Tag Archives: knowledge

The Heart of the “Meter”

ImageWhy study Proverbs 3? This chapter is  one of the most excellent in all this book as it teaches us to be wise, discerning, and gives us directions on how to bring it about. It begins with these words “My child.” And we are all children—But to all who have received him – those who believe in his name – he has given the right to become God’s children [John].  As God’s children we need wisdom and counsel to direct our steps, our thinking and our decisions. The author Solomon begins by stating two commands in verse one that every child should heed. (1) Do not forget his teaching and (2) Let your heart keep my commandments.

Jesus taught that where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. [Matt] What is this heart; what is the underlying meaning? It is the inner man, the center for our moral, spiritual, intellectual life. Thus it encompasses who we are. Our heart can be uncircumcised or circumcised; it can be hardened or softened; wicked or pure; deceitful and desperately wicked defiling our entire being or it can be renewed by God’s love and grace making it tender towards him and his love.   

Chapter 3 is thus filled with precepts and principles that will guide us and it all begins in the heart. If we choose to follow that step we will be rewarded to see this truth:  Rom 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways! It is because of that principle we can trust that although our own understanding may lead us astray God’s never will because he plainly says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” [Is 55]. That is why we can trust in Him to guide us in the proper direction, to instill in us the proper understanding. God would never lead his own children astray! Remember this truth: God may not reveal to us each step we take but asks us to trust Him as we take each step. It is then that we can know without a shadow of doubt that “he will make our paths straight.”

So how is your heart meter registering today?




Storing up God’s Word

ImageThe idea of “storing up” is found both in Prov vs 1 “ My child, if you receive my words, and store up my commands within you,” and in Prov vs 7 “He stores up effective counsel for the upright,”

What might be some reasons that we would need to store up God’s Word and when would God take from his storehouse to counsel his own?  Some ideas come to mind: keeping us in strong in times of spiritual famine, keeping us alert and ready to fend off the evil one just as Jesus did in his temptation.

David wrote: Psa 119:11 In my heart I store up your words, so I might not sin against you.

God prepared Amos for such a time of spiritual famine: Amo 8:11 Be certain of this, the time is coming,” says the sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land – not a shortage of food or water but an end to divine revelation!

Joseph is a prime example of someone who faced a “famine” of the Word. Sold into slavery, unjustly imprisoned all Joseph had to glean was his faith in God at a time when he had nothing else. Listen to his words: “So how could I do such a great evil and sin against God?” It was then that Joseph drew out of his storehouse of knowledge, his understanding of God, the words he had been taught and was able to withstand the temptation of Potiphar’s wife. Joseph drew out of his storehouse of counsel that he had learned in a time of plenty at the feet of Jacob.

Think of Daniel and his three friends, taken captive to Babylon. Surely the words of Amos were true. There was no temple, no priests to teach them, and it was a time of spiritual famine. But, listen to Daniel: “But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself” and “We won’t find any pretext against this man Daniel unless it is in connection with the law of his God.” Both times Daniel drew out of God’s storehouse the counsel he needed because he had stored it up in a time of plenty.

Both Joseph and Daniel are examples of men who stored up God’s Word and when the trial came God took from his storehouse and brought it to their minds just as Jesus promised Mat 10:19 Whenever they hand you over for trial, do not worry about how to speak or what to say, for what you should say will be given to you at that time. And Joh 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, …will cause you to remember everything I said to you

This would be a perfect time as we are just 17 days into the New Year to start memorizing God’s Word so that you are prepared. We never know when we may enter a time of spiritual famine, or be tempted by the evil one. We need to store up God’s Word so we are armored for the battle: “And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” [Eph 6]


God knows…and…more importantly God cares….

ImageThe reading of today, Psalm 139 & 140, ties in so beautifully to the last two days in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. With eyes wide open and walking upon hallowed ground,  let’s explore and see how they are so intertwined as only the Holy Spirit’s inspiration could bring about.

