The Proverb For The Day

 

 

21:21, He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness and honor.” How many have followed wealth, business, and pleasure, etc. and never reached their goal? The writer here offers a successful pursuit. If we seek the truth of God, we cannot fail. If we follow righteousness and mercy, we will find it! Righteousness is acceptance with God through His Son Jesus Christ and mercy is to show kindness in all our relationships. When we follow these, we find favor from God, freedom from the power of sin, and favorable relationships with others. God gives life through faith in Jesus Christ, and the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower us to Christ likeness. And He gives honor and approval when He says, “well done thy good and faithful servant.” Why not follow that which promises success? Pastor Gary <><

20:7, “The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.” The righteous man fears, follows, and servers God in all his ways. By doing so he is providing a straight and narrow path that leads to God. And he is living an example for his children to follow. Not only is he blessed but his children are blessed if they follow after him. Our children may choose not to follow but stay faithful anyway, pray and maybe one day they will. We as parents must walk with integrity in all situations it’s what our children need to see in us from childhood to manhood. But our children also must understand they are not blessed or cursed by our decisions but these are the results of their own decisions. And even children without such spiritual leadership can find God and His blessings, if they look for Him! Pastor Gary <><

19:6-7, “Many entreat the favor of the nobility, and every man is a friend to one who gives gifts. All the brothers of the poor hate him; How much more do his friends go far from him! He may pursue them with words, yet they abandon him.” Man’s motive is twisted here in his relationships. When we give to get, we give for the wrong reason. We play favoritism toward the powerful hoping to attain a position, or contract, or some other benefit for ourselves. Many play the game, creating relationships that lead to hurt, shame, and ruin. And most of the time the powerful are aware of your plans and you’re the one that ends up getting used. Notice here that people are prone to cater to the powerful and run from the poor. The poor would need gifts instead of being able to give gifts. And that would require something from me like giving, not getting. Maybe it’s time to start giving rightly! Pastor Gary ><>

18:6 (MSG), “The words of a fool start fights; do him a favor and gag him.” How many could be helped with a simple gag! These are the people that have to get the last word in, and it is usually the one that starts a fight. One word less could have made a big difference. If you were to not say it, a fight might be avoided; a friendship might stay strong, and you might not be looking for a new job now. But hey, you got the last word! The fool’s words always lead to strife and quarrels; he or she seems unable to control their lips, yet always expects forgiveness. Harsh words for him or her are easy spoken, impossible to take back and always available the next time they want to us them. A gag might help, but a change of heart would go deep enough to change his or her vocabulary! Only faith in Jesus can make that change. Pastor Gary <><

17:16, “Why is there in the hand of a fool the purchase price of wisdom, since he has no heart for it?” It’s not that foolish people are unable to learn, it’s that they are unwilling to learn. It’s not a matter of money, that’s found in his hand, but it’s the lack of want (heart). For some reason he thinks he is smart enough and therefore finds other things to do with his time and money. It’s hard to help the fool, he throws away recourses, advice, and even friends that differ with him. He is his own man, caught up in his own mind, and faults everyone for his trouble. He seems to never put together that his trouble is a result of his refusal to listen to advice, or make better choices, or enter the school of learning. Until the heart of the fool is changed his foolish decisions will remain. And for any man to make such a change he needs Jesus, but his biggest challenge is himself! Pastor Gary ><>

16:16, “How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.” Wisdom and understanding is what we need not what we have, but you can only get them from God. Both wisdom and understanding are better to have than gold or silver. James 1:1-8 tells us that “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God…But let him ask in faith.” By getting wisdom one gains understanding from God and imparts it to others, and uses it for one’s self. Wisdom and understanding from God gives man the ability to discern the difference between good and bad situations; relationships, and to reason out and make good decisions. The result is to be able to resist temptations, flee from evil, and live life skillfully! Even though gold or silver cannot do that, men still seem more interested and determined to pursue them. Pastor Gary <><

15:5-7, “A fool despises his father's instruction, but he who receives correction is prudent. In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but in the revenue of the wicked is trouble. The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, but the heart of the fool does not do so.” There is always a contrast between those that learn and those that don’t. It’s not that instruction was withheld it was simple rejected by the foolish son. The fool now has nothing to live by, trouble to deal with, and no knowledge to hand down to family or friends. The fool will struggle through life until he returns to the wise instruction that was once offered to him. What the fool once rejected hopefully will become what he will soon return too, if not he will die in his troubles. The wise son on the other hand receives correction, has much treasure, and can instruct others. Pastor Gary ><>

