Rebellion

Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof. I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.” – Proverbs 1:24-27

Truth is designed to bring order and stability into our lives. A lack of truth creates a pattern of unraveling – a descent back into chaos. J.D. Grear wrote, “Sin unravels our families, puts darkness into our hearts, and places us in bondage to addictions.” Rebellion isn’t just the rejection of truth; it’s the rejection of authority. In order to survive, it must seek control. It works diligently to manipulate circumstances, ideas, and/or people that it perceives to be a threat to this so-called “freedom.” What was meant by God to be pleasant, productive, and peaceful suddenly becomes uneasy, destructive, and messy. It does not matter what it must convince you to do or who it pushes you to hurt as long as it successfully usurps or bypasses the true authority in your life. It is the sole element that can bring our spiritual growth to a grinding halt. The result: everyone and everything becomes a threat to our selfish agenda. Rebellion is a poison that blinds a person to the reality that attitudes, actions, and apathy all have consequences that must be endured. They creates an inward turbulence that is overwhelming, they produce both mental and emotional anguish that is weakening, and they lead to private and public shaming. So, make up your mind today to listen for the cry of wisdom and to heed the principles of truth. That decision alone will eliminate a whole lot of problems, alleviate a whole lot of headaches, and prevent a whole lot of scars that you, by God’s grace, were never meant to experience.

– written by Pastor Jay Overbay



Caution

Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.” – Proverbs 1:17-19

 

One of the key signs of spiritual maturity is the ability to look beyond the moment. As we get older, we must develop the capability to determine the trajectory that our current decisions, actions, and associations will put us on. While the Devil will, from time to time, offer immediate gratification through obvious temptations, he often accomplishes his greatest work gradually through a process that is meant to distract our thoughts, to dullen our senses, and to diminish our resolve. He wants us to make decisions without thinking about the consequences because he knows that, when we fail to understand the significance of our moment by moment choices, we then begin to gradually drift away from the center of God’s will for our life and, ultimately, we become an easier target for him. Our adversary doesn’t have to spend much time presenting us with opportunities to do wrong (our flesh does a good enough job at that already); he spends most of his time attempting to convince us that God is somehow blind towards, or oblivious to, our thoughts, our behaviors, and our actions. Simply put, he wants you to think that you can get by with whatever “it” is this time. The reality is that that one time isn’t just bad, but it can create a habit that can destroy your life and rob you of the wonderful blessings and the plan of God. So, don’t allow yourself to be easily distracted today. The Devil will take his traps and present them as a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of this life. But, don’t allow yourself to be deceived. Always remember that, in the end, “…your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

– written by Pastor Jay Overbay



Association

My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: for their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.” – Proverbs 1:15-16
 
 

The path of life is not designed to be walked alone. God knew that, at times, the pressures of life – stress, strains, and storms – would be too much for us to handle on our own. So, all along our journey, God has planned divine appointments – connections with individuals with whom our life’s path won’t just cross, but individuals who will become an indispensable part of our life. These relationships aren’t just good, they’re necessary. Cary Schmidt put it this way, “God created people and God connects people for a purpose.” Their purpose is to have a positive impact on us and to help develop us into the child of God that He desires for us to be. We must understand that, whether for the good or for the bad, we become like the people that we choose to associate with. While God has carefully planned these connections, He has left the choice of association up to us and we must be careful to make these decisions wisely. Remember, wisdom and foolishness are both contagious and our choice of friends will determine the path that we take. The word refrain means “to deny, to keep back, to refuse.” When it comes to the relationships that we keep, we must establish some boundaries – biblical guidelines – that will determine who will choose to spend our time with. So, take a moment today to consider those individuals that you have decided to call your friends. Are they pulling you away from or pushing you towards Jesus Christ? Though it may seem hard to end a toxic relationship, the transformation that will take place because of your choice of better friends will definitely be worth it.

