Archive | September, 2011

Proverbs 27:5 – Needed Guidance

September 27, 2011

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5 It is better to correct someone openly
than to have love and not show it.
  – Proverbs 27:5 NCV

Can you think of anyone that enjoys being corrected?

Maybe shedding light on how useless is a “love” that will not speak up when we need guidance will help. Here, that kind of love is said to be inferior to open rebuke. As a follower, student, friend, child, or employee of another we should appreciate that correction is part of growing and maturing.

Reference the disciples/apostles’ growth throughout the New Testament.

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Proverbs 24:17-18 – Love Your Enemies

September 24, 2011

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17 Don’t be happy when your enemy is defeated;
don’t be glad when he is overwhelmed.
18 The Lord will notice and be displeased.
He may not be angry with them anymore.
– Proverbs 23 NCV

This Proverb doesn’t allow the wicked and sinners a free pass if His followers celebrate their failures, but it is a clear warning to stay composed. The short comings of His people are more of a concern to Him than the actions of the lost.

Jesus said to “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” (Matthew 5:44) What better way to win over those that are against God than to display His Qualities in all situations.

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Proverbs 23:17-18 – Heaven

September 23, 2011

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17 Don’t envy sinners,
but always respect the Lord.
18 Then you will have hope for the future,
and your wishes will come true.
–  Proverbs 23:17-18 NCV

The NCV does not have the correct gist of what this verse is about:

17 Let not thy heart envy sinners; But be thou in the fear of Jehovah all the day long:

 18 For surely there is a reward; And thy hope shall not be cut off.Proverbs 23:17-18 ASV

Christians have the promise of heaven. Jesus said in John 14:2
“In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” We have no need to accumulate riches while we labor in this earthly life, but this life is the best that sinners can hope for.


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Proverbs 21:27 – A Giving Heart

September 21, 2011

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27 The Lord hates sacrifices brought by evil people,
particularly when they offer them for the wrong reasons.
– Proverbs 21:27 NCV

Giving to the Lord is a very specific and purposeful act and God wants us to give cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7). The Proverb writer tells us God hated those that offered their sacrifices with a wrong heart. Take a look at the New Testament version of God’s feelings: Acts 5:1-9. Was the amount of money they gave or the way they gave it wrong?

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Generous Measure

September 20, 2011

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The Lord hates both these things:
dishonest weights and dishonest measures. – Proverbs 20:10 NCV

The Lord hates dishonest weights,
and dishonest scales do not please him. – Proverbs 20:23 NCV

The Lord gives based on how we give:

give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. – Luke 6:38 ESV

Do the standards you measure your deeds against match His?

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Proverbs 19:17 – Taking Care of the Poor

September 19, 2011

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17 Being kind to the poor is like lending to the Lord;
He will reward you for what you have done
. – Proverbs 19:17 NCV

If you haven’t spent much time as a tourist in Washington D.C. you can’t know just how prolific the homelessness problem is there. Worse, it has become a career for many. As soon as you pop up out of the Metro station on the National Mall, you will be handed “helpful” leaflets and maps in exchange for “donations” to the homeless.

My son was allowed to invite his young girlfriend with us on one of our frequent visits to D.C. She obviously had no experience with dealing with the homeless people and they knew it. I warned her about the games they play, but she didn’t care. Her pure heart spoke louder than my “experienced” heart.

We eventually happened across a person that I am sure really needed help. She helped him just like all the others, and generously I might add. This time my whole perspective began to change – I realized I’ve passed on helping some truly hungry people. I can see some of their faces still.

Throughout the Proverbs and the rest of the Bible, we see the importance of helping the poor and God’s love for them. In this one verse, we can understand that it is not for us to try and manage what will happen to our “gift”. If our kindness is like lending to the Lord, then He will take care of that part at the appropriate time. Our reward comes from being there for Him.

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How to Attract Ridicule

September 18, 2011

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As liberal as they are, even the media still holds people to high standards.

As liberal as they are, even the media still holds people to high standards.

Do something evil, and people won’t like you.
Do something shameful, and they will make fun of you. – Proverbs 18:3 NCV

Evil and shameful actions result in dislike and ridicule. For any of our liberal friends that don’t believe this, we need only point them to the media’s treatment of powerful and public figures caught in lies, adultery, and fraud.

Godly morals are still the measure of real men.

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Proverbs 13:11 – Easy Money

September 13, 2011

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11 Money that comes easily disappears quickly,
but money that is gathered little by little will grow. 
Proverbs 13:11 NCV

I’m not sure if it is just me or not, but the world seems to be rediscovering this little nugget of truth. Bestselling books and career guides all point to the value of earning what we have. Taking the time to build quality products, followers, resources, etc. rather than traveling the easy and fast path almost always leads to longer lasting return on our investment. History books are currently being written showing the results of governments emphasizing generous social programs over good honest work.


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Proverbs 12:11 – Proactive or Reactive?

September 12, 2011

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11 Those who work their land will have plenty of food,
but the one who chases empty dreams is not wise.
– Proverbs 12:11 NCV

This verse is a reminder to be proactive. Ideas and goals mean nothing without a plan to take action and the willingness to do the work.

