Friday, December 31, 2010

Fri.'s Devo - Last dream of the Year

Read Matt. 12
I had a dream last night that I was watching a woman in a farm house that was old and rundown. There was a big lamb in the house that was usually tame but it went mad. The woman had on an apron and tried to shoo it away with the apron. It grabbed the apron in its mouth. I knew she needed to get the lamb out of the house so I helped her open the door and drop the lamb down the 3 wooden steps when it landed it let go of the apron and we were free. Now the lamb was loose in the pasture and I knew that we would have to round it up before it got on someone else's land.
Later I dreamed I was in an old farm house sweeping the wood floors and the TV was on. Obama was rebuking the nation for letting this man reek havoc when no one knew he was in the country. I heard a thump and looked over in the closet and this old dirty-looking cowboy was making his way through the insulation and all the junk in the closet where he had been hiding out. I knew he was the man they were talking about on TV.
I think that these 2 dreams are connected. I think the lamb in the first dream became the man in the second dream. Yesterday I blogged about if you cast out a demon and sweep your house but don't fill it with the things of God then he will bring in seven other spirits more wicked than himself and the state of the man is worse than at first. In my dream I started out with a sheep that was tame. He turned into a very angry sheep who turned into a man who was wanted all over the nation. There is a big difference between a tame sheep and an outlaw. So since this is the last day of the year, maybe we need to take inventory of our lives and see what "tame" sins or habits we have in our lives and cast them out. In their place we need to fill that area with scripture and words of faith. We have to watch our imaginations and our fears because we don't want our lives taken over by the enemy.
Lord, show us the things we need to clean out of our closets and show us what to replace them with.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thurs.'s Devo - Wake Up!

Read Pro. 20:13
There is no such thing as coasting in our spiritual life. We are either gaining ground or losing it. Today's scripture tells us not to love sleep or we will end up in poverty. The word poverty in the Hebrew means to drive out the previous tenants and possess their place. So if we fall asleep spiritually we will be possessed by evil spirits. Jesus talked about this in Matt. 12. It was the sabbath, a time when they were to be resting but Jesus was healing people and casting out devils. The Pharisees had a problem with him healing and casting out devils on the Sabbath. Jesus set them straight by reminding them of when David was hungry he ate the shewbread which was only allowed for the priests and he lived. Then he told them how the priests profaned the sabbath by working in the temple and were blameless. He went on to explain that when an unclean spirit is gone out of a man he leaves for a time but comes back to see if their is any room for him. If that man has not replaced that evil with the righteousness of God then it will come back with 7 other spirits more wicked than himself and they will enter and live there. So we have to be constantly bringing in the kingdom of God in our lives by reading his word and filling our spirit with thoughts of faith and victory. Then we will possess our land and gain more territory.
Lord, open our eyes to doors we have opened to the devil so that we can close them and occupy our rooms with treasures of heaven.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wed.'s Devo - The Hearing Ear and the Seeing Eye

Read Pro. 20:12
We have two kinds of eyes: natural eyes and spiritual eyes. Ezekiel rebuked the people because they had eyes but couldn't see. Only their natural eyes were working. (Eze. 12:2) In 2 Ki 6 Israel was warring with Syria. Ezekiel told the king of Israel all of Syria's ambush points which made the king of Syria so mad he sent his army to capture Ezekiel. They surrounded the city where Ezekiel was living. Ezekiel's servant awoke to see the chariots of the Syrians surrounding the city and he excitedly told Ezekiel. Ezekiel told him not to worry then prayed that God would open his servant's eyes to see. When God did, the servant saw the mountains full of God's horses and chariots of fire surrounding the armies of Syria. When the Syrian army came down to talk to Ezekiel, he prayed that they would be smote with blindness. Ezekiel told them that this was not the city and he was not who they were seeking but he would lead them to the right city and the man. They blindly followed him and he led them right to the middle of Samaria. Then Ezekiel prayed that God would open their eyes. They saw that were captives of Israel. The King of Israel came out and asked Ezekiel what he should do with them. Ezekiel told him to prepare a feast for them then send them back home which he did. These soldiers refused to come back.
It is God that can open our spiritual eyes and ears that we can see into the unseen world and be useful for God.
Lord, open our eyes to see and our ears to hear. Cause us to hear your voice and obey and see what you want us to see and respond correctly.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tues.'s Devo - Divers Weights

