Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday 03-22-11

Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your mind to my knowledge; For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, That they may be ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the LORD, I have taught you today, even you. - Proverbs 22:17-19

Just a short thought here that God was impressing upon me today as I reflected upon these verses. I see my lack of trust in the Lord in so many ways. When I don't trust God it leads to me worrying, to me trusting my own understanding, to sin of all kinds. But this is true of everyone is it not? Think with me, the first sin of Adam came because he doubted what God had said. He began to trust his own reasoning and the result: the complete and total ruin of all mankind.

So back to theses verses, I was reading/thinking/meditating/praying over them. And it struck me that verse seventeen, eighteen and verse nineteen where intricately woven. The command is given to "incline your ear [to wisdom] and apply your mind to my knowledge." In doing so it will not be a burden, rather verse 18 makes it clear that it will be pleasant (for those who are in Christ Jesus at least). Furthermore we see the reason for doing so is that we might be ready for an answer.

The result is beautiful and very helpful I think. "So that your trust may be in the LORD, I have taught you today, even you." The result of reading his word, meditating upon it and praying it into my life is a trust in the Lord. This isn't something which happens over night, but rather it is change of life. Because Romans 1 makes it clear that all people are born with sin nature and do not honor or trust God. This is process of reading His word, taking delight in His word and in Him and furthermore to trust Him is what we call sanctification. Simply put, it's becoming more like Jesus.

Father, I believe... help thou my unbelief.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday 03-11-11

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. - Psalms 23:1

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. - James 1:2-4

-The Lord is trustworthy and good. In Him I find all that I need. If He brings trials or temptations I can stand firm in knowing that He is perfecting in me a dependence upon Him. So that I shall say: In Him is everything I am and need, my soul desires nothing else.

He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. - Psalms 23:2

-God the Father has my best interest at heart. He is faithful and abounding in loving kindness. He provides for me, above and beyond my basic needs, His blessings are truly abounding always towards me!

He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. - Psalms 23:3

-He is my redeemer! My soul was ruined completely by sin, and there was no hope but in His Son. And He did not disappoint, because Jesus came and bought me back! God is sanctifying me (or making me more like Jesus) for His name's sake, so that His glory might be known among the nations.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.  - Psalms 23:4-5

-Even though difficult times come and will come, I have no reason to fear. If God is for me, who can be against me? In the midst of trials, I need to look to my Father, that is why He allowed me to face them. That I would more fully trust and depend upon Him, that I would forsake this world and what it has to offer. Let me instead base my joy upon what Christ has done, and who I am in Him. In that I will find eternal pleasures that I shall never be ought to exhaust!

Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. - Psalms 23:6

-Surely, God the Father has shown me eternal goodness and loving kindness in the gruesome murdering of His son, Jesus Christ. Let my heart not doubt His love and favor towards me!

Father, as I read this Psalm again I am humbled. How many times have I read this without meditating upon it? Lord, my heart has become hardened to some scripture because I have read it so often, that, I do not stop to reflect upon the words I just read. Lord what a crucial mistake, one which I am often guilty of but wish no longer to involve myself in. Lord give me a tender heart, allow your words to sink in and change me. Keep not the Holy Spirit from me, but grant Him full reign in my heart. Holy Spirit come, teach my feeble heart to trust the Father and to look no further for joy and pleasures untold than in my Redeemer... Jesus.