A good name

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.” Pr. 22:1

Yesterday was my son’s 8th birthday.  He did have a good day and by the end of the day, declared it “the best birthday ever!”  That’s a win!

He liked his presents, but more than all of that, he enjoyed the closeness we shared as I read him our traditional birthday book.  He hugged me over and over as we looked at his baby pictures and I answered his questions about when he was born.

It thrilled his heart that his sister worked really hard and enthusiastically to make him a special birthday cake just the way he wanted.  His heart was overjoyed when we surprised him by having his old friend show up at our celebration last night.

He appreciated the work we did on his decorations.  He enjoyed having his grandfather, uncle, family, and some friends there to celebrate with him.  He was just happy to be loved and favored.

He was grateful and thankful for all we did and gave, and he expressed his thanks to all.  Everyone was happy to celebrate with him because he is a such a great guy.  He is kind, generous, loving, sharing, encouraging, fun, and is a joy to be around.  In other words, he has a good name.

And that is what I want for him most of all.  As much as he was grateful for the “riches” he received, he was much more nourished and made to feel complete by the favor shown to him.  As much as I enjoyed giving him things, I feel much more proud of the fact that people enjoy being around him and that he is a kind person.

My prayer is that he continue on this path all his days and that he grow to truly know for a fact what ‘things’ are most important to be chosen in this life.

It’s a reminder we can all use from time to time.  Riches and things can be helpful, pretty, and can make us smile temporarily, but can all be taken away or destroyed.  At the end of the day, what really matters are those who love and care for us.  How we make others feel is what they remember about us.  We have to make sure we are choosing to give ourselves a good name by our actions towards others.

Thanks for being a great illustration for this important verse, my amazing son!  We are so proud of you.

Mom, aka jamie

 

Advertisements

Pure from sin

Pr. 20:9:  “Who can say, “I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?”

I’ve been reading all week about the grace that comes from God, through Christ Jesus.  Unfortunately, not one of us can be pure through our own works.

(Well, honestly I’m not convinced that is so unfortunate.  As imperfect and inconsistent as I am, I am thankful that my purity from sin is not up to me.  I have a Savior who loves me so much that He took that responsibility upon Himself.)

Sin was brought into the world in the Garden of Eden.  It has been here ever since; so, we were born unclean and sinful into an unclean and sinful world.

Thankfully, the Lord saw fit to make a way for us to be cleansed, forgiven, and justified.  It is through Jesus that we are given salvation. 1 Cor. 1:4-9 talks about the grace we were given, and goes on to say that we are enriched in everything by Him.

Through Jesus, our past has been forgiven, our present is covered by his grace, and our future is in His faithful and merciful hands.  What more could we possibly need?  What a gift we have all been given!

Let’s quit trying to earn more grace and forgiveness and praise the One who has already given it all!

Turning our eyes upon Jesus,

jamie

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 lesson from the ants

Pr. 30:25:  “The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer”

I was drawn to 2 somewhat different verses together today, but in the end found them very akin. 

2 Cor. 9:10, “Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.”

Giving (sowing seed) is just like storing up/preparing for later.  When you give, well… 2 Cor. 9:6 says, “when you sow bountifully you will also reap bountifully.”

Paul knew that the One who supplies the seed can and will also multiply whatever seed you, in turn, sow around you.

So, just like the ant, when you bountifully sow in your ‘summer’ months, you are wisely storing up and preparing for your ‘winter’ months.

God’s law is universal, which means it is applicable in all cases.  You can count on it.

And none of our gifts are too little.  Just ask the ant.

Happy sowing!

jamie

 

You are as important as a spider

Pr. 30:28:  “The spider (one of the things that is little on the earth) skillfully grasps with its hands, and it is in king’s palaces.”

Strange verse to pick?  Let’s see.  In Acts 6 when there was a complaint that some widows were being neglected.  The twelve believed they were supposed to remain in prayer and in the Word, so they summoned the growing number of disciples and told them to, “seek out from among you some men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

The whole multitude was pleased with this decision and seven disciples were chosen to take on the task.

