TIDBITS OF WISDOM-A STUDY IN PROVERBS PART 11-Broken, Dark Hearts In Need of Grace

Thus far as we are looking at the books of the Proverbs, the first 7 chapters are written and directed by Solomon to his sons. He has pleaded that they desire and seek the Wisdom of God with all their hearts. He knew that the only truth and wisdom was that which comes from God.

lionandlamb

Drawing used with written permission of Ronald Barba. © 2012 Ronald Barba and is protected under copyright laws

Joy in this life can only be found in a close, trusting relationship with God. The creator of the Universe is omnipotent and omniscient. Why would we ever trust anyone else?

Some of the first chapters include exhortations with their promises. Now as we begin chapter 6 we begin a group of warnings followed by their consequences. They are as follows:

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The Grace in Which I Stand

I know that this is Poem Sunday.  I have written, but still editing a poem for Easter Sunday; but, I wanted to share today one I wrote before.  Yet, on this palm Sunday I also wanted to tell all of you to go to hear Keith Simon’s Sermon which is probably one of the best sermons I have heard.  So please go and watch

Jesus Is The King No One Recognized  the sermon by Keith Simon at the The Crossing Church.  I hope you are inspired, uplifted, and desire Jesus the King as Lord of Your Life.

The Grace in Which I Stand

 

Oh feeble heart, Oh fragile soul

Where is the hope on which you hold

With all the failures of your past

Where is the faith to make you bold

Where is the faith to make you bold

 

There was a King though blameless He

That came to pay my penalty

And in that act He set me free

To follow Him in liberty

To follow Him in liberty

 

It is His love that drew me out

And in His Grace I shall not doubt

That He who started this work in me

Will finish it with a Glorious Shout

Will finish it with a Glorious Shout

 

One day the finished work be done

That I might look then like God’s son

Sifted, shined just like pure Gold

As Glory shines forth, Glorious One

As Glory shines forth, Glorious One

 

And in this hope my faith conformed

I know my life will be transformed

I stand upon this future grace

So for His work my passion warmed

So for His work my passion warmed

 

So in this faith I firmly stand

That formed in me as God had planned

No force on earth can shake me free

My future held by God’s great hand

My future held by God’s great hand.

From my  Book, A Broken and Contrite Heart published 2010.

Available at http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000465106/A-Broken-and-Contrite-Heart.aspx

Copies of A Broken and Contrite Heart are available at http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Contrite-Heart-Effie-Darlene/dp/1456755900/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397413456&sr=8-1&keywords=effie+darlene+barba   or at: http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000465107/A-Broken-and-Contrite-Heart.aspx

© 2014 Effie Darlene Barba

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to any brands, products or services that I have mentioned with the exception of my own book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides regarding the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tidbits of Wisdom-A Study in Proverbs, part 10: I’m Broken, -What now?

Though I dearly love the King James Version with all its poetic beauty I know that some of my readers find it more difficult to understand.  As I move forward I will try to keep a balance that I hope to be helpful for all my readers by incorporating other versions at times, by separating the scriptures so that you may jump past to the narrative, and by providing at times only references to the scripture verse that I am referring to without including the actual verse.  At one point, I included every verse just in case someone did not have a Bible.  Silly me, if you are reading my blog; you have internet; therefore, you do have access to Internet Bible Sources such as  http://www.biblegateway.com  Please feel free to give me feedback so that we may grow together; as certainly, this pilgrimage life journey is one where we all need each other.  There is so much to learn and so much joy to experience as we walk this wonderful journey with God. 

The book of Proverbs is one which will take us some time to complete; but, I sincerely believe will be worth our while.  The first 7 chapters are Solomon’s instructions to his children, a wise Father urging and pleading that his children to seek after, cling tight to, and forever be lead by God’s wisdom.  He has provided instructions, provided exhortations that include promises and described the magnificent benefits of life that come from clear discernment based on wisdom.  In chapter 5, he had pleaded that they not allow their eyes to wander losing sight of their first love; because they could lose everything with the resultant emptiness, depression, and disillusionment that certainly would follow.  In this, he had referred to more than just the marital state. 

mountaintop Experiences in the Valley

Drawing used with written permission of Ronald Barba. © 2011 Ronald Barba and is protected under copyright laws.

