Month of Prayer, Day 13

Lord, just like the writer of Ps. 119:59, I thought about my ways and turned my feet to Your testimonies.  I made haste and did not delay, for Your Word says that those who disdain correction will find poverty and shame.  Those who regard a rebuke; however, will be honored.  Lord, more than honor for me, I want my life to honor You.  Thank You for delivering me from destruction.

Pr. 13:4 says, “The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.”  Lord, if it takes me getting up at midnight to praise You; or reading Your Word in the early hours of the morning, that is what I will do.  I will be diligent in my pursuit of You in order that my soul might be rich.  You are better than any treasure.  The wisdom that I gain from Your Word is life-giving and more advantageous than any other knowledge I could gain.  When I listen to my Father’s instructions, I am wise.

Guide my feet to wise men and women who also fear You.  Give me companions that keep Your precepts and understand that the earth is full of Your mercy.  This way, Lord, You may turn us away from the snares of death.

Help me to act with knowledge and not folly.  Help me to fear Your commandments all the days of my life.  I long for that eternal reward…eternity with You.  I love You, Lord, and I thank You for giving me Your Word and for loving me enough to discipline me when necessary.  Thank You for wanting me that much.  You are an amazing Father!

I love you,

jamie

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Ice skating lessons

Pr. 15:31:  “The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise.”

I spent a tense 30-40 minutes tonight watching my kids and some random strangers ice skate.  Although my kids had a blast, I was cringing every time someone even looked like they might fall.

The fact that I broke my leg on that exact ice rink 11 months ago ensured that I did not put skates on my own feet.  I learned a good lesson from my previous experience.  No way was I getting out there.

I wish it were that easy when it comes to sin.  Even though there have been times when sin has broken something in my own life, I have found myself repeating some sins over and over.

Why don’t I learn from my sins the way I learned from my broken leg?  I’m much more stubborn to the rebukes of sin.

This ice skating lesson has me thinking now.  If I want to abide among the wise, I have to listen to all the rebukes…not just the ones about what ‘seems’ to have hurt me the most.

Ever learning,

jamie

Time to turn

Pr. 1:23:  “Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.” 

The beginning of a new year is a great time to make changes.  Wisdom tells us that if we will turn at her rebuke, she will make her words known to us and pour out her spirit upon us.  Those things sounds great to me.  How about you?

Is there something you know you need to change?  Has wisdom or the Holy Spirit been rebuking you?  Now is the time to listen.  The beauty of following God is that He never asks us to do something and then turns and leaves us.  He is always there, offering aid and help.

If we choose to listen to wisdom today; if we choose to listen to the Holy Spirit, we will not be left alone.  Wisdom’s words will be made known to us and the Holy Spirit will guide and direct us.

Today, let’s turn.  The rewards will not only be great here on earth, but far better for eternity.

Here’s to a wise 2015!!

jamie

Honoring the one who regarded rebuke

Pr. 19:18:  “Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction.”

Last I left you, with regard to my son, he was stripped of all toys and most privileges due to being stuck in a pattern of disrespect.  I am happy to report that things are looking up.  He had the choice of disregarding our correction or regarding our rebuke and receiving honor.  I would like to give honor to him now:

2 nights ago he had a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  Their house is so much fun!  They have Bible story time, game time, arts and craft time, story time, and…they not only have virtually unlimited channels on their tv, plus lots extra movies and shows.  Honestly, I forgot all about reminding him or them that he was not allowed to watch any television or movies.

The next morning my mom called to give me this report:  “I told him he could go watch a show while I got ready for the day.  He started walking towards the living room, but stopped and said, “Oh, Grandma, I forgot.  I’m not allowed to watch any shows.  I got in trouble.”

Now, my parents didn’t know he couldn’t watch shows, and neither his father, sister, nor I were there to monitor his choices.  Character is shown in what you do when no one is looking.  By not watching shows, even when he had Grandma’s permission, my son certainly proved that his character is being set in the right direction.

Today’s verse reminds me that in my last blog about him I said that we want to correct his behavior while he is still young.  Today’s verse says, “while there is still hope.”  We are not willing to resign ourselves to the fact that he will just be a disrespectful man.  We have hope that the Lord will continue to build his character throughout his life.  We do not think that since sinful actions are being demonstrated in his life that he is doomed for destruction.

We know that eternal life awaits our son.  We understand that Jesus came to save and redeem the world…including Levi.  We know that the Lord is not willing that any should perish, and therefore His Holy Spirit works in the hearts of men, reminding them of God.  Levi heeded the reminder of the Holy Spirit when he chose not to watch tv.

No amount of outward behavior means more to me than the act of integrity and obedience to the Holy Spirit that my son demonstrated at Grandma’s house.  His heart is pointed in the right direction and that is what truly matters.

Ro. 5:5:  “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  Praise God!

The same holds true for you and yours.  With God, there is always hope!  There is no age limit to salvation, redemption, or a move of the Holy Spirit.

Honoring Levi,

jamie

Oh, the love in correction

Pr. 13:18:  “Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored.”

I’m sure it’s just the unconscious “I’m 5 now and it’s time to push all the boundaries” type of situation, but we have noticed a pattern of behavior in our little Levi lately.

