..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Friday, November 29, 2019

Thanksgiving Postcard From Heaven

My sister, Melinda, still lives on the farm where our parents lived and they both died within the past year. She wasn't feeling the holidays so she went up to their house to work on some organizing. While there she found a packet of old cards and the first one was a Happy Thanksgiving postcard. She felt like it was Mom and Dad wishing her Happy Thanksgiving and gave her such a feeling of love. I had to scrapbook her story. Here is my digital scrapbook page including the postcard from Heaven.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Proverbs 3:27-30

Proverbs 3:27-30 (NLT)  27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it
when it’s in your power to help them.
28 If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say,
“Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”
29 Don’t plot harm against your neighbor,
for those who live nearby trust you.
30 Don’t pick a fight without reason,
when no one has done you harm.

Romans 13:7 Pay everyone what you owe him: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to the family of faith.

We are only stewards of what has been given to us by God. We are not owners. And this is not only material and financial blessings but if God has given us wisdom, energy, health, abilities and skills... then be willing to share it with those in need. "Do not withhold good".

I should be generous in any way that would be helpful, if I have the ability or resources. When someone needs to merge into traffic, I should be generous and allow them to go ahead of me. When someone jumps ahead of me in line, I should be generous and let it go and let them. No skin off my teeth so why not? When someone needs help moving their dog house, do I have the strength and health? Then why not help them? If someone forgot their lunch and I have brought my lunch, cannot I share with them? If I have a good church and someone moves into the neighborhood, shouldn't I share my church by inviting them to come? If I have money in my pocket and someone ahead of me in line runs out of money and has to start putting things back, maybe I should offer to pay the difference? If someone feels in need of prayer can you not pray with or for them?

There is a caveat, "from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them". Are you aware of a need? You can't beat yourself up if you aren't aware of the need. Some people don't want to "bother" others by asking for prayer or putting their need out. Is that a form of pride? I don't know, not trying to judge. Just ask yourself that. There could be perfectly good reasons why you would hide a need, but if you do, you miss the support and prayer of those who care about you. Someone might not think to pray or otherwise help you if they have no idea of the need.

Do they deserve it? Now that doesn't mean we sit on a high horse and judge someone else. But it does seem to mean we should use discernment and wisdom when it comes to how we help someone. We don't want to get in God's way and become someone's God. I.e. they begin to depend on us instead of on God. I'm not their Holy Spirit and I shouldn't push God aside and take care of things myself. I feel like our nation has become that way. The government has deleted God from everything and tried to become God to it's citizens. We will just establish another program, spend more money, make more laws, set up more regulations, hire more people, etc. so that we can take care of everyone and they will never know need. It's totally unrealistic. It's un-doable. But it hasn't stopped our government from trying and spending wads of cash to do so. We also have to use discernment and godly wisdom (which is the context of the whole of chapter 3) to know how to help under God's direction.

If God prompts you to fill a need, don't wait until you talk yourself out of it. That's what verse 28 means. Go ahead and do what you feel God has prompted you to do. Stop and help change the tire for the lady on the side of the road. Don't drive down the road, talk yourself out of it and figure it's too late. Stop, or turn around, or  go to the next exit and double back. If God brings a need to your attention, be obedient right then. But don't let someone pressure you into doing something (because then you may be at cross purposes with God who means to take care of the situation in His way or His time) and don't berate yourself if you really didn't even think about it. If you didn't see the need, it's because God had another plan. If you see the need and God prompts you, don't hesitate and don't feel bad later thinking you were foolish. If the person you helped abused your generosity, that's between them and God. You did what God prompted you to do.

We should never plot evil against someone who has trusted us. For instance, our next door neighbor trusts us and we shouldn't abuse that trust to do him/her evil. Our co-worker works with us everyday, they shouldn't have to worry that we have evil designs on them, they trust us. We tend to trust people we see on a daily basis and who we have a relationship with. They are at ease with us and not on guard. But if you abuse that trust and take advantage of them you have not only done evil but added the betrayal to your sin!

Deuteronomy 27:24 Cursed is anyone who kills their neighbor secretly.

When a trusted friend betrays you, the hurt and pain is even deeper. Maybe you've spilled your guts to someone you trusted only to have them use the information against you. They've taken unfair advantage of you. It makes you feel foolish and stupid for trusting them. You feel betrayed in a personal way. Someone you thought of as your friend has done evil against you. The pain is somehow much deeper when it's caused by someone you trusted.

Maybe it's words. Maybe they've stabbed you in the back with someone else to take advantage of you. Maybe it's laughing about you behind your back. Maybe it's lying about you to make themselves look good.

