“The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” [Proverbs 29:15 NKJV]
You don’t have to be a parent to gain wisdom and understanding from this proverb. You may not have a child to discipline or nurture, but if you don’t receive disciple and correction and if you don’t nurture what you are responsible for you will live with shame. Correction is often protection. Correction and discipline are both ways we gain wisdom. Spanking a child, not out of anger but out of love, is actually one of the ways God gives a child wisdom through his parents love and discipline. Correction is one of the ways we gain wisdom. If a child doesn’t feel the consequences of their actions they will feel that there will be no consequences to their actions later in life. When someone rejects correction they are actually rejecting wisdom. Most people will choose feelings over wisdom, I hope your are not like most people. When a child is neglected and left to themself they bring their mother shame. If we neglect what God will hold us accountable for we will have shame. Shame announces to us boldly that it’s time to make a change. Any area of our lives that we neglect will probably lead to shame in some way. It is essential to receive correction if we want to gain wisdom. Wisdom is necessary to make the right decisions. It is equally essential to nurture and care for and be attentive to what we will be accountable for. Be faithful to receive correction and nurture what God has blessed you with.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:3 NKJV]
The poor in spirit possess what money can’t buy. If you are possessed by what money can buy you will not possess what money can’t buy. The kingdom is free but not cheap. What Jesus paid for on the tree we receive freely in the kingdom. It’s not earned or deserved but it is inherited by faith. When you become aware of your need for God you realize that he is and has everything that you really need. Everything we receive in the kingdom only becomes manifest when we are aware of our need and God’s unending supply. Do you know why some people don’t really read, study and pray? Because they are not truly and deeply aware of their need. They believe they need Jesus to not go to hell, but they are not truly aware that if he isn’t actually leading them the will live like hell now. They take their needs elsewhere and they are only temporarily met. When someone is poor in spirit they know exactly where to take their needs to – Jesus. Talking to a Pastor friend of mine recently we discovered that all of the problems that we are encountering in church and ministry are due to a lack of being poor in spirit. When you are unaware of your need for God because all of your needs are met you don’t press into him because it doesn’t feel urgent. One of the great dangers of prosperity is that it can lie to you and make you think things that are serious and urgent are actually not because you have a little savings. Remember this your savings can’t save you. We must not allow our abundance to lie to us. You never have to force, coerce, manipulate or guilt a hungry person to eat. Those who are really hungry won’t be stopped from eating. Are you aware of your need? Are you hungry for Jesus and the kingdom? Do you feel complacent and stuck? Ask God to speak to you so that his word can give you a clear direction to move in.
“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” [II Timothy 1:6-7] In these verses above we see that fear try’s to stop us from stirring up the gifts of God that are within us through the laying on of hands. The spirit of fear try’s to shut down the supernatural. Remember the spiritual gifts communicate and demonstrate the supremacy of Christ. The spirit of fear try’s to stop the gifts, shut down love, shut off power and disrupt your disciplined and self controlled mind. If you don’t perceive things correctly you can’t respond correctly. You as a believer in Jesus have the mind of Christ, which means you can see things from God’s perspective. Your mission should you choose to accept it, is to reject fear. Be wise, use wisdom but don’t let fear paralyze you from being powerful in Christ. The four Greek words for power that literally raised Jesus from the dead according to Ephesians 1:19 are at work within you. Remember you are more powerful than you feel.
Fear is a choice, don’t choose fear. Fear is a liar, don’t believe fear. Fear is a thief, don’t trust fear. Fear is a spirit, cast fear out. Perfect love casts out all fear. In Christ you can live a life completely free of fear.
- The proud – even God is resisting them. “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” [James 4:6] Pride will turn your advocate into your adversary. We can either choose to humble ourselves or be humiliated.
- The liar – someone who is not honest is not ready for help. Real help actually begins with honesty.
- The wanderer – someone who is everywhere but nowhere. They have no roots and so they aren’t able to receive help until they commit to plant themselves somewhere.
- The sinner – if someone is not willing to confess and forsake their sins they are stuck and you can’t help them out of where they want to be. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but the sinner finds identity, direction and pleasure in their sin until it totally crushes them and brings them to Jesus. But not everyone lives through their sin. Some actually die in it. That could have been me, but by the mercy of God I didn’t.
The fear of the Lord brings an awareness that one day we will give an account to God for our intentions, words and actions. That is how the conscience is awakened and then we realize that we really need God. The kindness of God leads us to repentance. His patience with us is not his approval of what we are doing. Often the kindness of people is how God reveals his kindness to us. We can help to break up the fallow ground in the life of others by praying for and being kind and generous with people. Once humility begins to happen then grace appears and then change can happen for that person who was previously un-help-able. Just keep praying for and loving on folks. Leave the results to Jesus.
“Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” [Proverbs 29:20 NKJV] Guarding the heart and taming the tongue is our responsibility. If we guard our heart it’s easier to tame our tongue. The heart and the tongue determine the direction of our life. If we change who and what we listen to we can change our language. If we change our language we can change our life. If our life changes lives around us will change. Being slow to speak means we will have to say sorry less. Often we break with our mouth the very things we are trying to build with our prayers. We must be cautions with our words. The words we speak must be truth spoken in love, seasoned with grace and spoken for the benefit of the hearer. Our timing and tone must be correct. For this we need to have a consistent relationship with the Scriptures and a sincere and sensitive relationship with the Holy Spirit. Father help us not to grieve or quench your Holy Spirit, I ask this in Jesus name!