Wednesday, June 30, 2010
"the rich man's wealth is his strong city." I think that means that the person who is blessed in every way has a strong foundation to stand on. The blessings of God bring health, prosperity, fulfillment and more than enough. But, "the destruction of the poor is their poverty." means that the ones that haven't let God bless them because of unbelief or sin are destroyed by their lack of understanding. The life of the righteous brings life to those around it but the wicked reap the sin that they commit and persuade others to commit. Sin leads to lack, discontentment, and poverty. If you want to be in God's blessings all you have to do is obey his commands and his disciplines. It is easy to obey and love God when you are under the fountain of blessing, but what about when God reproves you or disciplines you. God has a reputation to uphold. He is holy and unchanging. We decide if we walk in his blessings or the curse. Lord, today we choose life and blessings.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I noticed that all these verses have something to say about our language or speech. A prating fool is someone who is full of vain talk. It is said of him that he will fall and his perverted ways will be known. He uses his mouth to plan violent acts because his hatred motivates him to have discord. What he doesn't know is that the plans he makes with his mouth come back on him. Conversely, the wise in heart and speech can receive God's laws and walk confidently in them. His speech breeds life to those who listen and his forgiving and redemptive heart covers the sins of others. Wisdom is in his conversation and the good that he plans comes back on him. The last verse sums it up: "Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction." We should be hoarding and hiding wisdom in a secret place in our heart. I heard on the news today about a man who was robbed of his armory he had hidden in his house. All those weapons could not help him when the thief came to his house but the Word of God will stand forever as our protection and guide. Thieves cannot steal what we hide in our hearts. Lord , thank you for your Word that we have hidden in our hearts.
Monday, June 28, 2010
My son went to his wife's grandfather's funeral the other day. He came back so excited about the things that were told of Katy's grandfather. He had been the first DeCastro's to come to America from Cuba. He started a picture-framing business which became very successful and through his generosity he brought many of his relatives to the United States. He was a God-fearing man who was so well thought of that a man flew from Italy to come to the funeral to honor him. That is what it means by "the memory of the just is blessed". I remember my own dad's funeral and how proud I was of him when all his friends talked about his impact on them. Good kings in the Bible did "what was good in the sight of the Lord" and bad kings did "what was evil in the sight of the Lord". I want to be known as someone who pleased God and did what was right in his sight. The name of the wicked will rot which is how I think of people like Hitler and Jezebel and Nero. There is not one good thing that comes to mind about them. Their names are synonymous with evil and decay.
Lord, our heritage is in you. We want your name to be greater and greater with each generation. Use us to shine to ours.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Thank you God that when you created us and charted out our path you made every provision to help us to walk on it. Lead us to the towering rock of safety, for you are your safe refuge, a fortress where our enemies cannot reach us. Let us live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings
Friday, June 25, 2010
In the Old Testament he priest blessed the people by putting his hand on their head and pronouncing God's blessing over them. God does that for his children. He places his hand upon our heads and pronounces our destiny. Our head is what holds our mind. As a man thinketh; so is he. God blesses us with his mind and his thoughts. But it says "violence covers the mouth of the wicked". The word 'violence' means 'to imagine wrongfully'. So the blessings of God fills your mind with faith where the wicked believe the lie. Their mind is filled with fear and intimidation which will keep them from accomplishing anything of any lasting value. The wicked may become rich in this world but he will be poor in spirit and never find peace or fulfillment. The just will find the favor of God and live in the joy and peace that only God can give. So when you feel the enemy telling you the lies he loves to tell remember that you have been given the mind of Christ and you can believe the truth. God is on you side and if God be for you then who can be against you! Thank you, Lord for your unfailing love.
To God timing is very important. He made seasons for certain purposes. There is a certain time to plow the land, sow the seed, water it, reap the results and enjoy the fruit. It is important that we are plowing when we should be plowing and sowing when we should be sowing. When God gives us a promise we are to plow the land with prayer. We pray out all the weeds of unbelief and evil and cleanse our own hearts of selfish ambition. Then we sow the land with God's Word. I ask God for scriptures that have to do with my particular situation. The other day I asked God to speak to me in my reading in Psalms about the house I am trying to get and 5 times in the Ps. it said that God would give me the land. God's Word is the strength and power we have to have to stand against the enemy that will try to cause you to abort the mission. It is the key to getting our promise. Then we water it with the words of our mouth - our testimony. We reap when God brings the promise to reality and we celebrate the fruit and give it back to God. It is a perpetual thing that happens in the life of Christians again and again. We gather in the summer because the summer is a harvest time. If we are asleep when our harvest comes then we will miss what God has for us. What a shame.
