Proverbs 18 11-18-18

November 18, 2018

The ability to bless others with our mouths is our superpower; it blesses them and us!

Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Eating our words is something that we do all the time. We reap what we say, in a manner of speaking. Even our silence communicates something. Two phrases that come to mind are, “Silence gives consent,” and, “The cruelest lies are often told in silence.” Proverbs says,

Proverbs 18:20 From the fruit of his mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied.

Jesus blessed Peter:

Matthew 16:17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.

He has given us the great example for how we can be blessed by blessing others:

John 13:14-17 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

As we enter into this Thanksgiving season, may we serve each other with vocal blessings and with acts of appreciation. Ask the LORD for opportunities and then keep on the lookout for them.

Let’s RAcK up (Random Acts of Kindness) some major blessings this week!

Proverbs 17 11-17-18

November 17, 2018

What we believe is revealed in how we act, yet, how we act shapes what we believe. The Lord is involved in both.

Proverbs 17:4 A wicked man listens to evil lips; a liar pays attention to a malicious tongue.

I’ve always dealt with this verse as the wicked being drawn to other wicked people. Today, I would like to internalize it. What we tell ourselves is usually what we will believe because we trust the one saying it (our pride shows through). What we need to do is quit trusting our voice and start listening to His voice.

How? How do we do this? Robin hit upon it this morning! It comes from this verse:

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

If we would be like God, then let us demonstrate God-like characteristics. It’s not about feeling them first; in fact, I think God is looking for us to try based on faith BEFORE we feel like doing it. Take Peter, for instance:

Luke 5:4-5 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

Peter had been fishing all night; He was tired and likely frustrated (no fish) and maybe a little anxious because they had nothing to sell at market. Yet, when Christ told him to cast again (Jesus wasn’t a fisherman, so how would He know?), Peter did it because Christ said so.

With us, He asks us to be respectful of authority; we should do it because He said so. He asks us to treat each other with kindness and gentleness; we should do it because He said so–whether we feel like it or not. Our faith shines brightest when we DON’T feel like it.

The redeeming factor is that after we have begun demonstrating our faith by being obedient, we many times begin to feel Christ’s love and compassion, which are coming straight from Him on His throne–the throne of our hearts!

When we are successful in this endeavor, the person to which we are demonstrating is confronted with Christ; He, then, must decide what to do with this Jesus. It is, indeed, a major part of our witness.

Let’s be good ambassadors for Christ by being obedient to Him when dealing with others–and even ourselves! He loves us dearly; He demonstrated His love on the cross. He died for us; let’s live for Him.

Proverbs 16 11-16-18

November 16, 2018

Who makes the rules for us? Why do we need rules? Because sin destroys us, but God loves us. Jesus died and rose again for us!

Proverbs 16:17 The highway of the upright avoids evil; those who guard their way guard [preserve] their lives.

Jesus died and rose again to pay for our sin and defeat death. He then gave us His Holy Spirit to dwell in us to guide us and to teach us. He is called our “Paraclete” for a reason. This excerpt is from gotquestions.org:

Question: “What does it mean that the Holy Spirit is our Paraclete?”

Answer: After Jesus announced to His disciples that He would be leaving them soon, He then gave them a statement of great encouragement: “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of Truth” (John 14:16–17).

The Greek word translated “Comforter” or “Counselor” (as found in John 14:16, 26; 15:26; and 16:7) is parakletos. This form of the word is unquestionably passive and properly means “one called to the side of another”; the word carries a secondary notion concerning the purpose of the calling alongside: to counsel or support the one who needs it. This Counselor, or Paraclete, is God the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity who has been “called to our side.” He is a personal being, and He indwells every believer.

The Spirit comforts us in our weakness, our fear, our pain, and our sorrow, and He gives us joy and love and peace, hope and mercy and grace straight from the Father’s throne! He IS our Comfort:

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

As we can see, God has our best interests at heart, and His Spirit is proof. So, how do we avoid evil and preserve our lives? By living upright lives based on God’s rules of protection and by looking forward to and acting on His promises that He made to us in His Word.

Let’s make this verse our motto for today:

Proverbs 16:16 How much better to get [His] wisdom [in His Word and from His counsel] than gold, to choose understanding [as the Spirit guides us] rather than silver!

