A Life that is Single but…

Nearly every young lady wants to get married. That is the way that the Lord designed for His creation to function. The Bible says that woman was made for man. This actually is an incredible privilege and very fulfilling when it is done God’s way.

I Corinthians 11:8,9 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.

This is not the way of the world but it is God’s way. God’s way is wisdom but man’s way is foolishness. God’s way will seem like foolishness to the world but we see the fruit of man’s way with many failed marriages. A wife is also man’s reward.

Ecclesiastes 9:9 Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.

When it is done God’s way then the husband will be intoxicated with the love of his wife. He will cherish her and love her because she is his, not as property, but as his fellow heir in Christ, as his beloved.

Proverbs 5:18,19 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
As a loving hind and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be exhilarated always with her love.

A wife belongs to her husband and longs for him even as we are to long for Jesus since we are His bride. We are Christ’s beloved bride who is loved by Him. A marriage is the most beautiful picture of Jesus Christ and the church, which is His bride.

I Peter 3:7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

However, before a young lady gets married she needs to understand the right way to relate to a young man. There are four things she should not do. She should not initiate, manipulate, speculate nor expect. The man is to pursue the lady and she needs to wait on the Lord. She certainly needs to make herself as attractive as possible, not only physically but spiritually. The Lord brought Eve to Adam and the Lord can still bring you to the one that He has planned for you. He does not need your help in initiating and manipulating. If you do these actions then you will never know if your husband was a gift from the Lord. You will wonder if you did not bring it about and you might doubt during the hard times in marriage. You need to have the assurance that your husband was God’s idea and not yours. If you manipulate then you are just plainly not trusting the Lord but taking matters into your own hands. You will regret this also, just as Sarah regretted manipulating Abraham to have a child by Hagar. An immoral woman initiates. Not that everyone who initiates is immoral but it is not God’s way.

Proverbs 7:10-15 And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.
She is boisterous and rebellious,
Her feet do not remain at home;
She is now in the streets, now in the squares,
And lurks by every corner.
So she seizes him and kisses him
And with a brazen face she says to him:
“I was due to offer peace offerings;
Today I have paid my vows.
“Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.

A young lady should not speculate about young men whether he is the one or not and her decision to spend time with him should not be based on her speculations whether he is someone who she would be “interested in”. She should spend time with him if he loves Jesus and has a heart for the Lord. A young lady is known by the types of young men that she spends time with and so it is a message to other young men what kind of men you are attracted to and who you spend time with fellowshiping.

II Corinthians 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

The relationship should be one of brother and sister. The Bible never talks about “dating” relationships. If he wants to pursue her and she knows that she does not want any more than to be friends then she needs to be sure that she is not leading him on to believe that there is more there than there is. A man takes his cue from her response. The best way to know if a guy has a heart for the Lord is to see how he is in a group of strong Christian young men. A man can see through a man just as often a woman can see through a woman. Also, it is good for the young man to meet your father once he starts talking about being interested in you or is very obvious in calling you, etc. (You should not call him. Again, that is initiating.)

II Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

Also, she should not allow any young man to touch her, even holding hands. Touch is special to a young lady and it changes the relationship. Only do with a young man what you would do with your brother because that is who this young man is…your brother in Christ.

I Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman.

The word “good” in the verse means in the original, the highest form of love. It is the highest expression of love that a young man would have for a lady, that is, to wait to touch her until he has committed his life to her in marriage. A man appreciates what he waits for and you can almost guarantee that he will treat her always like a lady, even after they have been married for fifty years. This kind of relationship is the type that will endure for fifty years. So, if you want a true and enduring love in your marriage then wait for the affection.

Proverbs 30:18,19 There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Four which I do not understand:
The way of an eagle in the sky,
The way of a serpent on a rock,
The way of a ship in the middle of the sea,
And the way of a man with a maid.