Lord, show us what season we are in in our lives and help us to be good gardeners.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
It is the old adage: you reap what you sow. If you are deceitful in your dealings you will be poor, but if you are a hard worker who is trustworthy then you will become rich. You can't expect to be paid if you don't put in the work and effort. How we do our work is a mirror to our heart. We are told to work like we were working for the Lord. I told my son yesterday that if you work for God then His payment will satisfy you. If you work for money you will always be disappointed. He was doing a lot of hours without pay and getting a little frustrated. I reminded him that God sees everything we do and nothing goes unnoticed or unpaid. God will reward what we do in secret. If we are just, God promises to bless us but if we are wicked then we will default to trickery. The way we do business is our reputation and we will be remembered by our honesty. The reputation of the ungodly will be a stench.
Lord, thank you for your blessings on your people. Thank you that you are a God of justice and mercy. Your unfailing kindness surrounds us with joy. Help us to not get weary in well-doing because we know that we will reap a reward if we don't faint.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
My husband and I have three sons and when they are doing well we are so happy but when they do something foolish we both carry the weight of it so I understand how God feels when we are wise and when we are foolish. All the money in the world is worth nothing if we lose our soul in the process. Only the blood of Jesus can deliver us from death. God promises not only to meet our physical needs but the need of our soul. The wicked can't buy peace that comes from knowing God and they can't gain themselves entrance into eternal life with their substance.
I was thinking about Solomon's life and how he had two very foolish brothers, Absalom and Adonijah, who tried to usurp the kingdom from Solomon. It was his mother, Bathsheba who fought for his right to the throne. Even after that there was bloodshed and opposition before Solomon could claim his inheritance. God has promised to cast away the substance of the wicked and feed the righteous but it sometimes comes with a fight. So don't become discouraged if you face opposition, it is God's confirmation that you are on the right track. He fights our battles for us and makes our feet like hinds feet and puts us in high places.
Monday, June 21, 2010
I am going to take a strategic diversion since I want to share with you about something God is doing in my life. Last Monday I shared with you that I was trying to purchase a house that is being foreclosed on and I have been seeking God's wisdom and guidance. He had given me this scripture in Ps.: "The Lord says, 'I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control." Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord. So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!'" I have sought the advise of my lawyers, my accountants, my banker, etc. and they all seem to be giving me the "go" signal. The funny thing is that this is not a good time to get a loans on a business endeavors yet I got approved in one day. I still wanted to know if it was God's will so I asked him for a sign. The next day in my inbox I got a message that said, "Ginny, this is your sign." I read that and cracked up laughing. How obvious does it have to be? The e-mail was about a sign for your business. God is so personal he can even send you an e-mail! Tomorrow is the auction so I would appreciate your prayers. I am praying that I am the only bidder and that I get it at the starting bid.
Lord, it is you who made us and stamped our DNA with your plan. Help us to live out our destiny with reckless abandon.
Friday, June 18, 2010
"A foolish woman is clamorous." The word clamorous means that she is loud and always causes a commotion. She loves to be the center of attention. She is seductive and doesn't understand the purpose of life. She positions herself where she can be seen and seek the esteem of the world. She tries to seduce the innocent who don't have a foundation in God to go her way. She has no convictions of right and wrong as long as you don't get caught. She describes committing adultery as sweet and pleasant. She leaves out the part that all her victims end in hell. This foolish woman invades our society. She is the spirit of Jezebel that wants total control. She wants to destroy the integrity of our families and the institution of marriage. She is bent of breaking the rules because she is so far above them. She wants to creep into every church and every fiber of our society. She is the opposite of the humility of Jesus and what we as Christians are suppose to be. We need to be aware of her and her seductions because she is very sly.
Lord, give us discernment to see this spirit in our own lives. Forgive us when we want to rebel against the authority you have set up for us. May we know when to be humble and when to fig
Thursday, June 17, 2010
If you try to give constructive criticism to someone who mocks others or someone who is not interested in the things of God then it will just come back and sting you. It is like throwing your pearls before swine. The ungodly have no desire to be righteous so your instruction will only cause their wrath to be turned on you. But, if you give instruction and teaching to a wise person who wants to learn it will be like Miracle Grow to their spirit. The key to becoming wiser is your reverence of God. The more you grow to understand God the more you will understand life and all the mysteries of this world. Only God has the power to make our lives more productive and fuller. He alone can increase our life-span. Our choices determine his decisions.
