The Verbs #3

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The string to a kite isn’t restrictive as some would think. In fact, it is the string which keeps the kite in flight. If the string is lost the kite crashes!

That is exactly what Solomon was telling us about instruction and correction. He states to take the commands to heart (3:1). In so doing, they’ll help you live a long time and they will allow you to have a life that is full and well.

Many people see correction and instruction as restrictive. In reality they are what keep us flying and ultimately flying high.

Solomon even goes so far as to state, make sure you live in such a way that you earn a reputation for living well in God’s eyes and in the eyes of people.

Over the years, I have learned the only way to fly high in any arena of influence, you must have deep roots. The higher your kite flies, the more people notice!

Yesterday we talked about digging deep. You need to dig deep so that when you are flying high, you do not lose your character. When your roots are not deep, you can and often will go off course, especially when it comes to influence, money or a position of leadership.

The string on the kite not only keeps the kite in flight, it also keeps it tied to the owner. As long as the owner holds the string the kite operates the way it was designed to. The kite flies and is directed by the string holder. The string is simply the connection between the two. That connection is how the kite is directed.  In the moments of trouble, that direction can either accelerate, lower or maneuver the kite so that despite the turbulence, the kite will stay in flight.

That is why God gave us His word. It isn’t restrictive. In fact, it is the connection between us and Him. It is what maneuvers us around and or through the trouble. It is what keeps us during the shifts in our life and it is what stabilizes us despite the currents we may be going through. In other words, it keeps us in flight.

This is why when you start living that life you’ve always wanted, or you get the answered prayer you’ve been praying for for years, you must remember Who let you fly, Who answered that prayer, remember Who blessed you! The Who is God! Remember God.

Proverbs tells us to listen for God’s voice in everything, and everywhere. He is the one that will keep you on track. He is the one that will keep you moving towards your destiny!

So don’t resent the string! It isn’t a restriction, it’s actually a blessing because it’s your connection!

The Verbs #2 – Digging Deep

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The Verbs #2 ~ Digging Deep

“That’s right—if you make Insight your priority,
and won’t take no for an answer,
Searching for it like a prospector panning for gold,
like an adventurer on a treasure hunt,
Believe me, before you know it Fear-of-God will be yours;
you’ll have come upon the Knowledge of God.

And here’s why: God gives out wisdom free,
is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding.
He’s a rich mine of Common Sense for those who live well,
a personal bodyguard to the candid and sincere.”
Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: The Bible in contemporary language (Pr 2:2–7). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.
Solomon tells us that if we want to know God, then we are going to have to dig deep for it. Jesus used a different term. He said you have to hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6). It’s when you hunger and thirst that you will be filled. He’s willing to fill you but first, you have to have an appetite for righteousness. Likewise, He gives wisdom and understanding away freely. It’s when we cry out, or dig for understanding that it will be found.

Maybe you have had a piece of furniture and you wanted to give it away free of charge. You place an ad in the paper, on Craigslist, eBay, Facebook, and or Twitter. You even run TV ads to advertise the free item. You are willing to give it away, yet no one wants to make the effort to come and get it. However, the one who does make the effort to come and get the free item, receives the piece of furniture and then uses it to make their life better. Every person who saw the ad had the same opportunity to receive, but only those that responded and gave effort were rewarded with the free item.

God has advertised for thousands of years what He has to offer! But only those that make the effort as Solomon stated, will get the reward. Solomon says if you want to know God or understand God, it requires some effort. He uses an image of a miner mining for gold. You have to dig in, dig deep into God’s word everyday! Pursue God, and when you do, you will find Him.

James 4:8 tells us that if we will draw close to God, He will draw close to us. Jesus said if you will seek me you will find me. In Hebrews 11:6, we find two keys to digging deep, or shall I say the proper tool to use in digging, faith!

1. Believe that He is!

Believe He is what? Whatever you need! He asked in the Old Testament of Moses, “who do you say that I am?” Jesus asked of Peter, “who do you say that I am?” You will find when you dig in faith, that the answer is what He said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM! I am what you need me to be.

If you are lonely, you’ll find He is a friend.

When you are struggling, you’ll find He is a help.

When you are weak, you’ll find He is strength.

Just believe He is.

2. Believe that He is the God that will meet the need in your life.

Many believe He is, but they don’t dig deep to find out ALL that He is. Here in Hebrews 11:6 we are told to diligently seek Him. Why is it so important to seek God diligently? When you go after God to find out if He is what you need, and you do that diligently, the very things that you were seeking will fade away. You will find that what you were seeking all along was Him. Everything else will fade in importance because God is what you have needed all along. He is, and He is a rewarder of them that dig deep for Him. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek after Him.

When you dig for God, you will find yourself so deep in God that the world no longer sees you, they only see Christ.

Welcome to the Verbs

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One of the most disheartening events that can happen to you is when your leader, the one you have entrusted has a moral failure. I have personally experienced such an event in my life. I trusted, followed, and served only to be shocked, saddened, and left questioning even my own faith over the matter. It is through the darkest hours of our lives, that often produces the most valuable of experiences and richness of our walk with God. You were not the first person to experience the sting of failure nor will you be the last. As far back as mankind can go, there was failure and that failure affected the future generations.

