Discovering the Language of Intimacy with God

“Jesus, I love you, praise you, adore you, and appreciate you!  I can’t thank you enough for forgiving my sins and sending your spirit into my life.”  These words of love for Jesus often flowed from my lips during my late teenage years.  Tears trickled down my cheeks as I attempted to express gratitude for the love God lavished upon me.

But I faced an unexplainable, invisible barrier when trying to tell God what I thought of him.  To break through this barrier, I imagined myself standing in heaven with innumerable angels praising God.  “I…heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand.  In a loud voice they sang, ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.’”  I memorized verses from Psalms and Revelation which increased my praise vocabulary tremendously, but something was missing.

The dictionary and thesaurus provided me with more synonyms to words like “magnificent,” “wonderful,” and “astonishing.”  I made a list of praise words and read them aloud during my private times with God.  Still, satisfactory praise for God eluded me.  Equipped with praise verses from the Bible and praise words from the dictionary, I did my best to tell God how highly I thought of Him.  But I could only tell Him what I thought.  I found it extremely difficult to tell him how I felt.

I needed a language to move me beyond the limits of my intellect.

A Very Important Discovery

In the second chapter of Acts, the apostles and other believers met together on the day of Pentecost.  “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”  “We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

I observed that these people spoke languages they had never learned.  They stepped out of their limited vocabulary as “the Holy Spirit enabled them.”  I wondered, “What were they speaking?”  Then I noticed verse 11, “We hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”  They were praising God!  The speaking in tongues unshackled these believers from languages they had learned.  The Holy Spirit swept them along in the vocabulary He provided.

I was on the brink of discovering something that was new to me, but the tenth chapter of Acts completed the breakthrough.

The Apostle Peter introduced a house full of Gentiles to the salvation that comes through Jesus.  These folks unhesitatingly surrendered themselves to Jesus.  During Peter’s sermon, these baby Christians spontaneously erupted into tongues like the believers in Acts 2.  But the words recorded in Acts 10:46 sprang off the page, took hold of my thoughts, and introduced me to the language of intimacy with God.

“For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.”  I realized that these folks had never memorized praise verses.  Dictionaries and thesauruses hadn’t been invented.  But the Holy Spirit spoke words of praise for God through their human spirits. They spoke in tongues and praised.

 I’ll add this language of love to the praise verses and praise words I memorize,” I decided.  From out of my spirit welled up expressions of thankfulness that I felt but could not utter.  I switched from English to the praise language the Holy Spirit gave me; then I changed back to English and quoted praise verses.  My mind could not understand the praise words the Holy Spirit enabled me to speak, but my spirit felt fully satisfied.

Using the Holy Spirit’s unlimited vocabulary, my human spirit expressed my love for Jesus in ways that felt good to both him and me.

Intimacy with Jesus accelerated and my dedication to him deepened.

Experiencing the Language of Intimacy with God

All Christians can enjoy the language of intimacy with God.  The Holy Spirit yearns to speak praises for Heavenly Father and Jesus through every believer on earth.  We can’t imagine the joy that floods God as his earthly children give themselves to the Holy Spirit’s measurelessness.

Let’s add the language of intimacy with God to our praise verses, our praise songs, and our praise words.

Scriptures referred to: Revelation 5:11-12; Acts 2: 4, 11 & 10:34-46

Be greatly encouraged!

From the archives of Rev. James Fields





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Introducing Yourself to Yourself

Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this he breathed his last,” Luke 23:46.  “Into your hands I commit my spirit”?  What’s a human spirit?  Why did Jesus’ body die after he surrendered his spirit to Heavenly Father?

Lots of people equate the human soul with the human spirit.  They never consider that these two aren’t the same.  Consequently, they don’t really know themselves—they’ve never introduced themselves to themselves; they’ve never met their human spirit.

This confusing of soul and spirit deprives us of intimate communion with God’s Spirit.  The human soul, the human mind, and the human body cannot interact with God’s Spirit.  Jesus plainly declared, “God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in spirit,” John 4:24.

When God formed the human body it remained lifeless until the Lord “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,” Genesis 2:7.  At that moment God’s Spirit placed a human spirit in the human body.  The human spirit completed the human being and the man became a living soul.

We are three-part creatures: a human spirit housed in a human body which has a soul or mind.  Notice how the apostle Paul described us as spirit, soul and body.  “May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23.  When someone asked Jesus to choose the most important commandment in the law of Moses, he responded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” Matthew 22:37.  Many years before Jesus and Paul lived, Moses referred to the Lord as “the God of the spirits of all mankind,” Numbers 16:22.

As long as the human spirit resides in the body, the body lives.  Only the human spirit vitalizes the physical body.  James pointed out, “The body without the spirit is dead,” James 2:26.  Consequently, when Jesus’ human spirit left his body, his physical person ceased functioning.  His body died, but his spirit continued living.

If we want to know what our spirit is like, let’s look at God who is spirit.  He created us in his image and likeness; our human spirits mirror him.

God has shape.  He is not a formless, universal force.  He has hands, eyes, ears and hair.  He wears a robe, sits on the throne and rides a chariot.  He thinks, feels and speaks.  God is a person, not merely an influence, a mist or a fog.

Since God is spirit, he is undetectable to the human senses.  Therefore, we depend entirely on the Bible to describe him.  Undetectable does not mean unreal.

In fact, everything physical and material is less real than the invisible God.  The things we touch, smell, see, hear and taste are in the process of decaying and eventually disappear.  On the other hand, spiritual realities remain forever.  “For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal,” 2 Corinthians 4:18.

Your spirit is real.  Like God, the human spirit has shape and form. Your spirit possesses five senses.   Therefore, when Jesus’ human spirit stepped out of his mangled, mutilated body, his spirit continued seeing, feeling and thinking.  His spirit actively lived while his body laid in the grave.  So it is with all of us.  When the body ceases living, our spirit goes to be with the Lord until it is reunited with the resurrected body.

Our relationship with Jesus is spiritual, not soulish or intellectual.  The Spirit of the resurrected Jesus does not live in our minds, but resides in our spirits.   Relationship with God only takes place when his Spirit moves into our spirits.  Jesus referred to the union of God’s Spirit with the human spirit as the new birth. He stated, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but Spirit gives birth to spirit,” John 3:1-8.  The soul, the mind and the body are not born again.

Communion describes an interactive relationship between God’s Spirit and the human spirit which excites us about being with him.  Communion is God-centered; prayer requests are self-centered.  If we never move beyond making requests of God, we become bored with and disappointed in our private time with him.  Prayer becomes routine and uninteresting.  Therefore, the pages of this book are designed to help us leave the religious activity most people call prayer as we begin sharing our spirits with the Spirit of God who dwells in us.

Be greatly encouraged!

From the archives of Rev. James Fields

If you would like to learn more you can order his book Leaving Prayer, Entering Communion by clicking here

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Psalm 138

We have made it a daily habit to read a chapter of Proverbs each day and several chapters of Psalms because they are so full of wisdom and encouragement.  Psalm 138 is especially encouraging and so we thought we would just post it here for your encouragement for today!  “The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him,” Psalm 32:10.

1 I will praise You with my whole heart;
  Before the gods I will sing praises to You.
I will worship toward Your holy temple,
  And praise Your name
  For Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
  For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
In the day when I cried out, You answered me,
  And made me bold with strength in my soul.

4 All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O Lord,
  When they hear the words of Your mouth.
Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
  For great is the glory of the Lord.
Though the Lord is on high,
  Yet He regards the lowly;
  But the proud He knows from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
  You will stretch out Your hand
  Against the wrath of my enemies,
  And Your right hand will save me.
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
  Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
  Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

We pray as you read this chapter that you will gain strength for your day and the days we are facing.  We encourage you to keep focused on God’s Holy Word and not the chaos of the world because Jesus has overcome the world and won so will we!


Comfort and Encouragement Ministries

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Be the Light

Let Your Light Shine

Guest writer: Jordin Williams

A light can be used for so many things.

In the beginning of time/creation, we see that God created light!  He created light to separate darkness.  once there was light, he created life and all living things.  Things need light to live.  Things need light to grown.

We don’t only NEED light, we need to BE THE LIGHT!

What does light do?

