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.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

A Blessed Law

(Pro 31:26 KJV)  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

We have a reference here to the “law” (teaching NASB) (8451) [torah].  This is the same concept that Paul spends so much time attacking.  Here the word is linked to “kindness” (2617a) [chesed].  This should point out to us that there are different forms of law, or teaching, and many of them are blessed.

In our culture we have different kinds of law.  We have the laws of nature such as gravity.  You ignore them to your peril.  We have traffic laws which you can sometimes get away with breaking.  We have the Constitution which seems to be open to manipulation in our modern society.  

So?  Observe the laws.  There is a penalty for ignoring them.  At the same time realize that our access to salvation is not through keeping the law but through trusting in Jesus to pay for our sins. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Increased Understanding

(Psa 93:1 KJV)  The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.

(Proverbs 30 also read)

This is a good example of scripture that grows in its understanding as we grow in our knowledge.  Evidently there was once a universal belief that the earth did not “move” (4131).  The idea that it revolved around the sun, let alone sped through an expanding space, was foolishness.  I don’t think it even qualified as heresy.  We now know better and have adjusted our understanding.  What was once understood literally has become figurative.  The change does not reflect a decrease in the “strength” (5797) of God but an increase in our knowledge.

There will be other understandings that change.  Some are a bit obvious.  When you read,

(Luk 2:1 KJV)  And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
You know that this did not involve the Chinese or Olmec.  

Some are still points of argument.  Did God create in seven 24 hour days?  

Keep your eye on the ball.  The issue is truth.  The medium is language and language is sometimes literal and other times figurative.  Keep in mind that if someone had told Moses about a camel going through the eye of a needle he may have not known what a needle was.

So?  Always read through the eyes of faith with your brain turned on.  It is much better than walking through a forest blindfolded. 

Monday, January 29, 2024

Live Jesus

(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.

Living a life of righteousness is not a thought experiment.  Notice the phrase “in the way (1870)”.  This is pointing out that our theories need to have rubber-meeting-the-road realities.  We are to live what we believe.  

You will find this description used in Acts to describe the early church.  Before they were called Christians, which was meant as an insult, they were called “the Way”.  Was that a coincidence?  I don’t think so.  It is an emphasis that a life that is not lived in righteousness is a life that does not reflect the presence of Jesus.

So?  Is this a demand that we be faultless?  No.  If that were how it worked we would have none of the letters of Paul written to deal with faults.  Go forth and live Jesus. 

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Never too Early

(Pro 28:26 KJV)  He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

Notice the different guides and results represented here.  On one side you have what would have to be defined as your emotions.  How do you feel about that?  We often hear that question.  Unless your feelings are based on more than your emotions you are in deep trouble.

The contrast is wisdom.  What is wisdom?  The entire book of Proverbs was preserved to answer that question.  It is not simple or short.  It is knowable.  It is also something that does not come out of thin air in a moment of crisis.  It demands input and contemplation.

So?  Get started.  They say it is never too late.  A better bit of advice is, “It is never too early.” 

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Better a Landlord than a Tenant

(Pro 27:26 KJV)  The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field.

What are the goats and lambs of your life?  I am not a shepherd.  I have no desire to be a goatherd.  I am content admiring them from afar and letting the children pet them.  At the same time there are things in my life that take their place.  This is a verse in support of free market responsibility.  We are to use our assets to provide for our needs.  Notice that you are not eating the sheep, you are shearing them.  And you are encouraged to buy land.

God expects us to be givers, not takers.  That is a bit of a jump from this but consistent with it.  I am not to expect my neighbors goats to supply my clothing.  I think it also implies it is better to own the field than rent.

So?  Consider God’s guidance of your financial life as much as your spiritual walk.  Maybe they are intertwined more than we think.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Day of Revelation

(Pro 26:26 KJV)  Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.

How do we detect people who are filled with hate?  It is not easy and it may not even be possible in the short run.  They are very good at “covering” (3680) what is in their heart.  Their hatred is not based on evil that has been done to them.  These are people who are an intimate part of the church, family or community.  They have all the opportunities and blessings of those around them, but are consumed by hatred.  They are stealth members of the body.

This verse tells us that they will eventually be “revealed” (1540) and in a public way.

So?  Be prepared for the shock of revelation.  Make sure your heart is right. 

Thursday, January 25, 2024

It Matters

(Pro 25:26 KJV)  A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.