Maybe it's actions. Maybe they've used information from you to climb over you and up the ladder. Maybe it's a trusted friend who takes advantage of knowing your family and household routine to kidnap your child. Maybe it was someone who knew you wouldn't be home and took that time to steal from you. I know of family members who have taken advantage of their parents or aging grandparents in order to steal from them. There are people actually looking for gullible people to befriend so they can learn what they need to know in order to plot against them.

These verses say that we should not be like those kind of wicked people. We should never abuse someone's trust in us and take advantage of them or do them harm. If someone reveals a confidence to us, we should be very careful about sharing it with others. If someone lets their hair down in front of us, we should be careful not to use it against them or to bring more trouble to them. We should be a good neighbor, a good friend, a good co-worker, a good family member, a good church member. We should be someone who is trustworthy.

We should also not go around looking for a fight. Some people just seem to love stirring up trouble and messing with people's minds, causing arguments and fights. That's wrong.

Romans 14:19 So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.

To cause contention and start arguments is wrong. Children argue and fight, adults should have a level head and do what they can to avoid it. I don't mean peace-at-any-cost, but as much as you can, and still follow God first and foremost, then pursue peace. Some people like to start an argument and then sit back and laugh at people who rise to it. Some people like to fight and they like violent drama so it follows them wherever they go. Some people are so evil they deliberately plot to bring about violence. They lay in wait and ambush someone and beat them up. Bullies love taunting and winding themselves up and then beating someone up. Then there are verbal abusers who like yelling, hollering, calling names and saying whatever they can to provoke another person to react. Their intention is to hurt someone deeply without actually laying a hand on them. There are those who seem to have no sense of social graces and they like starting up about politics, religion, and other debating issues so they can see if they can win the competition it causes. They won't back down and before you know it, the shouting has begun. Alcohol is like throwing gas on the fire with these people. They will ruin a party, ruin a family holiday, ruin a trip, ruin a vacation... because they can't stop running their mouths and stirring up trouble. They have no "off" button and they are determined to "win" any discussion.

Don't pick a fight without reason, when no one has done you any harm.  Have you ever had a bad day at work and when you get home, you pick a fight with your wife? She has done you no harm, but you just had to start the fight because of your anger or frustrations at work. You jumped on her about something silly or inconsequential and blew it all up and out of proportion. Or maybe you don't like Mr. Smith so you make him the butt of your jokes all day long at the office. If he ever finally has enough and reacts, then you argue with him. "Can't you take a joke?" Or maybe your mother picks on you all day long at the family reunion, always putting you down and slighting you. She's picking a fight, baiting you. When you snap at her, she's suddenly pitiful, "Oh how could you speak like that to your mother?" She's suddenly made you the bad guy after her all day assault. It's best to avoid that situation as best you can. It must be terribly painful when your own parents constantly try to hurt you and start fights! Sometimes, it may mean completely cutting them off if you find it always gets out of hand and leads you to fall into the same old fights. Remember, Joseph FLED from sin when his master's wife wheedled him day in and day out to commit adultery with her and she finally grabbed his coat to pull her to him. He ducked out and fled, leaving her holding his coat. Don't let other people trap you into something that always ends up with the same old same old. Be adult and make decisions that help you remain at peace, even if it means skipping Christmas at the old homeplace. It's better to miss it and have a peaceful Christmas without falling into sin, than to go back into a family maelstrom that always robs you of peace. It's not worth it. And if they make you feel like you are a scrooge because you won't come to see them, let them think it.

So these verses are giving us good, godly wisdom about how to deal with other people in our lives. Be helpful and generous, don't betray the trust of others and do them evil or take advantage of them, and don't get involved in fights over nothing.

