Archive for the ‘Chapter 27’ Category

Proverbs 27 12-27-19

December 27, 2019

Are we filling our lives with thoughts of God? Better said, are we allowing God to fill our thoughts with Him?

1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

James helps us put this verse into perspective:

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

The proof of Christianity is our relationship with the Lord Jesus in a daily walk with Him. He wants to fill us with Himself! If He is our Lord, then we will submit to Him and His leadership in our lives. We will seek Him in everything we read. How? By holding up what we are reading to the truths of God’s Word, comparing–sometimes contrasting–it to make sure it is worthy of our time and effort. We don’t want to be filling our thoughts with trash. Paul tells us this:

1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died [your choices are no longer yours alone to make], and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

We will also seek Him in everything of which we are a part, whether civic, sports, political, business, and even spiritual. The clubs, teams, and other groups in which we might participate require a lot of our discretionary time, time that might be better dedicated to family, spiritual participation, and personal study time. We must remember what is important and what is at stake.  4 “When Christ, who is your life,appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Is what Christ wants the most important thing in your life? Have you asked Him about your participation in a particular group? Is that the best thing for you in your life right now? He will let you know if you ask Him. At the same time, there are certain things on which He has already given us His opinion if we would apply what we know from his Word to our daily lives.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. If any activity or group promotes or leads to any of these vices, STAY AWAY! Recognizing them for what they are is actually the Holy Spirit revealing them to you!

 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. A good test for ourselves is if the activity or group leads us to walk in holiness and righteousness or if we are constantly having to make excuses, be on our guard, compromise, or stand up (confrontationally) for what we know is right.

There is another area that is a bit more subtle. It deals with our attitude and tendencies toward uncontrolled feelings and desires.

 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander,and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new selfwhich is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

We are being renewed by what we learn about our Creator! We are being conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). What we read, what we listen and watch, with whom we spend our time, and who we trust to tell us the TRUTH are important to our spiritual growth in the knowledge of God. What we know shapes us into His image. Yes, the Holy Spirit is daily transforming us into His image (2 Cor. 3:18 and 4:16), but we can help the process along by intentionally choosing to spend our time, money, and energy on godly things and activities, with godly people.

Let’s live smart for Christ. It makes a difference in this world and will make a BIG difference in the next one. More on that later.

Abba, I pray that we will all take very seriously our walk with You in this world as You lead us to the next one. I know that You are excited about getting us to where You are so that we can really enjoy what You have in store for us and what You had intended for us from the beginning. Thank You for not giving up on us! We look forward to Your Day of Redemption when You renew all things (Matt. 19:28). What an exciting day that will be! In the meantime, help us to be more like You moment by moment. Amen.

Proverbs 27 11-27-19

November 27, 2019

How do we know the way to go? We must trust Him one step at a time. That means we must walk close to Him.

12 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

There is a catchphrase that I like: “I may not know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future.” First Call used it in a song a few years ago (okay, 34 years ago!). The Future We can trust the LORD to guide us through whatever is going on in our lives and in the world IF we are willing to walk with Him everyday. If we are not watching closely, He may suddenly take a path unseen by us and we miss the turn. Getting back to His side can often be painstaking in that we have to scramble. I hate that feeling! Even if the circumstances are not rough or painful, I DON’T LIKE being out of sync with Him.

Jesus warns us to stay close. Let’s look:

13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 STAY CLOSE!

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 16:10 STAY CLOSE!

Paul warns us to stay close, as well:

25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

One of my favorite passages is the Ask, Seek, and Knock passage from the Amplified Bible:

Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

Rather than seeing myself as a nuisance, I prefer to see myself as an understudy that is trying to learn everything he can from the Master and to do everything according to the Master’s instructions WITH THE MASTER. Example:

When I help Doc Lewis build a cabinet, I have a rough idea of what is involved (I have helped him before), so I try to anticipate his needs, such as getting the wood out of the pickup, having the nail gun ready to hand, handing him the glue container, etc. Many times, I wait for him to say, “Hold this board like this…” at which time I hold it exactly like he tells me. Over time, I can even anticipate having the next board ready to glue/nail. What I DON’T do is try to tell Randy how to do it according to how I think it needs to be done. Even if the cabinet is for me, HE is the craftsman and I the apprentice. As we work, we have a great camaraderie and I enjoy my time with him. We always turn out a great product!

