Worship Test

Re:Verse passage – Proverbs 3:5-7 (day five) In our Re:verse text this week, we see two contradictory options: Trust in the Lord versus our own understanding; and fearing the Lord versus wisdom in our own eyes. Solomon sets these up in direct opposition. So the question for me is, How do I know when I am fearing and trusting as apposed to leaning on my own wisdom and understanding?  One of the places I check, is my worship- both personal and corporate. When I take matters into my own hands I typically tend to settle in the perceived comfort of having life and its choices all figured out. The sense of wonder and awe for God and His wisdom becomes less in my heart and mind. Worship becomes more mechanical than personal. Worship is less intense in that my desire to praise and thank God isn’t as strong or urgent.  I must then repent and seek forgiveness from the Lord. I can then marvel and praise Him for His unending grace and patience towards me. I am reminded and thankful of the times He has protected and guided me. I again desire His wisdom and insight more than my own. I am moving again towards fearing and trusting- then real worship begins.

Without Ceasing

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

We often ask the Lord for wisdom in life’s big moments – before a big decision, during a crisis, or before a difficult conversation. But Proverbs tells us that God’s wisdom is just as much for the small, daily, common moments. After all, these are the moments that add up to the significant times in life.

When Solomon says, “In all your ways acknowledge him,” he’s asking us to look for God’s presence, listen for God’s voice, and seek out God’s wisdom in everything we do and everywhere we go. He foreshadows what we see later in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “pray without ceasing.” When we pray without ceasing, we invite the Lord into our everyday, ordinary moments, acknowledging that even in these moments, his ways are higher than ours, and he has wisdom to offer us. He is the fountain of wisdom that we’re invited to drink from all day long.

God is inviting you to be in constant conversation with him – it’s that conversation that will make your paths straight.

DIY Wisdom

Re:Verse passage – Proverbs 3:5-7 (day two) Do not be wise in your own eyes vs. 7a

As I look over this text, it strikes me how often I have written about this very issue. Not for your sake, to be sure, but for mine. Please forgive me as we retread a familiar tale: Don’t worry God, I’ve got this. Perhaps some reading this will understand. It’s not that I don’t want God’s wisdom, but there are areas where I figure he doesn’t need to mess with. Places where I’ve seen him work before, therefore I can probably handle it this time. Areas where I simply want to work it out for myself because, I’m a smart guy.

You can probably figure out where this line of thinking gets me…back on my knees in repentance and seeking God’s wisdom after all. The problem is, I don’t suffer from lack of wisdom; I suffer from lack of God’s wisdom. Whatever has ‘worked’ in the past is not an indicator of success unless it is seeking after the will of the Lord. There are plenty of DIY fixes for household projects, for cars, and hobbies, but not for our walk of faith. No amount of worldly ‘wisdom’ will compare with the truth of God.

If and Then

Re:Verse passage – Proverbs 3:1-4 (day seven)

For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you. vs 2

This passage leads us to infer that if you follow God’s commandments, then you will live a long and peaceful life. What if my life has never been peaceful? What if a perceived Godly person dies at a young age? What then do we do with this passage? Were we not following his commandments well enough? This passage of scripture is not a true “if then” statement. What it is trying to convey is the life you are given is made much more complete when you do it the Lord’s way. His commandments are there for our benefit, to get us in the right direction. The problem arises when we think we have it all figured out. Proverbs 14:12 will tell us “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” When we try to do this life our way, it always ends unpeacefully, but if we do it God’s way, then we will have a peace in the midst of the storms.

The Heart

Re:Verse passage – Proverbs 3:1-4 (day five)

“Write them on the tablet of your heart.”

It is not enough to just know and understand the scriptures. Something deeper must happen as we learn and live. The truth and power of the scriptures must ultimately find their way and influence on our hearts- the place of priority, preference, valuation, and commitment.
The law was written/given to Moses on stone tablets and for most, it remained as an external tool for behavior modification. What Solomon is describing is an internal work or transformation. The “teaching” and “commands” create the need and desire for the invisible internal work of the Lord (new heart/new creation) that leads to loyalty and service to Him. Wisdom is about right relationship with God and others.

Reputation

Re:Verse passage – Proverbs 3:1-4 (day four)

How much time and effort do we put into crafting our reputation? Probably more than any of us would like to admit. We all want to be viewed in a certain way by others; we want to be admired, to be considered smart or strong or talented. Scripture speaks about how to build a reputation, but it looks far different from how we normally go about it.

When we grow in intimacy with God, when we know his character and his words and “write them on the tablet of our hearts,” we gain wisdom. We gain the ability to walk in kindness and truth. As Solomon says, this will allow us to be in good repute with men, and more importantly with God. The more we spin our wheels trying to craft a good reputation on our own, the more self-absorbed we’ll become. It’s no wonder that we gain a better reputation the less we think about ourselves and the more we think about God. By the power of his Spirit, he’ll make us more like him, giving us the wisdom to walk in kindness truth.

2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

Remember

Re:Verse passage – Proverbs 3:1-4 (day three)

My son, do not forget my teaching.”

Memorizing Bible verses will not guarantee that you don’t forget God’s word. How can that be? Because the Bible presents to you not just theoretical concepts for you to discuss but a way of living for you to experience. It is a continually unfolding mystery that invites you to grow and be transformed. The letter kills, says the apostle Paul, but the Spirit gives life. He ought to know. As a Pharisee, the rigid letter of the law was his stock-in-trade. When the Spirit blew into his life, he entered into a way of experiencing the life of God that he would never get over. Merely to memorize is to risk understanding the word of God as frozen in place. But to learn to live it out is to remember it. That will renew your spirit.

Repetition

Re:Verse passage – Proverbs 3:1-4 (day two) 

Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. Vs. 3

Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, Deuteronomy 11:18-20

How do we learn? Experience, sure, it is valuable and often necessary. There are some things, basic, fundamental that are taught over and over by a remembering, a recitation, a liturgy. These foundational truths are spoken of again and again throughout scripture. It is how the ancients learned the ways of Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus. The told and retold. They recited and shared. If the God knows human nature, and he does, the amount of references to this kind of learning and instruction should be a clarion call to all of us to study more, to talk of scripture more, to be comfortable hearing these words repeated. How can we follow the Word if we don’t know it?

Re:Verse Blog – 3/11/24

Re:Verse passage – Proverbs 3:1-4 (day one)

Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty, and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Proverbs 3:1-4 in our Spring Re:Verse Series: Proverbs – “The Way of Wisdom.”

God Gives Wisdom

Re:Verse passage – Proverbs 2:1-15 (day seven)

For the Lord gives wisdom. vs 6

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5 (ESV)

We have a group of 12 teenagers and 4 adults in Brooklyn, New York serving the Borough Church (Pastor Zach Van Veldhuizen). We are putting on a Disciple Now (similar to our Freedom Weekend) for this growing church plant in anticipation that this will springboard their youth ministry program. The most beautiful part of this weekend is the work that our teenagers are doing. Our 17-18 year old “kids” are the primary teachers in the Bible Study/Small Group time. The wisdom that these students are displaying is makes it abundantly clear that wisdom is not determined by age or by having a certain degree, but wisdom is a gift given by God. James tells us that all we have to do is ask, and God will generously give you His wisdom. He doesn’t ask for credentials. He generously gives! Do you feel like you lack wisdom? Me too. Let’s ask together!

Also, pray for continued wisdom for us as we serve the city of New York as well as the other groups from our church in Kenya and at home doing community missions.