  • Have you ever felt God prompt you to help someone, just out of the blue? Did you do it or talk yourself out of it?
  • Have you ever been generous with someone and they took advantage of you and abused your generosity? How did it make you feel? Were you able to leave it with God and forget about it or did you fret over it and get angry? Did it affect the way you help and give to others? Should it?
  • Have you ever felt pushed to give, compelled, coerced, pressured, trapped, even made to feel guilty if you didn't? How did it make you feel? Did it affect the way you help and give to others? Should it?
  • What is your motive for giving? Is our motivation important to God?
  • Do we negate the good we do by having impure motives, great expectations, desire for acknowledgment?
  • Have you ever been stabbed in the back by someone you trusted? Do you think the pain was deeper because it was from someone you trusted?
  • Have you ever been hurt by a family member who took advantage of you? Have you been able to forgive that person? Has it affected your life or relationships since? Do you understand that forgiveness is an act of the will, not based on feeling and has nothing to do with whether or not you remember the offense. It also doesn't mean you throw wisdom and discernment out the door. You forgive because God asks us to forgive. We forgive because He forgave us. We forgive with the supernatural help of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it takes time but it should be a goal for us. We also can still use wisdom and discernment to not let the person further abuse us by not getting ourselves back in the same situation. For instance, if your son has begged you for money and then used the money to buy drugs, you naturally feel betrayed. You are called to forgive your son, but godly wisdom would tell you not to give him any more money, regardless of his "dire circumstances". That doesn't mean you haven't forgiven him. You can forgive him but you have learned, and now have the wisdom and discernment, to say, "No".
  • Have you ever been hurt by a fellow church member or a pastor? How hard has that been to forgive? Maybe you had a higher expectation because they are from your church or are a "man (or woman) of God". But it comes down to being hurt by someone you really trusted. I have had this happen too many times and it's very heartbreaking. Has it affected your ability to participate in church, or in attending church, or finding a church? We are called to forgive but it's very hard to regain trust and this hurts us, as well as the body of Christ, who actually need our help. We don't just go to church to receive, but to participate and help others in the church. It may be you are an encourager and there are people in the church who need your encouraging words. It may be you are good with babies and the church families need you in the nursery. It may be you are a good teacher and they need a teacher for the young adult class. It may be you are a prayer warrior and there are people in the church needing your prayer covering. But if you are still at home, licking your wounds and unable to trust enough to go back to church... then satan has effectively removed you from receiving ministry and giving ministry. It took me years to get over the last betrayal at a church we had been members of for over 25 yrs. But I knew it was God's will that I forgive and that I find a new church body and be able to be a part again. So I kept praying about it. I was finally able to forgive and then I kept praying about finding a new church. We visited many and I had all but given up. Then God literally dropped one in our lap. Then it's taken several years to trust again. I'm still not where I want to be, but I'm better than I was!
  • Can you think of someone who always seems to start an argument or a fight? What do you think their motivation is? Do they feed on drama? Do they like setting people up and then laughing at them? Do they like violence (I know someone who chased her son-in-law with a chainsaw!)? Do they like hurting someone? Do they use fighting in ways of revenge? Are they so competitive that everything becomes a fight to the death? Do they like wheedling and needling until someone explodes and then they play the victim and justify themselves?
  • Can you think of someone who has generally been at peace with those around them? They are good at deflecting conflict. They are tactful and speak carefully so as not to start something. Their family doesn't have arrests, warrants, domestic disputes, domestic violence. They aren't at the bars fighting every Friday night. They deliberately try to avoid getting into contentious subjects in conversations. Have you learned anything from them?
  • Or do you feel like they are being a doormat and letting everyone walk all over them? To be peaceable is one thing, but peace-at-any-cost is something else. There is balance and God is in the balance. Do you understand the balance? Do you feel like you live in a good balance? Do you try to live a peaceful life or do you find trouble wherever you go? Is there constant arguing in your home or are you able to have good conversation and good relationships with your family?

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Proverbs 3:21-26

Proverbs 3:21-26 (KJV)   21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:
22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.
23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.
24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.
26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

Proverbs 3:21-26 (NIV) 21 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion;
22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the Lord will be at your side
and will keep your foot from being snared.

Proverbs 3:21-26 (BSB)  21 My son, do not lose sight of this:
Preserve sound judgment and discernment.
22 They will be life to your soul
and adornment to your neck.
23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you rest, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not fear sudden danger
or the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the LORD will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from the snare.

Proverbs 3:21-26 (NLT)  21 My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment.
Hang on to them,
22 for they will refresh your soul.
They are like jewels on a necklace.
23 They keep you safe on your way,
and your feet will not stumble.
24 You can go to bed without fear;
you will lie down and sleep soundly.
25 You need not be afraid of sudden disaster
or the destruction that comes upon the wicked,
26 for the LORD is your security.
He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.

These verses in Proverbs 3, remind us again to hang onto godly wisdom and how very valuable it is to us. It is important to learn and this requires reading, writing, studying, meditating, listening and learning more. It does require effort on our part because godly wisdom doesn't come naturally to us.

Deuteronomy 4:9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
richly - πλουσίως (plousiós, plousiōs) - Adverb
Strong's Greek 4146: Richly, abundantly. Adverb from plousios; copiously.

dwell - ἐνοικείτω (enoikeó, enoikeitō) - Verb - Present Imperative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1774: To dwell in, be settled (stationary) in; met: To be indwelling. From en and oikeo; to inhabit.

