Proverbs 9 2-9-19

February 9, 2019

We have a constant invitation: Wisdom or Folly. Which shall we choose? One leads to reward; the other, suffering.

4 “Let all who are simple come in here!” she (wisdom] says to those who lack judgment [have no spiritual sense]. 5 “Come, eat my food [I have prepared] and drink the wine I have mixed. Pr 9:4-5

16 “Let all who are simple come in here!” she [Folly] says to those who lack judgment [have no spiritual sense]. 17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” Pr 9:16-17

Three things come to mind:

  1. The invitation is general in nature, but specific to each of us. The common factor is our lack of spiritual sense. Jesus said it like this, “Blessed are the poor in spirit [knowing we are bankrupt in spiritual discernment] for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Mt. 5:3 Knowing who to trust is vital. We MUST trust the LORD.
  2. The food and drink of Wisdom has been prepared. God has given us all we need in the form of His Spirit within us and His written words. Folly, on the other hand, serves stolen water and forbidden food. There’s a certain thrill at Folly’s table. Beware!
  3. The outcome of each is given in the following verses of each:

Wisdom: 6 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding. Pr 9:6

This understanding is explained in verse 10 as our relationship with the LORD:

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and [experiential] knowledge of the Holy One [knowing Him] is understanding. Pr 9:10

Folly: 18 But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of the grave. Pr 9:18

Folly leads to death. What IS Folly?

  1. the state or quality of being foolish; lack of understanding or sense.
  2. Absurdity.
  3. a costly and foolish undertaking; unwise investment or expenditure.

As we can see, it should not be our first choice. Yet, many do just for the thrill and/or to exercise their right go free will. It is sad. They destroy themselves through sin when Jesus came, died and rose again so that they could have abundant (overflowing) life.

Let’s be wise today and choose LIFE by choosing to walk in wisdom.

Proverbs 8 2-8-19

February 8, 2019

Being open to the Spirit is imperative. When we close our minds to His voice, we restrict the Spirit like a tournequet.

12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. Pr 8:12

Jesus is the ONLY ONE who has all wisdom. He IS wisdom (1 Cor. 1:24). We, on the other hand, have a limited perspective, and most likely a distorted perspective (or, at least, colored). The problem is we are subjective: we are in the middle of life, the battlefield, the arena, so to speak. We can’t see the forest (the overall picture) because are in and among the trees.

  • Jesus is aware of our predicament. In fact, He has set in place the perfect remedy: Himself! He made it so He could come and live in us to help guide us along life’s difficult path. We will always come out saved, but not unscathed. We will have:
  • scars from old battles,
  • wounds from new battles,
  • “amputations” (parts of us that we have had to cut off for the sake of our relationship with Him-see Mt. 18:8-9),
  • and memories that will only be healed in eternity.

Let’s take seriously the last few verses of this chapter:

32 “Now then, my sons, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. 33 Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. 34 Blessed is the man [person] who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. 35 For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD. 36 But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love [court] death.” Pr 8:32-36

Kneeling Warrior

Proverbs 7 2-7-19

February 7, 2019

The Great Society Seduction

Effective change is most successful if taken in degrees. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus!

21 With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. Pr 7:21

The difference throughout history between societies is their view on human life. The Jewish God, YAHWEH, places all mankind on equal footing. He even charges His other creations to take care of those that are in a weaker position, which includes physical abilities, mental capabilities, and even daily needs. But, when a nation tries to governize charity, things go south.

After WWI, Socialism (the governance of charity) took off in Germany, and it wasn’t long before another group took the reigns: Hitler and his group of Communists. They believed in socialism, but thought that the masses couldn’t take care of themselves and needed a strong leadership. We know where THAT led: WWII!

In our own lives, we need to live according to God’s design and not listen so much to just logic. The Adulteress persuaded the young man through a very well-presented argument by bringing all her womanly arsenal to bear. Our enemy, the devil, does that to us all the time.

What should we do?

Concerning government, we should learn from history and not repeat it. We should pray and vote. Any more of our involvement is up to how the LORD leads individuals.

4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law resist them. Pr 28:4

Concerning our individual lives, we must seek the Lord’s face and ask for His direction constantly and consistently. In a body, each cell or cell group has a unique job; we in the body of Christ each have a unique job according to His Plan. Let’s get in on His Plan today!

Proverbs 6 2-6-19

February 6, 2019

Our stubbornness is in cahoots with our laziness. We don’t want to change: it takes too much time and energy.