A relationship done God’s way is wonderful and beyond our understanding. It is a picture of God’s love when done right for He pursued us. A relationship done right is a shining light to the whole world because all of us long to be loved and especially in an unconditional manner. The husband is the lover and the pursuer. He is the leader and the wife is the responder. He is the strong one and she is the weaker vessel because he is to protect her and provide for her. He is to cherish her and even be willing to die for her. Is this kind of relationship possible? Yes, and it is too wonderful to understand and the Lord wants to give it to every young lady but it is a gift from Him and you must learn His ways, otherwise you will cause damage to one of His precious sons and you will bring destruction to yourself.

 

 

 

A Life that Forgives

There are certain commands that carry much greater weight than others and the command to forgive seems to be one of the most important. A lack of forgiveness brings about one of the worse consequences that is mentioned in the Bible. The Lord said that if you do not forgive others then your sins will not be forgiven you.

Matthew 5:14,15 For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Forgiveness also brings a great blessing from the Lord because He says that if you forgive others then your sins will be forgiven you. We are all sinners who have sinned greatly against the Lord and we desperately need forgiveness from God, the Father. In the same way, we need to desperately forgive others of their sins. You receive what you give away and what you withhold will be withheld from you.

Mark 11:25,26 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”

The meaning of evil is to cause grief. It is hard to forgive when someone has caused us grief and especially great grief. However, when we see what a great debt that we have toward the Lord and the great grief that we have caused Him then we lean more toward forgiving. However, forgiving is impossible apart from the Lord. He has given you forgiveness and this is the forgiveness that you offer to others. Jesus has forgiven you and Jesus has forgiven them. We can only forgive by the power of the Holy Spirit.

John 20:22,23 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

We forgive by faith, in the power of the Holy Spirit in obedience to Him, not by feeling. Our flesh will never want to forgive and does not have the power to do so.

Romans 8:6-8 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

When you forgive then the Lord releases you from the bitterness and resentment of unforgiveness. You actually are the one who is set free. The person does not have to even be aware of their wrong towards you and they do not have to be sorry for what they did. If they are sorry and repentant then that is wonderful but it is not a prerequisite to you forgiving them. Healing for you comes after forgiveness. There is no pain so great that the Lord can not heal but first you must forgive. He does not hold your sin against you because He has forgiven you. Forgiveness is the promise never to bring it up again. How many times are we to forgive? That is a great question and Jesus answered it for us.

Matthew 18:21,22 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Forgiveness is so important that the Lord told a parable about forgiveness to allow His hearers to understand more clearly what He was saying about forgiveness.

Matthew 18:23-35 For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

He who has ears to hear, let him hear. A day of accounting is coming and it will be too late to settle your accounts with your fellow man. For this reason it is of utmost importance to “keep your accounts up to date”. God declared the man wicked in this story because of his unwillingness to forgive someone else and therefore all of this wicked person’s sins were still on his account and were not wiped out and forgiven. Forgiveness is a matter of the will. It is letting it go and giving it to the Lord. You can’t, He never said you could, He can, He always said He would. Give the matter to the Lord and He will forgive that person through you by the power of His Holy Spirit. As long as you have unforgiveness in your heart then you are in a prison. However, you can settle the account with that person who owes you through your forgiveness by forgiving him. It is after this that you will be released from your prison.

Luke 7:47,48 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”  Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”

Did Jesus offer forgiveness to you? Yes, He did. Go and do likewise that you too may hear the words, “Your sins have been forgiven”.  Forgiveness begins with the prayer, “Lord, I forgive _________. Please forgive me of my unforgiveness and by faith I have forgiven _________. Then you will love much because you too will see how great a debt that you were forgiven by our Lord. Your slate will be wiped clean. You may have to forgive over and over again because the devil might continue to bring it up again but the devil hates to see you forgive and call on the Lord so he will quit bringing it up to you. It is hard to believe when you are in the pain but healing will come and the Lord will truly make something beautiful our of your life.

 

 

A Life with Love Does Not Change

Love does not change. If it does then it is not love. God is love and He does not change. There are two things that will not change and it is these two things that give us security in this world and security for all eternity. When Adam and Eve sinned God’s love did not change for them. He loved them as much as he had loved them before. It was Adam and Eve who had changed and they could no longer experience God’s love.

