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.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Three for Three

(Proverbs 31:3-4 KJV)  Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.  It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:

We have all heard the combination of “wine, women and song.”  In this passage of Proverbs we have two out of three.  We are cautioned against women in verse 3 and wine in verse 4.  Proverbs is generally quiet on song but I did find one reference which seems negative.
(Proverbs 25:20 KJV)  As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.
Think about the activities that are working so hard to destroy our country.  Sexual promiscuity and perversions are all the rage.  Drunkenness is a source of humor and teenage drinking is endemic.  Popular music has never taken what you would consider the high ground but it seems to be digging deeper holes all the time.

We need to be alert to the ways in which the constant barrage of cultural depravity is trying to reprogram out thinking.  It is constant and pervasive. 

So?  It should be obvious not to commit adultery or get drunk.  Many in the church are ignoring the warnings.  Decide where you stand based on what the Bible says not the latest guru.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Kids These Days

(Proverbs 30:11 KJV)  There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.

The KJV is much more accurate here.  Compare it to the NASB.
(Proverbs 30:11 NAS77)  There is a kind of man who curses his father, And does not bless his mother.
Notice that instead of “kind (1755) of man” it has “generation” (1755).  The Hebrew word appears 137 times and in both translations it is translated “generation” over 130 times.  Also note that it is repeated in the next three verses.

Doesn’t this sound familiar?  “Kids these days!”  We tend to blow that off and say that adults have always been complaining about adolescents.  That is true.  What is also true is that there are some generations that excel and others that don’t measure up.

Who is responsible?  If you look through Proverbs, lax parents tend to make the problem worse.  At the same time, nowhere in the Bible is someone else responsible for the decisions you make.

So?  Be the best parents you can be.  If you don’t have children, be the best influence you can be.  But remember that you are responsible for your soul and they are responsible for theirs.  The only lawyer we will have at the resurrection will be Jesus. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Pushy Makes Fools

(Proverbs 29:20 KJV)  Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

As I look at the different translations of “hasty” (213) I notice that it can be used in the sense of being pushy or overly aggressive.  I am probably responding to this because I have regular contact with some aggressive people.  They tend to think that their way is the only way and are willing to tell anyone about it.  Not only do they tell you, but they tell you again and get hostile if you don’t go along with it.

Which makes me wonder if I am that way at times. 

So?  Solomon suggests that we watch the pushy part of our nature.  Relax.  Say your piece and let people live their own lives. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Living in Denial

(Proverbs 28:24 KJV)  Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer.

Denying sin does not make it any less a sin.  Our culture is into victimhood.  We tend to want to analyze people and look for the reasons they did what they did.  We then make excuses for them.  We tend to think we can read their hearts and find reasons to justify not punishing them.  One example is what is now called a “hate” crime.  If you murder someone because you hate a protected attribute they have, skin color or sexual orientation, then it is somehow worse than if you just kill them.  Hate becomes worse than murder.

God wants us to let him judge the heart.  We can judge the behavior.  Murder is murder.  Theft is theft.  Gossip is gossip.  We need to remember that.

So?  Be careful when you hear psychologists, social workers and educators try to make excuses for sinful behavior.  One of the torments of Hell may be listening to people’s excuses. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Worse Than a Bad Temper

(Proverbs 27:4 KJV)  Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?

This verse seems to be saying that “envy” (jealousy NASB) (7068) is worse than “anger” (639).  Why?  My first connection was with the Love Chapter, I Corinthians 13.  Jealousy is the third behavior on the list in the NASB.  It is one of my struggles at the moment.
(1 Corinthians 13:4 NAS77)  Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
Later on it deals with anger but with an interesting twist that might give us an insight.
(1 Corinthians 13:5 KJV)  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
The word “anger” is not used but anger is something that is provoked.  The provocation may not be worthy of the response but in our minds we are reacting to what others have done.  Jealousy tends to be caused by wanting what others have.  Jealousy is much more subtle and easier to hide.

Sometimes we think that if we avoid one sinful action we can slide with the others.  If we don’t have a temper it is easy to look down on those who do and ignore our jealousies.  Righteousness is not on a point system.  One reason people don’t like the idea of righteousness is that it applies to all of life, not just the rules churches come up with.

