Robert Read's Thoughts

Be Teachable

Proverbs 22:17-25
17 Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge,
18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on your lips.
19 That your trust may be in the Lord,
I have made them known to you today, even to you.
20 Have I not written for you thirty sayings
of counsel and knowledge,
21 to make you know what is right and true,
that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
22 Do not rob the poor, because he is poor,
or crush the afflicted at the gate,
23 for the Lord will plead their cause
and rob of life those who rob them.
24 Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
nor go with a wrathful man,
25 lest you learn his ways
and entangle yourself in a snare. (ESV)

 For centuries, teachers have applied formulas set down by ancient Greek philosophers to impart knowledge. The Socratic process examines concepts based on key moral beliefs at the time: piety, wisdom, temperance, courage and justice. Aristotle attributed to Socrates the discovery of a system of induction, still regarded as the essence of the scientific method.

 “That your trust may be in the Lord, I have made them known to you today, even to you (Proverbs 22:19).”

 Five hundred years earlier, Solomon, King of Israel, was dispensing knowledge that the later Athenians could borrow on for their own wisdom. His instruction to the youth of his kingdom was to heed the sayings of the wise. In other words, be teachable.

Jesus spent a high percentage of His time relaying parables that would include the ethics of the kingdom of heaven – holiness, wisdom, self-control, justice and love. Yet often His disciples’ attention was distracted by the cares of the day, leaving them less than prepared to be taught. What about you? Determine to come to Scripture ready to learn, focused on God alone and prepared to receive what He desires to make known to you. Then take what you’ve learned and share with a friend or family member, spread God’s Word!

A Full Saucer

  When I was a small boy I had an elderly aunt that loved her coffee and she always drank it with a cup and saucer. It was always too hot to drink from the cup, so she would pour it into the saucer and sip it from there.

In a poem titled Drinking from my Saucer, there’s a stanza that reads, “I thank God for his blessings, and the mercies He’s bestowed. I’m drinking from my saucer, ‘cause my cup has overflowed.” Although somewhat humorous, it is a vivid picture of having an abundance of blessings…more than can be contained.

 “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us (Ephesians 2:4).”

 Today’s verse paints a similar picture. It describes God’s mercy as rich – which is translated as abounding and abundantly supplied; in other words, spilling over. He overflows with mercy and pours it into your life, going beyond the capacity of your cup and giving you a full saucer. Freedom from death and aliveness in Christ is given to you for no other reason than you are deeply and unchangingly loved. Romans 8:39 confirms that neither “height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Read the Psalm below as you praise God for His great love for you. Thank Him also for the blessings He has bestowed upon us and seek His continued favor on behalf of those on our prayer list and on our hearts and minds.

Psalm 136:1-9
His Steadfast Love Endures Forever
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
2  Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
3  Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
4  to him who alone does great wonders,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
5  to him who by understanding made the heavens,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
6  to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
7  to him who made the great lights,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
8  the sun to rule over the day,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
9  the moon and stars to rule over the night,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

Better Than Gold

Hebrews 12:1-6, 28
12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”

Hebrews 12:28 
28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, (ESV)

In April of 1896, the first modern Olympic Games were held, with approximately 300 athletes competing in ten different sports. Since that time, the Olympics have expanded to include thousands of participants from countries all over the world – each striving to emerge victorious and earn a gold medal.

To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Revelation 2:7
Similar to the triumphant Olympians, the phrase the one who conquers in the above verse refers to one who carries off the victory and defeats all his foes, and includes a sense of perseverance and holding fast…not to a game, but to one’s faith in Christ. “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne (Rev. 3:21 NKJV)”. The difference is the win is available to all who finish the race and overcome, and the prize is better than gold.

Through Jesus, who has conquered all, the victor is given the gift of life and the freedom to enjoy it in all of its fullness for eternity in the very presence of God. Today, spend time in quiet confession before the Lord, releasing anything that has become an obstacle for you or weighs down your faith. Be an over comer!