Proverbs 6 4-6-21

Who we live for shows who is most important to us. Is Christ your priority?

22 When you walk, they [God leading us through His Word] will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.

What are the ramifications of the whole cross event? One is the new way that God interacts with us. Because of the New Covenant that Jesus inaugurated at the cross and was implemented on Pentecost, He no longer holds us accountable for our sin:

2 Corinthians 5:19 (NIV)

that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.

The Spirit we have been given gives us new desires. We now want to please our Heavenly Father. In our gratitude to Christ Jesus, we willingly pledge to live for Him. What motivates us to set aside, even die to, our own desires?

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NIV)

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

How then shall we live? For Christ! The first thing is to spend quality time with Him in prayer and His Word. Our church is reading through Psalm 119. I ask that you join us. We are on the third set of eight verses (it will be easy to catch up). We are praying for a mighty movement of the Spirit. Join us!

Abba, May You get us ready to receive all the new converts that will be coming to us because of another Great Awakening. I’m excited! May You begin today. Amen.

Proverbs 6 3-6-21

Truth always has its day, but woe to the one who strove to deceive. He is his own undoing.

18:17 In a a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines.

If they weren’t sure that Jesus was proclaiming to be Messiah, the next passage cleared it up for them.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:17-20

The accusation of abolishment was something that rabbis did among each other. When one of them made a statement that went outside the bounds of what was considered lawful, the other rabbis would accuse him of abolishing the law. He was striking it down and setting up a new law. It was a very serious charge. Evidently, Jesus was being accused of abolishing the Law. When He said that He had come to fulfill them, He was talking about the sacrificial system. He was to become the Sacrificial Lamb. As John put it, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” John 1:29.

It’s interesting to think that Jesus was Jewish and kept all the Law. But, seeing that He wrote the Law and could have changed it if He wanted, He didn’t change it at all; He finished it by fulfilling the demands of the sacrifice. What were those demands? The deaths of all who have sinned. Jesus took the consequences of our sin upon Himself and killed them with His own death. Here’s what happened next:

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference [between Jew and Gentile; see verse 9], 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. Romans 3:21-25

Jesus offers grace to both Jew and Gentile alike. It was His plan all along as we read about last week in Deuteronomy 4:5-8. Both groups are equally lost and are both equally saved by God’s grace. Jesus also said that not one word, letter or even dot of an “i” would disappear until He had made it to the cross. Jesus was the Keeper of the Covenant.

When Jesus talked about a person who sets aside one of the least of the commands and teaches others to do the same, He was especially talking to the religious leaders. He was referring to their extra laws and the way their laws changed the complexion of the ones given by God to Moses. How do I know this? Because of His statement in verse 20, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law…” They were in the habit of chaining the people with their manmade traditions. The one that Jesus had the most trouble with was the keeping of the Sabbath. The religious leaders had written so many rules about what a person could and couldn’t do that it became more about the rules than about acknowledging the LORD. Jesus deliberately healed on the Sabbath seven times: Three times in Mark (Mark 1:21-28, 1:29-31, 3:1-6), two times in Luke (Luke 13:10-17, 14:1-6), and two times according to John (see John 5:1-18, 9:1-14). I find it interesting that Matthew didn’t record any of these healings. Would it have offended his Jewish readers? It certainly did the religious leaders! It was their main reason for wanting to kill Him.

There’s a lesson here for us: If Jesus was not afraid of the religious leaders nor the Roman government because He had a mission to complete and He was counting on God to get Him to the cross, we can have that same assurance that when we are following God’s will for our lives (on a daily and even continuous basis) we need not fear anything or anyone. Our lives are in His hands and we will die when He is satisfied that our mission is complete. We are invincible until He says otherwise. Therefore, in both our lives and in our deaths may He be honored and glorified.

Abba, You have called us to Your mission and included us in that mission. May we be obedient servants and glory in our part of Your Story. Indeed, may our lives and our deaths bring much glory and honor to You, O Lord. Amen.

Proverbs 6 2-6-21

The Work of the Holy Spirit in us: Fellowship with a purpose. Even as He abides in us, we are transformed into Christ’s image.

21 Bind them (words of knowledge) always on your heart; fasten them around your neck.

Scripture tells us that the Spirit is transforming us into the image of Christ,

29 For those God foreknew he also predestined [predetermined] to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Romans 8:29

18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:9-10

17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 1 John 4:17

But, our transformation is not the only work He does in us. We must also remember that any works that we do for the kingdom are done at the prompting, then the powering, and then done at the direction of the Holy Spirit. We are vessels, conduits, stone water pots, e.g. the purification pots at the wedding at Cana (John 2:6). We ourselves have no inherent power; it is He who flows through us who does. At the same time, because He is doing it with us, we are creating something brand new–a brand new work never before seen! And you thought God quit creating on the sixth day of creation! We are new creations in Christ–everyday! 2 Corinthians 5:17 and 4:16 point out this wonderful fact.

There is one more important work that the Spirit does in us and that is fellowship. The whole point of the cross was for Jesus to be able to send “another advocate” to help us and be with us forever. The term, “another,” in the Greek denotes something that is just like its replacement. In other words, the Spirit coming to live in us IS Jesus Himself, but in Spirit form. Jesus said, “Remain in Me, as I remain in you.” John 15:4. What a powerful verse that is chocked full of meaning and promise! The term, “remain,” means to dwell, to live permanently, to set up shop, which is exactly what we ask Jesus to do when we invite Him inside. We ask Him to come in and take over, to be the Lord of our lives. And He Does!

If we take the time to ponder these verses each morning, we will get a sense of destiny (Jesus has a plan for our lives), belonging (Jesus lives with us and the Father has adopted us into his family), and purpose (God is doing a new thang–with us).

Abba, thank You for coming to live in me, for giving me destiny, belonging, and purpose. May I devote myself to seeing these three to their fulfillment in me. Rule in my heart, my Lord. Amen.

Proverbs 6 1-6-21

Obedience without love is duty. We are NEVER to serve God out of duty, but out of gratitude and love. He loves us, we love Him.

21 Bind them [teaching of God’s love for us] on your heart; fasten them around your neck.

Today is straight out of my journal (I did go back and list the Scripture references).

Without the desire to do Your will, Abba, I am left with nothing but duty (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). This desire is motivated by gratitude and love. It’s not what I can get from You, but what You have already done for me for which I am grateful. The love I have in my heart is You (Your Spirit) loving You (the Father) through Jesus (the Son), and invites me to join in as a member of that love (John 15:9-11, 1 Corinthians 2:12-13).

The inner peace I feel knowing that I am washed in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14, 12:11), made perfect, complete and whole in Your eternal sight (Jude 24), fills me with joy inexpressible (1 Peter 1:8), Abba. The fellowship we share is beyond words.

The framework of the knowledge for my relationship with You is explained and illustrated in Scripture. The more I know, the better I can understand; the better I understand, the more victorious I can be in this world.

The other neat thing about Scripture is that I connect with You when I read them, ponder them, and quote them. I LOVE that connection!

The Spirit within me has given me a new desire, which is to be just like You, LORD. Whatever that looks like, that’s what I want to be. Work my salvation from the inside out.

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation [work your salvation from the inside out] with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will [desire] and to act [power] in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13

Amen.