“For I, the Lord, do not change; Malachi 3:6a

It was God, the Father and Jesus, the Son of God who said in the beginning, “Let us make man in our image.”

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26

Jesus Christ is God’s only begotten Son, equal with God, the Father, and He does not change.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

God’s Word does not change. Those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ have been born again into His family through the living and enduring Word of God. It endures forever and will never change.

for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All flesh is like grass,
And all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
And the flower falls off,
But the word of the Lord endures forever.” I Peter 1:23-25a

When God made Adam and Eve, his plan for them was love. He said that if they would keep His commandments then they would live and not die. His plan was for them to live in His love for all eternity. He never designed that they would experience grief, death, guilt, fear, shame, regret, slavery or any of the other horrible consequences of disobeying Him and rejecting living in His love. When they sinned He did not reject them. They rejected God. He still loved them and came up with another provision for them to live in His love. His provision was to be a sacrificial love so that man could “see” how much God loved them. Those who receive this sacrificial love will live forever in God’s love and will never need to hide again.

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:1-3

God loves you and He says that one day He will come back and take those who love Him to the home that He has prepared for them. Jesus Christ said that He would die and rise again from the dead and He did, just as He said. He is risen and and will raise us up also to live forever with Him in His love, just as He says. He is our hope. We do not need to fear. He says that He loves us and God will never lie. We can trust Him and His Word completely. Let not your heart be troubled you who have believed in God and His Word. He is alive and you also will live with Him. God does not change.

A Life that Loves People

If you love God then you will love people because God loves people. He loves everyone. The Bible says that He is good to the evil and the good.

Matthew 5:45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

If you are His child then you will want to become like Him.

I John 3:1-3 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

When we see Him we will be like Him but before that happens we are in the process of becoming like Him, which means we are being conformed into His likeness while on earth.

Romans 6:5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

His destiny for us is to become like Him.

Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

It is through knowing Him that we become conformed to His death, His resurrection and His life.

Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;

Jesus is the Word and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. God uses His Word to transform us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

His Word becomes alive in us and replaces our old though patterns and habits.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Just as Jesus did not come to do His own will but the will of the Father, in the same way, we also are not to do our will but the will of God.

John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

Just as Jesus prayed in the garden, “not My will but Thy will be done”, we too are to pray the same and desire that His will would be done.

Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

Jesus also taught His disciples to pray in the same way, that His will would be done.

Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

When you choose to follow Jesus. He will be your Lord and it is His will that becomes of utmost importance. This is what it means to die to yourself. You are dying to your will and living to do His will. This is truly the only way that you can love people. It is the way that Jesus loved you by going to the cross for you. He chose the will of the Father.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

God so loved you so that you too might love others with the same kind of love. What amazing love!

A Life that Loves God

Jesus makes it very clear who loves Him. Love is not a feeling but love is an action of obedience.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

If you are doing what you want or what your flesh desires and then talk about God’s grace then you are not loving God but you are mocking Him. He died for you, not so that you could do what you want but so that you would be free from the passions of your flesh so that you would do as you ought and thereby love God by keeping His commandments.

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

Do not let your heart deceive you. God is not mocked. Whatever a person sows that will he reap. If you sow to the flesh then you will reap destruction.

Galatians 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

Eternal life is knowing Jesus, the only true God, and when you come into the knowledge of Him, an intimate knowledge, then you want to love Him. If you just know about Him then there is not the passion to love Him back.

I John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.

If we know Him then we realize that everything else is rubbish in view of the surpassing greatness of knowing Him.

Philippians 3:8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,

Once you find Jesus then you will be willing to sell all that you have and count it loss that you might gain Him.

Matthew 13:44 The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Moses knew the Lord and the Lord showed Him His ways.

Psalm 103:7 He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the sons of Israel.

Do you keep His Word? Do you know His ways? When we learn to obey His Word and walk in His ways then His love is perfected in us and we become more like Him. We also will know that we are in Him.

I John 2:5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:

We also will have the assurance that He is in us and that His Spirit abides in us.

