Alive and Active

New today.

Different tomorrow.

And then new again the next day.Dec 23 2015 alive and active

God’s Word is living.

God-breathed.

And God speaks through it with the message we need to hear today.

Tomorrow he will say something different.

It’s the same physical words on the page – but a new personal meaning.

Providing guidance for me today.

Providing wisdom for the situation I’m in right now.

Providing comfort or confidence – depending on what I need.

Right now.

God’s word is active.

His truth dives into my mind and cuts out the lies.

Through his words, he wraps his arms around me when I need to feel  his love for me.

He also shakes me out of my comfort zone as his words jump off of the page to challenge me.

His words are reaching out to change us,

remold us,

transform us into the people he created us to be.

In 2 weeks, we will be flipping back to ‘In the beginning’.

To read it all again – but it won’t be the same message we received last year.

God has new things to say to us in 2016.  Revealing old truths that have always been there but God will use them in our lives in a new way this time.  As we listen, He will speak more wisdom into our lives as we continue to mature in our spiritual walk.

His word is alive!

New!

Straight from our Heavenly Father.

Thank you, Abba.

Sword Fighting Class – Sweet Sleep

We are memorizing Proverbs 3 together.  There is so much wisdom in this chapter and it’s empowering to get this all in our heart and mind.  God speaks often and clearly through these words –

“My child, do not forget my teachings but keep my commands in your heart for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the site of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.Proverbs 2 -13-3-11

Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruit of all your crops. Then your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will brim over with new wine. My child, do not despise the Lords discipline and do no resent his rebuke because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father, the daughter he delights in.

Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, who gains understanding. For she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies, nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand, in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways and all of her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her – those who lay hold of her will be blessed.Proverbs 3 to verse 25

By wisdom, the Lord laid the earth’s foundations. By understanding, he set the heavens in place. And by his knowledge, the deeps are divided and the clouds drop their dew.

My child, preserve sound judgement and discernment, do not let them out of your sight. For they will be life to you, an ornament to grace your neck.”

Awesome!  Here are the next verses, finishing this thought

“Then you will go on your way in safety and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid. When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

Being safe as I go along my way – that is a huge promise to me.  I’m on the freeway for a 60-mile round trip every day to work and sometimes it feels like a war zone with cars piled up on both sides as people crash into each other.

And I really want to avoid stumbling.  Stumbling of any kind can often be painful, embarrassing and time-consuming.

I also want to avoid those fears in the middle of the night.  Fears about everything…anything….and nothing.

Sweet sleep – this promise is an awesome one!  How great it feels to sleep well all night!

God is telling us that the sound judgement and discernment that he gives us will bring all of these good things into our lives.  When we seek him first and obey, we are on the straight path which brings all of these great things our way.

That’s what wisdom and knowledge and understanding can do for us.

Thank you, Abba Father!

 

 

Sword Fighting Class – The Best is Yet to Come

In our Sword Fighting Classes, we are memorizing God’s word together.  God commands us over and over in his Word to store his commands in our hearts, to write his words on our minds, to never forget his teachings.  We are being obedient as we review our verses daily and God does the hard part of engraving them on our minds.

With God’s help,  we have memorized James 1 and Proverbs 2 so far.  Isn’t that amazing!  God is now pointing us to Proverbs 3….more wisdom.  Let’s get started with verse 1 and 2:

My child, do not forget my teachings but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.”Proverbs 2 -13-3-11

How appropriate that God starts out again with his command about not forgetting his teachings.  It’s really hard to forget his teaching when it’s etched on our brains.  Its part of how we think, how we feel.

God tells us that his teaching will prolong our lives many years.  I have been reading a lot about God’s teaching about food this last year and I believe, if we follow his guidance on this, it really will prolong our lives.  Lower our blood pressure.  Take us out of the danger zone for other diseases.  Help our heart to be more healthy.

God promises us that his teachings will bring us prosperity.  His form of prosperity is not the empty prosperity taught by the world where we never have enough…never content.

God’s prosperity comes in the form of things money can’t buy – peace, and purpose and love and completeness and more.

Much more.

You are more than enough, Abba Father.

Audio file of me sharing the verses I’ve memorized so far in Proverbs 3:

 

Sword Fighting Class – Saved by Wisdom

We are memorizing Proverbs 2 together!  Good job!

‘My child, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and you will find the knowledge of God.Proverbs 2 1st page - this one

For the Lord gives wisdom, from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.  He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless.  He guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.  Then you will understand what is right and just and fair – every good path.  For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.  Discretion will protect you and understanding will guard you.’

Yeah, God!  And we’re adding the next verse:

‘Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse.”

Wisdom will save us from those whose words are perverse.

I looked up the definition of perverse and was surprised to read that a couple of the definitions are being resistant to discipline or guidance.  Another one is being stubborn or contrary.

Wow!  I was wondering why God had me memorizing verses about wicked men and now I know.  Sometimes I need to be saved from myself!

What about you?

Thank you, dear Father, for the wisdom you are writing on tablet of our hearts as we memorize your word.  Open our eyes to our own behavior when we are stubborn and resistant to discipline.

Audio file of Proverbs 2:

 

Sword Fighting Class – We are Protected

Listen to God’s promises in the verses we have memorized so far in Proverbs 2:

‘My child, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and you will find the knowledge of God.  For the Lord gives wisdom, from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.  He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless’.Proverbs 2 1st page - this one

Wow!  The fear of the Lord, the knowledge of God, wisdom, understand, victory and a shield!

