Prov 21:1-3 "The Kings's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes. Every man's way is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weights the heart. To do righteousness and justice is desired by the Lord rather than sacrifice."The Queen of Scotland feared the prayers of John Knox, a presbyterian minister, more than all her enemies. He was a praying man and God heard his prayers because He sought the Lord. God can change leaders hearts if what I am praying is for the glory of God and to advance His Kingdom. I must be forever conscious that what I think is right will be weighed by the Lord. He will change my plans if my plans are not right. He does this out of love and deep concern for me. He knows what is best for me and everyone else.To do what is right and just is more pleasing to the Lord than any sacrifices I may make. Sometimes when I make sacrifices they are more for my benefit than it is for others. God desires for us to make sacrifices for others but not at the expense of doing what is right and just at the same time. My sacrifices are to serve others and bring God honor and glory but this is not at the expense of everyday responsibilites and duties.Lord, I must pray more for leaders and those in authority that their decisions will give freedom for the message of the gospel to spread to others around me. I must remember that holy prayer to You is very powerful. Help me Lord to be ever conscious that You will test my ways and change them as You see best. I do not want to be selfish with what I have but teach me what are the right sacrifices that you desire for me to make. Help me to be right and just in my daily responsibilities. Lord, help me to do these things and not just know them. I pray that as I write these thoughts out it would be another way of helping me to do these. This is my prayer to You!!!
Prov 20:15 "There is gold, and an abundance of jewels; but the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing."There is something more important than money and wealth. It is someone who can share knowledge. It is sad that we have to qualify knowledge but we must because of such evil. People are sharing their supposed knowledge today but it is not true because it is lies. True knowledge is based on truth and facts. It must not be twisted knowledge based on a person's feeling or bias. It must be true truth and pure knowledge and proven facts. Yes, this is more precious than all the wealth in the world.A person who speaks knowledge is an amazing person. He or she is concerned about truth and how it will benefit others. They are not concerned about their popularity or what benefit they will gain but true knowledge.I believe that the Bible is such a book of knowledge and truth. That is why these proverbs are in the bible along with all the history of mankind concerning the works of God, the author. I have been reading it for more than 50 years now and I find it more interesting and comforting than I did when I first started. My concern is that I speak of the Bible not with my views as an emphasis but hoping to make it applicable to everyday living for myself and others.Lord, thank You for the Bible and for all the knowledge that it contains. It truly is a gold mine of truth and knowledge that leads us to the person of Jesus Christ. Thank You for all those who have spoken to me true knowledge from this book.
Prov 20:5-6 "A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, but a man of understanding draws it out. Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy man?"Most men do not talk very freely about their plans and what they are thinking about seriously. If I want to learn from such men I must seek to ask the right questions.I must take the time to understand and genuinely want to learn from such a person. They must sense a certain amount of loyalty from me before they share from their lives very deeply. Many will talk about their loyalty but to find a genuine loyal person is difficult to find. God seems to place great value on a loyal person. A person that will stay with you regardless of the circumstances. Some one that is of one heart with you. I want to be such a loyal person who will speak truth and point out wrong but will be there as a godly friend.I believe if I am loyal to God and to others that God will give me people of like heart. There is really power and beauty in people that are truly loyal to each other and have a common loyalty to God. Even in marriage it is beautiful to see two people so deeply loyal to each other.Lord, I want to be loyal to You and to be loyal to others that have that same burning loyalty to You. I pray for a group of Estonians that will be loyal to You and to each other to see the message of Christ and His principles followed with fervor and committment. Lord I think You are beginning to do this and I pray I could do my part to see this happen for Your honor and glory.
Prov 19:27 "Cease listening, my son, to discipline, and you will stray from the words of knowledge."The way I understand it is as follows. If I quit paying close attention to good instructions and do nothing with it then I will soon find myself in trouble. I will even move away from the knowledge I currently have.God has given me His Word to teach me and to instruct me in how I should live life. If I quit paying attention to what God says I will soon not be doing what I once knew to be right and true. I think this sentence is an amazing truth and I see it working in peoples lives all around me. Christians once alive and eager to follow God and obey Him are now just church attenders or infrequent attenders. They have quit listening to instructions from God and they are no longer obeying the truths of God.Lord, I desire to pay close attention to Your instructions and follow them all the days of my life. I want to hang on to Your knowledge and truth and to live by them consistently.
