Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Is the "price" too high?

Proverbs 26:7 (GW) Like a lame person’s limp legs, so is a proverb in the mouths of fools.

When I rededicated my life to Christ as an adult I was encouraged to draw closer to Him by having a daily quiet time. (A quiet time is a time set-aside to pray and read God’s word.) Okay, this makes sense; to get closer to Christ and determine His purpose for my life I need to spend some time, daily, in His word and prayer.

I remember first making this commitment to set my alarm an hour early so I could get up, make myself some coffee and dig into God’s word. It was after a challenge made during a generational service geared to 20 to early 40 year-olds. The pastor talked that Sunday morning about the things we needed to do (or the price we pay) to follow Christ. Some of you may be questioning my choice of words…”the price we pay.” Allow me to briefly explain.

When we say YES to Christ, we are basically saying NO to the things of this world and the way we were accustomed to living in it. Following Christ is a commitment to Him and to living our lives in a way that will bring honor and glory to Him. So how do we know what brings Him honor and glory? By learning His word.

That morning, the pastor talked about establishing a quiet time in our day. I will never forget the point he made about this topic.

“If you can’t roll out of the rack 30 minutes early to spend some time with Jesus, the price just got to high.”

He was so right! But where in the whole big Bible does one begin? I struggled with where to start. There were days I just opened my Bible and whatever page I landed on was the page I started to read. I also remember trying to start in Genesis and work my way through the Bible that way. These ways weren’t very effective for me. Then someone told me to start in Proverbs.

Why start there? Proverbs is considered one of the books of wisdom (Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon are the others). The purpose of this book (according to my Life Applications Bible – NRSV) is to teach people how to be understanding, just, and fair in everything they do, to make the simple-minded wise, to warn young people about some problems they will face, and to help the wise become good leaders. In short, the book of Proverbs will teach us how to apply divine wisdom to daily life and to provide moral instruction.

After reading the purpose, I knew I needed to start in the book of Proverbs. I followed the advice of my friend and began by starting in the chapter that corresponded to the current day. For example: on June 1st, I read Proverbs 1; on June 15th, I read Proverbs 15. Each month, I read one chapter of Proverbs a day. Before came along making it easier to navigate through different translations, I either borrowed or purchased different Bibles.

Today as I read through Proverbs 26 (June 26th), I thought about my journey to learn those things that bring honor and glory to God. It was verse 7 that jumped out at me. To me, it reminded me that I can read these Proverbs every month but if I am blind to the wisdom found there, I am just as useless as “lame person’s limp leg.”

To gain wisdom and knowledge, I have to have a receptive attitude. When I receive what this book teaches, God will pour out His wisdom to me. God promises to do this in Proverbs 1: 23 (GW) Turn to me when I warn you. I will generously pour out my spirit for you. I will make my words known to you.

Do you have a daily quiet time with the Lord? If you don’t may I encourage you to start in Proverbs. Spend a few months there learning how to live a godly live through the words contained in each chapter. 

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