9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— 11 and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man. Pr 6:9-11

We run across this passage again in chapter 24 when Solomon walked by a run-down vineyard. His application was this: If we do not tend to the vineyards in our lives, then our lives will become run-down.

What kinds of vineyards? I’m glad you asked!

  • Work
  • Relationships
  • Our house
  • Our vehicles
  • Our health
  • Our spiritual life

just to name a few. Sure, it takes time and work, but aren’t the things worth having worth working for-and worth working to keep?

Jesus said to count the cost before embarking on a new venture:

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ Lk 14:28-30

We chose to follow Christ. We heard His voice and accepted His invitation. He was pretty clear about the cost:

23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. Lk 9:23-24

Do we want to be good followers? Good friends? Good spouses? Good children/parents? Good neighbors? Then, it’s time to “get a round tuit” and do what He is asking us to do. Daily. Hourly. Consistently.

Wouldn’t it be great if all Christians followed Jesus like He wants us to follow Him? Then we all would experience His love, joy, peace, hope and grace every time we were together! Let’s “Do what we don’t want to now so that we can do what we want later (Dave Ramsey).” How can we enjoy the fruit of our efforts in tending to our vineyards if we don’t put in the effort? Jesus wants us to be successful; being diligent in what He has asked us to do IS SUCCESS.

Note: my dad once asked me to mow the lawn. I told him I would get around to it soon. He handed me a coin which read, “TUIT.” I asked him what it was and He said, “It’s a round tuit. Go mow the lawn.” I did!

Proverbs 5 2-5-19

February 5, 2019

Learning to trust God is tough; our lives are at risk. But, to not trust Him is to shun our Creator! Should He not have a say in our lives?

21 For a man’s ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths. Pr 5:21

Our lives are like open books before the LORD; we can’t hide anything. Does He judge us? In this life, He strives with us to turn to Him for help, comfort, direction, protection, love, acceptance, fulfillment–anything and everything that we, as humans, desire. He KNOWS what Desire does to us.

This chapter is written to young men and is literal. It can also be expanded to include anything that becomes an obsession. If we substitute “unrestrained desire” for the “adulterous woman,” then the chapter becomes relevant to every aspect of our lives. Add to the mix our enemy, the devil, and we have a recipe for potential disaster. How can we beat such odds?

First, we understand the danger of sin: SIN DESTROYS US. Sin is rebellion against God. It is us going rogue. What happens to us?

22 The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. Pr 5:22

Add to that, Satan, who wants to destroy us:

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; Jn 10:10a

and we have a lose/lose situation-unless we listen to God!

Second, we accept that Jesus wants to save us and give us life, a life full of Him and everything that comes with Him:

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. Jn 10:10b

Enough said! These two truths are the reason I get up every morning and have focused, intimate time with Jesus. May you grasp the importance of having your own time with Him.

Proverbs 4 2-4-19

February 4, 2019

We cannot trust our own judgement or intellect. We simply can never know enough! We must trust Jesus sometime…

23 Above all else, guard [keep a watch over] your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Pr 4:23

At first glance, this verse means to keep your heart safe-maybe from falling in love, or something like that. But, coupled with this verse:

9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Je 17:9
I think it can mean something different. Let’s rephrase it:

23 Above all else, guard against your heart, for it is the wellspring of trouble in your life. Pr 4:23

I see our heart as an amplifier of what we are feeling. What we feel has to do with what we think (believe) about a subject or situation. Because of our sin nature, we cannot trust what we see, hear, feel or believe concerning God, His world, His plan, His love, or anything else, for that matter. NOW WE KNOW WHY WE NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT!

The next verse in Jeremiah ought to scare us to death:

10 “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind,
to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” Je 17:10

Aren’t we GLAD that we don’t live according to Old Testament rules, but according to grace?!!! Here is the NT version:

13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. He 4:13

It sounds the same, doesn’t it? But, look at what follows:

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Heb 4:12-16

WOW! Now, THAT’S the difference between the OT and the NT: GRACE!!! Let’s show grace to all those around us today. We will be Just Like Jesus!

Proverbs 3 2-3-19

February 3, 2019

Why do people hate the church, but not Christ? Do we give them a wrong impression of what Christ wants?

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. Pr 3:7

Many people would take this verse to say, “Adhere strictly to what the Bible says and you’ll be okay.” But this mindset allows for too much personal interpretation of the Scriptures and is the reason for so many different churches and denominations. So, how Should we view it?

Let’s take a step back in our reasoning. We have been given the Spirit to “guide us into all truth” and to “remind us of all Jesus’s words.”