  • Light exposes things.
  • Light heals things.
  • Light reveals things.
  • Light brightens.
  • Light directs.
  • Light warms.
  • Light produces.
  • Light gives energy.
  • Light generates.

If light possess all of these attributes, and we live in a world that is full of darkness, then we are bringing each of these attributes with us when we step in.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven,” Matthew 5:16.


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Still Learning

The past few years have been very different years for all of us but one of the good things that has come from it is a relationship that has grown deeper with a Christian colleague of mine.  She is twenty-two years younger than I am, but her walk with God is deep and consistent.  One of my prayers this year has been that God will make “old things new”.  As I have aged, I began to think there was nothing new that I could learn from my Bible reading.  I was wrong!  I learned something new from my friend about Isaiah 40:31: “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” 

Look at the sequence of that scripture: Wait on the Lord and strength will be renewed. Not maybe, not if the weather is good, not if everything is going my way.  Our strength is renewed as we wait on the Lord, as we listen to him, as we learn of him.  That first part of the scripture has been providing hope for me for the past 50 years, but I did not always appreciate the promise.  As you all know, I am an impatient persona and stay too busy for my own good.  The sequence of the next part of the verse has a new meaning to me.  As a new, young Christian, I was soaring like an Eagle.  Everything was new, fresh and wonderful.  I was learning spiritual things.  The next part of my life I was running and not growing weary.  School and church were keeping me busy.  I sometime wonder how I survived.  God was faithful with everything that was going on in my life.  As I have matured physically and spiritually, is it now time to walk?  My challenge for now is making decisions about my retirement. What to do?  How can I be useful if I am not working at school?  Am I still in a running phase or is it time to walk?  I don’t know, but I am waiting on the Lord for direction.  I have promises that I will be okay.  I know he is holding my hand.

And speaking of hand holding.  That is another new inspiration to me.  I am reading “Low and Gentle” and one of the stories the author tells is of a dad walking into the shallow end of a pool with his three-year old son.  The son thinks he is holding on tot he dad’s hand ever so tightly in anticipation of the uncertainty of the deeper water.  Actually, it is the father that is holding on to the son.  He is not going to let go.  I often thought that through my life I was holding on to God, but he, our heavenly Father, is holding on to me and he will NEVER let go!

Guest writer JoElla Skaggs


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Are You An Encourager?

Helping HandGuest Writer: Alesia Campbell

For decades I’ve had the privilege of knowing Delores and James Fields. On numerous occasions I’ve been a benefactor of their ability to share words of comfort and encouragement. I must add that I don’t know two other people who are more suited to run a ministry called “Comfort and Encouragement”. Their kindness and application of God’s Word was often timely as I endured various trials and discouragement. I will always be grateful for their prayers and acts of caring.

As believers we are ALL called to help comfort and encourage one another. In the body of Christ, we definitely need each other.

           Hebrews 10:24–“Let us think of ways to encourage one another…”

           1 Thessalonians 5:14–“… take tender care of those who are weak.”

           Galatians 6:2  NLT—“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.”

The Greek word for encourage is “Parakaleo” and it also means to help strengthen. Are you actively engaged in ways to help strengthen others? Are you offering words of encouragement and building up others or are you offering negative words which do nothing to help? Whining, grumbling and complaining rarely help improve a situation. You may think you are sympathizing with a person who is struggling, but it is rarely beneficial. Negative words are depleting.

BibleIn the three scriptures above, encouraging or helping others is really not a suggestion. They strongly instruct us to encourage, care, and lift each other up. And, in these current times, there are a lot of folks who sure could use it!

Some people have a natural way of encouraging others. It seems their personality is more pleasant and positive. They look on the bright side of things and rarely get discouraged even during difficult times. Perhaps they have the spiritual gift of encouragement. Some really seem to have the hang of it. So, should we just let them be the ones to go about encouraging others? The obvious answer is NO.

You may be wondering how you can do a better job of this. You may neglect to be there for others because you feel ill-equipped or not capable. Based on my experiences with the Fields, and others who have also ministered to my heart when I greatly needed it, I’ve listed ten basic ideas which may help.

