Saturday, September 3, 2016

As the Still, Fair Court

The Bloom of Spring by Charity Lacroix
Let me encourage the saints today with the Scripture where Jesus said, “Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him." (Joh 14:23, NIV78). Loving the Lord in this way as we go about our day is all part of practicing His presence.

There is a beautiful hymn by a woman named Gertrude of Hellfde, that was written in 1330 AD, and later translated by another woman in 1899, named Frances Bevan.

In the first part of the poem, she describes how she was sitting alone one day in a lovely court in the month of May, enjoying pleasant thoughts. She sat beside a fish-pond in the old court with tall linden trees spreading out above her. The water was clear and bright, and many trees around her were adorned with blossoms. The birds were singing and white doves were flying across the sunny, blue sky. It was the best of all delights.

There in the stillness and rest, where all was fair and sweet, she wondered to herself what more she needed to make her retreat complete. She realized that it would be perfect if a dear, faithful friend from heaven came, speaking words of comfort and cheer. Such words would be like dew descending upon her, making her grow like sweet lilies that are in God's garden.

Then before she knew it, she heard the beloved voice of her blessed Friend from heaven, who was suddenly there with her. She described Him as her Sunshine and Dew, as well as the Fountain for thirsty souls. He is the one Who first gives the soul that longing, and then satisfies it forever with His presence.

She wrote what He said to her there in the court:

He told me of the River bright
That flows from Him to me,
That I might be for His delight
A fair and fruitful tree.

He told me that as doves that rise
Far through the golden light,
So He would lead me through the skies
In raiment pure and white.

That as the still, fair court to me
Afar from strife and din,
So unto Him my heart should be,
And He would rest therein.

Each of us, who truly follow Jesus as Lord, is as the still, fair court to Him. As we practice His presence each moment, we are like that garden to the Lord, far from conflict and unpleasant noise. Let's ask ourselves today, "Is my heart a still, fair court to Him, afar from strife and din? Or is it filled with the clamor of the world, noise, dissipation, and the anxieties of life?"

Gertrude ended with these lines, as she described what happened later that evening back in her room:

And on my knees I knelt and prayed
To Him Who is my Sun and Shade,
There came to me that saying deep,
“Who loveth Me, My words will keep.
And him My Father loveth well,
And We will come with him to dwell.”
Yea, Lord, through Thy most precious Blood,
Am I the resting-place of God.

As we truly love Him at all times by keeping His words -- obeying His teachings, He and the Father will come to us and make their home with us. Let's seek to do that by His grace, so that we might be for Him a resting place to come and dwell, like the still, fair court.

Attribution notice: Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, where noted. "The Bloom of Spring" painting by my daughter Charity Lacroix. Please see more of her lovely artwork at A Brush with Life.

Author's Note:  I recommend reading the full poem, called The Friend, found in Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series), 1899. If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the other posts in this blog, such as Practicing the Presence of the Lord, In the Shelter of the Most High, The Lord is Near, and Walking in the Light of His Presence, which are available through the Home page of this blog. I also recommend One thing, Fruit in Every Season, Led by the Spirit, For the Glory of God Alone, The Obedience of Faith, The Knowledge of the Holy, and Ask for the Ancient Paths. Also see my daughter's poems called God Will Meet You There, Connected to the Vine, and The Glory of God, as well as this song about His presence by Mercy Me, called Here with Me. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Now let me ask you a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

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