Archive | October, 2011

Psalm 90:12-17 – Living Like it is Your Last

October 31, 2011

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12 Teach us how short our lives really are
so that we may be wise.
13 Lord, how long before you return
and show kindness to your servants?
14 Fill us with your love every morning.
Then we will sing and rejoice all our lives.
15 We have seen years of trouble.
Now give us as much joy as you gave us sorrow.
16 Show your servants the wonderful things you do;
show your greatness to their children.
17 Lord our God, treat us well.
Give us success in what we do;
yes, give us success in what we do
. – Psalm 90:12-17 NCV


Psalm 90 is Moses’ reflection and prayer to the Eternal God. In a previous post, I listed few Scriptures that reinforced the Proverbs 27:1 advice against depending on tomorrow to come. We can depend on God’s favor flowing down to us when we have allowed ourselves to be used as God’s workmen during the short time that we are here. Moses asked God to continue to love his people so their children could see the wonder of that love.

In this same way we should be living so our children and others see the happiness this life of service brings.

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Proverbs 26:2-10 – Dealing With Sinful People

October 26, 2011

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 3 Whips are for horses, and harnesses are for donkeys,
so paddles are good for fools.
4 Don’t answer fools when they speak foolishly,
or you will be just like them.
5 Answer fools when they speak foolishly,
or they will think they are really wise.
6 Sending a message by a foolish person
is like cutting off your feet or drinking poison.
7 A wise saying spoken by a fool
is as useless as the legs of a crippled person.
8 Giving honor to a foolish person
is like tying a stone in a slingshot.
9 A wise saying spoken by a fool
is like a thorn stuck in the hand of a drunk.
10 Hiring a foolish person or anyone just passing by
is like an archer shooting at just anything.
11 A fool who repeats his foolishness
is like a dog that goes back to what it has thrown up.
12 There is more hope for a foolish person
than for those who think they are wise.
 – Proverbs 26:2-10

The discussion of wisdom and foolishness in the Proverbs is usually a discussion of godliness versus sin or evil. It is rare that foolishness is referring to intellectual deficiencies as we would use the term today.

In Peter’s passage on false teachers (2 Peter 2) we see him quote verse 11 – a vivid simile about a Christian returning to sin.

Paul refers to verse 12 as he discusses giving over our lives to God in Romans 12.

Can you see how relevant the Proverbs are when we equate foolishness with sin?

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Proverbs 23:9 – Sow in Good Soil

October 23, 2011

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 9 Don’t speak to fools;
they will only ignore your wise words.
– Proverbs 23:9 NCV

Both the Proverb writer and the Lord agree that we shouldn’t cast our pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6).

But aren’t we supposed to bring the gospel to the world?

In the same way a farmer wouldn’t try to plant in shallow soil, we should put our efforts into those that are willing to listen to the good news. Jesus explains it all in the parable of the sower (Luke 8:5-15).

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Proverbs 22:2 – My Lord is Your Lord

October 22, 2011

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2 The rich and the poor are alike
in that the Lord made them all
. – Proverbs 22:2 NCV

We are all equal in God’s eyes. We sin, we are mortal, we die.

He gave us the same plan of salvation and we have an equal responsibility to make sure others find out what it is.

How can you best use your position to help others find God?

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Proverbs 21:25-26 – Laboring to Give

October 21, 2011

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 25 Lazy people’s desire for sleep will kill them,
because they refuse to work.
26 All day long they wish for more,
but good people give without holding back.
– Proverbs 21:25-26 NCV

One of Scripture’s recurring themes is a strong work ethic and liberal giving.

Paul gave us the gold standard for the correct attitude: There will be no U-Haul on our hearse (1 Timothy 6:7) and laboring because “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:34-35).

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Proverbs 18:4 – The Living Water

October 18, 2011

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4 Spoken words can be like deep water,
but wisdom is like a flowing stream. – Proverbs 18:4 NCV

(Note: The NCV is a little weak here – most other versions render this similar to “man’s words” instead of “spoken words”.)

No answers today, but something we can work on.

Do non-believers see through the innovative teachings of man designed to attract followers? Solomon compares those things to the mysteriousness and darkness of deep water. Do they really not believe or are they simply turned off?

The Lord’s words have the strength and refreshing qualities of the cool babbling brook. Simple. Pure. Calming.

Was this the passage Jesus referred to on the last day of the feast? (John 7:37-38)

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Proverbs 16:1,9 – Lord Willing

October 16, 2011

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 1 People may make plans in their minds,
but only the Lord can make them come true.
 – Proverbs 16:1 NCV

 9 People may make plans in their minds,
but the Lord decides what they will do.
 – Proverbs 16:9 NCV

The Lord has final say over the paths of our lives. A Christian that desires to be a servant will gladly offer himself to God to be used in his great plan.

For whatever reason, even Christians have gotten away from acknowledging the Lord’s will as James instructs us to do (James 4:14-15). What if we developed Paul’s habit of asking the Lord to direct our way? (1 Thessalonians 3:11)

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Proverbs 15:33 – Humble Servants

October 15, 2011

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33 Respect for the Lord will teach you wisdom.
If you want to be honored, you must be humble.
– Proverbs 15:33 NCV

Peter reiterates this for us (1 Peter 5:5-6). Was he perhaps thinking of the time the Lord washed his feet? (John 13:4-6)

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Proverbs 14:10 – Fellowship Needed

October 14, 2011

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10 No one else can know your sadness,
and strangers cannot share your joy.
– Proverbs 14:10 NCV

Even between the best of friends, there is never a perfect understanding of the sadness or joy one may have. We can get close: marriage, best friends, clubs, supports groups – some are better, but none perfect. We just cannot get that close to another person’s heart.

