A daily study in the Word of God. Simple, life-transforming tools to help you grow in Christ.
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What marks your journey?
"Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot.
In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you."
“God alone understands the way to wisdom;he knows where it can be found, for he looks throughout the whole earthand sees everything under the heavens. He decided how hard the winds should blowand how much rain should fall. He made the laws for the rain and laid out a path for the lightning. Then he saw wisdom and evaluated it. He set it in place and examined it thoroughly. And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom;to forsake evil is real understanding.'" (Job 28:23-28 NLT)
We can probably all recall the scripture verse about where our heart is there will our treasure also be, but when we stop for a moment to consider where our heart has been, where it is now, and where it is it might be headed into the future, we can certainly see how much "different" treasures it may have held along the way. The way to wisdom is probably the hardest path to follow, but also the most rewarding, for along the journey, we discover not only what we call "wisdom", but we come face-to-face with the person of Christ - the embodiment of wisdom himself.
The fear of the Lord is true wisdom - to forsake evil is real understanding. It might matter to some the journey one has taken to finding a close, personal relationship with Christ, but I think it matters more that their journey has been marked with signs of grace and mercy along that same path. Those places or moments of grace are what actually "crafted" their journey toward that closeness of relationship with Christ - something money cannot buy, nor committee approve, or legislation transform. The fear of the Lord isn't learned in the classrooms as much as it is learned in the living of life - the place where decisions are made - good or bad - and the outcome is set in motion. At that juncture, the heart is swayed toward good or evil - the moments of God's grace ever pulling us toward goodness.
We might think someone's journey has been riddled with "too much drama", or "too little positive upbringing". These are our judgments, my friend, not God's. He sees every life as valuable and every step along their journey as those moments when he allowed grace to intervene where evil might have wanted to a different outcome. Their journey might be marked with hard places, absolutely hurtful and harmful decisions, and consequences unintended when setting out, but their end has not been written yet! Their journey toward grace is still being written by the hand of a God who sets in motion the very path they will travel to meet face-to-face with the Wisdom of the Ages. We too often want to write these moments off as just "bad decisions", but even the worst of decisions can become the canvas upon which God writes a tremendous story of love and grace for all to see. Just sayin!
As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant. In that day and time, a very taboo thing. We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God. Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated. We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar. The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish. Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa
Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,
Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life. For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels. If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner. Both of these are good things, when used correctly. Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect. Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce