An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Filling the Empty Suit

(Proverbs 30:3 KJV)  I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy.

Is it possible to have “knowledge” (1847) without “wisdom” (2451)?  Or is this just repetition of emphasize?  I would say both.  In our modern age we are so consumed with formal education that we have forgotten that having a diploma doesn’t mean you know anything important.  We are consumed with paper certification.  We seek test scores and endorsements.  Years ago, in the 1970's, when the aerospace industry was having a fall-out I knew men who had all the wisdom and experience needed to do the job but they were being replaced by people with the right paperwork.  The same seems to be happening today.

Don’t ignore knowledge but keep it balanced with wisdom.  Sometimes this is knowing how to apply what you know.  Sometimes it means knowing the right priorities to reach enduring goals.  All should be grounded in the eternal words of God.

So?  Keep growing.  Allow the Holy Spirit to put the package together so that you can be a positive force in the lives around you.  Don’t be an empty suit with a bunch of wall plaques.  Be a soul filled with eternal truth. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

An Eye Full for Today

(Proverbs 29:13 KJV)  The poor and the deceitful man meet together: the LORD lighteneth both their eyes.

Today I am reading a lot into this verse because I find myself needing a word of hope and encouragement.  Now.  So I look to what comes up in Proverbs, trusting the Holy Spirit.  It is a discouraging time.  On economic issues the health care train crash looms big.  I read what is happening to other people in the cost of insurance.  It hasn’t hit me yet but I am already hearing estimates for our next contract which range as high as $1,000 a month increase.  Discouraging. 

The moral atmosphere is being polluted.  I was forced to present a lesson on bullying this week.  It was sponsored by a group called the Gay Straight Alliance and had a website to start your own GSA club.  California’s governor has just signed a bill giving children the right to choose their sexual orientation and expect the world to bow to it. 

Today I am reminded that God is still involved from rich to poor.  I am reminded that He continues to speak to both ends of all spectrums be they spectrums of wealth or morality.  The promise is that He is involved in all of the routine conflicts and challenges that I will face today.

So?  I embrace the good news.  I am reminded to keep a divine perspective.  I am called to serve, not command.  If I need it again tomorrow, it will show up again.  Trust and obey.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Wicked Ruler

(Proverbs 28:15 KJV)  As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.

How can you read this verse and not think politics?  I know that many people don’t want to go there.  I know so many who don’t want to talk politics.  Fine.  But you must still think and act politics, even if you won’t talk about them.

Here Solomon talks about a “wicked” (7563) “ruler” (4910).  That assumes that there are unwicked rulers, righteous rulers.  For the moment try to get past your political posturing and look at the moral choices that a leader makes.  There are certain criteria that are so clear we have nothing to debate.  Is the leader faithful to the spouse?  Do they speak with genuine honesty?  For us believers we also need to ask if they genuinely believe in the God revealed in the Bible. 

Some will say we cannot make those judgements.  We are not consigning them to hell, we are trying to decide how to cast our votes.  Yes, we can make those judgments.  We must make those judgements.

So?  At one end you have the local school board.  At the other you have the president of the United States.  Consider carefully the kind of leader you want.  We live in a blessed time of freedom but with freedom comes responsibility. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bray It Again, Sam

(Proverbs 27:22 KJV)  Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.

The KJV is confusing to our modern times and it is a confusion that clarifies this verse.  The KJV says “bray” (3806) where the NASB says “pound.”  The old English is much more demanding.  This is the process of taking whole wheat grains and methodically reducing them into flour.  I don’t know if you have ever tried it.  I used a mortar and pestle to grind coffee once and came to the conclusion that civilization was nice and old fashioned is laborious.  It gives new meaning to “it’s a grind.”

This is saying that if someone is a fool, even the most careful grinding and effort will not produce flour.  It could be that one way to tell if someone is a fool or just uninformed is by the way in which they respond to your correction.

So?  Give time to people but be aware that you may need to move on after a time.  There are people out there who can benefit from our input and counsel.  To paraphrase the words of Jesus, “don’t throw your mortar and pestle in front of fools.”

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Lie of Silence

(Proverbs 26:28 KJV)  A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

Does “lying” (8267) require the use of the “tongue” (3956)?  I don’t think so.  We often lie by saying nothing when something is required for righteousness to prevail.

Our pastor has been reflecting on the state of the country.  If I am to believe what I hear there are open homosexual relationships being portrayed on prime time television.  Out of marriage births outnumber the legitimate in several demographics and are pushing upward in all groups.  When you consider the health care turmoil and cut out the politics it comes down to people wanting to receive or give what is not paid for by the recipient. 

At the core of the downward path in our culture is the silence of the churches.  We have a vast majority of pulpits that never declare the moral word of the Lord.  They remain silent and allow the country to proceed to “ruin” (4072).

So?  Have you had a part in the coverup?  Have you kept your tongue silent when the conversation demands a word?  I know I am guilty.  Either we do not know the truth or we are lying by silence.  God help us.  God forgive us. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Corner Lemonade Stand

(Proverbs 25:24 KJV)  It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.

When life gives you lemons don’t make lemonade, find a “corner” (6438).  There is a time to retreat, a time to not take on an issue.  You will have to be the judge of when that applies.  This is just giving you permission.

We are surrounded by people who seem to thrive on confrontation.  They get energy from making others miserable.  I am not asking for anyone to understand why just understand that they are that way.  It is not necessarily something you did.  It is who they are.

So?  Make sure you are not one of those people and then find your corner.  Renew and refresh yourself while you are there.  It will edify you and drive them crazy.  That is called a twofer. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Baby Step for Wisdom

(Proverbs 24:3 KJV)  Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:

People want to be successful.  We want to feel like there is purpose and direction in our lives.  It may be expressed differently and have different priorities but I don’t think anyone wants to be a failure.  How do we achieve that goal?

You need to start with the right foundation.  If your base isn’t strong and stable then what you build will crumble and deteriorate.  “Wisdom” (2451) is a foundational rock, not a decorative device.  We get this wrong.  We tend to think that wisdom is something that suddenly appears when we are a certain age or have had a certain amount of experience.  Wrong.  It comes one stone at a time.  It is a conscious choice.  It must be sought.

So?  I spoke before about your WQ, Wisdom Quotient.  How is it doing?  Maybe it is time to start working on it.  You will live in some kind of house.  Make it a strong one.  Every day you put it off is a day longer to reach the goal. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fool Talk

(Proverbs 23:9 KJV)  Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

This would seem to mean that I am not to talk in any public gathering because, by definition, most of the people are going to be fools.

After reading through Proverbs several times, it becomes clear that a “fool” (3684) is someone who lacks wisdom and a fear of God.  This means they cannot understand.  It is useless to speak in front of them.  These are the people I work with.  Sometimes I think they are family members.

But to whom do I talk the most often and consistently?  Myself.  So lets take this a step further.  Talking to myself can be nothing more than a conversation with a fool.  How do I avoid such conversations?  We use the same standards that Solomon has for recognizing a fool.  Before I begin a conversation with myself I must remember the source of wisdom and renew my fear of God. 

Sometimes I get very involved in my little self-speeches before the Holy Spirit taps me on the shoulder and wakes me up.

So?  Self-examination is an important key in life.  Next time you talk to yourself make sure that you are not talking to a fool. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Arrogant Generosity

(Proverbs 22:9 KJV)  He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.

This is a command with a consequence.  The result is being “blessed” (1288).  This word has an interesting nuance as you look at the definition.  One aspect of it is to kneel.  It is not translated that way frequently, I could only find two place, but it made me wonder.  Look at it here.
(Psalms 95:6 KJV)  O come, let us worship and bow down: let us “kneel” (1288) before the LORD our maker.
This makes my mind go to attitude.  We are to share with those in need but we need to check our motivation and sense of self-righteousness when we do it.  It is easy to look down on people when we expend what should be the hand of compassion.  It is easy to become satisfied with how well we are doing.  Becoming puffed up is hard to resist. 

So?  Be generous but do it from your knees.  You are blessed because God has blessed you, not because you are such a fine person.  You are blessed so that you can bless others.  It is an act of worship and submission. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Seeing What Is

(Proverbs 21:12 KJV)  The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.

What does it mean to “consider” (7919a)?  It is interesting that in neither the KJV or NASB is there a common translation of this word.  It means to be prudent which means to carefully consider.  It means acting with discernment.  That seems clear.  Yet each time it is translated it seems to have a different nuance.  Maybe it has to do with the diverse face of evil.  The “wicked” (7563) have many faces.  They work overtime at covering themselves up, in wearing masks.

We as the “righteous” (6662) cannot go on intellectual vacation.  We seem to have that as a common character trait.  Because we are to be kind and patient we tend to think it means naive and compliant.  No.  We are to be alert but calm.  We are to be strong but polite.  Think of a verse that has to do with sharing our faith.
(1 Peter 3:15 NAS77)  but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
So?  Listen, watch, pay attention and then respond with clarity and graciousness.  We can do it.  We must do it. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Where Do Eggs Come From?

(Proverbs 20:15 KJV)  There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

Why would “knowledge” (1847) be more important than your bank balance?  Short term this might be deniable but the long term should be clear.

When you go to the store the clerk does not ask you to explain where eggs come from in order to buy a dozen.  He doesn’t care what you know, just how much money you have.  It is different when you are deciding what to buy.  It always amuses me when I see a sale and they advertise that if you buy one the second one is free.  If I were ignorant I would stock up.  Not being ignorant I know that the price they are asking for the first is inflated so much that it would be cheaper to go down the street and buy at their regular price.

So?  This is what we mean when we talk about knowing character and not being impressed by the outward show.  It is the difference between an antique oak desk and a modern press board creation.  What kind of person are you building? 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

More Than Tradition

(Proverbs 19:14 KJV)  House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.

Family can only do so much.  Of course that is quite a “so much.”  Here it talks about financial security.  It is a family thing.  Parents train children.  They model for children in finance.  When the time comes and the if the parents are able they might help with actual dollars.  Other places it talks about teaching values and priorities.  Family has a big job.

But finding the right “wife” (802), or husband for that matter, is a spiritual mystery.  It may be the family is involved.  Remember this is written in a culture where arranged marriages were common.  But finding the right spouse, the “prudent” one, is a matter of trust in God. 

This is another reason why divorce is not an option for believers.  If we have trusted God for our salvation and sought his leadership in marriage don’t let times of doubt break down what God has established.  Remember your wedding day, or one you have attended.  I hope it contained,
(Mark 10:9 KJV)  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
You thought that was just traditional, didn’t you?  It comes from the lips of Jesus.

So.  Pray and trust that God is blessing your marriage, now or to come.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hard Truth

(Proverbs 18:19 KJV)  A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.

You may not have noticed but a large part of this verse is not in the original Hebrew.  If you don’t see any indication of that in the translation you are using you might consider getting one that is more concerned with accuracy.  The phrase “is harder to be won” is shown in italics in both the NASB and the KJV along with some other translations.  If you read the introduction to your translation you would know that the translators use that devise to show you when they have added things for clarity. 

Does your Bible translation give you clarity or convenience?  Does it give you accuracy or accommodation?  Just because something is easy to read doesn’t mean you should be reading it.  If you are reading a translation that uses a third grade vocabulary, maybe you should move on to something a little more focused on revelation, unless, of course, you are in third grade.

Picture the Declaration of Independence being revised so that it says just “rights” as opposed to “inalienable rights.”  You might have to look up the word but you miss the point if you miss the word.

So?  The Holy Spirit expects something to work with.  Do your part.  He is probably waiting for you to grow up so he can share something with you. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

All Time Lovers

(Proverbs 17:17 KJV)  A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

When Christians talk or read about love our minds should eventually touch on I Corinthians 13, the Love Chapter.  It is the standard by which love is measured and understood.  Look at verse 8
(1 Corinthians 13:8 KJV)  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
“Charity” is the Greek word agape.  It is the key word for Christian love.  Do you see this New Testament verse reflecting the Old Testament statement?  Love from God, agape love, endures for “all” (3605) “times” (6256).  It never fails.

So?  Are you tempted to give up on a particular person or life in general?  I know I am.  Today.  Right now.  I need to be reminded that the love God has put in my heart does not give up, cannot give up.  God willing I will live that.  He is.  I will. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Investment Advice

(Proverbs 16:16 KJV)  How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

What a wonderful option.  What a glorious promise.  We should be able to understand this.  We can chose to seek that which will always be useful or we can go after the shiny.  I am too young to remember when President Roosevelt essentially made it illegal to have gold and stopped people using it for buying and selling.  In a stroke of the pen he seemed to remove the usefulness of gold.  It still had value but could not be used. 

