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, November 30, 2014

On the Prowl

(Proverbs 30:14 KJV)  There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.

It is hard to believe.  It is an idea that is rejected by our popular culture and anathema to educators.  There are some really bad people out there.  There are people who find purpose in life by taking advantage of the “poor” (afflicted NASB) (6041) and the “needy” (34).  They target such people.

Look at your average terrorist.  They don’t generally attack armed and alert people.  They go for women and children.  They go after unarmed minority populations.  They feed on fear and, yes, terror.

Look at your normal criminal.  They do not go after the person who is alert and strong.  They look for the person who is not paying attention.  They “break” into the home that did not lock it’s doors.

So?  Be alert.  Accept the reality that there are people out there who are looking for prey.  Even predators like lions go after the slow, weak and young.  Draw strength from the Lord and the Devil will have a hard time dragging you down.  Live in His power and the servants of Satan may pass you over for an easier target. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

After Anger

(Proverbs 29:23 KJV)  A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

While noting that context is not as important in Proverbs as other scripture, we see that “pride” (1346) is spoken of right after temper.  It is possible that one is a major cause of the other.

A person with short temper usually feels like they have been wronged.  Someone has stepped on their toes.  I know that is what boils my water when I am driving and some clown drives on the emergency strip to get around me and gain a car length.  I am not proud of my reaction.  All I can say at this point is that I have never given in to the temptation to ram.

Part of walking by faith is leaving the balance of life in the hands of the Creator.  Let Him get indignant for you.  Let Him reward and punish.  He is a bit more objective than we are and much more aware of our sin.

So?  It is easy to say and hard to demonstrate.  Calm down.  Trust.  It will make your day. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Monthly Reminder

(Proverbs 28:27 KJV)  He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.

It is a good thing I read through Proverbs monthly.  I need to read this verse on a regular basis and be reminded of a genuine gap in my walk.  I tend to be one who “shuts” (5956) my eyes to the needs of those around me.

Part of that is healthy.  I work in middle school and it is full of junior manipulators trying to run my world.  They have a million excuses and reasons for not having their book, not doing their homework or needing to leave the room.  I need to teach them to be responsible and understand the concept of cause and effect. 

Part of it is insensitivity and selfishness.  I ask why I should drag myself out of bed, work all day and struggle through rush hour traffic and then give to someone who has done nothing but make wrong choices. 

I guess part of the reason is because God said so.

So?  If you are like me you need to keep waking up your generosity.  Share the blessings so that God can bless you. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Hungry Thanksgiving

(Proverbs 27:7 KJV)  The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.

Down through history it has been the poor and weak that have been the most open to the gospel.  Smug, comfortable, powerful people tend to not see any need in their lives.  This might be one reason why there are so many people today who have no time for God or the church.  We figure we are doing so well we don’t need Him.

So God allows a little rain into your life.  He allows a bit of pain.  Sometimes it is the only way to wake us up.  A spot on your lung.  Blood in your urine.  It gets your attention.  Many times it is nothing or something that can be dealt with but the element of helplessness is introduced.

So?  Are you open to God on a daily basis?  Are you setting your priorities based on His?  Does He need to get your attention?  Why not do it the easy way as you start your day or plan for your tomorrow.  Thanksgiving is always a good time to be reminded. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Microwave Safe

(Proverbs 26:10 KJV)  The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.

In looking at the difference between the KJV and the NASB I examined the long definition for “formed” (2342a).  How do you get from that to “wounds” of the NASB?  The word seems to have started with the idea of a dance that consisted of whirling to the point of disorientation.  You pushed the exertion to the point of damaging your body.  Injury comes from excess.

Creation and other acts of God can have different effects depending on the degree of force, the timing and the object receiving attention.  Think of a microwave.  Run it for four minutes.  A slice of cheese is destroyed.  A small potato is ready to eat.  A glass bowl is unaffected.

God does not act blindly.  He is aware.  That awareness is infinitely more intense than we can even imagine.  That means we can trust.  That means that we can fear. 