I think of the times people older and much wiser than me have tried to give me advise and I scorned it because I thought I didn't need their advice. Now I see that I did need their wisdom and things would have gone better for me if I would have listened. We learn wisdom through experience, but it is foolish of us if we don't learn from our mistakes and keep making the same ones over and over. The best advice out there is God's Word and godly counsel. God has the right answer for every situation. He even knows how to cap this oil spill.
Lord, give the engineers of our country wisdom in how to stop this oil spill and clean up the mess; you alone have the answer. We humbly ask your help and wisdom. Open our hearts to receive wisdom about every situation in our lives for we know we are yours and not our own.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
We are still on the subject of the wise woman. It says that she has killed her beast, mingled her wine, and furnished her table. I wonder if the beasts that she has killed are the sacrifice of a her reputation, her livelihood, and her very life? Are the spices she is mingling with the wine things like kindness, forgiveness, love, and long-suffering? Is the table she is funishing the Word of God, the very bread of life? What ever she is preparing she feels like it is so beneficial that she sends her maidens out to compel the simple and any who want understanding to come and dine. This meal is promised to give understanding to those who have none. Romans 14:17 says that the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. So this sacrifice is one that leads to righteousness and the wine is the wine of joy and all who choose to eat and drink of this will be at peace. David said in Ps. 22:26 that the meek shall eat and be satisfied.
If we are to be successful in bringing others in to God's table we must be eating what we are offering them. We have to eat the Word of God till we become what we eat. It is possible because those ring-streaked cattle became spotted when they looked on the spotted rods that Jacob put at the watering places. Those cattle became what they beheld when they drank, so we can too.
Lord, may we look upon you and your goodness and become like you and may we carry your torch to the dark places all around us.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The word for wisdom in the Hebrew means "every wise woman" which makes sense since wisdom is always referred to as "she". So every wise woman builds her house, but according to Pro. 14:1, "but the foolish woman plucks it down with her hands". How do we build our house and how do we pluck it down with our hands? When you build a house you are establishing roots and commitment. Much planning, labor, and love go into building a house. The Bible speaks of having children and establishing your family as "building your house" and we need wisdom for that for sure. I think one of the ways we build our house is by bathing it with prayer and speaking blessing over our house and those in it. When we criticize our husband or our kids then we are plucking it down with our hands. It is refreshing to be around couples who honor and adore one another but it is painful to be around couples who don't. Choosing to build our house with edification and love will establish it and it will stand.
The second part of this verse says that she has hewn out her seven pillars. What??? Pillars were used in the temple at the gates. Sometimes they held up the gates and sometimes they held up tapestries and sometimes they held up buildings. They were also memorial stones to remind you of some event that you wanted to honor. This wise woman carves out her pillars. She engraves the Word of God in her children and her own life. She wisely decides what is important for her family. Her pillars are perfect and complete like the number 7.
Lord, help us to be wise women and men in building our house on your foundation.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Once again we are admonished to choose wisdom so that we will be blessed. In finding wisdom we find Him and he gives us life and favor. I have been looking into buying a house for my business and found the perfect one. It was not only vacant but in foreclosure. It is in need of serious renovation which is my passion but the price, even in foreclosure, is too high. I have prayed about it, walked the property and claimed it; I've done all I know to do about it. I was reading in Hebrews 3 this morning and the last verse stood out to me. It said that the children of Israel were not able to enter God's rest because of their unbelief. Our belief or unbelief is not in what God can do but it boils down to who he is. God owns this house I want and he can give it to whoever he wants to. My job is to seek the kingdom; God's kingdom and believe in God and live in his rest. Seeking God who is wisdom is the greatest thing I could ever do; he gives life and favor. Who could want for more.
Lord, I commit this house to you and trust in your goodness and wisdom. It is you alone who gives life and favor and a moment in your house is better than a thousand elsewhere.