In 2 Samuel 11, we find the beginning of such a failure on the part of King David. David and Bathsheba’s relationship began in failure, but out of it a son was produced. His name was Solomon. Solomon was known as the wisest man that ever lived. Over Solomon’s forty year reign, he collected wise sayings. No doubt there were many more than what has been recorded. Many of them were recorded in a book in the Old Testament titled Proverbs.

Proverbs has become a great tool to live, guide, and instruct from. In the book of Proverbs, Solomon addresses many of the issues that were faced back in 900 BC, yet because man doesn’t really change all that much, we still face the same issues, today! Solomon addresses our intimate lives, anger, slander, business ethics, integrity, intoxication, pride, and he even dives into the topic of finances.

Proverbs literally means in the Hebrew, “to rule or to govern.” In other words reading the proverbs and then allowing them to guide your life is what is supposed to happen.

Over the next thirty-one days, we are going to highlight some of the most enlightening, challenging, and impactful Verbsout of the book of Proverbs. In other words we are going to find some words that will challenge us to make a change, keep the change, and be the change.

The wonderful thing about Proverbs is there are thirty-one chapters, one for every day of the month. Billy Graham said that he read five Psalms a day, “that teaches me how to get along with God, followed by a chapter of Proverbs, which teaches me to get along with my fellow man.”

So, welcome to the Verbs!

So many people think that church going, Bible reading and preaching are mostly about getting into heaven, getting yourself right with God, and making sure your soul is saved. Absolutely the Bible, church, and preaching is about that, but equally important as getting into heaven is how to live on Earth. Remember, when you get saved you don’t immediately get to go into Heaven. You stay here on earth. Therefore we need to know how to live here. Remember that Jesus said, “on earth as it is in heaven.” Our life here matters.

Proverbs is a path in teaching us how to have wisdom in living life here on earth. Living with each other, honoring our parents, raising up our children, handling our money, and how we are to conduct ourselves. Proverbs gives us wisdom to live by. In matters of living our day-to-day lives, nothing takes the precedence of involving God, listening to God, and obeying God.

Have a Happy New Year and may you make this the best year you’ve ever had!

Pastor J

 

The Verbs #1 – Start with God

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Start with God

 

Start

 

One of the hardest things in life isn’t finishing. Most often the hardest thing to do is to begin.

Solomon starts the book of Proverbs by telling exactly where to begin. You have to start with God.

 

“Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.” – Proverbs 1:7 (The Message)

 

The first step, the very beginning of all of our plans, dreams, and this life, must begin with God. We have been trained to trust in ourselves, to lean on our own understanding; to trust ourselves more than anyone else. In other words, we have been told to start with ourselves. In actuality it is when we come to the end of ourselves that we begin with God. It is when we start with God that real life begins. Solomon tells us that the first step in learning is bowing down to God.

 

The act of starting with God in everything that we do is the foundation upon which you can build your life. However, it isn’t just a one-time event. Starting with God is something that we should do every day.

 

There isn’t an aspect of our lives that should not begin with God. Our marriages should begin with God. We stand before Him and utter vows, that if God would help us, we would keep those vows. We dedicate our kids back to God. We start their lives off by consecrating them back to God.

 

Solomon was teaching a wise lesson because, not only is it good to start with God, God wants us to begin with Him. Starting with God in everything is vital to living a blessed life.

 

What do you think would happen if you started giving God the first hour of your day, the first day of your week, and the first dime of every dollar? I lost so many of you right there, what an hour, a day, a dime… yep, that’s exactly what I said. Your day needs to start with God. One man said that we should never see the face of man until we have seen the face of God. Starting our day with God sets the tone for the rest of the day.

 

No doubt you are aware of the Ten Commandments? In those Ten Commandments, nine of them get straight to the point, no fluff, Thou Shalt not kill. Pretty much sums it up and we all agree with it. That’s pretty much how they all go; four to ten words, and obey. However, God gives a ninety-four word instruction on keeping the first day of the week, holy. Why, so many words? It was important. It was the fourth command, “Keep the first day of the week set apart for MeMake sure you start with Me.”

 

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft stated that, “in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient… there is a lot more that I could be doing on a Sunday morning.”

 

God sees it far differently. As a matter of truth, He had Isaiah write it down for us just to be clear that we should start with Him.

 

“If you watch your step on the Sabbath and don’t use my holy day for personal advantage, If you treat the sabbath as a day of joy, God’s holy day as a celebration, If you honor it by refusing ‘business as usual,’ making money, running here and there—Then you’ll be free to enjoy God! Oh, I’ll make you ride high and soar above it all.
I’ll make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob.” Yes! God says so! – Isaiah 58:12-14 (The Message)

Lastly, we should ensure that our money starts with God; the first dime of every dollar.

 

“Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over.” – Proverbs 3:8-10 (The Message)

Many people want to start giving to God after they have enough. You will never have enough unless you start with God. I learned early on to start with God when it came to my finances. The more I started with God, the more I had when it was finished.

 

When will you start with God, once you start it’s hard to quit, because the blessings begin when you start.

 

If not now, when? Sometimes the hardest thing to do is start.