Wisdom Fruit: Journey in Proverbs 3 – the Conclusion

Proverbs 3:33-35

“The Lord curses the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the upright. The Lord mocks the mockers but is gracious to the humble. The wise inherit honor, but fools are put to shame!” Proverbs 3:33-35 NLT

As we close out the final verses of Proverbs 3, we see that unlike the previous verses there is no command,or exhortation, but a listing of stark consequences to those who honor God and His precepts and those who choose unrighteousness. These are spiritual realities that are also mentioned previously in Proverbs and most notably in Deuteronomy 30, so that we understand that there are consequences to the decisions and choices we make. As Deut.30:19 says so poignantly, “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”

The Lord not only detests the wicked, but He curses the entire household of the wicked included their dealings and concerns. People who willfully harm are far from the heart of God and bring misfortune not only on themselves but their families. However, God blesses the home, the habitation, of the upright, those who follow Him. This chapter already highlights the benefits of God’s principles and He brings those temporal (physical) and spiritual blessings to the entire households of the upright.

Likewise, those who mock and pridefully scorn God’s precepts and others, bring down the Lord’s scorn on themselves. But again, we see that God extends His abundant grace and favor to those who are humble, who yield to His counsel and serve others. Humility also means that we learn to trust God and seek His help when challenges or uncertainty arise. God extends his grace and blessing to those who trust Him.

The final verse of Proverbs 3 closes with the honor ( and glory) that comes when we operate and align our lives with wisdom and God’s principles. Solomon leaves his audience with the lasting inheritance of favor that wisdom brings that has generational impact. But the foolish, or “self-confident fools” receive a legacy of shame. Because they ridicule or ignore what is right and just, they bring about dishonor and contempt.

Lord, help us to trust in You alone, and help us to embrace all wisdom to learn, act and walk in Your principles, precepts that lead to life, abundance, grace and blessing not only for ourselves, but for our families, neighbors and our communities. Our desire is to honor and please you with our lives always.

Wisdom Fruit: Journey in Proverbs 3 – Do it NOW

Proverbs 3:27-28

“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.””
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:27-28‬ ‭NLT‬‬

If I could sum of this passage, it would be, if you have the power to give, help, or support someone, DO IT NOW! It commands us to not deny helping someone when we can, but also don’t delay to help someone when you can do it today.

It is clearly the heart of God and a key attribute of wisdom to be responsive to needs of others. Earlier in this chapter, it talks about honoring God with our wealth and increase. He gives to us so we can give to others – WITHOUT DELAY.

All of the preceding verses focus on how wisdom benefits us, and now it shifts to how we should benefit others. Wisdom, understanding, knowledge, common sense and discernment should especially govern how we interact with other people. “God helps those who help themselves” is NOT scriptural. “Pull yourself us by your own bootstraps” is not scriptural – especially when folks don’t even have boots. We serve a generous God, who lavishly pours out His blessings on us, and with an open hand we are to release those blessings to others.

May God’s wisdom propel us to be urgently responsive to the needs of others, especially our neighbors , family and those in close proximity to us. Lord, remove the barriers of selfishness, lack, judgement, so that we truly came be conduits + vessels of grace, blessing to a world that desperately needs You.

Wisdom Fruit: Journey in Proverbs 3: Don’t Lose Sight

Proverbs 3:21-26

My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace.

They keep you safe on your way-

and your feet will not stumble.

You can go to bed without fear;

you will lie down and sleep soundly.

You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked,

for the Lord is your security.

He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.” Proverbs 3:21-26 NLT

When I read this passage a few weeks ago, it was like I had seen it for the first time and I wrote it down in my notes exactly like I did above. It was like reading the back of a medicine box of all cures and symptom relief that comes from taking the medicine. Wisdom relieves/ treats anxiety, stabilizes your footing, promotes good sleep, and utmost wellbeing in the midst of challenging circumstances.

Having just described the invaluable, incomparable and foundational attributes of wisdom, understanding & knowledge in previous verses, Solomon exhorts us to keep them in our sight, very close around our necks as we would anything of precious value. They are an adornment in that they beautify and enhance also.

There has been so much fear mongering in the culture these days that have caused so much fear and unease across the world. But Common sense and discernment have keeping power, like a preservative, life jacket/ or life line that rock climbers use. They keep you safe and keep your you from tripping over things life may bring in your path.

Being rooted in God’s safety brings sweet rest – the ability to not only to get to sleep, but to stay asleep soundly. There is no need to be on edge, because we are established in God’s principles, rather than focusing on circumstances. Likewise, WHEN ( not if) challenging times come suddenly or the wicked do terrible things, we don’t have to fear at all because, the Lord is our security and He will keep us ( our foot) from being ensnared or stumbling. I’m also reminded of Ps 91:12, when God sends His angles to hold us up, so our foot will not “get dashed” on a stone.

Biblical references to feet often signify whether life choices were made with sound contemplation and discernment. People walked everywhere, so it was the primary means of transportation. Terrain and pathways were very important and God often references His Word and His wisdom of not only illuminating the right path, but also providing a stable foundation on sometimes rocky terrain.

Lord, thank you for your divine protection, security and direction as we go about our days. Help us to always keep your principles “front and center” so that we can walk daily in calm, confident assurance an trust in You.

