April 1, 1975
My Place in God’s Kingdom
They asked me to direct this to mothers tonight and also to witnessing in the community. Descriptors given to be used are Psalms 118:5 and Ecclesiastes 11:1-6. Psalm 118:5 is “I called upon the Lord in distress. The Lord answered me and sent me a large place.” This is a very appropriate verse or mothers. The first part is “I call upon the Lord in distress.”Is there a mother here tonight that never becomes distressed or feels that she is so tied down with her family that there is no time to help others or to witness for the Lord?
Mothers you, you are the greatest missionaries on earth. There is no greater mission to fill them to love, teach, train, and provide for our dear, precious children. Deuteronomy 11:19 “And you shall teach them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest us by the way, when the liest down and when thou risest up.” That certainly doesn’t leave time for gossip. How important that our talk is wholesome. Psalm 127:3 says, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord.” It seems some are happier when they inherit material things that a precious soul. If distressed write your troubles on a piece of paper, paper doesn’t tell others. Put it in a drawer for a few days and then get it out and read. You usually see it wasn’t nearly as bad as you thought at the time. It also helps overcome the next time your in trouble. Each morning ask God for just what you will need for today. When we pray the Lord’s prayer we say, “Thy will be done,” and then complain about everything that happens. Instead we should ask God to help us to get out of an undesirable situation what He has for us to learn.
Too often we carry the load of tomorrow, added to that of yesterday, carried with today’s task. This makes the strongest falter. Your mind is so crowded that you are all tight and tense – ready to just already to tell everyone off that crosses your path. Keep too busy to worry and count your blessings. Sadie Flinchbaugh told how someone had used her. I said, “Didn’t you feel bad?” She said, “No, what’s the use. I’d feel bad and just make them feel bad, too. It’s not worth it.” She is 89 years old and very happy.
They say no one ever dies from hard work – worrying about it that tears down. To prevent worrying, put enthusiasm into your work. If you have a stack of dried on dishes, breathe a prayer of thanks for your family. Get busy and while washing them ask God to help each one that eats food from these dishes to give their strength for His honor and glory. While tending a sick child thank God that you have the strength to comfort them.
The Lord’s prayer says, “Give us our daily bread”. Yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow only a vision, but today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of home. So do well today. The Lord will forgive us our sins, but the nervous system never does. Let us not allow ourselves to be upset by small things – the things we should despise and forget. Remember, life is too short to be little. For every ailment under the sun there is a remedy or there is none. If there is one, find it. If there be none, never mind it. Act cheerfully and you will feel cheerful. Never try to get even with your enemy, because if you do you will hurt yourself more than you will hurt them. The only way to find happiness is not to expect that to, but to give for the joy of giving. When you are good to others, you are the best to yourself. Here is a prayer that was written 700 years ago:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
I made a copy of this and have it on my refrigerator door. It has been a great help.
The next part of the verses, “the Lord answered me”. In order for Him to answer we need to talk to Him. You all have experienced answer prayers. How comforting to know the Lord does answer our prayer. Maybe not always the way we think and often not as soon as we think or would like to have them answered. A family had been praying for non-saved man for six years. In January they said, “What’s wrong? We’ve been praying all the years and every time we want to visit him the way is closed.” So that evening they made it a special matter prayer again. The next day the family Christian family went away. They said, “Let’s take this back road. There are deep ruts in the snow, but in this kind of weather no one else will be on the road.” As they were traveling in came up a grade sure enough there was a car coming toward them. Both tried to turn out of the ruts but to no avail. So the cars crashed. Then the men both got out of their cars and who should be in the other car but this ungodly man. He cursed and swore and called the Christian man anything mean he could think of. The Christian man said he felt terrible. He simply said, “I am so sorry. Will you forgive me?” The Christian man said, “I believe the ruts are a bit more on your side than on mine. So it is my fault.” The cops came until it was all settled the ungodly man said, “Goodbye, and if you ever need help, call me.” The next day he called and asked them to fix his tractor. So let’s not get discouraged. The greatest patience they say is the patience of answered prayer. Let’s always say, “thy will be done”, and then be satisfied with His plan for our lives.
There are so many mothers that don’t know the Lord. Let’s be a shining light so that they will want our Lord so that He can answer their prayers too. If there is a great burden, get several together and have a special prayer every so often. It is a great help. We know where two or three are gathered together in His name there will He be in the midst of them.
Now, the last part of the verse – “and He set me in a large place”. Christian mothers here tonight: I know you all realize a mother’s place is a large place to fill. When a little bundle of love comes to our home and we look into the innocent face, we realize we need to give an account of them and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The reason for each one being here is to bring honor and glory to God. It is very important what we teach them. Do we really look forward to go to God’s house, or by our talk and actions could plant in these little minds that going to church is a dread? Family worship should be conducted in the right spirit so that the children will look forward to it. They should be taught that we are in God’s presence. We should read God’s word. It should also be a time of sharing and caring. Maybe we could ask each one to get something they are thankful for things they are sorry for. This is a perfect time to ask forgiveness if for any reason there is a need for this. Too often this is neglected. Our attitudes impress them more than we think.
There are two little words that we use so often. The words are I and it. Both cause us so much trouble. We all are aware of the word I. How much trouble we have with self. So often I is the trouble instead of the other person. The word it means the things spoken of. Here are a few illustrations: it wouldn’t have made me so angry if they wouldn’t have said it like they did. It just provoked me, I couldn’t help it, or it was just good for them.
Remember, no one makes you angry, you allow yourself to become angry. How about when we are on a busy highway and the traffic is moving slowly, or when we are busy at home and the baby cries? Do we accept it with calmness or does it irritate us? So let’s use the words I and it with pre-thought, especially if we have any ill feelings at all in any way.
