Coffee w/t Solomon Proverbs 3:27-30

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Devotion 15

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.

Oohhh, this week is exciting! Joining us with Solomon, is Martin Luther and St. Paul. What an exciting discussion we will be having. Let’s top up our coffees and get started…

Proverbs 3:27-30

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,  when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”— when you already have it with you. Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you. Do not accuse anyone for no reason- when they have done you no harm.

baby

There’s a story in the Old Testament that expresses Solomon’s wisdom in 1 Kings: 16-27: Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us. “During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.” The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.” But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king. The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’” Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”  The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!” Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”

I wonder if it was after this ruling, or others like it, that Solomon wrote his words of wisdom for this week’s devotion. He’s basically saying don’t be like the second woman where you would find self gain at someone else’s loss. Although I’m sure most of us haven’t gone and switched our child with someone else’s – intentionally, we can do some not-so-loving things to others for the sake of our own pride or desires.

In fact, each and every one of those points that Solomon lists in our reading is simply to better myself, puff myself up, or to not inconvenience myself. It is all self-centred sinning. If you think about it, each scenario listed is obviously something we wouldn’t do unless we were jealous of our neighbour, or envious of our neighbour. It’s all those wicked schemes we plan because we are not satisfied with what we have or are, and want to better ourselves at the expense of others, and we especially do not want to boost them up, even if they deserve it, because we want to be the one being boosted and complimented.

So, we need to set aside all self-centred, boastful attitudes, especially when it affects our neighbours and loved ones. But we should put on love first. For just as the real mother was willing to give up her child in order to save his life, we too must give up our self-centred wants and desires for the sake of others, and to love them. Martin Luther explains it this way from the meaning of the Eighth Commandment:

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way. (http://catechism.cph.org/en/10-commandments.html)

To summarize, Solomon has shared what not to do, and Martin Luther has shared what to do. However, let us end with the words of St. Paul which leave us confident in the type of behaviour and attitude we are able to have in Christ which will combat all the sinful, self-centred behaviour warned against by Solomon:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:22-26)              AMEN!

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I can so easily put myself ahead of others and seek personal gain at their expense. Please forgive me. Help me to see them and love them as you love them. Help me to clothe myself with the fruits of the spirit so others will see you through me. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!

Coffee w/t Solomon Proverbs 3:21-26

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Devotion 14

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.

Proverbs 3:21-26

My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion;  they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster  or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,  for the Lord will be at your side  and will keep your foot from being snared.

We just need to turn on the news and we can become instantly aware of the devastation of natural disasters, the corruption in business and political leaders, and impending wars and rumours of wars. There is sin, devastation and destruction all around us. How then can we ever be at rest and sleep peacefully? Well, believe it or not, we can!

The ability to be a peace in the midst of destruction doesn’t mean we just pretend death and chaos are not happening. In fact, throughout Revelation, God informs us that in the end times- yes, these times that we are living right now, on this side of the cross- terrible things will happen. However, we are not to be deceived by them nor follow their path of fear and hopelessness. For we know God has power over all these devastating acts. We can have the wisdom that seeks and trusts God’s care and providence over us. We can be strong and confident against all that may come our way. It may not be easy but it is our hope, even if death is upon us, that the Lord is protecting us, and only in his time will he take each of us home and where we will be blessed forever in his presence. As it is written by John in Revelation 14:12-13: “[These times call] for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds [of faithfulness] will follow them.””

So in this knowledge and confidence, we live each day acknowledging God’s grace in our lives as if it is a beautiful pearl necklace around our necks, and we can wake up, live our days, and go to bed in a peace that surpasses all understanding despite what rages and storms around us. May we place in our hearts the image that Habakkuk has left us:

I heard and my heart pounded,  my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones,  and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. Though the fig tree does not bud  and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. (Habakkuk 3:16-19 emphasis added)

AMEN!

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, there is so much chaos and destruction, corruption and lawlessness all around us, in all parts of the world. Help me to not get caught up in the fear and hopelessness that all this means for mankind. Help me not to be ignorant of the things that you have prophesied through John for our knowledge. Help me to stand firm in your love and grace, and be confident that in all things you have secured my life with yours here now on earth and also with you for eternity. Help me to live in your wisdom and peace of knowing you will never leave me, nor forsake me. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!