The greatest loss that we can face is the loss of our passion, love and desire for God as our greatest treasure.  When we as Christians lose that because we have run after other loves; the resultant heartbreak can be nearly unbearable as life starts sifting through our hands with no purpose, joy, or hope.

 

Without that passion and love for God to awaken us fresh each morning, we begin to just go through the motions of each and every day—life becomes drudgery or a constant chasing after anything to bring back that sparkleAre you there?  Perhaps you could understand it or at least explain it when you know you strayed and you were the one who blatantly chased after something else.  But what about those moments when you think you have been following God, He has been first in your devotion, you have done all that He has asked, and life becomes that same “going through the motions” with no passion?  You want to cry, you long to trust, and you need something to

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Tidbits of Wisdom- A Study in Proverbs- Part 9-Have you left your first Love?

As we come to Chapter 5, Solomon warning against sexual folly and all the pitfalls of seeking after “strange woman”.  Did Solomon write this chapter in his youth before he fell to his own failure to heed these words?  Or did Solomon write this chapter nearer the end of his life?  Most commentaries say that Proverbs was written in his youth or during the middle years of his life; but, as a gathering of much of his wisdom the descriptions found in chapter 5 seem to come from a man who learned from bitter failure.  It seems as a Father who is pleading, “Don’t fall into the same failure I did”. 

iStock_000026822410Small

photo courtesy of @istockphoto.com

Beware when you have reached your greatest mountaintop with God, lest you fall.  On that mountain top do not forget it was God’s Grace that got you there.  Sometimes our most difficult test is when we have all we desired.

This became true of Solomon. Let’s begin with the warnings in Proverbs 5.

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Tidbits of Wisdom-A Study in Proverbs-Part 8 Get Wisdom at all Cost(2)

Once more as we turn to Chapter 4, Solomon urges his children to “get wisdom”.  He pleads that they listen and learn of all that Godly wisdom would teach them; because there is where they can find the paths of peace, hope, and happiness.  He knows too well how easy it is to stray or for their feet to wander off the path.  He knows all too well how easy it is to let their eyes stray from the truth.  Temptations and folly are always surrounding them.  The very nature of the human heart bends toward that “which is easy”, that which gives immediate gratification, and toward dissatisfaction with what one has.  So, once more he pleads that they search for wisdom and with it understanding. 

Numbers of the Mind

Illustration courtesy of @istockphoto.com

Whatever the cost, seek God and His wisdom. You may say, but my life is too busy to take the time to study my Bible, to invest in Bible Study, or to spend time in prayer.  As Chapter 4 of Proverbs points out, gaining God’s Wisdom and understanding is the fundamental part of all that you do; without which all your busyness will count toward nothing.

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Tidbits of Wisdom-A Study in Proverbs-Part 7 Owe No one, Injure No one, Envy No One

As Solomon has just finished his plead for God’s wisdom being so precious that we be willing to suffer whatever trials are needed in order to learn of God.  He pleaded with his sons to keep focus upon God’s love, God’s righteousness, God’s justice, and God’s Grace. 

sweet-dreams-ronald-barba

Drawing used with written permission of Ronald Barba. © 2012 Ronald Barba and is protected under copyright laws.

As he finishes this plead, suddenly he turns and provides these warnings—“Owe no one, Injure No one, Argue with No one, and Envy Not those who prosper by evil”. As though suddenly, he remembered the predicament of the human heart and it’s propensity to evil.

Proverbs 3: 27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. 28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.32 For the froward is abomination to the Lord: but his secret is with the righteous.33 The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.”

As though, don’t become so complacent with God’s grace toward you that you ignore that which is just and right.  Indeed, Solomon is reminding his son’s of what had already been written in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.  When you hire a

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Tidbits of Wisdom A Study in Proverbs—Part 6 Trials-God’s Love

So, we are beginning to understand the importance of gaining God’s wisdom and that it needs to be written upon our hearts that we might grow in peace and the joy of God.  So, we want to say “ok” just pour the wisdom into my brain, let’s go. Yet, it doesn’t work that way.  Just like children learning to walk, to run, or to ride a bike; we need to study, to practice, and to fall down sometimes.  Athletes would say, “there is no gain without pain.” Then why do we Christians think that we can grow to be strong spiritually without studying and without going through trials, suffering, and pain at times.  Solomon wanted his children to understand this, for that reason with the next exhortation; he stops and explains once more the value of the lessons to be learned. 

mountaintop Experiences in the Valley

Drawing used with written permission of Ronald Barba. © 2011 Ronald Barba and is protected under copyright laws.

