Wisdom

Insight.

Understanding.

I’m looking for more of these in my life.

How do I get them?

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.” Psalm 111:10.

Wisdom comes from God.  Insight comes from studying his word and obeying.  Understanding comes from honoring God and being devoted to loving him first.

When I trust him and obey him, I begin to understand him.  Then I gain insight into his plans and purposes so I can join him.

It’s pretty clear how I can get more wisdom, insight and understanding.  Now I just need to choose to put myself on that path.

What path are you choosing?

Thank you, Abba Father

Psalm 20, 2017 – Be Blessed

May the Lord always answer him when you call his name.

May he send help and support to you.

May he always remember your faithfulness and service.

May he give you the desires of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

Then we will all shout for joy for you and give thanks to our Father!

For this I know – the Lord helps the faithful ones succeed.  He answers from his heavenly throne with his powerful hand.some trust in chariots

Some only trust in what they can see….and they will fail.

We trust in God so we will always stand firm.

You give us victory, Lord!

Thank you for answering our prayers, Abba Father.

Psalm 19, 2017

The heavens declare your glory, Father!

Every time I look up into the brilliant sky, I see the work of your hands.  Day after day, the skies tell us how huge and magnificent you are.  Night after night, they reveal your power and glory.

The skies don’t talk, they make no sound.  But their voices go out to the ends of the world, telling us about you.

The sun rises every morning at your command – filled with joy and anticipation as it makes its way across the sky, spreading your gift of light and warmth.

Your law is perfect and it refreshes my soul, Father.

Your word is trustworthy, it is able to make me wise.

Your directions are always right for me – they bring joy to my heart.

Your commands give light and open up my eyes.  They are more precious to me than money, fame or success.

You speak through your word to warn me and you reward me with many blessings when I walk closely with you.

Please forgive my sins – known and unknown – and keep me from willfully straying from your path.

May these words and the attitude of my heart be pleasing to you, Lord, my Rock and My Redeemer.

Psalm 90, 2017

Lord, you have been walking beside us since the beginning of time.  Before you created the heavens and the earth, you were God.

You determine life and death.  A thousand years to is like a day to you.  I am like grass – new in the morning but dried up and withered by evening.

I cannot hide my sins from you.  I struggle through my life, moaning from trouble and sorrows.  I may live seventy or eighty years – however long my strength endures.

And then I will fly away…….

Please help me understand how quickly my life passes away here on earth so I may be wise in how I spend each moment.

And, sometimes, it feels I am here for too long, Lord.  Even though I have problems and trials, help me live each day in your love so I can be filled with the joy that only comes from you.

May your goodness and love shine through me.

Bless me, God, as I love you and serve you.

Psalm 5, 2017

I know you hear me, LORD.  You listen when I call to you.

You hear my cries for help, God.  Every morning, when I lay my concerns and requests at your feet, I know hear me.

And I watch – expecting your answer.

You hate evil.

You hate lies.

You hate deceit.

You do not welcome evil and proud people into your presence.

Because you love me, I can come near to you and bow before you.  Please guide me on the right path, LORD.

Keep me safe from those who do evil.  I can’t trust one word they say – their hearts are filled with hate.  They are liars.

You are the judge and my revenge, O God.  Declare them guilty.  Let their evil and rebellious ways become their punishment as they choose their own path – separate from you.

But draw all who love you close to you, God.  Give us joy as you spread your protection over us.

We know you show favor to those who walk closely with you, LORD.  You cover us with the umbrella of your blessing.

Thank you, Abba Father.

If – Then

For every action there is a reaction.  What law is that?

Let’s Google it – its Newton’s Third Law of Physics.  I’m impressed!  I wasn’t sure anything I studied about physics actually stuck.

I know I’m taking this law out of context but only physicists (like my son-in-law) will know that.  I’m relating it to things we would like to happen.  And how these things won’t happen until we take action.

Like cleaning my house – this will only happen if someone (wish it wasn’t me) gets going and cleans it.

Like living a healthy life style – it won’t happen without eating right and exercising.

I have to actually do something or several somethings in order to have these things happen.

So, it makes sense that, if I want to know God’s truth, I have to read it.  I have to study it.

If I want to hear God’s voice, I need to learn more about him so I can understand him when he’s trying to talk to me.  I need to spend time with him so I’m more sensitive to his whispers and prodding.

If I want to live my life aligned with God, I need to understand why he created me – what is his plan and purpose for me?

My primary purpose is very clear.  Love God and love others.  If you are a believer, your main purpose is the same as mine.

The rest of details are revealed when I’m living out my primary purpose.   And, I have found, that his detailed plan and purpose changes and evolves as I go through the different phases of my life.  I have to constantly pay attention.

As I seek him, I grow in understanding his truth, I hear his voice more clearly and I can see his different plans and purposes unfold as I watch closely.

King David knew all about finding God.  He told his son, Solomon, in 1 Chronicles 28, “If you seek him, he will be found by you.”

David was preparing Solomon to take over his kingdom.  David knew he didn’t have much time left here on earth so he was literally giving Solomon the key to the kingdom.

And that key was to seek God.

It’s still a key for us today.

It’s the key to success.

It’s the key to happiness.

It’s the key to fulfilling our purpose here on earth before we go home to spend eternity with our Heavenly Father.

Thank you for the key, Abba.

 

The Wrong Thing

A selfish choice.

A bad decision.

