Fear The Lord

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The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

How often do we read the first part of a scripture that is further explained in the second part of the thought? So often we rest our knowledge on the thought that as long as we fear God, we will have knowledge? We do not bother to read or ponder why the command is conditional.  This scripture informs us, it is instructional. Let us focus on Provers 1:7. The first part instructs us to fear the Lord and gain knowledge “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” And, yes, fearing the Lord is the beginning, but let us not overlook the condition requiring us to accept wisdom and activate instruction. Choosing to overlook the second part of the scripture informs us that while we desire knowledge, we only possess an unactuated thought, the thought is not functional, it is folly. The second part of the scripture informs us that, when we despise wisdom and instruction,” we do not fear – meaning, we have not ‘taken to heart’ the Lord’s instructions, we are not obedient, nor do we surrender our thoughts in exchange for His thoughts. We lack wisdom and instruction.

True wisdom can only occur after we understand that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, God is Holy. When we understand this at a heart level, we begin to experience wisdom through the knowledge that He is Holy, just, and righteous.

Acquiring knowledge yields wisdom, and wisdom is acquired through faith, which is acquired through the unyielding instruction of the Word of God. His instruction states that we are to walk in His ways, to love as He loves, and to serve the Lord our God with all of our heart and with all of our soul. The beginning of knowledge begins with submission, surrender, and obedience. When we accomplish these three things, we can accept His knowledge without hesitancy or the need to understand His inspired Words in the Bible.

In Hebrew there are two types of fear: Pachad and Yirah. Pachad is the fear projected or of imagined things, it is over-reactive, irrational and stems from the worry of things to come, those things we imagine. Yirah is “the fear that overcomes us when we suddenly find ourselves in possession of considerably more energy than we are used to, inhabiting a larger space than we are used to inhabiting. It is also the feeling we get when we are in a sacred space, on sacred ground. (Makingdapennycooke,com. Ways Ways To Think About Fear)

As believer’s, we experience and understand the fear of God as reverence of God. This type of fear is the motivating factor in surrendering to the Almighty. Fear equals reverence. Yirah is the fear, the goose bumps we experience when we are in prayer or are praising the Lord and are in His presence. It is so much bigger that anything in our human sphere of understanding. We enter Holy (sacred) ground, the beginning of something new each time we experience it. It all contributes to our spiritual knowledge base and enables us to adhere to His wisdom and instruction and not our own.

Full circle – It is important to read an entire verse or scripture to gain the wisdom God intends in sharing His Word with us. Failing to do so does not result in wisdom, it results in folly, we become or remain fools, Proverbs 4:7 reads – Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Equip yourself, study the Word, do not simply read it and rely on your own understanding. Seek what He is conveying to your heart. Our life with Christ is a heart process. Step into Yirah, terrain that is beyond human understanding, feel His love and walk in His Word.

Resources: Holy Bible, Makingdapennycooke.com, Gotquestions.com

Images: Goggle Images

Transforming Into the NEW YOU

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Each day we choose to live by the flesh or live by the Spirit. Choose the Spirit and work on becoming more like Christ in all that you think, do, and say.

~ Lisa Blair

This is the Application Season. Repeat, ‘I am applying the Word of God to my daily life until it becomes the first thought each morning and subsequently, throughout the day.’

Paul, God’s predominant ambassador, and author of much of the Bible focuses our attention on being saved, receiving God’s salvation and directs us to becoming ‘new’. He instructs us to become more like Christ in every action we take. We have been redeemed and our sins have been forgiven, but this is not a pass, it is the key that opens the door to becoming whole, to live a life like Christ. It provides a spirit consciousness of hope.

When we were baptized into Christ, we put on Christ. Christ is all around us and in us in the form of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit convicts us ‘on the regular’. It’s the Holy Spirit that speaks to us – beware, do not speak thoughtlessly, do not fall to the woes of this world as you walk the path of your destiny God has designed for you. Do treat you neighbors as you want to be treated, do love those who hate you, do what you can for the poor in spirit and economy. Allow the love of Christ to flow through you.

Become someone who is admired for following Christ. You know that person, the one everyone says, ‘there is something different about (name)’. People sense a peace when they are around (name). (Name) changes the atmosphere when they are present. Doesn’t that sound like Christ? Well, since He lives in us, and through us, we can emanate his love through us. People can recognize the difference, but may not recognize what the difference is. This of course is an opportunity to share who Christ is and how He lives in you when asked what makes you different.

So today, let’s look at what we are replacing to become more like Christ. The last post highlighted the replacement items. Today let’s look more closely.

Preface

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will reap. For he who sows of the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows of the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life…Do not grow weary of doing good for in due season you shall reap what you have sown. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all. (Galatians 6:7,9,10)

Main Point

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles (nonbelievers) do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:17-32, NIV)

When we grow in Christ we are growing in holiness, righteousness, and justice. We no longer are bound by our carnal nature, the flesh where our appetite is satisfied and fulfilled by: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. (Galatians 5:19-21, NIV)

Instead, always look to Christ for guidance. Walk by the Spirit. Allow yourself to be led by the Holy Spirit. As you make this exchange from living through the flesh to living through the Spirit, you will see your life change, you will no longer be a slave to your fleshly desires, yes you will be tempted, but you will possess the strength to overcome. And, should you sin, you have the freedom to repent and start anew. Isn’t God awesome. He know we are on the path and are conflicted by our humanness, but has provided the way and means to overcome and become more like His son, Christ to empower us to be overcomers.

What is the exchange? We are instructed to employ the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25, NIV)

Resources: Biblegateway.com; Bible.org, 8. Virtues Leading to Christlikeness. 3/1/2021

Images: Good Morning Gifs, TENOR; LAB Photos

Day 4-The Glorious Grace of God (Guest Post)

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In Greek, the word ‘believe’ used as a verb is translated as, ‘believe’, but as a noun, ‘believe’ is translated as ‘faith’.

Grace School of Theology

The Need to Believe, Devotional, day 4, The Glorious Grace of God. YouVersion. Bible.com

Salvation is a free gift received by placing our faith in Jesus Christ alone. John wrote that Jesus declared to Nicodemus, “whoever believes in [God’s one and only Son] shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Today, some people have trouble accepting that belief is all it takes for someone to be saved. 

The main issue is the meaning of the word “believe.” When the Greek word is used as a verb, it is translated “believe.” When it is used as a noun, it is translated “faith.” The Gospel of John demonstrates the importance of this word with its repeated use of “believe” as a verb. It is used 98 times as a condition for salvation. The other Gospels and New Testament books use “believe” as a verb 150 times altogether. The consistent result of believing is eternal life. When one believes, one can then know that he or she has eternal life as a present possession—right now (John 5:24; 9:38).

John is careful to use figures of speech or word pictures that are passive, such as receive, drink, and eat. None of these pictures portrays or communicates the idea of merit, work, or achievement. There are no qualifying words used with believe such as, “really believe,” “truly believe,” or “genuinely believe.” There is only one kind of belief. There are no other conditions mentioned in John, such as repentance, surrender, commitment, confession, or obedience. Nor does the word “believe” intrinsically or inherently contain these concepts. All that is required to be saved is to believe—to place one’s faith in Jesus. Salvation—eternal life—is a gracious gift of God (John 1:12).

This is what a person must do to receive eternal life: Believe that Jesus, the Son of God, died for your sin, rose from the grave to defeat the power of sin and death and can give you eternal life freely, as a gift. 

Resource – The Glorious Grace of God. YouVersion. Bible.com. Contributor – Grace School of Theology.

Praying for Our Loved Ones

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We pray for our loved ones to be saved, but we do it through our own limited understanding and not through faith in our Lord. ~ Lisa Blair

In reading the Doctrine of Election, we are reminded that only God can provide salvation. The parts that stood out to me most are:

  1. “People are so ruined by sin that they are unable to respond by faith…unless God first gives the ability to respond.” 
  2. “God must draw people Himself and awaken faith in the dead hearts.” (John 6:37-40, 47)
  3. “By grace, God calls individuals to faith” (Eph. 2:8-9)
  4. “This favor of God is undeserved and unearned.” (Romans 9:20)
  5. “God must work in individual hearts to draw them to Himself.”
  6. “Because salvation is God’s work from start to finish, all the glory belongs to Him.”

As ambassadors of Christ, it is our mission to share the Word with them (nonbelievers). We are watering the seed that was placed in them before they were born. At some point, most if not all, of our loved ones will recognize the seed of faith growing within causing them to question their lifestyles and who they are in Christ. When that happens, God calls them to Him. Age is not the crucial factor, surely, we want our loved ones to be saved early in life, but we must not give up it may not occur until they are old. Our prayers are not in vain. A prime example is the life of Abraham. God’s promises may escape us in our youth where our free-will seems strongest, and blossom in the later years of life. Don’t give up on them. It is never too late, and our prayers continue to water the seed God placed in them before they were born.

