Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pride is one of the biggest battles we all fight.

Prov. 13:10  Pride leads to arguments; those who take advice are wise.

Pride is one of the biggest battles we all fight.  It is so hard to get rid of and no one can do it perfectly.  We have a need to be appreciated by others and it makes us feel good about ourselves when we are.  But, when we begin to dwell on the words and deeds others shower on us, we tend to let it puff us up.  We begin to see ourselves in a better light than we really are in.  We begin to believe the lie that we are of greater value to others than we are.  We begin to think of how good we are.  We begin to look down on others because we have such high opinions of ourselves.

Pride tends to cause us to be defensive.  We sense the need to stand up against anyone who thinks differently than we do.  We take a stand against anyone who would dare question us or our self-perceived worth.  Pride causes us to not have much tolerance with those who would oppose us.

Pride is not bad for us if it is well-balanced and causes us to feel well of ourselves within the context of God’s family.  We need to have a positve self-image as children of God.  When we understand that our worth comes from God, it becomes easier to handle pride.

Pride should never keep us from being able to take advice from others.  Those who are wise understand that they do not have all the answers or always get things right.  The wise know that they need help in order to live life right before God.  The wise do not let pride keep them from growing and becoming better citizens of heaven through the guidance and advice of others.  They are grounded in the Word and are willing to let the Word move them to change whenever it is needed.  The wise do not let pride get out of hand.  They live submissively before God and let Him be Lord of life. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Author Marilyn Dawson

Here we are on the 11th stop on Author Marilynn Dawson's virtual book tour for her soon-to-be-released book, “A Year in Prayer With Jesus” and we have some questions for Marilynn about her thoughts on writing as a Christian author.
Is it easier to write about what you know to be true or to live it? I find it easier to write from a position of experience rather than simply from a position of knowledge. Knowledge that is not applied is empty, as King Solomon found out. Knowledge should lead to wisdom, and wisdom is not attained outside of putting that knowledge into practice.
Do you think a Christian writer should use the language and life of the world in order to get a point across? This question seems to separate the liberal Christian from the conservative Christian. I would land squarely in the conservative camp, because while Scripture does give examples of what the world did and the results of those actions, Scripture did so without using the terms of the day. It would seem, from the author circles I am moving in these days, that Christians are using the idea of terms and worldly life situations as covers to write what they want without feeling convicted over it. In fact, some do seem to write from a position of being pricked when this topic gets heated. The idea of getting a point across seems to be a thinly veiled excuse to write things like steamy romance or rough gang life.
I look at "Run, Baby Run" and "The Cross and the Switchblade" as examples where the writers did use worldly life events, but they were not covers for self-indulgence in the subject matter. Real consequences followed by real change was written about in these books, and the language was kept clean in the process. There was no need to get vulgar or gory about the incidents described in these books. The point was made about lifestyles being lived, consequences were shown, and the way out was clearly stated. I'm not sure this is happening among newer Christian writers looking to break into the current market.
As Christians, we need to get the point across without compromise.
To some degree an author’s writings are his/her legacy. Are you comfortable with being remembered in future generations for what you have written? Yes. As comfortable as I'll ever be. I have regrets, but I've learned lessons from them that I share in my writings. This requires being vulnerable and not everyone looks on that vulnerability favourably. Some will judge me for what I've been through. Some will applaud me for being so transparent and sharing my journey. My life is what it is now, and who knows what God has in store for me in the future. I will be remembered how people choose to remember me, and I'm okay with that.
The amount of books that have, and are being, written is staggering and overwhelming. Why do you think your writings deserve to be recognized amongst them? I ask myself this question every now and then. What is the point of writing another book? How is my story any different from everyone else's out there? But then I remember that each one of us is unique. Each one of us has a story to tell. Each one of us on this journey of faith has learned something someone else can also learn from. This keeps me going. There is a Christian song that says, "You've got something to say, just say it!"
Do you pray for the success of your writings? Why or why not? I pray that God will lead me to the places where people who need my books will find them. I pray that God will get my books into the hands of those who will benefit most from them. I'm not sure I've found those locations yet, but I am pleased that 5 high school graduates will be getting my book, "Mom's Little Black Book: Godly Advice for the High School Graduate" as their graduation gift this year. That's five lives I've been allowed to speak into and who knows where God will take them.
Click this link here to get your twentysecond single day prayer guide outline.
Be sure to stop by Marilynn's blog ( on August 5h for your next single day prayer guide free download. Be sure to sign up for her monthly newsletter for yet another free gift! Don't you just love FREE?
In addition to these free downloads, Marilynn is giving away a complete one-month sample of her next book via the rafflecopter app below."