What is the cost of compromise?  It is an important question for us today.  The cultural Marxism is pressing in from all sides.  If you send your children to college they come back brainwashed and rejecting all you believe in.  We live in a culture that is intent on shaming us into silence and conformity.

It is easy to tell others how to face this.  It is much harder to stand tall ourselves.  I have a tendency to say, “Now is not that time.”  Later I admit to myself it was.  Keep in mind that people are watching you.  I would tell you that there are many who believe as you do but are afraid to speak out but that won’t help.  Each of us needs to develop the backbone to stand tall even if we are the only dandelion in the lawn.

So?  Live like your response to cultural pressure matters because it does.  You may miss a few bargains and not be invited to all the parties but you will have a greater chance of hearing, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Walk Tall

(1Sa 2:9 KJV)  He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.

(Proverbs 24 also read)

This is a reminder we need.  Hannah is praying and giving praise to God.  She has gone through a long list of specifics and here she gives a general statement about the providence of God, grace, if you will.

We have hope.  We have a future.  We have victory.  It is not based on our “strength” (3581).  It is based on the God we serve.  It is a similar story with our eternal salvation.  It does not depend on our might but on the power of God.

So?  Walk tall.  Speak with confidence.  God is still in charge.  He has been through this before even if it is our first time. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Shore up Your Corner

(Pro 23:26 KJV)  My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

Today I started reading in this verse and it seemed to me that this was a word from the Lord about my relationship with Him.  By the time I finished reading the chapter I woke up to the fact that this is Solomon talking to his son.  What does it have to say to us today?

It speaks of family relationships.  Specifically this is between father and son.  I would assume that the same principle involves mothers and daughters and that there is a crossover.  It goes against what our culture is telling us.  You may not be reading books to your grandchildren.  You may not have read a lot to your children.  I noticed it way back then.  There is a definite message sent by modern literature.  Fathers are fools.  Don’t pay any attention to them.  At least be ready to bail them out when they mess up.

So?  Realize how our culture is trying to destroy the family.  Make it a principle to build the family up.  As a parent, set the example.  As a child, follow the example.  The world around you may be crashing and burning but that does not mean you must join them. 

Monday, January 22, 2024

Do You Want an Answer?

(Psa 91:15 KJV)  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

(Proverbs 22 also read)

We like the promises of God.  This chapter in Psalms is full of them.  Notice the condition that is laid out here.  We must “call” (7121) on God.  One of the important aspects of calling on someone is to make sure that they can here you.  My wife likes to talk to me when I am not in the room any more.  She wonders why I don’t hear her.  Go back and look at the first verse where it talks about dwelling in His shelter.

He will “answer” (6030a).  Make sure you are listening.  

So?  What are you going to do with the answer.  That is the real question here.  It won’t do to get an answer from God that is conditional and to ignore the condition.  It won’t do any good to admire the results of a righteous life and refuse to live righteously.  

Sunday, January 21, 2024

The Whole Grain Option

(Psa 67:2 KJV)  That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.

(Proverbs 21 also read)

I like the KJV translation of this verse.  It may not be the most accurate but it strikes a bell.

First I noted that this is to all nations.  Since I have a friend who largely ignores the OT because he claims it was written to the Jews, this statement stands out to me.  Yes, it was written to the Jews but this promise is offered to all.

I like the idea of “saving health” (3444).  The simple translation is “salvation” but I like the idea that this is the healthy choice.  It makes me think of all the jargon around organic products.  Maybe we could have a vegan translation.  

Then you have the condition.  It is amazing how often God’s promises are conditional.  The condition here?  It involves knowing His “way” (1870) and I assume following it.

So?  Go whole grain living.  Read about God’s plan for salvation and living.  It makes a difference if you let it.  All the whole grain goodness in the world doesn’t do you any good if it is left on the shelf. 

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Freedom of the Law

(Psa 119:45 KJV)  And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.

(Proverbs 20, also read)

Here in a discussion of the law we are told we can “walk” (1980) at “liberty” (7342).  What a surprising statement in the Old Testament.  Or is it?  So much of our view of law is molded by Paul reacting to the Judaizers who were following him around and trying to get people circumcised.  The problem was not actually the circumcision but the stress they seemed to be putting on it as being necessary for salvation.  The details of the law can be a problem if you look at them as hoops to jump through or boxes to check off.  

