Month of Prayer, Day 2

Oh, Lord, let Your Word change me.  Let it seep into the deepest parts of my heart and my soul and renew and transform me.  Let me receive Your words and treasure Your commands within me, so that I may incline my ear to wisdom.  Help me to seek for Your wisdom and understanding as though I am seeking for hidden treasures, so that I will understand the fear of You and find the knowledge of You.

Help me hide Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.  Help me to cleanse my way by taking heed according to Your Word.  When I seek You, Lord, I will want more of You and will not want to wander from Your commandments.  Oh, Lord, that I would seek You more.  Lord, that I would look for the wisdom You have stored up for me.

Lord, let me hear the wisdom, the knowledge, and the understanding that comes from Your mouth.  Then, Lord I will understand righteousness and justice, and every good path.  Lord, when those things come into my heart, they will preserve and keep me.  Those gifts from You will deliver me from the way of evil and keep me to the paths of righteousness.  With Your Word hidden in my heart, Lord, I will walk in the way of goodness and dwell with You forever.

I love you, Lord, and I long to know You more.  I want to be close to You now and forever.  I want You alone to be my God and my King.  I want You alone to be my Father and my Savior, my Redeemer and my Guide.  Guard me as a shield as I walk on Your paths, Lord, according to Your Word.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

A treasure worth the search

Pr. 2:4:  “If you seek for her [wisdom] as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures…”

Last week my kids were able to spend time playing outside with some cousins their age.  They found some bones in the woods, and suddenly there was a mystery in play.  They began talking about the origin of the bones, desiring to get to the bottom of why the bones were there, and searching for clues.

When we went home later that day, my kids were still talking about the bones.  In fact, they came up with plans for tracking down the secret of the mystery.  They also packed extra supplies to use the next morning when we went back.  No provision was overlooked.  There were magnifying glasses, binoculars, field journals, walking sticks, ropes, flashlights…you name it!

On the way back to see their cousins the next morning, my kids were brimming with excitement as they discussed their plans in depth.  When we arrived, they got right to work.  They spent the next 5 hours setting up traps, walking the property looking for clues, and searching for the answers to the mystery.  At one point I saw them walking around with a bone attached to a rope.  (It would later become the bait for a trap)

None of us adults ever told them that the bones were from a Thanksgiving turkey thrown out earlier that week.  It was much more fun to watch their minds and imaginations at work.

Now bones aren’t much of a treasure to most of us adults, but the concept remains.  Those kids spent a total of 7 hours on those 2 days searching for the hidden answers to the treasure they found.  My kids were exhausted by the time we got back home the second day, heading straight to the couch to lie down for some rest.

This proverb tells us that when we search for wisdom as one searches for hidden treasure, that we will then understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.  I saw illustrated with those kids, that it sure takes some persistence when searching for hidden treasure.  Their thoughts were focused on it, their planning time was consumed with it, and their time searching was spent solely on that purpose.

If we can be as persistent, we will find the treasures that await.  Will we have to answer to every question we’ve ever wondered?  Not just yet.  But we will find the knowledge we need for now, the fear of the One who gives it, and find the peace and satisfaction that can only come from Him.

We will know Who we are living for, and why we do what we do.  We will be more determined than ever to persist in using our lives for Him.  And then, one glorious day, we will be with Him for all eternity!  🙂  Now that’s a treasure worth our time!

Happy hunting!

jamie

 

 

All you need is love

Pr. 2:6:  “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

My mom and I were talking about love yesterday.  Perhaps that is what caused this dream I had last night.

I was in an old school building and there was an evil woman forming in the wall.  I was with a group and as we were waiting for the moment for her to form, I flashed back to the last time she had come.  We had tried to defeat her with battle, but apparently had not won.  She had turned some of our group into animals and although she had gone away for a time, she was now forming again.

A man and I gathered some of our loved ones that had turned to animals and hid in a closet, blocking the door, and preparing to fight again.  As we were waiting, I realized that fighting was not the answer.  The answer was love.

I opened the door, and as the evil one approached, instead of striking out at her, I began speaking love.  We all sat around her, and I reminded her of the good in her.  I told her why she was special.  I spoke lovingly of the things about her that were uniquely created, and about why I loved her.

As I spoke, she was motionless; unable to move in the presence of my love.  Her face began changing and eventually I could tell that she was free.  There was nothing dark or evil about her any longer.  She smiled and everyone cheered.  That’s my last memory of the dream.

As evil takes form in our world, and turns some of our loved ones to ‘animals’, and as we stand in the face of things that seems scary, I believe the same answer holds true.

Do we need to strike out at others?  Is it best that we prove our point?  Do we need to attack people with the Word or our opinions of the Word?  Is aggression towards sinners the answer?  I don’t think so.

I believe the love of God deserves more credit than that.  God is love, and His love for us is so strong that He gave His only Son that we should not perish.  We cannot keep that love for ourselves and offer only condemnation and judgment to those around us who are less than perfect.