So?  Put jealousy on your list of concerns.  For me it expresses itself in feelings of outrage because I imagine I have it harder than others.  For you it might be something more classical like being a jealous husband.  Think about it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


(Proverbs 26:7 KJV)  The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

Admit it.  You get irritated at all those empty handicap parking places.  I was in a bathroom the other day and realized that if the stall wasn’t big enough to allow a wheel-chair to turn around there could be a second throne.  As a society we have begun to adapt to the needs of those who are less fortunate.  In reality that is a blessing.  We live in a culture that is rich enough to tear out curbs and pour ramps so that people can be more mobile. 

Unfortunately we have extended that service to “fools” (3684).  That is not a good thing.  Accommodating someone who is bound to a wheel-chair shows mercy and compassion.  It makes everyone stronger.  Making allowances for fools is destroying out society. 

So?  We need to always be more discerning in our personal choices.  We need to find ways to exert our insight into God’s wisdom when it comes to picking leaders.  It occurs to me as I write that I might need to be more willing to serve to make this happen.  How about you? 

Monday, August 25, 2014

You Can’t Be a Know It All

(Proverbs 25:2 KJV)  It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

Why would God “conceal” (5641) things from us?  We need to understand that there is no Cosmic Freedom of Information Act.  Even in the federal law there are exemptions for national security.  One of the items covered when I was in the Army was that you not only needed the right security clearance but you must demonstrate a “need to know.”  There is much that we don’t need to know.

He conceals His glory.  Remember when Moses asked to see God’s glory.
(Exodus 33:18 KJV)  And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
But to see God’s glory would mean death.
(Exodus 33:20 KJV)  And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
Think of other things that God conceals.  God conceals the moment of our death.  God conceals the reason for our suffering.  He conceals the sex of our children before birth. 

So?  Part of the walk of faith is not knowing.  We can seek.  We can ask.  Ultimately we must trust Him as God.  Today you will probably face this.  Walk in glory.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

What “If”?

(Proverbs 24:11 KJV)  If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;

If you have a translation other than the KJV you struggle to figure out where the word “if” (518) belongs.  Every major translation, except the KJV, has this as a command.  Thus the NASB starts with “deliver” (5337) instead of “if”.  The word is there.  In the NASB it is at the end of the verse and translated “O.”  It seems that the basic meaning of the word is “if” but it very much depends on the context.

In reality, the command is there.  We are supposed to see it as our duty to help those who are in crisis.  The context here seems to refer to war and its effects but the principle can be applied to our every day lives.

So?  Look around you.  Make a difference. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Got Ears?

(Proverbs 23:19 KJV)  Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.

Have you ever had someone talking to you and when they are done you don’t have a clue to what they said?  How about the times you read a page and can’t remember what it said.  We have all been there.  If we could learn to “hear” (listen NASB) (8085) we would take a big step forward in life.  I go to church with my ears on.  I have pod-casts going with ears in range.  Do I hear what is said?  Do I hear what is meant?  Too often the answer is, “No.”

It takes work to engage your brain.  That is another reason why holy living is harder than legalism.  Legalism has a limited number of rules.  Holiness is a total, full time involvement of your whole being.

So?  Would you be satisfied with a certificate from a phony medical school?  Why settle for a counterfeit spiritual life?  Listen and live.

Friday, August 22, 2014

So Inclined

(Proverbs 22:17 KJV)  Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.

“Bow” (incline NASB) (5186) is translated thirty-five different ways in the KJV.  The translators of the KJV chose to use it in a way that usually refers to the head or upper body but here they applied it to the ear.  When we bow we are symbolically giving honor to a person or thing.  So here we are using our listening ability to give honor to those expressing wisdom.

This is hard for us today.  In fact, I think it has been hard for people since the beginning.  Adam and Eve chose to ignore the direction of the Lord.  As you go down through the Old Testament you find person after person ignoring the clear proclamation of God.  And they paid a price.

So?  Listening and obeying has a reward.  Ignore and pay a penalty.  Sounds simple.  Hard to do.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Baby Bear Strikes Again

(Proverbs 21:21 KJV)  He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

Most of us have a feel for “righteousness” (6666) but “loyalty” (2617a) [chesed] lives under a smokescreen.  It has many translations with a wide range of meaning.  Just at this point you see how the KJV uses “mercy” and the NASB uses “loyalty.”  The only translation I have that gets bolder is the International Standard Bible which says “gracious love.”  That is closest to the way I think it should be translated:  lovingkindness. 

