Wisdom from the Book of Proverbs

Most people would tell you they seek wisdom to make important decisions in their lives. However, many look for wisdom in the wrong places. They look toward celebrities, the wealthy, athletes, or even politicians to tell them what they should do and how they should live… instead of God.

God provides Proverbs as an important part of the scriptures to  share the wisdom He gave Solomon with generations of His people throughout time. Carefully studied in the context of the whole Bible it is a fantastic place to seek wisdom and find it!

Proverbs 1:1-7

These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.

Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
    to help them understand the insights of the wise.

Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair.

These proverbs will give insight to the simple,
    knowledge and discernment to the young.

Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser.
    Let those with understanding receive guidance
by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables,
    the words of the wise and their riddles.

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
    but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Proverbs is easy to read and apply and just as relevant to today as it was thousands of years ago.  Human nature has not changed. Neither has God’s wisdom in how to deal with it.

—-

Help us to share the good news of the gospel! Please visit our Support Us page at HearingFromJesus.org to find out more.

Small Tile for Posts

Be Strong and Courageous

Moses’ introduction to the leadership role of the Israelite people is unforgettable. He represented the people before Pharaoh as God unleashed the 10 plagues on Egypt.  Then Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, through the wilderness and eventually to the promised land. He was there for many miracles including manna from heaven to feed the people and water from rocks to quench their thirst. Undeniably Moses had a special and very strong relationship with God.

When God called upon Joshua to lead the Israelites, it must have seemed quite a challenge to Joshua to follow a great leader like Moses. Joshua had been at Moses’ side for a long time and thus had experience in leading his people. Joshua was well prepared to fill the role. Still, God took time to provide Joshua with both clear instruction and encouragement to help him get off to a strong start.

Joshua 1:1-9

After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you— from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea[a] in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’ No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.

“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

God provided Joshua with both clear instruction and encouragement, just as He did for Moses at the burning bush.  God did not want Joshua to doubt himself in the new role or be timid. After all, the first task was to lead Israel into battle.

God also did not say “Do whatever you want and you will succeed anyway.” God instructed Joshua on several elements critical to his success:

  • Be strong and courageous in following God’s direction.
  • Carefully obey all the instructions Moses gave you.
  • Study this Book of instruction continually… obey everything written in it
  • Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Whether God asks us to lead a million people or just to conduct ourselves through our daily lives, He calls us all to use the same formula for success. Be strong and courageous in following God. Study and obey His word carefully. Do not be afraid or discouraged no matter what we face for the Lord our God is with us.

—-

Help us to share the good news of the gospel! Please visit our Support Us page at HearingFromJesus.org to find out more.

Small Tile for Posts

Should I Trust the Bible?

Not many of us go even on a short journey without a map, global positioning satellite (GPS), directions, or at least a compass to guide us. Why then are so many willing to go through life without a reliable and trustworthy guide? Without good directions?

The Bible is the inspired and complete word of God. In it God communicates His timeless instructions for His children to relate to Him, to each other, and to the world. The Bible is the tool that God provides to help us navigate through life.  Just as God never changes, so too the Bible does not need to change. It is sufficient to guide God’s people throughout every generation. It will never be outdated or irrelevant.

Unfortunately, many people in the world reject the Bible. They listen to the voice of the world and dismiss the Bible without even studying or understanding the evidence themselves. In its place they follow almost anything that makes them feel good about how they want to live.  And many Christians are not prepared to explain the evidence that supports the Bible as true and inspired by God.

In Has God Spoken? Hank Hanegraaff provides compelling proof of the Bible’s divine inspiration with a detailed presentation and analysis of the evidence. I strongly recommend reading this book to convince yourself or to prepare yourself to be able to share the evidence with others.  The book is available at www.equip.org, the website for the Christian Research Institute (CRI). It is also available through other retailers wherever books are sold.

Help us to share the good news of the gospel! Please visit our Support Us page at HearingFromJesus.org to find out more.

Small Tile for Posts

Sometimes God Speaks in a Gentle Whisper

There are times no doubt where God speaks in dramatic ways. The burning bush to speak to Moses, sending angels to talk to Mary and Joseph, speaking to Samuel in an audible voice while he was asleep as a child. However, there are also many times where God speaks in a whisper. If we are not listening closely to Him… waiting and expecting to hear from Him… we will miss what He has to tell us.

1 Kings 19:10-18

But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

14 He replied again, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”

15 Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram. 16 Then anoint Jehu grandson of Nimshi[b] to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet. 17 Anyone who escapes from Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will be killed by Elisha! 18 Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!”

We must wholeheartedly seek God and expect to hear from Him if we are to actually hear His voice when He calls. Prepare yourself by studying His word daily, praying to Him, expecting Him to answer, and by tuning out the selfish, sinful messages of the world.  

—-

Help us to share the good news of the gospel! Please visit our Support Us page at HearingFromJesus.org to find out more.

