Tag Archives: Jesus

Sweet Sleep

Proverbs 3:24

“When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.”

Expensive Sleep

Have you priced new mattresses lately? Good grief! For what one costs you could feed an entire village in South America for a month!

Companies offer mattresses made with foam that cools, numbers that adjust, and frames that fold you into a sandwich. You can choose from pillow top, memory foam, no-flip, innerspring, or latex. You can even return them if you don’t experience “the best sleep you’ve ever had.”

Lack of Sleep

Yet, with all the money being spent on fancy mattresses, Americans (and I can only assume others) are sleeping less. As a matter of fact, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) published an article on their website claiming “Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Epidemic.”

Citing a study by the National Department of Transportation, the CDC said “drowsy driving [is] responsible for 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 nonfatal injuries annually.” If you consider chronic disease, the numbers are far worse.

Sweet Sleep

Looking back at 3:21, nowhere does it say that a $2000 mattress is the key to peaceful, sweet sleep. No, all Solomon suggests is “sound wisdom and discretion.”

When you have done all things wisely, with discretion, and for the glory of the Lord (Colossians 3:23), you should be able to lay your head down without fear, without regret, and sleep like a baby.

“Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
And if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

Faith Mattress

Now, I would be leaving out something very important if I didn’t add one thing. Those who put their faith in Jesus can sleep peacefully, no matter the storm (Luke 8:25). The peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7) can make the roughest straw or the hardest concrete feel like bed in a Ritz-Carlton.

Dear Jesus, I am tired, I am week, I am worn. Much of it is because I try to do too much, when wisdom and discretion would say, “Be still.” My rest, when it does come, is not always peaceful, for I worry and fret over the waves crashing against the hull. Savior, speak peace. Help me to rest in the knowledge that you are in the boat.

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Good to Repeat

Proverbs 3:18

“She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.”

I feel like I keep repeating myself, but it seems that that is a good thing. How many times did God tell the Israelites to repent? How many times did John the Baptist and Jesus tell people to repent? How many times did Jesus say “follow me”?

Answer in all cases: A lot.

Humans seem to need a lot of repeating to hear and then retain truth, to retain wisdom. Yet, the question remains …

How do we lay hold of wisdom?

Is it not interesting how God has told us in the Bible?

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Revelation 2:7

“To him that overcometh …”

How do we overcome?

“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

Jesus is the one who has overcome troubles, trials, pain, sin, and death. Only in Him can we overcome.

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:5

Get wisdom, the Wisdom of God – Jesus Christ. Daily seek out the Lord, and you will overcome this world. Then will you have the tree of life. Then will you find happiness and joy.

Dear Lord, give us more of You. Help us to seek You and take hold daily that we might have life, that we may have You. Give us a passion for You.


Paths of Peace

Proverbs 3:17

“Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”

Tonight’s Proverbial Thought continues to show the value of wisdom. We have seen over the past couple of days that Solomon has said that if we want happiness then we need to find wisdom (Proverbs 3:13-14). He then went on to say that obtaining wisdom is “more precious than rubies” (Proverbs 3:15), and if we obtain wisdom we can have both long life and honor (Proverbs 3:16).

How in the world could it get any better than that?

Well it does! Solomon continues to tell us in verse 17 that if we obtain wisdom then we will find pleasantness & true peace.

Verse 14-17 all deal with money in some form but we all know that having money does not give us peace. Money does not satisfy – only Jesus can satisfy and give us true peace! Warren Wiersbe writes of this verse,

“Happiness, pleasantness, and peace aren’t the guaranteed by-products of financial success but they are guaranteed to the person who lives by God’s wisdom.”

Proverbs is a book that was written by one of the wisest men who has ever walked the earth – Solomon. One word can describe the entire book of Proverbs – wisdom. In the book of Proverbs, the word wise or wisdom is used at least 125 times. This book was written to help us gather and apply God’s wisdom to the decisions and activities of our every day lives.

God has promised happiness, long life and honor, and peace to those who search and find wisdom, but it is a choice that each of us must make. We have the option of deciding if we want to pursue wisdom and understanding or not. Do you want to know God more deeply? Then find wisdom and understanding!

The blessings of the Lord are known
By those who will obey;
His wisdom, truth, and love are shown
To all who choose His way.                                                                                                                        —D. De Haan

Lord, please help us to choose your ways and paths for our lives and trust you each step of the way – Amen.


True Value

Proverbs 3:15

“She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.”

More Precious Than Rubies

On 7 November 2000 a gang of criminals used a JCB excavator to ram their way into the vault area of the Millennium Dome in London. Their target was the De Beers diamond exhibition where the Millennium Star diamond valued at more than £200 million ($320 million) was one of several precious stones on view. Unfortunately for the gang they had been under police surveillance for some considerable time. The diamonds were substituted with worthless fakes prior to the robbery. On the day that the gang struck, the Millennium Dome was awash with undercover police officers. All the gang members were arrested, including one manning a powerboat on the River Thames, which was to have been the getaway vehicle.