Prov 19:20-21 "Listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days. Many are the plans in a man's heart, but the counsel of the Lord, it will stand."Let me put this in my own words as I understand it. "Pay attention to advice and think seriously about instruction that has been given me. This will help me to be wise as long as I live. I know I have many plans I would like to accomplish but I must evaluate these before God. I know that if I follow God's counsel and adapt my plans to fit His plans they will be accomplished." I must pray and wait before God to see this really happen.I am not good at getting counsel from others and working through what others have to say. I know I would be wiser if I would do this more. Not that I need to do exactly what others are saying to me but there is some insight and information there that I should carefully consider before the Lord.I do not pray over my plans as much as I ought nor do I filter my plans through the Word of God as much as I should. I think these verses come to me at an important time when I am making some crucial ministry plans right away and personal plans for the next few years.Lord, I do want to listen to the thoughts and advice of others and get a different perspective on what I am wanting to do, or what I feel You are saying to me. I want to be wise and I want to fit into the plans you have for us and others. I desire for Your plans to be my plans.
Prov 19:1-3Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool. Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, and he who makes haste with his feet errs. The foolishness of man subverts his way, and his heart rages against the Lord."Let me try to put this in my own words in the way I understand this. I have looked at a few other translations to help me.It is better to not have much and to be a man of honesty than someone who has much but can not trusted. It is not good to be without knowledge even though it takes more time because if I am hasty in my actions I can make some big mistakes. A foolish man ruins his life and then blames God.Our world is so bent on having more and more and I can be influenced by this if I am not cautious. This drive sometimes leads me away from honesty and that will ruin my life. It is far better to have a character of honesty rather than possess much and have a reputation of dishonesty.It takes time to gain knowledge but it is so essential to make wise decisions. When I take actions without adequate knowledge I make decisions that can hurt me and those that are close to me. Knowledge is an important part of wisdom.When things do not go well, if I am not careful, I might blame God for my situation. I overlook the fact that I did not search out the truth and I was hasty in my actions. I must be alert to gain knowledge before I make decisions that will have long lasting effects on my life.Lord, I want to be a man of honesty like my father and be careful in my actions. I want to learn as much as is reasonable before taking actions. This will of course mean serious prayer and getting others ideas. I have not done well at getting others ideas and perspectives. I must not blame God for any difficulties but to welcome them as teachers to be the man God wants me to be.
Prov 18:22 "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord."I have heard it said that the finding is not from seeking but more of an accidental find. It is like walking along and you find money in your path; that is a good find. So a man is to seek God and to walk in His ways and God will place the right woman in his path. He does need to be attentive and know when he finds her that he has found a good thing.I found Mary Lou as I was seeking to grow in Christ. I was drawn to her desire to know her Lord and to share His message with those that were around her. I was attracted to her joyful spirit and her eagerness to learn. Besides that she was very beautiful and easy to talk with . I found a good thing and asked her to be my bride nearly 47 years ago. I think the favor we find with God is because we are willing to take one of His daughters and to love her as Christ has loved us.We then become a living example of Christ and the church for the world to observe. God wants me to lead and my bride to be my helper in making Christ known to a lost and confused world. In the process God blesses us and we find great joy in each other but our focus is still Christ our head and our King.Lord, how can I praise you more for all You have done for me and Mary Lou. What a privilege it has been to be your servant and enjoy one of Your precious daughters to be my special bride. Just 42 days until our 47th anniversary!
Prov 17:27&28 (NASB) "He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool, when he keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is counted prudent."Prov 17:27&28 (The Message)"The one who knows much says little, an understanding person remains calm. Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise; as long as they keep their mouths shut, they are smart."I have noticed that when I have time to think of what I should say I can say it in a few words. When I do not have time then I tend to ramble when I am speaking trying to find the right words. I must be careful to not speak when I am not sure what is the right thing to say. Also I must keep a cool spirit or remain calm if I am talking about something that I have strong convictions about and I know others have different opinions.My father was one of few words and spoke with knowledge when he spoke. He was a great example to me. I think he might have been taught these proverbs when he was a young man.I can think of several times in my life when I have spoken when I should have remained silent. I got in trouble because I used to many words or else I did not remain calm. This does not mean that I should be silent and not communicate with others but that I must think before I speak and choose my words carefully.Lord what a privilege to speak and interact with others. I want to be wise in my communications and to honor You as Your servant. I want to choose my words carefully and to speak with knowledge and understanding. I want to be calm but to speak with convictions when I share Your Word!
