Proverbs 1 7-1-21

Why do I study my Bible? Because it is the only unchangeable truth. It has been the same for 3500 years and is one big story.*

30 Since they would not accept my advice
    and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat the fruit of their ways
    and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.

God’s laws have natural blessings and consequences. Physical laws are the easiest to see, but we can also find them in His moral laws. For instance, a person who runs around on his spouse will erode her trust and destroy the marriage. Also, a person who lies a lot will find that he has no close friends because he cannot be trusted. There are spiritual laws, too. Paul says,

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:7-9

Paul is talking about crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires and living by the Spirit as we keep in step with Him (see Galatians 5:24-25). The only way to be Spirit-filled is to be empty of self and allowing Him to come in and fill us. It’s a conscious decision we need to make every morning when we get up and probably several times a day as our natural desires rear their ugly heads. One of my favorite passages is in Philippians. It’s my 9/11 passage:

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11

It’s that “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ” that gets me every time. We know what the fruit of righteousness is (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; Galatians 5:22-23). They come THROUGH Jesus Christ, which means that He gives them. We go to Him to get them. We can go so far as to say that they flow from Him. He IS love, He IS joy, He IS peace, etc. In order to have them, all we have to do is spend time with Jesus! As we spend time with Him, He opens our minds to knowledge, which in turn allows us to be able to discern what is best. Remember this: Christ makes us pure and blameless. We are already that way in His eyes.

Let’s spend time with Him today. It’s as easy as turning around in our minds. He is there waiting for us. He wants to spend time with us! He loves us and wants to make us to be like Him: Perfect (well-rounded, complete, full). I’ll take that kind of “perfect!”

Abba, I am amazed at Your accessibility! You really are right here with me. May I become more and more aware of You, to trust You, listen to You, and obey You as we get to know each other. I know that over time, I will trust You so much that even dying will seem insignificant compared to the glory that awaits Your children (2 Corinthians 4:17). Keep chiseling away, Lord. I want to be just like You. Amen.

*Written over 1500 years by 40 authors in three languages from various walks of life and from different countries, yet the theme and story are seamless and flawless, flowing from the beginning of history to the first century A.D. See Who Wrote the Bible by Jeffrey Kranz.

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