So?  God’s touch can encourage or demolish.  Often the difference is what is in our heart.  Make sure your life is lived in faith and obedience.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Above the King

(Proverbs 25:5 KJV)  Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.

The Bible seems to have a different view towards heads of state than we do.  That was because Israel started as a theocracy.  Moses was appointed by God and replaced by Joshua.  The judges rose up as needed.  Prophets like Samuel were in charge until the people demanded a king.  The first kings were chosen by God.  Because of this they were in a special category.  It is expressed most clearly by David.
(1 Samuel 24:6 KJV)  And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD'S anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.
God works through political leaders even when they are not followers.  Think of the words of Paul.
(Romans 13:1 KJV)  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
This was written during the time that Rome was persecuting Christians.

So?  Be careful about how you talk about our leaders.  I struggle with this but that doesn’t take it away.  That doesn’t mean you have to vote for them or endorse what they do.  We are blessed with the right to petition and speak out.  Use them. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cut Off?

(Proverbs 24:14 KJV)  So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.

One of the big questions is asked by the one referred to as the rich young ruler.
(Luke 18:18 KJV)  And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
If you go the the passage you will find that Jesus did not respond by teaching about faith and grace.  He talked about obedience and behavior.  Perhaps we should rephrase the question to, “What must I do to keep eternal life?”  Or in the words of Solomon, what must I do to keep from being “cut off” (3772).

It is never a simple answer like we find in some churches.  It is not a matter of “Impossible.  Can’t happen.”  Solomon would disagree.  Jesus would disagree.  Paul, the apostle of grace, would disagree.  Here wisdom keeps us from being “cut off” (3772).  Since wisdom begins with a fear of the Lord, it is a vital step in our salvation.

So?  The point is not that God is looking for excuses to trim the roll sheets of heaven.  The point is that He wants us to live in glory and victory.  That requires wisdom.  Wisdom is available.  Seek it.  Use it. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Wake Up and Hear the Roses

(Proverbs 23:22 KJV)  Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.

As I was comparing translations I saw that the “hearken” (8085) of the KJV was much stronger than the “listen” of the NASB.  The paraphrases search for the nuance by saying “pay attention” and “give ear.”  The old Geneva translation of 1587 says “obey.”

We get so used to listening without hearing.  If you have ever been in front of a group and were comfortable enough to actually watch their faces you can see in the eyes how many have zoned out.  They are looking in the right direction.  They are sitting up.  They are not really paying attention. 

We are surrounded by sources of wisdom and real knowledge.  It is available but too often we do not hearken.

So?  Wake up and listen to the roses.  Focus.  Life has answers and instructions.  Don’t wait until it is too late to follow them.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Whom Do You Trust?

(Proverbs 22:20 KJV)  Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,

Look at this verse as a question.  Do the people you listen to speak with “excellent” (7991c) “knowledge” (1847) or do they just repeat the common mantra of the day?  Think about what the talking heads on TV or the pretty voices on the radio have had to say to you.  Now take a step back and actually think about what you heard.  Does it match the “counsels” (4156) given by God?  Is it more in line with what is politically correct? 

I can’t scream this loud enough.  We hear things and accept them without thinking.  We hear quotes that we accept as true and never look them up.  Think of all the quotes of Abraham Lincoln you have heard.  Many of them never passed the lips or pen of Lincoln.  Recently I was reading an attack based on a well known Bible quote.  “Money is the root of all evil.”  It was an attack on capitalism and those with money.  The big problem is that the quote is inaccurate.  The real quote is,
(1 Timothy 6:10 KJV)  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
It is our attitude that makes the difference, not the object.

So?  Know the word.  Know when it is adulterated.  Know when people use it to lie.  Don’t accept polluted advice.  That goes double for what you read on the internet. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Noun or an Adjective?

(Proverbs 21:24 KJV)  Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.

Two words are offered in this verse for the concept of being “proud” (2086 and 2087).  They are really the same word but one is an adjective and the other is a noun.  Both are condemned.

We can accept that there is a healthy way in which we use the word pride.  This is a matter of honor, of showing high character in times of trial.  This pride is what keeps us going when times are tough.