I make them…

You make them….

and sometimes we just don’t want to admit it.

It was foolish.  We just weren’t thinking.

Or – we were thinking – but it was all about what we wanted.

Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.

If we work hard enough at it, we can rationalize anything.

Make excuses.

Avoid owning up to what we did what we said.

We can also become very good at blaming others for the consequences of choices we made.  One of my favorite scenes in the movie, The Shack, is when he asks God (who is a woman in this part) why she punishes us and she says that she doesn’t have to punish us.  The consequences of our sins are punishment enough.

Amen!

As I’m reading about David’s life in 2 Samuel, I realize that one of the qualities David possessed was the ability to quickly admit it when he did something wrong.  Sure – there were times that people like Nathan had to point it out to him.  But then David immediately owned up to it and took responsibility for the consequences.

Even when the consequence was the death of his young son……….

He didn’t blame anyone else.  He admitted his sin and repented.

David is a good role model for us when it comes to dealing with our sin and its consequences.  God wants us to admit it and own it and repent.  When we ask, he will help us grow in wisdom and grow our faith as we deal with the trials and sorrows that our bad decisions cause in our lives.

God walks with us through the muck and the mess we cause – guiding us, loving us, giving us strength and hope.

When we let him, God will help us – like he helped David –  develop into men and women after God’s own heart.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Who is King?

I don’t have a king….

or do I?

Something or somebody rules my life.

Something or somebody rules your life.

When we’re young, our parents rule our lives.  They tell us where to go.  They tell us what to do.

As we become adults, we gradually make more and more of those decisions for ourselves.  By making these choices, we decide who or what is king of our lives.

Is it money?

Is it our career?

Is it sports?

Hobbies?

Our spouse?  Our family?

For some people, their problems and dramas are ruling their lives – determining their future.

What or who is my king?

What’s your answer to that?

We read several places in Judges “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit”.  This phrase always showed up right after the Israelites made a huge mistake.

And it was a mess.  They actually had a king – it was themselves.  Everybody was doing whatever they wanted.  Kind of like our culture today.

They had no direction.  They had no guidance.  And they were tired of all the  negative consequences of their messes so they asked for an earthly king.  We know the rest of the story – the earthly kings weren’t the answer.

The answer was Jesus – our divine, eternal King.

He is still our answer today.

When we make messes of our lives – he is the answer.  When we get tired of the nasty consequences of our sin and bad decisions – he is the answer.  When we need guidance and forgiveness and strength – he is the answer.

When we make Jesus the king of our lives, we have found the right answer.

Thank you, dear Jesus.

 

Get Lost!

Wow!

Keeping my focus is a very tough thing to do.

So many priorities.  So many different ways to spend my time.  I have always been a significantly goal-oriented and focused person but it’s not easy.

There are just so many distractions in our current culture!

Do you feel that way?

So hard to focus!

And I think there are more distractions now than ever before……until I’m reading through the Old Testament and I realize how inconsistent the Israelites were.  When they had a good, faithful leader, they were on target with God.  When the faithful leader died, they went right back to their old distractions – worshiping all kinds of pagan gods – just like everyone around them.

So many choices.

In the New Testament, Jesus tells us to focus our eyes on him.

Fix our eyes.

Don’t let them wander.

I regularly have to turn away from the distractions in my life in order to clear my focus and get centered on Jesus.  It’s the only way I can avoid getting lost in all of the noise and confusion that defines our culture.

Fixing my eyes means making God a priority in my life.  He needs to come before work, before hobbies, before family, before money, before TV and all the ‘screens’ in my life.  If he’s not up front in my life, I get distracted….

unfocused….

confused….

and I wander.

Please help me keep my eyes fixed on you, dear Jesus.

What’s New?

Growing….

changing…

I am not going to be done learning until my heart stops beating.  There’s a time to stop being flexible and stop being open to new things and that time is when I’m dead.  I have learned a lot in these last 50-some years 🙂 and I have a lot to learn in these next 30 years or whenever my eyes shut for the last time on this earth.

I am challenged to be quicker on the learning end than Gideon was as I read his story in Judges.  The Lord told Gideon directly that he was going to bring him victory.  But Gideon didn’t get it – Gideon replied that he was the least of his family.  So what?  God was going to do this, not Gideon.

Gideon prepared an offering to God and the Angel of God came down to burn it for him.  Are you getting this yet, Gideon?

Then God told Gideon to cut down the pole in town that was dedicated to the pagan gods and build an altar with the wood.  Gideon obeyed but he did it at night because he was afraid.

Really?  God is talking to him and sending angels with fire and still Gideon is sneaking around at night?

The townspeople wanted to kill Gideon for cutting down the pole but a leader in town stopped them.  Who did that, Gideon?

Then God called Gideon to lead the Israelites into battle but Gideon still had to test God by laying out a fleece.  Twice!

When are you going to understand that this is God you’re dealing with, Gideon?

It appears like Gideon is starting to learn and trust God when he lets God limit his army to 300 men.  But then he takes a step back when he’s afraid and has to sneak into the Midianite camp to hear what’s going on before he will attack it.

From what we read, that looks like the final step of learning to trust God for Gideon because we don’t read of him testing God again or being afraid.  Gideon leads the Israelites into several successful battles without testing God first.

He learned to trust.

He got it.

So I have to ask myself – how well am I doing in learning to trust?  Do I get it?

How well are you doing?

Please help us to trust you, Abba Father.