Or, it can be freeing.  Reading in Psalms gives you the other side of the coin on the law.  Here it is clear that the person who has a focus of looking for God’s wisdom will be able to walk in freedom.  It is because his trust is in God and not in the ritual.  James uses a similar approach when he talks about the law of liberty.

So?  Don’t look to rules and regulations as a force of salvation.  Look to an awareness of the potholes to give you the ability to relax in a world full of holes.  Trust and obey. 

Friday, January 19, 2024

A Depressing Psalm

(Psa 88:3 KJV)  For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.

(Proverbs 19 also read)

What a depressing Psalm.  If this were an example of the rest of the book then I doubt if it would have become the favorite that it is.  This is the testimony of someone who does not know the God of the Bible.  He has read about Him.  He has heard others talk about Him.  He probably knows his theology.  He does not know his God.

If you have time compare this to Psalm 19.  It came to mind when I was reading this.  I didn’t remember what was in it but my mind whispered, “Psalm 19".  It starts off with a statement of the glory of God and proceeds full of rejoicing and Praise.  It is like it was written by a different person, and it was.  This is why David is regarded as a man after God’s own heart.  It is because he knew God’s heart and rejoiced in it

So?  God is truly terrifying and life is so futile if you do not know Him.  In this day and age Jesus has died to pay for your sins so knowledge of God is available to all.  What a reason to rejoice. 

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Unexpected Touch

(Psa 56:4 KJV)  In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

(Proverbs 18 also read)

Today when I read this Psalm it seemed lifeless.  When I read it a second time, it seemed the same.  As I continued my worship my thoughts turned to the nature of God and how He is worthy when I am not.  He then reminded me that He makes me worthy, or maybe better adequate, by His constant guiding of my life.  It can be a major intervention or just the gentle breeze that redirects my attention but He sees to it that I am able to be what He wants.

That brought me back to this Psalm.  I can face today with confidence because there is an involved, personal God who is active in my life.  He makes up for my shortcomings and at the end of the day, when it is time to tally up the balance, I can trust Him for my eternity.  

So?  At that point I realized I had read Psalm 56 when I should have read 66.  Strange how God works to get our attention. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Now Is the Time

(Pro 17:26 KJV)  Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.

We need to continually pray for our country, our state and our local government.  It looks to me like the number of people in political leadership who are willing to endorse righteousness is withering away.  Time and time again we see headlines which make us cry, “What?”  We keep thinking it can’t get any worse, only to wake up the next day and find that it did.

We need to get on the prayer wagon right away.  Don’t wait until you see them coming up your driveway.  That will probably be too late.  When you are done with your prayer, get yourself in action.  That means educating yourself and voting.  It means speaking up.  It means taking a stand.  To our surprise that stand may need to be taken at our church.

So?  The Bible is full of warnings about disaster.  It is full of promises.  We have something to say about which comes out way. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

No Spoons Involved

(Pro 16:26 KJV)  He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.

One of the themes of this chapter is that the desire and direction of our hearts determines where we go in life.  There is an assumption in Proverbs and Psalms at least that our free will determines whether we are open to the directions of the Holy Spirit.  We are either of a righteous disposition or wicked in our inclinations.  This is not salvation but an openness to it.

This is rejected by many who take what I consider an un-Biblical approach to grace.  Our salvation is a gift given by God.  It is not something we earn or deserve.  My question would be, “How does God decide?”  My conviction of free will and the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of non-believers says that He gives the gift to those who want it.

So?  God grace?  It will not be spoon fed.  It can be rejected.  It is freely offered. 

Monday, January 15, 2024

Slow Boil

(Psa 76:7 KJV)  Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?

(Proverbs 15 also read)

When I first read this Psalm today I was a little bored.  What does this have to do with me?  It seems to talk of God punishing His enemies, which it does.  After reading it a few times a couple of things stood out.

First, we need to be worried about the anger of God.  He is to be “feared” (3372a), and I don’t mean in the sense of awe and reverence.  In our day and age of trigger warnings, safe spaces, seeker friendly worship and all just getting along, we reject this view of God.  It doesn’t matter.  The people who were not on the ark had probably never seen a worldwide flood but they still were not on the ark.  Don’t play tag on the back of a sleeping tiger.

He is slow to anger.  He will eventually have enough and then, watch out.  I started trying to think of a Biblical example where God flew off the handle on short notice.  There may be a case but generally people have plenty of opportunities to repent and reform.  They might claim it wasn’t fair but usually that seems to be living in denial.