Coffee w/t Solomon Proverbs 3:19-20

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Devotion 13

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.

I could spend hours just sitting on the shoreline watching and listening to waves splashing onto shore and day after day watching the sunset. Such beauty! Such awesomeness! This week, Solomon  draws our attention to God’s wisdom in creating this world and its system in which we live and survive. Let’s top up our coffees and revel in this…

Proverbs 3:19-20

By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.

I love sunsets!  I also love watching and listening to the waves lap up on the shore, and the formation of clouds in the sky. I love listening to the rain fall on my porch rooftop and the heat of the sun on my face. I am in love with God’s creation, and in awe of how it continues to work day after day after day.

To see this world- the earth, the sky, and the waters- work together as they do, with all its power and strength, beauty and magnificence must surely direct us to be able to see the depth of wisdom of the one who created it all. Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:5-7 states this awesomeness:

“The sun rises and the sun sets,  and hurries back to where it rises.

The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.

All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from there they return again.”

How awesome is this! Yet, in this light, it also allows us to see God’s love and his faithfulness. For it doesn’t matter who we are or what we do, God extends all the blessings of his creation to all. No one need not worry about the sun not rising one day or the waters receding into a wasteland the next. For God’s faithfulness and love for us – you and me- will endure until the end day where he, in his wisdom, has prepared a way for our reunion through the blessed life, death and resurrection of our Saviour, Jesus. God, in his wisdom, literally has taken care of everything for us in this world and the next, and daily and richly provides for us, now and for eternity.
Prayer: Dear Lord, your wisdom is displayed through all aspects of your earthly creation- the waters, the earth, the sky- and how they all intricately work together for our good. Thank-you Lord! You are great and awesome and your wisdom is perfect and beyond our comprehension. Help me to see and understand your glory and your love for mankind more clearly through your creation. Help me to care for it as a gift from you. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!

Coffee w/t Solomon Proverbs 3:13-18

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Devotion 12

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to win the lottery? I would think that most people, even if they don’t play the lottery, have thought about what life would be like if they won it. Well, my family had just such a conversation the other day and it seemed to fit well with Solomon’s words for this week’s devotion. Let’s top up our coffees and I’ll share the connection between the two.

lottery

Proverbs 3:13-18

Blessed are those who find wisdom,  those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver  and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.

My family had a conversation the other day about what a person would do if he/she won a lottery of billions of dollars, like someone had done recently. We discussed how we would never run out of money. We could be as generous as we wanted to the church and those in need. We could build ourselves a castle, and buy ourselves the nicest vehicles. We could clothe ourselves in the finest of clothes and feast on the most fabulous foods. All of which are prepared and maintained by others, of course.

We often hear people say, “Oh, how I wouldn’t have a worry in the world. I’d be set for life.” Yet, we have also heard about lottery winners who become more destitute than they were before winning the lottery. How does that happen? Is it perhaps that mankind, in our sinful nature, seek the qualities that we strive for in life, like honour, peace, and riches, in the wrong ways. We seem to place a lot of stock in obtaining money to be the thing that provides all these desires of heart and mind. However, in the above passage, Solomon is saying, it is seeking God’s wisdom and understanding that will provide all these qualities we are searching for, and none of them can be taken from us. In fact, Solomon learned this first hand when he asked for wisdom to lead God’s people properly, instead of asking for wealth and riches and power. Solomon’s request so pleased God that he blessed him with the greatest of wisdom, as well as, wealth and honour and blessing and peace.

It is the same desire God has for you and me, and it is available for everyone and is at each person’s fingertips. We don’t need to be rich. We don’t need to win the lottery. We don’t need to spend our meager, hard earned wages on the hope of a life of peace, of honour, of riches, of blessing. We just need to seek our precious Lord and his ways and his understanding, and he will provide. Jesus puts it like this,“But seek first [your heavenly Father’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”(Matthew 6:33) By doing so, you will be the winner of the greatest lottery ever where everyone who plays, wins!

