Looking to be honored?

“Exalt her [wisdom], and she will promote you; she will bring you honor, when you embrace her.  She will place on your head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory she will deliver to you.”. Pr. 4:8-9

In a time when it seems that many are seeking honor, promotions, and ‘crowns’, this is an apt verse.

It’s not our fancy clothes, top-of-the-line vehicles, great dance moves, super tolerance of all things socially acceptable, newest gadgets, or anything else you can think of that will bring true honor.  Those things may bring momentary acceptance here on earth, but it will pass.

What lasts is the honor and promotion that are brought to us by wisdom.  When we embrace wisdom, she embraces us back.  Not only that, but she places on our heads an ornament of grace, and delivers to us a crown of glory.

Not only will she give us honor and promotion here on earth, but her gifts are eternal.  A crown of glory is ours.  For eternity.

Sometimes, for that momentary feeling of acceptance, the urge to push her to the side will come.  We must remember that we are striving for an eternal, lasting crown, not that momentary, fake, plastic crown.

Embrace her,

jamie

Advertisements

Month of Prayer, Day 4

Lord, in Pr. 4, I hear the words of a father, pleading for his son to hear and follow his wise commands.  Solomon implores his son to hear him, pay attention, receive his sayings.  He longs to spare his son heartache and the consequences that bad choices bring.  He tells his son not to forget, nor turn away from the words of his mouth.  As parents, we all long for the same.  Having wisdom beyond our children’s years, we long to guide and protect our children.  We want our children to be wise, to be honored, and to keep their eyes on You.  We hope to impart the wisdom behind our rules and instructions, knowing they will lead our children in right paths.

Likewise, Lord, You have given us Your own Word.  You have imparted unto us wise commands.  Ps. 119:17-19 says, “Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your word.  Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.  I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Your commandments from me.”

Just as a young toddler would be considered a stranger on the earth, not yet understanding the dangers, the consequences, or the long-term effects, so we are strangers here on this earth.  Lord, You alone know what today brings.  You are our Father, guiding and protecting us each step of this journey.  Just as we ‘toddle’ behind a young one beginning to walk, You are ever behind us, ready to steady us when we fall.  You have gone before us, clearing the path so that we will not stumble.  You are there guiding us with encouragement, love, and comfort as we find the courage to continue on.

Lord, You are a loving Father, who has given us Your Word, Your instructions on how to live here on this earth.  You are ever with us.  Help us see the wondrous things in Your law, to receive Your words, to pay attention as You lovingly guide and protect us.

Thank You, Lord, for loving me so much that You not only sent Your Son to die in my place, but You gave me Your commandments that I might live abundantly.  Help me, Lord, to heed Your word, as I toddle through my day.  You are gracious and kind.  Your love and attention make me feel safe.

I love you, Lord.

jamie

 

 

Happy birthday, dad!

Pr. 4:1:  “Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, and give attention to know understanding.”

Today is my dad’s birthday.  The most amazing thing about that is that about 14 years ago, doctor’s said he probably wouldn’t live 2 more years.  Yeah, dad!  That stubborn determination sure pays off sometimes, huh?  🙂

I am grateful today that, regardless of what medical science could prove, the Lord had different plans for my father.

I’m thinking of the instruction my father taught me over the years…of the things he wanted me to understand.

He let me dig up worms for our fishing trips when I was a kid.  He wanted me to understand how to be industrious and fearless.

He made me wear a shirt when we were working in our garden when I was six, even though all the guys had theirs off.  He wanted me to understand discretion.

He took time to play Weeble Wobbles with me when I was little.  He wanted me to understand that I was important to him.

He taught me how to drive when it was time, and although I wanted to drive like Dale Earnhardt, he wanted me to understand that safety was pretty important.

He took us to my cousin’s houses, to family events, and on family vacations.  He wanted me to understand how to enjoy life and family, and which investments would last longer than most.

He worked hard at church.  He wanted me to understand that the Lord’s house was worthy of our time and our respect.

In sickness, my dad’s perspective on life shifted a bit.  Little things that used to bother him or get him upset no longer seemed too big of a deal.  He began to appreciate family and the little blessings in life in a way he never had before.

Over and over since then, he has reminded me that there’s no need to get upset about little things in life.  He wants me to understand what’s really important and treat each day as a gift from God.

He texts me almost every morning, proclaiming that “this is the day the Lord has made,” or simply reminding me that it’s a blessing to have another day.  He reminds me every time we speak that he is blessed. He wants me to understand that it’s not possessions, perfect health, status, or any other worldly ideal that makes us blessed.  He wants me to understand that being a child of God is the true blessing.  He wants me to understand that each day we’re alive is one more opportunity to invest in what truly matters.

So, thanks, dad, for the instructions.  See?  I have been paying attention after all.  ha!  And I love you.  ❤

Blessed,

jamie

Get this!

Pr. 4:7:  “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom.  And in all your getting, get understanding.” 

This morning it struck me that we are constantly trying to get something.  Get fit.  Get rich.  Get healthy.  Get well.  Get promoted.  Get an education.  Get a husband.  Get a wife.  Get this.  Get that.

Solomon tells us that the principal thing to get is wisdom.  I like his next sentence best when he says, “in all your getting, get understanding.”  We know from reading the Proverbs that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.  These are the things we need most.

Paul encourages us in Ro. 16:19 to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.  Wisdom of what is truly good is only found in the Lord.

When trying to get wisdom or understanding, what we really need to Get is the Word.  We need to Get into His presence in prayer and submission.  We need to Get alone with Him to hear His Word and His Spirit speak wisdom into our hearts.