There are currently attempts to declare wisdom illegal also.  The government is going after our thoughts and beliefs.  It is illegal to speak publicly against homosexuality in many locations.  You can get a more serious sentence if you were thinking wrong when you committed a crime.  They are called hate crimes and why the penalty is increased because of your supposed mental opinions is beyond me. 

How do you deal with all this?  Not with gold.  You need wisdom.  You need values and priorities based in the standards of God to get through the rough times however they are expressed in your life. 

So don’t just go to work today.  Don’t just pay your bills and balance your budget.  Spend some time investing in the wisdom market.  See how your investment can grow.  It is necessary for an eternal retirement. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Correction Response

(Proverbs 15:10 KJV)  Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.

“Correction” (Discipline NASB) (4148) is a given.  We don’t like to admit it but it is needed.  This is not the discipline that comes from within.  This is the correction that comes from without.  It is not pleasant to be called to account but it is necessary.

That part is not the big issue, though.  The real issue is how you react to being confronted.  The clear problem here is the person who reacts with hatred.  This can come across as anger or coldness.  It means that you reject the best intentions of others to help you move forward in life.  Notice the two words used for the person who will not be corrected.  “Forsakes” (5800a) and “die” (4191).  Neither is a pleasant prospect.

So?  Be open to those who confront you.  They may be totally wrong.  You may be totally right.  You won’t know until you listen, think and pray on the issue.  Happy growing.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Trademark of Truth

(Proverbs 14:5 KJV)  A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.

Honesty is one of the trademarks of the follower of Jesus Christ.  If you are a habitual liar and call yourself a Christian we have a definite oxymoron on our hands.  My computer dictionary tells me that the term comes from a Greek word that means “pointedly foolish.”  Certain behaviors are not acceptable for children of God.

We could make a list but the point of this verse is to not “lie” (3576).  That is probably enough to focus on for one day.  Perhaps we can add that lies come under many names:  exaggeration, spin, silence, misdirection.  The list could go on.

So?  Watch your mouth.  Watch your heart.  The two are connected.  What comes out of one starts in the other.  Make sure that the launching pad is right with God. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yes, Actually, I Am a Prude

(Proverbs 13:16 KJV)  Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.

Are you a prude?  You should be.

This is another area where our culture of coolness has diverted from the balanced life of God.  “Prudent” (6175) is a good trait according to the Bible and your dictionary.  My Bible software calls it “sensible.”  My computer dictionary brings out caring and thinking about the future.  Our culture says you are strange and have a lot of hang ups.

This one word should wake us up and get us examining the kind of life we want to live.

So?  Again I say, “Are you a prude?  You should be.”  The world may laugh at you for being thoughtful and considering how your actions will effect the future.  God smiles and nods His head.  I know where I want my approval to come from.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Can’t Get No Satisfaction?

(Proverbs 12:14 KJV)  A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him.

What does it mean to be “satisfied” (7646)?  This is one of those words that depends on its context for meaning.  It can mean being sated with all the loss of feeling and mental acuity that comes with overindulgence.  This is the feeling you get at nap time after Thanksgiving dinner.  It can also mean a tremendous sense of satisfaction at a job well done.  Picture watching your children moving on and making a difference in the world.

The promise here is that we can find satisfaction.  Both “mouth” (words NASB) (6310) and “recompence” (deeds NASB) (1576) are covered.  The two words appear together other places, such as,
(Colossians 3:17 KJV)  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
So?  Invest your time in something lasting.  That starts with the right materials and plans.  Both are available in the Book.  Let the Holy Spirit be your general contractor. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Heritage of Righteousness

(Proverbs 11:5 KJV)  The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.

It is possible to be “perfect' (blameless NASB) (8549).  How do I know?  Because the Bible says so, here and many other places.  Righteousness is within reach.  How do I know?  Because the Bible says so, here, in the next verse and many other places.  What is this “righteousness” (6666) that the Calvinists say can’t exist?  They like to quote a verse from Isaiah in the KJV.
(Isaiah 64:6 KJV)  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
In our natural, pre-conversion state this is a universal.  After we are regenerated, justified, and adopted I am not so sure that we can make such a statement and be consistent with scripture.  Do you disagree?  Go back and read the verse again.  Argue with the Bible, not me.

