The Proverb For The Day

 

 

16:17, “God’s people avoid evil ways, and they protect themselves by watching where they go.” To avoid evil is to go around or away from it! How is it that men convince themselves that they belong to God yet habitually live in and practice evil? I believe it’s because they perceive themselves as religious men. The lie of a “religious man” is he may perceive himself as sinning a little but not actually committing evil (sounds like the average Christian’s thinking today). He feels he can dabble in sin with the strange idea that God understands and is ok with it. God’s people are to avoid evil ways, and when they fail, they feel the heavy hand of discipline, conviction and turn with confession and repentance from the evil (2 Chronicles 7:13-14). To attend church and live in sin may be a testimony to your religion but it’s not a true testimony of God’s people, they avoid evil ways! Pastor Gary ><>

15:9, “The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but He loves him who follows righteousness.” God is pleased with the righteous! The righteous are those who trust God and desire to surrender their hearts and lives to Him. We may be an imperfect sacrifice, but God will see it’s genuine and therefore except us through faith in His Son Jesus Christ, which is perfect. Now with our whole spirit and aim we seek after righteousness, set our hearts on being just before God and our neighbors, and our families. Our daily life should be an honest and devoted act of service to God. Through Christ our life should be steadfast against all temptations and whatever obstacles that come our way so that we may be right and do right for in this we are pleasing to God. God loves them that follow Him! Make it your aim to follow Him today? Pastor Gary <><

14:21, “He who despises his neighbor sins; But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.” "The poor," wrote James Howell, "are God's receivers, and the angels are his auditors" ('Five Hundred New Sayings'). Throughout the Bible provision has been made for the poor. Money loaned to the poor, for instance, was not to be subject to interest. If to secure the loan a man's mantle was taken, it had to be returned to him by nightfall if that mantle was all he had to keep himself warm. (See Exodus 22:25-27.) Nobody was to be stingy to the poor. On the contrary, the poor were to be dealt with generously (Deuteronomy 15:7-8). Mercy should mark the Christian as it marked our Lord. It’s through acts of mercy that we will be blessed. Happiness is the result of showing mercy. Let’s be happy, practice mercy! Pastor Gary ><>

13:21, Evil pursues sinners, but to the righteous, good shall be repaid.” The word evil means calamity, distress, trouble, affliction, harm, etc. In other words, suffering and sin is inseparable. As we live each day it seems the murderer, swindler, tyrant, and the like, practice vice and enjoy health, but justice is on track and sooner or later will lay its hand upon its victim. Evil runs after the sinner with hostile intent. The sinner always seems to think tomorrow will bring a different reward, yet he lives the same way each day. Religion is not what he needs, a relationship with the Lord is! The only way of escape is to repent of sin, join the Lord, and run with the righteous. Repentance is to turn around, run away from evil, and run to God. One of the rewards of repentance is forgiveness, resulting in peace, safety, and eternal life. Tomorrow will only be different by living different today. Pastor Gary <><

12:19, The truthful lip shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.” Truth is consistent and enduring, and one can never establish a good testimony apart from it. Truth builds trust in any relationship it strengthens families, business, and nations. Truth is not only to be spoken but received by the hearer for it will set men free. It’s the truth rejected that binds and condemns a man. Jesus is truth and came to tell about man’s sinful condition and how He could set them free. But to live believing sin has no deadly consequences is a lie from Satan himself. Notice that “a lying tongue is but for a moment.” Lying never wins in the end, it is soon found out and punished, “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies shall parish” (Prov.19:9). The Truth shall set you free and establish you forever! Pastor Gary ><> 

11:10-11, When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; and when the wicked perish, there is jubilation. By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.” The fact here is that a city, any city does well and rejoices when righteous living is practiced. In the prosperity of the righteous the city succeeds, but “by the mouths of the wicked the city is overthrown” (V.11). The problem is that we (USA) have come to believe that both righteousness and wickedness can coexist and still experience the blessings of God. The wicked no matter how great their influence, will never lower God’s righteous standard, but they certainly can convince a city to sin. The “supreme court” along with many others has become the mouth of the wicked, but God is the Supreme Judge! Payday someday! Live upright! Pastor Gary ><>

10:7, “The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot.” What kind of legacy do you wish to leave behind? We choose in life what we leave others to remember about us, hopefully an example to follow in righteousness. We think all is over when we die, but not so we can bless even after we move from here to heaven. But we must be careful about the way we live here and now! Walk in wisdom, fear the Lord, serve Him, and always seek His favor. But the name of the wicked will rot; they leave nothing behind of value. They were mean, abusive, and an embarrassment in life, and now that their gone maybe their family can hope again! We all leave a legacy, but will it embarrass or embrace those that are left behind? The memory of the righteous is blessed! If you will guard your character God will protect your legacy. Pastor Gary <><

