8.31.2011

PoP: Proverbs 17:10 - The Fool vs. The Man of Understanding



Rebuke.
 To express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions.


Who likes rebuke? Certainly not me!
It can cause a wide range of emotions and reactions from people.
It can sting your pride.
It can cause a feeling of inferiority or failure.
Or a person can completely ignore and use it as the perfect ticket to rebel against authority.


In all honesty, I have felt most of the listed above, if not all of them, until I came across this verse. Check it out!

Proverbs 17:10 (NIV)
"A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool."

(NASB)
"A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool."

Wow. Isn't that verse incredible?

We often wish we didn't have to deal with rebukes, or we desire to disregard them, due to the way it causes us to feel. But what type of man can hear and accept a rebuke? A man of understanding.

First off, I would say a man of understanding is someone who is able to see the need and value of wisdom. In fact, one of the prominent things the book of Proverbs teaches is that wisdom and understanding are two of the most valuable things to attain.

 
Proverbs 8:11
"For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her."

How do you become a man of understanding?

Proverbs 1:7
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline."


On our own we are fools... afterall, we ARE sheep so to speak, and we all know that sheep aren't the wisest and most clever creatures. In fact, often times they get themselves into danger and trouble!

With that said, we realize our need of wisdom. Attaining wisdom starts by submitting to the King of perfect wisdom - God. The first sign of divine wisdom is fearing (or respecting) God. Only a man who has truly encountered, experienced and knows the Lord, can have an utmost and genuine respect for who He is.

A fool is more apt to disregard and push away a rebuke, because his interests are far different than a man of understanding. A man of understandings main goal is to glorify, please and be satisfied in God. A man of understanding will see the rebuke as a blessing in disguise you could say. Although it may not be the most wonderful thing to hear, it gives the man of understanding an opportunity to make changes to his lifestyle in order to make himself more pleasing and honoring to God.

All of our lives after becoming saved are full of moments when we need corrected or rebuked, after all, we are still sinners! Next time a rebuke comes your way, who will you choose to be? We always have a choice to be the fool, or the man of understanding. I hope and pray you choose the latter!


P.S. Oh hey there :) I'm sorry my posts have been less frequent recently. It's that time again, yep you know what I mean.. SCHOOL! Considering I am a freshie in college, I am still adjusting to the classroom life, after finishing up six years as a cyber-schooler! But after the first couple classes, I've begun to enjoy it and wow, I must have forgotten how interesting people are! I'll try to keep posting when I can.. but I only prefer to post when I actually have substance, so bear with me. :)


8.22.2011

What it's like to be Lost

Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

Last week my Mom and I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting my brother, Gabe, who was graduating from basic training in the army in Georgia. We were so proud of him and couldn't wait to see him after the long 10 weeks it had been since he departed us.

We were only down there a few days, one of the days was a family day and then the next was his official graduation. Unfortunately, my Mom and I, though seemingly confident, had gotten the location all mixed up. Instead of realizing that the day was family day, we thought it was graduation, and so we spent a whole two hours going all over the place and missing the entire ceremony on family day. It was extremely frustrating and hard to maintain a calm attitude when everyone was telling us so many different places.

We had gone to one place, for another to tell us it was somewhere else, there was even a point when a kind gentlemen directed us to a place by driving us there. But even then we were still in the wrong. I can't even begin to tell you how disappointing it was and simply endless seeming. Were we ever going to get there?

It reminded me of the guidance that I have in knowing Jesus. It made me realize what millions, actually billions, of people feel like everyday. Spiritually, they are lost. Even some Christian's today are so far off from God that they too are lost in some senses. They are lost just like my Mom and I are, wandering from place to place, whatever another person told us, is where we went. And just like the world, these people are lost, they continue traveling from place to place, desiring to find what they have been searching for for so long, for all their life. Do they ever find it?

It gave me such joy and gladness to know that I have a Shepherd, that I have someone there to direct my path. And while sometimes in life we may feel so lost, or unsure of where to go, we must remember and be encouraged that by knowing God, we are far from ever being lost! We can be so thankful in knowing this, and live life in that confidence! :)

And to end the story happily, we did miss the 30 minute ceremony, but I got to see my favorite brother ever AND, we knew the area so well after being lost for two hours that we made it perfectly on time to the graduation with a good seat and view! :D

P.S. If any of you readers live in the south.. I just wanted to tell you you're all wonderful! I will never get over how friendly southerner's are! I might just have to move south someday!

Gabe and I after his graduation :)

8.14.2011

Introducing a New Series - "Perspectives on Proverbs"

I am so excited to finally announce the start of a brand new series that I have been thinking about for several weeks now! The series will be based entirely on the book of Proverbs, where I will take specific sections of verses, or even random verse combined to make a point or to show results of my studying. The really special part that I am even more excited to announce about this series, is that it will include GUEST WRITERS! Part of the reason why I am naming the series 'Perspectives on Proverbs' is because of the perspectives that will be shown through varying views and takes on different verses from different people. I will try to have these random writers, who could be good friends, family, or even fellow bloggers, post at least once a month, possibly more. You never know, the next guest writer could be YOU! To kick things off, we're starting this series off with my first guest writer, a dear and faithful friend of mine, whom I have loved utmost! Check out this Perspective on Proverbs, coming from Proverbs 16:1-3, by: Holly Lueers.


