Fountains of Wisdom-A Study in Proverbs (Part 15) Wisdom or Folly, whose voice will you follow?

As we have studied within chapters 8 and 9; there is a parallelism of Christ’s call to the sinners to come seek righteousness and that of wisdom calling for the simple minded to gain wisdom.  We have briefly glimpsed at the fact that Wisdom was there with God from before the creation as True Wisdom is one of the attributes that is God.  Alongside Perfect Wisdom which is found in God only there can also be found Perfect Justice, Perfect Righteousness, Perfect Joy, and Perfect Love.  Thus, perfect Wisdom is only one of the attributes.

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photo by permission @istockphoto.com

As has always been the case since Adam’s choice to sin, there has been counterfeit wisdom just as clearly as there has been counterfeit justice, counterfeit righteousness, counterfeit joy and counterfeit love.

  Although, we cannot blame Adam for having chosen the creation more than the creator; because, that is no different than each of us.  Our own desire for self-exaltation is no different than that which lead Adam to seek after counterfeit wisdom through eating of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”  After innocence was broken, Adam could now see evil.   Forever more there would

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Fountains of Wisdom-A Study in Proverbs, Part 14 Grace on Display

As you who are following may note I am forced to change from Tidbits of Wisdom to Fountains of Wisdom.  Perhaps it was the thought of tidbits that delayed my study in Proverbs before.  As we continue this study, I am beginning to see the overflowing Fountains of living water.  Oh, yes, I should have known that Christ’s portrait is on display in Proverbs, as it is throughout the Old Testament.  The only true wisdom is God’s wisdom; just, as the only true righteousness is God’s righteousness.  The very essence of Wisdom is found in God and thereby placed on display in its fullness for mankind in Christ Jesus.   To seek true wisdom, one must seek after Christ (God the body) for in Him we gain the fullness of the Triune God-Son, Father and Holy Spirit (the body, soul, and spirit of God).  Though God is more than merely wisdom; true wisdom does not exist apart from God.  He is the very essence of true wisdom, true righteousness, true justice, perfect love, and perfect glory.  So, as we recognize this truth; now, we may move forward into Chapter 9 with a renewed purpose and view of the scriptures displayed.

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photo courtesy of @ istockphoto.com

The house is built; the foundation is laid with Christ the chief cornerstone.  The pillars are strong to withstand the storms of life.  (Proverbs 9:1)  The great feast has been prepared—the bread of life (the body of Christ) and the wine is poured out (the blood of Christ) and the invitation sent for all who are unworthy to come.

  (Proverbs 9:2-6 (NIV) “Let all who are simple come to my house!”To those who have no sense she says, 5 “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed 6 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.”    The call

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An Easter Poem—Love Proclaimed

LOVE PROCLAIMED

by Effie Darlene Barba



What Love so great you have for me

More than this heart could ever see

That you would suffer on the cross

And never shirking from the cost



Your bleeding flesh torn from the bone

Darkness fell, You ne’er did groan

As Spirit, Soul ripped from your chest

You proved your love, no greater test



Alone and trembling from the pain

With body drenched in blood’s dark stain

You whispered then and called my name

Forgiveness, love You did proclaim


Oh, never let my passion die

Though pain of life would cause me cry

When facing pain, oh let me see

Thy face of Grace, your love for me



Oh never let my joy despair

And when in darkest, deepest lair

So, let this heart forever sing

A song of loving praise, my King

© 2014 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to any brands, products or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides regarding the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Do you know Him in All of His Beauty?

What can I say that hasn’t already been said?  Is there any words beyond those spoken at the cross which can truly open your eyes to the magnificent beauty, majesty and glory that is found in Christ?  Where can I find the words that would cause you to see Him as your greatest treasure that you might desire to seek Him with all your heart, body and soul?  So, today; let me share with you some words of Jonathan Edwards and some sermons I urge you to go and listen.

Below are excerpts from Jonathan Edwards sermon "The Excellency of Christ–I urge you to go and read the entire sermon by clicking on the link.

The Excellency of Christ by Jonathan Edwards

         “There meet in Jesus Christ, infinite justice and infinite grace.

As Christ is a divine person, he is infinitely holy and just, hating sin, and disposed to execute condign punishment for sin. He is the Judge of the world, and the infinitely just Judge of it, and will not at all acquit the wicked, or by any means clear the guilty.And yet he is infinitely gracious and merciful. Though his justice be so strict with respect to all sin, and every breach of the law, yet he has grace sufficient for every sinner, and even the chief of sinners. And it is not only sufficient for the most unworthy to show them mercy, and bestow some good upon them, but to bestow the greatest good; yea, it is sufficient to bestow all good upon them, and to do all things for them. There is no benefit or blessing that they can receive, so great but the grace of Christ is sufficient to bestow it on the greatest sinner that ever lived. And not only so, but so great is his grace, that nothing is too much as the means of this good. It is sufficient not only to do great things, but also to suffer in order to do it, and not only to suffer, but to suffer most extremely even unto death, the most terrible of natural evils; and not only death, but the most ignominious and tormenting, and every way the most terrible that men could inflict; yea, and greater sufferings than men could inflict, who could only torment the body. He had sufferings in his soul, that were the more immediate fruits of the wrath of God against the sins of those he undertakes for…..

There are conjoined in the person of Christ infinite worthiness of good, and the greatest patience under sufferings of evil. He was perfectly innocent,and deserved no suffering. He deserved nothing from God by any guilt of his own, and he deserved no ill from men. Yea, he was not only harmless and undeserving of suffering, but he was infinitely worthy; worthy of the infinite love of the Father, worthy of infinite and eternal happiness, and infinitely worthy of all possible esteem, love, and service from all men And yet he was perfectly patient under the greatest sufferings that ever were endured in this world. Heb. 12:2. "He endured the cross, despising the shame." He suffered not from his Father for his faults, but ours; and he suffered from men not for his faults but for those things on account of which he was infinitely worthy of their love and honor, which made his patience the more wonderful and the more glorious. 1 Pet. 2:20, "For what glory is it, if when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently, but if when ye do well. and suffer for it, ye take it patiently; this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who when he was reviled, reviled not again, when he suffered, he threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." There is no such conjunction of innocence, worthiness, and patience under sufferings, as in the person of Christ.

Below are sermon links I urge you to listen to: 

Begin with:

The Friday Night Service from the Crossing–"The Seven Last Words of Jesus

 

And,

The Cross with Billy Graham

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The Cross – Billy Graham’s Message To America

View on www.youtube.com

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And, then:

Alistair Begg  He is Risen

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He Has Risen! – Broadcasts – Truth For Life

View on truthforlife.org

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Continue this sermon journey with:

Michael Youssef  The Four Words of Easter

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Home – Leading The Way

View on www.leadingtheway.org

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Perhaps a song to sing today?  Matt Maher  Christ is Risen

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Christ Is Risen – Matt Maher

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Hallelujah,  Christ loved me with all my blemishes, sins, failures and brokenness enough that he was willing to pay a price greater than I can even imagine that I might forever be in the presence of His great beauty, love, joy, and Glory.  What about you?  Do you know Him as your Savior?

© 2014 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to any brands, products or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides regarding the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wisdom Crying Into the Darkness-A Study in Proverbs Part 13

Proverbs 8: (NIV) “Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 At the highest point along the way,
where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3 beside the gate leading into the city,
at the entrance, she cries aloud:”

Don’t you hear her cries, calling to us as we continue down our roads to destruction?  We watch as our nation drives itself into financial bondage with China.  We watch as violent crimes continue to rise.  We watch silently as poverty throughout the world rises.  We watch while teenage suicide is on the rise.  We watch as our own life spirals down into desperation, agony, and defeat.  Don’t you hear the cries of wisdom and understanding bidding you to hear her voice?  It is that voice that began before the world was formed—born out of the very essence of God Himself and flowing forth through the very image of Christ.  An ever flowing light of truth, righteousness, and unimaginable beauty; wisdom was personified in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.  Just as wisdom was born in the essence of God—Christ being forever the display of the “body” of the trinity—the Word of truth is the perfect display of wisdom in its fullness.  Apart from God there is no true wisdom.