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Proverbs 8:1-11 – Wisdom’s Call to Listen

September 8, 2011

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 1 Wisdom calls to you like someone shouting;
understanding raises her voice.
2 On the hilltops along the road
and at the crossroads, she stands calling.
3 Beside the city gates,
at the entrances into the city, she calls out:
4 “Listen, everyone, I’m calling out to you;
I am shouting to all people.
5 You who are uneducated, seek wisdom.
You who are foolish, get understanding.
6 Listen, because I have important things to say,
and what I tell you is right.
7 What I say is true,
I refuse to speak evil.
8 Everything I say is honest;
nothing I say is crooked or false.
9 People with good sense know what I say is true;
and those with knowledge know my words are right.
10 Choose my teachings instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than the finest gold.
11 Wisdom is more precious than rubies.
Nothing you could want is equal to it. –
Proverbs 8:1-11 NCV

As you read Proverbs 8 today, listen to the voice of a personified wisdom, especially in these verses. She represents herself in this chapter from two positions: by implying the knowledge of Divine and human things and as an attribute of God displayed in His wonderful creation. Notice too, that she does it loud and without shame demanding all to listen.

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Proverbs 7:21-23 – Giving In to Temptation

September 7, 2011

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21 By her clever words she made him give in;
by her pleasing words she led him into doing wrong.
22 All at once he followed her,
like an ox led to the butcher,
like a deer caught in a trap
23 and shot through the liver with an arrow.
Like a bird caught in a trap,
he didn’t know what he did would kill him.
 – Proverbs 7:21-23 NCV

Proverbs 7 is again a warning to avoid the adulteress. The spiritual desolation this sin leaves is described in these verses.

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Proverbs 6:1-5 – Cosigning Debts

September 6, 2011

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1 My child, be careful about giving a guarantee for somebody else’s loan,
about promising to pay what someone else owes.
2 You might get trapped by what you say;
you might be caught by your own words.
3 My child, if you have done this and are under your neighbor’s control,
here is how to get free.
Don’t be proud. Go to your neighbor
and beg to be free from your promise.
4 Don’t go to sleep
or even rest your eyes,
5 but free yourself like a deer running from a hunter,
like a bird flying away from a trapper. 
– Proverbs 6:1-5 NCV

Among the number of verses about handling money in Proverbs, this bit of advice is the same as every financial planner worth his CFP credentials would give. Never cosign a loan unless you plan to pay it off yourself.

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Proverbs 5:15-19 – Cherish Marriage

September 5, 2011

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The entire chapter of Proverbs 5 is a warning against adultery. As you your read it you can break it down into the following sub sections:

  • A description of the ungodly woman (Proverbs 5:3-6)
  • Avoid her (Proverbs 5:7-8)
  • What happens to her partners (Proverbs 5:9-14)
  • Cherish love with marriage (Proverbs 5:15-19)
  • A sin against God (Proverbs 5:20-23)

Of particular beauty is the reminder to live within the bounds of a godly marriage:

15 Be faithful to your own wife,
just as you drink water from your own well.
16 Don’t pour your water in the streets;
don’t give your love to just any woman.
17 These things are yours alone
and shouldn’t be shared with strangers.
18 Be happy with the wife you married when you were young.
She gives you joy, as your fountain gives you water.
19 She is as lovely and graceful as a deer.
Let her love always make you happy;
let her love always hold you captive. – Proverbs 5:15-19 NCV

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Proverbs 2:1-8 – Finding God

September 2, 2011


 1 My child, listen to what I say 
       and remember what I command you.
 2 Listen carefully to wisdom; 
       set your mind on understanding.
 3 Cry out for wisdom, 
       and beg for understanding.
 4 Search for it like silver, 
       and hunt for it like hidden treasure.
 5 Then you will understand respect for the Lord, 
       and you will find that you know God.
 6 Only the Lord gives wisdom; 
       he gives knowledge and understanding.
 7 He stores up wisdom for those who are honest. 
       Like a shield he protects the innocent.
 8 He makes sure that justice is done, 
       and he protects those who are loyal to him. –  
Proverbs 2:1-8 NCV

Proverbs 2 lists five fruits of wisdom. This first paragraph promises that we will find God in our quest for wisdom.

Read about the second fruit here

Read about the third fruit here

We are expected to search for it in the same way men search for riches. Notice that the Bible teaches that while God makes available what we need, he doesn’t hand it to us. Manna for the Israelites needed to be gathered, the walls of Jericho had to be marched around and salvation is given conditionally (Mark 16:16, Matthew 7:21). In the same way we come to know God through our search for knowledge in the Scriptures.

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Proverbs 1:1-7 – The Importance of Proverbs

September 1, 2011

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1 These are the wise words of Solomon son of David, king of Israel.
2 They teach wisdom and self-control;
they will help you understand wise words.
3 They will teach you how to be wise and self-controlled
and will teach you to do what is honest and fair and right.
4 They make the uneducated wise
and give knowledge and sense to the young.
5 Wise people can also listen and learn;
even they can find good advice in these words.
6 Then anyone can understand wise words and stories,
the words of the wise and their riddles.

7 Knowledge begins with respect for the Lord,
but fools hate wisdom and discipline.

I learned of an old technique for better living, better business and better relationships that I have been trying to develop into a habit. The technique is to read the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds to the day of the month and reflect on one or more of the principles given for that day. The idea is that these ageless bits of wisdom can still be used today and will make one a more godly person.

The opening lines of the book tells us just how important these words are.

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