I’m back !

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Hi Dear Friends !

I hope you are all doing well ! It’s been already 8 months (!) since I last wrote on the blog. I terribly missed it ! The reason for my extended absence was simple- an incredibly busy internship in Toulouse, in the South of France, where I completed my Master’s degree in a pharmaceutical company. I still have my dissertation defense on September 8th (I would definitely appreciate your prayers !). God willing, right after it, I will move to Lyon for an apprenticeship in a pharmaceutical company. Having changed my career path, I need extra experience in the new field I have chosen, which means I’ll be enrolling in another Master’s degree in September in Strasbourg. My time will be split between classes in Strasbourg University and work at the pharmaceutical company in Lyon.

Anyway, I’m so glad to be back on the blog ! Writing regularly is a huge pleasure of mine and it is something that helped me, through the years, to be intentional, especially in my spiritual discipline. Today, I started “journaling” in a beautiful little notebook about something I have done in the past, as a young Christian, but that I have not been consistent with through the years: Scriptures memorization.

This summer, we went to a one week conference in the beautiful mountains in Ardèche, France, and one brother made the following remarks during a youth group study: “If there is one thing I can tell you, it is that I feel like I have wasted a lot of time in my life.”

It is something I can echo to. I have wasted a lot of time on things that were not profitable, and neglected, at times, communion with God, which caused me lots of grief. As you are reading this, please pause with me for a second. How many time do we pick our iPhones, aimlessly scrolling (sometimes for hours !) on pages, social media, and, when the evening comes, we realize that we have not spend time with the Lord, but-since we are tired, we postpone that to the day after, only to repeat the same cycle ? I am definitely guilty of that. And as the cycle repeats itself, day after day, week after week, we can grow colder toward the Lord and His Word-and that is a great danger, along with all the consequences that come with it. Is it not something worth pondering that sometimes, it is the innocent, everyday life “stuff” that keeps us busy ? This year, I realized that you can make an idol out of literally anything. As I think of all the times I have enshrined something else than Christ in my thoughts, it makes my heart cringes. Idols are so cheap. For me, an idol looks like the desire for approval from others, as well as the crave for respectability-a deadly thing. And the time spent for that idol ? Aimless hours spent seeking for finding ways to gain more approval.

As I was sitting with a brother in a conference, he gave me an advice: “while you’re young, memorize scriptures”. I want to make those words a reality-not simply bow to them and nod “Yes, that’s vital”, and leave them there. Whatever it takes, I pray-and I will need to really pray for that, because resolutions are easy to take, but I need the Lord’s help to carry on– that I will develop the habit of hiding God’s word in my heart and allow it to transform me, day after day. I want to dedicate a time, everyday, for this, and make it special.

Today, I memorized Psalm 1:

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
    Nor stands in the path of sinners,
    Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
    Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
    Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

 

What a good place to start ! I noted in my diary the interesting fact that there is a “versus” between verse 1 and 2: “Blessed is the one who does not…” “But whose delight is in the the law of the Lord”. It might seem evident that as we walk with the Lord, we are kept from evil, but do we actually delight in the law of the Lord ? Do we meditate on it ? Or do we just appreciate the idea of it, without really practicing it? Maybe other time consuming things keep us from doing so?

I love this psalm because in a way, it is a good introduction to Scriptures memorization, by reminding us of its importance. I look forward to blog, Lord willing, about this journey of mine.

Truly yours,

Stéphanie

 

 

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“Do not worry”

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25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25-34)

“In due time”

“God’s Holy Spirit and man’s sin cannot live together peaceably; they may both be in the same heart, but they cannot both reign there, nor can they both be quiet there; for “the Spirit lusteth against the flesh, and the flesh lusteth against the Spirit;” they cannot rest, but there will be a perpetual warring in the soul, so that the Christian will have to cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” But in due time the Spirit will drive out all sin, and will present us blameless before the throne of his Majesty with exceeding great joy” -Charles Spurgeon

That in Me, you may have peace

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“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Through him we have peace with God, and so in him we have peace in our own minds.-Matthew Henry

