So many regrets…Proverbs 5 and 6 what to avoid

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

March 5 means Proverbs 5 to start the day.  Verses 1 and 2 then 9, 10 and 11 spoke to me.  It was humbling and hindsight is always clearer.

1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding; so that you will preserve discretion and your lips keep watch over knowledge. 9 so that you won’t give your vigor to others and your years to someone who is cruel, 10 so strangers won’t be filled with your strength and what you worked for go to a foreign house, 11 then when your flesh and bones have shrunk, at the end of your life, you would moan.

For many at the later years, this speaks true.  There are regrets… a desire and need to buy back the time.. It isn’t just about our walk with one another; its about our walk with God.  Who gets your youth and energy? Wrong choices can mean someone you don’t know gets what you worked so hard for.

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March 6 and Proverbs 6 focused my attention on what is not pleasing to God… Verses 16-19 elaborated on what to avoid.

16 There are six things Adonai hates, seven which he detests: 17 a haughty look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet swift in running to do evil, 19 a false witness who lies with every breath, and him who sows strife among brothers.

  1. haughty look – the eyes
  2. lying tongue – the mouth
  3. hands that shed innocent blood – hands
  4. heart that plots wickedness – heart
  5. feet swift; running to do evil – feet
  6. false witness, lier
  7. one who sows strife

This brings me back to guarding my heart and body, self.  These are actions driven by one who is not following a path to peace or goodwill. They are to be avoided in our daily walk with others and our God.

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A warning…Proverbs 7 and 8

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

March 7 provided me with a warning from Proverbs 7.  Verses 24 through 27 held the warning.  Often used to warn the young of the folly of following those whose intent is to cause them to stray from the spouse and love of their youth and engage in relationships outside the parameters of marriage, it can also speak to those who leave their relationship with God to pursue other gods, other beliefs that are in conflict with His ways, much like Israel did.

24 So now, children, listen to me; pay attention to what I am saying. 25 Don’t let your heart turn to her ways; don’t stray onto her paths. 26 For many are those she has struck down dead, numerous those she has killed. 27 Her house is the way to Sh’ol; it leads down to the halls of death.

Any belief and/ or action that is away from God is the reference to ‘she’. Those who left God to follow other gods, and practice idolatry, were led to “the wages of sin” which is death. This death is a separation from God. Jesus told us that “broad is the way and many there be that follow it to destruction,,,” My take-away is to be sure my love is for God, my actions reflect that love, my words speak his love to others.

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March 8 and Proverbs 8 told me what fear of God is.  This fear is that of awe and wonder, not fear that causes me to be afraid.  Verse 13 explains simply what fear of God is.

13 The fear of Adonai is hatred of evil. I hate pride and arrogance.

When, in the Old Testament writings, we read of the punishment of the children of Israel, it is for their arrogance and pride, the arrogance and pride of their kings and princes.  Arrogance and pride rises up in us so silently and so swiftly without our awareness of it sometimes.

Have we taken offence at something someone said to us?  Pride. Have we boasted of an accomplishment of ours without giving God the credit for enabling us to do so? Arrogance.

God hates these two and verse 13 equates them with evil. if I stand in awe and respect of God, I will avoid the pitfalls of pride and arrogance.

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Proverbs 29 then 1 and 2

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

February 29 allowed me to read Proverbs 29. The verse that stood out for me was 25:

Fearing human beings is a snare; but he who trusts in Adonai will be raised high.

This one is unafraid and their soul is secure; safe from the second death.

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March 1 led me to Proverbs 1 and verse 22 stood out for me.

How long, you whose lives have no purpose, will you love the thoughtless living? How long will scorners find pleasure in mocking? How long will fools hate knowledge?

Lord, have mercy, forgive our thoughtless ways and Holy Spirit help us turn toward God and his ways not away from them.  Thank you, Jesus Christ, for your sacrifice that enables us to be reconciled to God the Father in unity with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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March 2 gave me Proverbs 2 and several verses stood out for me. Verses 6-11 with verse 3 and 4 thrown in for good measure.  Bear with me:

6 For Adonai gives wisdom; from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding-– (3 yes, if you will call for insight and raise your voice for discernment, 4 if you seek it as you would silver and search for it as for hidden treasure–) 7 He stores up common sense for the upright, is a shield to those whose conduct is blameless, 8 in order to guard the courses of justice and preserve the way of those faithful to him. 9 Then you will understand righteousness, justice, fairness and every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, knowledge will be enjoyable for you, 11 discretion will watch over you, and discernment will guard you. 

  1. Wisdom
  2. understanding
  3. knowledge
  4. discretion
  5. discernment

Ask and He will give this to you.

James 1:5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously and without reproach; and it will be given to him.

Lord, I ask for wisdom to gain knowledge of You and understanding to apply to my walk with you.

Is there a need for this in today’s society?  Do we lack in these qualities? What can be done?

