Daily Archives: June 15, 2021

Proverbs 24-25; Psalm 41; 1 Thessolonian 2

Proverbs 24
Solomon at some point was the wisest man on earth because He asked God for wisdom to rule His people the Israelites.

Most if not all of Proverbs were part of Solomon’s wisdom that was recorded in scriptures.

Proverbs 24-25 is full of so many wise sayings, divine wisdom given to Solomon by God…Where does one even start from? I am going to highlight a few of my favourite verses from both chapters.

Proverbs 24:1 warns against admiring the wicked (the bible calls those who live in sin ‘the wicked”). The temptation is always there to admire the life of those who live in sin..This is easily noticable when people boast about “the bad things they did in the past” and people laugh about it or admire it. The bible here also talks about not desiring their company because they have a different mindset, their priorities are different and they can be bad influence on a believer.

Wisdom and knowledge are highlighted in Proverbs 24:3-4 as very essential for building a home and for filling it with rear treasures. The ultimate source of wisdom and knowledge is God and His word. God covers every aspect of life in the bible and the more we study it the more insight we get into building our homes and marriages on a solid foundation. We also need to research other sources of knowledge so that we are well equipped in other areas of life to be able to make well informed decisions. Eg Investment, Health and Fitness just to name a few. The bible here makes it clear that we will have an edge in life over those who do not prioritise getting wisdom and knowledge.

Proverbs 24:16 talks about the importance of rising again as believers. Shaking off the dust and picking ourselves up, refusing to stay down when we fall..for it is in rising up that we have our victory.

Prov24:30-34 emphasises the end result of laziness which will tend to lack and self inflicted poverty.

Proverbs 25

The importance of forgiveness and acting in love is stressed here in Prov25:21-22 were we are encouraged to be a blessing to someone who could be termed as “our enemy” eg someone who does evil to us or who wrongs us. Doing good to those who do bad to us will make them feel guilty and God will reward us.

Psalm 41

In the first verse of this chapter I want to emphasise how God repays us when we look after the weak, the down throdden and the forgotten. The bible says God will personally deliver such people from trouble because they have been a blessing to the weak

1 Thessalonians 2

What stands out for me in this chapter is the love of God that was evident between paul and the church, the desire to see the Brethren and the demonstration of the love of Christ..there was also the setting a good example by Paul and the other Apostles who rather than depending on the church worked hard to support themselves.

In Christ
BM

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Proverbs 22-23; Psalm 117; 1 Thessalonians 1

As you probably know, iPhones have this (pesky) built-in app that tracks screen time.  Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I usually keep it turned off, but recently I slid that toggle switch to “on” in an effort to get a better idea of exactly how much time my phone was sucking away.  Needless to say, I was shocked!  And as I read through 1 Thessalonians 1 in preparation for sharing today, I was reminded of and convicted about not only that little “idol” that I literally hold in my hand but many others that I figuratively hold tightly.

For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (1:9-10, ESV)

The order of Paul’s wording in verse 9 is very interesting to me.  The new Thessalonian believers didn’t turn to God from idols but from idols to God.  They had experienced new life in Christ, seen the glory and beauty of God, and realized their “idols” were lacking.  They didn’t leave their idols in search of something more meaningful.  Once they became children of God, they realized the worthlessness of the things they thought would satisfy them. 

As a modern believer, it’s easy for me to envision idols/gods as lifeless gold or bronze statues and to dismiss “idolatry” as something that would never consume me simply because I don’t worship literal idols.  But as Martin Luther said, “Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God, your functional savior.” 

This past year revealed many “idols” in my life that looked nothing like statues or graven images.  Locked in my home without friends or family or restaurants or Target (!), I realized those things were very important to me, usually more important than time in God’s Word or simply being still and listening to Him.  And, for me, idols aren’t just “things” like my iPhone or a Netflix series.  They’re also people and places and even my dreams.  They aren’t, in and of themselves, inherently bad but, too often, I choose them over God.  And, when it comes right down to it, Netflix and Target and people and dreams aren’t the idols.  Really, the idol is ME.  I turn to each of these things seeking my own comfort, my own pleasure, relief from my own sadness or boredom, which puts ME front and center.  Yet, when my selfishness demands satisfaction and happiness from them—when I look to them as my “functional savior”— the result is always emptiness and loneliness.  Someone once said, “Delayed obedience is disobedience.”  And when my idols take precedence over God in my life, my sensitivity to Him is gradually dulled, and delayed obedience (disobedience) becomes easier and easier.  

The new Thessalonian believers didn’t have this problem.  They didn’t passively turn from idols in word only.  They weren’t interested in delayed obedience.  Their faith was active. They turned, they served, and they waited.  And they did it all with JOY.  So much so that earlier in the chapter, Paul writes:

And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere (1:7-8, ESV)

Their newfound faith—in spite of much trial and persecution—was well-known and served as an example for believers everywhere.   They were willing to put aside their idols and joyfully endure hardship in order to be obedient and faithful to their Savior.

Father, open my eyes to the “idols” that keep my heart far from You and can never provide true happiness and satisfaction.  Help me, like the Thessalonian believers, to turn, serve, and wait with joy in You alone.

Jen

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