Righteousness has a function.  It makes life different both inside and outside.

So?  My main concern is not people who stress the pervasiveness of sin and evil but people who make that an excuse for giving in to sin in their daily walk.  Find the balance.  Admit your sin.  Confess it.  Move on.  God needs saints acting like saints.  Embrace the heritage. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Under Cover Agents

(Proverbs 10:11 KJV)  The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

The “righteous” (6662) are different from the “wicked” (7563).  One is open and giving.  The other “conceals” (3680). 

The righteous can be open because their motives are based on the love of God.  We are called to do what is good for others and the good of society.  That is why Christian believers have been behind what we consider the blessings of civilization:  Hospitals, schools, orphanages, respect of women, etc. 

The wicked must hide their true goals, standards and motives.  They may enjoy a public display of promiscuous sex or push perversion but they do it under the guise of “art” or “freedom of expression” or “pushing the boundaries.”  They don’t want you to understand they are out to destroy the good and clean.

So?  First, decide which side you are on.  Second, act like it.  Open sesame. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Open Honesty

(Proverbs 9:17 KJV)  Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.

If you are going to sin try to do it in public.  There is something about being in the public eye that can force honesty and objectivity.  Not always.  Politicians and public speakers learn to fake it and deceive both the audience and themselves.  Most of us are a bit self conscious. 

Did you sing in the shower this morning?  Sounded pretty good, didn’t you?  How about doing that in front of the line at McDonald’s as you get your breakfast sandwich?  Maybe you are ready to sing a solo at church this Sunday. 

Have you ever had a great idea, shared it with someone and received looks of sympathy?  Or take it another step back.  Have you ever had a great idea, written it down and looked at it later only to ask yourself, “What was I talking about?”

So?  Don’t get too impressed with what happens in “secret” (5643a).  Make sure that your ideas and behavior will stand the test of the spotlight. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

For Want of an Ear a Soul Was Lost

(Proverbs 8:33 KJV)  Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

It is not enough to go to school.  It is not enough to have the books.  It is not enough to have a teacher.  We must “heed” (8085). 

I was listening to a radio interview.  The subject was the low level of achievement that American students display in comparison to the world.  There are a lot of reasons for the results.  Some reasons merit concern.  Some of the differences are smokescreens and unimportant.  We blame everything from the fluoride in the water to religious faith.  The one thing we don’t blame is the key factor in all of this.  We never hear about how the students are to blame for not paying attention. 

So?  When  you stand before the judgment seat of God you will not have your high school counselor there to make excuses for you.  He will probably be on trial also.  You will be asked the same thing then as now, do you heed instruction?  Anyone can make excuses but only you can listen. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Brand Name Blues

(Proverbs 7:16 KJV)  I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.

Sometimes a figurative reading gives an insight.  This verse could refer to the trappings of elite attitudes.  Notice that the point made here is not quality but brand.  It may be that the people of the day associated Egypt with a certain weave or quality but we would not understand that.  What we do understand is that we are supposed to be impressed by imported fabric.

Today “imported” can mean quality or trash depending on the source, manufacturer and item.  The point I want to bring out is that we too often assume that the worth of something, or someone, is in how society labels it.  There is real danger in this.  We need to get in the habit of comparing ideas, attitudes and habits with the unchanging truth of God and do so as a regular routine. 

We can’t continue to trust without examination.  I just had a conversation about how Penny’s T-shirts were the standard of excellence when I was in high school.  Somewhere along the line I bought a package and it was clear to me that these were not the shirts of my youth.  Same store, same size but a different product and I assure you it was not an improvement.

So?  We get into patterns of behavior in what we read, watch and visit.  What they teach and reinforce might have changed.  Don’t let your mind or soul go on vacation for too long.  You might open a package and find out that your new garment is not designed for glory. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Heart Burn

(Proverbs 6:27 KJV)  Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?

You often have a say in the difficulties that confront you.  Sure, there are surprises and hit and runs.  There are economic and political forces that are out of your control.  We know that.  It doesn’t take away from the truth that we often create our own misery.

