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, April 30, 2023

Hope Springs Eternal

(Psa 130:3 KJV)  If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

(Proverbs 30 also read)

I am responding to this entire Psalm.  I picked this verse to list because it is so important to us.  Do you see the parallel with Paul,

(Rom 3:23 KJV)  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
What lifted me up about this Psalm is that it covers just about everything we need to know about God’s attitude toward sinners and salvation.  Obviously, since it is Psalms, it can’t explain the place of Jesus, the Cross and the Resurrection.  But look at what we do have in this chapter:  Supplication, iniquity, forgiveness, hope, lovingkindness, redemption.

And not one mention of the burden of the law.

So?  God is concerned about us moving toward Him if we need salvation.  He is concerned that we fear and listen if we are seeking to live upright lives.  God listens and watches.  It is a joy to know that He is on our side and provides the means. 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

I Can Live with That

(Psa 119:93 KJV)  I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.

(Proverbs 29 also read)

This section of the 119th Psalm is full of praise for the law.  I sometimes wonder if Paul ever read the Old Testament in his studies because he is so down on the law.  I like to check the marginal comments in the NASB Reference addition.  Today it had what I considered a great insight.  For “revived” (2421a) it said “or kept me alive.”  

This goes along with my belief that the law was generally written for our benefit, not to stifle us.  I believe that there is a reason for every law.  It might be physical health or mental health.  It could have some scientific principle behind it, but the law is there to “keep me alive.”

So?  I will continue to rejoice in the way the law gives guidance and rejoice even more that, as Paul points out, it is grace that saves us and the blood of Jesus that washes away our sin. 

Friday, April 28, 2023

Mixed Blessings

(Psa 128:6 KJV)  Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel.

(Proverbs 28 also read)

I understand this blessing.  The joy of seeing my children’s children is overwhelming.  It is a gift that keeps on giving.  I think that is from an old commercial.  As I was reading this today I found my heart going out to those who will never experience this.  I am sure we all know people who might have had children but they are not.  Sometimes it is a choice, which is sad.  Other times it is beyond their control, which is sadder.  

Is this God’s judgement?  No.  Keep in mind some of the Biblical examples.  Think of Zacharias and Elizabeth.  There is a clear statement that they were blessed and upright before the Lord.  They only had a child because God intervened and there is no record of John the Baptist marrying or having children.  Or take the words of Paul who recommends staying single.

So?  Walk in righteousness.  Trust God to provide and lead according to His will.  When we get to heaven you can get in line right behind me at the window that says, “‘Why’ questions answered here.”  It will be a glorious day even if it doesn’t feel that way now. 

Thursday, April 27, 2023


(Pro 27:3 KJV)  A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.

We are told not to judge.  If you do any serious Bible reading you understand that it means to judge unjustly and too quickly.  The reason that is important to understand is that we need to be able to recognize “fools” (191) when we meet them.  Actually, I guess it isn’t so much as when we meet them as when we get to know them.  In some cases you might know right away.  Usually it takes time and observation.

In this case it is observing the “provocation” (3708a) that emerges.  The KJV has a lot more variety in how this word is translated.  I think it can be summarized in the different kind of strong responses that can be observed when life throws curve balls.  It would suggest that it is referring to reactions that are way over the top.  

So?  Fools tend to lack self control.  Something to think about when we mediate on our own behavior, isn’t it? 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023


(Psa 116:17 KJV)  I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.

(Proverbs 26, also read)

I am thinking that I tend to put important words in little boxes and always look at them in the context of the six sides.  When I do that I miss a lot.  Reading, meditating, studying and listening sometimes opens the box, flattens the sides and frees the idea for more contemplation.  I find “sacrifice” (2077) going through that process this morning.  

When I hear “sacrifice” I tend to think of animals being led to the altar.  It is the first picture that comes to mind and I think I stop there too often.  All I need to do is think of a chorus we sing that starts, “We bring a sacrifice of praise....”  A quick search finds it used once in the NASB and twice in the KJV.

(Jer 33:11 KJV)  The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.
(Heb 13:15 KJV)  By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
Then we have this verse that talks about a “sacrifice of thanksgiving (8426)”.  How many more objects are connected with sacrifice?