Friday, June 11, 2010
All scripture is inspired and is the living Word of God, but written by men. I wonder if they go into a trance or how it comes to them because in the middle of this chapter he transitions into a Messianic announcement. He starts giving us the account of Jesus' beginning. Before God made anything on the earth he planned Jesus. He brought him forth and possessed him. In Hebrews 1 it says, "Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son." It goes on to say that God introduced Jesus to the world and let all the angels worship him. I don't know if Jesus was in heaven before he came to earth or what but I do know is that Jesus was around during creation because it tells us he was. He was there before the mountains or the hills had settled; before the fields or high places; before the heavens or the seas; before the clouds or the sea bottoms; before he told the shores of the seas. Jesus was right there training with God and daily his delight. Can't you just see the Father and the Son playing as they created the earth and all the animals and plants, and rocks. I bet they had a blast. They rejoiced at what they made and especially the creation of man.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
A true test to see if you fear God is if you hate pride, arrogance, the path of the evil, and those who speak perversely. These are the things God hates and we are to hate the things he hates and love the things he loves. He loves his plan and his wisdom. He has all power to rule over the counsel of our kings and presidents and institute justice through our judges. He rules through all in authority. God loves those who choose to love him back and all show seek him will find him. Wealth and honor, value and righteousness is to those who draw near. God's fruit, his reward, is better than any monetary measure we have on earth. He will lead us down paths of righteousness and in the midst of judgment. He does this for those who love him because he wants us to inherit something overflowing with worth.
Sometimes it is hard to realize how much God is in control of this earth. He doesn't stay in our churches; he rules over nations. And one of the hardest things to get is how much he wants to lavish his kindness and pleasure on us, but he does.
Lord, we open up our arms to receive your wisdom and your treasures that are far more valuable than gold.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
How many times does Proverbs tell us that wisdom is shouting to us to listen? Wisdom is no respecter of people; it is for everyone who wants it. It speaks of excellent things which in the Hebrew means "a commander as occupying the front, civil, military or religious". It will teach us how to lead our lives, our children, and our business. When we speak, what we say will prosper and come to pass because it will be God's word. We will speak from a foundation of truth so the morally wrong will be detestable to us. God can only speak righteously because he doesn't twist his truth. We will be able to understand if we choose to hear it. Wisdom is so freely offered to us and is more valuable than any monetary value we could imagine.
Verse 12 says that "I wisdom dwell with prudence." It is like wisdom is a person who lives with Prudence. Prudence in the Hebrew means, "trickery, in a good sense; discretion." To me, that means you can navigate this world of sensual, get-it-now, self-centered attitude that permeates our society with God's wisdom and still be attractive to others. The next part of the verse says, "and find out knowledge of witty inventions." I have always thought that meant that God will help you discover new inventions, which he will, but I don't think that is what this means here. The Hebrew for witty inventions is "a plan, usually evil, sometimes good". It makes me think of how Elijah would tell the king of Israel what the Philistine king was planning in his bedroom. To us that would be like God warning us of something to come that we couldn't have knowledge of any other way.
Lord, we invite Wisdom and Prudence to come and dwell with us and be our roommates.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Read Pro. 8:1-3
God is always saying something; we just need to get on his frequency and position ourselves to hear him. Wisdom and understanding are shouting from the the top of the high places, by the way, in the places of the paths, at the gates, at the entry of the city and at the coming in at the doors. So let's look at those places. The top of the high places were where they went to worship. So God will give us wisdom in our quiet times with him. By the way and in the places of the paths means along the way... when we least expect it, answers will come. At the gates and at the entry of the city is where the elders would sit and give advice, judgment, teaching to anyone who needed it. They determined who came in and who went out. This is a place of authority and we all need mentors who can give us wisdom. We also have a personal gatekeeper called the Holy Spirit who watches over our city to keep it protected. At the coming in at the doors: we all have openings or doors which are our eyes, ears, noses, etc. If you are looking for wisdom, God will bring a sermon, a word, a note, something that can come through your doors and enlighten you.
On a personal note, this week I was praying about something. I had the impression that I should call my girlfriend and ask her to pray with me. She called me first which was unusual since we haven't talked in a while. I told her my prayer request and she and I prayed about it. When I prayed I found myself saying something I hadn't thought of before. That day another friend called and told me she was sending me a letter with a scripture written down for me. When I got it it was the same thing I had found myself praying the day before. Amazing God! I love how he networks everything together to speak to us.
Lord, may we go to the high places and seek you and find you along our paths, in the words of our authority, and in our senses. You are worth finding.
