VOTD: Philippians 2.13 “The desire and the power”

“[F]or the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort—for the sake of his good pleasure—is God.”

Philippians 2.13

We can work out our salvation, v. 12, because God works in us.

If you feel something is missing, what can you do to let God work in you?

#desire, #god, #salvation

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(#187) The Proverbs of Solomon 27:20-Enough Is Enough

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 27:20: “Hell and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied.”

The 19th James Bond movie title seems to express where this Proverb is going, “The World Is Not Enough” (1999). What the eye can see, the heart can covet, and covetousness is an always-open, never-filled hole which is easily dug in people’s hearts. Jesus taught this when He said: “‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’ Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, “What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?” So he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’” But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. Then He said to His disciples, ‘Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing’” (Luke 12:15-23). Life is wasted when it is devoted to “more, more, and more!” If profit is not shared, but only invested in self, there is little satisfaction in that business! The hope for change drives the industries of: politics, fashion, amusements, advertising, education.

Covetousness is being stirred up when: poorer people see what richer people have and want it for themselves without paying the price for it; when companies continue to raise profit levels for itself without an increase in quality, quantity, or service of their goods; government wants for itself more of what its citizens have earned; husbands and wives want other partners than God permits in a marriage; children are given things instead of love, and they want to start their independence with all the things their parents have worked for all their lives!

Insatiable, dissatisfied, discontented, unhappy, and voracious, are some of the words that describe this attitude of heart. “Hell” (a.k.a. “the grave”) is never full, for there is always room for one more to die and be buried. “Destruction” (or the ruination of life) always claims another victim. “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:6-10). If “the love of money” is our driving force in life, there is nothing but sorrow ahead! Doing right is the satisfying reward God gives to all who obey Him (Proverbs 19:23).

The Book of Proverbs also says: “The leech has two daughters-Give and Give! There are three things that are never satisfied, Four never say, ‘Enough!’: The grave, The barren womb, The earth that is not satisfied with water-And the fire never says, ‘Enough!’” (Proverbs 30:15-16). Each of these are fit pictures of the perpetual dissatisfaction in a covetous heart! Indeed “the proud man… does not stay at home. Because he enlarges his desire as hell, And he is like death, and cannot be satisfied, He gathers to himself all nations And heaps up for himself all peoples” (Habakkuk 2:5).

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).

When will you think “enough is enough?”

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #children, #covetousness, #desire, #dissatisfied, #family, #god, #insatiable, #love-of-money, #marriage, #obedience, #profits, #proverbs, #wisdom, #work

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(#72) The Proverbs of Solomon 13:19-What’s Your “Sweet” Spot?

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 13:19: “A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul, But it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil.”

Waiting and anticipation heighten the satisfaction of any desire (Proverbs 13:12), and when hard work and persistence are finally rewarded, the human soul responds with that “sweet” feeling. Interesting, isn’t it, how “sweet” is still the term for something pleasing? Whether it’s personal victory over affliction or illness, national victory over oppressive enemies, spiritual victory over the Devil, that “sweetness” is better than any other moment. Moments connected with God’s blessings like these are highlights in a person’s life: marriage as God would have it (Ephesians 5:33), intimate love (1 Corinthians 7:2-5), a baby’s birth (John 16:21), being born again in baptism (1 Peter 3:21-22), restoring a fallen brother to Christ (James 5:19-20). “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward” (Hebrews 11:24-26).

No one in sin, or using sins as an artificial sweetener, can ever experience such sweetness of soul, hence, they consider it “abomination” “to depart from evil.” They are driven further into sin by their bitterness and hatred of “the life of God.” “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:17-19). Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). A sinner must “deny” that the way of righteousness is an “abomination,” and ask “Lord, what do You want me to do?” (Acts 9:6), and hear Jesus’ answer: “”He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#achievement, #bible-study, #christian-living, #desire, #jesus-christ, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #salvation, #sin, #sweet-moments, #sweetness-of-soul, #victory

“Proverbs are the Piths” (2)

Here’s what we can glean from Proverbs 2:1-5: Ask and You Shall Receive But Wisdom Will Not Just Fall Into Our Lap

Look at the instructions Solomon gives to his children when it comes to getting wisdom, understanding and knowledge for a moment:

In verse one he instructs his son to “receive” (lay hold of, carry along, capture/seize) his words and to “hide” them (store them up as treasure) within himself.

In verse 2 he tells him to “incline” (be attentive) with his ear and to “apply” (to stretch out, turn toward) his heart to understanding.

In verse 3 he tells him to “cry out” (call out, proclaim – do the exact opposite of 1:24-26) for knowledge or discernment and also to “lift up his voice” (to give to, bestow, designate) for understanding.

In verse 4 he tells him to “seek” (to desire, request, or even demand) for wisdom like precious metal and to “search” (make thorough effort) for wisdom as he would for hidden treasures.

After doing all of these things, Solomon says in verse 5, “THEN” his son would understand the fear of God and find the knowledge from God he needs.

The point of these 5 verses is that the reason so many don’t understand God’s word and will in and for his or her life is because they don’t want too! They are not asking for it (James 1:5) and they are not working for it (Proverbs 2:1-5). The wisdom that God is willing to share will not just fall into our lap; if you think it will, then go back and read Solomon’s instructions to his son again. The wisdom of God comes from dedicated humility (think of Solomon’s request for wisdom) and from diligent study (2 Timothy 2:15).

#desire, #god, #proverbs-are-the-piths, #solomon, #wisdom

The Best Thing About God In 1 Corinthians

In my view, the best thing about God, is found in 1 Corinthians Chapter 1, where Paul emphasizes the fact that “the power of God” is closely associated with the “preaching of the cross” (1 Corinthians 1:18; cf. Romans 1:16).

To those who have no desire to know, understand, or continue to pattern their lives after the instructions found in the saving gospel of Christ, the preaching of the cross is to them “foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:18; cf. Romans 1:21-22).

#associated, #best, #continue, #cross, #desire, #god, #gospel, #instructions, #know, #pattern, #power, #preaching, #thing, #understand