Then there are three other words: pride, envy, and jealousy. Those are three dangerous things. Proverbs 16:18 – pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. We know that in Proverbs 6 pride is listed with the six things the Lord hates. It is also an abomination unto Him. As we think of envy and jealousy we must remember that often unjust criticism is a disguised compliment. It often means you have aroused jealousy or envy in the one that is criticizing. Often due to jealousy or envy we despise the very person we should love dearly. This leaves us with no way to love that person. Also the resentment blocks our incentive to try to obtain what we really want for ourselves. We need to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Now concerning the community. Ecclesiastes 11:1 – “cast thy bread up on the waters, for thou shalt find it in many days.” We all know that communities are made up of homes. That’s why the home is such a large place to fill. Romans 12:15 – “rejoice with them that do rejoice and weep with them that weep.” It is so easy to go and weep with them that weep but why is it so hard to rejoice with them that rejoice? If someone is blessed it seems very few rejoice with them. When we don’t do this, it surely tells on a community. Each home and each life is leaving some impression on others. Each good deed will not go on rewarded but will return in many days. As a man soweth that shall he also reap. So let’s do good and let’s that’s what we will reap. One sister visited some unsaved neighbors and took a cake along. In a few weeks they were coming to church. It wasn’t the cake that did it but the love and prayers that went with it. Recently her family moved in a community and the general feeling was that everyone was nasty. So they decided to be very kind to everyone and say “good morning” and wave when they saw them outside. They said it worked.
A number of years ago a family moved to a place and everyone said, “what ever you do don’t bother that neighbor. He is very ugly and he says he doesn’t need neighbors”. They didn’t live there long until this man saw the newcomer he said “I want you to know those cherries all belong to me even though the tree is on the fence row.” The Christian man said, “fine. You just take them all. We don’t mind.” The Christian man talked to him every chance he had. Several years later the neighbor was on his deathbed and he called for this neighbor to come and help. He needed him after all. So even though they seem nasty, be kind. In many ways our kindness will return.
It’s a help if each night when we go to bed, to think over the day. Was each word, each deed for the betterment of us and our community? We may feel we don’t do much, but little deeds of kindness return in many days. I like to think of this return in many days as our reward in heaven. We should use each one we meet as if it were there last day. Maybe it will be. Love is sharing oneself and caring for the welfare of others. Love upholds, protects, and honors each other. This is a test to know if we love our neighbor as ourselves. First John 4:8 – “God is love”. When we meet someone we say hello and sometimes we add “it’s a nice day”. The person usually responds with a similar greeting. If the person ignores us we feel rejected and too often drop them. We need to continue to pray for them.
The things we put first determines the center of our love. Folks who have no goal wander aimlessly around and accomplish little. They also enjoy little sense of fulfillment. Some goals are immediate, others are distant. Goals may vary as life progresses. Goals help to organize the use of time and energy. In order to accomplish our goals we have to establish certain priorities. This forces us to give up certain things we would otherwise do. Our goal sets up our choices. Do we choose to witness in the community or offer self? Often we must rearrange our schedule. If we expect things to fall in place without patience and self-discipline we will be disappointed, for they won’t. We can’t turn our back on our problems and expect them to disappear.
Take the carpenter who would remodel his house. He doesn’t wait for a pile of lumber delivered from the lumberyard to fall in place. Instead he carefully fits each piece together, repairing damaged areas, and follows a pattern. So with inner security it pays to set up sensible rules to go by. To remodel our personality means re–establishing broken relationships and gaining new resources. We must make full use of the insight we gain in improving. It doesn’t come all at once. So we can’t get discouraged, we must keep on. There is an immediate value felt when the insight is first received. But it must be put to work in daily experiences to help our community.
Now Ecclesiastes 11:6 – “In the morning sow thy seed and in the evening withhold not thy hand. For thou knowest not whether shall prosper either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good”. This shows us to be ready at all times to sow seed to whoever we need. Show mercy begins in the morning and continues till evening. We don’t know where it is most needed. God knows and that’s all that matters if our motive of sowing is good. God will give the increase where needed. This applies to the home and the community. When we sow, we need to sow all good seed. In order for seed to grow the soil must be ready. This is where we fail so often. We try to stick seed in hard soil. It must be plowed and made fine and then we must sow the seed. The Fruit of the Spirit is ways to get the heart ready. “Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness and faith.” So often when seed is sown it is done to bring honor and glory to self. This drives the Spirit away. It dare not be done for to our worthiness, but for the cause of Christ.
Then as we think of the morning – start early in life to sow your seed. Don’t wait until your children are gone. Sow the seed together. Then evening – we think of older in life still witnessing for him. For we know not whether will prosper, either this or that or whether both shall prosper alike. In other words we don’t know the outcome and we don’t need to know. One planteth, another watereth but God giveth the increase. God’s Word will not return void.
Now about attitudes which inspire insight. Life is growth. There is no stopping place. God has made us in such a way that to stop growing is to stop enjoying being alive. When we stop growing we will become consumed with insecurities. Insight is at work when we admit that we need to grow. When an insight is given think it through and try to apply it wherever you can. Expect yourself to do differently. Have faith. Don’t think it’s no use. That’s what Satan wants. Let your task become a joy instead of drudgery.
Usually bad memories are remembered and have a greater influence at good memories. Another guiding attitude which inspire insight is to acknowledge her problems and not blame someone else. Let’s keep our mind on the correction, not on excuses. Also, we should not make comparisons with others. We are personally responsible.