  1. Ask the Lord to reveal someone whom you need to contact. Think of who is going through a discouraging time or enduring ongoing hardships. Do you know someone who is currently struggling in some way? Be sensitive to the Lord’s leading. You don’t have to know them very well and perhaps it’s an acquaintance whom you rarely see. Often the Lord uses His children to reveal His love and provision so ask Him to direct you to the person for whom He wants you to minister. And, the Lord may want you just to encourage a friend whom you have no idea whether or not there is a problem in their life. Just encourage them!
  2. Ask the Lord to prepare your heart and help you be willing and ready to reach out to someone with encouragement. Ask Him to empower you for the task. Ask God to fill your heart with love so you can serve with the right attitude and motivation.
  3. Reach out and express your concern to a person in need. A nice, sincere, and uplifting message goes a long way! Write a note or card. Call, text or email them. Or show up in person for a short visit. It’s all about letting them know you are thinking of them, you care, and that you are sorry they are going through the difficulty. We seem to have forgotten how to do this in our American culture and we have lots of excuses, but truly the smallest act of kindness can mean a lot.

          “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet and delightful to the soul and healing to the body.” Proverbs 16:24 (AMP)

  1. Encourage with a scripture verse. Often times the Holy Spirit will put a verse on your heart to share. You can Google search for any particular verse you have in mind (putting technology to good use). God’s Word will not return void.
  2. Ask to pray with the person. Who knows, you may be the only one praying with them! Ask God to bless that person with divine strength, peace, provision and care. And continue praying for the person later.
  3. Offer to help. Think of some practical acts of service which would be a great encouragement such as sharing a meal, mowing a lawn, paying a utility bill, running an errand, driving them somewhere, etc. Just running by with a cup of Starbucks coffee or special snack can be uplifting to some people. But, DO SOMETHING! Your kindness and thoughtfulness will touch their heart.
  4. Be willing to listen. This does not necessarily mean telling your own similar story. Give your full attention to hearing what they have to say. Put away electronic devices which distract. Make eye contact and ask questions to show you’re interested. Seek to understand their perspective as they are going through this battle.This helps you gain valuable insight into their struggles and may help you gain a plan for their additional aid.
  5. Advise only if you are sure they are ready to receive advice. It’s easy to hastily express your opinions, but it’s best to ask them first before you state them. This is especially true if you don’t know the person very well. However, in all situations, definitely console and express you care about them which is often times better than advice. It may not be a teachable moment so refrain. And also please refrain from judgement.
  6. Compliment them for the way they are helping themselves and for the good things which are already happening. A word of praise and affirmation lets them know you notice the positive aspects at work and this sure can be emotionally bolstering and edifying.
  7. Express hope! Let them know God is at work behind the scenes. He cares very deeply for them and He has a plan for their situation. Assure them the Lord is mighty to help and deliver. And, that He has a purpose for all we endure. Encourage them to wait on the Lord and His timing and trust Him. Also, remind them that they are not alone.

In conclusion, do not let the enemy tell you that you are too inexperienced or broken to help someone else. God repeatedly uses broken or unlikely people to get His work done and share His grace. Simply having a willing heart to be used by the Lord is what is most essential. Then step into the role of encouragement with His leading and empowering. Watch Him do the work through you!

And, after reaching out with encouragement, don’t second guess yourself wondering if what you did or said was well-received. You may never know the impact you made. You may never receive a thank you note, but regardless, keep doing the work by being obedient to the Lord. Needs will be met, people will be edified, and our Heavenly Father will be glorified.

Matthew 5:16–“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”


Alesia Campbell


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Lord, I Believe; Help My Unbelief

For most of my life I took my health for granted. As a child and on into my young adult life I was mostly healthy, skinny, due to a high metabolism and a somewhat active life. I ate what I wanted, exercised if or when and how I wanted, but really never very disciplined. The same went for my spiritual life. I was saved as a child and then baptized with the Holy Spirit as a teenager when I truly understood Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Yet, I wasn’t very self-disciplined in my walk with Jesus Christ.

My health fell apart in my late twenties, because of a poor self-image due to childhood trauma, lack of personal responsibility for my eating habits, exercise and spiritual well-being.

