The High Cost of Ignoring Character

The High Cost of Ignoring Character

Are You a Listener – Proverbs 1:1-7

Have you ever heard the phrase “they don’t know what they don’t know?” If you have, you know this; it wasn’t a compliment.

You really can’t afford to pay the high price of living life in ignorance. The saying, “Ignorance is bliss,” doesn’t produce a fruitful life.

Proverbs 1 talks about the beginning of knowledge and wisdom. Where does a person start if they want to be wise? It begins with listening.

Some of the most repeated phrases in the vocabulary of a parent might be,

“Are you listening to me?”

“You’re not listening.”

“Did you hear me? 

It’s not that all children struggle to hear the sounds of their parents’ voices; it’s just that they struggle to desire to hear parental instruction.

If you become a person of character, you won’t get there by ignoring God’s instructions for living.

Proverbs 1:1-7 talks about where the starting point is to achieve wisdom and character. Knowing, understanding, and receiving God’s wisdom begins with a teachable spirit. That teachable spirit, rooted in humility, is manifested in a heart that desires to listen and hear the instructions that come from God. You can start right where you are, even if you feel you are so far behind and begin right now attaining God’s wisdom.

Let the wise hear and increase in learning. Proverbs 1:5

And the one who understands obtains guidance. Proverbs 1:5

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

Here is the reality. You can live however you want. God doesn’t make you listen to Him, and He doesn’t force you to obey Him. But He warns you; it is a foolish person who chooses to live life despising the wisdom and guidance God can provide. 

It starts with doing what you know He says to be true. Start today by obeying Him as you read and understand the instructions He gives in Proverbs 1.

Remember, It’s Not About The Bread – Matthew 16:9

Remember, It’s Not About The Bread – Matthew 16:9

Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? Matthew 16:9

Don’t forget the bread! That was Christ’s message to His disciples. He could have said; it’s not really about the bread. 

Here is a problem Christians face, and it is a problem the disciples dealt with while walking with Jesus. Jesus had just been talking with the Pharisees and Sadducees. They left this discourse, and the disciples realized they had forgotten to bring bread to eat. They were pretty stressed about forgetting the bread and wondered how they were going to eat.

Jesus said, “Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up?” Matthew 16:9.

But He wasn’t really concerned about the bread. He was addressing another issue. The disciples were very good at standing against those who outwardly stood against Christ. But they were often vulnerable when they interacted with hypocrites. People who presented themselves as sincere, and religious. The disciples (and Christians today) can be susceptible to help and believe those who say the right words. Sometimes we engage with people we think are sincere but turn out to be nothing they claim to be.

Jesus was very concerned about the impact the Pharisees and Sadducees would have on His disciples. He called them the “leaven.” He warned them not to get involved with them because spiritual people united with hypocrites were like bad leaven that spoiled the entire loaf.

Jesus was saying, “It’s not about the bread. I will provide for you. It’s about you choosing wisdom in your relationships.”

Ken Turner

10 Bible Verses To Bring Comfort

10 Bible Verses To Bring Comfort

10 Bible Verses To Bring Comfort 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You arewith me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life. Psalm 91:11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. Psalm 91:4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Thought For Today

Nothing has changed my life like the Word of God. The scriptures are a powerful source of comfort in difficult times, but I’ve noticed something about my relationship with God. If I turn to the scriptures as the source of truth for everything, His Word becomes deeply comforting when I need comfort. If I neglect the scriptures and only read the word when I “need something” it takes longer to get my mind and heart in the right place to process all that God has to offer. Make your relationship with the Word a regular part of your life. Learn to enjoy Him daily. Ken Turner
10 Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life

