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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And How Then Should We Live? Proverbs 3 and 4

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 3 and 4 spoke to me about how I treat others, who I look up to and how I guard my self from those influences that would hinder my walk with God.

March 3 leads me to Proverbs 3 and verses 27-31 with words to live by; words to guide my actions and attitudes toward my neighbors.  Who is my neighbor? Jesus answered that question.

Proverbs 3:27 “Don’t withhold good from someone entitled to it when you have in hand the power to do it. 28 Don’t tell your neighbor, “Go away! Come another time; I’ll give it to you tomorrow,” when you have it now. 29 Don’t plan harm against your neighbor who lives beside you trustingly. 30 Don’t quarrel with someone for no reason, if he has done you no harm. 31 Don’t envy a man of violence, don’t choose any of his ways; for the perverse is an abomination to Adonai, but he shares his secret counsel with the upright.

Perverse is opposite God’s ways. Quarreling is adverse to peace; generosity is a blessing; sharing when it is needed is righteous.  And…my neighbor is any who have need, any who ask, any who live beside me.

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March 4 blessed me with Proverbs 4 verses 23,24,25,26.

23 Above everything else, guard your heart; for it is the source of life’s consequences. 24 Keep crooked speech out of your mouth, banish deceit from your lips. 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze on what lies in front of you. 26 Level the path for your feet, let your ways be properly prepared;

Heart, mouth, eyes, feet…what I believe, what I allow to have entrance to my inner being, how I use my mouth, eyes and feet, what I allow my mouth to say, my eyes to see, my feet to take me.  All of these feed my heart and being.  I have the ability to deny anything that would be adverse to the will of God to have access to my inner self.  I can choose to walk away, to say no, to not look, not read, not watch anything that would have the potential to lead me away from the way of the Lord God Almighty.

Verse 24 then, says watch what you say and how you say it. Verse 25 supports what Paul says to “look forward to the prize of our high calling.” Christ calls, look to him. Verse 26 tells us to watch where we go, remove hindrances to following Christ, those obstacles to doing His will, and in doing so, level our path forward.

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Psalm 56; timely for today

Psalm 56

Have mercy on me, O God,

For my enemies are hounding me;

All day long they assault and oppress me.

 

Our government leaders, our religious leaders, our neighbors…all stand on both sides of this fence.  Some call for the harassment; some are at the effects of the harassment. Some call for violence; some are at the effect of the resulting violence.  Stand back and listen, read the comments, listen with open ears and read with open eyes.  What does the Lord God Almighty have to say about this?  Do some soul searching…are we truly enlightened?  Then where do we stand in this picture? Do we join in with language that is demeaning or do we answer softly, kindly, gently or not at all?

 

They hound me all the day long;

Truly there are many who fight against me, O Most High.

Whenever I am afraid,

I will put my trust in you.

In God whose word I praise,

In God, I trust and will not be afraid,

For what can flesh do to me?

 

All day long they damage my cause;

Their only thought is to do me evil.

 

They band together; they lie in wait;

They spy upon my footsteps;

Because they seek my life.

 

Shall they escape despite their wickedness?

O God, in your anger, cast down the peoples.

 

You have noted my lamentation;

Put my tears into your bottle;

Are they not recorded in your book?

 

Whenever I call upon you, my enemies will be put to flight;

This I know, for God is on my side.

 

In God the Lord, whose word I praise,

In God I trust and will not be afraid,

For what can mortals do to me?

 

I am bound by the vow I made to you, O God;

I will present to you thank offerings.

 

For you have rescued my soul from death, and my feet from stumbling,

That I may walk before God in the light of the living. Amen

 

What is your position? Where are your eyes and ears looking and listening?  Where is your understanding?  Are you in the light or functioning in the dark?  What is your fruit?  Is it encouraging and building or tearing down and hurtful?  It is time to turn the tide of evil in the land; one at a time.  Relying on the Lord God for truth, strength and wisdom.  By your love they will know you.  That is the love of God and neighbor.  Not love as our society sees it today.  It is time to do some soul searching and praying in the Father’s will and wisdom.

