Book of Rememberance

Malachi 3:16

Bondage and Freedom

I was reading the other day and came across something that really made me appreciate God’s precepts all the more. The quote that jumped out at me impacted my understanding of why God goes to such lengths to make sure we know His Ways and what His Laws really are. I’m sure you have heard it said many times that God’s rules are for our good and not to keep us from happiness? Most parents and people who spend time with children are easily able to understand this concept but it is still so hard to live out sometimes! I also find it even harder to explain and express to non believers about why I do or do not want to do certain things. It’s always usually a matter of them feeling much more “free” to make their own choices and not have to answer to anyone (yet!) but this little snippet might come in handy next time I find myself in a situation with a non-believer who may not be able to understand my lifestyle.

“Freedoms have but corresponding bondage, example one can be free from teeth brushing but then be in bondage to cavities. Likewise, being free from cavities negates ones bondage to brushing. You really cannot enjoy freedom from one without a bondage to the other.”

In a Christian’s life, we have some guardrails the Lord put down clearly for us, in order to keep us free from certain things that would be destructive and detrimental to us. However, we can be clear we are in a sort of bondage to the Lord as we follow His regulations. but how free we are from the horrible bondage that we have traded in!

So from now on, when people make comments about how I can’t do anything, and God is a Dictator over my life, I may just respond with a positive YES! and I am so thankful He is, because I may be in bondage to following His rules and His ways, but I am oh-so-free from sin, destruction, shame, and guilt and ultimate death that always follow going my own way and the way of those in bondage to the world.

Problem is they do not know they are in bondage too. My own may seem a bit more overt, but theirs is taking a toll on their life – make no mistake. They are slaves to society, its governing leader satan, and following the norms and expectations of those around them, also slaves to not offending others, fearing what others may think or say about them and in real bondage to having to take care of themselves. I am Free from all of that! On top of it all I get to serve a real King in a real Kingdom, who is for His people, and has done everything in His power to make my life worth living. Who better to bind myself to then the One who can exceed at everything I can not?

Are you free today to bind yourself in bondage to be a slave to the Master of love, kindness, goodness, patience, holiness and beauty?

This comic sums up what I was thinking in about 5 seconds! and You can find Paul’s’ (much better!) explanation of this whole topic in Romans chapter 6, so choose this day who you will serve!

guardrail

Bree

Leave a comment »

Incubation

That’s how I have been feeling these days. It’s as if God has placed me in a small box and turned the heat up. He has been using this as an opportunity to mature and grow me in areas that I have been struggling with for a long time.

I am so thankful He has done it “incubation style” instead of what I have been begging for. He knows I likely can not handle being baptized with fire. [Matt. 3:11]  (Though, I do still ask for this almost daily!) I can honestly say I feel the heat but I know this is nothing that I could be living out if God were to actually give me what I ask for. Yikes.

For quite a while I have been really feeling like God has been preparing me and working on me for something, problem is for over a year I have yet to discover what this “something” actually is! It is frustrating to have an inclination toward something, yet not know what it is your waiting for. I wonder how many others deal with this type of feeling in their relationship with the Holy Spirit?

It is kinda frustrating! but I submit to Him and His ways, I know they are far above my own! And in the meantime I will continue to desire more of Him. I have been blessed with a lot of “free time”recently since I am not working and do not have any real responsibilities outside of keeping the house up and cooking dinner. Its been so strange to have so much time, but I have decided and made a point to not waste this time but to redeem it for the Glory of my Lord.

I have been called to spend much more time in prayer, and thanks to all of this time I now have, I am able to intercede like never before and spend more time waiting on the Lord and listening to Him as well. This has been one of the things I have prayed about since getting married – and God has opened the door for me to commit myself to extended bouts of prayer. I refuse to ignore this call and I refuse to waste the time. (for the days are evil! Eph. 5:16)

Pray without Ceasing!

Leave a comment »

Where is my faith based?

This question jolted me this morning!

For the past few weeks, I have been in an emotional upheaval. I tend to over prepare for things and prepare early enough for things to allow ample time to drive myself crazy. So I have been busy!

Needless to say all of the changes that will be happening for our family and the move out of Japan for my husband in 5 months from now has left me completely on edge to a million things. So as I have been having the sleepless nights, and the mental scenarios of good, bad and worse playing in my mind for weeks. It has left me a hot mess!

