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.

Friday, December 31, 2021

Godly, Not Gaudy

(Pro 31:22 KJV)  She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

I have a problem.  I tend to judge people who like nice things.  I honestly do not understand objects like necklaces and bracelets.  What does a brooch add to life?  Beyond saying I am married, why would I want to put a piece of metal around my finger and decorate it with expensive jewels?  I can understand down jackets and leather gloves.  They have a function.  As I said, I have a problem.

This lady knew how to dress and if you read the whole thing you find that she dressed her family in the same way.  I have to assume it wasn’t because she was impressed with fine fabric as much as she wanted the community to know that she cared about her family and the impression she made regarding her family.  You could also assume that she dressed well to reflect on her husband.  There is a lesson there.

So?  I for one should get more serious about how I dress and whether my hair is combed.  It isn’t so much that I care what people think of me but I do care what they think of the God I serve.  He does not want me gaudy but He does want me to reflect His care.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Lookin’ Good

(Pro 30:29 KJV)  There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going:

Three, or four, things are listed as “comely” (stately NASB) (3190).  I want to go with the NASB translation today.  It would seem that being stately is an impressive thing to look at.  As you look at the examples that follow you can see that the first three are of little consequence unless you are in the wrong place at the wrong time and then you won’t be admiring how they look.  Even a king can look good but be a butchering barbarian.

So?  Don’t be impressed by what you see.  That is extra true in this day of air brushing, photo shop, dubbing, cosmetics, plastic surgery and lip-syncing.  Look to the inner measures that show a heart and mind in communion with the God of the universe. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Embracing the Bag

(Pro 29:27 KJV)  An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.

As we approach the new year it is a time to look around you with honest eyes.  The trend setters and public molders are set on a path that means destruction to you and me.  They are determined to drive God and His people out.  They have started with the public square.  We have seen such simple things as changing “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays.”  Who could object.  The season starts with Thanksgiving and stretches to New Years.  For some it starts with Halloween and goes to Valentine’s Day.  Why be so focused?  They have banned the Nativity from public places and censored valedictorians who wished to express their faith in God.  

The battle is being waged.  We are finding out what happens when they have a war and you don’t show up.  You are steamrollered.  And it will get worse.  They are now closing down your churches, muzzling your pulpits and coming for your children.

So?  It is time to take a stand, but that has always been true.  Keep in mind that you cannot embrace a bag of manure without getting some of the smell on you.  When you carpet your living room with it, well, you can come to your own conclusions.  Keep in mind that too much manure can kill your lawn. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Take a Deep Breath

(Pro 28:10 KJV)  Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession.

As I am bombarded with the examples of corruption in high places I tend to get discouraged.  I wonder if there is any reason to keep taking the high road.  Recently an organization that I held in the highest regard has started down the road of compromise and anti-God thinking.  I am almost ready to buy a little cabin in Alaska and retreat from life.

Almost, but not quite.  The verse also has the promise in it.  You find both sides of this life experience in the Bible.  We are warned of the evil around us.  We are called to be salt and light.  We are promised that God will redeem us and the situation.

So?  This is the time of the year to be reminded of the past in the Christmas story.  God became man.  It is a time to build confidence in the God of the New Year.  If you have extra time off begin to develop the habits that keep you in tune with God’s Providence. 

Monday, December 27, 2021

Consequences of Foolishness

(Pro 27:13 KJV)  Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.

Have you ever had someone ask you a question and you frustrate them by answering, “It depends.”  This verse reminds us that when you develop a response based on the Bible you need to take what is called “the whole counsel of God.”  That means you need to understand what the verse actually says and know the qualifications that are given other places.  An example of the first is the KJV translation of “Thou shall not kill” which is really “Thou shall not murder.”  See the difference?

