Where People Fit!

Where People Fit!

Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy. When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan. Proverbs 29:1,2

Evildoers are snared by their own sin, but the righteous shout for joy and are glad.Proverbs 29:6

The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.Proverbs 29:7

Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away anger.Proverbs 29:8

If a wise person goes to court with a fool, the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace. Proverbs 29:9

The bloodthirsty hate a person of integrity and seek to kill the upright. Proverbs 29:10

Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. Proverbs 29:11

Throughout a person’s life, they go through stages–trying to determine where they fit in with life’s scheme of things for them.

I believe that however a person turns out–in life–begins with the foundation that is laid when they begin seeing themselves in the environment in which they find themselves. And as such, when people realize what their surroundings are and they can make a difference or simply accept it–they are in position to choose their end in life. Being born into a poverty-ridden environment doesn’t mean that’s how a person how to end their life. Being born into a gilded society where a person has everything done for them, doesn’t mean they will be a better person for it and many end up being morally corrupt.

What I’ve discovered about many (not all) people who had to work their way to what they wanted (nothing given to them except moral standards), they are more inclined to have a benefactor’s heart. They always want to help someone–without fanfare or recognition–just to make sure someone has a chance for a better life.

At the opposite end of this spectrum–those born with “silver/gold spoons” as feeding utensils, usually (not always) end up looking down on those who did not have what they have and have no compassion on those who do not what they were given at birth. They tend to go through life thinking the world owes them and they do for others when they can derive attention for it.

Looking at The Word of God, we see primarily how people fit into specific categories in our general society. Now, note these adjectives are not the labels earned at the beginning of life, but rather near the end of life.

The stiff-necked–after many rebukes–those who refuse to change their ways.

The righteous–those who do what is right according to God’s Word.

Evil-doers–those who plot and plan to do evil to others for their own gain.

The wicked–those who thrive on doing evil and enjoy it.

The wise–those who respect and adhere to wisdom from above.

The fool (stupid, idiot) those who have been taught what is right, but rebel against it to go their own way and keep finding themselves in a rut–never moving forward, always blaming others for their outcome since they refuse to accept responsibility for what they do or don’t do.

The bloodthirsty–those who do not care about the bloodshed of others in their quest to accomplish their own missions.

Thinking about what we do and why we do it–we should be able to find ourselves in one of these categories. Where do you fit?

Being Thankful!

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:12-17 NIV

When we understand how God does things–not necessarily how we do them–and remember to thank Him for all things, He never lets us down.

Many are the plans of man, but only what God has planned will work. I see that so often in my own life that I know I should never be concerned about anything and what the end result will be. But human nature–such as it is–always leans upon one’s own understanding of how things should be instead of allowing God to guide. However, when we know–He’s in charge–and allow Holy Spirit to speak to us–and we listen–all things really do work for the good of those who love The Lord.

When we allow The Word of God to guide us in all things–loving one another, showing compassion towards all, providing all things honest in the sight of all–as His chosen people, we see His results for all we do.

For the past year, I have served in a volunteer capacity with our school’s Band Boosters as the treasurer. With the help of the past treasurer–who is a real jewel and treasure all by herself–we managed to do all we needed to do and enjoy success with our fundraisers. Last night was the culminating event–a celebratory banquet–recognizing the accomplishments of our school bands and honoring those to whom honor is due. Though we had a rocky start in the planning, God showed us the way and the event was a delight for all who came.

I am usually not a pessimist–more a realist–and I wasn’t sure how things were going to turn out, but I decided to trust God and I said, “Whatever You want it to be, Lord, that’s what it will be.” And it was! I am so grateful and thankful to be His and for His love!

Sometimes, we miss the practicality of applying The Word to our lives and as a result, we miss receiving God’s best in our lives. Moments like last night, remind me that we should always apply The Word to our lives in all situations and there is nothing–absolutely nothing–we could ever experience, plan or do that is not covered in The Word.

Glory to God! What a blessing to rest in His peace and know joy in the midst of confusion of chaos and uncertainty, He is right there! Thanking God for all things–whether I understand them or not.

Taking Time To Meditate!

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who mediates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither–whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:1-3 NIV

One of the most common responses from a Christian when asked how they’re doing is, “I’m blessed!” But are they really blessed as implied by The Word? From the Hebrew and the Greek, the word, blessed–means to be happy or happiness. So if we exchange the word blessed in this Psalm, the beginning would say, “Happy is the one…” If people are so blessed–happy–why is the church–the Body of Christ–in such a sad state?

Are we truly happy? Are we meditating on God’s Word, day and night or we just playing at memorizing The Word and think we have accomplished something?

From the dictionary, blessed also means to be divinely favored or selected or fortunate–from a purely biblical perspective–it is an adjective (words that describe).

To meditate on something (from the Hebrew and Greek) means to study, or declare. Do we truly meditate on The Word? Do we study it in order to declare it?

From the dictionary, to meditate (action word–verb) means to contemplate, engage, reflect and introspect–all which require deliberate actions.

One of the reasons the Psalmist can say that a person is happy when they are obedient to God’s Word is because the Psalmist has a relationship with God and hears Him, when He speaks–providing instruction and insight as to how He wants us to live.

Can we truly say we spend time with God, studying His Word, hearing Him provide us with insight as to the meaning or context of what He’s saying? Or are we more content to rely upon others to tell us what they think about God’s Word?

These questions keep cropping up in my spirit because of what I observe in others–those supposedly teaching The Word. Based upon my understanding of what I have studied, I see many who are merely teaching God’s Word out of traditional leanings, with no true understanding. The focus is more on a moan or a groan-coming from them–which is unintelligible for others to understand. So, if what we say is unintelligible (not understood), how do we claim that it is teaching? For in order to teach anyone, anything, what we say and do must be understood.

If I’m stepping on toes today, good! We all need someone to remind us that we have not arrived at perfection and when it comes to teaching God’s Word, we should always meditate–study it so we can give clear understanding, before we attempt to teach it to anyone.

I am setting aside time for deliberate meditation upon Psalm 119 in the coming weeks. This is not just to memorize it–since I tend to be extremely forgetful–but to understand it–in its entirety and to be able to line it up with the rest of God’s Word. For all of God’s Word should line up–it’s context should never change even one scripture.

The World is changing and from what I can see–we are in dire need of understanding–all of God’s Word as Paul tells Timothy, ” Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.” (I Timothy 4:15 NKJV)

And that is precisely what I plan to do–give myself entirely to concentrating on The Word, one verse at a time. So, if you are inclined to read my understanding every day, great! If not, oh well. If you know Psalm 119 well enough to teach me, don’t hesitate to comment on what I say. I am very teachable and sometimes–I may not hear God completely, but it’s not because I’m not listening–traditional perceptions sometimes get in the way.

Here’s to getting the traditional perceptions out of the way so I can clearly understand what the Psalmist is saying to us–from then to now–in the 21st century and how it applies to our lives in this changing world.