So?  Boxes are great for storing things and sorting things, not so much for understanding the beautiful complexity of God’s mind.  Keep unpacking. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Reasons to Tremble

(Psa 114:7 KJV)  Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob;

(Proverbs 25 also read)

I am not someone that causes anyone to “tremble” (2342a).  I am big but certainly do not have a demeanor that would strike fear into the heart of anyone.  Maybe a three year old would be impressed.  If I sneak up on my grandson I can get him to jump.  The rest of the world just shrugs its collective shoulders and goes about business.  

Why should anyone listen to a testimony, sermon or the church as a whole?  Why, indeed.  We get the reason wrong as much as the rest of the world does.  We tend to focus on becoming a more effective witness, which is a good thing to do.  We want our pastors to study more.  They should.  We want the church to stand up and be counted.  It should.  None of that is what makes the mountains skip or the oceans flee like the previous verses declare.  

It wasn’t the reverberating voice of Moses or the threat of his staff that caused the Red Sea to part.  It wasn’t his skill of negotiation that caused Pharaoh’s army to drown in a few inches of water if you are one of those who reject the miracle of the water parting.  No, it was the Lord.

So?  Prepare.  Study.  Do all the things that go along with obedience.  More important, don’t forget that it is actually the power of God that makes it happen.  That is one of the reasons why we pray for the president.  Let him tremble. 

Monday, April 24, 2023

Great Lyrics, Different Focus

(Pro 24:16 KJV)  For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

As I read this chapter today I was struck by what it is that keeps Christians moving forward.  If our focus is on what goes on around us, on the evil elites that keep pushing their agenda, on the decay of our culture, we would know nothing but doom and gloom.

We don’t wallow in gloom for long.  Sure, it hits us.  We are human with all of our weaknesses and limitations, but our focus is not on the political leaders or the nonsense of our youth.  Our focus is on Almighty God.  That means we allow Him to pick us up, dust us off and try all over again.  I think there is a song with similar lyrics.  The song is based on our efforts.  This verse is based on the power and Grace of God.

So?  Let Him pick you up, dust you off, pat you on the back and send you back into the fray.  The Adventure continues.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Our World of Fantasy

(Pro 23:35 KJV)  They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

Earlier in the chapter we read about drunks and gluttons.  Here at the end we get down to the real issue:  Living in a world of illusion.  This verse could be funny if we did not find ourselves surrounded by people who refuse to look at reality.  How can anyone who knows how to put a shirt on believe that there are more than two genders?  How can anyone who has ever changed a diaper not know that you have only boys and girls?  That kind of explains lot.  I would guess that many of these people have never done either.

I can call my sin “righteous” until I might start to believe it on one level.  When the payment for my sin comes due I can blame my parents, society or, the current favorite, white skin but the payment is still due.  And that is just the damage in this life.  Eternity takes it to another level.  I wonder how much of the misery of Hell will be sitting around blaming everyone else for our misery and knowing it was our choice.

So?  Wake up if you are still asleep.  If you are already awake look for opportunities to alert others.  The odds are they won’t want to listen but you never know. 

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Buddies as Burdens

(Pro 22:26 KJV)  Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.

I was reading a book recently that recommended moving if we lived in an area that made it impossible to raise our children right and live the way we felt was right.  Good advice but I don’t know too many people who can afford to just up and move.  This verse brings to mind that there are things we can do short of selling our house that can change our life experience.  It comes down to changing our habits and making different choices.

The types of people here are those who are always giving their word and borrowing money.  I think the inference is that they are not reliable in either commitment.  If you have people like this, that are a bad influence, think about ways you can change your patterns to avoid them.  It might mean changing churches.  It could be going to different restaurants or dropping out of certain organizations.  The need is to get away from people who are dragging you down and find some who will lift you up.

So?  Although we need to learn to endure many things there are some we can change.  Make it a matter of prayer.  Look around and think about it.  Follow through.  Easy to say, right? 

Friday, April 21, 2023


(Pro 21:1 KJV)  The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

I wrote on this verse last month.  I need to remind myself again.  I need to focus like a laser from 10,000 miles on the leaders of the world.  You need to join me.  I may not understand how prayer works.  I may know that God works His way and is not blocked by any man.  At the same time we are told to pray for our leaders.  Here it mentions the king.  For us that would definitely be the president.  It would also include anyone in an executive position that can influence us.