So?  God will see His will done.  He will give you plenty of time to choose sides.  Make sure you don’t put it off too long. 

Sunday, January 14, 2024

The Impossible Dream

(Psa 62:12 KJV)  Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.

(Proverbs 14 also read)

I read this first in the KJV today.  I was struck by the balance between “mercy” (2617a) and how God will reward us according to our “work” (4639).  The NASB has “lovingkindness” for “mercy”.  The idea of being rewarded for our works is contrary to the emphasis on grace that we find in the writings of Paul and in the theology of the modern church, yet the idea is common in the rest of the Bible.  Here it seems to say that God, in His love, will reward us.  Other places, including Psalms, point out that it is impossible for us to do what is right without the help of God.  I think these two ideas go together in a glorious mix.

Both Testaments build a foundation of God’s grace.  He is the source of salvation.  Sin is not a debt we can ever pay off on our own.  Write that in bold capitals.  It gives us the launching pad to live as God would have us live.  Always read Ephesians 2:10 when you quote verses 8 and 9.

(Eph 2:10 KJV)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
As I was thinking about this the song from Man of La Mancha came to mind, “The Impossible Dream”.  The first stanza sets the mood,
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
And to run where the brave dare not go
We may never live perfect lives.  Our behavior may always have rough spots.  We are still expected to embark on that journey of righteousness, not because we think our discipline will achieve it, but because we want to do the impossible.

So?  God is merciful.  He extends His grace to us.  He also sets us on a quest of obedience.  Don’t miss the opportunity to reach the unreachable star. 

Saturday, January 13, 2024

The Blessings of Rags, the Curse of Riches

(Pro 13:7 KJV)  There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.

Attitude is so important.  We have all kinds of ideas about what would make life better.  Maybe it would be a different job.  How about a spouse who stopped nagging or children who would act like you knew which way to turn the faucet to cut off the water?  More money?  A bigger house?  Some “needs” would be common in every home, others might be unique or rare.  Most of them miss the key ingredient.

Attitude.  I was remembering a toy that was advertised when I was a child.  The advertising was awesome and compelling.  I remember wanting one.  It would make my life complete.  Later, after it had been replaced by something “better”, I got one, probably second hand.  It was glorious, for about 15 minutes.  After that it became obvious it was rather boring and monotonous.  At the same time I could take out some discarded items that challenged my imagination and play for hours.


So?  God has blessed us.  Whether we see it is in our heart, not our eyes.  Look again. 

Friday, January 12, 2024

Cross Reference

(Pro 12:20 KJV)  Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.

Every time I start adjusting to the KJV I come across a verse like this.  When I read this verse and saw the word “imagine” (2790a) I linked it to the idea of the imagination, something that takes place in our minds but have little chance of happening.  It was kind of like a trip to Evil Land at Disneyland.  Somehow that didn’t set right with me so I compared the NASB and looked in my references for the Hebrew word.  The NASB has “devise”.  That is more along the lines of the thought.

This is the active planning and implementation of wickedness.  It isn’t just a creative imagination.  It is a committed action.

So?  Again, as I have said before, there are people in the world committed to evil.  Also it is important for us to read different translations so that we can get closer to the truth God has for us.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Ashamed of Confusion

(Psa 71:1 KJV)  In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.

(Proverbs 11 also read)

I am reading today in the KJV and instead of the “ashamed” of the NASB it has “confusion” (954).  The NASB has the more frequent translation, in fact it is the most common in the KJV also, but here it caught my eye.  As I get older I find that my peers seem more and more “confused”.  I am sure that I seem the same to them.  It is part of life and is more pronounced in some than in others.

We develop skill in covering this up and hiding it from others, but eventually people begin to catch on.  It is more than just the occasional forgotten word.  It is being out of touch with the greater reality.  I remember my wife’s grandmother.  If you were only around her for a few minutes you thought she was one of the sharp tacks in the room.  The longer you were with her the more that faded.  The jokes were funny the first time but when repeated lost a bit of zest.

