Proverbs 11: The matter with chatter

With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape.
– Proverbs 11:9

We all know the proverb which tells us that “the power of life and death are in the tongue” (prov: 18:21). However, not as many quote the better half of that verse…“and you shall eat the ‘fruit’ of it”.

In other words, speak falsely, speak discouragement, speak negativity and you shall receive it. But speak truth, speak hope, speak life and you shall receive that which you speak.

God takes the words of our mouth into serious consideration.

Let’s take gossip for example.
You and I don’t take the sin of gossip as seriously as we should. I believe we would if we understood it better. Seems like a small sin when compared to others, but it is not a small sin to God (Rom. 1:28-32).

Random House College Dictionary defines gossip as:
“Idle talk or rumor, esp. about the personal or private affairs of others.”

The Hebrew word for “slander” simply means “bad report”.
The NT has two interesting words regarding this sin of the tongue.
a. Katalaleo (“slander”)
b. Psithuristas (“gossip”; KJV–“whisperers”)

Truthfully, the only difference between “gossip” and “slander” is one of degrees. Let’s suppose for a moment, you wanted to kill someone. There’s more than one way to do it. Take a shotgun, walk right up to them, announce that you’re going to shoot them, and then shoot. That’s slander. Or, you could take a rifle with a scope. Attach a silencer to it, hide yourself a safe distance away, kill them from long-distance. Never know what hit them. That’s gossip.

A careless  person can defame [“profane”] another merely by what he says. But the righteous person escapes the trap of gossip and slander through knowledge. The righteous understand that you cannot even ‘give ear’ to the poison of gossip/slander. Wisdom gives us the discernment to see the power and purposes moving behind the words. The hostile purposes masked by the words in the mouth of the wicked are seen through by the righteous, by virtue of the wisdom which God has taught them. This penetrating insight and discernment is our means of deliverance.

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Mark the difference between the righteous
and the wicked.
See the wicked advancing under a sky growing more and more dark and threatening.
Now, see the righteous
moving on, with troubles receding like a cloud behind them…with sunshine breaking through like the dawn. Which ‘end’ would you prefer?

“Gem of the Day”:
“People of high intelligence talk about ideas. People of average intelligence talk about things. People of no intelligence talk about other people. Where are you in the lineup?”

“Choose this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my house; we will serve the Lord.”

Lord,
If it be Your will, silence the ungodly speech of those around me. But if they are not silenced, fill me with a love of truth to light the way through such darkness, that my spirit and life may not perish. For it is written “ They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.”
(2 Thessalonians 10)

1. We do ‘right’  because we know we will ‘see His face’.
Psalm 11:7 
For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteous deeds.
The upright will see His face.”

2. God gives us victory despite betrayal
Psalm 41: 1-3 “Happy is one who cares for the poor; the Lord will save him in a day of adversity. The Lord will keep him and preserve him; he will be blessed in the land. You will not give him over to the desire of his enemies.”

3. God is our help even to the end of our days.
Psalm 71:17-18a “God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still proclaim Your wonderful works. Even when I am old and gray…”

4. Make a covenant with your ‘mouth’. Speak and sing of His faithfulness forever.
Psalm 101:1 “I will sing of faithful love and justice; I will sing praise to You, Lord.”

5. His Peace and Presence cause us to ‘rest’ and be satisfied as simply as a child.
Psalm 131:2 “…But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.”

Proverbs 10: Wealth of the Wise

The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.

– Proverbs 10:22

We’ve talked about the ‘get rich’ quick scheme the world has.
And most of us know that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is…

But wise people know that to build well takes time.
Wise people build slowly because we are not just building wealth; we are building all the disciplines necessary to sustain the stewardship of that wealth. We build slowly and most importantly, we build thoughtfully.

Tolstoy quotes an old Russian Proverb: “All that glitters is not gold.” Be careful of the lures of life that glitter which we think is gold.

There are some very precious treasures in life that may not glitter, but are more precious than we will ever realize.
There are treasures of deep friendships, of loyalties, of being able to resolve things, a clear conscience, a pure heart so we could put our head on our pillow at night and rest.

There are other treasures of a genuine marriage; an authentic, close-knit family; integrity and honesty. That is what makes a man or woman a person of great wealth, but in a balanced way.

Treasure is not one-dimensional.
Define it accurately, build it slowly, and invest in what you know is truly wealth. Then,  you will be a very rich person and you will understand the definition of wealth in the kingdom of God.

