Moments of sharing in Proverbs as we seek for Wisdom

A Moment In Proverbs: Proverbs 3:6

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Proverbs 3:6,
“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

With the knowledge we have available to us today and the books and software available to search out just about anything that causes us to wonder, there is the problem that we seek to find solutions on our own.  Not that it is wrong to do so as long as we have been guided by the Holy Spirit to do so and that we FIRST took it to God for His direction.  We fall into the hazard of excluding God from our decision making, perhaps its being in a hurry to get the task done, or because we think others will think less of us if we don’t get the job done immediately.  But the warning is if we step out in our own strength, we may find that we’re picking ourselves up from a disaster.

What parent has not warned their child to be careful, to seek counsel and to give it time to think over before making a decision?  What adult has not wished they had waited before they made a decision that turned out badly…perhaps giving it a few hours, days or weeks to consider and pray over would have resulted in a better outcome?

When we seek the LORD in our walk; we find that HE SHALL DIRECT OUR PATHS.

We make the mistake of depending on God to help us only when we need help, we do not rely upon Him for all things. We must abide in Him and He will abide in us.  The key to this verse is “in all thy ways acknowledge Him”.  Consider this, if you do not do so already, to keep the decision making to the LORD’s word in your heart, instead of making the decision yourself and finding yourself at a loss for wisdom.

Prayer: The LORD will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  And they that know His name will put their trust in Him.  The LORD does not forsake them that seek Him. All who seek Him have reason to rejoice; for His love and salvation are continual.  May the LORD be magnified through our dependence upon Him and may His name be given glory and honor for our walk before Him.  We will not lean on our own understanding, but we will trust in the LORD with all our heart; and acknowledge Him in all our ways.  In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Abiding Still,

Connie Renfro ©

A Moment In Proverbs: Proverbs 2:20-21

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Proverbs 2:20-21,
“That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous; for the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.”

When we follow the steps of the righteous and stay on the path of righteousness, we will find life! As we set standards for our lives through God’s Word, we do not reject the sinner, but we reject the path they walk.  We cannot partake of their lifestyle even in the least way as it leads to sin that the LORD called us to flee (2Timothy 2:21-22).

We are told in Psalms 1 that if we do not follow after the ungodly we are blessed.  This is because our lives will find delight in God’s Word and we will be steadfast and produce spiritual fruit that will create a firm foundation upon Christ.

We must look to those who have gone before us as examples of walking after the righteous and we must pass their walk of faith along to our children and grandchildren; this will bring rest to our souls (Jeremiah 6:16). Those who walked by faith are now a great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1); that are our example.  We must look at their walk of faith, focus on the integrity they lived by and live as they lived in uprightness. In so doing, this will contribute to our settled minds, guide our footsteps, gain good-will of our neighbors and please God.  Even our families will rejoice and benefit in our walk as they learn the paths of righteousness and take their own walk before the LORD.

Prayer:  Your Word tells us that if we walk uprightly, work righteousness and speak the truth in our hearts, then we abide in you. LORD, help us to take the paths of righteousness before you.  Teach us the lessons of those who have been examples of faith so that our walk is straight before you.  As we walk before you, your loving kindness is our faithful companion.  LORD, let us reach out to those lost in sin, but keep our hearts through your Word so that our feet do not stumble in the path they are walking.  LORD, you are the giver of abundant life; thank you for your precious love.  In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Abiding Still,

Connie Renfro ©

A Moment In Proverbs: 1:5

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Proverbs 1:5,
“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels”

A wise man will hear.  Proverbs consistently tells us to “hear”, “listen”, “obey”, “give ear to my instruction.” And a wise may will, but the foolish think in their own heart that they know best, they need not pay attention to warnings or good advice.  The wise grow wiser when they listen, the foolish would do likewise if they would open their hearts and ears.