Wisdom Fruit: Journey in Proverbs 3 : Incomparable

Proverbs 3:14-15

Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold. Proverbs 3:14-15 NLT

Nothing Compares to Wisdom

These verses are often paired with the previous verse which declares the joy that accompanies wisdom and understanding. The benefits of wisdom are beyond any tangible thing of value: more profitable than silver, more wages than gold, and is more precious, valuable than rare jewels.

It is interesting that Solomon uses business or trade terminology in this passage to compare the value of wisdom i.e. profit, wages and other versions of the Bible use additional terms like merchandise, gain, and proceeds. “Trading” in wisdom yields far more consistent profitable return on investment than precious metals or jewels. Solomon is directly appealing to man’s desire and conquest in search of wealth and power. He emphatically says nothing we desire can compare with wisdom.

Solomon knew what he is talking about as one of the wisest and richest men/ rulers at that time. He knew the value of Godly wisdom early on, when God told him he could have anything he wanted and Solomon requested if God wisdom to rule. God honored that wish so much that He gave Solomon everything else also- riches, favor, prestige. Wisdom never disappoints and nothing we desire can compare.

As Ephesians 3:20 says “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,”. God wants to blow our minds and take the limited off!

Wisdom Fruit- Journey in Proverbs 3: Discipline

Proverbs 3:11-12

My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction;For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.”Proverbs 3:11-12 NKJV

Many of us have heard our parents say this hurts me more than it hurts you when we have been grounded or disciplined or I’m doing this for your own good. I didn’t always believe it back then, but as a parent I know how true it is.

One again, this passage begins with an endearing salutation “My child, or my son”a very personal relational call from a beloved parent or mentor that reveals Gods heart toward us even when discipline comes. This underscores the importance of cultivating that personal intimate relationship with God.

It continues to tell us to not despise or reject the Lord’s “chastening” or correction by punishment/ discipline AND don’t get upset, impatient or hate when God corrects you. That is hard and nobody likes it! I remember having to keep my hand out when that ruler came down on my hand. It was hard not to pull away, because it hurt! Who signs up for that anyway. But it was an effective deterrent.

God then explicitly reinforces His love for us through His discipline as a Father who corrects his child who he delights in. Because God is so committed to our wellbeing, He will put roadblocks, allow us to fail, and deter us from detrimental decisions, habits that hinder or distract from our purpose. Our true close friends do the same, “faithful are the wounds of friend” – they will risk your anger, and tell you when you are going off course. Indifference means that there is no personal investment of time or value.

When these uncomfortable times of discipline come, view from the lens of Gods love.

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 14

Romans 6:14

Romans 6:14 NLT
Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.

God’s grace is more powerful than sin! We can truly walk and live in the freedom that God’s amazing grace brings. This verse establishes the authority and demonstrates the dominion that we have over sin, because Gods grace supersedes the law. That is great news!

It recognizes again that we cannot live perfect obedient lives in a legalistic way in our own strength, because that clearly did not work in the Old Testament. In fact in Romans 7, Paul talks about how hard it is to do it on our own. But the victory we have in Jesus’s sacrifice and victory on the cross and the freedom that His grace brings gives us dominion over sin in our lives.

Additionally, Gods grace molds our character to live in freedom. Galatians 5:22-23, says. “Now the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” When we allow God to transform us, the law is not necessary.

Lord, thank you for your grace in our lives that gives us dominion over sin. Help us to walk humbly before you that the fruit of the Spirit is manifested in our lives. Truly, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! #Grace #Dominion #freedom #law #fruitofthespirit

21 Days of Grace – Day 9

2 Corinthians 8:7

2 Corinthians 8:7 NIV
But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you —see that you also excel in this grace of giving.”

‭‭
The Grace of Giving: This passage references a special grace in giving that the Macedonian churches had, especially since they were not rich. Because they had a burning heart to give to support the work of the ministry, they gave, even when they didn’t have much, and God was able to make it more than enough.

Paul was encouraging the Corinthian church, who was so great in everything else, to excel in the grace of giving. You see, they started off very excited to give, full of intention, and then dropped off, even though they had abundance. This special grace of giving, shows that you when you honor the work, your giving comes from your heart and is not based on duty or because you have resources to spare. When we give toward something we really care about, we enjoy our own things better.

This grace of giving makes everything sufficient, everything enough. If we are willing to give, God makes it enough. Indeed our little becomes much in His hands. Jesus is our example, He gave his life for us all and we all gained eternal life. This is why it is more blessed to give than to receive. Our little truly becomes much in God’s very capable hands.

21 Days of Grace: Day 7

Hebrews 4:16

Hebrews 4:16 NKJV
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Today’s verse is a clarion call for us to come boldly, confidently to God’s throne of grace to get the help, mercy and find grace when you need it! The preceding verse talks of God’s great compassion for us, that He knows our weaknesses and beckons us to come to Him. The point is that we don’t have to be fearful or timid when we approach God ( like Dorothy and crew in the Wizard of Oz), but confident that He will be just and merciful. There is also no question that once we come, we will get the mercy and find the grace we need to help us in any circumstance.

The throne of Grace also reminds us of God’s sovereignty and majesty from which His grace flows. The ability to extend grace to others is a noble leadership quality that we should emulate. Lord, help us to grow in our knowledge and trust in you that we we can confidently come to you for everything and expect that Your loving kindness, mercy and grace are available to to help us always. #Grace #Mercy #Boldness #Confidence #21DaysofGrace