Monday, November 24, 2008

God's Lessons

Proverbs 1:7
" Start with God-the first step in learning is bowing down to God."

When it comes to life's lessons, we can learn them the easy way, or we can learn them the hard way. The easy way can be summed up as follows: when God teaches us a lesson, we learn it-the first time. Unfortunately, too many of us catch on much more slowly than that.

When we resist God's instruction, He continues to teach us, whether we like it or not. Our challenge, then, is to discern God's lessons from the experiences of everyday life. Hopefully, we learn those lessons sooner rather than later-because the sooner we do, the sooner the Heavenly Father can move on to the next lesson, and the next, and the next...

"True learning can take place at every age of life, and it doesn't have to be in the curriculum plan."
-Suzanne Dale Ezell-

Monday, November 10, 2008

Closer to You, Lord

Proverbs 3:11-12

Early in his life, John Donne, one of England's great poets, was known for his controversial poetry and satarical criticism of religious denominations. However, Donne did not remain antagonistic toward God.
After joining the Church of England and marrying Ann Moore, Donne experienced immense suffering. He and Anne lost five of their 12 children and lived in despondent poverty. Donne continually struggled with depression and physical affliction. One would think that the suffering would have driven Donne farther from God.
However, the exact opposite is true. During this time, Donne studied God's ways with fervor. Donne wrote: "Batter my heart, three person'd God; for you/ As yet but knock, breathe, shine and seek to mend.../Take me to you, imprison me, for I / Except you enthrall me, never shall be free."
Donne understood that all his trials brought him closer to God. As Proverbs 3:12 says, "Whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights."
If you are suffering greatly, do not think that God has abandoned you. Rather, like Donne, God is making your life into a sweet sonnet. Donne was not only one of England's great poets, but also one of its greatest preachers. God is making something phenomenal of your life too. As W.L. Watkinson wrote, "The rarest souls have been tested with high pressures and temperatures, but Heaven will not desert them."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

God's Best For Your Life

Proverbs 3:5-10

This verse is a godly compass for your life. It does not make any difference who you are, what you do, where you live, or what your vocation is-this concise, trustworthy compass will help you find God's best for your life.
  • The first point of this spiritual compass is centered upon your trusting God (Prov. 3:5).

    Friend, here is the most important key to finding God's best for you: You must have faith in the Lord God for every area of your life. He is Omniscient (knows all things), Omnipotent (all powerful), and He loves you perfectly, which means that He can and will arrange every circumstance of your life to work out for your best if you'll trust Him with all your heart. It all begins with centering your trust in Him.

  • The second point of this spiritual compass helps you understand God's 3 requirements for you (Prov.3:5-7).

    1. You are to rely upon God only-and not upon your own wisdom or understanding. You see, there are some things that you will never be able to understand with your limited knowledge. Therefore, you must rely upon God's profound wisdom for your life.

    2. You are to respect Him as your God. You should stand in awe before Him, worship Him, and obey Him. Friend, if you do not respect and honor God, you cannot expect to be wise. You see, wisdom starts with fearing Him (Prov.9:10). He is the only one who has the authority to govern every area of your life.

    3. You are to reject evil. Everyone face evil at one point or another, and you are going to be tempted to sin. God will not eliminate your temptations, trials, heartaches, burdens, or defeats. Rather, you must trust Him to help you flee from all evil.

  • The third point of this spiritual compass is everything that God promises (Prov.3:6-10).

    1. God will make your path straight. In other words, God will guide you and make your life easier. That doesn't mean you won't have any obstacles along the way; rather, it means that God will either remove them or enable you to overcome them.

    2. God will bring health to your body. Now, not everyone who is sick is living in sin. However, most of us would admit that sometimes we disobey God by using our body unwisely-and that often results in sickness. Therefore, trust His clear guidance to lead you to better health.

    3. God will bless you with plenty. You must obey Him in every area of your life-even with your finances. God is your source, and He wants to bless you with plenty. However, first you must honor Him with what you have.

    Friend, if you want your life to be the very best it can be, you must put your full trust in God, you must honor Him as your Lord, and you must obey Him in every area of your life. That is what godly living is all about-the heart of living life at its best. And as you put your full trust in Him with all your heart-you can anticipate God's direction, better health, and financial blessing. So trust Him; He has the answer to your every need.