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A few years ago, when I first became an Elder at the church we attend, I went to a seminar offered to those in our church who were in leadership. I thought it would give me a clue as to what was expected of me. Toward the beginning, the speaker asked us to close our eyes, and then to raise our hand if we had read the entire Bible. I didn’t raise my hand. After opening our eyes, we were told only three people did, and there were about twenty of us in the room, all in leadership or about to step into a leadership role.
The majority of the seminar was about the importance of knowing Gods word, especially leaders within the church. God’s Word is our shield and our sword. We use it to protect us as well as fight our battles, but we can’t use it for either if we don’t know it.
I left this seminar feeling convicted. I decided to jump into action and start reading the Bible. I didn’t like the idea of possibly being the only one who had not read it and certainly didn’t want anyone to know I hadn’t read it. I spoke with the Pastor to let him know what I was doing, but he encouraged me not to read it from cover to cover. He suggested doing a chronological reading or to follow a planned study to read the Bible over a year. That sounded to complicated and would take way to long. I thought ‘it’s just a book filled with stories, how difficult can it be?’
I think I made it to somewhere in 2 Kings. Trying to read it like a book, a chapter at time, was insanity! Some of the chapters are short, so reading one or two wasn’t good enough. I felt like a wimp, so I pushed through three to four chapters at a time. My brain was on overload. There was too much going on with to many people. I couldn’t keep up with who did what to who. Once when the Pastor asked how it was going, I said, “It’s like reading a soap opera”. I wasn’t getting anything out of it except the feeling of inadequacy, so I stopped.
I believe God spoke to me through the speaker at the seminar that He wanted me to know His word. My problem however, was jumping into action to make this happen, instead of waiting on Him. I wanted to accomplish the task He had put before me, the quickest most efficient way possible.
It’s been four years since that seminar and I still can not say I’ve read the entire Bible. I’ve discovered it’s not ‘just a book’ and have learned to let God guide me through it as He sees fit.
I’m thankful for God’s Word. I’m thankful it’s alive and active and meant for us today, just as much as it was meant for the people who lived thousands of years ago. I’m thankful for the way God speaks to me when I read and study His word. I’m thankful for the hope, encouragement and love I find when reading God’s Word. What do you find when reading the Word of God?
My prayer for us ~ Father God, thank you for the encouragement and hope you poured out in Your Word for us. I pray we would each be filled with a deep desire to know You through Your Word, Amen.
Have you ever had a song stuck in your head that you could not shake? Well, for the past 2-3 weeks I have had ‘There is Power’, by Lincoln Brewster, stuck in my head. Usually, I wouldn’t think much about it, especially since this is an amazing song. It started getting a little weird, when almost every time I got in the car or turned on the radio, that song would be on. I don’t mean somewhere in the middle of the song, no. I mean as soon as I would turn the car or radio on it would be right at ‘There is power in the name of Jesus”. The first few times I thought “oh, that’s that song I have stuck in my head, funny.” Then after it happened about the 4th time I thought, “oh, I better pay attention and figure out what God’s trying to say to me.”
I think God wants to make sure I truly understand the power available to me through His Son, Jesus. I think God is telling me He is waiting patiently for me to take action and call upon this power. I think God would like me to take action NOW, because there are things He desires to put into action and His timing for these things is NOW.
As a believer in Jesus, someone who accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, I have the power of the Holy Spirit, which dwells within me. The Holy Spirit intercedes in prayer for me when I can’t express what’s in my heart. The Holy Spirit can also encourage or convict me when necessary. But as the song says, ‘there is power in the name of Jesus’ too.
The Holy Spirit can’t intercede for us in prayer if we don’t pray. The power of Jesus is available to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but it’s up to each of us to call upon the power. God wants us to utilize the power, that’s why He makes it available. This power is what makes the impossible become possible. Most believers call upon the power of Jesus when praying, but their prayer time is scarce.