Ro. 16:18 reminds us that there are those who do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.  The only way to prevent ourselves from being simple, and allowing ourselves to be lured away from the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ, is to continue to get true wisdom.

Today, we are all encouraged to Get into the Word and God’s presence to find wisdom and understanding.  What God has to offer us is more than enough to help us take care of all the rest.  In fact, one thing we will learn is that all the other things we truly need will be supplied by God, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Getting closer,

jamie

Trying to stay upright

Pr. 4:13:  “Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; keep her, for she is your life.”

Reading this verse today made me laugh.  I instantly saw myself holding onto the wall, trying not to fall.

Yes, I’m clumsy.  4 weeks ago I fractured my shin and have not been able to put any weight on my leg.  It has been interesting, to say the least, to do normal activities while balanced on 1 leg.  I rely heavily on walls, handles, furniture, other people, and my precarious sense of balance to keep me upright.

There have been several times when I have almost fallen.  During those times, I reach out for the nearest thing to keep me from falling and getting hurt.  I have taken firm hold of more than one handle.  I have firmly grasped at the wall more times than I can say in an effort to keep from landing on my face.  (or on my already broken leg)

Literally, I take firm hold of those stable things to save myself from destruction.

We are told in this verse to take firm hold of instruction, for she is our life.  God doesn’t give us rules and instructions because He’s some mean tyrant who wants us to be miserable.  He gives us instructions to save our lives, and to help us lives our lives be a bit less painful.

He says don’t lie because if you lie to your boss, you will be fired.  Also, if you are caught lying some people will never believe you even if you’re speaking the truth.  He says don’t commit adultery because if you do you will rip your family apart.  Your spouse will be devastated and your children’s family will be broken.

He tells us to care for our bodies (His temple) because drugs, alcohol, and gluttonous eating will wreak havoc on our insides and cause terrible damage to our health and our ability to function at our fullest potential.

There are many things that are of eternal significance in His instructions, as well.  Sometimes, while we know them, we kinda brush them off as last resort types of things.  I’m telling you from experience though, when you are falling, you need something firm to grab onto…and Fast!

Good intentions are not enough to keep us from falling and getting hurt.  We need a reason to live.  We need something to make us fight to stay upright.  We need instruction to give us the stability to carry on with our lives…the way God meant us to live them.

We will still get hurt once in a while, but when we are fighting for our life, or the eternal life of someone else, the firm grip we have on those instructions will be the difference between irreparable damage and merciful salvation.

Take firm hold of instruction.  This balancing act of life offers little support, but God is always there stable and faithful to keep us upright.

Relying on His strength,

jamie

For whom are you making preparations?

Pr. 4:3-4:  “When I was my father’s son, tender and the only one in the sight of my mother, he also taught me, and said to me:”

Others can teach and encourage our children.  However, there are some things that only we can do.

David referred to Solomon tender more than once.  When the Lord revealed to David that Solomon would build the temple, he said, “Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all countries.  I will now make preparations for it.”  So David made abundant preparations before his death.

He then called Solomon to him and charged him to build the house for the Lord.  He reminded Solomon of what the Lord had told him, and to keep the law of the Lord.  He reminded him that God would prosper him for being obedient.  David then commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon.

Not only did David charge his son to do what he was called to do, but he made enormous preparations to make it possible for Solomon to do his work.  Before the assembly of all the leaders of Jerusalem, David again said that Solomon was “young and inexperienced.”  He called for all the leaders to contribute to the building of the temple.  He let the leaders know exactly what the Lord had said to him concerning Solomon.

In their presence, he also told Solomon, “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of thoughts.  If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but it you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.  Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it.”

1 Ch. 29:24-25 says, “All the leaders and mighty men obeyed him, and also all the sons of King David submitted themselves to King Solomon.  So the Lord exalted Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed on him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.”

The prayers and preparation of his father, David, set Solomon up for the job to which he was called.  Taking seriously what God spoke over Solomon, David did not just encourage Solomon to fulfill his purpose, he charged him to do it, he made abundant preparations for it, he spoke it to the assembly of all leaders, and he called the leaders to assist his son.  David’s actions spoke more loudly to his son than any words ever could.

We can encourage and speak life, but when we put our money, time, and preparations behind our words, we are making very clear what it is we truly believe.  Others may be able to encourage your children, your family, or your friends, but there are some things that only you can do.  What actions do you need to take today to teach that tender person in your life?

Preparing,

jamie

Don’t take that left

Pr. 4:27:  “Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil.”

This verse is pretty self-explanatory.  The verse before this says to let all your ways be established.  When you establish something, you make it firm, or stable; you give it a solid basis from which it won’t move, or institute something meant to be permanent.

When you establish your life in Christ, you are making a solid, stable place on which you are declaring to stand.   Not to be moved, you are instituting a relationship meant to be permanent.  You are declaring God as the Lord of your life, and saying that your trust in Him and His faithfulness is enough for you to place all your hope.

From that place, we are told not to turn to the right or to the left.  We are told to remain on the solid ground that is Christ.

If there is any evil in our lives, we must remove our foot from it.  If any evil comes to us after we have established ourselves, we must remind ourselves that our relationship with the Lord has been established, never to be undone.  Remembering God’s faithfulness to those who place their trust in Him, we must not turn or be moved.

Satisfaction from evil and sin is a mirage.  Sin always brings shame, guilt, pain, destruction, and death.  God is and always will be more than enough.  Nothing can compare with the pleasures that are at the right hand of our King!  In His presence alone is fullness of joy.  Why leave?

In Him,

jamie