David, anointed by the Holy Spirit, pens these two psalms to reveal three characteristics of God. He is the “I AM” of scripture who is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. He is not only all of those but He is the God, the El Roi who sees and cares. He is as we read in John, the Bread of Life upon which we may feed, He is the Living Water from which our spiritual thirst may be quenched. He came as Immanuel, God with us, in human form that we might understand His love for mankind. He is the Good Shepherd that knows his sheep.

In Revelation 2 and 3 we see that God knows our mindset, He knows our ways, He knows our thoughts. What powerful direction then we find in Ps 139 when King David asks that God examine him and search him. “Examine me, and probe my thoughts! Test me, and know my concerns! See if there is any idolatrous tendency in me, and lead me in the reliable ancient path!” And that is what Jesus was saying was his desire as he inspired John to write to the 7 churches. I have examined you and found areas that need to be corrected. Over and over in Rev 2 and 3 is found the phrase “I know” (full and exact knowledge from absolute clearness of vision.) and in Psalm 139 King David says: “You know” (you discern, you find out).

Not only does God know but God, El Roi, cares. Ps 139 You carefully observe me, You are aware of everything I do, no matter where I go, no matter what I say, You care. You care so much that you ordained my very being from eternity past and you knew me thoroughly even when hidden in the secret womb of my mother. You cared so much for me that you even recorded in a scroll what my days here on earth would be like, where I would go, with whom I would dwell, what I would look like, what I would think. No wonder King David said: 139:17 How difficult it is for me to fathom your thoughts about me, O God! How vast is their sum total! And yet as we read in John “3:16 For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” His love was so infinite, so deep, so wide that in his eternal knowledge he made a plan for you and for me that we might come into His presence forevermore. This is God’s amazing love and why we sing “My God, How Great Thou Art.”

Beloved do you know the God who knows you?




A Higher Law! 1Cor 8

ImageTeddy Bears bring out the best in me. In fact, I have two of them on top of the nearest book case to my desk. They remind me that when I am down I can see their faces looking sweet and often even looking up. They live to the “higher law” of love and teddy bears bring out the sweetness in us…I have yet to meet anyone who didn’t like a teddy bear, have you? But life was not all teddy bear sweet in the Corinthian church as we have been seeing. There were disputes and on going dialogs as to what is right or wrong. When Dr. Keith Krell shared his sermon for bible.org, the title was “More than Meats the Eye.” You are reading right! Meats not meet because this next dispute was just about that. The dilemma was this:

Why can’t I choose to eat meat that has been used in idol worship and then marketed; I know the difference. (sounds rather pugnacious to me) This is when we stop and say it is not what you “know” but what you “do.” It is not about you, but about those new babes in Christ who have joined your fellowship.  This is a “hello!” discussion. Ready?

So that was the question and here is Paul’s response formed in a question back to them. What is more important? Knowledge or Love? Freedom to do as you please or a new believer’s stand? Eating meat that has been sacrificed to idols and then marketed or not eating meat because it causes another to stumble? The answer should be obvious to the stronger brethren [sort of what we say a “duh”]: love supersedes knowledge, a new believer’s needs/questions supersedes your maturity, no meat at all supersedes a new believer’s stand. In Corinth idolatry was rampant and meats used in that worship, often the very best cuts of meat, were then marketed after the service. To the unknown buyer, or to the mature believer it mattered not because they knew that idols are just that, idols made of wood and stone, with no life within them. They knew and worshiped the One True God! But, to the new babe in Christ who has just left this belief system it was still questionable as they struggle to walk circumspectly. Won’t others who knew me before question why I still am living as if I were an idol worshiper? [GREAT QUESTION!!] New believers have all kinds of questions and this one ranks right up at the top!  Paul said: dear beloved, know this! The higher law supersedes what you may know and what you choose to do.

