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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. 

August 2, 2022

Proverbs 2 – Attaining Knowledge

The central theme of the Proverbs is knowledge and wisdom, we might find ourselves asking, how do I get wisdom…as in what specifically do I need to do?

Pro 2:1  My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you,

Pro 2:2  making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;

Pro 2:3  yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding,

Pro 2:4  if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,

Pro 2:5  then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.

So having read that, back to our question – how does one get knowledge and where does wisdom come from?  The text says up there in verse 2 through 5, make your ear attentive and incline our heart to understanding…in other words, go to God with a humble heart, we are the creation, appealing to God, our Creator, so that means humble view of ourselves, and high view of God, this is not a conversation we are having with a colleague, we are talking to the King of Kings here.  We are praying with a humble heart.  

The Word then says, when we ask God for knowledge, do it with the same vim and vigor as if he we were searching for hidden treasure.  If someone told us there was buried treasure in our backyard, we’d stop doing everything else and go find it…the Word tells us that we should be equally zealous when appealing to God, in other words, not reciting a bunch of prayers we learned when we were 9, but praying from the bottom of our hearts!  

The text concludes that when we do that, go to God with a humble and contrite heart, and pray like our lives depended on it, we will then understand the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of God.

Jesus tells us in the beatitudes, Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for they will inherit the Kingdom.  Poor in Spirit means, a humble heart.  Knowing that we are sinful creatures, and only Christ’s work on the cross can unburden us from the weight of our sins.  

That is the essence of the Gospel, Christ took on the form of man, became our sin on the cross, our sins were crucified, to pay the penalty of our sin, because the wages of sin is death, and then Christ rose up, thereby beating sin and death on the 3rd day, paving the way for us to have eternal life, when we put our trust in Him, or as the Proverbs says; cry out to Him in prayer with humble hearts.  

August 1, 2022

Proverbs Chapter 1 Verse 7 – Knowledge from Fearing God

Pro 1:7  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Having a high view of God is how we begin to obtain the knowledge that lies within the Bible, and the Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to us, but to truly understand what the Bible is saying to us, we need to have a high view of God and conversely a low view of ourselves.  To put in perspective, we live for a little while and then we die, meanwhile God, creator of the universe, transcends time, He always was and always will be.  God is not contained by time, nor anything else, and God can give life and take it away, we should most certainly fear a being that can do all of that, and we should also love Him as He loved us, given that He sent His Son in the world to die so that we could live.  

At any rate this high and holy view, according to the Proverbs is the beginning of knowledge of God.

On the other hand, the text says, fools despise wisdom and instruction, which is another truism when we look at today’s culture.  Someone who flagrantly violates God’s laws and sins, is not trying to hear anything about the Gospel, they love their sin so much, and when God’s law comes and tells them what they are doing is wrong, they recoil as if it were poison.  

An example of this would be if you were to see someone sinning on social media, and confronted them and told them, hey what you are doing is wrong, and point out the scripture that says so, if they are outside of the Lord and don’t believe the Gospel, they will likely will react as if you poured cold water on them, why?  Because as today’s Word says; fools despise wisdom and instruction, it is not because they are stupid, but because they are so captivated by their sin, that they don’t want to part with it. 

Meanwhile, for us to obtain that knowledge that is in the Bible, we have to recognize that these are not just a bunch of essays compiled by men of the times, but rather, these words are inspired by the Holy Spirit and given to these men, and truly if you really dig into the text, we see lots of these prophecies have already come true, it is remarkable, and moreover we see God’s wonderful plan of redemption through His Son Jesus Christ.  So dig into your Bible, because there is where wisdom and knowledge are found.  

July 29, 2022

Proverbs 29:2 – Righteous vs Wicked Leaders

Pro 29:2  When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, But when a wicked man rules, people groan.

When good works from the government increase, people see it and are glad, they have a better sense of actualization that the leaders representing them are doing good things and overall morale increases.  

On the other hand, when there is a wicked ruler in power, the verse says “the people groan” or are unhappy.  Leaders should be very careful of this and have good advisers in place to help give them a sense of what they are doing, we remember the fable “the emperor has no clothes” when all the yes-men surrounding the emperor told him his outfits looked great, only to find out he wasn’t wearing any.  Leaders should be very careful about the people they keep around them, especially God-fearing advisers that spot sin and keep it in check, because sin heavy governments lead to wicked rulers and as today’s Word says, wicked rulers are very bad for morale!  

July 28, 2022

Thursday Devotional – July 28th, 2022

A good compare and contrast in our Proverbs that show us the narrow vs the wide gate that Christ speaks on in the Gospels:

Pro 28:6  Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than he who is crooked though he be rich.

Walking in integrity is often not the easy road to take, often we have to tell people things they don’t want to hear, we have to be honest, and we can’t get by through telling little white lies.  

However, our Proverbs says this person who is poor, but honest, is better off that the dishonest rich man.

The dishonest rich man is often boastful, cunning and oppressive to the poor, all things which God hates.  

If there is one thing we learn about in the Bible, God humbles the proud, but raises up the lowly.  Jesus, the Ruler of the universe came was a homeless carpenter by trade, born in a barn, far from rich, but He is the Son of God!  Lowly by earthly standards but exalted by heavenly standards when He beat both sin and death on the 3rd day.  

July 27, 2022

Proverbs 27:20 – Human Desire Is Never Satisfied

Pro 27:20  Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.

Sheol and Abbadon mean hell and destruction and the word says Hell is never full, and interestingly the next part of the verses speaks about human desire; the eyes of man are never satisfied, which suggests that greed is tied to eternal damnation.  

If we think about the greediest people we know, they are usually already high in status, be it wealth or power, but they are not satisfied by their wealth and need to have more wealth.  Politicians that are elected to office have power, but that isn’t enough, they have to money and power and end up making shady deals and taking bribes to get money while they have power, because one isn’t enough, such is the case with human desire and human depravity, that nature that all of us have inherited from the Adam and Eve when they got thrown out of the Garden of Eden!  But what is scary, is that God’s Word today in one verse ties in human desire not being fulfilled, to hell not ever overflowing.  The reality is, we can make all this fortune and fame in this life, but what does it mean in the next?  God is not going to let someone into heaven because they have the largest bank account, and it is a sad state of affairs, because this greed is what separates them from God.  We remember Jesus and the rich ruler, the rich ruler says, teacher what do I need to do to get into heaven, and Jesus said sell everything you have and give it the poor, and the rich ruler walked away crying because he loved his wealth so much, he couldn’t part with it. 

Now it is easy for us to point the finger and people who are richer than we are and say, this applies to them, but this also applies to us too.  Human desire is not exclusive to just rich people, it is everyone of us who came from Adam and Eve, the whole human race.  IT is sin, and the only One who shows us our sin and takes that sin away is Jesus.  WE gotta remember what He tells us, do not store up our wealth here on earth which will just rot and fade away, instead store up our time and resources into heavenly places that are eternal!  

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