Proverbs 15 11-15-18

November 15, 2018

Are we sharing what we know with someone? Are we discipling others? We are ambassadors for Christ; the job never ends (this side of heaven).

Proverbs 15:7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.

There are three benefits that making disciples brings about in a Christian’s life:

  • 1. Accountability-When we realize that someone is watching us and is looking to us for guidance, our actions take on a whole new perspective. What we used to do with license-exceptional behavior-now comes under a microscope and our reasoning no longer holds up. We are called to a new (for us) and higher standard because we are someone’s role model. James says,
  • James 3:1 “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”
  • Yet, we ALL are teachers in a sense,
  • Proverbs 10:17 He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.

    2. Vulnerability-We open our lives to the LORD and to others for criticism. Scary, yes?! Yet, we are to let our lights shine for Him, and the only way to do that is to open up and put our lives out there for all to see.

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

    3. Stability-Walking with Christ knowing others are watching has a surprising benefit. We GROW in maturity much faster! Our walk becomes steady and much more consistent. We shed the baggage of “what is allowed” and focus on what is best for us and those watching.

    Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

    Let’s consider the prospect of God bringing someone along for us to disciple. It will be good for all involved. Besides, He has ALREADY commanded us to make disciples!

    Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    “I am with you always…” what a promise!

    Proverbs 14 11-14-18

    November 14, 2018

    Our source of knowledge shapes our belief system. Be aware–and careful–of yours. Make sure that God is your source.

    Proverbs 14:7 Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips.

    In our society, “staying away” takes on a whole new meaning with tv, radio, and electronic devices. Even what we read has the capability to influence our knowledge base.

    Consider this:

    Truth is everything God has revealed about Himself in His Word, in nature, His people, and through our own experiences and interaction with Him.

    Propaganda is the tool of the devil to overwhelm us with lies. He does it through our culture: Fashion, entertainment, work, play, what we read and watch, etc.

    If we consider what we hear/read/do in sheer amounts, would our scale tip toward Truth or propaganda?

    Proverbs 14:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.

    Let’s not be deceived by our own folly (our own preferences, our own choices–that are really us responding to the temptations around us); instead, let us give thought to our ways by reading His Word and running everything by the Holy Spirit before deciding what to watch, read, and with whom we spend time.

    We have this promise:

    Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD [considering His opinion over our own] is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.

    Proverbs 13 11-13-18

    November 13, 2018

    We have such a wonderful gift! God has given us His thoughts in a letter to us so that we can know Him better! Let’s read it!

    Proverbs 13:4 The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

    Regardless of how I feel, I KNOW that I need the LORD guiding my life. So, my higher desire (above how I feel due to what I ate, how much sleep I got, how I was raised, my own preferences, etc) is to hear from Him. In order to hear from Him, I must be listening! How do I do that? Thanks for asking!

    1. I recognize that I need Him;
    2. I acknowledge that His Spirit is in me and is ready to meet with me;
    3. I read/study in His Word that which He has already revealed about His character, His feelings for me, and His desires for this world;
    4. I listen for Him to speak to me. He usually whispers how much He loves me and then He starts highlighting things in His Word and in my life that He wants me to address–some are for my character and others are for His service;
    5. I stay until I “hear” Him say, “Let’s go.” Then we get started with my day.

    How long? It depends on Him. I just try to build in as much time as possible so that He has as much time as possible.

    King David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). What does that mean? It means that he wanted to please God. Is that your goal, as well? I pray that it is. David held God’s Word in high esteem; Psalm 119 shows us (key verses: 2, 9, 11, 24, 27, 33-38, 58, 60, 102-103, 105, 125, 130, 160, 165).

    May we put Him first in our lives today. May we listen for Him as we read His Word and then follow His lead as we walk through this day. Trust me: we will be fully satisfied!

    Proverbs 12 11-12-18

    November 12, 2018

    Most of our anxiety can be traced to expectations: our own and other’s of us. Give them to God and let Him guide you.

    Proverbs 12:25 An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.

    I have always thought that this kind word was from a friend or someone, but how about a kind word from the LORD? He’s the One who knows our hearts; He has plans for us, and He wants us with Him!

    Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

    Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    John 17:24 Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

    My all-time favorite passage is Psalm 73:23-24:

    Psalms 73:23-24 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.

    I LOVE the truths and the promise given by Asaph’s song:

    1. He is with us.
    2. He holds our hand!
    3. He guides us with His counsel,
    4. And will one day will take us to be with Him in glory.
  • WOW! So, why stress? Lest we think that de-stressing is irresponsible, consider that taking life at a slower pace might actually increase our productivity AND help us to feel better. Better to do a few things well than a lot of things with mediocrity.
  • Spending time with Jesus in uninterrupted quiet helps us to reorient our focus so that we can enjoy the love and joy that radiates from Him and His peace that He gives His children. He also gives us hope for the future and grace to help us in our time of need.
  • Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

    Let’s enjoy our status as children of God and spend time with our Heavenly Father.

    Proverbs 11 11-11-18

    November 11, 2018

    As we remember and thank our veterans today, may we pray that our country would turn to Christ for direction.

    Proverbs 11:14 For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure.

    Our country had the right idea by setting up its government the way it did with balance of power. It was done with the assumption that God would be at the head of list. The problem came when God was usurped by other gods. God’s name was used, but He was/is NOT the god many are serving.

    The ONLY way to serve God is to accept and serve His Son, Jesus Christ. A little narrow-minded? ABSOLUTELY! Now we see why being ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20) is so important. If our eyes aren’t fixed on Jesus, then we get distracted by the devil’s lures (they always look and taste good, but there is a hook inside!). James spells it out:

    James 1:13-15 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

    Lest we blame the devil for all of our wrong-doings, we would do well to remember that he plays on OUR OWN LUSTS. Romans 3:23 says that we have missed the mark (sin) of God’s target of completeness in Him. What we fail to recognize is that we were not even AIMING at the mark. We had “other plans.” Those other plans are what the devil uses to draw us away from Christ.

    Proverbs 5:22-23 The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.

    Ephesians 4:19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

    Fixing our eyes on Jesus is not hard. All we have to do is acknowledge His presence and sovereignty in our lives. He will take it from there. How do we know? He will fill us with Himself and all that comes with His presence:

    1 Peter 1:8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

    Today, let’s quit serving two masters and serve Him. It’s the ONLY way to save our nation.

    Proverbs 10 8-10-18

    November 10, 2018

    Showing love and respect. Easy to say, hard to practice. Even so, God wants us to learn. It is His heart!

    Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.

    Speaking to one another in loving tones–and looks–and respect is something that we must learn. We must realize that hateful feelings come from our sin nature. When we speak from how we feel, it’s usually no God-honoring! Instead, we take every thought captive for Christ, even TO Christ. His Spirit empowers us to take control of our mouths by controlling our thoughts!

    2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV)

    [4] The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. [5] We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

    He even offers to transform our minds:

    Ephesians 4:22-24 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; [23] to be made new in the attitude of your minds; [24] and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

    This is not a self-help process. Quite the contrary! We learn to lean on Jesus for everything in all situations, to take care of every thought, and to guide our conversations.

    Let’s put our Christianity into practice today by calling on Him for every word and to take command of every thought. To follow Him IS WHY we became Christians, right?

    Proverbs 9 11-9-18

    November 9, 2018

    Proverbs is about priorities. What are yours? Is following Christ top priority in your life? Start today! Turn to Him now.

    Proverbs 9:8-9 Rebuke a wise man [or woman] and he will love you. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser and love you for it.

    Christ is more about our intent than our actions, for He knows that if He can change the way we think, it will change the way we feel, and therefore what we do. He’s all about the “long haul.” Why do we fight Him so? Are we afraid we will lose some of ourselves? Who we are in Christ is who we were created to be! Why hang onto old, gross grave clothes when He is offering us new, clean, heavenly robes, robes of Sonship? These robes are designed to last for eternity! They are wedding garments that identify us as part of His wedding party (see Matthew 22:1-14).

    Jesus Christ has entered our hearts; now He wants to renew our minds:

    Ephesians 4:23-24 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;

    putting off our old person and his selfish ways,

    [24] and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

    THIS is who we are in Christ! Let’s strive to be THAT person today!

    NOTE: Want to know how? Read Ephesians 4-6!