To put this into today’s world we might use the example of alcohol. Many today say it is ok to have a glass of wine. New believers question whether it is ok and ask: What does my lifestyle say to those who have heard about my life change? Peter addressed this : 1Pe 4:4 4:4 “Of course, your old friends don’t understand why you don’t join in with the old gang anymore.” [MSG] Also remember what Paul said in earlier “your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own” which he will repeat in the 2Corinthians 6:17 “you are the temple of the living God.”  Your lifestyle can be instructive to show that where the Word does not exactly condone or condemn, we choose the higher law which is to walk differently than the world.  For you who are the mature believer,  it is better to walk and live so that the new believer can see that Christ supersedes anything even if is not definitive. There is a higher law. There is a way we are to stand apart from the world.

The bottom line is this: what is more important? Your liberty/freedom to eat/drink even if you know it is OK if it might cause a new believer or even another believer to stumble and possibly fall? Discernment is the key. Choosing wisely is the key. Choosing love is the key. Putting others needs ahead of ourselves is the key.

Here’s your question: Do we cling to knowledge over love? Is “my” lifestyle more important than the walk of a new believer who is questioning? When it comes right down to it: Choose the higher law.



My Excuses are Just That..Excuses ..and why I need God

Proverbs Image19 is one of those chapters that is written with a subliminal meaning whereby we must glean truths by “reading between the lines.”   We must step outside the box to truly gather what Solomon is saying.  The crux, a vital, decisive or pivotal point of this chapter lies in one word: knowledge. When I finally gleaned that point the meaning became crystal clear and also gave me the motivation to do what I need to do to be armed and ready for the battle before me…moment by moment and day by day.

As a wise teacher Solomon grabbed my attention with the usage of contrasts through the pictures of the fool, the poor, the sluggard and the scorner. How all of these pictures were intertwined was for me to unravel. Through vivid imagery, as I sat in the front row of this theatrical production I was a witness to how each faces life’s circumstances based upon their choices. It became so real as I watched my granddaughter in her latest play and how she reacted. It was surreal! This chapter was the same! It was surreal.

In addition I was not left wondering what happens but I vividly could see the results of these choices that I might learn wisdom and why Solomon keeps harping. Yes, Solomon has a way of doing that, chapter after chapter after chapter. It all boils down to this:  get wisdom/get knowledge. Proverbs: 1:5 “(Let the wise also hear and gain instruction, and let the discerning acquire guidance!)”

The verse in Peter stands as my benchmark. The “lion in the road” is the enemy of my soul. He has one thing on his agenda: deceive and destroy. If he can keep me ignorant or without wisdom he has mastered the first step into leading me down the garden path to the gate that leads only to one destination: outside the will of God. He seeks avenues where you and I are vulnerable and unprotected.  We must beware of his ways! If we want to know how to face adversity, wealth/luxury, relationships [public and private] then we need to pick up our shovels and dig into wisdom from the Word. 2Tim 3:16 Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

We who are believers have the indwelling Holy Spirit as our teacher so we are truly without excuse to say “I didn’t know!” God’s Word is our blueprint for building lives that will honor Him as well as provide for us blessings here on earth. Therefore, take heed from this chapter the consequences of a lack of God’s most basic instructions. Some thoughts I gleaned:

  1. If we choose to walk in paths that do not include integrity as well as revealing that we are a teller of lies we are not only our own worst enemy but it leads to poverty of mind and spirit.
  2. If we make poor choices it may be because we have a zeal to do but lack knowledge of the how.
  3. If we choose to shirk knowledge it leads to folly and really, if truth be known, it is because we think we know better than God.
  4. Both wealth and poverty have their own reward…one with temporary friends (think of Adonijah IKings 1:49 and Naboth 1Kings21:1) and one left bereft of even family members to help in times of need (think of Joseph).
  5. If we choose to break one of the Ten Commandments such as Honor thy Father and Mother, who are we to blame? Not God!

Thus Solomon is saying that the result of many of life’s choices falls into my own laps. I am ultimately responsible because I have disregarded the most basic tenet which is to fear the Lord.

 The bottom line is that if you and I want God to guide us, bless us and make us fruitful for Him it begins with the fear of the Lord. Solomon ends his lengthy description with these cryptic words: If you stop listening to instruction, my child, you will stray from the words of knowledge.

Thus this is where I need to begin. Isa 55:6 Seek the Lord while he makes himself available; call to him while he is nearby!