Trying: Luke 19.3

“He was trying to get a look at Jesus, but being a short man he could not see over the crowd.”

Luke 19.3

Zacchaeus had a disadvantage that, in the middle of the crowd, left him unable to see Jesus when he came by. But the tax collector was undeterred. He refused to let his disadvantage keep him from his objective.

In our desire to see and know Jesus, we will face some disadvantage, of some sort. The issue is not the disadvantage, but whether we will allow it to discourage us in our objective.

#votd #Luke #seek

The Lord gives. Man must receive.

Seek the Lord. The love of heaven is “from everlasting to everlasting,” Psalms 103:17. It “endures forever,” Psalms 106:1. But it can be ignored. Herein lays the wonder of grace. Salvation involves divine initiative and human response. The Lord gives. Man must receive. When we do not accept what He offers, He cannot supply what we need, Matthew 23:37.

—Ed Mathews, Plow New Ground

#love #seek #salvation

Do all of this, and then — only then — you will understand

The world and many in Christ are stupid. So says Prov 2.1-5. When our people can sing worldly lyrics all day long, but have trouble coming up with one or two verses by memory, according to Solomon, they are stupid.

My child, if you receive my words,
and store up my commands within you,
by making your ear attentive to wisdom,
and by turning your heart to understanding,
indeed, if you call out for discernment—
raise your voice for understanding—
if you seek it like silver,
and search for it like hidden treasure,
then you will understand how to fear the Lord,
and you will discover knowledge about God.

Do you see this happening among us? With some, yes. With many others, it is not. These are seeking other things, and it shows.

Don’t be stupid. Make a scene and get wisdom. Be a mental hoarder of the word of God. Be obvious about knowing Christ. Make fearing the Lord your absolute and only priority.

Only by doing all of this will we get a handle on what it means to be a Christian.

#wisdom #seek #Proverbs #effort


(#46) The Proverbs of Solomon 11: 23-Determining Determination

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 11:23: “The desire of the righteous is only good, But the expectation of the wicked is wrath.”

The thought is that the purpose of heart determines one’s purpose in life. It is repeated in verse 27 using “seeks” for “desire” of the righteous, and “seeks” for “expectation” of the wicked. What we go for is what we’ll get; our goal determines our aim; we will be whatever we “dream” about becoming. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ said: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). Good purpose will receive good result. In the Old Testament, “Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:10); Daniel “purposed in his heart” not to be defiled with his surroundings (Daniel 1:8); so in the New Testament, Christians were “encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord” (Acts 11:23). It is this inner desire that keeps one’s feet moving toward the goal. Obtaining our heavenly reward requires this very thing. Jesus Christ said: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able” (Luke 13:24).

Other proverbs state this truth: Proverbs 12:5-6: “The thoughts of the righteous are right, But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. 6 The words of the wicked are, ‘Lie in wait for blood,’ But the mouth of the upright will deliver them;” Proverbs 12:20: “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy;” Proverbs 14:22: “Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good;” Proverbs 21:10: “The soul of the wicked desires evil; His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.”

If ever a truth about humans is taught, here it is: no one rises above his/her goal.

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

#ask, #bible-study, #goal, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #purpose, #seek, #wisdom