March 1, 2011

Wisdom for the Wise (AKA: Don't Be A Fool)

This ended up being a long post but bear with me.  I think it will be worth it.


I love the Word of God.

It is truly life unto my weary soul.  Even in my driest times, I have been able to open up God's word, read and and feel refreshed...strengthened somewhere deep down in my being that only God, my creator, knew existed.

And yet, even after 20 years of being a Christian, I still struggle with spending time in the Word on a consistent basis.  How this frustrates me!  Ugh and double-ugh!!

I would not skip a day without eating (though my waistline might suggest that's not such a bad idea.)  And those closest to me know what I'm like when I don't get my daily chocolate fix (ug-ly!)

But what about my daily "God fix"?

I need that more than anything.  If I am going to make it in this world, in this life.  If I am going to be a good mom, a good wife, a good friend...and so much more...I need to know what God has to say to me.  I need his guidance and direction and instruction.  And yes, sometimes even his discipline.

Proverbs 1:7 tells us "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline."

I am continually thankful for God's patience, mercy and grace - but I do not want to take that amazing grace for granted.  I don't want to be a "fool" and think I can just get by on my own - never lending him my ear or my heart.  Because I know that is selfish.  And because I know he has something much more beautiful planned for me than "just getting by."

So once again, as his "mercies are new every morning", I start fresh...

But where to start?  When I read the bible I tend to skip around quite a bit (cause this is just kind of how my brain works.)  I've always admired those people who can start in Genesis and read straight through.

What self-discipline!

What determination!

How bor-ing! (Oops, did I say that?)

No offense - honest!  I just can. not. do. that.

It's more like this: This morning I was in Psalms, Proverbs, Ephesians, Colossians and Isaiah. Now before you go being all impressed at my in-depth study skills, you must understand my line of thinking.  See I will start in Ephesians and read a few verses and then something will stick out to me, like "What did he mean by "empty" in that verse?"  Which will lead me to a little research - which will lead me to Psalms where I will read a few verses and then ask  "Why was the lamb in that verse "lowing" and not 'resting'?"  Which will lead me to Proverbs, where I ask "Should we even be talking about what 'the way of a man with a maiden' is?" (yeah, it's in there - I wouldn't make that up.)  Which sends me to  Colossians...and then Isaiah...and then...  You get the picture.  And by the time I get to Colossians, I no longer have any idea what I was doing in Ephesians.  So then the next day time, I sit down to read I have no clue where to start reading.

Is anybody else with me on this? *sigh*

But what is amazing about all this complete "randomness" is that at the end of my crazy, zig-zag trail there is always truth.  Though the "process" makes no sense to me (or anyone else), God knows exactly where he's taking me and what he wants to speak to me that day.  'Cause God is just kinda cool that way.

And that's why I refuse to give up and continue to dig in.

So here is my thought:  This morning after my random wandering and pondering through God's word I ended up in the 1st chapter of Proverbs and I remembered it is also the 1st day of the month... and there are 31 days in Proverbs...and 31 days in this month.  Hmmm...coincidence?  I think not.  Ha!

Now I know this is nothing new to a lot of people and there are people out there who have diligently read a chapter of Proverbs every day for the last 50 years.

But this post is not about them, it is about you and me. *wink & smile*

We have done this in our home over the years, but not recently, and so I am thinking it would a good way to help balance out my "random search method."

But here's the catch:  I want you to join me.  I am not asking much.  Just one chapter, once a day.  And then,  please, come back here and comment on a favorite verse or one thing that God spoke to you while reading that chapter.  Or maybe you want to be more like me (doesn't everyone?  Har-har.) and you just have a random "Why...?" or "What if...?" rolling around in your head after reading that day's chapter (Proverbs can do that to you.) I would love to hear what you have to say and what you're learning.  Hopefully, we'll learn from one another.  (And the accountability will be SO good for me.)

And since Proverbs is the "book of wisdom" just think of how smart we'll all be at the end of the month!

OK - Maybe you haven't read your bible in quite a while.  Maybe in a really long while.
That's ok - his mercies are new every morning remember?  This is a great way to get started again.  
All you have to do is open the pages.  And don't forget to ask God to speak to you - to reveal his word to you.  His word tells us "we have not because we ask not."  
Ask away and then watch and listen with your heart.

 Are we good?  Are you ready?  Great!  Get reading (and don't forget to comment back.)


To get us started.  Proverbs chapter one:

Two things really stuck out to me.

First, verses 4, 10, 15-16:  "The proverbs of and discretion to the young...My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.  If they say, " come along with us" son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths; for their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood."

Oh, how this is the cry of my heart!  As a mother of three boys, there are few things I want more for them than to be able to avoid the pitfalls of this world.  I pray they would have Godly friends that would encourage them in their relationship with Christ and to not compromise their faith or to justify ungodly choices or behavior.  I pray they would not be deceived.  And like every parent, I pray they do not make the same mistakes that I did and that they would have the knowledge and discretion to see how easy it is to be distracted or led astray.

Second, verse 23: "If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you."

Ouch, that one hurt.  I so want to have the heart of God and to hear from him.  He wants to pour out his heart and his thoughts to us.  How amazing is that?!?  But when I think of all that I have missed out on because of my German stubbornness, my laziness or even my occasional apathy..."uff-da" is all I can say.  New mercies, Lord.  Thank you for your new mercies...


Your turn!

What did you learn today from Proverbs 1?


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