Word Study Wednesday: REST

REST: Quiet; repose; a state free from motion or disturbance; a state of reconciliation to God.

Key word definitions

Repose: To lay; to rest, as the mind, in confidence or trust; as, to repose trust or confidence in a person’s veracity.

State: Condition; the circumstances of a being or thing at any given time. These circumstances may be internal, constitutional or peculiar to the being, or they may have relation to other beings.

Reconciliation: Agreement of things seemingly opposite, different or inconsistent.

Scriptures

If we believe, though, we’ll experience that state of resting. But not if we don’t have faith.

Heb. 4:3 MSG

And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Rom. 5:11 NKJV

Who remembered us in our lowly state, For His mercy endures forever.

Ps 136:23 NKJV

You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.

1 Cor. 7:23, 24

Personal Application

My natural, lowly state is not rest. I cannot strive for salvation so I must continue in this rest and allow God to work on my behalf. His wisdom is much more valuable to my life’s plans than mine is. My reconciliation with God is complete in my quiet rest.

This is definitely not easy for me, this resting. Ceasing from my labors is totally foreign to my natural flesh. There’s got to be some way I can strive to obtain, work to get, labor to achieve. But as long as I do this I am frustrated and exhausted. What I need done I cannot do and that is the hardest struggle of all.

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

John 19:30 NKJV

He has completed. I can rest. All is well.

My favorite soil softeners

A few years ago I purged all the “twaddle” on our bookshelves. I have been diligent since that time to fill our shelves with literature that would qualify as soil softeners.

Ms. Rosalie Slater referred to certain literature as “soil softeners,” or material that softens the soil of the heart for instruction in righteousness and planting seeds of Biblical principles. Here are just a few of the many soil softeners we enjoy in our home.

Garden Planting

Mary Jones and Her Bible is a beautiful story of a girl who worked and saved for years and walked 20 miles to buy it. It is such an inspiring story. The story teaches character such as diligence and parental respect and a love for God’s Word.

My Kingdom by L. M. Alcott is a 4-stanza poem about self-government that children can memorize. It softens the heart and opens the door to discussion about Christian self-government. By the way, she wrote it when she was 13 years old.

Little Pillows and Morning Bells by F.R. Havergal are one of my all-time favorites. I adore her and these simple children’s books are precious and full of ideas about God that children can understand. They are to be read before bed and upon waking. Plant the seeds of placing God first and last in your day.

One Morning in Maine by Robert McClosky is a lovely story about God’s creation and the power of nature. It will encourage stories of childhood summers and weather. You can see the majesty of God’s creation, His creativity and the power of childhood memories.

Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder shows the character of the pioneers and the strength of a godly family. It will insipre boys and girls alike to obey their parents, appreciate nature and enjoy the blessings they have.

The Autobiography of George Mueller is wonderfully inspiring. His character and conduct is something we should all aspire to.

Music by Isaac Watts. His Divine and Moral Songs for Children will teach your children about godly character in  a way kids love, set to music.

The best gift idea ever

I came across an idea years ago that I plan to do with my children–or rather, for them. This works for grandchildren, grown children and even nieces and nephews too. I was chatting with fellow HS mom Stephanie about it and thought I’d share it here with you.

Take your favorite version of the Bible (for me, it’s the KJV) without study notes. Choose one with wide margins, sturdy leather covers and nice size print.  This will be an heirloom, so make sure it will wear well.

Spend a year for each child’s Bible. As you do your daily Bible reading, personalize the Bible for that child. Write notes, underline passages, and jot down ideas you have for them. As you read and pray with them in mind, the Holy Spirit will quicken you to certain passages and relate them to your child. In your prayer time, God will reveal their bent, challenges and strengths. Write these in the margins. (You can also do this over many years. As the Lord leads, add to each Bible over time.) You can take note of memories or things to come, prayers you have and character qualities you want to instill in them. And be sure to date it!

Over the course of the year you will fill it with memories, prayers and notes as you make it personal to the child. For example, I would highlight scriptures for Princess G concerning healing and making all things new (relating to the eczema she deals with). I would make notes in the passage about preaching the Gospel to the whole world to Princess S because she loves to talk to everyone about God. For Prince J I would make sure I highlighted the passages about David being a man after God’s own heart and that that is my prayer for him. You can also add events, like protection scriptures remind you of a time that they were rescued or protected. Or success scriptures remind you of an accomplishment.

I plan to do this when they are older and give it to them as a graduation gift. My heart’s desire is that they would treasure it and read through it to see what I prayed and believed God for concerning them. And I hope we can look back at it together over the years and see God’s faithfulness, remembering the One who wrote all our days down before a single one came to be.

Step 4: what the Biblical Principle Approach is not

This is an interesting topic, no? Here are some things that Mr. Rose highlights are not found in the BPA. (The scriptures I have added to demonstrate these as principles in God’s Word.)

BPA is not:

  • the teacher dominating the subject or student.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13 If the Holy Spirit is gentle to guide, we are to be also.

  • encouraging adults to copy what any other home or school is doing.

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 1 Cor. 4:4-12 We all have unique gifts to bring to our home eudcation.

  • exalting methodology above content, or vice versa.

For {as} the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding {in the matter} for which I sent it. Is. 55:9-11

Jesus is higher than either and we need His help to remember that. They are both tools to learn more about Him.

  • a coating of Christianity and knowledge.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Mt. 23:27

  • a cover-all, but God all-in-all.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.  John 1:1-4

  • evolutionary but expansive. You can simultaneously teach every subject to every student through every grade, expanding the principles as they are able to receive deeper concepts. In another section Mr. Rose discusses this  on p. 126, quoting Ms. Slater “The message of salvation is not presented in evolutionary manner by degrees, or part by part, nor progressively. The means by which the youngest may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus’ is presented full and complete from the first…The ‘little child’ learns the same Gospel as the advanced student of theology.”