The Word of Christ needs to "richly dwell in you". To me this is saying I need an abundance of the Word, a copious amount of the Word, in order for it to settle in my mind and become a part of me, to develop in my character. How many of us don't get an abundant amount of the Word in a day or week? I've been guilty. There have been weeks when the only Word I heard was on Sunday morning. That makes me an anemic Christian. I'm not feeding my spirit with the Word of Truth. I don't seem to have any problem at all watching TV for hours everyday. All those words enter my head but no Word from God! That only feeds my flesh, while my spirit is weak from lack of the Word.

I need more Bible not less! If I'm having problems and struggles, I need more Word, more time with God, more prayer. Not less! I get so busy trying to solve problems all by myself that I neglect the Word and my time of relationship with God! That weakens me, not strengthens me.

We moved a couple of weeks ago. We've been through this experience a lot in our lives but in today's world, moving is VERY stressful. All the packing and physically moving is hard enough. But there is so much stress involved with putting your house up for sale, preparing it, showing it, making decisions, inspections, unrealistic expectations of buyers in today's market (due to HGTV). Then there is the stress of financing. Top it off with the stress of searching for a new house. The market in our hometown today is booming. A few years ago it was busting. But today, our town is splitting at the seams with growth. I don't know if it's because of the booming economy under President Donald Trump, or if we have what businesses want (airport, interstate highways, workforce, climate, etc), or all of the above? But good houses go up on the market and sometimes sell in 1-2 days. Ours sold on the 2nd day after 2 showings to 2 different families. Prices are higher which is good for the seller but bad for the buyer. We felt pressured to find the right home at our budget (taking into account Stan will probably be retiring soon) and make a decision within a couple of hours or risk losing the house. Our realtor was wonderful and very helpful. She took us to see probably a dozen or so houses. All of that is stressful. Considering Stan is 65 now with some health issues and he still works fulltime and I'm disabled at 60 yrs old, it was really rough on us physically to downsize and make this move. We almost waited too late. There is a tipping balance between being young enough and healthy enough to go through all this and reaching an age where it is more than you can physically and mentally do and you've missed the opportunity to make a move. I've seen it happen where someone keeps putting off what would be a good move for them in many ways but because it's so overwhelming they procrastinate and then it's too late. They just can't do it. They are elderly people in a big house they can't afford to maintain on a fixed income; they can't physically maintain or clean all the square footage; they can't afford the utilities on all the square footage, etc. I know of a woman who had a large 2 story house. She is now divorced and her adult child lives very far away. She is on a fixed income and is dealing with age and a lot of health issues all alone. She doesn't know who to trust to do maintenance on her home and she can't afford, on her income, to do much or to take a loss if someone takes advantage of her. She can't afford the utilities. She has steps going into her house and to the upstairs where her bathroom is. But she can't maneuver the steps anymore. So she lives in one room with the half bathroom downstairs. She's shut the rest of the house up so she doesn't have to heat/cool it. The upstair bathroom has a broken toilet but she can't afford to have it fixed so the water is turned off to the upstairs. She has to sponge bathe. She has to rely on other people to help her out of her house, get to appts or even do her errands. Her house was paid for which is why she stayed. But the taxes and insurance and utilities on a house where she only lives in basically 3 rooms, is a burden. She waited too late to make a move. She has no one here to help her. And many elderly people are not mentally and emotionally capable of making a lot of decisions because it's so overwhelming. So they live in pitiful conditions even if family, or friends, offer to help them and try to get them into a more suitable location or home. Being aware of this, and being in our 60's now, we needed to make a change before we got too old to do it. Both sides of our family live in town. But think about it. All our generation are old and disabled too. They can't physically help us much any more. Our nieces and nephews are so wonderful but they have jobs and families. As it happened, the closing dates were not our choice and it happened at the end of October, on the same day, right smack dab in the middle of a work week. So they were working! Praise God, we were able to afford to rent UHaul trucks the weekend before to the weekend after and they all came on the Saturday before (some driving from Columbia!) to load up 2 of the 26' trucks. But, Stan and I were on our own to load the last 26' truck over Sunday and Monday. They had gotten all the heavy furniture and heaviest boxes but still, loading that last truck about killed us! We were able to hire some help for unloading. I wanted to get a moving company but it was going to cost about $2500 to move 5 miles down the road. Stan hit the roof and refused, so we had to do it. In the end, he conceded that he should have listened to me. Anyway, that is my long spiel and I need to get back on track with our lesson. What has all that got to do with the Word? For once, I did the right thing. I made up my mind that I would spend time with the Word and God every day DESPITE the stress of moving. A couple of years ago I decided that my devotions are like my spiritual vitamins. I take a vitamin regimen everyday. I try to help myself by taking good vitamins. Why not help myself spiritually by taking the vitamins of my devotions and Bible study? So, I managed to do it everyday but one. I would get up early, try to compose myself and focus on the Word.
Can I say that I held it together better? I don't know. I'm pretty high strung and nervous and I can get all panicky.