Prov 17:6 "Grandchildren are the crown of old men, and the glory of sons is their fathers."I am so grateful for the 14 grandchildren God has given me. Each one is so very precious. I must be faithful to pray for them by name regularly. Zachary, Sarah,Hannah, Rachel,Amy, Gregory, Morgan, Mariah, Micah, Joshua, Sophia, Brianna, Madelyn, and Aubrey. These are listed from the oldest to the youngest. This is my crown which God has graciously given me. Lord, I pray that my life with You would be an encouragement to my sons to follow You and to serve You as You have allowed me. Whatever glory I may be to them is because of what You have graciously given to me. Thank You Lord for all you have given me and please forgive me for my ungratefulness so much of the time. I want to be truly a grateful man for all You bring into my life. You are worthy of all the praise that comes to You and are worthy of much more. Lord, I want to praise You more and more as the years roll on so when I come into your presence I will have had some practice.
Prov 16:31-33"A gray head is a crown of glory, it is found in the way of righteousness. He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. The lot is cast into the lap,but its every decision is from the Lord."Getting old and getting gray headed is a sign that I have followed the ways of righteousness. I have not followed the way of evil and shortened my life by the things that evil produces. It is a crown on a life that follows the purposes of God but still may not be a believer. Does that make sense? I am having a little trouble just seeing what God means by this statement. What do you think it means?God says that being slow to get angry is better than some one who is very strong and in like fashion someone who is in control of his spirit is better than who can capture a city. It is important that I control my spirit and not allow others or situations to stir me up and cause me to lose control. In Gal 5:22,23 the fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control.There is no such thing as chance in the sight of God even the casting of a lot or the rolling of the dice. I think I am lucky or unlucky and there is no such thing. God is in control of every decision. Wow!!! That should change the way I view God!Lord, I thank You for the 70+ years you have graciously given to me. You have crowned me with more than just gray hair but with blessings upon blessings and I am very grateful. I do want to be so in tune with you that the Holy Spirit would keep my spirit in control and honor You with my attitude and my spirit toward others and situations you bring into my life. You do reign over all things and there is no accidents with You because You are the Almighty God who is in control. Hallelujah!!!
Prov 16:1-3"The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives. Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans will be established."God has given some good advice on planning. There seems to be a lot on planning in Proverbs. I think God expects me to do some thinking about what I would like to do. He also makes it clear that although I need to make plans He does not turn loose of His control over the events of life.My plans need to be made from my heart and not an impulsive idea that has little foundation. Yet I know that true answers for life does not come from me but the Lord who is the giver of answers. This ought to keep me humble but I still manage to take more credit for things than I should.When I consider what I am doing I tend to feel pretty confident in my actions but God will generally test my motives. I often fail the test and find that my motives are not as clean as I thought. God is so good to help me purify my motives.So what I must do is to give to the Lord my work and my plans and let Him do the refining . When I give God His rightful place in my life then He will allow my plans to be established which is really His revised plans. They are always the best.Lord, I am so grateful that You are God over all that I plan. I need to plan more and let you refine my plans so I might accomplish all you have for me to do in my life. Help me to take seriously your instructions and give you the glory for all You do in and through my life.
Prov 15:28"The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things."It is important how I answer others. Sometimes my best answer should be "Let me think on that awhile and answer you later". I think I answer people to quickly many times and in so doing not give good answers. God says that the righteous person thinks and evaluates how to answer and does not react impulsively.The wicked just says whatever comes into his mind and the possibility of evil being the results in very good. This decision must be made long before the question comes to me. Will I be righteous in how I answer people or will I carelessly give my thoughts and opinions with out considering God.Lord, help me to ponder or consider in my heart how to answer others. I can think of several times in the past week that I did not give good answers because I spoke to quickly.
Prov 15:2"The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly."It is not enough just to give out information and expect others to understand. I must consider how to say or present information in such a way that it can be received and understood. Parents tend to not be wise in the communication of knowledge to their children. To be wise in giving out knowledge requires prayer, planning and good presentation. I know I get lazy a lot of times and do not work on my sharing of knowledge and it is not as acceptable as I wanted it to be. It is not the problem of the receiving but the problem of the one that is presenting.A fool does not care or is just unaware of his part in presenting knowledge. He just talks and expects others to understand and blames them for being unteachable. So it can all end up as folly or foolishness because of lack of thinking and planning and considering who my audience is.Lord, help me to be responsible and wise in the sharing of all information to others. Most of all I want to share biblical truths in such a way that it is clear and easily understood. Protect me from assuming that my presentation is not that important and failing to work as I ought on any presentation I make.