This is applied in the next column when Mr. Rose writes, “The manner in which God brings forth fruit in nature is by infixing (setting in) seed–representative of whole, complete principles.”

We give our little chicks a seed at a time until they are able to handle more. But they receive the same principles, not matter what age or maturity. That’s wy this works for all peoples everywhere. The Bible’s principles are universally applicable. So your whole family can enjoy God’s principles together!

  • instant. There is no microwave to renew your mind, no instant way to conform into His image. This takes a commitment and a lot of investment of time and energy.

There is no expedient way to truly educate–no quick and easy method of producing the kind of character and scholarship able to withstand evil and ‘having done all, to stand!’ (Eph. 6:13)” p. 16

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Rom. 15:4

In BPA the subject and student are extensions of Jesus (Author and Governor). I LOVE this concept. Jesus is the focus of every subject at all times. We learn about science and math and HisStory to learn more about Him. The facts come naturally but they are not the focus, Jesus is.

Join us for the study in A Guide to Amercian Christian Education by James Rose.

Looking at the Bible with different lenses

BPA places God’s Word at the center of all subjects. We do not tack some scriptures on to a canned curriculum, but we discover the principles from which the subject is derived and teach those. I love using the Word of God as the foundation for all subjects. I enjoy it for many reasons, a few of which I will detail here.

First, it keeps me in the Word more than any other type of education would. My philosophy of education requires me to study and prepare my own heart before passing principles on to my children. Like a momma bird, I am breaking down the meat of the Word into something their little tummies can digest. This preparation keeps my mind on God’s Word and meditating on Him.

Second, I see the Bible through a series of lenses, or filters, if you will. I view the Bible in different ways for different subjects. In JBC we are looking governmentally at God’s Word. It is also our mathematics primer–we can see that math comes out of God’s nature. The Bible is the highest form of literature, so we view all other written text compared to it. It is also a science text, even allowing us to be present at creation to see how God put the Earth and its inhabitants together. I also see its excellent grammar and manner of expression, which elevates our standard of grammar and sentence structure. And it is a big, beautiful window to His Story. We can see providential history played out over thousands of years.

Third, because it is God’s written instructions, I can find everything I need there. Trouble with a child? Look for the answers there. Struggling to grasp a subject? I just check my concordance and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the wisdom I need. I never need to be stressed or concerned, for His Word has the comfort and encouragement I need to make it through. I know what my duties are as a parent, and my children know theirs also. This structure is very reassuring to me. His will is not mysterious or unattainable. God makes it all plain for me in His Word. His Word says

Making your ear attentive to skillful and godly Wisdom and inclining and directing your heart and mind to understanding [applying all your powers to the quest for it]: Yes, if you cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, If you seek [Wisdom] as for silver and search for skillful and godly Wisdom as for hidden treasures, Then you will understand the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of [our omniscient God]. For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He hides away sound and godly Wisdom and stores it for the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him); He is a shield to those that walk uprightly and in integrity, That He may guard the paths of justice; yes, He preserves the way of His saints.

Proverbs 2:2-8 AMP

This is my scripture for my own home education. It is comforting to know that as I teach my children to seek skillful and godly wisdom that we will not be disappointed. All this hard work has eternal rewards. As we pursue these subjects using biblical principles, I am not just teaching science or grammar, but God is revealing “skillful and godly wisdom” to them. Hallelujah! That’s all I want for them: to know the Wisdom that comes from above. All the rest is gravy.

Together, the school subjects give me comprehensive view of God’s Word that I would never experience otherwise. I can see the “whole counsel of God,” enjoying His wisdom and insight on matters like economics, interpersonal relations, education and home and family life. It is an understatement to say that there is no better manual for education and living than the Bible. If you never taught from another book you would still receive an excellent education.

The Breeches Bible

We have been studying about the Geneva Bible this week in HisStory. When we were discussing it Princess S said, “This is really fun!” Go figure! She loves hands-on stuff (like every other kid on the planet). I’m just glad she enjoyed it.

You can see scans of the entire Geneva Bible online here, among other places. Princess G liked reading it because it was so different that what she’s used to. She was surprisingly good at reading it too!

The Geneva Bible sprang from persecution in England. Bloody Mary banned the printing of English scriptures, so many Reformers fled to Geneva. There, among contemporary scholars like Calvin and Foxe, they created this version of the Bible. More on the history of the text can be found in nice, concise form here.

We discussed the impact of the Geneva Bible on us in America today and here’s the paragraph she wrote about it:

The Pilgrims used this Bible. They got their idea for government from the Bible and passed them down to the Founding Fathers. This Bible was important in our country’s birth.

We talked about how this Bible is important to her because there would be no America without it. The Bible in the hands of the people always brings liberty. God’s Providence allowed Scriptures to be brought to America’s shores and into our homes.

“For forty years after the publication of the King James Bible, the Geneva Bible continued to be the Bible of the home.”

This version was beloved by the Pilgrims, the founding fathers and even the Army (Oliver Cromwell used excerpts for the soldiers’ pocket Bibles). Other interesting facts about it:

  • it was the first Bible to break the text into verses
  • it was the first study Bible, with extensive notes
  • it was quoted by Shakespeare
  • it’s about 90% the same text as Tyndale’s 1384 version from the original Greek and Hebrew.
  • it was printed in Roman typeface for easy (?) reading
  • the King James version is about 90% the same text as this version

…and why is it called “the Breeches Bible?” See the Geneva Bible Gen. 3:7.