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Proverbs Chapter 8 by Mary Findley

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Proverbs Chapter Eight is absolutely amazing. We try to read through Proverbs day by day each month and this one just stops me in my tracks every time.

Why does God say that wisdom is a woman? I don’t know. A friend commented on the fact that Proverbs is mostly advice from father to son. Yet we have this personification (a literary device where an abstract concept is treated like a person) of Wisdom in many places as a woman. She’s stretching out her hands, she’s going around to the high or chief places, she’s standing at the crossroads, and here in Chapter Eight, she’s shouting at the top of her lungs right in front of the city gates. You can’t miss her! Or can you?

She is talking to men, apparently, like most of Proverbs does, but I think we women can listen in. As long as we can handle being called simple and fools like the men. Our culture today tends to depict women as smarter than men, but only this woman, Wisdom, really has the right to call men fools, and I think women better humble their hearts and listen up as well.

“Be ye of an understanding heart!” She cries in verse five, after calling her audience fools. Boy, these listeners better gather the shreds of humility the “I’m OK, You’re OK” secularist world has left them. Do not get all hurt and walk away from this, men and women alike. “Excellent things” are coming. “Right things.” Wisdom is going to speak truth, and her lips can’t stand wickedness. She also promises that what she says is going to be “plain,” and “right.” She’s going to speak righteousness only. The only catch is that you have to “understand” it. It might seem contradictory that Wisdom calls you a fool in one verse and then expects you to understand her in another, but that’s the way it is with believers sometimes. We’re still struggling with that sin nature, but the Holy Spirit still lives in us to teach us and give us understanding if we let Him. You don’t need silver. You don’t need gold. You
need instruction straight from the mouth of Wisdom herself. In the ancient world rubies were the most valuable gemstone. You don’t even need them. No comparison. You need this.

When I get to heaven, I want to ask what “witty inventions” are to make sure, but I think for now I’ll settle for understanding that phrase as the ability to come up with good ideas.

People complain about the very thought of “fearing the Lord.” God is a God of love, isn’t he? He is to be loved and feared, like a dad who would do anything for you but is not going to let you get away with being a fool. So stop complaining and listen. Hate evil, hate pride. What’s a “froward mouth”? One that says vulgar, crude, bad, wrong things. Especially when you say them just because it’s entertaining to vulgar, crude, bad people. Why exactly do you want to impress them again? You don’t.

You want to be a counselor. You want to be strong. You want to tell kings and princes and judges how to rule, how to be just. You want honor and “durable riches.” Wisdom has a revenue-sharing plan that can’t be beat. Her dividends are eternal. Those that love wisdom will “inherit substance.” Not talking about material wealth here. You might get that, or you might not, but what you get from Wisdom will last forever.

Who is this Wisdom anyway? What’s her authority for telling us what to do? How’s older than the oldest of God’s works strike you as a tried and true source of solid teaching? Wisdom predates Creation. She witnessed it all, and starting with verse seven she shares her view of it unfolding before her delighted eyes. Depths of oceans and canyons, fountains of water, mountains, hills, earth, fields, even dust gets a mention. She was before it all, and saw it all come to be. Wisdom saw how God arranged and organized things from the beginning, setting boundaries, defining limits. Wisdom is like God’s best friend, watching Him do it all, right there by His side all the way, rejoicing that God made a habitation for man, and, once again, delighted with that special, crowning creation of human beings.

So Wisdom’s got the right to speak to man, to call us her children, to say, “Listen up!” Don’t refuse her instruction. Yes, you’re struggling with sin, with the pride that says, “I don’t have to listen to you!” But that’s what she’s there for, to tell you what to do. She’s God’s best friend, and she’s yours, too. That’s why she’s yelling at the top of her lungs. That’s why you should be this guy (or girl).”Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.” The consequences of being too proud to hear Wisdom’s voice are severe. “But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.”

http://elkjerkyforthesoul.wordpress.com

About the Author:

Mary C. Findley

Wife of a crazy smart man, mother of three kind of grownups, traveling the US and Canada in a tractor-trailer. Best-selling historical fiction author of the Benny and the Bank Robber Adventure series, Send a White Rose, and Chasing the Texas Wind. Highly-rated nonfiction and homeschool titles also available.

