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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Ancient Path 3

Today I'm reading Psalm 119…

9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your Word.

34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. 35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

101 I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your Word. 102 I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me.

104 I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. 105 Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

This morning, walking my dog Bailey, I felt as frozen as the little guy on the "Walk" sign photo! I don't know if the proverbial groundhog saw his shadow this morning - but mine was shivering!

Maybe these words from Thomas a'Kempis will help warm us up to the path God would have us walk today. From Of the Imitation of Christ, written in the mid-1400s.

God is speaking...

My [child], trust not to your present feeling; it shall be quickly changed into another. As long as you live, you are subject to mutability, (Job 14:2) even against your will. So that you are found one time while merry, another while sad; one while quiet, another while troubled; now devout, then undevout; now diligent, then listless; now grave, and then light.

But he who is wise and well instructed in the Spirit stands above these changeful things, not heeding what he [sic] feels in himself or which way the wind of instability blows; but the whole intention of his mind makes progress to the due and desired end. For thus he will be able to continue throughout one and many the selfsame and unshaken; in the midst of so many various issues the single eye of his intention being directed unceasingly toward Me.

And the purer the eye of intention is (Matthew 6.22), with so much the more constancy does a man pass through divers storms.

But in many the eye of a pure intention waxes dim, for their regard is quickly drawn aside to some pleasurable object which meets them for it is rare to find one who is wholly free from all blemish of self-seeking. So many of the Jews of old came to Bethany to Martha and Mary, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus (John 12.9).

The eye of our intention therefore is to be purged that it may be single and right (Matthew 6:22); and it is to be directed toward Me, beyond all the various objects which may come between.

In other words, keep your eyes on Jesus today! Follow him and you won't lose your way.


Today's prayer (also by a'Kempis)

"O merciful Jesus, give me Your grace, that it may be with me, and work with me, and persevere with me to the very end. Grant that I would always desire and will what is most acceptable to You. Let Your will be mine, and let my will ever follow Yours, and agree perfectly with it. Let my will be one with Yours, and don't let me even be able to will anything else but what You desire. Above all things that can be desired , enable me to rest in You, and in You to have my heart at peace. You are the true peace of the soul; You are the only rest; apart from You all things are hard and restless. In this peace, in you - the highest eternal good - I will sleep and rest. Amen."

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