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, help me to seek you and your wisdom, and to understand and to follow. Help me to understand the depth of your ways that would send your only begotten son to this earth in order to live the perfect life that you require and that I could never live, but then to pay the penalty that my sins deserve, the penalty that should have been mine. For no love is greater than this. I am forever indebted to you and desire to understand this type of love and reasoning. Help me to seek your wisdom and your ways. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!

Coffee w/t Solomon Proverbs 3:11-12

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Devotion 11

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.

Today Solomon shares his wisdom on God’s discipline. Let’s top up our coffees and see what he has to say…

Proverbs 3:11-12

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke,

because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

When our children were little, going out for dinner was a big deal. We didn’t have a lot of money so we didn’t do it often. For me, it was such an exciting time to go out, to have a great meal without being the one who had to prepare it, and to be out in a social setting. However, these few and far between times were also learning opportunities where our children learned good behaviour. You see, our guiding rule was that we either stayed home or siblings had to get along with one another, there were to be no temper tantrums, and everyone needed to be on their best behaviour. If we arrived and behaviours were not conducive to the guidelines, after receiving a warning which usually was the ‘look’, we would leave- literally get up and leave. Yes, we would get up and leave each and every time the kids couldn’t get their behaviors in check, in order for us to follow through with our ‘restaurant or outing’ guidelines. However, it didn’t take long for the kids to learn how to behave if they wanted to go out, which they did. Our children became a joy to take out and they would help keep each other in check because they knew it only needed to take one of them to act up and we were gone.

To be honest, looking back, I am thankful that my husband did not care what other people thought. He did not care that the other patrons were staring at us and our brood of children and bags. He did not care that we may have inconvenienced the waitress. He only cared about having children who knew how to be respectful and considerate in public settings and with each other. I on the other hand, in my selfish desire to stay and socialize and get out of making dinner, did not want to go; it killed me inside each time to get up and leave. Yet, my momentary desire to stay would have nullified the learning opportunity  and the real life lessons that it took for our children to become the caring, respectful adults they continue to be today. (Oh how it would have been easier to just stay and not follow through with what we said we would do. I can totally understand many parents’ responses of empty threats, but I would 100% encourage them to follow through, no matter how embarrassing or heartbreaking.)

In the same way, this is what Solomon is saying about God and his discipline towards us. God in his great love towards us, wants to raise up his children to be the best and safest they can be. He has given us guidelines to help us. He does not want his children throwing temper tantrums or doing things that will endanger their lives or souls. He loves us too much. He will guide us, follow through with the consequences of our ill behaviour, and continue to train and discipline us. God never lies; he never extends empty threats/promises. He will always follow through. Although we may as parents, be weak and not follow through, we can trust that God will always follow through.  

Solomon’s words are closely related to Jesus’ words in John 15:1-2, I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” Being pruned, having part of me cut off, is not fun or pleasing at the time, but in the long run, makes us better. God’s discipline is his pruning in us because of his great love for us.

So as dearly loved children, in the midst of trials and things in your life that are making you adjust your ways to be more in-line with his, don’t turn you back on God or be angry at him, but be thankful. Be thankful you have a Lord who loves you dearly and doesn’t care what the world thinks. He only cares about you and making you the best you can be according to his will, and you will be better for it. Trust him!

Prayer: Being disciplined is not pleasing at the time, but I know it is only because you love me, like any parent who loves and wants what’s best for their children.  Help me to continue to seek you in the midst of hard times, help me to become whom you desire me to be as your child. Also, I ask that you be with all parents as they train up their children. Give them the strength and love for their children to follow through with their promises both in good and misbehaving times. Thank-you for Jesus who followed through with the punishment that should have been mine because of your desire to have me spend eternity with you. In his precious name I pray, AMEN!

Coffee w/t Solomon Proverbs 3:9-10

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Devotion 10

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well. Today’s words from Solomon, the richest man that ever lived, is about our wealth.  Who better to learn from?Let’s top up our coffees and see what he has to say…

 

Proverbs 3:9-10

Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops;

then your barns will be filled to overflowing

and your vats will brim over with new wine.

piggy bank

Doesn’t today’s words sound like an oxymoron? Give your wealth and first fruits away, and you will be overflowing with greater wealth. Well, that certainly is not how the world works. You give your stuff away and you don’t have anything. Yet, that is not how God works.

