Good Travels

Re:Verse passage – Proverbs 14:34 (day six)

The most basic understanding of the first half of this proverb is that the people prosper under godliness. The implications are clear enough: godly leadership has a profound impact.

Godliness is never stagnant; it always spreads. Just as a single light can illuminate the darkest room or one seed yield a bountiful harvest, so it is with godliness. One godly person can ignite a chain reaction, profoundly impacting their peers as their godliness spreads.

Godliness is never a quiet personal experience. It never keeps to itself. It only knows one direction; it travels.

(And for those reading  this post on a Saturday [wink, wink], thank you for your commitment to Re:verse and loving your pastoral staff.)

Nearness

Re:Verse passage – Proverbs 13:24 (day six)

According to Solomon, discipline is the opposite of rejection and abandonment. Parents who do not discipline their children have effectively rejected them. That’s why discipline is considered loving: a parent engages their child in the moments they need them most; they draw near to them.

Discipline, when done responsively, thoughtfully, and purposefully, is the epitome of care and vulnerability.

There is no greater example of this kind of care than our heavenly Father. In our most unlovely moments, he does not turn away from us, he draws near.

Personal

Re:Verse passage – Proverbs 9:1-18 (day six)

Wisdom is personal, which is why Solomon describes it as a person. It is part of God’s eternal nature and woven into the very fabric of creation. Therefore, it is not up for grabs or debate.

To reject wisdom is to reject God himself, a choice that carries significant consequences.

21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. -Paul, Romans 1:21-22

You know that, of course. Our struggle isn’t knowing; it is consistently doing. That’s precisely why we need Jesus, the Wisdom of God. Be thankful today.

 

Honor

Re:Verse passage – Proverbs 3:9-10 (six)

“Honor the Lord from your wealth And from the first of all your produce;”

How do we honor the Lord with our wealth when he does not need it? We honor the Lord when we enjoy what he has given us and reinvest it into the Kingdom.

God doesn’t give to us so we can hoard; he intends for us to enjoy what he has given. A father is not honored when the son does not enjoy the gifts he has been given. Nor does He give so we can keep it to ourselves; he expects us to be generous as he is generous.

And enjoying what God has given and generosity is not mutually exclusive; after all, it is more blessed to give than to receive.

The Lord

Re:Verse passage – Proverbs 3:5-7 (day six)

Trust in the Lord…

There’s only one God, and His power shines through everything. His authority fills every corner, every inch of existence. Nothing done in secret by people goes unnoticed by Him. Every action, every intention is laid bare before Him, including future events.– Eusebius of Ceasarea, 4th century.

We have every reason to trust the Lord; his power shines through everything, he knows all, and he is always working on our behalf. In contrast, we know very little and have no power of our own. God is an inexhaustible mine of invaluable wisdom. We are a decrepit, empty chasm.

It only makes sense to seek God’s wisdom rather than rely on ourselves. Without it, we can do nothing.

 

Good

Re:Verse passage – Proverbs 1:1-7 (day six)

Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! Genesis 1:31

By good, I do not think God meant aesthetically pleasing, although his creation is awe-inspiring. I believe he meant that the way he ordered the universe (and the land) for our flourishing was good. Another way to say it is, God’s order in creation is intended for our good, that we would flourish in every way. As image bearers, we were always meant to walk in this goodness.

When we walk in God’s goodness, it is called wisdom. That’s what King Solomon is after in Proverbs.

Kingdom Living

It is possible to live a religious life that has little to do with the Kingdom. That kind of life is all pomp and circumstance but no substance; confession but no obedience. The prophet Isaiah addressed this kind of religiosity:

And so the Lord says,
    “These people say they are mine.
They honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
And their worship of me
    is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.” Isaiah 29:13

As Jesus concludes his sermon, that is precisely the kind of religious life he implores his listeners to avoid. Keep seeking, keep asking,…keep obeying.

 

Their New Prophet

Re:Verse passage – Matthew 7:15-23 (day six)

Oh, the joys of those who do not
    follow the advice of the wicked,
    or stand around with sinners,
    or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do.

Psalm 1:1-3

As Jesus taught them about “false prophets” and “fruit,” I imagine they thought about Psalm 1. Jesus is making a similar appeal: be discerning with the prophets you allow in your life; find the ones who will teach you to delight in God’s Kingdom and model Kingdom fruitfulness.

Ultimately, Jesus is inviting them to learn from him. (Matthew 11:29)

Fully Invested

Re:Verse passage – Matthew 7:7-11 (day six)

At the time, many likely viewed God as indifferent to their life and needs, or worse, that he was only interested in keeping track of their misdeeds. Jesus’ words were intended to be paradigm-shifting: much like a father, God cares and is fully invested in your life.

I imagine his listeners had far more questions about that than whether or not we will get everything we ask for.

Jesus was not introducing a formula for getting what we want out of God; he was describing the kind of relationship we can have with God.