Saturday, November 14, 2015

Proverbs 10:6, 7: Personal Memories vs Personal Conflict

Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked. The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot. Proverbs 10:6, 7
Blessings: of men, in recognition of good men
Righteous: just in conduct and character
Violence: rude wickedness of men, their noisy, wild, ruthlessness
Covers: overwhelm
Wicked: one guilty of crime, deserving punishment

Memory: recollection
Blessed: benefit, praise
Name: reputation
Wicked: guilty of sin, against either God or man
Rot: to decay, be cursed

What do you remember? 
Is there a memory that causes you to smile? Or one that makes you break out in laughter?
Is there a memory that causes you shame? Or one that makes you cry? 
Memories evoke emotion. 

Think back to a time you did something wrong. I don't mean you made a mistake. I mean a time that you sinned, disobeyed God. As you think of that moment in time, does your emotion change to shame and sadness? It should, for you sinned against God Almighty. 

Yet, as one listens to wisdom, and acts in accordance to that wisdom, the actions and attitudes create memories of joy and blessing! Memories that make one smile and break out in laughter! The emotion of joy from obeying God Almighty makes one glow! 

What is your reputation? 
Reputation: a publicly recognized name: either for a favorable and publicly recognized for merit, achievement, reliability; OR recognized for disgraceful or dishonest character or conduct.

A reputation lasts long after you are gone. When your name is remembered will it bring smiles or sadness to your family and friends? Will they remember your sinful and dishonesty? Or will they remember how you listened and obeyed God's wisdom? 

Personal memories of joy because of obedience to God. Lasting memories of a life lived in honor of God. 
Personal conflict and sadness because of disobedience to God. A disgraceful and dishonest reputation living on long after you are gone as a testimony of your rebellion against God. 

Personal Memories vs Personal Conflict. In order to create personal memories of joy, one must have a heart that is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG).

Friday, November 13, 2015

Proverbs 10:4, 5: Satisfaction in Laziness

He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a wise son; he who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame. Proverbs 10:4, 5
Slack: negligent, idle hand
Poor: to be destitute -- lack, needy
Diligent: to be alert, to decide
Rich: to accumulate; specifically to grow

Wise: act circumspectly, prudently
Shame:  to be ashamed, to be disappointed

Work ethic. It's lacking in our society today. We used to take pride in doing a job well. Now people want to get nothing for little or no work. And many of those that do work, don't put forth any effort. 

Idle hand. Trouble begins when one has nothing to do. And idle hands lead to laziness and that leads to trouble. 

Diligent isn't just an idea, rather is translates into action. It is a specific choice and that choice then leads to action that leads to riches. 

Do nothing and be rewarded. That seems to be the norm in our world today. However, as we look around, we can see that those that live that philosophy are angry, discontent, and in trouble. Why are those who except everything for nothing so discontented? Because there is nothing to take pride in; there is no satisfaction in laziness. 

What about those that can't work? That truly are disabled. Even those that are disabled or too old still find purpose and meaning by doing what they can. Those that make excuses for doing nothing live in states of depression and frustration. Those that try to do all they can for themselves and others, are encouraged and happy. 

Negligent. Diligent. Two opposites. Satisfaction in laziness. Gratification in industriousness. 
Shame. Riches. Two opposites. Two different results based upon actions and attitude. 

The only way to assure that one does not create a mindset of having a satisfaction in laziness is to have a heart permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). For when we respect and fear God, we want out attitudes and actions to reflect His wisdom. We want to obey Him and put forth the effort in knowing that we are doing a job—and doing it diligently

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Proverbs 10:2, 3: Fully Satisfied—"Full of God"!

Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death. The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish, but He casts away the desire of the wicked. Proverbs 10:2, 3
Treasures: storehouse, food, drink
Wickedness: as violence and crime against civil law
Profit: to be valuable, beneficial
Nothing: no, none
Righteousness: as ethically right
Delivers: escape
Death: place or state, ruin

Famish: be hungry
Casts away: reject, expel
Desire: eagerly coveting (by implication) calamity, iniquity, mischief
Wicked: guilty of sin, against either God or man

The Lord will not allow! And that is a promise from the One who is actually in charge and has the power to put into action anything necessary to accomplish His promise. 

