Hand Of The Diligent

Reading Plan: Proverbs 10-12

Proverbs 10:3-5 (NASB)
3 The LORD will not allow the righteous to hunger, But He will reject the craving of the wicked.
4 Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich.
5 He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely, But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully.

God takes care of the righteous. Many seem to miss the concept that a righteous life demands hard work. Adam was called to work by tending the garden prior to the fall. The ability to work is both a gift and blessing from God. Work is an essential aspect of the blessed life. We should rejoice when we are able to work in Christ’s name!

 

 


Wisdom’s Roommates

Reading Plan: Proverbs 7-9

Proverbs 8:12 (NASB)
12  “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And I find knowledge and discretion.

I love that wisdom has roommates. Wisdom lives with prudence, knowledge and discretion. We need to obtain all four in order to live fruitful and meaningful lives. We must treasure them in our hearts & minds.

  • Prudence: we act with care, displaying thoughtfulness to what every word, attitude and action can lead to in the future. A prudent person does not say everything they want to say. They acknowledge when is the right time & place for each word and action.
  • Knowledge: we need to be learners. We need to love the idea of learning in a vast array of areas.
  • Discretion: to know when something is appropriate and true. In the Hebrew language this word has a negative connotation which means “to plot.” The positive connotation reflects taking the time to think through what we are doing and what we are saying. This word also refers to discernment. We have the ability to discern every situation, person and action.

We can all dwell with wisdom, prudence, knowledge, & discretion. It will take effort and time.

 

 


Proverbs From David

Reading Plan: Proverbs 4-6

Proverbs 4:1-5 (NASB)
1  Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, And give attention that you may gain understanding,
2  For I give you sound teaching; Do not abandon my instruction.
3  When I was a son to my father, Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother,
4  Then he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; Keep my commandments and live;
5  Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

I find it interesting and worth noting that Solomon attributes much of what he learned from his father, David. The verses portray David taking the time to teach his son, Solomon. David commands his son to hold fast to the commandments and live; to acquire wisdom and understanding!

As you read chapters 4-5, observe the importance of every lesson that can be learned with respect to wisdom. As Father’s day approaches, meditate on the words from your heavenly Father.

 


The Wise Keep Learning

Reading Plan: Proverbs 1-3

Proverbs 1:5 (NASB) A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,

This past weekend, our guest speaker, Pastor Dave Stone, asked us to answer the following question…“Are you a learner or a knower?” Our capacity to learn is infinite. The best servant leaders are learners. In Proverbs 1:5, Solomon claims that eagerness to learn is a mark of a wise person.

The wise man hears; this means he listens. Are you a good listener?

The wise man is always learning. Are you a learner?

The wise man acquires wise counsel. Are you seeking counsel and listening to the right people?

It is my prayer that we would humble ourselves, seek wise counsel, & listen.

 


True Love

Reading Plan: Song of Solomon

Song of Songs 8:6-7 (NASB)
6 “Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; Its flashes are flashes of fire, The very flame of the LORD.
7 “Many waters cannot quench love, Nor will rivers overflow it; If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, It would be utterly despised.”

Song of Solomon depicts the story of an impoverished girl who was forced to work the vineyards with no hope of ever being married. Solomon crosses paths with her and they fall in love. He brings her to his court where she feels very out of place at first. She was mocked by the other women. Those women eventually came to love her and she falls more deeply in love with Solomon. Then they marry!

The true love they share is eloquently expressed throughout Song of Solomon. Verse 6 states that jealousy is as strong as Sheol. Based on the context within this verse, the word “jealousy” is more accurately defined as obtaining zeal or passion. Their true love is stronger than death. It burns hotter than the fires of hell because it is the very flame of the Lord. It cannot be quenched by water and is priceless.

 


God Works Wonders

Reading Plan: 2 Chron. 1; Psalm 72
Psalm 72:18 (NASB)
18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who alone works wonders.

God alone works wonders. His divine power will move on our behalf. He is the God who instructs us to call to Him. Then He will answer and show us great and mighty things we do not know (Jer. 33:3). He has plans for us to prosper (Jer. 29:11). God never sleeps. His mighty hand is at work in our lives so that we may live the blessed life!

 


From The High Place To The Right Place

Reading Plan: 1 Kings 3-4

1 Kings 3:3-5 (NASB)
3 Now Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.
4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place; Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
5 In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.”

Solomon observed the passionate relationship David had with the Lord. Solomon came to have his own genuine love for the Lord and sought to live his life according to what David had taught him. There was one problem, Solomon worshipped at the high places. This was not where God wanted to be worshipped.

Solomon went to Gibeon (one of the high places) to worship the Lord and proclaim his complete devotion to God. A burnt offering signified complete commitment to the Lord and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings. At Gibeon, the Lord appears to Solomon in a dream. Solomon asks God for an understanding heart. God grants him this desire.

In verse 15, upon awakening, Solomon leaves the high place to go to the right place. He goes to Jerusalem and to the Tabernacle. He offers his offerings there. God guided him from the high place to the right place. God discerned Solomon’s love and showed him favor. God also taught him how he could become even more intimate with Him.

God will do the same for us when we ask Him for an understanding heart.

 

 


The Longest Chapter In The Bible

Reading Plan: Psalm 119

Psalm 119:1-6 (MSG)
1 You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by GOD.
2 You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him.
3 That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set.
4 You, GOD, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it.
5 Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set;
6 Then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel.

We are made in the image of God. Part of the essence of God lies in his creative nature. Psalm 119 reveals a creative way to pray. Inspired by God, Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. In the original Hebrew language the psalm is actually expanded.

Psalm 119 is a creative prayer that employs the Hebrew Alphabet. It is a poem divided into 22 stanzas; one stanza for each of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Each of the eight verses begins with that Hebrew letter. The name of God (Yahweh/Jehovah) appears twenty-four times.

The psalmist is inspired to write this psalm by an awareness that true happiness can only be found by living according to the Word of God. The Word is a light that is meant to guide us. The Word is powerful in it’s ability to bring happiness and joy regardless of our enemies or circumstances. The Psalmist loves and treasures the Word of God.

I pray that we too would love God’s word & live by it!

 


Commit & HE Will Do It!

Reading Plan: 1 Kings 1-2; Psalms 37, 71, & 91

Psalm 37:3-8 (NASB)
3 Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday.
7 Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.
8 Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.

I love this Psalm! It brings joy to my heart and guides my life. As you read the verses above, take a look at what we are called to do and what God will do. He is faithful and will fulfill His promises. The key to receiving God’s blessings is that we do our part. Commit your way to the Lord and He will do it!


Why We Love The Lord

Reading Plan: Psalms 111-118

Psalm 116:1-5 (NASB)
1  I love the LORD, because He hears My voice and my supplications.
2  Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.
3  The cords of death encompassed me And the terrors of Sheol came upon me; I found distress and sorrow.
4  Then I called upon the name of the LORD: “O LORD, I beseech You, save my life!”
5  Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate.

There are an infinite amount of reasons behind our love & devotion to God. We love the Lord because He hears our cries and seeks to meet our deepest needs. He cares and He takes care of us. The Psalmist had experienced God’s loving nature and was committed to trusting in the Lord as long as he lived.

This was not a naive statement of faith for the Psalmist. He was exposed to danger and even had a near death experience. He understood the pains of distress and the depths of sorrow. However, he could not negate the loving kindness and provision of God.

I hope that you can list countless reasons why you love the Lord. Regardless of how we may feel, the Lord’s love for us will never run dry!

 


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