So?  We need to be compassionate with those going through this.  We need to develop the patience to live with it when it hits us.  We need to pray for clarity of mind.  We don’t know the physical reasons for why some decline and others remain sharp.  I pray that God rewards me with mental ability that does not make me ashamed or confused. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

God Gives

(Psa 24:5 KJV)  He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

(Proverbs 10 also read)

Is it possible to be righteous?  This verse says yes.  It also says that “righteousness” (6666) comes from the Lord, not through our efforts.  We need to accept both of those truths.  We acknowledge the sovereignty of God.  We confess our unworthiness and weakness.  We also rejoice in the assurance that God can make a change in our hearts.

So?  Don’t be satisfied with the idea that we continue in sin even after we are saved.  There will be many false starts, stumbles and moments of weakness but in the power of the Holy Spirit we can have victory.  Trust and obey.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Expect the Reject

(Psa 69:9 KJV)  For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.

(Proverbs 9 also read)

I have heard the first phrase of this verse quoted often.  Today as I read through the Psalm and the context it hit me as a part of a longer passage.  This is not an isolated statement about how much David loved the temple.  First off, the temple had not been built.  Worship was still in a tent.  Secondly, he is complaining.

If you read the context he is pointing out that he has been rejected because He is faithful to God.  It not only comes from society as a whole but also from his family.  You might consider this a bit of prophecy leading to what Jesus had to say.

(Mat 10:21 KJV)  And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
(Mat 10:22 KJV)  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
And in John 2:17 there is a direct quote.

So?  If you get serious and enthused about following the Lord you can expect opposition.  The tragic part is when it comes from your family.  Even worse from those who also claim to be serious believers.  Endure and believe. 

Monday, January 8, 2024

Hard Questions

(Psa 68:6 KJV)  God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

(Proverbs 8 also read)

Principle or promise?  This is a question I ask myself when I read verses like this.  Is this a general principle of how God makes life work or is this a specific promise for every trial of life?  It is not an easy answer.

If you go with general principle you run the risk of doubting the providence of God.  The Bible seems full of promises yet they are hard to accept as written.  Will every prisoner be released?  Does this only apply to prisoners who are spiritually faithful?  Is it only for the elect?  I don’t see answers to that.

If you go with absolute law then you have to start making judgements about people.  In this position you have to assume that anyone who is in jail is “rebellious” (5637).  Then where do you fit in the statements that say we will face persecution?  

So?  Either way, we are called to be faithful and righteous.  That is not an option.  God expects us to use our minds, ask question and wrestle with the big questions.  We are to do it with an attitude of trust and faith. 

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Note the Emergency Exits

(Pro 7:26 KJV)  For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.

As I read this today it came across with a message of hope.  Yes, it is forecasting doom and destruction.  No, it is not a pretty picture.  Don’t fall into the trap of proof-texting whether it be positive or negative.  The context of the entire chapter, in fact the entire Bible, is to offer hope and an emergency exit in case or fire.  

What is better than an emergency exit?  Not needing one.  On an airplane I don’t expect to ever need them.  I know where they are and I can see how to make them work.  When I go in a small boat I put on the life vest as required.  I don’t expect to need it.  In fact, if I thought I was going to need an emergency exit I would never enter the building.

So?  There are traps out there.  Admittedly we cannot avoid everything Satan throws at us but we can go a long way toward not falling through thin ice by staying on shore.  Rejoice.  God provides. 

Saturday, January 6, 2024

New Skills Needed

(Pro 6:9 KJV)  How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

Today I did not read this as one who is a traditional “sluggard” (6102).  I got up and went to work.  I worked extra jobs.  I changed diapers and did laundry.  When the kids needed to be somewhere I did not take a nap and tell them to walk.  I am not lazy in that way.  Yet this verse is poking me where it gets irritating.

I find that there are certain things I avoid like the plague.  It is like two positive ends of a magnet approaching each other and veering off course.  I don’t even want to look at certain projects.  So I get “tired” and take a nap.  When I wake up there is no time left.  I have a million excuses and use all of them.  

God is not done developing me yet.  That gets very uncomfortable when I am faced with something I don’t know how to do.  The current issue is a lawn mower that won’t start.  My traditional approach would be to junk it and buy a new one but prices have gone up so much in the last two years I am not willing to do that.  I also had a guy who would fix them for a reasonable price but he retired and everywhere else wants more than I paid for my last one new.

So?  Maybe it is time to grow up and accept the challenge.  The worst that could happen is I ruin the beast and have to buy a new one anyway.  I can see God shaking His head at me. 

