A treasure worth the search

Pr. 2:4:  “If you seek for her [wisdom] as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures…”

Last week my kids were able to spend time playing outside with some cousins their age.  They found some bones in the woods, and suddenly there was a mystery in play.  They began talking about the origin of the bones, desiring to get to the bottom of why the bones were there, and searching for clues.

When we went home later that day, my kids were still talking about the bones.  In fact, they came up with plans for tracking down the secret of the mystery.  They also packed extra supplies to use the next morning when we went back.  No provision was overlooked.  There were magnifying glasses, binoculars, field journals, walking sticks, ropes, flashlights…you name it!

On the way back to see their cousins the next morning, my kids were brimming with excitement as they discussed their plans in depth.  When we arrived, they got right to work.  They spent the next 5 hours setting up traps, walking the property looking for clues, and searching for the answers to the mystery.  At one point I saw them walking around with a bone attached to a rope.  (It would later become the bait for a trap)

None of us adults ever told them that the bones were from a Thanksgiving turkey thrown out earlier that week.  It was much more fun to watch their minds and imaginations at work.

Now bones aren’t much of a treasure to most of us adults, but the concept remains.  Those kids spent a total of 7 hours on those 2 days searching for the hidden answers to the treasure they found.  My kids were exhausted by the time we got back home the second day, heading straight to the couch to lie down for some rest.

This proverb tells us that when we search for wisdom as one searches for hidden treasure, that we will then understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.  I saw illustrated with those kids, that it sure takes some persistence when searching for hidden treasure.  Their thoughts were focused on it, their planning time was consumed with it, and their time searching was spent solely on that purpose.

If we can be as persistent, we will find the treasures that await.  Will we have to answer to every question we’ve ever wondered?  Not just yet.  But we will find the knowledge we need for now, the fear of the One who gives it, and find the peace and satisfaction that can only come from Him.

We will know Who we are living for, and why we do what we do.  We will be more determined than ever to persist in using our lives for Him.  And then, one glorious day, we will be with Him for all eternity!  🙂  Now that’s a treasure worth our time!

Happy hunting!

jamie

 

 

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Finding the root I needed

Pr. 12:3:  “A man is not established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous cannot be moved.”

I remember my young adult years being filled with what I referred to as restlessness.  I never felt a strong sense of peace in my life and I blamed it on anything but myself.  I listened to my music way too loud, I wore clothes that let me feel ‘free’, I travelled a lot, I drank too much, and camped out alone in the woods.  I was trying to intentionally either out run my restlessness or ease it with over the top activities.

I was trying to find my peace in things of this world, sin, and unconstraint.  Unfortunately, all I really found was more loneliness, more restlessness, and choices to regret later on.  Thankfully I didn’t lose my life in the process.

I remember the day I realized I no longer felt that restlessness.  It kind of snuck up on me, actually.

During my peace-seeking I found a man who loved Jesus.  Yes, I had been raised in church, but I really only loved myself.  Jesus was only ever in my mind when I felt momentary guilt or shame.

Eventually we were married, and this man who loved Jesus took me to a church that loved Jesus.  I began to understand what it meant that Jesus was truly my Savior.  I began to understand how much He loved me.  (You don’t die in someone else’s place if they don’t mean something to you)

I began to read the Word of God out of curiosity and delight rather than out of duty.  I found out more about God’s love than I had ever known before.

I began to worship the Lord just for who He is, not out of guilt or shame.  I finally perceived the truth about grace, realizing salvation was not based on my actions, good or bad, but on God’s grace and compassion.

One day, without warning, I realized I was full of peace.  All the restlessness that I thought I’d been cursed with was simply gone.  In its place was the peace that passes all understanding, and the One who had placed it there was God.

Finally, I had a root to hold me in place.  My foundation was solidly established, and I no longer had to out run the sinking sand beneath my feet.

Once I allowed Jesus Christ to be my personal Cornerstone, I gained the security I’d sought for so long.

