December 7, 2011

Today you should read: Proverbs 13

“Hey! Watch yo mouth…”

The title you just read should have a Rocky Balboa “accent” attached to it. It should be followed by the words, “you talk’n to me?”

As funny as it seems, we actually should “watch our mouths.” In fact, we should guard them extremely carefully. This chapter has so much straightforward advice, but perhaps one of the greatest is found in verses 2-3. Why are these verses so important? Well, verse 3 goes as far to say that, “whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”

Really? Your mouth can really set the direction of your life? The answer is yes. And it will steer your life in the wrong way if you’re not careful. It doesn’t matter how pure your intentions are when you are in your “quiet time.” If you don’t guard your mouth outside of it, you will find yourself on a slippery slope to ruin. Remember, Jesus’ second most important command is to love people. We have no business worrying about anything else until we get this in check.

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

The Lord has been working in me about this topic, here are some principles I’ve learned:

1. When necessary, say hard things, but in gracious ways. – Your tone and attitude can communicate the same words in two completely different ways. (1 Peter 3:15-16)

2. Pray before you speak. – Of course you can’t do this about everything, but be aware that just because your feelings are telling you to speak something, it doesn’t mean the Lord is telling you to speak something. Ask yourself the question, “Is it necessary?”

3. Consider timing and type. – Timing: Just because you want to get it off your chest right now, it does not mean that now is the right time. This takes self-control. Things to consider:

• Are there others around that will make it embarrassing for the other person?

• What is going on in their life? Are your words going to be the last straw that breaks the camel’s back? If so, refrain.

• Are your emotions going to drown out your words? If you are in a hyper-emotional state, press pause.

Type: Is face to face necessary? Consider that emails, texts, and Fb messages are often misinterpreted. It also gives you a little too much “boldness.” It may protect you to do it in person.

4. Consider your purpose. – Honestly. Is your purpose to build up the other person in love? Or is it to prove your point? If it’s the first, this must change before you speak, and my guess is once your purpose changes, your words will too. You may not even want to say it anymore. – Ephesians 4:29

I have been memorizing and meditating on Ephesians 4:29-32. I highly encourage you to do the same. Just as a small insight into this verse; it says to “let NO unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but ONLY what is good for building up.” “NO” and “ONLY.” Those are absolute words, friends.

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione

December 6, 2011

Today you should read: Proverbs 12

This chapter is filled with a barrage of life lessons and wise quotes for us to live by. There are several topics discussed here. There is, however, a running theme throughout the chapter. We see a contrast between the righteous and the wicked. Each verse, each proverb, tells us about the righteous path and it’s reward and the wicked and their end. Below is a chart of the characteristics of each and their corresponding verses.


Rooted; Firm-vv.3, 7, 21
Kind- vv.2, 10,
Just- v.5
Loves Discipline- v.1
Hard Worker- vv. 11, 14, 24, 27
Wise- v.8
Listener- v.15
Noble-v. 4
Truthful- vv. 17, 22
Patient-v. 16
Graceful Speech- vv.14,18,23, 25
Peace Promoter- v.20
Eternal Life- v.28


Stupidity- vv.1, 11
Condemnation- v.2
Shaky Life- vv. 3, 7, 21, 26
Deceit- vv.5, 17, 20, 22
Poor Reputation- v. 8
Cruel- v. 10
Decay to the bones-v. 4
Looking for easy gain-v. 12
Evil Speech- vv. 6, 18, 23
Self-wise- v. 15
Lacks Self-control- v. 16, 23
Lazy- vv.11, 12, 24, 27
Anxious-v. 25

So when you read this chapter and see these character qualities where do you see yourself? Are you living a life that could be called a righteous life? Maybe you see yourself on both sides of the chart. Maybe you are doing well in some areas but need to improve in others. We can praise God that, through Jesus, we have His righteousness and are counted by God to be on the righteous side of the chart. This does not give us any excuses to not strive for the righteous life. Spend some time today examining your life and asking yourself, “where am I on this chart?” When you see an area of weakness and wickedness ask God to give you the grace and strength to overcome it, and, move toward being more like Jesus in that area of your life.

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

December 5, 2011

Today you should read: Proverbs 11

I’m facing a conundrum. Where do I begin? Every verse in this chapter has something powerful to say and I can’t touch on all of them!! Let me encourage you to read this chapter carefully.

Here are some highlights:

– Verse one reminds us that God demands honesty. This is true in every area of our lives. There’s no such thing as “a little white lie” to Him. A half a truth is a whole lie to God. Verse 20 says, “The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD, 
But the blameless in their walk are His delight.”

How’s your heart? How do your habits stack up? Are you impeccably honest? What needs to change?

Verse 3 reminds us that integrity produces honesty. Integrity is what you would do if you could do anything you wanted and no one would ever find out – and there would be no consequences. What would you do? That’s who you really are!

– Verse 2 deals with pride – this hits home to all of us. It says that pride brings dishonor – but humility produces wisdom.

Where are your pride landmines? Where are the places pride most often rears its ugly head in your life?

– Righteousness simply means living right. Verse 6 reminds us that our righteousness will deliver us – but evil will destroy us. I LOVE verse 11…

“By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, 
But by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down.”

How are we a blessing to our city by our righteousness? What does God want to use us to do at our school or our job?

Then, of course, verse 22 is just fun!

“As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout 
So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.”

So much to think about today…

What can you apply to your life today? What does God want you to adjust? What are you going to do about it?

Posted by: Tim Parsons

December 3, 2011

Today you should read: Proverbs 10

Proverbs 10 has two main ideas which parallel each other:

1) Righteousness equals wisdom

2) Wickedness equals foolishness

It also demonstrates for us different outcomes of these two themes. The righteous are hardworking, prosperous, diligent, prudent, demonstrate integrity, heed instruction, and are careful with their tongues. On the other hand, the wicked are foolish, loose with their tongues, toublemakers, sluggards, crooked, and their path ultimately leads to destruction. So how does one achieve righteousness? By walking in the way of the Lord and submitting oneself to His word (Psalm 1, Deut. 6:4-9)

Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, gives us insight into what it means to achieve righteousness.

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. But, whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:4-11).

Paul was a rock star according to Jewish standards; if anyone had reason in his day to boast in his own “righteousness”, it was him. Paul’s position would be comparable to the president of the United States today. He had it all according to his customs. But after his conversion, Paul saw that holding to the law and putting confidence in the flesh is worthless or “garbage”. Like Paul, we must never confuse righteousness with status and accomplishment. It is garbage!

So, how do we gain righteousness? The short answer is we cannot achieve it but rather it has already been achieved. We must place our hope in Christ and gain righteousness on the basis of what He has already done on the cross. The beauty of grace is the truth that there is nothing left for us to do for God. It is finished. Our works are an outflow of worship to God because of our love for this truth, the gospel.

When you reflect on Jesus’ promise that “it is finished”, what will you do in response?

Posted by: Chad Wiles