Posted By Nan

23:1-21
The 30 truths are continued.
6.Do not be greedy, especially when someone is seeking your favour. Be wary because that person may be seeking to cause you to feel an obligation to do something for them and you may be trapped into doing something you shouldn’t do.
7.Be restrained in your pursuit of money. Seek to earn what God gives you and don’t get caught up in the pursuit of money in order to accumulate wealth. Don’t sell you soul to the devil in your pursuit of money. Remember that money is deceptive and can be lost at any time. It is also a deceiver that can lead you away from God. Remember Jesus’ words that man can serve only one master. Serving money will take you away from serving God. And if you are a member of a church that encourages you to accumulate wealth be wary. You cannot serve two masters. (Matthew 6:24)
8.Be wary of the one seeking to get rich because he will use you to get what he wants from you and then dump you. And he will not hesitate to abuse your trust and take advantage of you and leave you worse off. Spare yourself the pain.
9.Don’t waste your words on fools who are not interested in learning. They will not listen to you and will not change their point of view or learn from you. Instead focus on your own learning.
10.Don’t take advantage of those who, like orphans, are defenceless, God will punish you for your deceit, greed and injustice. God cares about social justice so don’t fool yourself that He condones such behaviour. He does not. Read the Old Testament, right back at the foundation books, and you will see God’s constant reiteration of the need for social justice. So don’t fill yourself with hate doctrine against people of other faiths or people whose sexuality is different from your own. Let God deal with others. Love them, love all people, and ensure social justice.
11.Seek wisdom and knowledge. Never scorn those who possess knowledge because you feel inferior to them. Accept who you are and seek the knowledge God wishes you to possess. And if those with more knowledge are arrogant about their knowledge, walk away and hand them to God. Remember the misuse of knowledge is the preserve of the fool. Do not fall into the trap of reading so called ‘christian’ books that twist God’s word. Instead, study the Bible and seek God for understanding.
12.Lovingly discipline your children. Attend to their needs and don’t neglect them. Show them the love God gives to all of us. Seek to teach them in love and don’t resort to satan’s punishments such as corporal punishment. And do not allow bitterness to develop in your heart.
13.As a parent and mentor delight in the evidence of wisdom taught to and accepted by children. Encourage them and let them know how well they are doing. Let them know seeking wisdom is good and praiseworthy and they will continue to seek God.
14.The world wants you to think a life of wisdom is a half life and one without enjoyment. But the world lies. God is your future. They way of the world leads to death and destruction. What the world calls enjoyments does not bring the pleasure God’s joy, and a life in His presence, does.
15.Observe moderation in the way you live your life and avoid the extremes of binge drinking and over indulgence in any life activities. If you find what you do leads to addictive behaviour seek help from God and a qualified counsellor. (in that order). When I saw seek help from God I do not mean seek help from another person. Pray and ask God for help and guidance to lead you to the correct person to help you. Do not allow the need your addiction seeks to meet ruin you life. God has a better plan for you.
Continued in the next blog.

 
Posted By Nan

22:17-29
The writer of Proverbs pauses here to review what he has already written. Perhaps he thinks people are growing bored and have stopped listening. Or that they have forgotten why they should desire wisdom
He wants us to treasure the words of God’s wisdom. To bury them in our hearts. To treasure them. To see their true value and delight in contemplating the beautiful wisdom of God. This beautiful gift of God. To speak confidently of this wisdom, without hesitation. To ensure you trust God who gives you wisdom. Who is wisdom.
Then he wants us to take note of 30 truths that will guide us to remain rooted in God.
1.Do not take advantage of the poor. Don’t under pay them, cheat them, take them to court where you will win because you have the money for silver tongued lawyers and they don’t, or do anything that seeks to harm them. God will defend them and He will take what you have taken from them, their life, and return it to them. Do not think you will escape punishment. Remember, no amount of pious words uttered in church on a Sunday and no amount of exalted church positions you hold, will protect you from this punishment.
2.Be careful who you mix with. You will develop the attitude of those whose company you keep. Especially avoid the angry hotheads who do not know how to deal with their anger in a healthy way. In similar fashion, avoid those who profess to love God but speak words of hate. They will lead you away from the love of God and lead to your downfall.
3.Don’t gamble on the promise of an elusive win. Whether that involves the act of gambling or taking risks not sanctioned by God. You will lose if you take those risks.
4.Don’t steal what belongs to others. God has given those things to the other person and it is His right alone to take it back. Hand your resentment and desires to God and wait for Him. And if He says you may not have those things too, then accept that is His will for your life.
5.Finally, when you work, be honest and diligent. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your and honour your need for self care. But make sure you do your job honestly and with the desire to complete the tasks. Remember that honesty and diligence does not mean working more than your allotted work hours or taking work home. Nor does it allow your employer to take advantage of you. Nor does it involve you over striving to achieve perfection. God wants you to work to the best of your ability to complete tasks. Nothing more. Nothing less.
I will continue a discussion of the 30 truths in the next blog.
 

