Archive for the ‘Chapter 07’ Category

Proverbs 7 12-7-19

December 7, 2019

Our way of thinking has gotten us into more trouble than we know! It’s time to let Him guide our thoughts and ways.

25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. 26 Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng.

All sin comes from faulty thinking. Check out Eve’s story in Genesis 3 or Cain’s story in Genesis 4. We need to make sure that we are thinking correctly about God and about righteous living, which means that we need to think correctly about sin. There’s only one Source from which we can get an absolutely right perspective, and that is from God. It’s not hard; it just depends on how much it means to you to get it, because once we get it, we are obligated to live by it!

Paul makes it plenty plain in Romans 8:

But you, you do not identify with your old nature but with the Spirit — provided the Spirit of God is living inside you, for anyone who doesn’t have the Spirit of the Messiah doesn’t belong to him [BEST Trinity verse]. 10 However, if the Messiah is in you, then, on the one hand, the body is dead because of sin [our status]; but, on the other hand, the Spirit is giving life because God considers you righteous [our status]. 11 And if the Spirit of the One who raised Yeshua [Jesus] from the dead is living in you, then the One who raised the Messiah Yeshua from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you. 12 So then, brothers, we don’t owe a thing to our old nature that would require us to live according to our old nature13 For if you live according to your old nature, you will certainly die; but if, by the Spirit, you keep putting to death the practices of the body, you will live

It makes sense, then, to find out as much as we can about the Spirit-life. Spiritual matters should interest us more and more as worldly matters should fade into the background. What matters are we talking about? That’s for you and the Holy Spirit to determine. It’s one of the things that we get to do with Him. It’s during times like those that His Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are His children (that’s from Romans 8:16).

Try reading or listening to people’s testimonies about how they came to Christ. It’s very uplifting. One of the things I like to do is go to IMETMESSIAH.COM on YouTube. It’s about Jews who have come to believe in Yeshua Messiah (Jesus). Truly inspiring. Another good book is Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Andrew, a 16th Century monk. Ask the LORD and He will lead you to just the right resource at just the right time in your life. He’s good at that.

Let us not grow weary of doing good. Galatians 6:9. Instead, let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23.

“Change the way you think, and you’ll change the way you feel.” Beth Moore

Abba, I pray that my brothers and sisters in Christ would “catch the bug” of learning about other people’s conversions and what You have taught them. May they gain all kinds of insights and tips for righteous living. May we identify with them in their sufferings and learn to love You with all our hearts. Lead us, LORD, in our daily walk. We are following and listening and obeying. Amen.

Proverbs 7 11-7-19

November 7, 2019

Whatever has a stronghold in our lives, a besetting sin, there IS a way to beat it–today. It’s part of our walk, our story.

5 They [God’s commands and his teachings] will keep you from the adulterous woman [any besetting sin*], from the wayward woman with her seductive words.

*A besetting sin is one to which on account of our constitution, or circumstance or both, we are peculiarly exposed, and into which we most easily and most frequently fall. In the life of every individual, there is a “besetting” sin that can tower like a mountain between the individual and God. The verb of which besetting is the participle form means “to surround with hostile intent; to set upon, attack, assault on all sides.” For example,
The fox was beset by hounds.
St. Anthony was beset by demons.
Believers are beset with sin.

In the expression besetting sin, however, the word “besetting” seems to mean “chief” or “principal.” Judging from usage, a besetting sin is one to which a particular individual is particularly susceptible. Besetting Sin-Definition

This chapter holds the key to overcoming strongholds in our lives. The strongholds keep us from fellowshipping fully with our Savior and from living the victorious Christian life that God desires for us to enjoy.

7:1 My son [child], keep my word and store up my commands within you.

This verse is a call to learn all we can about God, Jesus, the Spirit, and ourselves. His Word is where we start. It’s why we must read it everyday, preferably early in the morning so that it can help us form our attitudes for the day. It starts us off in the right frame of mind.

7 I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who had no sense.

Learning from our own mistakes is being smart; learning from others’ mistakes is being wise. Pay attention to those who seem to enjoy life in all the wrong ways. We will notice that eventually the consequences of “free” living will catch up with them. “Payday Some Day.” Whether it’s a ruined liver from alcohol, no license due to DUI’s, several wrecked marriages, used up and worn out bodies from drugs, or whatever, the consequences WILL come–along with guilt and regret. Even then, our LORD has compassion on them and wants them to come to Him. Some may, but most won’t because of the pattern of self-government that rules their lives.

13 She took hold of him and kissed him…18 “Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning; let’s enjoy ourselves with love!” 21 With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk.

She got his full attention with a kiss. What gets our full attention? How can we deflect that “kiss?” I’m sure they had a good time, but at what expense? 27 Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death. 6:32 But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself. 2:19 None who go to her return or attain the paths of life. 

