How Great He Is!

“When He prepared the heavens, I was [wisdom] was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep, when He established the clouds above, when He strengthened the fountains of the deep, when He assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; and I was daily His delight, rejoice always before Him, rejoicing in His inhabited world, and my delight was with the sons of men.”  Pr. 8:27-31

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the works Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

How Great Thou Art, by:  Carl Boberg

Awestruck,

jamie

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God’s clear guidance

Pr. 8:5:  “O you simple ones, understand prudence, and you fools, be of an understanding heart.”

You know what our Bible gives us?  It gives a clear road map we can follow throughout our lives.

No, the Bible doesn’t tell us if we should move to a different town, take that new job, or say no to that new offer.  It does, however, give us very clear examples of the consequences of other people’s choices.  The Bible has an example of every type of sin, with the cause and effect clearly laid out.  The Bible has examples of faith, clearly showing the rewards that accompany it.

Learning from the choices of others is very resourceful.  We can save ourselves a lot of time by simply noting how the decisions of others affect their lives, their families, and their walk with God.

Instead of being simple…walking straight into the wall we just watched someone else walk in to, we can can watch and learn how to be prudent (careful) by taking note and choosing differently.

An understanding heart can clearly see that not only was David’s decision to commit adultery a sin, but it led to even more sins, a blemished relationship with God, and the death of his child.

An understanding heart can see clearly that running from God, as Jonah did, only causes unnecessary troubles in our lives and delays the inevitable.

Heb. 4:11 reminds us, “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.”  The Bible is full of examples from which we can learn.  We just have to read it and trust God enough to fight the urges to make those same mistakes.

We are also given examples of faith that can encourage us that trusting God will not end badly.

An understanding heart can see clearly that Noah’s faith in God caused him to be not only favored by God, but caused his family to be saved from destruction.

An understanding heart can clearly see that Rahab’s faith also caused her family to be saved.

An understanding heart can note the provision that came when Moses’s faith allowed him to stretch out his hand over the Red Sea, believing that God would do what He said He would do.  Provision also came to the widow who made a cake for Elijah with her last flour and oil, believing the Lord’s word that her flour and oil would last for her son and her until the rain came.

Over and over, we can see how faith has produced results and sin has caused harm.  There is so much we can learn in God’s Word.  There is so much guidance for us all.  All we have to do is read, and with our understanding hearts, learn prudence.  Praise God for His Word that gives provision!

Taking note,

jamie

All suggestions are not equal

Pr. 8:14:  “Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength.”

There is a game I sometimes play on my iPad where I have to move pieces around.  If I hesitate, the game will suggest a move for me.  A few weeks ago I saw it lighting up a suggestion for me, but when I looked more carefully I saw a better move.  It reminded me that not all suggestions are in our best interests.  Even those from an expert.

Daily, suggestions are lighting up all around us.  We have to know our own end-game and make our decisions based on our own beliefs, convictions, and knowledge.  God’s word gives us what we need.  If we want our lives to lead to eternal life for us and for others, we must be careful with other suggestions…even from experts.

Wisdom, which was possessed by the Lord at the beginning of His way, cries out to us.  Like the suggestions on the game I play, wisdom lights up and suggests our next move.  Unlike the game; however, which was created by humans, wisdom has counsel from the Creator of the world.  Wisdom IS understanding and has strength.  Wisdom hates the evil way and will lead us on the paths of righteousness and in the midst of the paths of justice.

True wisdom, crying out to us daily, is from the Lord.  Whoever finds the Lord’s wisdom finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord; but he who sins against her wrongs his own soul; all those who hate her love death.  Pr. 14:35-36

When it’s time to make a decision, and suggestions are lighting up all around us, we must take the time to look carefully and find the path that of righteousness that wisdom is suggesting.  Blessed is the man who listens to wisdom.

Considering carefully my path,

jamie

 

Sweeter than honey

Pr. 8:33:  “Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it.”

When is the last time you read Psalm 119?  I encourage you to make time to read it this weekend.  Give yourself 15 or 20 minutes…enough time to not have to rush through it.  It is really quite beautiful and it is very inspiring.

The author of Psalm 119 certainly did not disdain instruction, but embraced and delighted in it.  I pray that this weekend, we would all long for the Word of God the way the writer of Psalm 119 did.  I pray that the Lord would awaken within us a consuming desire for Him and for His Word unlike anything we’ve experienced before.