That brings me to the question I was faced with a few minutes ago. This pretty much sums up the issues I have been having for the past couple of weeks in dealing with the coming changes.

Q: “Do you base your faith on what I do, or who I am?”

I found the root of my anxiety, fear and dread! I unintentionally and incorrectly based my faith on what God does.

This was easy for a long time where things have been going along quite smoothly with very little changes. Who I think God is was matching up nicely with the things I see God doing.

In this past season God was working on changing me internally and for these particular things He was merciful enough to come at them from only one side. However, now that season is coming to a close and the new chapter requires some application! A hands on exam on everything I have been studying and praying about. I wasn’t  ready for this! Now not only do I have to keep myself in check internally I need to do it physically and publicly as well. (Self-control? What? Again?!)  Show ’em what I’m made of as they say  (or sing?). (sorry couldn’t resist, not planned but it is a nice touch! haha)

I’m sad to say I haven’t been showing very much of what I need to these days. (Matt 7:16-17)

But, thanks to God, that He has shown me exactly where my disconnect is! The trouble with having Faith in what He does is that His ways are not our ways, (Is. 55:8-9) and many times it doesn’t make much sense to us from this Earthly view. It is sometimes hard for me to see the goodness of WHO He is if I only look at what is being done. This faith is the exact opposite of what I  know the Word says about living by faith and NOT by sight. (2 Cor. 5:7) having faith in what God does is all about having faith in what I can see.

Faith in WHO God is however, is all about the God who is who He says He is! What I know about God’s Character can be seen through His Word and how He describes Himself. Also, Jesus says that to look at His ways is to see the Father. (John 14:7,9) It’s sight based on the view God gives us, and not the sight based on what we can see by ourselves in the natural.

A faith that is based on God as all loving, knowing, powerful, caring, forgiving merciful, slow to anger, kind, generous ect. ect. can easily stand against actions that do not seem to be in agreement at the time. Because I trust that God is all the things listed above (and more) then it is possible to experience even the situations that are unlovely without questioning God’s love.

This is not easy nor does it come natural for me. But it is an active fight that I sense strong in me right now. I am contending for my faith and I need to lift my eyes from what I see, to the Lord who is unseen in order to get the correct view of the situation.

So for now I am winning the fight! I am content, excited for the new changes, ready to face it all, and my faith is steadfast in Gods goodness. I fear NOTHING right now! He is in control and He is trustworthy.

But in a few minutes, hours, or days the outcome of this fight may turn and I could be close to losing it (as I was yesterday and have felt the defeat for the past couple of weeks). But the great thing is that now I have found the crack in my faith foundation and I can get to work on fixing those things that would threaten my stability in Christ.

Fight the Good fight of faith, contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (1 Tim. 6:12, Jude 1:3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

God has a plan for life?

As a Christian, how often do we here that “God has a plan for your life”? Especially if your in and around the evangelical circles, you will hear this pretty much weekly! The question though is, “Do I believe it?” Sometimes I can’t with all honesty answer yes. Other times, I can be as sure as day that this is in fact the reality of human existence.

There are quite a few scriptures throughout the Old and New Testament that would lend to confirm this belief. (Esther, Ps. 139:6, Proverbs 19:21, Is 14:21, Jer.1:5, 29:11, Romans 8:28, Eph 2:10) However, for me the trouble (doubt?) comes when learning to distinguish our “yous” from our “you”.

This is what I mean. Sometimes in scripture God is speaking to a specific individual and that promise or word is just for that person, it may or may not apply to others, but in the context we understand that it is meant for that person pretty much alone. (For example Jer. 1:5 is specific about a particular individual who God had planned prior to birth to be a prophet.) Now taking this verse, we can expand it a bit and assume that all prophets throughout the scriptures were also chosen beforehand for the plan/ purposes of God (John the baptist is a good example as well).