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Drawing used with written permission of Ronald Barba. © 2011 Ronald Barba and is protected under copyright laws. If you desire copies please go to:


There is no greater beauty than that of Christ’s love and righteousness.  His righteousness demands a hatred of sin; for it is that sin which separates each of us from His presence.  Sin, born within the hearts of our own self-exaltation and desires to be wise within our own self, blinds us completely from enjoying or seeing the magnificence of His perfect love, wisdom, joy and glory.

How else could Adam have not recognized what he had with God?  By all that it is, God must hate evil—for evil and sin is the absence of God; just as darkness

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TIDBITS OF WISDOM: A STUDY IN PROVERBS PART 12 —God or Folly, which do you choose?

As we move into chapter 7, which concludes the first section in the book of Proverbs which has been the letter of Solomon addressed to his sons; we see Solomon now try to illustrate the importance of wisdom by telling a story.  He uses this story to conclude his letter; and, much like a parable bring the truth of what he had been writing into a format to “drive home the point.”  Throughout the first 7 chapters he had referred to wisdom as “she” as though wisdom was like a pure, righteous woman like as ones mother or older sister who guide the hands, train the hearts, and leads one closer to God. 

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Drawing used with written permission of Ronald Barba. © 2012 Ronald Barba and is protected under copyright laws.

That wisdom is a gift from God which must be sought after, clung to, written on ones heart, and wrapped tightly about ones neck like a collar to lead you in the right direction.  Without wisdom and understanding, the heart is easily swayed to follow after folly. 

How easy for lusts and desires to draw one away and toward a path of destruction? To ascertain that his sons understand this, he tells them the story of a foolish young man wandering the streets at night and is

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TIDBITS OF WISDOM-A STUDY IN PROVERBS PART 11-Broken, Dark Hearts In Need of Grace

Thus far as we are looking at the books of the Proverbs, the first 7 chapters are written and directed by Solomon to his sons. He has pleaded that they desire and seek the Wisdom of God with all their hearts. He knew that the only truth and wisdom was that which comes from God.

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Drawing used with written permission of Ronald Barba. © 2012 Ronald Barba and is protected under copyright laws

Joy in this life can only be found in a close, trusting relationship with God. The creator of the Universe is omnipotent and omniscient. Why would we ever trust anyone else?

Some of the first chapters include exhortations with their promises. Now as we begin chapter 6 we begin a group of warnings followed by their consequences. They are as follows:

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The Grace in Which I Stand

I know that this is Poem Sunday.  I have written, but still editing a poem for Easter Sunday; but, I wanted to share today one I wrote before.  Yet, on this palm Sunday I also wanted to tell all of you to go to hear Keith Simon’s Sermon which is probably one of the best sermons I have heard.  So please go and watch

Jesus Is The King No One Recognized  the sermon by Keith Simon at the The Crossing Church.  I hope you are inspired, uplifted, and desire Jesus the King as Lord of Your Life.

The Grace in Which I Stand

 

Oh feeble heart, Oh fragile soul

Where is the hope on which you hold

With all the failures of your past

Where is the faith to make you bold

Where is the faith to make you bold

 

There was a King though blameless He

That came to pay my penalty

And in that act He set me free

To follow Him in liberty

To follow Him in liberty

 

It is His love that drew me out

And in His Grace I shall not doubt

That He who started this work in me

Will finish it with a Glorious Shout

Will finish it with a Glorious Shout

 

One day the finished work be done

That I might look then like God’s son

Sifted, shined just like pure Gold

As Glory shines forth, Glorious One

As Glory shines forth, Glorious One

 

And in this hope my faith conformed

I know my life will be transformed

I stand upon this future grace

So for His work my passion warmed

So for His work my passion warmed

 

So in this faith I firmly stand

That formed in me as God had planned

No force on earth can shake me free

My future held by God’s great hand

My future held by God’s great hand.