I remember teachers who said, “you can never learn too much”, of course they were talking about school subjects but as I’m older, I like to think the same about God’s Word.  The wondrous thing about His Word is that it is appropriate for every moment, it nourishes and it provides what we need as we apply it to our hearts.

God’s Word tells us in Daniel 12:3-5, that in the last days knowledge will increase and as we see evidence of that today, which of us are not marveled at the knowledge at our fingertips through the internet and other electronic devices…but beware, the passage does not say God’s Word will increase.  Sadly, our knowledge of God’s Word and the wisdom that lies within seems to be fading.  People are no longer memorizing His Word and children can no longer recite the scriptures I learned as a child at the hand of my grandmother and Sunday School Teacher.  Truly, worldly knowledge has increased, but our knowledge of Wisdom from God’s Word has not.

In Acts 2:16-18, God speaks of pouring His Spirit upon all people, so that the daughters will prophesy, young men will see visions, old men will dream dreams.  Let us call upon the LORD for His Word; Let us marvel at the Wisdom within, Let us lean closer to our LORD and receive His knowledge into our hearts and minds.

Prayer:  LORD thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my down sitting and mine uprising, thou understand my thought afar off. Thou compasses my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. Thank you for your Word and the knowledge and wisdom you offer to your beloved.  In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Abiding Still,

Connie Renfro ©

A Moment In Proverbs: Proverbs 27:19

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Proverbs 27:19,
“As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.”

This verse tells us that the heart reflects the real person, just as water reflects the face of the onlooker.  The heart is a mirror of the inward person, what we may not see on the face of man, God sees on the heart of man.

Therefore, it is important that we examine our motives, affections and intentions constantly.  God’s Word tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
“I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10). He sees the intent even before we have consciously formed the thought; God saw our heart at work before we succumbed to the sin that enticed our heart.

We must do more than listen to God’s Word.  We must do as it instructs, otherwise, we are only fooling ourselves.  If we listen but don’t obey it will be like looking at ourselves in a mirror, walking away and forgetting what we saw.  But if we look at His Word, it sets us free, and when we do what He says, we don’t forget what was heard and our heart reflects Him (see James 1:23-25).

Prayer: Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my thoughts.  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, oh, LORD, my strength and my redeemer.  You are great in counsel and mighty in deed.  Your eyes are open to all the ways of the children of man; rewarding each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds. O LORD, you have a steadfast love and you know the inward heart.  Help us to reflect your image.  In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

A special Note:

Friends, enjoy your Memorial Holiday; remember those who gave their lives for our freedom, and especially praise God for the freedom He brought us through His Son Jesus Christ.  I will return again on Tuesday, May 31st.

Abiding Still,

Connie Renfro ©

A Moment In Proverbs: Proverbs 26:4

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Proverbs 26:4,
“Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.”

Have you ever tried to reason with a foolish person? God continues to call us to wisdom throughout the proverbs and in so doing, he teaches us not to argue with a fool or try to set them straight.  We must be taught to be wise through the Word of God.  We must be ready to defend our belief (1 Peter 3:14-16) and the only way to do that is to make ourselves workmen that need not to be put to shame as we divide the Word of truth.  The only way we can do this is by studying His Word.  This gives us the opportunity to not only witness to those in darkness but to reveal the light to those who are foolish (2 Timothy 2:15-16).

We must sanctify our LORD in our hearts and be prepared to answer those who challenge or question our devotion. The Word of God is profitable for reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.  But we must be sure that the LORD has called us to stand before man and give forth the wisdom of His Word.  We must wait upon the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts and minds or we will foolishly join the foolish and sound like clanging cymbals to those who hear us.  Our convictions must be sure, they must be true, and they must be wholly fixed on our LORD and Jesus Christ.  Without His direction and His blessing our words will be in vain. Wisdom is justified when it comes from God.  There will be times when speaking is called for; there will be times when silence is more powerful; and there will be times when living our lives before them as we trust the LORD for our portion will be the greatest testimony.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).  He is the one who directs the heart; the footsteps; the speaker and the hearer. Wait upon Him by being prepared when called.

