The good path

Pr. 2:9:  “Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path.”

Not all paths are equal.  In order to understand the good paths, we must encounter God.

Saul is an amazing example of this.  He is found in Acts 9 “still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord.”  He had already wreaked havoc of the church, imprisoned men and women, and consented to the stoning of Stephen.  He is now found journeying on a path to Damascus prepared to bind and bring back to Jerusalem any he found that belonged to Christ.

Interesting path.

However, as he journeyed a light suddenly shone around him from heaven and He encountered the Lord.  The Lord pointed Saul to a different path.  Of this man who had persecuted the Lord (vs. 4), the Lord said, “He is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.”

And that is just what Saul (later called Paul) did.  If you follow Paul’s path after his encounter with the Lord, you will find that he preached the name of Jesus Christ far and wide, and trained others to do the same.  In addition, 14 books in the Bible are letters written by Paul.  He is still preaching the name of Jesus Christ today!

Encountering God certainly enabled Paul to understand and keep to a good path.  When we are looking for the good path, we needn’t look any further than the Lord.  As God’s chosen vessels, I wonder what we’ve been chosen to bear?

Amazed,

jamie

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Ready for more?

Pr. 2:2:  “So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding.”

To apply ourselves to understanding the Lord, we must start by looking to Him.  How do we do this?  The same way we apply ourselves to anything:  jobs, school work, sports, etc.  We study, we research, we practice.  We open the Word, and if we have trouble knowing where to start or focus, we get books that help us study; or we ask for advice from someone else who studies the Word daily and has a relationship with Christ.  We dig in and we don’t relent.

To incline our ears to wisdom, we pray.  We ask God to open our hearts, minds, and ears to hear His wisdom through His word.  We ask God to speak to us, to grow us, and to reveal new things to us.  We diligently search the scriptures for more.  We find a quiet place, if necessary, where we can be alone with God, and we burrow ourselves in Him and His Word.

There is so much available for us in His Word, and He is happy to share!

Searching for more,

jamie

Learning even more

Pr. 9:9:  “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” 

So, the reason I’ve been MIA for a few days is that I fractured my tibial plateau on Tuesday night.  (the top of my shin bone)  Everything has been taking 3 times as long to do, so I’m just starting to adjust.

For the next 6 weeks I cannot put Any weight on my leg.  Here on day 3 (only 5 weeks and 4 days to go!!), I am noticing something beautiful taking place.  Although I have casually taught my children how to do laundry, sweep, etc., they are now going to get a deeper experience with it as they help out around the house.

This morning my son not only cleaned up his mess, but put everything exactly where it should be without me reminding him to do so.

My children are wise.  They know how to do quite a bit.  What I am witnessing and realizing now, however, is that by the end of this 6 weeks, they will be much wiser and much more capable of taking care of themselves and our house.  They are going to grow in ways they otherwise would not have.

This is how it is with the Lord.  No matter how much we know about the Lord, His word, and His precepts, the more we dig and study the more we will learn.  His wisdom will continue to fill us throughout our lives.  When we are willing to be taught, we will continue to learn.

Maybe we have read the parable of the wicked vinedressers 84 times.  We may have read the book of Galatians through every few months for the last 20 years of our lives.  There may be times when we find ourselves mindlessly speed-reading through them, but the truth is…we can always learn more from the Word of God.  Because His Word does not return to Him void, there is always something to glean from it.

If we find ourselves casually reading the Word, we can ask the Lord to help us give a deeper experience by taking more responsibility upon ourselves for what we’re learning.  Perhaps we need to find someone who needs to be instructed.  That may cause us to look for more wisdom as we read.  Things we never noticed in those scriptures will suddenly have new meaning.

Maybe there is some kind of ministry for which we need to become responsible.  Learning God’s word to ensure we are filled with Him in order to pour Him out onto others will cause our study time to become more intentional.

Maybe our light has just grown a bit dim.  Reading with the goal of raising the wattage in our light that shines for Him may help us to take on a bit more responsibility with our study time.

Like my kids, maybe it’s the time in our lives when we need to learn more, dig deeper, and grow in ways we didn’t realize we were ready for.  Perhaps now is the time when God has something even more for you…and for me.

Growing with you,

jamie

Understanding the language of wisdom

Pr. 8:9:  “They (all the words of wisdom’s mouth) are all plain to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.”

Think back to a time when you were around someone who was speaking a language unfamiliar to you.  Clues can be gathered from body language, gestures, and voice inflections, but without knowledge of the language, we don’t get the full message.  In order to truly understand, you must study the language or immerse yourself in the culture that uses the language.

Having taken Spanish for 3 years in high school, I can understand certain words and phrases in Spanish; however, I have always lacked confidence when it comes to speaking the language.  The first time we went to Panama, I was resistant to speak the little bit of Spanish I knew for fear of sounding foolish.  We had a translator, but she could not be with each of us every moment of every day.  If I wanted to communicate with those around me I had to figure something out on my own.

I had to begin speaking Spanish.  Those who heard me speak the language became excited and eagerly taught me even more.  I learned even more words while there, and by the end of the week I was speaking many words to communicate.  On the plane to go home I even caught myself saying, “Si” to the English-speaking airline attendant instead of “Yes.”

Being surrounded by others who spoke the language gave me the desire, the familiarity, and the confidence to speak their language.  The same is true with wisdom.  If you want to truly understand and get the full message of God’s wisdom you must study His word, surround yourself with others who speak the language, and allow its familiarity to give you confidence to continue understanding.  Soon the words of wisdom will become plain to you.  You will understand the will of God more plainly.  You will understand His precepts, His guidance, and His rebukes in a way you never did before you began immersing yourself in them.

If you truly want the wisdom of God to guide your life, it must become plain to you.  Study it, surround yourself with others who speak it, and allow them to teach you even more.  God is willing to generously give wisdom to all who ask.  James 1:5.  Pray and ask God to fill you with His wisdom, open His word, and begin to study. You will find so much more than you ever dreamed.  I learn something new every day.

Dios te bendiga,

jamie

 

Are you seeking wise counsel?

Pr. 1:5:  “A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel.”

We know that we must increase learning.  We’ve talked about how we should make time to saturate ourselves in God’s Word.  He has given us so much in His pure, proven, powerful Word.  We can never get too much.

How about attaining wise counsel?  Are we simply reading the Word or are we allowing the Lord’s Word to direct us?  Before making a decision, do we ask ourselves what the Word says about it?

Are we also listening to those whose priority is the Lord and His will?

It is natural to listen to the opinions and suggestions of those around us.  It can be a very good thing.  However, we must guard ourselves and be very careful about which counsel we are allowing to guide us.  We must keep in mind the trajectory of our lives and our final goal.

There are many who focus on and teach about earthly gain, earthly wisdom, earthly perfection, and other earthly priorities.  While it is fine to have many types of acquaintances, I encourage you to be cautious about which one’s you allow to guide your understanding and your decisions.

Find a mentor in the Lord.  Find someone who can teach you more about God.  Find someone who’s life points to the Lord.  Find someone whose priorities are heavenly things.  Find someone with faith like you’ve never seen.

Be aware; however, that your loyalty is always 1st to the Lord.  Humans are imperfect at their very best.  It is wise to find wise counsel, it is wise to swim against the current of our society, and it is wise to let the Lord’s opinion have the final say.

Rejoicing in this day He has made!

jamie