However, in other cases we see that the “you” was referring to a group not necessarily an individual though it was spoken to an individual at that time.(See Genesis 48:21-22 and 50:24-25) So we see in 48 that though this word was spoken specifically to Joseph on behalf of Jacob’s faith, it never actually happened to Joseph as Jacob had said to him. Likewise we see the same scenario in 50 with Joseph telling the same thing to his brothers, though we read in Exodus 1:1 that Joesph and all of his brothers died in Egypt and, clearly a long enough time had lapsed because there arose a King who did not know Joseph. So we see the word “you” in these examples to be a plural form for the group/nation of Israel and not actually to the “you” being spoken to directly.

Now, I come to my original question. Can we easily assume that when we are confronted with the statement that “God has a plan/purpose for your life” that we can stand firm on this, no matter how we feel. No matter what we see around us, no matter how much our current situation is looking more useless than fruitful?

I do not have the answer. But I will say YES! not because I am firmly convinced of this in my own life, but because of faith. I have to have faith that God is going to allow me to serve Him. That if I will make myself available He will have mercy and be moved by my desires and include me in His plans. I keep going, doing the best I can and learning to know Him more. What else am I going to do anyhow?

There are a few options here.  1) God has a plan and I don’t know it now but I will learn it as I go and I will ultimately fulfill it through His leading or 2)God doesn’t have a specific plan for me and I just go on my life looking for ways to serve Him in my own capacity at whatever whim I feel 3) God has a plan and I am too afraid to fulfill it, or it isn’t what I expected and so I keep looking and searching never finding fulfillment or completing my goal 4) God does not have a specific “call on my life”for me aside from the general purpose of salvation, doing good, helping others, spreading the word of the Gospel and taking care of my family which when I list the few scriptures that confirm these to be true of all Christians….sure does look like a life-long plan!

I have decided that it actually doesn’t matter! Whether I can confidently say and prove experientially that “this is exactly what I was created to be doing, I was born for such a time as this” or not. I have things I can be doing a)while I wait to confirm a plan or b) until I die! No sense in wasting time because I do not feel as “sure” as others about my specific job in this generation. I could wait and hope and pray and wish and wait some more until I have the confirmation I was hoping for. Or I could hope and pray and wait for the confirmation in the midst of pressing towards holiness, maturity and a deeper relationship with Christ.  I think that in this particular time of my life while in limbo between two counties, lives and futures God is much more bent on my serving him internally, and becoming more and more spotless, sinless and blameless than in putting me in a job I feel more useful at.

And wouldn’t you know, that no matter what specific call or job God may have planned for my life (if he has one in mind), it will absolutely require me to be less sinful, spotted, and blameable anyway. So I’m getting started on this plan for now, and we will see what God may do next.

God has every detail covered! He sure is smart!

Blessings to you,

-Bree

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

Pride.

I hate that word, don’t you?  I hate it for a number of obvious reasons – most importantly being that God Himself hates it! (The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. Proverbs 16:5)

But I can attest with most of you that likely pride has gotten us into some trouble…or a lot of trouble!

I have been studying about pride a LONG time. I mean years! Yes, I said years. You would think by now I could have moved on to something else? Ya, I expected the same. Sadly pride is so deeply woven into my being, it is taking much more than I anticipated to put an end to it. I figure I have been proud since at least kindergarten. (Though likely even early than that.) I was the only one in my class who could read and I [my pride] REMEMBERS that!  Were talking 25+ years of pride getting into every part of my being/soul/mind.

So what can it take to get it out? God! Of course the answer is always God, ’nuff said. We can pray and trust Him and be living lovely pride-free lives from here on out. Yay!

Except here is what we are facing: 2 Chronicles 7:14, Matthew 23:12, James 4:6,10,    1 Peter 5:6. This one little phrase has continued to cause me struggle after struggle. Humble YOURSELF. Oh man, what’s this? I thought God was going to do that for me?

Humility lesson #1 God responds to the humble.

I need to be humble enough to prostrate myself before His mighty hand and allow Him to drive out the pride from my life. He will do it in fact, but only for the humble heart that seeks His pruning, and acknowledges that I a) need pruning, and b) cannot drive out the pride in my own strength, power or trying. Turns out I may be studying a lot on the topic, but I am not actually pressing towards humility as a characteristic of my personality. I am still only reading, and praying (very hard!) that it will go away. I realized the discrepancy comes from my belief in the power of my prayer and not in the One to whom I am praying. I may very well be praying to and with myself. (Luke 18:11)

Humility lesson #2 God has given us the Holy Spirit. 

No I did not earn the Holy Spirit nor was God obligated to give Him to me for all that I have done/ not done.  But I have the Holy Spirit as a gift from God because He simply wanted to give Him to me, and wanted to invite me into His family. The result is that I can have conviction for prideful behaviour and numerous opportunities to practice humbling myself, repenting and asking forgiveness from God and others. Every opportunity to be prideful is an equal opportunity to learn humility.

Humility lesson #3 Humility is learned.

Jesus is our Teacher of humility. (Matthew 11:29) We are merely students – meaning we do not know anything on the topic and in fact need to be taught how and what being humble really means. Jesus invites us to learn from Him what He expects of us. I am so thankful that I do not need to wonder how to apply humility to my life. But, I do need to study and learn from the Teacher. (2 Timothy 2:15) Students are naturally humble. They take classes they need to learn and look to their teachers to instruct them in the topic. Likewise, the humble heart of a student will come to Jesus and learn of Him the more excellent way.

Humility lesson #4 Death alone will bring the ultimate end of pride in my life. 

As a Christian, I have hope for what is to come, a heavenly body and all things to be made new. I can expect to be free from sinful behaviour once I am permanently in the presence of My Lord. Thank You God!! But actually this is NOT what I am talking about. Death to self is the ultimate end of pride in our lives here on Earth (and it is possible!) Once we have practiced humbling ourselves, taken all the opportunities in our daily lives to allow others and circumstances to take a beating to our pride and repented sooner and quicker to our prideful behaviours we will begin to starve to death our self life along with it all the pride that is currently fueling and nourishing that part of “us”.

Pride fuels my self life right now. I am ever ready to defend myself (and God, as if He needs my protection). Ever ready to correct others around me (not in love but in puffing myself up) and to give others advice about lots of things that likely I am struggling with myself or have no idea about  – but I sure feel smart!

I am thankful to my God that He is able to deal with all of that within me and still love me, choose me, keep me and abide with me. Because of His steadfast love for me and hope for growth and holiness, I will keep pressing on to accomplish all of these lessons and make them a reality on my life.

Until then, I ask forgiveness. I pray (timidly) that God will continue to allow things to come against my flesh in order for me to have more and more practice at humbling myself. Every opportunity counts and though it really chafes I will make a point to embrace and welcome these in my life.

-Bree

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

Hi!

Hello everyone! (well anyone who is still out there!)

It has been a long while since my last post, and even then they were far and fewer between. You can skip all the ramblings and go straight to my newest post here. or…keep on reading!

I guess I could go on and give my reasons why I stopped writing for such a long time and all that stuff, but fact is I just didn’t feel like it. Sad but true. I had SO MANY moments in the past 6 months where I was thinking “this would be an excellent thing to share with others!” but when it came down to it, the moment passed and I just couldn’t get myself to sit here and explain! I regret many of the moments I missed, even now I can not think of them when at the time I seriously thought to myself “this will be great to share, and I will never forget this since it is so awesome!” But ….I can’t remember!

I mostly regret it due to the fact that my purpose in writing in the first place was for that EXACT reason! To just have a “book of Remembrance” of all the incredible things God gets credit for. I used to have those same moments years before I started this blog and filled up notebooks (which I lost along the way) I always wanted to keep records of Gods changing work in my life.  I thought the computer would make it easier and simpler for me to record Gods awesome deeds, and remind me that God is a great God who is present and active in my life. (Sometimes I hate to admit that I forget that!) It did for while…. but then that too came and went for me. I hope that this day will be the renewal of my desire to take time to remember God’s work, for my sake and my memories! (And anyone else out there that may find is pretty awesome what God is up to in others’ lives!)

Anyhow, I wanted to start with something interesting that I learned a while back, and though it will be brief and to the point, God willing I plan to come back to the topic again another time. So now, I will close this post and begin a new one (just in case you aren’t in the mood to read it all, you can just go straight to the lesson next visit.

-Bree

 

Leave a comment »

Blessed are the Peacemakers

So a few months back I was doing a Beth Moore study on the Fruit of the Spirit. She spoke a little about peacemakers (vs. peacekeepers). It perked my ears a bit and I began to check out my bible and other passages in scripture that taught on the same theme. It was months ago and so I will paraphrase what I learned from the study, learned on my own and got from the Bible – in no particular order. I wont be able to even tell you at this point which is which! It is all one lesson in my head and so I will share what I learned but I want to be clear that ALL of this is not original to my own ideas, I can not take credit for anything that may sound intelligent.

