Proverbs 2 5-2-20

I love lists. They help me remember. The Bible uses lists, too, to help us remember. Let’s look at some.

1 My son, if you accept my words
    and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
    and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
    and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.

The first set is: Accept, store up, turn, and apply. These are the conditions of our mind. Are we open to the Word of God? Are we willing to receive them as truth and apply them to our lives today?

ACCEPT, STORE UP, TURN, APPLY

The second set is: Look, search, understand and find. We Look in the meaning in God’s Word and search it for truth, the truth that the Spirit wants to impart to us today. We have the promise that He will help us to understand and we will find meaning and purpose, and we will understand our LORD and God just a little better.

LOOK, SEARCH, UNDERSTAND, FIND

There is another list here, a partial list: Words and commands. In Psalm 119, these words are used interchangeably with five others: Promises, law, statutes, decrees and precepts. David used each one in each section. That psalm is definitely a masterpiece! If you haven’t read it lately, I highly recommend it.

WORDS, COMMANDS, PROMISES, LAW, STATUTES, DECREES, PRECEPTS

Another partial list comes from chapter one of Proverbs: Wisdom, understanding, insight and knowledge. They are part of the list given us in Proverbs 1:2-6. The others are instruction, prudence and discretion. I believe they are the seven pillars mentioned in Proverbs 9:1.

WISDOM, UNDERSTANDING, INSIGHT, KNOWLEDGE, INSTRUCTION PRUDENCE, DISCRETION

Another list that I find fascinating is the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance [patience], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-controlThey are in three’s:

Love, joy and peace are one-syllable words that are given to us by the Holy Spirit. They emanate from God Himself. When we stand close to Him, they penetrate deep into our souls. It is wise to draw close to Him often!

Patience, kindness and goodness are two-syllable words that are action words. We practise these fruits daily. When we display these fruits, we are most like Christ.

Faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are three-syllable words that reveal our inner nature as we become like Christ. They are long-term descriptions of us as we are transformed into His image and conformed to His likeness.

LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL

As we can see, lists are good for locking into our memories God’s Word. Let’s accept, store up, turn, and apply God’s Word to our hearts and lives today. Let us look and search for meaning and application knowing that we will find out and understand what it means to fear the LORD (recognize that He is God, King of the universe, and yet, calls us to sit beside Him in the heavenly realms!) and find the knowledge of God (His will and plan revealed to us by His Spirit–as needed and as much as our finite minds can hold).

Abba, I pray that my readers will gain a desire to study Your Word. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if we  continue studying Your Word–the originals!–in heaven, or at least, in Jerusalem during the Millennial Reign. It is by itself a masterpiece like none other! I look forward to knowing it fully as I get started here on this earth. I love You. Thank You for supplying us with such a unique book through which You speak to me. May I treat it as the treasure it is. Amen.

 

Proverbs 2 4-2-20

Christianity is answering the call of Jesus to follow Him doing…whatever! He calls us to walk with Him and become just like Him, allowing Him to work in and through us.

10 For wisdom [the Holy Spirit] will enter your heart, and knowledge [of Him] will be pleasant to your soul. Is learning about Jesus and how we can serve Him distasteful or boring to you? Then, Watch Out! You may not have Him living in you.

It’s a One-Time Decision; It’s a Daily Decision

Position; Fellowship

How can we tell? The Spirit convicts us of sin, prompts us to act, and teaches us from God’s Word. No conviction? No Spirit. No Spirit? No Salvation.

I call it, The Great Connect. It’s what Jesus’ coming to earth was all about. The miraculous birth, the sinless life, the cross, the grave, and the Resurrection are all about reconnecting us to God. He is our Door, our Internet Connection–faster than fiber optics!

Following Christ OUR way is in direct conflict with discipleship. It’s His way or no way. If that sounds pompous, just consider that He is King of the universe. We need to get off our high-horses and quit judging God! If we don’t feel convicted concerning our self-centeredness, then there is no Spirit within. No Spirit = No Salvation.

Romans 12:1-2 says, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies [entire lives] to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” NLT

Let’s allow God to transform us into new people–His people, the kind that those around us will want to know, to be like, to have what we have. Or, rather, WHO we have. Christ wants only the best for us, but it’s not according to this world’s standards, but according to what He has in store for us in heaven and on the new earth when we get back! Let’s keep the ultimate goal in mind (Christ Himself) rather than looking at the wind and waves around us (like Peter when he walked on water).

Abba, I praise You for Your excellent plan of salvation! Not only could I have not done it better myself, I couldn’t have done it at all!!! I need You in my life all the time for everything. You ARE my EVERYTHING. Make me like You, LORD, and make me shine for You to all around me. Connect me with those who don’t know You so that they can connect with You for that first time. Connect me with those who need to learn about You so that they can improve their daily connection with You. LORD Jesus, please use this time in America–in the world–to call people to Yourself. May REVIVAL break out everywhere! So be it–amen.