We have been given two things that give us that kind of access to God’s heart:

  1. God made his Spirit available so that we can know Him (1 Corinthians 2:11-13).
  2. We have fellowship in Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:13) when we have carried out his instructions (Acts 2:38).

Do you take advantage of these things so that you are not a stranger to God?


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Proverbs 12:25 – No Worries

October 12, 2011

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 25 Worry is a heavy load,
but a kind word cheers you up
. – Proverbs 12:25 NCV

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. – Mark Twain

The Lord has made sure that his children do not have to worry. Look at the great Scripture we can reference when we feel like we have something worth worrying over:

Matthew 6:34 – Do not be anxious for tomorrow (In fact look at the whole background of this verse: Matthew 6:25-33)

1 Peter 5:7 – Cast your anxieties on him

Philippians 4:6 – Be anxious for nothing



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Proverbs 8:12-21 – Wisdom’s Promise

October 8, 2011

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 12 “I am wisdom, and I have good judgment.
I also have knowledge and good sense.
13 If you respect the Lord, you will also hate evil.
I hate pride and bragging,
evil ways and lies.
14 I have good sense and advice,
and I have understanding and power.
15 I help kings to govern
and rulers to make fair laws.
16 Princes use me to lead,
and so do all important people who judge fairly.
17 I love those who love me,
and those who seek me find me.
18 Riches and honor are mine to give.
So are wealth and lasting success.
19 What I give is better than the finest gold,
better than the purest silver.
20 I do what is right
and follow the path of justice.
21 I give wealth to those who love me,
filling their houses with treasures.
  – Proverbs 8:12-21 NCV


Proverbs 8 is wisdom personified – Shouting loud and demanding attention. She has to, those without her discourage others from looking. She invites us to seek her both in divine and secular areas. While this passage shows us the many physical rewards of wisdom, where do we start looking for the divine? This too, God has provided! See 1 Corinthians 1:24-25 for details.

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Proverbs 6:6-11 – Get Busy

October 6, 2011

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6 Go watch the ants, you lazy person.
Watch what they do and be wise.
7 Ants have no commander,
no leader or ruler,
8 but they store up food in the summer
and gather their supplies at harvest.
9 How long will you lie there, you lazy person?
When will you get up from sleeping?
10 You sleep a little; you take a nap.
You fold your hands and lie down to rest.
11 So you will be as poor as if you had been robbed;
you will have as little as if you had been held up.  – Proverbs 6:6-11 NCV

The ant is the typical figure of industry and efficiency in the ancient literature (Think Aesop’s Ant and the Grasshopper). In any area of life there are things we know that need to be done. No need to wait on a boss or a leader or approval. We have been given the proverbial permission to get them done.

Now GO. (Mark 16:15 KJV) DO. (Philippians 4:9 KJV)

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Proverbs 5:1-6 – Charmed

October 5, 2011

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 1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
listen to my words of understanding.
2 Be careful to use good sense,
and watch what you say.
3 The words of another man’s wife may seem sweet as honey;
they may be as smooth as olive oil.
4 But in the end she will bring you sorrow,
causing you pain like a two-edged sword.
5 She is on the way to death;
her steps are headed straight to the grave.
6 She gives little thought to life.
She doesn’t even know that her ways are wrong.
 – Proverbs 5:1-6 NCV

Proverbs 5 contrasts the rewards of straying and the rewards of working on ones marriage. The lure of sin – any sin, is so convincing, so reasonable, that we often find ways to justify following it.

For those unable to resist, the results are clear. Reread verses 5 and 6 and compare to Romans 6:23 to find an alternative.

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Proverbs 4:1-9 – Seek Wisdom

October 4, 2011

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 1 My children, listen to your father’s teaching;
pay attention so you will understand.
2 What I am telling you is good,
so do not forget what I teach you.
3 When I was a young boy in my father’s house
and like an only child to my mother,
4 my father taught me and said,
“Hold on to my words with all your heart.
Keep my commands and you will live.
5 Get wisdom and understanding.
Don’t forget or ignore my words.
6 Hold on to wisdom, and it will take care of you.
Love it, and it will keep you safe.
7 Wisdom is the most important thing; so get wisdom.
If it costs everything you have, get understanding.
8 Treasure wisdom, and it will make you great;
hold on to it, and it will bring you honor.
9 It will be like flowers in your hair
and like a beautiful crown on your head.”
 – Proverbs 4:1-9 NCV

The modern versions of this passage seem to dance around the fact that verse 2 is talking about the Torah. The King James says 2For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.

Solomon’s advice to seek wisdom, specifically God’s law, is passed down from his father and he considers it his family responsibility. What if more families remembered this and taught their children the thing that will take care of them, honor them and make them great?

Those of us in the New Testament age have been given the wisdom we are to seek and pass on. Take a look at 1 Corinthians 1:30 for details!

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Proverbs 2:9-11 – Rewards of Wisdom

October 2, 2011

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 9 Then you will understand what is honest and fair 
       and what is the good and right thing to do. 
 10 Wisdom will come into your mind, 
       and knowledge will be pleasing to you.
 11 Good sense will protect you; 
       understanding will guard you.

Proverbs 2 lists five fruits of wisdom. This second paragraph is about the many precious rewards wisdom provides.

Read about the first fruit, Finding God, here.

Read about the third fruit, Delivered from Evil, here

How do we reap the benefits of understanding God’s plan for us? We take the knowledge from our head and insert it into our heart by living it and allowing it to have dominion over us.

How can we earn these benefits? Study! 2 Tim 2:15 KJV

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