Here’s our next verse:

‘He guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.’

God’s grace makes us the ‘just’ in his eyes – amazing, isn’t it?  He promises to guard our course.

And if only one thing can be said about me after my dust has been blown off of this planet, I want to be remembered as being faithful to God.

Devoted.   Loyal.  Reliable.  Consistent.  All of these words show up in the definition of being faithful.

He protects our way when we are faithful to him.

It is promises like these that give me peace.  God’s peace.  He is in control.  I just need to do my part of obeying and seeking and looking and search and committing his words to my heart and turning my ear to his wisdom.

Then he can do his part of guiding and teaching and guarding.

Thank you, Abba Father.

 

Audio file below of my memory verses in Proverbs 2 so far:

 

The Search

She was searching for wisdom.  She was looking for the truth like it was silver and searching for it like it was hidden treasure.

The Queen of Sheba took a dangerous journey of 1200 miles on camels through a hot desert to check out the wisdom of King Solomon.  She came prepared with some hard questions.  And she was awed by the wisdom in his answers.

As we read and memorize Proverbs, we are being presented with this same wisdom.May 15 b The search 2015

Wisdom about:

dealing with fools,

patience,

the value of wise advice,

discipline,

love and compassion,

pride and humility,

selfishness,

jeolousy,

self-control,

patience,

wise and foolish talking,

flattery,

slander and gossip,

meddling,

wealth and poverty,

patience,

generosity

and more. (Did you notice one that I mentioned more than once? :))

We know that all of Solomon’s wisdom came from God.

And that wisdom is available to us as we cry aloud for it, as we store it up in our minds and as we apply it to our hearts.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Sword Fighting Class – Where Do We Get Wisdom?

“My child, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and you will find the knowledge of God.”Proverbs 2 1st page - this one

Awesome!   It’s it amazing how God partners with us as memorize his word?  The vast majority of us could never do this on our own so it’s a special blessing to be able to see this how obviously God is working in our minds as he helps us memorize verse after verse….after verse.  I have started attaching an audio recording (below) of me as I repeat my verses – it’s not perfect.  But it’s close!  That’s what counts 🙂

And we hit treasure in our next verse!

‘For the Lord gives wisdom, from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.’

Do we want wisdom?

Knowledge?

Understanding?

Well, we know where to go to get it.  The Lord gives it.  It comes from him.

Do you feel his wisdom and understanding growing in you as you etch his words on your heart and mind?

I do.  It’s subtle…..but steady.

I meditate on the words as I memorize them.  And I apply them to my life right now.

I’m amazed at how often I get to use them in my conversations.

God is good!  All the time!

Thank you, Abba Father.

Audio file of Proverbs 2:1-12:

 

Sword Fighting Class – Search for It

My Child, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,Proverbs 2 1st page - this one

turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,

and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding….”

God is helping us memorize Proverbs 2.  It’s all about wisdom and understanding – good stuff!  Here’s the next verse:

and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,”

If we knew for sure there was a pile of silver hidden in a certain place, how hard would we look?  How much time would we take?  How much effort?

If it was me and I had a pretty good idea of where to look and if I was guaranteed that the treasure would be there, I wouldn’t stop until I found it.

Here, God is guaranteeing us that there is very valuable treasure in his word to us.  We just need to read it and accept it and store it up inside of our hearts and minds.  We need to cry out for it and cry aloud for it…..and look for it.  Search for it.

It’s there.

We’re on this journey together – growing in our relationship with God.  As we grow in our ability to hear him.  As we grow in ability to soak up his truth and apply it to our lives.

Thank you for helping us grow, dear Father.

Audio file of Proverbs 2: 1-6:

 

Sword Fighting Class – It Takes Effort!

‘My child, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,

turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,”

We are memorizing Proverbs 2 together – one verse a week.  We know this is possible with God’s help.  Proverbs 2 1st page - this one

The next verse is:

“and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding…..”

This verse has very active words in it.  Calling out!  Cry aloud!

This doesn’t sound like it’s describing me sitting here quietly, reading my Bible.

This sounds like I need to be seriously and intensely asking for insight and understanding.  These words indicate a significant effort on my part.  Growing wise, increasing my insight and understanding is obviously not a passive activity.

It’s evident that God’s wisdom isn’t going to just doesn’t ‘sink in’ as I sit in a chair at church or turn the pages of my Bible.

We’re calling out and crying aloud, dear Father!

 

 

Our Foolishness

Our bad choices.

Our rationalizations.

Our blind spots.

How do we react when we realize that we’ve been foolish?April 26 2015 our foolishness.

One of King David’s redeeming qualities was his ability to admit his foolishness and genuinely repent.  He sometimes had trouble seeing his sin because he was lost in his own head – focused on his own plans.  So we read that God brought people into David’s life to help him see his bad decisions.

When David finally realized his foolishness, he was always repentant.  And we see God forgiving David over and over….and over.

Just like God forgives us- over and over…..and over.

Dear Abba Father, Please help us to be quick to recognize our sin and foolishness and quickly repent from those choices.  We know that repenting means to turn away, to stop doing what we’re doing.  We need your strength for that, dear Father.  And perseverance.  We are looking for wisdom and insight like it as silver, dear God.  We are searching for understanding and knowledge like it was hidden treasure.  We know all wisdom and understanding comes from you and you generously give it to us when we ask.  We are asking now.  Thank you.  In the awesome name of Jesus we pray, Amen.