14:15, The gullible believe anything they're told; the prudent sift and weigh every word.” People have always been gullible, but it seems more prevalent today. These are people hasty in believing without enough reason, and except statements, and changes, on the slightest authority in opposition to not only a rational view, but a Biblical view. And sadly, people are buying into the new norm – basically a life lived without the restraints of God’s word. The gullible is ready to believe according to his desires. The gullible displays a fatal disloyalty to truth, which undermines it, thereby leading to error and fatal acts. The remedy, turn to Christ, get wisdom and consider every word to discern if it’s true. Christians are to be light; life is real and serious, and men need true light to guide them safely home! Pastor Gary <><

13:17, “A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a faithful ambassador brings health.” So much rides on the intelligence and integrity of a messenger. A foolish ambassador can aggravate a situation whereas a wise one can do much to heal wounds. Just watch the news as it reflects maybe not all the truth, but it does show enough to know that the concern is which upcoming president will be the best ambassador for the US. So far most prove to be very dangerous and without change none will bring health to our nation. I know that all of us need to vote but I hope that before we do one of these prove themselves to be more concerned about our nation than they are about their position. It’s the people that make up this nation not individuals with personal agendas. Right now, all we see is foolishness and what we need to see is wisdom – come on! Pastor Gary ><>

12:14, “A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth, and the recompense of a man's hands will be rendered to him.” A man’s words, and work are important, his words can bring satisfaction and his work can bring reward. A man’s words and works are like seeds and if they are wise, pure, and kind, they will bring forth the fruit of love, favor, and respect. But those who talk one way and live another are a very confusing example about how to live. And they are usually angry, unhappy, and very difficult to satisfy. We no doubt choose how we live but just remember we will produce fruit accordingly. There is always a harvest time and like it or not the only fruit that a person brings in is the kind in which he planted. The way to produce something different is to plant something different. Planting season will soon end! But harvest season meets us in eternity. Pastor Gary ><>

11:8-9, “The righteous is delivered from trouble, and it comes to the wicked instead. The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.”  God is at hand to deliver the righteous out of trouble. In fact, the trouble that the wicked devise for the righteous comes back on them. Or God takes the righteous away from the evil to come. The evil from which the righteous is saved fails upon the wicked. As Abraham says to the rich man in the parable, "Lazarus is now happy, and you are in pain" (Luke 16:25). This type of substitution occurs many times in Scripture. Thus Haman was hanged on the gallows which he had erected for Mordecai (Esther 7:10); Daniel's accusers were cast into the den of lions from which he was saved (Daniel 6:24). The truth will come out and the righteous will be delivered, God has said so! Pastor Gary ><>

10:10, “He who winks with the eye causes trouble, but a prating fool will fall.” The eye has a language all its own. It can flash with anger or express laughter and surprise. The eye can be roving, shifty, or hostile. It can express grief, tears and speak volumes. The eye can communicate without words by winking. A wink can convey a message as surely as words—and more swiftly. A wink can be used to express interest in another person. A wink can convey a secret understanding, an agreement already reached. A wink can be used between two or more people to signal the gullibility of another person. When someone is being teased or misled, a wink is often used to enhance the amusement of those who know the secret. If the wink is used wrongly, which is the point here – it will being ruin to its user and others as well. Be careful what you wink at! Pastor Gary ><>

9:6, “If you want to live, give up your foolishness and let understanding guide your steps.” The reader will find in the first 5 verses another divine invitation. Verse 6 is the climax, “if you want to live give up your foolishness.” Life is not foolishness and Christ. It’s foolishness or Christ! The world would have you believe you can have both. People want eternal life without following Christ. The message is clear turn from folly, sin, and the fellowship of the unholy. And let understanding guide your steps into the way of eternal life. If I give up everything to follow Christ what have I really given up for all that Christ offers me! That’s like not giving up “everything” to be adopted into “Bill Gates” family ($104.9 billion) and his stuff becomes mine. Do you want to live? The only thing you really give up is “foolishness” in exchange for Christ, if you want to live! Pastor Gary <><

8:5,O you simple ones, understand prudence, and you fools, be of an understanding heart.” There are some people who think they are wise but are foolish. And there are others who make no pretense of wisdom and live foolishly (simple ones), and still others who seek wisdom. The person who thinks himself wise but is not has cut himself off from wisdom. But both the person whom cut himself off from wisdom and the one seeking wisdom has the hope of finding it. Wisdom does not come without effort. Wisdom is an attribute of God and a grace given to men. Christ is truth and wisdom (1 Cor.1:24). His pre-existence is affirmed in John 8:58. Christ a one-word description for wisdom. If you follow Christ you will have good sense, understanding, instruction, knowledge, and sound judgment. The struggle is to get people to seek Wisdom. Pastor Gary <><

