Looking for an answer

Pr. 6:22:  “When you roam, they will lead you; when you sleep they will keep you; when you awake, they will speak with you.” 

This verse is talking about what will happen when you bind the commands of the father and the law of the mother on your heart, and tie them around your neck.

If you can bind the Father’s commands on your heart, and remember the truth you’ve been taught about Him over the years, then you won’t have to search for answers to every question.

Yesterday I watched an interview of someone who was searching for the answer to a question she was asking.  She said, “We prayed about it.  We weren’t sure if it was right.”  I feel certain she knew the answer before she prayed, because the question was about murder.

Having bound God’s commands on my heart, I know the answer from God would be no.  I feel certain she did, too; however, she went ahead and decided to do it, saying that they got comfortable with the idea after being around others who knew more about it.

When we need answers to our questions, other people are not the place to find them.  The Lord’s Word will lead us, keep us, and speak to us.  His Word has not changed.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  He is still as faithful to take care of us as He has ever been.

When we choose to trust Him enough to follow His commands…no matter what anyone else chooses…then we are allowing Him to prove Himself faithful, strong, and true in our lives.  He IS our Provider, our Shelter, our Deliverer, and our Savior, and He always will be.  He will take care of us.

We must not forget what we’ve learned, and we must keep learning day by day.  God is our Guide and our Answer!

Gratefully His,

jamie

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The Word of God

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”  Ps. 1:1-3

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is pure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb, moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward.”  Ps. 19:7-11

We don’t read the Word of God because we want to impress the preacher.  God doesn’t urge us to read so that we are burdened with 1 more thing to do each day.  Having the most elegant Bible study isn’t the point.  The Word of God makes us wise, coverts our souls, rejoices our heart, enlightens our eyes, gives us strength, increases our hope, and fertilizes our hearts for the Lord to bring forth fruit in its season.

Certainly we are warned in the Word, and encouraged to keep from things like standing in the path of sinners and sin; but more than that we are rewarded daily by the Word of God.*  His Word is life, and it is strength to our bones.  He will satisfy in drought, shield us from fear, and light our paths each day.

How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.                                                                                   Ps. 119:103

*For your reward and strength, see the Word of God.

jamie

That necklace is Perfect for you!

Pr. 1:8-9:  “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for the will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck.”

Several years ago, when my sister-in-law began her journey with breast cancer, she sent out 7 necklaces.  Each necklace had a letter from the word JOURNEY.  I remember receiving mine in the mail and feeling the weight and privilege of it.  It felt very heavy because of the diagnosis and turmoil that I understood would accompany it; but it was a privilege because she entrusted me to pray with her, reach out to her, and be on her side along the way.

I wore my necklace every day and would sometimes touch it during the day, reminding myself of all she was going through, or facing in the future.  It was a great reminder for me of what was going on in her life.

Solomon compares hearing the instruction of your father and not forsaking the law of your mother to graceful ornaments on our head and chains about our neck.  I certainly don’t believe he meant heavy construction chains.  I believe he meant something more like that necklace my sister-in-law sent to me.  I believe he is saying to his son that the instructions and law would be good reminders for him throughout his life.  Those reminders would guide and protect him.

The entire law of God is the same way.  God does not place heavy chains upon us or bind us with His law.  His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  His precepts are like these graceful ornaments and chains of remembrance.  Heeding His instruction protects us, keeps us safe, and keeps us mindful of what is truly important.

We all need reminders.  Just as that necklace reminded me to pray for my sister-in-law, God’s instructions and laws remind me to be mindful of things above.  They remind me why I am really here, and what my purpose truly is.  They remind me whose I am.  They remind me that I am not alone on this earth.  I have a Father who has reached out to me and given me His Word to keep me safe and give me everlasting life.

God’s law reminds me that there is One who cares for me so much that He would set things in place to provide protection for me.  The instruction in His Word reminds me that He is aware of me and my needs.  He is my Provider, my Shepherd, my Deliverer, Healer, Help in time of need.  He is my everything.

It is good for us to heed the instruction and law of our Lord and Savior, and to “wear” them as reminders.  They will allow God to guide and protect us all the days of our lives.

Being reminded,

jamie

 

Happy Birthday to a light of God

Pr. 1:8:  “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother.”

When I was a young teenager I got nose bleeds pretty regularly.  I remember my nose bleeding during a hiking trip with my mom.  Because we were outdoors, with no tissues available, my mom took the sock right off her foot and gave it to me to use to help with the bleeding.  She walked the mile back in a tennis shoe with no sock.

While as imperfect as any of the rest of us, my mother taught me that 2 wrongs do not make a right, that if I’m too sick to do what is expected of me then I’m too sick to do what is fun, and that if you say you are going to do something then you need to do it.  More than teaching me, though, she showed me those things by the way she lived her own life.

Still more important than any of that; however, she pointed me to Jesus.  My mother has taught my Sunday school class several times.  (Thanks for the sardines during the story of the Feeding of the 5,000)  I have been her assistant in the nursery at church, during VBS, and been by her side doing mission work, as well.  I have sung side by side with her, in trios, and in the choir.

My dad tried to help me with Algebra in high school.  He took me fishing and even “let” me dig up the worms.  He taught me to drive a 5-speed, and made me get back in a car to drive the day after I totaled my first car so I wouldn’t live in fear.  He worked swing shifts for 2 decades to give me a roof over my head and food on the table.

More important that any of that; however, he pointed me to Jesus.  I have bowed my head countless times as my father prayed in church.  I’ve sat under his leadership as an elder in our church.  I’ve sat on the pews in church buildings he has helped build.  I remember him spending his days off work mowing the church lawn and making repairs.  He showed me, through his actions, that church was important hearing the Word of God was a priority for our family.

Both my mother and father showed me what work ethic means and that there is nothing I can’t do if I set my mind to it.  More important than any of that; however, they pointed me to Jesus.

Today is my mom’s birthday.  I am thankful for a mother who has demonstrated for me, in countless ways, wisdom, a servant’s heart, and a sacrificial life.  I am thankful for a father who demonstrated respect for the Lord and His house, humility in leadership, and responsibility in caring for the things God has entrusted to you.

I wish I could go back to all the times when I did not heed my dad’s instructions, or I did forsake the law of my mom.  I am thankful; however, that their lives were examples of what they truly believed.  Truly their actions pointed me to the One who matters and my life, as a result, has led me straight to His arms.

Thank you mom and dad.

I love you dearly,

jamie

The fountain has been found!

Pr. 13:14:  “The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.”

I love this word picture.  A fountain of life.  Isn’t that something for which people have been searching for ages?  Oh, wait.  That’s the fountain of youth.  🙂

A fountain of life sounds so much better.  Life springing forth; arching and splashing; shining, shimmering, and refreshing.  Wow!

The Word of God is just such a fountain.  His laws, His wisdom, His words of salvation are full of life…eternal life that will keep us from the snares of death.  His laws aren’t binding, restrictive constraints to keep us enslaved.  His laws give us freedom.  His Spirit gives us liberty.  His salvation gives us eternal life.

Sin, on the other hand, binds us and keeps us captive to its ways.  It brings pain, heartache, destruction, and death.  Satan came to steal, kill, and destroy.  Jesus came to bring to salvation to all who believe and call upon His name.

Who has been bound in a negative way by forgiving?  I can see that forgiveness splashing over onto others.  Who has been enslaved by loving others as himself?  Love springs forth, creating even more love.  God’s Word offers life that is beautiful.  When you love God with all your heart and soul, you become a light that shines in the dark places of the souls of others.  You refresh the dry soul and lead them towards eternal life and joy.

If you want to turn away from the snares of death, the Word is what you need.  If you want to enjoy a fountain of life, the Word is what you need.  Don’t believe the lies that the Word will bind you.  It is satan and his sins that bind.  Jesus came specifically to set you free!  Splash through the pages of the fountain of life today.

Enjoy the freedom,

jamie

When your Bible brings reproof

Pr. 6:23:  “For the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life”

Yesterday we talked about the instruction that we get from the Bible.  Sometimes we have trouble reading the scriptures that rub us and correct us with their reproofs.  We are advised now; however, that reproofs of instruction are the way of life…they lead to eternal life.

If the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light, that means they light our way to life and they guide us in right paths.  Worried that the Word is too out of date to be applicable in our times or won’t be enough?  Let’s listen to the words of David in Psalm 18:7-11:

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 

More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 

Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward.”

David understood that the ways of the Lord bring great reward.  If you receive reproof of instruction in what you read, you are loved.  Pr. 3:12 tells us that the Lord corrects those He loves, just as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.  Rev. 3:19 says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.  Therefore be zealous and repent.”

So God rebukes and corrects those He loves.  Who does He love?  Let’s see what John 3:16 says about that:  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son [Jesus] that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  1 John 4:8b-9 also says, “for God is love.  In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son [Jesus] into the world, that we might live through Him.”

God loves us all, and He will rebuke us to lead us to everlasting life.  Let’s not resist the reproofs of instruction, but knowing that we are loved, allow them light our paths and bring us to that great reward.  We have life in Jesus Christ if we believe.  The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore.  He does not change.  His Word will never be out of date, but will be the final word upon the earth.

Delighting in His love,

jamie

Storehouse of sound wisdom

Pr. 2:7:  “He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly”

For the upright, the Lord has sound wisdom stored up.  Isn’t that reassuring?  Wisdom is stored up and ready for us to tap into it.  Ps. 94:12 tells us that, “Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law, that you may give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit is dug for the wicked.”  If we are instructed by the Lord, and not the world, we will have rest from the days of adversity, and not be in the pit of the wicked.

And when we walk in the Lord’s wisdom, honor, and holiness, not only will we stay out of the pit, but He will be a shield to us.  Ps. 84:11 says, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”  1 Sam. 2:9 tells us, “He will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked shall be silent in darkness.”  He instructs us, is a shield to us, and guards our feet.  He will give grace and glory.

If we choose to walk with the Lord, to learn from Him, and to honor Him with our lives, He will keep us from the pit of darkness.  His wisdom will guide our thoughts, actions, and choices.  We will make choices that bring Him honor and glory and those choices will give us rest.  His protection will keep us safe from the consequences of wicked choices.

Receive instruction from the Lord through His Word.  Allow the Lord to be the One who teaches and instructs you.  That’s what I am desiring to do.  If I am instructed out of His law I will be blessed.  For the answers to my questions and the directions for my life, I will seek out the instructions of the Lord.  He is the One who will guard our feet, direct our paths, shield us, give us grace and glory, withhold no good thing from us, give to us out of the abundance of the wisdom He has stored up for us, and give us rest.

From what other source would we truly desire to receive knowledge?  No other source can offer us those things, and eternal life.  The Lord loves us and cares for us.  He created us with a future in mind.  He will help us along the path.  He will hold us up, protect us, and guide us.  Let’s make the decision to turn to Him for the answers we need.  His wisdom is better than any book or expert on this earth.

Shielded,

jamie