We are to pursue holy living.  We are to demonstrate lovingkindness.  Only the first leads to rigid legalism.  Only the second leads to insipid emotionalism.  Together, mixed and modified by the Holy Spirit we get Baby Bear Spirituality:  Just right.

So?  The middle road of holiness is the hardest to walk because I requires totality.
(Matthew 22:37 KJV)  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Most of us like to leave one of those out.  Beware of the trap. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ritual Snares

(Proverbs 20:25 KJV)  It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make enquiry.

When was the last time you took communion?  When we participate in the Lord’s Supper we are repeating our “vows” (5088).  The concern here is that we go through so many actions that are designed to help us grow in grace and we blow them off.  What did Paul tell us?
(1 Corinthians 11:27-29 KJV)  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
Think of other rituals that you might participate in.  Do you sing the Doxology?  Do you join in the Lord’s Prayer?  Do you give out an “Amen” or a “Praise the Lord”? 

This is one reason I like to use the time before worship preparing my heart instead of chattering with my friends.

So?  Take your worship seriously.  God does. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tardy Excuses

I have been spending a lot of time acting as a nurse, driver and goffer as my wife has been going through some surgery.  It has not gone well, requiring a second procedure to correct something that went wrong the first time.  Long days and spotty connections have kept me from responding to comments in a timely manner but I try to always respond.  Since the writing is a part of my daily worship time, that goes on.  I post about a week ahead so the posts go on. 

Modern medicine is full of miracles as well as mistakes.

God is good.

Grace and peace.

The Poverty of Truth

(Proverbs 19:22 KJV)  The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.

Talk about a reversal from our common culture.  This verse says it is better to be honest than wealthy.  Just who does this Solomon think he is to give us such advice?  He is rich.  He is a king.  If he wants a new chariot, he gets a new chariot.  If he wants liver for dinner, everyone eats liver.  What does he know about poverty?

We often fall into the trap of evaluating truth based on factors that have nothing to do with it.  Our culture is quite comfortable with lies and deceit.  There is always a caveat, of course, that a small lie does not hurt anyone.  This extends to the idea that you only steal from rich people.  Somehow in our world of relative values we think that justifies sin.

Yes, I said sin.  Saying what is not true is a lie.  A lie is a sin.  Taking what is not yours is called stealing.  It is a sin.

So?  It may be tough but it is not an option.  Truth is not on a sliding scale based on whether it helps you or not.  We aware.  God will not be mocked. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Consider Character

(Proverbs 18:4 KJV)  The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.

People speak.  People write.  I have often found myself in a situation where I know every word used but don’t have a clue to what is being said.  New ideas are sometimes like that but so is nonsense.  Solomon is telling us we need to look beyond the surface.  “Deep” (6013) “waters” (4325) can signify either intensive thought or careful concealment. 

In any case it can be dangerous to take what people say at face value.  Okay, if someone says “I want my coffee black” you can probably accept that.  If they say, “I was only trying to help” you might want to step back, see if you still have your wallet and lock up the silver.

So?  Consider character when someone speaks to you.  Do a little thinking and ask yourself if this person has been up-front with you or has always had excuses.  Of course that means we should be honest too. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Avocado Truths

(Proverbs 17:27 KJV)  He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

If you have more than one translation available you will find that the second part of this verse is translated in a different way.  The KJV has “excellent” (3368) “spirit” (7307) while the NASB has  “cool” (7119) “spirit” (7307).  As you can see from the numbers both have the same word for the noun but different words for the adjective.  I don’t read Hebrew so I can’t dig real deep but I see this acknowledged by commentators back to the 1600's.  This is not something new.  I also find the same division of translation that I have noted in other places.  The older translations tend to go with variations of excellent and the newer ones, cool.

This is one of those famous “inconsistencies” in the Bible.  Understand that this is not something that has been swept under the rug and denied by scholars.  Notice that the differences don’t undermine anything we believe as Christians.  Our most important question is “Which was in the original?”

While the scholars dig and debate I will simply go with my both/and philosophy.  The two meanings are not conflicting.  They enrich our understanding.  Until God decides to bring greater clarification I will benefit by seeking both an excellent and cool spirit.

So?  Often choices and differences are not to be taken separately but to be grasped together.  When people put chunks of avocado in my salad I am scandalized.  I don’t throw them out.  I pick them out and enjoy them in isolation, then move on to the rest.  So consider both and enjoy both. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Salty Honeycomb

(Proverbs 16:24 KJV)  Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

“Pleasant” (5278) is probably not strong enough.  In the definition it has the added flavors of beauty, delightfulness and kindness.  There may be times when we need to be critical and discerning.  We always need to be honest.  Our goal is to be pleasant when we interact with people. 