We keep wondering what we can do about the problems our country faces.  Our weakness is that we come to prayer last instead of first.  We don’t need revolution we need revival.  Our issues won’t be solved by violence but by virtue.  

So?  Put the president at the head of your prayer list.  Well, maybe after your family and church, but definitely near the top.  Let’s make a difference. 

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Don’t Always Share

(Pro 20:3 KJV)  It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.

This made me sit up a little straighter today and pay attention.  I don’t consider myself one to “quarrel” (1566), or “meddle” as the KJV says, but I have an almost irresistible urge to argue or debate any issue.  This comes to me in Sunday School where I find myself being aware that I could argue with almost every sentence the teacher says, certainly every paragraph.  Sometimes the point I would make might be valid but usually it is just for discussion.  I constantly find I must sit on my hands, so to speak.

So?  Discernment is called for.  The point being made is that I have too much of a tendency to jump in and disagree.  I need to learn to draw the line between recreation and reproof.  That is hard because it is so much fun.  I need to understand that the recipient of my wisdom might not see it with such joy.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

The Demand of Growth

(Pro 19:20 KJV)  Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.

Am I the only one who gets tired of the daily grind and wants to rest on my laurels?  I don’t think so, but it may be worse in me than others.  I wish I could do things right the first time so that I don’t need to do it again.  I wish I could remember all the things I had read then I would not need to read them again.  I wish I could retain all the wisdom that has been laid on me over the years.  It doesn’t work that way.  Wisdom does not become automatic and can be suppressed or decay.

This is why it is so important to keep reading.  I keep coming to passages in the Bible that I don’t remember reading before.  It is also important to keep discussing what you have read with people who can challenge your thinking.  I can grow in solitaire but the awareness that someone may disagree with me forces me into a deeper level of thinking.  

So?  Keep growing.  It may be frustrating to go over the same ground again but if you are lucky you won’t remember and get up tight about it.  I sometimes wonder how memory will work in eternity. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

The Chosen Name

(Psa 113:3 KJV)  From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised.

(Proverbs 18 also read)

At this point in this Psalm we have seen the phrase “name (8034) of the LORD (3068)” three times and the unique name “LORD” [yhwh] five.  This name is not just another word for God.  It is the name that God Himself revealed to Moses.  Out of all the words and names available He chose the Hebrew YHWH or Yahweh or sometimes translated as Jehovah.

It means “I am” and points out that the God of the Bible is the real one.  He is not just a name, a wish, a compilation or a fantasy.  He is.

So?  It gives us a foundation that we need to keep reminding ourselves of.  Foundations are much bigger than the parts that are visible and are not thought about much.  Foundations are what keep everything else in place.  Worship and rejoice. 

Monday, April 17, 2023

Form a Square

(Psa 112:7 KJV)  He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.

(Proverbs 17 also read)

There are mornings where I don’t want to look to see what has happened over the last day.  It seems like every time I try to check out news things get worse.  At times like that I need to remind myself that I fear the Lord as it says in verse 1, not the morning “tidings” (8052).

That makes it possible to remain “steadfast” (3559) in the midst of any bad news.  The two translations I focus on give good nuance to this word.  It has the idea of steady.  It doesn’t necessarily mean charging ahead.  This is the resolve of the Roman legionnaire standing shield to shield before a horde of charging Germans.  It is the British square as Napoleon’s cavalry charges.  There is a confidence that resists the attacks of the enemy.

So?  Focus on whom you trust.  Triumph depends on His strength, not ours.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

The Highway Awaits

(Pro 16:17 KJV)  The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

A “highway” (4546) is not a decoration.  It is a tool.  It is a way to travel without having to worry about all of the gullies and bushes that might slow down travel.  Three views of the highway come to mind.  You can be starting a journey, on a journey or finishing a journey.  Here the point being made is that we are to be starting.  The purpose of the start is to get away.

There are many things in life that we might want to leave behind:  Mistakes, temptations, failures and of course “evil” (7451b).  The point here is that God will provide a way.

So?  Get moving.  Change what needs to be changed.  I think that will be totally different for each of us.  What might be crippling to one person would be a slight annoyance to another.  Get moving. 

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Living in Moab

(Psa 108:9 KJV)  Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph.

(Proverbs 15 also read)

One of the differences in viewpoint between the Old Testament and the New is the focus of God’s grace.  I don’t know how much is perception and how much is real.  In books like Psalms you see God addressing groups of people, nations and tribes, as His primary focus.  Individuals are considered but the major concern would be the nation of Israel as God’s chosen people.  An example would be in the reference to Moab.  I don’t think being a “washbowl” (7366) is a good thing.  At the same time Ruth was from Moab and is singled out for God’s blessings.

That is a point of view worth considering.  We live in a culture.  That culture has attributes.  We are forced to deal with them and suffer the consequences of the rottenness as well as the blessings of morality.  Ruth was obviously singled out as a woman of virtue.  She went through some hard times and through her faithfulness to Naomi she was moved from Moab to Israel.

So?  We may live in a culture that is heading for the gutter.  We are still called to live in virtue and follow the higher calling of a holy God.  Sometimes we will be sheltered.  Sometimes we will be persecuted.  At all times we must be obedient grains of salt.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Prayer Refuge

(Pro 14:26 KJV)  In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

I am very much aware of the blessings in my life.  When I am focusing on thanksgiving I start with salvation and the willingness of Jesus to empty Himself to take on manhood.  I think of the cross and the written word that tells us about Him.  I eventually get to the material blessings.  And then there is the ability we still have to live and worship in freedom.  I am grateful that I live in the blip of history that allows such without fear of persecution.

I am also aware that forces are moving to take that security away from us.  I think of the times in history when society has been a guessing game of whether you would live to see tomorrow or have the food to feed your family.  I think of Christians who have come through that and how many of them have done so rejoicing.  I hope that when the time comes I can live in this verse.

So?  Job made it through.  I am praying for that kind of trust and also praying that I will never need to exercise it. 

Thursday, April 13, 2023


(Pro 13:15 KJV)  Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.

This verse adds some enlightenment to the call of Noah,

(Gen 6:8 KJV)  But Noah found grace (2580) in the eyes of the LORD.
You don’t see it?  The key word in Proverbs is “favor” (2580).  Now with that in mind consider a favorite verse of all believers which is misunderstood by so many,
(Eph 2:8 KJV)  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Why do I say misunderstood?  So many Christians are taught that you are saved by grace alone, which is true, but that nothing else matters, which is not true.

Salvation is a gift, a favor, of God.  In order to understand what that means you need to keep reading and not ignore the many other teachings in the Bible about what it means to be saved.  Can you earn your salvation?  Absolutely not.  Is it a gift?  Indeed.  Are there other expectations?  It would seem so.  Here we have the suggestion of “understanding” (7922).  What that involves is a topic for another day.

So?  God wants to see us as part of His family.  You can receive the gift of eternal life.  The challenge is to begin applying it on a daily basis.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Spiritual Surgeons

(Pro 12:18 KJV)  There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

This verse does not really compare a sword with a tongue.  It is the intent of the wielder that is at issue.  Think of the difference between the thug racing out of a dark ally with knife held high as opposed to the surgeon cutting out the cancer in your skin.  Both cut.  Both may go deep.  Only one is concerned with the well being of the one being cut.

Such is to be our conversation.  If all we want is to win an argument then we run the danger of being the sword.  If we are concerned with the other person then we will be seeking healing.  We may be cutting.  We may draw blood.  The other person may recoil but our purpose is wholeness based on truth.

So?  Guard your mouth not with silence but with truth.  That carries risk, now more than ever, but it is still the route for the righteous.  di

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Guaranteed Delivery

(Pro 11:21 KJV)  Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.

One of the big differences between the “wicked” (evil NASB) (7451a) and the “righteous” (6662) is time frame.  Godly people live in peace because they take a long range view.  Here the reference is to their “seed” (decedents NASB) (2233) but the implication is the future, which is in God’s hands.  God’s people tend to think in terms of eternity not today.

Part of that is a natural based on the work of the Holy Spirit.  Part of it is in the discipline of study and learning to trust.  We live in troubled times but we need to remember that generations past have also lived in troubled times.  Sometimes that ends in persecution and martyrdom.  Other times it is the groundwork for miracles and deliverance.  

