If only you had listened when I corrected you,
I would have told you what's in my heart;
I would have told you what I am thinking.
I called, but you refused to listen;
I held out my hand, but you paid no attention.
Do you not hear it? Are you listening for it? God is calling out to us, by His Spirit, through the Bible, through other believers, through songs, through your passions. God is waiting for us to respond accordingly-to listen and obey. He calls out for us to listen with our hearts, not our ears of understanding, lest we get offended at His words. The Bible calls out to us to "Trust the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5 NJKV). We must not refuse to listen and continue to go the way we intend to go. Jesus calls out to us in Mark 1:15, saying "The [appointed period] of time is fulfilled (completed), and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent (have a change of mind which issues in regret for past sins and in change of conduct for the better) and believe (trust in, rely on, and adhere to) the good news (the Gospel)" (AMPC). God deeply desires for us to know Him and love Him with all our heart, soul, and strength (Luke 10:27). Hear Jesus in John 8:47(TPT) saying, "If you really knew God, you would listen, receive, and respond with faith to his words. But since you don't listen and respond to what he says, it proves you don't belong to him and you have no room for him in your hearts." Let us make room for God. He is holding out His hand to help, please take it.
He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.
Lace-up your shoes. Leave your phone. The Lord wants to take a walk with you. He wants to show the best trails to follow. He's there to warn you of loose gravel and patches of poison ivy (Ephesians 4:26-27, 31-32). He points out the tracks of the lions and tigers and bears that are lurking nearby (I Peter 5:8). He instructs you of what areas to avoid (Proverbs 13:4). When you are hungry, he provides you with bread (John 6:48-51). When it rains, He helps shelter you (Psalms 37:40). When it is cold, He warms you and covers you (Psalm 91:4). When it floods, the Lord will lift you to higher ground (Isaiah 59:19) When there is drought, He provides you a spring of water (Isaiah 58:11). When the sky darkens, He is there to shine the light upon your path (John 8:12). It is quite an adventure to "walk along the path following His commands for that is where [our] happiness is found" (Psalm 119:35 NLT). An though we sometimes "walk through the valley of the shadow of death, [we] will fear no evil and surely goodness and mercy shall follow [us] all the days of [our lives]" (Psalms 23:4a). And when we are finished with our walk on this earth, the Lord promises and I am so grateful that we "will dwell in the house of the Lord forever" (Psalms 23:6). Amen! Are you ready to walk?
Don’t envy violent people or copy their ways,
Such wicked people are detestable to the Lord,
But He offers His friendship to the godly.
The good guys always finish last is a saying most of us have heard and probably believed to be true in some situations in our lives. However, the Bible warns us not to “be dismayed when the wicked grow rich and their homes become more splendid” (Psalm 49:16). Our God sees and knows all, “Don’t be misled-you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant” (Galatians 6:7). So good guys who plant in response to God’s goodness will harvest goodness. The more we are with God, the more we become like Him, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” (Proverbs 27:17). God wants godly friends. Friends whose behavior copies his behaviors. He desires friends that “do not copy the behavior of the customs of this world, but [who] let God transform [them] into new persons by changing the way [they] think” (Romans 12:2). If we are willing to pursue the things of God and not the things of man, if we are willing to be the good guys no matter what the world may be doing by following His commands, our God is willing and waiting to call us "friends" (John 15:14)! Do you believe it? God calls you "Friend!"
Do not detour into darkness or even set foot on that path.
Stay away from it; don’t even go there!
Another false cultural saying is “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Even though our bodies travel from Vegas-or any other place where sins occurred, those transgressions travel with us in our minds. The ungodly actions may have ceased and desist, but our minds tend to harbor fugitive thoughts. Our thoughts of the sins will remain with us. Like David in Psalms 13:1-2, we may cry out to God asking, “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” When we choose to follow our own directions, we allow the enemy, Satan, to use this opportunity to drag us down. The Bible cautions us, “The wisdom of the wise keeps life on track, the foolishness of fools lands them in the ditch” (Proverbs 14:8 MSG). Frankly, the easiest way to avoid the dangers of traveling on a path of destruction is to not get on it! In Proverbs 4:14, Wisdom yells out to us, “don’t step one foot on it!” When we are faced with which path to take, like David in Psalms 25:4, we should seek God asking Him to direct us throughout our journey so we can experience His plans for our life; Reveal the life-paths that are pleasing to Him; Escort us along the way; take us by the hand and teach us. So if you have made a wrong turn and traveled down Folly Rd, you can now “ repent [change your inner self-your old way of thinking, regret past sins] and return [to God-seek His purpose for your life], so that your sins may be wiped away [blotted out, completely erased], so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord [restoring you like cool wind on a hot day] (Acts 3:19 AMP). Allow God to lead you along Wisdom Way, He'll keep you out of the ditch!
