Proverbs 3

Proverbs 3:1-35 (NKJV)

1 My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands;

2 For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you.

3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart,

4 And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man.

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;

6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.

8 It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.

9 Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase;

10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.

11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction;

12 For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.

13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding;

14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold.

15 She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.

16 Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honor.

17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace.

18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who retain her.

19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens;

20 By His knowledge the depths were broken up, And clouds drop down the dew.

21 My son, let them not depart from your eyes—Keep sound wisdom and discretion;

22 So they will be life to your soul And grace to your neck.

23 Then you will walk safely in your way, And your foot will not stumble.

24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.

25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;

26 For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.

27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so.

28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it,” When you have it with you.

29 Do not devise evil against your neighbor, For he dwells by you for safety’s sake.

30 Do not strive with a man without cause, If he has done you no harm.

31 Do not envy the oppressor, And choose none of his ways;

32 For the perverse person is an abomination to the LORD, But His secret counsel is with the upright.

33 The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the home of the just.

34 Surely He scorns the scornful, But gives grace to the humble.

35 The wise shall inherit glory, But shame shall be the legacy of fools.

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4 months ago

There is a direct connection between actions and the experience of life and God. The choice of those actions requires necessary instruction, but also humility and discretion to act on that instruction. Something I’ve noticed in teaching an instrument of music is that providing the necessary information about music theory and performance technique is not what will develop the student as a musician. It is what is done with that information. It’s the faithfulness to the action that defines the student’s identity as an actual musician or just a wannabe. The ones who actually produce sounds that will be enjoyed by the one performing and the listener as well require much more than the right instruction. They will have submitted to do what they’ve been shown. So many times I’ve seen the necessary information produce nothing more than a waste of money because the moment of its impartation wasn’t valued and responded to with intense adherence.
As with an instrument, so is the application of the Word to our bodies and their submission to life in Christ and its service to the kingdom. More often than not, the presentation of the information can produce nothing more than a wasted combing of the hair and making it to church if there is no faithfulness to act on what has been inspired by and presented from the heart of the Father for our life and godliness. It will be apparent which ones have, however, at the moment when the stage of life is taken, and there is either the experience of harmonious blessing and fellowship with God or dissonant turmoil and discontent apart from union with His will. There is no getting around or faking the reality of the heart’s choices of action. Blessing and favor with both God and man and even our ultimate experience of eternal life are not determined by the provision of grace and its Gospel message alone. It will require awakening to its gravity enough to develop faithfulness to empowering actions. The sounds then will be most gratifying to us, those we encounter, and especially to the Maestro, whose instruction knows no comparison.

4 months ago

Many years ago one of the boys colored a lovely coloring sheet of verses 5-6. It continues to hang on the fridge and has moved with us. It’s often two verses you can readily find on t-shirts, or magnets, or coffee cups, but there is more, there is always more with our Lord. The other day when I read this complete proverb something really struck me and has continued to sit with me. When you read it and extend it on through to include verses 5-8 there is a promise: “Lean not on your own understanding (to me that also speaks of self-reliance, not just self-reliance on intellect but also self-reliance in any area we operate in) trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, in ALL your ways trust and acknowledge the Lord. And [then] He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil [For it will be] Health to your flesh and strength to your bones.” Fear of the lord, trusting our ways, all of them, is esteeming him over any Earthly, or human understanding, requiring him in all our ways will be health to our flesh and strength to our bones. Wholeness, wellness are His ways. In we are equipped not weary in doing good. That’s the best health insurance I’ve ever heard of!

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