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August 30, 2022

Proverbs 30:23 – If you are boasting; Zip it!

Cautionary instructions in against boasting

Pro 30:32  If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, put your hand on your mouth. 

In our fallen and sinful states, thanks to that original sin that we inherited from Adam, we tend to be very prideful people, and one of the telltale signs of pride, is someone who boasts, or as today’s verse says; exalts yourself.  All of this technology has made it even easier to exalt ourselves, and broadcast to the world how wonderful we think we are, social media networks and the dawn of the selfie, or what they call the “humble brag” or the “low key flex” that is all based on exalting oneself.  

According to the God of the Bible, that is foolish behavior.  The verse says, if you have been foolish, by exalting yourself; put your hand on your mouth, or make it so that your gums can no longer flap’ in other words, stop doing what you are doing, because that is foolish behavior! 

In the world we live in, we can try and keep up with others, and foolishly fall down this trap, trying to 1-up one another; but again, that is just rooted in pride, and we learned yesterday that God hates pride, and today’s Word says – doing that stuff is foolish anyhow.  

So while it is hard to live in 2022 without a phone and communicate without others is next to impossible without some kind of social media, we should avoid the pitfall of exalting ourselves; or bragging, because our verse says; that is foolish behavior, stop doing it.  


August 29, 2022

God favors the lowly, but humbles the proud

A warning against Pride found in our Proverbs today:

Pro 29:23  One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

Before we completely unpack that, we should define what pride is. Pride is love of one’s self.  Today there’s lots of celebrations around pride, where we are conditioned to think that being proud of something is good.  We base our entire identity around some kind of aspect of ourselves whether it is a football team, our ancestry, our age; and society tells us we should embrace that, but we should remember what pride really is, it is love of ourself, and that gets us into trouble because when we love ourselves, we begin to hate anything that comes between us and whatever it is that we are proud of.  Pride is an idol of sorts, and can send us into a murderous rage.  Holocausts across human history were based off of pride.  

So now that we have defined what pride is, and that pride is a bad thing, we take it back to God’s Word today:

Pro 29:23  One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

Someone’s pride will bring them to their knees.  God hates pride, those who have a high opinion of themselves, or put themselves above others will be humbled.  Look at the Pharisses, they could never not broadcast how righteous they thought they were, and then just as Jesus told us, their temple was wrecked by the Romans in 70 AD.  

The second half of the verse, He who is lowly in spirit obtains honor – tells us that someone who has a low opinion of themselves or who is humble, obtains honor.  If we look back at the sermon on the mount where Jesus gives us all the beatitudes; where He talks about Loving our enemies, The Lord’s Prayer…the very first thing Jesus says is Blessed are those who are in poor in spirit.  

Being poor in spirit, means having a low opinion of ourselves, with specific regard to sin.  Knowing that we are born sinners and can’t get anything right, whenever we realize that, we understand that the only way we can get it right is through the only One who was without Sin; Jesus.  But we cannot fully understand nor worship Christ until we first understand our sinful nature, which takes us back to the original Proverb; if we are proud, we are not going to understand our sin, we will woefully celebrate it, many of already do that.  But if we are poor in spirit, we stop being proud and that’s how we are able to come to Christ.  

So as we start out this week fresh, let’s remember today’s warning against Pride:

Pro 29:23  One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

That honor we obtain through a lowly spirit is the eternal life that is assured to us through Christ’s death and resurrection.  

August 26, 2022

Proverbs 26:12 — Keeping It Humble

Important warnings against being arrogant today.  

Pro 26:12  Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

A man who is wise in his own eyes is someone who thinks highly of themselves; thereby thinking they are better than those around them, which is a dangerous trap to fall into!  Today’s Word says that a bumbling fool has better odds than someone who is arrogant.  Kind of like that story of the Tortise and the Hare….the rabbit thought he was slick and fast, and had the race already won, so he took a nap before the finish line, only to be humiliated by one of the slowest animals on the planet!  Not only did the hare lose to the tortoise, he looked even dumber by falling asleep before he won because he woefully thought he had already won.  That is the same demise someone who is wise in their own eyes falls into.  

Critical reminders for us not to ever think we are “too cool for the room” because of a foolishly high opinion of ourselves.  One of the many wonderful things about God’s Word is that it keeps us humble, and we certainly need to be constantly reminded to stay humble! 

August 24, 2022

Proverbs Chapter 24 Verse 16

Our Proverbs today tells us that strength is found in The Lord.  

Pro 24:16  for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.

Someone who is in the Lord may get knocked down, knocked down more than once…7 times is what the verse says, but God endows His children with the strength so that they rise again.  

On the other had when the wicked person is confronted with bad times, they fall on their face, they don’t have the strength to face adversity.  

When we hear that Word “God is my rock” a rock is unshakeable, rocks withstand bad weather, earth quakes and tsunamis, in other words, a rock is strong.  God gives rock-like strength to those who trust in Him, hence the verse telling us that righteous are strong when tough times strike, but the wicked fold like a cheap suit.  

August 22, 2022

Proverbs 22:28 – Not Moving Ancient Landmarks

Today’s Proverb reminds us not to mess around with people’s property, specifically if it was portioned off before we arrived:

Pro 22:28  Do not move the ancient landmark that your fathers have set.

Back in the day, bad actors would wait until it was dark and then go and at night time and move their neighbor’s property markers back, so they would expand their own land.  

It also calls for us to respect the landmarks that were set up by generations before us, as in not thinking we that we were somehow smarter than previous generations.  

This also goes back to the Law in Deuteronomy 19:14  “You shall not move your neighbor’s landmark, which the men of old have set”

Moving landmarks or trying to expand territory in a shady way, in this case, at night, was tantamount to stealing.

Fastforward to 2022 and we still see this today, people using sketchy means to expand their own property.  The sad part is, the people that are usually doing this already have plenty of property and wealth, which ties into another Proverb “Human desire is never satisfied”  

Contentment is never found in earthly wealth, real happiness is only found in Jesus, and Jesus calls on us to love our neighbor as ourselves, not try and fleece them of their lands.  Remember what Jesus says, do not store up treasures on earth that whither and fade, but store up treasures in heaven that do not fade or rust.  We can amass all the land we want in this life, but at the end of it, we are all buried in the same sizes graves and cannot take any of it with us to the next life.  

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.  

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