Read Pro. 20:10,11
In the Bible times the merchants measured with rocks they kept in their pockets. The unjust merchants carried two different rocks with the same measure written on them. One was lighter than the other. They would use the heavier rock to measure the sellers merchandise and the lighter rock to measure theirs thus cheating the seller. It was a common practice which God was always chastising them about. We also have these rocks in our judgment. We use them to measure a person's worth. We use the lighter rock on the people who meet our standards and the heavier one on the people we don't understand. Jesus spoke to the people about treating the rich and important different from the poor and meek. He sees everyone the same because to one he gave the ability to gain such wealth and to the other he didn't. It is hard for us to understand but I was reading today in Leviticus where God told them to treat the stranger that chose to live among them like they would treat a fellow Israelite. They were to have no respect of persons and neither are we. The next verse says that even children are judged by the way they act. Bottom line: God is the one that judges children and adults for their actions, not us. Our commandment is to love one another.
Lord, give us your eyes to see how you look at people and may we only judge ourselves and not others.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mon.'s Devo - The Judgment

Read Pr. 20:8,9
What a picture of what God will do in the end when he judges the earth. Ecc. 12:14 says that God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Daniel 7 gives us a vivid picture of the judgment. If an earthly king can scatter evil with his eyes then what can the King of Kings do whose garment is white and snow, his hair like pure wool, his throne like the fiery flame and his wheels as burning fire do? He has a fiery stream issuing from his presence and more than 10,000 ministering before him. He has the books before him that do not lie. In them lies the fate of all that have every lived. We will be asking verse 9: "Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?" when we see God is holy righteousness. Our righteousness is not going to stand. But we have a redeemer who will step in and plead our case. His blood is our only hope and his blood is enough!
Lord, thank you for the blood of Jesus that covers and takes away our sin.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Fri.;s Devo - Christmas Greetings

Tomorrow is Christmas! Merry Christmas!!! I am in Shreveport spending it with my family. This is a special Christmas because both my daughter-in-laws are pregnant with my first grand children. I already know that one is a girl and we have not had girls in our family. I have two brothers and 3 sons so that is going to be a change - a good one. Caleb and Katy are in the process of moving to Texas which means we are getting more and more spread apart (that would be called "enlarging our territory" Jabez style). So Christmas is a wonderful time to all come together. The great thing about getting older is that you have more time to center around what is important. Every Christmas becomes a little easier and more peaceful. However, next Christmas with 2 babies might be a little more complicated and noisy... in a great way. Children do bring life and wonder to life so I am so looking forward to seeing Christmas through their eyes. I pray that each of you have a very blessed Christmas and the ability to open your eyes to the blessing all around you instead of the lack of or abundance of presents under the tree. God's blessing supersede all earthly gifts. God bless you everyone!!! Remember: Unto YOU a child is born!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thurs.'s Devo - Passing the Torch

Read Pro. 20:7
I am reading the new series by Francine Rivers. It is the story of her own heritage. It is a lesson on inherited traits and spirits. Whatever spirit the mother had she passed down to her daughter and it just kept being passed down getting worse and worse and reaping bad fruit because no one knew how to break the cycle. Todays scripture gives us the reverse. If we walk in integrity then we will pass that down to our children and they will be blessed. What a blessing it is to hear people honor your parents or your grandparents. Reputations are very important and more precious than monetary inheritances.
So how do you break the cycle of your ancestors? You speak to that curse or spirit and you bring it under the blood of Jesus then you replace it with what you want to see happen. You do this out loud. The devil cannot read your mind but he has to bow to words. Jesus defeated him in the wilderness with the words of his mouth. Jesus used scripture to do this. There is a scripture for everything you could ever need one for. So find the one you need and use it against him. You can cancel his assignments and replace them with God's will. Then your children will be blessed and not cursed.
Lord, help us to see the curses that have been passed down to us and cover them with your blood and replace them with righteousness.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wed.'s Devo - Walking With the Wise