It may seem unfair or shocking to you, but yesterday we felt it was necessary to have him pack away his toys and put them away until he can correct this issue within himself.  Because of our great love for Levi, we feel it’s very important to correct his disrespectful behavior while he is still young.  We understand, even if he doesn’t, that hitting, lying, and purposefully disobeying will not bring good to him throughout his life.

Truly poverty has come upon this little guy as his room is void of any toys and actually has an echo to it when you walk in.  He has been shamed in front of his sister who is making wiser choices and has a room full of toys.  He has the choice now to either disregard our newest correction, or to regard this rebuke and receive honor.

If he doesn’t receive our correction, things could stay that way for a while.  Certainly, however, as we see that his heart is receiving the message, he will begin to receive his toys back.

He is a little young for the in-depth conversations of cause and effect, consequences, and the laws of reaping what you sow, although I do counsel them both on these truths in ways they can understand.  He can, however, see the truth of cause and effect before his eyes when his intentional behavior causes him to lose privilege after privilege.

Poor guy.  I don’t like it, but we are told in the word that we must correct him now to save his soul, and that if he will honor his parents his life will go well.  There is more at stake than just behavior and compliance.

Naturally we want to train him in a way to prevent him from going to prison or being fired from a job in his later years. More importantly, though, is that in order to receive eternal life, he must humble himself before the Lord.  If he is to humble himself before a God he cannot see, he must be able to be humble.  Disrespect, selfishness, and lying are not attributes of a humble heart.  He must be taught and trained, and we love him too much not to try.

Just like him, sometimes we need correction to reveal to us that our heart is becoming hardened in sin or we are slipping into patterns of behavior that will drive us away from the Lord.  When correction comes our way, we can be thankful that God loves us enough to take the time to correct us.  He is slow to anger and rich in love.  Correction is not meant to be tyranny or manipulation, but point us back toward His loving arms.

Reminded,

jamie

Instruction book

Pr. 10:17:  “He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses correction goes astray.”

I’ve been awake since at least 3 a.m.  My brain was on overdrive thinking about my children.  I kept trying to think of ways to correct the issue of me having to repeat my instructions to them about cleaning up after themselves.  (I hear you seasoned parents chuckling)  As is human nature, my initial thoughts were of talking them to death about how they need to be more responsible and how I am disappointed in their actions up to this point.

I finally climbed out of bed, knowing I needed to seek answers in the Word.  Oh, I can’t thank my Lord enough for giving us His Word!  How many times I have run to it…to Him…for real wisdom.  Thank you, Lord!

So, in the Word, I find a loving, forgiving, encouraging, and understanding Savior who I have disobeyed and let down so many times.  Does He talk me to death?  No.  He lovingly guides me.  Does He lecture me about how irresponsible I am and how disappointed He is in me?  No.  He encourages me with His love for me.  He loves me regardless of my imperfections and He humbly and gently shows me the way to walk.  He corrects me, sure, but through the lens of love.  He forgives me most of all and then encourages me in the fact that I am capable of so much more.

I was instructed by the Word of God today to show my children an example of responsibility through my loving example and guidance; not through an overcritical lecture or the discouraging feelings of disappointment.  I accept the correction of the sinful human nature inside me that allows me to feel entitled to act in the ways of my original thoughts.  I pray that God will help me to keep His instruction and put it into practice in order to guide my children to a loving Savior who offers eternal life.

Do you need instruction today?  Consult the Word.  When we model our lives and our actions after the Lord, we are glorifying Him and pointing others to Him.  Don’t refuse His correction, but knowing that He has good plans for your life, trust Him enough to fully submit to His will and allow His strength to be made known.  We’ll do it together!  My verse for my situation with my kids today:  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”  Find your verse and God will help you live it out.

Corrected,

jamie

 

Don’t underestimate your value

Pr. 15:32:  “He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.”

You are worth so much to God.  You are His child and His creation.  He created you exactly the way He needed you to be to fulfill your purpose.  I tell my daughter all the time that she is “perfectly Kaili.”  Like you and like me, God created her exactly the way He needed her.  She has a job to do on this earth that only she can do.  He designed her specifically for that job.  He did so with us all.

That being said, do not underestimate the value that you hold as His creation–as His child.  Your soul is valuable and you need to treat it as such.  Neglecting your soul is unhealthy and it is doing you no good at all.  You are worth so much and your soul deserves to be nourished, cultivated, and cared for in the best of ways.

If we only feed our flesh while we are here on this earth, we are not doing what is necessary to fulfill the purpose for which we were created.  We are neglecting the true us and only doing ourselves harm.  1 Cor. 3:9 says, “We are God’s fellow workers.”  vs. 16 reminds us that we are “the temple of God.”  We were built for so much more than what is on this earth.

How can we remind ourselves and focus on our true purpose?  We simply must not neglect our souls.  Our spiritual disciplines are for more than just to say, “I read my Bible” or “Yes.  I pray.”  They are to nurture our souls.  Our souls are too important for us to put spiritual disciplines off for another time or another day.

We have to feed on the Word to truly ingest the healthy, life-giving words of Christ.  Our Lord gave us His words.  We have access to the King of Kings at all times through His word.  We have access to the Lord of Lords at any moment through prayer, as we boldly approach His throne.  When we pray we are allowing Him to breathe life into bodies and souls; into every cell of our being.

The healthiest thing we need to focus on today is feeding on the Bread of Life.  Invest in yourself today…you are SO worth it!

Bon appetit,

jamie