But who knows how much worse I would have been without my spiritual vitamins? I do know every time I choose to do my devotions, it strengthens my relationship with God. Every time I choose to read and study the Word, it etches it deeper into my heart.

If we "hang on" to commonsense and discernment and trust in "the Lord for your security" it will...
refresh your soul
keep you safe
help you sleep soundly
you will not be afraid of disaster
you will not be caught in a trap.

"Refresh your soul" is also sometimes translated as "life to your soul". The word for "refresh" is the Hebrew word chay. According to the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, chay means life "as welfare and happiness in king's presence; as consisting of earthly felicity combined (often) with spiritual blessedness." Godly wisdom used in this world will make you look good (an ornament about your neck) and will give you a good conscience which makes you happier and more content, with a heart of gratitude to God. In the presence of our King, we won't have a guilty conscience or have to struggle with God over issues of disobedience. Of course, Jesus has given us the option to be forgiven and cleansed with His blood any time we fall into sin. When we sincerely repent, God blots out our sins with Jesus' righteousness.
And, because we are Christians, our eternal life in Heaven, is never lost because we believed in Jesus Christ for our salvation. Our eternal state rests in His Work, not our own. But our works on this earth will be judged and we are assigned rewards so we want to gather treasure in Heaven before we leave this earth. But this scripture is referring to not only our eternal life and our reward in Heaven but it also refers to having a better life here on earth because we have learned, and walked, in godly wisdom.

When you make godly choices, using the wisdom God has given you, you suffer less. How many times do we cause our own misery by the poor choices and decisions we've made. We rebel against all God's commands even though they are for our own good. How much heartache and headache we would save ourselves by listening to Him first and obeying His commands. We can live without a guilty conscience, without a poor self image, without consequences that are lifelong.

As human beings, born in sin, we have a 2 part being: body and soul. The soul being the unseen essence of who we are. It makes up our personality, character, our being, our mind, our intellect, sometimes called the heart. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, our spirit is born to make us a 3 part being: body, soul and spirit. It's why the Bible says we must be born again. Our spirit is born and we become a 3 part being like God is a Trinity, a 3 part being of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When God created Adam and Eve, He created them as 3 part beings in His image. But when they disobeyed, their spirit died. Their bodies would eventually die. "The wages of sin are death". But Jesus has redeemed all that. We can now be born again and return to being a 3 part being. Our bodies still die, but Jesus even redeemed that because in the end, our physical bodies will be resurrected to join our soul and spirit, making us the perfect and immortal 3-part being God had made Adam and Eve. Our physical bodies will be incorruptible and immortal. No more aging, death and decay! God is good!

Sometimes the word "soul" is used for our born again spirit so it can get confusing. But it is the spirit that is born again and the spirit that communes with God through the help of the Holy Spirit. And it is the spirit that we should want strengthened and running things under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the body and selfhood that gets us in trouble because of our lusts and giving into temptation. We let them rule our lives to our own detriment.

So our soul will be refreshed if we apply godly wisdom in our lives. This means our personhood will be happier and more content because we are avoiding sin and choosing our King, Jesus! If we think about the Trinity of the Godhead, we see 3 separate beings (God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit) but we also see them in such a relationship of harmony and unity that They are as One! That's about as good an explanation as I can give. We, as humans, cannot quite grasp the Trinity as independent Persons yet always as One. A good marriage is supposed to be as close to an analogy as we get. God says the two become one flesh and if we would work together in complete harmony and unity with great love love for each other, we present a united front of mutual love and respect always working for each other's best interests.

Galatians 5:17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

When we become Christians, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us to aid our newly born spirits to grow and strengthen and learn about God. Of course, our bodies and souls are fleshly and that part of us lusts after the things of this world. We have the Holy Spirit working with our spirit trying to teach us God's commands but that goes contrary to what our bodies and souls want so there is friction. Who wins in your life?