I know from experience, that anything outside of God will leave your foundation unsound and unstable.  If you need a foundation for your life that is fixed and unshakable, Jesus Christ is the answer.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.”  Matthew 14:27

Rooted in Him alone,

jamie

Have you found great treasure?

I just caught a few minutes of a movie where a girl finds a piece of some long-lost treasure.  It ended with her walking away with that one piece and going on with her life.

Not hardly.  I only saw the first 15 minutes of the 108 minute movie, but I think it’s safe to assume that the remaining 93 minutes will be about her going back to try to find the rest of the treasure.

Watching the girl’s intrigue and excitement about the treasure she discovered reminded me of the treasure we find in Christ.

We all love treasure.  We all love finding something of worth.  We all like the excitement of things that are out of the ordinary.

What was the piece treasure you found that pointed to Christ?  Was it a scripture that spoke directly to your situation?  Perhaps God answered a prayed even when you weren’t serving Him?  Did you witness a miracle or a transformation in someone’s life?  Was your piece of treasure the Holy Spirit comforting you when nothing else could?

Whatever the exact piece of treasure you found, it’s hard to simply walk away with that 1 piece and go on with life.  It’s almost impossible not to be intrigued by the prospect that there is more where that came from.

What’s the best part?  There truly is more waiting for us.  Much more.  All we have to do is go back and search for another piece.  James 4:8 tells us that when we draw near to God He will draw near to us.  That means that when we search for more of Him, we will find it.  He is ready to reveal more when we continue to dig.

If you have found a piece of the great treasure that is in Jesus Christ, don’t walk away with just that 1 piece.  Go back and dig for another.  It’s there just waiting for your discovery.

Eventually you’ll have found so much that you’ll have no other desire than to share a piece with someone else.  Then they will go back and search for more, as well.  And so it continues…

Leaving no stone unturned,

jamie

 

 

Where is He?

Pr. 15:3:  “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” 

We’ve heard the question, “Well, where was God when…?”

Psalm 11:4 tells us that “The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold.”

He is keeping watch, and even when it doesn’t “feel” like it, He is still on the throne.

If we are daily seeking after Him, spending time in His presence, and trusting in Him, we will not be disappointed.

Malachi 4 promises:

For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble.  And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” says the Lord of hosts, “that will leave them neither root nor branch.  But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves.  You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this, ” says the Lord of hosts.

Continue with God.  Don’t give up now.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  He does not change.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful, and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Press on, my friends,

jamie

He speaks

Pr. 28:14:  “Happy is the man who is fears the Lord always, but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.”

This morning I read Mt. 13:1, “On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea.  And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.”

Multitudes traveled countless miles and gathered to hear Jesus speak.  They stood in the crowd to glean wisdom from Him, possibly to receive healing from Him, or maybe just out of curiosity.  The point is that they so wanted to see or hear Jesus that they came to find Him.

Ps. 117:2 tells us, “And the truth of the Lord endures forever.”

Like the multitudes, we need to seek Jesus.  We need to find Him so that we may hear the enduring truth that He and the Father speak.

In order to fear the Lord, keeping ourselves to His will and His precepts, we must know what He has said to us.

Had the multitudes not gathered that day, they would not have head the parables of Jesus.  They would not have heard about the kingdom of heaven.  The judgment would not have been revealed to them.

In order to keep our hearts from hardening in sin and against the Lord, we must find Him and hear Him.  Lest we fall into calamity, we must remain close to His teachings.  Having heard Him, we can then turn our lives fully over to Him and His will.

When we know the true God, we do not desire to turn our backs on Him, but to walk with Him and keep ourselves holy unto Him.  This fear of the Lord makes us happy.

Find Jesus today.  Seek Him out.  Do whatever you must to hear His words of truth which endures forever.  I pray that in your hearing, you also understand.  True happiness and joy await.

Smiling for you,

jamie

 

Blueprints and sleep

Last night, I slept through the night for the first time in 4 days.  I am so grateful this morning.  Yesterday was an interesting day as I stayed as busy as possible in the hopes that I wouldn’t fall over, while my brain was functioning at what felt like 1/3rd of its capacity.