I believed more about what I said about myself than what my Heavenly Father said about me. I lived a very self-centered and sinful life for several years. I’m not talking about the sin I acknowledged as a teenager and became saved from because my Heavenly Father worked in my heart and showed me the truth of Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (NKJV) I’m talking about the kind of willful sinning a non-mature or weak Christian will fall into because their everyday life is not centered in/on Christ Jesus.

I do believe I was saved from an eternal life separated from God, however, the Holy Spirit at work in me tried to save me from myself and gently steer me away from the sin I was committing that would ultimately lead to my eternal separation from my Heavenly Father.

He spoke to my spirit on two occasions and said, “If you continue in this sin, I will have to withdraw my eternal life from you.” The third time he said, “I cannot work in you because you have not heeded my warnings. I will be here when you decide to return to and follow closely your Savior, Christ Jesus.”

Please understand that my Heavenly Father treated me with so much love during this time of my life despite the repercussions I faced due to my decision to walk away from my faith. I wouldn’t even come to understand just how much he deeply loved me and watched over me and my family for many years to come.

Open BibleI say this to encourage you to believe the Bible, God’s Holy Word, our heavenly Father’s love letter to us when it says, “The Lord your God is a merciful and compassionate God; He will not fail you, nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them,” Deuteronomy 4:31 AMP.

In fact, earlier in Deuteronomy 4:23 (AMP) he says, “So be on your guard and watch yourselves, so that you do not forget the covenant of the Lord your God which He has made with you.”

However, even if you do forget or walk away from your covenant with the Lord if “you will seek the Lord your God, …you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. When you are in distress and tribulation and all these things come on you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice,” Deuteronomy 4:29-30. He never stops waiting for us to return to him and will welcome those who do seek him diligently with open arms like the prodigal child (Luke 15:11-24).

I believed I deserved nothing good in my life because I had not earned it or because I had not followed the Bible to the letter. I thought of God as a Judge not my Heavenly Father.

I am so thankful that is not how grace and mercy from my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ works! I did ask for God’s forgiveness, and he graciously and compassionately gave it and gives it each time I repent. As my daily walk with my Heavenly Father has ebbed and flowed, my trust and faith in him has grown. I believe he uses our unbelief, our misgivings, our trials in this life to mature us or grow our faith and trust in him if we allow him.

My Heavenly Father, because I do think of him as my Father not my Judge, brought me and my family to a place where I could understand just how much he truly loves me. Coming to understand just how much he loves me despite everything was so transforming.

Have I been perfect? By no means!! Yet, he has never left me. He has been there to pick me up and place me back on the pathway with him when I have stumbled or just plain wandered off the trail. He has stayed right beside me when I struggled with my doubts in him and my insecurities.

I love the list that went around at one point and is probably still out there, of all the imperfect people in the Bible that God used to further his kingdom. It helped me see that despite all my imperfections he can and will use me for the goodness of his eternal kingdom. “I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you [and me] will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return],” Philippians 1:6 AMP.

This is my prayer for you: “that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God,” Philippians 1:9-11 NIV.

May my Heavenly Father pour out all his love and forgiveness and blessings upon you as you come to understand just how much he loves you!!

Bonita Burleson

Comfort and Encouragement Ministries, secretary

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The Car Wash Kind of Faith

Car Wash

My Heavenly Father teaches me in so many different ways and uses every day things to help me understand his ways. The automatic propelled car wash has been one of those things.

For years now, when I go through an automatic propelled car wash I think of “blind faith.”  Think about it! You take your dirty vehicle and drive up to an attendant who then tells you this is what we will do for you, trust us!

You follow the attendant’s directions to drive onto a track that you lose sight of before you actually get onto it. You blindly trust that this person will guide you to correctly line your tires up to the track. Once you’ve successfully done this they ask you to place your vehicle in neutral and take your foot off the brake!?! The first time you do this you truly feel unsettled. I mean you are no longer in control of where your vehicle is going.

Soapy Car WashJust when you start to trust that process, you lose complete sight of the pathway because of all the soap suds blanketing your vehicle. At this point you are truly blind. Yet, weirdly in this moment, it feels quiet, like a pocket of calmness.

