Category Archives: Proverbs 16

Before you fall…

Pr. 16:18:  “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

One of my funniest “pride” moments was on stage during a play.  There was silence and I was thinking, “Who forgot their line?  Someone needs to be talking right now!”  The next thing I heard was someone speaking my line to me in the form of a question.  Because it turns out that I was the one who forgot their line, I was being rescued from embarrassment and the play was being rescued from silence.  Ha!

I can remember another moment of pride that is not quite so funny.  I received a letter once from a friend during a sinful time in my life.  Since she lived over 8 hours away, she wrote to let me know that she was concerned about the fact that my choices were going against God’s word.  She was concerned for my soul.  What an amazing friend!!  Truly she was living out Gal. 6:1, which says, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any sin, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.”

She was right, of course, but my pride and sin’s grip caused me to become angry as I read that letter.  I remember saying aloud that she needed to mind her own business and I wadded up the letter and threw it in the trash.  Oh, how I wish I would have heeded her words!  Her letter was something only a true friend can write.  It did plant a seed; however, and that was actually when I began feeling and hearing the Lord calling me back to Him.    (Thank you, my beautiful Amie.  I love you, girl!)

King Uzziah is recorded as a good and successful king of Judah.  2 Ch. 26:4 says, “he did what was right in the sight of the Lord.”  From there, we see that as long as Uzziah sought the Lord, God made Him prosper.  God helped him defeat his enemies, become prosperous, and become famous far and wide and gain much loyalty.

2 Ch. 26:16, “But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he sinned against the Lord his God by entering the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.”  The Lord helped King Uzziah to become strong and mighty, but after he became strong, Uzziah’s pride caused him to think he was worthy to enter the temple of the Lord and do the job of priests.

God was very specific with His instructions about the temple, the priests, the altar, etc.  Because of Uzziah’s prideful decision, he was struck with leprosy, isolated, and cut off from the house of the Lord until the day he died.

Pride is an indicator of sin’s grip on our hearts.  We must remember the true source of our strength and provision.  Humbling ourselves before the King of Kings gives Him the opportunity to bless us, keep us, be gracious to us, and to give us true peace.  May God bless you today?

Bending my knee to Him,

jamie

Jesus’ death = your life

Pr. 16:15:  “In the light of the king’s face is life, and his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain.”

Yesterday I heard a story about a soldier whose life was saved by the sacrifice of one of his fellow soldier’s own life.  He said that his days are now lived in light and in honor of that sacrifice.  The point brought up by the lady relaying this story was that it is a concept generally accepted that when someone lays down their life specifically for you, then it is logical for you to want to live your life in a way that honors that sacrifice.

Does that concept sound familiar to you?  Jesus laid down His life for each and everyone one of us.  Our lives have been saved because one man offered Himself up in exchange for us.  Are we living in a way that brings honor to His sacrifice?  Are we trampling on His sacrifice, living as though what He did was of no consequence?

Hearing that soldier say that his life is now lived in honor of the life of the other makes him sound very honorable.  He will be well-respected by almost everyone for making a statement like that, and more so by following through with what he said.  The other soldier’s parents, in particular, will receive much more comfort knowing that their son did not die in vain for someone who was ungrateful, uncaring, or unworthy.

That’s just it, though, isn’t it?  Was he really worthy of the life of their own son?  No.  No one will ever be as cherished in their eyes as their own son.  However, they understand their son’s sacrifice was out of love for his fellow soldier and out of his own desire that his fellow soldier would not die.

Certainly none of us are worthy of the sacrifice of Jesus; however, He counted us worthy out of His overwhelming love for us, and His desire that we live eternally with Him in heaven.  God does not desire than any should perish, so He willingly sacrificed His own Son for our salvation.  Are we living lives of gratitude in light of that sacrifice?  Are we honoring God with our actions, decisions, words, and goals?  Who are we trying to honor?

Isn’t Jesus worthy of our honor, respect, and gratitude?  He offered Himself up specifically for you…for me.  In the light of His face there truly is life…eternal life.  And the blessings that come from His latter rain shine His favor upon us, saving even in these last days.  His salvation is still freely offered to one and all.

If you believe Jesus died for you, live a life that proves it.  Show your gratitude to Him by honoring Him with your life.  Isn’t that the very least we can do for the One who gave His very own life for our own?

Praise Him now!

jamie

Better than treasure

Pr. 16:9:  “Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”

In Hebrews, the faith of Moses is mentioned.  It says how rather than enjoying the privileged life that comes with being the son of Pharaoh, he chose to suffer affliction with the people of God.  “Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.”  Heb. 11:26

God heard the cries of the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt, and remembered His covenant with Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.  He sought Moses to lead His children out of their slavery in Egypt.  Moses was certain God was making a mistake in choosing him; however, God’s strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.  The Lord assured Moses that He would certainly be with him.  And so He was.

