Wisdom Fruit: A Journey in Proverbs 3: Oh, what JOY

Proverbs 3:13

“Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.” Proverbs‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It’s all about Joy this beautiful Monday morning. I’m focused on just this one verse because JOY is the byproduct of wisdom. Joyful meaning FULL of JOY- Completely filled with well-being and happiness.

It comes when we:
1 – Find Wisdom
2 – Gain Understanding

Most of the time we have to look for something in order to find something. Very rarely does something just fall in our laps, but to find anything, even wisdom, we have to look or ask for it.


When we are looking/seeking, God wants our wholehearted attention as mentioned earlier in Proverbs. We must seek Him and His wisdom with our whole hearts. ( Jer. 29:13) When we ask Him for wisdom, James 1:5-6 says we are to ask boldly in faith, nothing wavering, and He will generously give it to us.

We gain understanding as we get and apply God’s wisdom. Proverbs 2:1-3 tells us to apply our hearts, concentrate on understanding, cry out for insight and ask for understanding. Finding wisdom and gaining understanding is not passive, but takes intentional, consistent effort. But in acquiring wisdom and understanding, we experience deep abiding joy that makes everything worthwhile. Joy is one of the fruit of the Spirit and it is something that God desires us to always have in abundance!

When we have joy, we also have strength! The Joy of the Lord is our strength! When we have joy, we don’t mind working hard and it helps us endure seeming impossible tasks. The Bible tells us that Jesus endured the cross when He thought about the Joy of reconciling us back to Him. God wants us to have abundant unspeakable joy!

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

Wisdom Fruit: A Journey in Proverbs 3 – Honor & Wealth

Proverbs 3:9-10

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.” Prov. 3:9-10 NLT

Ever since Jesus told the rich young ruler to SELL everything and give it away, people’s first reaction to this verse is to clutch their wallets tighter. That instruction was just for the rich young ruler and God was identifying where his heart really was. Where your treasure is your heart is also, which tells us that how we behave around finances really shows us the state of our hearts. Ouch!

What does it mean to Honor the Lord with your wealth?

It first means realizing that God gave you the wealth in the first place. In fact, the Lord specifically tells us to remember that fact in Deuteronomy 8:18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth…” We thank God for His continuous provision in our lives and for empowering us to accumulate not only what we need but to help others.

Secondly, we honor God by seeking His guidance in how we should manage that wealth. The latter part of that verse is even more specific, that we should honor God not only with wealth but also with the BEST part of everything we produce. He is talking both accumulated wealth and the continuous income or increase that we receive. God modeled that for us in giving us the precious thing He had, His son Jesus.

When we do this we are showing God and reinforcing in our hearts that we trust Him as directed earlier in Prov. 3:5. God is the ultimate financial advisor. When we give Him the reigns of our wealth, He shows us where to give to have the highest impact. We are conduits of God’s Grace, resources, power and love to others.

THEN, watch this, God will fill our BARNS with grain and our VATS will overflow with good wine. We often see the verse or phrase, “Fill my CUP Lord” or in Psalms 23, “ my cup running over”, but as we honor God with our wealth and increase, this stewardship multiplies it in greater measure. That cup is transformed into very large containers He fills with grain with sustaining power for years and very large tanks overflowing of good quality, valuable wine. Good stewardship brings increase.

Wisdom Fruit: Journey in Proverbs 3- Trust & Direction

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Prov 3:5-6 NLT

This scripture was my mother’s favorite verses and whenever I read it, I hear it in her voice and it centers me- a soothing balm to my soul.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Trust is built on interaction & relationship -It is not transactional. Spending time with God in prayer, reading / studying the Word, and fellowship all help us to know Him and built trust in Him. The amplified Bible says it this way, “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord” He is Our Father!

But the verse continues with ALL your heart. That’s ALL, withholding nothing. God seems to know our tendency to be distracted or unfocused, to not commit fully. But He wants our full attention. David prayed in Ps 86:11 “Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.” Unite my heart, make it whole so that I can wholly honor Your name, I God.

Then it says, do not rely, depend, lean on or trust in your own insight or understanding. We must heartily resist that independent streak to do things in our own strength, or through our own filter or perspective. It’s one of those instructions that say “Do this AND STOP doing that.” God wants to liberate us from our limited understanding to focus on His limitless opportunities.

