This morning, with the apostle Paul’s help, I am praying for you.
Lord, I ask that You will fill every person reading this with knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. I ask that each one will walk worthy of You, fully pleasing You, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of the One true God. Lord, strengthen every one of these with all might, according to Your glorious power, to endure and be patient in this life, with joy.
I give You thanks, our Father, for qualifying us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. Thank you for delivering us from the power of darkness, and transferring us into the kingdom of the Son of Your love, by whose blood we have forgiveness of sins. I love You, my Lord and my God.
Pr. 3:23: “Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble.”
After I got out of the vehicle at church last night, I promptly tripped. Although there was nothing noticeable on the ground in my path, I stumbled, but thankfully didn’t fall.
In this chapter of Proverbs, Solomon tells us about the benefits of having wisdom. One of the benefits of keeping sound wisdom and discretion close is that we will walk safely in our way, and our foot will not stumble.
God’s wisdom helps us to be more aware of the obstacles and roadblocks satan places in our paths. When we have wisdom, we are more able to recognize those obstacles for what they really are: temptations positioned to trip us up, cause us to fall, and cause us to lose our bearings.
Discretion allows us to prepare to purposefully avoid certain obstacles. Instead of walking straight towards them, we are able to make choices that lead us away from or around them.
Unfortunately, there are times when we still make missteps over certain obstacles. We may hesitate to choose God’s will over the flesh, or we might actually fall. However, God gives us the wisdom to keep us from staying down. He gives us discretion to help us put plans in action to keep from tripping over the same obstacles over and over.
As long as we are on this earth there will be stumbling blocks in our path. If we want to walk as safely as possible, we must keep wisdom and discretion close. They will enlighten the path before us, and lead us to those streets of gold.
Pr. 24:1: “Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them”
Ro. 13:11-14 encourages us to cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light. It says, “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Why? Because the day is at hand. Our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
Make no provision for the flesh: making provision for something means that you gather necessary supplies, plan and prepare, set the stage. We are not to do those things for the lusts of our flesh. We are to cast off the works of darkness, getting rid of the provisions and plans for our lusts.
Some associations in our lives make it difficult to walk as in the day. Choosing not to walk in revelry, drunkenness, and lewdness usually involves ending some relationships. Making no provisions will mean that certain actions will have to be changed. Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ will mean that new choices will need to be made.
Change is never easy, but with the day of our salvation nearer than ever before, it is necessary. Anticipating the day when God will wipe away every tear from our eyes, take away sorrow, death, crying, and pain, we must not give up or continue to willingly give in. On that day, former things will pass away, and The Word tells us that, “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall by My son.” (Rev. 21:7)
Since the former things are going to pass away anyway, they are not worth hanging on to. Rev. 12:11 tells us not to “love our lives to the death.” Choosing the idols of our flesh over God reveals what we love most, and will only lead to our death. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. It is our relationship with Jesus that bring salvation.
Making provision to put on the Lord Jesus Christ every day will allow Him to bring to us His great reward. Choosing Him gives us rights to the tree of life and access to the gates of the city of heaven. Confessing, by our choices, that He alone is our God allows us to hear Him say, “Come!” on that great day.
Let’s allow God to help us get rid of the provisions we’ve placed in our lives that help us feed the lusts of our flesh, and to give us a new testimony that includes the healing blood of the Lamb. Together, we will worship, knowing that He is coming quickly…for us.
Here is a song to help set the stage for those changes. I pray God will speak to, strengthen, and cleanse us all today.
Pr. 16:25: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
This verse is so fitting in our world. Although, it has been since time began. Didn’t satan twist words just so to coerce Eve into believing the way she was taking was right? Certainly its end was the way of death.
Today, he is still doing the same. He twist words to make them sound right. Sure, there may be some truth in the words he whispers, but is it THE truth? The Word of God reveals the truth of Jesus who is THE WAY, the truth, and the Life.
It is an imperative that we verify our path by the Word of God. The way we’re headed may seem right, but is it truly? In order to end up with eternal life, we must go by way of Jesus Christ. All other ways, even as right as they may seem, lead to death. Find the true Way.
Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Mt. 7:13-14
Ps. 126:5-6: “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bring his sheaves with him.”
While we are waiting for Christ’s return, we are living in a fallen, sin-cursed world where there is indeed pain and suffering. Here we still experience sorrow, death, and tears. So, in the midst of our trials, how does our trust in God come forth?
We know God’s universal law of reaping and sowing: whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. Gal. 6:7. This Psalm tells us something even more. When we sow in tears we will reap in joy.
If, in the midst of our sorrow and weeping, we continue to sow the seeds of righteousness, we will reap a harvest of joy. Gal. 6:9 promises that, “in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
Trials are common to us all. Suffering is a sad result of sin that affects each of us. Christians, in particular, suffer further persecution at times that can cause even more heart-ache. The promise we have; however, is that even in the midst of the trials, the tears, and the weeping, our faithful sowing will reap joy and we will have a harvest to show for it.
In faith, we can continue to sow seeds around us, even through our tears. Actually, doesn’t it seem sometimes that the best seeds are planted when tears are present? Our experiences give our testimony of faith more weight.
Our trials and painful experiences are like fertilizer that gives the seed the extra nutrients it needs to grow strong. If we can still plant seed and walk in faith even during trials, it gives others the proof they need that God is faithful and mighty; and this can help them to grow strong in the Lord and in their own faith.
I encourage you today, while you are waiting, to continue trusting in God’s faithfulness and to continue sowing seeds. Water the seeds with your tears, if need be, but continue to sow. You will reap joy and come back rejoicing, harvest in hand!
