Wisdom Fruit: Journey in Proverbs 3: Healing & Strength

Proverbs 3:7-8

“Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.” Proverbs 3:7-8

This made me chuckle a bit, because it seems to say, don’t get the Big Head, thinking you’re all that. We often hear “ Hype yourself!” But I think every now and then we get carried away. It’s okay to feel pride in accomplishment, but sometimes we believe that we did it on our own. We may fall into self-reliance or conceit, thinking we don’t need God. One commentary (Barnes) noted “The great hindrance to all true wisdom is the thought that we have already attained it.” Staying humble keeps us teachable .

I.N.S.T.E.A.D

We are to Fear the Lord, with reverent awe and obedience. When we turn and see God in His omnipotence and greatness, we can’t help but feel how small we are. We can then turn away( and stay away) from evil.

The benefits of this is Healing! Can you imagine that when we resist self reliance, fear and worship our awesome God, we will have physical healing for our bodies and strength! Our own reservoir of strength can get quickly depleted when we do things on our own or in our own strength. When I’m feeling tired and worn down, I always know that I have not giving something over to God or tried to fix something with my own intellect. But God wants us to turn to Him and his unlimited regenerative power and strength will sustain us.

What a great promise from God!

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

Wisdom Fruit: A Daily Journey in Proverbs 3- Never Forget

Proverbs 3:1-2

Good morning June!
Wisdom Fruit : Daily Journey in the rich verses of Proverbs 3

My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I have been studying Proverbs 3 for a few weeks now, and God led me to pray this chapter for the month of June. I felt led to share this journey with all of you with a daily exhortation from the chapter.

It’s Personal: The first verse in this chapter starts off with a personal salutation, “my son” or “my child” which means a close relationship from a father or beloved teacher. This is more of an exhortation and impartation… so lean in closer.

Never Forget my teachings,the things I have taught you. This is an urgent, deliberate, very important admonishment which commands our attention to go back and study the instructions he has given.

The verse instructs further- Keep ( store) them in your heart. Remember when we used to say we “know by heart” certain things like the pledge of allegiance, lyrics or other information we which we committed to memory. We rehearsed and repeated it over and over til we could recall it on demand without referring to the source document.

This is what Soloman is saying: Commit to my teachings on wisdom hidden in your hearts and you will enjoy the fruit of:
1- A long life: we will live many years
2- A satisfying and prosperous life

What is the benefit of a long life if it is not satisfying or fulfilling. God’s principles help us make wise decisions that help us enjoy and prolong our lives.

It’s also helps us resist sin as noted in Ps 119:11 Thy word have I hid in that I might not sin against thee.

Remember:
• It’s Personal
• Never Forget Gods principles
• Store in Your Heart
• Long and satisfying Life

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 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

21 Days of Grace – Day 18

Genesis 6:8

Genesis‬ ‭6:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

This short verse really captivated me this morning. The scripture tells us that while the law came via Moses ( Old Testament), grace and truth came through Jesus Christ ( I John 1:17). So while many of us think of grace as a New Testament doctrine, we see that even before the law of Moses was established, God found grace in Noah! So the doctrine of Grace threaded, woven throughout the Bible. It is foundational.

This brief verse comes after a passage detailing the deep corruption and sin of man and God’s resulting displeasure and desire to wipe them out. Yet, in the midst of His displeasure, Noah stood out in God’s sight! Something in Noah made God pause and reconsider His plan. Noah found grace with God, because God saw Noah’s devotion, trust and faith in His word. He desired to honor God even in the midst of great evil, and was leading his family in righteousness. Noah risked ridicule and ostracism to follow what God had spoken in his heart.

This grace that God found in Noah is referenced extensively throughout the New Testament. It is the character of God. God is willing to spare His wrath, delay judgement, provide escape from destruction when He detects ONE heart willing to believe and trust in Him,even in the midst of vast corruption or persecution. In the Old Testament, we also see Abraham, petitioning God to spare Lot, delaying destruction of Sodom so Lot could escape. That was grace in action. God is a merciful and just God. He is looking for hearts turned toward Him to pour out His grace – In this case, God’s grace spared the utter destruction of the world to preserve and prepare his covenant with man. He truly is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Great is Your faithfulness to us, O’ God!

21 Days of Grace – Day 17

John 1:14

John 1:14 (NIV)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Here, we see the love of God demonstrated so completely. Jesus, the Word of God, took on human form to dwell with us. Not just an angelic momentary visitation, sighting, or conversation like in the Old Testament, but Jesus actually lived among us, fellowshipping, teaching, ministering and touching us. And John says even though we have seen him as a man, we have also seen His divine nature, His glory , via miracles, his resurrection and walking so closely with Him attesting to His oneness with God.

And the very expression of Jesus (the Word) is FULL of GRACE ( empowering favor, benevolence, mercy kindness) and TRUTH (Jesus declared the truth only with all sincerity and integrity). How wonderful that we can go to His Word today and receive that grace and truth.