An example of the second would be isolating verses that deny free will and ignoring all the ones that say God gives us choices.  This verse is in that category.  If you read the Bible you find cautions about taking someone’s coat for an unpaid debt.  Here it seems to be acceptable.  You need the context.  The previous verse seems to draw the line for this verse with those who are in debt because they refuse to grow up and be responsible.

So?  In many cases it is better to err on the side of compassion.  In others, like this, doing that can cause them more damage because they refuse to learn the lessons.  We are all teachers in some way and our lessons can be life changers. 

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Merry Day After

(Pro 26:2 KJV)  As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.

Two thoughts, are there curses out there just wandering around looking for a landing place?  Are curses a part of the natural world?

My background is devoid of conscious superstition.  Yes, I chanted, “Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.”  Yes, I often believed I needed to not bad mouth my car when I was driving.  But when it comes to a belief in seven years bad luck, black cats or general curses, not so much.  A verse like this makes me wonder.  It equates “curses” (7045) with birds flying around.  You usually don’t notice them as they are “flitting” (5110).  This would seem to say that there are random, unattached curses flying by my head on a regular basis.  

If that is true then the second thought brings me comfort.  If the curse is “causeless” (without cause NASB) (2600) it will be like truth with a liberal theology professor.  If you are superstitious this is just another reason for you to live righteously.  

So?  How many reasons do you need?  Of course all the righteous living in eternity will not save you from Hell without the blood of Jesus.  Merry Day-After-Christmas. 

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Christmas Pests

(Pro 25:17 KJV)  Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.

Lets take a look at this from the opposite direction.  This is very pertinent over the Thanksgiving to New Years season.  It is clear that we are being warned about being a pest.  Got it.  What also is important is our response to the pest.  We all have them in our lives either on a regular basis or at unforeseen moments.  I am thinking about how I should be responding to this kind of person.

One of the great devises of modern technology is caller ID.  I am sure you have never done this but it is possible to ignore someone if you don’t want to talk to them.  I use it all the time for spam.  So far I don’t have a lot of memory of ignoring people because I am in a bad mood or they create a bad mood.  I think it might be justified if you have people who call and talk about nothing for hours.

When they show up at the door it is a bit more dicey.  If you are having that type of relative over for Christmas then get yourself ready now.  We need to respond through both the definition of agape, long suffering, and the admonition to not spend a lot of time with fools.

So?  Again, no one said walking in righteousness would be easy.  Engage your mind, listen to the Spirit and be Godly. 

Friday, December 24, 2021

A Pesky Gerund

(Pro 24:34 KJV)  So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

In comparing the KJV and NASB and looking at the definitions of the word “one that travelleth” (robber NASB) (1980) I was having a bit of conflict.  The definition is to “come, walk, go.”  After comparing it to my different translations and checking the marginal note in the NASB I realized that this was a case where a verb was being used as a noun, a gerund?  Thus we have the idea of a traveler and that morphed into a roving vagrant.  

One of the thoughts that came to me was something Thomas Sowell points out in various places.  He says that wealth comes and goes and when economists who are trying to manipulate the narrative talk about the poor and the rich they ignore the fact that these groups are constantly changing.  The poor of one generation often become the rich of the next and we all know of stories where the spoiled rich heir blows it all.  The point being made here is that one of the ways in which you can make solvency depart and destitution arrive is too many naps.  In a word, sloth.

So?  Don’t base your political or spiritual positions in life on the definitions given to you by pagans or pseudo-Christian scholars.  Or is it Christian pseudo-scholars?  I would put my money on pseudo-Christian pseudo-scholars.  Build principles and priorities based on the Bible not your college professor. 

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Lessons Delivered

(Pro 23:13-14 KJV)  Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.   Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Verses 13 and 14 go together.  They are the result of having the right understanding of priorities and reality.  If children are not taught right from wrong then they are being given what could be behind Door Two, an all expense trip to Hell.  By teaching them eternal truths you are giving them the material that is necessary to make an informed choice.  