Over the phone last night, my mother-in-law reminded me of Ps. 127:2 which says, “for so He gives His beloved sleep.”  Yes!!  I hadn’t thought about that.  When I found myself waking up again last night at what must have been 1:00 or 3:00, just like the nights before, I began to pray and remind the Lord of His Word, and He gave me sleep again.   🙂

The beginning of Psalm 127 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”  It brings to mind an important question for us all:  Are you building your life in vain, or are you allowing the Lord to be the master builder?

Who’s blueprints are you using?  Are you using the blueprints you’re making up as you go, or the ones clearly laid out in His Word?  As I quoted this scripture in my prayer last night, I didn’t first ask myself if I was His beloved or not.  I was simply crying out to my Beloved, and to the One who supplies my needs.

His plans for our lives are the only ones that will lead to salvation and the only ones that will stand.  Instead of laboring in vain, we can allow His Word to be the blueprints upon which we choose to build our lives.  Doing this takes all the pressure off.  He will be the One building, not us.  We do not need to lose sleep, wondering how or what to build next.  We can rest in the fact that He is the Master Builder and He has it all under control!

Yes, I am speaking to myself in this blog.  When I awake with worry, ideas, plans to be made, and questions about the next section to be worked on, I can simply remind myself that He has it all under control.  If I choose to follow His plans and submit to His will, I need not worry.  I recall my Savior telling us, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”  It is impossible for Him to lie, so this must be true.  Let’s seek Him, and let Him do the building.  What’s left to do but give Him praise!?

Praising Him!  \o/

jamie

An interesting sermon on sleep:  The Peculiar Sleep of the Beloved, Charles Spurgeon

 

Today’s exhortation

Pr. 5:8:  “Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house.”

This chapter is labeled, ‘The Peril of Adultery.’  Solomon is warning about keeping away from an immoral woman.  He doesn’t offer the smoothest come backs or correct excuses to give.  He doesn’t talk about how you should interact properly with her.  He says remove your way far from her, and don’t even go near the door of her house.  Just stay as far away as you can…indefinitely.

This same caution can be used for any sin or temptation.  If you’re tempted to steal, do not even go to the stores where you are tempted.  Since you may still have to shop for your family, and you must enter a tempting store, you need someone with you at all times to watch over and keep you accountable.  Let it even be your kids, who can watch your example of not giving in to temptation.  The temptation is not a sin!

Just fill your temptation in the blank.  The same rules apply.  This morning, I read in Hebrews 3:13 that says we should exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of us be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  We are supposed to urgently appeal to and strongly encourage one another in the area of temptation and sin.

Temptations offer a fantasy that never comes true.  We’re continually lured by the delusion that giving in to our temptations will bring us the peace, joy, and satisfaction that we seek.  The sad truth is that the damage of sin is always evident after the temptation has been given into.  The more we sin, the easier satan has it in trying to keep us in that sin.

I exhort you today to remove your way far from sin.  Do not even go near to the temptations you know you have.  When you are faced with a new temptation, turn and flee.  Don’t even question it.  God will honor your obedience and will work the details out for your good.  He will show Himself strong on your behalf as you have shown yourself loyal to Him.

Ask for help from another if you need to.  Let someone else watch how you plan Not to sin.  Perhaps that will encourage them to do the same.  Remember that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  If the you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, then the Holy Spirit lives within you and love, joy, and peace are His fruit that will grow in your life.

If you need those things, then the Lord is where you find them.  If you need to be loved unconditionally, look to the cross, to the One who gave His life for YOU!  If you need exhilaration, look no further.  When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, it brings pure joy!  Remember how David danced before the Lord with all his might in 2 Samuel 6:14?  That was pure, untainted joy.  Find your joy, peace, satisfaction, and love in the Lord today.  He has all that and more just for you.

Joyfully fleeing,

jamie