Seek His will in ALL you do – again that means everything- especially those things that you really don’t want input on. lol. And He WILL show the path to take. This is a promise from God! As we seek His wisdom in the affairs of life, He will show us what to do, and where to go. Isaiah 30:21 makes it more explicit “Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.”

Help us, O Lord, to trust You with our full attention and heart and not trust in our limited understanding. Help us to seek us in everything we do, knowing that You will direct, lead, guide us and show us what to do.

Wisdom Fruit: Daily Journey in Proverbs 3: Keep it Close

Proverbs 3:3-4

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:” Proverbs 3:3 KJV

God’s word is constantly reminding us to Remember! He knows our tendency to forget things quickly. Prov 3:3 tells us NEVER let loyalty (truth) and kindness ( mercy/faithfulness) leave you. These attributes are so important to God because they are integral parts of His character.

Truth/ Loyalty

There is no hypocrisy, deceit or falsehood in God, and we must earnestly cultivate loyalty, allegiance, truth, faithfulness in our lives. Truth is so fundamental- essential that Jesus proclaimed in John 14:6 ““I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life.” Another scripture says, it is impossible for God to lie. This steadfastness and strong ethical compass is what Soloman is exhorting in this passage, to “stay true” and remain faithful to God’s principles.

Mercy/ Kindness

God is a merciful and kind, and prioritizes those attributes in our lives. As my Pastor so frequently taught recently, when Moses asked God to show His glory, God said “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy on whom I will have mercy .”” Exodus 33:19 God’s mercy is His glory. As He is, so shall we be.

Solomon then exhorts to tie them ( truth/loyalty and kindness/mercy) around your neck” and write them deep in your heart as a reminder. This is not an alarm clock reminder, but kept in close proximity so that you never forget. It’s s hard to ignore something tied around your neck, or placed deep in your heart.

This exhortation to remember or “never forget“ by any means necessary echoes Moses’ exhortation to the people just after the 10 commandment were given to commit themselves to learning and obeying the commandments. He says in Deut. 6:6-7, commit them to your hearts, teach them to your children, talk about them at home and on the road, in the morning and bedtime. Tie them to your hands and put on your forehead as a reminder. This sounds extreme and it is!

These attributes of loyalty and kindness are the basis of strong relationships. We should earnestly pray to remember and practice these things that are so very close to the heart of God and His very nature: Prov 3:4 says THEN we will find favor with both God and people, and earn a good reputation. The benefit and fruit of favor and reputation are just the icing on the cake.

Dear Lord,

Help us to do whatever it takes to keep loyalty and kindness deep in our hearts and bind to our necks so that all that we do and say are guided by these divinely inspired characteristics. Have Your way in our lives, in Jesus name.

#wisdom #truth #loyalty #mercy #kindness

Cast EVERY Care

This morning I woke up with a strange weariness, realizing that I had been carrying the burden of the recent tragic senseless murders of two young black and brown men/ boys at the hands of those meant to protect them in my heart. All week I was distracted – I had to fight to stay focused on work, get through meetings, and even dealing with mundane household issues that come with the new pandemic norm of everyone working or taking classes at home.

As the mother of a 21 yrs old son ( pictured above) who has already tasted of police bias against him several times ( just being a young black carefree male), I continue to draw near to throne of grace to place this burden in God’s very capable hands. In times like these, His word is a great consolation and anchor for my soul.

In I Peter 5:7 God encourages us to cast ALL our cares upon Him, not just some of them. The NLT translation puts it this way,“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” His great concern and love for us are designed to carry every worry and every care that we have. In Philippians 4: 6 He actually commands us to “Don’t worry about anything & pray about EVERYTHING. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all he has done. ”

Trusting God with my children has been a daily commitment for me as they have gotten older and especially now as they are transitioning to adulthood. Placing their protection and growth in God’s very capable hands is something that I am growing in faith, and I need His abundant grace to break free from the traps of worry that try to overtake me when triggering incidents like these recent events happen. My heart aches for these families.

May God have mercy on the families of Daunte Wright and Adam Torres who have to endure senseless and unimaginable pain. I pray that God’s promise to comfort them in times of mourning would embrace them and help them heal, restore and relieve the aching pain of loss. He is the God of ALL comfort. We are to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find FIND GRACE in the time of need.