That is not what this is about.  The definitions of this word include the ideas of insolence and presumptuousness.  This word is about the kind of pride that puts “me” first.  A synonym might be narcissism.  Not acceptable if you want to walk the path of righteousness.

So?  Has anyone every accused you of being proud?  Listen and consider.  If it is true then it is time for repentance.  If there is no real problem then continue on course. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Truth Leadership

(Proverbs 20:28 KJV)  Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.

What does it mean to “preserve” (5341) the king?  It is a fairly frequent word in Proverbs.  It’s basic meaning is to guard or protect.  Obviously, we don’t have a king and countries that still have them don’t give them much power.  So substitute the national leader of choice.  Leaders are guarded and protected by “mercy” (loyalty NASB) (2617a) [chesed] and “truth” (571).

“Truth” is not just a correspondence between evidence and words.  The definition includes the ideas of firmness and faithfulness.  It is almost like it is an action noun.  The kind of leader we need is one who is not only in contact with reality but is willing to stay the course.

So?  As of now the latest round of elections are over.  I trust that you voted with truth seeking feet.  The results are in God’s hands.  Pray that the path of the future will be right and that those in charge will be firm and faithful to the task. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Choose Kindness

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

Agape love is not an emotion but decision.  Because of that I am working on agape in my life by constantly reading over passages that deal with love.  The best known is I Corinthians 13.  One expression of agape that I am working on is kindness.  That is why this verse spoke to me as I read it. 

Many people have the delusion that the God of the Old Testament is just a God of wrath.  No so.  He is the God who speaks of “kindness” (2617a) [chesed].  This brought to mind what God said to Micah:
(Micah 6:8 KJV)  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy (2617a), and to walk humbly with thy God?
So?  Kindness is expected.  Kindness is a choice.  Kindness can be developed.  Be kind.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Finger Pointing

(Proverbs 18:7 KJV)  A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.

Have you noticed how easy it is to blame other people for our failures?  I know I often catch myself in the act.  We like to blame our wives (or husbands), our children, the president, the pastor, or the guy next door when something goes wrong.  It is human nature.  It is also an example of a “fool’s” (3684) “mouth” (6310). 

Yes, your wife forgot to gas up the car, but so did you.  Yes, the president signed a law you don’t like but you voted for the congressman who passed the law and maybe for the president himself.  Sure, your son broke the cup, but you were the one who left it sitting in the wrong place.  The list goes on.

It is hard to accept responsibility but it is necessary.  Wisdom involves honesty and where the finger is pointed.

So?  Today when you are ready to accuse someone of something, stop and think about what you could have done to prevent it.  Or even what you did to cause it.  Yes, I am meddling. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Wisdom and Blood

(Proverbs 17:2 KJV)  A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.

You have heard it said that “blood is thicker than water.”  I am not sure that is a Biblical concept.  It certainly isn’t a Bible quote.  This verse would seem to be implying that wisdom is thicker than blood.

This is a reminder that the bond of Godly wisdom should hold us together more than the accident of physical birth.  The blood that is weak is human blood.  The blood that is strong is the blood of Jesus.  Wisdom leads us to trust in Him and live for Him.  It changes our priorities and the dynamics of our commitments.  We now put the things of God above the things of this world.
(Matthew 10:37 KJV)  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
In a perfect world you would have both:  wisdom and blood.  The point here is that wisdom is more important for eternity.

So?  Think about your priorities.  Are they in tune with wisdom, blood or culture?  It makes a difference when the “inheritance” (5159) is distributed. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mouth Scars

(Proverbs 16:27 KJV)  An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.

Yesterday’s comments had to do with the mouth from a positive perspective.
(Proverbs 15:23 KJV)  A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!
Today we look at the result of an unholy mouth.  Where the words of the godly bring joy, the ungodly generates “burning” (scorching NASB) (6866b) “fire” (784).  It is interesting that when used as an adjective the Hebrew word means scorching but when used as a noun it means scar or scab.  Rotten words from rotten people leave a scar.

The scar is twofold.  It damages the target but it also works to destroy the speaker.  Burning lips can lead to a lake of fire.

