May 3 / Proverbs 3 / Mark 5

hem of His garment 3

Proverbs 3:5-7

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 

When we follow the precepts on living as given by the Designer, we can then live a very good life.

I like how a friend of mine said that we have not been equipped with the tools to live a selfish life. That is why the self-pleasing life can never work. It will never be in harmonious coherence, for we have not been fitted for it. What we have been equipped for is the God-Life. What we have the tools for, what we have been built for, is to live a life lovingly dependent on God.

Since we have been fitted for the With-God Life [Immanuel], we will experience shalom,harmony, coherence, and clarity when we actively seek out and live this way. This life transcends circumstances. That is how Martin Luther King was able to hug his assailant after being pummeled by him. This is how Jesus was able to forgive His enemies and murderers.

Our life runs best on the fuel of Divine dependence, love, and forgiveness.

Mark 5:25-34

She came up in the crowd behind him and touched his clothes.

Jesus knew at once, inside himself, that power had gone out of him.

Jesus was (and still is) a conduit for God, for He is, in fact, God.

God and His infinite love flowed freely thru Jesus of Nazareth.

He was at all times connected to His Father. Jesus allowed nothing to inhibit His relationship with YHWH. He was more connected than any other human, and lived a life of power as a result of it.

Are we not also conduits for God because of Jesus?

Can’t the Holy Spirit, who is God, flow freely thru us as we kill all that gets in the way of a perfect, uninhibited connection to God? All the low-value garbage that competes so aggressively for our connection?

Then our very presence can be a healing to others who are hurting and searching for something more than the pathetic, short-lasting  pseudo-joy the world offers them. I believe in healing–physical, spiritual, and emotional. We can heal others. But there is a trade-off. We must give up our selfish pursuits in order to become conduits of God’s healing and love. Only as we fill ourselves with God, and therefore, crowd out all that is not Him, will we then become agents of healing. Only then will we start to see people the way God must see them–always with love, always with compassion, always with pity (the good kind, of course!). We will begin each day and encounter with a “yes” instead of a “no.”

Our love will be deeply gracious, always forgiving, and ever hopeful.


May 2 / Proverbs 2 / Mark 4


Mark 4:26-27

Then Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is like someone who plants seed in the ground. Night and day, whether the person is asleep or awake, the seed still grows, but the person does not know how it grows.” [NCV]

This is one of the most comforting and empowering of passages to me. My responsibility is to give the word of God, to give truth. I do not and cannot make it grow in someone’s heart. That is God’s part.

This hearkens back to the “bearing fruit” picture used in Scripture. I believe all of God’s creation speaks of Him, not in a spiritual sense only, but also in a literal and physical sense. The more we study the physical characteristics of creation, the more we can get to know its Creator. So bearing fruit then is not force-feeding, for a tree does not throw its apples in someone’s mouth. It bears them. It produces them from its root system via drinking water from a source that is provided by a greater Source.

And I do believe our prayers are part of that God-designed process of fruit bearing. In another passage, it seems to indicate that we can till the soil and put manure in it to make it more conducive for growth. Perhaps that is speaking simply of prayer.

Nonetheless, I do not make the seed grow in someone’s heart. God does that. I just do my portion.

Takes some unnecessary pressure off, does it not?

Proverbs 2:1-6

While wisdom is readily available to all, the active words such as “accept,” “store up,” “call out,” “search for” make it clear that the disciple must be focused and diligent in the quest for it.

The search for wisdom begins with an attitude of reverent submission to God (“the fear of the LORD”). It continues with the disciple’s persistence and diligence, and it actually leads to the knowledge of God. This outcome is assured because God reveals Himself to those who diligently seek Him.

-from The Apologetics Study Bible

May 1 / Proverbs 1 / Mark 3

Lady Wisdom

Mark 3:31-35

Anyone who does God’s will is my brother! And my sister! And my mother! [KNT]

Jesus tells us that spiritual ties are stronger than natural ones. Our true family is made up of those doing what God wants, those who are following Him with their whole heart. Thru God, our spiritual family heals the hurts from our biological family and fills the gaps where they missed us in some way.

And none of our parents or family are perfect, let’s be honest. None of us are perfect parents either. None of us are strong in every aspect of humanity. Therefore it is imperative for the holistic growth of our children that we are immersed within a spiritual family to fill in the gaps we may or may not be aware of. This is an easy move if we truly want the absolute best for our children.

If my girls are only around me and their mother, they will be products of us, for sure-which is cool and fun to a degree, yes, but why would I want them to be exposed only to us? I know many wonderful Christ following parents whom I trust and value greatly. Why would I not desire my children to be around them and gain more godliness thru their unique lives and perspectives? How much more whole will our girls be for having experienced others doing God’s will and filling in the gaps where we are lacking.

I was so happy to have our girls spend a weekend with one of those families last month, knowing they were in good hands, not just because they’d be safe, but because they would be immersed in a goodness that is, at the core, in line with our values, yet beautifully different in the details.

Proverbs 1:1-7

For learning about wisdom and instruction…The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…

In the biblical wisdom literature we find principles governing daily living that, when rightly understood, can lead us to God. These principles, given by a loving God through the means of natural human wisdom, reveal God’s will for our lives and how we can live harmoniously in the world.

Through these passages God, much like a parent advising a child, reveals the patterns that help us gain an understanding of our own personal life (4:11-12), work with one another (15:1), and ultimately discover God Himself (2:5-11; 24:21-22). They emphasize normative patterns of living (chap 14). They teach us that joy and happiness, sorrow and despair are a direct result of the life we lead and the choices we make (7:21-27). “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but those who hate to be rebuked are stupid” (12:1). They represent a stored treasure of human experience that reveal the wisdom and grace of God (3:5-8).

These wisdom sayings ultimately lay the responsibility for the “good life” at our feet as we exercise the freedom God gave us to know and to serve Him. “Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding.The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens.My child, do not let these escape from your sight” (3:13,19-21).

These Scriptures focus on the practical choices we make in life and the consequences that flow from these choices. In contrast to other parts of Scripture, they do not focus on the more dominant biblical theme of salvation history-how we overcome our alienation from God. As a result of this shift of emphasis, some overlook the importance of these teachings. But in neglecting this wisdom literature we miss an important God-given resource for practical instruction on how to live a better life in the everyday world.

In clever, poetic, pithy or “catchy” sayings, these books emphasize a basic moral orientation that guides us in all aspects of daily living (2:1-5). They teach us the “things that are true on the whole and for the most part.” The writers’ confidence in life’s moral order gives rise to the cause-and-effect reasoning that dominates these Scriptures. If we are good, then good will befall us: “A generous person will be enriched, and one who gives water will get water” (11:25). If we are evil, then evil will befall us: “Wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul, or dwell in a body enslaved to sin” (Wisdom of Solomon 1:4). The wisdom tradition of the Bible focuses on building character, promoting virtue, condemning vice, and teaching us ways in which we can do the right thing, for the right reason, at the right time, and in the right way.

-Emilie Griffin from The Spiritual Formation Bible