Lord’s day sermon

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To be guarded from stumbling throughout a long life, is not of ourselves. It is not to be found in our own experience—not even in the means of Grace alone. That same power that made the heavens and the earth, and keeps the earth and heavens in their places, is needed to make a Christian, and to keep him standing before the sons of men. “Unto Him that is able to guard you from stumbling.” God has this power. He has power over all circumstances. He can so arrange the trials of your life that you shall never be tempted beyond what you are able to bear. He has power, also, over Satan, so that, when he desires to sift you as wheat, the Lord can keep him back. God will not allow him to overcome you. Best of all, God has power over our hearts. He can keep us alive with holy zeal. He can keep us so believing, so loving, so hoping, so watching, so fully obedient that we shall not stumble at His Word, or stumble at anything else. Jude speaks of “the only wise God,” so that, God’s power is joined with wisdom. He knows your weakness and He can guard you against it. He knows your tempters and He can thrust them aside, or help you to overcome them

Full sermon here: “Saints guarded from Stumbling”

 

Lord’s day

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“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no newthing under the sun.”- Ecclesiastes 1:9
 Men’s hearts and their corruptions are the same now as in former times; their desires, and pursuits, and complaints, still the same. This should take us from expecting happiness in the creature, and quicken us to seek eternal blessings. How many things and persons in Solomon’s day were thought very great, yet there is no remembrance of them now!- Matthew Henry

Lord’s day: All the Poor and Powerless

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This is one of the great paradoxes of the gospel. It is the poor he makes rich, the weak he makes strong, the foolish he makes wise, the guilty he makes righteous, the dirty he makes clean, the lonely he loves, the worthless he values, the lost he finds, the have-nots who stunningly become the haves — not mainly in this age, but in the new creation to come. David Mathis

Today, I’m reading, maybe for the third or fourth time this sermon on David Brainerd, one of my favorite missionaries. He struggled with depression, loneliness and hardships and died at 29 from tuberculosis-and left us a diary which is one of my favorite books as well… 

Lord’s day

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Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. (Titus 3:1-8)

Lord’s day: He is precious

 

UNTO BELIEVERS JESUS CHRIST IS PRECIOUS. In himself he is of inestimable preciousness, for he is the very God of very God. He is moreover, perfect man without sin. The precious gopher wood of his humanity is overlaid with the pure gold of his divinity. He is a mine of jewels, and a mountain of gems. He is altogether lovely, but, alas! this blind world seeth not his beauty. The painted harlotries of that which, Madam Bubble, the world can see, and all men wonder after her.

This life, its joy, its lust, its gains, its honours,—these have beauty in the eye of the unregenerate man, but in Christ he sees nothing which he can admire. He hears his name as a common word, and looks upon his cross as a thing in which he has no interest, neglects his gospel, despises his Word, and, perhaps, vents fierce spite upon his people.

But not so the believer. The man who has been brought to know that Christ is the only foundation upon which the soul can build its eternal home, he who has been taught that Jesus Christ is the first and the last, the Alpha and the Omega, the author and the finisher of faith, thinks not lightly of Christ. He calls him all his salvation and all his desire; the only glorious and lovely one.- Charles Spurgeon, Christ Precious to Believers

The advantages of pleasing God rather than man

I know, I know. I was not supposed to post until January but I won’t be long this time. I’ll just copy/paste those few words written by Puritan Richard Baxter which highlight the benefits we have in choosing to please God rather than man.

The Advantages of Pleasing God Rather than Men

 

by Richard Baxter

1. If you seek first to please God and are satisfied therein, you have but one to please instead of multitudes; and a multitude of masters are hardlier pleased than one.
2. And it is one that putteth upon you nothing that is unreasonable, for quantity or quality.
3. And one that is perfectly wise and good, not liable to misunderstand your case and actions.
4. And one that is most holy, and is not pleased in iniquity or dishonesty.
5. And he is one that is impartial and most just, and is no respecter of persons, Acts x. 34.
6. And he is one that is a competent judge, that hath fitness and authority, and is acquainted with your hearts, and every circumstance and reason of your actions.
7. And he is one that perfectly agreeth with himself, and putteth you not upon contradictions or impossibilities.
8. And he is one that is constant and unchangeable; and is not pleased with one thing to-day, and another contrary to-morrow; nor with one person this year, whom he will be weary of the next.
9. And he is one that is merciful, and requireth you not to hurt yourselves to please him: nay, he is pleased with nothing of thine but that which tendeth to thy happiness, and displeased with nothing but that which hurts thyself or others, as a father that is displeased with his children when they defile or hurt themselves.
10. He is gentle, though just, in his censures of thee; judging truly, but not with unjust rigour, nor making your actions worse than they are.
11. He is one that is not subject to the passions of men, which blind their minds, and carry them to injustice.
12. He is one that will not be moved by tale-bearers, whisperers, or false accusers, nor can be perverted by any misinformation.