The Value of Wisdom

The Millennium Dome gang were distinctly lacking in wisdom. Instead, folly driven by greed led them in an attempt to steal a diamond that would have been impossible to trade for cash.

What price wisdom? Solomon knew, and attempted to portray the priceless nature of wisdom in Proverbs 3:15. All the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. The message is that wisdom is to be valued above anything and everything this world can offer. But wisdom is not found on display behind armored glass. It cannot be bought, but is a treasure that has to be sought over time.

The word used by Solomon for rubies also translates as pearls. Jesus used a priceless pearl to illustrate a parable in Matthew 13:45-46:

 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”

What do you value more than anything?


Welcome Correction

Proverbs 3:11-12

“My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.”

 

Correction

I have yet to meet a human being who enjoys being corrected, or disciplined for errors, mistakes, or any form of wrongdoing. I well recall the unpleasantness of discipline exercised by parents and teachers when I was growing up. Physical punishment was the norm at school in my day, and the threat of a visit to the headmaster’s study generally had the desired effect on pupils.

Most of us do not like to imagine God as a Headteacher or Principal with a list of punishments to be levied for misdemeanors. But Scripture teaches that every one of us will one day stand before God and answer to Him for the way in which we have lived our lives (Romans 14:10-12).

Feared, or Welcomed?

Inevitably there will be times during our journey on earth when we will face corrective action from God. The question we must consider is whether correction from God is a form of discipline to be feared, or a process of discipling that is to be welcomed?

While Proverbs teaches that we should fear God, the above verses confirm that if God corrects us it is because He loves us and wants to delight in us as He trains us to be disciples.

Abba Knows Best

The use of the word father in verse 12 is important. The writer is defining the relationship that God desires with those He created. Jesus confirmed that God is a loving Father who delights in His children when He referred to God as ‘Abba’.

If God needs to discipline His children He will. It may not be pleasant, but it is vital if we are to grow into spiritual adulthood. Is that what you desire?

Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly – mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. (1 Corinthians 3:1-2)


Told You So!

Proverbs 1:28-30

Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.

No Answer for Some

I love how God does not beat around the bush about things – He just comes out and says exactly what He wants to say. We see this in verse 28 when He is talking about fools and scoffers and how that when storms, calamity, distress & anguish come upon them (v. 27), God says that He will not answer them during this time. Those that “call upon me”, God says you are on your own because I will not answer you. God was doing to them what they had been doing to Him (v. 24)

Fear of the Lord

To me, the key verse in the book of Proverbs is centered around verse 7 in chapter 1 – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” 

But what exactly is the “FEAR OF THE LORD”? Charles Bridges answers that questions this way:

“It is the affectionate reverence by which the child of God bends himself humbly and carefully to his Father’s law. His wrath is so bitter, and His love so sweet; that hence springs an earnest desire to please Him, and – because of the danger of coming short from his own weakness and temptations – a holy watchfulness and fear, “that he might not sign against Him.'”

When I was a small child, I had a FEAR of my father. I knew that if I did anything bad  I was going to have to face the wrath of my father. It was something that I did not look forward to at all. As I have gotten older, I still have a FEAR of my father, but more “reverential” than afraid. I have a fear that I don’t want to do anything that would disappoint him and this is the same fear we should have for God.

“I Told You So”

Have you ever said these words, by accident or intentionally (or under your breath), to anyone? This saying implies several things:

1. That there was some kind of warning given; and

2. That the warning that was given – was not heeded

April 2nd’s evening post (by Daniel Klem) shows us that there is a group of people (the simple, scorners and fools) that just did not want to listen to the warnings that were given to them (wise counsel) because they had no fear of God. Because of no fear for the Lord, they ultimately lead themselves to their own ruin. Look at it this way, the ruin of the simple, scorners and fools where brought on by their own rejection of wisdom and knowledge. They refused to listen to wise counsel or any type of reproof.

Lord, help us to seek you early and often and heed your words of wisdom. Help us to fear you in all areas of our lives. 

 


Lean Not On Your Inner Counselor

The following is a sermon I just recorded for radio. It will be broadcast on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019 at 2:45 pm (Eastern).

I would appreciate your prayers, both for those who might listen and for myself.

God knows what we all go through, and just like the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, He is walking with us, whether we recognize Him, or not.

If you have a moment, listen to this short sermon covering Proverbs 3 and Psalm 13. If it is a blessing to you, share it with someone else who might be going through a difficult and trying time.

https://anthonycbaker.sermon.net/main/main/21329008