So?  Expect evil from evil people.  When the fire comes your way, turn to the Holy Spirit to put out the flame and become a balm of healing. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Mouth Joy

(Proverbs 15:23 KJV)  A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

Once again I see the NASB falling into the trap of modern translators.  They just can’t let the Bible speak for itself.  They are afraid to let people wrestle with what God said.
(Proverbs 15:23 NAS77)  A man has joy in an apt answer, And how delightful is a timely word!
The KJV is quite literal. The phrase “apt answer” in the NASB is a paraphrase that it acknowledges in the margin.  The margin says it literally means “answer of his mouth” which is exactly what the KJV says.  I would make it even more literal and say “mouth (6310) answer (4617).”

The KJV makes it clear that this is a potential that can be achieved, not a promise.  Do you have a mouth of “joy” (8057)?  I think it is obvious that Solomon assumes your mouth will be guided by an informed mind and a changed heart.

So?  Start on the inside.  Let grace do its job on your heart.  Then apply it to what you mouth does and experience a new world. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Short Faces

(Proverbs 14:17 KJV)  He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.

A fool “dealeth” (acts NASB) (6213a) “foolishly” (200).  How?  Other places we see other examples but here it focuses on being “quick-tempered” (7116/639).

The KJV correctly breaks this down into two words.  “Soon” (7116) means short.  “Angry” (639), while usually translated anger, can mean face, nostril or nose.  So literally it means having a short face.  You can just see the look of rage that overcomes a face like this.  We might use the term short fuse.

It is clear that this is wrong.  While anger can have a place in a godly life, a short fuse is the mark of a lack of discipline and focus.  I have certain things that set me off.  I struggle with them.  If I don’t they will dilute my spiritual life to the point of danger.  I am starting with the triggers that come with great regularity, like crazy, narcissistic, dangerous drivers.  I am praying for a different attitude and while I wait working on discipline.

So?  How is your fuse?  Is it burning short lately?  Join me in the battle.  Repent, pray, focus, change. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Square Pegs

(Proverbs 13:2 KJV)  A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.

Once again the KJV does a better job.  It is the “soul” (5315) of the unredeemed that is the problem, not the “desire” (NASB).  The word for soul is usually translated that way in both translations with “life” coming in second.  There are many other minor translations.

This is a statement that reflects on the nature of man before grace changes him.  Our natural disposition is to be “transgressors" (treacherous NASB) (898).  This is a major character flaw.  It leads to lies, deception, selfishness and “violence” (2555).  This is why we need a savior.  Our modern culture rejects this condition and rejects the Savior.  You need to keep that in mind when you catch up on the news or read.  The reporters and authors come from a mindset that is opposed to the God of the Bible and our need for Him.

So?  Realize that we do not fit.  We are different.  We acknowledge sin.  We admit a need for salvation.  We turn to God for the solutions.  We are square pegs in round holes. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Spiritual Spies

(Proverbs 12:26 KJV)  The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.

Both NASB and KJV give unusual translations in this verse, searching for the right word.  The KJV uses “more excellent” (8446) and the NASB talks about being a “guide”.  Both are reaching for the idea of searching for the right way of living.  The root of the word means to spy or search out.  It means that we are to set an example by our search for excellence and righteousness. 

You will note that the “wicked” (7563) is also setting an example but the standard is different.  People are surrounded by role models who begin with certain assumptions.  Think about the direction that TV programs are pushing.  Think of the morals of your favorite TV character.  If you know anything about the Bible and God’s expectations you should see some immediate contrasts to how we are expected to live.

So?  People are watching.  You are setting an example.  If you neighbor follows your example is he more likely to end up in heaven or hell? 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Obvious Isn’t Always

(Proverbs 11:15 KJV)  He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.

On the surface this would seem obvious.  Who would co-sign on a loan with someone they don’t even know?  I am too smart for that.  But wait a minute.  How would I be supporting a “stranger” (2114a)?  Ignore for a moment that this word often refers to adulteresses and prostitutes.  That also should be obvious.  Where would our equity be put to support people we don’t know?

