A Series of Right Decisions


Proverbs 3:1-12

1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. 3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. 9Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. 11 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline 

and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.


The essence and sum of our lives can be measured and is made up of a series of decisions.  There will be things in our lives that we have no control over other than how we respond to them and what we do with them.  When we look back over our lives and to the point that we presently live, we can see that our lives are the result of a good number of smaller decisions and choices. Some of those have had more impact on our lives than others but even the little decisions have contributed to the larger whole.  When we understand that each day is made up of a series of decision that can impact and guide the direction of our lives, we then understand the importance of making right decisions.  

Proverbs 3 speaks to us out of the wisdom of a Father to his son.  As we read this we insert ourselves into the object of this conversation.  The Father is reminding the son that to live a prosperous and healthy life there are certain things you need to maintain, remember and exercise in your decision making.  The foremost is that you keep the teachings and the commands of God’s Word in your heart.  The continual meditation upon the Word of God will serve to keep your life focused and continually aware of what your life is about.  

The way that we exercise the Word that we store up in our hearts is through love and faithfulness.  These are the keys that allow us to partake of the treasures of God’s wisdom and grace and to put them into the vocabulary of our daily lives and actions.  Love, trust and obedience, these are the essentials that need to be with us in every decision making process.  When we have them and exercise them, and then they will assure a right motive to the decisions that we do make.  

Even with these essentials we realize that we lack the insight, understanding and wisdom to really know what is best for our lives and if the decision we are making may be the best choice we could have made.  

Again, the Lord reminds us to trust Him with all our whole heart and to lean not upon our own understanding.  God knows so much more about our lives and the impact of our decisions than we do. It only makes sense to really trust Him to guide us and lead us.  He says He will make our paths straight.  Romans 8: 28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  These are those ones that are practicing Proverbs 3.  If we acknowledge Him, trust Him and love Him with all of our heart, then He is able to take even the bad things in our life and work them for our good.  There are going to be times in our life we won’t be able to grasp the whys and wherefores of how God operates and the reason He has allowed things to happen as they have.  He never told us we had to understand Him, just acknowledge, love and trust Him.  

We can never boast in ourselves, in our ability, our prosperity or our wisdom.  We do acknowledge that every good and perfect gift comes from above.  Sometimes we are tempted in our spiritual or natural successes to be lifted up to think we are something or somebody more than somebody else is.  We have to always keep our feet on the ground while we keep our heart in heaven.  Spiritual pride is a foolish man’s prize.  We are all the products of God’s rich grace and mercy.  None of us can boast in ourselves for it is God alone that gives us value and worth.  If we fear God and turn away from evil then it will be health to our body and nourishment to our bones.  

I heard a minister the other day who was sharing that the temple had five gates.  There was a priest stationed over each one of those gates as a watchman to assure that no danger or that nothing unclean entered the gates.  He went on to share that these five gate are like our five natural senses and God has set us as a priest to watch over them and insure that nothing harmful or unclean passes through them into the temple which we are.  This is much like the principles of Proverbs 3.  If we will do our part to love, acknowledge, trust and obey the Lord, He will do His part to direct and order our steps.  

As He honors us, we must in turn honor Him with the firstfruits of our increase.  We can’t bring the leftovers or the second best.  We must honor Him with the firstfruits of our best.  He assures us that we won’t lack because of it.  

We are His children.  He loves us and whom the Lord loves He chastens, disciplines and corrects.  We can’t become discouraged when our lot in life is tough.  It is not God’s anger and displeasure at work; it is His love.  The trials and tribulations in our lives are what shape and mold our character and integrity.  They are a part of the process of bringing us into conformity with Father’s nature and character.  All that God is working in us is in preparation for a much more glorious life.

Just remember that it is the series of everyday decision that add up to the sum of your life.  Allow God to be a part of every one of them.  

 

Blessings,

#KentStuck

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Matthew 24:35
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

Trivial words fade quickly from the hearing,
as does the familiarity of life from our memory.
When that which is trivial and familiar is passed away,
is there the substance of faith and reality to take its place?
When all that is known, becomes unknown,
and the life we’ve known comes tumbling down,
is our foundation strong to build again upon
those things which can not be moved, eternally sound?
Heaven and earth will pass away,
but God’s Word will always remain.
He is the confidence that anchors our hope,
when all else is stripped from its context and frame.

