18 thoughts on “A Word of help

  1. “That which the uncompromisingly righteous man speaks is a well of life” as precious as gold and silver. And the virtuous woman opens her mouth in skillful and godly wisdom and the law of kindness is on her tonugue, giving wise counsel and instruction….as precious as gold and silver. ” Pro.31: 26

  2. When I am at a crossroads, not sure which way to go or do, seeking and crying out to God for help I try to hang onto God’s promises such as Psalm 46:5: “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. ”
    At those times of uncertainty and sometimes despair, one of the most treasured gifts I can receive is a timely word of advice.
    I want to thank Sara that many times she has given me a pricelesss silver basket filled with those lovely golden apples.

  3. Proverbs 15: 22 says: “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.” Read with me the footnotes for this verse: “People with tunnel vision–those who are locked into one way of thinking–are likely to miss the right road because they have closed their minds to any new options. We need the help of those who can enlarge our vision and broaden our perspective. Seek out the advice of those who know you and have a wealth of experience. Build a network of advisers. Then be open to new ideas, and be willing to weigh their suggestions carefully. Your plans will be stronger and more likely to succeed.”
    I am grateful for all the Godly advisers that have helped me along life’s path, and have provided and still providing this “timely” advice.

  4. Needles, I love the footnotes in your Bible. Tunnel vision definition should answer a lot of questions for many of us that never have an answer for anything. Never able to move forwards, backwards, or sidewards. And, it gives us the solution if we want it!!!! This is far out ‘news of help and hope’ for ones with tunnel vision!

  5. Sometimes I have received advice, that maybe I didn’t want to hear or was given advice on how to handle circumstances/situations that were uncomfortable for me. Now, “being open to new ideas, and being willing to weigh their suggestions carefully,” is extremely important, I believe. I am currently in a local women’s Bible study and am studying “The Confident Woman”, by Joyce Meyer. John Maxwell was speaking on the DVD today, and he gave us four points on being confident: 1)”follow your purpose and your passion”, 2) “find your ‘strength zone’- what we do well/our spiritual gifts” 3) “know God’s will for your life, God has a purpose for your life” and 4) “Obey God’s will for your life” and he said something that I want to remember: “Christians are well educated well beyond their level of obedience.”
    Now, if the scripture above tells us that “plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success”, then does this mean that I must be obedient to that Godly advice, even if I don’t like what the advice is?

  6. I made some additional notes to what John Maxwell said: For the first point on following your purpose and your passion, he said that passion is the ‘confidence builder’. He used Phil 3: 13-14…”run for the prize”. He said that “passion is the energizer, and if you lack passion, you lack energy”. On point number two he said, “stop working on your weakness, because you are weak in your weaknesses. If you spend your time in your ‘weak zone’, you will never find or develop your ‘strength zone’. When you are in your ‘strength zone’ you are helping people because you are doing what God wired you to do.”
    Oh me, what a “bundle of advice/information”, I need to accept.

  7. Needles, “Christians are well educated well beyond their level of obedience.” This calls for some private time with the Holy Spirit. Well, I should say for me. And, I don’t think I want to answer your question as it may cause me to ‘rat on’ myself.

    Your two comments are packed with excellent teaching and advice.

  8. Mr. Maxwell’s counsel echoes Sara’s teaching in one of her books about NOT concentrating on your weaknesses but working to build up your strengths. Jesus says in the book of Revelation, “rouse yourselves, keep awake and strengthen and invigorate what strengths that remain so that they do not fade away.”
    Holy Spirit it speaking to His people, now!

  9. What excellent advice. It reminds me of my Beth Moore Bible study this morning about Esther. Esther on hearing that Mordecai who raised her after her parents death was outside the gate in sackcloth. Esther at first tried to fix the problem superficially by sending clothing to Mordecai. Esther was soon going to have to exercise some spiritual muscle and deal with difficulty that she had never faced before. Her strength was soon going to be counted on by the Jewish people. Moredecai sent her word that she could not just overlook this matter of the King annihilating the Jewsih people and she needed to go to the King and plead the case of the Jewish people. Esther sent word to Mordecai informing him that she could be killed. He sent back word as a good adviser saying in Esther 4: 14 If you keep quiet at this time, someone else will help and save the Jewish people, but you and your father’s family will all die. And who knows, you may have been chosen queen for just such a time as this. She then considering the advice of a man of wisdom declared a fast and prayer and decided to take Moredecai advice. With trembling she came before the King. She didn’t have time until she was perfect in dealing with difficulties, or until she was perfect in every way to act on this situation nor can we. (Beth Moore says: ” Perfectionism is a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as being unacceptable.) Esther had no time for perfectionism. She had to survive the difficult task at hand, “the emotions to do God’s will.” Timing was everything. She had to die to herself quickly in order for others to live. As Beth Moore puts it: “In a crisis situation such as this, there was no neutral position. Failure to decide brings personal loss and misses the opportunity to fulfill God’s purposes.” Esther decided to overcome any doubt, any fear of death, to side with her people, and go for what God had for her to do all along. Esther drew her strength from God. She may not have known exactly how to do everything, but in moving forward, making a decision, and following it through God made all turn out for good. She got the prize of seeing her people/God’s people live because she drew strength and stood even if she trembled in her shoes.

  10. “She then considering the advice of a man of wisdom declared a fast and prayer and decided to take Moredecai advice.”

    Rena, thanks for your exhortation on Esther. I think the key for me in your comment is she heard advice and acting on the advice. Esther surely was timely..

  11. Needles, I am finding much to think about, talk about and hopefully learn to the tune of action on your comments from “John Maxwell.”

    “stop working on your weakness, because you are weak in your weaknesses. If you spend your time in your ‘weak zone’, you will never find or develop your ’strength zone’. Maxwell…I would like to add to Maxwell’s quote…and you will spend your time alone. I have come to believe the reason we don’t connect as a body of believers in a healthy way is, we forget that Jesus is our head. We are His body. And, when we spend our time on ourselves and our weaknesses we just might be in the zone of self-pity and out of His Zone. To know, use and develop into maturity we need the Body of Christ and His Body needs us. We even have to be careful with Bible reading, prayer and self-study when done alone. Of course we need time alone with the Lord but it must bring us to His Table of counteracting and using the tools we learned alone or in our group studies.

    I think my thoughts are in part what John was saying; “Christians are well educated well beyond their level of obedience.” If I stay alone and read John Maxwell or your quotes from him it just won’t give opportunity for obedience and I will stay in tunnel vision. So, I am interacting with you and others on this live web study to see if I am seeing beyond my nose.

  12. James 2: 22-25 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does

  13. James 2-4 Message “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

  14. Yes Needles and Sara, staying out of a dark tunnel and staying with others who can help bring light and interaction is vital to health and what the Lord wants. Just like Heb 10:24,25 says,
    “We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.”

  15. Sara, that’s good counsel that James gives advising us not to try to get out of anything prematurely…but to let patience have her perfect work. As we strive & work through our dilemmas and trials and tests, if we set our hearts to see what GOD is teaching us through this, many things will be exposed, (mostly about ourselves) and we will gain Christian experience , wisdom and understanding through this. Coming forth as gold is not easy breezy.

  16. Thinking a little more on timely advice. Think about how difficulty this has to be from a human point of view. The giver needs to be timely and the receiver needs to be timely. That means two hearts timed to the same heart rhythm. HUM! This is really looking almost impossible. I am beginning to see why it is a still life painted scene hanging over a dining table the wisdom writer spoke of. Yes, golden apples in a silver basket!

    Like falling in love and how often does that happen?

  17. Like others have mentioned above, sometimes wise and godly counsel comes through a vessel that you would rather not hear from. I guess somtimes “apples-of-gold-wisdom/counsel” could and does come through slightly TARNISED silver baskets.

  18. Advice from the giver can be wise, timely and in perfect order. But if the receiver isn’t in place to be open to receive and act on it there won’t be any results..no wisdom produced.
    Proverbs 19:20 “Listen to advice and accept instruction,
    and in the end you will be wise.”
    and Proverbs 19:16 “He who obeys instructions guards his life,
    but he who is contemptuous of his ways will die.”
    Reminds me of the parable of the sower. The sower can have the right seed, sow it in the right season but if the soil and its growing conditions aren’t right, no crop.

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