“Steadfastness” by Ruth Emrick Finch

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My mom in the Dominican Republic.

It is the season of Mother’s Day so we are all remembering stories, events and happenings related to our moms. My mom was a preacher’s wife so when Dad was gone in meetings at other churches, mom filled the pulpit. While going through the notebooks that contained dad’s sermons, I also found a notebook of my mom’s Bible studies. So at this Mother’s Day time, I’m sharing one of them which she used when filling the pulpit in New Philadelphia on November 5, 1961.

“And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem……” Luke 9:51-62

Steadfast means to be steady, constant, set, fixed, lasting. Jesus knew what lay ahead when He steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem. There would be cruel mockery and an ignominious death. He knew the scourging and the opposition from friend and foe. God today is looking for steadfast souls — those with their faces set like a flint regardless of the opposition.

Men will purpose to do something in the natural and wade through all kinds of opposition. Yet when it comes to eternal issues they are unsteady and unreliable.

Are some people naturally more steadfast than others? Possibly. But it will take discipline for any and all of us. THose who have had it from childhood up find it much easier to yield to God and His demands. That is why it is so important for us, as parents, to administer discipline to our children and not only discipline but the right kind. Law alone will never do.

The spirit must yield and be conquered. Discipline plays a big place in our walk with God all of our lives. We cannot make it to Heaven without it. We will face it someday out in the world maybe.

Opposition — Why was Jesus opposed? Because of where he was going? What opposition did Jesus have? The Samaritians refused him entrance into their town. How is the world going to treat us? Don’t look for approval. “This world is no friend of grace to help us on to God.”

Jesus’ pathway was filled with opposition. So will ours be. We must go on in spite of the obstacles. Those who have overcome the greatest obstacles have obtained great grace and have been rich in their souls.

The world hated Jesus and He warned His disciples that it would hate them and as his followers today it will hate us. So who is going to be able to stand? Where is that steadfast soul? Lord, give us a few souls with their faces set steadfastly in one direction!

God’s Words says, “Marvel not my brethren, if the world hate you.” I John 3:13. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” John 17:16

Notice James and John’s attitude. They were jealous for their Master who them had come to love and adore. But Jesus had to rebuke them. We cannot fight even for right in a wrong spirit.

“Come out from among them and be ye separate.” I Corinthians 6:17 Jesus drew a sharp line and made a clean issue. Men have tried to do away with that line of demarcation but it is as clear today as ever between evil and wrong vs love and compassion.

Our standard must come from God and His Word. Jesus says in plain terms what will be required of anyone who wants to follow Him. An emotional desire to follow Christ will not translate to steadfastness. A true desire and determination to follow Christ will carry us through the storms and battles of conflicts.

Who has heard Jesus’ call to steadfastly follow Him? A steadfast choice to follow Jesus will not question the outcome, count the cost or be overcautious. The faithfulness of Jesus will repeatedly call even after we shrink back in fear because He continues to woo us to Him.

God wants all of us to follow steadfastly just as the farmer who puts his hand to the plow and does not stop till the field is plowed and planted. Steadfastly following Jesus leads in the end to the Gates of Heaven.

 

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