Definitions:

Peacemaker -a person who brings about peace, especially by reconciling adversaries.

Peacekeeper – refers to one involved in activities that tend to create conditions that favor peace.

At first glance they seem almost the same, interchangeable and ideal. But fact is that peacekeeper is never used in the bible (at least not in the KJV) but peacemaker is used a few times over.

In the Strong’s Concordance you can find these 5 entries: 1514, 1515, 1516, 1517 and 1518. All talking about making peace or having made peace.

So if we think about the act of making peace (instead of just keeping the peace) we can already anticipate a struggle or trying time. Making peace usually will involve a confrontation of some sort, wouldn’t you agree? Have you ever made peace with a person or situation without having to confront? I cannot think of a single time when I intended or was required to make peace, that I did not have to do something…and in most if not all the cases….it wasn’t easy on my flesh!

Peacekeeping on the other hand is just the opposite. It typically will involve NOT confronting the situation or person, and just “keep the peace”. Keep quiet, don’t rock the boat. We want peace not a confrontation after all. It is the passive side of having peace…..and if we can be honest this usually does not work long term for us. This typically happens by us ignoring our feelings, opinions and what we think is right and just for the sake of “peace”. But internally we will not have peace at all! We will be annoyed at the least and bitter or resentful at the worst.

–side note– I understand that I am over simplifying things, and that in some cases confronting will not be the best option, and keeping quiet will truly be the Godly action for us to take. We need to be discerning of when to confront and when not to, and also WHAT to confront and what not to.  In the case of the contrast between the peacemaker and the peacekeeper I am talking about black and white, Biblical sound situations where the right thing to do for a friend, loved one, and self would be to confront with love and truth….but we just don’t want to deal with it and so we take the peacekeeper route instead..–

The Bible tells us that the Peacemakers will be blessed. I know I have a lot of growing up to do, and maturity is needed to deal with people and situations I would rather ignore and wish away. But this is not helpful to any of us, and we definitely can not grow and get passed these things if we are not willing to deal with a little mess and MAKE peace that will be long term and eventually lead to everlasting reconciliation.

We desire to live peaceably both with others but also within ourselves. Both are necessary to experience the peace of God, who is not just a peacemaker of external situations but even more importantly internal!

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Comments are welcome – I learn a lot from you!

 

2 Comments »

Slippery: Proceed with Caution

Studying the book James has had huge impact on my thought life (hopefully also my physical life when all is said in done!) But I do think that the first changes begin inwardly before they are manifest outwardly.

I have read James countless times in the past, I am sure. But this is my first time to study it chapter by chapter and verse by verse. It is a hard word to take in.

I am only just into chapter 3 but I have noticed that there seems to be some repeat of thoughts and lessons from chapter 1 to chapter 3. In chapter 1 James gives us 27 verses that are lessons in and of them selves but then he unpacks them more in later chapters. In chapter 1 James talks about the tongue and the connection between it and our religiosity. He lets us know quite bluntly that if we think were religious, and do not have control over our tongue/words then guess what…. all that religion is USELESS! Yikes.

In chapter 2 we are confronted with our tendency to prefer some over others and show partiality.  But then we get into chapter 3 and BAM we are hit once again with the need to control the tongue.

I recently heard a quote that made me laugh as much as made me gasp.

“The tongue is in a wet place and can easily slip”.

That is just so true! It makes me want to grab a big sign “caution slippery when wet” and stick it in front of my face! (I just was thinking that naturally when we have a dry mouth we are apt to speak fewer words)

But scarier yet is James’ caution to us in verses 5-8. Basically he is reminding us that the tongue has the power of both life and DEATH (Proverbs 18:21) and also that when we use it for death we are tapping into the power of hell. (James 3:6) If this does not make anyone want to shut up and really tread lightly maybe the fact that James’ continues to inform us in verse 8 that no man can tame the tongue. No man can tame the tongue? WHAT!?  Not even you James?