7:10-12, And there a woman met him, with the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart. She was loud and rebellious; her feet would not stay at home. At times she was outside, at times in the open square, lurking at every corner…” (Read on). All 27 verses are the unfolding tragedy of temptation leading to moral deception. The temptation of the harlot’s attire and heart is filled with lust. Her activity was loud, lose, and looking, she knows what she wants and so does any that sees her. She can’t be missed and that’s her goal. She has set the trap and she is the bait – her victim will be kissed, reasoned with, and invited to her bed, and promised pleasure beyond his wildest dreams. He does not realize that his sin will one day be exposed and that his dreams will become nightmares! Reason tells you to go in, wisdom tells you to run away, which one will you listen to? Run! Pastor Gary ><>

6:30-32, People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving. Yet when he is found, he must restore sevenfold; He may have to give up all the substance of his house. Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul.” The starving man steals and must restore, but the adulterer destroys. The thief has a reasonable motive, but the adulterer has no such motive or reason for his sin. The adulterer in fact lacks reason or understanding acting with a brutish and stupid condition to which lust reduced him. Lust will always displace right reason! The following verses seem to indicate that it is the temporal and moral life referred to, but the meaning may be extended to embrace not only physical loss of life, but spiritual loss also! But all can find hope in Jesus no matter the sin (John 3:16). Pastor Gary ><>

5:13-14, I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me! I was on the verge of total ruin, in the midst of the assembly and congregation.” The disobedient man admits he had teachers but did not regard their warnings and reproofs. And to heighten his shamelessness he was unrestrained even in the presence of the assembly of God’s people. How senseless is sin, it embraces a short-lived pleasure only to reject a life-long joy? It hurts and cost not only you but all those around you! Why exchange lawful and honorable love for shameful lust? Why turn away from a life God blesses to a life of total ruin? How bitter is self-disappointment, remorse, and regret for such sin. To avoid such sin, listen and obey God and His people! Pastor Gary <><

4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Guard the heart above all else. Heart is used figuratively as the feelings, intellect, and the center of everything. It is where we allow influences to come in, but it is also where those influences come out weather good or bad. We are charged to guard the heart for we are created in the image of God. God created us not to have but to be living souls. We guard our hearts (ourselves) by what we think, love, and worship. We guard our hearts as we form godly disciplines like Bible study, prayer, giving, and serving God. When we allow only the right issues in, the right issues will come out. Always keep in contact with those books and those people that enlarge your horizon and make it possible for you to stretch yourself mentally” (O.C). Guard your heart and your feet will walk in the right direction. Pastor Gary <><

3:3-4, Let not mercy (love) and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.” Love and truth are to be characteristics of men. The first and second commandment is that we love God first with our all, and that we love our neighbor. When we fail to love our neighbor we will also fail to love God. Love toward God should invoke worship, praise, and service. And love toward others should invoke outward help, forgiveness of wrongs, sympathy, thoughtfulness, and spiritual growth.  And truth should invoke stability, faithfulness, integrity, and confidence in all a man promises. It is through love and truth that man finds, “favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.” The best way to not forsake love and truth, practice them every day! Pastor Gary <><

2:10-11, When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; Understanding will keep you.” On this world the righteous and unrighteous will always walk side by side. Sin sits down at the same places as goodness and there will always be conflicting differences, and opposing lifestyles. With such differing goals in life how does one stay on the right path? Wisdom is the answer and she will provide discretion and understanding. In other words, the acceptance of the truth of God is the one security against sin. When it is pleasant to do God’s will and His Law is in our hearts and minds we then have the barrier against the tides of evil. All those who, “Walk in the way of the LORD” (Ps.119) will never have to utter words of bitter remorse or despair! Wisdom offers to guide us through life, follow her! Pastor Gary ><>

1:24-25, “Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke…”  To reject wisdom after many invitations brings many terrible consequences (26-33). Wisdom has called to each person and many refuse to listen, she has stretched out her hand and you have refused to take hold of it! Wisdom has given counsel and rebuke through preachers, Christians, friends, parents, etc. but you have deliberately rejected all the counsel of God. The course of human perversity is to postpone with no intention of heeding anything that would be for their best interests. Yet God in His mercy continues to extend and reach, but He will reach no further than human opposition and resistance allow Him to! Pastor Gary <><

30:24-28, “There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: …ants …rock badgers …locusts, and …spiders.” Each of these critters is wise and provides elements for our success. The ants are forward thinking storing up for the future. We all have times in our lives where we need provisions for hard times, follow the example of the ant. The rock badgers are weak therefore they find safety in the rocks. We will face times of weakness so follow the badger; secure a place of retreat, for strength and rest away from the battle of life. And the locusts show the importance of cooperation in work, life, and play, it’s easier living in cooperation. And last the spider with its ambition and patients builds in the king’s palace. Never limit yourself, look where the spider lived. When we live by these wise elements we can succeed. Pastor Gary <><

