Proverbs 3:3-4

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The same week my Dad died, I had been asked to speak for a small women’s gathering at our church. I was part of a team of four speakers. We were each given two verses out of Proverbs 3, and 8 minutes to speak. My verses were: Proverbs 3:3-4.

The following are my notes. It always blesses me to prepare something like this and this one particularly encouraged and helped me because we were in the midst of grieving and planning Dad’s funeral at the same time. It really lifted me up to prepare it.

I hope you are blessed too.

Proverbs 3:3-4 says,

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;

bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.

I asked my son Toby, who is 11, How do you think we can “do” this verse? and he said. I think you need the Holy Spirit.

So lets pray.

Point 1: Love and Faithfulness is God’s heart.

I want to share with you a vision I had, while I was praying in our women’s connect group a couple of years ago, of the way God transforms our heart. Because sometimes we can get caught up in “trying” so hard, and God is not trying to make it hard. In fact, he does all the work if we let him.

Isaiah 55:8 says,

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”.

My vision was this; I saw a beating human heart with all its ventricles and aortas etc. suspended in the air. Then it was covered over in tin foil, very shiny, silver foil; no creases, no joins, a perfect silver heart.

All of a sudden, a beam of light tore its way out from inside the foil. It was golden light, amazingly bright. Then another tear, and another beam of light, and suddenly it was tearing all over and this light was pouring forth out of the holes, like they could not be contained.

Finally, the foil tore from top to bottom, and the heart was not silver or even flesh any more it was molten gold. But not a gold I’d ever seen before, it was like a rainbow, it was pure light and it was so beautiful it was hard to look at.

God’s heart is so beautiful.  His love is so merciful…. he us loves first …. without condition …. and he puts His uncontainable love and faithfulness in our tiny human hearts …. until all our pretense, our silver foil, falls away. Then he clothes us in golden rainbows.

1 John 4:10-12 says,

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

When we have this completeness, then we can love the way God loves.

1 Corinthians 13 4-8a says,

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails

This is impossible Love.

And our minds say, But what about? But I? But they! But…..

And God says……..But God.

Matthew 19:26 says,

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

That is why my son, Toby, says we need the Holy Spirit we need God’s own heart in us.

God, binds his love together with his faithfulness, to make it stronger and more powerful. Let love and faithfulness never leave you.

Psalm 89:8 says,

Who is like you, Lord God Almighty?

You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

It is only God who is truly faithful. This is the God who cannot be unfaithful. We need God’s faithfulness if we’re ever going to love the way God does.

2 Timothy 2:13 says,

if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

Point 2: Back Up your Back Up Plan.

Proverbs 3:3-4 says,

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;

bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Love and Faithfulness are precious to us, but they are also weapons in a war. And God says never let them leave you. So the backup plan is not just to hold on to them, or we might drop them, but to bind them to our necks.

Why the neck?

Because Christ is the Head. They bind around the neck because nobody can pull them off without cutting off the head.

Colossians1:17-18 says,

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

And from the head, via the neck, LIFE comes into our body –

He is our food. Jesus says, I am the bread of life,

He is our drink. Jesus says I am the living water,

He is the air we breathe. God breathes the breath of life into us.

We have LIFE in him.

LOVE and FAITHFULNESS are the clothes God puts on us. Robes fastened at the neck cover the whole body. He has taken off our filthy clothes and he covers our nakedness with His beauty. We wear his love and faithfulness.

Then Proverbs 3:3-4 says we need to back up the backup plan!! After we bind them around our neck, we are to write them on the tablet of our heart.

Proverbs 3:3-4 says,

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;

bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Why do you write anything on a tablet?

So that it will last beyond our death. Ancient tablets were designed to last longer than the body of the person who wrote them. They were for future generations. They were chiseled deep into the stone.

Let your heart be a witness to future generations! Let love and faithfulness be the treasure you pass down.

Matthew 6:21 says,

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Point 3: Get your eyes off the Favour and onto the Saviour.

Proverbs 3:3-4 says,

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;

bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.

We are right in the middle of funeral preparations for my Dad at the moment. He died last Monday and recently, when I visited him in the hospital, he picked up a bed pan and laughed, “Look at this!” he said, “All my worldly goods and chattels.”

1 Timothy 6:7 says,

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.

Facing death brought the favour of God into focus for Dad. He’d always felt he was favoured because he did well and was respected. He was thankful to God but he didn’t really think he needed God, but when God took it all away Dad responded by humbling his heart and saw what it was to have God lift you up. God withus, isthe favour.

Because of his chemotherapy, my Dad couldn’t taste food for years, but he could taste Jesus. He could taste and see what is good. What we, his family, witnessed was all the silver foil fall off his heart and the light from God’s heart fill his eyes.

He chose in his weakness to let love and faithfulness never leave him. He bound them on his neck, he wrote them on the tablet of his heart. They were his weapons when the enemy came against him. Not what he’d achieved on this earth, just love and faithfulness.

He didn’t suddenly have a perfect theology, or perfect relationships, or perfect witnessing, or perfect responses to what was going on, just Jesus. He had favour from Jesus. And yes, he did get a good name among those around him, family, friends, hospital staff and fellow patients, because they could see the favour of Jesus on him.

One of the last things he said to my Mum was, “Tell them all at the funeral that it’s all about Jesus.”

So, I’m telling you too, from my Dad. It’s all about Jesus.

Revelation 3:14-22 says,

To the Church in Laodicea

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

So,

Proverbs 3:3-4 says,

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;

bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.

End

I hope you are greatly encouraged to do Proverbs 3:3-4! Be blessed, you are very loved!

Lots of love,

L

© Lauren Macdonald. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission, from this blog’s author, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lauren Macdonald @ http://godhelpmei.com

3 comments

  1. Lauren, sorry to hear about your Dad’s passing. May the God of all comfort give you comfort during this time. They threw a celebration party for him when he arrived home and Jesus welcomed him home. The love and faithfulness of God never ceases or ends. Enjoyed your insights on it. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

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