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The Journal

A Good Place to Start

Dear Friends,

We are at the beginning of a New Year. The book of Proverbs is a good place to seek the Lord for this New Year because one of the central commands and accompanying promises is to seek the Lord’s will for the way ahead confident that God will bless us. In the odd verses we see the ethical promises required by God. We must always remember that within the whole flow of the Bible that God first of all provides the promises and grace which are the springboard to obedience.

We see that in the way that the 10 Commandments are taught in Exodus 20. God states that He has saved his people from the bondage of slavery in Egypt that they may obey Him. Salvation always comes first and obedience is a response to the salvation we already have. Then in the even verses in Proverbs 3 we see God’s promises which bring benefit and blessing. Throughout the Bible it is clear that obedience to God brings blessing and that life works better - Luke 11:28. Obedience to God doesn’t shield us from difficulties and trials. This should not surprise us because we live in a sinful world. Jesus himself experienced opposition and trials and never sinned. The New Testament teaching of Jesus confirms this teaching of the Proverbs in Matthew 6:33 - Seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness and all your needs will be provided. This Proverb encourages us to remember the teaching of the teacher and of course of God. If we are going to grow in faith we need to both remember and to listen well. In particular it is required that we will seek to be driven by love and faithfulness. The resources for these virtues is God Himself. In 3:5-7 we are encouraged to look to the Lord for our wisdom and understanding. The great temptation is to depend on ourselves and have more confidence in what we think is right than what God says in His word. I do believe that the outworking of this is to pray about the decisions which we need to make and talk to God seeking His guidance and blessing. I do believe that the simple act of praying to God about our decisions and concerns will result in us seeing the Lord’s guidance in our lives. When we pray it is a statement that we don’t think we are wise in our own eyes 3:7 and this should result in a greater openness to what God wants to say to us ! We lean on God rather than ourselves when we seek Him through His Word and within the fellowship of the church. As pray for this new year ask God how He may use you to serve within His church and the community. God’s Blessings.

Rev David O’Mara