Tag Archives: consequences

Turn away and live!

Pr. 4:14-15: “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil.  Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away from it and pass on.”

Oh, I have travelled on those paths too many times.  I want to remind us today that we are told to turn away and pass on.  There are good reasons for this.

Today happens to be the birthday of a dear friend of mine from back in high school.  Sadly, we can’t celebrate together because he passed away several years ago.

There was a night when he chose to take the wrong path.  He made some poor decisions with some friends.  Afterwards, when his judgment was impaired and his decision-making was affected, he chose to literally walk on the exact wrong path…a busy road, where he was hit and killed by a vehicle as he walked.

God’s warnings are for our protection.  He wants to protect us from the consequences of sin.  Satan always lies and tells us that there aren’t any.  He says that our decisions are our own and they won’t affect anyone else.  He convinces us that we can repent at a later time.

Friends, there may not be a later time! My friend did not have a later time.  He took the wrong path and he is gone.

Thanks to God’s grace, you and I have been given more time, another chance to turn away and pass on.  Let’s do that.  Let’s make that choice and be better off for it.  There is protection for us here and eternal life for us on the other side of this life!

In memoriam,

jamie

 

Month of Prayer, Day 10

Lord, how I do love Your Word.  Not only is it the weapon You have given us against the enemy, but it is life, and truth, and love.  Your Word is living and powerful.  It transforms and reforms.  It cleanses and guides.  It breathes life into our thirsty souls.

I love Pr. 10:3, that says You will not allow the righteous soul to famish.  Lord, Your Word is living water and food for our hungry souls.  Only You can fill the void within us.  That is why we can delight in Your Word and in Your commandments; because Your Word protects us, shapes us, and breathes truth into our inmost beings.

Lord, we can walk securely and at liberty when we follow Your precepts.  Your precepts and commands are what keep us safe.  In Proverbs 10, Solomon wrote of the peril, destruction, danger, and consequences of living a life outside of Your will.  But, oh my God, You made us Your righteousness through the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ, and You, Lord, will keep us safe when we follow You.

Lord, keep my feet from stumbling onto any path that is not laid out by You.  When I face a fork in the road, let Your law I have kept be my compass.  Let Your statutes I have meditated upon make my decisions easy and my choices clear.  Lord, Your Word gives me very clear guidance.  Help me to heed it.

Thank You that Your way is strength for the upright.  Thank You that the righteous will never be removed, and that our labor leads to life.  Thank You for the security, the love, and the salvation that You have given us.

Oh God, let me be wise enough to make You glad.  Let my life please You and be a sweet-smelling offering for You, as I walk in love and in Your wisdom.  You are the amazing God!

I love you,

jamie

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

 

 

Satisfaction without devastation

Pr. 14:14:  “The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied from above.”

I recently saw a sign that read, “Sin Captivates, Then Devastates.”  That is so true.  Sin isn’t always something that reviles us and causes us to turn away in disgust.  Sin can be so alluring.  It captivates us with special effects of glitter and lights.  Sometimes we see adventure.  Sometimes escape.  One thing is certain; however, in the end sin does devastate.

Being ‘filled with our own ways’ might seem to meet some momentary need, but it never truly satisfies.  It destroys and devours.  God not only offers satisfaction, He offers provision, refuge, strength, deliverance, forgiveness, mercy, grace, and so much more.  He is truly all we could need.

Sin weighs us down with guilt, consequences, and defeat; and yet the Lord’s yoke is light.  His burden is easy.  He literally invites us to come to Him when we are heavy laden and He will give us rest for our souls.  True rest.  He is gentle.  He is humble.  He renews our strength when we wait on Him.  And He has eternal life waiting for us.

Sin does devastate.  It comes in and throws us completely off course, interrupting our relationship with the Lord, and stalling our ministry.  On the other hand, The Lord, who began a good work in us, will complete what was begun.  He enriches us, builds us up, and He is our helper.  He is the One who offers aid when we are tempted.

I’m so thankful for a God who will never devastate us.  He will leave us nor forsake us.   His promises in His Word are true, and He is faithful.

When we’re looking for true satisfaction, the only place we will find it is at the throne of our High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses and offer mercy and grace to help us in time of need.

At His throne,

jamie

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

Profits of sin

Pr. 10:2:  “Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death.”

