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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Proverbs 31

Oh, my dear, valiant readers!  We have at last come to the end of Proverbs!  I am so proud of you!

What a gem this is!  I was amazed to see that this Proverb is a mother's advice!!!

-Can't get much sweeter than that! Mom knows best (with God's input:) .

Her first bit of advice to her son is:

-- Stay away from bad women

-- Stay away from drunkeness

What mother cannot relate?  God, in His infinite wisdom, reminds us that we should advise our children.  Sure, they may roll their eyes and moan -- but in the end, our words ... and God's...will come back.

God works all things for good.....

This chapter shows the heart of God for the poor:

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. -Proverbs 31:8,9

Again, this verse gives us something to share with our children.  Do a service project for the poor!

Finally, we see a mom's description of an ideal wife. Here is that "Proverbs 31" woman we've struggled with. 

Rereading this, however, I'm struck by God's great instruction on our focus and drive as a woman.  We don't have to be perfect in every way.  This woman is not praised for her looks.  She is praised for her character.

Perhaps we should spend more time on developing a Godly character in our lives than a beautiful exterior (or nice home or perfect kids) --

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
- Proverbs 31:30

What a great bit of advice for our teens and girls who are striving for magazine and TV perfection!  If you have a preteen or teen -- cut pictures from magazines -- and paste this verse at the bottom .  What is God saying to us in this?

Finally, wives, we do need to face the reality of this Proverbs 31 woman.  She is calling us to higher standards, especially with our husbands. 

Remember, for our husbands, love=respect.  This Chapter tells us the Proverbs 31 husband is respected at the gate -- The "Gate" was where all public negotiation, communication, important interaction took place.  The elders sat there. 

The big question is:  Do you respect your husband in public?  Do you honor him at the "Gate"?  Think about it and consider these verses:

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. - Proverbs 31:11,12.

So - the end of our Book of Proverbs speaks loudly to us wives.  God knows how powerful we can be, for good or evil.  We should humbly give our lives to God.  When we fall on our faces before Him - we will be making the most powerful move in our lifetimes.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Proverbs 30

Have you ever heard something - on the radio - in a sermon - in a conversation that you thought you'd better write down?

Proverbs 30  is just that - someone's wise comments we may just want to copy down!

The chapter begins with a confession -- BOY -- could I relate to this! Here's my version:

I'm tired God, but with you, I'll make it. 
I can't say I'm doing all this right, tho, God.
I keep forgetting what you told me.
I wish I could fly right up there and talk to you about this,
but my best bet is to read your Word.
It's flawless, God!  Thanks for that. 
Help me to remember not to add to your Word with my own emotions and perceptions.
And, God, if you don't mind, I have a few favors to ask of you:
Keep me away from lies, God.
Help me survive - but that doesn't mean having too much. 
I don't want to focus on wealth.

The last verses focus on observations which are quite true and interesting.  

Basically, it seems like the speaker is pointing out the following (of course - this is just MY interpretation)

1.  Honor your father and mother (or be subject to "ravens"!)
2.  Some will never be satisfied.  Keep that in mind..
3.  People who sin (The adulterous woman AND me) try to justify sinning with excuses
4.  Consider the industrious ant -- and learn about work.
5.  Watch out for pride and self-promotion -- It's better we keep our mouths shut than to be arrogant or plan evil.  Both things tend to lead to downfall. Both create strife.

See you tomorrow in  Proverbs 31!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Proverbs 29

Proverbs 29 was written just for the good old USA!  So many of the following verses speak to the hearts of the American people.  I know they touched my heart. 

I wish more people paid attention to the Book of Proverbs!

See if any of these verses sound familiar:

By justice a king gives a country stability, but those who are greedy for[a] bribes tear it down.
-Proverbs 29:4

Evildoers are snared by their own sin, but the righteous shout for joy and are glad. -Proverbs 29:6
When the wicked thrive, so does sin, but the righteous will see their downfall. - Proverbs 29:16

I'm so glad God says we win in the end!

The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern. - Proverbs 29:7

Here's a good project verse for your children.  Collect food for your local food pantry.

Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away anger. - Proverbs 29:8

Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. - Proverbs 29:11

Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.
-Proverbs 29:20

An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins. --Proverbs 29:22

OK, OK -- God is great to remind me of these things!  Gotta watch that temper!

Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire. - Proverbs 29:17

Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction. --Proverbs 29:18

Parents need to understand - Children develop under the restraints of discipline.  We HAVE to talk to our children about God's rules.  We must share His wisdom.  Otherwise, we give in to New Age relativism.

Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor. --Proverbs 29:23

I forever want to be honorable.  Keep me low, Lord.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Proverbs 28

Oh, my friends!  I hope you have been reading more faithfully than me! 

I zoomed to New York to see my daughter, who is a missionary at a camp for inner-city kids.  We were so busy clapping, singing, dancing, studying God's Word I was not able to blog!  Soooo sorry!

Let's get caught up.  I will use these first few days of August to finish up Proverbs! 

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. -- Proverbs 28:13

Have you ever done something that you wish you hadn't?  Did you hide it?  I have.

It's a miserable feeling.  The problem is, a hidden sin is never hidden.  God sees everything. He wants us to be transparent before cleansing can come. 

Cleansing comes with confession.

When we admit our faults, we become the best of all teachers.  We are so very much more approachable. People will listen because they know we are also flawed.

This is a good verse to talk to your children about.  When you do something wrong, say you are sorry.

Get a backpack and fill it with books.  Make it heavy.  Have your child put it on his back. 

"That is heavy, isn't it?  Would you want to carry that pack around all the time?"

That's the way it is when we tell a lie.  We carry it on our backs.  Each new lie brings more weight (add another book). 

"Do you want to carry all this weight around?" 

Maybe we should lighten our load by confessing, which means telling the truth.  Say you're sorry. 

Empty the backpack for your child and put it back on him.  See -- that feels so much better! 

When we say we are sorry, God gives us mercy.  In other words, He forgives us.  That's like adding a tasty little snack to that backpack (put in some fruit chews).

Parents:  We also need to lighten our load a bit.   Admit your mistakes.  Ask for forgiveness.  God will give you mercy.