The life of the godly is full of light and joy.

Prov. 13:9  The life of the godly is full of light and joy, but the sinner’s light is snuffed out. 

The life of the godly is full of light.  We live in a dark world.  No matter where you turn, there is darkness.  The ways of the world are anti-God.  There is nothing but an anti-holy mindset.  The world is lost and has no clue how to find its way out of the darkness.  On the other hand, the godly walk in the light of God.  They know who they are and where they are going.  They don’t have any confusion about what their life is all about.  They understand life in ways that the world never can.  They know the way to God while the world is forever trying to figure it out.  The godly have it altogether while the world never does.  The godly see life through the lens of God’s Word while the world can only see what is right in their own eyes.

The life of the godly is full of joy.  There is just something about being right with God that causes one to be full of joy.  The joy of the godly is not a giddy joy.  It is the joy of knowing that the soul is right with God.  It is the knowledge that if the Lord were to call us home today that we would be with Him tomorrow.  It is knowing that God is real and all of His promises are true.  It is the affirmation of soul that beyond this life there is eternal life with God in pure holiness.  It is the knowledge that we are never alone in this life, that the Lord is always with us to help us, even in the worst of times.

It is not so for the sinner.  Sin darkens the soul and mind of man.  There is a darkness that envelopes the sinner that prevents the light from shining in.  The sinner does not understand life from God’s perspective or how he fits into it.  He has no hope for the future.  He believes that the only life there is is the here and now.  He sees himself as the only hope he has and strives to make himself happy anyway he can.   He convinces himself that he is in control of his own destiny.  He cannot comprehend life beyond death and if he does, he fashions an understanding of it that assures him that he will be alright in spite of the life he chooses to live.  Sin darkens the soul and separates him from God who is light.

Wise is he who chooses to live a godly life where there is light and joy.  Godliness is only found in a life fully surrendered to Jesus Christ. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It is good for a person to live a godly life.

Prov. 13:6  Godliness helps people all through life, while the evil are destroyed by their wickedness.

It is good for a person to live a godly life.  Godliness gives a person a whole different perspective on living.  The godly understand life to be more than what is experienced at the moment.  They understand that life has a purpose far beyond life lived on earth.  They know that there is much more to enjoy about life than the temporary pleasures found on earth.  They know what it is like to not be at odds with God.  They are at peace with themselves.  The godly know that God is not some vague reality unattached from human life.  They experience life as God intended for man to experience it.  They have a sure foundation upon which to stand.  They are guided by the hand of God and live by God’s holy standards.

On the other hand, an evil person lives in self-destruction.  They are victims of their sinful choices.  They are never at peace with either God or man.  Mistrust plagues their living.  They are driven by momentary pleasures.  Their hope is built on whatever they are able to accomplish in this world.  They are never satisfied, always needing a new fix to satisfy their needs.  They have little real compassion for others, looking out for themselves at the expense of others.  They are easily led away from the truth and often believe and live a lie.  Evil people wreck havoc in the world and cause trouble wherever they go. 

Godly people are humble and trainable.  Evil people are stubborn and demand their own way.  Godly people live by the Word of God while evil people live by the ways of the earth.  God honors the life of the godly and rejects the ungodly.  Yes, there are different degrees of wickedness, but it God’s eyes all who reject Him are among the wicked.

Everybody has a choice to make in life.  They will either accept God’s offer of salvation and strive to live a godly life, or they will reject Christ and live a wicked life.  No one can escape from having to choose.  Godly living is all about daily choices.  We must choose to live by God’s rules or to disobey Him and open the door for wickedness to enter in.  Godliness takes constant vigilance over one’s soul.  Wise is he who daily chooses to live life God’s way.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Do you hate lies?

Prov. 13:5   Those who are godly hate lies, the wicked come to shame and disgrace.

Do you hate lies?  We don’t like it when others lie to us, but are we guilty of lying to others?  As children of God, we should be speaking the truth always.  God demands that we speak the truth.  It may not always be convenient or easy, but we must speak the truth.  If we know telling the truth will make a situation worse, it is far better for us to not say anything rather than lie about it.

Sometimes telling the truth is hurtful.  If the hurt is because of sin, then it is good to tell the truth so that the offender can see the truth and repent.  But, when it becomes necessary to reveal someone’s sin, it must be done in godly love.  If you can’t do it in love, keep your mouth shut and let someone else who can do it in love do it.