Friday, January 5, 2024

All Usually Means All

(Psa 65:5 KJV)  By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea:

(Proverbs 5 also read)

If you know someone who tries to tell you the Old Testament is parochial and limited to Israel you might want to suggest they read their Bible more.  And they might actually pay attention when they read.  Maybe not.  They don’t want to hear it and may not be ready.  This is the second time in this chapter that we see reference to the truth that the God of Israel is also the God of the entire “earth” (776).

I know that the simple understanding still gets twisted but that is their problem.  It should not be yours.  The Creator made it all.  When He put up the rainbow after the flood, He told Noah it was a covenant with all flesh.  When the angels appeared to the shepherds they said the good news was to all the earth.

So?  There is no one you will ever meet that God is not concerned about.  They may not be willing to listen but that does not change the truth.  Look for opportunities to share the hope that is in you. 

Thursday, January 4, 2024


(Pro 4:26 KJV)  Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

This would seem to be advice to the young.  It seems a bit late for me to get myself “established” (3559).  Than I asked myself, “Is there ever a time when it is too late to backslide?”  My answer would be, “No.”  With that in mind, this become excellent advice for us anywhere on our spiritual journey.  

Carefully consider the steps that you take in life.  Every decision will build a foundation for future life.  There are steps that are necessary for future prosperity and security.  No one else can really do it for you.

So?  We have a rugged year ahead of us.  Begin to prepare so that you will be able to keep your balance.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Worship Snacks

(Psa 63:1 KJV)  A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

(Proverbs 3 also read)

What is the best time to worship?  Notice a difference between the KJV and NASB.  The KJV says “early” (7836) and the NASB “earnestly”.  I think the KJV is more literal but the NASB brings in a helpful nuance.  The root word is “dawn”.  That gives us a time of day but the word also has the idea of priority.  Make worship a priority.  Put your first energy into it.  Don’t wait until you are worn down to seek God’s face.

When you consider that verse 6 talks about meditating on your bed you get an even better picture.  Remember that Paul tells us to pray without ceasing.  I guess you could say that David is telling us to worship without ceasing.

So?  It would be great if our spiritual appetite was as active as our appetite for food.  Grab every moment of spiritual awareness for a bit of a worship snack.  Don’t overlook the full meals either.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Schedules and Priorities

(Pro 2:4 KJV)  If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

What a great verse to consider at the beginning of a new year.  If we want to know the vast riches of being a child of God then we need to invest our time.  The context of the next verse is fear and knowledge.  The application runs throughout our lives.  I have experienced this at different levels.

The first time I enjoyed this promise was when I was a full time pastor.  One of the awesome rewards of that position is you get paid to spend time in prayer and study.  I remember walking around the church building praying over all the people and events that different spots brought to mind.  I remember the hours I spent studying the word.  It was a great time.

Then I went into secular employment and it was quite a come down.  I did not respond to it well in the sense of my personal spiritual discipline.  Eventually I decided that I needed to bite the bullet and find a way to set aside time.  After trying different things I was forced to admit it would mean getting up earlier.  That meant going to bed earlier.  It was a good time.

Now, in retirement, I find that I have a combination.  I have the time.  I still need to discipline myself.   It in an investment that pays off.

So?  Don’t wait for retirement but wherever you are I would encourage you to set aside time and adjust your schedule to experience what this verse is recommending. 

Monday, January 1, 2024

Rocking Out This Year

(Psa 61:2 KJV)  From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

(Proverbs 1 also read)

I have a friend who has cut himself off from the glory taught in much of the Bible.  He says that Psalms was written to Israel and thus it does not apply to us.  It is a sad position to take.  While it is obvious that certain culturally unique situations might have no parallel to us today we need to understand that they did not have application then because of cultural uniqueness but because the inspiration of the Holy Spirit has made them scripture with an application for all time.

The word picture in these verses is a good way to stare at the year ahead of us.  We do not face the unknowns of the year based on our strength and wisdom.  We have strength and wisdom but believers cling to the knowledge that those come from God and are in need of continual renewal.  Read over this first section of the Psalm.  God is a rock, not for us to stand on top of and look down on the world but a place to shelter from the attacks those who hate Him.  God offers us a tent and a wing to hide under.

So?  Don’t ignore truth.  Grab it with both hands, look into the eyes of a Savior who died and rose again for you and march into the year with a holy boldness that is only possible because you know the Living God.  Happy New Year and may you know the joy of God’s rockiness.  (Posted, January 1, 2024, PP)