Archive for the ‘Proverbs’ Category

Proverbs 18 10-18-18

October 18, 2018

When we speak unlovingly to or judgmentally about others, we presume to be above that person. We are NOT!

Proverbs 18:1 An unfriendly man pursues selfish ends; he against all sound judgment starts quarrels.

This chapter is our monthly reminder to “set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalms 141:3. What we say and how we say it gives shape and weight to our feelings–which are controlled by our physical and mental states, and those are subject to all kinds of variations. If we can place a “pause” between what we feel and what we say and run our words through some biblical filters, then we will be a long way down the road to godliness. Remember: If we change the way we think, we can change the way we feel. –Beth Moore

Let’s look at some filters:

Proverbs 18:2 A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions. We can find wisdom even in fools’ mouths (sometimes it’s in learning what NOT to do). We are to care for the person even if we don’t value his/her opinion.

[8] The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts. Sharing our opinions about others is DANGEROUS! Unless we are directly involved and the other person is directly involved AND we have permission from the person about whom we are talking, it is not our place to say anything. Jesus warns us,

Matthew 7:1-5 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Realistically, we have NO IDEA how we would react in any given situation, so we cannot say, “We’ll, I would have____________.” If the person was following the Spirit’s leading, then–if we are in step with the Spirit–we would have done EXACTLY as they did. We need to get over ourselves!

One more:

Proverbs 18:13 He who answers before listening— that is his folly and his shame. Even though this verse reeks of pride, let’s consider it differently in that a person can forecast the outcome of a situation out of fear and insecurity as well as laziness and pride. The idea is to not tell God how things will turn out. He may have something wonderfully surprising in store! We Christians should live with the phrase, “I didn’t see that coming!” as our mantra. Walking in step with the Lord means that He is involved in our lives and in those around us. Expect God-things to happen.

Let’s use this verse as our life-verse for the day:

Proverbs 18:20 From the fruit of our mouths [our] stomach is filled; with the harvest from our lips [we are] satisfied.

Let’s make sure to have God-controlled speech today. We will be amazed at how much we will learn about godliness!

Proverbs 17 10-17-18

October 17, 2018

The goal of our lives is peace: Inner peace with God first, and then sharing peace to others. Circumstantial peace is unpredictable.

Proverbs 17:1 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.

Since inner peace comes first, let’s start with the basics. Christ gives us His peace.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Luke 24:36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.

We lean on this peace. We hold it as precious. Would that we allowed it to permeate our being everyday.

What brings peace? Paul said that rejoicing in the Lord will, as well as conversing with Him:

Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

So, now we have inner peace. What about sharing peace with others–especially those in our own household?

The key word in the Philippians passage is “gentleness.” We must work to let our gentleness be known to all beginning with our Jerusalem (our own homes), Judea (our daily/weekly place of employment and interaction, which is work and church), Samaria (our neighborhood) and the world.

Much of the study on Love and Respect in relationships is built on being gentle with each other. We are gentle with that which is fragile; many times our friendships should be treated this way. We are gentle with that which is valuable; our relationships are ALWAYS worth treating them gently.

Let’s ask God to help us be gentle today: kind eyes, soft tones, loving touches, and an attitude that treats others as higher than ourselves (Phil. 2:3).

Let’s be Christ to everyone!

Bonus Passage:

Ephesians 4:2-3 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Proverbs 16 10-16-18

October 16, 2018

Our mouths are pretty good gauges for what we are thinking. BEWARE! God holds us accountable for what we say!

Proverbs 16:2 All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD.

We are good at justifying what we do. It doesn’t even have to be logical! We can justify getting even with someone by telling ourselves the feeling of satisfaction is worth whatever the consequences.

The problem is that without the Holy Spirit, there is no way for us to combat our own self-centeredness. In fact, we can pretty much count on whatever we want to say or do to be flesh-motivated. We must learn to stop and listen for His prompting. We must also read His Word so that we can discern what He calls good and would ask us to do.

Look at it this way: If we won’t read His Word regularly, then we are telling God that we don’t need His opinion and that learning how to please Him and what He likes is not important to us. Are we really that arrogant? I’m afraid so!!!