Ps 31:19 also promises that as we come to the Lord for protection, He lavishes us with His goodness which He has stored up for us in great measure. That goodness is not just for our benefit, but so we can pour it out to others. As we are restored, we can be ( should be) that conduit of Gods grace to a world(our families, friends and community) desperate for healing and wholeness.

Praying for other parents of black and brown sons and daughters who share this concern, that God’s abundant grace will empower them also to move forward beyond worry into trust in Gods goodness. Reach out to someone with a word of encouragement, overlook an offense, give grace when someone doesn’t immediately respond, write a note of thanks. Already you have made the world a better place and eased a burden.

Now Go!

Exodus 4:11-12

Morning meditation:
I felt this “NOW GO!” echoing in my heart this morning. Like Moses, I have offered of excuses, and the Lord patiently but urgently pushes me forward with His Word! He then continues, “I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”

God is with US. He has our back!

Also praying that I will NOT be like Moses who continues in this passage with imposter syndrome, telling God all his personal limitations, how he stutters etc. and further frustrating God. You know the story how Aaron then speaks for Moses. God is still with Moses in spite of his personal sense of inadequacy. Moses is many times lauded for not having a “slave mentality” being brought up in Pharoahs house. But I think this also fueled his over dependency and focus on personal strength even with the Almighty God telling him he could do it. Clearly He had more growing to do in God as we all do! And there is more! Later in the chapter, Moses wife Zipporah, saved Moses from Gods wrath, and had to circumcise their son because he wouldn’t/ couldn’t bring himself to do it.

Moses had to learn complete dependence on God – We see cracks in his trust in God throughout his story and I believe that was the root cause of His disobedience that ultimately led to his not completely seeing the promised land even though God honored him.

Joshua had that 100% pure, sold out heart ( complete trust and faith in God) needed to fight for and claim the promises of God! Ps.86:11 says “Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.” Ps‬ ‭86:11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

#faith #NowGo #Trust #Obedience #purifymyheart

21 Days of Grace – Day 21

Revelation 22:21

Revelation 22:21
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen.

So very fitting that I conclude this 21 days of Grace series with the final verse of the Bible which emphasizes Jesus’s desire for His grace be with US, Gods people. This is the heart of God toward us, this is His desire – that His empowering, amazing grace and favor be with each of us always. He is waiting on us to receive it. And that is great news!

Thanks you all who walked with me on this grace journey. I hope we return to these verses again and again, hide them in ours heart, so that we can truly walk in Gods abundant grace so that we can be His vessel of grace to others. God bless you! #Grace #favor #GodwithUs #21Days

21 Days of Grace – Day 20

2 Corinthians 12:9

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me

This verse is actually the Lord’s response to Paul to remove or cure a “thorn” in his flesh. God’s answer was to say, My grace is all you need, for my strength, my power works best or is amplified best in weakness.

How do we respond when God tells us no?

Paul immediately knew that God’s “No” was always going to be better than a Yes to answered prayer.

God promised him that He would be with him at his weakest. Paul desired and valued Gods presence so much that he said he “gladly boasted” of his infirmities, his weakness so that Christ power would rest (dwell) on him. When we are most vulnerable, as we cry out to God, He promise that His power will be amplified and leverage our weakness to bridge any problem and lead us to victory. But Paul knew and we must also know, that growing in Gods presence and grace, is always the answer to every problem – it is the only solution.

21 Days of Grace -Day 19

Ephesians 1:6-7

Ephesians 1:6-7 NLT
So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.

Stop whatever you are doing right now for a praise break! God has poured out His Glorious GRACE on us who belong to Jesus. We should all live in a constant state of gratitude toward God for all He does for us. A little grace goes a long way, but time and time again we see that God lavishes His grace on us and it is glorious ( full of His glory).

Verse 7 continues extol the very nature of God, His rich KINDNESS and GRACE and the very high price He paid for us to “belong to His dear Son”, His beloved. He purchased our freedom with the the blood of His beloved Son and forgave our sins. How can we be bitter, knowing that God loves us so much and has given us so much. Since we belong to Jesus we must be the conduits of that same Kindness and Grace that God lavishly pours out on us. Help us Lord, to be those vessels of glorious grace to a world that desperately needs Your touch in Jesus name.

#Grace #Kindness #redemption #Forgiveness #21DaysofGrace