Take the words of Peter about witnessing for our faith.  Look at the last two qualities.
(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;
I don’t know about you but after looking at the news for the day I can be in a pretty dark mood.  I sometimes, no, be honest, usually, let that effect the way I comment on what’s for dinner.  This isn’t sugar-coating, this is being pleasant.

So?  I need to cut down on the sarcasm and satire.  I need to increase the puns and irony.  Apply it as you will, we are to be salty honeycomb. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Time to Bunt?

(Proverbs 15:13 KJV)  A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

As I was looking at this verse I had a direction in mind.  The Lord seemed to be speaking to me.  As I re-read a comment I made three years ago I came across this:
“In baseball the batter needs to decide on each pitch if he is going to swing or not. His attitude is ‘home run.’”
At the time that made sense in its context.  In some situations it still makes sense but I had overlooked the fact that baseball is a team sport.  You have a manager.  You have coaches.  When the man on deck responds to “Batter up” the fans are looking for the long ball.  What the man by the plate is supposed to be doing is what the coaches tell him.  In the dugout he was given direction.  In the on-deck-circle the coach was talking to him.  As he is waiting for the pitch he is watching the first base coach.  He is expected to do what he is told.  He may be the home run king of the league but the man who runs the team may want him to bunt.

Does it make sense to the slugger?  Maybe, maybe not.  Does it make sense to the fans.  Not to most of them.  Does it fit in with the overall strategy of the game.  Count on it.

So?  When we start our day we may be looking for home runs but our Manager may be asking us to bunt.  Look for the signals.  There are often issues that we are not aware of.  Giving us direction is why the Holy Spirit is paid the big bucks. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What Fills You?

(Proverbs 14:14 KJV)  The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.

Two different types of people are mentioned here.  On one side you have the “backslider” (5472).  On the other side you have the “good” (2896a) man.  Most of us have seen both types.  Even if you reject the idea of backsliding and righteousness you have seen people that will fit into both categories. 

What is scary is that both of them are getting what they want.  The word isn’t used twice but I think it is inferred that the good man is also getting what is in his “heart” (3820).  When judgement day comes and our inner being is exposed there will be little doubt that we will recognize what the desire of our heart was.

So?  Do a heart check.  Realize that if you are into yourself and doing your own thing, you will get what you want, an eternity with your self.  Are you really satisfied with that?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Residue of Righteousness

(Proverbs 13:20 KJV)  He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

“You are what you eat.”  “Clothes make the man.”  More important is “The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree.”  In this case the nut is wisdom.  When I am bragging about my children I will sometimes mention that the two biggest factors in their development are heredity and environment.  Of course I supplied both. 

Left out of the formula is the assumed grace of God.  The way that this applies to us is that the Holy Spirit works through people.  Sure, my children watched my wife and I.  They were watching two people doing everything they could to walk in righteousness and wisdom. 

So?  Whom do you hang with?  Are they leaving a residue of righteousness or a film of filth on your life?  We make choices and our friends are on that list.  Something to consider next time you get together with the gang. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Age Your Knowledge, Not Just Your Cheese

(Proverbs 12:23 KJV)  A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.

This assumes that prudence is a character trait of the righteous.  The righteous man “conceals” (3680) “knowledge” (1847).  I want to live a righteous life so again I am reminded that my speech patterns are a part of my walk. 

As we walk with Jesus we need to conceal what we know by taking the time to be sure of our facts.  Ponder and meditate on what you see.  The Holy Spirit does not always plant understanding in our hearts and minds as a fully developed pattern.  Time will reveal what no amount of intellect can discern.

An important part of this is the prayer of listening and the worship of reading the word.

So?  Silence can be golden and time will tell you whether it is gold you hold in your hand or just a cheap imitation.  One will turn your hand green. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Advice Warning Labels

(Proverbs 11:14 KJV)  Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

We usually have plenty of people ready to offer us “counsel” (guidance NASB) (8458).  When we are on vacation we stay in places that have cable.  We don’t have it at home so it is a perk for my wife.  I could care less since I hate TV in general.  When she calls me in to share the “wisdom” of the latest program I have a real test of patience.

