Thursday, February 23, 2017

Remembering Strong Christian Women ~ Susanna Wesley

Susanna Wesley (20 January 1669 – 23 July 1742), was born the daughter of Dr. Samuel Annesley and Mary White. She was the 25th child born to them and their last. When Susanna Annesley, the 25th child of Dr. Annesley, was born there was not much family discussion about her or her future.  Little could the family dream that she would become the mother of John and Charles Wesley, the founders of worldwide Methodism.

Susanna was an "old lady of 19" (almost a late marriage in those days) when she became the wife of Samuel Wesley, an Anglican minister. The Wesley family traced their lineage to the 10th century, but ancestry did little to help the problems of their forty-four year marriage. They suffered illness, disease, poverty, and the death of children. Fire twice destroyed their home. But through it all Susanna accepted the will of God and placed herself and her family in His hands.

Politically Samuel and Susanna were both Tories, but while Samuel accepted William of Orange as King William III, Susanna considered James II to be the true king. Once in 1701 Susanna refused to say "Amen" to Samuel's prayer for King William. Tension ensued. Samuel left for London as a Convocation proctor for a year.

To her absent husband, Susanna Wesley wrote: I am a woman, but I am also the mistress of a large family. And though the superior charge of the souls contained in it lies upon you, yet in your long absence I cannot but look upon every soul you leave under my charge as a talent committed to me under a trust. I am not a man nor a minister, yet as a mother and a mistress I felt I ought to do more than I had yet done. I resolved to begin with my own children; in which I observe the following method: I take such a proportion of time as I can spare every night to discourse with each child apart. 

Sam Wesley returned home to Susanna in 1702 when Queen Anne, whom they both acknowledged as the legitimate sovereign, came to the throne. So in a real sense, we might say that John Wesley (her 15th child) was the child of their reconciliation.

In her life, Susanna bore between seventeen and nineteen children; ten survived. The frequent absences of her husband on church business left the management of the household in her hands. Through it all she remained a steadfast Christian who taught not only through the Scriptures, but through her own example of daily trust in God. She once wrote: We must know God experientially for unless the heart perceive and know Him to be to be the supreme good, her only happiness, unless the soul feel and acknowledge that she can have no repose, no peace, no joy, but in loving and being loved by Him.

The children were raised strictly. They were taught to cry softly, to eat what was put before them, and not to raise their voices or play noisily. Physical punishment was used, but confession of faults could avoid it. All but one of the children learned to read from the age of five, including the girls. (Susanna made it a rule for herself to spend an hour a day with each of the children over the period of a week.)
After the fire of 1709 family discipline broke down, but Susanna managed to restore it later. She paid special attention to John, who was almost lost in the fire.

He referred to himself as "a brand plucked from the burning fire," and his mother said that she intended to be more particularly careful of the soul of this child that Thou hast so mercifully provided for, than ever I have been, that I may do my endeavors to instill into his mind the disciplines of Thy true religion and virtue.

It is said that at the age of six or seven John thought he would never marry "because I could never find such a woman as my father had." After Samuel Wesley died in 1735, Susanna lived with her children, especially, in her last year, with John. She died on July 23, 1742 and was buried in London's Bunhill Fields, where John Bunyan and Isaac Watts are also buried. Her sons won tens of thousands of souls to Christ. She would not have wished for more.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Fruits of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Long Suffering, Kindness, Goodness, and Faithfulness

We live to declare the work (s) of the Lord ~ Psalm 118:17 which is that He is the Creator of all things seen and unseen ~ COL 1:16 and in Him we live, move and have our being ~ Acts 17:28
... what then are we to do???

Galatians 5:22~

....the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, NLT

...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, NIV

...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, ESV

...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, BSB

...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, BLB

...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, NASB

...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, KJB

Why is patience translated as longsuffering in the King James, or ask why has long suffering been translated as patience in all the rest...Does it matter? Aren't they the same? Yes, because being patient means tolerating and preserving without compliant and in that can be the experience of long suffering and is....

To be a child of God means to have been chosen by God to display the fruits of the Holy Spirit. To be a child of God means to have been chosen to have heard His voice and responded. Examine yourself first and not others for fruits and you will know if you were called and have responded.

Are you showing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness? These 'fruits' can be shown by you and or appear in you (seen by others) in the smallest of everyday life situations. And, they are not works by you but of the Holy Spirit in you.

Such fruits came as naturally as the fruit that appears on a 'fruit' tree... How? In your response to God, as the fruit tree responds to the sunlight.  When you respond to His love then your Love God comes 'naturally' and you put Him first and foremost which makes loving your neighbor as yourself a no 'brainer' so to speak.

Share 'declare' what the Lord has done. What has He done? He is the Creator of all things, in Him we live, move and have hour being ~ Acts 17:28. There is never enough declaration for the works of the Lord.  Love God and experience Joy, Peace and out of long suffering for that Love, Joy and Peace will come gentleness and goodness and faith!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Raising Boys and Girls in the Word of God!

 "For He was before all things and in Him all things hold together" ~ Col 1:17.  

The best source for any parent's guidance is the Word of God. It contains all answers we need. Why? Because, the Word of God contains so many wise scriptures/verses about children, what they are expected of as a child of God. Anyone raising children knows how difficult things can get but also what a blessing children are.

Firstly, a child (girls/boys) must know the source of your authority by which you instruct. That must begin early on; in fact, in their infancy and repeat it often as they grow.  For it is by His authority that you are and that you live. "In Him, we live, move and have our being" ~ Acts 17:28.

"For He was before all things and in Him all things hold together" ~ Col 1:17.  "For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him" ~ Col 1:16 .

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it ~ John 1: 1-5.

The Supremacy of the Son of God
"The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven"...~ Colossians 1:15-20.

When it comes to what boys must learn/do or girls must learn/do... there is no difference for all who are born again in Jesus Christ are children of the light. This does not happen to them instantly for we all are born in sin; they must come to understand that because of our fallen nature, Christ is supreme over our/their life and that we/they must love God first and foremost because He is God, our Lord and Savior! 

When and if they embrace that, they will be born again, they will be confident in who they are (a creation of God either as a boy or a girl), and being confident in who they are, they will be patient, they will be honest and able to show lovingkindess. They will be prepared for life as a man, as a woman, a husband/father, a wife and mother. They will understand and accept the social roles that God has designed for them either as men/women, as husbands/fathers, and wives/mothers.

*Jesus Christ died for us and without Him we are but filthy rags in a fallen world ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:10 and Isaiah 64:6.  And, someday when your children are truly ready to accept this truth and give their life to Jesus Christ, they will be born again and be given eternal life for salvation is a gift given by God! With your diligence as a godly parent, that day will come!