"Are you a planner (and no, I don’t mean an agenda book you might buy at Office Max)? A planner… as in a person who thinks about the future and meticulously plans out everything? I myself would be the first one to admit that I am a huge planner, especially right now. I have been planning for college, and trying to set in stone where I will go, and what I will major in, because of what I think would fit will with my personality and interests. It  is so attractive to want to make huge decisions about the future, based on what you know in the present; decisions such as where you want to go to college, where you think you will work, where you dream of living, who you want to marry… the list just keeps going. Obviously, it is wise to plan to a certain extent, but the question is not “Should I plan?” but “How can I plan biblically?”

Here is what Proverbs 16:1-3 has to say about planning: “The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.”
1.     
  1. God’s will and His plans for our lives are superior to our own. We make plans based on the information that we have, whereas God decides on plans for our lives with full knowledge of what is best for us and will bring most glory to Himself. In the end, His plans win out. Sometimes, He guides us through difficult situations that we may not have even wanted to take into consideration because they seem so difficult, but we can have assurance that in the end, it is for our good and God’s glory (Romans 8:28-“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”)

  2. We always have motives behind the plans that we make. Sometimes they are good motives,    with intentions to follow God’s will, and grow in faith; and sometimes they are poor intentions (such as, to bring honor to self). However, God know our motives and tests them.
  3. When our plans are aligned with God’s plans, they will succeed and nothing will be able to stop them. We can align our will and plans with God’s by spending time daily in His Word, seeking Him in prayer, and listening to the wise counsel of other Christians. Proverbs 20:18 says: “Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.”
So what does this mean? Well, when planning, we should keep in mind the purpose of our lives: to glorify God. If something carefully planned for the future doesn’t work out the way we thought, we can have hope in knowing that God has a greater plan. Second, when planning, think through your motives. We should always strive toward pure and holy motives, seeking God’s will first and aligning our hearts with Him. Third, we can trust God with the future. Seeing plans fall through makes us trust God more to provide for our future, and reminds us that God is more important than all the plans that can take our eyes off of Christ.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:11-14"

About the Author:

My name is Holly, and I am a senior in high school. A few things I enjoy are reading my Bible and going to youth group (it is pretty much amazing), math, plain hot tea, reading books by John Piper, swinging on the swings, and hanging out with my pal, Rachel Chick. I work at Office Max, where we provide for all of your school and office supply needs (You should do your school shopping at Office Max) and on other days, you might find me driving my sisters around town. I love my family, which God had blessed me with…He has been good in so many ways in my life!

8.05.2011

Seeking Sin vs. Seeking Christ

Have you ever noticed that as soon as your thoughts, actions, or motives begin to drift off course from God, sin becomes more prominent and like the 'better' choice? Besides Christ, there is only one other thing that we can focus on.

Matthew 6:24 says:
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

You could replace money with any other thing in your life that could or maybe is an idol. It's simply not possible to be seeking Christ and seeking sin at the same time.

The other day I was reading in 2 Chronicles and I came across a verse that stood out with significance to me:

2 Chronicles 12:14
"He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the LORD."

This verse is speaking about Rehoboam, a man who became king over Jerusalem. Originally, Rehoboam had humbled himself enough, and the Lord's anger was turned away. Unfortunately, Rehoboam did evil - because he stopped seeking Christ and began seeking other things, which lead to sin.

I find this true in my own life. As soon as I stop fighting the fight to keep Christ at the center of my life, then other things slip into that center. Things that are not pure, holy, and edifying. Instead, things that are stumbling blocks to me take over. It can even occur through simple discouragement from the joy and peace found in our King Jesus.

The moment we stop seeking Christ, we are setting ourselves up for misfortune. The scary thing is, sometimes we don't even notice that we're slipping, that our focus is drifting. Before we know it, we find ourselves in a mess and that's only when the power and grace of God can rescue us!

So what are you seeking? Or should I say WHO are you seeking?
If we catch ourselves slipping, that is when we need to examine our hearts - our motives.
Then hold fast to Christ, because through His eternal strength and power, He will lead His sheep.


Psalm 140:23-24
"Search me, God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting."

Seek the Cross!

8.03.2011

Time: Redeemed or Wasted?



Ephesians 5:15-20 says:
"Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish,  but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus."

We live in a fallen world.
Day by day, more and more is being corrupted. More is being taken into darkness.
Each day that goes by, is one less day we have to live.

Let's switch gears a little..


The idea of time always fascinates me.
Recently I turned 18 (hooray for being able to vote and partake in sweepstakes/contests!), and the realization of time and life hit me.
Time is going so fast. The other day at work I was thinking about how Jesus could return at any time, and how happy I (and many others) will be to finally go to place far better than this.

But until then, the days are evil.
What are we to do about it?

The actual context of this verse refers to redeeming our time.
According to Dictionary.com, the definition of redeem means to purchase or buy up.

So what are we "redeeming" or buying our time from?
Waste.

Do we realize how evil the days are? How evil the times are now?
Do we realize the spiritual battle we are in from the moment we wake, to the moment we lay our head down at night?
The very devil himself fights for the destruction of your soul, and though it may not seem very apparent at certain times - it's there.

Temptations come into our path every day, many times, and that is when we have the the choice to either redeem or waste our time.

Redeeming our time begins long before the choice appears. It begins with your walk with Christ. We must be close to Him in order to not get caught up wasteful things, or the things that lead us astray.

Everything we have is from God, everything. Even time, especially time.
Redeem it!