10 Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life

Spiritual discipline gives us a railway to run on. Having a spiritual growth plan creates intentionality and a sense of purpose. If you are struggling in areas of spiritual growth, I encourage you to take time and study each of the spiritual disciplines and begin to incorporate each one into your walk with God. MEDITATION Psalm 1:2, But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. PRAYER/CONFESSION Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men. 1 Timothy 2:1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart. Luke 18:1 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:8-9 FASTING But as for me, when they were sick, My clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; And my prayer would return to my own heart. Psalm 35:13 So He said to them, This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting. Mark 9:29 STUDY Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 SIMPLICITY For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you. 2 Cor. 1:12 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matt. 6:33 STEWARDSHIP OF TIME AND MONEY But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 2 Cor. 9:6 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.. 2 Cor. 9:7 SOLITUDE/SELF EXAMINATION But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Matt 6:6 However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. Luke 5:15-16 SUBMISSION Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Heb 13:17 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7 SERVICE Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. I Peter 4:9-11 EVANGELISM And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matt. 28:19-20 Ken Turner
Gleaning and Giving Brings Glory To God

Gleaning and Giving Brings Glory To God

Are you in the practice of “gleaning?” Have you ever thought about the meaning of this question?

In Leviticus 19:10, the Jewish people were instructed not to glean their vineyards but to leave some for the poor and strangers. To glean was to “take everything” in the vineyard and leave no extra. God wanted them to leave the extras. They were also instructed to leave stalks of corn in the corners of the field for the poor, the widows and fatherless. So, here’s the principle. Look around at all the ways God is blessing you and providing for you. Start being aware of all the extra things God has allowed you to accumulate. Rather than hoard the extras, look for those in need around you and allow them to glean from the extra blessings God has given you. We often accumulate more than we need. Consider generously and strategically blessing others. Trust me; God will refill your supply the more you give.

And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:10

Don’t think your generosity is a waste of resources. God says when you share your extra resources, even with a stranger, He will bless the work of your hands with more abundance. God mentions sharing your “olives and grapes” not just bread and water with those in need. He wants you to realize how much a little generosity, even of finer things, gives hope to those in need. Don’t think you always have to know all the details about how your giving is used for it to count. He specifically says that sometimes you leave something for a stranger and trust Him to bless you abundantly.

When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.

When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. Deuteronomy 24:19-21

Have you ever been in a difficult place, low on resources, and not sure where to turn for help? Ruth was there. Yet, God directed her to the field of a man named Boaz. Not only did he allow her to glean in his field, but he also went further than that. He was kind, he was inclusive, told her she didn’t need to go elsewhere, was committed, instructed his other servants to be kind to her, and he addressed all her needs in a spirit of compassion. When God speaks to you and directs you to be giving toward others, don’t give and look down on the person in need, but give and lift up that person.

Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. Ruth 2:8

When choosing to give, it’s important to do it from a heart of generosity, not grudgingly, but with a spirit of joy. When you are helping someone you know, the best investment you can make is to equip them to be industrious. There’s a difference between “empowering and enabling.” You empower someone when you give them help coupled with encouragement, advice, and support in their own journey to bounce back. Boaz allowed Ruth to glean in his field and among his sheaves. He encouraged her to keep gleaning. She had to get up and glean, and every time she did, she experienced progress.

And when she rose up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. Ruth 2:15

Generosity can be and should be, an act of worship. It may seem that acts of giving are to bless others and to change lives, but there is more to it than that. I think God wants us to be generous because He knows how much it will change OUR own life. As a matter of fact, as we listen to God and respond in faith-filled giving, from a heart of worship to God, our heart will be transformed. Pray and ask God how you can become more generous and take action in the next few days to see how God works.
And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. Matthew 25:40

But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. I John 3:17-18

Ken Turner

Five Ways To Live A Surrendered Life

Five Ways To Live A Surrendered Life

1. Life is full of daily choices. Choose to lean into the voice of God and walk away from the temptations of the flesh.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

2. Follow the example of Jesus in choosing to do your Father’s will and not live according to your own plans.

He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” Mark 14:35-36

3. Throughout scripture, there are warnings of pride and humility. Forsake pride, embrace humility… this is the key to God’s blessings.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:10

4. Don’t just guard your heart, give your heart to God and choose to regularly seek HIs ways through the reading and study of His word.

My son, give me your heart, And let your eyes observe my ways. Proverbs 23:26

5. Glorify God, not only in spirit and words but also in how you use your body. Don’t let your physical body be in charge. Glorify Him with your mind, eyes, ears, lips, heart, hands, and feet.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Ken Turner

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