Archive for the ‘Chapter 30’ Category

Proverbs 30 12-30-19

December 30, 2019

Repetition is the key to memory. We lock God’s Word in our hearts by reading and re-reading passages and lessons.

1 The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh—an inspired utterance.

The sayings of chapter 30 are grouped into passages that are easy to memorize. They, in themselves, are not particularly insightful, but the overall link in each passage is a life lesson. For instance,

15 “There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’:

16 the grave, the barren womb,
    land, which is never satisfied with water,
    and fire, which never says, ‘Enough!’

 

Each of these examples by themselves is not memorable, but taken together, they form a picture that teaches a great truth: This world is not what it was meant to be, but God will restore it one of these days. In the meantime, we are to accept that which we cannot change, understanding that the LORD knows our plight and has great things in store for us in the future when He restores all things.

The same goes for the plan of salvation as we discussed yesterday. If we break it down into memorizable chunks, it might look like this:

There are three things in life for which people look, four things that they desire, and they are unalterable love, solid hope, pure joy, and unshakeable peace.

The thing that every human needs but does not deserve is grace, which is offered freely through Jesus Christ. Grace IS getting what we need instead of what we deserve!

Faith is believing AND ACTING UPON what we have been shown by the Spirit. If HE does not show us, then we can have no faith. But, once He shows us, we have an obligation to act upon what we now know.

IF we believe that:

  1. He is who He said He is, which is the Son of God,
  2. He did what He said He would do, which was to die in our place and then rise again,
  3. He will do what He says He will do, which is to come into our hearts and lives,

He will bring:

  1. His love that overwhelms,
  2. His joy that overflows,
  3. His peace that passes all understanding,
  4. His hope in a new life and an even better life after this one,
  5. and His grace to pardon every sin–past, present and future!

Here’s how:

  1. Address Him.
  2. Let go of the things of this world that are keeping you in bondage; give all you know of yourself to all you know of Him.
  3. Pledge your life to Him from this point forward to live with Him and for Him as lord of your life everyday.
  4. Thank Him for saving you and for coming to live in you.

Reviewing these aspects of salvation and even rewording them for easy delivery will give the Spirit plenty of ammunition when He calls upon us to speak to someone about salvation. We don’t have to worry about what to say, for the Spirit will give us the words to say at the appointed time (Matthew 10:19). It just helps to have them already in our heads!

Let’s make ourselves as available as we can to the Spirit today.

Abba, I want to be available to You today. Help me to orient my thoughts according to Your Word. It’s important. Give me discernment as needed today. Amen.

Proverbs 30 11-30-19

November 30, 2019

I love thinking about my salvation and all it entails. It makes me very grateful and appreciative of what Christ did.

12 those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth;

Salvation is a spiritual matter. If we could think our way into heaven, then there was really no need for Christ to come.

Salvation is a legal matter. If we could work our way into heaven, then there was really no need for Christ to take the blame for our sin.

Salvation is an allegiance matter. If we could talk (words without action) our way into heaven, then there is really no need for Christ to be Lord of our lives.

From the Complete Jewish Bible:

12 This is how it works: it was through one individual that sin entered the world, and through sin, death; and in this way death passed through to the whole human race, inasmuch as everyone sinned.

17 For if, because of the offense of one man, death ruled through that one man; how much more will those receiving the overflowing grace, that is, the gift of being considered righteous, rule in life through the one man Yeshua the Messiah!

Satan talked Adam and Eve into rebelling against God. Through his lies he sparked DESIRE in Eve’s heart (and Adam’s, evidently) with which they were unprepared to deal. I believe that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was for LATER when they had grown in the LORD and walked with him a few thousand years (a while). Who knows? If they had passed this first test, God may have allowed them to eat it right then! We don’t know and we won’t care once we get to heaven…

We all have DESIRE within us. It was awakened that first day in Adam and Eve and we all are cursed because of it. That’s the bad news. The GOOD news is that because Adam was the representative for all mankind, Jesus could be the representative for all mankind, as well! I’m pretty sure that Satan didn’t know this spiritual truth.  1 Corinthians 2:8 says, “None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” Neither did he understand that Jesus intended to be the perfect sacrifice, giving His life in place of our own:

  1. It took a human to be our substitute; sheep and cattle wouldn’t do (they had never sinned).
  2. It took God to be perfect; humans couldn’t be–that’s the whole reason He came!

Verse 17 uses the phrase, overflowing grace, and defines it as “the gift of being considered righteous.” This gift is in one way being offered to everyone, but in another way only offered to a few.

  1. It is offered to everyone in that Christ died for all. Anyone who will trust in His sacrifice and make Him Lord of his life WILL BE SAVED.
  2. It is offered to a few in that only those who have the DESIRE FOR HIM awakened in them will actually turn from their sin and turn to the LORD for salvation.

What criteria does God use to determine in whom He will awaken this desire and thus extend the invitation to be saved? I don’t know. What I DO know is, “The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man; He searches out his inmost being.” Proverbs 20:27. God knows who has the DESIRE within that can be fanned into flame. For that matter, He MAY work at fanning EVERY PERSON’S desire, but many snuff it right back out.

