I walk through the home, enjoying looking after it and keeping it. Every silk flower was washed along with every doily and hung to dry in the beautiful sunshine. All my china was taken down off the old hutch that was built by my husband’s grandfather so many years ago. It was my Grandmother’s china. I washed each piece and with each piece gleaming in my hand I felt so amazed at what a little soap and water can do to make a house a home.
The most important part of my day is my time with the Lord. I have been enjoying my quiet time in my bathroom each time I look upon the most eternal things that actually spring clean my heart. I feel refreshed. I feel washed from the word and it actually empowers me each and every moment of the day as I am a keeper, a Queen, a mother, and a wife. What a glorious calling. I “Get To” stand before my God so many times each day, go to His word and let it breath life into my bones.
This week I was so blessed to open my bible to the book of James. When I got saved, some 25 years ago, I found this to be my most treasured book. As a young lady, I devoured every word of it and it challenged me to really be all that God created me to be. So let me cast my bread on the water today. I have started a daily devotion of my own on my Keeper of the Homestead Facebook if any of you are interested. I do not get a lot of people reading it, but it really does not matter to me. I do not do this to please man. I just feel so compelled to be His vessel so I just write because it is a gift and I want to glorify God with my fingers on the keys of this old computer. You can read if you want. You can scroll past. You can come and get a drink or a morsel from God who supplies the words to me. Or you can just go to him yourself. I hope by this post I inspire some of you to be all God wants you to be! That is my prayer…
“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:1-4
Let me say this in my own words, because it is such a beautiful message…
Sisters, my sweet sisters in Christ, I write to you today whom are scattered all over the world, God’s glorious creation, I greet you! When you are tempted, if you feel life is more than you can bare, you must consider it pure joy. Count it all joy! It is going to make you more patient. You will have so much patience that you will not want for anything. Isn’t that marvelous? Our God is so good, he will make this patience work in you, perfectly and entirely so you will be content with all you have, thanking God for it.
If I would be writing you a letter, that is how I would say it. I know what it is to be so tempted so down trodden and worn out and it is just so glorious that God makes something so beautiful from it all. I love being content. It is the best feeling of all, when you can breath in, just enjoying all you have, not wanting for anything more. It can just remain as it is, and you can find peace in that. That is true joy, as you learn to grow right where you are planted. I am learning this right now. I feel it. I had all these plans to move and to grow somewhere else, and God keeps shutting the doors, and I am learning to just rest in his will. It made me a little frustrated at times and left me trying to make it work out instead of just trusting the one who is faithful to lead. Things may look so dark for a moment. I felt this feeling of just not being settled, asking in my heart, “Where, oh where God do you want us?” And it just is a whole lot of silence. I just sit and I get antsy because we women like to nest. We like to have a place that we can plan on for our home. After moving from home to home and a total of 14 moves, you want to find that forever home, right?
It is okay not knowing. It is better for us that we are tempted, because it produces perfect peace. We have to get on our knees and trust. Like Abraham. He was told by our God to sacrifice the promised son whom he loved. Abraham knew that God would have a plan. He trusted God so much, he had such an unwavering faith to know that God would even raise that son from the dead because God is a god who is faithful. We need that kind of faith in this world. Whatever may come, it is our God that will carry us on. We just need to STAND.
I am okay now. I am patient. I am leaning on God and enjoying the journey right where I am planted. God is faithful. I know that if he closes one door, he is faithful to open another. We just wait with our perfect patience, not wanting for anything more. I can’t wait until I can tell you what God did. Past tense. I say this because God always does amazing things and it is so fun to proclaim the victories as they come. Because they come!
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8
Are you wavering? Do you doubt our God? Are you lacking wisdom? Do you feel like a wave of the sea tossing to and fro? Some of you come to me, and you cry out because your husband might have a plan that you do not like. You are not sure if you should go with his plan or take action against it. I am here to tell you one thing I know. God knows. And God cares for you. He has all the wisdom in all the Earth to give to those that ask. You just need to trust Him at His word and patiently await His plan. It is coming.
Ask without doubting. Ask knowing God has the perfect answer. You may not get your answer wrapped in a little bag at a fast food joint, made to order, in a click of a few buttons. It may not come like a drive through miracle. It is not always as fast as we want, but He did just tell us that we should count it joy when we are tempted and that it creates perfect peace, didn’t he? Well, lets focus on that today!
ASK in FAITH. Believe God. If you do not have faith, then you might as well never ask! I think that is what he is stating here. Just don’t bother unless you are willing to accept what God’s will is by faith. I mean, if you husband prays about something and he is pretty sure about what God is leading him to do, you can be sure that God is leading him somehow. The same God will finish it right, give you grace, and make a way for things to work out in His time. Trust.
“Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.” James 1:9-11
I love this part. This is getting good, gals. Most of us a probably not wealthy in the ways of the world. I am sure you would not be reading my blog if you were a super wealthy lady. I am more of a cheap, do-it-yourself girl. A use it up, wear it out, make it work or do without girl, and most homeschool or homesteading moms are just that way. We are creative. We figure stuff out and make do. I love that we can rejoice because we will be exalted. Oh Lord, thank you for that!
I feel so rich. I feel like I am the Queen of the Earth sometimes, like life could not be more rich in LOVE, in PEACE, in Kindness, and JOY! I feel like if joy was a crown, I would have 20 of them on my head. I feel completely exalted in my state that I am in. It is real. Rich is more than money in my heart. Some people are rich. They can have their money. They can have all the jewels this earth could yield but I will take my Joy, my LOVE, and Peace any day over that. But all the earthly riches pass away. They fade like a flower in the field says the LORD. A wealthy person has their time. Their time of rejoicing in the splendor of having the power and the things that money buys. But it will fade away. Their time will be spent in dollars, and naked they will return to the ground. It never lasts. I trust rather on those things above that do not fade with time nor wax old.
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:12
Wow! This is so powerful for us to just drink into our heart. It will fill and satisfy our longing heart. We are so blessed. Did you hear that? We are blessed if we endure temptation. Because it is the trying of our faith, that produces the true riches of God’s glory. We receive a CROWN of LIFE. How exciting is that?! He promises to give that to those that love Him. Wow! We are so blessed to have a God that keeps His promises and to be called His children!
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Do not err, my beloved brethren.” James 1:13-16
God forbid it that we should ever shake our fist at God! No matter what I have ever gone through, that is one thing I would never do. I could not do. Look at God and even have the audacity to say that He is tempting us or curse Him. How could we? NEVER! If all I have, if everything is taken, I still have HIM and that is really everything. To have eternal life is everything. This life is so temporary, we can patiently endure any kind of hardship this life has to offer for a time, knowing we will be crowned in glory. Anything we have is just icing on the cake. The cake is Jesus. That is the real gift.
We all sin because we want to. Never let yourself say you could not help it. You can! And you get dragged off by your own lust. It is not God who drags you away or God that created you in such a way that you can’t turn from sin. You just lust for something and you want it more than God, that is the simple fact! Every person has choices. We all have the same tools given by God to resist evil and to follow righteousness. We get to choose. The sad part is that sin has a result and that is death. On the flip side, LIFE is gained by following Christ. What a vast difference. He tells us to not err. Do not make the wrong choice. Have self control. Pray, ask God for patience, for wisdom and strength to not be dragged away, tempted, and to eventually grab the devil’s bate which leads to death.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” James 1:17-18
When ever you get anything good, that is your precious opportunity to give the glory to GOD since he said every good gift and every perfect gift is from above. Our good Father of Lights! He is so gracious and so merciful that he pours good gifts to us. Can you consider your gift of sight or hearing, how about the fact that you have a bed to sleep in? What about your teeth, do they chew food? And your tongue, does it allow you the gift of taste? You can taste the sweetness of honey or feel the texture of pudding in your mouth. That is a good gift. Are your fingers able to hold a pencil or type? Can you think? Is your mind sound? Well, there are those out there that would wish for these simple, little insignificant gifts that you never thought to glorify God for yet in your life. I venture to say, you have it good! We all do. We can always, ALWAYS find something to thank God for!
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:19-21
This is hard for us women, especially if we are talkers! I know, as for me, I have been on a mission through life to be a better listener. My husband is a perfect example of this. He really ponders things before he opens his mouth to be sure that the words that come out of his mouth will be profitable and edifying to the hearer. I just blurt things out. I used to be way worse, let me tell you! I used to say whatever came to my mind but through much teaching and loving correction from my husband, I can think first. That is a true gift for me. I have been able to really hold back the gates of my mouth and it is so much better, for our words can build or destroy, they can be used to heal, or to discourage others. I just want my words not to fill space but to create more to the edifying of others. For we all will give an account to every idle word. If you do not have a fear of God, you should. He is real and He really does keep track of every thought and word. Our mouths are like a open grave to those that are full of poison. And if we have LOVE, our mouths are a well of living water. Let that be our motivation today. Clean out the heart so that the mouth is a well spring of glorious love, joy, and powerful words of truth.
Slow to anger. Really, ladies, we need to harness our frustration. I know it is hard at times, but we need to be slow to wrath or get angry with others. Don’t be so easily offended. Let stuff roll off. Let God be sufficient for your hope and stay. Stay close to him and do not let things trouble you so much. It all simply does not matter in the long run. 20 years from now, you wont remember that little thing that stole your peace yesterday. Keep your peace.
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1: 22-25
Here is where the rubber meets the road! Practice what you preach. Walk the walk. Talk the talk. Be a doer! Don’t tell others the way it is and then give yourself the permission to fail in that area. That is what a hypocrite is. Especially in your home. Your kids are watching you all day long. They will be the first to notice your inconsistencies. Truly they will. You lead them by your example so you need to step up to the plate, woman up, and mean what you say, say what you mean, and make it your effort to keep your word. If you open the bible and point your ugly finger at others yet you yourself do the same, you are wicked. You don’t look at yourself in the mirror and then forget completely what you look like, right? That is what what He is saying. You need to read His word, and not forget for your own life. You need to follow what you believe and STAND for it. No matter what. Be a doer not just a hearer.
“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:26-27
Okay, if you think you are a follower of Christ, and yet you go around and run your mouth, you are pretty deceived. Keep your heart pure, by what you feed on. What do you feed on? Do you feed on bitter thoughts all day long? If so, your religion is VAIN. Do you feel sorry for yourself all day? Do you want what others have? Do you despise your children or husband? Are you always down cast? If you are dwelling on these things, they will come forth out of the mouth and then you can see that your religion is VAIN.
Rather, if you have lack of trust, go to the Father who knows, who can carry your burdens, and lay all these things aside so you can have room in your heart for the things of God, the good gifts he gives, His peace, wisdom, and your personal freedom inside. It may take work but you can start by the final exhortation, to have compassion on others. Visit the hopeless, the sick, the dying, those who are in need. When you seek to encourage others, something so beautiful happens in your heart. It begins to heal. It gets your mind off YOU, and onto others. Many huge ministries say, “We help orphans or widows” Great but don’t forget the other part…. Keep yourself unspotted from the world. What does that mean? It simply means, do not get caught up in the Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the eyes, and the Pride of Life. We can easily get caught up in this. It is a rat race that leads to nothing. Maybe material gain but it will never satisfy the soul. Never. I guarantee it. Remember this.
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” I John 2:16
This was a glorious time of learning and growing in Christ today. I pray that these words edify you and strengthen you in your week to come.