So?  We can live with both.  We can do that because we believe that the Providence of God is active now and forever.  We are blessed with having read the Book and we know who wins. 

Monday, April 10, 2023

Avoiding Train Wrecks

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

There is a pattern in this chapter and probably in others.  We see that “mouth” (6310) is used twice but the effects of the mouths are different.  It occurred to me that it is not so much our talents or situations that make the difference but how we use them.  How we use them could also be the difference between a talent and a gift.

This can be easily demonstrated with the gift of giving as compared to the talent for investing.  In each case wealth is going out.  In both cases it is necessary to have the wealth to use.  In one the wealth is given with no thought of return and the result is blessing.  With the other there is an expectation and often the results do not advance righteousness.

So?  It isn’t what you have but how you use it.  We all know people born with every advantage that end up a walking disaster.  Allowing God to call the shots and following His principles can keep us from being one of those train wrecks. 

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Barrier to Evangelism

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

In our desire to win the world we often make a mistake.  All people will not be won to the Lord.  A sad truth is that the vast majority will not respond to the invitation and love of God.  It is not forced on them.  It is not a one time missing of an offer.  It is the result of a lifelong series of decisions.  It is what happens when you repeatedly reinforce the built in sin nature.  Most people will not be saved.

That does not mean we stop witnessing.  It does not mean we give up and go home.  It means that we understand that we are playing against a stacked deck and it is stacked by the person we are talking to.  It is God’s desire that all would be saved but when He created man in His image that meant we are able to make decisions.  It also means we are responsible for our decisions.

So?  Rejoice in knowing the living God.  Share that joy when you get a chance.  Rejoice even more if someone responds. 

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Starting Points

(Pro 8:8 KJV)  All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.

The Greek word used for wisdom is sophia.  It is part of the compound word “philosophy” which means “love of wisdom”.  I imagine if we were trying to name the study of wisdom it might be “sophiology”.  Don’t wait to see that in Wikipedia.  We do not live in an age that loves or studies wisdom.  

You can see that in almost every area of academic research.  Most research today is guided by political considerations.  They want to find something that will back their point of view.  Because of that disciplines like science are close to losing all respect.  What is sad is to see this in the study of the Bible.  It amazes me how many people who are quoted as authorities on the Bible are non-believers or when you listen to a Jew who is a professor of New Testament.

So?  We are to seek wisdom but be careful of your sources.  We are told that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.  A philosopher or a scientist, for that matter an English teacher analyzing a classic piece of literature, cannot have much to say if their foundation is not right.  It is always safe to start with the Bible.  Often that is a good place to stop also. 

Friday, April 7, 2023

Genuine Assurance

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

If you compare translations you will notice that the NASB has “sons” (1121) [ben] and the KJV “children”.  The Hebrew is literally the word for “son” with the understanding that if it is plural it can refer to boys and girls.  Notice that verse 1 is singular and the KJV translates it “son”.  Here it is plural so the KJV gives us a better nuance.

Some people have the idea that because we are sons of God that we are sealed for eternity even if we go on to reject Him and live a life of debauchery and rebellion.  I have had people say to me, “You would not disinherit your own son would you?”  My answer is, “Yes.”  If my son had decided to live a life of evil and sin I would do all I could to make sure he did not benefit from the blessings God had given me.

So?  We can be secure in our assurance of eternal life.  Make sure it is a genuine security. 

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Two Edged Response

(Psa 107:1 KJV)  O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

(Proverbs 6 also read)

If I had to pick a title for this Psalm I might select something like, “The Responsiveness of God.”  What might catch you by surprise is that the response goes both ways.  

We see the repeated way in which God responds to the desperation of men.  Hard times are described and God brings relief.  We also see how God responds to evil living with desolation and despair.  The relationship between God and His people is not a static one.  It is not a case of handing in your ticket and getting eternal security.  It is God responding to your response.