Small Tile for Posts

Jesus Is Calling You to Follow Him

When Jesus began His ministry He had no disciples, no followers, and no-one knew Him outside of His close friends and family. He was a humble carpenter.

What He did have was a strong relationship with God and a deep understanding of scripture because of years of careful study. He preached boldly and without apology.

In Matthew 4:18-22 we see Jesus call His first disciples, who were fisherman. He connected with them immediately by using a metaphor that they could understand.

18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20 And they left their nets at once and followed him.

21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. 22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.

Jesus’ disciples responded quickly and decisively when He called. There is no indication that they, as fisherman, had any previous relationship with Jesus upon which to draw to trust Him. They did not have a full understanding of His ministry and teaching when they chose to follow Him.

The disciples had to decide to follow Jesus first… and that led them to the opportunity to spend years growing to know Him and His teaching intimately. And later, with the Holy Spirit as their helper they were formidable indeed as they spread the good news of the gospel to sometimes friendly, but often hostile audiences.

The same is true for us today. If we decide not to follow Jesus until we understand all of His word in the Bible, we will never follow Him. It is only by the bold decision to follow Him that we will study and learn more about God’s word and develop that intimate relationship with God that transforms our lives in the image of Christ.

Are you following Jesus with all your heart or are you holding something back? He is calling each of us to come to Him wholeheartedly. Do not wait until you have all the answers… follow Him today!

Help us to share the good news of the gospel! Please visit our Support Us page at HearingFromJesus.org to find out more.

Small Tile for Posts

Repent of Your Sins and Turn to God

After successfully overcoming temptation by Satan as documented in Matthew 4, Jesus began His public ministry.

Ever stop to think about what message was so fundamental and important that Jesus would speak about it first?  Matthew 4:17 gives that insight.

 17 From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.[g]

Try not to read over it too quickly. Better to dwell on it.  Scripture does not say Jesus said this once, but rather “From then on…”. Jesus started with this key message and stayed on this point through His entire ministry.

We need to follow His example throughout our lives as well. God wants us first to repent, then to turn to Him humbly and seek Him wholeheartedly.

Some people struggle with the end of this verse, “… for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” since Jesus said it two thousand years ago. We could have a good debate on it and I look forward to sharing more on that topic another time.  However, here is practical way to consider application.

Approximately 148,000 people around the world die every day. That equates to a pace of over 50 million people a year. For each of those who perished, they no longer have a chance to repent and turn to Jesus. Those who accepted Jesus wholeheartedly before they died are with Him in heaven.  Those who did not are in hell, eternally separated from God.

The point is that time may be short for each of us. Now is the time to repent and turn to God. None of us are promised a tomorrow on this world.

—-

Help us to share the good news of the gospel! Please visit our Support Us page at HearingFromJesus.org to find out more.

Small Tile for Posts

Leading Cause of Death in the World

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 56 million people died worldwide in 2012.

The leading cause of death was cardiovascular diseases, killing 17.5 million people in 2012, that is 3 in every 10 deaths.

6.6 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday. The major killers of children aged less than 5 years were prematurity, pneumonia, birth asphyxia and birth trauma, and diarrheal diseases.

The world health organization has another category they track that they do not even count in the death totals. Every year an estimated 45 million children are killed inside their mother’s womb by someone carrying out an abortion.

If we were to add this number to the death total of 56 million above, we see that deaths from abortion account for an astounding 45% of total deaths worldwide… almost three times more than the next leading category (cardiovascular disease).

God clearly tells us life begins in the womb in Jeremiah 1:4-5

The Lord gave me this message:

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
    Before you were born I set you apart
    and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

Medical science today undeniably confirms what God told us thousands of years ago. Life begins at conception and the human life grows inside the mother’s womb. The baby is defenseless and without a voice, but clearly a separate individual human life inside the mother.

If you or someone you know is considering abortion.  Please choose to save the life of the child, even if it is a hard situation. Reach out for help to God and fellow Christians.

If you or someone you know has already been involved in an abortion then you know how devastating it is emotionally. Remember that God is filled with grace.  He can forgive you if you turn toward Him with repentant heart and seek forgiveness. If you are struggling in grief, please reach out to God and to fellow Christians for help.

2 Chronicles 7:14

14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

Let’s work together to stop abortion!

For information on finding resources to help, please visit our Crisis Help: Abortion page.

—-

Help us to share the good news of the gospel! Please visit our Support Us page at HearingFromJesus.org to find out more.

Small Tile for Posts

Practical Advice for a Strong Marriage

The marriage covenant is the most sacred covenant we enter with exception to our covenant with God. Our world today provides much distraction and false teaching about marriage.

Even amongst Christian communities and families there is often little or no Biblical teaching to help guide how we should select a spouse and prepare us to live a godly marriage.

The most important principle to focus on is that we should each try to grow closer to God, and by doing so we will also grow closer to each other.