Monday, June 7, 2010
The "strange woman" in Proverbs stands for any temptation in your life that acts like a temptress. To most people it is sexual in nature, but not to all. It may be appetite, gambling, anger. In today's reading the person who has chosen God's wisdom is observing a person who is being seduced into sin. His first mistake is that he is walking near the corner where the temptress lives. He chose to walk that way. If we want to get free of a pattern of sin we have to change our pattern. The Bible calls this fleeing. His second mistake is that it is getting dark. We feel better about our sin if we can do it in secret where we feel hidden. We forget that night is day to God and he sees what we do in secret. God loves the light and Satan loves the dark. His third mistake is that he stops to talk to her. She is subtle and lies waiting for him to come. The devil knows how to set a trap for us, he is really good at deceit. She makes her move quickly; she grabs him and kisses him and immediately starts her spiel. She starts by trying to sell her self-righteousness to wear down his morals. She says she has made peace offerings, and payed her vows; sounds like a regular church-goer. She has been looking for him and he shows up (must be divine appointment). Then she moves on to the seduction and talks about how great this is going to be. She has spread tapestries on her bed, with carved works and fine linen from Egypt. He bed is perfumed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. (The devil can make sin look wonderful.) And what's more, they can enjoy it all night because there is no way they will be caught. So he gives in to this perfect deal not knowing that it is really leading to his sorrow, not his pleasure. Her ways lead to death and hell, not life and heaven. And it fades to the tune of "The House of the Rising Sun": "...she's been the ruin of many a poor boy, and God I know I'm one."
Lord, help us change our patterns that lead us to make the same mistakes. Lead us by your truth and let it be our guide.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Everyone wants a fulfilling life that they can enjoy and God promises that to anyone who would keep his laws and hide his commands in their heart can have this life. God's laws are to be the "apple of our eye". I looked this up in the Hebrew and it means the little man of the eye. In other words you see everything through this little man that lives in your eye. He tells you what you see and what to do about what you see. He is the Holy Spirit in you. We are to bind these words about our fingers and write them on the tablet of our heart. Our fingers are what we use to grasp things so if the Word of God is written on our fingers then we will reach for and make our goals the things God's Word tells us to reach for and make our goal. We will reach for God's Word instead of the morning paper as soon as we wake up. We'll reach for kindness and forgiveness instead of gossip and revenge. In the Old Testament the Word was written on stone tablets but we live in the New Testament where we are told to write them on the fleshly tablets of our hearts. Then wisdom will become like a sister, closely related to us, and understanding like our best friend.
Lord, let your Word be the apple of our eye and our closest companion. We choose to write it on our hearts and our hands that we might not sin against you.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
I think I have read this eight times and still don't quite understand its implication but I'm going to make a stab at it. "Don't despise a thief, if he steals to satisfy his soul when he is hungry." I think it is saying to have compassion on those who steal because they are hungry and just trying to live. It's the next part I don't understand: "But if he be found, he must restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house." It seems to me that if we are truly compassionate we would hope that he didn't get caught because then he would lose everything. Maybe that's the point. I've been to third world countries where stealing was a job description right up there with prostitution and all their worldly possessions wouldn't be enough to buy a meal. Anyway, we are not to judge and they are not to steal.
The next few verses have to do with the adulterer. Where the thief is stealing to satisfy his soul, what the adulterer does destroys his soul. His recompense is dishonor and a spot like leprosy which neither can be wiped away. At least the thief can pay his debt but the adulterer is plagued with his without remedy. The person that is stolen from can forgive because he realizes the person did it just to survive, but the husband who has had his wife stolen can not be repaid nor will be forgive easily.
Lord, give us a heart to live in your kingdom where all our hungers are satisfied in you and we don't have to steal to get satisfied.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Have you ever noticed how parents have different rules because of the different families they came from. Ideally they should balance each other out so that they both bring a different part of wisdom to the table. We are admonished to listen and take in their wisdom and make it a law to ourselves. They have actually had to live out their ideas and have learned from their mistakes. They try to pass this on to their children so that we won't make the same mistakes. This godly wisdom is to lead us, protect us when we are asleep and talk to us when we are awake. Their godly wisdom will be like a lamp to us to teach us how to live. Their warnings are to keep us from evil people who want to deceive us with flattery and talk us into sinning. God's Word will keep us from being tricked by the pretty package that sin comes in and its strong pull on us. Sin is like an adulterous woman who is in search of her next victim. If we hold fast to God's Word we won't fall into her trap. There is no way we can flirt with sin and not come away unburned. It is compared to embracing fire and not getting burned. There is no way that will happen; we will get burned. So the warning is to run when we are being tempted.
Lord, help us to listen to the wisdom of our elders and your Word and heed its warnings. We desire to stay forever faithful to you alone.