Tag Archives: word of God

What voice do you listen to ?

You are in a situation where a decision must be made. What do you do? Some say one thing, some say another, whose voice is right?

2chron 10 listen to voice2a

2Chron 10 Voices can be misleading or they can lead to the truth. We are bombarded with voices from the tempter, the world, and the flesh. We must be “discerning regarding truth and error;…and “listen to the voice of the Spirit.” (Heb 5 & 3)

Rehoboam is presented to us as a foolish king who listened not to the Spirit but to two groups of men; the first his father’s former advisors and his boyhood friends.  He chose the latter and as the tale unfolded disaster came about because he forsook wisdom for folly, righteousness for power. The kingdom experienced a divorce a magnitude never before was seen. God hates divorce and He hated that His beloved kingdom would suffer over a foolish decision.

Rehoboam might have avoided this had he sought the counsel of God as his grandfather David had done. The disasters in our life such as separation and divorce come about when we listen to the voices of the Tempter; it would be easier if…(you fill in the blank).

But, what if we seek the counsel of God instead? God is not a man that changes his mind. He is ever and always wise and discerning to counsel us aright and the Holy Spirit as part of the triune God would never contradict God’s Word.

The wisest and most blessed man/woman is the one who listens to the voice of the Spirit speaking the words of God. But also, you cannot hear the voice of the Spirit unless you are Spirit-filled.

Have you experienced the indwelling Spirit of God?



McNuggets or God-Nuggets?

proverbs-22-nuggets2A favorite fast food restaurant serves “McNuggets” as tidbits of chicken morsels that children really enjoy. The book of Proverbs serves up “God–nuggets” of wisdom for us to feed on each day. Chapter 22 gives us wisdom regarding one’s reputation, one’s wise counsel regarding the raising of children; wise counsel regarding how one is to respond to those who are poor. They are intertwined like beautiful jewels.

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great wealth, good favor more than silver or gold.” Money and riches can disappear in an instant and is only good in this life. On the opposite side, integrity is a key component that one has now and carries into the grave with them.

The world would tell us children only need more education, more of this and more of that yet the Word of God tells us otherwise. Feed them “God-Nuggets” as you train them the way they should go, and when they are old they will not turn from it.

Jesus said “seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”  What “God-Nugget” will you feed on today?



Will You Meet Jesus as Savior or Judge?

While the world celebrated, a joyful Easter celebration became a place of execution because the celebrants called Jesus, Savior. Instantly they were transported to heaven where they met hebrews 1 meeting J+athe Savior, the heir of all things, the very Word of God who spoke the word creating all that has life and breath and even now is sustained by the word of his power. As Savior, they saw him as the very radiance of the Father’s glory and the exact representation of His nature who was given up by the Father for their sins. They saw the nail prints in his hands from being the purifier of sins by his sacrifice on the cross and then  ascended into the heavens where he sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high interceding. They loved him and looked for his appearing. Because he is the Resurrection and the life, he lives, and they live also. (Rom 8; Heb 7Jn 14) We mourn but rejoice in their heavenly gain.

But if they did not “know” the Savior, they met him as judge. From his lips they heard; what did you do with Me who lived, died and rose again for your transgressions?  It is then that they experienced the piercing of their heart and saw their deeds as dung. They heard “depart from me, I never knew you…go away into eternal punishment,” [Mat 7 & 25 selected scriptures]

Beloved, if today is your day, will you meet Jesus as Savior or will you meet him as judge?

What is My Quiver Lacking?

Lately, I have been challenged by some of my reading to pray through the scriptures each day as I prepare my heart. It has been more than fulfilling and alarming. As the Holy Spirit speaks he strips away my facade and I find areas that need to be cleansed and corrected.

Today I was touched by Paul’s 10th chapter of 2Corinthians. Most commentators speak of his appealing to the Corinthians to listen carefully to him as he pours out his heart. But, as I was praying the Holy Spirit impressed upon me this thought: if my quiver is not full of those arrows which are anointed by the Holy Spirit it really does not matter what I do or say or pray. None of it is effective as I walk and talk in this world. It is essential to live a consistent lifestyle. Listen to Paul: “What  we  say  by  letters  when  we  are  absent,  we  also  are  in  actions  when  we  are  present.” A consistent lifestyle begins at the foot of the cross. As I was closing my time in prayer, I came away refreshed and reinvigorated to pull out my quiver and re-fill it with the arrows of memorized verses that will help me shoot the enemy when he comes attacking. Also,2cor 10 quiver2 once again I was reminded that I  will be less of a target my mind is consistently bathed in the Word of God.

Also as I was pondering all of this I came away with this thought: Jesus Christ was able to quench the fiery darts of the enemy with the Word of God in his most difficult trial because his quiver had been filled by the angelic host as he prayed in the Garden. Thus, he could “take every thought captive” and thus take down “every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God.” Our enemy is wily, he is deceptive and he is roaming about seeking whom he can devour. He comes boldly into my presence but if my quiver is full I can draw out just the right arrow to thwart his advance. I may not be able to take him down, but I can inflict my own “deadly d’s” to destroy his advance. He cannot fight against the Word of God.

