#ProverbsChallenge Day 29

10 The bloodthirsty hate a person of integrity and seek to kill the upright.

The Pharisees were blood thirsty.  They had a man of integrity killed.

forgive

God even uses the fools to complete his perfect plan of salvation.

Because the Pharisees proved to be fools; yet God used them to bring our Salvation.

Think about some time in your life where God used evil to bring good.

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Proverbs Challenge Day 24 lying

26 An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. 

silhouette of man and woman kissing
Photo by Ibrahim Asad on Pexels.com

Everyone hates to discover that they have been lied to.  It is a horrible feeling when someone tells you a lie. Especially if they are someone that you love, you know the inner circle.  Yet we justify lies all the time.  I didn’t want to hurt their feelings.  I would rather you tell me the truth. The worst is when someone is pretending to be your friend, but they are plotting behind your back.  

So if God doesn’t like for us to lie, and we are supposed to treat others the way we want to be treated; then why do we tell lies?

My challenge for you is to face a situation where you would normally lie, and tell the truth.

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.

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.”

We are Holy Snoopy Happy Dance.

Isaiah 46:3-5, Ephesians 3:6-13:

 

Have you ever noticed that the New Testament points back to the Old Testament? Ephesians chapter 3, I found something that proves this.  When I talk to people about the inheritance the have as Christians, what is promised to the Jew is promised to us.

Frequently people will ask how can that be?

The conversation is such:

Then: I am not a descendant of Israel so the Old Testament doesn’t apply to me.

Me:  It doesn’t matter, you are a Child of God and the Old Testament applies to you.  The warnings and the promises.

Them: But some of the Old Testament foretells Jesus.

Me: It also foretells the end of Time.  I am not sure why but this seems to bring up Nostradamus.

Them: What about Nostradamus?

Me:  What about him?

Them: His predictions came true.

Me:  That does not make him holy.

Me: What makes a person Holy is they have chosen to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. They admit He is the Messiah, Jesus died for our sins. Nostradamus made some predictions-maybe he was a time traveler.  Who knows.time travel

Them: is time travel possible?

Me: Theoretically yes, we just don’t have the capability.  And maybe people read into Nostradamus’ writing and say this sounds like… so he predicted this.

Me: But let me tell you about how we can claim the promises of the Old Testament- What God told the Jews- See once you became a Christian- a believer in Jesus- born again through the Holy Spirit, you became an inheritor of all of God’s promises and warnings.

Once disciples, Apostles, missionaries were sent by God, to spread the good news to the Gentiles, God was saying that the Gentiles are no longer accursed. Happy Snoopy Dance.snoopy

And through that logic Paul said, I am sent to the Gentiles because the door has been opened. If Salvation is available to the Gentile, then the Gentile becomes an inheritor as well.  Hallelujah!

 

Isaiah:

“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob,
all the remnant of the people of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since your birth,
and have carried since you were born.
Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

“With whom will you compare me or count me equal?
To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?

 

Ephesians:

This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

 

 

I want to live without fear to be Audie Murphy Strong.

Remember when we talked about how many Christians reverted to Jewish ways?  How even we sometimes go back to old ways? It is more comfortable.  Well here in John chapter 9, the parents refused to answer because of their fear.

22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

Do we respond to circumstances out of fear? Not to sound repetitious, but that is just ole’ Satan wanting to keep you stuck.  When we respond out of fear, we respond from a position of weakness.  We are to be bold, courageous. Joshua 1:9:

9″Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Just think of how many times Jesus said do not fear. I know that some researchers say as many as 65 times. Jesus reminded his disciples to fear not. Not always those precise words.  And there is a difference between fear and worry. Fear is paralyzing. Worry is more feeling anxious, it is not necessarily paralyzing, but it will slow you down. When we are afraid, we do not take action. When we are worried we move forward, just slowly. Don’t get me wrong; in certain situations a certain amount of fear is good. It will keep you alive, I am sure even Audie Murphy experienced a bit of fear. He is best known for running up a hill and taking out a Nazi machine gun nest in WW 2.  One of the most prestigious awards is called the Audie Murphy award. Despite his heroic act of charging a hill being fired upon from a machine gun nest, I am sure he felt fear.

But we are to live life without fear. Trusting in the LORD,  to be there, to fight for us, to live.

Fighting Back (Part 2, Christmas Depression)

If you have ever meet me and gotten to know me even for a few days; you know I don’t quit.  That is attribute my children and husband will assign me, if asked to name one thing about me. They will tell you, my mom, my wife does not quit. She does not give up.  My kids know first hand that if they are doing something that is wrong, I do not stop hounding them about it.  It is one of the gifts that was given me a long time ago when I became saved. The Holy Spirit in me gives me the ability to push on no matter what. There have been times where it has taken some time. Only because I was stubbornly listening to the evil one and believing that it is hopeless. But most of the time it just takes a few nights sleep. God will speak to me my dreams if necessary.  See God needs us to be quiet in order to hear him.  Again, let’s us go with “Do you know me? Have you meet me?” Quiet is not my strong suit.  In a classroom I can talk myself hoarse. That is why when God really needs my attention, it is through my dreams. It is not a dream where I see God speaking, it is not a “Moses on the Mountain” kind of thing. No, it is more action. But there is talking and if I listen to what is being said I realize, God is speaking. I know this makes me sound crazy right? Well maybe, unless you are not hearing your dreams. I believe that God speaks to us using whatever means available, just like we have to do with our children. We have to use whatever means available. How many moms have joined whatever form of social media even with a fake name to see what their preteen through teenage child is doing? Who has started texting just to be able to communicate with their child?  Why should God, who made us be any different? He uses whatever means necessary to speak to us.

Feeling HOPELESS? trust me somewhere in the background God is knocking and trying desperately to remind you that he is there waiting with HOPE AND JOY right there for you all you have to do is acknowledge him. (Luke 15:1-7) Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Just like that Shepherd, that is how God pursues us,   especially if we have already accepted him as our Lord and Saviour.  He pursues the non-believer as well, it is just like us; we will pursue our own child who is failing more that someone else’s child. We might have been praying for this child or that one; but let our child start to slip and although we still pray for those that we have been praying, we pursue our own.

Since God is much better than us, he does more than we do, he will seek us even in our dreams if that is what it takes to reach our stubborn head. He will pursue us even if our foolishness place us in jail. He will send His angels to fight the Devil over us. Believe me if you think you are a sore loser, you have absolutely nothing on God, he fights for us to the bitter end. He fights for us.  When we realize that God is fighting for us, then how can we stay still? How can we remain is a sea called hopelessness? Merry Christmas.

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