To be clear, Genesis 6:3, which says, “My Spirit will not strive with mankind forever;” is referring to death being the end of any chance of salvation. The idea of us rejecting the Holy Spirit’s call and it being the last one is false–although, if we reject Him too often, we grow callous and set in our ways, thus making it more and more difficult to hear His voice and sense His call. Even so, He does not give up until death. Here’s the rest of the verse: “for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” Then the Great Flood came and they all perished.

As we can see, we have A LOT for which to be thankful. May we express our gratitude to Him today and follow Him closely.

Abba, thank You for so great a salvation! I study it often and ALWAYS find something new, some new nugget of truth that thrills my soul. May I never treat my salvation with contempt or take it for granted. Your blood and sacrifice are too valuable for that. Praise be to You, LORD Jesus, Yeshua Messiah! Amen.

Proverbs 30 10-30-19

October 30, 2019

The world will not always be the way it is. Our lives will not always be the way they are.

21 “Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up: 22 a servant who becomes king, a godless fool who gets plenty to eat, 23 a contemptible woman who gets married, and a servant who displaces her mistress.

“Why do bad things happen to good people?” This question has plagued mankind for millenia. People use it to blame God for all the bad things that happen in life. They presume to sit in judgement of God! Let’s look at the answer according to His Word:

  1. God created mankind in His image, which means that we have reason and choice.
  2. Adam and Eve chose poorly and, consequently, we all do–all mankind does. Why? So that, through one man sin entered, so through one Man the debt of sin could be paid. “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all [who trust in Him] will be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22
  3. Mankind has the choice to do good or to do evil. When evil choices are made, then people suffer the consequences. Why is that God’s fault? THE GREAT RISK that God took by giving mankind the ability to choose was necessary for us to have the ability to choose Him willingly.
  4. God loves us SO MUCH that He came to die on the cross FOR US. He rose again to prove that He IS GOD. Our belief and subsequent faith in this event is what gives us the right to become children of God. “Yet to all who did receive him [and what He did for us], to those who believe in his name, he gives the right to become children of God—John 1:12
  5. This world is dying. WE are dying. Until Jesus comes back and makes things right, we must suffer through. Why does Jesus tarry? “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

So, don’t give up; don’t give in. Our condition is like the two frogs that fell into a container of milk. They paddled and paddled until one frog gave up and “croaked.” The other just kept paddling until he made butter and was able to jump out. Let’s keep on paddling, folks! We just have to keep on walking with Jesus and trusting in His Plan.

Mark Lowry does a spiel on Luke 2:1, which begins, And It Came to Pass . He says that’s how we are to live our lives: With the idea that we shall pass from this life, and therefore should look at everything as transient. We are sojourners on our way to a new country! Aren’t you glad!!!? The Imperials “Keep On Walking”

Dear Jesus, I pray You would come today! At the same time, I see how You are working Your plan to continue to save the Gentiles (more and more Muslims are coming to Christ) and how You are beginning to call the Jews back to Yourself. It’s almost time for Your Return, but not quite. Keep using me in Your Plan, O LORD.  How may I be of service to You today? Let me know, amen.

 

Proverbs 30 9-30-19

September 30, 2019

Honoring the Sabbath has a different meaning for Gentiles, but it doesn’t mean we get to skip taking one.

(1b) “I am weary, God, but I can prevail.”

Agur called out to God in his weariness. We are to do the same. In fact, God designed us to need a day of rest each week. The question is, are we taking it?

God created the heavens and the earth in a literal six days. He then rested on the seventh and proclaimed it as a sabbath, holy unto the Lord (Gen. 2:3). In the Sinai Covenant, He commanded the Israelites to keep the sabbath each week.

‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11

Gentiles have been released from keeping sabbaths (Romans 14:5-6), but it doesn’t change the fact that we humans are wired to need rest every so often. Just as we need sleep everyday, our bodies need a chance to recharge weekly. Most Christians set aside Sunday to rest from work. Well, that doesn’t work for me. I must find time during the week, usually on Friday or Saturday, to rest.

How about you? Do you have a set (more or less) time to rest from work each week? It’s important.

Another point is play. We need to play. Whether it’s a physical game, an activity, or a sport, we need physical activity that is fun. As in all things, we can go overboard with this one. Moderation is the key (see 1 Cor. 6:12).

There is one thing that we need EVERY DAY and that is spiritual nourishment from the Word of God. Taking a “break” from reading our Bibles is like negative fasting. Fasting is designed to do without real food so that we can concentrate on spiritual food. Negative fasting would be the opposite and have the opposite effect. BAD MOVE. Let’s make sure that we are partaking of spiritual food from the table of Christ everyday. It’s why we read Proverbs daily!

Abba, I didn’t get a chance to rest this past weekend. I ask that You give me opportunities to catch up sometime during the next couple of days. Restore my soul, O LORD. Amen.