Archive for the ‘Chapter 09’ Category

Proverbs 9 1-9-20

January 9, 2020

Do you enjoy having the Holy Spirit lead you? Yes? It’s a wonderful relationship. No? Still fighting for the lead. No Holy Spirit? No salvation!

She [wisdom] has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city,
4 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says,
5 “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed.
Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.”

14 She [folly] sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city,
15 calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way,
16 “Let all who are simple come to my house!

Our lives are made up of choices. It’s like walking through a marketplace where vendors are calling out for us to sample and purchase their products. Everything looks wonderful and tasty. The real problem is that Satan is behind much of what is being advertised:  it’s addictive. His goal is to get us hooked so that we want more and more and more. Not only that, it’s extremely bad for us and will ultimately kill us. We need Someone who knows what is good and what is bad for us.

Enter the Holy Spirit. He knows what is good for us and what is designed to kill us. WE NEED HIM! He IS wisdom. HE is the One who is calling to us into a conversation with Him.

24 Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Cor. 1:24

We like shiny and sparkly things. We like foods that taste good. I love a good burger from Dan’s Diner. It comes with grilled onions and greasy french fries–a whole basketful of them! I don’t eat there often because I know that the fat and cholesterol levels are off the charts! I also love the smell of Wintergreen Skoal dipping tobacco, but I know that it’s addictive and bad for my health, plus I have this command from the Lord:

18 Do not get drunk on wine [don’t allow anything to take control of your body and mind], which leads to debauchery [uncontrolled and indecent behavior]. Instead, be filled with [and controlled by] the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18

I enjoy consulting Jesus on these matters. In fact, I try to do it for every decision I make. So far, He has been right about every single one (go figure!). There is a certain satisfaction that I feel when I have made the right choice. Also, I feel His pleasure when I choose wisely. I feel close to Him even if the results of my choices are not liked by others. I live for His love, joy and peace that emanate from Him.

There is another benefit to consulting Jesus about every decision and that is my worldview increases. I become aware of how God is working in world events; I understand Scripture better; I perceive relationships more clearly; I discern when people are being truthful to me (I’m still working on this one; I can be rather gullible). Reading the Bible becomes fun as I comprehend biblical concepts. He LOVES to reveal spiritual truths to us!

What are the consequences to NOT listening to the Spirit?

To those who have no sense she says, 17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” 18 But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.

Sin is fun for a season, but there’s always a catch, a payment, and a consequence. Is our sin really that much fun? Are we willing to sacrifice a close relationship with the Father through the Son by way of the Holy Spirit just for a season of desire? Let’s make our decision to follow Him today. Yesterday is past. We start fresh from here. Sure, there are consequences from sin with which we all are still dealing, but God gives grace. Paul knew all about looking ahead:

I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me [a deep, rich, close relationship with Him]. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it [attained it]. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus [a new life with Him].

Let’s make right choices today by listening to the Spirit’s guidance, direction, warning, and instruction. Let’s enjoy His love, joy and peace as we go!

Abba, I sure do love spending time with You. You have so much that You want me to know. I’m learning as fast as I can! Please keep opening my mind to Your truths and Your worldview. Then lead me in teaching others what You have shown me. May I be an encouragement to them to follow You closely. Amen.

 

Proverbs 9 12-9-19

December 9, 2019

Looking ahead to what is coming in the next election year, it promises to be a wild ride–it’s a wild ride right now!

Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
    teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
    and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

 

Another verse we should consider is 22:3, The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”
 

What I consider to be vital areas are:

  1. The support of Israel. Either as a nation or as an individual, we have been warned by God to support Israel. We may not approve of their spiritual state at present, but we know that they are in a type of suspension until the “times of the Gentiles has been fulfilled” (Luke 21:24). But, we are seeing God begin to move in the hearts of individual Jews! They are coming to Christ and accepting Yeshua as Messiah in numbers never seen before. We must do everything we can toward the salvation of the Jews–at the expense of the Gentiles? Goodness, no! But, we have this promise: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;” Genesis 12:3. That statute is still valid.
  2. The rights of the unborn child. Abortion is the modern worship of the god Molech (see Leviticus 20:2-3, Jeremiah 7:31). We, as a nation, cannot ask for God’s blessing if we condone and protect by law this behavior. We must preach against it and teach that those little lives are sacred and must be protected.
  3. We must have a strong military. The show of might-and the willingness to use it- curbs evil. Nuff said.
  4. We need a good moral climate. Judeo-Christian values is on what our nation was based.
  5. We need a strong economy. Whatever decisions are made should be made with these things in mind:
    1. What promotes new business?
    2. What promotes people’s safety in spending? In other words, do people feel safe to spend?
    3. Is our country’s leaders being wise in how they spend our country’s money? This one is a can of worms–or snakes. I’m afraid that the leaders who try to open this one up will (and have) become the “problem.” We need to pray for courage and protection for those willing to take on “the beast.”

For these things we pray and vote. We must remember that as the time of Jesus’ Appearing draws near, this world will grow darker–which means that our lights should grow stronger and brighter! Let’s make sure that we are watching and discerning the times according to God’s Word and His Spirit.

34 “But keep watch on yourselves, or your hearts will become dulled by carousing, drunkenness and the worries of everyday living, and that Day will be sprung upon you suddenly like a trap! 35 For it will close in on everyone, no matter where they live, throughout the whole world. 36 Stay alert, always praying that you will have the strength to escape all the things that will happen and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man [as one approved].”

Abba, I am both excited and wary about the coming election. I know that You put kings and leaders in place and remove them, raise nations up and bring kingdoms down, and I am counting on You doing the same thing with America. May we Christians be faithful to honor You with our lives, vote according to Your leading, and to be witnesses wherever we go and in whatever circumstances we find ourselves knowing that You are in charge of our lives. Make us intentional followers of the Way, O LORD. I place my faith and trust in You again today. Amen.

Proverbs 9 11-9-19

November 9, 2019

Are we taking advantage of our time, the internet, and our discretionary time to learn all we can of God and His Word?

9 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.

The first thing that the wise learn is that they don’t know very much. A humble attitude is necessary in order to learn. The very next verse implies this humility:

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

The “fear” is humility. It’s where we recognize that HE is GOD and WE are NOT. Jesus sits on the throne of the universe and rules; we allow Him to rule our lives. He is bringing all nations and every individual to their knees in acknowledgement of His Lordship. We do so willingly and gladly.

The “knowledge” that we seek is gained by spending TIME with our Lord in prayer, in His Word, in service, and in our daily walk. Our conversations with people are a perfect time to put into practice the traits of Christ: He is loving, peaceful, joyful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and exercises self-control. He is truthful and acts righteously toward everyone. He speaks life to all He meets. WE SHOULD BE LIKE JESUS!

As we imitate the LORD Jesus, we understand more and more the love He has for us, the goodness from which He acts, and we see more of His plan for humanity and our own lives. Most of the time, our lives run slowly concerning our knowledge and understanding of spiritual things. This is actually a good thing! We need time to process and practice before moving to the next lesson. The idea is to learn these lessons the first time around; the tests get harder if we have to take them again–and again.

Let’s put into practice all we know of Christ and ask Him to teach us more about Him, His purpose and plan for us and for our world.

Abba, may we learn from You and then imitate You. Help us to be humble and gentle, patient and kind. Help us to be good, just like YOU. If we accomplished nothing but these traits today, we would be so much like You that people would start asking questions–and want to be like You, too! Isn’t that the point? Work a mighty work in me, O Lord. Amen.

My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice. Ezekiel 33:31-32

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:24

 

Proverbs 9 10-9-19

October 9, 2019

How long will we be content with being spoon-fed by the Holy Spirit? At some point, we need to “man up” and be proactive.

Wisdom has built her house;
    she has set up [hewn out] its seven pillars.

God has done His part. He has given us a wonderful foundation in His spoken Word. I look to the first chapter of Proverbs for the seven pillars: Wisdom, instruction, understanding, insight, discernment, prudence and instruction.