This is not the “take” (2846) of receiving.  The sense of the Hebrew is to “snatch up.”  It means to grab hold of not just get hit by.  This is grabbing for all the gusto.  This is saying, “I can get away with it.”  This is possibly the person who figures they can enjoy life now and have plenty of time to get right with God later. 

It didn’t work last time.  Why should it work today?

So?  Stop making excuses for playing with fire.  Stop turning on the hot water and expecting cold.  Stop thinking you are so smart you can be the one who gets away with it.  Make some cool decisions today. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sex and the Cistern

(Proverbs 5:15 KJV)  Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.

This is a beautiful expression of the sexual relationship in marriage.  This chapter in Proverbs would be banned by the same people that have trouble with the Song of Solomon.  This is a call to fidelity and faithfulness.  It is poetic but it calls out to us, in its context, to enjoy and be fulfilled by the sexual contact that God built into us as human beings. 

God demonstrated great variety in His applications of the sexual relationship.  It goes from the amoeba that just splits to reproduce to the human standard of totally knowing another distinct person.  In between you have casual contact, king of the heard, mate for the season, mate for life and others arrangements that don’t come to mind.  Out of this variety He has chosen that which fits creatures given the image of God.

So?  You may not have the perfect marriage but God really wants you to be fulfilled in it.  Don’t stray or start looking at the grass on the other side of the fence. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Be a Street Light

(Proverbs 4:18 KJV)  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

What kind of person would you consider yourself?  What kind of influence do you have?  This verse tells us that it makes a difference.  If you are “just” (righteous NASB) (6662) it shows.  You know this because you see it in others.

If you had an emergency and had to leave your children with someone for a time you would reject some prospects and feel comfortable with others.  If you were going to be out of town you would feel comfortable leaving a key with some people, not with others.  You would loan your car to some people without a worry.  You see what kind of “path” (734) they walk.

So?  What kind of trail to you leave behind you?  I guess it depends on what road map you are following. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lean Times

(Proverbs 3:5 KJV)  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

We must beware of the danger brought when we "lean" (8172) on our own "understanding" (998).  This is the only place in Proverbs that "lean" (8172) is used.  It means "to lean, support oneself."  If “crutch” were a verb it could be used here. 

The problem is not the idea of a crutch.  A crutch is simply an admission of weakness.  If you are unable to function without the crutch then it is also an admission of wisdom.  My classes are full of young people who refuse to wear their glasses.  Without them they can’t see.  I even have students sitting on the front row who claim they cannot see. 

The problem is when we build our own prosthetics.  Our wisdom and understanding make a poor crutch.  God’s make the perfect support. 

So?  You will lean.  That is because you are flawed.  Okay, we are flawed.  I, for one, plan on getting the best crutch on the market and lean heavy.  The best crutch is Jesus.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

There Was a Little Man Who Had a Crooked House.

(Proverbs 2:15 KJV)  Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:

How much control do we have over our “ways” (paths NASB) (734)?  Some factors we have no control over.  We cannot pick our parents.  We cannot control the weather.  We cannot banish construction crews from the roads we travel. 


We can learn from our parents and their mistakes.  We can then decide how we are going to direct our paths.  We can take an umbrella or drive slower when it is raining.  We can take different roads from the workers who block our default path. 

We may not be able to control segments of the road of life but we can make decisions to challenge the kinks that are within our reach.

So?  Where do you want to be in 24 hours?  How do you want to feel about the kind of person you were in getting there?  Consider carefully, plan and choose. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Choice Cuts

(Proverbs 1:15 KJV)  My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:

You have choices to make today.  Some have no consequences.  What kind of bread do I want for breakfast?  Do I want light roast, dark roast or the flavored coffee offered?  Others are super obvious.  Do I turn right to get to work?  Others are a bit more difficult because we are surrounded by others and influenced by them.  Should I answer my cell phone on the freeway?  Should I race to cut off that other car?  Should I wear this piece of clothing that makes me look sexy? 

Now I am meddling.  Take our clothing as an example of choice.  What are the standards by which we make our purchases?  What are the desired effects we want to create today?  Do I want a power tie?  Do I want to show cleavage?  Am I confused over which question applies to me?

So?  You need to know if you are serving a holy God or a hedonistic culture.  You need to know if your desire is to “walk in the way” of the saint or the secularist.  Choices, choices.