Lips dripping with knowledge

Pr. 5:2:  “That you may preserve discretion, and your lips may keep knowledge.”

Canning is a beautiful art.  You can take fruit, vegetables, meat, and herbs in the height of their freshness and preserve the taste and beauty they hold.  You can eat delicious tomatoes in the middle of winter that are almost as lovely as those that were harvested fully ripe.  Grapes can be plucked right off the vine and turned into delicious jelly you can use any time the craving arises.  Fresh fish can be canned and stored to feed a family all winter when fishing is an impossibility.

Is your mouth watering yet?  Mine is.

The catch is this:  you cannot just throw some tomatoes in a jar, put them on a shelf, and expect them to remain preserved.  Bacteria can quickly grow in a jar of unsealed food, leaving the food dangerous and deadly.  Canning is a labor-intensive process that requires preparation, diligence, knowledge, and commitment.

So, it is with discretion.  We cannot just expect to preserve that within ourselves when surrounded by indiscretions.  We must diligently and knowledgeably commit ourselves to guarding discretion in our lives.  We cannot neglect the seeds of indiscretion that try to multiply in our lives through temptations, tv and movies, media, books, music, etc.

That is not to say that we cannot enjoy our lives, but keeping knowledge on our lips requires alertness and carefulness.  Sometimes it can be laborious.  Sometimes we may feel like we’re missing out on something.  It is a labor; however, that is worth the trouble.

If we want juicy fruits of the Spirit to drip from our lips, if we want to be filled with the tastes of wisdom and knowledge, if we want to enjoy fruit during the “off-season,” we must plan and pay attention to preserving those things.  We must continue to check that our seals are not allowing bacteria to seep in and grow.

Enjoy the fruits,

jamie

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What’s on your tongue?

Pr. 31:26:  “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.”

Being around children all day, I am acutely aware that kindness on the tongue is not something that happens by accident.  We are born pretty selfish, self-serving, and self-absorbed.  Tenderness, affection, and courtesy are attributes that take time and training to develop.

That training should not end when we are grown.  As adults, we must make sure that we are still training ourselves to be kind.  It is something that can still be lost if not nurtured.  Where can we find kindness in this world?  I’m glad you asked.  The Word of God teaches us in Eph. 4:32, “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Eph. 5:2 tells us to, “walk in love.”  Ph. 2:3 says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”  Col. 3:12-13 urges us, “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…”

I could go on and on.  There are numerous verses about kindness, affection, forgiveness, and bearing with one another.  Why so many?  We were born selfish.  Just as when we were kids, we need constant reminders.  If we are to have the law of kindness on our tongues, men and women alike, we must be sensitive to the rebukes and reminders we find from the Lord.

Also, when we are walking in the Spirit, it is evident by the fruit He produces within us:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  With God at the helm of our lives, this fruit will naturally be brought forth in our lives.

Wisdom and kindness come from the Lord.  If we are tarrying in His presence, studying and absorbing His Word, asking for His guidance throughout our days, and listening for His still-small voice to speak His wisdom, then we will be full of Him and walking in the Spirit.  This is when we will be one who opens their mouth with wisdom, and has the law of kindness on their tongue.

If you want to be someone like that, stick with God.  If He can bring forth water from a rock to refresh thousands, He can certainly help us speak kind words to refresh those around us.  🙂

Blessings,

jamie

 

 

Come and rest

Mt. 11:28-30:  “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

I love reading these verses about the true rest that Jesus gives.  We do not have to work for grace, He gives it freely.  We do not have to work harder to earn our salvation.  When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, then His salvation is ours.

Submitting to Him doesn’t shackle and burden us, or add more weight.  It takes the weight away.  Allowing Him to pour His love and peace upon us will give us true rest.  We are invited to come to him, learn from Him, and find rest for our souls.  He is gentle and lowly in heart, as He proved when He walked on this earth.

Isaiah 40:29-31 says, “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Running faster or working harder will not increase our strength or our salvation.  Our strength comes from the Lord.  The harder we work in our own flesh, the more likely we will fall.  God says to “wait” on Him.  We must slow down, be still, and wait.  When we do, He will renew our strength, in His power, and we will no longer be weary.

Jesus also taught us in John 15:4 to abide in Him.  Abide means to wait, to stay, be still, endure, and bear patiently.  He said that, “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”  He calls Himself the vine and us the branches.  With only the minimal knowledge of vines, we can certainly understand that if the branch is not attached to a vine, it cannot grow fruit.  In fact, it will wither and die.