How do you approach the events of life as delivered by our culture.  We are coming up on the date that the Western Church celebrates the birth of Jesus.  Although the date is arbitrary the event it celebrates is not and the reason for that event is vital to each person’s eternal destiny.  If we allow our children to absorb the holiday of our secular culture they miss the whole point of the manger:  It was the opening scene in the story of the cross.  God had to become man in order to be able to die.  The only sacrifice worthy enough to pay for our sin was the Perfect Lamb of God.  

So?  Teach your children well.  Their eternal destiny depends on it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Balloon Brain

(Pro 22:3 KJV)  A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

As I look around and watch other people’s lives I see a lot of disasters and dysfunction.  I see people who had all the temporal benefits that life can offer going down in flames.  I wonder where it started.  Were they destined by some mysterious act of God to misery?  Was there a conspiracy that undermined them?  I sometimes come to the conclusion that their failures are a result of having an open mind.

I say this because when I look at the possible definitions of “naive” (6612) I notice that “open mind” is on the list.  What the ancients meant by this was a mind that was so open that it became empty.  Everything that should have been stored up fled.  The lessons that should have been remembered were forgotten.  The principles that should have been internalize were rationalized away because their mind was open to foolish reasoning.  An open mind is like an open balloon.  It either holds nothing or has burst.  

So?  Fill your mind with the wisdom of the ages.  I will let you guess where I think you should find that. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Don’t Be a Puppy

(Pro 21:2 KJV)  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

There is a reminder in this verse and it is at the beginning.  We are reminded that we tend to see things through our own experiential filters.  Those filters are woven naturally of pain and emotion.  Maybe you are different but I tend to consult the facts in follow-up.  This is why it is so important to keep in touch with the heart and mind of God.  It helps us keep on the same page.

The second part points out that God can see better than we can.  What I pick up from other places is that I can get a better idea of what He sees by study and meditation on His word.  I may not know all that He knows but I can know the principles and standards by which He judges.

So?  Trust.  That is a basic ingredient, but don’t assume that means turning off your mind or your need to understand.  If God had wanted mindless robots He would have made up puppy dogs instead of human infants marked by His image. 

Monday, December 20, 2021


(Pro 20:1 KJV)  Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

It is easy to get distracted by the example being used here.  The misuse of alcohol is something that everyone can agree is not good.  I phrase it that way because there are so many who are defensive about their drinking and another block that see booze as undiluted evil.  I tend to be in the latter group.  Don’t get distracted by the concrete example.  Look to the principle that is expressed in “intoxicated” (7686).  The word picture in this word has to do with the staggering drunk, weaving his way down the street.  It means to stray.  It is a common problem we have and we miss the point if we confine ourselves to getting drunk.

We are called to live righteous lives.  There are many ways of contrasting righteousness with sin.  You can have upright as opposed to crooked.  You can have the KJV word I love, froward, as opposed to pure.  The point being made here is that there are many choices and actions in life that can drag us off the path God wants us to follow.

So?  Read the signs.  Follow the directions.  Stay in the right lane.  Of course that assumes that your destination is eternal life.  As usual, the choice is yours.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Between the Lines

(Pro 19:23 KJV)  The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.

As I read the headlines and watch unfolding stories I see government agencies abusing their power.  I see at least the beginnings of a police state unfolding.  Since I like to speak my mind and grew up assuming the protection of the Bill of Rights, this generates a bit of dread in my mind.  This verse is offered as a bit of reassurance.  

Because of other passages that promise persecution, examples of the trials Paul faced and a reading of church history, I can’t get too cavalier about this but there is a promise here.  “Evil” (7451b) [ra] will not prevail.  

So?  Read the headlines and between the lines.  Prepare.  Be ready.  Don’t panic or live crippled by fear. 

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Mouthing It

(Pro 18:6 KJV)  A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.

In this verse and the next a fool’s “mouth” (6310) is the focus.  At other places in Proverbs the mouth is given good reviews.  When I did a search I found that the English word “mouth” was used 46 times in Proverbs.  It is another one of those words that depend on context for its understanding.  

