Thursday, December 10, 2015

Proverbs 12:16-20 Which story will you be part of?

Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but counselors of peace have joy. Proverbs 12:20
Deceit: sense of deceiving; fraud
Heart: feelings, will, intellect; likewise for the center of anything
Devise: as one who works in, practices, imagines 
Evil: injury, wrong
Counselors: advise; to deliberate or resolve, consult, devise, guide
Peace: friendship, human relations
Joy: glad result, gleeful, pleasure, rejoicing

Recipe for Joy.
Be deliberate, have resolve to be peaceful, to promote peace. 

This time of year we often hear two types of stories: those who devise evil and those who promote peace. 

The first, those who steal packages off doorsteps, those who use stolen credit cards, those who shoplift—all have a heart that is practicing evil. When we hear these stores, we experience sadness, anger and frustration. 

Secondly, those who "pay it forward", help a stranger, give extra, help make Christmas special for someone else. When we hear these stores, we experience joy! 

If you really want joy not only this Christmas season, but year-round, then resolve to share peace and friendship. A heart that is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG), is less apt to spend time practicing evil. 

Which story will you be part of—one of evil or joy? 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Proverbs 12:9-15 Listen. Attentively consider.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise. Proverbs 12:15
Way: moral action and character
Fool: who despises wisdom & discipline
Right: pleasing
Eyes: think best, conceit
Heeds: listen, attentively consider
Counsel: especially in wisdom, advise
Wise: ethically and religiously

Fools follow their own directions and think they are right, but wise people listen intently to advice. Proverbs 12:15 (VOICE)
Stupid people always think they are right. Wise people listen to advice. Proverbs 12:15 (GNT)
A fool thinks he needs no advice, but a wise man listens to others. Proverbs 12:15 (TLB)

Closing your eyes and saying "la, la, la" so that you can't hear—are the actions of a 2-year-old. Sadly, they are also the same actions of a fool—who should know better! 
Stupid people always think they are right. We all know a few of those. But how often do we exhibit that same mentality? How often do we ignore wise advise? How often do we find ourselves in the midst of a mess, simply because we did "my way"? 

My-self. I know best. Looks good to ME!
Often that leads to more trouble than we can even begin to realize. 

Listen. Attentively consider. 
Do you hear me now? Too often we hear wise words, yet we do not LISTEN to them. We do not attentively consider them. Listen! That means to stop talking, stop planning, be quiet and open your hears and mind to what is being said. 
Too often we hear, yet we are too busy planning and making up our minds based on "me, myself, and I" that we don't listen to advice. We simply hear noise and then go on with our foolish ways. 

Listen. Attentively consider. 
Only when we have a desire to learn and accept wisdom, will we be ready to listen and attentively consider advice. That desire arrises from a heart that is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). 

May we each strive harder to Listen—Attentively consider!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Proverbs 12:8 Celebration or Contempt

A man will be commended according to his wisdom, but he who is of a perverse heart will be despised. Proverbs 12:8

Commended: to shine, celebrate
According to: in such proportion
Wisdom: insight, understanding

Perverse: one perverted of mind, commit iniquity, do wickedly, do wrong
Heart: inner man, desire, motive, thoughts, will
Despised: contempt, shamed, disrespect 

It will happen—the question is which will it be—Celebration or Contempt? 

The media often shows the faces of those who commit crimes. Sometimes to help locate the individual, other times to shame them, and other times just because it's news. A local Law Enforcement agency posts a "Wall of Shame" each month of those caught shop lifting. Often I wonder to those people care that they are now known for their perverse action? Do they care about the embarrassment they are to their family? Do they even realize the contempt they've brought to themselves? 

Commended according to his wisdom. 
I'd rather that a picture of me would be cause to celebrate and bring blessing to others. And more importantly, that I'd be a blessing to God as He watches what I do. 

If I want to be cause for celebration, then my heart must be permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. And the more I respect and fear God, the more my heart will want to learn wisdom, and then allow wisdom to impact my heart and life. 

Celebration or Contempt. Which does your picture inspire? 

Patsy Clairmont posted this quote the other day: "When I think of certain people everything in me smiles. I want to be that kind of person for others, don't you?" 

That sums up Proverbs 12:8 pretty well. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Wish Lists

Something to think about as you make your Christmas Wish Lists. 
Delight yourself also in the Lord; and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Delight: make soft, pliable, live or spend in enjoyment; take exquisite delight
Lord: deity Yahweh
Give: grant a request
Desire: desire, petition, request
Heart: seat of the emotions and passions of joy and gladness

When one is willing to be molded to God's will and takes exquisite delight in the Lord God, then the heart's desire will be in line with God's will and wisdom. 
That should put a new perspective on what you put on your Christmas Wish List. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Proverbs 12:3-7 Thoughts regulate — what am I thinking?

A man is not established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous cannot be moved. An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones. The thoughts of the righteous are right, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. The words of the wicked are, “Lie in wait for blood,” but the mouth of the upright will deliver them. The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous will stand. Proverbs 12:3-7

Thoughts: device, plan, purpose 

The thoughts of the righteous are right. (vs. 5)

What am I thinking? What am I planning? What is my purpose and passion? 

Thoughts regulate our actions. 
Thoughts regulate our attitude.
Thoughts regulate our appearance. 

Thoughts. What am I thinking? Who fills my thoughts?
God clearly tells us: 

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

Meditate (think): by reckoning up all the reasons to gather or infer; i. e., a. to consider, take account, weigh, meditate on a thing, with a view to obtaining it

With a view to obtaining it. 
It's not just about thinking random thoughts. It's not about "emptying our minds" of everything. Rather it is about taking account, weighing, thinking on truth, wisdom, pure, honest... God's wisdom! And then as we think, meditate on these things they will then impact our actions, attitude and appearance—as we obtain wisdom! 

Thoughts regulate—because true thinking means obtaining and when  you have something, you then put it to good use! 
Thoughts begin in the heart. If I want my thoughts to be that of a righteous person, my heart must be permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). 

Thoughts regulate — what am I thinking?