Returning to our besetting sin keeps us from walking with Jesus with a free heart. Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full [abundantly].” John 10:10b

All of a sudden, this next passage that usually sounds so “milk toast” takes on a whole new meaning:

28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus wants us to know that He understands the hold that sin has on our lives. He KNOWS that we fight with it everyday, that all of our senses are tainted with it and we carry it around in our bodies like a dead weight. Oh, what it must feel like to experience our new, glorified bodies in heaven where that weight of sin is gone!

So, how do we rid ourselves of besetting sin? Well, we don’t, really, not in this world. It always lurks in the shadows. We must be vigilant against it. How?

  1. Go to Jesus. He will give you rest. If you go to Him BEFORE you sin, then He can give you strength to overcome. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
  2. Go to Jesus. If you go to Him AFTER you sin, He will provide comfort and grace along with insight for next time. Some of our closest fellowship with Him is waiting for us when we go to the Savior at our lowest point.
  3. Go to Jesus everyday. Begin the day with Him and walk with Him through the day. Many times, we can head off sin as He steers us around it. Trust Him; follow Him.

God is never exasperated with us. He is never irritated, nor is He disappointed. We are sheep. We “sheep” (whatever that means). He knows and still wants us to come to Him. He loves us with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3) and rejoices/dances over us with singing (Zeph. 3:17). Let’s hold on to this truth!

Abba, thank You for loving us as we are. I look forward to the day when we will be as You have prepared for us to be: Holy, blameless, pure, and free from our sinful nature! I can hardly wait!!! In the meantime, help me to keep my eyes fixed on You, LORD, and to trust in Your guidance and strength. Amen.

Dear Lord,
So far I’ve done all right.
I haven’t gossiped,
haven’t lost my temper,
haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent.
I’m really glad about that.

But in a few minutes, God,
I’m going to get out of bed.
And from then on,
I’m going to need a lot more help.
Morning Prayer

Proverbs 7 10-7-19

October 7, 2019

We have been told what to do to ensure faithfulness. The question is, will we do it?

(3) Bind them [God’s commands] on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.

I have a small stack of Scripture cards that I go through each week. These verses are ones by which I try to live; some are doctrinal verses that remind me of who God is and who I am in relation to Him, and some are verses that deal with specific areas of my life. For instance, one by which I try to live is from James, Jesus’ brother:

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you [from your present situation as well as eternally]. James 1:19-21

Another (I read this one this morning) that deals with doctrine is from Jude, another of Jesus’ brothers:

24 To him who is able to keep you [from falling or even stumbling] and to present you before his glorious presence [to God the Father and Himself] without fault [blameless] and with great joy 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jude 24-25

How about you? Do you have favorite verses? Verses by which you live? Have you committed them to memory? Have you considered writing them down on cards and read them on a regular basis to remind yourself of His promises and His commands? There IS a DISCIPLINE to the victorious Christian life. Think proactively.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with personalizing verses. For instance:

Kelly, as a prisoner for the Lord, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle–I know you have a hard time with this one; be patient by having no unrealistic expectations, bearing with others in Christ’s love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace–stay connected. Ephesians 4:1-3

When we are in crisis or in temptation, Christ goes to the card file of our mind and pulls out verses that will give us confidence, direction, strength and courage in our time of need. Doesn’t it make sense to give Him MUCH with which to work rather than just a little (John 3:16 can only go so far…)?

Abba, I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ that they would create card files of Your Word–Your commands, Your words of encouragement, Your warnings, Your promises, and Your reminders of Your love for us. May we be proactive EVERYDAY concerning our walk with You. Lead us, our Eternal King. Amen.

Proverbs 7 9-7-19

September 7, 2019

Every once in a while, we need a remembrance stone, a place or event that reminds us of whose we are and our calling.

(24) Now then, my sons [and daughters], listen to me; pay attention to what I say. (25) Do not let your heart turn to her [temptation] ways our stray into her paths.

Robin and I are at FALLS CREEK. We are here for a Singing Churchwomen retreat for which we play percussion during the year. This place holds a special place in my heart:

  1. In 1975, my friend, Howard Harper, and I re-committed our lives to Christ.
  2. In 1980, I responded to God’s call to serve Him in vocational ministry.
  3. I also met the love of my life here as we worked on staff together that summer and the next.
  4. We had numerous retreats here as I was growing up, and then for eight years I brought my own youth groups here.

Needless to say, Falls Creek is special to me. It’s like a remembrance stone:

1 When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, 2 “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3 and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”
4 So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
8 So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the LORD had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. 9 Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day. – Joshua 4:1-9

Where is your place of remembrance? Where is it that you can visit to “recapture the moment?” Maybe it’s time to visit there again and renew the covenant between you and God. I can assure you that it will be a time of refreshing.

Dear LORD Jesus, thank You for my place of remembrance, for Falls Creek. Renew my heart even as I renew my vow to You, my LORD and my God. Amen.