Now the storm comes and washes away the dirt and grime. Just when you think you are all finished, the last whirlwind comes along to dry you off and pushes you out into the world again.

Yes, I do overthink things, lol. Yet, come on, don’t you see the similarity between the car wash and your Faith walk?

You come to your heavenly Creator, the One true God, all dirty and sin-filled. You hear the Holy Spirit say, “Follow God’s directions and he will guide you down the unfamiliar path even the ones you can’t see. Spend time with him cocooned in quiet meditation of the Holy Word and prayer and He will envelop you with calm and peace. Cry out to Jesus and he will wash you clean.”

Next comes the rushing wind of the Holy Spirit fire to spur you on your way!! Then, your Heavenly Father lets you put your foot on the gas and go so you may do His Will in the world around you both big and small.

Have you ever seen when one of those car washes have a car that gets off track?  Maybe someone didn’t go into drive at the end of the process? Or got scared and hit the brake when they couldn’t see. I have to admit there have been countless times that I have stepped on the brakes and jammed up the process of my faith. But just like that conveyor system once I let my Heavenly Father get me back on track, he is faithful to guide me along the way to the end. “I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in [me and] you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return],” Philippians 1:6 AMP.

So next time you go through that car wash remind yourself, “If I can have this much faith in this man made operation, I can have faith in God, too!”

May God wonderfully bless you and yours,

Bonita Burleson

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Guide to Successful LIving

Huge Benefit From a Small Book

Thirty-one short chapters comprise Proverbs.  However, we must not judge the book’s value by its size.  Its benefit for our everyday lives infinitely surpasses its smallness.

Delores and I began reading Proverbs through once a month by reading one chapter a day according to the calendar date.  On the first of the month we read chapter one; on the sixth, chapter six; on the thirty-first, chapter thirty-one.  In this way we go through Proverbs twelve times a year.  If we miss a day we read two chapters the following day or we just wait until the next month.

Of course, portions of Proverbs don’t apply to everyone.  Overall, however, everyone profits from the wise sayings and instructions of this wonderful guide to successful living.

What is a proverb?

A proverb is a short saying that expresses a truth.  Example: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” means that a proper diet will keep you healthy.  Proverbs teach lessons for life.  “A soft answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger” Proverbs 15:1.

Who benefits from Proverbs?

Proverbs show us God’s truth so we can cooperate with his efforts to make us happy.  Solomon introduces this book with an invitation for all to learn (2:2-6).  His invitation is all inclusive; he invites:

  • All People, verses 2-3
  • The Simple, verse 4
  • Young People, verse 4
  • The Wise, verse 5
  • The Understanding, verse 5

The Purposes for this Book
(Proverbs 2:2-6)

  1. So people may know God’s wisdom and teachings.
  2. So people can understand words of insight. Seeing “beneath the surface” appearance of life situations.
  3. So people can know wise dealings, righteousness, justice and integrity.
  4. To give prudence to the simple. Prudence is sound judgment in practical matters; being sensible, not rash.
  5. To give knowledge and discretion to young people. Discretion separates error from truth.
  6. To help a wise person increase in learning.
  7. To help a person of understanding acquire skill in applying that understanding.
  8. To help a person understand a proverb and its interpretation or application.

To help people understand the words of the wise and the hidden truths behind their sayings.

Be greatly encouraged,

Pastor James Fields

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Giving God Time to Enjoy You

            God enjoys being with you!

            “The Lord your God…will take great delight in you…he will rejoice over you with singing,” Zephaniah 3:17.

            “The Lord has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession,” Deuteronomy 26:18.

            “You are precious and honored in my sight and…I love you,” Isaiah 43:4.

            “I am honored in the eyes of the Lord,” Isaiah 49:5.

            “I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine,”  Ezekiel 16:8.

            Obviously, God created you to enjoy you.

            Look at the beginning of human existence recorded in Genesis.  First, God goes through the trouble of creating a universe which sustains humans.  Second, he created male and female so he could be with them.  “The Lord God…was walking in the garden in the cool of the day…the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you,’” Genesis 3:8-9?  God yearned for human companionship!  The entire Bible describes God’s effort to bring rebellious humans into loving fellowship because he wants us near himself.

