Saturday, December 5, 2015

Proverbs 12:1, 2 Longing to Learn

Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid. A good man obtains favor from the Lord, but a man of wicked intentions He will condemn. Proverbs 12:1, 2
Loves: an appetite 
Instruction: discipline, chastening, correction
Knowledge: discernment, understanding, wisdom
Hates: enemy, detest
Correction: reproof, chiding, chastisement
Stupid: brutish person, foolish, dull-hearted, unreceptive

Good: agreeable; makes the heart glad
Obtains: to secure
Favor: delight, desire, good pleasure
Wicked: lewdness, mischievous device, thought
Condemn: declare wrong, as guilty, in ethical and religious relations

This word, "appetite" is back! (See the post for Proverbs 11:23, Dec 3, 2015.) 

Appetite. I really could go for a good brownie with nuts right now! That sounds so good. However, this verse isn't talking about an appetite for food. Rather, it's talking about instruction and wisdom. 

An appetite for instruction, correction, discernment and understanding? Yes. An appetite, a longing, a desire for learning wisdom. 

We our appetite is strong enough, we will go out of our way to get that meal or treat we are craving. Our appetite for wisdom should be that strong. We should crave wisdom and instruction. We should wake up each day with a longing to learn! 

That longing to learn then will translate into our conduct — and our lives will radiate goodness. And that secures delight with God. Now, doing good and learning wisdom, DO NOT erase sin, nor is that how we get into Heaven. Doing good is not enough to forgive our sins. God is Holy and our sin must be paid for—in full. And doing good is not enough. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for our sins—in full. When you place your trust in Christ and accept Him as Lord an Savior, then and only then will you be able to enter Heaven. (Romans 3:23, Romans 5:8, Romans 6:23, Romans 10:9-10, Romans 10:13)

Doing good and learning wisdom, simply is our way of honoring and respecting God. When God is recognized as LORD—than a longing to learn and live a life agreeable to His will and wisdom is the result. 

Longing to learn begins when a heart is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). 

Am I longing to learn wisdom? Is my conduct a reflection of that appetite? 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Proverbs 11:24-31 The Generous Soul

There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself. The people will curse him who withholds grain, but blessing will be on the head of him who sells it. He who earnestly seeks good finds favor, but trouble will come to him who seeks evil. He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage. He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise. If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner. Proverbs 11:24-31
Getting vs Giving
All too often we focus on getting rather then giving. Our culture has created a mindset of "I need. I want. I deserve." Rather than "How can I help and bless someone else." When we stop and really think for a moment, we don't REALLY NEED the latest and newest item. Our old one works just fine.  Yet, we all too often become self-centered and convince ourselves that we NEED more. 

How do we truly learn how to bless others? 
First we have to realize that blessing others isn't always about "things". Going into debt to buy lots of stuff, it not wise. Blessing others is about sharing what you have and helping others as you are able. 

The generous soul. The one who abundantly blesses. 
In what ways can I bless others?
• Attitude
By having a pleasant and kind attitude, I create an atmosphere of joy and happiness. 
• Abilities
By sharing my abilities and talents with other, I help ease their burdens by supporting them in accomplishing their tasks. 
• Appearance 
Sometimes, just by "showing up", we can encourage someone. It can be just to listen, laugh, pray, or supporting them in a performance. 
• Attentiveness
Paying attention to the needs, emotions, hurts, joy of others and being attentive to how I can help during those times. 
• All about ME—NOT! 
It's not all about ME—or at least it's not supposed to be! First, comes GOD! He is the One who should be directing my daily agenda. Secondly, it's about encouraging those around me—having a generous soul. I have found that when the first and second are in their proper order, I am well taken care of! 

Getting vs Giving
To keep those two in their proper order, my heart must be permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). And when I find myself with that 2-year-old mentality of "MINE, I WANT",  I need to stop and give myself a timeout! 