That is the kind of wealth wise people build.
Let’s be those kind of people.

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Today’s Prayer Pearl:

Lord,

Open the eyes of my heart. Help me to fully acknowledge the blessings you freely bestow. Let me walk in the wealth of the Kingdom of Heaven. And bring me into full alignment with Your plan for my life that I may diligently pursue a path made straight for me by You. For Jesus said: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)

 

Today’s Diamonds from the Psalms:

1. God’s ear is inclined to the brokenhearted and gives strength to the weak.
Psalm 10: 17:18
“Lord
, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will strengthen their hearts. You will listen carefully, doing justice for the fatherless and the oppressed so that men of the earth may terrify them no more.”

2. …And when He hears our cries, He causes us to rise and stand!
Psalm 40:2
He brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure.

3. When others seek to destroy you, don’t seek revenge. Seek God for He saves!
Psalm 70:5
“Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; let those who love Your salvation continually say, “God is great!”

4. Live with thanksgiving and praise in your heart and give an inheritance of God’s faithfulness to your children and your children’s children.

Psalm 100:5
“For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations.”

5. We do not simply wait. We wait with hope in His Word. Because His Word is unfailing and endures forever.
Psalm 130:5
“I wait for Yahweh; I wait and put my hope in His word.”

Proverbs 9: The Way of Scoffers and Scorners

Don’t rebuke a mocker, or he will hate you;
rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still, teach a righteous man, and he will learn more.
– Proverbs 9:8-9

Ever try to give counsel or bring correction to someone and had them turn and bark at you?

The definitions of the words scoffer and scorn help to shed some light on why that may be.

“Scoffer” The verb indicates the manifestation of contempt by insulting words or actions; it combines bitterness with ridicule. A scoffer does not love one who reproves him, He will not go to the wise.
A scorner cannot bear to reflect seriously within his own heart (Pr 15:13).
Why is that?

“Scorn” refers to an inner emotion based on a sense of superiority; “scoff,” refers to the outward expression of this emotion. So it seems that a scorner (mocker) cannot bear to reflect seriously within his own heart because scorn has his heart exalted and therefore cannot receive correction.

In Luke 16:15, Jesus said: “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.”

Just because something/someone is popular that doesn’t make it good or wise or godly.
Yet, you can always find fools who will willingly ‘hoop and holla’ when scoffers and scorners speak. After all, the hidden bitterness of the heart jumps at chance to join the crowd and mock.
Maybe that’s why the like button on social media is such a deception. It makes popular that which we can justify us in the eyes of others. But is it really ‘likable’?
Jesus himself tells us that is detestable in God’s sight.

A wise person on the other hand would tell us: Leave inexperience (immaturity of mocking and scoffing) behind, and you will live; pursue the way of understanding.” (vs.6).
Those are the kind of ‘posts’ we need to press the like button on.
Those are the kind of ‘folks’ we need to walk with. 

Today’s Prayer Pearl:

Lord, I pray that you surround me with wise advisers, and impress Your standard upon my heart that I may ever walk in wisdom’s way.

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As we meditate on this chapter, let’s remember, we have been called out and separated by God.
We were not created to be popular or run with the cool crowd. We were not called to Christian cliques or clubs. We were not even called to follow a “cause”.

We were called to Follow Christ and Walk in His Way…wisely.

Proverbs 8: How to get rich in Life!

With so many get rich quick schemes out there today, we’re bound to wonder if we should try one of them sooner or later. After all, when we look around all we see are the wicked prospering and people who do wrong walk around with a lot of the ‘good stuff’.
But, in the end, these ‘riches’ leave a lot to be desired.
In Proverbs 8: 10-12, God’s word tells us clearly how to get ‘rich’ quick:


Accept my instruction instead of silver,

and knowledge rather than pure gold.
11 For wisdom is better than jewels,
and nothing desirable can compare with it.
12 I, Wisdom, share a home with shrewdness
and have knowledge and discretion.”

There is a way to have our bank account filled that will bring eternal dividends. The Wisdom of God is greater than the finest silver and the purest gold. In God’s eyes, wisdom is better than a thousand jewels and nothing else even comes close.

Wisdom’s ‘accessories’ are the diamonds and pearls of knowledge, shrewdness (discernment) and discretion.

Those who find wisdom find Life and these ‘accessories’ will never go out of style!

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Prayer Pearl:
“Lord,
 Thank you for the promises you have given and the clarity with which you have given them. Help me to turn away from distractions and empty entertainment, places where wisdom does not dwell. Inspire me to seek wisdom out each and every day, so I may find it and have a satisfying and successful life of joy, peace, and contentment.”

Today’s Diamonds in the Psalms:

1. You are known by the Creator of the Universe! (Selah…)
Psalm 8: “When I observe Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You set in place, what is man that You remember him, the son of man that You look after him?”

2. Our sin ‘saps our strength’
Psalm 38:3 There is no health in my body because of Your indignation;
there is no strength in my bones because of my sin.”

3. When God ‘stands up’ ALL else falls down! 
Psalm 68: “Let God arise and His enemies be scattered, and those who hate Him flee from His presence.”

4. ALL creation glorifies God and eagerly awaits the day of His Return!
Psalm 98: 7-9 Let the sea and all that fills it, the world and those who live in it, resound. Let the rivers clap their hands; let the mountains shout together for joy before the Lordfor He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world righteously and the peoples fairly.”

5. The happiness of those who fear the Lord comes (not from circumstance) but from His Blessing!
Psalm 128:1 “How happy is everyone who fears the Lordwho walks in His ways!”

Proverbs 7: Do you know where you’re going?

There are so many people in the world which you might call “directionally challenged.”
They don’t know where they’re going. They don’t have goals.
They just wander thru life expecting that everything will turn out all right.
They have no specific destination for their lives, and so one day, they’ll end up going someplace they’re going to regret.

And that’s kind of the picture we get here in Proverbs.
Solomon is sitting on his porch watching a young man wandering down the street.
He doesn’t seem to care about where he’s going. No specific direction.
He’s just wandering along the road, killing time because he’s got nothing better to do.
He’s apparently in the wrong part of town, at the wrong time of day, and he meets up with the wrong kind of woman.

But, Solomon urges his son not to do that.  Don’t live your life aimlessly. ‘Store up’ the word of God in your heart. That word ‘store up’ means to ‘keep/safeguard’. It’s the same word used in Exodus to describe how Moses was ‘hidden’ in the basket.
Because, that’s what we do when something is precious to us…we ‘safeguard’ it. We keep it near to our heart. The more we love it, the more valuable it is to us…the closer it is to our heart.

And so, Solomon urges his son to ‘keep/treasure’ God’s commands in his heart so that he would keep from living ‘aimlessly’.

You see, while the fall of this young man seems to occur all the way down in verse 22, it really began long before…when he failed to value wisdom and casually neglected it. It was when this simple fellow chose to neglect wisdom that he began to walk in the way of folly.

The sequence of sinful choices begin with the neglect of wisdom.  While its deadly end was not then in sight, it was inevitable.

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But, God has good news for us. He knows the direction we should take in our life.
We cannot arrive at our life’s purpose by starting with a focus on ourself. It must begin with God, our Creator. It is only IN GOD that we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny.

Every other path leads to a dead end.

Today’s Diamonds in the Psalms:
1. When we are unjustly charged, we can call upon God to be our safety.
Psalm 7:1 Lord my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me…”

2. God’s ‘little’ is bigger and better!
Psalm 37:  Better is the little that the [uncompromisingly] righteous have than the abundance [of possessions] of many who are wrong and wicked.”

3. God’s right judgement makes the whole earth glad! 
Psalm 67: “O let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You will judge the peoples fairly and guide, lead, or drive the nations upon earth. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!”

4. The ‘seat’ of God is built of Goodness and Mercy.
Psalm 97b: “…Righteousness and Justice are the foundation of His throne.”

5. Nothing we do will ever truly succeed without the Lord in the center of it all.
Psalm 127:1  Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain;
unless the Lord watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain.”