So, I tried to make these wreaths with my kids today.  They look so cute, right?

I left them in the oven too long and they all melted into big red and white blobs.  (This lovely picture came off the internet)

Later today I thought about those blobs.  Have you ever seen a sin that seemed like just the right thing to do?  You anticipate how it will be.  You romanticize the outcome.  You think of all the possible positive outcomes, and overlook all the negatives.  It seems like the perfect plan.

And then, in the aftermath, it turns into a big melted, messy blob.  It looks nothing like your original idea, and the whole place smells of smoke.

Steer clear,

jamie

 

 

 

The protection of a loving Father

Pr. 19:16:  “He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, but he who is careless of his ways will die.”

Usually, we are the laid-back kind of parents who not only allow their kids to play in rain puddles, but enjoy watching them do so.  We let our kids climb on rocks and walk across things as though those things are balance beams.  We don’t mind when our kids jump off of things, etc.

When we got to Niagara Falls earlier this month; however, all that changed.  As parents, we noticed the strong presence of slippery surfaces all around that park.  Since it was our goal to have an injury-free vacation, our easygoing attitudes turned a bit more tense.

Our kids weren’t being overly careless when they tried to climb and walk on the rocks at Niagara.  They weren’t trying to get hurt when they wanted to run on the water-soaked steps at the bottom of falls.  They’re just kids and they can’t yet see around all the corners.

It’s our job, as their guardians, to set them up for success.  A desire to not see them injured meant that we had to be a bit more strict with our rules.

This verse reminds me of how God protects us.  He has given us commandments to keep us safe and set us up for success.  He wants not just abundant life for us, but also eternal life.  Even when we’re not intentionally being careless, His loving protection is already in place to keep us safe.

His commandments will also help us in those moments when we feel like being intentionally careless.  He doesn’t tell us not to steal just to keep us bound.  There are consequences to stealing, and following His commandments will keep us from those consequences.

Isn’t He good?  Just as we didn’t want our kids to be injured, break bones, or die on the slippery rocks of our vacation world, God doesn’t want us to be injured, become broken, or die here in this world.  He is a loving Provider, caring for His own.

Thank you, Lord, for preparing my way, directing my steps, and giving me wise guidance along the way.  As much as I’ve already been hurt, I can’t imagine how much worse it would have been without You.  I am glad You are a Father who cares. 

Thankful for His commandments,

jamie

Don’t allow your labors and wealth to go to another

Pr. 5:10:  “Lest aliens be filled with your wealth, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner.”

I recall a particular sleepover my daughter had with her friend when she was a young girl.  The next night, as I tucked her in to bed, she was cuddling a stuffed animal I had never seen.  When I asked her where she got it, she told me that her friend’s mom had taken them to Wal-mart and bought it for her.  How sweet.

I asked her if I could look at the toy, and when I got a better look, I could see scratches on the eyes of the animal and raggedy fur.  I realized instantly that this was a well-worn toy, not a brand new toy from the shelf of the store.  With her elaborate story, it was clear that she had taken the toy from her friend’s house with every intention of claiming it as her own.

Because she had not only stolen the toy, but had taken the time to think up such a cover-up story to hide her deeds, we knew we had to punish her in a way that she would remember.  For stealing, she had to give the toy back in person, and give away 3 of her very own toys to people who did not have as many as her; and because of the lie, she was grounded from playing with the toys she had left.

Reading this verse about the consequences of adultery reminded me of the consequences she faced.  A marriage is an investment.  We do labor in a marriage.  We give hours, months, and years of our time to our spouse.  We build our houses together, and spend our money on new counter tops or lighting fixtures.  As a couple, we have friendships with other couples.  Maybe we even have a ministry within the church.

We risk losing all that we’ve built when we commit adultery.  Like my daughter, who had to give away some of her own things when she stole from someone.  When we take something that is not ours, in adultery, we risk losing what we have built within our marriage.  All the time we’ve invested into our spouses is now hard to remember, or now seems like a lie.  The houses and “nests” we’ve built with our spouse may be lost to us, given to another, or just sold to settle accounts.

Stealing from her friend, my daughter also risked losing that friendship, due to lack of trust.  The same can happen with our friendships if we risk adultery.  We may even lose our ministries.