This example is how I view my walk with Jesus. He is the Master Craftsman in life and I am the apprentice. In Jesus’ day, it was Rabbi and Disciple. In fact, that’s what Jesus calls us:

23 Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

Let’s be good disciples today and walk in step with Him. Spend time in His Word (He IS the Word); acquiesce to His voice and instructions: be diligent as faithful servants and disciples. At the end of the day, we will hear: Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” Matthew 25:21

Abba, I long to hear those words! In fact, they are my main motivation for doing Your will today. I know that I have Your righteousness, but I still want to produce righteousness in my life (James 3:18). I can only do that by staying close to Your side, listening to Your instructions, and doing things exactly as You tell me. I will be listening closely, LORD. Give me something to do even as I enjoy my time with You. Amen.

Proverbs 27 9-27-19

September 27, 2019

Have you ever noticed that our temptation to sin is at a crossroad? Satan knows what he’s doing!

(19) As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.

If we want to know what is really important to a person, just look at his life. His priorities will tell the tale. Each decision we make moves us in one direction or another.

(18) The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit, and whoever protects their master will be honored.

We guard what is important to us. It becomes a priority. Hence, we are known by our deeds just as a tree is known by its fruit (Jesus-Matt. 7:20). We could easily substitute “master” with “boss,” “marriage,” “mind,” etc. We protect what is important to us.

(11) Be wise, my son [child], and bring joy to my heart; then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt [when someone speaks against the LORD, He can use us as trophies of His grace and examples of His goodness and kindness].

This verse is the Lord’s exhortation to us to make Him a priority in our lives. We bring joy to His heart when we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and with all our strength (Mark 12:30). Satan knows this and works to disrupt and destroy our fellowship with the Lord.

Does sacrifice bring joy to God’s heart? Only when it is accompanied by a heart that is broken over sin and is contrite (repentant) about it. Consider these verses:
22 “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. Psalm 51:16-17
6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6 [Jesus quoted this verse twice: Matthew 9:13 and 12:7]
8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

As we can see, God is much more interested in our relationship with Him than He is our sacrifice to Him. When we choose to spend time with the LORD in His Word and in prayer, when we choose to fellowship with other believers, when we give up anything that causes us to worship anything or anyone other than our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ, we have, indeed, made our sacrifice to Him. We don’t get to choose what that sacrifice is; He does that through circumstances. If we are walking with Him, then our choices will be made for us by virtue of where He leads.

Jesus had just made a stunning statement to His wannabe disciples:

“Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” John 6:53

Now, WE KNOW that He was making a metaphoric statement about His flesh being His body, which was the final sacrifice for our sin and was nailed to the cross, and His blood being the final sacrifice for our forgiveness that was poured out on that cross. They just wanted something to eat. So they turned away.

Jesus turned to His twelve disciples and asked them, 66 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Peter answered for all of them and for all of us: 67 Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 68 “We have come to believe that you are the Holy One of God.”

Peter’s answer is why we get up in the morning and meet with the Lord. It’s why we listen to Him constantly and consistently throughout the day. It’s why we desire to be like Him rather than please our momentary desires. It’s why we fight temptation and work to be holy. We drink from His “living water” that He has given us and has become in us “a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:14).” We live for Him because He is worth living for!* May we, indeed, live for Him today.

Abba, I pray that these verses will inspire the readers to seek Your face and Your fellowship. It’s what You desire most. I know that positionally, we are already pleasing to You because we are in Christ. Now, we want to take every advantage of our position in Him by paying close attention to our relationship with Him. May we guard and protect that trust with our lives. I want to be known as a man after Your own heart, even as David was. Make it so, Father God, make it so. Amen.

*Sorry for the bad grammar, Hillary. Emphasis was needed. It should have read, “We live for Him because He is worth for what we are living.” It just didn’t have the “pop” I wanted.