Prov 14:23 "In all labor there is profit,but mere talk leads only to poverty."Any kind of work is better than doing nothing. I know the enemy of my soul wants me to waste away valuable time of my life doing nothing. I know that rest and relaxing is also important but hours or days of doing nothing is very harmful to us and does great damage to our spiritual life as well.It is easy to talk about what should be done and make all sort of plans but the work must be done by someone. I must make sure that my planning is followed by diligent and hard work. Eccles 9:10 "Whatever you hand finds to do, truly, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or wisdom in Sheol where you are going."Lord, guide me in the work that needs to be done. I thank You for the opportunity to plan but now I must put those plans into action. In the midst of work give me wisdom in how much to work and when to take a break. Most of all guide me in the time I need to spend in Your Word and with You.
"Leave the presence of a fool, or you will not discern words of knowledge. The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, but the folly of fools is deceit. Fools mock at sin, but among the upright there is good will.
When I associate with people that are foolish I can be influenced by their foolishness. I need to associate with them in order to live Christ before them and share the good news of the gospel of Jesus. I must not associate with them to the extent that I am swayed by their ungodly conduct and thinking. If I do, then I lose my ability to discern the words of knowledge. I must not do this because then I have lost my eternal perspective that is in Christ.
The person who is wise in practical matters will always be considering what he is doing in light of eternity. I must always be making course corrections because life is not static but dynamic. I must not get to feel comfortable in what I am doing and fail to change following the principles and ways of God. The fool does not make those changes and deceives himself and others by his actions.
Fools laugh and make fun of sin or guilt but the upright are quick to acknowledge wrong and are quick to change. I must be alert to my actions and the way I am thinking. I do not want to let sin grip me in any way and gradually pull me into the ways of evil.
Lord, I am so aware of my foolishness and know that I am vulnerable to the foolishness that is around me. I know I am more influenced by the world than I want to admit. Lord, help me to be strong in Your Word and to evaluate my life regularly by it. Thank You for all You have done to protect me and to lead me in Your ways.
Prov 13:20"He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm."If I associate myself with men who are wise I will learn from them just by being around them. I learn how they make decisions and I observe their results and I will want to do the same. I also see how they respond to difficulties and observe their commitment to certain principles of working and living.When I am around foolish people I can begin to do what they do and am drawn into their way of life. When I do I will reap the results of foolish thinking and will have problems. I must be careful to keep my distance from foolish people. They may be good people and fun people but they are not following the ways of God and will pull me away from Him by their influence on my life.Someone once said "He who walks with the lame learns to limp". I tend to become like those that I associate with frequently. I must seek out those who are diligent and have goals in their lives and are making their lives count for that which is important. For me I must seek to be with those who have an eternal perspective because that is what I want to do with my life.Lord, I know Your way is the way of blessing and peace. I do not want to live for the values of this world but for the values that You give to me. Help me Lord to be diligent to do Your will and not what I want to do. Jesus came not to do His own will but the will of His Father in heaven. I want to be like Jesus! Give me the strength and the courage to follow Jesus!
Prov 13:10"Through presumption comes nothing but strife, but with those who receive counsel is wisdom."It is so easy to presume on what is being said; I just do not want to ask questions and appear to be stupid. Yet when I make assumptions I very often get into trouble and greatly misunderstand what is being said. Even when I am fairly sure of what is being said it good to clarify and be sure.When there is tension in the conversation it is even more important to get a clear understanding by asking gracious questions. So the lesson is to never assume or presume that I know what the other person is saying. If I do it will end up in strife or arguing and hurt feelings.Lou and I have been married soon to be 47 years. We have had our experience of presumption and it is not good; we have learned that it does not pay to presume but much better to gain a clear understanding. We become much wiser when we take counsel from each other.Lord, I want to be a wise man able to receive counsel. I do not want to be threatened by the thoughts of others but to carefully consider their input. I know I get hung up on my ideas many times and think they are the best or what I think God is saying to me but many times I am wrong.