The Lord will not allow! What won't He allow? The righteous soul to famish. What does that mean? 
The righteous, ethically right, those listening to and obeying wisdom. Soul: a breathing creature, being, passion. Famish, be hungry wanting. The person will be fully satisfied—"full of God"—listening to and obeying wisdom! 

Those who are listening to and obeying wisdom will not be left wanting. Does that mean I'll have a million dollars to do with as I please? Only if God knows that you need a million dollars to carry out His will. The thing about listening to and obeying wisdom, is that one's wants and desires change to those of God's. For it's not about just getting stuff, rather it's about living a life that is in accordance or harmony with God and His plan. And it's knowing that God will supply everything necessary to accomplish His will. 

Oh, having a million dollars would be nice! But a million dollars can't buy the peace and contentment that comes from having a heart that is fully satisfied—"full of God". And that fullness begins when a heart is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). 

The Lord will not allow! Choosing wisdom will keep you fully satisfied—"full of God"!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Proverbs 10:1: A Screaming Child

A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the grief of his mother. Proverbs 10:1
Wise: ethically and religiously; of the mind
Glad: cause to rejoice
Foolish: stupid, he hates knowledge, it is his sport to do mischief
Grief: afflict, cause grief, grieve, sorrowful, vex

Attitudes and actions have an effect on others. 
Often we think that we that our attitudes and actions will only effect us personally. Yet, that is not the case. Each action causes a reaction in others. Whether is be parents, friends, neighbors, co-workers, or any others that are in the vicinity—they are either blessed or grieved. 

Really? What I do effects others? 
Yes, really.

Don't believe me? Just think of the last time you were shopping and a little kid started screaming. You immediately bristled. You looked around to see where the parent was and if anyone was taking care of the situation. You began to make judgements as to why the kid was screaming, and what you would do if that was your child. Your posture changed. You became upset and uncomfortable. You started to become angry. You became agitated and grumpy. Am I right? 

The same is true for adults. Our attitudes and actions do effect others. We may not find ourselves in the middle of a store screaming, but we may find ourselves acting foolishly and ignoring God's wisdom. And when we act foolishly, we become that screaming child—and those around us are effected. 

How do we make sure that our attitudes and actions are wise? Start at the beginning—the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. A heart that is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG), will translate into wise attitudes and actions. 

So, are you a screaming child? Or are you acting wisely? 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Proverbs 9:13-19: Compare

A foolish woman is clamorous; she is simple, and knows nothing. For she sits at the door of her house, on a seat by the highest places of the city, To call to those who pass by, who go straight on their way: “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here”; and as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell. Proverbs 11:13-18

Reread Proverbs 9 ( and compare Wisdom and the foolish woman. 

Wisdom works. Proverbs 9:1, 2. 
Foolish woman sits. Proverbs 9:13. 
Wisdom offers food she has prepared. Provers 9:4, 5
Foolish woman gives stolen food. Proverbs 9:17
Wisdom offers instruction, learning, life! Proverbs 9:9-11
Foolish woman offers death. Proverbs 9:18

When you look at the comparison, why would anyone chose to follow the foolish woman? Simply put, wisdom offers a FEAST, the foolish wisdom garbage. Wisdom offers abundance of riches and life; the foolish woman misery and death. 

It's clear to see the difference and when given the choice, we say we'd of course choose wisdom! We want to very best, not the leftovers and misery. BUT, in reality what do we choose? 

The enticement and flattering words of the foolish woman draws us in. We want to see if what she offers is 'really that bad'. It sounds good, looks good, and I can do it in secret so none will know. 
But first off, we know. That secret begins to eat away at us. Ww have to live with the knowledge that we sinned. Secondly, God knows. Nothing done in secret remains secret. The consequences of the sin effect our hearts, mind, and lives. And then soon effects our relationship with those around us. 

