Monday, May 20 - Proverbs Devotion 91

Verse of the week,

Proverbs 24:16 “Though a righteous person falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin.”

Read for today: Proverbs 24:1-4 Who is the Builder of your house? Are you relying on your own wisdom, understanding, and knowledge to build it or are you relying on the wisdom of God? Is its foundation something solid, or shifting and sinking sand? Who is your architect, designer, and craftsman?
“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4 NIV

We get to choose who builds our house and the materials of its foundation and structure. Our choices for builder are ourselves or God, the Master Craftsman. Our choices for materials are things of this world or things of His Kingdom. Jesus makes His desire clear: to prepare your house for you and fill it with all wonderful things.

God is the source of all wisdom (“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” – Romans 11:33), and wisdom comes through knowing God. Notice I didn’t say knowledge about God. Knowing God comes through time spent in connection and communication with Him, just like you come to know a new friend or build an intimate relationship.

Reverence for the Lord is the natural outflow of knowing God and another source of wisdom. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” Proverbs 9:10.

When “fear of the Lord” is referenced in Scripture, it doesn’t refer to being afraid of God the intended meaning is reverence for God, recognizing God’s holiness, and responding with appropriate humility and awe in His presence. As Proverbs 22:4 states, “Humility is the fear of the Lord its wages are riches and honor and life.” Similarly, Hebrews 12:28 says, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” God offers to build our house with beautiful materials – love, holiness, reverence, humility, honor, wisdom – the stuff of His Kingdom, making us a lovely dwelling place for His Spirit.

But we have a choice. We can choose instead to build our house with the stuff of the world. Paul draws a sharp contrast between the so-called wisdom of the world and God’s wisdom, saying, “God made foolish the wisdom of the world” I Corinthians 1:20, and, “Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become ‘fools’ so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight” I Corinthians 3:18-19. For Paul, the only true wisdom is belonging wholly and completely to Christ
(I Corinthians 3:23).

Tuesday, May 21 - Proverbs Devotion 92

Verse of the week, “Proverbs 24:16 “Though a righteous person falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin.”

Read for today: Proverbs 24:5-9

Verse 5 says, “A wise warrior is better than a strong one, and a man of knowledge than one of strength.”

Do you believe this is true? Let’s ask David. You remember him, right? He was the youngest son of Jesse, out tending sheep while his older brothers were at war. But, when he went to visit his brothers, he found them and the rest of the Israelite army cowering in front of the giant, Goliath. David stepped up to that giant and said, “David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with a sword, spear, and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of Armies, the God of the ranks of Israel—you have defied him.” Remember who won the battle that day?

And it turns out, this same David became Solomon’s father. So when Solomon says, “A wise warrior is better than a strong one,” he’s not just giving you a fortune cookie saying. He might be talking about his dad! He no doubt heard firsthand accounts of how wisdom won the battle that day, not only for his father, but also for God’s people.

So, when we think about the gifts or abilities we don’t have, perhaps we should think about one we can pursue and one the Lord has promised to give if we ask. (James 1:5) Let’s pursue wisdom, because it can win far more battles than any of our other abilities ever could.

Wednesday, May 22 - Proverbs Devotion 93

Verse of the week, “Proverbs 24:16 “Though a righteous person falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin.”

Read for today: Proverbs 24:10-16 Psalm 119:103

Verses 13-14 say, “Eat honey, my son, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to your palate realize that wisdom is the same for you. If you find it, you will have a future, and your hope will never fade.”

Natural. unprocessed honey has a lot of natural benefits for you. It is sweet, and is basically liquid sugar, so it should be used moderately, but it has some health benefits other sugars can only dream of.

Honey contains both flavonoids and polyphenols, compounds that are found in natural, plant-based foods. These compounds have anti-inflammatory properties, and they act as powerful antioxidants in the body.

Both flavonoids and polyphenols have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, which means they can help tame inflammation in the body.

Inflammation is part of your body’s natural healing process, helping you recover from injuries and fight off foreign invaders like germs and viruses. But sometimes, inflammation goes on for too long, resulting in chronic inflammation that does more harm than good.

“Honey is a natural home remedy that can help ease irritation and decrease inflammation from a sore throat,” Czerwony confirms. “The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics both endorse honey as a natural cough remedy.”

One particular kind of honey, manuka honey, can be used topically (meaning that it’s applied to the skin) to treat cuts and sores. Pharmaceutical-grade manuka honey dressings have been used in clinical settings to treat burns and pressure ulcers.