The warning in this verse is very clear and very real.  Why allow someone else to gain what you’ve invested in?  We don’t need to invest in or claim things that don’t belong to us.  We must treasure what we have, care for it, invest more into it, and allow the rewards to multiply.  The gain we experience will be exponential and eternal.  🙂

Investing,

jamie

Instead of setting a snare, speak grace

Pr. 18:7:  “A fools mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.”

A fool, as defined in the Bible, is one who says there is no God.  Such a statement and belief is exactly what leads to destruction.  John 3:16 clearly tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  We must believe to be saved.

Words can also start fights, break hearts, and sever relationships, all of which are also very destructive.  Words matter.  There are also words that are socially acceptable, but not acceptable in God’s sight.

Yesterday I was unprepared when heard someone take the Lord’s name in vain in a curse that caused me to so shudder that I had to immediately remove myself.  While I understand that as Americans we have the right to speak as we want, I also understand that weight and consequences that words carry.

Likewise, I understand that we have been taught a different way to speak than just what is lawful or accepted in our country.  I am reminded of Ex. 20:7, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”  There are still consequences to taking the Lord’s name in vain…even if everyone else does it.

In Mt. 12:36-37, Jesus teaches us, saying, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.  For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”  It is clear that our words not only matter, but have an affect not only here in this life and when Jesus returns.  In order to not set a snare for our soul, we must be careful how we are speaking.

Eph. 4:29 tells us, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to hearers.”  Here we see that edifying words impart grace upon those who hear.  That’s another effect of our words, but one that is much more positive.

Pr. 16:24 tells us how, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”  Isn’t that so true?  Oh, and Pr. 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”  Words matter.  With all the adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and verbs in our vocabulary, there are countless words that are more interesting than curses, and vast expressives that could be used in substitute for the Lord’s name.

In Ps. 19:14, David reveals his hearts desire to, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”  Oh, that in speaking this would also be our goal.  Regardless of our rights as citizens on this earth, we know the power of our words goes far beyond this broken world.  Let us consider wisely what we speak.

Thoughtfully,

jamie

Don’t give in!

Pr. 12:5:  “The thoughts of the righteous are right, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.”

Last night, my daughter was instructed to clean her guinea pig’s cage.  When it was time for her to put new bedding in the cage bottom, her little brother went to “help.”  The bedding is in a closet on our back patio and through the screen door I could hear them both yelling, laughing, and just generally making a ruckus.  After the 1 minute warning period had passed, I went outside to check on the progress.

To my horror, I walked in to find bedding strewn about all over the floor of the closet and most of its contents.  Interestingly there was only about a handful of bedding actually in the cage bottom.  Either the bag of bedding had exploded or the cause of ruckus I had heard was now being revealed.  My daughter quickly let me know that it had been her little brother’s idea to toss the bedding about like confetti.

Leave it to God to use something like that to illustrate His word to me.  🙂  Can you infer from this situation, as I did, that the counsels of the wicked are indeed deceitful?  They may sound fun, exciting, intriguing, interesting, possibly ok, or even invigorating, but that is a deception.  While tossing pine shavings about may have seemed stimulating in a moment of madness, the consequences of such a choice are bigger than those kids could have imagined.

Because of the choice they made, they not only have to pick up each and every piece of pine; they also lost several privileges.  Perhaps it was my son’s idea, and he was truly the mastermind behind it all (I don’t doubt it), but my daughter is responsible for the choices she makes as well.  Had she simply done her job and left him to his own mess, she would not have to face the same consequences.  However, she chose not only to condone his actions, but to be deceived by and entrapped in his unwise counsel.  Sadly, she now has to face the same consequences as he.

This is what happens so often.  We get some bad advice.  We may know better, but we lose ourselves in a moment and become deceived by the allure of sin.  Consequently, we will then have to face the same end as the one who lured us in.  Be careful whose advice you’re taking.  If you are righteous, bought with the blood of Jesus, then you must take responsibility for your own actions and choose what you already know to be right.  Through the word of God and the Holy Spirit’s presence within us, we know what is right.  We must not let a moment of deception lead us astray.

There ARE grave consequences to sin and we must remember that our souls are far too important to put into the hands of those deceptions.  Keep doing what you know to be right.  Heaven awaits and we will rejoice for eternity!

Persevere,

jamie