Sometimes telling the truth hurts a person’s ego.  If it’s a matter of taste, appearance, habits, etc., tack must be used if anything is said.  If you must speak, choose your words carefully.  Attacking a person’s character is never good.  Words can easily offend another and we must avoid doing that if possible.  We are to build one another up and not tear them down.  Sometimes silence is indeed golden.

There are people all around us who are liars.  They don’t either care about telling the truth or they aren’t able to discern the truth.  They are children of darkness and they bring shame and disgrace on their own heads.  The Lord will take care of them in due time.  It is not our responsibility to judge or condemn them.  It is far better for us to pray for them than it is to judge them.  They wreak havoc in the public arena and they often make life miserable for those who are honest in their hearts.  Only the Lord can change their hearts and ways.  Ask Him to work on their hearts and shed light on their souls.  They need the Lord and they need us to pray for them. 

Godly people hate lies and do not participate in them.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The tongue can be a very nasty member of the body.

Prov. 13:3  Those who control their tongue will have a long life; a quick retort can ruin everything.

The tongue can be a very nasty member of the body.  Everyone of us have been victim and victimizers of others with the tongue.  We say things that we often regret.  We hurt those we love and care about with the words we speak.  We say things that sometimes are simply not true because we don’t have our facts straight and sometimes we fail to take the time to consider how we will affect others by what we say.  We speak often from our emotions instead of our heads.  Sometimes we may even wish that we could cut our tongue out so we don’t hurt anyone anymore.

Scripture makes it clear that what we speak comes from the heart.  Therefore, we must take a serious look at our hearts.  We must regularly ask ourselves, “Is my heart right with God?”  Do we take the time we need in God’s Word to have our souls exposed before God?  You cannot spend time in the Word on a consistent basis without seeing yourself as falling short of God’s standards of holiness.  God’s Word is clear; we all fall short of God’s glory.  No one is so righteous that he does not sin.  Biting and hurtful words come from a heart that is not right with God.

If you need to gain better control of your tongue, take your need for the Lord to have control of you more seriously.  Self-control is one of the evidences that you are under the control of the Spirit of Christ.  You will never perfectly control your tongue, but you can do better than you now do.  The issue is, “Will you let the Lord have His way with you?”

Don’t ruin everything.  Take the time to be holy in your heart so that your tongue won’t betray you. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

How do you determine whether or not someone is a true friend?

Prov. 12:26  The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.

How do you determine whether or not somone is a true friend?  Consider the kind of advice they give you.  A good friend will not encourage you to do or say anything that will lead you away from God.  Period.  A good friend will not encourage you to feast your mind on unholy things.  A good friend will support and encourage you in your journey of faith to God.  A good friend is a godly friend. 

It is so important that you choose your friends wisely.  Be sure that you connect deeply only with those who will help you to be and do good.  The ungodly will lead you astray.  It is okay to have friends who are not godly people, but don’t let them into your inner circle of friends, friends that you rely on for the maturing of your faith.

We must never forget, the wicked do what comes naturally for them to do.  They gravitate to that which is unholy.  They seek satisfaction and pleasure in the things of the world.  Their perspective is grounded on earth.  They cannot see in the light because they live in the dark.  Be very careful when the wicked seek to advise you on what you need to do.

We must be careful of our own souls so that when others turn to us for advice that we are prepared to give them godly advice.  If we are not grounded well in the Word and are not in close fellowship with the Lord, we can very easily lead others astray.  Good advice comes from those who maintain a good relationship with God.  The godly do not give good advice by accident.  It takes consistently working hard on our salvation. 

Don’t be a tool in Satan’s hand when advising others.  Keep your soul in tip top shape so that what comes out of your mouth may be good and used of God to help lead others to Him.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A real test of character is how well you speak of others.

Prov. 12:18  Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.

A real test of your character is how well you speak of others.  Do you tear down or build up?  Do you destroy or bring healing?  No one likes to hear words of destruction.  We like to be spoken well of, to hear words of encouragement.  Wise is the person who knows how to bring words of healing to the soul.  One of the greatest gifts a person can have is the gift of encouragement.  It is something everyone can do.  It may take some work to develop it, but with effort it can be done.

If you are not an encourager, can you really say that you love God and others?  Be honest.  God always strives to lift up His children.  He wants them to reach their potential in Him.  Notice how many times He uses words and phrases to let us know that we are more than we think we are in Him.  He calls us overcomers, a royal priesthood, His children, mighty conquerors, servants of God, etc.  Over and over again God tells us how special we are to Him.  He sees us for not only who we are, but for whom we can become in Him.  Shouldn’t we be the same way towards one another?

