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The Way of Wisdom: Proverbs 25

Read Proverbs 25

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
In doing this, you will heap coals on his head,
and the Lord will reward you.

Proverbs 25:21-22

Jesus stressed the principle of this proverb (Matthew 5:43-44) and Paul quoted it directly (Romans 12:20). Out of all of the things God asks of us, this is the one thing I struggle with most. I could make a list (maybe even a book) of reasons why my enemy doesn’t deserve my love.

But He doesn’t need that list or any of my excuses for that matter.  It takes sacrifice, swallowing my pride, letting go… Am I willing? Am I willing to trust His Word over my emotions? Am I willing for Him to change my heart no matter how hard I pray for Him to change them?

He was willing to love me, knowing I didn’t deserve it. He sacrificed, forfeited pride, let go. He trusted His Father knowing He would never be the same, and those people might not change.

Yes, Lord use me. Change me. I am willing.

[Feature Image Photo seen on blog by Ben White on Unsplash]

Songs of Praise: Psalm 137-138

We continue our journey today by reading Psalm 137-138. (Click on the link to read the verses.)

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Psalm 138:8

Many writers in the Bible remind us God will fulfill His purpose in us. Paul writes to the Philippians:

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:6

Sometimes we forget. We come to the conclusion we’ve been left to accomplish on our own what God has called us to do. We strive and work to grow in our love for God, and our love for others. It makes sense I guess. After all God created us, gave us the gifts and talents we need to get the job done.  And so we work, try, make every attempt to complete what God started.

The problem is… on our own we will never complete it. Because it is not ours to complete. Our culture shouts, Just do it… Make your own way… You can do anything you set your mind on to do… We’ve been told a lie.

The writer of this psalm understands only God makes things grow. Only God fulfills and completes His purpose in and through us. He will not forsake the work of His hands.

What would happen if we decide in this moment to live out this truth in our lives. What would change for me? For you?

Think about it. Maybe even write it down. Ask God to reveal to you where you have tried to do what only He can do. Now, trust Him to do the work He promised He will do.

Lord, today I choose to trust You to fulfill Your purpose in my life. I will no longer work on my own to do Your work my way. I will seek Your desire for me. I will obey what I hear You say. You alone bring to fulfillment all You have planned for me.

[Feature Image Photo seen on website by Bethany Legg on Unsplash]

Songs of Praise: Psalm 123-126

Today’s readings: Psalm 123-126 [Click the reference to read online.]

To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy on us.

Psalm 123:1-2

God sent me to Psalm 123 as my life reeled from devastating news. My feet couldn’t find a firm place to stand.

When a moment came I could finally consider this psalm, I heard Him say: Trust Me. Watch. Wait. I will have mercy.

The circumstance didn’t end as I would’ve chosen. But I did clearly see His mercy through and through. And I learned to look to Him as a maid to her mistress, trust Him, and wait when life careens out of control.

Looking at these four psalms in context today, stringing them together, I see the blessings of setting our eyes on the Lord as a servant to His Master. From the perspective and attitude of being fully obedient to His Way, we find security, peace, protection, strength, and mercy when the trap has been set, the enemy attacks, and circumstances rage out of control around us.

Submitting ourselves wholly to God as Lord and Master, keeping our gaze fixed on Him alone, trusting Him with all we are and have, we find His mercy and discover Him trustworthy. No matter what circumstances threaten, He surrounds and encircles us as a mountain range.

He is trustworthy, even in the most devastating of circumstances. I know.

Choose to serve Him only. Not self. Not the things of the world. Nothing else will provide what we need to survive the perils of this dark broken world.

Today, I ask you to submit to Him fully as your Lord. List your fears and wants. Bring them before Him and say:

I want to serve You with all I have. I want what You want. Teach me to serve You. I will wait for You to direct me at home, work, and play. I want to know the joy of Your work in my life, bringing mercy and joy out of all I face. You are trustworthy.

Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!

Psalm 126:5

Lord, may all my tearful sowing be in full obedience to You. I know serving You alone secures my life and brings me to a place of  eternal joy.

[Featured Image Photo seen on website by Andrew Ruiz on Unsplash]