And you groan and mourn when your end comes,
When your flesh and body are consumed,
And you say, "How I hated instruction and discipline, and my heart despised reproof!"
The Word of God is beautiful. More beautiful and fulfilling than anything the world has to offer. Yet we reject the Word for fleeting pleasures that, in the end, leave us “full of regrets, with nothing but sin and bones” (Proverbs 5:11 MSG)! God’s heart breaks when we fail to accept, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right. Using the Scriptures, the person who serves God will be capable, having all that is needed to do every good work” (II Timothy 3:16 NCV). God has plans for us, plans for our lives to be successful and full (Jeremiah 29:11, John 10:10). In our pridefulness, we want to do things our own way, neglecting that “Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6). If we follow Him with our whole hearts, there is nothing God will withhold from us (Romans 8:32). In our humility, we must acknowledge that “he who refuses and ignores instruction and correction despises himself, but he who heeds reproof gets understanding” (Proverbs 15:32). Therefore, if you want to show love to yourself and to come to an end of this life celebrating with peace, joy, and satisfaction instead of lamenting with groaning, complaining, and sorrow, you must follow the instructions and accept the corrections from “Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” the Living Word of God, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:20)!
Here are six things God hates,
And one more that he loathes with a passion:
eyes that are arrogant,
a tongue that lies,
hands that murder the innocent,
a heart that hatches evil plots,
feet that race down a wicked track,
a mouth that lies under oath,
a troublemaker in the family.
Just as God created each of us individually with a purpose, he created each of our body parts, physically and spiritually, to be used for His pleasure. So, when we use parts of the body- the eyes, tongue and mouth, hands, heart, feet, and mind, to fight against the goodness of God and to harm one another, He is greatly displeased. He is angry and ready for us to fight against evil. Because God is so brilliant and compassionate, He provides a way for us to combat sinful behaviors that try to overtake us and separate us from Him. We learn from Ephesians 6:11-17; God provides armor to withstand each one of these sins He hates.
To withstand the eyes that are arrogant, God provides the helmet of salvation.
To withstand the tongue and mouth that lies, God provides the belt of truth.
To withstand the hands that shed innocent blood, God provides the shield of faith.
To withstand the heart that plots evil, God provides the breastplate of righteousness.
To withstand feet that are swift in running to mischief, God provides the shoes of readiness that come with the gospel of peace.
To fight against the troublemaker in the family or community, He provides the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
We are to battle against those things that God finds detestable. The Bible urges us, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13 NKJV). Suit up Beloved, and prepare for battle!
By her clever words she made him give in.
By her pleasing words she led him into doing wrong.
As the saying goes, "You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar," Folly, like any persuasive person, knows that the best way to get someone to follow is by saying what that person wants to hear. Flattering words are like honey, and to draw us closer to her, the “lips of the forbidden woman drip honey” (Proverbs 5:3 NKJV). Beware of the sweet seduction of flattery. Notice David’s prayer in Psalms 12:3, “May the Lord cut off flattering lips, and the tongue that speaks proud things.” We should do our best not to let pride and ignorance lead us into compromising situations. The Bible implores us to “get wisdom; develop good judgment. Don’t forget God’s words or turn away from them” (Proverbs 4:5). Do not be deceived; the Word of God is "sweeter than honey” (Psalms 119:103)! The Good News is when we are lead astray and follow the words of Folly, even after we “tasted the good Word of God” (Hebrews 6:5), we can repent, turn around wherever we are, and return to God and He will return to us (Zechariah 1:3-5)!
For whoever finds me finds life,
And obtains favor from the Lord.
Jesus gives us a promise in Mathew 7:7 NKJV; “Ask, and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you!” He gives us instructions on how to ask, seek and find by telling us that whatever we ask in His name, He will do, that our Father may be glorified (John 14:13). We first must ask for His will to be done in His name in whatever we are asking (Luke 11:2). Then, we must “seek Him with all [our] hearts” to know and understand Him (Jeremiah 29:13). Lastly, if we are asking and seeking in His name, we find Him (Isaiah 55:6). The Lord has many names; if we call upon His name for our needs, we will find Him to be that we seek. If we ask for and seek healing, we find Healer (Malachi 4:2). If we ask for and seek redemption, we find Redeemer (Isaiah 59:20). If we ask for and seek counseling, we find Wonderful Counselor. If we ask for and seek spiritual sustenance, we find Bread of Life (John 6:35). And when we find the Lord our God, let us not forget to “glory in His holy Name; Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice (I Chronicles 16:10 AMP)! "Again, I say rejoice (Philippians 4:4)!