Prov 12:15"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is who listens to counsel."I think my biggest enemy is myself when it comes to important decisions. Many decisions seem to come when I am under pressure and I feel I do not have the time to seek counsel. When I do seek counsel many times I do not choose my counsel wisely. The importance of counsel is to find someone that is more objective than me.The other issue is to seek wise counsel or someone that is knowledgeable about the issues I am deciding. If at all possible I need to ask the people who know me but will be very honest with me. Most decisions I have made in regard to wise counsel have worked well for me. I have made many on my own that did not turn out very well.I think the older I get I feel that I should be able make decisions on my own and not bother others and I think that is wrong thinking. I think I need to always ask someone for their thoughts when making big decisions. If nothing else in obedient to what God has put in His Word.I think the thing that leads us to foolish decisions is that we fail to recognize how much we are swayed by our emotions in many ways. The emotions could be pride, sentimental, anger, fear and many more. We sometimes we do not know what emotion is pulling us until we listen to wise counsel. Lord, help me to seek the counsel of others on important issues that will affect my family and those I love. Lord, I want Your counsel most of all but I know my emotions get in my way and lead me down wrong paths. Deliver me from all the wrong emotions that would not be right or honoring to You.
Prov 11:24&25"There is one who scatters, yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, but it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered."This is some verses I memorized some years ago to aid me in my giving. I have seen this truth in the lives of my friends and have experienced it myself. When I am generous in my giving the Lord is generous to me. When I withhold what I feel God is wanting me to do I find that God withholds from me. It is a truth of God that must be obeyed if I want God to prosper me.This generosity must be done not in view of what I will gain but my way of honoring God for all He has done for me. His generosity may not be in anything material but it will of far greater value. What God gives is eternal and will be a blessing to me as I seek to minister to others the grace of God.Lord, help me to be truly generous with others all the days of my life. Protect me from all the things that seek to capture me and make me selfish and to fail to see the needs of others.
Prov 11:10-11 "When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish, there is glad shouting. By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down."Prov 10 &11 are contrasting the righteous with the wicked. I think these two verses in Prov 11 show the great power of righteousness and the benefits that it brings to everyone. Satan wants me to think that it is not right to impose my standard of righteousness on others but this is not true. We do not force others to worship God but we do require that they follow the laws that will be beneficial to everyone.I must be strong in urging others to follow the principles that God has laid out for us so me and the community I am a part of is blessed by God. I must be convinced that the truths of God is the best for everyone. Of course this must be done by my example and in genuine love. I must be visibly concerned for the welfare of all others and not just believers. I must practice my righteousness in my everyday life and seek to influence others to the righteousness of Jesus.Lord, I thank you for the examples of others on my life and how others have taught me the value of obeying what you say to me. I pray I might be able to influence others in the way of righteousness and bring You much honor and glory. I pray the community in which I live will find blessings in following your righteousness.
Prov 10:1"A wise son makes a father glad but a foolish son is a grief to his mother."It is easy to understand why a wise son makes a father glad. Every man wants his son to do as well as he has done or better. Also there is hope that his son will take care of him in his old age. But when his son is foolish there is generally a process and the father works with his son whom he loves and tries to get him to turn from his foolish ways. This is very emotional for a father. He tries to encourage his son but eventually many fathers get angry and try to force their son to change. When nothing works and he is still foolish the father lets his son alone and realizes he has failed. He may still love his son but there is nothing more to do but to pray. He quits trying to help or to change his son and waits on God to do what he could not do. Fathers seem to have less emotional strength than mothers. Maybe they are more involved in work and providing for the family and it is to large of a drain on them emotionally.The mother will never let go of her son and will tolerate much more of his foolishness and will continue to seek to help him to change. She then becomes a grieving mother and her joy in life fades from her as she sees her son following ways she did not teach him.What should I learn from this. I must be very attentive to my children to teach the wise way to live life. I must seek to be a wise man before them. Not only wise but more important to be godly. It is God who gives wisdom and understanding. I must seek to pray for them all the days of my life and help them to rear their children to be wise and not foolish. Solomon in the book of Proverbs gives a lot of instructions on how to rear wise children. Thank You Lord for the wisdom you have given my children and their mates. Lord, I Praise You beyond words.