Moses chose to be obedient to the God of his fathers.  He spent the last 40 years of his life in the wilderness leading the people of God who were being punished for their disobedience.  At any point, he could have chosen a different life; however, he had seen the faithfulness of I AM.  In the song he sang before he died, he was still declaring the glory of God:

“For I proclaim the name of the Lord:  Ascribe greatness to our God.  He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.”

His last words to the children of Israel were spoken to encourage them to continue to trust in God.  He blessed the tribes of Israel and reminded them of His excellence.  This encouragement was coming from a man who had so humbled himself before the Lord, that the Lord counted him worthy to see His glory.  His face shone as a result.  He saw miracle after miracle, provision after provision, and the unending faithfulness of God.

Moses’s life is a true testimony to this proverb.  Truly his life proves how much better it is to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.  Lord, help us surrender our pride, and our lives to You.  Help us to take you at Your word, humbling ourselves before a faithful and mighty God.

Learning from Moses,

jamie

Need a healing balm?

Pr. 16:24:  “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” 

Friday was my birthday.  I’m like a little kid.  I love my birthday!  I always count down the days and no matter how old I am, I feel the same way each year.

I was surprised this year that when I woke up I felt sad.  I wasn’t sad about my birthday, but because of a situation that has presented itself in my life.  The reality of the situation hit me with great sadness on Friday and I just couldn’t shake it.  I was even teary-eyed….on my birthday!  (the nerve)

Well, I just couldn’t spend my birthday being sad.  It was My day, after all.  So, I turned to God.  I began to pray and I was led to Psalm 37 which had in it the exact words I needed.  The words I found there were the healing balm that I needed to soothe my saddened heart.  I rejoiced in God’s faithfulness and His might.  He reminded me that resting in Him and delighting myself in Him were the only things I needed to do.  He admonished me to remember that He does not forsake His saints.  I am not perfect, but I love the Lord, and I was revived as I read how He takes care of His children.

I was also texting my mom during this time, who gave me another scripture to look up.  Those verses brought back to my attention that God knew me before He formed me and that I was indeed created for a purpose.

The things of this life might look dim or dreary at times.  We may get hurt.  We may be spat upon or reviled.  We may even lose relationships with people with love dearly.  Regardless of what happens in this life, we have a Savior and loving Lord that upholds the righteous in His mighty hand.

God’s Word brings health to our bones.  I was rejuvenated after a time in the Word, prayer, and with the worship songs that came to mind during that time, as well.  The Holy Spirit brought a covering of comfort and peace and I was able to spend the rest of my day rejoicing in my Savior and celebrating my favorite day of the year.  🙂  My soul was once again feeling sweet.  Thank You, Lord!

If you are feeling sad, upset, hopeless, or in any way needing pleasant words to soothe your weary soul, please turn to the Lord.  He is ever faithful.  He will not leave you nor forsake you.  The things on this earth can definitely hurt, but this world is truly not our home.  We have eternal life ahead of us and He created us for a purpose that is much bigger than the things of this world.  He will generously pour out everything we need to fulfill the purpose for which we were created.  Trust in Him to keep His word, for those that wait on Him will inherit the earth.

Praying for you today,

jamie

 

What are your plans?

Pr. 16: 9:  “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”

Have you ever had a plan that you never saw fulfilled?  In my younger days I wanted to join the Peace Corps.  Living in a foreign country with little distractions or possessions, all while helping others seemed like the perfect life to me.  I never saw that plan take place.  At times I have wondered how that experience would have been.

Now, there is nothing wrong with joining the Peace Corps.  Helping others should certainly be a priority in our lives.  Looking back; however, I find that the part I wanted most was the selfish, isolated lifestyle that would allow me to feel a sense of freedom, not being tied down to 1 place or to any 1 person.  I wanted to live like a nomad.  I wanted to help by doing physical labor, but I didn’t want to make connections with people as I went.

I am so thankful the Lord has directed my steps and my plans were never completed.  In my recent years I have been privileged to participate in mission work.  I have even made it to a foreign country where I was able to dig ditches, scrub walls, pick up trash, and learn a little bit about plumbing.  The most fulfilling part of those trips; however, had nothing to do with physical work and certainly didn’t come from being isolated and selfish.  The best part of the mission work I have done has been the connections.  The very thing I planned to leave out of my life is the very thing that makes my life fulfilling.  Working for the Lord offers something that the Peace Corps never could…an eternal reason behind the actions.

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Notice I didn’t attach a picture of the plumbing  🙂

Don’t be afraid to connect.  When we have the Lord, we have so much to offer and there are so many in our world that need Him.  We can’t keep His love and His Word to ourselves.  If we will truly trust in the Lord and in His provision, we can know that God will help us, even with the relationships.  He won’t leave you speechless and uncertain.  He has a word for someone that maybe only you can deliver.  Give your plans over to Him today and let Him direct your steps to the exact place where He needs you.  You will never regret it!

Thankful for my unfulfilled plans and rejoicing in my eternal work!

jamie