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Posted By Nan

3:7-8
Don’t assume you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life!” The Message.
It is an easy trap for a person to fall into. To be pleased with how clever He is. To be pleased at his own wisdom. To feel superior to those who know so much less. Those who are so ignorant. To feel so arrogant and so pleased with himself.
This brings to mind Luke 18:9-14. This is the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. Jesus told this story of the Pharisee who came into the temple and proclaimed his own superiority and expressed pleasure he was not like all those sinners in the temple. The tax collector came into the temple and humbly hung his head before God. Acknowledging his total unworthiness and asking for forgiveness. Jesus told those gathered around Him that it was the tax collector who went home justified by God. It was the tax collector who was the righteous man. In verse 9 we are told Jesus related this story to those who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else. His warning was that the arrogant are not righteous in God’s eyes. Rather, the humble sinner who acknowledges his unworthiness and seeks forgiveness is righteous in God’s eyes. It is through arrogance and a belief in our own infallibility that we turn away from God and commit evil. We must never forget our dependence on God and our total unworthiness to be in His presence, to deserve His forgiveness. Arrogance is a trap that takes us away from God.
For many centuries Western philosophy has sought to separate the mind from the body and science has happily followed this belief. But this belief is not of God. He knows our mind and body are intricately connected. That is the way He created us. He knows when our mind is in a right place with Him, then our mind is more likely to be healthy. And when our mind is healthy then our bodies will be healthy and the Holy Spirit in us will fill our bodies with life. This is not to say that illness is a sign of falling away from God. Far from it. But we have a greater chance of a healthy body when our mind is full of the health of knowing God and following Jesus.
 

 
Posted By Nan

3:5-6
Looking at these verses from a study viewpoint, there are links to Psalm 37:5 where we are instructed to “commit your way to the Lord” like the forefathers who trusted God and were rescued (Psalm 22:4-5). We are instructed to Trust God wholeheartedly, as did Caleb, who alone trusted God and was allowed to enter the Promised Land when his generation were sentenced to die in the desert (Numbers 14:24). If we read the history of David we read that in handing over kingship to Solomon (1Chronicles 28:9) David advised Solomon to seek God and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and acknowledge Him.
What happens if we trust God and acknowledge Him in everything, in every aspect of our lives? He will remove the obstacles from our path and bring us to the place He intends us to reach.
So what is the practical application of these verses?
These verses are important ones to write on our hearts. In those times when things are uncertain. when things don’t seem to be going our way. When our difficulties seem insurmountable. That is when we are to trust God “with all of your heart”. It is easy to trust and acknowledge God in the good times, far harder to trust and acknowledge Him in the bad times.
There is a song based on these verses by Sixpence None The Richer. I have listened to that song so much I can hear it in my head whenever I feel confused, challenged or upset by things that happen in my life. These verses carry so much importance, not just for me, but for all of us.
Whatever happens in life, acknowledge God is in control and trust Him. Don’t try to understand events from your perspective. Trust Him. Acknowledge He is in control. Acknowledging Him in all your ways includes acknowledging Him in the bad times as well as the good. It is hard to accept God is in control in bad times, but He is. Acknowledge He is in control. Don’t act unless He instructs you to. And when He does, do what He asks and trust He will go ahead of you. Trust God. He will not leave you.
I end with the lyrics from the song Trust. Hold them in your heart and don’t forget them, especially when things are tough.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
Lean not on your own understanding
In all of your ways acknowledge Him
And He will make your path straight
Don't worry about tomorrow
He's got it under control
Just trust in the Lord with all of your heart
And He will carry you through
Lord, sometimes it gets so tough
To keep my eyes on You
When things are going rough
But when I turn my eyes up to the sky
And I hear Your voice it says to me
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
Lean not on your own understanding
In all of your ways acknowledge Him
And He will make your path straight
Don't worry about tomorrow
He's got it under control
Just trust in the Lord with all of your heart
And He will carry you through
So child do not be weary with the troubles
Of this world I have overcome
(Sixpence None The Richer)
 

 
Posted By Nan

3:3-4
In these verses we are told to never allow love and faithfulness to leave us. In the Amplified Bible these are translated as mercy, kindness and truth. Kindness involves shutting out all hatred and selfishness. Truth involves shutting out deliberate hypocrisy and falsehood. A tall order, but one that is important to God.
So we are to write love and faithfulness (or mercy kindness and truth) on our hearts. But what does that mean? If we look at Jeremiah 31:33 we read the prophesy about the new covenant of the Messianic era. In this prophesy, God promises He will write His law on our hearts. This is what He wants for us. For our hearts to know God’s love and faithfulness and for that to be our life. Without our beating hearts we die. Without God’s love and faithfulness coursing through our bodies, we die. God wants our behaviour to be that of mercy, kindness and truth.
We are also to bind these attributes around our necks. Much like we put on a beautiful necklace. We are to wear our precious necklace with pride and joy so that people can see. The beautiful necklace that enhances us and is visible to others so that we may shine as a beacon of God’s love.
When we write love and faithfulness on our hearts and wear is as a beautiful necklace then God will judge us favourably and hold us in high esteem. Just as in Luke 7:52 Jesus grew and found favour with God and man. Just as Noah found favour with God because his love and faithfulness was righteousness and blamelessness in God’s eyes. Finding favour with God and man is not a popularity contest. It is about being recognised as a merciful, kind and truthful person who is respected as an honest, caring person who is reliable. And also shining God’s light in the world so that people may be drawn to God and come to know Him personally.
And in the act of allowing love and faithfulness to remain with us always, we will grow in our love and knowledge of God as we follow Jesus along that narrow path.
 

 
Posted By Nan

3:1-2
“My Son, forget not my law or teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of a life [worth living] and tranquillity [inward and outward and continuing through old age till death], these shall they add to you.” Amplified Bible.
“Fear of the Lord brings health to the body and adds length to life” NIV text note.
As a counsellor I constantly see the impact thoughts have on the body and physical health. For centuries western thought divided the mind and the body, mainly as a way to explain life as separate from God. But research is proving the link between the mind and the body is very strong. This link is what is referred to here in the text. It is the act of opening our hearts and minds to God’s wisdom that leads to body health. The wisdom of God, and the peace that comes from submitting to that wisdom, bring peace also to the body. When the body is at peace, then health is improved and longer life is possible.
It is as simple as that. There is no magic pill, fad food or exercise craze. It. Is. Just. God. It is His commands. It is His wisdom, It is His love. It is His peace.
If our minds are not in line with God’s wisdom and peace then no diet in the world and no amount of physical activity will prolong life or deliver good health.
So open your heart and let it keep God’s commands. Let it hold them safe and secure in that most precious part of our being. Open your mind to the peace of God. Let it dwell inside, and be evident to others in your outward behaviour. And may it continue all the days of your life. For these things are a gift of God to those who allow God’s commandments into their being.
 

 
Posted By Nan

2:9-22
The message of these words is simple.
When you accept God’s words and wisdom then you will understand the right thing to do. Because of your faith and desire to serve God above all else, you will become wise and enjoy the wisdom He gives you. God will guard you through the wisdom He gives. You will be able to resist those who are greedy for possessions, those who delight in stealing from others, in harming others. You will be able to resist temptations that would cause you to stray away from God. And in the time when the righteous and wicked will be judged, you will be judged righteous and remain in God’s sight forever.
The way of the unwise may seem attractive, but it leads to destruction. So be wise. Follow and serve God. Follow the path to life.
 

 


 
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Nan
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