…those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:14-17
In Romans 8 we are told that those who are led by the Spirit are children of God. As children of God we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, Jesus. When we pick up our cross daily, seek God in everything, regardless of our circumstances, we will share in the glory of God. How exciting is that?!
So how can we seek God daily? One way is by reading the Bible, the Word of God. We are just like the people in the Bible, always looking to ourselves or other things and not God. So we can learn from their mistakes. We can learn from Jesus and how He taught his disciples and the people. I encourage you to pick up the Bible, ask God to speak to you through it, open it up and read a chapter. Then sit in silence and listen for God. I know He will reveal himself to you because God loves you and has so much to say to you.
Another way we can seek God is through prayer. When I say prayer, I don’t mean shooting up wishes or demands to God whenever we find ourselves in a tight spot. I mean participating in a relationship with God. The definition of prayer is a spiritual fellowship with God; sharing of thoughts or emotions; intimate communication. In order to experience these things with God you must pray regularly and passionately. Tell God your inner most thoughts, hopes, fears, dreams or whatever comes to mind. Yes, God already knows all of this, but He is waiting for you to invite Him into them. God will not push himself on you. He patiently waits to be invited in so He can help you and pour out His blessings upon you.
Another way we can seek God is through worship. When I say worship, I don’t mean singing necessarily. Yes, we do worship God through singing, but that’s not the only way to worship. Praising and thanking God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit is a way to worship. Giving God the glory for our accomplishments and all we have is a way to praise and thank Him.
A few weeks ago I saw the movie ‘War Room’ with my husband. I enjoyed it so much I went back a few days later with friends to see it again. If you haven’t seen it yet, I strongly recommend it. It lit a fire in me! I haven’t started a prayer room, but I have started a prayer journal. I have pages for every part of my life and every one in my life. I spend more time lifting up all the areas in my life to God. I don’t just babble a list of wants and demands. I thank God for what I have and ask for Him to use me for His glory. I pause often while praying so the Holy Spirit can intercede and prompt me. Before moving onto a different area in my life or person, I thank God for His good and perfect plan and His answers to my prayer. I pray with an expectant heart, believing God will answer in a mighty, amazing and bold way.
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the power offered to all believers across the world. I pray we would take the time to fellowship with you daily to deepen our relationship with You, Amen.
I find it a little funny that some people think being a Christian means your life is easier because God is involved. I’ve been seeking God since November 2008 and have faced more trials since then than before dedicating my life to Jesus. Prior to inviting God into my life, my only enemies were those in the world who opposed me and myself. Now that I have the power of God, the love of Jesus and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, there’s another enemy that wishes to steal, kill and destroy all God has for me. This new enemy is satan.
Control yourselves and be careful! The devil is your enemy, and he goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to attack and devour. ~ 1 Peter 5:8
A few weeks ago, I was sharing with a dear sweet friend something I’ve been struggling with. Toward the end of our conversation, she looked at me and said very seriously, “Are you putting on your Armor of God everyday?”. My answer at first was “yes”. Then after a pause, I think I said, “I try to”. Since this conversation, the idea of the armor of God has been rattling around in my brain. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I know what the Bible says about the armor of God and where to find it, Ephesians 6:14-18, but I didn’t understand why God offered this to believers or how it was to help us.
I’ve been reading, thinking (ouch!) and praying about the armor of God and this is what I’ve come up with:
Belt of truth ~ The definition of truth is the quality of being genuine, exact, loyal or honest. I believe our belt of truth is the knowledge of who God is, what Jesus has done for us and how the Holy Spirit dwells within us. We can receive this when we read, study and learn God’s Word, the Bible. Are you fining it difficult to call upon God or pray? It’s hard to seek someone who you don’t know. The more we understand God’s almighty power, the more we will desire to call upon Him through good and bad. The easier it will be to trust in His glorious plan and timing of it.
