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"Prone To Wander"
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"Aaron said, 'Do not let the anger of my lord burn; you know the people yourself, that they are prone to evil'" (Exodus 32:22). "With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments" (Psalm 119:10). "My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins" (James 5:19,20).
Oh, to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy grace, Lord, like a fetter, bind my wan-d'ring heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; prone to leave the God I love.
Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it; seal it for Thy courts above.
Our dog, Mollie, is prone to wandering. Our lead photo shows her jumping over the back yard gate to the front yard. Although border collies are smart Mollie lacks common sense and her compulsive behavior can lead her to remove all restraints, such as when she sees a squirrel and sets out to chase it across the road oblivious to the dangers. Today let us consider the theme of being prone to wander!
We're spiritually indebted to hymn writers who have written heartfelt expressions of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God. We find ourselves often limited in our human language and unable to verbally express what we feel emotionally. Then we find the very expression of our hearts described in the text of a hymn, and by singing those words with a genuine heart, we make it our own message to God.
We also appreciate the forthrightness of hymn texts that describe our fallen human condition. It's all too easy to identify with Robert Robinson who in 1758, with blunt candor, writes about our faulty human condition. Buried in the third verse of his famous hymn "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" he describes the pulling of his heart strings, "Prone to wander how I feel it, prone to leave the God I love."
Robinson's proneness to wander and live for self rather than the God he professed to love is all too common among the redeemed. Each time I sing this line I'm reminded of the two natures that are always waging war within: the sin nature vs. the spiritual nature. It seems like sin comes crouching at the door of my heart all too often (Genesis 4:7).
Our first daily text describes the Israelites soon after crossing the Red Sea. Moses was on the mountain and the people grew impatient, demanding Aaron to construct a golden calf for them to worship. Aaron, who was surely complicit in the deed, blamed the people, making the observation that they were "prone to evil". That surely describes the entire unregenerate human race!
The Psalmist in our second text expressed an inclination to wander from God's commandments with a resolve to seek God with a whole heart. The way the Bible accurately speaks about the condition of our hearts is further evidence of the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures.
The third text speaks of wandering from the truth, surely the most severe form of wandering, that leads to death.
Jesus, by His grace and by the power given through the Holy Spirit, will give me the will to resist the temptation to wander into deadly enemy territory. There are times when Satan's luring temptations turn into tortuous warfare, but we will remain firm in our faith if we choose to bind our wandering hearts to the God we love.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, with my whole heart I have sought You and made You my Lord and Savior. I have turned my eyes away from worthless things so that my life is preserved here and now and for all eternity. And yet there is a tug of war that battles within me from time to time as I journey here below; the lure of that which satisfies the flesh vs. that which builds me up in the spirit. May Your grace bind my wandering heart so that during times of temptation I hold steady and resist the enemy who seeks to endanger and lead me astray. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
We had a busy weekend and over the next several days we'll share some photos of our activities.
Yesterday Ester and I drove up to the Lehigh Valley to attend an outdoor service and picnic my brother's church hosted. (Brooksyne did not go since she had already committed to leading the worship service in our home church.) Since my brother has served as pastor there for over 20 years I've come to know several in his congregation. I enjoyed visiting with them, including Rick Reinhart, as we discussed the concept of our proneness to wander. Rick shared an interesting testimony I expect to write about in the future.
The picnic was held in a pavilion in a public park where a baseball tournament was being held. Chris, a large, colorful man who had been an ironworker in NYC and was disabled in the 9/11 cleanup was grilling the meats when he met an out of town baseball team there for the tournament. He invited them to join in a circle of prayer and prayed over them and then invited one of them to pray in Spanish. Then they were all invited to have a meal. I suppose they just might remember that!
In the Lehigh Valley they play a sport quite popular called quoits (pronounced "kwāts"). The photo above shows our friends Larry and Tina Kester who are competing against each other. Quoits are similar to horseshoes but as you can see in Larry's hand they are small round disks. This game uses two one-pound rubber quoits per player, which are pitched at a short metal pin mounted on a very heavy 24x24x1 inch slab of slate 18 feet apart.
Of course you strive for a ringer but disks that stay on the board can also count for points. The real skill seems to be getting the disks to land flat on the slate board without sliding or bouncing off! (photo taken last summer)
Tomorrow we will share some photos from the Lancaster Barnstormers baseball game we attended Saturday evening and a special feature, Cowboy Monkey Rodeo! Video
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing" Video Fernando Ortega
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)
"We want to encourage you daily in your walk with Christ!"
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Our other blogs:
"A Daily Prayer" - A blog simply posting the daily prayer. We keep this up each day since it's merely the prayer from the Daily Encouragement Net message!
"A Little Foolishness" - Humor/satire blog (a great outlet for non-serious writing but at times with a subtle message!) (Note: This material is satire!)
"Clear Minded" - Longer, periodic articles on specific issues impacting the faithful believer and church. (Actually this is my intent but I haven't done much with it!)
"Hymns of Hope" - Brooksyne along with two friends made a CD using classic hymns. Brooksyne tells the background story of the 11 hymns. All of these songs are also available for download on the site.
Personal Mission Statement "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version. Other versions are also occasionally used.
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