Category Archives: 20 – Proverbs

A Lesson from the Animal Kingdom


Daily Bible Reading – Proverbs 30,31; Psalm 33; Ephesians 1

Today’s Key Passage – Proverbs 30:24-28

 

The book of Proverbs is filled with wisdom.  Many times in Proverbs (and the Bible as a whole), dramatic imagery is used to help us understand concepts.  As we conclude our time in the book of Proverbs today, we find one of these instances in our key passage.  The author of chapter 30, Agur, uses the imagery of four different animals to teach us about wisdom.  He says that these four animals are all small in stature, but are extremely wise. (Vs. 24)  As we look at these four animals today, we find that they have much to teach us.

Ants – “Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer” (Vs. 25) – Despite their small size, ants work hard during the summer months to locate and store their food for the winter.  Just as ants spend time preparing for the future, we can also spend our time preparing for the future in a number of ways.  In a physical sense, we can prepare for lean times by saving during times of plenty.  In a spiritual sense, we can prepare for any situation by learning to obey the Word of God.

Coneys – “coneys are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags” (Vs. 26) – I’m not sure about you, but to understand this passage I had to check with my friend Google on a couple of these words.  A coney is a rock badger and a crag is a jagged rock.  Coneys choose to make their homes among the jagged rocks because of the protection they provide.  God is our rock, and like the coney, we can hide in Him for our protection.

Locusts – “locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks” (Vs. 27) – Locusts are often seen in swarms as the individual members work together as a team to accomplish their goals.  Like locusts, we too are part of a team – the church.  When we work together with other members of the church, we will find it much easier to advance together and accomplish our goals.

Lizards (Some translations say Spiders) – “a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings’ palaces.” (Vs. 28) – Lizards are fearless.  Even though they do not deserve to be there, they live in the palaces of kings.  In the same way, as followers of Christ each of us will one day live in the palace of the King of Kings in Heaven.  We will not deserve to be there any more than a lizard deserves to roam the halls of a king’s palace, but we will still find our home there due to His grace.  Because of God’s promises to us, we can be fearless about approaching Him and living with Him for eternity.

While at first glance it may seem that we do not have much to learn from these animals, Agur demonstrates that with a little critical thinking we can find a lesson through their example.  I pray that as you read His Word, you will search for greater meaning in the imagery used, even if the sources may at first seem unlikely.  The more we read and the more time we spend meditating on the Bible, the more God will show us as we grow in Him.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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Learning Humility


Daily Bible Reading – Proverbs 25-27; Romans 15

Today’s Key Passage – Proverbs 25:6-7; 25:27; 26:12; 27:2; 27:21

 

One of the toughest things for many people to learn is humility.  As followers of Christ, we are called to be humble servants just as our Lord and Savior lived His life as a humble servant.  Humility is tough, particularly for those of us who struggle with pride.  Like most difficult topics, we can find advice and strength in God’s Word to help us in learning humility.  In our reading of the book of Proverbs today, we find a wealth of advice on learning how to live a humble life.  If you struggle with humility, follow along with me as we review five principles for success found in today’s key passage:

Do not exalt yourself – “Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence, and do not claim a place among great men; it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,” than for him to humiliate you before a nobleman.” (Vss. 25:6-7)  Jesus turned this proverb into a parable in Luke 14:7-11.  Instead of exalting ourselves and taking the most, we should humble ourselves and take the least.

Do not seek your own honor – “It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to seek one’s own honor.” (Vs. 25:27)  No good can come from looking for the honors that we believe we deserve.  When we do things only to be honored by others, we will find ourselves bitter and angry when those honors do not pan out.  Instead of seeking our own honor, we should always seek to honor God with all that we do.  When we give the glory to Him, we will never be disappointed.

Do not be wise in your own eyes – “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Vs. 26:12)  When we believe we have nothing left to learn, we are heading for a fall.  A man who is “wise in his own eyes” is not willing to accept correction and is not able to mature as a Christian.  When we realize we have more to learn, God will gladly teach us.

Do not praise yourself – “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.” (Vs. 27:2)  There are few things in life more overbearing than a man who praises himself.  Others see right through it, and instead of praise, the man only serves to damage his relationships.  If praise is deserved, you will receive it from others without having to ask for it.  More importantly, if the only praise you truly seek is from God, your motives will be much more in line with His will.

Do not let praise affect your work – “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives.” (Vs. 27:21)  How we react to praise tells a lot about our character.  People with integrity are not swayed by praise.  They do not work harder after receiving praise and do not get lazy when praise does not come.  When we work hard and strive to do the right thing regardless of the praise we might receive, we will find ourselves more useful to God for His divine work.

Humility is a character trait that is difficult to learn, but living a humble life is worth the growing pains.  As we learn humility through God’s Word, our relationships will improve and we will be better equipped for God’s purposes.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Choosing Our Friends


Daily Bible Reading – Proverbs 22-24; Romans 14

Today’s Key Passage – Proverbs 22:24-25

 

What makes you the person you are today?  What goes in to building your personality?  Where do your likes and dislikes come from?  What about your morals?  Who we are is shaped by a variety of factors.  First and foremost, God creates us all in His own image.  We are His creations, distinct in our looks and personalities, and different from every other person who has ever lived or will ever live.  If our personalities stopped forming at that point, we would probably be in pretty good shape, but unfortunately, that is not the case.  As we grow, we are impacted by a variety of environmental factors.  These factors include our parents or guardians, siblings, what we learn, and what we see and hear.  In fact, who we are as people is a process that never ends.  We are constantly evolving to a certain degree and our personalities are constantly being formed.  Some of these factors, such as our parents, cannot be changed.  Some people, myself included, are lucky enough to grow up in a loving home with God-fearing parents.  Others are not so lucky.  Either way, there is nothing you can do about these factors.  Other factors, such as what we choose to read, watch, or hear, are entirely up to us.  In today’s key passage, we learn about another influencer of our personalities that we get to choose for ourselves.  Today, we talk about choosing our friends.

In our key passage today, Solomon provides the following wisdom – “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” (Vss. 22:24-25)  Solomon understood an important concept about the formation of our personalities – who we choose to spend our time with, will shape us.  The people we spend the most time with are going to “rub off” on us to a certain degree.  There is simply no way around it.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a cause for some warning.  If we choose to spend our time around the wrong people, we are going to pick up bad habits.  We are going to learn from their ways.  Just as the Israelites were constantly being turned away from God by their evil neighbors, we can also be turned away from God if we choose to spend our time around the wrong people.  Do not misunderstand me here – we cannot live in a protective shell never having contact with the outside world.  In fact, we are called to spread the message of Jesus Christ to all people, including the evil ones.  We are not, however, called to befriend them and spend all of our time socializing with evil people.

My question for each of you today is this: If you know that the people closest to you are going to shape you, who will you choose to spend your time with today?  Will you choose evil people knowing they might turn you away from God, or will you choose God-fearing people who will help you build your faith?  Surround yourself with people who exhibit traits you most admire, because those are the traits that you want to learn.  If you want to become a better husband, befriend a man who you know to be a good husband.  If you want to have more faith, befriend a man who has strong faith.  Never underestimate the power your friends will have in forming your own personality, and always choose wisely.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Proverbs’ Guide to Finances


Daily Bible Reading – Proverbs 19-21; Romans 13

Today’s Key Passage – Proverbs 19:17; 20:4; 20:17; 21:20; 21:25-26

 

Managing our finances is one of the toughest things for most people to do well.  Countless books have been written on the subject.  Countless television personalities offer their advice.  It seems that many people, particularly in a down economy, are trying to understand how to better manage their finances.  As followers of Christ, we are not exempt from this need.  In fact, the Bible has many passages regarding how to properly manage our finances, particularly in Proverbs.  The book of Proverbs is filled with wisdom on how a follower of Christ should effectively deal with money.  The first step in managing our finances is realizing that everything we have comes from God.  He gives us every dollar we have or will ever have and expects us to properly steward what He has entrusted us to have.  With that foundation in place, we can begin to look at specifics in Proverbs for some practical advice on managing money.  In today’s key passage, there are five principles we should all follow to properly manage our finances in a God-honoring way.

Give – “He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.” (Vs. 19:17) – Perhaps the most important lesson anyone can learn about managing finances is the importance of giving.  As followers of Christ, we are called to help those people who are less fortunate that us.  We are called to give generously and with a happy heart.  Without a giving spirit, no other advice on finance will ever amount to anything.

Work Hard – “A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing.” (Vs. 20:4) – Proverbs has a lot to say about laziness.  When God provides us with a job, He expects us to work hard.  He expects us to try our best.  We cannot simply lie around doing nothing and expect God to provide for us.  God does provide, but He expects us to be involved in the process.  He expects us to do our part.

Work Honestly – “Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel.” (Vs. 20:17) – It is not enough to just work hard.  We have to be honest in our business dealings, just as we are honest in our personal dealings.  No amount of money is worth compromising your honesty and integrity.  Honor God with your work.

Save For the Future – “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” (Vs. 21:20) – During times of plenty, we are called to save money for times of less.  Do not misunderstand here – we are not called to hoard everything we make, but putting some money away for a rainy day is sound advice.  If you find that you are spending everything you make, you are spending entirely too much.

Be Happy With What You Have – “The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.” (Vss. 21:25-26) – One of the problems with money is that for many people, having more means wanting more.  Do you constantly want to buy a new item?  Are you constantly looking for your next big purchase?  When we are happy with what God has provided instead of wishing for more, we will find it much easier to honor God with the money we do have.

Managing our finances in a God-honoring way is an important part of the Christian walk, but never forget that the money we make and the things we buy are temporary compared to the eternal things of God.  With that in mind, the best place we can turn for advice on managing our finances is God’s Word.  As we follow His directions, we will find it much easier to be good stewards.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

In the Heat of the Moment


Daily Bible Reading – Proverbs 13-15; Romans 11

Today’s Key Passage – Proverbs 15:1-4

 

In the heat of the moment.  Most of us know these six words fairly well.  Unless you live in a bubble without any relationships or opportunities to communicate with others, you probably have an “in the heat of the moment” experience in your past.  The fact is that all of us have relationships of one form or another and all of us communicate with other people on a daily basis.  With all of this communication going on, the chances are good that at some point, you will find yourself disagreeing with another person, and the chances are also good that you will find yourself in a full-blown argument.  Relationships can be made or broken in the heat of the moment, because what we say or do at the most intense moment of a disagreement will often define the outcome.  Friendships have been lost in the heat of the moment.  Marriages have ended in the heat of the moment.  Children have been forever scarred in the heat of the moment.  Since the heat of the moment is so important to our overall relational health, it is important that we take proactive steps to keep from saying the wrong things in those moments.  In today’s key passage, Solomon provides us with practical advice to avoid saying the wrong thing in the heat of the moment.

Speak Gently – “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Vs. 1) – The quickest way to find yourself in the heat of the moment is to raise your voice.  Raising your voice or speaking angry words only serve to escalate an already bad situation.  The next time you find yourself in a disagreement or argument, choose to speak gently and softly.  Do not raise your voice under any circumstances.  This advice alone will help calm most arguments.

Speak Thoughtfully – “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” (Vs. 2) – Avoid the temptation to speak without really thinking.  Most of the time, we end up saying the wrong things in the heat of the moment because we are not stopping to think before we speak.  When you raise your voice, your speed of speech increases adding to the possibility that you will say something without thinking.  As you speak gently and softly, you will find that you have more time to think about the words you are going to use.

Speak Healthfully and Truthfully – “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” (Vs. 4) – When we speak to others in a loving, compassionate way, it is less likely we will find ourselves in the heat of the moment.  We can choose to build others up with our words or we can choose to break them down.  We can choose to speak the truth or we can choose to lie.  Speak truthfully in love to find our way through difficult conversations.

Perhaps the most important advice to avoid an “in the heat of the moment” experience is to remember your audience.  We should always keep in mind that, “The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” (Vs. 3)  When we remember that God is watching, we will be less likely to escalate a situation in the heat of the moment.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Greatest Fear vs. Greatest Desire


Daily Bible Reading – Proverbs 10-12; Romans 10

Today’s Key Passage – Proverbs 10:24

 

Many people likely remember the television show Fear Factor from a few years ago.  In the show, contestants competed with one another by facing fears in order to win a prize.  Over the course of the series, many different fears were tested.  People who were afraid of snakes were forced to be surrounded by them.  People who were afraid of heights were forced to walk a tightrope between two buildings.  People who were afraid of bugs were forced to eat them.  If you have never seen the show, it may sound dreadful.  The show was fairly popular for years, however, because almost everyone has a fear of something.  Today’s key passage has something to say about fears.  In it, we read, “What the wicked dreads will overtake him; what the righteous desire will be granted.” (Vs. 24)  On the surface, this verse seems pretty straightforward, but as I thought more about it, I realized that there is one thing in this world that can fit both sides of this Proverb.  There is one thing that the wicked dread and the righteous desire.  There is one thing that can be both the greatest fear of one person and the greatest desire of another.  What is this one thing?  Death.

The wicked fear death.  People who do not know God fear death.  People who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ fear death.  For these people, death represents the ultimate end of their lives.  To an unbeliever, death is something to be feared because there is nothing to look forward to after it.  Sadly for the unbeliever, the first part of this Proverb is undeniably true because even though they dread death, it will ultimately overtake them.  There is no getting out of it.  Every wicked person on this earth is going to die at some point.  Every wicked person on this earth will have his or her greatest fear realized.

On the other hand, followers of Christ know that they do not need to fear death.  In fact, while the process of death itself is not the greatest desire of a follower of Christ, we do understand that death is the pathway to our ultimate desire, which is eternal life with Christ.  Fortunately for us, we know that we have been saved from death and we know that when we die we will be resurrected and will spend eternity in His presence.  For the follower of Christ, our greatest desire will always be realized.  We will always receive salvation.

If you were to be offered the choice of either realizing your greatest fear or your greatest desire, only a fool would choose to realize their greatest fear.  The fact is, God offers each of us that exact choice.  He offers each of us the choice of receiving His free gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, or rejecting it.  He offers each of us the choice of having either our greatest fear or our greatest desire realized.  If you have already made the choice to accept God’s mercy and grace, you can look forward to receiving your greatest desire.  If you have not yet made this choice, there is still time.  You can make the decision today to accept His free gift.  You can make the decision today to have your greatest desire realized.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Rebuking a Mocker


Daily Bible Reading – Proverbs 7-9; Romans 9

Today’s Key Passage – Proverbs 9:7-12

 

The Christian walk includes many things.  As we live our lives for Christ, we will put Him first, build relationships, love our neighbors, honor our spouses, and reach out to the lost.  Sometimes the Christian walk also includes correcting other Christians when they are mired in sinful behavior.  In Matthew 18:15-20 Jesus provided instruction for us in the event that a fellow believer is sinning.  Today’s key passage, however, discusses a related yet altogether different topic – rebuking a mocker.  While rebuking another follower of Christ may sometimes be necessary during our walk, rebuking a person so wrapped up in their own wickedness that they cannot see the truth is ill advised and dangerous.  In our passage we read, “Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.” (Vss. 7-8)  I believe we can learn two important lessons from today’s passage.

The first thing we can learn from our passage is how our own reaction to criticism defines our character.  When another believer comes to us in love with a rebuke or a criticism, how do we react to it?  Do we react with insults and defensiveness or do we react in love and understanding?  In verse 9 we read, “Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.”  As followers of Christ, we should all be constantly seeking wisdom.  We should constantly be striving to know God better and to get closer to Him.  Sometimes the only way we can add to our learning is through the rebuke from another believer.  When we are faced with this prospect, how we react will demonstrate to us exactly where our hearts are in relation to God.  Instead of reacting like a mocker, when we react like a wise man we can strengthen our love for God as well as our love for the person correcting us.

The second lesson in today’s passage lies in recognizing the differences in others when we are the ones with a rebuke.  Once again, if we are dealing with a wise man, we know that he will welcome our rebuke because he wants to gain wisdom, and we know that he will love us for it.  Therefore, when dealing with a wise man we should offer our rebuke in love.  If we are dealing with a fool, however, we should not even bother to offer our rebuke.  Just as a venomous snake will bite you if you attempt to pet it, a mocker will violently lash out at you at the first sign of criticism for two reasons.  First, the mocker’s pride will cause him not to even consider that what you are saying may be the truth and will hate you and your message.  Secondly, the enemy ultimately controls a mocker.  Jesus defined this for us when He was speaking to a group of people who were unwilling to listen to His rebuke.  In John 8:42-47 He said, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here…Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire…He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”  In addition, Jesus provided us further advice when dealing with a mocker in Matthew 7:6 when he said, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”

When dealing with criticism, whether you are the one giving the criticism or receiving it, always keep this Proverb in your heart and remember, “If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.”

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Purity in Marriage


Daily Bible Reading – Proverbs 4-6; Romans 8

Today’s Key Passage – Proverbs 5

 

A couple of years ago my wife and I went to Destin, Florida and spent a few days at the beach.  Every now and then, as the sun got hot, we would wander out into the beautiful waters of the Emerald Coast to cool off.  Though we would go straight out from our spot on the beach, there were a few times when I would look back at our belongings and realize that we had drifted from our original position.  We never would have known we had drifted if not for our belongings sitting on the beach serving as our anchor point.  In today’s society, it seems we have “drifted” from God’s idea of purity in marriage.  In our world, we are bombarded on a daily basis with adulterous themes from movies and television shows, reports of infidelity by athletes, movie stars, and politicians, and the proliferation of Internet pornography.  To the casual observer, it might seem as if the world accepts and condones sexual immorality and adultery.  Fortunately, we have God’s Word as an anchor point to show us just how far we have drifted from His idea.  In today’s key passage, Solomon discusses the topic of adultery.

Most people are fully aware that adultery is explicitly spelled out as a sin in the Ten Commandments, yet it continues to be a problem in our society just as it was in Solomon’s day.  Even some self-professed “Christians” are committing adultery at an alarming rate as more and more people find ways to rationalize their sinful behavior.  They wrongly believe that God might condone their behavior or give them a “free pass” if they spend one hour a week sitting in church and the rest of the time cheating on their spouses.  God, however, makes it perfectly clear throughout the Bible that adultery is the complete opposite of His plan for our marriages.  In today’s passage, Solomon warns that, “the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.” (Vss. 3-5)  In addition, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ said, “I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)  For the modern Christian, adultery means a lot more than just infidelity.  What some people fail to realize is that the wandering eye, flirting, and pornography are just as damaging to the marriage relationship as cheating, and are therefore completely against God’s will for us.

So, what is God’s ideal for marriage?  To answer that, let us first remember that God is the one who designed marriage in the first place.  Marriage was not an idea that began through any government – it came directly from God.  He designed marriage as a covenantal relationship between a man and woman, and expects it to be kept pure and holy.  The simple truth is that your spouse is a divine gift from God and should be treated as such.  Instead of looking for other ways to fulfill some desire based on the illusion of greener pastures, God wants us to find pleasure and happiness in the relationship He gave us.  Solomon reminds us to, “drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.” (Vs. 15)  Purity in marriage is vital in building a healthy and lasting relationship.  Regardless what the world might believe, there is no substitute for complete and total purity when it comes to your spouse.  It is up to each of us as followers of Christ to guarantee our spouses this level of purity, as we always remember that, “a man’s ways are in full view of the LORD” (Vs. 21)  Do not settle for anything less than God’s absolute best for your marriage.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Five Principles for Receiving God’s Blessings


Daily Bible Reading – Proverbs 1-3; Romans 7

Today’s Key Passage – Proverbs 3:1-10

 

The first few chapters of Proverbs contain Solomon’s fatherly advice to young people, but when I read them, I can clearly hear our Heavenly Father’s advice to all of His children.  Today’s key passage is a good example of this.  I believe that most people want to lead happy and fulfilled lives.  We want to receive God’s blessings in our lives, but sometimes we do not do our part in this process.  In the first ten verses of Proverbs 3, God provides us with five distinct principles that we can follow to prepare ourselves for receiving His blessings.  Now please do not misunderstand what I am saying here – these five principles do not guarantee His blessings in this life.  In a perfect world, following these five principles would always lead to the blessings defined in the text here and now, but as you know, we live in a less-than-perfect world.  In our world, wisdom usually leads to blessings but this is not always the case.  Sometimes the sin of this world gets in the way, and sometimes God’s blessings are delayed until Jesus returns to call us to eternal life.  Whether in this world or the next, however, we can be sure that following His principles will ultimately lead to blessings.  With that in mind, let us look at the five principles from today’s passage:

Obedience – “do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart” (Vs. 1) – In order to practice obedience to God’s Word, we must first know what God’s Word says.  As we read the Bible and learn more about God, we can begin to keep His commands in our hearts, and can eventually get better and better at obeying Him.  As a result, His commands will, “prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.” (Vs. 2)

Integrity – “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” (Vs. 3) – Relationships are more important than anything else in this life.  Relationships with God and with other people are key to our existence.  When you act in love and faithfulness, you build your integrity and positively impact all of your relationships.  As a result, “you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” (Vs. 4)

Trust – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Vs. 5) – God wants us to lean on Him in everything we do instead of leaning on ourselves.  When you trust God with all of your heart, you will learn to lean on Him in good times and bad.  As a result, “he will make your paths straight.” (Vs. 6)

Discernment – “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.” (Vs. 7) – Most of us know the difference between right and wrong.  God’s Word and the Holy Spirit convict us of sinfulness in our lives and show us the things we should avoid.  As we turn from evil and toward God, “this will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” (Vs. 8)

Giving – “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops” (Vs. 9) – When we give God the “firstfruits of our crops”, we are giving Him our best in terms of our time, money, and talent.  We honor Him when we have a generous heart and give God the best that we have to offer.  As a result, “your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”

When we follow God’s principles in life, we can prepare ourselves to receive all of His blessings.  He loves us more than we can possibly imagine and He wants nothing more than to give us happiness and fulfillment in this life, but we have to do our part.  Praise Him for his goodness and for His grace today, and thank Him for all of your blessings already received, and the ones yet to come.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

A Lesson from the Animal Kingdom


Daily Bible Reading – Proverbs 30,31; Psalm 33; Ephesians 1

Today’s Key Passage – Proverbs 30:24-28

 

The book of Proverbs is filled with wisdom.  Many times in Proverbs (and the Bible as a whole), dramatic imagery is used to help us understand concepts.  As we conclude our time in the book of Proverbs today, we find one of these instances in our key passage.  The author of chapter 30, Agur, uses the imagery of four different animals to teach us about wisdom.  He says that these four animals are all small in stature, but are extremely wise. (Vs. 24)  As we look at these four animals today, we find that they have much to teach us.

Ants – “Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer” (Vs. 25) – Despite their small size, ants work hard during the summer months to locate and store their food for the winter.  Just as ants spend time preparing for the future, we can also spend our time preparing for the future in a number of ways.  In a physical sense, we can prepare for lean times by saving during times of plenty.  In a spiritual sense, we can prepare for any situation by learning to obey the Word of God.

Coneys – “coneys are creatures of little power, yet they make their home in the crags” (Vs. 26) – I’m not sure about you, but to understand this passage I had to check with my friend Google on a couple of these words.  A coney is a rock badger and a crag is a jagged rock.  Coneys choose to make their homes among the jagged rocks because of the protection they provide.  God is our rock, and like the coney, we can hide in Him for our protection.

Locusts – “locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks” (Vs. 27) – Locusts are often seen in swarms as the individual members work together as a team to accomplish their goals.  Like locusts, we too are part of a team – the church.  When we work together with other members of the church, we will find it much easier to advance together and accomplish our goals.

Lizards (Some translations say Spiders) – “a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings’ palaces.” (Vs. 28) – Lizards are fearless.  Even though they do not deserve to be there, they live in the palaces of kings.  In the same way, as followers of Christ each of us will one day live in the palace of the King of Kings in Heaven.  We will not deserve to be there any more than a lizard deserves to roam the halls of a king’s palace, but we will still find our home there due to His grace.  Because of God’s promises to us, we can be fearless about approaching Him and living with Him for eternity.

While at first glance it may seem that we do not have much to learn from these animals, Agur demonstrates that with a little critical thinking we can find a lesson through their example.  I pray that as you read His Word, you will search for greater meaning in the imagery used, even if the sources may at first seem unlikely.  The more we read and the more time we spend meditating on the Bible, the more God will show us as we grow in Him.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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