Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Chapter a Day - Proverbs 3

Are you looking forward to what the next chapter has in store? I am. Let's jump in to Proverbs 3.

Observations & Highlights
Verses 5 and 6 are often quoted - Trust in the Lord.... In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.
All is crucial, it means everything; nothing is too big or too small to bring to the Lord. In my life, that's been my marriage, raising children, jobs, clothing, shoes, exercise, lost articles, family members, friends, which items to buy at the grocery store - the list never ends. All means everything. What happens when you do this is that you are released from worry and you have an expectation that things will work out even if it seems rough in the interim.

Verses 9 and 10 - Honor the Lord with thy substance....so shall thy barns be filled with plenty......
You won't know this to be true until you take a leap of faith and do it. God has given you what you need to live - life, a job, and material possessions. The very least you can do is always give to him first before anything else through tithes and offerings at your local church. In my life, we've made a commitment to do this through good times and bad, and we have seen blessing that we cannot humanly explain. As you know, I've gone to good churches and bad, regardless of that we've always tithed. We've had illnesses and job loss - we've always tithed and God has blessed. He provides money or food or whatever we need, just when we need it.

Verse 11 - Despise not the chastening of the Lord...whom the Lord loves He chastens....
We discipline our children, how much more our heavenly Father? I've gone through rough times in certain positions where I've had difficult bosses who just seem totally unfair to me. Looking back (and even at some point while going through) I recognize that I needed to learn something - something in my character needed refining so that I could be prepared for what was ahead. It may have been humility, or being wise in dealing with difficult people, or courage (knowing how and when to take a stand).

Verse 30 - Strive not with a person without cause......
Have you met someone that's argumentative and always ready to pick a fight? Perhaps this is you. It's not a good look.

Wisdom brings peace - both internally and externally. It also breeds happiness, pleasantness - people want to be around you, safety and glory - from man and God.
You have to apply what you read in order to reap the benefits; the benefits are huge.

How has this chapter helped you?

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Chapter a Day - Proverbs 2

Proverbs 2 is much easier to read than Chapter 1 and provides sound reasoning for acquiring wisdom.

Observations and Highlights

If you want wisdom badly enough it's available to you (v3-5).

The giver of wisdom is the Lord.

Wisdom from God provides protection, success, discretion, and understanding of what is right, just, and equitable.

Verses 12-22 outline potential situations that wisdom can save you from:
From the ways of wicked men - i.e. hanging with the wrong crowd
From the adulterous women - i.e. men or women who want you to do things you know you shouldn't be doing of a sexual nature (fornication, adultery, etc.)

Are you beginning to see that this wisdom is available to you and that it can place you way ahead of others? You don't have to make the mistakes of youth; you don't have to blindly follow the world's advice, especially when you are prompted to do otherwise. Throughout my life, choosing to go against the grain (though never easy), has saved me from so much heartache. The best part is God rewards faithfulness and has demonstrated the rewards of wisdom in my life.

What about you - are you still searching for God's wisdom?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Chapter A Day - Proverbs 1

Proverbs 1 introduces the book of Proverbs. This first chapters lays out the purpose of Proverbs, states wisdom's foundation, and provides a warning if one does not receive wisdom.

Observations and Highlights
Written primarily by Solomon - considered one of the wisest men.
A wise man will hear and increase learning - we must be willing to seek and accept Godly counsel, even if it's not what we want to hear

The foundation of wisdom is the fear of the Lord (v7).

A fool is not one who is mentally deficient, but one who is arrogant and self sufficient and orders his life as if there was no God.

This first chapter is a bit hard to decipher and capture in an easy to read format. But stick with me, it will become easier as we do this.
What sticks out for you from Chapter 1?