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Proverbs 28

 

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Embarking on a year of Proverbs. One chapter a day correlating with the date. I began the 28th of February and the procedure I am following is to read the chapter, then write what stands out for me.  Beginning with Chapter 28 the first verse states

“The wicked flee when no one pursues them; but the righteous, like lions, feel sure of themselves…”

When you do not have a clear conscience you fall victim to paranoia…”paranoia strikes deep.”  A clear conscience allows you to advance with surety, clear vision, unafraid.  Which state allows for freedom, for unhindered progress in anything you do?

Verse 13 states

“He who conceals his sins will not  succeed; he who confesses and abandons them will gain mercy.”

This is a verse/principle for Living Free and Celebrate Recovery participants to live by.  This is a verse/principle for all of us to live by.

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Encouraging or Hindering?

A recent post encouraged the reader to be their own cheerleader. The intent on inquiry was to encourage the reader, lift them up. This sounds good but on closer inspection it is a subtle way of turning the recipient away from the Lord and toward self.  Scripture does not tell us to boast of ourselves. In fact, it states the opposite. Psalm 34:2 I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. We receive the ability to love our neighbors when we become the new creature in Him. Jeremiah 9:24, But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone; that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord.  In Romans 15:18 we read,  Yet I dare not boast about anything except what Christ has done through me.  And finally in 1Corinthians 1:31 it states therefore as the Scriptures say, if you want to boast, boast only about the Lord. We should be careful to always direct each other toward Christ not self. Our present day society has a love affair with self going on. Church, don’t be guilty of joining that mentality. Rather have and seek the mind of Christ.

“That offends me…” thoughts on perceived ‘judgmental’ statements

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Ephesians 4 and Luke 12

 

A very recent experience has highlighted just how much impact the current manner of thinking has had on everyone, believer and unbeliever alike. Any comment or critique is immediately seen as judgmental and that is as a negative view. It has been said that truth in its first form is negative…

Luke 12: He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?

The present society has for so long bought into the raising of self-esteem (the definition of the word is enough to raise caution flags) that any criticism, any correction is seen as judgmental. It is. Scripture is full of instruction to judge. Judging is done every day by everyone. Judgment comes into play when deciding where to buy gas, which fruit to choose, what will be eaten from the menu, what will be worn. Quality is judged in areas of retail, food, housing, friendships…the list goes on.  And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? -Jesus

 

There has been a constant drip, drip, drip, of negativity attached to judgment. If anything is said to an individual that opposes what they hold to, judgment is raised, as in they are being disrespected or hated. All have opinions and some decisions are made based upon those opinions. All have likes and dislikes and all are not in agreement. That does not indicate the suggested companions of judging; hate, dislike, superiority, etc. are implied. If one says they prefer chocolate, those who prefer vanilla or strawberry are not being disrespected or hated. The mentality of every opposing thought being seen as judgmental in the form of passing judgment or sentence upon someone, or of being a statement of hatred or disrespect has gone over the top. It is time to be confident enough in the identity held by an individual that these accusations are not immediately forthcoming from them when faced with conflict or dissenting opinions. It is time to reach for maturity and stability in who one is as Paul states:

We will no longer be infants tossed about by the waves and blown along by every wind of teaching, at the mercy of people clever in devising ways to deceive. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in every respect grow up into him who is the head, the Messiah. …

 

Where there is offense, those receiving the offense, more properly stated accepting offense, should consider what is making the thing offensive. When the individual is strong in their identity with God, in who they are; they can receive instruction, hear opposing points of view and not take offense. They are grown up into maturity in Christ who is the head…His opinion is what should be of concern. If offense is taken, the question why needs to be answered. At times offense is taken when it is the Holy Spirit who is at work correcting something within the individual. Voiced offense in the form of stating that an opinion or stated truth is judgmental is actually judgmental itself and seeks to silence the spoken or written word.

 

sshh that offends me...it's judgmental...

sshh that offends me…it’s judgmental…

 

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Undisciplined children

Parents,

Proverbs 13:18 – [Pro 13:18 KJV] 18 Poverty and shame [shall be to] him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

Children who choose to disregard instruction face shame (correction consequences) and poverty (lack of knowledge and lack of learning) both of which shows in the final assessments (grades). Children who choose to listen and exercise self-control need only to be told once and learn. They too face consequences; honor, for as they are able to listen they learn, they have knowledge and they apply it. In the final assessments (grades) it shows. They are honored in many ways one of which is the honor roll. They are also developing into individuals who will succeed at what they do. It is a choice. When we block the natural consequences, we harm them. We teach them self-control is not important, it will be overlooked time and again and they become adults who if they make any gains make them at the expense of others, for that is what they have learned. Forbearing one another, treating one another with kindness, preferring one another is foreign to them. They have been catered to and believe that is how it should be. What and how are we teaching our children? My experience in the classroom says we are not following scripture. My experience in the classroom says we are spoiling the child. Our natural love gets in the way of what is best for the child. It is hard to discipline a wayward child. They are cute, they are ours, they are masters at manipulation, they persevere till they get what they want,

[Pro 22:15 KJV] 15 Foolishness [is] bound in the heart of a child; [but] the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

That rod can come in many forms. It does not always have to be corporal punishment. It is a rod of correction, it is reproof, it teaches consequences, it follows God’s Word. Time to take a close look at what we are doing to prepare our children for their future.