From Jamie's phone 2-18-15 2044

How do I relate this to a spider?  Spiders, indeed, are little.  They can be scary to some, insignificant to others, and tolerated by others.  However, to those who appreciate their skills and their contribution to the balance of nature, they are amazing and extremely important.

The same goes for the “little” people in the kingdom of Christ.  Sometimes we feel too small, somewhat insignificant, and sometimes simply tolerated.  However, God gave us all specific skills and abilities we can use for His kingdom.  We are all part of the balance and each of us is important.

We must not; however, wait until we’re called upon to decide to use what we have for the Lord.  When the seven were chosen it was because they were already of good reputation, and full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom.  They may not have had a chance to put their specific skills to work prior to this; however, they had already made the choice that what they did have would be used for the Lord.  They were already of good reputation.  They were already full of the Holy Spirit.  They were already tapping into God’s wisdom.

We can do the same.  We can make sure that we are daily walking with the Lord, being fed His wisdom, being filled with His Holy Spirit, and ensuring that we are making wise choices that lead to a good reputation.  Like the spider, we were given certain skills for the work in our King’s palace.  When the time comes that our specific skills are needed to complete the task, we will be found ready.

So, see?  You are important, and your skills are just as good as those of the spider.  Keep learning with the Master.

Feeling sticky,

jamie

Give a precious stone

 

Pr. 17:8:  “A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor; wherever he turns, he prospers.”

Last night I met with some missionaries who give out stockings every Christmas to lonely, elderly people in our area.  They were recalling a stocking they’d delivered about 3 years ago to a precious elderly woman from our church.  They presented the 95-year-old with a Christmas stocking and tears came to her eyes.

As she gazed at her stocking, she told them that she had never had a stocking before.  In 95 years, she had never had 1 Christmas stocking.  Imagine all the emotions she must have experienced with this simple gift that had her name across the front in glitter.

Certainly her spirits and emotions were strengthened (prospered) that day as she held her precious gift.  Who can we help prosper?  Find someone who needs a precious stone, and then bless them.

Appreciatively,

jamie

Break out of the norm!

Pr. 30:13:  “There is a generation—oh, how lofty are their eyes!  And their eyelids are lifted up.”

Knowing that our strength and provision come from the Lord, it’s not really our place to be puffed up with pride.  Treating others as though they are somehow beneath us just isn’t what we were commanded to do.

As I recall, Jesus broke bread with the reviled tax collectors and with sinners.  He knew the reason for which He came to this earth, and He did not stray from that purpose.  When questioned about it He spoke, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”  He came for people just as those.  Just like me.

Jesus also reminded us that the same measure of judgment we use will be measured back to us.  This a serious statement that we simply must remember.

When asked which is the greatest commandment, Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”  And he added, ‘And the second is like this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”‘  He then gave an example of who qualifies as a neighbor.  Apparently we are all neighbors.  We are commanded to love one another as we love ourselves.

Loving as we love ourselves brings to mind Romans 12, which reminds us that each of us have a function and serve a specific purpose.  We must  not think more highly of ourselves than we ought, as we were all created as an essential part of the body of Christ.   None are more important than any other.

Jesus, when faced with the question of who would be the greatest, spoke these important words, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”  Humbling ourselves, preferring others over ourselves, serving others, and operating in our specific purpose is what is seen as greatest to Him.

Although the generation in which we live certainly promotes being lofty, puffed up, and vain, we must hold tightly to the teaching of our Savior.  No matter what attitude is the ‘norm’ in our world, the attitude that makes us the greatest in Jesus’ eyes is that of a servant.

God created each of us with different gifts and functions in this world.  Instead of walking around thinking how much better we are than others, we are commanded to love everyone, and called to use our gifts to help one another and glorify the Father.

“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another…distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.”  Ro. 12:10-12

Let’s reach out today and truly love.

Warmly,

jamie