In this passage, like last week, it comes down to trust and your personal relationship with the Lord. It is basically saying, “As you trust that all you have are blessings from the Lord, give the best of what you have back to him first as a thank offering. Such trusting actions honour our Lord -yes, but he, in return, will continue to bless you to overflowing.

I have experienced this recently. In our school board, our adult education courses for high school credits are independent study, which means that the learners work on their lessons at home and then hand in their completed lessons. The lessons then go to qualified high school teachers for marking. I am a marker of such courses. Well I had about ten courses I marked but six of them were great for getting your foot in the door as a marker but not nearly my favourite, nor did they have a lot of people taking them.

Well, those particular six courses were not my favourite but I hung on to them because I coveted, yes coveted, losing the income from marking the lessons. I had put up with these courses, for a few years now, and pretty much rolled my eyes every time I got a lesson from one of them. So… why was I keeping them, you ask? Greed: I wanted the income from them. However, I saw instructors desperately trying to get their foot in the door to mark, who would appreciate these courses, and who would be thankful for the income they generated. After much time and prayer, I was moved to offer them to another instructor who had been hoping, and probably praying also, for the opportunity to get her foot in the marking world. Not only was I thrilled that she was overjoyed and thankful, appreciative and undoubtedly will do right by those courses, God blessed me in the process too. The week after I handed the courses and their materials over to my colleague, I received so many lessons in my remaining courses that I felt like Peter in his boat with his nets overflowing with fish. It was like God was saying, “Thank you! You need not fear. Even though you have less, I will sustain you with what you have.”

Although we can, and should, relate our thoughts of giving of our wealth back to the church in our offering, I believe it is also in our everyday life that God calls us to give of our first fruits as well, especially when we see others in need. Whenever we let go of our own ‘wealth’ and prayerfully give it to others, that we are doing those “good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” (Ephesians 2:10b) and by doing so, we honour God and are the instrument through whom the Holy Spirit is working to bless and answer prayers made by others.

So, may I encourage you to earnestly pray to have the courage and trust to give back to the Lord your first fruits, not left overs, in your church offering and in any other area of life where you may be feeling the tug of the Holy Spirit to give something away. In fact I challenge you to prayerfully take up the task to try to ‘out give’ the Lord. His blessings in return will always be greater than what you could ever give. Try it. I dare you.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, your blessings are new every morning, yet I so selfishly cling to every little thing as if it is mine and I earned it. I fear the unknowns and of not having enough if I give things away, even when it is for the good of your church. Please forgive me. Give me the wisdom to give back to you through the church and others that which you desire from me and grant me the courage to do so. I desire to honour you and to be a blessing to others. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!

Coffee w/t Solomon Proverbs 3:7:8

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Devotion 9

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.

This week’s devotion is timely with Halloween only being a couple days away. I hope this devotion gives you something to think about each time you go for some of that junk food. Let’s top up our coffees and get into it so you can see what I mean.

Proverbs 3:7-8

Do not be wise in your own eyes;  fear the Lord and shun evil.

This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

junk-food.jpg

Junk food. Don’t you just love junk food? Candies, salty chips, pastries, fried foods. I don’t know one person that doesn’t have a weakness for some sort of junk food. For me it’s salt & vinegar potato chips. 

When faced with junk food or a healthy food, even if we don’t choose the junk food, we certainly have a time of temptation in denying that junk food and begrudgingly choosing the healthy food. Why is this? We know in our rational thinking that the healthy food will build up our bodies and nourish them to be the best functioning bodies we could have, and we also know that junk food, although it tastes good at intake, doesn’t really provide anything beneficial to our bodies. In fact, there is nothing beneficial about it. It only adds excess weight and contributes to an unhealthy, ill functioning body. Yet, we crave this thing that is so detrimental to us, and so easily dismiss the thing that is so good for us.

Well, have you ever thought about arrogance like processed junk food whereas humility is like the most healthiest, nutrient-filled natural food? To be honest, I hadn’t until Solomon confronted me with these two little verses as stated above. Yet, it is so true. God desires ours bodies with their physical, emotional and psychological dimensions to be strong and healthy. Each aspect is directly connected to the other. Our overall health of body, mind, and soul is dependent upon the choices we make with regards to  our food, actions and attitude.