Read Pro. 20:5,6
Have you ever been around someone who you knew held great wisdom and understanding? We had a man and his wife to dinner one night and although they thought they were coming for fellowship, we wanted to pick this man's brain about his understanding of God. So the whole night we asked question after question and listened as this man unfolded his wisdom. He probably left exhausted, and thinking back, I guess it was a selfish thing to do but if I had Jesus eating at my table, I'm afraid I would have to pound him with questions too. Sometimes that is what it takes to get wisdom from the wise. The Bible is the book of wisdom but many of the great truths are hidden in plain sight. You have to draw them out. The disciples had to do that with Jesus. He told parables to the people but they asked him in secret to explain them. It is the simple that want to spill everything they know, but the wise hold it in and contemplate it till they know it is right, then they feel free to share it in the right time. Which takes us to the next verse that talks about the person who brags about all the good things he does to be esteemed of men but it is the man who is consistently faithful with out the need to tell everyone. The faithful man just does good things naturally without thought of how it looks to others.
Lord, help us to dig deep into your Word for hidden truths and surround us with mentors laden with understanding. Help us to be faithful in our walk in public and in secret.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tues.'s Devo - Get Off the Couch!

Read Pro. 20:4
Lazy people will always find a reason not to do what they are suppose to do. They won't carry their weight and will expect others to help them when they don't want to help themselves. The problem is they can't even see that they are the problem. They have been taught this concept from childhood. One of the worse thing that happened to this nation was welfare. It was initiated by Pres. Roosevelt to help us get out of the Great Depression. It was only suppose to be in place for a few years to help people get back on their feet. But people became dependent on it and it would have been too much of a political disaster to take it away. So now, we have people that can't make over minimum wage or they will lose their welfare. Something is wrong. The answer lies in the Bible. The Bible says that if you want to eat you need to work. Even people with disabilities have talents they can be helped to use. Instead of paying people to manage welfare handouts, we need people managing jobs for people. I know there are programs out there for this and I am glad. We need more. Bottom line: if we can get the Bible principles in the hearts of people they won't be impoverished and needy; they will be part of a heavenly family that needs their gift and a place to be used.
Lord, thank you for your provision and the joy of working. May we do everything to your glory.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mon.'s Devo - Stand Up for Jesus

Read Pr. 20:3
It is honorable to choose not to stand up for yourself. I'm not saying we should never fight but there are times to fight and times to retreat. Everything in us wants to get what is ours and not be violated but there are times to walk away. I know a little about this because I just walked away from making thousands of dollars because it was what I was suppose to do. God has angels that are assigned to each one of us to write down everything we do, every offense against us and our reaction. God repays us more than man can ever repay us. I am already seeing how God is going to restore what I have lost without the stress of the other job. It is better to trust in God and let him guide your path than your own understanding. The second part says that you are a fool to be obstinate. God is not interested in our "rights" because rightfully we should be condemned to hell but graciously he has offered us eternal life. If we have died to ourselves then no one can hurt us. Jesus was despised and hated by men; he spent most of his life being misunderstood but instead of defending himself he retreated to a quiet place and spent time with God. The only people he stood up to were the religious leaders because they were leading the people astray. He spoke truth and let the chips fall; he was not a people-pleaser.
Lord, help us to learn by your example. Help us to love our enemy and be at peace with all men. We stand up for You.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fri.'s Devo - Under Authority

Read Pro. 20:2
Everyone lives under authority. If you have no boss there is always your parents or your spouse or God and according to this verse you don't want to get on the wrong side of them. To offend your superior on purpose is to sin against your own soul. God places people in authority that are not always the nicest most deserving people but God has a reason for letting them be on top. Many times it is to test us in some way. Jesus learned obedience through the things he suffered. He was born under a strict ungodly Roman rule where justice was unjust and the wrong people were in office. But he submitted to their law and even paid taxes. He honored the authority of the land even though he had every right to disobey...after all he was the son of God, the creator of this world. He totally laid his position down and humbled himself to the rules of the government. The only people he defied were the religious leaders. We tend to get this entitlement attitude which if anyone was entitled it would be Jesus. Maybe we need to learn to be more humble and teachable.
Lord, I know I need to learn this lesson so open my eyes to opportunities where I can choose to lay down my rights for the sake of the kingdom.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thurs.'s Devo - Wine