Breastplate of Righteousness ~ The definition of righteousness is being morally right or justifiable. The point of a breastplate is to protect the heart. I think we are to protect our hearts from satan and the lies he wants us to believe. Satan wants to destroy the fellowship we have with God. God desires for us to do what is right and just, but satan would rather we settle for what is easy. If we believe the lies satan is telling us, it becomes hard to lean on God for His wisdom and strength to do what is right and just. So how do we put on the breastplate of righteousness? I think you’re already wearing it if you take the knowledge of God’s Word and apply it to the way you’re living. Take God’s word and act it out in your daily life. Have you moved the knowledge of God’s Word down into our heart?
Gospel of Peace ~ The definition of peace is freedom from disturbance, quiet & tranquility, serenity and a mental calm. I’ve always thought the word gospel simply meant Word of God or the Bible. Meaning we should know the Bible and it will bring us peace. In Ephesians 6:15 it says ‘with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace’. It’s more than simply knowing. It’s seeking, daily, the will of God. Seeking to know more about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Satan wishes to cause chaos in our lives and to distract us from seeking God’s will and keep us from the peace we can receive in Christ Jesus. How can we become fitted with the gospel of peace? Praise God in all circumstances, good or bad. Give God the glory in all your accomplishments. Thank Him for all you have and trust He will provide for all your needs. This will fill you with a peace only God can give and satan can not touch.
Shield of Faith ~ The Bible, Ephesians 6:16, says the shield of faith is to ‘extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one’. The Biblical definition of faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see, Hebrews 11:1. Our hope comes from believing God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. Believing the death and resurrection of Jesus gave us not only access to God the Father, but forgiveness of our sins, so that we do not have to pay the penalty of our sins, which is death. Believing that accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior allows us to have eternal life in heaven, when our life here on earth is done. Believing we have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit, which dwells in us, as a guide, while we finish our days on earth. I hope for God’s will in my life (if I could only get out of His way, and stay there) and eternity with Jesus. I cannot see God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit, but I am certain they exist and love me more than words can express. Our hope in the trinity protects us from the deception of satan and distractions of the world.
Helmet of Salvation ~ Salvation is the deliverance from sin. The moment someone accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior they receive salvation. Salvation cannot be lost or taken away, but a believer can certainly stray from the path God has for them. I think the helmet of salvation is referring to always remembering why you gave your life to Christ and drawing closer to Him each day. Don’t let what Jesus did for you become an old fact that’s rattling around in your brain. Learn what it means for you. Praise Jesus for what He did for you on the cross. Give thanks for what He offers you today, tomorrow and eternally. Filling your mind with all that is of God will not leave room for satan to come in and fill it with lies.
Sword of the Spirit ~ In Ephesians 6:17 it says the sword of the Spirit is the word of God. I think carrying the sword of the Spirit with us means to not just know what the Bible says in our minds, but carry it with us in our hearts. Believe the Word of God to be true and boldly use the knowledge of the Bible in our every day lives. This will help us fight the temptations of sin and satan. Proclaim the Word of God and the name of Jesus so you can become victorious against satan.
Pray in the Spirit ~ The scriptures are also to be used in prayer. Pray the scriptures over all the details of your life. There is nothing to small or big for us to lift up in prayer to God. We are to be alert and always pray for all.
I know this may seem like a tall order, but you can pray and seek God’s help with a piece of His armor, or even all of it, if you need help putting it on. I’ve been struggling with receiving the peace God has for me. I’ve let my sandals of peace wear out and find myself needing to be fitted for new ones. I need to get back to praising and thanking God, regardless of my circumstances, trusting He is working because God is good….all the time, not just some of the time!
How do you put on your armor of God? How has wearing your armor of God helped you? Do you find a particular part of God’s armor more difficult to put on?
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for offering your armor to believers so we may fight the good fight against satan and the world. I pray we would be persistent in wearing your armor so we may boldy and confidently give you all the glory, Amen.
Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy. When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan. A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth. By justice a king gives a country stability, but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down. Those who flatter their neighbors are spreading nets for their feet. Evildoers are snared by their own sin, but the righteous shout for joy and are glad. The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern. Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away anger. If a wise person goes to court with a fool, the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace. The bloodthirsty hate a person of integrity and seek to kill the upright. Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked. The poor and the oppressor have this in common: The Lord gives sight to the eyes of both. If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will be established forever. A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother. When the wicked thrive, so does sin, but the righteous will see their downfall. Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire. Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction. Servants cannot be corrected by mere words; though they understand, they will not respond. Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them. A servant pampered from youth will turn out to be insolent. An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins. Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor. The accomplices of thieves are their own enemies; they are put under oath and dare not testify. Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord that one gets justice. The righteous detest the dishonest; the wicked detest the upright. Vs 1-27
Those who are continually reprimanded for their wrongdoing will be destroyed if they don’t turn from their wicked ways; God is not only loving and gracious, He’s also a just God. A person who hardens his heart to God will become entangled by his own wicked ways and suffer the wrath of God.
How do you know if you’re a good leader? Look to the people being led. Are they thriving in what they are being led to do or are they complaining about what they are being taught? I think the best leaders are those who lead by example. I’m more motivated to follow someone who has shown me what to do, not just told me. What motivates you to follow someone?
It’s up to parents to offer correction to their children. A child does not stop being the child of a parent just because they’re an adult. They will always be their child. It’s always a parent’s responsibility to offer correction, or advice to their children. Proper discipline gives your children knowledge and an understanding of what is good and acceptable. When we stop offering our children counsel, they can easily be led astray.
When God reveals His will for you, its important to trust His plan and take a step toward it. If we don’t show, in our actions, we trust God will enable us, we can become our own stumbling block. If we worry about what others will think of us when we act upon God’s calling on our life, we are allowing men to be our stumbling block. The Lord protects those who seek Him. Can others tell you trust God through your actions?
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the gift of family. I pray we would always treat family with love, compassion and respect, Amen.
The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order. A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops. Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them. Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully. Better the poor whose walk is blameless than the rich whose ways are perverse. A discerning son heeds instruction, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father. Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor. If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable. Whoever leads the upright along an evil path will fall into their own trap, but the blameless will receive a good inheritance. The rich are wise in their own eyes; one who is poor and discerning sees how deluded they are. When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding. Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble. Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a helpless people. A tyrannical ruler practices extortion, but one who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long reign. Anyone tormented by the guilt of murder will seek refuge in the grave; let no one hold them back. The one whose walk is blameless is kept safe, but the one whose ways are perverse will fall into the pit. Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty. A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished. To show partiality is not good—yet a person will do wrong for a piece of bread. The stingy are eager to get rich and are unaware that poverty awaits them. Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor rather than one who has a flattering tongue. Whoever robs their father or mother and says, “It’s not wrong,” is partner to one who destroys. The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the Lord will prosper. Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe. Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses. When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive. Vs 1-28
People who have secrets to hide push others away from them. They fear letting get to close to them because their true self may be revealed. People who speak truthfully boldly seek out others.
This chapter opens with the importance of keeping the law. Those who follow God, not man, will be able to not only understand the law, but obey it as well. God helps those who follow the law resist the wicked who forsake the law. How has God helped you understand or follow a law? How can you help someone else better understand a law?
I think verse nine is pretty harsh. It tells us that the prayers of those who choose to turn from following the law are detestable. Wow! That’s a serious incentive for me not to break any rules. I can’t imagine my prayers being seen as detestable by God. That’s sad. Have you broken any rules lately that you need to repent from?
We may be able to conceal our sins from family and friends, but we cannot hide them from God. He sees and knows all! When we confess, to God and others, and turn away from our sin, we will be shown mercy. We will be given God’s almighty power to over come the sin. He will surround us with fellow bothers and sisters in Christ that He enables to help us.
Those who see what they have, as a gift that has been given to them from God, will be blessed. They will find joy in working hard with the gifts and talents given to them. Those who take it upon themselves to earn more than what God has given them will end up with less than when they first started. God does not bless the stingy man who chases after wealth.
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the laws you have given us to follow. I pray for a heart that desires to follow them, Amen.