So don’t even bother to correct a mocker, for he’ll only hate you for it.
But go ahead and correct the wise; they’ll love you even more.
Teach a wise man what is right and he’ll grow even wiser.
Instruct the lovers of God and they’ll learn even more.
The Bible implies that you should not waste your breath on someone who does not want to listen to wise advice- that person who will blame you or everyone else but himself for the circumstances in their lives. They are not seeking wisdom; therefore, they will not grow in understanding. Proverbs 9:12 MSG instructs you to “save your breath for the wise-they’ll be wiser for it.” Our God is looking for those who actively pursue Him; He will reward their efforts with more. Take heed to the story in Matthew Chapter 5, where Jesus tells of the master who went on a trip and left his servants talents to use as they will until he returned. Verse 29 sums up the moral of the story: “For the one who has will be given more until he overflows with abundance, and the one with hardly anything, even what little he has will be taken from him” (TPT). The more you love God and seek after His Word, the more you will love God and seek after His Word! Consequently, you will not be resistant to correction but realize correction allows you to stay on the right path. According to Proverbs 25:12 TPT, you will be rewarded, “When you humbly receive wise correction, it adorns your life with beauty and makes you a better person.” Be a person who teaches and is teachable. And in your learning, “draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8 NKJV)!
God is solid backing to a well-lived life,
but he calls into question a shabby performance.
What does your daily life say about you? What will the works printed on the pages of your days narrate about you when your book is finally closed? Jesus enlightens us that we “must work the works of Him who sent [Him] while it is day, the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4 NKJV). Do your works show a life saturated with the love of God? How do your works define your faith? The apostle James says, “Someone may say, “You have faith, but I have deeds.” Show me your faith without doing anything, and I will show you my faith by what I do (2:18). So, you see that people are made right with God by what they do, not by faith only” (2:24). God sets the foundation for us to do good things. According to Ephesians 2:10, “God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing.” We are created to represent and live our faith. How is your performance going so far? What review would God, the Great Director, give you? “Shining” or “Shabby?” Let’s give God our best and hope to get a standing ovation!
A beautiful woman who rejects good sense is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.
Beauty is a blessing from God and comes in several forms. Beauty is to be praised. Beauty has a value, for God “has made everything beautiful in its time.” Webster’s Dictionary defines beauty as a particular excellence. Therefore, the exterior beauty, or excellence, of a woman has no lasting value if there is no internal beauty, or excellence. If a woman does not adorn herself with the excellence of the knowledge of Christ our Lord, her beauty can be considered worthless (Philippians 3:8). The Bible advises us, “Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting] but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30 AMPC)! Women of true beauty, according to Apostle Paul, “should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do (I Timothy 2:9-10 NLT). One of the loveliest things to behold is an attractive and wise woman who loves and serves the Lord, while an attractive and foolish woman is as appealing and useful as a gold ring on a pig! So Beloved, know this, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes, Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight (I Peter 3:3-4 BOOKS)!
Worry weighs us down,
a cheerful word picks us up.
We have a choice. Worry or worship. Travail or trust. Let worry weigh us down, or let God’s Word lift us up. In Psalms 55:22 TPT, we are encouraged to “leave all [our] cares, and anxieties at the feet of the Lord and measureless grace will strengthen [us]!” Please do not allow the concerns of this world to weigh you down; remove your baggage and hand it to Jesus. Jesus urges us to travel light. Our savior invites:
“Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest.
Accept my teachings and learn from me because I am gentle an humble in spirit, and
you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I
give you to carry is light" (Matthew 11:28 TPT).
If you find you do not have someone to speak encouraging or cheerful words to you when you feel it is most needed, do not give it a second thought, God’s Word is more than a friend because it is incapable of misleading, deceiving, or letting us down. God loves us. “God was delighted to give us birth by the truth of his infallible Word so that we would fulfill his chosen destiny for us” (James 1:18 TPT). God has plans for our lives, and to worry is not one of them. He gives us instruction through His Word, explaining how to have a life He designed. We are instructed not to worry, pray always, and give thanks (Philippians 4:6)! When worry tries to drag you down into a pit, reach for the wonderful Word of God, reach for Jesus; He promises to pick you up! Arise Beloved, and be of good cheer!