Proverbs Challenge: 31 chapters- 31 days

Proverbs 1:1-7:  Proverbs starts out telling us that it’s purpose is to help the reader gain wisdom.  There is one thing that I have learned about reading anything, but particularly the Bible, you have to give yourself time to digest the message.  Every Author has a message that they want the world to hear. Whether they write fact or fiction there is almost always an underlying message.  Well, the message of Proverbs is to gain wisdom. 

Here is the challenge there are 31 chapters in Proverbs and 31 Days in August, Can you find a few minutes to read a chapter of Proverbs a day?  But don’t just read it, think about what it is teaching.  Yes, some of the lessons are repeated, but let them sink in and see if it changes your heart.

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

for gaining wisdom and instruction;
    for understanding words of insight;
for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
    doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to those who are simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the young—
let the wise listen and add to their learning,
    and let the discerning get guidance—
for understanding proverbs and parables,
    the sayings and riddles of the wise.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
    but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs is full wisdom and if you allow it to sink into your head and your heart, it will bring you wisdom.

On that note for each of the 31 days of August I will help you walk through Proverbs by taking a verse and exploring it through writing.

See you there.

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Finding your path

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Hall County Park, Nebraska

Trust

Trust means depending on something that we can’t see.  But we can feel.  The more we depend on God, the easier it is to feel his presence.  Sometimes, I take time away from actually studying the word.  Reading a scripture here and there is not the same as studying the word.  Oh sure reading a verse here and there is better than not reading at all. But to feel  God requires studying the Word. John 1 reminds us that God is the word and the word is God. We need to immerse ourselves in the word.  Feel the word of God.  Then our paths become easier to see.  For God is the lamp and the better we learn about God the easier it is to see the light.  Do you feel as if you don’t have time to study the word? Try this, read for 5 minutes a day.  Do it for two weeks.  Then every two weeks add five minutes.  It doesn’t have to be all at one time.  Five minutes at the beginning of the day and five minutes at the end of the day.  You can find five minutes here and there a couple of times a day can’t you?  Next try reading for five minutes during your lunch.  See where I am going with this.  You don’t have to sit down and read for a full 30 minutes at a time, not at first.  If you can’t manage five minutes, try three minutes at a time.  Deuteronomy  4, much of Proverbs, teaches that seeking wisdom is better than seeking money; and the best wisdom comes from God.  if you want to feel God’s direction in your life, read the Word. It is the easiest way.  It only takes a few minutes of your day.  The easiest way to get started, download several Bible apps.  Each one has the verse of the day and about a minute to read give yourself a couple of minutes to digest and fully appreciate the verse.  Repeat for each app before you know it, you will want to spend time reading the word. As you read the word, you will increase your understanding.

Compassion

How do you look at people?  When you meet a new person do you make a snap judgement?  Do you look at their hair, clothes or their shoes?  Do we listen to how they speak, do they stutter? If someone is not delightful do we decide with a snap decision that we don’t want to associate with them?

I know I have been victim of snap decisions.  My social EQ is low. I used to live with pain, still have some, however it is getting better.  But when that pain is big, I am not always nice.  I have learned that it is easier to just be quiet than to try to communicate.  I know it makes me appear cold. But it is better to be quiet than to allow a surly attitude to shine through.  After all, I can’t stay at home when I hurt.

I have also been guilty of  snap judgments.  I have looked at people and thought okay, I don’t want you near my children. I remember this one person who admitted making a snap judgement about me, they said you are not someone whom I would have given a glance. I looked at them and said if I had seen you walking down the street, I might have crossed it.  I would not have allowed you to speak to my children.

Today, my views are different. Oh sure there are styles that make me cringe. Sorta like on that movie Liar Liar, the secretary asks Jim Carrey’s character  How do like my dress? It was a rather loud dress and he says whatever takes the attention off of your hair. I have just gotten better at not showing it.

I think that is the catch, we are still going to have our snap judgments.  What matters is what we do with it. Do we allow our initial impression to influence how we treat that person? Do we allow the person time to show us who they really are?

If we don’t learn how to control our primary response, then we lose opportunities.

See the people who need Jesus the most are probably not people we want our children near. They might be homeless, they might need attitude adjustments, they may feel they are superior, or they might be impressed by how much money you make. Or unimpressed as the case might be. They might be addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, or maybe a convict. Sometimes the person who needs Jesus is someone whom we respect. Just because a person is nice doesn’t mean they have Christ.