Prayer:  LORD, help us to be prepared to share your Word when the opportunities present.  Father, help us not to argue your Word but reason with the hearer.  Let us not cast our pearls before the swine, but let us scatter seed to fertile ground so that you will claim a great harvest of souls for the kingdom of God.  Thank you LORD that you would use us and thank you that you have provided your Word so that we can learn from it.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Abiding Still,

Connie Renfro ©

A Moment In Proverbs: Proverbs 25:13

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Proverbs 25:13,
“As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refreshes the soul of his masters.”

Friends, we are messengers of this great message left to us to share with those who are in the dark concerning eternal life through Christ. God uses willing servants to spread the knowledge of Christ. Those who are saved take the knowledge and learn, apply, and mature; but those who are lost perceive the message differently until the Holy Spirit makes His way into their hearts.

What message are you carrying?  It is important to be faithful messengers that bring refreshment to those who are thirsty.  We are to bring truth from His Word, not our own doctrine. A solemn warning is spoken in the Gospel of Matthew 5:17-19, that reminds us that we must not change the message; but we must deliver it intact and as it is written.

As we share the truth with those God brings our way, let us be faithful to use the talents He has given us to be diligent in spreading His story. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:14-15).

Prayer:  Father, do we bring refreshment to the weary soul as we share the Word you have given us?  Do we bear the truth before those who have not heard?  Are we willing to speak up when the Spirit directs us to share your love?  Do we walk in faith that you will fill our mouth and our minds with the Words we have meditated upon?  LORD, if we are lacking in any of these areas, then teach us to be faithful messengers of your kingdom so that souls are refreshed, restored, and born into eternal life through Christ Jesus.  We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Abiding Still,

Connie Renfro ©

A Moment In Proverbs: Proverbs 24:1-2

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Proverbs 24:1-2,
“Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studies destruction and their lips talk of mischief.”

We are not to envy sinners or wish we could have what they have, lest we forget the greater blessings we hold for living righteously.  I often hear people complain about those who “get-away” with their crimes or moral misconduct, but what they don’t see is the end result of living their lives for this world instead of the Kingdom of God.

Their sensual appetites may be indulged for now, but their hearts are empty.  They truly are empty vessels that have lost their purpose. Each of us who choose to follow God’s Word and set our hearts to live righteously are setting up our riches for eternity.  Our pockets may be empty in this world, but our hearts will be full now and in eternity.  There is nothing to envy of those who will spend eternity without God, their accounts they stored on earth will be spent by others or lost in courts while lining the pockets of lawyers.

There is no sin in having riches in this world, for God blesses both the saved and unsaved with his generosity; but when we place our heart upon the things earned in this world and lose sight of God’s purpose for the blessings He gives, we are poor indeed.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:19-21).

Prayer: LORD, teach me to turn my eyes upon Jesus, let me look in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.  Father, let this be our song today, to remember not to envy those who have more or those who escape the penalty of our justice systems.  Let us turn our eyes upon you and follow in wisdom and grace as we seek your Word for our daily living.  In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Abiding Still,

Connie Renfro ©

A Moment In Proverbs: 23:19

 

Proverbs 23:19,
“Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.”

Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).  This passage is one most parents know who have applied God’s word to their hearts. Even parents who have not followed God will want their children to grow into moral people who are successful in their dealings with the world; but the Christian has this hope, that if we do our part in teaching our children the wisdom from God’s Word, we are giving them something they will carry with them forever. And when they grow old they will have it even still.  As parents, we pray that our children will not only be successful in their dealings with the world, but that they too will take on the mantle of teaching their children God’s Word.

