Feeling wise yet? God has personally shined a light around in my heart and pointed out some junk that I definitely need to allow him to remove. Yes, that’s right – God will remove these things. We just have to allow it.
Lord, we come to you today in repentance. We acknowledge the one sacrifice of Jesus to cleanse us of our sins, but we bring our sins in agreement with you that we have done wrong in your sight. We lay these at your altar and turn from our sinful ways. We ask for you to fill us with the Holy Spirit now, wherever all of us may be in the world, so that we may receive revelation from your word.
We pray for all those that do not have access to your word and truth today, Lord and ask that you send your children to reach them with the truth. We ask all this in Jesus’ name – Amen.
God’s Wisdom from the Book of Proverbs, Chapter 22
Pro 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.
Pro 22:2 The rich and the poor meet together; the LORD is the maker of them all.
Pro 22:3 The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.
Pro 22:4 The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.
Pro 22:5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Pro 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
Pro 22:8 Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail.
Pro 22:9 Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.
Pro 22:10 Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarreling and abuse will cease.
Pro 22:11 He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
Pro 22:12 The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge, but he overthrows the words of the traitor.
Pro 22:13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!”
Pro 22:14 The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit; he with whom the LORD is angry will fall into it.
Pro 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Pro 22:16 Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.
Pro 22:17 Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge,
Pro 22:18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips.
Pro 22:19 That your trust may be in the LORD, I have made them known to you today, even to you.
Pro 22:20 Have I not written for you thirty sayings of counsel and knowledge,
Pro 22:21 to make you know what is right and true, that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
Pro 22:22 Do not rob the poor, because he is poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate,
Pro 22:23 for the LORD will plead their cause and rob of life those who rob them.
Pro 22:24 Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man,
Pro 22:25 lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
Pro 22:26 Be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debts.
Pro 22:27 If you have nothing with which to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you?
Pro 22:28 Do not move the ancient landmark that your fathers have set.
Pro 22:29 Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.
Selected wisdom derived from Chapter 22
1, 11) Our mission is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If people do not respect us this message will fall on deaf ears. Of course we should not be people-pleasers, but we should love all – like Jesus did.
2) Status, money, and power are illusory
6) This is a very popular verse. If we teach our children about the Lord and give God first place in our home, that will be norm for our children. Most children have periods of rebellion where they learn some hard lessons. If we give them a sincere base in the Lord, they will remember him much like the Prodigal Son remembered his father while lying in the pigpen.
7) This is the Biblical evidence for those who say that God does not want us borrowing money. Easy to say, but tough to do. Home prices are insane in many developed nations. I wouldn’t be dogmatic in this, as God does not specifically say that we shouldn’t borrow money, but he does tell us what to expect. Before we jump into large debts, we should seriously consider the consequences, lest we become the man in verse 26.
9) God gave us things so that we would share. That’s what God does with us – he wants to have us in heaven with him for all eternity. In the meantime He asks that we share with others. God could give each person their own pile of things, but he wants us to take care of each other and to be good stewards of this planet. This is a recurring theme throughout the Bible – my guess is that something we do in heaven will have to do with this, but of course that is pure speculation.
10) Attention leaders! On a one-on-one level, God asks us to love these people and show compassion towards them (to even turn the other cheek if they strike us). When we are responsible for others, the story is a bit different. We are to immediately send them away.
12) God guards wisdom carefully as it comes from him. Devious plans will fall by the wayside and God lifts up the plans of the pure of heart.
13) This means that the lazy person makes excuses why they can’t work. This can be seen in any town in the USA where people are abusing the welfare system. My wife’s town that she grew up in is a prime example. We drove through and there were billboards everywhere advertising lawyers that will get you your check even if you have been turned down for disability seven times. While I am sure there may be an exception, if your fitness for work is that plainly obvious – get off your rear and work! It’s a shame because it was once a great area of the country to grow up in. The last time we went there it felt dark and opressive – made both our skin crawl.
15) Children must get discipline. There is contention about whether physical punishment is good for children. Personally speaking I got a few “whoopins” in my life and I think they helped. Obviously some go too far, and I the Bible certainly does not advocate child abuse. On the other hand there are parents who do not discipline at all. The children of this parenting are in for a very difficult life.
Woodrow Kroll on “Back to the Bible” (Great radio/Internet show – check iti out) gave an example of where in the 1980’s, school administrators removed a fence from around an elementary school playground. We were under the deception that boundaries are bad for kids. What do you think happened? The kids ran away? No – the kids all huddled around the center of the playground to play. They went nowhere near the edges. Children secretly crave boundaries and discipline, so long as it is from the Lord. Remember that it is never to late to save your children : )
17-21) A refresher on why we need to have wisdom
22) Beware businesspeople – especially those who have businesses that prey on the poor. Even if the government turns a blind eye, God is keeping score.
26) We are only responsible for our own actions. We can’t even keep ourselves free from sin, so why expect others not to fail us.
28) Boundary stones marked the edges of land. This would be the modern-day equivalent of moving your entire fence a few feet into your neighbor’s lawn. Owning land was very important in that day, as most derived their existence from subsistence farming.
29) Do you feel unfulfilled and/or unappreciated at your job? It’s a common story. I have certainly shared those sentiments. God is aware of this and gives us encouragement through the mouth of King Samuel. If we become skilled at our work, we will receive recognition in time. It does not matter if our boss or company does not appreciate us. God is our provider. This is easy to say, but a bit difficult at times to accept when our flesh is crying out for vengeance. Just remember that this may be a time where we are strengthening in character, and learning skills that we will need in the near future. God always comes through!
The Abrupt End
You also may notice that we just finished the Book of John. What a great book of the Bible, huh? Hopefully you learned about the character of God through the writings about the ministry of Jesus. I do not want to bog anyone down with confusion about understanding the Holy Trinity, but a helpful illustration is to consider water.
Water comes in three states – liquid, solid, and gas. It is still water, and has the same chemical composition. We just encounter it in three different forms. In this way we can understand that we experience God in three ways. Jesus was God in the flesh, walking about the earth and eventually providing the ultimate sacrifice for our sins so that you and I may be saved. There is the Holy Spirit which exists within each person that accepts Jesus Christ as their savior, and then there is God the Father.
I’m just learning about how to walk in the spirit and I can report that this is not a necessarily a physical experience as some may suggest. While there are often physical manefestations such as tongues, healings, etc, we can not rely on such as proof. Our faith in God and the witness of the Holy Spirits confirming this through our spirits should be faith enough. By relying solely on physical evidence, we both misunderstand the spiritual realm, and also open the door for Satan to possibly tempt us. He can come in the physical world through various demons to confuse us.
See you tomorrow
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Have a blessed day!
Christians on the Clock