Read Pro. 20:1
I grew up in a non-alcohol family and married a man who grew up the same so we don't drink at all. I know the men in the Bible, even Jesus, drank wine on occasions and that the Bible says that to get drunk is a sin but here it goes a little deeper. It tells the symptoms of certain drink. Wine makes you cynical and intoxicants make you loud and out of control if abused. We have all seen this play out and I choose to not have it in my life. If you do drink you need to consider the side affects. The Bible says that if you are mourning that wine will soothe your pain. Jesus turned water to wine because it was a joyous celebration where people should forget for one day all the problems and stresses of the day and rejoice. But beware, it dulls your senses and exposes your heart. If you are open enough to bear it then go ahead and drink. The last part of the verse says that alcohol can deceive you and if you let it you are not wise. It will distort your senses and ability to react which is why you shouldn't drink and drive. It can also cause you to become dependent upon alcohol if you have an addictive problem. But the wine of the Lord is life and joy and addictive in a good way.
May we be filled with the wine of the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wed.'s Devo - Discipline and Instruction

Read Pro. 19:25-29
I dont' know about you but I hate to be disciplined; I just want to do it right the first time. Verse 25 says that if you discipline the teacher then the students will understand. That is so true. When our pastor tells us of his failures and the way God disciplines him, it helps me to learn. If you are teachable then you can learn by watching, not by having to go through it yourself. I seem to have to go through it myself to really get it. On the other hand, there are people who have advise that isn't worth hearing and will only hurt you. The world is full of wisdom that is foolishness to God. If the tree is bad then the fruit will be bad. A bad tree cannot produce good fruit. So if you are being influenced by a person who is not a professing Christian you need to find another mentor. I don't care how famous or how much "good" they have done in society. You don't walk with them in their secret lives and you don't know their innermost thoughts. The ungodly have nothing but judgment to look forward to. We have been given the Word of God to give us all the right advise and wisdom we need. It is better than any wisdom the most wise of the world can give because it is written by the creator of the world.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tues.'s Devo - Use Your Gifts

Read Pro. 19:24
If there is one thing I don't want to be it is slothful. A person that is slothful is lazy and takes the gifts that God has given him and hides them. He doesn't use them for anyone and few even know he has these gifts. Our gifts are given to us to share them with the body and the world. What if Jesus had hidden his gift of healing? He used his gift of healing to bring the people to him so that they could hear his message of the kingdom. Our gifts get us into places we could have never gotten in on our own and it we can use it to share the Lord. I have seen this happen countless times in my business. Yesterday I was able to help a friend decorate her daughter-in-law's house for a Christmas present. I received no monetary reward, in fact, it cost me but I needed to do that. In my own life I was behind this month financially in my business so it was a perfect time to plant seed. Doing for others takes the self-pity away and replaces it with gratefulness. Isn't that what Christmas is all about....doing for others. So let's not be slothful with our gifts but let's give them out freely and let them open doors of ministry.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mon.'s Devo - Kindness

Read Pro. 19:22-23
I don't know if I understand this verse correctly but what I get from reading it is this. What we really desire in our inmost being is to bless God and give him back something. We all want to please our heavenly father so we do it by being kind. God desires us to be truthful and honest with our feelings. We can't hide anything from him anyway so we might as well be honest. He loves that because it means humility. We all have wrong motives and selfish ambitions but I think if we will be honest and tell God this he will take our sin and selfishness and change it when we confess it. It is always better to be poor before God than try to lie and trick him. He won't be tricked or manipulated so we might as well be honest with him. That is the mark of a relationship. The next verse says that fearing God gives you life and satisfaction and you will not be visited with evil. I don't know about you but I don't want evil visiting me. I would rather have a visitation from God or his angels.
Lord, help us to be honest and kind to you and our fellow men.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fri's. Devo - God's Counsel