Realizing that we are not the ultimate judge, we are here to offer hope, love, compassion, understanding, empathy, and the beauty of the freedoms in Christ.  Loving sinners does not mean you love sin.  It means you are following Jesus’ command to love your neighbor as yourself.

The Beatles weren’t the first ones to let us know that all we need is love.  Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you…by this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:34-35

Let’s trust Him enough to offer that love and leave the rest to Him.

Loving you,

jamie

 

The good path

Pr. 2:9:  “Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path.”

Not all paths are equal.  In order to understand the good paths, we must encounter God.

Saul is an amazing example of this.  He is found in Acts 9 “still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord.”  He had already wreaked havoc of the church, imprisoned men and women, and consented to the stoning of Stephen.  He is now found journeying on a path to Damascus prepared to bind and bring back to Jerusalem any he found that belonged to Christ.

Interesting path.

However, as he journeyed a light suddenly shone around him from heaven and He encountered the Lord.  The Lord pointed Saul to a different path.  Of this man who had persecuted the Lord (vs. 4), the Lord said, “He is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.”

And that is just what Saul (later called Paul) did.  If you follow Paul’s path after his encounter with the Lord, you will find that he preached the name of Jesus Christ far and wide, and trained others to do the same.  In addition, 14 books in the Bible are letters written by Paul.  He is still preaching the name of Jesus Christ today!

Encountering God certainly enabled Paul to understand and keep to a good path.  When we are looking for the good path, we needn’t look any further than the Lord.  As God’s chosen vessels, I wonder what we’ve been chosen to bear?

Amazed,

jamie

Ready for more?

Pr. 2:2:  “So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding.”

To apply ourselves to understanding the Lord, we must start by looking to Him.  How do we do this?  The same way we apply ourselves to anything:  jobs, school work, sports, etc.  We study, we research, we practice.  We open the Word, and if we have trouble knowing where to start or focus, we get books that help us study; or we ask for advice from someone else who studies the Word daily and has a relationship with Christ.  We dig in and we don’t relent.

To incline our ears to wisdom, we pray.  We ask God to open our hearts, minds, and ears to hear His wisdom through His word.  We ask God to speak to us, to grow us, and to reveal new things to us.  We diligently search the scriptures for more.  We find a quiet place, if necessary, where we can be alone with God, and we burrow ourselves in Him and His Word.

There is so much available for us in His Word, and He is happy to share!

Searching for more,

jamie

Who is protecting you?

Pr. 2:8:  “He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints.”

Perhaps it is because I am reading through The Hobbit again, but this verse brings to my mind visions of dragons, trolls, goblins, rangers, and elves.

If you have never read the novels by J. R. R. Tolkien, let me introduce you to a character from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, named Aragorn.  He pledges himself to be the protector of a Hobbit (small man) named Frodo Baggins.  He guarded and looked after Frodo along some very dangerous paths.  Even near the end of the story, when Frodo was far from Aragorn’s reach, Aragorn was basing his decisions on what would help Frodo.

As outstanding and mighty as Aragorn is, his strength and protection can never match that of the Lord and Creator of the Universe.  When we walk uprightly, when we make decisions that keep us on paths of righteousness, God guards and protects us.

The Lord has pledged Himself to His children.  He is not only our Protector, but also our Refuge, our Strength, our Deliverer, our Restorer, our Provider.  He loves us so much that He even offered up His own Son to die for OUR sins.  (not His)  He does not desire that any of His children should perish, so protecting and caring for us, He made a way of grace for us to spend eternity in heaven with Him.

Ps. 94:14 tells us that the Lord will not forsake His inheritance.  He is always with us and always on our side.

Ps. 37:23-24 tells us even more:  “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.”

We may fall while on the path (Frodo was stabbed by a poisoned blade under Aragorn’s watch), but the Lord is ever there to reach down, grab us, and pull us to safety.  He continues to protect and care for us.

Do not fear.  Continue to walk on the path of justice and righteousness.  God is ever by your side, guarding and protecting you until the very end.  He longs for us to be together for eternity.  He will do all He can for His children who desire the same.

Under His protection,

jamie

Speaking of treasuring the Word…

Lyrics:

Verse:
Your love has ravished my heart
And taken me over, taken me over
And all I want is to be
With You forever, with You forever

Chorus 1:
So pull me a little closer
Take me a little deeper
I want to know Your heart
I want to know Your heart
Cause Your love is so much sweeter
Than anything I’ve tasted
I want to know Your heart
I want to know Your heart

Bridge:
Whoa, whoa, how great Your love is for me
Whoa, whoa, how great is Your love
x2

Chorus 2:
Pull me a little closer
Take me a little deeper
I want to know Your heart
I want to know Your heart
Cause Your love is so much stronger
Than anything I’ve faced and
I want to know Your heart
I want to know Your heart