I John 3:24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him.  We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

If He abides in us through His Spirit that He gives to us when we receive Him as our Lord and Savior then we are His child. If we are His child then we will want to keep His commandments. If we keep His commandments then we will abide in His love and will want to love Him more because of His great love for us.

A Life that Overflows

Jesus said that He came to give us life and not just life but an abundant life that is overflowing.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Jesus is the only One who can give us life because He is the life.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

In Him is life and His life is the light of men.

John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

We can not live apart from Him. When we try to “do it on our own” then all we will experience is death. Someone may walk around on the outside but the inside of them is death. Everything is “blah” and they are not motivated and may struggle with depression. They have no light and therefor live in the darkness.

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the Lord, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

The Lord is abundant in His grace and His forgiveness of our sins. Before we can walk in His way we must forsake our way and return to Him.

Matthew 7:14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

What is our hope? Our only hope is Christ. He is the way. He leads us into life. The early Christians were first called “the Way” because His way of life for them was so different than the world. They followed Jesus and lived according to His ways.

Acts 24:14 But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets;

His way is very different from “our way” but when we follow Him and walk in His ways we experience life and His life overflows through us.

Isaiah 55:8,9 For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

He came that 2we might have life and might have it abundantly.  He is the way. When we follow Him we will not walk in darkness but will have the “Light of Life” in us.

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

When we look to Jesus Christ we experience life to the fullest and then He lifts us up and sets us on a high place so that we might give light to others.

Matthew 5:14,15 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

 

 

 

A Life that is Sweet and Good

The Lord has a plan for our lives and it is sweet and good. He wants us to live in and on His promises. We are to live by faith in the land of His promises. In the Old Testament when He described the promised land He said it was a land flowing with milk and honey. Milk is good for you and honey is sweet. That is how it is when we walk by faith with the Lord. Fellowship with Him is sweet and obedience to His Word is good for us.

Exodus 3:17 So I said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt…to a land flowing with milk and honey.

Egypt was symbolic of slavery and the land flowing with milk and honey was the land of promise which they were to possess by faith. Are you enslaved to sin or the flesh? Are their any habits that you are struggling with and know you need to be set free? He came to set you free.

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

If you have been set free then don’t go back into the bondage of slavery. There are two things that will hold you back from your goals and desires. They are snares and snags. Snares are sins that have ensnared you and that Jesus can set you free and wants to set you free. Snags are things that you have no control over and they cause you to cry out to Him for help. Just as if you were walking down a path and a branch from a tree were to snag you and you could not free yourself. He allows obstacles and snags in our life to cause us to realize that we can not make it on our own. We need His help. By faith we look continually to Him.

Jude 1:5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.

The Lord died for you and rose again so that you might be set free from the snares of the devil. However you must trust Him and learn to live by faith or you will end up being destroyed.

I John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

The Lord made you to be an overcomer. He wants life to be sweet and good for you. It is possible only through Him. Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

A Life that is Good

Life can not be good apart from God because only God is good. One of the meanings of the word “good” is the highest form of love.

Matthew 19:17 And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good

The “good” person only does good to others. If it is not loving then it is not God’s will and if it is God’s will then it will always be the highest expression of love not only for you but for all who are affected by your action.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

This is impossible apart from God but through Him not only is it possible but it is the life that He has planned for you. You are His workmanship made for “good” works which he has planned beforehand for you.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

This is why it is crucial that you learn to hear His voice and follow Him because He will lead you in the good works that He has already accomplished but He wants you to share in the joy.

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

He knows you and knows what is best for you, or in other words, what is “good” for you. His plan for you is exactly what you need and what will fulfill you and make you the happiest. This is why it is so important for you to stay on the “potter’s wheel” and let Him finish making you into the vessel that He has designed you to be. You will love it!

Isaiah 64:8 But now, O Lord, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; and all of us are the work of Your hand.

Does He not know what He is doing? Is He not the Master and you His masterpiece? Does He have hands to form you into something beautiful? Yes, yes and yes!

Isaiah 45:9 “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker— An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?

Don’t quarrel with Him or compare yourself to others. He knows what He is doing and it is perfect.

II Corinthians 10:12 For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.