Proverbs 5: The power of seduction

Proverbs 5: Lessons from an Adulterer

In Proverbs 5, Solomon tackles a subject the sin of adultery.
As a pastor/counselor working with women and youth affected by domestic violence and human trafficking,  this is not an easy post to write. The sensitivity of the stories I come across causes me to tread carefully….but purposefully.
So, let me say upfront that I know how painful and personal this subject is for many of you. And I know that some of you have a hard time listening to this subject. For some of you, the sin of adultery has affected and even destroyed your marriages and relationships. For others, you may have been the ‘other woman’ at some point in your life. And, for others still, you may have lived ‘the life’ of the woman of the streets and right about now, the accuser’s voice is trying to put you under condemnation and make you stop reading this. But…don’t. stop. reading.
You see, this is the problem with God’s Word. We either have to take it all or leave it.
God says what He means and means what He says. And although this subject, like no other makes people uncomfortable or even downright mad, it is a serious subject. And if we are ever going to get our healing and help guide our sons and daughters in the way of Godly living and protection, then it is a very necessary topic of discussion.So, stay with me because we’re going somewhere here.
Solomon’s father, King David, was not only guilty of adultery but also murder! David repented and grieved over his sin with Bathsheba, and God forgave him and washed him white as snow (Psalm 51).
God removed the judgement but David did live with the consequences of his sin.
That’s the distinction we have to realize.
God forgives the sin but the consequences of the sin are not always easily removed.
Proverbs 5 warns us of those consequences.
For 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. 
She gives no thought to the way of life;

    her paths are crooked, but she knows it not. (Proverbs 5:3-6)
Now, I’m sure that all of us have friends, family, or neighbors who have been through the pain caused by adultery. Physical adultery and even the more subtle ’emotional’ adultery. And we don’t want to take away from the severity of the warning in this chapter against that. But, while this chapter is first and foremost about the act of physical adultery, let us not fool ourselves into thinking this doesn’t apply to us because: a). we’re happily married or b). because we’re not married or even c). because we’re too young to be married.
You see, the way I see it, adultery at its root is nothing more than submitting to the power of ‘seduction’. In Gen. 3:6, scripture outlines 3 sin categories: lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life.
1 John 2:16 spells it out even clearer:
“For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure (lust of the flesh), a craving for everything we see (lust of the eyes), and pride in our achievements and possessions (pride of life). These are not from the Father, but are from this world.”
(parentheses added)
So it seems that seduction (craving, lust) can hit any one of us in any area of our lives…not just sex.
The power of seduction. The lust to have. The lust to be. The lust to own.
Power. Greed. Control. Fame. Popularity. Beauty. Recognition. Applause. Money.
Sometimes, its the thing that seems good but is not God’s best.
For Esau, his seduction was a good hot bowl of soup which lured him through momentary physical hunger into giving his ‘inheritance’ away.
You name your ‘seduction’.
Fill in the blank with that which you can honestly confess before the Lord is the ‘adultery’ that tempts you and seduces you. That ‘thing’ which lures you away with the same sweet honey dripping sound but in the end leaves you with the bitter taste of gall. Empty and dissatisfied.When we can recognize the ‘voice’ of the adulteress, we can then recognize ‘seduction’ no matter which size, shape or form it tries to ‘call out to us and lure us away with.’Today, as you pray, ask the Lord to allow you to see that ‘lure’ for what it is and pray for His strength, protection and provision to ‘make a way of escape’ that you can stay on the ‘path of wisdom’.
Prayer Pearl: wisdompearlday5
Today’s Diamonds from the Psalms:
1. What ‘enemies’ (or the ‘inner me’s’) do you need God to deliver your feet from?
Psalm 5: Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way level (straight and right) before my face.”
2. There will be those who rejoice in your sorrow. Not everyone will repay your good with good.
Psalm 35:15 “But in my stumbling and limping they rejoiced and gathered together [against me]; the smiters (slanderers and revilers) gathered against me, and I knew them not; they ceased not to slander and revile me.”
4. When God chooses to ’cause’ you to come near to Him (despite how the circumstances that ’cause’ it) …consider yourself  ‘blessed’!
Psalm 65:4 “Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whom You choose and cause to come near, that he may dwell in Your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple.”
5. When we stand in HIM, He makes us immovable!
Psalm 125:1 “Those who trust in, lean on, and confidently hope in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abidesand stands fast forever.”

Proverbs 4: The Path of Wisdom

30 Days of Diamonds & Pearls
Readings for Day 4:
Proverbs 4; Psalms 4, 34, 64, 94, 124

In Proverbs 4, the father’s intention is to motivate his son to discover what he himself discovered..that real living is tied to growing in wisdom. To encourage his son to make this discovery, the father tells his son to pay close attention to where he walks.

“Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil.” – Proverbs 4:26-27wisdompearlday4

Science has demonstrated that hearing impacts how we walk, and that even our balance is influenced by how well we hear.
So, instruction/education…that is, what we hear…is crucial to how we live.

In Hebrew thought, the seat of wisdom (or intelligence) is located not in the brain, but in the ears. This implies that even before we seek to conceptualize something or solve a problem, we first need to hear it. This means we need to listen. When Solomon asks for wisdom, he specifically asks for a hearing heart (1 Kings 3:9, literal translation).