All the Angels Stood, A YA Novella by Laura J. Marshall

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Back Cover Blurb:

This is the last week in Staci Schofield’s life. Her birthday is on Monday, which is also the day she plans to die. Poetic, seeing as her mother disappeared on the night of her own birthday. But when a popular guy from school, Rush, befriends Staci, will her plans change?

Rush sees demons clinging to Staci and nothing has worked so far to help her. What will make a difference in her life? A friend, an intercessor? How do you help someone move from ‘take my life’ to ‘Lord, preserve me’?

Quick Excerpt:

It was easier to hope for death than for life. Death was quick, easy, permanent. Life expected too much. Too many moments, hours, and days. They stretched out like the threat of unending pain and torture. Why should I care? Why should I want to care? My God, to live with myself that long, to struggle with doubts of my own sanity, always with the feeling of impending doom and overanalyzing each thought for signs of Mom’s illness. Dad would probably feel relief, in the end.

God. What of God? Where was He? This Jesus they had talked about at Grace Youth. Wow, they were really gung-ho about Him.

I laughed aloud but suddenly sobered. The wind picked up and blew my hair across my eyes. I heard a whisper. Was it my name on the wind?

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All The Angels Stood

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00EXAH2O0

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/all-the-angels-stood-laura-j-marshall/1116812282?ean=2940148806158

Bio:

Laura J. Marshall

Laura J. Marshall is a full-time mom of five boys. When not on active duty, she is the best-selling author of The Battle Cry Devotional series and inspirational fiction. She operates a popular blog called The Old Stone Wall which hosts and promotes Christian and clean books and encourages interaction between authors and readers. See more at http://www.LauraJMarshall.com

 

Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes for 11/26/2014

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Jim Hughes

Is. 56:1-2 “Be just and fair to all,” says the LORD. “Do what is right and good, for I am coming soon to rescue you. Blessed are those who are careful to do this. Blessed are those who honor my Sabbath days of rest by refusing to work. And blessed are those who keep themselves from doing wrong.”

Want to honor the Lord in your living? The Lord gives us three things to do here that will honor Him. We are to be just and fair. This reminds us that how we treat others does matter. Being just means that we don’t treat people in ways they don’t deserve to be treated. We honor the Lord’s admonition to be loving and gracious. When it becomes necessary to punish someone for the wrongs they have done, we don’t cower away from it. It is only fair that people be punished for the wrongs they do, but when we do it, we do it out of love and not vengeance. The goal should always be to motivate others to repent and change their ways, to restore them to good standing before God and man.

It also honors the Lord when we honor the Lord’s Day. Now I know that there is a tremendous amount of disagreement in the church over what this means in practical terms and I don’t want to upset anyone or stir up a debate. What I do want to do is to challenge you to think about what the Lord’s Day is designed to do for us. Scripture says that when God had finished His labors of creation, He rested on the seventh day. I don’t believe it was because He was tired, but it was because He had completed His work, it was good, and there was nothing else for Him to do to make it better. He wants us to take the time to reflect on the works He has done, to appreciate them and to understand that what He did and continues to do is for our good and His glory.

He admonishes us to rest from our labors one day a week because He knows that we are not Him; we need the rest. We get weary from our labors physically, mentally and emotionally and it affects our souls. God knows that when man is always working, he is not paying attention to his soul like he needs to. Whatever you do on the Lord’s Day, take the time to refresh your soul, to be holy before God. You need the Lord more than anything your labors on earth may accomplish for you.

It also honors the Lord when we keep ourselves from doing wrong. What we do does matter to God. Sin affects our relationship with God. It keeps God at arm’s length in our souls. We can never be right with God as long as we allow ourselves to sin against God. It is never okay with God when we wander into sin. When God’s children sin, it insults God. It brings shame not only upon us, but it dishonors His holy name. Sin in our hearts keeps God’s blessings at bay in our lives. We must heed the admonition of God to be holy, even as He is holy.

C Through Marriage
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