It's snowing and has been for a while now which has meant that most of us have had time at home that we didn't expect. For me, unlike so many others, that has been a great blessing as I have been able to do some extra reading and studying and to get ahead in the writing of material for classes and conferences.
It has also meant that I am ahead in my reading for the Breadcrumbs videos that are going out twice a week on the website and which are taking us through the Bible in a year.
This morning I was in Proverbs 12 and was so struck about how many times Solomon speaks about what comes out of our mouths.
From chapter 10 he has been contrasting the righteous or upright with the wicked and for the most part it has been an easy read but today I was caught by 12:26 and I found myself asking the question 'am I a guide to my neighbour?' I know I am a Bible teacher and preacher but what about in my everyday conversations with the people I live amongst? Do I guide them, do I lead them towards the Saviour? Do my words and my actions proclaim Him - not simply when I am standing in front of a group of believers but when I am out for a walk in my village, chatting to my neighbours of this and that.....do I lead them, guide them to the One who is all and more than they will ever need?
And what about at home - with my husband, my family? At home, in the place I relax - where perhaps all of the old 'me' is so often seen - am I doing battle there, on that field or am I forgetting that it is there that most effort is required? It is easy to be a Christian when we are together in church - easy to be a Christian when we are using the gifts that the Lord has given us - easy when we are together in fellowship, singing, praying, studying.....but it is so much more difficult in the confines of our own home - where we are subject to the temptation to forget that we are a new creation in Christ Jesus, that the old has gone and the new has come.
So I thought I might go through these chapters again and ask the Lord to be my guide - to give me the grace to confess and repent and then to start again - to begin this new day determined that here in my home, here in my neighbourhood I will be a guide to those around me. I thought I might ask Him to keep reminding me that it is as I deny myself, pick up my cross daily and follow Him that others will be led to Him, led to the feet of Jesus, led out of the darkness into His marvellous light.
Will you do that with me, will you determine to be a righteous guide to your family, to your neighbours - will you ask the Lord for His grace not go the way of the 'old self' and lead them astray?
Then will you do battle..... for His glory and your joy?