13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. Jn 16:13

26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Jn 14:26

Jesus uses His word to teach us all things, but don’t miss the importance of His voice in the pages. HE is the ONE who interprets for us. HE is the ONE who gets to tell us the what and how, the where and when, and maybe why (but probably not).

Jesus gave us one overriding command to love each other even as He loves us.

12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Jn 15:12

Everything is wrapped around this single command. He will make it all work for His glory and for our good. Let’s forget about enforcing our opinion on what God wants and likes, and then step back and allow Him to love through us today.

In my opinion, John 15:17 says, “Do you trust me? Love each other.”

Proverbs 2 2-2-19

February 2, 2019

“Stop right there, there’s a fork in the road!”🎵 It’s a crossroad. We come to Him every time to see which way to go.

1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, Pr 2:1

Do we really believe God? Do we believe that He has our best interests in mind? Do we really believe that Satan exists and that our sin destroys us, and that Jesus came to give us life–pressed down, shaken together and running over?

I think we do. But, do we believe that He speaks to us:

  1. Through prayer-straight to our hearts? We read all the way through the Bible how men and women lifted their hearts to God in prayer AND HE ANSWERED THEM!
  2. Through circumstances? That red light you caught may have changed your destiny…
  3. Through others, both Christians and non-Christians?
  4. Through His revealed Word?

The words, “You’re not worthy,” or, “He’s too busy,” are NOT from God, but from the enemy. Don’t listen to him. Jesus tells us to come to Him (Matt. 11:28-30).

When we find ourselves hiding from (ignoring) God so that we can sin, REPENT! Remember that sin destroys (John 10:10), and God honors our choices. He will help us pick up the pieces of our lives, but why go there? He had SO MUCH in store for us!

Let’s make the Main Thing the Main Thing today and let THE LOVE, PEACE, AND THE WORD OF CHRIST rule in our hearts with JOY.

14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude [and joy] in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of [and with] the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col 3:14-17

Proverbs 1 2-1-19

February 1, 2019

You need Christ! I need Christ! We all need Christ guiding us. Our ways seem right, but, trust me, they are NOT!

2 for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; Pr 1:2

The implication is that we DON’T have wisdom and we DON’T have discipline nor understanding nor insight. We must assume that we are just as Jesus described the church at Laodicea: Spiritually wretched, poor, pitiful, blind and naked:

17 You say, ‘I am rich [in wisdom and knowledge]; I have acquired wealth [both physical and in understanding and insight] and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
– Rev 3:17

Why must we begin each day on our faces before the LORD? Because the old has to die before the new can come.

20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Ga 2:20

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2Co 5:17

15 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. 2Co 5:15

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. Jas 4:10

This mindset of “humility first” is THE BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS. We are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us and strengthens us (Rom. 8:37, Phil. 4:13). Let’s start our day out right by giving ourselves wholly and completely to Him at the START of the day rather than just when we think we need Him.

Note: As you read verses 20-33, see the mocker as refusing to listen and then being mocked by His own self-fulfilling demise. Sin destroys us…

Proverbs 31 1-31-19

January 31, 2019

Our attention must be sure and straight. We can’t afford to be lax even for a moment (or an evening). We are being watched…

4 “It is not for kings, O Lemuel— not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, 5 lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. Pr 31:4-5

To drink, to get high, to carouse, even to spend our time frivolously doing or watching stuff that we shouldn’t do or watch, sets us up for disaster–if not this time, then possibly the next. It’s like walking around the very edge of a pool with friends. Eventually–at least, in my group–someone starts shoving and someone falls in, maybe all fall in–maybe that was the ultimate goal of the one who pushed.

Satan LOOKS for opportunities like that! When we wander away from the protection of God’s umbrella, we are gonna get rained on (or pooped on if there are birds around). Those “fiery darts of Satan” are real!!! Consider:

16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows [fiery darts] of the evil one [Satan] Ep 6:16

8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1Pe 5:8-9

We must remember that Peter’s allusion to lions was very real for many disciples in His day. Our “lions” are much more deceptive in our day. Still, we must not place ourselves in a position or condition that will keep us from being “self-controlled (especially our mouths and thoughts) and alert.”

Besides, we don’t know who is watching us to see if what we preach matches what we teach, if our walk matches our talk. Let’s be very careful in how we live so that all who see us are being directed to Christ. Let’s be Jesus to them!

I take very seriously this passage from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ep 5:15-20

What this passage says to me is that PRAISE is our best weapon against temptation. Let’s USE IT!