Now let's apply that to our being. If our body, soul and spirit would work together in complete unity with the Holy Spirit, we would be happier and more content people. Our spirit should be the controlling factor as it is the part of us that can commune with God and therefore gain spiritual life and health from contact with the Father. Our umbilical cord, if you will, to the Father is the Holy Spirit which unites our spirit with God. It is through this relationship that we draw spiritual sustenance and strength.

If our soul and body would follow our spirit in unity and loving respect, we wouldn't have such struggles and inward battles. We would have inner peace. But our souls and bodies rebel against the spirit. Our flesh wants to lead the way and is what gets us in trouble. If we feed our spirit with a more constant and consistent time with God, it grows in strength. But if we feed our flesh (body and soul) by always giving in to it and letting it rule, it grows in strength and becomes harder and harder for our weakened spirit to reign in and lead us in the right direction. Therefore the struggle and why the Bible says we should crucify, and put to death, our flesh. It doesn't mean literally kill ourselves or nail ourselves to a cross or physically flagellate ourselves. It means to not give in to fleshly lusts and desires that go contrary to what the Holy Spirit is teaching our spirit from God.

Colossians 3:5 (ESV)  Put to death therefore what is earthly in you...

Romans 6:12-13 (ESV)  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.

Romans 8:13 (ESV)  For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

1 Peter 2:11 (NIV)  Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.

soul - ψυχῆς (psuché, psychēs) - Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 5590: From psucho; breath, i.e. spirit, abstractly or concretely.

“'Soul' stands here, as in chap. 1 Peter 1:9, for the higher element of man’s nature which, in the more elaborate threefold division of man’s nature, adopted by St Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 and elsewhere, includes both 'soul and spirit.'" - Cambridge Bible for Scholars and Colleges

"St. Peter uses the word 'soul' here for the whole spiritual nature of man, as in 1 Peter 1:9, 22." - Pulpit Commentary

"Keep you safe" means that God's wisdom is like a bodyguard. As you walk in life, you have an escort, to keep you out of trouble, trouble that brings harm. We can have the peace of God within and the help of God without. If we obey God's wisdom, we will not stumble over those stumbling-blocks, trials, and temptations that cause us trouble. We also will not stumble over the stumbling-block of Jesus Christ. We have made Him our friend and hold fast to Him so that He is our ever present help. The world stumbles over Jesus Christ as an obstacle on the way to hell. But to Christians, He is our foundational Stone!

Isaiah 8:14 He will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall

Ephesians 2:20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone

1 Corinthians 1:23 (NIV)  but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles

1 Peter 2:7-8 (BSB)  To you who believe, then, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the message— and to this they were appointed.

To persistently reject the Savior is to court judgment and to be smashed. The Rock of our Salvation for Christians is but an immovable stumbling block for those who reject Him. He is in the way and stubbing one's toe on Him leads to stumbling over Him which leads to bashing one's head against Jesus which leads to being crushed by the Rock. He is the Chief Cornerstone, our foundation, to those who accept Him. But He is a stumbling-block to those who reject Him.

Godly wisdom helps us to sleep soundly and well, to get true rest. We know the One who never rests but always looks over us. You may understand better when you think of how much better you sleep when consciously and subconsciously you know someone is awake and therefore able to warn you and protect you if something comes up. I always slept well when Mom and Dad were home. I always sleep better when Stan's home. I sleep better when I have my dogs as I know they would give the alarm. But all these are temporary and ineffective securities. My husband would try to protect me but he can't protect me against an airplane falling out of the sky and crashing into our house and killing me. He cannot do everything and he cannot be everywhere or have the power to always protect me. But God can!!! Thank You God for always being with me and having the wisdom and power to protect me! Why can't I trust in Him for my security and sleep well?!? Why should I ever be afraid? (I am and I really struggle with fear, but WHY?!?) No one can protect me and be with me like He can.

Psalm 46:1-3  1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I should meditate on these scriptures and learn to trust and sleep well at night. I'm His child! How dare I fear mere man when my Father is God and He is ever with me and ever watching after me! God forgive me for fear!

I can also sleep better because I don't have a guilty conscience. I don't have evil schemes going around in my head. I don't struggle against God. To follow godly wisdom leads to an inner peace between the 3 parts of my being, as well as, peace with God.

I will not be afraid of the disasters and desolation that befalls the unsaved! I am saved through Jesus Christ and safe in Him. He is my ark of safety when it comes time for judgment to fall on the unsaved. I have no need to be afraid of God's judgment because I have accepted Jesus Christ and He is my Savior. I am safe in Jesus when judgment hits! If I die before the End Time when God lets judgment fall on this world, I am safely with Jesus in Paradise. If I'm alive when the End Time comes, Jesus comes to rescue me out of it in the Rapture. I will not experience God's judgment. I will not go to Hell or the Lake of Fire. Jesus rescued me and I accepted Him as my Savior so I don't have to fear the disaster and desolation that the unsaved fear.

