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Entries in Proverbs: Timeless Wisdom for a Life of Blessing (5)

Monday
Jul162018

My Dad, My Trainer

My head was sweaty, my stomach was aching, and I was sprawled out on the couch. I could barely muster up the strength to stand up on my own.

I was sick.

Growing up, I hated being sick. I hated the feeling, the nausea, and the lack of energy. The only good part about it was my mom always taking care of me. She would fix up my favorite toast and let me sleep to my heart’s content.

But this time, my mom wasn’t around. I was home from school with my dad, who had a slightly different approach when it came to sickness.

Of course, he wanted me to feel better, but he didn’t want me getting used to caving in every time the Enemy attacked me. As a sophomore in high school, I didn’t think much about fighting the devil and standing up for God’s promises over my life. But my dad knew that this could not continue. Once I was out on my own, I would need to know how to believe God’s Word for myself. My dad was determined to teach and train me not only how to have faith but also how to stand on my own.

So, up we went, walking up and down our hallway, declaring scriptures of healing and life. As much as I did not like it at the time, I can now see how this prepared me to receive healing. (It did more for me than toast ever could!) Acting on what I believed was such a powerful lesson to learn.

On the Gospel Truth, Andrew has been teaching from his series Proverbs: Timeless Wisdom for a Life of Blessing. He shares from Proverbs 22:6,
which says,

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Commenting on this verse, Andrew says, “Boy, this is a powerful scripture, but I do need to point out that there’s a difference between training and teaching. There’s a lot of people that will teach their children what’s right and they’ll say, ‘You need to do this,’ but they actually train them in disobedience.”

How is that possible? Because those parents don’t act on what they’re teaching their children. They don’t lead by example.

After I graduated from high school in Madison, Georgia, I made the bold move to Colorado to go to Charis Bible College. I didn’t have my dad with me, but I did have his training and example. And because of all the ways he guided me in walking out my faith while I was growing up, I was able to stand on my own two feet, equipped to live a life based on faith and not
just principles.

Keep watching the Gospel Truth this month to gain more timeless wisdom for a life of blessing. It just might train you to act on your own faith too.

Written by Jessica Giaimo

For resources and products or to partner in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.

Monday
Jul092018

Fear Can Be . . . Good? 

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

Philippians 2:12b

It’s easy to see how this verse could be confusing. You might be thinking, What do you mean “with fear and trembling”? The Bible says that God is love, and there is no fear in love.

You’re right! That’s what 1 John 4:18 says, and on this basis, a lot of people will reject any notion that fear can be good. But Paul wrote the above verse in his letter to the Philippians and is known as the apostle of grace and a huge proponent of the love of God (1 Cor. 13). I don’t think that he was contradicting his other letters when he wrote this one or that he was suggesting you should pick and choose which parts of his letters to believe. Can you imagine Paul saying, “If something I wrote doesn’t agree with your theology, just rip that part out of your Bible and believe what you want”? I sure can’t.

So, what does Philippians 2:12 mean? Well, it doesn’t mean you should be afraid of God! You can have fear in your relationship with God without being afraid of Him. After doing a double take, you might ask, “How does
that work?”

A lot of scriptures explain this, but what God has been speaking to me lately is from Proverbs 9:10, which says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

The word “fear” in that verse can also mean “reverence” (Strong’s Concordance). What helped me understand the fear of the Lord is understanding that it’s humility toward God. Andrew talks about the correlation between fear and humility in his book Proverbs: Timeless Wisdom for a Life of Blessing:

“Part of fearing the Lord is hating pride, hating self-promotion, hating doing our own thing. We love God and would rather live for God than live for ourselves. Most people would love to have honor. They would love to have trophies and have people acclaim all the things that are happening in their lives, but they don’t want to humble themselves. Outside of the Lord, there are people in this world who are promoted and who receive honor from others that doesn’t come through humility.” (p. 376)

Look at this verse:

“By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.”

Proverbs 22:4

Riches and honor and life sound good to me. I believe this is part of what Paul was talking about in Philippians 2:12 when he used the word soteria, translated “salvation.” Salvation is everything that pertains to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3), and life and godliness come through walking humbly with God (Mic. 6:8).

Humility does not mean to think little of yourself. It means that you agree with what God thinks about you. Andrew says:

“True humility is not having an opinion of yourself. It means you don’t promote or debase yourself. If God says you are the meekest person on the face of the earth, then you’d say it, too, because you don’t care what people think. You aren’t trying to promote yourself nor are you trying to debase yourself. You aren’t self-centered. You aren’t focused on yourself.” (p. 297)

I believe this explains Philippians 2:12. This is how fear can be good, and it’s what I’ve been striving to walk out in my life. To walk in humility toward God, you have to see yourself the way that He sees you.

What do you think? How do you work out your salvation with fear and trembling? Please share in the comments below. And watch Andrew on the Gospel Truth broadcast, where he’s teaching from the book of Proverbs throughout the year.

Written by David Moore II

For resources and products or to partner in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.

Monday
May072018

Ready? Set? Wait! 

As the spring semester is coming to a close and many Charis Bible College students are nearing graduation, I’m reminded of something Andrew said earlier this year during a live-stream chapel: the goal of Charis is to produce ministers who will succeed. Andrew is not in the business of sending out just anyone. He knows unprepared ministers can quickly get burned-out and quit. Success in your calling requires patience, diligence, and renewal by the Word to find the next step God has in store for you.

Many in our “right now” generation tend to look for the quickest way to get what they want. We were raised watching overnight successes and taught ideas like how anyone can start a business overnight or buy a plane ticket and “just go.” But how long will that self-drive and ambition last? Can your passion and excitement really keep you going? When there isn’t time sown into building your foundation, you and what was produced through you can waste away very quickly.

We all want to succeed and build something great—to leave a legacy or impact a generation. And that’s good; it’s a desire from God! But it comes from first persevering and maturing in relationship with Him.

Proverbs 16:32 says, “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city” (New International Version).

When determining which path to take or which school to go to, the world usually tells us, “Now’s the time. Just go! Just do it!” And in Christian circles, men and women of God are often portrayed as warriors, taking on challenges without any hesitation. But wait. Doesn’t this verse say that patience is more valuable than vigor? That harnessing your emotions is better than “going crazy” for God?

Proverbs shows that taking time to seek Him will change you and mature you from the inside out and produce lasting fruit. God’s kind of success is better than any quick fix the world can offer. We can’t let our zeal get the best of us. Proverbs 19:2 warns us that “Desire without knowledge is not good—how much more will hasty feet miss the way!” (NIV).

Our culture puts all the focus on zeal and desire, producing a “get everything instantly” mentality. With declarations like “Stop wishing, and make it happen! Chase after your dreams! Don’t wait. Follow your heart!” it’s no wonder we have people running off, unprepared, overwhelmed, and confused.

You might feel ready to just go. To be the next star. Drop everything and move. And you might feel the passion overwhelming you to the point of restlessness. But remember this: There’s knowledge to be found. There’s the Word to renew you. There is communion and relationship with the Father to complete you. It doesn’t matter if it takes two months or two years; God will get you to where He’s called you. Trust in His steps. He will cultivate you as you cultivate your vision.

The book of Proverbs can provide you with so much on wisdom, knowledge, and walking with God. Get Andrew’s new teaching, Proverbs: Timeless Wisdom for a Life of Blessing, and let it help you prepare for what’s next in your journey with God.

And congratulations to all 2018 Charis graduates around the world! We’re excited for you and believing with you that the foundation you’ve established by sowing the Word into your hearts will produce success wherever your next step takes you!

Written by Mo Smith

For resources and products or to partner in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.