 
Posted By Nan

22:6-16
This section speaks of the importance of training our children in the ways of wisdom. The way of training is the way we read of in Ephesians 6v4 which admonishes parents not to provoke their children to anger and resentment through their actions but instead to raise their children with tenderness in training them in the discipline and counsel of God. Children need to learn from their parents the wisdom of seeking God.
It is important to teach your children:

  • that the rich rule over the poor and to be careful not to borrow from them.
  • that the wicked in life use their power to oppress others. So do not seek to be like that, because God will bring disaster on the wicked and take away their power.
  • that using power to oppress your spouse is wrong and God will punish them severely for that. Forget the unBiblical teaching that claims a man can do what he wants to his wife and she must obey him. The Bible does not say that. It asks women to choose to submit to the husband who puts her needs above those of his own. If he doesn’t and he abuses her, God does not require her to stay.
  • to remember also that the person who mocks, insults, argues and causes strife will be removed and no one will miss them. In contrast, the pure of heart person who is gracious, generous hearted and wise is respected.
  • that God watches over knowledge and frustrates the words of those who do not seek it.
  • and finally, God warns that the person who seeks favour with the rich and the person who makes wealth by underpaying their workers, especially those who are poor, both these sinful types will come to poverty. They already possess poverty of spirit. God may bring them to poverty in life or in death. Whenever it happens, it will not be pleasant for those wicked people.

Be pure of heart and a lover of wisdom. Let your child see how much you love God and teach them the joy of a personal relationship with God. Teach your child in love. Your child will grow up and may test the limits of what you have taught them. And they need to do that. They need to meet and know God themselves. Without an intermediary. If you have taught your child well and encircled them in prayer, God will watch over them and bring them to Himself in His perfect time.
 

 
Posted By Nan

22:4-5
This is a good moment to stop and reflect and this is what the writer of Proverbs has done here. Proverbs hinges on these two verses. True wisdom comes from humility and a reverent, worshipful fear of God. True wisdom bring blessing and honour and, most importantly, life in God’s presence for those who possess Godly wisdom.
As we journey through life, the wise follow Jesus on the difficult narrow path. It is not an apparently easy, broad road. And it requires sacrifice. It requires relinquishing your own desires and taking on those of Jesus. The broad, easy road of the unwise looks wonderful. But it is a dangerous road. There are hidden potholes and slippery mud that traps the traveller and throws him off the road.
In addition, the traveller on the road away from God travels alone. The traveller on the narrow road travels in Jesus’ footsteps. He lights the way so she can see where to safely put her feet. He protects and assists her when He knows she needs it. He guides her on a path He has already stepped on. The path feels difficult. Steep in places. Sometimes dark. Sometimes foggy. Yet she can always see where to put her feet because Jesus is the lamp to her path. Sometimes she cannot see Him. Sometimes she struggles to believe He is there. She forgets that He is lighting her way. But she is wise and she perseveres and holds on to His promises. Trusting He will honour them. Finally she can see Him again and remember that He has promised to always be with her.
The way of the wicked appears easy, but it is treacherous and the wicked often fall off. But the way of the wise is a sure and steady road to God.
 

 
Posted By Nan

22:1-3
‘Look after your character and let your reputation look after itself’
Over twenty years ago, when I was going through a terrible time, I found this quote. I clung to it through a really horrible time in my life. Women in the church I attended. Women who called themselves my friends. Had been spreading terrible lies about me. To add to the injury, those hearing the lies were believing them. One supposed friend even told the lies to other Christians I did not know. Consequently, anywhere I went in Christian circles I was ostracised. For a long time I did not understand why. It was at this time that God told me to walk away from my Christian friends because they were no good for me. I didn’t know what to think. Was this from God? Would He really tell me to walk away from Christian friends? That would mean I had no Christian friends? I had always been told I had to have Christian friends. So why was God telling me to walk away from them? So I didn’t obey Him. But when I learned of the terrible betrayal I did obey. Too late for my reputation.
Since that time I have moved mostly in nonChristian circles. Some of my friends share my faith. Others don’t. Some I have brought to faith in God. Others not. I have learned to rely solely on God. Not on the number of fellow believers I know. And I have learned something important. Fellow believers do not necessarily follow God. They do not necessarily teach me important things about God and following Him. Frequently, as with my supposed friends years ago, they are pursuing human pursuits. Following God is just not on their agenda. But when I rely solely on God for guidance, then I am not led astray.
I have met many so called Christians who smugly sit in their imagined salvation life and live very unGodly lives. And I can see the truth of what God has been teaching me. To learn from Him. To take guidance from Him. To follow Him. That is wisdom.
I know from personal experience that your reputation is your greatest earthly asset. I have also learned that I cannot stop those who will seek to destroy my reputation. But I also know that my greatest Godly asset is my character. It doesn’t matter how wealthy or poor I am. My character is what matters to God.
All those years ago when I wouldn’t walk away from my friends as God instructed, I also learned that not only is it important to obey God, it is also wise. The wise see the danger and seek the refuge God gives them. The unwise ignore it and suffer.
 

 

 

 
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Nan
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