Read Proverbs 9 again. Compare what is offered, then consider the choice you will make. And remember it's not a one time choice. It's a daily, 24/7 choice. Choosing wisdom and enjoying the benefits she offers begins with a heart permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). 

Before each action/reaction, thought or word, THINK and evaluate whether you are choosing  wisdom or the foolish woman. If you are hesitant on making your choice, re-read Proverbs 9 and compare what the two have to offer. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Proverbs 9:11, 12: You are only hurting yourself.

For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you. If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you will bear it alone. Proverbs 9:11, 12

Wise: restrain from acting in an evil manner, free from defect by the exercise of skill
Scoff: turn aside; speak indirectly; A primitive root; to make mouths at, i.e. To scoff; hence (from the effort to pronounce a foreign language) to interpret, or intercede -ambassador.

"You are only hurting yourself." 
That fact is true when one ignores wisdom. Choosing to act against wisdom's advice doesn't hurt God in anyway. It doesn't diminish the face that God is God. It doesn't change His standard. Rather, it simply causes you grief and sadness. 

"You are only hurting yourself." 
Then why, when we know the consequences, do we continue to ignore wisdom? Simple. We are not diligent in seeking wisdom. We don't have a heart permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). We think we know better.

"You are only hurting yourself." 
Be wise—free from defect by the exercise of skill. Practice begin wise. Develop "wisdom muscle". The more wisdom muscle one has, the stronger the ability to make the right choices and continue to grow in wisdom! 

The choice is very clear. Develop "wisdom muscle" and continue a life designed by God with His blessings. Or be an ambassador of foolishness as you make a mockery of God's wisdom. If you choose the latter, you are only hurting yourself—for God will remain Almighty God! 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Proverbs 9:10: Start at the Very Beginning

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10
Fear: reverence, piety
Beginning: first principle of; starting place
Wisdom:  ethical and religious; to know
Knowledge: discernment, understanding, wisdom, including obedience
Holy One: divine name
Understand: perceive, give heed to, distinguish, consider with attention

I enjoy Musicals, and one of my favorites is "Sound of Music." When 
Fräulein Maria teaches the von Trapp children to sing, she "starts at the very beginning." 
Let's start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A-B-C
When you sing you begin with do-re-mi
When seeking wisdom, one too must start at the very beginning—and that is fearing God. Why is that beginning of wisdom? 

I used a new kitchen appliance last night—a pie maker. A few days ago, I read the recipes so that I could buy what I needed. When I started making the pies last night, I carefully read the instructions as I assembled the pies. I set the timer and waited. When I opened the lid, I was a bit surprised that the edges of the pies were quite well done. 

I checked the instruction booklet, and found it recommend that I use a different pie crust for the top than the bottom. However, that instruction was listed AFTER the instructions on how to cook the pies. If they had included that bit of information AT THE BEGINNING, it would have been very helpful! The pies were still edible, just the edges were a bit crunchy. 

Start at the beginning. If you really want to learn something new, starting at the very beginning is vital in gathering all the information necessary. Missing a key step can change the outcome. 

Back to our question, "Why is fearing God the beginning of wisdom?" Because He is the source of wisdom. He is the omnipotent, all-knowing One. As the source of wisdom: He is the One who understands the past, present, and future. He is the One who created everything, so He understand it all. He is the One who designed the World and all that is in it.
What better place to seek answers and knowledge than from the One who created us and the World in which we live. 

Start at the very beginning. Wisdom is available. Yet, we can't go it on our own. We need the guidance and understanding that only God can provide. Wisdom is attainable, if we go to the source. Fearing God begins with a heart permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). For when my heart and mindset is focused on fearing and honoring God, then I'll want to listen and obey His wisdom. 

Start at the very beginning, it's a very good place to start. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom!