Overflowing Life

Proverbs 9:11
“For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you.”

Jesus promised, those who believe in Him would be the recipients of eternal life. He also promised we would have abundant life while we live.

John wrote in 1 John 1:5:12, “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 

We will never experience the abundant life God intends for us until we first receive Christ and begin to walk with Him. Scripture promises the love of God will flood our hearts, the peace of God will guard our minds, and the life of God will well up within us like a fountain, flowing out upon others around us. Once we receive Christ, we begin to experience the abundant grace of God flowing into our lives. Paul knew this kind of life, and it enabled him to celebrate the Lord, even in the most difficult situations.

There are, however, many Christians who are failing to experience abundant life. They seem to be constantly downtrodden and defeated. In some cases, it may be a result of failing to choose the path of wisdom. Solomon explains that true wisdom has, as its goal, a desire to live pleasing to the Lord. When we walk that road (when all decisions are filtered through a desire to do what is right in the eyes of God), we will find “our days are multiplied and years of life are added.” Things are simply better when we follow the Lord and do it His way. So often, our will fights against the will of God. When we resist Him, we fail to see that His desires are best for us. The height of life is always reached when we surrender all to Christ, and live in obedience to His Word.

Let’s commit together to begin each day by offering ourselves to the Lord, and looking at our circumstances in the light of Scripture. Begin each day this week by dedicating yourself to Him, praying for the things you are facing, and reading His Word. End each day by examining your actions in light of the Lord and His Word. Let’s see how far He can take us down the road of abundant life.

Pastor Jim

Question for Proverbs 9 
Wisdom continues in this chapter to be personified as a gracious woman. 
1. Read verses 1-6. Notice the tremendous hospitality to strangers. This paints a picture that God is welcoming to those without wisdom who are seeking it. Read James 1:5. When you lack wisdom do you go to God and His word and ask for wisdom? 

2. Read verses 7-9. A contrast is being made between the scoffer and the wise man in these verses. How does the scoffer respond to correction? How does a wise man respond? 

3. All scoffers are foolish, but not all fools are scoffers. When we are humble concerning our foolishness and seek the Lord, He responds graciously. When we cross the line and begin to scoff at the things of the Lord, then God leaves us to the consequences of our sin, and lets us learn the hard way. Read Romans 1:18-32 to see an example of this. Is there anyone in your life that you need to simply pray for and stop speaking about the things of God to? What about you? Do you receive correction? 

4. Read verse 10. What two things are the foundation for wisdom? Read Col 2:1-3. The “fear of the Lord” simply means to care about what God thinks more than anything else (see Proverbs 14:27, 19:23, 22:4). The “fear of man” is caring mostly about what people think of you (see Proverbs 29:25). Keep your relationship with Jesus central, and stay in His word and you will become wise! 

5. According to verse 12, who is the ultimate beneficiary of wisdom? Who is the one who must face the consequences of foolishness (ignoring God’s wisdom)? Although our wisdom (or lack of it) will certainly affect others, we are the ones who have the most to gain or lose in our own lives by our attitude concerning wisdom. 

6. In verses 13-18, we see that the foolish woman is also hospitable to strangers, just like Wisdom in the beginning of the chapter. However, what are the net results of responding to her? Read Proverbs 16:25, and 1 Corinthians 3:18-20.


Old Testament:
Joel 1- Unattended Children
Joel 2- Turn To Me
Joel 3- Looking Ahead

A Fork In The Road

Proverbs 8:2
“She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, beside the way, where the paths meet.”

Have you ever been following someone’s directions to a place you have never been, and encountered an unexpected fork in the road? When that happens, we are forced to stop, study the map again, ask for help, and make a decision as to which way to go. Solomon tells us, that in life, when we encounter the unexpected fork in the road, wisdom is there to meet us, and provide direction for our lives. While wisdom is always available to us, there are times when it may be more difficult to know the right path to take. Solomon gives a description of wisdom so we will be able to recognize it the next time we are in need.

Proverbs 8:7 “For my mouth will speak truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.”

God’s wisdom will always lead us away from wickedness and sin. Later, Solomon defines the fear of the Lord as hating evil (Proverbs 8:13). Any direction that leads you closer to sin, or away from fellowship with God, is not the way of wisdom. If you are trying to decide whether to go out with the guy from work, look at his life. Has he been showing evidence that he wants to walk with, serve and please God? If you are trying to decide about a move. Is there a healthy church nearby where you will be able to continue to grow in Christ and raise your family around the things of the Lord? The way of wisdom always leads us toward the Lord.

Proverbs 8:12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion.

Wisdom does not travel alone, she has a partner named Prudence. Prudence is defined as the ability to govern oneself, especially as it related to being circumspect in times of peril. We are able to recognize the way of wisdom when we realize that God’s way will always lead us to denying the flesh, and to personal growth in Christ. We were all taught about adrenaline and the body’s “fight or flight” reaction to danger. It is natural for all of us to want to avoid danger or difficulty; to choose the easy road over the difficult one. There are times, however, when God wants us to take the more challenging road, because He desires to do a work within us. That work will always involve the cutting away of the flesh. While that may be difficult, the end of that road, is our becoming the persons God created us to be, in Christ.

Proverbs 8:20 “I traverse the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice”

Righteousness, like holiness, is a word we sometimes struggle to define. I recently saw a sign that referred to a location as a holy site, and stated “no smoking, bare feet or loud talking.” Apparently, their definition of holy was to be quiet, not smoke and have covered toes. Biblical righteousness is best defined as becoming more like Jesus, and the path of wisdom always leads us to Christ.

Proverbs 8:23 “I have been established from everlasting, from the beginning, before there was ever an earth.”

Solomon takes us back to the very beginning, when all things were created, and reminds us that wisdom was there. We learn true godly wisdom does not change when culture does. The things that will lead us toward or away from God, do not change like the tide. Cultural mores may be different now than they were back in the “good old days”, but the wisdom of God has not changed. Regardless of what Hollywood says, or what new laws are passed in Washington, the wisdom of God will never change. Sin will always be sin, and righteousness will always be righteousness. Wisdom and prudence lead us to knowledge and discretion.

Let’s be sure, as we face a fork in the road, that we are looking for signs that point to heaven’s wisdom.

Pastor Jim

Questions For Proverbs 8 
In this chapter wisdom is personified as a gracious lady, in stark contrast to the immoral woman from the previous chapter. She is a servant of God, and so as we observe her, we observe the Lord’s heart concerning wisdom. 
1. Read verses 1-4. Does Wisdom keep her wisdom to herself? 

2. Read verse 5. Who in particular does she especially reach out to? Read 1 Corithians 1:24-29. 

3. Read verses 6-9. What are the qualities of wisdom? What things are not a part of wisdom’s counsel? Read James 3:13-18. There is a wisdom that is not the wisdom of God. This chapter is referring to the wisdom that God provides. 

4. Verses 10-16 paint a picture of great wealth and power that wisdom gives. What does the world pursue for wealth and power? 

5. Look at verses 17. What is required to find wisdom? 

6. Verses 18-21 paint a picture of the wealth that wisdom provides. This wealth obviously extends beyond the financial. In what other ways should a person be wealthy? Read 1 Tim 6:6-19. 

7. Verses 22-31 speak of wisdom’s timelessness. The wisdom of God is not subject to fads or what is currently popular. Do you look first to what the Bible when you seek wisdom, or do you quickly turn to “experts” for their opinion? Be careful. Trusting God’s wisdom is much safer! 

8. Read 32-36. What are the advantages of listening to God’s wisdom? What are the disadvantages? Is seeking, finding, and applying God’s wisdom a priority in your life? 


Old Testament:
Hosea 13 – Smoke
Hosea 14-Healing for the backslidden

Falling Down

Proverbs 7:24
“Now therefore, listen to me, my children; Pay attention to the words of my mouth”

This chapter is given entirely as a warning against the danger of falling into sexual sin. It is written as a letter from a father to his son, pleading with him to avoid the things that will lead to sin. While this sin is perhaps more common among young men, it is a sin we all must avoid. The principles found in this chapter will apply to guarding against all sin. To grasp the danger being warned against, look at what happened to this young man who turns aside from the Lord for sinful pleasure.

Proverbs 7:22 “Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks . . .“

While it seems as though he was suddenly destroyed by sin, it was actually quite a long road that took him there, and one filled with warning signs he chose to ignore. Falling from the Lord is never something that takes place over night. This young man’s failure illustrates the steps that always lead to a fall.

First, we read he was a young man. While he may have thought of himself as all grown up, in reality he was quite immature. We read he was “simple and devoid of understanding.” Hebrews 5 refers to a group of people who should be teaching others, but because they had failed to grow in Christ, they were still behaving like baby Christians. It is appropriate for an infant to act like a baby, but it is sad when an adult is still behaving childishly. Growth in Christ does not happen simply by being a believer for a long period of time. We grow when we invest in our relationship with the Lord. Failure to do so will make us susceptible to a fall.

Second, we read of the young man walking the street that led to her home. His failure was a result of being in the wrong place. Instead of choosing a different route, he walked where he should not have been. We cannot expect to come right to the edge of sin and not fall off that cliff. To avoid a fall we need to steer clear of the things that will incite the flesh and lead to failure.

Third, this young man is walking alone. Many of our failures could be avoided if we got others involved in the fight. Had this young man walked those same streets with a godly friend, they could watch each other’s back, and encourage each other in order to avoid failure. Finding someone who will be an encouragement to you in your walk, involves being in church regularly, stepping out of your comfort zone to get to know others, and letting down some guards so others can know how to pray for and encourage you. There are certain aspects of our walk with the Lord where we must walk alone, but for the most part, God did not intend for us to travel this road alone.

Finally, our traveler fell because he ignored the obvious warning signs. Whatever he was thinking, the moment she used the word “husband,” he should have known this was not a path to continue on. The correct response at that moment was to flee. The problem was, he had allowed himself to reach a point of no return. Once he began following his desires, rather than the Word of the God, those desires began to control him. Flattering words mixed with her embrace, her kiss and her seduction, brought him to a point where failure was inevitable. We must deal with temptation long before we get to the point where it is too strong to avoid. If we are honest, we will recognize that before we fail, we have passed sign after sign warning us to turn around and travel some other route.

Before we come to the slaughter house of sin, let’s take the time to examine our lives in light of these warnings.

Pastor Jim

Questions foe Proverbs 7 
1. In verses 1-4 we read of five separate things that we should do concerning God’s wisdom from His word. What are they? 

2. In verses 1-2 the word keep is used. This means much more than to obey; it carries with it the idea of keeping watch, guarding, treasuring, and paying attention to. Consider your heart toward God’s Word. Do you “keep” it and the wisdom it imparts in all of these senses? 

3. Back in chapter 3 we saw many of the benefits of wisdom. Verse 5 of chapter 7 gives us another benefit: freedom from the immoral woman. The immoral woman is a representation of both sexual sin, and spiritual adultery against God. Before we look further at the dangers she poses, what according to this verse is the key to overcoming her? 

4. Read verses 6-9. What was the young man lacking? Before he actually visits the woman, where is he? When does he visit her? 

5. Take a look at verses 10-13. What are some of the characteristics of this woman? Remember that this is a description of not only a woman enticing a man to sexual sin, but of anyone who would entice us away from devotion to God and faithfulness to Him. 

6. Read verses 14-18. What rationalization does she give in verse 14? In verse 18 what does she emphasize? Unfaithfulness to God and indulgence of sin will always be attended by at least one of these two things: lying rationalizations, and false perspective that emphasizes only the pleasurable. Be careful! 

7. Read verses 19-20. The immoral woman suggests that there will be no consequence or accountability for lying with her; her husband is gone. Read 2 Peter 3. Will the husband return? Come out to Calvary this weekend as we study this chapter, or listen live online. 

8. Read verses 21-27. Notice that by paying attention to her words, the young man fell into ruin. What are some of the things that happened to him? Is anyone strong enough to play with fire and not get burned (verse 26)? What is the way to prevent ourselves from being taken in by her (verse 24)? 



Old Testament:
Hosea 11- Bands of love
Hosea 12- Unnecessary Assistance

The Ant

Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
Which, having no captain, overseer or ruler,
Provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” – Proverbs 6:6-8

Solomon used the natural world as a teacher of spiritual truth. Not to the extent that his understanding of God was built on what he saw in nature, but rather that nature has a way of illustrating many Biblical truths. In Proverbs, it is common to find references to the animal kingdom as a teaching method.

The ant is a means of reminding us of the need to plan ahead. To the casual observer, they seem to have no ruler, yet they all march in line to store up for the future. Solomon suggests the reason we fail to prepare for what is ahead is laziness. Twice in the passage, the man who does not plan for his future is referred to as a sluggard. Webster defines a sluggard as an habitually lazy person, or someone who is inactive.

While it seems clear, Solomon has our financial well being in mind, this truth has its fullest application in preparing for eternity. Every person, rich or poor, man or woman, free or slave, will one day breathe his last and step out of time and into eternity. Tragically, not all of us are prepared for that eventuality. Some put it off thinking they will get around to it later, only to be caught, by death, unaware. Others, purposely try to avoid any thought of death or eternity by filling their minds with earthly things. Whatever the case, we must “go to the ant” and learn to prepare for our ultimate fate; being face to face with the God who made us.

The way to prepare for eternity is first to receive Christ as Savior and Lord. Accept the fact that you are a sinner and He is the Savior. Bow your head, your heart, and your life to Him and ask Him to forgive your sins. Second, we need to store up treasures in heaven by living for Him on earth. Take time to pray for others and tell them about your relationship with Christ. Look for ways to get involved in serving Him by ministering to others.

Go to the ant, Heaven is waiting.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Proverbs 6 
1. Surety-security or payment, in debt. Verses 1-6 tell us a bit about debt. After reading these verses, how do you view debt? 

2. Do you plan ahead? Are you a hard worker? Verses 6-11 instruct us to what will happen to us if we do not work. How does poverty come on someone? 

3. Verses 12-15 describe “the worthless/wicked man,” pray for the people you know now that these verses describe. 

4. What 6 things does the Lord hate? If any of these describe you, confess now and start asking the Lord to change you. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17 

5. The consequences of adultery can be devastating. Being involved in sin will give you tunnel vision, you only see what you want to see, not realizing the destruction you are bringing upon yourself and others. Pray for those caught in this horrid trap, God will deliver and wants to restore! 


Old Testament:
Hosea 10 – Sow What

On The Edge

Proverbs 5:14
“I was on the verge of total ruin, in the midst of the assembly and congregation.”

“The assembly of the congregation”, or in our case, the church, was designed by God as a means to help the individual believer grow in Christ. The Word of God, corporate worship, and fellowship, were all designed by God to help each of us grow in Christ. When we come to church with a soft heart, eager to hear from God, His Word has a way of speaking directly into the things we are facing; equipping us in advance against trials and temptation. When we enter worship, with a desire to give back to God for all He has given to us, we find we draw near to Him, and surrender more of ourselves to Him. When we develop honest fellowship with other believers, we are willing to ask for prayer and counsel. When we remain open to share our struggles, we find that iron sharpens iron, and we are able to overcome sin and temptation.

That being said, it is dangerous when we enter the assembly of the congregation, put on a mask, and begin to play the Christian game. By wearing a smile and speaking our best Christianese, we convince others that all is well, when in reality we have begun to wander from the Lord. Instead of allowing the Word to do its work in our lives, by convicting, instructing, and changing, or taking advantage of the fellowship of the saints, we use our church time to pretend all is well.

Solomon warns of the danger of living like that. He declares, it is possible to be on the verge of total ruin, while standing in the midst of the assembly. Backsliding begins long before we stop gong to church. It starts when we begin to pretend all is well; when truly we have begun to drift. Instead of putting on your best mask, come to the fellowship with a hunger for the Word, a desire to worship, and an eagernes to glean all you can from other believers.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Proverbs 5 
We are asked to pay attention to specific wisdom and to preserve discretion. Discretion-discernment which enables a person to judge critically of what is correct and proper, united with caution; nice discernment and judgment, directed by circumspection, and primarily regarding one’s own conduct. This chapter is a warning about the “immoral woman”. 
1. How is the immoral woman described in verses 3-6? 

2. The instruction given in verses 7 & 8 are very clear. As we have read in earlier chapters, some things we need to keep far away from our lives. Have you known someone that has fallen into this sin? Are you being tempted? Follow the instruction given. 

3. We have read about the benefits of obeying the principles in previous chapters. What consequences are described here for being involved with the immoral woman? 

4. Verses 15-20 tell us what we should and should not do. Verse 21 can bring comfort or guilt; for the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord and He ponders all his paths. Do you understand that the Lord sees all you do? Read Colossians 3:17 


Old Testament:
Hosea 7- Silly Bird
Hosea 8- Watch Your Step

Healthy Home

Proverbs 4:3-4
“When I was my father’s son, tender and the only one in the sight of my mother, he also taught me, and said to me: ‘Let your heart retain my words; keep my commands, and live.’”

Solomon is giving us a brief glimpse into his home life. In these verses we learn he was raised in an environment of love. He proudly refers to himself as his father’s son and the only one in the sight of his mother. Whatever cultural experiences he might have had being the son of a king, his parent’s love for him was clearly evident. We also see, Solomon was raised on the Word of God. Although David carried the responsibility of caring for the entire nation, he did not neglect the responsibility of caring for his own son. He took the time to instruct Solomon in the ways of wisdom and the Word of God.

These are two key ingredients that must be found in every Christian home. Children need parents that love them, and express that love in such a way, they believe they matter more than anything else to their parents. Certainly, there were times when the responsibilities of the Kingdom took David away from the home, requiring his undivided attention. He seemed to have made a point not to let his children think the Kingdom mattered more to him than they did.

King David had the resources of the kingdom at his disposal. He would be able to provide the best tutors for his children, and send them to the best schools. While it is necessary to have help, we must realize, as parents, we are the primary players in the spiritual development of our children. Sunday school teachers and youth pastors are a huge blessing, and can have a tremendous influence on our children, for the Lord. However, we, as parents, need to make the primary investments of the things of God, into the lives of our kids.

I think the reason it is somewhat difficult to do this, is because of the fact, we cannot give what we do not have. I am incapable of helping my son with his calculus homework, because I do not understand the subject. Some parents are the same way with the Bible. If you do not spend time reading the Bible, you will not have anything to share with your children or others.

The key to investing the things of the Lord in the lives of your children, is taking time to, first, make those investments in your own life.

Pastor Jim

Question for Proverbs 4 
1. Words from a father to his son (David to Solomon). Take a moment to list the instructions with each action: 
• Hear 

• Do not 

• Get 

• Keep 

• Love 

• Exalt 

• Take 

• Turn away 

• Put away 

• Let 

Old Testament:
Hosea 4- Confusion
Hosea 6- Come back

Benefits

Proverbs 3:1
“My Son, do not forget my law”

Have you ever heard someone ask, “What’s in it for me?” As if they will not consider the cost of doing something, unless they can understand the personal benefits they will derive. In light of that, notice how Solomon goes to great lengths to express the benefits of living a godly life.

Proverbs 3:2. “For length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.”

Proverbs 3:4. “And so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.”

Proverbs 3:8. “It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.”

Proverbs 3:16. “Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor.”

Proverbs 3:17. “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”

Proverbs 3:22-23. “So they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck. Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble.”

Proverbs 3:26. :For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.”

Proverbs 3:35 “The wise shall inherit glory, but shame shall be the legacy of fools.”

Long life, peace, favor, wealth, pleasantness, safety, protection and glory are just a handful of the blessings on the path of godliness. Sadly, we often step off the straight and narrow path, because we think there is something better on the other side of the fence. The only thing the narrow road is keeping you from, is that which will lead you away from the Lord, and into a life of misery. It is time to put our hands to the plow, keep our eyes on the Word, and press forward in the Lord. The end of that road is the greatest glory, and the path is filled with righteousness.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Proverbs 3 
1. How can you keep the law in your heart? 

2. Verses 5-6 are a great place to start; can you memorize these verses by the end of the week? 

3. In verse 7, we are given wonderful instruction; we know what it means to fear the Lord and we know how to depart from something. Evil is the thing we depart from and it is defined by God’s word. You are never mature enough to have sin in your life. 

4. What are the benefits listed of honoring the Lord with your possessions? Do you honor the Lord with all that you have? 

5. How is wisdom described in verses 14-18? 

6. In verses 19-20 we see wisdom’s part in creation. Do you give honor & praise to God for His creation? 

7. More benefits of wisdom in verses 21-26. List them and ask the Lord to make them part of your daily walk. 

8. Verses 27-35 offer practical instruction, if you are not applying these principles in your life, start today! How can you make a difference to someone by this application? 



Old Testament:
Hosea 2- Undue Influence
Hosea 3- Sale Rack

Wise Guy

Proverbs 2:6-11
“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path. When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you, . . . “

Wisdom can be defined as the proper application of knowledge in any given situation, or simply knowing what to do. We have all felt, at times, that we do not know what to do. We are faced with a problem, and are crippled with indecision. It is comforting to know, God promises to give wisdom to His children. The question that remains is, how do I get my hands on the wisdom He has? There are at least three simple steps.

First, we must understand there is a difference between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of this world. Not all advice is godly, and not every direction will lead us closer to Him.

Second, we must cry out to God for His wisdom. James wrote that if we lack wisdom we must ask Him for it and He will give it to us (James 1:5). Solomon wrote that we should search for it as you would for a precious treasure (Proverbs 2:4). When we do not know what to do, we should look up to Heaven and cry out for help.

2 Chronicles 20:12 “O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

Finally, wisdom is acquired by asking God, and looking into his Word. Since the wisdom of God differs from the wisdom of the world, the means by which we find it, will also differ. Heaven’s wisdom is not found on the TV screen or at the box office. It is rarely listed in the advice columns, or even in university text books. Instead, the wisdom of God is found in the pages of His Word. When Israel was about to enter the Land, God told them, if they followed His Word, the nations around them would be stunned by how brilliant they seemed. They would ask where they acquired such know-how and wisdom. Their answer is recorded for us:

Deuteronomy 4:6 “Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’”

When we apply the Word of God to our lives, we will find that our own lives are better, and we become a witnessing tool to those around us. Let’s be careful to seek wisdom as a precious treasure.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Proverbs 2 
1. How are we to search for wisdom and understanding? 

2. When you do this, you will understand the fear of the Lord, verse 5. Do you understand the fear of the Lord? Proverbs 1:7, 3:7, Deuteronomy 6:2, 10:12, Psalm 115:11, 1Peter 3:15 

3. How is the “immoral woman” described? Where does her house lead? 

4. Verse 19 may be described in our vernacular: the innocence lost is never regained. Sin can bring on consequences as described in chapter 1 when we do not listen to wisdoms call. Never forget 1 John 1:9 and Romans 8:28. Are there things in your life you need to confess to the Lord? Take time now to lay it at the feet of Jesus. 2Corinthians 5:17, be obedient allow Him to cleanse you! 

5. Verses 20-23 again show us what happens if we seek wisdom or try to do it without God’s help. Which choice will you make? 


Old Testament:
Daniel 11- Times Like These
Daniel 12- The Shining

Wisdom

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

We often find ourselves in the middle of situations where we do not know what to do. Arriving at a fork in the road, without road signs, we feel lost and confused. Often, the most difficult concern is the fear of making a bad decision. The Bible promises, in those times, the believer can call out to God, who will give us a liberal serving of wisdom. No matter what you are facing, the Bible will direct you to a good and godly decision. The purpose of the book of Proverbs, is to provide heavenly wisdom for earthly living. Solomon begins this long journey, consisting of hundreds of nuggets of godly advice, with the secret to obtaining wisdom. He tells us, all wisdom and knowledge must begin with a healthy fear of the Lord.

The fear of the Lord might be best defined as simply desiring to be pleasing to the Lord. The first step to problem solving is to ask ourselves, “What is most pleasing to the Lord?” If you are facing a problem in your personal life for which you need heavenly direction, the first step is to ask what God wants you to do. It is vital to remember, the answer to that question will be found in the pages of your Bible.

One of the most important of all the proverbs Solomon penned, is a word of warning found in Chapter 14.

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

Instead of trying to figure things out on your own, or doing only what you think is best, take the time to look into the pages of God’s Word and do what He says.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Proverbs 1 
1. Verses 1-6 offer a lot of benefits to heeding to instruction. Verse 7 sums up the how to receive these benefits. What is the beginning for this instruction? 

2. How do sinners entice you? Verses 8-14 

3. What is the outcome of the enticement? Verses 15-19 

4. Wisdom cries out to us in verses 20-23, in what ways has wisdom spoken to you? 

5. Verse 7 says that “fools despise wisdom and instruction.” In verses 24-32 gives us a scary picture of what happens when we do not fear the Lord and listen to His instruction. How many times have you heard someone cry out to God when things are a mess, yet never obey His Word? 

6. Have you ever felt like you were in something you couldn’t understand? How is the Lord speaking to you in verse 28-29? 

