Wisdom Fruit: A Journey on Proverbs 3

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 ion Proverbs 3

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: Journey in Proverbs 3

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.

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 12

Titus 2:11-12

Titus 2:11-13
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

God’s amazing grace offers salvation to everyone! It empowers us to “Just Say No” to those things that would derail or distract us from our purpose . His grace also empowers us to live self controlled, godly lives that honor Him and bring glory to God. We need His help to do the right things and make the right choices.

21 Days of Grace – Day 11

Acts 20:32

Day 11- 21 Days of Grace

Acts 20:32 (AMP)

And now I commend you to God [placing you in His protective, loving care] and [I commend you] to the word of His grace [the counsel and promises of His unmerited favor]. His grace is able to build you up and to give you the [rightful] inheritance among all those who are sanctified [that is, among those who are set apart for God’s purpose—all believers].

There is much in this scripture about Grace, I used the Amplified version above to detail how much power is in these passage. Here, Paul is giving a leadership exhortation as he is departing, entrusting the church ( his leaders) to God AND God’s message of grace which has the power to 1) build us up and 2) give us an inheritance with those who are sanctified ( those who have accepted Jesus into their lives) .

God’s grace via his Word builds, strengthens, corrects, establishes and makes us firm in Him as we navigate our lives. His grace also makes us heirs to the blessings, riches, salvation that comes with being Gods children. As we come to Christ, yield to His precepts, he makes us worthy and equips us to continue to be carriers of this grace to others.

21 Days of Grace: Day 2

Ephesians 4:7

Written 1/2/21

Ephesians 4:7 “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”

God is so faithful that He gives us the grace we need to accomplish the purpose and plans He has for our lives. This entire chapter in Ephesians talks about the unity in Christ and also the different gifts He gives to each of us for the edification of all! Since He has already given us this grace- Receive It!

It was uniquely designed for you. Yesterday’s scripture tells us there is a superabundant supply of that grace found in Christ. May God bless you richly today! #Grace #21DaysofGrace

Let there be Light

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:3-5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

My previous post mentions that “Let it Shine” is my theme for 2018. God dropped this little nugget as I restarted my Bible reading in Gen1 and I had to share it! This is just the tip of the iceberg for me and I plan to study it out. If you have insights please also share!

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When we first read this scripture Gen 1:3 we are tempted to think of the light as the sun and moon. Especially when it says God called the light Day and the darkness Night. But in Gen 1:14-19 we see that the sun, moon and stars are not created until the 4th day!

““Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.” Genesis‬ ‭1:14-19‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

So then what was that Light that God created from the darkness, that preceded the Sun, moon and stars? James 4:6 tells us that God made this light to shine in our hearts so we could the glory of God that is seen in Jesus!

As glorious as the sun, moon and stars are – especially as they reveal themselves to us every morning and evening- they are not as splendid as God’s first created light that reveals the glory of God that is seen IN Jesus.

Let that sink in….

The very first thing that God created, Light, He makes to shine in our hearts for the purpose of knowing the Glory of God.

This original first light precedes and goes beyond the physical, natural lights that we see via God’s creation of the sun, moon and stars. It precedes the foundation of the world! As one commentary noted “Light was created first and attached to the sun and luminaries on Day4 Thus the sun is merely an obedient light-bearer and its magnificence is only understood in relation to its Creator.”

Jesus is the source of that light, THE creative force, that allows us to supernaturally know the Glory of God. Wow! Wow! Wow!

Remember when Moses asked God to see His glory? God tells Moses that he cannot “see” His face, His glory and live.

“And he said, “Please, show me Your glory. .., But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”” Exodus‬ ‭33:18, 20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

God instructs Moses to stand by a rock and when He (His glory) passes by God hides him in the cleft of the rock, covers him with His hand and then takes His hand away and allows Moses to see His back but not His face. Moses was completely transformed physically and spiritually by this encounter with just the backside of God’s glory!

Jesus is the light of the world. When we receive Him, God makes this transformative light shine in our hearts and as we allow it to shine through us, it transforms others. This is that creative power that sparked creation itself.

My 2018 prayer today is to connect with Jesus more intimately so that I don’t hinder the flow of His light to shine through me. Lord, Help me to align my thoughts, actions, plans etc with Yours so that I am that conduit and vessel of that light. Thank you for clarity of purpose and creative ability and resulting actions to execute your will in its various manifestations that give praise and glory to Your name! In Jesus name!

Things That Matter: People Matter

ppl-matter

People matter.   I was talking with my sister recently about an important issue, and I said to her glibly, “I guess I should be talking to the folks that matter.”  Upon its utterance, I immediately corrected myself saying, “Well, everybody matters! To me, anyway.”  And just then, like Morgan Freeman’s character in “Bruce Almighty”, a man walked by and said with a beautiful big smile, “That’s right! Everybody matters!” He didn’t slow down, but pointed and kept smiling at me in approval.  People matter.

People matter.  Today, we find ourselves categorizing, stratifying, slicing and dicing folks into statistics and numbers, by ability, aptitude,  or mere words:  the 1%, the 99%, the talented 10th, low-mod-mid-high income, race, ethnicity, disabled, urban, suburban, at risk, wealthy, blue-blood, blue collar, white collar, illegals, conservative, liberal, C-Suite, earners, takers and on and on and on. Many corporations/governments/communities  take it a step further and make decisions on allowable percentage of “casualties.”  This language deliberately erases the faces of REAL MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN,  so that they are dehumanized and marginalized – therefore worthy of less treatment, less resources, less of everything;  even life itself.  Consider that the terms abortion and capital punishment sanitize the killing of human beings.   People matter.

People matter.  We matter because we are divinely created by the hand of God.  Psalms 139 tells us how intimately acquainted God is with everything about us, but in verse 14 it says:   “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well”.   God’s invitation of relationship is extended to ALL of us – not just some.  He gives to EACH of us freely, as we are willing to receive.  We see His great love for us, when He gave everything He had through His son Jesus, so that we have restored and completely reconciled relationship with Him. People matter to God.  People matter.

People matter to me also because I saw that people mattered to my parents.  They extended themselves inconveniently many times to take care of a need, be a listening ear, a hand to hold, give counsel when needed.  People matter.

People matter. Resist the temptation to refer to PEOPLE as a number, statistic, a category, a group, an issue, a label, and instead,  put a fearfully and wonderfully made face on it and remember that EVERYBODY MATTERS.