Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Proverbs 4:1, 2: It's been given.

Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, and give attention to know understanding; For I give you good doctrine: do not forsake my law. Proverbs 4:1, 2

Hear: hear with attention, interest, listen to
Instruction: chastening, correction
Give attention: cause to hearken, give heed, incline, to prick up the ears
Know: absolute have knowledge, be wise
Understanding: the object of knowledge, discernment

Good: (ethical), right, of God
Doctrine: teaching, object, as thing taught
Forsake: fail to follow, obey advice, instruction, wisdom, reproof
Law: direction, instruction

What was the last gift you received? We all enjoy receiving gifts. Some are thoughtful gifts. Some are funny or gag gifts which make us laugh. Some gifts are for special occasions/holidays. Some are spur of the moment, just because gifts. 
No matter the reason for the gift, we take the gift, open it and respond. 

We are give a very precious gift—wisdom, sound solid instruction. How we respond to that gift speaks a lot about us and our desires. If we accept the gift and treasure it, putting it to good use and obey it—our lives will be filled with peaceful refreshment (Proverbs 3:8). 

Accept the gift—it's been given. Yet, only when my heart is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG), will I hear and accept what is given. For when I have a fear and respect for God, I will want to accept His instruction and wisdom and obey the truth. 

It's been given. Will you accept it?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Proverbs 3:31-35: There is a choice to be made.

Do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways; For the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord, but His secret counsel is with the upright. The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the just. Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble. The wise shall inherit glory, but shame shall be the legacy of fools. Proverbs 3:31-35

Envy: a feeling of discontent or covetousness withregard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc.
Oppressor: one who is or promotes violence and wrong
Choose: man's choice
None: all, the whole
Ways: of moral action and character

Perverse: to turn aside, depart, devious, crooked
Abomination: something disgusting; ethical sense to God and His people
Counsel: circle of familiar friends
Upright: straightforward, just, well-pleased, righteous

Wicked: one guilty of crime, deserving punishment
Just: just, righteous, in conduct and character

Scorns: open or unqualified contempt; disdain
Grace: favor, acceptance
Humble: lowly

Wise: ethically and religiously
Inherit: have or get as a possession
Glory: honor, dignity of position
Shame: personal dishonor, disgrace
Legacy: lift up, exalt, promotion
Fools: stupid fellow

There is a choice to be made.
Choose one who is and/or promoted violence. Choose be in the company of the devious and those who are disgusting (to God). Choose to dwell with those who are guilty crime and deserve punishment. Choose those who are contempt. Choose to leave a legacy be known for being a fool. 

There is a choice to be made.
Choose to be among the circle of the just and well-pleased before God. Choose to live in a home filled with righteous conduct and character. Choose to live in humility before God. Choose to be wise ethically and religiously and enjoy the possession of honor. 

There is a choice to be made. And to make the right choice, my heart must be permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). 
What choice will you make today? 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Proverbs 3:27-30: Simple Clear Instructions

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,” when you have it with you. Do not devise evil against your neighbor, for he dwells by you for safety’s sake. Do not strive with a man without cause, if he has done you no harm. Proverbs 3:27-30

These verses give clear instructions on how wisdom is to be put into action. Simple. Concise. And to the point. 

Do good. Don't delay. Be kind. Treat your neighbor well. 

I remember growing up, we all knew our neighbors. We spent time riding bikes, and playing in the neighborhood. We knew how lived in each home and they knew us (so we had to be good since they'd tell our parents, lol)

It's harder to get to know our neighbors today. No one wants to be friendly, because they might be asked to do something. Everyone wants to stay to themselves and "mind their own business". 

Do not withhold good from whom it is due—we all can show kindness to others. Sometimes it's a "Good morning", or a wave. Other times it's helping out in bigger ways—maybe moving a trash can or helping mow, or weed..... the list really is endless. 

We often will help those living on the other side of the World, through a donation (which isn't bad), but there  is no personal connection. Perhaps we all need to take time to meet our neighbors and show some true kindness. 

If my heart is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG), then it should show forth in my actions. Proverbs 3:27-30 list some very specific ways to put wisdom into practice. Do good. Don't delay. Be kind. Treat your neighbor well. Simple clear instructions.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Proverbs 3:23-26: No fear. Confidence. Protection.

Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught. Proverbs 3:23-26

"Then", refers to the keeping of sound wisdom and discretion (Proverbs 2:21). Proverbs 3:23-26 describe the results of wisdom. 

Walk safely: quietness and security
Not stumble: make a fatal mistake; of serious (even fatal) injury

Afraid: be in dread
Sweet: pleasing

Not afraid: FEAR NOT! 
Sudden terror: sudden terror of dread
Trouble: devastation, ruin
Wicked: criminal

Lord: deity Yahweh, the proper name of the God
Confidence: hope
Keep: preserve, protect
Foot: be able to endure, journey
Caught: capture

Walk safely. Sweet sleep. No fear. Confidence. Protection. And it's all the result of finding Wisdom and obeying Wisdom—not just knowing about it, but putting it into practice. And remember the source of true Wisdom is God Himself! 

Walk safely. Sweet sleep. No fear. Confidence. Protection. Each is available to me, and it begins when my heart is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Proverbs 3:21, 22: Looks good on you!

My son, let them not depart from your eyes—keep sound wisdom and discretion; So they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck. Proverbs 3:21, 22
Let them not: expressing a prohibition
Depart: be perverse, contrary
From your eyes: sight, figurative of mental and spiritual faculties
Keep: watch, guard, preserve, to protect, maintain, obey
Sound wisdom: efficient wisdom, abiding success
Discretion: power of devising, intent, purpose

So they will be: become, result
Life: as welfare and happiness, consisting of earthly felicity (state of being happy) combined with spiritual blessedness
To your soul: living being
Grace: favor, elegance
Neck: ornament around the neck

Looks good on you! 
Not only do wisdom and discretion allow you to enjoy life knowing that you are doing what God wants, but they look good on you! The result of keeping wisdom and knowledge in your "awareness zone", will allow you to filter your thoughts and actions through God's wisdom. And as you keep the perversion of truth away, you're appearance will be that of happiness and grace. 

Looks good on you! We've seen people that seem to glow from within—they look beautiful and radiant. That is what wisdom provides—that growing grace. 

Looks good on you! It all begins with the heart. A heart that is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God is where the wisdom flows forth. When the heart is full of respect for God, then there is a strong desire to preserve wisdom and live in obedience to that wisdom.