Read Pro. 19:20-21
We can come up with the best ideas and the best counsel but if it is not God's ideas or God's counsel then it is not the best. God created us and has planned out the future for us in very detailed form. All our "great ideas" cannot compare to his infinite wisdom and plan. He says that our eyes have not seen nor our ears heard nor has it even entered into our hearts all that he has planned for us. His imagination goes much further than ours. And what is better is that he has arranged how to pay for it and who is to help us and what the end result will be. Jesus was born into a world full of injustices and political unrest but he came preaching the kingdom of God which is not of this world. There is a way we can live in the kingdom of God and still live in this world. There is a way we can prosper when the world is falling apart economically. There is a way we can raise Godly children when the masses are bent toward sin. There is a way we can have a great marriage when the divorce rate is appalling. There is a way.... it is called the Kingdom of God.
We are to seek him first and all these things will be added unto us. In the end it is God's counsel that will stand anyway so why not take it now and have joy and peace and prosperity. Lord, help us to live in your kingdom.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thur.'s Devo - There is Still Hope

Read Pro. 19:18-19
I love to watch mothers with their children out shopping. I remember those days when my patience was about gone and no amount of coaxing seemed to work. I was in Target the other day when a mother spanked her daughter's bottom and she said in a very exasperated voice, "I told you that would happen if you didn't sit down." She appeared hard-hearted and mean but I knew as a mom she wasn't. She was trying to teach her daughter to obey. Today's scripture says that we are to instruct and punish our children while there is still hope and not to be manipulated by their crying. There is a better way to discipline and that is not out of anger. Easy in theory but not so easy when your child has just broken your favorite dish. We have a few years with our children and we need to make them count because the way we discipline them and love them will affect their future. I deal with people all the time that have such deep hurts from their parents that they are stunted in their maturity and can not grow past that hurt. In Jesus there is always healing and growth, it just takes digging up that bitter root and replacing it with the root of love and forgiveness. If we don't then we become the man in the next verse that says a person who is full of anger will always be punishing himself for it and even when he is helped the help is futile. Only through the Holy Spirit's healing can a person be set free of the spirit of anger.
Lord, help us to be able to receive discipline and know how to give discipline in love.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wed.'s Devo - Giving to the Lord

Read Pro. 19:17
This is a great time of the year to give to the less fortunate. In the midst of seeing the word "Christmas" under such attack and manger scenes being illegal it is great to see the heart of God's people as they give and sacrifice for others. The scripture today says that when we have pity and give to the poor it is like lending to the Lord because he is going to pay back. His payments come with dividends; you can never out-give God. He loves to bless us so when we give him the opportunity he goes over-board blessing us back. We got a picture of this this week-end when we went to one of our favorite restaurants to eat. Dave's steak was real tough, which was not the norm for this place. When the server gave him the ticket Dave told him about his steak. Our server got really upset and told us we should have said something then wanted to do something for us like give us a free cheesecake. We told him we didn't want anything, just to let him know. He felt terrible and we kept assuring him that we weren't upset and would come back it just was one of those things that happened.... not big deal. When we got our ticket he had knocked off $5. I said, "Good, let's give it back to him." We did in the tip and we watched as we left the retaurant his reaction. He was shocked. We left feeling so good and I know that is how God feels when he bless us. We never deserve any blessing from God but he loves to reward our meekest efforts.
Thank you Lord for the opportunity and the heart to give.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tues.'s Devo - A Prudent Wife

Read Pro. 19:14-16
Material things can be passed down from generation to generation but only the Lord can make a person wise. It actually says a "prudent wife" but since we all hope to be the bride of Christ then we are all wives. How do we become a prudent wife? If all the rituals our forefathers went through were a dress rehearsal for the real thing then our lives must be the dress rehersal for heaven. So we live on earth as we think we should live in heaven. Jesus prayed that God's kingdom and his will would come on earth as it is in heaven. We are to bring heaven to earth. In heaven there is no lack, no sickness, no depression, no fear. We are to have that here. We are to be wise virgins who keep our lamps full of oil. The oil represents the Holy Spirit. We are the lamp that needs the oil of the Holy Spirit to keep our light burning. The foolish virgins let their oil burn out. They lost hope of the bridegroom ever coming and got slothful. We can do that if we don't stay in the Word and our thoughts toward God. Not reading our Bible will cause us to be spiritually asleep; drugged. We will be starving spiritually and not even know it because we have allowed our senses to be dulled. But is you read and obey the Word then you will live an abundantly satisfying life that glorifies God.
Lord, we choose to stay awake and dwell in Your Word and your presence. May we be prudent wives for you.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mon.'s Devo - Dew on the Grass

Read Pro. 19:12-13
We have a hard time understanding the wrath of God when we see him as a loving father but he is both. This verse shows the contrast. When the king is mad he roars like a lion scaring everyone but when you are in his favor it is like a safe covering. That is how it is with God. When we reject him he rejects us and when we run to him for salvation and deliverence he covers us and nourishes us. In the end we will see that contrast in bold letters. He will throw the evil into the lake of fire and bring into his glory those who chose to walk with him on earth.
The next verse talks about a son and a wife. I can see two different interpretations about the son. It could mean that the son is foolish because the father is foolish or it could mean that if the son is foolish then the father is ruined in his spirit. Either one are true. If the father is representing God then he is so pained when we are a foolish son. A wife that is full of anger and strife is like the drip, drip, drip of water; it will drive you mad. Anger is a strong spirit that usually comes from the root of bitterness. Bitterness is from the heart of unforgiveness. It is hard not to go through life without some form of bitterness but it is like kidney stones: so small yet so painful. It takes constantly forgiving and cleansing yourself through the water of the Word.
Lord, may we walk in your favor and salvation and forgiveness.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fri.'s Devo - Our Light Afflictions

Read Pro. 19:11
We have all been the victim at some time. I am in the middle of a situation where I have been victimized. I went through anger and resentment, but have prayed through the whole thing asking God to give me the power to handle this in the right way and not be affected by it emotionally. It was a struggle but I finally let it go. Yesterday I got a call from another person who tried to stir it all back up again giving me the latest about what this person is up to. Many times when God is moving in your life the devil will send an ambush to side-track you and get you off the path. I saw the trap and decided not to take the bate. So I am not going to get upset or worked up about what this person is trying to do against me because I know that the Word says that "No weapon forged against me shall prosper". I am not going back but forward and feel unaffected by her. That is freedom! Today's scripture says that it is honorable and beautiful to God when we can look past a transgression and not get mad. It may not be the easiest thing to do but by far the best.
Lord, give us your grace to face transgressions like you did. You chose to forgive those who nailed you to the cross because you could see past the act and pity the person. Help us to do that too.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thurs.'s Devo - Living a Life for God

Read Pro. 19:1-10
Proverbs speaks often of the "poor" in a bad sense. I don't think Christians realize that the blessing of God is to have wealth in every area of their lives. If you have wealth in your spirit then you will be able to handle wealth in your physical life. Wealth is a blessing from God. God loves to see his children without lack and with more than enough. These verses talk about the negatives of living a life of self-centeredness so lets look at the positives of living a life for God. First, you will walk with integrity which can be translated "complete, prosperous, perfect, and innocent". You have the wisdom of God not the foolishness of man. Your heart embraces God and his ways. Your witness is true and you speak the truth. You have many gifts to share with the world which endears people to you. You are generous to the poor and you have many friends. You are thirsty for God's wisdom and his understanding. You rise to the top in everything you do because you walk in the favor of God.
Lord, thank you for your blessings. Teach us to walk in them.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wed.'s Devo - Eating Fruit

Read Pro. 18:20-24
The words we speak are like nourishment and food. We eat what we say. If we speak blessings and encouragement then our bodies will reflect that. If we speak curses and complaints then our lives will reflect that also. We can have life, blessings, health, and all manner of good things if we will train our mouths to speak hope and life. We can have misery, curses and sickness if we only speak of despair and hopelessness. Just think of the power you can have as a wife to bring life into your family. If you can learn the power of your words then you will be a very good help meet. You will walk in the favor of God and blessing will fall on your family.
Verse 23 changes the subject to contrast the rich and the poor. The rich have no patience for people who serve them where the poor learn to pray and receive their needs met by God. People that have learned to totally trust in God for their next meal are most fortunate as opposed to those that have never had to worry where the next meal will come from. Experience is worth all the book learning in the world. But even greater than experience is a friendship with Jesus. All we have to do is allow him into our lives and embrace his teaching and we will have a friend for eternity.
Lord, put a watch over our mouths that we would speak what is true and honest. May we always depend on you for everything we need. You are the best friend for all eternity. Wed.'s

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tues.'s Devo - Are you offended?

