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Devotions

Wisdom or Folly? The Suspense is Real!

Good and evil, hero and villain; we’re told the best stories contain these elements. Why? Because it creates drama, angst, and choice.

Wisdom or Folly? The Suspense is Real!

In one of my favorite books, two leading ladies compete for attention. One is wholesome, the other is scandalous. They each make their play. The one to whom they offer themselves must choose. The suspense is real!

Would you have guessed I was describing the Biblical book of Proverbs? It is full of dilemmas, comparisons, and right vs. wrong. In it, Wisdom and Folly are depicted as influential women. They each call out to passersby.

“Does not wisdom call out?
    Does not understanding raise her voice?
At the highest point along the way,
    where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
beside the gate leading into the city,
    at the entrance, she cries aloud
‘To you, O people, I call out;
    I raise my voice to all humanity’.”

Proverbs 8:1-4

“Folly is an unruly woman;
    she is simple and knows nothing.
She sits at the door of her house,
    on a seat at the highest point of the city,
calling out to those who pass by,
    who go straight on their way”

Proverbs 9:13-15

Wisdom and folly have very different messages.

Wisdom uses words like listen, watch, and wait. She promises a great reward for those who attune to her for the long haul. She offers life and favor from God to those who do not give up and disregard her.

“Listen to my instruction and be wise;
    do not disregard it.
Blessed are those who listen to me,
    watching daily at my doors,
    waiting at my doorway.
For those who find me find life
    and receive favor from the Lord.”

Proverbs 8:33-35

Folly prefers her audience does not take time to think. Her appeal is to those who want to remain simple. With her, there is no requirement to work or to wait. She offers easy satisfaction from instant gratification. But her reward is deceptive and ultimately fatal.

“‘Let all who are simple come to my house!’
To those who have no sense she says,
‘Stolen water is sweet;
    food eaten in secret is delicious!’
But little do they know that the dead are there,
    that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.”

Proverbs 9:16-18

Both voices call from the “highest points”. They are equally discernable. The stage is set. What will the hearer do?

The suspense and repercussions are real!

This is no mere entertainment.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, this is a participatory story. You and I, dear friends, are the characters who must choose. Wisdom and Folly call to us.

The repercussions of our decision will affect our lives for now and all eternity. Wisdom or Folly? The suspense is real! Which do you choose?

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
    and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For through wisdom your days will be many,
    and years will be added to your life.
If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
    if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.”

Proverbs 9:10-12
Categories
inspiration

Wisdom for the Week January 22, 2023

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Sun rays and snow cover
Awe-inspiring indeed!
Categories
Reflections

How are You with Accents?

How are you with accents? I’m awful! I can hear them in my head, but I cannot recreate them out loud.

Unless…

Unless I’ve just watched a movie where the accent has been prolific. Or I’ve spent time with someone who speaks differently than me. Then, I can walk away for a short commercial break, or an equivalent amount of time, and mimic the accent almost exactly. But it fades fast.

Can you relate? Even if you’re talented with accents, you’re probably better after having been exposed to one, right? Do you know what I’m talking about?

It makes me wonder…

It makes me wonder about my attempted imitation of Jesus. I can’t be very good at it when I’m not spending time with Him. If I hope to mimic Jesus, I need to hear Him.

When I tune Him out, my ability to copy His accent fades. I start making my own noise. And there’s a good chance I’m going to embarrass us both.

How about you? Are you good with accents? Is it easier if you spend time with someone who has one? How much time away from Jesus do you think it takes before it becomes difficult to speak and act like Him?

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”

Ephesians 5:1
Categories
inspiration

Wisdom for the Week January 15, 2023

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Snowy mountains and a verse.
Settle and know…White as snow.

Do you want to know how to settle things with the Lord?
Read “The Gospel in a Nutshell” HERE.

Categories
Reflections

My Vacuum and the Window Tracks of My Heart

They say the eyes are windows of the heart. Where there are windows, there must be window tracks, right? So why did it come as a surprise when God prompted me to think about the window tracks of my heart? It happened this way…

My Vacuum and the Window Tracks of My Heart

When we moved into our new home, we splurged on a new vacuum. It is one of those robot kinds – a small round apparatus which completes the chore on command. I love it!

I’ve never been able to consider one before, because socks and toys can choke the motors of such devices. When I lived in a larger space with many more people, it was impossible to keep the floor clear. But now, all that has changed.

With a small space and only 3 adults in my home, I can run the vacuum several times per week. My floor has never been so clean! I thank Jesus for my little robot vacuum.

A black robot style vacuum.
Dust on and in this little machine at work, but no longer on the floors under it!

The other day, I was sprucing up the house in preparation for company. And I made a mortifying discovery! My window tracks were filthy!

There were even dead bugs in some of them. How had I not noticed before? And how long had they been so gross?

I realized something in that moment. I had upgraded my vacuum to the robot style. My floor looked better than ever. But it was only the floor.

My vacuum and my heart

I was no longer walking around, with an upright appliance, looking for dirt. In the past, I would have used the wand attachment on my standard vacuum to suck grime from the window tracks a few times each month. But my new, “improved” method of vacuuming had created a major deficit in my cleaning routine.

God used this moment to speak to my heart. With the coming of the New Year, I usually start a new Bible Study plan. I anticipate going deeper and doing better every year.

Sometimes the new and improved overlooks the tried and true.

Mama Lava

But the message God ministered to me through my dirty window tracks was that sometimes the new and improved overlooks the tried and true. In other words, I need to be sure that whatever method I decide to adopt for my quiet time this year does not create gaps which leave past areas of progress in decline. It was poignant instruction from Him which had direct application for my life.

What about you? Have you made strides in your walk with Jesus? Have you changed your strategy for the upcoming year? Do you risk leaving the window tracks of your heart unattended while you enjoy your new methods and tools?

What other improvements are you striving toward? There are so many areas of our lives where we might accidentally overlook something important as we strive to do and be better. Does anything specific come to mind?

Eyes on the window tracks

I plan to incorporate my old vacuum back into my chore schedule. It works differently than my new one. By using them together, I expect a more thorough result.

I will also maintain eyes on the window tracks of my heart. I need to be attentive to any neglect that might occur as I change my approach to my quiet time. I don’t want to miss out on anything Jesus has for me; and I certainly don’t want to allow filth to accumulate where He’s already purged!

Thanks for reading, my friends! My vacuum and the window tracks of my heart are only two of limitless possible examples where an improvement might cause new problems if we aren’t vigilant. I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

Categories
inspiration

Wisdom for the Week January 8, 2023

Without wood, a fire goes out. Without gossip, arguments stop. Proverbs 26:20
Have a great week!