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June 30, 2022

Devotional For Thursday June 30, 2022

Wonderful assurances in our Proverbs today as it relates to God’s Word and the protection over His children: 

Pro 30:5  Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.

If we go back through the Bible and the prophets that predicted Christ’s coming, it all happened just as they foretold.  Isaiah’s prophecy was given to him by God 1000 years before Christ entered time as a man, and the prophecy “He was pierced for our transgressions” was with haunting accuracy, that’s just one prophecy, there are many others which have not yet come to fruition, but one thing is certain, as today’s Proverb tells us, every Word of God proves true, and a comfortable assurance that we have in that those who go to Him and declare Him as Lord and follow Him, will be protected.  Looking back at David and his struggles in the Old Testament, when he was being chased by Saul or his son Absalom, David sought refuge in the Lord and God protected him, just as He protects us when we go to Him in prayer and reading His Word.  

June 29, 2022

Proverbs 29:9 – No compromise with fools

Important reminders in engaging others, now that we are so overly connected with one another through communication on the internet, there is plenty of opportunity to engage, and the internet has plenty of fools that we can find ourselves wasting time engaging with.  

Pro 29:9  When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest. 

Whenever we have a conflict with someone who is a fool, there is no resolution.  We may want a resolution, to make amends or to see the fool apologize if we wronged us, but the fool is incapable of that, because they are a fool!  

Going back to the example of the internet, surely we have all at one time or another found ourselves going down the rabbit hole on the internet arguing back and forth with someone in the comments section, and it is a fruitless endeavor, because the fool is always right in their own minds and refuse sto listen to reason.  

Meanwhile, a righteous or wise person on the other hand, is willing to see the errors of their ways, has a sense of self awareness and is open to making compromises; but this is not the case with the fool, so as the Proverb tells us; there is not rest, the fool either gets mad or laughs, but there is no compromise in the matter, it is a waste of time.  So the way we can avoid controversy with a fool is not to talk with or engage them if we don’t have to.  Another saying, this one is not in the Bible, but certainly accentuates today’s verse is “silence is the best response for a fool” 

June 28, 2022

Proverbs 28:19 – Success Through Hard Work

Some practical words in our Proverbs as it relates to how we live out our lives and what kind of career paths we take: 

Pro 28:19  He who tills his land will have plenty of food, But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty. 

Someone who is willing to do the mundane tasks like tilling their land, is not going to hungry, and this is also applicable to our career paths, someone who rolls up their sleeves and puts in work studying a subject or a trade will benefit in the long run, and it is not always going to be a glamorous subject, accountants crunch numbers all day, but that is also one of the most profitable career paths one can take.  Same with someone who cuts hair or mows lawns, those career paths are recession proof, maybe not glamorous like being a rock star or a football star, but they also ensure that the rent is paid and the power stays on. 

The second half of the verse is quite poignant in today’s celebrity culture, where we literally worship celebrities; the Word tells us “He who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty”; poverty in plenty, means broke, as in no money or means.  Given the aforementioned celebrity worship, everyone is falling over top of one another to try and become famous, and most famous people are in entertainment of some sort, whether it is movies, or music or sports.  The Word instructs us that the one who chases these fantasies is going have plenty of poverty, because the likelihood of anyone becoming rich and famous is like a million to one, it can happen, but far more often does someone waste their lives chasing a dream that just ins’t going to work out.  

We think back to Uncle Rico, the washed up high school football player in the movie Napoleon Dynamite, who was in his 30s and still thought he was going to make it in the NFL, or theirs some musicians that we all know who is middle aged now and still trying to get signed by a major label.  IT also relates to get-rich-quick schemes, where you share some post on facebook and make lots of money, success in life requires work, or being ready to till the field, and get their hands dirty and put in time, but the one who short cuts and chases frivolous dreams is going to be broke.

 

June 27, 2022

Proverbs 27 – Warnings Against Self Worship

A timely Proverb that flies in the face of the self-worship that we see so much of on social media sites.  We all know that one poster, or we could even be that person who brags, even the low-key humble brag where we are celebrating our own accomplishments and basically just being prideful, which is a sin.  Another Proverb related to that is that Pride goes before the fall, or the tallest tree, makes the loudest sound when it falls.  But anyhow, back to today’s Proverb on self-aggrandizement:

Pro 27:2  Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth—a stranger, not your own lips.

If we live righteously, God fearing lives, our love for The Lord will be reflected in the things we do, how we interact with people, how we put God first, rather than ourselves, and how we put the needs of other above our own…and people will pick up on that and they’ll praise us, we don’t need to praise ourselves.  

A good one to remember, next time we find ourselves in a situation where we just feel that urge to post a selfie, or that “need-some-attention-status” or brag about something that we did to others; God’s Word tells us “don’t do that, let someone else do it for you” and if we live God fearing lives, our love for Him will be reflected in our works, others will notice and more importantly, God will notice!  

June 24, 2022

Proverbs 24 – Warnings “slacking off” or being lazy

Important words that warn us against being lazy today, and in the current world we live in, there is all sorts of ways for us to be lazy and do nothing from endless scrolling on social media, to binging entire Netflix series, there is no shortage of stuff in the world to keep us glued to the couch:

Pro 24:33  A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—

Pro 24:34  then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.

A good wake up call for us to be smart with our money, not to blow it on excessive junk, because as the Word tells us, poverty or becoming poor and not having anything can hit us at anytime. 

All sorts of bad things can happen to us that can suddenly zap us of a resources, death of a family member and we have to cough up air fare, or even a severe illness, or injury from a car accident.

Great reminders here to stay vigilant and be diligent with our money so we have it for that rainy day. 

June 23, 2022

Proverbs 23:10-11 – Respecting Ancient Boundaries and Protecting The Downtrodden

We stick with our Proverbs today that tell us not to mess around with ancient property markers and also don’t take land away from the poor.  Today’s Word even says that God will rise up and defend them when this happens:

Pro 23:10  Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers; don’t take the land of defenseless orphans.

So our Proverbs call us to be honest in our dealings, don’t cheat our neighbor and don’t take advantage of someone lesser than you, we see this a lot in business world, where a major corporation comes and sucks up all the smaller guys.  

We learn not to take advantage of those who are defenseless or have lesser means than us, we are not to cheat people out of their lands either.  The last part of our Proverb warns us that God will rise up and defend the defenseless:

Pro 23:11  For their Redeemer is strong; he himself will bring their charges against you.

The wealthiest man in the world cannot stand against God.  Steve Jobs who ran all of apple was one of the richest guys who ever lived, and died in the most humbling of circumstances, from cancer.   God can wrought all kinds of punishments on us and our families, so a good Proverb to remember, that we may get tempted to get 1up on our neighbor or take advantage of someone’s ignorance or lack of means and money, but God sees it all, and can do way worse to us!  

Remember, central thrust of the Proverbs is living in fear of the Lord, if we live in fear of the Lord, we won’t commit sins like taking advantage of poor people.  

June 22, 2022

Proverbs 22:28 – Respecting Boundaries Set By Our Elders

Here on earth, land is finite, they are not making anymore of it, and there is a competition for one to get their hands on real estate; which ties into today’s Proverb:

Pro 22:28  Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers set up by previous generations.

Back in the day, people would move markers at night when no one was watching to increase their own lands, which today’s verse tells us is a major no-no.

Now with google earth and land appraisers and courts, that is a little more difficult than sneaking around moving rocks at night, but even still, today people use lawyers and inheritances and estate courts to try and take what doesn’t necessarily belong to them.  Therefore our verse, should be cautionary today just as it was when was written all those centuries ago; God’s Word tells us to respect the property boundaries set up by the generations that came before us, a court may get it wrong, but God’s Word is always right.  

June 21, 2022

Pro 21:31  – The Victory Belongs To The Lord

A relevant Proverb today as it relates to war, and with everything happening in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, we learn that victory is to be ultimately determined by God:

Pro 21:31  The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD.

The horse is weaponry…and these days there is all sorts of sophisticated weaponry, we can now launch attacks on people and places from remote control aircraft that is piloted from the safety of an underground dwelling 6 continents away, technology has certainly come a long way from the chariots and horses that we read about in the Bible, but that should not make armies arrogant either, because as the Proverb tells us, victory belongs to the Lord!  

In just one breadth, God could rise up a massive solar wind from the sun that could wipe out every thing that is powered by electricity, without power, those unmanned drones that can drop bombs suddenly are just junk without power!  God could also send an astroid to wipe us all out, the things that God can do to humble us are endless, and far more mighty than anything we can do on the field of battle.

So as today’s Proverbs reminds us, as does most of the Bible, God is Holy, God is sovereign and God is greater than man, which again points to a high and holy view of God and a low view of ourselves.  In other words, God is greater than man, or the Creator exceeds His creation. 

June 17, 2022

Proverbs 17:27 – Staying Cool & Quiet

When it comes to speech, we learn in our Proverbs today that “Less is more”

Pro 17:27  A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.

Someone who is in the Lord knows that idle chatter leads to gossip and gossip leads to fights; therefore someone who is wise knows to keep quiet. 

The second half of today’s Proverb also tells us wise people are able to keep their cool, the don’t rattle easily.

Living a God-fearing life keeps our feet true, because in the end we know that He has predetermined all of this long before we ever got here, and He will protect us as well.  

June 16, 2022

Proverbs 15:1 – Avoiding Fights With Gentleness

Great Wisdom in our Proverbs today on tone:

Pro 15:1  A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.

When confronted with by someone who is angry, when we respond in an angry tone, we just get more anger, but we can avoid that anger by being gentle, or seeing things from another person’s perspective.  This speaks to the power of listening, we can give that gentle answer that today’s Proverb is talking about, by hearing someone out and understanding where they are coming from.  However, if we aren’t trying to listen to them and just harshly reply, it will only make the situation worse.  

If we are to live as Christians and follow Jesus, we should make an effort to avoid being angry at someone, and defecting anger as the Proverbs says.  Christ also shares this with us when He says:  “So when you offer your gift to God at the altar, and you remember that your brother or sister has something against you,  leave your gift there at the altar. Go and make peace with that person, and then come and offer your gift”. 

In other words, even if we are doing something as important as communing with God through prayer, or in this case sacrifice, but all the while, we have a beef with someone, Christ says, stop praying, go make nice with your enemies, and then come back and pray.  

Another awesome reminder in today’s Word on staying humble.  God loves the humble but hates the proud.  

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