– written by Pastor Jay Overbay



Deception

If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: we shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse.” – Proverbs 1:11-14
 

 

Deception is just as mainstream today as it ever has been. We are constantly bombarded with false messages from the media that we watch and listen to to the relationships that we participate in. The strings of our heart are constantly being played to cause us to believe something, to buy something, or to be a part of something. While God does have a perfect plan for each of our lives, He has given us the responsibility, through the wisdom of the Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, to allow that will to become reality. It’s our choice – we can either choose to allow it to take place or we can choose to refuse it. Because of this, our adversary is willing to do anything to prevent us from finding our significance, security, and stability in Christ alone. He knows that we crave acceptance and that we enjoy abundance. So, as David Reid wrote, “Satan [makes] his tray of deceptive delicacies look very interesting, exciting, harmless and even beneficial!” He presents us with exactly what we need to, in our mind, justify our actions. But, what we must understand is that every piece of ground that we offer to him in our life deprives us of the power of God’s promises and conditions our conscience to become more compliant to the desires of the flesh. So, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Resist him and his deception, take advantage of your spiritual blessings in Christ, and let the grace of God give you the victory.

– written by Pastor Jay Overbay



Decision

My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” – Proverbs 1:10

 

 

As you travel through this life, you will find that there are few constants. Few absolutes. Few things that you can count on with complete certainty. Two of them are these: you will face difficulties and you will have to make decisions. The two go hand in hand. The emphasis here is not placed on the reality of temptation because temptation will come: but, rather, the focus is on how we respond to the temptation. In our current culture, we are conditioned to think that all things should come to us without struggle. We’ve been trained to assume that if something does not happen easily then there must be something wrong. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Struggles are a natural part of this life. They will come, and they will come repeatedly. Only God understands the purpose of your life from beginning to end. Only God knows where He is leading you to and who He needs you to become for when you get there. As such, while God does not tempt any man to sin, He does allow the struggle to confront us, not to destroy us, but rather to develop us. Every temptation demands a decision – will you choose to gain the victory that has been made available to you in Christ thus growing spiritually and bringing glory to God or will you choose to give access to your heart to the enemy and to please your sinful flesh. In order for the knowledge and the influence that has been given to us to become wisdom, it must be faithfully practiced over a period of time. So, when temptation comes a calling, it isn’t enough to just say no. You must say no, take a stand for right, and then you must continue to defend your no with a passion.

– written by Pastor Jay Overbay



Beautification

My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.” – Proverbs 1:8-9
 
 

God has ordained the home to be our first, and most important, connection with this world. It is in the home that we should be given the greatest opportunity to experience the beauty of love, to enjoy the benefits of peace and safety, to experience the bounty of grace, to express the burdens of our heart, to expect the blessings of faith and support, to enhance our skills and talents, and to expand the horizon of our future. It is the place where we are meant to learn the principles of order, to practice proper submission to God-given authority, to be equipped to overcome obstacles and to endure the burdens of life. It is in the home that we are to be given the building blocks to live by faith, to love family and friends, to lend forgiveness, and to lead our feelings as we travel along our journey of life. However, the most important responsibility of the home is to present a beautiful picture of God’s love and provision for us and to present the truth that God desires to have a personal and intimate relationship with us. There is no other entity or organization on earth that has the greatest opportunity to impact us as much spiritually than the home. It is highly important and should be considered extremely valuable. In Jewish custom, there was no greater symbol to display one’s worth than to be adorned by someone with a garland around the head or a gold chain around the neck – that is exactly what the home is meant to accomplish. So, place a greater emphasis on your home and on your family today because what you learn there can be used to make you beautiful in the eyes of both God and man.