Similar to helping treat wounds, raw honey (and raw manuka honey, in particular) has been shown to help get rid of pimples. That’s because it’s super-hydrating, along with those anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

“There’s an enzyme in honey called catalase, which helps relieve minor inflammation,” Czerwony shares. You can dab a tiny amount onto acne papules and blind pimples (the kind of painful zit that forms beneath the skin) to help fight bacteria and reduce swelling. (April 30, 2024/Nutrition 5 Health Benefits of Honey). Enough of my promoting the honey industry, but now I have to consider getting some bees again.

In our passage for today, Solomon says, “Honey is good. Eat it.” but then he goes on to say, “You think honey is good though, you should try wisdom. If you find wisdom, you will have a future, and your hope will never fade.”

What is wisdom and where does one get it?

“Simply put, wisdom is (according to the Bible) the ability to make godly choices. There are a lot of other ‘wisdoms’ out there. But the unique thing about biblical wisdom is:
• it comes only from God
• it comes only through a faith relationship with Jesus Christ – trusting in Him and placing your life fully under His authority
• its goal is to glorify God” ( Isaac Walsh / December 31, 2018, Dulin’s Grove Advent Christian Church)

Where does one get this wisdom? It doesn’t magically fall out of the sky. It must be pursued. The Bible says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” Proverbs 10:9. So wisdom begins with a God-honoring relationship with our Heavenly Father. It is further gained with careful study of the Bible, and through time spent with God, allowing Him to speak to you. And finally, it is gained through prayer, asking the Lord for it. James 1:5

Honey, evidently, is good stuff, but Solomon says, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Live wisely.

Thursday, May 23 - Proverbs Devotion 94

Verse of the week, “Proverbs 24:16 “Though a righteous person falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin.”

Read for today: Proverbs 24:17-29
Many of us remember the tv show that ran from 1984-1995, the Life Styles of the Rich and Famous. Lifestyles was one of the first shows to feature the lives of the wealthy, largely intended to be an insight into the opulent residences and the glamorous lifestyles of those it profiled. However, many of the geographic areas it covered were also ideal destinations for vacations, and in his on-camera appearances, Leach indirectly made references to resorts and tourist attractions. Greenspan, as narrator, made more direct references to such resorts and such tourist attractions.

Between that and social media, where people often post only the best parts of their lives, ie vacations, new vehicles, children graduating, etc.

With all of this going on, it is very easy to begin envying what others have, and what others accomplish. How many are envious of what their sports hero, favorite stars or singers have. But, no one knows what’s going on elsewhere in their lives. No one knows the pain, the disappointments, infidelity, and such. All one sees is what they choose to show.

Verses 19 & 20 of today’s passage says, “Don’t be agitated by evildoers, and don’t envy the wicked. For the evil have no future the lamp of the wicked will be put out.”

If there is anyone to look up to, to emulate, it is the people who have ministered to others, who have made the most of their opportunities, and who have stored goods in heaven for the future.

Know who you are, a child of God how God has created you, in His image with specific gifts and abilities and what you are called to be, ambassadors of Jesus Christ and Who you are serving for, an audience of One and it will go a long way toward addressing the envy issue.

Live with wisdom.

Friday, May 24 - Proverbs Devotion 95

Verse of the week, “Proverbs 24:16 “Though a righteous person falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin.”

Read for today: Proverbs 24:30-34 Ephesians 5:14-17
It is amazing, the difference between yards of homes, often in the same neighborhoods. Some will be well-maintained, while others may be left to weeds, with trash in the yard. My brother-in-law, Paul, keeps a very nice yard. His grass looks nice. He has flowers. Limbs are picked up. There is no trash.

Across the street from him is a house with very little grass. Men often hang out there, and throw their trash all over their yard. They don’t pick it up. They don’t care. Paul has even gone across the street and picked up the trash in their yard to keep it from blowing over on his. Down the street, there is a yard with waist to chest-high junk throughout the yard. A house and yard often reflects the attitude of those living there.

There are situations, like the need to put in long hours at work, or sickness, which keep one from keeping their places up. That is not what Solomon is addressing here. Solomon is addressing laziness, a lack of initiative.

We all have things we don’t like to do. There are some chores that are worse than others, but they all need to get done. It can drain the sap out of you if you allow uncompleted projects, unfinished jobs, to pile up around you.

Solomon says, “Laziness will lead to poverty. It will lead to a life of want.”

What is true of the physical life, is also true of the spiritual life. If you neglect your spiritual life, if you neglect your spiritual growth, you too will find weeds growing in your garden. You too will find opportunities for sharing Christ are gone. That is why Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:14-17, “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

Don’t waste your opportunities. Make the most of the time and the opportunities the Lord gives you.

Live wisely.