“Live like children of light…”

 

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

From Ephesians:

8For you used to be darkness; but now, united with the Lord, you are light. Live like children of light, 9for the fruit of the light is in every kind of goodness, rightness and truth — 10try to determine what will please the Lord. 11Have nothing to do with the deeds produced by darkness, but instead expose them, 12for it is shameful even to speak of the things these people do in secret. 13But everything exposed to the light is revealed clearly for what it is, 14since anything revealed is a light. This is why it says,

“Get up, sleeper! Arise from the dead,

and the Messiah will shine on you!”

15Therefore, pay careful attention to how you conduct your life — live wisely, not unwisely. 16Use your time well, for these are evil days. 17So don’t be foolish, but try to understand what the will of the Lord is.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/eph.5>

Children of darkness, now children of light, have characteristics that define them.  One, they are united with Christ, so they are filled up with Him; in their words getting up and going down He is seen.  They live differently than before. They seek to please the Lord.  This is so different from seeking an experience.  Children of darkness seek experience through alcohol, drugs, sensual activities; not any different from the worshipers of idols in ancient days.  Seeking after experience for the feel good is missing the mark.  Two, children of light seek the Giver who  brings an experience; the experience doesn’t have to be sought after.  Seeking experiences leads to experience that is self-driven, contrived, and the same elements are used that are used by the agents of darkness.  Lights, music, loud; overwhelming the senses; working the crowd…the agents bombard the worshiper, whipping them into a release then leaving them spent; wrung out like a wet rag.

Rather than making the experience king; get to know the Giver of the experience.  This is a subtle image of what worshiping the creation rather than the Creator looks like.  Worshiping the creating of experiential events rather than the Lord of all gives false euphoria that vanishes in the wind.  It isn’t soul food; it’s whipped cream.

“Pay careful attention to how you conduct your life.”  Begin to willfully come into agreement with Jesus and become a giver not a getter.  “Use your time well; live wisely not unwisely.” Don’t be foolish; whipped cream is good but lacks in health giving nutrients.  It is a treat not a meal.  “Try to understand what the will of the Lord is.”  This requires meat that is found in Scripture.  The how-to’s and elements of a strong foundation are found here allowing one to begin to know the Giver and better able to identify genuine and counterfeit.  Become givers; of time spent alone, without distractions in Scripture, getting to know Him,  time spent with teachers of the Word who have spent time studying its precepts, and  become givers of love shown in actions and words towards others.  Become givers of self and self-will to God and His will.

Pray – I want to know You, really know who You are and what You do.  I enjoy whipped cream experience but I realize I need meat and vegetables to live the life of light.

Repent – My Father, please help me to be on my guard; stand firm in the faith; be a person of courage; be strong and do everything in love.  I repent for seeking after illusions of you at the expense of my time spent communing with You.

Ask – Lord, the Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. (1 Timothy 4:1)  Please, Heavenly Father, help me to stand firm in the faith and not be deceived in a time of growing deception.

Yes – Yes, keep this book of God’s law on your lips, and meditate on it day and night, so that you will take care to act according to everything written in it.  Then your undertakings will prosper, and you will succeed. ( Joshua 1:8) I will keep Your Word in my heart and on my lips.  I will not be discouraged by the evil around me, rather my focus will remain on what You do, who You are and therefore who I am in You and what I can do through You.

Sources: Ephesians, 1 Timothy, Joshua and Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore

Oneness…the Power of One

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

From Ephesians:

Therefore, I, the prisoner united with the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you’ve been called

Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, and making every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit gives through the binding power of shalom.  There is one body and one Spirit, just as when you were called you were called to one hope.  And there is one Lord, one trust, one immersion, and one God, the Father of all, who rules over all, works through all and is in all.

One is powerful; one implies unity and strength.  One is constant; one is pure. Look at all the facets oneness possesses.

One has no division; one works together, may be many but having one purpose.  The cord composed of three or more strands is still one; it is combined to give strength.

Christ brought the peace of oneness.  One call, one hope, one Lord, one body, one Spirit, one trust, one immersion, one God all give purpose and strength.  All is the result of one love; the love of the Father for the creation, so lost, and their love in return.  The same love sent Christ and provided his peace for all.

Pray – We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord and Your banner over us is love.

