How to hear wisdom

I just can’t stop thinking about that verse.  “So then faith comes from hearing…”  Ro. 10:17

Do you know what else we hear?  We hear our own thoughts in our heads.  We talk to ourselves all the time.  What are we saying?  Not only that, but sometimes we allow the enemy to run thoughts through our minds that bring us down.  What are we hearing?

“I’ll never be as smart as her.”

“Man, he really has it all together.  Look how successful he is.”

“It’s hopeless.”

“Her kids are so perfect.  I feel like such a mess.”

“I never do anything right.”

“I can’t do this.  It’s too hard.”

“God doesn’t hear my prayers.  What’s the point?”

Pr. 22:17 tells us to incline our ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply our hearts to knowledge.  We will find wisdom and knowledge in the Word of God.  The truth, which are the words that counteract all of the thoughts above, is within God’s Word.

If faith comes from hearing, we need to be careful what we are saying to ourselves.  We need to be hearing words of truth, of life, of wisdom.  We need to put on our helmets of salvation, get out our swords (the Bible), and begin reading words that are living and powerful, that pierce even to the division of soul and spirit, and discern our thoughts and intents of the heart.  (Heb. 5:12)

In fact, we can trust that God’s Word will help us in our time of need because Is. 55: 11 says, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Where we fail in cheering ourselves us, or convincing ourselves that things are ok, God prevails!  Where we fail in pushing down thoughts of hopelessness, God’s hope achieves exactly that!  God’s Word is truly a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.  He sheds light on our darkest moments, situations, and thoughts.

Thank You, God, for Your faithfulness, and the hope we find within the refuge of Your name.  Thank You for shielding and protecting us when we turn to You. 

So, each day, when we notice any thoughts that threaten to drag us down or pull us away from God, we need to turn to the truth of God’s word, allow it to take them captive, and allow Him to give us discernment and breathe life and truth back into us.

We’ve got this!  Because, with God, all things are possible.  😉

jamie

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From trouble to the altar of joy

Ps. 43:3-4:  “Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!  Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle.  Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.”

Psalm 43 is a prayer to God in time of trouble.  At times, any one of us can experience depression, worry, distress, pain, or sadness.  People around us may be experiencing those things right now.

Isn’t it so true that when we are in times of trouble, we crave light?   We crave a lifting of the spirit, and an uplifting of our souls.  Sometimes, even though we know that’s what we need, we can’t seem to find our way.  We need to be led to God’s holy hill…to His tabernacle.

If we could just get into His presence, we would experience the peace and find the Light and truth we seek.

That is why it is so important, when we are not in a place of trouble, that the Light of God within us is lighting the way towards the Lord.  Others may also be struggling, seeking the peace the need and the light that shines through us may be their only hope.

What a gift to allow the Light and Truth of the Lord within us to lead them to the altar of a God, to their exceeding joy, where they can make joyful, musical praise to their God!  “To God my exceeding joy” may be some of my favorite words in the Bible.  Those words lift my spirit and remind me that it is in a God that true joy is found.

Perhaps we have nothing else to count joyful in our lives, but God…

if we have God, we have all we will ever truly need.

We must let our light so shine as to lead others to a His holy hill, to His tabernacle, where they may fall at the altar of The Lord and find their exceeding joy.

Basking in His light,

jamie

A witness of the Light

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through Him might believe.  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.  That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.”  John 1:6-9

That Light is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  John was sent as a witness.  Yesterday we talked about letting our light shine.  John’s life bore witness of Jesus.  Likewise, Jesus called us to be the light of the world, saying,  “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Mt. 5:16

We need to make sure our lights are shining in a way that glorifies God.  Those living in darkness need a light to guide their path toward salvation.

Shine on!!

jamie

 

The best report

Pr. 15:30:  “The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and a good report makes the bones healthy.”

This verse makes me :).

I was reading Luke 24 this morning, when Jesus had risen and was walking on the road to Emmaus with 2 of His followers.  They didn’t realize it was Jesus, but later, acknowledging that they should have known, they said, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us.”

They could feel in their hearts that there was something about this Man that was different.  Their hearts “burned” within them.

The Holy Spirit had not yet come, so I’m not sure if they had a way to recognize that “burning” sensation at that point or not.  We know that feeling ourselves, as the Holy Spirit lives within those who believe, and convicts many more.

What a wonderful moment it must have been for them when their eyes were opened and they recognized Him.  Talk about a good report!  Their Messiah truly had risen.

I would classify that as a moment where there was pure light in their eyes that rejoiced the heart.  We read that they rose up, returned to Jerusalem, found the others, and told them all the wonderful news of Jesus.

What better news is there than that of Jesus Christ, risen and living within us?

There are countless individuals right now who can feel that same burning of the Holy Spirit within them, but there eyes are still restrained.  Perhaps we are the ones sent to shed the Light they need.  The Light living within us will bring rejoicing to their hearts as we share the good report with them.

There is no healthier balm than the truth and saving knowledge of The Healer.

We do not have to save people.  That burning they feel is the presence of God already working and moving within them.  We just have to bring the Light for them to see and give to them the best report they’ll ever hear. God will do the rest.

Let your light shine today, and share the good report of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.

Rejoicing,

jamie

What lights your path?

Pr. 13:9:  “The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.”

On my own, I’m pretty dysfunctional, at best.  I’m easily distracted and love to have fun.  That is why I need the guidance, wisdom, and leading of the Lord.  Its imperative that I have a plan.  Without a goal in mind, I am wandering aimlessly through this life with a path dimly lit.

If my goals center around worldly things such as monetary success, an HGTV-worthy house, the sexiest clothes, the most well-behaved children, or the most checks on my list, then my path is dimly lit, to be sure.  I am counting on things that lead to nothing and have no eternal value.  That is why I must draw my goals from the Word that promises to lead me to heaven.

I can sometimes become distracted by the dim things, but God’s ultimate goal for my life begins to speak louder and pull my focus back on His plan.  So my kids didn’t go to the trendiest camp this summer.  They do spend time intentional time with me daily in the Word and in prayer.  Maybe they are louder than necessary a little more often than they should be, but hearing my son pretending to preach or sing worship songs at the top of his voice warms my heart.

Maybe my laundry was only 1/2 done, but that’s because I took extra time to cuddle a little boy who just needed the undivided attention of his mommy, or to take my daughter to the park.  And yes, even though the towels are still in the dryer waiting to be folded, I sometimes still just plop down on the couch at the end of the day and do nothing but spend time with my husband.

My mornings belong to God, and even if the dryer still holds that laundry, it can wait.  After kissing my husband, the first priority of my day is to get into the Word.  While I like having a clean house and even well-behaved, well-rounded kids, those things are not my ultimate goal.  The Word of God is a lamp that guides my feet.  It lights my path.  It is where I find my plan.  In the Word, I find what is of most importance.  It is in those things that I find reason to rejoice.

Nothing would bring me more joy than ministering with husband years from now, while watching my children walk in the truth and teaching their own kids to do the same.  While it’s ultimately up to my children what they will do with God’s truth, my goal is to lead them on the path brightly lit by God’s presence and His wisdom.  With God’s help I will stay on task.

Blog to honor God.  √

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

Can you hold your peace?

Pr. 11:12:  “He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his peace.”

Understanding comes from knowledge of the Holy One.  If Christ rules in our hearts, we have an understanding that those without Him do not possess.  That understanding gives us the power, courage, strength, and direction to not only hold our peace, but to love one another.

Jesus did not come into this world to condemn the world, but to save it.  Why then, do we condemn and despise one another?

Often, we probably find ourselves despising or nit-picking those closest to us.  We must stop that, and offering grace, hold our peace.  Of those who are truly against us, Jesus says, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”  Mt. 5:44.  This charge from Jesus goes directly against what our culture tells us to do.  Our culture tells us to fight back at all times, stand up for ourselves, fight for justice, and never back down.

What else does Jesus say?  “Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.  If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.  And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.”  Mt. 5:39-21.  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”  Mt. 5:9.  “Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them.”  Mt. 7:12.  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”  Luke 10:27.

I could go on and on.  Jesus had a lot to say about this subject.  We are taught to let our light shine before men, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.  Unlike our culture’s ideas, which encourage us to glorify ourselves, backing down, making peace, and loving our neighbor glorifies the Lord.  Trusting in God means we take Him at His word when He says “Do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.  Therefore, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  Ro. 13:19-21

There are battles that should be fought.  We are taught to defend the defenseless, the orphaned, the widows.  We are taught to stand up for the Lord and for our salvation.  We are entrusted by God to care for our and protect our families.  However, if we watch the life of Jesus, we can see the example of One who truly gave place to love, compassion, forgiveness, and mercy.  Even though He had many opportunities and reason enough, He did not avenge Himself.  He understands all we go through, and can offer help in our time of need.

Ro. 13:10 says, “Love does no harm to a neighbor.”  Let’s offer our neighbors a harmless environment today, whether that be the ones living within the walls of our home, the ones down the street, the ones at work, or the ones across the map.  Don’t be devoid of wisdom, but with understanding of the Holy One, trust that He will do what He said.

Fondly,

jamie