Something brought to my attention as I read through chapter 3 after spending 4 weeks in chapter 1 and 2…is that in chapter 1 and 2 James is talking to “us” I mean he uses the word you, or my brethern, brother or sister when he is writing. But suddenly in chapter 3 there comes a turn. James has switched to WE in the next 9 verses. He is now including himself with us as we struggle in this area, and knowing that people alone can not fulfill the necessary expectation. What are we to do then? How can we over come this if not through self-control?

I am graciously reminded that self-control is a fruit OF THE SPIRIT. (Gal. 5:22-23) Not a fruit of man, or a fruit of striving, or even a fruit of religion, church going or discipline. It is a fruit of The Spirit.

In some ways this really takes the pressure off. WHEW. No man can tame the tongue, BUT the Holy Spirit CAN and WILL tame the tongue. When HIS fruit is what we are bearing then with it comes the fruit of self-control. and only then are we able through HIS grace and HIS fruit to accomplish it.

James 1:19 says each one us should be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.  This does take a conscious effort to be aware and tuned in to those around us. But let me tell you from my experience, do not even bother to try this without seeking God for His help and Spirit. Ask Him to constantly remind you to listen to what others are saying (not just use that time to think of what you want to say next…Bree!) and then cautiously weigh what you will say, slowly and carefully. This is the only way that I know how to bear His Fruit in my life and it is a very new journey that I am beginning, I barely have buds just yet (let alone fruit), but my branches are firmly attached to the vine and growing steadily….

I pray others will know each one of us by our fruit and not by our useless religion.

Leave a comment »

Joy in Obedience

I need joy!

Then again, who doesn’t? Especially now,  in the world we live in,  in the craziness happening all around us. It’s so easy for me to lose my joy when i see the news. I often tend to avoid the news for this very reason. It sometimes causes me confusion, fear and all things that are the exact opposite of that which Jesus brings to my life.

Part of this is a need for me to grow and mature more in the things of the Lord, in His Truth and His promises. I know that bad news should not cause fear or stress to me or in any way override The Good News!  but no matter what I know mentally this does happen and so I say again – I need Joy!

I am so glad Jesus himself promised to supply my joy, and not just at the level it was before, but actually the Words He spoke bring my joy to FULL! (John 15:11)

I have recently learned that in the book of James, he is also talking about Joy. In the first verse he has a salutation of “Greeting”. In the Greek this word is Chairein (ka-ee-rain) which means “Joy to you”. (James 1:1) The book of James is about living out what we say we believe. In other words it means to be living in obedience to God’s ways and percepts.

The best part of this is that actually when we are obedient, our Joy increases in those areas where we submit. It sounds kinda counter-culture  -that obedience would breed Joy; but this is actually more true then we give credit. I think naturally our sin nature wants to rebel and be in control, but at the same time God has placed in each of us another desire. A desire for order, rules, boundaries and safety. This is harder to see in adults maybe, but in young children its very clear.

I teach 2-5 year old’s and have been doing so for 7 years. I spend hours day in and day out in a unique setting and a unique role. I do everything from toilet training them to teaching them how to eat with utensils and basic manners of life. I am more inclined to say “I raise kids in English” rather than “I teach English”. But the one thing that’s very important for the kids is guidelines, consistency, rules and boundaries. They need them – but more than that they want them! They are uncomfortable with too much freedom, they look for an answer to everything and even more precious is their desire to be obedient and pleasing to me.

Is that not our hearts desire also? I know I WANT to be obedient and pleasing to my Great Teacher. I want to live a life and way that is honouring to Him. I want him to say to me just as my students want me to say to them “Good Job! Your doing very well! Thank you for your great listening!” 🙂

So, on further reflection about my joy and The Lords joy in me. I have to admit that the times I am most Joyful is when I am in His presence (no sinning there!) or when together God and I have overcome a previously sinful attitude/ behaviour. When I am changed and walking in obedience in that area I have so much more joy! Thank You Lord!

Have a Great week,  Chairein!!!!   Joy to YOU!!!

Leave a comment »

Honey from the Honeycomb

Good Morning!