Seeking a godly spouse:

  • Study the Bible to understand what character traits to develop in yourself and look for in a spouse.
  • Become the type of godly person that you want to find in a spouse. Continue maturing in your personal relationship with Jesus Christ and live as a godly example in your life.
  • Take your time in selecting your spouse. Ensure you know them well and share a similar depth of faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for God to give you confirmation of whom you should marry and then make sure what you hear is from God by seeking godly counsel and comparing it to God’s word.

Growing a godly marriage relationship:

  • Study the Bible independently to continue your personal growth in relationship with God.
  • Maintain an active prayer life between yourself and God. It should be two way communication.
  • Spend time together with your spouse daily (or as often as you can to start) studying and applying the word of God to your lives
  • Spend time in prayer together with your spouse daily.
  • Invest in your marriage relationship before you have difficulty. Seek resources (e.g. books, conferences, online ministries, etc.) that can help you grow closer to your spouse over time. Do not wait until the relationship is struggling to work on improving it.
  • Seek out and partner with another godly married couple you respect and trust that know Jesus. You can serve as accountability and prayer partners for each other before God.

I have started a list of some good resources that provide practical help for growing in our marriage. You can find these on our website under the “Resources” tab under “Marriage” in the top header.

Focused Ministry

  • Focus on the Family is a ministry with specific focus around marriage and family. There are many resources available including material on strengthening or repairing your marriage.

Books and Other Resources

  • For Men Only and For Women Only by Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn reveal eye-opening truths and simple acts that will improve your relationship with your spouse.
  • The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman shows us how to keep our marriage relationship fresh and growing amid the demands and conflicts and just plain boredom of everyday life.
  • The Love Dare  personally leads you through daily devotionals, records your thoughts and experiences, and ends each day daring you to perform a simple act of love for your spouse.

Help us to share the good news of the gospel! Please visit our Support Us page at HearingFromJesus.org to find out more.

Small Tile for Posts

How do I hear from Jesus?

Many of us want to hear from God to ensure we are following His direction rather than our own desires or falling into traps laid by the enemy. The good news is that God also wants to talk to us and He wants us to hear his voice.

God speaks to all of us through the Bible. It is a complete guide to help us understand who God is and how He wants to relate with us as His people. Studying the Bible helps us understand the character of God. The Bible is available free of charge on the internet at multiple sites. Please look under our Study the Word section on www.HearingFromJesus.org and find several links to online Bible resources available in many languages.

The second most common way that we as believers can hear from Jesus is by accepting Him into our hearts as lord and savior, seeking Him wholeheartedly and learning to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the advocate that God has sent to be with us while we are in this world. We have several devotionals highlighting the role of the Holy Spirit on our website. You can look them up by  the category “Holy Spirit” or type “Holy Spirit” into the search function on our header bar of www.HearingFromJesus.org.  

When we wish to hear from God it is important to seek Him in prayer. Prayer is an important means of communication between God and His people. It should be a two way communication. It should not just be a list of “wants” we demand of God. Similar to the topic above on Holy Spirit, we have a devotional category to help you on our website simply called “Prayer”.

When we feel we are receiving specific guidance from God, the Bible encourages us to seek godly counsel, perhaps from a friend or family member that you know is close to God. It is very important to check the guidance we think we are receiving from God against His word in the Bible. God will not contradict Himself. If the direction we think we are getting contradicts the character of God or His holy scriptures in the Bible then we can know that guidance is not from God. It may be from our own desires or from the enemy trying to lead us into a trap.

We will come back to each of these aspects of hearing from God in future posts over the coming weeks to further develop this important topic and dive a bit deeper into specific scripture.

—-

Help us to share the good news of the gospel! Please visit our Support Us page at HearingFromJesus.org to find out more.

Small Tile for Posts

Pray for One Another

God has a lot to say about prayer in the Bible. It is a very important 2-way communication between God and His people. He wants to hear from us and wants us to hear from Him. God also wants us to selflessly pray for others, not just for ourselves.

These are just a few of many scriptures where God tells us about prayer.  Prayer Matters.

1 Timothy 2:1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.

Ephesians 6:18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Philippians 4:6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done

We have added a section to the HearingFromJesus.org website to help connect Christians around the world in prayer for one another. The page is called Prayer Requests.

I am hopeful that as individuals within a global Christian community we can come and list our prayer requests or needs by commenting on the page below. We at Hearing From Jesus will pray for you when we receive these requests. We also invite other members of our community who visit our site to regularly visit our page and pray for the needs listed there.

You can keep your identity private if you wish by simply thinking about how you list your prayer request. For example, you can leave out last names or too many details that may make you uncomfortable to share. God knows all about you already. We just need enough information to be able to come before Him on your behalf or alongside you and pray with you and for you.

Help us to share the good news of the gospel! Please visit our Support Us page at HearingFromJesus.org to find out more.

Small Tile for Posts

Sharing God's word through devotionals and other resources. Helping you study the Bible and apply it to your life. Helping young children to enjoy the Bible at our Kid Zone.