My prayer is:
Lord cover my son/daughter/loved one in your Blood until they call out your name and receive salvation. Protect them on their walk in sin. Cause them to step back from temptation through faith they do not yet know they have. Thank you for planning our paths before you created life on earth. Help me to accept the things I don’t understand. Help us “embrace the struggle with this truth” and “settle our hearts on Your goodness and your unconditional love”. We thank you for standing by us in all times, circumstances, and situations. We will continue to share the Word with our loved ones knowing you are there to retrieve them from death. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

References: Bible Study Fellowship, Lesson 16, Genesis 25-26. https://www.bsfinternational.org

Other Resources:

What is the Doctrine of Election. http://www.gotquestions.com;

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">What is the Doctrine of Election? Grace to You. John McArthur. https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A331/what-is-the-doctrine-of-electionWhat is the Doctrine of Election? Grace to You. John McArthur. https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A331/what-is-the-doctrine-of-election

Photo – LAB Photos

Silence the Chaotic Internal Noise

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“Only God can quell the noise of chaos attacking our minds.”

~ Lisa Blair

Are you experiencing a cacophony of inner (chaotic) noise? I think every human in the world is or has recently experienced internal noise. We live in uncertain times and feel we no longer have control over our lives and that of our loved ones. We think we are losing our minds. PAUSE. We have to take command of our sanity and quell the noise that creates inner chaos. Chaos is the result of the external disorder. Satan’s purpose is to destroy our relationship with the Lord and do it through the means of this earth, those things that are temporal and control the circumstances of life.

Do not allow him to destroy your relationship with the Lord or your inner continence and peace. Focus on the Spirit of God, which is internal and eternal. The Holy Spirit lives in us. He can direct our path if we are silent and rely on Him, and not the dissidence the evil one orchestrates to destroy us.

Steps To Quell the Chaos

1. Dress yourself each morning in your Armor of God attire. Put on the Helmet of Salvation. It is part of the Armor of God.*

The Helmet of Salvation holds the thoughts, feelings, and purpose of God’s heart in your mind. Our mind is essential because it houses our perspective of who you are in Christ. If the evil one can attack your mind, he attacks who you are in Christ and weakens your resolve to dispel or reject the chaos he stirs relentlessly in our minds. “Salvation provides a unique perspective on who we are” as Christians. (The Full Armor of God. Larry Richards. 2013.)

2. Sit in silence.** Give God time to evacuate your mind flooded with Satan’s chaos. Let him extricate all airway messaging.

Satan does not like silence because silence is where the Lord dwells. He creates noise, dissension, and destruction. It is, therefore, essential to sit in silence and allow the Lord to speak to you.

3. Turn off the news; it is harmful and weakens your inner peace allowing chaos to enter and reign.

Satan is in control of the airways. Shut him out by turning off the radio, television, and social media. These are his tools to control your atmosphere and create a sense of hopelessness, despondency, and failure.

4. Once your inner sanctuary has been swept and sanitized, continue meditating and praying regularly, especially when you begin to feel hopeless, depressed, and doubtful about your future and the future of this world.

We can live in perfect peace, or we can choose to allow chaos to overwhelm our lives. When life becomes challenging, remind yourself that you must Amour Up each morning by dressing in the Whole Armor of God. I place my Helmet of Salvation on first, followed by the other parts of the armor. Once I am dressed, I take the first few minutes of the day to quiet my mind and body and begin the morning with God. Chaos is an option for Christians. Do you choose chaos or the peace that is greater than our understanding, being steadfast, *** relying on our Lord to fight our battles, meet our needs, and provide a way out when you do not see a way out?

““Be still and now that I am God,” the first half of Psalms 46:10, is a popular verse used to encourage believers to be still and silent before the Lord. This interpretation promotes a healthy rest in the presence of the Lord.” (Christianity.com, What Does ‘Be Still and Know I am God’ Means in Psalms 46:10? By Joel Ryan)

In closing, Cherie Hill writes, “When you begin first thing in the morning, you set the stage for your day. Through your praise, you establish a firm foundation of faith, and you can face whatever you must with courage, strength, wisdom, patience, and peace. I tell you that joy comes in the morning because you will find God’s mercy there.”**** IHe Whispers Your Name by Cherie Hill)

Scriptures (YouVersion. Bible.com)

* Ephesians 5:13-18 NKJV

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—”

** Psalms 62:5-8 NIV

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”

‭‭*** Isaiah 26:3,4 NIV

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”

**** Psalms 59:16

But I will sing of your strength in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble.

Images: Google Images
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