Therefore, thinking wiser of yourself- i.e. arrogance, considering yourself better than the next person, or diminishing a person for the sake of building yourself up- is like feasting on junk food. Sure it may feel good at the time of intake but it certainly does not add, but diminishes, to your healthy and well-being, not to mention the overall health of the Body of Christ. In most cases, you walk away from the indulgence with regret, aloneness and a sense of alienation and guilt which sucks the health from your bones.

Whereas fearing the Lord and shunning evil which is summed up nicely in Micah 6:8 –To act justly and to love mercy  and to walk humbly with your God– is like feasting on healthy food. Turning aside from the desire to puff ourselves up and choosing to be humble and just is the same for our bodies and well-being as turning aside the junk food and choosing the healthy food. In so doing, we have nourished our soul and built up our relationships with both God and man which exudes a sense of peace and joy which feeds our selves with the best of Godly nutrients.

Therefore, next time you desire to dive into that junk food or puffing yourself up, take a step back and say a prayer that God will give you the strength to overcome the such temptation and to do what is best in his eyes so that you can be and have the healthiest body possible.

Prayer: Dear Lord, it is so easy to think of myself better than I am, or to puff myself up. Yet, it can be so difficult at times to be humble. Help me to choose humility over arrogance and attention. Help me not to be envious and to try to one-up others. Help me to live justly, to be merciful, and to walk humbly with you and all the people you set along my daily path.  Help me to be healthy and strong in body, mind and soul. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!

Coffee w/t Solomon Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Devotion 8

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.

Today’s words from Solomon have reminded me of an experience my husband and I, as well as good friends of ours, had while in San Francisco this past summer.  Let’s top up our coffees and I’ll try to explain the connection…

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

We went to San Francisco this past summer. What a place! During one of the first days we were there we found Lombard St. Well, to drive down the famous section of Lombard St. with all its zigs and zags, you first must drive up the other side of this steep mountainous road. As we were driving up, I was getting more nervous and more nervous. The incline seemed at least 45 degrees, although after some research it was only about an 18 degree incline. In any case, it was a steep road. As we were getting closer, and closer to the top, a van, two vehicles ahead of us, stopped and from under its hood, regurgitated a huge puff of black smoke. The thoughts of that vehicle rolling backwards into us, or us being stuck on that God forsaken stretch of road was enough to send me into a flurry of panic, which I was certainly feeling begin to boil up with in me. However, as I looked across to my husband who was driving, there came over me an absolute sense of peace. There is no one I know who is as calm of a driver in stressful situations as he; nor is there any other driver I know, who somehow can see and sense all that is going on around him. So despite my fear and desire to scream and get off this roller coaster, I closed my eyes and prayed for Rick and trusted in his ability to get us up the steep and narrow road, past the broken down vehicle, through the congested intersection at the peak of the hill, and down the other side.

As I reflect on that experience, I remember being a bit caught up by the sense of peace that I experienced. It didn’t mean that all my internal anxiety left me, nor that those thoughts of possible doom didn’t come to the forefront of my mind. No, I still felt them, but I didn’t give into them. In having the peace in knowing that I was in the best possible hands to get me through this undesirable situation allowed me to withdraw from having to have any part in maneuvering through it. I submitted control over to Rick. Sure, I still had to be part of the situation, and go through it; I couldn’t jump ship. I just had to sit and be still and trust in my husband for his expert driving abilities and his love and care for me, and our beloved friends who were with us in the back seat. (And to think that they still call us their friends is another whole devotion.)

Today, Solomon is encouraging us to trust in God’s ways to get us through all the storms of life. In a way, my glimpse of peace on Lombard St. is just a minuscule glimpse of the peace we can have in any and every situation, as we turn to God and know that, even if we want to jump ship and find the quickest way out, he will guide us through it and it will be good. So let’s stay focused on the Lord and his almighty, all knowing, all powerful ability to do what needs to be done in all our life’s situations. They are not too big for him. No, we may not want to be there at all, but if we have to go through it, let’s turn our thoughts to him.