Prov 9:9-11"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser,teach a righteous man, and he will increase his learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you."Wisdom is speaking who is Jesus Himself. I reach out to everyone with the good news of the gospel and help them as much as they allow me( Col 1:28-29). When I reach a point where they do not want to learn anymore I must move on to someone who is willing to learn. I must not waste time with someone who does not want to receive instructions. A wise man will receive instructions and will grow in wisdom. Also if a man is truly righteous he will want to learn all he can.The fear or deep respect of God is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom comes from God so it is obvious that I must begin with God. Then as I grow in my knowledge of God I grasp or understand who He is and learn of His excellent greatness.It is through wisdom I avoid foolish things and stick to what is honoring to God and best for me. I am not under as much stress and God will protect me from the evil that is all about me to do me harm. My days will be multiplied and I will live a longer life to honor and serve my God.Lord, I want to revere You more and honor You more as each year passes. Life is so fulfilling when I am walking in Your ways. I do want to grow in wisdom and understanding and teach others the privilege of being Your servant as well as Your son. Thank You Lord!!!
"I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me."
In our lostness we do not seek God. Rom 3:11 "…there are none that seek for God;..."Even as believers it is God that is taking the initiative and drawing us to himself. Yet as one who God has revealed Himself I have the privilege of seeking Him and showing Him my love.
What a wonderful promise that God has given to us. If we love God and seek to know Him more fully He will always be available to be found. The word diligently is added to this thought so we realize it is not a casual seeking but a seeking with determination and sacrifice to find someone of great value.
Lord, I pray that I would seek you diligently and with a whole hearted spirit. I know You are more precious than anything this world has to offer. In the context of this passage it is Wisdom that I am seeking but it is in truth Jesus Christ. I Cor 1:30 tells me that Christ is my wisdom. Lord, how I need You today and everyday of my life.
"My son, keep my words, and treasure my commandments within you. Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart."
The rest of this chapter is about the temptations of a harlot. As the world becomes more sensual and immorality is more accepted the more I must be prepared to resist what the flesh desires. This applies to single men and women, married men and women and old men and women. No one is beyond temptations and it is a very dangerous. It could cost me my life.
God's instructions to me are to know and obey what God says. I am to keep His commands and His teachings very clear and in focus. I must not forget them but have them with me at all times. Tie a string around my fingers to remember them or write them very clearly on the writing pad of my heart.
I know many have a hang up with scripture memory and especially as we get older. Yet an active brain is very healthy and having God's vital truths readily available is a wise practice. I know I must be diligent in making my scripture memory a vital part of my walk with God. I know God's Word in my heart has protected me and guided me more than any other spiritual discipline. I think the above verses are very clear how important it is to memorize God's Word. Proverbs is full of this urging and I must be serious about this or pay the consequences.
"There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 1. Haughty eyes 2. a lying tongue, 3. and hands that shed innocent blood, 4. a heart that devises wicked plans, 5. feet that run rapidly to evil, 6. a false witness who utters lies, and 7. one who spreads strife among brothers."
When God takes the time to make a list of things I try to spend a little more time getting those things in my mind and heart. Here He list seven things that He hates. So I ask myself the question; do I hate these things? Do I find myself doing these in my life?
Do I ever have haughty eyes? Eyes that look down on others with an attitude that I am more important than others or my ideas are better than others? Or do I have eyes of compassion and caring for the conditions of others? Eyes of love and concern and not pride. Oh, how prideful we can be even with our eyes.
Do I twist the truth to my advantage or even not tell the truth? I must be so careful to keep truth in my speech. The God of truth hates lying and does not want it in our lives at all. Am I completely honest with my spouse about everything even when I know the truth will get me in trouble?
What are hands that shed innocent blood? Am I using my hands to wound or hurt people that are innocent? In whatever way I may do this God says that He hates it. I think I need to do some soul searching on this matter.
It seems to me that the items are getting more wicked. I am now at the point of making wicked plans in my heart. Maybe this is the root of all my problems. My heart is not in tune with God and it is filled with things of the world and things of the flesh. Only God can cleanse my heart and make it pure.
I began with my eyes and my hands and now my feet are taking my whole body into evil deeds. It is amazing how haughty eyes has brought me this far down into evil.
Now I am in court and asked to give witness to what I have seen and heard and I refuse to tell the truth. I choose to tell a lie rather than the truth. I must remember that God hates all of these things because He knows that one will lead me to the other.
The last evil deed is causing brothers to fight each other. Brothers are to help each other and be there when no one else is around. There is a blood relationship that should be such a bonding that nothing could break it. Do I do this with my brothers in Christ?
I think I must do more thinking about these 7 items that God hates. I pray Lord you would teach me to hate these items as You do. Help me in applying these to every area of my life.
"My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding; that you may observe discretion, and your lips may reserve knowledge. For the lips of am adulteress drips honey, and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of Sheol. She does not ponder the path of life; her ways are unstable, she does not know it."