God gives us gifts.  They can be gifts of the Spirit or an unexpected check.  The big question is how we use them and there are a lot of significant long term results for our choices.  We can be a “fool” like this verse speaks of or we can we wise.  So often the choice is up to us.  I remember my motorcycle days.  A friend bought one the same time I did.  His blew up within a short time and mine just kept on running.  The difference was how we used this piece of metal and plastic.

So?  I have another day given to me.  How will I use it?  Will I rejoice and spend it wisely or fall into a funk.  As usual the choice is mine. 

Friday, December 17, 2021

Pray for Pain

(Pro 17:10 KJV)  A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.

One of the commercials that used to run was a statement that comes from a German proverb I learned in junior high.  The English translation is expressed in the commercial as, “No pain, go gain.”  The reference is to physical training.  If you don’t make your muscles work they will not get stronger.  If you cross a certain line there is discomfort.  I remember that such a simple thing as starting to walk as exercise caused my legs to ache.  

Keep in mind that pain can be good.  We usually associate pain with something being wrong but miss the fact that that is good.  Leprosy is a condition that causes major damage because you stop feeling pain.  I think that diabetics also face severe potential problems with their feet because the nerves stop telling them that something is wrong.  

So?  When someone criticizes you, pay attention.  It could very well be that you need to hear what is being said.  It could have eternal consequences.  It could be healing, but only if it goes deep enough to get to the problem. 

Thursday, December 16, 2021


(Pro 16:20 KJV)  He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.

This is a great verse but it is richer when you consider the context and the questions it answers.  If you look back over the preceding verses you see reference to arrogance, priorities and prosperity.  I ask myself, “How do I know if I am arrogant?”  Often we ignore the quality when everyone around us sees it.  Conversely, arrogance is often a pejorative term used to describe someone who is keyed into truth and following God’s directions.

I remember one time a man in the church came to me to talk about my arrogance.  He was not accusing me of it but he had heard others commenting.  We spent a positive and constructive time reviewing who had made the accusation, what they felt I was arrogant about and what was the Biblical basis for our positions.  Notice the key in this verse to finding out if you are arrogant or not:  the “word” (1697).  After considering the situation and what the Bible said he concluded that I was not being arrogant, just Biblical.

So?  It is not always easy or comforting to be the one who stands up for the standards of the Bible.  We expect that in public but are often surprised when it happens in the church.  Don’t stick to your guns, stick to the word.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Hell Is Real

(Pro 15:24 KJV)  The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.

I don’t spend a lot of time focused on “hell” (7585).  The NASB “Sheol” is a transliteration of the Hebrew.  I don’t brood about Sheol either.  I tend to focus on the first part of the verse.  I don’t understand hell but I believe in it.  If there was no other reason to embrace faith in Christ this would be enough.  It always amazes me how many people seem to be choosing eternal damnation.  They will even joke about it.

So?  It might do us some good to remind ourselves that Hell is a reality and that people we care about will be going there if they don’t repent.  I think we would get more serious about our witness if we kept it in mind. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Walk, Don’t Run

(Pro 14:7 KJV)  Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.

What does it mean to “go from” (leave NASB) (1980)?  We are often in situations where we have little freedom of movement.  It could be short term or long term.  The long term, permanent connections can often not be changed.  Relatives are hard to walk away from.  In some cases you cannot quit your job and the church you are at may not have anything close in the area.  As I look at the definitions of “leave” they all seem to be some form of walking, no running.  This speaks to me of doing what I can in the basic, simple acts of life to distance myself from those who tend to drag us down.

There are passive ways in which we can improve our atmosphere.  We can stop initiating contacts.  We can make choices when they are offered instead of saying, “I don’t care.”  We can offer options when prompted.  The recommendation is to keep moving in the right direction.

So?  It all starts with admitting to ourselves that there are some people and groups that are not good for our spiritual lives.  It continues with that statement that talks about having the wisdom to know the difference between what we can change and what we can’t. 

Monday, December 13, 2021

Pay Day

(Pro 13:21 KJV)  Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.

Is this a promise or a principle?  I guess in a sense it is both.  It is a principle because we know the Bible talks about persecution.  One example of this,

(Mat 24:9 KJV)  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
But there are also the promises that God will be with us through the entire journey.  I think that as a general rule those who are walking as God has directed will see a lot less of the evils that life can dish out than those living in rebellion.  Think of the diseases that righteous living shields us from.  

So?  Living righteously has an eternal payoff but also a temporal, daily benefit.  Believe it.  Live it today. 

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Spiritual Anesthesia

(Pro 12:1 KJV)  Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.

If you compare the two translations I am using you see either “instruction” (4148) (KJV) or “discipline” (NASB).  These two words seem to be used interchangeably in the Bible but this is another area that runs counter to our popular culture.  I hope you notice how often that takes place.  How are they different?  One of the common phrases you hear now in education is that learning should be fun.  I will concede that on the lower levels it is possible to construct games that will teach.  There are times when it will be fun but that is not something to build a philosophy of education on.

The Hebrew word used here has the idea of the old song that has the line, “taught to the tune of a hickory stick.”  One of the sad truths is that people often need some reinforcement in order to focus on learning.  Did I say “often”?  I should have said “usually.”  

So?  Be careful what mindless drivel you parrot from the public square.  It may feel good but that may just be an anesthetic, not a vitamin. 

Saturday, December 11, 2021


(Pro 11:13 KJV)  A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

I don’t consider myself a gossip.  That does not mean much because most people would deny the accusation about themselves.  Yet we always hear people telling tales out of school.  I know that I find myself saying more than I intended when I let my mouth run faster than my brain.  Usually it is no big deal but I always wonder what will happen to my words down the road.

One reason it is better to not share things about others, or even yourself, is that the person you tell may have their own spin on your words.  Have you ever had the experience of someone quoting you and what they say is not what you remember saying?  It probably isn’t, but that does not keep them from passing on their version.

So?  Maybe the times of sitting around with friends are not as glorious as the garrulous like to claim.  Maybe we should all be more the strong, silent type.  Maybe. 

Friday, December 10, 2021

Second Guessing

(Pro 10:22 KJV)  The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

Have you ever had to make a decision and wondered if you did the right thing.  Often there is no way to change what you have done but you can learn for next time.  Ask yourself if your decision turned out to be a “blessing” (1293) or a curse.  The time you need to wait will vary.  The amount of damage or blessing will always be different.  The ability to learn from your mistakes will hopefully grow with experience.

It is possible that you may think you messed up.  Measure the “sorrow” (6089a) to see if that is the case.  If you look prayerfully you may find that the blessings more than outweigh the problems.

So?  Keep in mind that God is patient and wants for us to succeed.  He is also very good at taking what we think are mistakes and bringing good things from them. 

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Our Future Is Here

(Pro 9:18 KJV)  But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

It strikes me that this verse is in the present tense.  It speaks of eternal damnation in a place you can call “hell” (7585) (KJV) or “Sheol” (NASB).  One translation has “underworld” and another “nether-world”.  The destination is clear but look at the verb, “are”.  That means right now.  They have just been summoned and responded.  I think there is an indication that the devastation of hell begins while you are still living and breathing.  

Just look around you at the people living in fear.  I have never understood the draw of drugs but again, look around you.  It seems to be everywhere.  People are desperate.  The answer is right in front of them but is rejected because they seem to like living in their self-embraced lostness.