Proverbs 2 3-2-20

Have you “hit your stride” with the LORD, yet? He’s all about being with you and you with Him. RELATIONSHIP!

5 …then you will find–God!

How could we think that God is so distant? He has made the first move EVERY time throughout mankind’s history:

  • In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve sinned, yet God went looking for them;
  • In a world where “every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time,” God sought out Noah and bestowed grace upon him [that’s what “found favor in God’s sight” means] and saved humanity;
  • God chose Abram/Abraham to start a nation who would be His bride;
  • God chose Israel–not because of their goodness, but because of His promise to Abraham and His plan for humanity –> God was coming to earth! God literally plopped Himself down in the middle of “those sinful and dirty humans” to teach them how to draw near to Him. **
  • God came to earth! “Immanuel” – “God with us” – “for unto you this day in the city of David [Bethlehem] is born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, your Messiah!”
  • At Pentecost, God came to live inside those who trust in Him. We become mobile temples!

And so, each morning I get up and heed these words by the wisest man who ever lived, yet the most foolish man, for he did not heed his own exhortation:

My son [child], if you accept my words
    and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
    and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
    and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord [who He is]
    and find the knowledge of God. [intimate and experiential knowledge of Him]

Let me do a little exhorting here:

  1.  Let’s not base our decisions on how we feel or what we think suits us. That kind of thinking is a foundation of sand. Indeed, it is quicksand! STAY AWAY!
  2. Ask the LORD Jesus to reveal to you the best way for you to get to know Him. Be ready to change how you live your life when you do! That kind of request requires us to accommodate His answer. 5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt [be ready to do whatever He says], because the one who doubts [is not really committed] is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded [of two opinions, his being the strongest] and unstable in all they do [wishy-washy when it comes to obeying God].”
  3. Do it consistently. It takes three weeks to establish a new habit, which reveals how slowly we learn. Give Him time and the opportunity to transform you into His image. You will never be sorry!

Abba, I pray for those reading today. May they heed Your call for them to join You–in everything and in every way. May what they read lead them to You; may what they watch cause them to think of You; may they “see” where You are working in the world and join You there. Open their eyes to the reality of You in their lives even as You do for me each day through Your Word and through Your guidance throughout the day. Thank You for such a neat chapter of truth, LORD. May we learn to live it each day. Amen.

**The phrase, “God cannot look upon sin” is found in Habakkuk 1:13 and says, 13 You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?”  It is the second of Habakkuk’s complaints to God about Him allowing the “righteous” to be overtaken by evil people. When read in context, we see that Habakkuk is giving people’s opinion about God, that He cannot look upon sin, while accusing God of standing by while evil triumphs in the land. It’s obvious from the text that God’s holiness has nothing to do with “looking on sin,” but with dealing with sin in our lives. God will not tolerate sin in the lives of His children. Why? Because sin destroys them. Yet, He deals with sinful people everyday. TRANSFORMATION is what He’s about.

Proverbs 2 2-2-20

Do we really want to know God? He is only a page away. He wants to reveal Himself to us in His Word. Read it!

If you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding [of Himself, His ways, and eternity].

Christians WANT to follow Jesus. The Spirit within us creates in us a desire to know Him. Even as I type this, the Spirit within me is reminding me of the verses where I learned it. Let’s look at Romans 8:

16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

This verse is our foundation. Without the Spirit, we cannot be God’s children. The best test for salvation is to ask God if we are His and hear the Spirit cry, “Yes!” Along with that cry comes His peace, His love, and His joy. Are you ready? Let’s try it: Go!

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

Here is the verse to which I was referring. His Spirit leads us to follow Christ; He even gives us the desire to follow Him, and then empowers us to follow Him. Philippians 2:13 is another good verse to memorize. Here it is in the Amplified version:

13 For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you [through the Spirit], both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing (desire) and the ability (power) to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.

Are you resisting following God? Why? Are you too attached to your toys? a certain lifestyle, afraid of a certain type of people? that God will call you to do something distasteful? Are you enjoying sin too much? in too deep? Is the Holy Spirit calling you right now to give to Him whatever it is that is keeping you from Him? It’s destroying you–in more ways than you know! It is setting up a foundation and platform of destruction of your relationship with God, your spouse, your children, your friends, your boss and co-workers–with everyone! Sin isolates and then destroys us, which is why God hates it so much and calls His children to turn away from it and turn to Him for life! Jesus said, “The thief [the devil] comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full [abundantly]. John 10:10

Let’s search for Him as for “hidden treasure” today, presenting ourselves before Him as His servants and He our God. It’s what we were re-born to do!

