Day 23: Wisdom, Part 2

“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.  For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.”

In yesterday’s verse (Proverbs 4:7-8), we learned that wisdom begins with getting wisdom; finding begins with seeking.  To experience it, wisdom must be both desired and honored.

M46 Challenge:  Talk to your children about the value of God’s wisdom.  Why is it more valuable than money or gold?

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank you for the benefit of your wisdom and understanding.  Help me to teach my daughter the benefits of finding and adhering to your wisdom.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thoughts:  Inasmuch as there is wisdom in stewardship, how may we be better stewards of the wisdom He grants us?  Where does wisdom rank among our most valued blessings – and of which are we more impassioned stewards?  Ponder James 3:17.

As we approach Thanksgiving, we will spend a bit of time on Proverbs 4:18 and how God’s light may shine through our children.

Keep it Lit,

T.

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Day 22: Wisdom

Wisdom results from the collective application of past lessons, acumen, perception, and judgment.  As Christians, we believe that God grants and entrusts wisdom to us.

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom, and with all thy getting get understanding.  Exalt her, and she shall bring thee to honor, when thou dost embrace her.” – Proverbs 4:7-8

M46 Challenge:  Talk to your children about wisdom and understanding.  Talk to them about how to embrace and honor the wisdom that comes from God.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank you for freely giving me and my family Your wisdom.  Help me and my family to embrace your wisdom and understanding in our daily lives.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thoughts:  Perhaps it’s possible to have faith and understanding without wisdom.  Perhaps wisdom is reserved for those who transcend simple belief to a commitment to the path of God’s will, recognizing that our knowledge alone is wholly insufficient.  Believing is knowing, while wisdom is actively using what we know to pursue His will.  Simply put, wisdom is choosing His will over our want.  Think about how we commonly ask God for wisdom.  (Hint:  praying for forgiveness, freedom from temptation, and delivery from evil.)

More tomorrow on the value of wisdom – see Proverbs 3:13-14.  Until then…

Keep it Lit,

T.

 

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Day 21: Finding Favor

“Let not mercy and truth forsake thee:  bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart; so shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”  – Proverbs 3:3-4

Said differently…Don’t let mercy and truth abandon you, rather, hold them close and take them to heart.  Honor God and His favor shall be yours.

In Day 19, we considered the definition of “honor” – that is, to celebrate and recognize; to fulfill an obligation.  “…to honor God is, perhaps, to celebrate and recognize Him openly and proudly, while keeping our obligation to adhere to His commandments.

Note that “love” and “favor” are two different things.  God always loves us and always stands ready for us, yet His favor is granted when we pursue and honor Him.

M46 Challenge:  Talk to your children about how favor can increase in their life through honoring God and those in authority around them.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank you for your favor.  I ask that your favor will continue to increase in my life and the life of my daughter, causing us to have great opportunities with you and mankind.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thoughts:  We need to teach our children how to honor God.  A few suggested examples and topics for discussion:  prayer, worship, tithing, giving of time and talents, testimony, and allowing God into our heart.

Next time, we will consider the importance of wisdom.

Have an amazing day!   And…

Keep it Lit,

T.

 

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Day 20: Unconditional Love

Andy Stanley explains Jesus’ love for us this way:  “If you want to know what He meant when He said: ‘Love one another,’ watch how He loved.”  Amen.

“The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” – Proverbs 10:22

True blessings and riches come to us from the Lord and are without strings or conditions.  God acknowledges our sin – and expects our sin – yet He loves us, awaits us, and longs for a relationship with us.

And yet, He is not above looking down on us, rather, He meets us where we are.

God’s love is perfect and kind – there is no hazing or demand for reciprocation, though He longs for us to open our hearts to Him.

M46 Challenge:  Talk to your children about what it means to be blessed by God.  Share how God’s blessings come with “no strings attached” and no sorrow.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank you for your love, favor, and blessings.  Thank you for overwhelming me ad my family with your provision.  We are blessed beyond measure and give all glory to You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thoughts:  View and discuss this short video with your family.  How does Jesus’ love differ from that of the love and “love” that others express for us?   Consider Days 2 and 3.