– written by Pastor Jay Overbay



Foundation

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother. For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.” – Proverbs 1:7-9
 
 

When we began our journey through this life, we naturally had very little wisdom or the ability to be and to do right. Left to our own decision-making process and devices, our natural tendency is to make foolish decisions. God, in His wisdom and by His design, placed us under the authority and watch care of two individuals whose combined life experiences, acquired knowledge, and skillset have the greatest opportunity to establish in us the necessary, or foundational, building blocks of life and faith. Our parents have been given the tremendous responsibility through example, instruction, and correction to prepare us to make right decisions and to prevent us from making extremely poor ones. It is in this relationship that we establish the principles through which we will love and live. Decency, morality, and character are the result of a proper view of, respect to, and response toward the God-given authorities in our lives. Because of sin, we naturally push back against authority. We want our way, even though we aren’t sure what the ramifications of getting our way will be or how they might impact us the rest of our life. Making the decision to ignore the wisdom and the instruction of godly parents will result in a lack of right standards, self will be idolized, and sin will be practiced. So, listen to your parents today because their wisdom could be the very thing that keeps you from making a decision that later on you will live to regret.

– written by Pastor Jay Overbay



Exaltation

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” – Proverbs 1:7
 
 
When we began this journey of life, we each started with a natural desire to appease our flesh and to pursue our own personal agenda. This, however, is not how we were designed to function, but instead is the result of sin. We were created with the ability and desire to worship and we will always do so whether that be our self, Christ, or a vast number of other options or opportunities. The word exaltation is defined as “the act of raising someone or something high in rank, power, or character – a decision that then consumes ones’ thoughts, passions, and actions.” God alone is worthy of our worship, our undivided attention, our faithfulness, and our service. A study of the phrase the fear of the Lord reveals that when God is granted access to and control of our heart, He alone will dictate our passions, priorities, and pursuits. Who God is will inspire our awe, what God can do will demand our attention, and what God has done will command our affection. It is when life becomes less about living successfully and more about living faithfully. It is when pleasing God with our life is all that really matters. A humble person will recognize his personal shortcomings, will value the presence of God, and will prepare himself to love God, to listen to His Word, and to live in complete obedience to Him knowing that only then will he live a complete and satisfied life. It is the understanding that our existence must become less about us and more about Him. In John 3:30, John put it this way, “He [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease.”
 

– written by Pastor Jay Overbay



Interpretation

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: to understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.” – Proverbs 1:5-6
 
 

Wisdom is not simply the capability to understand the difference between what is right and what is wrong, nor is it just the ability to see life from God’s viewpoint. It’s much more than that. This life often leaves our mind full of questions that we can’t answer and our heart full of confusion that, at times, can seem unbearable. God has given us truth to help us understand our purpose, to provide us with comfort through difficulties, and to be our guide as we move forward in this life. But, in order for these to be accomplished, there must a willingness on our part to admit that we don’t have the answer, to seek the One Who does, and then to listen to what He has to say even when it contradicts our limited, earthly knowledge and our selfish desires. Wisdom is when we allow truth to evaluate our life, to expose the weaknesses of our flesh and the wickedness of our heart, and to indicate a clear step of faith that results in our willingness to exchange our poor attempt to do what is right for a walk that is guided by God’s holy standards. Truth – when acknowledged, accepted, and applied – will always result in holy living. It is a life that recognizes the love of God, that reverences the Word of God, and that relinquishes control allowing Him to influence our conduct in all our relationships, situations, and circumstances.

– written by Pastor Jay Overbay



Immersion

“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.” – Proverbs 1:5

 

The Christian life is not a passive life; it’s a passionate, progressive, and persistent pursuit of Jesus Christ. It is the fruit of an intense desire not just to know who Jesus is, but to become what He designed you to be. God desires for you to become more and more like Him, but that does require honesty, humility, and hard work. Did you notice the active words in our text verse? “A wise man…will hear…will increase…and…shall attain…” In other words, on our part, something must be done for us to be considered wise. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” You will not please God with your life if you are simply trying to coast through it. The word immersion is defined as “plunging into or to be deeply engaged in something.” It is also used to describe when a star becomes invisible to the eye as it gets closer to the sun. The phrase wise counsels is a reference to a helmsman, or one who steers a ship. If we are going to walk worthy of God, we must take control of our person and steer our life towards the SON so that the closer we get to Him the less visible we become and the more visible He is. While living the Christian life isn’t always the easiest choice to make, it is always by far the best choice to make. So, dive into the Word and the will of God today because it is definitely worth it.

 
– written by Pastor Jay Overbay


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