thaxton. He owned an HVAC company--- still crawled under houses with his men. What breadth and depth concerning the Word of God...what a man of prayer...How the LORD used these dear people in my life. You want to get your children around "rank and file" Christians---who live for Jesus well---this will do their soul an enormous amount of good!
Children wonder about COVID-19---Hey-- adults do to? What's going on in this world---where God is working all things according to the counsel of His will ( Ephesians 1: 11)
---Good time to teach the meaning of "wean"---as in, God is "weaning" us from this world---we grow to "attached" to this world---too "dependent" upon this world...God wants us ultimately dependent upon Him...
---Disease, virus, epidemics---arise as a result of The Fall---they must be contended with. Even Christians have to face the virus---we may be victim---as Sproul used to say, "With Jesus though---we are victor---because death is not supreme"
---We have to "rethink" Home---how many people have said, " I wanted more time at home---I don't want to be home anymore!" And---I understand---I have trouble being "still"---I have to get up and walk around...Yet, as I've read many older Asians---they are shocked at "how" their youth have taken on the "Western" need---to be always "going" some place...cannot remain in one place...Are we "happier" because we "run" everywhere?
---Just over 55,000 Americans have died due to COVID-19. Is that even real to you? Are many people even struck by that? Maybe some people have thought about "death" for the first time? I've watched the videos of Italians in their late 20's--early 30's--who said they thought this virus would never "touch" them---then, they were so weak they could hardly walk---they had friends that died---or were in ICU for 10 days...Death walked the Land...Are people prepared to meet Him? They will...
---Eternity is coming. Only Jesus Christ can prepare you. Some "seem" not to care...we pray that will change...And remember---The LORD specializes in very hard cases!
---Proverbs 22: 6 "...even when he is old he will not depart from it." I always think of a note in the Reformation Study Bible, "this is an observation about normal cause an effect." Godly parents "do" what they can do--- with the truth of God. They are not the Holy Spirit. We pray and ask the LORD to work within the lives of those we love. Just remember, as one of my Hebrew Professors used to say, "old" in that verse---may be "very old." One of the 18th Century's greatest preacher's, William Grimshaw, prayed for his son a long time. His son---was converted---after his death. A gentlemen in my second church---listened to his grandfather preach---all through high school. It meant very little to him. Then, one early Spring morning, while his wife was at church, the LORD brought his grandfather's preaching to bear---upon his heart and mind---in his back yard! He was in his early forties---talk about effectual calling! The LORD'S arm is not shortened that it cannot save....Another fellow, heard John Flavel preach at ten years of age...meant next to nothing to him. At 95 years of age, he stopped plowing to eat lunch---began to think---of all things---of the sermon he heard Flavel preach---when he was 10 years old---He was amazingly converted by the grace of God!
---Matthew 7: 11, "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"
Like a river glorious
Is God's perfect peace,
Over all victorious
In its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth
Fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth
Deeper all the way.
Stayed upon Jehovah
Hearts are fully blest---
Finding as He promised
Perfect peace and rest.
Frances Ridley Havergal (1836--1879)
The LORD keep you ALL, Pastor Jason