Want to make a difference in the world?  Be an encourager.  Learn how to see the good in people and spur them on to greater goodness.  Don’t take the easy and low road and add poison to someone’s soul.  Lift them up and bring words of healing to them.  Just one word of encouragement in time of need could forever change the course of someone’s life.

Sure people mess up and make a mess of their lives.  The world is full of people who make fools of themselves by making bad choices in their lives.  There are a multitude of people who make life miserable for those striving to live right before God.  Instead of making matters worse by tearing them down, we should love them enough to try to bring healing to their souls by loving them through Christ.  And if they are unresponsive to our love, it is best to remain silent and not tear them down with our cutting remarks.  Pray for them and let the Lord deal with them.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The godly are like trees that bear life-giving fruit, and those who save lives are wise.

Prov. 11:30  The godly are like trees that bear life-giving fruit, and those who save lives are wise.

You can easily tell who are godly.  Those who are really right with God stand out from those who are just the pretenders and those who are ungodly.  Godly people are alive.  Their faith is actively at work in them and it shows.  They ooze the life of the Spirit, producing life-giving fruit.  Their demeanor is different than most.  Godliness is seen in them both in public and in private.  The character of Christ is evidenced in how they interact with others.  Godly people are not into themselves; they are people orientated.  They show a real concern for the souls of others.

Wise are those who reach out to others and strive to lead them to Calvary and God’s throne room.  It is good for one’s soul to live to do God’s will, to go into the world in order to make disciples.  It is good to help others find their way to saving faith.  It is good for God’s children to strive to stunt the growth of hell’s population. 

Wisdom characterizes the godly.  Therefore, it behooves us to do all we can to be a godly people.  It takes a lot of determination, perseverance, trust and effort on our part.  We must keep doing the things that help us to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord.  We produce life-giving fruit in direct proportion to the effort we put into being a holy people.

Life-giving fruit is what pleases God.  It is why we are saved by His grace.  We are not saved just for ourselves.  The Lord chooses us to live for Him.  He chooses us to make a difference in the world, bring to it redeeming grace.  If you are a child of God, you will produce life-giving fruit for the glory of Christ.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It is foolish to belittle a neighbor.

Prov. 11:12  It is foolish to belittle a neighbor, a person with good sense remains silent.

When we belittle someone, it is a reflection of our lack of godly love.  You cannot belittle someone you truly love.  Godly love builds up and never tears down.  It seeks ways to help another to grow and never adds fuel to the fire of damaging another’s self-confidence about their self-worth.  To belittle someone goes contrary to the nature of God and it is sin.  It is foolish to belittle another person knowing how much against the character of God it really is.

If you reallly are tempted to belittle someone, it is far better to bite your tongue and not say anything at all.  To belittle someone is to defame their character and so if you think it’s necessary to put someone down, ask the Lord to put a zipper on your lips. Better yet, ask Him to change your heart to a heart of love so that you won’t even be tempted.

If you have ever been on the receiving end of someone’s belittling, you know how it feels.  No one likes to be made fun of or looked down on because of who they are or what they may have said or done.  Belittling someone can change the course of their life.  The ego is a fragile thing and when it is damaged, a person may never recover.  No matter how justified you may think you are, don’t do it. 

The godly thing for us to do is to lift others up in our prayers, to love them, and strive to build them up.  When someone messes up, we should be there to help them, not judge them.  We are to love others as we love ourselves.  We are to strive to help others become well in Christ, not victims of their mistakes.  We are to treat others as we want to be treated.  We are to never look down on others, thinking we are better than they are. 

In order to be the kind of person God demands us to be, we must diligently seek Him and let Him love others through us.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wicked people die just like everyone else does.

Prov. 11:7 When the wicked die, their hopes all perish, for they rely on their own feeble strength.

Wicked people die just like everyone else does. In this life they may seem to be getting away with whatever they want. They thrive on the righteous, often making life very treacherous and difficult for them. They take great pride in their achievements as if they were the ones who make it all happen. They are self-serving and live for the pleasures of the world. They live for the moment with no regard for the future. They scarcely give thought to the consequences of their actions and have little or no real compassion for human life. It is not pleasant to live amongst the wicked.

But, the wicked are not any different than anyone else. They too, will die. They too will stand before God and give an account for their living. Justice will be meted out according to the deeds of their hearts and the works of their flesh.  All their hopes die with them.  Everything they lived for will do them no good.  They will stand before God with nothing but their own righteousness and that will send them to hell. 

For the redeemed, Christ’s righteousness is our hope.  We know that because He lives and stands before God as our righteousness, we too shall live in the presence of God, both now and forever.  We understand that it is not by our strength that we stand.  We draw from Christ everything need to stay in Him and defeat Satan.  In Him alone are we able to please God and be found to be acceptable to Him.