She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;
    she has also set her table.

I liken this verse to the Holy Spirit’s interaction with us. What He shares with us is always pertinent and on-target. It’s our daily sustenance.

She has sent out her servants, and she calls
    from the highest point of the city,
    “Let all who are simple come to my house!”

I see this verse as our call to walk with Him, to grow up spiritually and to take on the mantle of responsibility. The call to wisdom is a call to maturity, one that is gained by setting aside childish thoughts, feelings, and habits and putting on the deeper ways of Christ.

To those who have no sense she says,
    “Come, eat my food
    and drink the wine I have mixed.
Leave your simple ways and you will live;
    walk in the way of insight.”

It’s a daily walk with Him–but it’s much more than that! It’s turning to Him for EVERY decision, for every step we take. We must give ourselves over to Him every time we are  tempted to make a choice ourselves. We must learn all we can in preparation so that we will know–specifically at best, generally at least–what the Holy Spirit desires of us and for us.

Since His Spirit will NEVER contradict the original text of the Bible*, we can trust what the Bible says as long as we ask Him for the correct interpretation of the words, the circumstances, and the timing.

The best passage for us this morning is 2 Timothy 3:16-17,

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

What most people don’t realize is that Paul was referring to the OLD TESTAMENT! The New Testament had not been written yet. The NT is our template, our “overlay,” for how we read the OT. For us, Christ is on every page and in every story. We see the Scarlet Thread (of His blood and sacrifice) beginning with Genesis 3:15 and running all the way to Malachi 4:5-6.

I wish there was a way to goad people into reading the Bible and taking it seriously. But, even the Holy Spirit doesn’t work that way. He invites us, He calls us, He woos us to join Him. He is the perfect Gentleman; He will never force His way into our hearts and lives. He WILL ask, though, and right now He is asking us to join Him at His table.

Abba, I SO want to join You at Your table, but I am in desperate need of a spiritual bath. I feel unclean. Thank You that in the blood of Jesus I am made new and whole and clean! Thank You that it is not up to me to clean myself up; that’s Your job, and You do it with rejoicing. May I take You seriously ALL THE TIME so that You can work through me. I want to be a willing and useful conduit for You, O Lord. Amen.

*The English language will never be able to completely relate the original Hebrew meaning and context of the Scriptures. We must depend upon Him to reveal to us what He wants us to know.

Proverbs 9 9-9-19

September 9, 2019

I am reminded one more time that we are travelers in this world headed for a better one: God’s home!

(10) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

We are of two mindsets.

One is of this world in that we live here, we move and breathe here, we love here and experience all sorts of happiness and tragedy, along with a range of emotions.

The other is of heaven and all that is going on there. We join those already around the throne for worship and enjoy sweet fellowship with the Son at His throne; we walk with the Spirit 24/7; we have the aroma of Christ! (see 2 Cor. 2:15)

Christians view this world through the lens of heaven. Our biggest question is, “LORD, what will please You the most?” It’s based on one of my favorite verses:

(10) and find out what pleases the Lord. Ephesians 5:10

Pretty simple, really. The best way is to ask Him. His Spirit will show you what will please Him the most. Know that you are already pleasing to Him as a person; we are talking about conduct. In our relationships here on this earth, we are to conduct ourselves like children of the King.

(12) Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young [or old, for that matter], but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

Let’s set an example today of whose we are. Let’s begin by spending time with the LORD Jesus in prayer and Bible study so that we know our assignment. To be pure in thought is to be one-minded. Let’s focus on being heavenly minded today by constantly asking the Spirit, “What do You want me to do next?”

Lord Jesus, I have prayed and read Your Word. I have tuned in, so now I want to stay tuned in as we walk through this day. May I focus on Your voice as I go about my business, and may I enjoy Your Presence and Participation in my life today. May I be a model Christian so that others see Jesus in me. Help me when I stumble to learn from the experience even as You help me up. May I be stronger in my conviction to be like You with each failure and reset. Thank You, Lord, for wanting a relationship with me. You knew what You were getting! It’s all about YOU. Amen.