God knows that I need His wisdom and His understanding in very practical ways. From these I gain discretion and I am able to speak truth. He knows how vulnerable I am and how foolish I can be when there is an attractive lady who kisses me and speaks words of admiration or praise. This is especially true if I have had a bad day and I am looking for some encouragement or comfort from someone. My guard is down and I am feeling a little sorry for myself.
I must be aware before hand that such women are dangerous and must be avoided. They are like something that is bitter or sharp to wound me severely. In fact her feet can lead me to my death and the very gates of evil. What appears to be a momentary encouragement or help to my weariness will lead me to pain and sorrow and will wreck my life.
This is a lady that does not know what life is all about and is looking for meaning but is seeking it in the wrong places. She needs the gospel and the love of God. She does not need the attention of a man but the mercy of a loving God. Keep God in your conversation and God will deliver you both.
Lord, I thank you for your protection of me and your deliverance all these 73 years from immoral relationships. Thank you for the pure relationship you have given to me in my precious and beautiful wife. Your wisdom and understanding is very precious.
My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life."
First hear the Word of God and then keep looking at it (to me this refers to my being faithful in reading the Bible) and that will help me to keep it in the midst of my heart. This sound like a lot of repetition to me, and so I ask myself why the repetition. I conclude I need it because I am always drifting away from God's truths and His Word so easily.
The results of listening to God is that I find life and health for my whole body. This sounds like a very reasonable health supplement. But of course it is even more being the source of my spiritual life.
So God urges me to watch over my heart with much attention and carefulness because the life I live springs from what I do with His Word. So what should I do?
I must use every available means to keep the Word of God in my life. Listen to men who teach the Word and live it out by example. I must read, study and memorize God's Word in my personal life and take time to meditate on what I am learning. God is so clear that it is my choice if I want to know God through His Word and obey it if I want to have a life blessed by God.
"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; For length of days and years of life, and peace they will add to you. Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good understanding in the sight of "God and man."
So I am reminded today not to forget what I know but to keep my heart in the Word of God. It is so easy to do just by neglect. But think what a treasure this obedience gives to me. I must not allow neglect or anything else to keep me from keeping the truths of God.
It is interesting that God warns me to not let kindness and truth to leave me. I think that sometimes in my kindness to others I may neglect the truth which sometimes appears to be the opposite of kindness. Or truth can seems to be harsh and cold and I need kindness to balance it out. I need the perfect blend of the two which only God can give to me.
When I have this balance from God I will find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man. They need to be in my memory bank to help me to keep this truth diligently. It is always God and then man. God must always have my first priority.
You can pray for me today to be in His Word and to exercise kindness and truth to be a vital part of my day and my life.
"My son, if you will receive my sayings, and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the Lord, and discover the knowledge of God."
It all begins with the Word of God; I must treasure it and make it the foundation of my life. Next I must have an attitude of wanting to apply it to my life and gaining benefit from its truths. Then there is the realization of the need of prayer and asking God to help me to understand. Yet, I must work and study and diligently search for the great treasure that the Word of God contains. The result is learning how great God is and all that He has done for me.
I am amazed at how clear God has made His truths known to us and yet how difficult it is to retain these truths in my everyday life. Knowing God is more than information but it is a deep spiritual awareness of how much I need Him to do anything of real value.
Lord help me to use this outline or foundation of life to build upon and be the man that would honor You and be a good servant in Your Kingdom.
"A wise man will hear and increase in learning, an a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,"
I have just finished spending seven months going through the Psalms and now I go to Proverbs but I will only spend two months here. I know that is a quick walk through Proverbs but I know there are rich nuggets here. I did memorize Ps 150 and am enjoying meditating on it.
A genuine wise man is one that not only hears but he listens carefully and learns. I know attentive hearing is important but I must work at it and not become lazy. I must evaluate carefully what I hear and check it with the Word of God so I am learning what is right and what is wrong.
If I am to be a man of understanding I must seek wise counsel. Understanding is the ability to grasp information and comprehend what is being taught. To develop understanding I must seek wise counsel. That is to seek the advice of others who have experience and have been successful. A foolish man thinks he can figure everything out on his own. Humility and a teachable spirit are needed to seek counsel but how great is the reward.
Lord I desire to be a wise man and a man of understanding. Help me to follow your advice with much prayer and diligence to Your Word.
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