Tuesday, July 22, 2014

God's sense makes sense.

Whoever gets sense loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will discover good. 

Proverbs 19:8


Searching for God's wisdom is a lifestyle. It is a commitment to living in the pursuit of God's revealed truth. And I believe, as this proverbs teaches, that it is the very best thing for me. It goes against my culture. It goes against any selfish way of approaching my wants. It promises unfathomably great reward.


Ultimately, I do want to be known as a man who has lived for what is good and best. I want to have the wisdom of God lead my life. And this will come by making the Word of God my main input. It must rule over all influences in my life so that God's sense makes sense of all else in my life.


Lord,

You wisdom reigns. It is right, and good, and will bless me. Of that I am convinced. I am lost without Your light. So lead me to keep Your understanding in all my ways.

Amen

Monday, July 21, 2014

Strong Tower

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. 

Proverbs 18:10


There is safety

in Your name

as I praise

Your eternal fame


The tower strong

sheltering home

is in the God

Whose Praise I know


From the heights

I look around

at fields of grace

where Your love abounds


Everlasting God

I'm secure in You

set safely there

Your will to do.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

hearts of silver and gold

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the LORD tests hearts. 

Proverbs 17:3


Adversity and difficulty are God's tools to bring the brilliance of the gold and silver out of our lives. He refines us. He knows what it takes to get the very best out of our hearts. And so... "the tested genuineness of your faith -- more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire -- may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:7).


One reason life is hard is so God may be praised. And that is enough. It keeps my life in perspective. I may not know what I will suffer, but thanks to God's Word, the why is not as important. The result is gold in my life for the glory of God.


Real faith is tested. My life is purposed by God and must be refined from time to time. That is the perspective from the flaming crucible. This is the work of God!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

God, death, & hell

Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD; how much more the hearts of the children of man! 

Proverbs 15:11


A wise person considers that God knows even the souls that have died, even those who now are in hell. Sheol (the grave or realm of the dead) and Abaddon (the tormentous destiny of the wicked dead) are places God knows openly. What lies beyond our lives as mystery to us is clearly plain to God. Wisdom perceives and believes, and trusts God in this.


Yet, the point of this proverb is more than that God knows what lies beyond life. The point is God's breadth of understanding of humanity. He knows the dead and the living. He intimately knows each person's heart. He knows me... even my hidden thoughts which no human has ever shared.


It could be argued that death and hell exist because God knows our thoughts. Our hearts often are the deepest evidence of our depravity. But Proverbs invites us to know God's wisdom and be blessed, even as it provides commentary on the results of our wicked ways. There is then a grace given as God knows our hearts. By holding to His Word and trusting God through Christ in believing the gospel, I can be spared the worst consequences of death.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

a worldwide vision for humanity

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. 

Proverbs 14:34


I refuse to confuse the kingdom of God with human politics. I don't for one minute believe that God ONLY wants to bless America. ALL THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH ARE BLESSED IN CHRIST! I have heard verses such as this one misused all my life to insist that America has some special destiny given by God.


The reality is that God wants all people everywhere to repent. Righteousness could exalt China, or North Korea, or Iran, or Venezuela. God wants to bless Cuba! God wants to see Palestinians and Israelis alike live in His righteousness. The goal for all of this is the glory of God in obedience to the gospel! Politics and national boundaries are hindrances to this.


No flags wave over God's wisdom. Not nation can claim exclusivity. God rules all the nations. No one ethnic group or national leader can claim to be the sole recipient of God's blessing. Righteousness exalts God an any people who will trust Him. Sin is the universal enemy of that worldwide vision for humanity. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

walking with the wise

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. 

Proverbs 13:20


Relationships set the tone for your life in many ways. The call to "walk with the wise" is an important one that should be heeded. There are many benefits to choosing the right friends for input into your life.


I want to have wise, God-fearing friends, but I also want to be able to reach those who do not know God. That means that the wise ways of God should help me reach those who need Him. The input that I get from Christian relationships should inform and assist me in reaching those in non-Christian contexts if I am truly "walking with the wise".


When I walk with the wise, I will be wise. When I look to God's Word to inform my relationships, I will invest relational time with other Christians. And in God's wisdom we will help one another live for God's glory.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Neighborly

One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. 

Proverbs 12:26


Neighborliness is a fruit of the gospel. The gospel is about the righteousness of Christ applied in the lives of His followers. That righteousness reaches out to guide others around us and to love them with God's love. That would then mean that Christians care for their neighbors. We must love the people all around us. If we don't, who will?


This simple proverb warns us that fallen, sinfilled people will not have righteous motives in their attempts at neighborliness. Ultimately they may lead others astray. It is the gospel at work in believers that lights up our communities with hope, real care, and meaningful love. Nothing else will do that.


Christians must let the gospel bridge the distance in our neighborhoods. We can see Christ bring people together. We can care because righteousness is our guide. We can serve our community with the love of Christ, starting with the people right next door. If we don't, who will?