There is one area that we feel particularly justified, and that area is in what we say about others. There is a verse in a song from my teen-hood that sets the bar for me:

“We will work with each other, we will work side by side…and we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride, and they’ll know we are Christians by our love…”

Even when describing an incident, let’s take care to “guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride.” It’s an important habit, if anything, for the sake of others (our audience tends to take up the attitude of the one to which they are listening) as well as the reputation of the ones about which we are talking. A good rule of thumb is to ask ourselves, “If the person were standing right here beside me, would I say it?” Scripturally, we base our question on this passage:

Ephesians 4:29-32 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

The questions we ask are:

  1. Is it considered unwholesome?
  2. Is it helpful for building up others?
  3. Will it benefit those who are listening?
  4. Will it grieve the Holy Spirit?
  5. Does it have any bitterness or malice in it?
  6. Is it kind and compassionate?
  7. Is it forgiving (full of grace)?
  • If we can run what we say through these filters, then we are well on our way to godliness. I’d say, “Good Luck,” but I don’t believe in luck. Instead, let’s strive to “be perfect (complete, well-rounded, whole, mature) even as your Heavenly Father is perfect (Matt 5:48).”
  • Now, THAT’S a goal with having!
  • Bonus:
  • Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

    Proverbs 15 10-15-18

    October 15, 2018

    Following our hearts leads to wickedness. Following the Lord leads to godliness. Every decision leads to one or the other.

    Proverbs 15:24 The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep him from going down to the grave [we are always moving either up or down].

    Proverbs 15:9 The LORD detests the way of the wicked but he loves those who pursue righteousness.

    What is the way of righteousness?

    1 John 5:3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,

    One of Jesus’ goals for us is to have His joy and to have it completely!

    John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

    TRUST = JOY

    When will we stop doubting God’s will for us? Has He not proven over and over that He wants only the best for us and that all His plans are for our good? Since Adam and Eve first doubted God’s goodness, we as a people have not trusted God. Here is His word to us:

    Jeremiah 29:11-13 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.”

    Is God approachable?

    [12] “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

    Is God knowable?

    [13] “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

    Is God trustworthy? You bet He is! Let’s trust Him today and watch how He blesses us with knowledge and discernment and a sense of His presence!

    Proverbs 14 10-14-18

    October 14, 2018

    Who are you trying to please? Is it the LORD or is it yourself? Is having your own way the greatest thing to you?

    These are questions we ask ourselves as we enter into the next few days of Revival meetings. Those who come will be challenged to move “higher up and further in” (C.S.Lewis) concerning their walk with Jesus.

    Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.

    When we fear the LORD, do we fear His wrath? NO!

    Romans 8:1-2 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

    Any correction He has for us is given immediately through His Spirit IN THIS LIFE. Once we die, we are free from sin and the consequences of our sinful nature. We are GLORIFIED!

    Our goal while here on this earth is to look as much like Jesus in word and deed, in attitude and focus as we can. How? By living according to the Spirit.

    Romans 8:12-14 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

    Today, let’s put aside childish ways of thinking (it’s all about me) and grow up in the LORD by putting on Christ (it’s all about Him).

    Romans 13:14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

    It comes down to this: Are you a Christ Follower? If so, then this passage is true for you:

    Galatians 5:24-25 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

    Let’s quit thinking like children and grow up in the LORD! Let’s quit living for ourselves and start living for Him. Today, let’s keep in step with the Spirit!

    Proverbs 13 10-13-18

    October 13, 2018

    Pride says, “My time is too important to spend listening to God in His Word.” Watch out! A fall is coming…

    Proverbs 13:13 He who scorns instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command is rewarded.

    We simply do not have the tools nor the skills to know the best route for our lives. Only the LORD can guide us through this life–not with the least amount of sorrow, but with the most intimate fellowship with Him. We must remember that comfort is not our goal, but becoming like Jesus is!

    We live in a fallen world that is full of sorrow and grief. Blaming God for bad things happening to us simply shows that we don’t understand how things work:

    1. God loves us and gives each person CHOICE.
    2. He honors each choice by allowing the results to happen according to our choices.
    3. We live with the blessings/consequences of our choices and others’.
    4. Our walk with Christ is designed to deliver us into His presence looking as much like Him as we can (NOT with us being as content as we would like).
  • Jesus’ favorite phrase is, “Follow Me.” He used it 10 times! Here’s my favorite:
  • John 10:27-29 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

    Here is the verse that I NEED to hear daily:

    John 21:22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

    I need to quit looking around at others and look to Christ! We each walk a path with Him and it is different than anyone else’s although our paths may cross, and even run concurrently for a while. Let’s be good, obedient sheep and follow Him exclusively and closely and “encourage each other all the more as we see the DAY approaching Hebrews 10:25.”