I don’t know if it is still on but there was one she liked called “What Not to Wear.”  Chefs and home decorators are everywhere.  They all want to tell you how to find the perfect architecture for you life.  It is always good to know that a certain style will get you dates but since I am not on the prowl it doesn’t apply.

This word is used five times in Proverbs.  It is only used one other time and that in the book of Job.  It seems to carry with it the idea of “good” advice or “wise” counsel.  I don’t think that applies to what you find in your self-help section of the book store.  I think it is the kind of thing you find in the Bible and in godly people.

So?  Get advice but make sure of the source.  What are their priorities?  What is in it for them?  How is it working in their life?  The same warning goes for what you read on blogs like this.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Perpetual Hunger Games

(Proverbs 10:21 KJV)  The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.

Notice that, in this verse, death comes from lack of “wisdom” (3820).  The NASB calls it “understanding”.  The literal meaning, and the most common translation in both, is “heart.”  This is referring to the inner core of the being that decides if we are going to understand.  It is that part of us that determines our decisions.  It is more than just an accumulation of facts and details.  It has to do with how we put it all together.

You see people begging for change in front of a “help wanted” sign.  Your children complain that there is nothing to eat in a house full of food.  Students complain that they are learning nothing.  These are matters of heart, of wisdom and understanding. 

People do not die because they do not know, they die because they do not.

So?  Will this be a day where you feed well or a day in which you die a little?  God continues to offer wisdom.  Nourish well. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Double Standards

(Proverbs 9:7 KJV)  He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.

We are to be more patient toward the world than toward other believers.  It may seem like it is backwards but we see this double standard throughout the Bible.  This is one expression of it.  Paul discusses it in I Corinthians 5.  That is the chapter where he is condemning the man having an affair with his step-mother and still being accepted by the church.  Toward the end of the passage he says,
(1 Corinthians 5:12 KJV)  For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
The world does not claim to live by our standards.  It is pointless to measure someone in inches if they only understand centimeters.

So?  Relax when faced by the corruption and decadence of the world.  For them it is normal.  Get concerned when you see it in the church.  It might be a good idea to do a selfie on this one.  

Friday, August 8, 2014

If a Tree Falls in the Forest...

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

Somewhere I remember a point being made in the difference between hearing and listening.  I can never keep straight which is which.  One has to do with the physical ability and the other with paying attention.  Here the KJV says “hear” (8085) and the NASB says “heed”.  The point being made is that it is not enough to be able to discern what is said.  It is also necessary to engage your mind and will in the information. 

Most homes in America have a Bible somewhere.  I have an entire shelf of different translations.  On my software I have eighteen English translations and three versions of the Greek text.  None of that does any good if you don’t read it.  Reading doesn’t do any good if we don’t allow the text to engage us.

So?  Tune in.  Pay attention.  Act like you just saw a police car and you suddenly remember you have a speedometer.  It will make a difference. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Good Shake

(Proverbs 7:24 KJV)  Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.

I can almost feel Solomon’s frustration here.  The context is a young man who is being led astray by sexual temptation.  His hormones are screaming at him.  I can see his father grabbing him by the shoulders, shaking him, getting in his face and saying, “pay attention” (7181) or as Shakespeare’s father would have said, “Hearken”.  I can see the boy turning his head to watch the babe sashay down the street.

It doesn’t seem to be working.

What are you watching at this point?  What are you focusing on instead of the wisdom your Father has to offer?  Your neighbor’s wife?  Your co-worker?  TV?  Music?  You Tube? 

So pay attention.  God is speaking to you in different ways than He is speaking to me but I can guarantee He is speaking.  Don’t make Him grab you by the shoulders and give you a good shaking. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


(Proverbs 6:18 KJV)  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

We are about half way through a list of seven.  You might remember the movie “The Magnificent Seven.”  This is more like the list of “Seven Deadly Sins” because they are labeled as abominations.  One abomination is the way in which people are attracted to “wicked” (evil NASB) (7463a).

It is a human tendency to “run” (7323) toward “evil” (7463a).  I see this every time there is a fight on campus.  I can tell if it is a real fight.  I ignore kids who walk around yelling, “Fight.”  If I see half the student body stampeding joyfully in one direction I know fists are flying.  I see it when there is an accident on the freeway.  People want to see the pain of others.

We often let this come to the surface in our entertainment or conversations.  God hates this tendency.

