John the Baptist, Frances Havergal

01/09/14 Farmville Enterprise

Our last Sunday School lesson for the youth class was on John the Baptist. I couldn’t help but wonder how I might have responded to his attire and food choices. “John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.” (Mark 1:6) He was on a mission to prepare the way for the Lord. Obviously, his focus was on things that truly mattered. He must have seemed odd, even in his day.

At our ladies’ Circle meetings we are studying hymns and those who wrote them. Tuesday night we learned of Frances Ridley Havergal who lived from 1836 to 1879 and wrote “Take My Life and Let It Be” along with other favorite hymns. She was a phenomenal woman who memorized many chapters of the Bible, was proficient in seven languages and was a trained concert soloist and accomplished pianist. At one point in life, Frances decided that she would only sing songs about the Lord. She prayed over everything that she wrote. After writing “Take my silver and my gold/ Not a mite would I withhold” she decided to give almost fifty articles of fine jewelry to the Church Missionary Society. She kept only two pieces with sentimental value.

Both John and Frances followed what they determined to be God’s leading. Their lives were different than many of ours. How do we react when we encounter Christians who feel called to give up certain things in order to focus on God? What is our attitude about those who believe that they should care less about how they look and give more money away? Instead of being tempted to recommend them for “What Not to Wear” perhaps we should applaud their priorities.  “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:1-2)

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