I also don't have to fear disasters that happen here on earth. As a child of God, He is ever watching over me. If it's not my time (according to His wisdom) to die, He will save me out of any threatening circumstances. If it is my time to die (according to His wisdom), then I will go to be with Jesus in Paradise! My fate is in God's hands and His love will not allow me to suffer anything that He cannot get me through safely. I don't mean I won't ever get hurt or sick or be persecuted. I mean, whatever I face, God has allowed it and will work it to my good, or He will bring me home to be with Him forever. He is ever vigilant and ever working all things to my good. Whatever I face, He is in it with me and will take care of me and work His purposes out.

If a tornado is imminent, as a Christian, should I be afraid? God will either steer it away from my home, or He will be with me in the midst of the tornado. He will supernaturally aid me, one way or the other. So why do I fret and worry? I shouldn't! God forgive me for fear because it's, in essence, saying I think God can't, or won't, take care of me. Fear is a poor reflector of my God. How dare I let my fear show to others as it makes them think God is not powerful enough, faithful and loving enough to take care of me. My fears reflects Him in a negative light to those around me. God forgive me! Fear is sinful!

I will not be caught in a trap! Other translations say I will not have to fear the attacks of ungodly men on me. Have you ever had someone plan to hurt you, to try and set a trap for you?

But, God is with us and no matter what someone plots and plans to do to us, they have to contend with Him! It will backfire on them.

Psalm 141:8-10 (NIV)  8 But my eyes are fixed on You, O GOD the Lord.
In You I seek refuge;
do not leave my soul defenseless.
9 Keep me from the snares they have laid for me,
and from the lures of evildoers.
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
while I pass by in safety.

Psalm 140:1-10 (NLT)  1 O LORD, rescue me from evil people.
Protect me from those who are violent,
2 those who plot evil in their hearts
and stir up trouble all day long.
3 Their tongues sting like a snake;
the venom of a viper drips from their lips.

4 O LORD, keep me out of the hands of the wicked.
Protect me from those who are violent,
for they are plotting against me.
5 The proud have set a trap to catch me;
they have stretched out a net;
they have placed traps all along the way.

6 I said to the LORD, “You are my God!”
Listen, O LORD, to my cries for mercy!
7 O Sovereign LORD, the strong one who rescued me,
you protected me on the day of battle.
8 LORD, do not let evil people have their way.
Do not let their evil schemes succeed,
or they will become proud.

9 Let my enemies be destroyed
by the very evil they have planned for me.
10 Let burning coals fall down on their heads.
Let them be thrown into the fire
or into watery pits from which they can’t escape.

In Psalm 140, the writer is writing a prayer. He is dialoguing with God about people who have planned to do evil against him. Our security is in the Lord. He is the one who will take care of us. It is never truly a trap to destroy us if we are His children! What can mere man do to the children of God? Our God knows the whole story, and knows the truth about a matter and He loves us with a tender care. He will use all things to our good and we ultimately end in Heaven, vindicated and rewarded if we keep our own hands clean and our own hearts pure.

What about someone who is imprisoned for being a Christian and tortured or even martyred? Does God not love them? Why hasn't God rescued them? I don't know because I'm not God. I do know that God sees them where they are, knows everything about what is going on, loves them unconditionally and has prepared a place for them in Heaven. But God also has purposes to accomplish in the life of the one being persecuted, as well as, others affected by the situation. If I'm to be used to accomplish God's grander purpose, then I will one day see it and say, "It was worth it!" And my reward will be even greater because God was able to use me for His purpose. Think about it. Our time on this earth is so short and small compared to eternity!!!! And I truly believe God will supernaturally aid us in the moment of our need. I can't imagine how now. But if I were being led to a torture chamber suddenly a miracle will occur and I will be aided supernaturally to endure what God calls me to endure. He would not let something happen to me that He wouldn't send the help and strength to enable me. For whimpy little me, it would have to be a big miracle but He would do the miracle so that I can walk through the fire.

Remember the biblical story about Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego? They refused to worship an idol and the king had them thrown into a fiery furnace to burn them alive. In fact, the Bible says the furnace was so hot that the men who had to throw the 3 godly young men into were burned alive! The king was there watching it and suddenly he sees the 3 godly men walking in the fire with a 4th person (God). He called them out of the furnace and saw they were not only unharmed but nothing on them was singed or smelled of smoke!!! The king learned that their God was the one true God.