One area I can think of would be in the stock market.  How many of us could even begin to know the people in charge of these giant funds?  Once we put some money into a “limited partnership” at an interest rate that was higher than average but not extreme.  We lost it all.  The strangers running the business lived very well until new money ran out.

Another area would be groups we join.  I am constantly asked to join groups like the PTA or buy Girl Scout cookies.  In these organizations, as much as I like and know the local people, I know that the national level is working against the values of Christ.

So?  Hard questions.  Difficult answers.  Each of us has to make our own decisions.  The key is to think and pray about the limited amounts of time and money we have to invest in the world around us.  Be aware. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Baby Bear Syndrome

(Proverbs 10:24 KJV)  The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.

We have two groups of people mentioned here.  We have the “wicked” (7563) and the “righteous” (6662).  We need to understand that there is no middle ground.  Americans are big on the middle class.  We have Baby Bear Syndrome.  You remember how Goldilocks found that Papa Bear’s things were at one extreme and Mama Bear’s were at the other.  In the middle was Baby Bear.  In the spiritual world there is no Baby Bear.  You are either a servant of God or you are by default a servant of Satan.

This is hard for us but remember the Rich Young Ruler.  He was doing it all.  He was the original boy scout.  His one failure was a refusal to give it all up to follow Jesus.  The “wicked” can be nice people.  They can be generous.  They can be kind.  They are still the god of their own life.

So?  Understand what is at stake.  It isn’t enough to follow the rules and be a good fellow.  Only the blood of the crucified Jesus can move us from being wicked to being righteous.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

In not On

(Proverbs 9:10 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Notice that fear of the Lord is just the “beginning” (8462) of “wisdom” (2451).  Fear is a tool of manipulation if used exclusively or in excess.  It is not enough to “fear” (3374).  We are told to go the next step.  If we do not keep going then the fear turns into a handicap instead of a boost. 

Think of fear being like a car.  It isn’t enough to have a car.  You need to know how to drive.  You need to know how to check the oil and put in the gas.  You need to know where you want to go.  Living on fear is like having a car in the driveway with an empty tank, flat tires and a dead battery.

So?  Understand the difference between in and on.  Let our attitude toward God guide us through the day and determine our attitudes for life.  Wisdom waits. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Wrong End of the Knife

(Proverbs 8:36 KJV)  But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

Most of us have heard the expression, “This is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you.”  It is usually associated with discipline.  That would also be a statement about our sin.  We may sin against others.  We may sin against God.  In the long run it “wrongeth” (injures NASB) (2554) the sinner.  The implication here is not that sin is a two edged sword but a knife we are holding from the wrong end.

The reason God is so serious about sin is because it will hurt Him more than it will hurt us.  We suffer in Hell.  We deserve it.  Jesus took on our sin.  He did not deserve it.
(2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV)  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
So?  If you are still rebellious you might think about what it is doing to your life now and for eternity.  If you are a believer it might be time for a tune up. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Why Believers Should Fear Hell

(Proverbs 7:27 KJV)  Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

A lot of people who call themselves Christian would reject this verse or play Thomas Jefferson and cut it out of their Bible.  They don’t want to believe in the existence of “Sheol” (7585).  The big problem is that it would require a lot of cutting, the word is used at least 66 times.  Why the different translations?  The transliteration for the Hebrew word is “sheol.”  It means underworld or hell.

I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about hell.  Maybe I should.  Not because I am going there but because so many people I care about might be on their way.  Maybe we are guilty of living like it doesn’t exist even when we believe it does.

So?  Live like Hell is real and we want to keep people out of it.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Happy Importuning

(Proverbs 6:3 KJV)  Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.

I wonder why the translators of the NASB chose “importune” (7292) instead of the “make sure” of the KJV.  It is not a common word in modern English.  When you compare the English with the Hebrew you see it is a good choice.  “Importune” is defined as “harass with persistent requests.”  The Hebrew definition includes “storm against, beset.”

We get ourselves into problems with people around us.  It is real.  There will be consequences.  We are here told not to let it go.  Do not expect someone else to come to the rescue.  Go to the person, make it an issue.  Resolve it.

