Saturday, November 7, 2015

Proverbs 9:7-9: Hankerin'

“He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, and he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. Proverbs 9:7-9
Wise: to be wise in mind, word or act
Will be still: expressing continuance, persistence
Teach: in spiritual sense, through chastisement
Increase: absolute is increased; added too
Learning: instruction as personal acquirement

Desire. Crave. Hankerin' (hankering). 

There are times when I get a strong hankerin' for a brownie... with nuts! Oh my! I don't eat a lot of sweets or deserts, but every now and then, I can't resist a good brownie. And when that hankerin' gets strong enough, I'll go out hunting for one. 

I should put forth that same hankerin' when it comes to wisdom. The thing about wisdom, is that as much as I like to think I "know it all". I do not. I have much to learn. And if I am applying wisdom, then I'll have a hankerin' to learn more. And when wisdom corrects me, I won't become defensive, rather I'll listen and learn and apply the new knowledge. 

This week I had an opportunity to learn more. The Chariot broke down. Since I've only had The Chariot for about 2 weeks, I don't know all the warning signals or all the details about it. But thankfully, The Chariot told me that something was about to go wrong and I needed to pull over quickly. I heeded the warning and was able to get to a safe area to park. 

I then had to stop and think. What do I do now? First, I asked God for wisdom and guidance. Then I sat quietly for a moment. Call the Dealership. Ok, where's the number. Think. It's on my phone, because they had just call me! Awesome! I was able to get the help needed and The Chariot is now getting fixed. The problem was related to a recall that was to be fixed 2 weeks ago. 

Wisdom. Looking back at this situation, I found I did two things. 1) I relied on past knowledge I had gained when my old car had broken down on me numerous times. 2) I was willing to seek knowledge from those that "knew". 

The hankerin' to accept help, saved me a towing charge and a repair bill. For I was considering having The Chariot towed to a nearby Garage. But since I was willing to listen to the Dealership and wait until they found the answers, I was towed free, and they learned that the problem was related to the recall.

Wisdom isn't trying to interfere with my life, rather wisdom wants to enhance it and provide great opportunities. Gaining wisdom isn't a one time achievement. It's an ongoing process. To have a hankerin' for wisdom, my heart must be permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). 

Do you have a hankerin' for Wisdom? 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Proverbs 9:1-6: Grand Ball—RSVP

Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars; She has slaughtered her meat, she has mixed her wine, she has also furnished her table. She has sent out her maidens, she cries out from the highest places of the city, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding. Proverbs 9:1-6
Simple: open to the instruction of wisdom or folly, open-minded
Lacks: needy, lacking, in want of

Forsake: have nothing to do with
Foolishness: are easily enticed, misled and go back
Way: of moral action and character, of duty
Understanding: the object of knowledge

The Grand Ball is ready! You've been personally invited! Will you attend? RSVP! 

Friday Nights is Pizza and Movie night at The Castle. We enjoy either homemade or delivery and on occasion we opt for BBQ ribs or chicken. And each week we take turns choosing the movie. Last week I chose, "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella". In that movie the Prince is giving a Ball. The Palace staff works hard to make sure the Palace is decorated and there is great food. Everyone goes all out—for it's a Grand Ball. 

Wisdom is offering a Grand Ball. She has prepared the house and the food. Everything is ready and waiting for her guests. She is hosting a Grand Ball! All are invited. 

Yet, how many of us would rather go begging in the streets, or go hungry because of our pride? How many of us would rather watch from outside because we like our foolish and sinful ways? How many of us miss the Grand Ball, because we think our parties will be more fun? 

Wisdom is waiting for your RSVP. How will you respond? When a person's heart is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG), then the RSVP will be YES! And a person can attend and partake in all the joys that Wisdom shares!

Wisdom has prepared a Grand Ball! RSVP? 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Proverbs 8:32-36: The Happiest Place on Earth

“Now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord; But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death.” Proverbs 8:32-36

Blessed: O thy happiness!
Keep: observe, celebrate

Be wise: be or become wise, act wisely
Disdain: neglect

Blessed: how happy!
Watching: of man watching for admission

Obtains: to secure
Favor: acceptance, good will, delight

Sins against me: the one missing me (Wisdom) is one wronging himself
Wrongs: treat violently, both physical and ethical
Hate: enemy, foe, detestable, highly offensive, repugnant, disgusting
Love: beloved like, friend

"The happiest place on earth." That phrase has been linked to a place not far from my home, Disney World. Anytime you go, there are LONG lines of people waiting to enter, get on rides, or take part in any of the other activities. They will wait for hours to ride a 1.5 minute ride or the longest (Hall of Presidents) 22 minutes 48 seconds. 

