Proverb to live by #4

“The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.” – Proverbs 19:23

Last time I explained in a similar proverb that “fear” doesn’t mean to be afraid of, or scared of God. I mentioned that “A healthy fear where we can maintain respect and reverence will help us….” It can help us rest peacefully.

Take time today to pray. Pray and thank God for being your Lord and Savior. Pray thanking Him for the many unseen blessings of protection that He affords you everyday.

Remember also that the “Fear of the Lord leads to life,” which may also be explaining that when we trust in the Lord, we will have everlasting life with God in Heaven. Not everything on earth may be as we desire, “safe in all things” – but… our spiritual life will not be harmed when we trust in God.

Proverb to live by #3

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” – Proverbs 1:7

I used to not understand that passage. Why should we “fear” the Lord? Isn’t He supposed to be a loving God? Why would He do anything to hurt us? How can I worship a God that I am supposed to fear?

So, how do we understand what it means? Well, first of all, I have always been an advocate of asking “do we really know what the original text said?” Think about it – our English language is not identical in word for word translation from Hebrew or Greek. A good example you probably know is the Greek word “agape” which we translate as “love.”

How many of us “love” pizza? We “love” our family. We “love” _(fill in the blank)_. Our English language has progessed to use one word “love” in a variety of meanings/applications. However, “agape,” as best as we can translate more accurately means “to love sacrificially” as God did when He sacrificed His Son to die on a cross for us. We don’t “love” pizza – we may enjoy eating it. We may like it, but it’s not self-sacrificing. How many other words have changed over the years? “Surfing” used to be something you could only do on water – now you can do it on the internet from the comfort of your home. A “paddle” used to be a disciplinary tool in every school, now it’s just for use in boats. I digress….

As I return to the Hebrew translation of the Old Testament, I look at “yirah” the word that many translate “fear” in the Bible. Other translations for the word include “respect” or even “reverance.” I believe both of these aditional definitions help to describe what we are to due in order to gain wisdom.

We should respect God for who He is, what He has done, and what He will do. We should be reverent to Him, for He is Holy, Almighty, and the Lord of all. We should also have some aspect of fear of God; I don’t mean we should be “scared,” but we should fear His judgement on sin, unbelievers, and disobedience. A healthy fear where we can maintain respect and reverence will help us begin to have knowledge of Him.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” – Proverbs 1:7

Proverbs to live by – 2

Hmmm… As I go through my “Proverbs to live by,” the second one is “Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.” – Proverbs 20:3

I wonder – is my wife trying to tell me something?  🙂  Just kidding. The package was unopened when she gave it to me. However, I do not believe in coincidences. Marvin mentioned on Sunday during church that it is so neat how a Sunday School lesson prepared months in advance can speak to us today. The Bible is the same way. What was written over 2,000 years ago, can have a stunning effect on us today if we take time to read and study it.

Our devotional time is not just a haphazard mix of verses that don’t apply. In fact, if and when we take the time to pray and study the Bible, we discover that there is something of value in every verse. Whether the writer is providing background details to establish the context of the message, or the message itself, it is still important for us to know and use in our daily lives. 

Today as you think through “what does this mean to me” or “how can this be used in my life,” consider all the avenues. Is it meant for school, home, work, or just those times out in public? I don’t know where it may help you, but chances are it will be different than mine. But in the end, it will still be useful to remember:

Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.” – Proverbs 20:3

what perfect timing

Yesterday our preacher mentioned an editorial article in the Crimson White. It was a totally useless article, one of wasted time in writing and publishing, much less reading. However, it had some great points (lessons on how NOT to live). However, it brings me to a more useful editorial article:

Why  Go To Church?
A  Church goer wrote  a letter to the  editor of a  newspaper and complained that it made no sense  to go to church every Sunday.  “I’ve gone for 30 years now,” he wrote, “and in  that time I have heard something like 3,000  sermons.  But for the life of me, I can’t  remember a single one of them..  So, I  think I’m wasting my time and the pastors are  wasting theirs by giving sermons at  all.” 

This  started a real controversy in the “Letters to  the Editor” column, much to the delight of the  editor.  It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

“I’ve  been married for 30 years now.  In that  time my  wife has cooked some 32,000 meals.   But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the  entire menu for a single one of those  meals.  But I do know this.. They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed  to do my work.  If my wife had not given me  these meals, I would be physically dead  today.

Likewise, if I had not gone to  church for nourishment, I would be spiritually  dead today!”  When you are DOWN to  nothing….. God is UP to something!  Faith  sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible!  Thank God for our  physical AND our spiritual nourishment!

Next time you decide to skip out on church . . . think . . . do I really want to miss another meal?

When  Satan is knocking at your  door,  simply  say,
“Jesus,  could you get that for  me?”

Are you in “denial?”

Lately, I have seen some reason for concern. Jesus said:

 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. – Mark 8:34

Are you in denial? re you denying yourself? Or are you denying God? Jesus told us that no servant can have two masters – we must either be serving God or ourselves.