Lord, like the author of this beautiful Psalm, help us to become devoted to fearing you.  Oh, that our only hiding place would be in You.  As those who have found great treasure, Lord, make us to rejoice in Your word.  Great peace awaits us when our hearts stand in awe of Your Word.  Open our ears, Lord, to truly hear You in Your word; and then let the wisdom saturate us so that we will not just be hearers of the words, Lord, but doers.  Let us be engulfed in Your presence, oh God, and to touch others with the light of Your truth.  All praise and honor and glory be to You, our King and our Lord! 

Happy reading!

jamie

Don’t push your garnish aside

Pr. 8:8:  “All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; nothing crooked or perverse is in them.”

Do you remember when almost every plate of food you were served in a restaurant had a sprig of parsley on the side?  It was not just added to make the plate look pretty and add some color.  After your meal, you could chew on the parsley to freshen up your mouth and aid in digestion.

This verse about wisdom reminds me of that parsley garnish.  There are so many undesirable things that surround us, with which we can fill our mouths.  We can choose to allow rank, sour, and noxious words to pour forth from our mouths, or we can choose to seek the wisdom and will of the Lord and freshen ourselves up.

Wisdom has nothing crooked or perverse in its mouth.  All the words of wisdom are fresh, pure, and excellent.  But remember what Jesus said about what comes out of the mouth…it is what has been stored up in the heart.  You must be intentionally storing wisdom, fear and love of the Lord, and a desire to do God’s will in order for your mouth to bring forth fresh words.

How do you do that?  Read and study God’s word.  Delight yourself in Him and obey His precepts.  Pray and spend time in the presence of the Lord.  Allow yourself to submit to His will and the leading of the Holy Spirit.  When you are so full of God that you cannot move without Him, the words that pour forth from your mouth will be refreshing springs of living waters that reach out to everyone around you.

Don’t push aside wisdom, as many pushed aside their garnish.  Savor and enjoy the wisdom of the Lord.  Not only will it help you digest this life in a more satisfying way, but it will be pleasant and delightfully fragrant to those around you who need a breath of fresh air.

Freshening up,

jamie

Understanding the language of wisdom

Pr. 8:9:  “They (all the words of wisdom’s mouth) are all plain to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.”

Think back to a time when you were around someone who was speaking a language unfamiliar to you.  Clues can be gathered from body language, gestures, and voice inflections, but without knowledge of the language, we don’t get the full message.  In order to truly understand, you must study the language or immerse yourself in the culture that uses the language.

Having taken Spanish for 3 years in high school, I can understand certain words and phrases in Spanish; however, I have always lacked confidence when it comes to speaking the language.  The first time we went to Panama, I was resistant to speak the little bit of Spanish I knew for fear of sounding foolish.  We had a translator, but she could not be with each of us every moment of every day.  If I wanted to communicate with those around me I had to figure something out on my own.

I had to begin speaking Spanish.  Those who heard me speak the language became excited and eagerly taught me even more.  I learned even more words while there, and by the end of the week I was speaking many words to communicate.  On the plane to go home I even caught myself saying, “Si” to the English-speaking airline attendant instead of “Yes.”

Being surrounded by others who spoke the language gave me the desire, the familiarity, and the confidence to speak their language.  The same is true with wisdom.  If you want to truly understand and get the full message of God’s wisdom you must study His word, surround yourself with others who speak the language, and allow its familiarity to give you confidence to continue understanding.  Soon the words of wisdom will become plain to you.  You will understand the will of God more plainly.  You will understand His precepts, His guidance, and His rebukes in a way you never did before you began immersing yourself in them.

If you truly want the wisdom of God to guide your life, it must become plain to you.  Study it, surround yourself with others who speak it, and allow them to teach you even more.  God is willing to generously give wisdom to all who ask.  James 1:5.  Pray and ask God to fill you with His wisdom, open His word, and begin to study. You will find so much more than you ever dreamed.  I learn something new every day.

Dios te bendiga,

jamie

 

To-do: add excellent things to my to-do list

Pr. 8:6:  “Listen, for I [wisdom] will speak of excellent things, and from the opening of my lips will come right things”

“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 

But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”    Colossians 3:12-17

The words we just read are excellent and right.  These actions are probably some of the most difficult things we are ever asked to do, but they honor God, show Him we trust in Him, and bring blessings to those around us.

Re-read each sentence and ask the Lord to help you today.  I am doing the same.  I know I can only do these things in faith, trusting in His strength to equip me.

Singing with grace,

jamie