What better news could we receive today?  Our job is to come to Jesus, be still, endure with Him, wait on Him, and learn from Him.  This will allow Him to give us rest, renew our strength, and cause us to not grow faint.  Abiding in Him will also allow Him to cause fruit to bear forth in our lives.  We don’t have to work harder for the fruit to come, but we must remain attached to the Vine.  He is the source of life.  Remain attached to Him and enjoy your rest.

Sigh…

jamie

Today’s exhortation

Pr. 5:8:  “Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house.”

This chapter is labeled, ‘The Peril of Adultery.’  Solomon is warning about keeping away from an immoral woman.  He doesn’t offer the smoothest come backs or correct excuses to give.  He doesn’t talk about how you should interact properly with her.  He says remove your way far from her, and don’t even go near the door of her house.  Just stay as far away as you can…indefinitely.

This same caution can be used for any sin or temptation.  If you’re tempted to steal, do not even go to the stores where you are tempted.  Since you may still have to shop for your family, and you must enter a tempting store, you need someone with you at all times to watch over and keep you accountable.  Let it even be your kids, who can watch your example of not giving in to temptation.  The temptation is not a sin!

Just fill your temptation in the blank.  The same rules apply.  This morning, I read in Hebrews 3:13 that says we should exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of us be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  We are supposed to urgently appeal to and strongly encourage one another in the area of temptation and sin.

Temptations offer a fantasy that never comes true.  We’re continually lured by the delusion that giving in to our temptations will bring us the peace, joy, and satisfaction that we seek.  The sad truth is that the damage of sin is always evident after the temptation has been given into.  The more we sin, the easier satan has it in trying to keep us in that sin.

I exhort you today to remove your way far from sin.  Do not even go near to the temptations you know you have.  When you are faced with a new temptation, turn and flee.  Don’t even question it.  God will honor your obedience and will work the details out for your good.  He will show Himself strong on your behalf as you have shown yourself loyal to Him.

Ask for help from another if you need to.  Let someone else watch how you plan Not to sin.  Perhaps that will encourage them to do the same.  Remember that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  If the you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, then the Holy Spirit lives within you and love, joy, and peace are His fruit that will grow in your life.

If you need those things, then the Lord is where you find them.  If you need to be loved unconditionally, look to the cross, to the One who gave His life for YOU!  If you need exhilaration, look no further.  When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, it brings pure joy!  Remember how David danced before the Lord with all his might in 2 Samuel 6:14?  That was pure, untainted joy.  Find your joy, peace, satisfaction, and love in the Lord today.  He has all that and more just for you.

Joyfully fleeing,

jamie

 

Wake up and eat…for heaven’s sake.

John 6:48:  “I am the bread of life.”

John 6:35:  “And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”

Pr. 24:30-34:  ” I went by the filed of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; and there is was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down.  When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction.  A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest; so shall your poverty come like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.”

Pr. 20:13: “Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty.  Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.”

Get up!  Spend time with Jesus each morning.  Be filled with “The Bread” of Life!

Both of the scriptures in Proverbs speak of poverty…I read them to also speak of poverty of the soul.  A little extra sleep in the morning; laziness keeping us from getting out of bed to spend time with The Lord, and poverty will quickly come upon our souls.  We will quickly become devoid of understanding, thorns will quickly spread upon our hearts and nettles will choke out the fruit of The Spirit within us.  A little extra slumber and we will become broken, believing lies instead of truth, exchanging the truth about our strength in The Lord with the enemy’s deceiving lies about our weaknesses.

If we will open our eyes, we will truly be satisfied with bread.  We will be strengthened instead of broken.  We will become pure through His blood.  We will be set free, instead of pierced with the thorns that come from feeding our flesh.  We will be filled with wisdom, instead of drained of all understanding.  The fruit of The Spirit will be evident in us instead of being choked out by the nettles of the fruit of our own ways.  Our souls will be rich and overflowing instead of destitute hungry.

Don’t allow poverty to overtake your soul like an armed man overtakes a victim.  Amass an arsenal of truth.  Stockpile praise as a wall of defense.  Protect yourself at all costs.  Invest in your soul.  Invest in your eternal life.  This investment is a guaranteed success!

Stockpiling,

jamie