When Life gets Turned Upside-down

There can come a time in our life, and it may have already occurred in yours, when either naturally of supernaturally our world, as we know it, falls apart. All that was familiar and comfortable becomes unhinged and discomfited. We may lose our career, a loved one passes, we are bankrupted, our children run away or get in trouble; there are multitude of ways our life can get turned upside down. While those transitions in life are rarely desirable, they may put to the test all that we have lived and believed. All of sudden all the beliefs that we had neatly folded in our box become dumped out and the very fabric of all that we called faith is tested. In those moments of turmoil we may be desperately trying to find God in the midst and thick of it.
“How could He let this happen?” “Why?” ” Where are you God?”
It is probably much the way Job felt when satan was allowed to touch his life in almost every area. If we in our natural mind and reasoning, then all we can see and comprehend are our natural circumstances. We may have grown so accustomed to the blessings of God that we thought we were immune to the trials of life, but God never promised us a life without trials. Satan’s purpose through the trials might be to kill, steal and destroy. Most of all, he wants you to doubt God’s love and faithfulness, so that you would turn from God and count Him unfaithful. He wants to steal your identity in Christ.
We have to ask ourselves in the story we see of Job, what was God heart and His ultimate purpose in allowing such calamity, pain and devastation in Job’s life? In the end it gave Job a greater revelation of God in His holiness and majesty. In the end, because Job retained his integrity and faith, God promoted him to a place of priesthood where he was interceding and making sacrifice for his accusers and fault-finders and he was brought into a double portion of all that he formerly had, as great as that already was.
Father isn’t out to make us fail or to make our lives miserable, but out of pain is often birthed a greater blessing that can bring us up higher into Him. We won’t always understand its purpose at the time and it may feel like God has totally abandoned and forsaken us, but He is causing us flex our faith, not our intellect or natural abilities. He is causing us to trust Him in what we can’t see. Our response should be to bless the Lord in those times, not to curse Him and turn away. Even Job, without the Word of God to draw upon had a revelation of this truth in his heart.
Job 1:21-22 says that after Job heard of all that had come upon his property and family, “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
22In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”
Will that be our response if and when our world is turned upside down? These will be the times when the true metal of our faith will be tested. It may be so bad, we don’t think it could be any worse and then it gets worse and it continues to get worse, but God never ceases to be God or to sit upon the throne. If we truly know Him, He will be the anchor in the storm that keeps us from running aground on the rocks of circumstances and unbelief. He is still there in the boat with us as we are weathering our storm and it may seem He is asleep in the hull of the boat and oblivious to all that is happening around us. We may be crying out, “Lord, don’t you care that we perish?”.
Just remember if you perish, Christ perishes with you, because He is in you. In those times, can you still remember who you are, “IN CHRIST”? Circumstances can change, but God’s word doesn’t change and Jesus doesn’t change. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. You anchored to eternity in Him. Even if your outward man would perish, you have a building, a tabernacle made by God, eternal in the heavens.
What we must have as saints of God, is an immovable faith and trust that can not be shaken by heaven or hell. A faith so grounded in Christ that even when our mind can’t wrap itself around it and our reason fails us, our faith remains steadfast and firm. Either God is who He says He is or we have believed in vain.
There may be or come times in our life when nothing makes sense. That is when faith in God’s Word is your anchor. We may be in total disorientation and vertigo, but just as a pilot in darkness and storm must rely upon his instruments to give him bearing and orientation, so we must do with the Word of God. We can’t trust our senses, our feelings or even our intellect; to do so could prove fatal. God’s Word must remain the anchor of our soul, because we know that even though all else would pass away, God’ Word remains.

Blessings,
kent

Presumptuous Sin

January 28, 2013

James 4:13-17
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

Presumptuous Sin

How many of us walk day by day asking God’s will and purpose to be done in and through our lives? Most of us already have our agenda’s set, our plans and schedules made and our daily routines formed. This scripture from James might jar our awareness that the life we live so routinely is not about our plans and agendas, they are about God’s. How many opportunities and blessings are missed because what we have to do is more important than being in tune with the Holy Spirit to allow Him move through us in a different direction than what we have planned? If we ask for God’s will in our lives, but then ignore Him and the Spirit’s leading then haven’t we fallen into what might be for us a presumptuous sin?
We often find ourselves trying to live in two different worlds. We have our spiritual world where we acknowledge and worship God, but then our daily routine kicks in, it is business as usual and we may hardly give God a second thought. We don’t think anything of it, because it has become our habit and we have compartmentalized God out of certain areas of our life.
We can never forget that we don’t even have a life outside of what God gives us and blesses us with. There are no guarantees of tomorrow and of what we think we will do. We become presumptuous in that we think that we are fully in control of our lives and that it should always go according to our plan.
Who’s are we? What are we here for? What is your purpose in life?
As believers in Christ we should realize that our life is first and foremost about God and not about us. We live, move and have our being for His good pleasure, not just ours. Romans 12:1 exhorts to daily present ourselves a living sacrifice that we might prove what is His good, acceptable and perfect will. Each day should start with us first getting in tune with the Holy Spirit and entering into God’s presence. It should start with our hearts being open and spiritual awareness that this day is for Him and not just for us. We may go through a fairly routine day, but somewhere in that day may be an opportunity to speak into someone’s life, to bless someone, to help someone or someone is watching, unbeknownst to you, how you live, speak and conduct your life. You are first and foremost, God’s ambassador and the expression of who He is to the world around you. When you are open to God changing your plans or redirecting your path, don’t allow yourself to be frustrated by a change in your circumstance, just be keenly aware that He might want to use you in a different way.
A life in Christ is not a living apart from Him, but an acknowledgement of Him in all that we do, no matter how routine or ordinary. God leads us as we acknowledge Him in all of our ways, as Proverbs 3 tells us.
Let us not fall into presumptuous sin, by making assumptions about all that we or will not do. We first submit our plans and ways to the Lord; being open for Him to adjust them to His will and purpose. When our faith is in God and not in ourselves then we are at peace with the circumstances that face us even when that might seem so negative. God is able to turn all things for good if our hearts and attitudes are trusting Him. We are not to boast and brag about we can do or accomplish, but our boasting is only in the Father and what He can do if we trust and acknowledge Him in all of our ways.

Blessings,
kent

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