Our next challenge will focus on Proverbs 3:3-4.  Until then…

Keep it Lit.

T.

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Day 19: Honor Beats Evil

In Day 2, we talked about confronting fear and finding comfort through faith and trust in the Lord.

“But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall be quiet from fear of evil.”  – Proverbs 1:33

Said simply, s/he who turns to God and keeps His commandments will find peace and safety from evil.  In my mind’s eye, it’s like a spiritual edition of “Rock-Paper-Scissors” yet, in this “game” of life, Honor beats Evil every time.

M46 Project Challenge:  Talk to your children about how God can protect them from evil if they honor God.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank you for your loving protection.  Thank you for your promise that my child will be quiet from the fear of evil.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thoughts:  To honor means to celebrate and recognize; as well, it means to fulfill an obligation.  And so, to honor God is, perhaps, to celebrate and recognize Him openly and proudly, while keeping our obligation to adhere to His commandments.   Do we talk with our children enough about the importance of the commandments and the veil of protection from evil that is found in our demonstrated commitment to Him?

Enjoy the weekend ahead!  When we come back here, we will get into Proverbs 10:22.  See you then.

Keep it Lit,

T.

 

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Day 18: Going with Good

On Day 13, we explored “Choosing Friends Wisely”, while we dug into “Right, Not Wrong” two days later.

In Proverbs 4:13-14, we are taught “Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go:   keep her; for she is thy life.  Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.”

“Take fast hold” speaks to our need to actively teach our children to recognize good versus bad – and, where “bad” sometimes equates to “evil.”   “Take fast hold” is to intervene.

“…let her not go; keep her, for she is thy life” is an emphatic instruction that sets clear boundaries and demands when applied to the parent:child relationship.  “She is thy life” – to me, this so accurately characterizes the precious gift of a child and our purpose as parents.

And the last part could not be more clear.  Simply, we are told that we are not to follow the wicked or associate with evil.  Period.

M46 Challenge:  Talk to your children about how to discern good versus bad people.  And the dangers of hanging out with the wrong crowd.”

We cannot be overly conservative or filtered in our conversations with our children about good versus evil.  Nor should we be too protectively measured in our discussion of the consequences of going with the wrong crowd.  Be specific.  Be consistent.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, help my child to make wise decisions with her friends, and who she associates with.  Help her not to go into a path of evil.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thoughts:  How many examples of bad people and the dangers of the wrong crowd can you find in the news and in social media?  And how many examples of good?  For one day, count them – and select those 2-3 examples that can be used to reinforce the importance of making good choices.  And consider those of your own examples, your own personal experiences, your own poor choices, and your own lessons learned – and share them.

Next, we will spend a bit of time contemplating Proverbs 1:33.  Until then…

Keep it Lit,

T.

 

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Day 17: Peace

“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”  – Mahatma Gandhi

“Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.” – Proverbs 3:30

There’s enough conflict in this world, without our creating any unnecessarily.  We must teach our children not to pick fights or provoke conflict, particularly with those who have not done anything to deserve such.

In today’s social media world, it’s far too easy to lob harsh and critical commentary from behind a keyboard and without personal interaction.  We seem to have traded discussion, interaction, and debate for self-focused “tweeting” and “posting” – all while insulated from the view of our commentary upon impact.  Yet, words still hurt – and are now often conveyed among far broader audiences, left to variable interpretation, and absent value for relationships and resolution.

Perhaps we have become too quick to equate disagreement with offense – many easily offended by many, just as thin skin contributes to easier bruising.

And so, teach to seek understanding, clarity, resolution, and compromise; teach not to seek conflict or battle.  Teach discussion.  Teach listening.  And, for those who choose to “communicate” digitally, teach that “tweets” and “posts” are forever.

M46 Challenge:  Talk to your children about the importance of not picking a fight with someone.  It’s never good to talk about someone, or pick a fight with someone who has done nothing to you.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, help me and my daughter to walk in your righteousness by doing the right thing.  Not only you, but to those around us as well.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thoughts:  Matthew 5:9; Ephesians 4:29

Keep it Lit,

T.

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