Are my arrows anointed by the power of the Holy Spirit?

“Possessor or Professor?”

ImageJesus gave us a practical illustration of this title in the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25. Five were wise and five were foolish. We are to determine who these are which directly follows the parable he taught in Matthew 24 of the faithful and unfaithful slaves. Both the wise virgins and the faithful slaves are those who are prepared while serving and waiting for the Master’s return. In 2Timothy 4 Paul urges his beloved child in the Lord to not only be that wise virgin and faithful slave but also to persevere to prepare others. But, alas, Paul said then as now,  there will also be amongst us those who are the foolish virgins and the unfaithful slaves who merely profess but do not possess. These are also the “tares” amongst us; they look like the true thing but when the time comes they are unprepared and unready to meet the Master.

Those who are the wise and faithful are those who possess the gift of eternal life and the indwelling Holy Spirit. They are the true children of God as John tells us through his gospel. They are the ones who seek to study to show themselves approved; they are serving faithfully;  they use the tool of inspired scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to correct their thinking, their actions, their motives and their deeds.

Those who are the foolish and unfaithful are those who profess to be believers but they “will not tolerate sound teaching. Instead, following their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves, because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things. And they will turn away from hearing the truth, but on the other hand they will turn aside to myths.” These do not hear nor heed the messages about sin and the need for salvation, but they turn away from such. They have fallen victim to the fables of the false teachers who say you must earn your way to heaven OR God only loves you when you are good OR you need to love self first before you can love others OR they say God would not send anyone to hell for He is a God of love.  Paul warns Timothy about these teachers and instructs him to “Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction.”

Today, are you in the Word seeking instruction from the Word? Are you are a possessor or merely a professor? Are you sitting under those who explain and interpret the Word of God as it was written, or those that read one’s own ideas into the Word in order to “prove” a pre-held point; imposing their own interpretation into and onto the text? Be discerning; be trained to “have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.” [Heb 5:14] Are you amongst the wise or foolish virgins; are you a faithful or unfaithful slave?

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]


Discernment or Folly? What Would You Choose?

Today we open the most precious Holy Word and read Prov 26. King Solomon in his wisdom has given us a chapter dedicated to helping us see with our eyes and mind that we may be discerning.

We have two English words that we can interchange: fool and dullard, which in Hebrew is the word [kesil]. The Jewish Study Bible defines it as: “The dullard is not merely a man of low intelligence. He is the kind of fool who is obtuse [that is not quick or alert in perception, author’s addition] because of smug overconfidence.”  Why should we study the “fool or dullard?” Pro 10:13 “Wisdom is found in the words of the discerning person…” Discernment is a gift that God has rightly given to those who are serious about being wise. Solomon prayed for such discernment in 1Kings 3:9 “So give your servant a discerning mind…” Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, whose perceptions are trained by practice to discern both good and evil. “Just as our Lord did not forbid us from discerning the character of fools, the Book of Proverbs commends this assessment as a necessity for those who would be wise.” [Bob Deffinbaugh]

ImageProv 26: The Characteristics of the Dullard: 1-7: Because he is unwise, it is not fitting that he should receive positions of honor in which decisions for country and kingdom are needed. He has neither the skills nor the wisdom to make just decisions. Vs 3: they only say a fool/dullard learns is by the “school of hard knocks” and even then it must be as something that is not just once but ongoing! Vs 4 & 5 seem to be contradictory at first but at second glance we learn that there are times when a response is neither warranted or needed because it would only lead to further folly or there are times when we must answer them to protect them and ourselves. Vs. 6 and Vs 9 is a warning similar to Matt 7: 6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs; otherwise they will trample them under their feet and turn around and tear you to pieces.” A fool/dullard has no ability to appreciate or consider God’s Word as holy nor does he seek that. ICor 1:18 “For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,” Why is this? Vs 7 “he handles an aphorism about as well as a lame man can walk. The fool does not understand, has not implemented, and cannot explain the proverb. It is useless to him even though he repeats it.”

Prov 26: The Folly/Actions of the Fool:  8-12 vs 8: it is counterproductive to honor a fool just as it is so giving power and honor to one who is unprepared. Vs 10 he who hires a fool reaps what he has sown; a costly and foolish undertaking—folly! Vs 12 sums up this section. The dullard/fool is self conceited in his own eyes and although you spend generous amounts of time seeking to make him wise it appears to be  a lost endeavor. They are smugly overconfident.

So what is the question we must ask ourselves today? Image Remember this principle when you read this chapter: The fool has many plans but God is the author and orchestrator of that which will bring about His work. If we are a parent it would be wise for us to discern if our children are leaning in this way recalling the wisdom of: Prov 22:6 “Train a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” Or if this chapters speaks to ourselves and we see our reflection in the mirror it would be wise for us not to walk away as James indicates we might, and remain in our “folly.”  We would be wise to learn from the character and consequences of the dullard and then implement strategies to be discerning.  Here are two helps: 2Tim 3:16-17 “Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.” Psa 119:11 “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You”