Think the path is too steep?

Pr. 30:26:  “The rock badgers are a feeble folk, yet they make their homes in the crags.”

The crags are the steep, rugged parts of the rocks on a mountain or hill.  These are not easy to climb or maneuver.  The going is tough and the steps are unpredictable.  There are broken pieces of rock that project out and could cause injury.  Seems like an uncomfortable area to call home.

Sometimes the circumstances in our lives are like the crags.  The path is steep.  Dangerous, broken things cause injury.  We stumble on unsteady footing.

No matter how ‘feeble’ we feel, we can remember the rock badgers.  They were born to survive the crags; and so were we.  In our weakness, God provides strength.  He directs our paths, and guides our steps.  He goes before us and prepares the way.  When we keep our eyes on Him, the crags become maneuverable and we make it home.

Still climbing,

jamie

 

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

Pr. 29:6:  “By transgression an evil man is snared, but the righteous sings and rejoices.”

Well, all I can see in my mind this morning are the Three Little Pigs dancing around with fiddle and flute rejoicing in song after the Big Bad Wolf burned his bottom in the fire.

When we choose to live in a sinful state, we set a trap for ourselves.  The Big Bad Wolf didn’t come after the pigs just 1 time.  He kept coming.  The pigs weren’t too smart the first 2 times, but on the 3rd time, they set a trap.

Perhaps the snare we set for ourselves is a broken relationship.  Perhaps people lose their trust in us.  Maybe it’s a loss of hope or self-control.  Sometimes sin can actually lead to jail, hospitalization, or death.

When we choose not to sin, but to trust that God will meet our needs, then we are able to sing and rejoice in God’s glory and provision.

The pigs danced around singing, “Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf, the Big Bad Wolf, the Big Bad Wolf?  Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?  Tra-la-la-la-laa.”  That’s a catchy little tune.

I have a catchy tune for the righteous to sing today (attached below):  “The Name of the Lord is Great!  The Name of the Lord is Great! The Name of the Lord is Great, and greatly to be praised!”

Sing and rejoice with me today!!

jamie

Choose not to be the kindling

Pr. 26:21:  “As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife.”

My husband has been working on mastering the art of fire making.  He now only technically needs 1 stick to start a fire.  From there we only have to add more wood to turn it into an entire campfire.  If we didn’t douse the fire with water afterwards, it could spread and grow even larger.

Words can be the same.  Sometimes it only takes 1 or 2 words to kindle strife.  That strife then has the potential to grow larger and larger.

As the wood that ignites the fire, we can be contentious, provoking others by arousing and igniting anger and conflict.  Conversely, we can take preventative measures when speaking, possibly even quenching the fires already beginning to catch their lives ablaze, by allowing rivers of living water to flow out of our hearts.

When we believe in Jesus, He fills us with Living Water, and He said those waters will flow from our hearts.  (Luke 7:38)

We certainly have the option of holding that back from others, kindling strife through harshness, unforgiveness, meanness, disdain, indifference, apathy, impatience, intolerance, and blame.            (Sorry, I was on a roll)

Or we could, instead, recognize the thirst in others around us, and choose to pour forth the living water through forgiveness, compassion, empathy, grace, mercy, and understanding.

Remembering that first and foremost, God is love, we can realize that we are all broken and imperfect, and offer His love to those around us.  Those words we speak are either kindling a fire of conflict and strife, or refreshing and encouraging a thirsty soul.

Before speaking, we need to think ahead, and do our part to prevent strife.  Everyone could use a refreshing douse of living water to extinguish the fires and quench their thirsty soul.

Pretty thirsty myself,

jamie

Do you know with certainty?

Pr. 22:20-21:  “Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge?  That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send you.”

How can we know with certainty that the Bible contains words of truth?  We keep reading.  In order to become someone who knows anything with certainty, a little research is required.  Keep reading.

The Lord has given us His pure, proven, living Word, filled with excellent things and counsels of knowledge.  If you’re still unsure, find a book on Christian Apologetics.  Pray about what you’re reading and discovering, and then read the Word some more.  The Holy Spirit will open your eyes and hearts to the truth.

The more you read, the more you will know the truth.  Then you will be able to share that truth as you give an answer for the hope that is within you.

