Monthly Archives: May 2019

May 31; Joy and Health

Proverbs 14-15

My prayer for you today is Proverbs 15:30. May you have joy in your heart regardless of circumstances. May you be surrounded by people who love you and love the Lord. May their smiles put a smile on your face. And may you be encouraged and strengthened with the Good News that your sins are forgiven, that Jesus is your Savior, that God is your Father, and that His Spirit lives in you.

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.

May 30; The Loving Kind Of Parenting

Proverbs 11-13

I read an article posted by a former student who is now the director of a large pre-school. In the article, the author cited numerous studies that say bad behavior in a toddler is a cry for help, an unspoken emotional crisis that needs to be met with kindness, calmness, and gentleness. The author claims that studies prove that sitting the child down and speaking in a soft, mono-tone to explain which behaviors are acceptable, and why their behavior is harmful to them and others, results in behavior change. Reasoning with a toddler produces the desired behaviors, the author claims, even though that flies in the face of other studies that say humans are unable to reason until their brains are more highly developed than that of a three-year-old.

Isn’t what the author proposes kind of like teaching Algebra 2 to a child who can’t recognize the number “1” yet?

Once again, I ask who is the authority on which these opinions are based? Because THE AUTHORITY has a lot to say about rules, about right and wrong, and about discipline. Here are just some of what God said through Solomon:

He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored. (Proverbs 13:18)

He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. (Proverbs 13:24)

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1)

Make no mistake about it, discipline according to Scripture involves a swat on the bottom. The Bible tells us that’s the loving kind of parenting.

May 29; The Wisdom Cycle

Proverbs 8-10

Solomon seems to talk a lot about the relationship between wisdom and righteousness. First of all, he says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Not the love of the Lord. Not doing things for the Lord. Not a cleaned up life. And not the philosophy of today which tells us love of self is the beginning of wisdom.

Fear of God.

For those people who don’t know Him, that fear ought to look like the cowering, petrified, scared to death kind of fear that ends up in the attempt to escape Him. He is THAT God.

For those who recognize that, who realize the fearfulness of God, PLUS His great sacrificial love, their’s is a fear that looks more like obedience, respect, and awe. Now that’s the beginning of wisdom!

Solomon says that kind of wisdom leads to righteous living. Righteous living is blessed by God. One of those blessings is more wisdom which leads to more righteous living, then blessings, and wisdom, etc.

The “wisdom cycle.”

It’s the never ending cycle of the sanctified life, growing  in grace and knowledge of Jesus. It’s the yieldedness that produces a vital, productive life blessed by God, and used by Him to share the wisdom with others.

Do you fear God? You should. That fear should make you want to resist Satan in every way like I talked about yesterday. Living a righteous life is blessed by God, draws us closer to Him. Living a righteous life is wisdom – with benefits.

Jumping on the “wisdom cycle” is the wise thing to do.

 

May 28; The Right To Resist

Proverbs 5-7

Yesterday we remembered the sacrifices so many men and women have made to insure the freedoms we enjoy here in the United States. Our freedom is a privilege bought at a great price. But those freedoms are a blessing – and a curse.

Because the freedom of free speech has turned into an entertainment industry of violence and depravity, a news and social media full of lies and hate. The freedom to pursue happiness has resulted in aborted babies, mutilated bodies, and an unprecedented demand for individual rights at the expense of the rights of the majority. The abuse of our rights and freedoms have rendered us slaves.

It didn’t happen overnight. Solomon warns us that the “adulteress,” (sin), entices, woos, comes innocently enough until she leads her victims down to the chamber of death. Her victims go like deer stepping into a noose.

Does one drink cause an alcoholic? Does one look at pornography cause an addiction, or rapists and child molesters? Does one glance cause an affair?

No. But hear Solomon’s warning. One leads to two, to three until the “adulteress” has you in her clasp. What starts as innocent curiosity, winds up enslaving her victim in sin.

I’m glad I live in the Unites States of America. I’m thankful for the freedoms that are ours at the costly price of the lives of men and women who wore the uniform of our armed forces. I’m sorry we’ve abused the rights their injuries and deaths insured. And I pray that Christians will heed Solomon’s warning, recognize the temptation to misuse our freedom, and be the people God intended us to be. May we see the “adulteress” for what she is, Satan, the enemy who wants nothing more than to destroy us.

And may we exercise our right to resist her.

May 27; Gold, Silver, Rubies, and Wisdom

Proverbs 2-4

Yesterday I realized that Solomon’s wisdom, as extraordinary as it was, has nothing on the wisdom that is ours in the pages of God’s Word. What a privilege is ours to have access to God’s wisdom every day!

In Proverbs 3:13-15 Solomon reminds us that, like gold, silver, and precious rubies, wisdom comes from digging. He continually encourages us to “get” wisdom, or “find” wisdom. These and similar phrases tell me that just reading a few verses every day cannot produce wisdom.

In order to receive what God has available to His children, we have to ingest his Word, read it then read it again, think on it, pray about it. Understanding something requires effort.

Has anyone really ever learned a foreign language by playing a recording while they sleep? Let’s just say, I doubt it. Because if that were true, schools would be equipped with bunkbeds and earphones instead of desks and computers.

Learning takes effort. Gaining wisdom takes effort. Mining gold, silver, and rubies takes effort. And what we have in the pages of God’s Word is so much more valuable than metal and stone.

May 26; Wisdom At Our Fingertips

I Kings 10:1-13, 4:1-19, 29-34; 2 Chronicles 9:1-12; Proverbs 1

Solomon’s wisdom was legendary. People came from all over the ancient world to get a glimpse of Solomon’s wisdom, to sit at his feet and learn about the things he knew. Solomon’s wisdom came from God. And it showed.

The Queen of Sheba said, “How happy your men must be. How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom.” It would seem so, wouldn’t it? Those men and officials had easy access to the wisdom others had to travel a great distance to hear. They were privileged to be in the presence of this great wisdom, this fathomless knowledge every day.

The same wisdom that was given to Solomon has been given to us. The same God who bestowed Solomon with that amazing gift has gifted us with His Word. How happy God’s children must be, who have His own Words in a book on a stand right next to their beds. How happy God’s children must be to be able to open those precious pages any time of the day or night, and drink in God’s wisdom like those ancient kings and queens drank in Solomon’s.

Or are we? Do we truly realize what we have in the Bible? Every chapter, every verse is God-breathed, God inspired, from His heart to ours. God’s wisdom at our fingertips!

May 25; But Then Monday Comes

I Kings 8:62-9:28; Psalm 132; 2 Chronicles 7:4-8:18, 9:21

Solomon’s Temple was completed, and busy with activity. But Solomon didn’t just sit back and enjoy the fruit of his labor. He built a house for his wife, built and rebuilt cities, conquered other cities, built ships and financed mining expeditions, and he observed all the feasts and Sabbaths of the Lord.

Have you ever been involved in a project that required long hours and hard work, decision making, and overseeing workers? The job is complete, you step back with a sense of accomplishment and euphoria. You drink in the accolades, and have a wonderful sense of well deserved satisfaction.

But then Monday comes.

Have you ever been on a retreat or at a conference where your heart soared in worship, you were encouraged, uplifted, and challenged? You leave there excited to be a child of God, and excited about what He is doing in your life.

But then Monday comes.

Life is full of ups and downs. Some people are driven to live in a state of euphoria, some others experience  the down times and can’t seem to pull themselves up. Because when Monday comes, when things settle down and the day-to-day happens, you are the only one changed. The demands of the day are the same as always. The attitudes of people around you are the same as they were. And you have some choices to make.

The same is true in our walk with the Lord. Sometimes God brings us through valleys, and sits us up on that mountaintop. He is so real to us we feel like we could reach out and touch Him. We look around with His eyes of love, and see this wonderful world He created. But it’s unrealistic to think we can stay there. Because Satan is gearing up for round two.

Sometimes our walk with the Lord feels distant. We don’t feel blessed, or even heard. We try, and try, but nothing changes. I think that is a tragic place to live.

God seems to be encouraging me, through Solomon’s example, to keep going. There is always something to be doing for God’s Kingdom, always people to minister to, phone calls and visits to make, people who need to hear what Jesus did for them. Sometimes you have to get off the mountain to meet people where they are. And sometimes you have to let God drag you out of the pit, and into the lives of others.

Solomon enjoyed the celebration of the Temple’s completion. But when Monday came, he started another project, then another. I am reminded that the work of the Church, the effort to make disciples, to minister to hurting people will never be done until God calls us home or Jesus returns. We’ll have our ups and downs, our victories and defeats. But when Monday comes around, where will we be?

Besides, no matter if we are basking in the satisfaction of a job well done, or struggling to keep our heads up, we have reason to lay it all aside and praise God. Solomon did.

My prayer is that we all will be exactly where God leads us, busy working, continually praising Him, for His sake and His glory. And one day, when we look into those eyes, we’ll hear our Savior say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” And we’ll have lived our last Monday.