When we make snap judgments we lose opportunities.

When we are surly we lose opportunities.

When we are not compassionate we are not loving the world as Jesus would have us love the world.

Compassion means that we strive to treat people the way we want to be treated. I know when I went out in public in pain, I often wished that people would just try to understand.  I know my clothes don’t fit well, my hair is a mess. I wanted to comb it better, but it just hurt. I just wished for help.  I know I rarely asked for it, I know how easy it is to get tired of hearing people’s problems. I just don’t ask very often because I don’t want to be that person. The person that everyone avoids. They frequently request favors and are rarely there for anyone else.  I want to be the person that helps.

Things started to change for me when I learned how to appropriately ask for help. I am not very good at asking for help, I am still afraid of people getting tired of helping me.

God is working on me.  While God s working, I am becoming more compassionate, I am becoming more willing to ask for help. It is a two-way street to be compassionate with others we have to be compassionate with ourselves. We have to accept our weakness. God will turn it to strength.

Creation is knowing how, important?

The big question is not did God create the world, He did. It is not the question is it six of our days, or six of God’s day.  It is not the question of how who knows. The question is why are there so many theories, why are so many trying to prove that Genesis is wrong. I think the answer is we want the story of creation to fit in a box, and until we discovered dinosaur fossils and learned how to date those fossils; it did fit into a box. Before then, it was so much easier to just accept the Bible.  I still accept the Bible, I just think outside of the box so I can answer questions in a logical manner.  Still it can cause arguments. Which is where I drop it.  To me it is much more important that you believe that God created the earth.  It is much more important that you believe He sent His son to die for us. That the only way to heaven is through Jesus than to press my point.

There are several scientific theories concerning how the world began, with a couple suggesting that life began in the water. There are even some that believe in a creator.

We are here because we believe in God, the creator. I do find it interesting that some of the more well-known theories all start with life in the water, because according to Genesis 1:1 it did.

Genesis 1:1

 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Notice that God creates and then says it is good. When we think that God’s time is not our time and thinking about dinosaurs. We don’t read about them in the creation story, a logical mind has to wonder where they came into creation and perhaps that is why scientist are constantly seeking and answer for creation.  We have discovered evidence of other life before man. Proof of dinosaurs but no proof that man existed while dinosaurs walked the earth. But did God intend for us to wonder? Accepting that God is the creator based on scientific evidence requires faith. Are there things in creation that are there because faith is required? I think so. I also believe that given that God’s time is not our time. Psalms 90:4, and 2 Peter 3:8 a thousand years is like a blink of an eye. It is possible that six of God’s days took more time than we can to imagine. Yet through our faith, we believe that God created the world. And if someone is sure that six days is six human days; then I am reminded of Romans 14: 13-23, not causing someone to stumble, because it is not worth the argument. All the debate six of our days, six our God’s days, is not the most important issue.  The most important thing is God created the world, and He said it is good.  It is most important that you accept Jesus as the savior-much more important than how was the world created.

 

God my BFF and being Holy

1 Peter 1:13-15:

 

What exactly does it mean to be holy?  I mean, on my own, I am not holy. I mess up every day. Today, I lost my temper.  I felt justified, but I really wasn’t.  Let’s face it; it is hard to be good all the time. We sin all the time. We don’t mean to sin; it just happens.  We think an impure thought, have a twinge of jealousy or fear, maybe it is gluttony, or self-pity.  We are after all, human, full of faults.  The great thing is there is forgiveness.  Jesus died for our sins giving us forgiveness.   Forgiveness does not give us a license to sin; no, it gives us the responsibility to strive towards perfection.  Even though we will not achieve it, we are called to be holy.  To live a life as honorably as we possibly can.

The catch, we have to remember that accepting Jesus as our savior, we are made holy.  Being holy does not mean being perfect. It means that we follow, that we try, and we do our best to be a light for the world. We share the LOVE of Jesus with everyone that crosses our path.  Losing our temper is bad because we lose an opportunity to share God’s love. Being holy means that we strive to use every opportunity.

Being Holy means that we accept that Christ is the Messiah, the savior, the Lord of all.

Moreover, it means that we accept Christ as our BFF.  Because that is the relationship, God wants with us.  He wants to be our BFF to talk to him the same way we would our BFF. To honor him as we would a BFF. We also need to acknowledge that God is more; we are supposed to follow him. Following and obeying God makes us holy.

 

13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

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