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May 4, 2007

Living Generously

Psalm 112 (NIV)
1 Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
who finds great delight in his commands.

This Psalm describes the how the fear of the LORD affects the way one lives his life. This man does not see the commands of the Lord as restrictive or burdensome. Instead, they are rules for success. Rather, they free one's self from self-dependence to recognize God's care.

2 His children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.

"Their children will be successful everywhere;
an entire generation of godly people will be blessed."
(NLT)

Since "more is caught than taught," the way my children see me living my life become the way thier lives are lived. This God-fearing, and life-releasing way of living is passed down to each generation. What is it that my kids are "catching" from me? I want them to experience the blessing that fearing God produces. Some of these blessings are described in the following verses.

4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.

In the darkest times, personally or circumstaneually, there is aways hope. When my life reflects the compassion and grace of God, that resource is measured back. It doesn't come as a result of my actions. Rather it is out of the overflow of what I experience of God that I'm able to live compassionately and graciously.

5 Good will come to him who is generous...
....who conducts his affairs with justice.

I'm blessed to be surrounded by many generous people. I've never seen someone who is authentically generous ever "lack." It's because of how they view what they have; they don't "own" it (or let things "own" them). Generosity is not a "gift," it is a value. It is what you are when you hold a certain perspective on life.

Generosity also allows one to conduct one's affairs with integrity. There's no need to maintain an upper-hand or to seek an unfair advantage or leverage. That's a "poverty" mindset - I need to do what's best for me. The generosity approach produces benefit for all involved.

7 He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.

For so many, any news that is outside of what they are expecting is life shaking. Fear of God produces trust in God. It is the Romans 8:28 principle - "in all things, God is working for the good of those who love (or "fear") Him..."

I think this Psalm teaches me how to view life from God's perspective. As His word take hold of my heart, the life principles of the Kingdom begin to become "second nature" (better to say my "new" nature).

May 23, 2007

What, Why, How, When

Proverbs 17:24
A discerning man keeps wisdom in view,
but a fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

Proverbs 19:8

He who gets wisdom loves his own soul;
he who cherishes understanding prospers.

I've been reading my devotion from The Narrarated Bible, a chronological compilation of the scriptures. In Proverbs, the arranger divided the book by topics rather than chapters and verses. Today's section included proverbs on "discernment and understanding." This was timely for me today as in a few minutes Jayme and I are headed out for a prayer walk as part of a week of fasting we're doing. Our discipline is to take time quarterly for a "review" - to make sure we're in line with God's assignment and purpose for us in the season. We each felt that the time we're in now, that what we asking of the Lord is for discernment.

My tendency is to look so far ahead that I overlook what is right in front of me. That's why 17:24 stood out to me so much. Since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, I feel that a new sense of reverence for God and a call to holiness is what is before me right now. Don't get lost in looking around or ahead, but keep focused right now. Personal holiness and understanding are tied together for me. Worship releases wisdom.

In 19:8, I'm reminded about John's prayer four our souls to prosper. Ending the inner turmoil of doubt and unsettledness requires understanding, requires a pursuit of wisdom. Wisdom is the "what" of life, understanding is the "how" and "when," discernment is the "why."

Lord, as You reveal the "what" and "why" for us, help me to walk in the "how" and "when."

About Fear of

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in the Fear of category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Forgiveness is the next category.

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