Repent – I repent for those times I am so focused on me I forget I am part of something much greater.

Ask – Keep my focus on our oneness in You

Yes – O how good, how pleasant it is for brothers and sisters to live together in harmony.

Perfect needs Practice…

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
Practicing the doing of the Word.

“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

Practicing the peace(shoes), the righteousness (breastplate), the salvation (helmet), the faith (shield), the truth (belt), the scripture (sword), praying (the activator) is work.  When we speak of salvation it is a gift, not of works, lest anyone should boast; we are not saying there is no work.  A misconception that is commonly heard.  What is said is simply the truth that we cannot work to attain salvation; but salvation, the gift, comes with a set of instructions so that it may be complete.  We do the instructions; following them requires practice.  Even in this, God is the enabler, we are not abandoned to a task impossible…

So what does this practice look like?  When one decides to learn a new skill, one first researches it; studies it; asks for a ‘master’ of the skill to help.  Then one begins to practice that skill.  Simply wanting the skill does not make one skilled at it.  The celebrities of the world did not go out onto a rink, onto a court, onto a stage and begin their ‘game’ untaught and unpracticed.

How does one practice a skill of the Christ-like lifestyle?  Not by following a set of restrictions, but by being freed up from fear to continue the practice.  Freedom from fear of failure, fear of inability, fear of inadequacy allows confidence in who one is, the identity in Christ, and what tools are available to use in the quest for an overcoming life full of the blessing found listed in Ephesians.   Who one is in Christ and what is available to the believer is found clearly defined in Ephesians 1-3.

Begin with study.  We have a study guide full of encouragement and advice directly from  God!  Follow with coaching from one already skilled.  We have teachers of the Word and those walking in faith as well as fellow students at different levels of ability.  Pray, asking for that promised enabling that comes from God, keeping the focus on “the ball”, “the light,”  the Lord, not on the circumstances.

In conflict, follow Psalm 62: My soul, waits in silence for God alone; my salvation (from the conflict) comes from Him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation (not any other source; money, job, etc.) my stronghold; I won’t be greatly moved.  ( emotions are recognized but don’t rule my actions).  I sit, listen, wait.  I’m gathering information about the other person, about the nature of the conflict, and I’m hearing the voice of the spirit in the Word I’ve already placed in my heart and mind.  I speak only when given prodding to speak by the spirit, not by the emotion.  This is practicing peace(shoes).  Dug in and standing firm, unmoved by emotion or fear.  It is practicing truth(belt), it is practicing the Word in action ( sword and shield).  Activate it all by praying the scripture in the heart and mind; ready for use in deflecting accusations.

Pray – My soul waits in silence for God alone; my salvation comes from him.  He alone is my rock and salvation, my stronghold; I won’t be greatly moved.  Putting on the helmet of salvation and the shoes of peace.

Repent – I repent for those times I have placed my efforts before your instructions came; Moving out in my own strength without waiting for your commands, without seeking Your commands.

Ask- My soul, wait in silence for God alone, because my hope comes from Him.  He alone is my rock and salvation, my stronghold; I won’t be moved.  O God, You are my God, I will seek you eagerly.  My heart thirsts for You, my body longs for You…, my lips will  worship You.

Yes – Yes, I will bless you as long as I live.

Sources: Psalm 62,63; Ephesians 1, 4, 6

Fear equals respect…

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

Proverbs 16:6-

Grace and truth atone for iniquity, and people turn from evil through fear of Adonai.  When a man’s ways please Adonai, he makes even the man’s enemies be at peace with him.  Better a little with righteousness than a huge income with injustice.  A person may plan his path, but Adonai directs his steps.

 

Fear of Adonai equates with respect.  Respect that stems from understanding who he is and what he does.  Yes, Jesus smiles but he had a face of flint toward those who practiced pride, arrogance, judgment, and oppression toward others.  We look at one aspect of God and, like children, forget the whole, making the one aspect the whole.  There is a gross lack of respect following on the tails of a smiling, gracious God that is evidenced in the actions of some.  It is notable that ‘go and  sin no more’ followed ‘neither do I condemn thee.’  Truth will demand respect as grace opens up love…

 

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie