August 1 2009
Proverbs (Back through it in HCSB this month, because I missed too many days last month)
Proverbs 1:4 →We need to not neglect this aspect, but how many times have you heard a youth leader say “ We're going to spend the next month memorizing Proverbs!”?
Proverbs 1:5 →The wise will increase their learning, there is never a stop to growth, even the wise should continue, and can benefit from refreshing what they've certainly already heard.
Proverbs 1:7 →The modern idea that ethics is a separate discipline from knowledge, that you can or should gather information without a framework for knowing what to do with it, is not good. Wisdom, learning, should start with a basis of a relationship with the Lord, and grow from there.
Proverbs 1:8 →Sons need to learn from their mothers as well. We do badly when we neglect the teaching of either parent, and, in extension, either gender. Both have much to offer.
In an another viewpoint, in the New Testament era, in the current times, we frequently call God our Father, and historically there has been much reference to the church as our mother. Perhaps we need to consider that we must listen to our Father through the Word and the Spirit and not neglect what we learn from our history and our elders.
James 2:1-4 →And then we could be proud of the fact that we don't discriminate against poor people or people that don't look like us, but if we can point out tons of examples, are we doing it as the expression of our hearts or because it makes us feel better about ourselves? Do we consider doing things to 'help the poor' while making sure everyone knows we are helping the poor? To show off our wealth?
James 2:5-7 →It was the poor that the Lord spent so much of his own time with, and the poor that accepted the Kingdom more readily. The wealthy continued to hang on to their wealth. How do we justify our pursuit of wealth and the wealthy?
James 2:8-13 →it's from here that we really see there is no favoritism in sinfulness. All sin breaks the same law, and deserves God's judgment. So why do we pick some to 'stand firm' against and pick others to overlook?
Acts 5:28-29 →The Jerusalem High Council had ordered Peter and John to stop preaching in Jesus' name. Peter and John respond “We must obey God rather than men.” How do we respond when our culture tells us not to preach in His name? When our employers say so? When our church experts tell us not to do it? Will we obey God rather than men? Are we willing to have our city council angry enough to kill us (Acts 5:33)?
1 Peter 3:13-14 →Who can harm you? And if they do, why does it matter? As we see in Romans 8, if God is for us, does our opposition even matter? No. Take what comes. Our problem is that we do not live out our faith intensely enough. We do not live in community with our fellow believers, because we are too concerned about our own rights, properties, liberties, and recreation to trust each other, to belong with and to each other. We don't trust enough, and as a result, aren't trusted enough by our family of faith.