However, that "happiness" is often very short lived, as you leave one ride and start the wait for another. The hot sun, crowds, and hunger, soon make everyone fussy and irritable. They have forgotten that "fun ride" they just enjoyed a few minutes ago. 

Wisdom on the other hand, provides long lasting happiness. We are to be waiting in anticipation for all that Wisdom has to offer us! That excitement of knowing and learning and yes, even being corrected, so that we can enjoy life to the fullest. 
And not only can we enjoy happiness, we secure delight from God! That is a great reason for happiness! 

The happiest place on earth, isn't an amusement park, rather it is found in anticipation and acceptance of Wisdom. When a heart is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God, the anticipation of getting Wisdom grows stronger. 

The happiest place on earth—the anticipation and acceptance of Wisdom!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Proverbs 8:22-31: Been There, Done That

Read Proverbs 8:22-31 here:

vs. 22
Possessed: created, own, attain
Way: mode of action
Of old: from time of, since

vs. 23
Established: I was installed
Everlasting: long duration, antiquity, futurity

vs. 30
Delight: pleasure, enjoyment
Rejoice: to laugh (in pleasure); by implication, to play, laugh, make merry
Experience: The process or fact of personally observing, encountering, or undergoing something. Philosophy. the totality of the cognitions given by perception; all thatis perceived, understood, and remembered.
To have experience of; meet with; undergo; feel.
I've seen it all. I was there when..... I've been there, done that. I saw what happened when.... I saw first hand..... each can be said of Wisdom. 
Wisdom was with God before the creation of the Earth. Wisdom saw what God created. Wisdom was in the company of God. Wisdom knows and has experience. 

Been there, done that. Know the results. 

When facing an unknown situation, what do we do? Usually search for some knowledge of someone who has been in that situation and knows what happens. 
When we take a trip, we use GPS, or google maps. We want to know how to get to our destination. 
When we are going to a new place, we google it to learn about what it will be like, what to expect. 
When we ...... the list goes on. We want to connect with someone who has been there, done that. 

Exactly what Wisdom is describing in Proverbs 8:22-31. Wisdom was there before God created the Earth. Wisdom saw God create the earth and everything in it. Wisdom has been around since BEFORE the beginning. Wisdom has been there, done that. Wisdom has knowledge and experience of being in the very presence of God. Wisdom has seen what happens when people choose knowledge and obedience to God, AND when people ignore Wisdom. 

When I am facing a situation, I want to discuss it with someone who has been there, done that. And who better to seek knowledge and instruction from—than Wisdom! With a heart permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God, I'll no only want to seek Wisdom, but I'll listen and obey what Wisdom tells me. Wisdom has been there, done that—and that is experience which I want on my side!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Proverbs 8:18-21: Wisdom's Fort Knox

Riches and honor are with me, enduring riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver. I traverse the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice, That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries. Proverbs 8:18-21

Riches: far richer
Honor: splendor, glory, of external condition and circumstances
With: in one's possession or keeping, in his power
Enduring: valuable, advanced, eminent, surpassing
Riches: wealth, sufficiency
Righteousness: prosperity

Fruit: figurative of fruit of actions, i.e. their consequences
Revenue: income, what is produced

Traverse: walk steadfastly, unswervingly
Way: mode of action
Righteousness: as ethically right
Paths: moral action, and character
Justice: pronounce sentence (for or against); to vindicate or punish

Inherit: give as a possession
Fill: be full of, have wholly
Treasuries: a depository, armory, storehouse

Fort Knox Bullion Depository
Have you ever read some of the facts about the Fort Knox Vault? The vault door weighs more than 20 tons! Wow! Since Fort Knox is filled with gold, it has very high levels of security in place. 

Once again Proverbs explains that wisdom is far more valuable than the finest and purest gold. As of 5:47 am ET on Nov 3, 3015 the value for ONE OUNCE of 24K ranges from $1129.5 - $1138.8. That is just ONE OUNCE of pure gold. 

Think of the value of gold in Fort Knox. Then try to comprehend the value of wisdom, which is even greater. It's incomprehensible. Yet, even with the value of wisdom and how easily we can get wisdom, we still continue to ignore it. 