29:11, “A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back.” There is a time to be silent as well as to speak. The writer is encouraging the idea of guarding the mouth for a few reasons. First practice patience before saying you will do this or that, impatience most frequently leads to transgression. Our mouth tends to overestimate our ability therefore we should think before we undertake. Second council given in ignorance could bring harm when it persuades others to take unwise action. Third without control the fool vents all his feelings, with words that are impossible to retrieve. Nothing more defines the presence of wisdom or folly than the habit of speaking quickly or restraining speech under irritation. A wise man controls his feelings for it brings peace at home and church, and it’s the example of our Lord! Pastor Gary <><

28:13, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” Covering is often used to hide sin, but it will not cure. Covering is only dress up. It’s like putting a band-aid on skin cancer or clothing over a disease. In fact, we cannot prosper from under the covering. But mercy will come as we admit, confess, and forsake our sin. This allows God to get to the sin and do His work through the blood of Christ. He forgives and has mercy on those who confess and forsake their sin. Confession is only complete by forsaking the sin, if not it is mockery. Someone said, “We’re sorry and repent, and then go on from day to day, just as we always went.” Just remember God will not be mocked. The sin that you try to cover God uncovers, but the sin you confess God covers with His mercy! Pastor Gary <><

27:23-27, Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds; for riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations. When the hay is removed, and the tender grass shows itself, and the herbs of the mountains are gathered in, the lambs will provide your clothing, and the goats the price of a field; You shall have enough goats' milk for your food, For the food of your household, And the nourishment of your maidservants.” In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Never think the way things are will be the way things will remain. Things always change therefore we must be diligent with all that we have throughout life. Power and position can be taken or just simple fade away and it could be the smaller things that we remained diligent to that now provides for all our needs. Be diligent! Pastor Gary ><>

26:12, “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Conceit is the root of this man’s problem. He sees his way as right and considers not the advice or wisdom of others. Conceit blinds him to his true condition and character. He will not learn because he believes in his own way. He will not follow because of his high opinion of himself. His condition is nourished by ignorance. He lacks insight and therefore a fool has a better chance than him. The fool is not hedged in on ever side and he is not cut off by his own conceit, therefore he still can be saved. Hope is expectation of something longed for in the future. The conceited are content in their own ways, and the fool may be silly but hope is still in his grasp. The fool needs to grow up, but the conceited needs to give up on his ways! Pastor Gary <><

25:28, “Losing self-control leaves you as helpless as a city without a wall.” Self-control is for our protection like a wall around a city. Without the wall we are open to the first invader that comes in. The city is compared to a man with no restraint on his passions, desires, and affections. He is always in danger of being carried away by them and involved in sin and destruction. And after losing self-control he has no defense. His anger turns to rage, his speech to violence, and he now is helpless to do anything about it. People without self-control are usually controlled by something whether it is anger, substance abuse, pornography, etc. Self-control is important and it’s a characteristic of wisdom. Be wise and stay in control of your actions and reactions. What men fail to control, controls them! Pastor Gary <><

24:3-4, “Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” It takes more than a contractor to build a home and more than an interior decorator to furnish the rooms. The writer speaks to the builder about wisdom, understanding, and knowledge for the building of a home. These words point to a builder that fears the Lord. The Lord supports such a family, blesses them, and causes this home to prosper. He not only blesses materially but spiritually. God honors the home that honors Him. Wisdom should be the foundation, understanding its walls, and knowledge fills the house with “precious and pleasant riches.” My home is built on nothing less than Jesus and His righteousness! What are you building your home with and on? Pastor Gary <><

23:1-3, “When you sit down to eat with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you; and put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food.” The writer is warning about the danger of evil deals made over good meals. Therefore, he instructs carefulness as to whom you’re eating with and what the occasion is. The great temptation especially if you’re prone to over eat is to ignore the danger and enter into a transaction that could compromise your convictions and wreck your moral nature. If you’re not careful you could end up putting yourself in the power of another man’s rule simple because you could not control your appetite. Our appetites not only have the potential to destroy our morals but it also can destroy our health! Let’s not only be careful whom we eat with but how much we eat! Pastor Gary ><>

22:4, By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.” Everyone lives by something and here we are encouraged to live by humility, and the fear of the Lord. Humility for most is difficult to live by; it is a lowly position not giving thought to self or a care for the recognition of the world. The fear of the Lord is a spirit of humble dependency on God, and reverence for Him. There is much to be enjoyed by those who humble themselves before God. And by doing so there is a threefold reward. First riches, the meek are to be rewarded with the inheritance of the earth (Matt.5:5). In the end, the best man will receive the best things here and in heaven. Second honor, the highest comes from God who discerns the heart, puts down the proud, and exalts the humble. Last, there is eternal life which is found only by faith in Jesus Christ! Pastor Gary <><