May 2, 2020

                                          Hidden treasure

. . . and if you look for it (wisdom) as for silver and search for it (wisdom) as for hidden treasure,  Proverbs 2:4

This verse in Proverbs 2 reminds me of an old movie where a group of people have gone on a quest away from their normal day to day activity to look for a great treasure.  You can pick which movie comes to your mind.  Of course, there are countless stories, books and shows that the plot involves seeking “great treasure”.  In fact, it doesn’t even have to be fiction.  This is what people of the world are mostly about.  I think we all would love to find a buried treasure, so we didn’t have to live our life in the “normal” routine. 

Today’s scripture suggests that finding wisdom is like finding hidden treasure.  In fact, it says to look for it and seek it continuously.  The truth is that if you learn to live your life by the wisdom of God, it would be like your life was sustained out of a hidden treasure.  Wisdom brings the untouchable treasures into this physical world.  Things such as peace, insight, grace and faith.  These things are priceless and worth every effort to secure in your everyday walk.  They can all be attained simply by pursuing wisdom, God’s wisdom.

So, what is wisdom?  Wisdom defined in the Biblical sense, is the “ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures.  However, there is so much more to it.  Wisdom is knowing the right steps to take at the right time.  This kind of wisdom comes by following the leading of the Holy Spirit of God on a daily basis.  It is not something you can learn by taking classes or earning a prestigious degree.  You cannot receive it at the school of hard knocks, and it is not even something that can be passed down through the generations. (although the Word of God can be)  Wisdom is gained by walking step by step, day by day in a personal relationship with your heavenly Father.  Wisdom is a benefit of your salvation in Christ Jesus, but it does not come automatically.  This is the reason today’s scripture tells us to be search for it. 

James 1:5 says, If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  By asking for wisdom each day as you surrender your steps to the LORD, wisdom will flow right from His Spirit to yours.  Later on, in this same chapter of Proverbs, it says, wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.  Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. (Proverbs 2:10-11) Again as pointed out yesterday, wisdom guards and protects you.

Today I want to encourage you to pursue wisdom with all your heart.  Go after it like a hidden treasure.  Ask your Heavenly Father and listen to that inward witness, but also pursue His Holy Word.  This is the best place to start.  God will never contradicts His Word, so as He guides you through His Spirit, he will back that wisdom with His eternal Word.  Be like those in the movies who step away from your day to day activity and pursue the hidden treasure of wisdom.  Spend time with God today and discover great treasure in His wisdom.

Today’s scripture reading:  Proverbs 2

May 1, 2020

. . . but whoever listens to me (wisdom) will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm. Proverbs 1:33

The book of proverbs.  It is one of the five books of wisdom.  If there is anything in life that you need answers to or wisdom for, undoubtedly your answer is in this book somewhere.  In fact, there are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs, so if you read one per day, you will read through the entire book in one month and then start all over the next month.  The wisdom is endless. 

I find today’s verse fitting for the day we live in right now.  These days, there is fear all around us and although we hope nothing bad will come near our home or our family, do we have a guarantee?  This scripture says we do.  It says whoever.  That starts out talking to anyone.  It doesn’t matter who you are, you are a whoever.  So, anyone who listens to wisdom, that is the wisdom of God and His Word, will live in safety and not only that, they will live at ease, far from fear and oppression.  In fact, the next part of the verse says without fear of being harmed.  These are not just pleasant words or a nice passing saying, this is a promise from the Holy Spirit of God, Wisdom Himself!  You can depend on wisdom if you listen and live by it, you will be safe.  I don’t know about you, but that is a promise I am ready to release into my life.  No more wishing and hoping that pending danger will pass, I can know for sure that if I listen to and follow God’s wisdom, He will keep me safe.

Today I want to encourage you to seek and listen to the Wisdom of God.  In fact, this month of May I am going to select one verse from the Proverb of the day.  We will learn from God’s wisdom and be safe together.

Today’s scripture reading:  Proverbs 1

April 30, 2020

Then King Nebuchadnezzar said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”  Daniel 3:25

Today’s scripture is taken from the account in the book of Daniel when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into a furnace to be burned to death because they refused to worship the gods of Babylon.  A story many of us heard as children and how God showed up in the fire with them and kept them from being harmed.  Of course, the king of Babylon was astonished and quickly amended his law to make provision for the God of the Hebrew men.

What I want to point out today is that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not even consider options in the command given by the king.  When they were summoned to come before the king, they boldly declared their confidence in God to rescue them from whatever sentence they were given.  We know the rest of the story that God did show up and protected them through the fire.  Here is the interesting part.  God didn’t step in and keep them from going into the fire, they still had to go through it.  However, He went through the fire with them. He freed them from their bonds and protected them.  So much so that they didn’t even smell like fire when they were called out.

You can have the same confidence in God today.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  Our God is able to deliver us from any circumstance, crisis or “fire” and He will.  The secret is in what you believe.  Do you believe that God is not only able, but that He will show up and walk through the fire with you and bring you out unsinged?  Do you believe that He wants to protect you every step of the way? Or do you believe that He can, but you just never know what God will do?  The truth is that you can know what God will do and what He will do is be faithful to His promises.  He has given us an entire book full of His faithfulness and promises.  You can depend on Him to always come through for you when you trust and call on Him!  If anyone is “missing it” in the problem, you can be sure it isn’t God. Dig deep and press in until you are full of the same confidence that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had and believe God will bring you to victory through every “fire”.