When we compare ourselves with others then we are without understanding, which means that we do not know Him. When you thank Him for His plan for your life you are expressing trust in Him and faith and then you will receive understanding.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

His plan for you is not only good and loving but when you trust Him and experience His plan then you will have a future and a hope.

A Life that Wins

Everyone wants to wins. The Lord wants you to win and so He tells us how you can live like a true winner. A graceful wreath is what the Olympian winners used to wear and even today the winners of the Olympics wear an ornament around their neck.

Proverbs 1:8,9 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;
Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
And ornaments about your neck.

This father’s instruction to his son, the very first thing that he addresses is who his friends will be and what to do if sinners try to entice him.

Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent.

This father knows that people will want to lead us astray and there are certain people that we need to stay away from and they are the ones who gain by violating the Word of God. You will win or lose in life by the friends you choose.

Proverbs 1:19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
It takes away the life of its possessors.

The opposite of gaining by violating God’s ways is wisdom. This father knows his child needs wisdom. We desperately need wisdom. The naive person just does not have knowledge and they don’t understand the need for knowledge. To the naive person ignorance is bliss. Scoffers turn their back on knowledge and fools are hostile to knowledge and don’t want to hear it at all.

Proverbs 1:20-22 Wisdom shouts in the street,
She lifts her voice in the square;
At the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings:
How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?

People don’t love the knowledge of God’s ways because it brings reproof. However, the Lord has a sweet promise for those who will turn to Him and receive His reproof. He will pour out His Spirit on their lives and make His Words known to them.

Proverbs 1:23 “Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

If you want to know God’s Words then He tells you that you must turn to Him and listen to His reproof. Reproof is correction and it may be painful but not nearly as painful as the consequence of not listening to His wisdom.

Proverbs 1:24-30 Because I called and you refused,
I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;
And you neglected all my counsel
And did not want my reproof;
I will also laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your dread comes,
When your dread comes like a storm
And your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord.
They would not accept my counsel,
They spurned all my reproof.

Turn to Him now and call upon Him while He is near. Call on Him before the anxious moments come and the stressful times are upon you. Choose to be naive and choose death. Choose to be foolish and choose destruction.

Proverbs 1:31,32 So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way
And be satiated with their own devices.
 “For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them.

Fill your heart with His wisdom. Don’t neglect your time with Him. Choose Him and you will choose life. This father knows that his child needs wisdom to live securely and to be at ease from the dread of evil. Do you struggle with anxiety? Do you listen to the news of the world and it puts a dreadful feeling in you? The Lord does not want you to live this way. Listen to Him and learn His ways.

Proverbs 1:33 But he who listens to me shall live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”

 

A Life that Delights

We all delight in certain things in life, whether it may be food or certain forms of entertainment or something else. To delight in something means that it brings us immense joy and happiness to do it. One of the secrets of a life that is lived to the fullest is delighting in the right things. Some of the things may be harmful and some may not be harmful but not all are profitable.

Psalm 119:16 I shall delight in Your statutes;
I shall not forget Your word.

When we learn to delight in His Word then we will remember it. One of the keys for retaining God’s Word is to delight in it. We remember the things we love.

Psalm 119:24 Your testimonies also are my delight;
They are my counselors.

When we delight in God’s Word then His Word will counsel us and tell us what to do. Also, God’s Word will provide the counsel that we can give to others so that their lives will be helped rather than damaged by bad counsel. If it is not God’s Word then it is not godly, Christian counseling.

Psalm 119:47 I shall delight in Your commandments, Which I love.

Again, we will remember His commandments when they are our delight and they will not seem burdensome but a joy to keep. If God’s Word seems like a burden to you then something is amiss in your relationship with Him. Go back to just delighting in Him and you will again want to please Him by living a life of faith and obedience.

Psalm 119:77 May Your compassion come to me that I may live,
For Your law is my delight.

When His Word is again your delight then His love will come to you in new and fresh ways that you never saw before and you will live life to the fullest.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

He reserves one of His sweetest promises for the person who learns to delight in Him. Ask Him to help you. He wants to be your delight and He wants to give you the desires of your heart.