Today has already started off great! As a general morning routine I tend to read a chapter Proverbs for the day. The idea is that there are 31 days this month and 31 chapters in Proverbs. so I add a chapter of proverbs to my daily devotional reading (on months with less days I just double up!)  Anyhow, this morning I found myself way ahead of 21 into chapter 27. I always feel much wiser after reading proverbs! 🙂

It’s a great way to start the day, meditating and thinking about ways I can apply what I am learning to my day, and my interactions with others. I think this also gives the Holy Spirit some instant reminders for me throughout the day when I may not be allowing Wisdom to function at her fullest.

Today was a bit different for me though. As I read, I felt like I was frequently reading about honey. It is kind of true… Between chapters 24 and 27 honey or the honeycomb is mentioned 4 times. But I mean there are other things mentioned much more frequently than this in those same chapters. So I really felt like God was trying to bring my attention to this.

As I read, my mind went on a “Bible tangent!” Does this ever happen to you?! I cross reference one verse to another to another… before I know it I have about 20 verses and multiple topics I am learning about at once…none of which are directly related aside from a couple of shared verses. Ahh. I just go crazy with information overload!

Well needless to say it took me a few minutes to get my mind back on to ONE topic and to what I felt like God was trying to say specifically about the verses between 24 and 27.

I don’t have a complete thought quite yet maybe. But as my mind has started racing again I felt it best to get down what I have.

It was Proverbs 27:7 that made me stop, so I am trying to keep my focus on that verse and how it relates to what I feel is on my heart about it.

“The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.”

The thing that struck me immediately is the use of the word soul in this verse. It really isn’t necessary to make the point or keep the meaning. The verse simply could have read “the full loatheth the honeycomb, but to the hungry every bitter thing is sweet.” This is the case in verses 25:16, 27. The word soul is not used.  (However is used in earlier verses so this is not necessarily particularly significant).

But when I thought about it and began to consider who may delight in something bitter and regard it as sweet. It seems to me it is those people who have not tasted the sweetness of the Lord (Ps. 34:8, 119:103, Hebrews 6:5, 1 Peter 2:3).

For people who are hungry for that which they can not even name or identify within their soul, even the bitterness of the world is sweet to them. I know this sounds impossible, that one would regard bitterness as sweet. However,  It made me think of the horror in very deprived places where even eating dirt to just feel full is somewhat satisfying even though truthfully they are starving.

But how much more so, the soul without its’ God? People are striving for that which does not satisfy (Is 55:2) and as a result continue to strive for more and more hoping to find sweetness in their labour, which truly is just bitter.

I continued to think on how words are likened to the sweetness of honey. (16:24, 5:3 – more on this another time) The Word of God can and will bring sweetness to the hungry soul. But it may truly be up to us, vessels used by God to bring this sweetness to those who only know bitterness.

Jesus Himself is our healing, He brings healing to those He touches, His Words are cleansing and healing to us as well. (John 15:3, Eph. 5:26)

I noted that honey is also likened to health in Proverbs 16:24 which reminded me that ALL over health articles there is a recurring fad to remind readers of the health benefits of honey! Dr. Oz recently posted an article and various medical websites ect I only needed to type in “health benefits of honey” to get back countless articles documenting the case for honey.

No wonder God wanted to bring Israel to a land flowing with this stuff! I think God wanted to use the physical property of honey on earth to demonstrate his love and sweetness to His people. He wanted them to be healthy and enjoy life (John 15:11) Even the Manna tasted like honey (Exodus 16:31)

I was reminded again through this verse that with God nothing is without meaning. We may not always know the meaning nor be aware of the different layers to the truths we learn, but God has specifically chosen things on earth and words to demonstrate clearly his Love and promises to His people. I know it is often said that Honey does not spoil, even over the years it will not lose its goodness or be inedible. Is that not just like the God we serve? He is always there. Always willing and wanting to heal, bring joy and sweetness to us and from everlasting to everlasting He will always be Good!

RECIPE!                                                                                                                                                                                                         *** Mornings in Nagoya are starting off cooler the past couple of days, I have a little recipe for cup of warm sweetness: Honey Hot Cocoa!  Combine and heat 1/2 cup milk with 1/2 cup water, 1-2tbs chocolate powder or cocoa mix, 1tsp of honey (or more to taste) top with cinnamon or stir with a cinnamon stick.*** Yumm!

Enjoy the sweetness of God’s blessings to you!

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: