December 1, 2011

Today you should read: Proverbs 8

Read this chapter SLOWLY. You and I need to hear this and think about it; we have become “wise” with the teachings that surround us.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. Proverbs 3:7

God’s wisdom makes wise the simple, and the only way to harvest it is through time in His Word. This is why Satan distracts us from Bible study. He wants to keep us in the dark about God’s wisdom which will change how we act. Does that make you angry? It should! Don’t let him do this to you anymore!

For [God’s] wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it. (v.11)

Understanding God’s position (fearing Him) and His instruction (wisdom) changes everything! It builds the scale that allows us to measure right and wrong. It will help you deal with those sin issues that have been plaguing you.

All who fear the LORD will hate evil.
 (v.13)

My writing is a bit short today because I want to give you time to go back and re-read chapter 8. Blessings today as you seek Him and learn from His Ways.

Posted by: Tim Parsons

November 30, 2011

Today you should read: Proverbs 7

A pure devotion…

Just as so many Proverbs begin, this chapter begins with the prerequisites. It begins with God stating, “My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words.”

This specific chapter is discussing the need for men to stay away from the adulterous woman. But this “staying away” does not come from human strength; it comes from the God-empowered, determined heart that takes heed to the prerequisites found in verses 1-5.

Verses 6- 27 describe this woman and describe the destruction caused by those who draw near to her. Now, one could say that the context and environment of when this was written was far worse than today, but I would have to disagree. It seems like the purity of our culture and the men and woman in it are as far gone as ever. Therefore, this applies greatly. It applies to marriages and to lives as singles.

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

The two questions I have, depending on your current situation in life, are:

1. Are you doing everything possible, mainly what is described in verses 1-5, to stay away from such people? Are you protecting your marriage? Are you setting boundaries? Are you careful about subtly flirting with the line?

2. Are you doing everything possible, mainly what is described in verses 1-5, to not become this person? The details will vary in any given culture, but it is the heart of one who ignores pure devotion in every regard. Pure devotion to marriage, family, and God.

It is a scary culture that we are in. A culture that lends itself to a lack of pure devotion. But we must remember, God wants a pure devotion from us. A pure devotion to our family, to our friends, and mainly to God Himself. In the end, impure devotion will bring forth death and pure devotion will bring forth life (v. 2). Meditate on verses 1-5 today and let the truths of His words lead you into pure devotion.

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione

November 29, 2011

Today you should read: Proverbs 6:20-35

As you have probably already gathered, Proverbs is a book from a father to his son about how to live. It is a book of what to do right, what not to do that is wrong, and what happens when you do each of those things. One thing that is repeated and referenced over and over is this idea of staying away from the adulterous woman or the wayward wife. Solomon is trying to really drive this home for his son. He knows better than most what type of grip a woman can have on a man. He uses some pretty strong word pictures to try to deter his son from this sin. He describes the person who falls into this temptation as a “loaf of bread”, an “ox going to slaughter”, and as “a bird in a snare.” Solomon does not want his son to go down the path of destruction which, he states many times, is exactly where this will take him. If you have a son pay close attention to this because this is the toughest battle a young man will face as he grows up. Be diligent to teach this and model this to the young boys in your life. And, for us older guys, we are never past this battle. We need to be ever watchful and careful not to find ourselves sliding down this slippery slope.

The key points of this passage are found in verses 27 and 28:

1. Sin has consequences
2. Sin will find you out eventually

We know that everything we do has a consequence. When we do good we are rewarded and when we do bad we are punished. We learn this at a very early age and we teach these principles to our children as well. What we often fail to realize is that this principle holds true with God as well. When we do the right thing we have peace and joy and when we sin we have guilt, pain, isolation and other unpleasant consequences.

Many of us live our lives as if God does not even exist, did you know that? God’s word tells us that He knows all and sees all. He is keeping an account of our lives and knows our every sin and it grieves Him. However, most of us sin in secret and think to ourselves, “ha! I got away with it. No one will ever find out what I have done, or watched, or thought.” This is the mindset of someone who does not believe that God exists and that He knows all things. The truth is this: God does exist, He is all-knowing and all-seeing, and our sin will be brought to light. It might happen in this life and maybe it won’t, but it will, for sure, be brought to light in the next life when God judges everything. (Ecclesiastes 12:14)

So what is the “scoop of fire in your lap?” What are your “hot coals?” What sin do you think you are hiding? God knows, God sees, and it grieves Him. God has so much more for you. Praise Jesus that we can let these secret sins go and be forgiven by Jesus’ blood and that His sacrifice has freed us from the bondage of this sin. Give it to Him. Come out of the dark and into His marvelous light!

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

November 28, 2011

Today you should read: Proverbs 6:1-19

Proverbs 6 is so practical – that is what I love about this book! There’s a lot we can learn from these first 19 verses, but let me just highlight three things for you to think about today…

1. Be very careful with debt.

Shakespeare said, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
 for loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.” Not bad advice – and what do you know? It’s biblical! Be very, very careful with debt – it is destroying so many people, marriages – it’s a hard taskmaster. Buy what you can afford to pay for – and as this passage warns – be very cautious with lending or guaranteeing a loan.

2. Be industrious.

We have become a lazy and self-pleasing society. Compared to almost any other people groups on the earth – we are not very diligent. This is the opposite of the values that our country was founded on and what made us great. This passage reminds us to get up early, to work hard, and to plan for the future (like an ant). Remember to work hard today and to teach this character lesson to your children.

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Colossians 3:23

3. Be intentional today in what you do.

Verses 16-19 say, “There are six things the LORD hates—no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.”

Which of these things are parts of your regular or occasional life?

• Pride (haughty eyes)
• Lying
• Hate (hands that kill the innocent [Matthew 5:21-23])
• Revenge (heart that plots evil)
• Gossip in your family

This is pretty convicting stuff! Ask God to help you to live godly today. None of us wants to do things that God hates.

Posted by: Tim Parsons