Pr. 23:9: “Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.”
The Bible describes a fool as one who has said in his heart, “there is no God.” For those of us who deeply love and believe in God, knowing that someone we love does not also believe can be deeply painful. We do not wish that our loved ones would pass away not believing, and not going to their eternal life in heaven. It is also sad to watch loved ones not living this life empowered by the Lord and the Holy Spirit.
As Christians, we understand the power that comes from surrendering to the Lord, and we wish that for those we love. It is natural for us to talk about the Lord on a daily basis, but when faced with an unbeliever, these conversations can be seen as offensive or even turn into hurtful debates. I think we can gather from Solomon that although we have much wisdom within us, there is a time when we must simply cease our speaking.
This is where it become imperative that we are walking in the Spirit. If we simply trust in the Lord, love Him with all our hearts, walk in His power, and allow His Spirit to guide us, it will be evident to those around us. We must be the example of the reasons why believing in and trusting in the Lord is the best option.
I am not saying we shouldn’t witness to others. I believe we should be full of the wisdom of the Lord and ready to offer praise and answers about Him at all times. There comes a point; however, when our words become despised. Our words, when heard over and over, can begin to grate on the nerves of one who does not believe.
So what do we do? We walk in the Spirit. We live a life that honors God. We pray. This is where prayer is truly an imperative. We must bring our loved ones before the Lord, who is the One who has given salvation. The word says that the Holy Spirit is the One who convicts sinners. (John 16:8) The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth. (John 16:13) The Holy spirit also teaches all things and brings to remembrance the things the Lord has spoken to us (and to our loved ones). (John 14:26)
Notice that the Holy Spirit does the teaching, the truth-telling, and the convicting. Yes, we must be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope we have, but an answer requires a question. If the hope of God shows in our lives, someone may just ask us why. We can then answer their question. If we don’t show any hope and only try to do the convicting ourselves, our words will be despised.
We must let go and let God do His job. He does not wish that any should perish, but that all should be brought to repentance. Our job is to continue in the truth, in His wisdom, in faith, in hope and in prayer, showing the love and meekness of Christ.
Pr. 5:23: “He shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.”
When we were in high school, my friend and I went on a hike in the middle of the Monongahela National Forest in the Appalachian Mountains. (in other words…the middle of nowhere) We took no food or water, and no other supplies. We followed a trail to the top of a mountain and were enjoying the view of the land on the other side. We were having such a nice time, just walking and enjoying God’s creation. After a while; however, we knew it was time to head back home.
The problem? I had not told my parents exactly where we were going, and without their wise input, even if we turned around, I wasn’t sure where to find the same trail to get us back down that mountain. We spent the next few hours, with no food or water, on pretty perilous paths, making our way back to my now-panicking parents.
My friend and I were young and naive. Without the instruction we needed, we certainly went astray. That is why it is so important for Christians to read the word of God. We all go astray without instruction. Try getting in your car and heading to a destination with no GPS, no map, but just an idea about which direction to head. You will inevitably go astray.
Same with the Christian walk. There are so many paths we are able to take in this life. Without the word of the Lord guiding us, we will inevitably take a perilous path. Psalm 37 talks about how the wicked prosper and live lives that can cause us to envy them. We can easily follow the paths of this world. When things look good, fun, prosperous, entertaining, fulfilling, etc., it is easy for us to turn in that direction.
Without instruction how would you know that evildoers shall be cut off? If you don’t read the word, how will you know that those who wait on the Lord shall inherit the earth and delight themselves in the abundance of peace?
I know a song that says, “I’m using my Bible for a road map.” How fitting. We need the Bible to guide us in our walk. Thinking about taking that road towards transgression? Your ‘road map’ will remind you that transgressors shall be destroyed together and the future of the wicked shall be cut off.
Hoping to head towards that place of prosperity Well, check the map. The Bible will remind you that when you delight yourself in the Lord, He shall give you the desires of your heart. Your desires will be in line with His will and not the selfish ambitions of those who do not follow His paths.
Check out Psalm 37 today. See how the steps of a good man are ordered. Find out what happens if you fall. Do you know what happens when you commit your way to the Lord or have a time of trouble? Get out your map and find out for yourself. If you read it today, you’ll be ready to take the right path even before you get there.
Pr. 2:20 “So you may walk in the way of goodness, and keep to the paths of righteousness.”
We are encouraged to walk on paths of righteousness. Have you ever thought about where that path ends? The next verse tells us that we will one day present ourselves to God.
Ro. 6:12-13: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”
We all sin, but Paul reminds us that sin should not have dominance in our lives. We should not blindly follow and obey our lusts.
We present ourselves before our living God. Does that fact make you want to change anything about your life? Jesus made us His righteousness when He took our sins. We are called to be instruments of that righteousness.
Not only will our path lead to the Lord, but while we’re on that path our lives are being examined. Our children are learning how to live by watching us. Our family is taking notes as we walk along. Our friends are looking for hope. Our acquaintances are watching for discrepancies.
Let’s make sure that goodness is before us on the path before we step. If you see a dark spot on the road before you, don’t step there. Look for the light beside it. The Lord always offers us a way around the darkness! Keep to the paths of your Savior and you will present yourself a living sacrifice to your Father and to Jesus Christ who laid down His life for us all.
The path of righteousness doesn’t buy our way into heaven. The only way is through Jesus. However, the path of righteousness will be a witness of our love for Christ and will help us point others to Him.
These are the random ruminations of a man on the run. The goal is to run this race of life well, encouraging as many as I can along the way, and to eventually meet my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and thank Him for the trip. (I am also prone to shamelessly brag on my perfect grandchildren.)