The act of hearing marks the first step in learning. The first act of wisdom, then, is to listen”. Wisdom is first of all something that we receive, not something we shape with our own skills or that we unearth through our own brilliance and reasoning.

Yet no matter how good the instruction is, its up to the student to pay attention. Too many times, we ‘hear’ but simply do not heed.

It’s not enough just to know about right and wrong; we need to know what’s right and then choose that. Training in wisdom consists of: 1). hearing proper instruction, 2). following that instruction and 3). applying what we have learned so that we don’t end up walking in the wrong direction.

I love the Hebrew connotation of paying attention which is ‘to put one’s heart’. The search for wisdom is not  a cold, objective action of seeking. The heart, which is the core of our being and (in Hebrew thought) the seat of emotions, participates in the search for wisdom.
The search, hearing and obeying wisdom then, is at its root….a matter of the heart.

Prayer Pearl: “Father, even when I want to resist change, keep my heart tender that I may receive your corrections and adjustments and attune my steps to yours.”

Today’s Diamonds from the Psalms:

1. The peace of God allows rest and sleep.
Psalm 4: 8 “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust.”

2. God’s goodness in our lives serves as ‘hope’ for those in affliction.
Psalm 34:2 “My life makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble and afflicted hear and be glad.”

3. When the enemy least expects its, God ‘shoots’ His arrow in our defense!
Psalm 64:7 “But God will shoot an unexpected arrow at them; and suddenly shall they be wounded.”

4. Despite the volume of injustice we see in the world, the LORD will cause justice to return.
Psalm 94:14-15 For the Lord will not cast off nor spurn His people, neither will He abandon His heritage. For justice will return to the [uncompromisingly] righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it.”

5. No matter how well off we are, we can never ever forget that–if it had not been for the Lord.
Psalm 124:8 “Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.”

 

 

Proverbs 3: Giving Him our weaknesses and strengths

30 Days of Diamonds & Pearls
Readings for Day 3:
Proverbs 3; Psalms 3, 33, 63, 93, 123

Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

Did you catch that? It said “ALL” your ways acknowledge Him.
Its often easy to trust Him in our weaknesses or in our hard times.
But I believe the real challenge for most of us is to trust Him in our strengths. We readily give to God what we feel we can’t handle, but how quickly and readily do we ‘hand over to him’ what we’re sure we can do for ourselves? The things we’re good at and gifted in…you know —> our ‘strengths‘.

How often do we ‘lean’ (trust/rely/depend) on Him when we feel we don’t really ‘need’ Him?

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This portion of scripture challenges us to put more confidence in God’s ability than in our own, to not try to analyze and figure out every detail ourselves, but to place our belief in God’s wisdom, love and strength, and to lean on God instead of relying on our own strength or anyone else for that matter.
It is not by power nor by our might, but by His Spirit says the Lord.

C. S. Lewis wrote, “To trust Him means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way.”

Proverbs 3:7 says, “Do not be wise in your own eyes.” Romans 12:16 rephrases this.
“Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits.” (Amplified Bible).
God is all-knowing, all-powerful and everywhere-present.
He is tried, true and surely He. Is. Trustworthy.

Today’s Diamonds from the Psalms:
1. When shame and failure makes us hang our head low, know that God is the lifter of our head!
Psalm 3:3 “…But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head!”

2. What God ‘speaks’…gets ‘done’. (Selah!)
Psalm 33:9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.

3. Remembering His faithfulness in our lives in times past causes our hearts to chase hard after Him!  Psalm 63:8  My whole being follows hard after You and clings closely to You; Your right hand upholds me.

4. Our God is greater than all the crashing waves of the storms of life.
Psalm 93:4 The Lord on high is mightier and more glorious than the noise of many waters, yes, than the mighty breakers and waves of the sea.

5. When scorn and contempt surround us, we fix our gaze on the ONE who is seated on the throne, High and Lifted up!

Psalm 123:1 Unto You do I lift up my eyes, O You Who are enthroned in heaven.