9:9, “If you have good sense, instruction will help you to have even better sense. And if you live right, education will help you to know even more.” The context of these truths is wisdom. Wisdom is beyond knowledge it’s how to apply knowledge to circumstances. There seems to be two types of people those that want to know and those that think they know. And they know just enough to feel the pride of superiority and self-conceit. But the truly wise man will be the first to see the limits of his knowledge and welcome more. There are many new things to grasp for those who are ready. He is even willing to listen to and learn about the unpleasant things of his life. His goal is to learn, change, and grow into the man God is shaping him to become! Knowledge is what you learn by looking around; wisdom is what you learn by looking up. Look up! Pastor Gary <><

8:18-21, “Riches and honor are with me, enduring riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver. I traverse the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice, that I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries.” Wisdom is speaking and letting the reader know that her riches are durable, other riches have a habit of disappearing, but not wisdom. Her wealth is more valuable than anything this world has to offer, and it is the only revenue of heaven. And Solomon was telling where wisdom leads. There is a right and wrong way to obtain riches. Riches that are not acquired “in the way of righteousness” cannot bring happiness. So many have tried short cuts to riches, but Wisdoms is the only path that last and never leads to regrets. Pastor Gary ><>

7:24, Now therefore, listen to me, my children; Pay attention to the words of my mouth…” The writer has warned (Vs.6-27) about the foolishness and unfaithfulness of men and women. He has given information as to the cost, and consequences of sleeping with another man’s wife, and how to avoid rushing into such a trap. The writer started out speaking to his “son” (V.1) now he directs his teachings to all young men. His teaching is necessary for all that are strong in passion, will, and wanting in experience. Information is transformation only when it is practically applied to our lives. The danger comes when we fail to apply these truths to our lives, and so many fail to do so. When people fail to apply God’s Word they sow seeds that bring heavy consequences that bear down on them and all others involved, even innocent family members and friends. Listen! Pastor Gary <><

6:33-35, Wounds and dishonor he will get, and his reproach will not be wiped away. For jealousy is a husband's fury; therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He will accept no recompense, nor will he be appeased though you give many gifts.” The writer adds two more things that await the adulterer and fornicator – (wounds) personal chastisement and (dishonor) loss of reputation! Jealousy awakens and inflames the wrath and anger of a man or husband to its highest level. It evokes the strongest feelings for revenge. And the injured husband will not show any mercy to the adulterer, the man who has wronged him so deeply. Many gifts, each increasing in value, may be offered, but he will not forego his right to revenge. Men treat sin so lightly, yet it has no forgiveness, apart from faith in Christ. And if one is in Christ he cannot live in sin! Pastor Gary ><>

5:21, Mark well that God doesn't miss a move you make; He's aware of every step you take” (MSG). God is watching us, really! He knows our thoughts, plans, desires, decisions, and actions. He even knows the outcome. God knows the motive for each deed, therefore He knows best when to reward and when to withhold. Because God knows man’s every step, Whom better to judge the wicked. And for the Christian, Whom better to withhold or give rewards. I am sure you have heard this before, “You can run but you can’t hide.” But have you ever thought about that statement in the context of God? This should cause us to think before we take another step, say another word, or make another plan. In view of what God knows, “everything” let us consider our next step.i Our steps are watched, step wisely. Pastor Gary <><

4:13, “Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; Keep her, for she is your life.” The divine wisdom of God has always been a challenge for men to hold and keep. There must be a conscious effort, a moral concern, and a spiritual appetite if we are going to hold and keep God’s instructions. His instructions seek to guide us by great principles that are not always agreeable to us, but beneficial. We must direct our attention toward God’s instructions, reading His Word daily, attending worship habitually, and speaking to God in prayer fervently. This is a matter of life and death. God’s instructions will guide us away from the old life of sin and toward the new life with Him. “We hold best those truths which we follow most closely in life.” We all hold on to something why not hold on to wise instruction which offers life? Pastor Gary <><

3:21-26 My son, let them not depart from your eyes-- Keep sound wisdom and discretion; So they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck. Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.” Confidence in God and walking by His wisdom strengthens and steadies your perception as to where to step and not stumble (v.23). Wisdom also takes away fear, provides rest and protects even during very difficult times. Better is the safe step which is given by the perfect knowledge of God than a foolish step where there is only trouble, terror, and unrest. We have enough foolishness right now! Pastor Gary ><>

2:1-5, My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” If we search and make wisdom our goal, we are promised reward (v.5). The search for wisdom starts out with a willingness and eagerness to receive (Vs.1, 2), a watchfulness to keep, and a perseverance to continue (v.3, 4).  With wisdom, we will fear the Lord, and find knowledge to know Him. And to know Him is eternal life (John17:3). The pursuit of wisdom engages the heart, soul, and mind, brings joy, and leads a man to Christ and Christ-likeness! Pastor Gary <><

