Sunday, October 31, 2010
Many of you know that our house used to have a bakery attached. When we moved in to our house some of our older neighbors told us they remembered when it was opened and the neighborhood had the wonderful aroma of Polish Bread. Years had not been kind to our house and the attached bakery section needed a new roof. Pastor John and I needed to do it ourselves because there was no way we could afford to hire someone. It was October and an Indian Summer (good weather that could end anytime). We didn't have long to get it finished before the weather changed and our insurance company ran out of patience. The boys were in school...and I was trying to help my husband during the day and take care of the boys when they got home. One day as we came down for a lunch break...I looked awful...had gook all over me from the roof...my face was smudged....my hair a mess....yet John looked at me and said...you are a Proverbs 31 woman. I was embarrassed. My thoughts immediately went to the thought that I'm not organized like the Proverbs 31 woman is described. I'm not good at crafty things. I would never make the housekeeper of the year award. Yet my husband said that of me. I realized that what he appreciated was my willingness to help him with a project that was hard for me and my determination not to give up. A wife that loves her husband, works hard and has his trust is truly a Proverbs 31 woman.
10 b]">[b]Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life
Whether you are a husband or a wife, a man or a woman God wants to build within you the ability to be trusted by others. Your skill set may not be the same as someone elses....but trust is a great thing.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
I am weary, O God;
I am weary and worn out, O God.b]">[b]
2 I am too stupid to be human,
and I lack common sense.
3 I have not mastered human wisdom,
nor do I know the Holy One.
Chapter 30 introduces a different author. Agur may have some good things to say but I want to prefix our reading with his opening remarks. Some see Agur as humbly admitting his need for God's wisdom. They rightly say that we all must humbly seek God's guidance and not do things on our own. While others see him as showing that he was not a person in proper relationship with God. If we love God and have sought His wisdom we shouldn't say we are stupid or that we lack common sense. If we have been seeking God then we are developing the wisdom of God. We all should be continual learners, and surely we should all realize that we are in the process of knowing the Holy One. However, if we have formed a relationship with the Lord we don't say...." I don't know Him" We don't know everything there is to know about him but we are in the process of knowing Him.
He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.
6 Do not add to his words,
or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.
A shield covers the body or a part of the body. It is a protection from the enemy at all times. We don't always realize the times that God protects us in our life. Lately..I've pondered this sometimes in not such a good way. Wondering why this and why that. Yet God brings me back time and time again to His love for His children and the fact that we don't know all things...He does. There are dangers of the enemy that we would never think about or even realize that He shields us from without us even knowing. It is like a parent who shields their kids from the pressures of life, from arguments, from the strength of financial needs, from a myriad of things. Parents concentrate on teaching their children things appropriate for their age that help keep them from danger and they (the parents) take care of the rest. Sometimes children wonder about these adult things...but they are not yet ready to take on those responsibilities. In the same way God's protection is beyond all that we know or understand.
Friday, October 29, 2010
2 When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice.
But when the wicked are in power, they groan.
4 A just king gives stability to his nation,
but one who demands bribes destroys it.
12 If a ruler pays attention to liars,
all his advisers will be wicked.
14 If a king judges the poor fairly,
his throne will last forever.
16 When the wicked are in authority, sin flourishes,
but the godly will live to see their downfall.
26 Many seek the ruler’s favor,
but justice comes from the Lord.
Yesterdays chapter said this
When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily.
But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
1 The wicked run away when no one is chasing them,
but the godly are as bold as lions.
Why would this be true? The wicked know that they are doing wrong and that they might be found out someday. They live looking over their shoulder waiting for the consequences of their deeds to be found out. Perhaps there has been a time in your life that you knew you did something wrong and much of your time was spent wondering when someone was going to find out. It is not a fun state to live in. Confession and repentance frees us from that kind of life. Those who live godly lives don't have to fear being found out by anyone. Those who live godly lives don't have to fear being found out by anyone. A person who is free from fear can be as bold as a lion.
2 When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily.
But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.
Leaders of a nation bring stability. Obviously that has to do with restoring godly morality to the nation. A nation whose morals decline are in danger of coming to the point of being overthrown. They may have large armies and pride but that won't stop disaster from falling upon them. Pray for wise leaders. Vote for wise and godly leaders.
27 Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing,
but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.
"Those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed" How does one close their eyes to something. We live in a society where we hear about disaster after disaster on TV. We see poverty on our streets and on the screen. Sometimes it all becomes blurred. There is a line in the Word. The Word expects people to work and use money correctly. God is asking that we open our eyes to our own world. When we see poverty we are to help. We don't have to have fanfare we just are to make a difference. Helping can come in all sorts of packages. We may be inundated with all sorts of pulls. One ministry does this and another that....they all need help to help those in need. The pull can make it hard to know what to do. Remember the Holy Spirit lives inside and He will direct you to where to sow and individuals in your own area to help. The only requirement is to open your eyes and care about those in need.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Experiencing the Wisdom of God Through Proverbs Day 27 Don't Toot Your Own Horn...Appreicate others.
a stranger, not your own lips.
We've all had the unpleasant experience of listening to someone touting their good deeds and their abilities to all who will listen. I don't mean a simple recounting of events...I mean a constant and elaborate retelling that is obviously overboard. Many times in doing the telling a person ignores others or even makes fun of the efforts of others. Here wisdom tells us in effect, "Don't toot your own horn." It is often obvious that the person is insecure despite the outward appearance of blustery confidence. Unwittingly they become the object of scorn or people consciously trying to avoid them. You may find yourself in this category as you take inventory of your words. Stopping the behavior is good...but also taking great time and care to understand your value in Christ ( a great way is by doing a study of the phrase in Christ) is essential.
On the other hand our society has lost sight of the idea of being thankful to the people that matter in our lives. We take things for granted and rarely tell someone what they mean to us. Many times we are so much into our self and our own circumstances that the second half of the verse becomes a low priority. We should all look for opportunities to genuinely complement others in our life. Has someone in a retail store been especially helpful to you? Tell the manager how much you appreciate the person (of course tell them too). Do you have friends who have stuck with you in hard times....think back...have you told them about how thankful you are for their love? When my boys were little I used to tell the boys in front of my husband things like, "Did you see how sweet Daddy was to Mommy today...he...." They loved it and Pastor John loved it too. Purpose to be thankful out loud. Let the people in your life know without a shadow of a doubt that you are thankful and appreciative of all they do.
Take 3 steps today.
Step one: Don't tout what you did today to others. Even if you moved the world so to speak.
Step two: Make an concentrated effort to let those who have been instrumental in your life know what you appreciate about them. Don't just say thank you. Make a list of specific things you are thankful for and tell them about it somehow. You could write a letter, email them, give them a call or tell them face to face.
Step three: Notice something good about someone whom you may not know well but nonetheless effected you because of their kindness. The other day a lady at a service center...smiled and said today is such a nice day outside....enjoy. Somehow she really cheered my day.
There are a lot of wonderful verses in chapter 27 I'm believing Holy Spirit is going to be faithful to speak a wonderful word to you today.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
4 Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools,
or you will become as foolish as they are.
5 Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools,
or they will become wise in their own estimation.
Ever hear of a conundrum? Verse 4 and 5 are sort of like that...a dilemma of sorts. To answer a fool in his foolishness may take you to their level if you are not careful, but on the other hand sometimes if you don't answer a fool they think they are right and are not challenged to seek the Lord. See Bible Tools The Holy Spirit can let us know when to speak and when to close our mouth. He is the all wise God. We don't have to depend upon human wisdom we have access to heavenly wisdom and revelation. These verses are an encouragement if you think about it. They acknowledge that we don't always have all the answers...we really have to rely upon God in our everyday life. Knowledge knows the facts but only God's Wisdom knows what to do with that knowledge for the best outcome. Chapter 26 powerfully talks about fools verses wise. One thing it says is , "12 There is more hope for fools than for people who think they are wise." When a person thinks they are wise and right all of the time..they don't understand there need to seek God in the time of trouble.
0 Fire goes out without wood,
and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.
Recently I was at a store. I saw an example of an employee gossiping to co-workers about his leadership and other workers. He didn't have a word of uplift to share with anybody. When someone is a gossip they hurt an entire organization. Gossips keep fights and quarrels going in any organization. When a gossip is stopped ....quarrels stop. Listen really listen to yourself. Do you fall into the trap of gossip. do you gossip or do you listen to gossip. Stop it now. God is not pleased and it causes decention.
Monday, October 25, 2010
is as harmful as hitting them with an ax,
wounding them with a sword,
or shooting them with a sharp arrow.
The old saying "sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words will never hurt me" has a lot of holes in it. Truthfully words do hurt. The words may not physically hurt a person at the time they are said, but nonetheless they can be very harmful. Think about it right now. Think of a time you've been lied about in your life. How has that felt? Being lied about, the Word tells us, is as harmful as being physically hurt. I know that to be true. Lies are told to avoid being responsible for our own actions. We'd rather blame someone else than take consequences for our own actions. Lies are told to avoid being found out by those we love or those who are in authority over us. Lies are told sometimes to purposely hurt others. God tells us that lying is something God hates....and all liars will have their part in hell. Don't lie the Word tells us. It hurts those whom you are lying about and it hurts your reputation once you are found out to me a liar.
19 Putting confidence in an unreliable person in times of trouble
is like chewing with a broken tooth or walking on a lame foot.
Yuck. Tooth pain and a lame foot. Two things that are very painful. Things that cause your whole body to be off. It is amazing how little members of the body can cause pain to the whole body. Have you ever had a bad tooth ache and tried to eat on the other side of your mouth but accidentally forgot and ended up screeching in pain? When a foot hurts you usually end up with your mobility being very limited. That is just like when we put our confidence in a person who is not reliable. The disappointment goes deep. When we are going through times of trouble God wants us to have reliable people around us. People who don't easily give up on friendship. People who are not ready to run when things are tough. People who will be willing to work through issues that matter. God is always reliable...He never fails...and He can lead us to friendships that will be a strength at all times.