So?  Those who know the joy of the Lord understand that we are just seeing a glimpse of glory at this point, but what a glimpse!  The same long term view is in the eyes, minds and hearts of those who reject the promise.  Until they decide to change there is little that can be done for them.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Some Things Never Change

(Pro 8:13 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

Everywhere I look I see “fear” (3374).  This is not uncommon but today as the government and media push the narrative of a vicious, deadly virus the fear level ratchets up.  The Bible takes disease seriously.  If you read the Law you see how infections and rashes were to be examined by the local medical authority, which was the priest in those days, and treated following the directions of the informed person.  Sometimes quarantine was imposed.  It usually involved washing.  I seem to remember certain procedures involving medicines, but I am not sure about that.  The important feature that was emphasized over and over was that God was in charge of the healing.  The message of the Bible that we need not live in fear if we follow God’s instructions.

If you look at the many times that Israel was threatened you will notice some things vary and others never change.  The ones that vary are the actual responses.  Sometimes Israel it told to fight; other times, submit.  What never changes is that they are to fear and trust the Lord however He chooses to work things out.

So?  Fear.  Hate.  The world gets them backwards.  Make sure you don’t. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Lock ‘em Up

(Pro 7:22 KJV)  He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

Today I read the phrase “discipline of a fool” in the NASB and it struck a cord in my mind.  I was thinking in terms of the kind of self discipline that is necessary to be successful in life and it would seem that fools don’t have any.  Alas, I looked at the KJV and it talked about the “correction of the stocks.”  Both translations are looking at the same Hebrew.  My confusion was that I was thinking of “discipline” (4148) as a positive thing but the word can also refer to actions that try to knock sense into us.  The word has the idea of chastening and correction more than getting up on time.

So?  The point Proverbs makes is that there are fools and we need strong measures to keep them in line.  Too often we promote them and elect them to office.  We give them another chance when we should be locking them up.  There are times when it is a hard call to make but we need to work on our wisdom to figure it out. 

Monday, December 6, 2021

Signal “Is”

(Pro 6:13 KJV)  He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;

As I read this in the NASB it spoke of “signals” (4448b).  The margin tells us it is literally “scrapping”.  The KJV has “speaketh”.  One thing that I notice is that if there is a 4448b there must be a 4448a.  I think it is another case of the many possible understandings of the English word “can”.  Either translation get across the point that we can get a lot of things across without saying a word.  One of the reasons I don’t like the telephone for communication is that you can’t read body language or facial expressions.  

What was hitting me on this today is how much of my witnessing is expressed by the way I move or don’t move.  People watch me.  I don’t have much contact with generic pagans but when I do I would prefer that my persona say something to them about my confidence in my Savior.

So?  To say, “Smile” seems a bit patronizing.  Let’s just hope that the inner peace and joy will be transferred to our eyes, feet and fingers.  They tell us depression goes up during the holiday seasons.  Let’s let them know that within us it is “Joy to the World” and the reason is “the Lord is come.”  Notice it is not “did” or “has” but “is”.  Be an Is person today. 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Keep Living the Freedom

(Pro 5:22 KJV)  His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.

As I reread this verse the words of a song flashed in my head,

Once I was bound by sin's galling fetters;
Chained like a slave, I struggled in vain.
But I received a glorious freedom
When Jesus broke my fetters in twain.
As one who has been washed in the blood my joy is in the last two lines of this first verse of “Glorious Freedom”.  As one who is looking at what is wrong with the world I focus on the first two lines.  Our world, our country, our city and possibly our church are locked in the fetters of sin.  The lies of Satan have “captured” (3920) them.  

When you talk to people who reject everything you believe in, keep in mind that their ability to think has been bogged down with sin.  Usually that is by their own choice.  Many have heard the gospel and been told about the Redeemer but they are not interested.  That does not take away from the fact that you see reality.  Keep talking about your freedom.  Keep rejoicing in your trials.  Keep pouring it on.

So?  What better time than the Christmas season to talk about what happened when God became man.  Keep in mind that the manger is the first step to the cross.  Read the words of the carols and rejoice in the freedom of your mind as well as your soul. 

