Scripture Nugget 7.22.2016

“Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine, she has also set her table. She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls from the highest places in the town, ‘You that are simple turn in here!’ To those without sense she says, ‘Come eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Lay aside immaturity and live, and walk in the way of insight.’ … The foolish woman is loud; she is ignorant and knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the high places of the town, calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way, ‘You who are simple, turn in here!’ And to those without sense she says, ‘Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” But they do not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.” Proverbs 9:1-6, 13-18

I am thankful today for a friend (Carolyn Moore) who preached yesterday at Pastor’s School. She reminded that gathering of UM pastors from across the state, that the gift of Wesleyan Theology (the theology of the United Methodist Church) is our understandings of grace that doesn’t with justification but continues with Sanctification, “Going on to perfection” in Christ. With her reminder fresh in my mind and heart reading Proverbs becomes much less works based, much less legal and more focused on the choices we are free to make. God gives us freedom to make choices, to choose God or _. God continues to give us that choice and to change the choice as we live out life on earth. God loves us and desires we choose Him, God continues to love us even when we choose __. God calls to us, read again how wisdom calls to us; but then so does sin, read again the foolish woman’s call. Both call to the simple and those without sense. One gives of herself and provides bread and wine of life in the light at the highest place, the other offers what isn’t hers, stolen goods offered in secret, behind closed doors in the darkness, in a high place (a substitute for the highest place). I/we are given the ability to choose and given options by God, who loves enough and trust us enough to make right choices. Dr Bob Tuttle, says, “if we didn’t have the choice to say no our Yes would be meaningless.” Oh, God I choose to go on to perfection in Christ, to grow in Christlikeness, to help others do the same. Help me to remember it is my choice, it is their choice. I can only choose for myself, I cannot make the choice for others, only lay out the options and love them as they live out their choices. Help me to remember grace. Help me to remember truth. Grace and truth as found in these words, “I (wisdom) love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently fine me. … For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD; but those who miss me injure themselves; all who ate me love death.” Proverbs 8:17 & 35-36