 

Proverbs 2: When Wisdom finds a home

30 Days of Diamonds & Pearls
Readings for Day 2:
Proverbs 2; Psalms 2, 32, 62, 92, 122

Proverbs 2:1-8

My son, if you will receive my words and treasure up my commandments within you,
Making your ear attentive to skillful and godly Wisdom and inclining and directing your heart and mind to understanding [applying all your powers to the quest for it]; 

Yes, if you cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, 
If you seek [Wisdom] as for silver and search for skillful and godly Wisdom as for hidden treasures, Then you will understand the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of [our omniscient] God. 
For the Lord gives skillful and godly Wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7He hides away sound and godly Wisdom and stores it for the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him); He is a shield to those who walk uprightly and in integrity, That He may guard the paths of justice; yes, He preserves the way of His saints

Read Proverbs 2 in its entirety here

There is a great deal of difference between knowledge and wisdom.
Today, we have access to a world of information and can access it literally with just a click or a ‘slide of the finger’. But even with all our access to knowledge and information, something is still missing— wisdom.

Plenty of people boast about their knowledge and education, money, fortune and fame and yet, none of that is of any value when their ‘foundations’ come crumbling down. Because what is lacking is the ‘principal thing’….wisdom, spiritual discernment and understanding.

But scripture tells us that “Once you seek the things of the Lord, trust in His promises. He is faithful and will give you the wisdom and direction you seek!”

At the end of the day, we don’t need more information, we need to apply the information we already have. We can know the words of scripture in and out, but if we don’t obey and apply them to our lives…if they don’t find a ‘home’ in our heart, then it merely stays as information.
Information without application is useless.

Proverb Pearl: 
Wisdom, like salvation, is a gift from God.
He gives wisdom; He stores wisdom; and He guards and preserves the way of the wise.

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When wisdom “enters our hearts”, not only will we enjoy the knowledge of the Lord, but it will be a pleasant experience to our souls (Prov. 2:10, NKJV). We’ll be protected from the way of evil (Prov. 2:12), from the seduction of evil (Prov. 2:16), and we will walk in the path of righteousness (Prov. 2:20).

“…then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, delivering you from the way of evil,” – Proverbs 2:9-12

Of all prayers to pray…pray that Wisdom  finds a home in your heart.

Today’s Diamonds from the Psalms: 
1. God invites us to pray ‘bold’ prayers.
Psalm 2:8 “Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations as Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth as Your possession.”

2. The LORD covers us, encamps round about us and sings songs of deliverance over us!
Psalm 32:7  “You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!”

3.  Trusting in God with all we have is not a weakness but a strength and refuge.
Psalm 62:8 “Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah[pause, and calmly think of that]!”

4. The righteous don’t merely grow older, they grow in grace and are given the blessing of bearing fruit even in their twilight years.

Psalm 92:14 “…Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment].”

5. As servants of the Lord, we can bring God’s Word and Promise to remembrance and be saved.

Psalm 132:10 For Your servant David’s sake, turn not away the face of Your anointed and reject not Your own king.

Proverbs 1: Ears to hear and a heart to obey

Diamonds & Pearls
Day 1 Readings:
Proverbs 1; Psalm 1, 31, 61, 91, 121

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding, To receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, judgment, and equity; To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion— A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, To understand a proverb and an enigma, The words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” ~ Proverbs 1:1-7

Today’s Proverb Pearl:
Without the insight and intervention of God, true wisdom is unattainable. I can have the greatest intellect and the greatest physical abilities, but wisdom is only found at the feet of Jesus.

This truth must change the entire trajectory of life’s pursuits.
Let today’s morning prayer be:wisdomdiamondpearlday1

“Holy Spirit, give me ears to hear the instruction of my heavenly Father and a heart that understands true wisdom.”

Today’s ‘diamonds’:

1. Thank God for His planting, His season, and His fruit in your life.

Psalm 1:3

“…And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity].”

2. Even in our distress, trouble, and despair, our cries do not fall on deaf ears.

Psalm 31:22
“…As for me, I said in my haste and alarm, I am cut off from before Your eyes. But You heard the voice of my supplications when I cried to You for aid.”

Psalm 61: 2-3
“From the end of the earth will I cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed and fainting; lead me to the rock that is higher than I [yes, a rock that is too high for me]. 
For You have been a shelter and a refuge for me, a strong tower against the adversary.”

Psalm 91: 15 “…He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”

3. And, when we feel we have no defense and our hand is ’empty’…He is our Sun, our Shield and our Shade.

Psalm 121:5 “The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand [the side not carrying a shield].

What are your ‘takeaway’ gems from today’s readings?
I’d love to hear what God is speaking to you.
Feel free to share below or on our facebook page.

– pastor m.