So?  Not what you wanted to hear today, right?  Me neither.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t needed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Situation Ethics

(Proverbs 5:6 KJV)  Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.

Being “movable” (unstable NASB) (5128) fits in well with the philosophy of the world.  It fits in well with the post-modern idea that there is no wrong way to do anything, that everything depends on the situation.  It is the idea that is at the root of popular understanding of situation ethics.

I say “popular understanding” because up to a point the situation does determine if something is right or wrong.  If you have someone in the car having a heart attack, most people would say it is acceptable to run a red light.  If you are late for a party, not so much.  What is being adopted is the idea that things are only wrong because you feel they are wrong.  That is the road to hell being described here.

So?  God’s word gives us a stable, unwavering foundation for making the choices of life.  It may not make any difference to your favorite actor or musician, but it makes a difference to God.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Real Life Perfection

(Proverbs 4:27 KJV)  Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

I like the way the KJV expresses the second part of this verse.

By using “remove” (5493) rather than “turn” (NASB second time) you are reminded that there will be times in life when you will step in it.  You can be as careful as is humanly possible.  You can plan and focus.  You can be going in the right direction.  You still get it on your shoe. 

In the defining of the word you find the suggestions of “leave undone” and “retract.”  We are reminded that God has built in allowances for those times when we find ourselves touched by evil.  Our part is repentance and revival.  God’s part is forgiveness, cleansing and restoration.

So?  If you suddenly wake up to where you are and say to yourself, “This is wrong.”  Admit the same thing to God, retract and move ahead.  That is the kind of real life perfection God desires. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Just Because It Is a Cliche Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t True

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

As I drive the freeways to work I sometimes ponder how to respond for the day to the question, “How are you?”  I rarely use “fine.”  I like the way that I have heard Dave Ramsey respond with, “Better than I deserve.”

Today I am suspended between an awareness of how blessed I am and a lack of enthusiasm about the day.  It is like driving the ultimate car but being low on gas.  The Lord came through by having me read one of the most familiar passages of Proverbs.  The Holy Spirit reminded me of it at a key time.  It is like saying, “Stick with the obvious.  It works.” 

So?  I am reminded today to trust, to avoid depending on myself.  It is a good place to start.  It is a good place to finish.  Join me in the experience. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Bread, Beverages and Beliefs

(Proverbs 2:5 KJV)  Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

Discernment is an important quality to God.  Proverb is considered wisdom literature and the Hebrew word is used 39 times.  It was vital to Solomon as he tried to teach about being what God wanted us to be.  Mindless autobots are not what God has in mind.  Most translations use “understand” (995).  The Bible in Basic English says “will be clear to you.”  The Good News Bible simply says “know”.

Anyway you put it, God wants us to engage our minds and think.  He told Isaiah,
(Isaiah 1:18 KJV)  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
We are supposed to develop a discerning mental palate.  That comes from exposure to the best, not from being saturated by the worst.  You might think you are eating good bread until you taste really good bread.  You might think your coffee is good until you sample some that is great.  You might think that an idea makes sense until you listen to the inspired word.

So?  Plug your brain in.  Become one who can tell the difference between truth and foolishness.  Wisdom waits in the wings. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Limitations of God

(Proverbs 1:26 KJV)  I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

Beware.  God is much more complex than you are comfortable with.

We have such a warm fuzzy idea of God.  We think of Him always having this look of intense concern on His face when we wander.  We think he is a perpetual Ricky to the constantly erring Lucy.  It seems to me that the final episode of “I Love Lucy” should have been in a lawyers office with divorce papers being written up. 

Here it says He will “laugh” (7832) at the “calamity” (343) that comes our way when we ignore Him.  This verse is talking about God.  The infinite God does have His limitations.  He does not give up on us in a moment.  He is incredibly patient.  He forgives.  But He also knows our heart and does not play games.

So?  It may not be an issue with you but it might be with someone you love.  God will not be mocked.  He is not into your self esteem.  Count on it, hopefully from the right side of the cross.