Author: jraynar

August 17, 2022

Proverbs 17:12 – Beware Of The Fool!

We learn in the Proverbs today that there are fewer more dangerous places in the world to be than in the presence of full blown fool. 

Pro 17:12  Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs rather than a fool in his folly.

The she-bear there refers to Mama Bear, and when something happens to Mama’s bear’s baby bears, it can be a very dangerous place to be, and that comparison of danger is made to that a fool in their folly.  

Folly is defined as foolishness, or the behavior of a fool.  There are modern terms used for this “wilding” is one or “going crazy”; basically a sinner in a full-on state of sin; think out-of-control.  

Most crimes happen when someone is “out of control” and that is where danger lurks; whether someone is drunk or on drugs, or in a jealous murderous rage, there are all situations where a fool is in their folly, and places to steer clear of!  

Thomas Boston, a puritan once talked about the duty of self denial, when we hear the term flesh and gratifying the flesh, that means letting our pleasures and passions govern us and make us do stupid things; be it adultery, fighting or stealing.  All of those things are borne out of lack of self denial.  Boston went on to say: “Self-denial is the first principle of Christianity. It is the life-blood which must run through the whole body of religion.” Christ calls us to deny our wills, our own righteousness, our appetites, our ease, our inordinate passions, our relations, our estates, and even our lives for Him. There is no alternative to a life of self-denial: “There may be going to heaven without comfort, but there is no going there without self-denial.”

The path of self denial is the path of the wise, while path to destruction points back to the fool we learned about today, who mires in his folly.  

August 16, 2022

Proverbs 16 – Mastering Anger

Important calls for self control in our Proverb today.  A great chance for some self reflection in a world where so many different things are vying for our attention at once, it is easy to get anger, and in a culture where anger is promoted, we get a great reality check in God’s Word:

Pro 16:32  One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And one who rules his spirit, than one who captures a city.

Being slow to get angry and keeping control of one’s temper go hand in hand, and the Proverbs today says that it is better than being mighty or conquering a city.  

Being anger does not bring honor to God, so if we are to truly live a life that is, as Proverbs often reminds us, living in fear of the Lord, or being wise, we will avoid anger.  Jesus’s half brother James tells us anger does not produce the righteousness of God.   

The world conditions us that we are macho when we let our tempers rage, that whole “not today Satan” meme comes to mind, but that love of self is not the love of God.  God’s word tells us to deny ourselves to rage, if we are to truly pick up our cross and follow Jesus, we will deny our lustful wants of pride and getting even with others.  As Jesus tells us, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.  


August 12, 2022

Friday Devotional For August 12, 2022

Pro 12:12  Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers, but the root of the righteous bears fruit.

A crook always wants what the other crook has.  We can like this to thieves or criminals, but it should also make us look within our own hearts, especially when we live in smaller communities where everyone knows everyone — do we see someone doing extremely well and want what they have?  

A lot of foolish people have seen others steal or embezzle, and then when they get their chance, they do the same thing.  That is foolishness, man; in his own stupid and fickle way, will try and justify taking what’s not there’s just because it is just the status quo,  If we think about governments, where one leader was a cheat, the one who came after them though, ‘well now it’s my turn, and the guy who came before me did it, so why shouldn’t I?’  Today’s Proverbs tells us that’s what wicked people do, want or desire what other wicked people have.  

The second half of the verse; ‘the root of the righteous bears fruit’ tells us that righteous people produce their own wealth; God smiles on those who do good and fear Him.  A God fearing person isn’t going to engage in shady behavior to get ahead, and God sees that and rewards them.  

At the end of the day, wicked people never prosper, they may do okay in the hear and now, but God sees everything, and will punish each man according to their deeds.  God’s Word is God’s Word, it is unchanging, stealing and being corrupt is just as detestable to God in 2022, as it was all these centuries before Christ came as a man.  

The Good News of The Gospel is also unchanging, we are born as sinners, and the only escape we have from that sin is through submitting to Jesus, giving up our sin and following Him!  

August 11, 2022

Proverbs 11 – Lipstick On A Pig…Still A Pig

A harsh reality revealed to us in our Proverbs on external beauty 

Pro 11:22  Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.

This proverb has been modified over the years to say when you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig, but the wisdom remains – the pig is a the nastiest of animals, they root, eat and sleep in their own feces.  

Hard to get lower on the food chain that a pig, and that truism should not be lost on us as it relates to a beautiful woman who has no direction (or sleeps around).  

God hates adultery; and today’s Word likens women who go from bed to bed as like that of a pig with an gold…gold or no gold, it’s still a pig, and sleeping around it is piggish behavior.   While this Proverb focuses on women without discretion, men are not exempt either.  

The commandment of not committing adultery is not exclusive to just women, but applies to men too.  

August 10, 2022

Proverbs 10 – Watching What We Say

Some cautionary words in our Proverbs on the words that flow out of our mouth:

Pro 10:32  The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words.

A lot of times we can tell the character of a person by how they talk.  Someone who lives by Christ’s commands in loving their neighbor as themselves, is bound to help other people out, or as the text says; speak helpful words.  

On the other hand, someone who speaks badly, be it cursing or slandering, or gossiping, that is a wicked person.  It brings to mind the reality that if someone says to you something bad about someone else, what else does that someone say about you to others?  Negative talk and wickedness go hand in hand, something we need to be careful of so as we don’t get sucked down the black hole of social media slanderers. 

Social media and the safety of a computer screen thousands of miles away has made it very easy to say bad things about someone else.  

Paul the Apostle has a some great instruction on this in his letter to the Ephesians;  Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (Eph 4:29)

Like our parents taught us; if there is nothing nice to say, say nothing at all, because mean speak is a hallmark of someone who is wicked, conversely, encouraging and honest talk that is befitting to God, is the mark a Christian.  

August 9, 2022

Tuesday Devotional For August 9, 2022

Some good compare and contrast in our Proverbs and how it relates to correcting others: 

Pro 9:8  Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.

The original Hebrew word for scoffer is luts, which means someone who talks arrogantly.  If we have ever tried to correct someone who is arrogant or sarcastic, they just respond with more arrogance and sarcasm.  

On the other hand, a sensible person, specifically someone who is in the Lord, loves correction.  They already have a humble disposition and welcome the idea of learning more or fixing their ways.  

A good opportunity for some inward perspective here too, when we are corrected do we retaliate?  Because that’s what scoffers do, or do we welcome criticism and use it to grow on?  

The best form of correction known to man is the Bible and it’s importance is made known to us in 2Ti 3:16  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

There is no better blue print for life than the Bible, so let’s not forget to dig into God’s Word! 

August 8, 2022

By Wisdom, Leaders Lead Honestly

Honing in on the central subject of the Proverbs; Wisdom today we learn some of the benefits of wisdom as it relates to our leaders:

Pro 8:15  By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just;

Pro 8:16  by me princes rule, and nobles, all who govern justly.

Remembering that wisdom is fearing the Lord, or living our lives knowing that God is always watching our ways, and also always protecting us!  

By wisdom; leaders are able to lead.  The best type of leader is one who fears God, because we know that they will be honest.  The text says rulers decree what is just, or fair.  A truly wise leader will not engage in corruption, because dishonesty angers God.  

Unfortunately, It is almost impossible to have a leader that leads justly, and our leaders seem to get progressively more dishonest, which is why it is important to always pray for our leaders that they get the proper advise and counsel from God-fearing advisers so that they make just and righteous decisions that bring honor to God, rather than dishonest governing which makes God angry thereby making the people suffer. 

August 5, 2022

Proverbs 5 – Warnings Against Adultery

Important warnings against adultery today:

Pro 5:20  For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress And embrace the bosom of a foreigner?

Pro 5:21  For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He watches all his paths.

Our carnal desires may want to “try something new”, but the text tells us that God sees all.  We may be able to have that secret meet up on tinder or whatever, but the text say, God watches all his paths…in other words, what is done in secret between consenting adults, is not secret in the eyes of the Lord.

Another one that Christ instructs us on is committing the sin of adultery even with our eyes when He tells us “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” 

Adultery is one of the 10 commandments and we don’t have to physically commit it in order for it to be adultery, just side ways glances at someone is still adultery.  

Job is a great example for us to follow in this regard, Job said  “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman”  

It is a hard thing to do given our human nature, especially with the media constantly pushing this junk on us, but we can always avert our eyes, look else where like Job did, because as today’s Proverb cautions us, God watches all our paths.  

August 4, 2022

Proverbs 4:24 – Avoiding Bad Talk

An important Proverb today that keeps our words in check:

Pro 4:24  Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.

We are commanded not to talk about someone in a crooked or devious way, that means not gossiping or slandering someone behind their back, a very easy trap to fall into.  Just talking with someone at work or on messenger for long enough can end up as a “bash session” on someone else, which the Bible tells us not to do.  

Our mouths can most certainly get us into trouble, The book of James in the New Testament points out that our mouths can be small fires that ultimately set an entire forest ablaze, and gives us good instruction on taming the tongue, or watching what we say:

Jas 1:19  This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;

This involves opening our ears and closing our mouths, if we follow our Proverb and don’t make any crooked and devious talk, we ultimately stay out of trouble!  


August 3, 2022

Proverbs 3:11-12 God Corrects Those Whom He Loves

A nice series of verses on God’s correct found in the Proverbs today: 

Pro 3:11  My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof,

Pro 3:12  for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.

Whenever something bad happens to us, often times our first instinct is to actually curse God…if you think about it, the most common curse words of exasperation are taking the Lord’s Name in vain, at one point you couldn’t say those words on TV, now these phrases are showing up on network television.  

At any rate, when our circumstances aren’t going according to the way we want them, we tend to resent God as a result.

Today’s Word says, God actually reproves those He loves.  So if we are getting put the ringer, so to speak, we should welcome the discipline because God is above us, sovereignly directed our steps.  It might not go the way we want it to, but it is going the way God wants it too. 

When we need to be worried, is when we openly break God’s law and nothing happens, if God corrects those He loves, but doesn’t correct those who break His law, they are certainly in for a rude awakening in the final judgement.  

This dovetails nicely in with another Proverb our of chapter 3:

Pro 3:31  Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways,

Pro 3:32  for the devious person is an abomination to the LORD, but the upright are in his confidence.

Just because an evil man is propsering, we should not try and emulate their ways.  A lot of leaders make this foolish mistake, seeing the guy who came before them robbing the coffers, and thinking if they did, so shouldn’t I?  These types of sinners are an abomination to the Lord, and God will have His way with them on God’s terms, but the series of scripture also tells us those who obey God are His delight, further to our original verse, God corrects those whom He loves. 

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