The generous soul. A goal for which to strive, not just at Christmas time, but year-round.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Proverbs 11:23 What is my appetite?

The desire of the righteous is only good, but the expectation of the wicked is wrath. Proverbs 11:23

Desire: appetite, longing for, wish, longing
Righteous: just in conduct and character
Only: with a restrictive force, emphasizing what follows (good)
Good: pleasant, delightful, delicious, sweet or savory, be pure and clean, cheerful
Expectation: things hoped for, outcome
Wicked: guilty of hostility to God or his people
Wrath: overflowing rage, fury, an outburst of passion—anger

It's Christmas time and we all start making our Wish Lists. What do we really want for Christmas? As we get older, our wishes often change. Instead of wishing for things, we know the importance of being together with family and friends. 

When we have a wish or longing, we try to do whatever we can to make that wish come true. We strive to attain. Desire: an appetite that we want to be satisfied. 

If my heart is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG), then my conduct and character will be righteous restricting my desires and appetites to those that are delightful and cheerful. 
Satisfying good desires and appetites brings about peace, contentment, and joy. 

The outcome of those hostile to God and His wisdom is an outburst of anger. We see it daily on the news—the actions of those who act out on their evil desires not caring if they kill or are killed in the process. Trying to satisfy the wicked desires creates destruction and chaos. 

What is my desire? What is my appetite? How will I satisfy it? 
If I want true peace, contentment and joy than my appetite must be restricted by God's wisdom.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Proverbs 11:22 The "A"s

As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion. Proverbs 11:22
Lacks: showing lack of it, turning aside
Discretion: judgement, discernment, intelligence, understanding

Discretion: the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid revealing private information

ABC's. Actions. Attitude. Appearance. 
Each "A" reveals much about a person. 

ABC's: spoken and written words, including texts, tweets, likes, shares. 
Actions: everyday daily actions whether at home or out.
Attitude: is often reflected in ones body language (facial expressions, etc).
Appearance: what we are wearing and how we conduct ourselves. 

A LOVELY (beautiful, goodly, pleasant) woman who lacks discretion is no better than a pig with a gold ring in its nose. A pig "dressed up" with a gold ring—is still a dirty animal. A woman may look beautiful, but if she makes bad judgements or choices—she reveals her heart.

We know many people whom we wouldn't necessarily say are "beautiful", but they have a genuine beauty about them—literally from inside. Their spirit shines forth and they glorify God in all the "A"s

In order for one to exercise discretion in all the "A"s, it begins when a heart is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). For when a heart recognizes who God is and respects and fears Him — then wisdom and understanding are expressed in all aspects of one's life. 

The "A"s—ABC's, Actions, Attitude, and Appearance — all are effected by wisdom. When wisdom present then godly beauty shines forth. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanks Living—366 Days!

Last year at Church we were encouraged to give a gift to God. In my Bible Study part of Acts 9:31 (MSG) stood out to me: "They were permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God. The Holy Spirit was with them, strengthening them."

For my gift to God for 2015, I wanted my heart to be permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God. I plan to continue to strive toward that throughout the year ahead as well.

But I don't want to "re-gift" to God this year, so I have been praying about what gift can I give God this year?

A friend recently sent me this quote, "Thanksgiving is once a year. Thanks Living is all year long." 

Give thanks with a grateful heart. "Giving thanks always for all things to God." "Be thankful to Him." "With the sacrifice of thanksgiving." "That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Your wondrous works." "May cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God."

"grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God." ( 

Giving thanks to God 366 days (2016 is a Leap Year).... seems like a simple thing, yet if it's so simple, why don't I do it each and every day?
This year, my Gift to God is a Thankful Heart. I want to learn to not only say "Thank you, God!", but I want a heart that is grateful to God and a heart that recognizes His work in my life.

Why am I posting this to my blog? Accountable. Call me out, if you see that I'm not being thankful. Challenge me to remain thankful all 366 days of 2016.

Thanks Living—366 Days!