So?  Do a heart check.  What have you been watching, reading, listening to?  Is it a response of a heart full of God or a heart full of the flesh?  Is it time to repent?  You and God know your heart.  God and I know mine. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Pretty Faces and Ugly Words

(Proverbs 5:3 KJV)  For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:

Consider your sources.  How reliable is your information?  A good place to start is the “facts” you get from the internet.  It is an electronic double edged sword.  On one edge you have a vast array of data, ready to be harvested.  On the other edge you face detail overload.  By now you should know that you can’t believe the spin of the headlines. 

In the opening verses of this chapter, Solomon is trying to tell us to be careful in our listening.  In verse one he reminds his son to listen to him, his father.  In this verse he is warning the boy about the “strange woman” (adulteress NASB) (2114a).  We often accept the advice of strangers instead of people we know.  Some people are impressed by titles, degrees and position and give extra weight to opinions linked to them.  Some listen to a pretty face before a grey head.

So?  Consider your sources.  Give extra attention to those who have earned your trust.  Know what the Word says so you can evaluate words.  Accept that what you need to hear may not be what you want to hear. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Molehills Out of Mountains

(Proverbs 4:25 KJV)  Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

Thirty years ago we had a prayer seminar at our church led by a man named Elton Gillum.  I have not seen him since those sessions but his teaching still comes back to me.  One of the problems we have with prayer, and life, was what he called the gaze/glance principle.  I think that is what this verse points towards.

Gillum said that we get in trouble when we focus our attention on the current problem.  We “gaze” (6079) at our failure or the obstacles facing us.  We become fixated on them.  When we do that the problem becomes bigger and God is pushed to the background.  We glance at Him.  Thus our problem seems to become bigger and God becomes smaller.

Instead we are to “gaze” (6079) at Jesus.  Our attention is to be “straight” (fixed straight NASB) (3474) on Him.  When we set Him as our priority then the disaster we thought we were facing becomes a blip.  The mountain becomes a molehill. 

So?  How you start your day makes a difference.  What, or should I say Who, you put in the center makes everything else line up behind.  You walk different.  Get started right.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Your Spiritual Portfolio

(Proverbs 3:14 KJV)  For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

How do you measure value?  When do you know if you are getting ahead or falling behind?  Did you “gain” (8393) or lose?  I remember reading a science fiction story in which two star empires were fighting a war that was going on forever.  No one could figure out why the other side kept fighting when they were obviously losing.  The point of the story was that they both though they were winning because they were using different measurements of success.  One was measuring total tonnage destroyed, the other was measuring the number of ships destroyed. 

Have you picked a real measure of success.  The point of Proverbs is that a life without wisdom is pointless no matter how much “gold” (2742d) and “silver” (3701) you accumulate.  The reason Solomon keeps reminding us of this is that we tend to get distracted by what we can touch.

So?  Don’t just balance your checking account.  Take a look at your spiritual portfolio and see if you life is invested wisely.  Invest for eternity. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Happy Thinking

(Proverbs 2:3 KJV)  Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

It is not obvious in English but in the Hebrew both “knowledge” (discernment NASB) (998) and “understanding” (8394) come from the same root.  In this passage we see a series of couplets.  They are given this way for emphasis.  Repetition is a tool of learning and an indication of importance.

God does not prefer to be served by empty headed fools.  The pagan intellectuals of our world like to act like believers are uneducated, rustic simpletons.  They want to declare that our concept of faith has a kill switch for our minds.  God seems to disagree with that.  Just look at these verses and the call to engage our brain.

So?  Wake up and think about the roses.  Don’t just smell them.  God gave you a mind that is capable of thought.  It is part of being created in the image of God.  Please God.  Frustrate those who hate Him.  Happy thinking. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sorry Isn’t Enough

(Proverbs 1:23 KJV)  Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

What is the benefit of having and knowing, if we don’t do?  Here again we have the promise of the indwelling Spirit of God.  Here again we have the promise of knowing what God is saying to us.  Here again we have the frustration God must feel when we do not respond, and believe me, you do not want the Almighty God of the universe frustrated.

It all seems to hang on that first word, on whether we “turn” (7725).  This word is sometimes translated “repent” but there is at least one other word translated that way.  It is important to understand the root of changing direction.  The other word means to feel sorrow.  This one means to change direction.  If we want to know God and His ways, we must be willing to change.

So?  It is great to be sorry, but it isn’t enough.  God expects us to do a U-turn.  Turn on your blinker, check traffic and crank the wheel.