As we enter into a weekend when many take time to rest and relax, I pray that we all make time to spend intentional time in the Word, so that the certainty of the Word of God will fill our hearts and our hope will be secured in the Truth.

Keep reading,

jamie

Carefully feeding your teacher

Pr. 16:23:  “The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips.”

Last time we talked about how filling our hearts with righteous things would help ensure our chances of speaking righteousness over transgression.

Proverb 16:23 reminds us that our hearts actually teach our mouths and add learning to our lips.  The things with which we are filling our hearts are teaching us.  They may be teaching us good and righteous things, but they could also be teaching us harmful/sinful things.

There is a particular music group that I cannot listen to.  I love their music!  Their style is fun, the tunes are catchy, and their voices blend in a harmony that pleases me deep in my soul.  I’m not the only one, either.  They are very popular.  The lyrics; however, are not exactly conducive to my Christian walk.  They sing about things I shouldn’t be thinking about, but I get those catchy songs in my mind and can’t quit singing them throughout the day.

As I sing those lyrics, those thoughts begin to take root within me and I find myself become discontented with my current walk.  I begin to think about the scenarios they create with their music and my flesh reacts to those thoughts.  I also feel my flesh begin to justify the sinful thoughts.  They’re popular songs, afterall.  It’s just the norm, right?

Those singers aren’t awful people, and I’ve certainly heard worse lyrics before.  I know my limits; however, so I in order to keep my heart from teaching my lips to sing those harmful/sinful things, I have to intentionally avoid this music.  (Not always easy.  I actually find myself sometimes craving those tunes.)

If we want to speak righteous things, and we understand our hearts teach our mouths, then it’s logical that we make intentional decisions in our lives.  We must be careful to fill our hearts with righteous things and to avoid those things we know are filling our hearts with harmful/sinful thoughts.

Even if it’s hard and unpopular, we must guard our hearts.  If we do, then we can be sure that the Lord can speak through us.

Carefully choosing,

jamie

 

Righteousness prevents the stings

Pr. 12:13:  “The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous will come through trouble.” 

I’ve been thinking about yellow jackets all day long.  When I read this Proverb this morning, I immediately remembered an incident that happened to me in high school.  One afternoon a group of kids in my youth group jumped on me in the yard of the church and began holding me down and tickling me.  I very much dislike being tickled, and it was torture.  I sincerely begged for them to stop, but they only seemed encouraged and would not relent.

Suddenly a swarm of yellow jackets came out of the ground and began stinging them all.  I was untouched.

This Proverb reminds me of that event.  One can’t help but wonder if perhaps those kids were punished for their actions towards me.  I’m not saying I was perfect and they were horrible human beings, but I was the one being tormented in that moment, and I certainly came through trouble without a single sting. Did they set a trap for themselves?

Our words are a choice that we make.  We can choose to allow transgression to flow forth from our lips, and become ensnared by the trap we’ve set; or we can allow righteousness to prevail, ensuring that we come through trouble.

It certainly isn’t always simple to speak right words, but as Luke 6:45 reminds us, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil.  For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

Ensuring that we are filling our hearts with righteous things will definitely help our chances of speaking righteousness over transgression.  And that will help us come through trouble.

Trying not to get stung,

jamie

The well-established counselor

Pr. 8:22-23:  “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old.  I have been established from everlasting, from the beginning, before there was ever an earth.”

Why do we fight against wisdom?  Why is it that we push wisdom to the back of our minds and makes our own choices?  Why wouldn’t we choose to trust what was possessed and established before there was ever an earth?

The Lord gave us free choice from the very beginning and satan does everything he can to keep us from the Lord.  He makes the choices that conflict against wisdom look so enticing, and look as though they hold the possibility of success.  The only thing we can be assured that those choices hold are things that will help him steal, kill, and destroy in our lives.

Wisdom was possessed by the Lord before His works of old.  It was established from everlasting…before there was ever an earth.

Why wouldn’t we choose wisdom above all else?  When we feel ourselves pushing back against wisdom, we need to remind ourselves that the Lord had wisdom beside Him as a master craftsman when He marked out the foundations of the earth.  She was daily His delight.

That which was possessed at the beginning of God’s way is free to us, crying out to us, and loves those who diligently seek her.  Let’s embrace all wisdom has to offer.

Listening,

jamie