Proverbs 19 11-19-20

What gives you your greatest satisfaction? Your wealth? A job well done? Relationships? What’s important to the Lord?

1 Better the poor whose walk is blameless than a [rich] fool whose lips [ways] are perverse.

As Christians, our greatest satisfaction should come in two ways. One is in our fellowship with the Father through the Spirit, and the other is in becoming like Jesus. The nice part is that we get one with the other. Jesus doesn’t want us to try to become like Him without His guidance, direction, and assistance. Consider these natural traits and then their spiritual opposites:

Entitlement——————————–Selflessness
Pride——————————————Abandon (of self-consideration)
Vanity—————————————-Humility
Impatience———————————Kindness
Selfishness———————————Self-denial
Anger—————————————-Compassion
Sloth (laziness)—————————Diligence
Lust——————————————-Pure thoughts
Spite——————————————Forgiveness
Rage——————————————Gentleness
Hate——————————————Love
Gluttony————————————Temperance

Our problem is not IF we have trouble in any of these areas, but HOW they express themselves in our daily life. Jesus wants to help us with transforming these liabilities into virtues. Each of the natural traits is a raw, unrefined, unfocused, and even perverted form of the corresponding spiritual trait. It requires spiritual energy to put off the natural and put on the spiritual. Yet, that spiritual energy is exactly what Jesus wants to give us through His Spirit/Presence!

Consider this analogy: My father could give me a hammer and tell me to build a dog house. At 35, it would be easy, but at 4, it would be unreasonable. Given the fact that Jesus calls us little children, I am betting that we are more like 3 or 4 spiritually. So, instead of my father giving me a hammer and then expecting me to use it correctly, he puts the hammer in my hand and then places his hand over mine. When I swing at a nail, it’s really HIS aim and HIS power that does all the work–yet, I get the credit!

The same goes for each of these natural traits. Let’s look at some verses that help us understand this concept:

21 If you really listened to him [Yeshua] and were instructed about him, then you learned that since what is in Yeshua is truth, 22 then, so far as your former way of life is concerned, you must strip off your old nature, because your old nature is thoroughly rotted by its deceptive desires; 23 and you must let your spirits and minds keep being renewed, 24 and clothe yourselves with the new nature created to be godly, which expresses itself in the righteousness and holiness that flow from the truth. Ephesians 4:21-24 Complete Jewish Bible

Therefore, put to death the earthly parts of your nature — sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed (which is a form of idolatry);
Never lie to one another; because you have stripped away the old self, with its ways, 10 and have put on the new self, which is continually being renewed in fuller and fuller knowledge, closer and closer to the image of its Creator. 
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with feelings of compassion and with kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with one another; if anyone has a complaint against someone else, forgive him. Indeed, just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must forgive.

14 Above all these, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together perfectly; 15 and let the shalom which comes from the Messiah be your heart’s decision-maker, for this is why you were called to be part of a single Body. And be thankful — Colossians 3:5, 9-10, 12-15

Colossians 3:16 tells us the secret ingredient to a Christ-like life, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” The CJB says, “let the Word of the Messiah, in all its richness, live in you That’s not asking too much, is it? If Christ asked us to meet with other believers for fellowship each week, we wouldn’t think that was too much would we? Or, to give 10% of our check? or, give to missions or a friend in need? So, why is it so hard for us to read His Word daily and diligently? Because Satan knows that if he can keep us from reading, then he can keep us from having spiritual victory in our lives!

Brothers and sisters, let’s ingest the Living Bread by reading His Word daily. Let’s “crave the pure milk of the Word” and delight in its richness.

Abba, I pray that You will generate within us a hunger and a thirst for Your Word. May the Scriptures come alive to us! Speak to our hearts as we read and help us apply Your truths to our lives. Thank you for the wonderful gift of Your words, O LORD, that we may KNOW exactly what You mean, what You desire, and what You have in store for us. Amen.

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