Tag Archives: Christ

Good to Repeat

Proverbs 3:18

“She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.”

I feel like I keep repeating myself, but it seems that that is a good thing. How many times did God tell the Israelites to repent? How many times did John the Baptist and Jesus tell people to repent? How many times did Jesus say “follow me”?

Answer in all cases: A lot.

Humans seem to need a lot of repeating to hear and then retain truth, to retain wisdom. Yet, the question remains …

How do we lay hold of wisdom?

Is it not interesting how God has told us in the Bible?

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Revelation 2:7

“To him that overcometh …”

How do we overcome?

“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

Jesus is the one who has overcome troubles, trials, pain, sin, and death. Only in Him can we overcome.

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:5

Get wisdom, the Wisdom of God – Jesus Christ. Daily seek out the Lord, and you will overcome this world. Then will you have the tree of life. Then will you find happiness and joy.

Dear Lord, give us more of You. Help us to seek You and take hold daily that we might have life, that we may have You. Give us a passion for You.

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Welcome Correction

Proverbs 3:11-12

“My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.”

 

Correction

I have yet to meet a human being who enjoys being corrected, or disciplined for errors, mistakes, or any form of wrongdoing. I well recall the unpleasantness of discipline exercised by parents and teachers when I was growing up. Physical punishment was the norm at school in my day, and the threat of a visit to the headmaster’s study generally had the desired effect on pupils.

Most of us do not like to imagine God as a Headteacher or Principal with a list of punishments to be levied for misdemeanors. But Scripture teaches that every one of us will one day stand before God and answer to Him for the way in which we have lived our lives (Romans 14:10-12).

Feared, or Welcomed?

Inevitably there will be times during our journey on earth when we will face corrective action from God. The question we must consider is whether correction from God is a form of discipline to be feared, or a process of discipling that is to be welcomed?

While Proverbs teaches that we should fear God, the above verses confirm that if God corrects us it is because He loves us and wants to delight in us as He trains us to be disciples.

Abba Knows Best

The use of the word father in verse 12 is important. The writer is defining the relationship that God desires with those He created. Jesus confirmed that God is a loving Father who delights in His children when He referred to God as ‘Abba’.

If God needs to discipline His children He will. It may not be pleasant, but it is vital if we are to grow into spiritual adulthood. Is that what you desire?

Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly – mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. (1 Corinthians 3:1-2)


Simple Definition

Proverbs 2:10-11

“When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:”

What is wisdom?

As has been discussed several times since we began this trek through Proverbs, wisdom is found only through God. Wisdom is the understanding of something and comes from knowledge.

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 KJV

We should not worry about anything, but thank God that He is in control. With this understanding, we will be able to live wisely in a world full of corruption, hatred, and stupidity. Even when we make mistakes or sin, we can know that God is in control. This gives us a peace in our circumstances that we cannot explain, but we can understand that God is with us and watching over us.

With this wisdom and understanding, we can discern better what is within God’s will for our lives. This is how we are preserved and kept. It does not necessarily mean we are kept from physical, financial, or emotional harm, but it does mean we have the peace and assurance that our standing with God is good through the power of Jesus Christ.

Remember the Source

Merciful Lord, give us Your wisdom and understanding to know that You are watching over us and have it all in Your hands. You told us that if we just ask, You will give it to us. In the powerful name of Jesus the Christ, grant us our desire: wisdom and understanding of You, that we may have peace and assurance, that we may share Your love with the world.


Listen to the Warning

Proverbs 1:24-27

Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; (25) But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: (26) I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; (27) When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.

Working Backwards

Let’s look at the above passage, starting from the end, then working back to the beginning. Fear, destruction, distress and anguish: all of these are the result of something. They are all consequences of unwise, foolish choices.

I deal with children, young people, and plenty of adults who complain about their circumstances. Many times they come to me weeping and asking, “Why? Why? Why?” With tears flowing, their faces red, they look for answers, but not before blaming every one and every thing besides self.

But let’s work backwards. Why are they in such distress? Why are they afraid of the future? Why has everything fallen apart? Could it be that they refused wise counsel? Could it be that they are suffering the consequences of foolishness? Could it be they would have “none of [His] reproof?”

Wisdom Calls

Wisdom is not silent. Wisdom calls from the mouths of parents, teachers, and ministers; especially the Word of God. Wisdom says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Pro 16:25 NIV). Wisdom says, “Don’t stay out too late…don’t have sex before marriage…work hard and don’t complain…be faithful, even when you’re tempted.”

The one who finds himself in distress and anguish should look back in time. Was there not a hand outstretched? Was there not a voice of warning? Calamity has come, and now Wisdom can’t help but laugh and say, “I told you so!”

“Trust Me”

It didn’t mean as much until I became a parent. My dad would warn me with words like, “Trust me son, you don’t want to go through what I went through.” Now I say the same thing to my children. “If you’ll listen to me, you won’t have to make the same mistakes I made, nor live with the pain.” Will they do what I say, or set at naught my counsel?

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Pro 3:5-6).

Oh Lord, soften our hearts and help us to yield to your wisdom.

 


Enticing Trap

Proverbs 1:10-19

My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. (11) If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: (12) Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: (13) We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: (14) Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: (15) My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: (16) For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. (17) Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. (18) And they lay wait for their [own] blood; they lurk privily for their [own] lives. (19) So [are] the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; [which] taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

We Were Sneaky

When my brother and I were children, we had this nasty tendency to take anything we wanted. My brother would put candy from the grocery store in his diaper. I would just eat the candy I grabbed (not from his diaper!). Our parents tried as hard as they could to get us to not take things that were not ours.

As I grew older, I wanted to be a spy. Therefore, I worked on ways of being extra sneaky, and this sometimes meant taking things I either wanted or thought would be difficult to get away with taking. Sometimes, my brother and I would work together. Sometimes I would entice friends to help.

Almost every time we got caught. There are consequences to all of our actions. We all must one day stand before the Judge.

Don’t Consent

There is another way to look at this passage than simply stealing things and inflicting bodily harm on others.

Whenever we allow others to tell us “Do not concern yourself with them,” even for prayer or offering a helping hand or just a shoulder to cry on, we are consenting to sinful enticement. We are commanded to love all people and help as we are able.

Whenever we do or say things to fit in with other people, we are casting in our lot with sinners.

Whenever we skip tithing or offering to avoid an inconvenience or get something we want, we are not only stealing from God, we hastily shed the blood of our Savior and lay wait for our own blood.

With God, every time we get caught. There are consequences for all of our actions. Yet, the Author of Life has made a way for us.

Choose life. Choose love. Choose God.

We all must one day stand before the Judge. May it be wholly as His redeemed.

Holy God, lead us in Your way, and give us the strength to resist temptation and hatred. Give us Your wisdom, in Jesus’ name.

 


The Journey Begins Again!

Proverbs 1:1-7

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; (2) To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; (3) To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; (4) To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. (5) A wise [man] will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: (6) To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

Welcome!

Welcome to the first day of the third run of Proverbial Thought. Our 7th anniversary!!

Seven years ago, on this day, we started out on an ambitious project: write daily thoughts and commentary about every proverb in the Book of Proverbs. It took us almost two years to make it all the way through. We are now going to re-post updated versions of those daily thoughts, but with one major change – they will post morning AND evening every day!

Our prayer is that every day, morning and evening, you will come here and find helpful and encouraging wisdom from God’s Word.

The Introduction and Purpose

As the above verses point out, the author of Proverbs was the son of King David, Solomon. According to the Bible, Solomon was the wisest man in the world, and “men of all nations came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom” (1 Kings 4:34 NIV). Of all the teachers in the world, we could learn from no better. Not even the lonely, grey-bearded gurus secluded on snowy, hard-to-reach mountain tops are wiser.

In verses 2-4 Solomon outlines the purpose of the book: know wisdom. Solomon knew that all the knowledge in the world was worth very little without wisdom. What is wisdom? Wisdom is the ability to take something learned and be able to apply that knowledge in a useful, profitable, and healthy way. It’s the ability to make sound judgments and right choices. It is what is needed in order to not act like a fool, even though one seems to know everything.

Don’t be a Fool

It is no coincidence that the official first day of this blog was planned for April 1st, April Fools Day. Fools despise wisdom and instruction. Fools deny there is a God (Psalm 14:1). However, Solomon believed. As a matter of fact, it was from God that Solomon received his wisdom (1 Kings 3:12). He should have known better than anyone, then, that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. But the ultimate wisdom is not found in the words of men, nor in the Proverbs, alone. Wisdom is found in a Person.

Many men and women will try to seek God through earthly, man-centered wisdom, but to no avail. The Wisdom that leads to God, the Wisdom that “stretches out [His] hand” (Prov. 1:24), is none other than Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says that God made Jesus “wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” for us. He took what was “foolishness” in the world’s eyes (Christ crucified) and turned it into the only Way (1 Cor. 1:23-24). All the wisdom of the Proverbs can be found in Him.

Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. … It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” – 1Cr 1:22-24, 30-31 NIV

On this first day of April – the first day of this devotional (the third time through) – seek Wisdom – seek Jesus.

Don’t be a fool; be wise!


Merry Christmas! He Is Coming!

Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What [is] his name, and what [is] his son’s name, if thou canst tell?
Proverbs 30:4

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:9-11

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Acts 1:9-11

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Ephesians 3:14-21

 

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (Revelation 22:20b-21)

Merry Christmas from Proverbial Thought!