So, do not fret yourself because of the evil deeds of others. There may be nothing you can do about it while here on earth, but the Lord can and will. He has it under control and will even the score in His perfect time.  It is not pleasant to be victimized by the wicked, but God rewards the faithful.  Hang in there, it will be worth it all.  The righteous will see Jesus in all His glory and the wicked will see Him in all His wrath. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

It is impossible to live right before God apart from a personal relationship with Christ.

Prov. 11:4 Riches won't help on the day of judgment, but right living is a safeguard against death.

The only protection you have against the judgment of God is to live right before Him. You will not be able to offer God anything but the blood of Jesus to avoid His wrath. Justice will prevail. All sin will be punished once and for all. And, the only way you will be able to live right before God is by living in Christ. If Jesus is not in charge of your life, changing you, and imparting His righteousness in you, you don't have any chance at all of living a life that pleases God.

We cannot obey God or be like Him without Christ. The only hope we have is Christ. You cannot earn God's favor, only Christ can do that. The sooner we accept this truth, the better off we will be. Jesus alone satisfies God's justice. He did all that can be done in order for us to be right with God on the cross. We cannot earn God's acceptance. It is by faith alone, accepting Jesus as our Savior and trusting in His atoning work on the cross that saves us.

It is impossible to live right before God apart from a personal relationship with Christ.  Only in Christ are we able to have confidence that when we die we will be accepted by God.  Life in Christ is eternal life.  The only assurance that we have that we will be accepted by God is to live moment-by-moment in Christ.  Christ cannot protect you if you wander away from His protective care.  It is imperative that we stay closely connected to the Lord, for we do not know when death will come upon us.  And, the only way we are going to stay close to God is by maintaining a strong commitment to the disciplines of faith.  No one can stay close to the heart of God while neglecting the disciplines of the faith.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Honesty comes from a heart of integrity.

Prov. 11:3  Good people are guided by their honesty, treacherous people are destroyed by their dishonesty.

You have heard it said many times, “Honesty is a good policy.”  Everything that we do depends on honesty.  Without honesty, there is no trust.  And if there is no trust, there is no peace amongst men.  We depend on honesty to make accurate decisions.  We cringe when we discover someone has not been honest with us.  It causes us to develop bad feelings towards them and often leads to bad consequences.

We all know that dishonest people are everywhere.  We have to really be on our guard and unfortunately be suspicious of people we don’t know.  We live in a world where people are willing to do or say anything for personal gain.  We find it to be true in the world and sadly in the church as well.

Honesty comes from a heart of integrity.  Honest people know right from wrong and choose to do what is right, regardless of personal gain or not.  Being honest often involves personal sacrifices.  It often tests the genuiness of one’s character.  We are confronted daily with opportunites to be dishonest in our dealings with one another.  It is one of the reasons why it is good for the soul to often examine it to see if it is right with God.

Satan is a master at tempting us to compromise our integrity for the sake of our convenience.  He relentlessly tries to get us to be less than honest in our dealings or conversations with others.  He is good at causing us to lie to ourselves about our relationship with God.  He wants us to buy into the lie that we don’t have to be as careful about our soul’s character as God says we should be.

Dishonesty leads the soul away from God and results in very treacherous consequences.  In order to be and do good in the sight of God, we must constantly and diligently stand guard over our souls.  We must stay deeply connected with the Lord and be in His Word constantly so that we will be able to be honest with ourselves about ourselves and our dealings with others.  It may not be convenient or pleasant to be a person of integrity who is honest in all things, but the rewards are eternal.  It is far better to be honest and please God than it is to be dishonest and please others or one’s self. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The godly face life's disasters with grateful hearts.

Prov. 10:25  Disaster strikes like a cyclone, whirling the wicked away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.

The wicked have no sure footing in life.  They do not have the resources within them to cope with life’s disasters in a positive way.  They tend to react and get bent out of shape instead of dealing with things confidently.  They are easily thrown for a loop and their lives become unraveled. 

Things are different for the godly.  Disasters do come and turn the lives of the godly upside down, but they are not thrown for a loop.  They understand that they have an Anchor that will hold them steady and strong during the midst of their storm.  They know that they are not alone.  They stand firm on the foundation of God’s Word and character.  They understand that no matter how bad things are, they will survive and be the better person for it.

The godly face life’s disasters with grateful hearts.  They are able to see the bigger picture and understand that the Lord is with them and will not let them down.  They understand that momentary hardships are nothing compared to their salvation.  They know that it is far better to have the Lord than the ease and comforts of life.  They understand that the Lord never promised that it would be heaven on earth for them. 

The foundation of the godly is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  He has overcome the world and all those who live in Him are also overcomers.  The godly have a sure hope.  They know that even if their disaster costs them their lives, heaven awaits them.  The godly have no fear of what is to come.  With eyes fixed on Jesus, they keep pressing on, not buckling underneath the circumstances of life.  They know that whatever life throws at them, it will be worth it all when they see Jesus.

Is Jesus the anchor of your soul today?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Have you ever watched a fool having fun?

Prov. 10:21  Doing wrong is fun for a fool, while wise conduct is a pleasure to the wise.

Have you ever watched a fool having fun?  They are everywhere.  Take a few minutes and just watch with a critical eye those who are playing in sin.  We know that those who live in sin are heading straight to hell.  Do the things the fool does make much sense to do, knowing where it is getting them?  How long does their sin give them the pleasure they are seeking?  Is the fool ever satisfied with the momemtary thrill they may get?  Does sin ever make a person a better person?  Who can ever say that sin has been good for their life, that it has given them a worthwhile purpose for living?  Has doing wrong ever been worth dying for? 

Everybody wants to have fun in life.  It is our nature to do things that bring us a sense of pleasure.  We feed on making our lives more enjoyable.  We create many different ways to enjoy ourselves.  There is nothing wrong with having fun in and of itself.  It is good for the soul to break away from the normal routines of life once in a while and do something that brings us pleasure.  But when fun leads us away from the Lord whom we profess to love, is it really fun after all?  When we are plagued with guilt and shame is that really good for us?   When we participate in things that honor Satan rather than God, is that what we should be doing?  Do we really think that God is pleased with us when we seek fun by doing those things which are wrong, those things which allow sin to enter into our hearts and minds?

On the other hand, when we seek pleasure by doing things that do not harm our souls with sin, it is good.  There are many wonderful and creative ways to have fun without entering into the sin world.  God has provided a wonderful world for us to enjoy and explore.  There are many opportunites for fellowship with other believers that do not involve sin.  There are many different ways we can build up our souls and have fun doing it.  We can simply get away for a while alone with God in His creation and rest our souls in Him.  We don’t have to indulge in sin in order to thrill our souls.  When we delight ourselves in the Lord and the things that satisfy the soul, it is not here today and gone tomorrow. 

Don’t be foolish.  Do not seek pleasure in the things that destroy.  Do not let sin take root in you.  Do not glorify sin in your heart.  Wise are those who seek pleasure in the things that God approves of.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Don't talk too much!

Prov. 10:19  Don’t talk too much, for it fosters sin.  Be sensible and turn off the flow!

Some people just like to talk, maybe you are one of them.  Some of us have no problem whatsoever finding things to talk about.  It amazes me how freely some people talk to one another.  I am not one who can just talk on and on about a wide variety of subjects.  I run out of things to talk about.  I tend to be able to talk well about things that really interest me, but struggle to find things to talk about off the top of my head.

It’s okay to be able to talk.  In fact, it is essential for good fellowship.  A good conversationalist makes for good company.  But like just about everything else, too much of good thing is not good anymore.  Some people talk to the point where they no longer are being heard.  There are many reasons why some people dominate a conversation and I won’t get into that.  But, one thing that does happen is that often a person begins to talk others down.  They begin to say negative things and sit in judgment of others.  They tend to talk about things they really don’t know much about.  They spew wrong information.  They tend to make themselves look good in comparison to others or at their expense.  Too much talking often leads a person into sin.

It is much better to exercise discretion and shut off the flow.  Wise are those who know when to shut up.  The Lord gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.  We learn a lot more by listening to others than we do by talking all the time. 

The Lord tells us to wait before Him.  We are to be still and know that the Lord is God.  We tend to want to do all the talking when we go to the Lord instead of listening to what He has to say.  We struggle to really know the will and mind of the Lord because we are too busy talking to hear His voice.  The Lord has much to say to us and it is far more important and valuable than our thoughts.  We need to rediscover the value of listening.  When was the last time you were still long enough in the Lord’s presence to really know you heard His voice talking to you?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Let's face it; all of us need correction.

Prov. 10:17  People who accept correction are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore it will lead others astray.

Let’s face it; all of us need correction.  No one is beyond the need to be disciplined and straightened out in our thinking.  No one ever lives a fautless godly life and no one understands all things clearly.  If you do not see yourself in need of correction, you have a pride issue and it is sin.

Correction that is Biblically based and done in love accomplishes much good.  It helps us to stay on the pathway of eternal life and to grow.  It should be the goal of every believer to live a godly life, to live by the Word of God.  It should be natural for us to seek counsel when we are in doubt or are struggling to understand and live out the Word properly. 

When we refuse to be corrected, we not only hurt ourselves, we hurt others as well.  A person who cannot be corrected is stuck.  There is no growth.  There is a demeanor that is influenced by his sinful nature.  His counsel is flawed due to a lack of wisdom from the Spirit of Christ.  There is a lack of the fruit of the Spirit in his life. There often develops a warped understanding of God and the life of holiness.  Often such a person is argumentative and refuse to be corrected. He becomes self-righeous thinking he has no sin and cannot sin.  The chances are good that he will lead others away from the Lord as he wallows in his stubbornness.

Only those who are open to new understanding will grow in Christ.  Only those who are humble enough to accept they don’t know it all or have it all together will be useful to God.  Don’t be led astray.  Don’t be so set in your ways that you can’t be corrected.  Listen to the wise counsel of others.  Let the Spirit of God guide you and teach you the ways of the Lord.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites trouble.

Prov. 10:14  Wise people treasure knowldege, but the babbling of a fool invites trouble.

How well do you treasure knowledge?  When you treasure knowledge, you put great value on it.  He who treasures knowledge is not satisfied with what he already knows.  He always is pursuing greater understanding.  He knows that he does not know all things and has an open mind so that he can learn new things.  Learning becomes a very vital part of living.

When you treasure knowledge, you hold onto it.  You diligently watch over what you know and understand lest you forget it or it fades in importance in your life.  Wise are those who have built a solid foundation of truth in their lives.  Wise are those whose quest for knowledge never dies.

Wise are those who once they know and understand truth stand firmly upon it.  There are certain things God reveals to us that we will never fully know or understand, but there are certain things that are universally understood amongst God’s children and we must hold fast to those things.  God has never added to or taken away from His Word and He never will.  What we don’t understand we hold onto by faith and await the day in which the Lord will remove the scales from off our eyes so we can understand. 

Wise people do not need to flaunt what they know.  Those who are quick to speak often are like babbling fools.  They often have not done there studies and speak out on what they think about things and make fools of themselves.  It takes time to work out the truths of the Word.  It takes careful thought and meditation to discern truth from error.  A person who speaks off the top of his head without clear understanding does more harm than good and needs to be quiet.

Wise people treasure knowledge.  They are willing to pay the price of thinking for themselves.  They are good students of the Word.  They are humble in spirit and are willing to rethink things if the Spirit gives them greater understanding.  They willingly discard their old ways of thinking as they mature in faith.  Wise people do not hinder the work of the Spirit in them to give them proper understanding of the Scriptures.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Prov. 9:10  Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.  Knowledge of the Holy One results in understanding.

To fear the Lord means we respect who He is, we revere Him, we regard Him, and we have a revulsion for sin.   I don’t believe there is as much respect for God as there should be in our lives.  We have sanitized God and put Him in a neat little box in our lives.  We give little thought to God as beng holy and demanding of our holiness.  We limit Him in our thinking to fit into our comfort zone about Him.  We want Him to be all love and not a judge of sin.

Can we really say that we revere the Lord?  Are we in awe of Him?  Do we humble ourselves in His presence?  Do we adore Him?  Are we overwhelmed by His majesty and glory?  Does His power impress you?  Wise are those who can see God for who He is and bow in amazement before Him. 

For many of us, we don’t regard God as much as we should.  We reserve a certain part of our lives for Him and do not engage Him in the rest.  We go about our business with little thought of how the Lord should influence what we do.  We focus on Him mainly on the Lord’s Day, and then mainly for just an hour or two.  Wise are those who are willing to let the Lord into every area of their lives. 

Wise are those who do not like sin and strive to keep it out of their lives.  They see sin as repulsive.  They understand the nature of sin and how it impacts our lives.  Rather than cozying up to it, they strive to stay away from it.  When we fear God we are sickened by sin and find it to be revolting. 

When we fear the Lord like we should, we gain an understanding of what we need to be like in order to enter into His presence.  We understand what we need to do in order to have the Lord be with us in life.  We take seriously our relationship with God and pursue holiness in living .  When we fear the Lord we can then begin to understand just how wondrous and precious our relationship really is.  We also discover just how awful and foreboding life is without Him. 

If we don’t fear God, we won’t fear hell.  And if we don’t fear hell, we will not see sin as being something to avoid.  We will treat sin, and thus God’s grace, lightly. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

How much do you hate evil

Prov. 8:13 All who fear the LORD will hate evil. That is why I hate pride, arrogance, corruption, and perverted speech.