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips. Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both. Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy? Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. One who is full loathes honey from the comb, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet. Like a bird that flees its nest is anyone who flees from home. Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you—better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away. Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart; then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt. The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger; hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider. If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse. A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand. As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit, and whoever protects their master will be honored. As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are human eyes. The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but people are tested by their praise. Though you grind a fool in a mortar, grinding them like grain with a pestle, you will not remove their folly from them. Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations. When the hay is removed and new growth appears and the grass from the hills is gathered in, the lambs will provide you with clothing, and the goats with the price of a field. You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family and to nourish your female servants. Vs 1-27
Do not boast about the plans you have for the future. You do not know what tomorrow will bring or if you will be given a tomorrow. When speaking to others, do not praise yourself. If there is praise due it will be given by others.
I always thought it would be better to call on family rather than friends when faced with trouble. Verse ten tells me otherwise. It says clearly that it’s best to go to a friend who is close than a family member who is far away. Maybe because it’s hard enough to deal with trouble, so we should keep things as close to home as possible to keep our surroundings familiar. What do you think?
In the earlier chapters of Proverbs we learned the power of words and how important it is to choose them wisely. Our actions are even more important. Our actions reveal what is in our heart. Our actions are the mirror of our heart. Sure, we can do good things that will make us look good, but we cannot hide our feelings toward it. Our heart will be seen by others. We are to lead by example. As it says in Luke 6:31 ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you.’
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the gift of today. I pray we can see the opportunities you have for us and not let them pass us by, Amen.
Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, honor is not fitting for a fool. Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest. A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools! Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. Sending a message by the hands of a fool is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison. Like the useless legs of one who is lame is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. Like tying a stone in a sling is the giving of honor to a fool. Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand is a proverb in the mouth of a fool. Like an archer who wounds at random is one who hires a fool or any passer-by. As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly. Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them. A sluggard says, “There’s a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!” As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed. A sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth. A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven people who answer discreetly. Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own. Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!” Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts. Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart. Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts. Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them. A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin. Vs 1-28
It can be difficult not to get sucked into the nonsense of a fool. Their words sound innocent and caring, but deceit lingers. When the deceit of a fool is discovered its tempting to throw their folly right back at them. We must hold back, walk away, or we will be just as foolish as they are.
This chapter is all about the foolish, lazy and malicious. It warns us how ridiculous it is to associate with a fool. It’s like cutting off our own leg or trying to hold a thorn bush in our hand. The fool doesn’t understand his wicked ways are bad. He thinks he’s doing good. This is why the fool continues in his wicked ways.
The wise that boast of their wisdom are more foolish than the fool who doesn’t know any better.
We are to be conscious of the lazy. They are convincing with their words. They offer false praise to gain the trust of others. They are to lazy to work for what they desire so they are always on the prowl. They are looking for someone to do their work for them. The malicious are in disguise. They carefully selects charming words to entice those around them. Their heart is hard and cannot see past their own personal needs.
When I first read this chapter I felt scared and paranoid. There are so many scary people out there that want to use my family, friends and I for their gain. How do I help protect us? How do we stay away from the foolish, lazy and malicious? Then it hit me…God! God will protect those who choose to seek Him and the wisdom He offers us. The wisdom we receive from God will equip us to see the foolish, lazy and malicious. It will enable us to stay clear of them or get away from them when approached by their wicked ways. God also surrounds us with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who will help us in times of need.
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who help, inspire and encourage when needed. I pray for an opportunity to help, inspire and encourage another, Amen.
More Proverbs of Solomon
These are more proverbs of Solomon, compiled by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah: It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. As the heavens are high and the earth is deep, so the hearts of kings are unsearchable. Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel; remove wicked officials from the king’s presence, and his throne will be established through righteousness. Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence, and do not claim a place among his great men; it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,” than for him to humiliate you before his nobles.
What you have seen with your eyes do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame? If you take your neighbor to court, do not betray another’s confidence, or the one who hears it may shame you and the charge against you will stand. Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given. Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear. Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him; he refreshes the spirit of his master. Like clouds and wind without rain is one who boasts of gifts never given. Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone. If you find honey, eat just enough—too much of it, and you will vomit. Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house—too much of you, and they will hate you. Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor. Like a broken tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble. Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on a wound, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart. If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you. Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look. Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land. Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked. It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep. Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. Vs 1-28
The wisdom we receive from God does not mean we are better than those who do not have it. They simply do not know about God, His Son Jesus or the love they have for them. It’s the job of those who do have His wisdom to tell it to those who do not know. How are you sharing this amazing information with those in your life that do not know? Who have you told recently?
We are all equally loved and adored by God. We are also not to claim to have more or better knowledge or understanding than others with Gods wisdom. What we have is what we need for our own circumstances. It was given to us by God Himself. We are to be thankful and offer it humbly to others. We are simply a vessel, transporting God’s wisdom, not our own. The wisdom He gives us can be taken away if we do not give Him the proper praise and glory.
We are reminded again of the importance of using our words wisely. When we seek God’s wisdom in picking our words we will be blessed in the outcome. The words themselves can be a blessing to others. Words from God are powerful! They can be used to soften the heart of the wicked. For everything of God is good. How have you been blessed by the words of another? How can your words be a blessing to someone?
We receive another gentle reminder about helping everyone, even those we do not care for or who give us trouble. When we see them in need, we are to help them, not fill our heads with the stress or pain they caused us. We are to fill our hearts with love for them and offer it to them. This is being the hands and feet of Christ.
What you do for yourself and others should be to bring glory to God, not to yourself. When God gives us the abilities to do great things, we are to turn the praise and glory to God. This is a way to help non-believers turn their hearts to God. Do not think for a moment that what you did was in our own strength or wisdom. It’s by God’s Almighty Power! We are to acknowledge this and praise His name.
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the amazing things you enable us to do as believers in Your Son, Jesus Christ. I pray Lord that our words would be like apples of gold to all we encounter, Amen.
Do not envy the wicked, do not desire their company; for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble.
By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.
The wise prevail through great power, and those who have knowledge muster their strength. Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.
Wisdom is too high for fools; in the assembly at the gate they must not open their mouths.
Whoever plots evil will be known as a schemer. The schemes of folly are sin, and people detest a mocker.
If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength! Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?
Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
Do not lurk like a thief near the house of the righteous, do not plunder their dwelling place; for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.
Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.
Do not fret because of evildoers or be envious of the wicked, for the evildoer has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.
Fear the Lord and the king, my son, and do not join with rebellious officials, for those two will send sudden destruction on them, and who knows what calamities they can bring?
Further Sayings of the Wise
These also are sayings of the wise: To show partiality in judging is not good: Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent,” will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations. But it will go well with those who convict the guilty, and rich blessing will come on them. An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house. Do not testify against your neighbor without cause—would you use your lips to mislead? Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did.” I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man. Vs 1-34
When we seek Gods wisdom, His plan for our lives, He fills our lives with rare and beautiful things; things we could not obtain on our own. We are surrounded by fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are equipped to help us win the battles we face against sin and evil.
Saying you’re a true believer of God when things are going well is simple. The true test of our faith is seen in whom we seek in times of trouble. God strengthens those who trust He is there and seek His plan in times of need.
Do not be jealous of those who have more than you. Do not wish ill will to them or look for ways to destroy them. Do not laugh when they fall. The wicked may cause the righteous to fall temporarily, but God will not allow them to stay down for long. Do not worry yourself about the evil acts the wicked involve themselves in. Those who are envious and gloat will receive God’s judgment one day.
Those who witness a fellow brother or sister in Christ commit a sin is to bring the sin out. It is not to be ignored. Otherwise, those who witnessed the sin are now guilty of sin as well. Those who take action to help the accused turn from their sin will be blessed.
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the fellow brothers and sisters in Christ you surround us with. I pray will will have the opportunity to share the wisdom you have given to us with those around us, Amen