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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.
 

 
Posted By Nan

21:17-31
I apologise for missing last week’s blog. Sometimes God has other plans.
Continuing chapter 21, we read that those who turn away from God will perish. It is that simple. And that contentious. Those who live in the world. Those who do not want to die to self and follow Jesus do not want to be told their path leads to death. But that is where it goes. No one can find earthly wisdom that is great enough, or hatch a plan clever enough, or seek truth great enough, to overcome God. We can scurry around in life seeking knowledge and wisdom and insight, but the victory belongs to God.
The unwise seek to ‘fake it till you make it’ and charge through life hoping that will work. But the wise seek God and consider their words and behaviour carefully.
The person who tells lies about others and those who listen to those lies are not wise. Nor are they acceptable to God. Their punishment will be harsh. Sadly many in church groups are very keen to gossip, judge and condemn. Gossip they love, the truth they seek to suppress. And when conflict arises in a church group, the frequent response is to apply pressure on one party to allow the other party to not be held accountable for their actions. This is not from God. Likewise, the one who considers himself better than others and mocks them is as bad as the gossip and his fate will be just as severe.
The unwise lead hedonistic lives and their poverty of the soul cannot be filled with pleasure, no matter how hard they try.
The wise seek Jesus and surrender to Him. Their desire is righteousness and love. What a contrast to the ways of the unwise. A hard road to follow. Fortunately God requires our willingness, He knows we will frequently fall off that road and with Jesus help, get back on. And for that He is delights in us.
 

 

 

 
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Nan
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