7. How would you describe verse 31? So many things we see in the world’s wisdom today relate here. Read Romans 1:18-25 

8. Proverbs is full of principles of life; God’s Word is full of promises. Principles are a way of life, promise are sure foundations of those principles. As you read verse 33, take time to look at Psalm 91, Jeremiah 17:5-8, Matthew 11:28, Philippians 4:19. Are you holding to God’s promises and principles? 

Old Testament:
Daniel 10- Fasting

I’ll Be Back

Revelation 22:20-21
“He who testifies to these things says, ‘ Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

If you are anything like me, you have echoed the cry of John, from time to time in your walk with God. It seems whenever things become difficult, confusing or frightening, my heart cries out, “Come, Lord Jesus.” I realize, the only reason for His delay is His desire to see others come to faith in Christ. Peter wrote,

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

There is a day coming, in the not so distant future, when all the promises of Scripture will be fulfilled, and Christ will return for His church and set up His kingdom. As John sat incarcerated on the island of Patmos, his heart longed for the return of his Savior and Lord.

That being said, it has often struck me, that the final promise of Scripture takes us from the promises of the future, to those of the present. After declaring Christ will return for His church, John reminds us that we are living in a present state of grace.

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

Grace can be defined as the giving nature of God. It i s expressed in His desire to save the lost, and to pour out lavish gifts upon His children. As we await the return of Christ, we live in the age of grace. The closer we get to the time of Christ’s return, the more difficult things will become on earth. As men harden their hearts to God, sin will increase and righteousness will become more and more scarce. It is vital to remember, although God will judge sin, it is His desire to save. The darker the background, the more brightly the message of the Gospel shines. Instead of becoming discrouraged by the present condition of things, let’s remember that it is in the heart of God to save. Let’s be busy praying for, and witnessing to, our friends and loved ones, until the day Christ calls us home.

Until He comes,

Pastor Jim


Questions for Revelation 22

Over the course of the book of Revelation, we have seen future history. And at the center of both future history and all history is Jesus. Today we bring things to a close. 
1. In verse 1, where does the water of life come from? Read John 4:9-14, John 7:37-39. What does the water of life represent? 

2. In verses 2-3 we notice a tree that is for the health of the nations. Read Gen 2:9. What tree is present in Genesis 2:9 that is noticeably absent in Revelation 22:2-3? 

3. Read verses 4-6. We are told in verse 4 that we shall see God face to face, and that He will always be on our mind. One of the chief characteristics of heaven is that our relationship with the Lord will be great! Read Exodus 33:20. God the Father could not be seen in His glory by sinful men. But in heaven with sin removed we will be able to know Him face to face. Until then, there is one way to see God face to face. Jesus if the face we look upon. Read John 14:9. 

4. In verses 6, 7, 10, 11, and 12, there are reminders of how near this time is. Do you live in the light of eternity? Does this vision of heaven both encourage you and challenge you to live more fully surrendered to the Lord and His purposes for your life? 

5. According to verse 9 who is to be the lone recipient of worship? It is very common for us as men to put on a pedestal the one God is using. See to it that you do not. 

6. Consider verse 12. Do you ever feel that the things you do for God go unnoticed? Do you wonder if they will be worth it? What does this verse say to both of those questions? 

7. Look at verse 13. Now look up Isaiah 44:6-8 and 48:12-13. What does this title that God ascribes to Himself, the First and the Last, mean? What does it teach us about Him? How do these things affect your life? 

8. Look at verse 17. Who sends out the invitation to the water of life? Who is allowed to come and receive? Are you receiving this life? Are you extending this invitation? 

9. Look at verse 20, and especially John’s prayer at the end of the verse. It is good to pray for and look forward to the Lord’s return. Is there anything that prevents you from wanting Jesus to return right now? If there is, even if it’s a good thing, it has become too important to you. Ask God to help you to freely look toward heaven and seeing Him face to face. 

10. Notice the last verse of this book, of the New Testament and of the Bible. Grace is God’s giving nature, the kindness that He extends to us, undeserved and freely, because He loves us. According to this verse, who does God want to pour His grace out upon? Are you receiving and enjoying the grace of God? Are you a vessel for Him to show grace to this others and to this lost world?

Old Testament:
Daniel 7- Are You Ready?
Daniel 8- History And Prophecy