Read Pro. 18:19
They say it takes 10 kind acts to make up for one offense. I have found that some people come with iron bars around their heart and they would rather keep everyone out. Everything offends them because they have so much hurt in their lives that they haven't dealt with. We all get offended sometime in our lives; many times in our lives. There is only one healthy thing to do with an offense: forgive. Forgiveness can save you from a lifetime of bitterness and pain. Not forgiving is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die; it only hurts you. If you allow offenses in your life then they will chase you down. The devil knows just where our weaknesses are and if he sees an open door he comes barging in with more of the same. Have you ever known a person that everything bad seems to happen to them. It is because they have opened a door to disaster, self-pity, or whatever and the devil has brought more. The devil is merciless. He only has one motive: to kill, steal, and destroy. Jesus came that we might have life and that abundantly.
Lord, we forgive those that have offended us. You said that you could forgive your enemies because they didn't know what they were doing so we do the same. Thank you for grace to do this.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mon.'s Devo - Hearing the Voice of God

Read Pro. 18: 17-18
When two people disagree on a decision and need help then they need to go to a qualified uninvolved party and get them to listen to the story. They can give you an unbiased answer. Of course, the first place you should go is the Word. There is usually some scenario you can find that can relate but if not then God provided some other ways to find out what he would will. The priest carried two rocks in their breast plate that had yes on one and not on the other. When the priest wanted to have an answer from God he would reach in his pocket and pick a rock. What ever it said was God's answer. This was called the umin and the thumin. In other cases they chose lots which was a lot like drawing sticks in our day. This way there would be no way to cheat and God would determine the outcome. They reserved these means for serious decisions like whether to go to war or not. Maybe we should adopt drawing lots when we have a serious decision to make. The lot is not partial. There are so many different ways to get an answer from God. One of the best ways is to train your spiritual ear to hear his voice then ask for a confirmation in his word. God loves to speak to us and commune with us we just have to learn how to be receivers.
Lord, train us to hear your voice and discern your ways.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fri.'s Devo - Our Gifts

Read Pro. 18:15
I just realized that I did the wrong scripture yesterday. I'm sorry; I was supponse to do verse 14 instead of 4. I wondered why it seemed so familiar. I guess I needed to contemplate that one further. Anyway, we are back on track.
If you have a heart to learn then God will teach you. He will speak wisdom to you and you will grow in your understanding. It prepares you for the next verse that has to do with your gift. It says that your gift will make room for you. That means that God has given you gifts that he wants used for his purposes and he will bring them to you. If you are frustrated because you are not able to use your gifts then position yourself in God. He will position you in the place where he wants you to use them. We often think that it is up to us to get in the right place but that is the job of the Holy Spirit. Our job is to draw near to God and give him our life. He knows how to use a life for his glory. He will exalt you if you humble yourself and the more you allow God to have your gifts the more he will increase your capacity to flow in your gift and he will give you more.
Lord, we choose to draw near to you and seek you above our goals and desires. Take your gifts that you have given us and use them for your glory.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thur.'s Devo - Thanksgiving

Read Ps. 22
Today is Thanksgiving and I was thinking about all the things I was thankful of and what to write about. God led me to Psalms 22.
I had read today in Genesis today about the story of Jacob and his wives. Rachel got mad at Jacob because she couldn't conceive a child so she told Jacob to have a child through her handmaiden, Bilhah. She said that Bilhah will have her baby lying against her so that it will be like she is having the baby.
When I looked at Ps. 22:9-10 it talked about how God drew us out of the womb and gave us hope. He was like Rachel waiting to catch us and become our father just like Rachel was waiting to catch Bilhah's baby and make it her own. This chapter goes on to tell of the suffering that Jesus will do for us and ends up with the glorious ending where all the kingdoms will turn to God and worship the Lord. They will remember all the things the Lord has done for all generations and repent. Now that is something to be thankful for!
Lord, thank you for the blood of Jesus and all he suffered to give us. Help us to be appreciative of your plan and your ways.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wed.'s Devo - Deep Waters

