The Lord’s Delight.

Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com

“[The Lord] does not delight in the strength of a horse; He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord favors those who fear Him, those who wait for His lovingkindness.” Psalm 147:10,11

I was driving home from the city the other day. I enjoy taking the ‘back way’ rather than the expressway. This road runs along a beautiful valley with large open fields that contain many stately, ancient black oak trees. Late in the day the golden light glances across the fields and through the wide branches of the trees. It is the kind of beauty you never get tired of seeing. Along this road are many horse farms with handsome animals grazing in the fenced in fields. It is a delight to me to be a quiet witness to the beauty of God’s creation along this country road.

Well, as I was driving, all of a sudden, up ahead of me I saw two cars and a truck flash their brake lights. Out from one of these fields two majestic chestnut colored horses came galloping together through an open gate, right across the road in front of us! It was beautiful to see, but alarming as well. They ended up standing next to where my truck had stopped, right in someones front yard. They glanced around a bit, and their hooves lifted up and down uncertainly as if not knowing what to do next. Their beautiful heads rose and fell and you could tell they were not sure what to do with their ‘ freedom’.

Why am I telling you this little story? Because when I opened my Bible this morning, I opened randomly to the above verses! So, I concluded that God has something to say to me.

I believe the Lord is saying to me (and to you) that what I delight in is not the same thing He delights in. I delight in the beauty of His creation, in the strength of the horse and the glory of the fields and trees, because they speak to me of my Creator. But, God delights in something very different. He delights in people who reverence Him, seek Him, and love Him. He delights in those who trust Him enough to wait for His lovingkindness through dark times, hard times and times of failure. He delights in people that find their confidence in His love and not in their circumstances. He finds His pleasure in those children of His that do not falter into unbelief, even when everything is seemingly going against them, because they know their safety resides in the eternal care that their heavenly Father has towards them.

God’s children know that, in the end:

“All things work together for good for those who love God, those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

. . . The good as well as the bad. Whether we are safely shut in the field, or galloping down a dangerous road, Our God will do what is best for us . . .

Have Faith My Friends! Ron

Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com

The Gentleness of Wisdom.

Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com

“Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior, his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.” James 3:13

Wisdom is good; but wisdom with understanding has clarity, and brings a blessing to others. The ‘understanding’ spoken of here is not a reference to knowledge, but a call for us to have sympathy and empathy for other people, especially for those who may need our help. Understanding steps out of one’s own shoes and steps into the shoes of the person we are relating to. From the vantage point of the other person, we are able to relate to their weaknesses and failures with compassion. Wherever compassion is, gentleness is not far behind. I love that phrase: “The Gentleness of Wisdom”. Why? because it causes me to remember how gracious Jesus has been to me, and it creates in me a desire to extend the same grace to others.

There is a wisdom that can be harsh. It is a wisdom apart from the Spirit of God. It is a wisdom devoid of sympathy and understanding for others. James speaks of it as a wisdom that is earthly, natural, demonic!

“This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.” James 3:15

James gives us a fuller description of God’s gentle wisdom:

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17

My brothers and sisters, I ask you, which kind of wisdom would you like to be applied to your life through another person? When we are in need spiritually, physically, mentally, or emotionally, the only wisdom that can truly meet those needs is God’s gentle, sympathetic wisdom sent from above. Let’s pray together, that the next time we are called upon to speak into the life of another person, or help them in any way; that we would be a vessel of “The Gentleness of Wisdom” for that person.

If you have a moment, open your Bible to James 3:13-18 and take a few minutes to meditate upon what God is saying to us as Christians.

His Gentleness and Grace upon all of you! Ron

Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com

Unwilling.

Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com

“You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about me; and you are unwilling to come to me so that you may have life.” John 5;39,40

In these scriptures Jesus is challenging the Pharisees. He’s grabbing them by the collar, pointing to their greatest strength; the dogmatic study of the Word of God; and He declares the utter failure and waste that all their effort in dissecting the scriptures has achieved. They missed the boat. Their own brilliance brought upon themselves an arrogance of intellect that caused them to be blind to the Truth, even though it stared them in the face! The Truth is not an idea, or a concept, or a philosophy, or a moral code, or a set of laws, or a doctrine. The Truth is a person and that person is Jesus Christ!

Unwilling. Why? Pride. Pride in their own carefully crafted idea of who God is derived from their own personal proclivities. Pride, that they thought they knew what others couldn’t possibly understand. Pride in their intellectual and religious superiority over the common rabble.

They were unwilling to come to Him . . .

Isn’t the Word of God enough? To have and to study the Bible should be all that is needed, correct? NO!

Permit me to share an allegory with you. Suppose you were a great admirer of a particular famous person. At one point, he wrote his autobiography, which you purchased as soon as it hit the shelves. You spent every spare moment you could find, reading it, studying it and your admiration for this man grew and grew as a result. You even began to try to pattern yourself after him. Then one day there is a knock at the door. You are reading your special book and don’t want to be interrupted, but, reluctantly, you get up and answer the door. Standing there on your front step is the very man you are reading about. He introduces himself and says that it was mentioned to him what a great admirer you were of him so he thought he’d bless you by coming over and getting to know you. You look at him and say that you’re a bit busy right now, could he come another time. The man asks you what you are doing and you tell him you’re reading his autobiography. “Wonderful!” he says. He offers to come in and sit with you and go over the book in order that your understanding could be on a personal level. “Let’s become friends.”, he says. You blink and repeat to him that you are really too busy at the moment and that you’d like to get back to your book! And, like that, you shut the door in his face.

Preposterous, you say.

Well, let me say, it happened 2000 years ago, and sadly, it is still happening today. I love the Word of God. It is everything to me. It is how I became saved, by reading it. But, I love the author even more! He, who wrote this love letter to you and me is He who is knocking today at the door of our hearts, asking: “May I come in and sup with you?”

Never let your intellectual understanding of God become a hindrance to your personal relationship with Him. Let Him in. Get to know Him one on one. He stands at the door and knocks. Will you open up for Him? In Him is Life! Knowing Him! Don’t delay . . .

His Blessings, Ron Bouchard http://www.theburningheart.com