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Snooze Alarm

(Pro 4:1 KJV)  Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

We all have times when we don’t “attend” (give attention NASB) (7181).  There are sometimes legitimate reasons for this.  Back when I was still flying I would generally tune out the flight attendants as they showed me how to buckle a seat belt.  If I am calling in to a robot that wants to direct my call, after the third time I don’t need to listen to the canned directions.  When my wife is telling me what she did all day after I have listened to her tell her friends on the phone, I don’t need to focus too much.  I also tend to not listen when I don’t want to hear what is being said.

Do you want to hear what God is saying to you?  That seems rhetorical but I am not sure it is.  Many standards and expectations are clearly spelled out in the Bible and yet we still have people ignoring them.  Some of the best preaching I have heard, or at least I thought it was good, goes ignored by people who attend every Sunday.

So?  Sit up and pay attention when God is speaking.  That could mean putting your phone away during worship.  It could mean engaging your mind when you are reading.  It is a reminder directed at you and, unfortunately, me. 

Friday, December 3, 2021

Stocking Up and Taking Stock

(Pro 3:33 KJV)  The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.

Everywhere I turn I see reasons to worry.  As I write the Chinese are rattling their sabers and salivating over Taiwan.  Cargo ships are backed up on the west coast and we are warned of shortages.  That may not be a big deal if it involves bicycle parts but hits home if you need new shoes.  Government officials are doubling down on mandates about injecting chemicals into our children.  We are in hurricane season.  My wife is in a bad mood.  You know of what I write.

As I was spending my morning on a dark porch I was reminded of all the promises that I keep reading in Proverbs and Psalms.  To be honest, if you pay attention there are also mentions of oppression and persecution but the end promise is what we see in this verse.  God will take care of His people.  It may not be the way you want but He will watch over us.

So?  Relax.  Stock up on basics.  If you have a fireplace, lay in some wood.  Lock your doors.  Be alert when you are out at night.  While you do that realize that you will have the hand of Providence riding shotgun.  Rejoice in the Advent season. 

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Holiday Adjectives

(Pro 2:16 KJV)  To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;

I am reminded of the importance of adjectives.  Remember that an adjective is a word that modifies a noun.  Here the noun is “woman” (802).  This is a basic Hebrew word that is used 776 times in the Old Testament.  The overwhelming translations are variations of “woman” and “wife”.  It is a noble, honorable word, then you add the adjective and it changes the whole formula.  It is kind of like putting salt in the sugar bowl.  By the time you wake up to reality, it is too late.

Keep in mind that most sin involves actions that God has blessed being put in motion at the wrong time, place or target.  I have said it before.  I will say it again.  Satan takes God’s blessings and perverts them into destruction.  You can apply that in the Christmas season.  It can effect the gifts you buy and why you give them.  It can make the music a blessing or a desensitizing dirge.  

So?  Check your adjectives.  Make sure that the modifiers in your life are righteous. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Cinnamon Choices

(Pro 1:10 KJV)  My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

Each month begins with Proverbs chapter 1.  It is loaded.  One of the points it makes is that our lives are full of  choices.  We make them moment by moment.  Some are less than earth shaking.  This morning I decided to put cinnamon on my oatmeal again.  It didn’t change my life in spite of the articles I have read about the therapeutic benefits of the spice.  Later I will decide if I am going to walk or not.  If you think about it we constantly make exercise of our will and preferences.

Some of out choices are moral.  Some are significant in other areas.  One of the details I see in the Bible is the matter of free will, our “consent” (14).  Behaviorists tell us everything is a combination of heredity and environment.  Hard core Calvinists tell us that it is all grace.  My Bible says I make choices.  This word does not just mean mouthing the word “yes”.  It means to be willing, to desire.

So?  As we begin a new month, what is the desire of your heart?  Is it to grow in grace, to please you Maker?  Is it just to get by and squeeze through the pearly gates by the skin of your teeth?  Choose wisely because you might have a tooth ache on judgement day.