May I encourage you to trust the Lord and don’t give in to the anxious thoughts that want to consume you, but continue to walk in his ways, take everything to him in prayer and continue to live in his love and his faithfulness, his joy and his peace. Then when this situation passes, continue to follow his ways in his commandments and bestow the fruits of the spirit to those around you. In the end, you can look back on your life and see how the edges of your life’s path may be rough and rocky at some points, but the centre is a straight and even pathway where God himself paved the way for your life with him.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I don’t understand why I have to go through certain things or put up with certain people. My desire to control the situation or eliminate myself from the situation altogether by my own means, brings about more hurt and chaos. So I lift to you the situations of my life and ask that you help me to trust you in guiding me through them; that your will is done in my life and the lives of those around me. Give me peace to know that all is in your hands even when I don’t understand or can’t explain what’s happening. And to trust that, no matter what, you took care of the ultimate devastation of this life and won my salvation; this earthly death means eternity with you. Therefore, may I be as bold as David with the words, “My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.” (Psalm 25:15) In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!

Coffee w/t Solomon Proverbs 3:1-4

Proverbs – God’s practical guide to a joyful life

Devotion 7

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well.

In Proverbs chapter 3, Solomon shares so many little nuggets of wisdom that are beneficial for our own well-being. As he mentions in verses 1 & 2, as you will soon read, remembering and keeping these teachings close to our hearts will guide us to having a long life here on earth, and bring us peace and prosperity while we endure these days. Oh doesn’t that sound wonderful?! Could it be so easy?

Let’s top up our coffees and dig in…

Wisdom Bestows Well-Being

Proverbs 3:1-4

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;  bind them around your neck,  write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Have you ever had your Character Colours done? This is different than getting your Clothing Colours done, which is based on the four seasons. With Character Colours, most people end up having most pronounced two of the four character traits that best describe them. The two that best describe me are Blue – people person, and Gold – organizer. The two other colours are Orange – go with the flow, and Green – inquisitive, likes to learn and always needs to know the answers to questions. I had it done when I started my teaching position, as did all the staff in my program, and it has served me well in understanding myself and my colleagues. For example, it is best to put a Gold person on a task that involves tidying up and organizing something, or a Green person when needing to find all the pros and cons around starting up new types of programs. Don’t expect from an Orange abilities that a Blue is more prone to exhibit, and visa versa.

In the same way that there are distinct personal character traits that each person exhibits, the traits that Solomon mention – love and faithfulness- should be actively displayed and evident in all people as we relate to others, especially in the lives of God’s children. What would it look like if we all reacted in love to all the people in our lives, and in faithfulness in all relationships and duties in our lives. What a beautiful world! …And who wouldn’t want a good name among their community?!

Yes, Solomon, I can see the truth in your words! But these traits of love and faithfulness are not necessarily traits that we, humans, desire to exhibit or have the ability to do due to our sinful nature. These traits oppose the sinful nature in which we are so comfortable. Many times we can use the excuse, “that’s just not in me,” or “that’s just not who I am.” Well, according to Solomon and the Lord, these traits are traits that all believers in Christ can exhibit and will exhibit. But take heart, it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit living in each of us that you or I can live in love, even when it takes us out of our comfort zone, or to be faithful even when it would be easier to give up and walk away. In fact, it is in these times of love and faithfulness where Christ and God’s grace shine the brightest.

So today and each day, call upon God to walk with you in his love God so that you can share that love with those who walk with you along your life’s path and to increase your faith and trust in him so that you can be faithful in all the commitments and responsibilities of your life as if fulfilling them for the Lord. In so doing, “your light [will] shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) Then it will be that the words of Solomon will be fulfilled without out guilt or coercion, but in joy and peace.

Prayer: Dear Lord, Oh how I desire to be wise and walk in your ways of love and faithfulness. In some situations, it’s so easy to do, for whatever reason, but in other situations I cannot do it. But I know you can! So, I ask you to change my tough heart to your heart of love, my wayward faithfulness to your steadfast faithfulness, so that others may first see and know you through me, and that I can live in your peace and prosperity. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!

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