Throughout Proverbs there are many calls to the heart of the son; here we have the father calling to the son and saying listen and be wise and guide thine heart.  Wisdom just as faith comes from hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17).  In order for our sons and daughters to gain wisdom they must hear the word of the LORD so that they can be called to faith.  If we as parents, grandparents and guardians of youth do not do our part in presenting the gospel to them, then how will they believe (see Romans 10:14).

Wisdom, does not come from enticing words of man’s wisdom but only from hearing the word of God (see 1Thesalonians 2:13). Are our children hearing the words of wisdom?  Are we proclaiming the Word of God in such a way that they can hear and respond?

Prayer:  Open our eyes LORD, we want to see Jesus; to reach out and touch him and say that we love him.  Open our ears LORD and help us to listen.  Open our eyes LORD to your Word and your instruction.  Open our ears LORD and apply thy Word to our hearts.  Open our understanding LORD so that we can teach others.  Open our hearts LORD so that we see generations follow you in wisdom.  In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Abiding Still,

Connie Renfro ©

A Moment In Proverbs: Proverbs 20:27

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Proverbs 20:27,
“The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

When we commit our ways unto the Lord, nothing will have the power to destroy the Spirit’s work within us and all of our thoughts will be established.

At the beginning of the week, I posted this sentence and I have had an opportunity to post it with each of our devotions this week.  As I come to a close this week, I am considering this verse as the core of this sentence; for the spirit of man is the candle of the LORD. 

When we commit our ways unto the LORD the light of our lives shine through and that light is not our own, but that of the LORD’s; it is the inspiration of God.  Just as the disciples committed their life to Christ, they were given the inspiration of God and we are to benefit from their writing as the inspiration of God (2Timothy 3:15-17).The inspiration was so that those who followed God and committed their ways unto Him would be thoroughly furnished unto all good works.  Showing forth the light of Jesus Christ to all who they meet.

Our spirit was made after the image of God and He is the source of all knowledge, in fact, He is called the Father of lights (James 1:17-18). Since he is our Father, it is because of Him that we were created; and in Him we have the word of truth; therefore we have His light within.

Dear friends, NOTHING will have the power to destroy the Spirit’s work within us! This light is realized only when we commit our lives to Him.  Have you decided to follow Jesus? Remember, He said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Prayer: The LORD is my light and my salvation. The LORD is the strength of my life. The LORD is King forever and ever. The LORD is our refuge.  I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised.  In Jesus’ name, we commit our ways unto the Lord, nothing will have the power to destroy the Spirit’s work within us and all of our thoughts will be established. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Abiding Still,

Connie Renfro ©

A Moment In Proverbs: Proverbs 19:3

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Proverbs 19:3,
“When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach.”

People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord. As we act foolishly before the LORD, humiliation and dishonor are our reward and our integrity is discredited.

When people are contemptuous it does not stay within their boundaries but exudes into the lives of others. When this happens, their contempt goes forth and becomes so for God, his people and the ministry. Nothing less can be expected from those who hold foolishness as their shield and weaponry.

But the wise are not so, they have made the LORD their strong tower and they seek His purpose. Even though life may have challenges they know from whence cometh their help (Psalms 121:1-3).  The wise are given God’s grace to deal with those things which we bear; and when we partake of His grace we inherit His glory (Proverbs 3: 34-35). 

With a fool, everything is centered on their personal whims; not so with those who trust in the LORD. Discretion is the life-giving fountain and those who trust in Him are found to posses hearts that are committed to God’s will for their lives.

When we commit our ways unto the Lord, nothing will have the power to destroy the Spirit’s work within us and all of our thoughts will be established.

Prayer:  LORD, wisdom strengthens the wise in their walk before you. You have said that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God.  So this day, we commit our ways unto you our LORD and we know that you will keep our feet from stumbling into the path of a foolish man’s contempt.  LORD, we do not want to be as those who ruin their own lives by their foolishness and then blame others in their contempt.  Forgive us and correct us so that we do not walk in the way of foolishness.  In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Abiding Still,

Connie Renfro ©