How much do you hate evil? How we feel about evil is reflected in how we live. The more we despise evil, the more we will avoid it and strive to live a holy life. Take a moment and think about how you react when evil rears its ugly head. Do you ignore it? Do you tolerate it? Do you indulge in it? Does it repulse you? Do you try to squash it?

Evil is everywhere we are at. We can't avoid it and whether or not we think we are, we are doing something about it. We are either participating in it, condoning it, or resisting it. We cannot be neutral about it. If we are in Christ, we do make choices about it all the time.  When we let it entertain us we are choosing it instead of righteousness.  When we allow it to go on uncontested around us, we are choosing it instead of righteousness.  If we truly hated evil, I suspect things would be quite different in our homes, churches and world.

If we are in Christ, we ought to have strong feelings about evil. We should hate all that robs the soul of life and destroys it. We should not tolerate those who blatantly do evil. We may not be able to stop them, but we certainly can resist the urge to join them in their evil. We can speak up when we have the opportunity. We can urge those who do evil to stop and repent. We can all do something instead of sitting by and letting evil go wild around us.

We forfeit our right to complain about it if we are not willing to do something about it. We who are in Christ must resist it. We must be advocates for righteousness. We must be part of the solution and not the problem. God commands us to be lights in the darkness. When we don't do it, it is sin.

When we have a proper fear of God we will have a proper attitude about evil.  We must understand the holiness of God and its impact on how God treats us.  God is absolutely holy and He will absolutely judge all sin.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The world has it all wrong.

Prov. 8:10-11  Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge over pure gold.  For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies.  Nothing you desire can be compared with it.

The world has it all wrong.  It measures the worth of people with how much money and stuff they have.  Those who have a lot are deemed to be more important than those who don’t (yes, even in the church).  They get preferential treatment and envied by those who don’t have as much.  The quest of the world is always to get more of what they have.  No matter how little or much one has, the desire for more drives them all.  The world lives for what money can buy and they lavish in the comforts and things it buys.

Wise are those who don’t buy into the world’s ways.  Instead of obsessing one’s life over the riches of earth, one should be obsessed with obtaining the knowledge of heaven.  Far better off are those who know the Lord and His ways.  Earthly treasures come and go, but God’s truths are eternal.  The things we learn from God endure regardless of the circumstances of life. 

Those who learn from God gain wisdom from God.  They discover how to apply to life the things they learn from God.  They learn how to live life in anticipation of eternity.  They discover that the only thing that will prepare them for eternity is wisdom from God.  They know that eternity is fleshed out in the lives of the believer.  They cease to be anxious about what is going on in the world, for they know that God is in control and is working all things out for our good and His glory.  They never have to worry about gaining or losing wealth because they possess that which will last forever which nothing can destroy or take from them.

Wisdom is far more valuable than all the wealth of earth combined.  It is the only thing that will stand the test of time and keep the soul anchored in Christ.  It is essential for our spiritual growth and the key to eternal life.  Jesus is our wisdom from God and blessed are those who live in Him.

Friday, July 11, 2014

We fall into sin when we lose our focus on Christ.

Prov. 4:25-27 Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet, then stick to the path and stay safe. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.

We fall into sin when we lose our focus on Christ. When we let our minds stray we fall prey to sin. It is that simple. As long as we are focused on Christ, sin does not allure us. When we are captivated by the righteousness and glory of Christ, nothing else matters. When we begin to look around us to see what else is there, we are easily drawn away.

We need to see Jesus who is ahead of us and focus our thoughts on Him. We need to mark out a straight path to Him and stick to it. Many of us keep wandering off because we have not marked off our path. We don’t have a plan on how to stay on the path. We begin our journey without any idea how we are going to make it home to be with our Lord. Shame on us.

In order to walk straight, we must steady ourselves. We must be students and disciples of the Word. We must determine to know as much about God and his Word as we can. We must spend as much time in fellowship with the Lord as we can. We must learn the joys of prayer and stay in constant touch with Him. We must be observant and learn how to appreciate the beauty of our walk. We must develop grateful hearts for our ability to walk and all the help the Lord gives us along the way. We must choose to walk on a straight path and not get sidetracked.

The walk of faith is not an easy one because we have a very alluring enemy who dogs our every step. He has the ability to distract us and allure us away from the path. He is very crafty and will not hesitate to use all of his resources to get us to take our eyes off of Christ. We must be aware of his tactics and determine before we encounter him that we will not let him lure away from the Lord.  We will wander, but when we do we must refocus and resume our walk with the Lord.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of your salvation.