1:8-9, “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck.”  I realize that not all parents are wise and a few are not even good parents, but Solomon was both, therefore anyone can learn from him. Wise teachings are to be obeyed and parents are to be respected because their instructions will benefit us throughout life. Solomon and his wife were his parents and have made the largest investment, more than anyone else, in their son. They loved him and with their best in mind for him, they helped him mature hopefully into a godly man. It would be important for him to hear with the intent to obey and to not forsake their teaching even when temptations would be strongly pulling against him. When teaching and obedience come together life can be transformed! Pastor Gary ><>

30:15-16 The leech has two daughters-- Give and Give! There are three things that are never satisfied, four never say, ‘Enough!’ The grave, the barren womb, the earth that is not satisfied with water-- And the fire never says, ‘Enough!’” The writer is pointing out things in nature that are never satisfied and describing the unsatisfied human heart. The human heart is arrogantly moving as it yearns for something more and better than anything it currently has. The human heart is not slowed by conscious, or limited by time or quantity, it’s always crying “Give” me more! Nothing that is worldly or human can satisfy a man’s heart (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11). The human heart was created for that which is highest and best and we will never be satisfied with anything less than God Himself. Everyone can find God through faith in Jesus Christ and in Him find satisfaction! Pastor Gary <><

29:26, Many seek the ruler's favor, but justice for man comes from the Lord.” I have always heard, “It’s not what you know but who you know that matters.” That teaching is here warned against. Men’s favor is least important, in-light of knowing the Lord. We are tempted to flatter the influential in order to win their favor, but we need to understand that our destiny does not rest in their hands, but rather in the hands of the Lord, although His rule is so often ignored by us. It may be because human influence is visible while the Lord’s is unseen, and that much of His judgment is postponed. Men who do not choose to put their case in the hands of the Lord will nonetheless receive their sentence from Him. This is good, for God is just, wise, and strong. We will all have to submit to His judgment in the end. It would be wise for us to acknowledge His rule throughout life now! Pastor Gary ><> 

28:18, “Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved, but he who is perverse in his ways will suddenly fall.” The Septuagint says, “He that walketh in crooked ways will be entangled.” Men have a tendency to walk dangerously close to the edge of things, but it is a dangerous and costly way to live. Just because men appear to have gotten away with life on the edge don’t think failure won’t come. We just don’t yet see the result of their last and fatal attempt! Never conclude the previous steps were successful, for men cannot defy the law of God without falling. Integrity alone is safe. And the blameless are promised help, they will prosper at the hand of God. God will save them from dangers both temporal and spiritual. This is God’s law and by keeping it, He blesses, but to defy it, He will cause you to fall! Walk blamelessly! Pastor Gary ><>

27:2 “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” The emphasis is on the praise that we are to give other people! Almost every person deserves praise and how often we fail to give it. But we are quick to criticize, put down, and blame others which is not our responsibility. So many have done well with the task they have been given to do why not praise them. Praise could encourage a person to reach a personal goal, or create a thirst to accomplish greater things. We want to be praised by others why should we not then praise others. But there is also wisdom here about not praising yourself. To praise yourself is a weary thing for all those around you. If praise is due and men fail to give it just remember God never fails. And it’s His praise that counts most anyway! Pastor Gary <><

26:13-16, “The lazy man says, ‘There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!’ As a door turns on its hinges, so does the lazy man on his bed. The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl; it wearies him to bring it back to his mouth. The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.” A man should never want to be guilty of being “lazy”. He is described as getting no further than his bed; using any excuse (a lion) to avoid work, expects others to feed him and even believes him wiser than all others. The door moves on its hinges and makes no progress beyond its own confined sphere of motion; so the slothful man turns himself on his bed from side to side, but never leaves it to do his work. The idle fool sets more value by his own judgment than by the sense of any number of wise men. Listen it’s not a lion it’s a job get up and go to work! Pastor Gary ><>

I asked the Church family Sunday as we concluded our worship to think through the last five weeks and our study on Christmas. And then to think about how to apply a truth(s) and share with their family Christmas. My truths. I saw one of my best friends go to be with the Lord December 11 (Bro. Bill Lee) and preached his funeral December 15. Bill and I had so many plans as I’m sure so many others did too. But as we studied about Mary and Joseph and the changes that God brought into their lives these truths became mine. First, God brings about changes in all our lives. Second, I must trust each change even though I don’t understand them. And third I learned that I must embrace the changes in such a way that God’s glory can be seen by all others. Bro. Bill will never be replaced but that does not mean I can’t move on and fulfill different plans that God has for me and others. What we do with and through the changes God brings determines the outlook and outcome of our lives. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Pastor Gary ><>  