            The Bible ends by describing the new heaven and new earth where God eternally enjoys being with us. “God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God,” Revelation 21:3.

God Sets Time Aside for Being with Us

            Private time with us is God’s highest priority.  Consequently, in the very beginning of human history, He set aside the seventh day of the week and called it “holy” Genesis 2:2-3. “Holy” designates this day as special to the Lord.  Why special?  Because this day provided time for God to enjoy fellowshipping with the humans his hands made.  Under Moses’ leadership, the Lord designated lots of other days and weeks as time for his people to set aside to be with him.  He called these days “Passover,” “feast of unleavened bread,” “feast of Pentecost,” and “feast of tabernacles.” (Other feasts are listed in Leviticus 23.)

            Is there any doubt that God wants special time with you, when he can enfold you in his arms and love you?  Truly he wants to speak to you, to soothe you, to appreciate you and be appreciated by you!  Now let’s look at our part in giving God time to enjoy us.

Quit Belittling Yourself!

            It’s so easy for humans to diminish their own importance to God by ignoring what he says about them in his Word.  Even Jesus during his absolutely horrible suffering, called himself “a worm and not a man,” Psalm 22:6. We quickly forget how God feels about us during difficult times.  We effortlessly disparage ourselves when we’ve failed to obey our heavenly Savior.  Nevertheless, we can only give ourselves to God’s enjoyment by conquering the tendency to belittle ourselves.

            By accepting God’s assessment of our value we become empowered to believe what God’s Word says about us.

             “The Lord was pleased to make you his own,” 1 Samuel 12:22.

            “Your hands shaped me and made me,” Job 10:8.

            “You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb,” Psalm 139:1.

            “This is what the Lord says—he who created you…he who formed you…. ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine,’” Isaiah 43:1.

            Then there’s Jesus, heavenly Father’s ultimate expression of his longing for our company, our fellowship!  2 Corinthians 9:15 designates Jesus as heavenly Father’s “indescribable gift.” Through Jesus, heavenly Father freed us from our sinful insignificance and elevated us to share Jesus’ throne in God’s eternal kingdom (1 Samuel 12:22).

Giving God What Belongs to God

            Time is a gift from God because time came from God.  Concurrently, our lifetime is a gift from our heavenly Maker.  We exist because he wants us to.  He both brought us into being and sustains our years in these bodies. They are his property on loan to us!

God gives us time so we can give it back to him!

            Shouldn’t love for God motivate us to give our time back to him?  Shouldn’t love for God seek to rejoice his heart by spending time in private fellowship with him?  Church attendance and other forms of fellowship with believers express our desire to rejoice the Lord.  However, I’m specifically emphasizing your private communion with the God who loves you and wants you near himself.

            Since God created us to rejoice in our love, we set time aside for loving him.   Praise, thanksgiving, adoration and serve as instruments for loving him, but these instruments are only useful as we pull away from life’s busyness and enter His presence.

            “You’re not praying,” the Lord’s Spirit spoke to me when I was about 28 or 29 years old.  I didn’t care to hear this, but I understood what the Lord meant.  I was busy with lots of things, but I set no special time aside for being with the Lord.  So I chose a specific time of my day and set it aside for spending time in God’s presence.  I remained faithful to this appointment with God even when I couldn’t sense his nearness.  But persistence paid off!

            After several days of disciplined private time with Jesus without feeling him near, I blurted out, “God, you have me whether or not you want me.”  Immediately the Lord honored my determination to rejoice his heart with my presence by pouring his presence into me.  His Spirit energized me with praise feelings and praise words that flowed from my innermost being.  That day began an ever-deepening fellowship between the God who rejoiced in me and the God in whom I rejoiced.  The same experience awaits every one of God’s children who give him time to rejoice in them!

            Start now.  Choose a small segment of your day for being alone with the God who enjoys your presence.  Persist in keeping this appointment with the Lord and he will reward you with an ever-greater awareness of his nearness.  “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God you will receive what he has promised,” Hebrews 10:36.  God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit can hardly wait the thrill of your presence!

Be greatly encouraged,

Pastor James Fields

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