Learning the wisdom of God at times requires that we go through trials; there is no other way to transform a self-exalting heart into one that can be filled with the love of the Holy Spirit.  Yet, when we are going through chastening or training; we must not lose sight of the prize.  When we recognize that God has ordained the trial because He loves us; then, we can accept the trial as good.

  Instead of pleading only that the storm stop, we can begin to ask God, “What do I need to learn from this?”  We are then able to change our focus and our

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A Father’s Prayer

A Father’s Prayer

 

Two tiny cells that joined in love

Chosen blessed by God above

Grew deep within her mother’s womb

Such glorious joy and hope abloom

 

Appointed day of her dear birth

Hearts bursting forth euphoric mirth

Love overtook this Father’s heart

So great, I felt it rip apart

 

Oh, gracious God how can it be

This precious gift you gave to me

And as I hold her in my arms

This precious babe so filled with charms

 

My precious heavenly father mine

Such gracious love and joy divine

You’ve given to this servant yours

A song of thanks my heart outpours

 

Dear Lord, I ask please let me be

Example of You for her to see

In all I do and all I say

While guiding her along life’s way

 

The greatest gift that I can give

Is teach her how in You to live

To show her how in You to rest

When e’er this world her faith would test

 

And so dear Lord I know I must

Dedicate my life to you, entrust

That you will guide me by Your hand

To show her all that Your love planned.

© 2014 Effie Darlene Barba

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to any brands, products or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides regarding the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

TIDBITS OF WISDOM-A STUDY IN PROVERBS PART 5- A Loving Father’s Desire

As we continue in Proverbs, you may have noted that in these first chapters there is a pattern.  Solomon is speaking to his sons in a pattern particularly he gives an exhortation followed by a promise as to its benefit.  He returns and repeats the importance of God’s wisdom and in having a discerning heart.  It is a heartfelt pleading that they might listen and write these words upon their heart so they will not stray from God. 

 Ron and Aiden

 

A Father’s love for his child so desires that his child not have to learn life’s lessons through trials and errors.  He wants to guide them, teach them and protect them from having to suffer the consequences of making foolish decisions.  God, our heavenly Father, also pleads with us to hold his hand and heed His counsel.   He so wants to protect us from our own folly.

  So let us continue to move forward through Proverbs.

Exhortation–Proverbs 3:  ‘5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him,” Do you trust God with your life?  What about when everything appears to be spiraling down around you?  Do you trust God when you are in the midst of tragic illness?  Do you trust God with your job?  Do you trust Him to guide you with your finances?  Do you trust Him with your heart when life seems to be crushing it?  Do you trust

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Thank You Lord for Annabella Grace Barba

So, we will pause for a moment from Proverbs to say Thank you Lord for Annabella Grace Barba, born yesterday.  What a wondrous and gracious miracle—life.  Chosen, formed by your mighty hand as a gift to your humble servants—Alberto and Lindsey as an expression of their love first for you and their love for each other. 

 

Lindsey and Annabella

Psalm 127: 3 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

Psalm 139: “13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.15 My substance was not hid from thee….17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.”

Isaiah 44 (ASV) 23 Sing, O ye heavens, for Jehovah hath done it; shout, ye lower parts of the earth; break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein …24 Thus saith Jehovah, thy Redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb: I am Jehovah, that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth

Listen to this beautiful song written and sung by Kristyn Getty A Mother’s Prayer

American Standard Version (ASV)

Copyright © 1901 by Public Domain

 

© 2014 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to any brands, products or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides regarding the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Fighting for Joy In a Chaotic World EFFIE DARLENE BARBA

Are you fighting to hold tight to the joy in Christ throughout the trials of your life? Join me and know that we can do this together.