24:30-34, “I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.” What a picture of the neglected man’s life. Where there should be fruit we find weeds, where there should be beauty, we find unattractiveness, and where we find broken walls we should find strong walls. Such is the life of any person that neglects work and worship, prayer and Bible study. The picture of neglect reveals the ruined life whether spiritual or material. Never neglect the principles of God they guide our lives for productive living. Pastor Gary ><>

23:17-18, “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day; for surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off.” The righteous and unrighteous stand in contrast once again and will receive their due rewards. The hereafter includes both, heaven and hell. The sinner seeks pleasure, praise, and recognition from men. He is driven by pride, selfishness, and foolishness. His joy is superficial, hollow, and won’t last. The unrighteous will be cut off from the Lord, and his “hereafter”, hell! And it’s sad that his life at times is alluring (See Psalm 73:2). But the way to overcome such temptation is “be zealous for the fear of the Lord.” This includes faith, reverence, worship, service, and obedience to God’s will. The promise is twofold, we won’t be cut off from the hope found in Jesus Christ and heaven will be our “hereafter”! Pastor Gary ><>

22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” What kind of training, to start with the habit of manners - politeness towards others, second the habit of morals – truthfulness and temperance and third faith – the habit of reverence, worship, prayer, and a readiness to trust all the ways of God. When parents firmly plant good habits in the mind of a child they have done a good thing. We must consider that habits formed early are not easily broken. We sometimes treat a habit as an enemy but, it’s our best friend. Without training there is no security against temptation but with it we have the hope that our children will not depart from it. In the will of every child there is a power which cannot be forced, but can only be won. We must love, train and win our children to be friends with Christ and obey Him. Pastor Gary <><

21:14, “A gift in secret pacifies anger, and a bribe behind the back, strong wrath.” I like what John Phillips wrote, “Disarming justice by offering a bribe here and a present there was a common practice when this proverb was written. Solomon did not approve of the custom, but he was quick to acknowledge the efficacy of a bribe. In his day, as all too often in ours, palms had to be greased. Even a king's anger could be appeased if the price was right.” Unfortunately, this practice proves to be beneficial to those who live by it. Both parties are wrong in their dealings and prevent justice from being carried out. It seems as long as someone is willing to take a bribe someone else is willing to pay it. Exposure for such practice is valid but limited do to the evilness of men. It cost a lot to conceal a matter but for them exposure is not an option. A bribe, don’t even think about it! Pastor Gary ><>

20:12, “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The LORD has made them both.”  Sense God has made our ears and our eyes, we should use them both to please Him. I’m thankful for with the gift of my ears and my eyes I can hear and sing along in worship, and see the joy expressed on each face. I am also able to open God’s word each day and read what He has written to me. And I can also see His creation, the sun, moon, and stars. I can hear the cry of a baby, the singing of the birds, and the laugh of a friend. I can also hear a cry for help, a warning to stop, and whisper a word of encouragement into someone else’s ear. I can see and hear so many things great and small and I hope I will pay closer attention to each of these sounds and sights because they are gifts from the Lord. Look long, listen well and please the Lord. Pastor Gary ><>

19:21, There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless the Lord's counsel--that will stand.” Man’s thoughts are many, confusing, and most of the time un-calculating. I have always tried to practice sleeping on a decision and think it through before making it. What seemed like a good idea today may not look good tomorrow. Many of our plans are made selfishly, with only our needs, wants, and desires in mind. Therefore, we must turn to God, His plans will stand. His plans are righteous and ruled by unchanging principles. He will always love what is righteous and hate what is unholy, impure, and unkind. He cannot change His course, because He cannot change His character. God’s plan is to redeem a lost world reconciling it to Himself, through the death of His Son. Let’s make God’s plan ours, His is eternal! Pastor Gary ><>

18:7-9, “A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul. The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body. He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.”  The writer points out the fool’s words and work which will lead to his destruction. He is found loose in the use of his lips and lazy in the use of his body. His words are described as “tasty trifles”, and seems to mean dainty morsels such as one eagerly swallows. The idea is that his words have found eager listeners and the dainty morsels are of a poisonous character. The hearers take in the slanders and treasure them up in memory, and will use them at a later time. He is also lazy in his work. Not only is he slothful but he is wasteful and a brother to the prodigal – wasting all on riotous living. The prodigal returned, will you? Pastor Gary ><>

17:17, A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Here we find the subject of true and lasting friendship, which is founded on some great principles, moral and religious; and also a mutual respect while holding each other accountable. The true friend is one that “loves at all times,” and he is a brother “born for adversity.” A false or weak friendship will not last through the strain of life’s experiences. But true friendship last beyond great distances, different views, changes in health, income or occupation. True friendship will last through times of disappointment, failure, and misunderstanding. Be worthy to love the best, that you may form a true friendship. Love so that when the testing hour comes, and your friend is in need that you will be there. Our great Friend Christ loves the same yesterday, today and forever! Like Him love! Pastor Gary ><>