We have the "ultimate Fort Knox of Knowledge" at our disposal. We have the combination to the vault. It's available to us 24/7. But sadly, we'd rather search elsewhere and be content in our foolishness. 

If someone gave us access to Fort Knox and said, "Help yourself. Don't worry about taking it all, because we'll refill it. It will never be empty." Once someone picked us up off the floor, from fainting, we'd be in awe. But that is EXACTLY what WISDOM says. And instead of being in awe and enjoying all the wisdom wants to give us, we simply say, "No, thanks. I'll do it on my own." And we leave Wisdom's Fort Knox empty handed. 

I WANT access to Wisdom's Fort Knox! So, the first thing I must do, is make sure that my heart is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). For that is the combination to gain access to the vault. 

Wisdom's Fort Knox is available. Will you put it to good use? Or ignore it? 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Proverbs 8:15-17: Diligently Searching

By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, all the judges of the earth. I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me. Proverbs 8:15-17
Love: to have affection for , friend
Seek: with longing, long for, with the implication of earnestness, to search for painstaking
Find: Attain, acquire, take hold on, seize 

On what do I spend my time? Each day has 24 hours. We all are given the same time each day—24 hours. 1440 minutes. 86,400 seconds. 

Out of the 25 hours, 1440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds—how much time is spent DILIGENTLY searching for Wisdom? 

Each DAY on AVERAGE we spend .........
  • 7 hours sleeping.
  • 3 hours each day watching TV. 
  • 7.5 hours working. 
  • 40 minutes each day on Facebook. 
  • 17 minutes  exercising.
  • 90 minutes communicating, socializing, talking (face to face).
  • 70 minutes shopping
  • 15 minutes reading books. 
  • 70 minutes eating and drinking.
  • 30 minutes doing housework.
  • 60 minutes involved in a religious or spiritual activity.
Where does searching for wisdom fit in your daily schedule? Do you carve out a few minutes sometime in the middle of checking Facebook? Do you attempt to search for wisdom as you watch TV? Or maybe you just are waiting for wisdom to appear in your dreams. 

Long for. Search for painstakingly. With earnest. Diligently. 
If you knew that 1 million dollars was in your house somewhere–and you only had to find it—would you sit around all day "liking" random posts on Facebook? Would you sit down in front of the TV for 2 and half hours? I highly doubt it! You'd painstakingly turn your home upside down searching for $1,000,000! With earnest. Diligently. 

Throughout the first 7 chapters of Proverbs, we've read over and over how priceless wisdom is. It's a valued treasure. It's worth more than gold or silver. Yet, we simply sit and idly waste away our days. And then we wonder why we make mistakes. We wonder why we are wandering aimlessly. We wonder why we make foolish decisions. 

Wisdom is a valued treasure which we must put for a diligent effort to find and seize. And the diligent effort begins with a heart that is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Act 9:31 MSG). 

How much time will be spent diligently searching for wisdom today?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Proverbs 8:12-14: Super Hero Wisdom!

I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power. Proverbs 8:12-14
Dwell: abide with

Prudence: discretion
Possess: find out thoroughly; solve riddle
Knowledge: discernment, understanding, wisdom
Discretion: power of devising, discretion

Fear: reverence
Lord: deity, Yahweh

Hate: enemy, foe, repulsive

Evil: ethical wretchedness

Pride: highly exalt
Arrogance: swelling, haughtiness

Behavior: of moral action and character

Counsel: advice, advisement, purpose
Sound judgment: efficient wisdom, abiding success
Insight: understanding, knowledge, meaning—perfectly
Power: might, valour, of warriors, force, mastery

Super Hero Wisdom! 
As I read Proverbs 8:12-14, a Super Hero image came to mind. One with the strength and power to defeat the wickedness. Super Hero Wisdom has the power! 

Super Hero Wisdom is repulsed by evil and has the power to keep others from evil. But Super Hero Wisdom doesn't just have random power—she also has knowledge and advise that guides the power specifically to meet the need. Super Hero Wisdom cannot be separated from her power—she IS knowledge, discernment, and understanding. And because her super power is based on the Fear of the Lord—there is an unending supply of that knowledge and power. Her source is the Eternal Almighty God. 

Super Hero Wisdom—that is someone who I want to know and be along side of me as I face the evil in this world. And when my heart is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG), then Super Hero Wisdom is on duty!