Daniel 3 (NLT, parenthesis mine)  1 King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue ninety feet tall and nine feet wide and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon...5 "When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and other musical instruments, bow to the ground to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue. 6 Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”
7 So at the sound of the musical instruments, all the people, whatever their race or nation or language, bowed to the ground and worshiped the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up... (Accusers told the king) 12 "But there are some Jews—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—whom you have put in charge of the province of Babylon. They pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They refuse to serve your gods and do not worship the gold statue you have set up.”... 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage and ordered that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought before him... 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.
19 Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face became distorted with rage. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. 20 Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So they tied them up and threw them into the furnace, fully dressed in their pants, turbans, robes, and other garments. 22 And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in. 23 So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames.
24 But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?”
“Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied.
25 “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!
26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came as close as he could to the door of the flaming furnace and shouted: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stepped out of the fire. 27 Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him. They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore, I make this decree: If any people, whatever their race or nation or language, speak a word against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they will be torn limb from limb, and their houses will be turned into heaps of rubble. There is no other god who can rescue like this!
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to even higher positions in the province of Babylon.

So our security is the Lord God Almighty against whom none can prevail! We have God on our side!

Psalm 56:8-11 (NLT)  8 You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
9 My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help.
This I know: God is on my side!
10 I praise God for what he has promised;
yes, I praise the LORD for what he has promised.
11 I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?

  • Have you allowed the Word of God to "richly indwell within you"? How can you work towards that?
  • Can you think of a time where you ignored godly wisdom and did something that caused such turmoil in your life that you regretted it? Have you asked God's forgiveness for it? Have you released it to Him to allow Him to turn it into something good in your life?
  • Can you think of a time where you obeyed godly wisdom and it gave you peace and a clean conscience? Wasn't it worth it?
  • Did you gain a new understanding about what it means to be a 3 part being? Did you realize that being born again meant your spirit is born, completing you as the 3 part being God initially designed? Did you realize that's what God meant when He said we were "made in His image"?
  • Can you think of ways to strengthen your spirit and to weaken the demands of the flesh? It's not just about giving up something but about starving the flesh to feed the spirit. Lent was supposed to be an annual way to give up something in order to focus on the spirit and gaining spiritual strength from time with God. Maybe it's to fast something or to take time away from your normal routine or whatever God calls you to do. But it's not just giving up something. It's to direct the focus on your relationship with God. It's not about how long you can crawl until your knees are bloody in an attempt to get a blessing from God (some "pilgrims" believe in doing extreme things for blessing). It's getting on your knees in a submissive state and connecting with the Father to gain sustenance and nourishment for your spirit. It shouldn't be a big show and certainly not done as an exercise to make God owe you one. "Hey, I did all this for you, God, you owe me big time. Pay up with a blessing." We can never do enough to pay God back for what He's done for us or to manipulate Him to do something we want! So our focus is to develop a love relationship with God. Have you felt God calling you to do something in order to focus on Him?
  • Do you see Jesus Christ as a stumbling-block that gets in your way? Or as your chief cornerstone, the foundation of your relationship with God?
  • Do you sleep well at night? Or do things worry you, and your mind goes round and round? What does that say about your relationship with God and your ability to trust Him? What can you do in the middle of the night when your mind won't turn off and you find yourself worrying?
  • Do you struggle with fear? Can you see how fear can be sinful? Everyone experiences fear, God understands that. But what do you do with it when it happens is what is important. Do you fall into sin and wallow in it,get miserable and fearful, or do you fight it with the right tools? What are the right tools?
  • Do you fear what will happen to you when you die? Do you have the peace that you will go to God or do you fear you will go to hell? You can remove that fear by accepting Jesus as your Savior! You can settle that question and then trust that Jesus has made your eternity secure.
  • Have you ever felt trapped? If you are a Christian and God has allowed a "trap" then He has a purpose for it and you can cooperate with His purpose for eternal rewards. God is also perfectly capable of preventing the trap or in springing you from the trap like He did Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. If you are a child of God but you are feeling trapped, or wrongfully accused, how should you react? What would Jesus do? Are you struggling against something God has allowed in your life for His purpose? Or are you cooperating with Him? The one is constant frustration, anger and bitterness. The other is laying down your expectations and submitting to God's will and receiving His aid and eternal rewards. Once you give up the struggle, you can have a peace and contentment even in the middle of a "trap".

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

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