So?  He waits.  He listens.  He watches.  He responds.  I intend to give Him reason to send showers of blessings. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2023


(Pro 5:12 KJV)  And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;

I have some friends who have withdrawn from the church.  They don’t just spurn a specific local church but the church in general.  I can’t say that I blame them.  I feel that the church has lost its edge, its message.  The church has conformed to the age and is a reflection of the world.  It is a mirror rather than a beacon on a hill.

And yet the emphasis of this verse and the rest of the chapter is on our responsibility.  I suggest that we as believers have balked at instruction when it was too demanding.  I think we have been guilty of rationalizing our positions and refusing to listen to the hard words.  Where would the church be if we had responded to those pastors who spoke difficult truth and encouraged them to push harder?

So?  Find a church that offends you because it is too literal.  They are out there but you have to seek them.  You will be disappointed that they will be smaller and you might be expected to step up to the plate in serving instead of having great programs provided for you.  Strange how that works. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Nose Dives

(Pro 4:12 KJV)  When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

I had the opportunity to comfort my grandson this week.  He was joyously sprinting down the driveway when suddenly his feet didn’t seem to keep up with the rest of his body.  He went down hard.  We kissed hands and knees and cuddled a bit.  Eventually he remembered that mommy was in the house and decided I was not good enough.  

This verse talks about running and not stumbling.  I pointed out to him in the nonsense soothings that go on that if he had been running up hill he probably would not have fallen.  I think that applies to us when we look at this.  It isn’t stated but I think we might find that when we take the easier path, downhill, we have a harder time staying upright.  If I slip going up a hill the worst that usually happens is a few quick steps and a hand or knee on the ground to steady me.  If I am rushing downhill it is more of a total body free fall.

So?  Run uphill.  Strive for the heights.  Usually that is the path of obedience and a lack of stumbling. 

Monday, April 3, 2023

Guilt by Association

(Jas 4:4 KJV)  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

(Proverbs 3 also read)

The church has a significant problem of open “friendship” (5373) [philia] with the world.  This is true as individuals and as an organized group.  

There may not be much you can do about the organized church but you can be responsible for your own choices and priorities.  It isn’t that we are supposed to set out to make people angry at us.  No, it is that we are not supposed to be courting the world because we want to be accepted.  As a general rule that means rejecting the values and truth of God.  The world has a sliding scale when it comes to truth, values and morality.  God’s people believe in absolutes.

What we see happening is that we are trying to be like them instead of drawing them to be like Jesus.

So?  This is serious.  We need to look at how we live and ask who we are trying to be friends with. 

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Memory Lane

(Psa 106:13 KJV)  They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:

(Proverbs 2 also read)

This is an indictment of us today as much as ancient Israel.  This statement follows a recounting of the miracles God had performed to get them safely out of Egypt and across the Red Sea.  Almost immediately they “forgot” (7911) what He had done.

How often have I drifted into worry and insecurity?  It seems to be a regular habit.  I think I am getting better at remembering but I still have a long way to go.  One of the things that helps is my daily worship where I spend time in thanksgiving.  Eventually my mind will wander to the past and the times God has provided, encouraged and strengthened.

So?  Walking by faith is sometimes a matter of memory, looking back and not just a matter of looking forward.  Just as God is involved in the history of Israel, He is involved with us. 

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Don’t You Dare

(Psa 91:5 KJV)  Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

(Proverbs 1 also read)

We are in the middle of a list of destructive events and forces.  We have people out to get us, disease and war.  In the midst of this is the command that we are not to be “afraid” (3372a).  Here it is given as a command.  I think that this is one of those commands that require time and focus to implement in our lives.  

Some peace is a process of growing up.  I can remember the fears I had as a child of the dark.  Generally they were fears based on nothing.  As an adult I no longer worry about what might be under the bed.  Many of the noises in the night are automatically ignored.  If I am worried in the dark it is because I am convinced there is something to fear, not because it is dark.

Other fears require applied faith.  We see the forces of evil running loose in our country and around the world.  There are lots of valid reasons to be concerned.  This is where we are called on to trust the Lord to manage the big things that are mostly beyond our reach.  It is a conscious decision that must be made on a daily basis.  I decided this morning not to get all knotted up over inflation and the possibilities of nuclear war.  God will see His people through.

So?  A daily reminder of Whom we believe in and application of faith are game changers.  Rejoice in the midst of uncertainty because there are some things we can be certain of.