From my  Book, A Broken and Contrite Heart published 2010.

Available at http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000465106/A-Broken-and-Contrite-Heart.aspx

Copies of A Broken and Contrite Heart are available at http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Contrite-Heart-Effie-Darlene/dp/1456755900/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397413456&sr=8-1&keywords=effie+darlene+barba   or at: http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000465107/A-Broken-and-Contrite-Heart.aspx

© 2014 Effie Darlene Barba

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to any brands, products or services that I have mentioned with the exception of my own book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides regarding the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tidbits of Wisdom-A Study in Proverbs, part 10: I’m Broken, -What now?

Though I dearly love the King James Version with all its poetic beauty I know that some of my readers find it more difficult to understand.  As I move forward I will try to keep a balance that I hope to be helpful for all my readers by incorporating other versions at times, by separating the scriptures so that you may jump past to the narrative, and by providing at times only references to the scripture verse that I am referring to without including the actual verse.  At one point, I included every verse just in case someone did not have a Bible.  Silly me, if you are reading my blog; you have internet; therefore, you do have access to Internet Bible Sources such as  http://www.biblegateway.com  Please feel free to give me feedback so that we may grow together; as certainly, this pilgrimage life journey is one where we all need each other.  There is so much to learn and so much joy to experience as we walk this wonderful journey with God. 

The book of Proverbs is one which will take us some time to complete; but, I sincerely believe will be worth our while.  The first 7 chapters are Solomon’s instructions to his children, a wise Father urging and pleading that his children to seek after, cling tight to, and forever be lead by God’s wisdom.  He has provided instructions, provided exhortations that include promises and described the magnificent benefits of life that come from clear discernment based on wisdom.  In chapter 5, he had pleaded that they not allow their eyes to wander losing sight of their first love; because they could lose everything with the resultant emptiness, depression, and disillusionment that certainly would follow.  In this, he had referred to more than just the marital state. 

mountaintop Experiences in the Valley

Drawing used with written permission of Ronald Barba. © 2011 Ronald Barba and is protected under copyright laws.

The greatest loss that we can face is the loss of our passion, love and desire for God as our greatest treasure.  When we as Christians lose that because we have run after other loves; the resultant heartbreak can be nearly unbearable as life starts sifting through our hands with no purpose, joy, or hope.

 

Without that passion and love for God to awaken us fresh each morning, we begin to just go through the motions of each and every day—life becomes drudgery or a constant chasing after anything to bring back that sparkleAre you there?  Perhaps you could understand it or at least explain it when you know you strayed and you were the one who blatantly chased after something else.  But what about those moments when you think you have been following God, He has been first in your devotion, you have done all that He has asked, and life becomes that same “going through the motions” with no passion?  You want to cry, you long to trust, and you need something to

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Tidbits of Wisdom- A Study in Proverbs- Part 9-Have you left your first Love?

As we come to Chapter 5, Solomon warning against sexual folly and all the pitfalls of seeking after “strange woman”.  Did Solomon write this chapter in his youth before he fell to his own failure to heed these words?  Or did Solomon write this chapter nearer the end of his life?  Most commentaries say that Proverbs was written in his youth or during the middle years of his life; but, as a gathering of much of his wisdom the descriptions found in chapter 5 seem to come from a man who learned from bitter failure.  It seems as a Father who is pleading, “Don’t fall into the same failure I did”. 

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photo courtesy of @istockphoto.com

Beware when you have reached your greatest mountaintop with God, lest you fall.  On that mountain top do not forget it was God’s Grace that got you there.  Sometimes our most difficult test is when we have all we desired.

This became true of Solomon. Let’s begin with the warnings in Proverbs 5.

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Fighting for Joy In a Chaotic World EFFIE DARLENE BARBA

Are you fighting to hold tight to the joy in Christ throughout the trials of your life? Join me and know that we can do this together.