Today I want to encourage you to look for God to show up in your “fire”.  In this current world crisis, have confidence in God to walk with you through this pandemic, strengthening and protecting you.  Then, let the world see that no matter what is going on around you, God is with you and He stays with you right in the middle of all fiery circumstances and brings you out to victory.

Today’s scripture reading: Daniel 3

April 29, 2020

A sluggard says, “There’s a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!”  Proverbs 26:13

Today’s scripture starts out by talking about a lazy person that uses outside conditions as an excuse not to go out into the world today.  He says, there is a ”lion” outside, an obstruction of some kind that is keeping him from living out the plan for his life.  I thought of this verse recently in connection with fear.  Our current circumstances have given light to those who would use every outside evil as an excuse not to do anymore that necessary in life.  I’m not saying that we don’t have a real crisis going on in our entire world right now. Certainly, these are fierce times!  What I am saying is that there are alternate ways to accomplish things even in the middle of a pandemic.  This is when we draw from our creative side!

Here’s the thing:  There’s always going to be a “lion” out there.  1 Peter 5:8 says, always be on the lookout because your adversary the devil is continuously out there like a roaring lion, looking for anyone that he can destroy.  However, the very next verse gives us the solution to this concern.  It says to resist and stand against him steadfastly in our faith, knowing that we all have to stand against him everyday no matter what we have going on.  This verse also implies that we are to help each other stand against and move forward in life.  No matter what we are up against each day, we must keep moving forward in the plan of God.  We cannot sit back and be idle because of daily circumstances and obstacles.  Now is when we remember that God’s Kingdom rules overall including that “lion”.  God’s grace gives us what we need, when we need it.  So whether it’s a “lion”, a sickness or fear of the unknown, we need to seek direction and an overcoming way to walk when the obstacles present themselves.  On the other side of that, reach out to help others who you see are stuck or paralyzed by the threat of the “lion”. 

Today I want to encourage you not to let the fear of what is to come stop you in your daily walk with God.  Be willing to walk out His plan each day no matter what is waiting for you out there.  He will get you through.  The truth is, God knows there is a “lion” out there, and He has equipped you to overcome those “lions” as you get the plan and use the weapons of warfare that He has provided.  Then, come along side others who are stagnant in their walk or maybe even just starting to walk out God’s plan in their life.  Don’t watch those that are easy prey be devoured by the enemy, hurry in to rescue and to help them stand against the enemy of fear, anxiety and even apathy.  Let’s all take the next step today and push that lion out of town!

Today’s scripture reading: 1 Peter 5

Today’s dose

“The LORD has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all.”Psalms 103:19

Psalms 103 is one of the psalms that I frequently recite to myself to encourage and build myself up.  As I was quoting it the other day, something clicked on the inside of me when I got toward the end at verse 19.  God has established His throne and His Kingdom rules over all!  All of a sudden it dawned on me that no matter what “kingdom” has been established in the world whether foreign, national or local, God’s Kingdom supersedes them all.  I know this is common knowledge and that we all know it, however, the revelation of it became so crystal clear to me in light of our current circumstances.  So from a legal standpoint, God instituted laws from the beginning of creation.  Ordinances such a marriage, family, and government.  Those are the laws that work anywhere in this world today.  From a spiritual aspect, He set up spiritual order that works in the spirit world.  From the eternal perspective, He set up eternal decrees that will be in effect for all eternity.

So to bring this revelation into a practical application. God’s ways rule over the entire world, however, we are the ones that are responsible to get in line with them.  So as an American, I have rights and responsibilities.  Things such as freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, freedom of speech, etc.  As long as I obey the laws of the land, I am entitled to these rights.  Likewise, in the Kingdom of Heaven, when I get in line with God’s Kingdom principles and laws, I can expect to receive the benefits/blessings of the kingdom.  The law book for the Kingdom of Heaven is the holy scripture.  The more I get to know that book, the more accurately I can function in His Kingdom.  In the same way I am responsible to uphold the laws of this land, America, I am responsible as a citizen of Heaven to uphold it’s laws.  I cannot say in America, that because I didn’t know that law, I cannot be cited for breaking it.  No, If I break the law whether I knew it was a law or not, I am responsible to uphold it.  It is the same in the Kingdom of heaven.  If I don’t know God’s ways, I cannot expect Him to change His ways to line up with the way I think His laws should work.  I must learn the ways of His Kingdom since I am a citizen there.

In today’s scripture reading of Deuteronomy 28, God lays out the blessings that come as a result of following the laws that He established in His Kingdom. He also reveals the curse that results from following your own way or the world’s “kingdom”. Because we do live in this fallen world, we see the results of the curse all around us and new things emerging every day. However, we do not have to submit to those things. We are citizens of God’s Kingdom and His Kingdom laws overrule the worlds every time we enforce them.

Today I want to encourage you to submit to the Kingdom of heaven.  Begin to study God’s Kingdom ways and begin to line your life up with them. Make a note while reading scripture when you see God’s laws and the resulting blessing. Also, keep note of the world’s ways and the resulting curse. Make sure you are knowing as much of His Kingdom principles as possible because you are responsible to live by them. Not only that, your blessed life is the outcome.

Today’s scripture reading:  Deuteronomy 28:1-51