Abba, I know that You are calling me to a higher, closer walk with You. I pray that as You call others that they will not resist You. “You do not delight in sacrifice (good deeds alone), or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings (one-way prayers). My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise (Psalm 51:16-17).” “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14).” Amen.

Proverbs 2 1-2-20

Has God given you a spiritual goal for this year? Have you asked Him for one? Do you WANT to be more like Jesus?

2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding– 

Setting goals helps us to stay on track without allowing the “tyranny of the urgent” to draw us away. Our physical health has something to do with what we accomplish, as well. In order to achieve our goals, especially our spiritual ones, we need to be as healthy as we can be and in our right minds (which rules out alcohol and marijuana along with harder drugs).

Here are some examples to consider:

  • Get up 30 minutes early in the morning to read God’s Word and pray. Ask the Spirit to guide your reading time. Make lists of the people in your life and pray for them on a specific day. Of course, going to bed at a decent hour will help a lot!
  • Eating right always makes a difference. Choose foods that give you mental acuity, i.e. protein, low sugar, and NO high fructose corn syrup. The fewer ingredients (and ones you can pronounce) the better. Check out the ingredient list for Lays potato chips, Fritos, and Cheetos. The difference will surprise you.
  • Along with a fit mind goes a fit body. Figure out when you feel the best during the day and work in some work-out time. Walk, walk, walk! Walking can be done anywhere, in any clothes (except shoes), and in any weather (especially indoors).
  • Have a project:
    • Listen to or watch a series on Creation or other Bible topics on YouTube;
    • Listen to or watch a series by a well-known preacher/teacher;
    • Listen to Christian music instead of secular music;
    • Learn to read music (it’s a language, and one that’s not that hard to speak);
    • Get involved in a ministry, whether in-church or out-of-church, one from which you receive no benefit other than serving;
    • Pick a book of the Bible and learn all you can about it; practically memorize it!

These are just suggestions. Ask the LORD what HE would have you do. Let’s not be content with where we are; He has a wonderful adventure ahead of us! Even storms take on a new feel when we are walking with Jesus. Who knows? We may even get to walk on water with Him!

In all things, “Preach [teach, share] the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” We are His ambassadors. Let’s go be salt and light in our corner of the world.

Abba, I certainly don’t exempt myself from setting goals. Please help me to pick the ones You want me to do and then empower me to do them. Hold me accountable to You, O Lord. Grow me. Fill me. Get me ready for whatever is coming next in my life and in this world. Counting on You, amen.

Proverbs 2 12-2-19

Living a godly life isn’t all that hard; all we have to do is die to ourselves. In fact, we already have!

10 For wisdom will enter your heart, knowledge will be enjoyable for you,
11 discretion will watch over you, and discernment will guard you.

What we don’t realize most of the time is the active role that the Holy Spirit takes in our lives. If we were to tune in to all that He does for us, we would be awed and grateful! Just the fact that you are interested in spiritual things is courtesy of Your resident Holy Spirit. The entry of the Spirit of Christ into our lives happened the very moment that we gave our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ, Yeshua Messiah. He, through the Holy Spirit, came to live in us, to speak to us, to lead us, to grow us , and to develop us into fully equipped and devoted followers of Christ. One of my favorite verses is 2 Corinthians 4:16, which says, “Though outwardly we are wasting away [growing older], inwardly we are being renewed daily.” Add to that 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, who with unveiled faces reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit, and we have a pretty solid description of the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives.

Why would God go to so much trouble for us? Because He loves us! It’s what the cross was all about. By dying to ourselves, we can live for Him. Paul explains the process:

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will also be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was put to death on the execution-stake [the cross and we were crucified] with him, so that the entire body of our sinful propensities [our leanings and tendencies] might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For someone who has died has been cleared from sin. Now since we died with the Messiah, we trust that we will also live with him. We know that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, never to die again; death has no authority over him. 10 For his death was a unique event that need not be repeated; but his life, he keeps on living for God. 11 In the same way, consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive for God, by your union with the Messiah Yeshua. Romans 6:5-11 CJB (Complete Jewish Bible)

As we  go through today, let’s remember that He is for us and with us. Let’s let Him guide us as we walk through this day. “What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms. What a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms.”

Abba, thank You for such a great salvation, one that keeps giving and giving; one that changes me into who I was created to be little by little, attitude by attitude. Sometimes, I don’t see it. In fact, I get frustrated with the slowness of the process, especially if I think I am going backwards! But, I know that You are the one who keeps me, and You are the one who is in charge of my transformation into Christlikeness, so I trust that You use EVERY moment and EVERY decision to make me more like Your Son, Jesus. You are the Potter, Abba, I am the clay. Mold me and fashion me according to Your Plan and Purpose. Let’s GO! Amen.