Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Proverbs 3: 27-35

Today's Thought Question
  1. Reflect on the things in your life that you value. Are these things priorities that would reflect someone earnestly seeking God and His wisdom? Read Colossians 3: 1,2 and Matthew 6: 19-21.
The last third of chapter 3 outlines some important behaviors for us to consider. My youngest is in a phase of learning rules, to the point she recites them constantly! These first five verses remind me of her chanting. "Do not do this," "Do not do that--that's a time out!"

As helpful as it is to know what to do, sometimes it's equally or more helpful to know what not to do (i.e., what not to wear). Withholding good, devising harm, contention with another, envying violence--God says "Do not...." Otherwise, we earn the name "devious" (vs 32) and become "an abomination" to Him.
But, what if we just think these things and not do them? We all have situations that make us angry, that bother us, that make us squirm. When we are placed in an uncomfortable position, we may understand not to do harm, but do we think harm instead? If we let our mind play out what we cannot do, is that OK?

We need to realize that our thought process is the precursor to action, however mild. (For instance, yes, grumbling counts as a mild harmful action--"Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world...." Phil 2: 14&15) That word abomination is an act or an attitude. My S.B. says that it is "incompatible with God's nature and intolerable to Him, leading to His anger and judgment." So we may read these "do not's" and say we never would; but if the thought ever crossed our mind, woe be to us.

"Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth."
--Colossians 3: 1&2

One of our thought question Scriptures for today is Colossians 3: 1 & 2. The verse presents two excellent points that dovetail perfectly into Proverbs. "Keep seeking the things above" which is how our chapter of Proverbs ends today--"The wise will inherit honor." Those who follow God's wisdom, who choose to live their lives like Christ, will inherit honor, both here and in the life to come, as eternal life with Jesus will be our reward.

The next verse elaborates on how we can do that: "Set your mind on things above." We continue to read that wisdom is a pursuit. It is an active process of seeking. We need to have God's Word revealed to us, treasuring it in our heart, and using it to do wise things in His sight. Part of that treasuring is to set our minds, or, as in the King James, set our "affection." Exploring the Greek, now in the New Testament, the phrase implies being more disposed in a certain direction or to intensively interest oneself with (out of concern or obedience). [Strong's]

We know that we are stepping out in wisdom when our mind's focus, and therefore our actions, is on "things above," namely our Lord Jesus Christ.

If we need help deciding where we should place our value--in earthly treasures, exposed to the ravages of moths, rust and thieves (Matthew 6: 19-21) or in heavenly treasures, our hearts filled with Godly wisdom--Proverbs directs us to exactly where we should focus our treasuring...upon what and, by implication, upon Whom.


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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Question:

Proverbs 4: 1-9
  1. What verses do you find particularly thought-provoking and can you think of ways to apply these verses to your life in practical ways?

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Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation, specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB). I will quote other sources if used in a post.
I also use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (with notes from the King James Version).


Chatty Kelly said...

You summed it all up perfectly to day. I don't have anything to add.

Thanks again for hosting this for the bloggy friends!

Carmen said...

I meant to comment on this earlier, but got distracted by someone. The battlefield is the mind and it starts there. Since I read this, I have been remembering to hold all thoughts captive. We're told that as a man thinks, so is he. I thought about that a bit and realized that we become how we think (what we allow ourselves to think and believe.) Thanks for continuing to post these!