    Bonus verse:

    Proverbs 13:18 He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.

    Proverbs 12 10-12-18

    October 12, 2018

    We cannot defeat our old nature without the new nature that comes from Christ. His Spirit IS our new nature.

    Proverbs 12:12 The wicked desire the plunder [stronghold] of evil men, but the root of the righteous flourishes.

    The difference between the wicked and the righteous is their source. The wicked have their sin nature and self as theirs; the righteous have the Holy Spirit as theirs.

    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; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

    Our decision-making is not commandeered by the Spirit; instead, He guides us into all truth (John 16:13) and gives us the desire to do His will–but it’s still our choice!

    We change the way we think by filling our minds with Scripture (often via Scripture-oriented songs) and allowing our lives to be influenced and oriented to God’s way. We change the way we feel by changing the way we think. Hence, our daily time with the LORD.

    Look at what happens when we have the Spirit as our Source:

    Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool seems right to him [self], but a wise man listens to advice [Spirit].

    [18] Reckless words pierce like a sword [self], but the tongue of the wise brings healing [Spirit].

    [20] There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil [self], but [there is] joy for those who promote peace [Spirit].

    Let’s align our attitudes with the LORD’s through His Word this morning. Get ready to receive His joy and peace and experience His love at an all new level!

    Proverbs 11 10-11-18

    October 11, 2018

    Wisdom is acknowledging that God is GOD and we are not. It changes our perspective and guides our conduct.

    Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

    This whole chapter is built around being wise and humble or being foolish and arrogant. Understanding that we cannot see everything and know everything helps us to seek God’s perspective. His relationship with us is centered around us listening to Him as our Mentor and Guide.

    Proverbs 8:34-36 Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD. But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.

    Keeping in mind that we are forgiven in Christ and now there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1-2), we function in an atmosphere of peace with God, which is abundantly provided for us (Phil. 4:6-7). Our LORD is delighted to walk with us through life. It’s why He came to live inside of us! If He had wanted to be critical and judgmental of us, He would have stuck to the old system. Instead, He came to bring us life in abundance (John 10:10).

    Today, let’s not be arrogant and treat God as if He were not GOD. Instead, let’s allow Him to be the LORD of our lives. We will experience His love, joy, peace, hope and grace in abundance!

    Proverbs 10 10-10-18

    October 10, 2018

    Our over-arching desire sets the tone for our emotional and spiritual health. His presence “fixes” everything!

    Proverbs 10:24 What the wicked dreads will overtake him; what the righteous desire will be granted.

    Whether it’s food, exercise, work, play, or any number of subjects, BALANCE is essential. KNOWING that we tend to lean in a certain direction with each category, we need guidance: The Holy Spirit! He lives in us to guide us into ALL truth–more than just knowledge about spiritual things, He guides us in every decision, right down to the minutiae of our lives. Our holiness is based on how much we allow Him to guide us. The end result is that we look and act and are, indeed, like Jesus!

    So, where do we start? King David knew:

    Psalms 27:4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple [WE are His temple now].

    [8] My heart [the Spirit] says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.

    What do we ask of Him?

    Psalms 25:4-5 Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

    Let’s seek the LORD and desire His company today. I promise you will not be disappointed–in Him or yourself!

    Proverbs 9 10-9-18

    October 9, 2018

    What is our goal in life? To please ourselves or to please our LORD? Be careful; we may catch what we chase!

    [4] “Let all who are simple come in here!” she says to those who lack judgment.

    [6] Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.”

    [8-9] Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.

    The Holy Spirit inside us tells us to “seek His face.” We respond like King David: Your face, O LORD, will I seek (Ps. 27:8).”

    Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled (Matthew 5:6).”

    In contrast, Folly (the devil’s puppet) offers delicious bait: lust for the eyes, lust for the flesh, and she caters to our pride of life (1 John 2:16). She offers thrills:

    Proverbs 9:17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!”

    Without the Spirit, without our new nature, and without self control, we would follow after her–and quickly, giving not a second thought to sin or entrapment.

    We have a warning from Solomon:

    [12] If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker [of God and His ways], you alone will suffer.”

    [10:24] What the wicked dreads will overtake him [God]; what the righteous desire will be granted [God!].

    Let’s desire Jesus and His company today. Let’s submit to His authority and obey His commands. He promises intimate fellowship and an easy yoke. Who we live to please tells us, God, and the world who our true Master is. “We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin (1 John 5:18a);”

    1 John 5:3-4 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

    Bonus:

    1 John 5:20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.