Read Pro. 18:4
If man's words are like deep waters what are the word's of God like? And if wisdom is like a spring or brook then we need to dive in. I was reading in Mat. 13:34-35 where it says that Jesus always spoke to the people in parables then he says that he will talk about things that have been kept a secret since the world was made. Wow! That is very deep. So it makes me want to know what the parables said that is such a secret. All the parables have to do with the kingdom of God. They usually start with a small thing like a coin, seed, or a net and it grows into something much greater. That is the whole concept of the kingdom. It starts as one life, a little faith, one talent, a tithe, a dream, a calling; and it grows into something much greater. That was not a new concept but the concept of being born again and having the spirit of Christ dwelling inside us was a completely new idea. Inconceivable. In the Old Testament God spoke audibly to a select people, but in the New Testament God speaks to anyone who will listen through the Holy Spirit. Jesus rent the veil so that anyone could approach him, not just a priest in linen. When we dive into God's well we become a well spring of wisdom. May we be a flowing brook that drinks from the water of the Word.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tues.'s Devo - Listen and Forgive

Read Pro. 18:13
To answer a matter before you hear it is like making your mind up before you hear the whole story. How many times do we do that as mothers. We are already saying 'no' before our child can finish the question. Then when you stop and think about his request you feel ashamed to change your answer even when you know you should. It is easy to form an opinion when you only hear one side of the story.
The next verse says that the spirit in a person can help them fight an illness. I have seen people live so much longer than the doctor predicted because they had a strong will to fight. But if a person's spirit is wounded that is another story. A wounded spirit is much deeper than a physical illness. If the spirit is wounded is a burden that only God can heal. Wounded spirits can zap the life out of a person and actually cause them to die sooner than they would have. Wounded spirits are caused by someone offending our spirits and can be healed through forgiveness. Jesus said that he came to give us abundant life: life to the fullest. The Devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy.
Lord, help us to think before we answer and to not hold offenses in our hearts.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mon.'s Devo - Humility...the Road to Promotion

Read Pro. 18:12
There are steps that lead you to either destruction or promotion. The steps that lead to destruction are pride which is ultimately thinking that you don't need God. The world teaches us that we can do it by ourselves and that God is a crutch for the weak. This is foolishness and a deception of the enemy who realizes how powerful we can be when we trust in the Lord. He does not want that.
The steps to promotion or honor are through the hallway of humility. Jesus learned obedience through the things he suffered. Humility is realizing that we can't do anything without God. We think we learn that one but we have to learn it over and over and over because our nature is pride. God's nature is humility. Just think of how humbling it was to create a people who would laugh and mock their creator, and yet God made us anyway. He loves us in our pride but he can use us in our humility. The greatest honor is to have the creator of the universe use you in his plan. He actually does it every day and we are most blessed to be his servants.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fri.'s Devo - Keep us Pure

Read Pro. 18:3-11
The way of the wicked is shame and dishonor. When the wicked rule a nation it causes the nation to have dishonor and shame. If you are ever wondering who the wicked are just listen to what comes out of their mouth and look at their life style. A fool will be argumentative and look for a fight to win. It is not about the cause as much as it is about winning. He will talk about others and slander them. His goal is to hurt and have power over everyone else. On the other hand, a wise man will speak with wisdom and his words will be fruitful and healing. We see this play out in politics. Elections have become more about discrediting the other opponent than the issues. It is a godly man who will run on the issues alone and not respond to his opponents arrows. We face the same decisions in our lives and in our marriages. We can fight back and tear down with our mouth or we can be quiet and let the Lord fight our battles and keep our ways pure. After all, the Lord's name is our strong tower that we can find refuge in not our accumulated wealth and our fabricated defenses. He alone can keep us safe.
Lord, help us to have clean hands and pure hearts when dealing with every part of our lives. May they glorify you.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thur.s' Devo - The Purpose Filled Life

Read Pro. 18:1-2
A wise man will take himself out of the equation and see with clarity and from God's perspective, where a fool only sees everything in light of himself. I have noticed that when I get introspective I get out of God's will and into mine which causes me to become self-absorbed and depressed. The fool is into "discovering the real person inside". That is a tool of the enemies to get our eyes off of God and focus on ourselves. The closer we get to the Lord the more we will thrive and grow in what He has called us to be. We will find our identities only in our creator. He has the secrets to our DNA and our destiny since he programmed us and prepared the road that we should walk on. David wrote about it in Psalms 139: "O Lord, you have penetrated me and examined me and know me. You know when I settled down and get married and you know when I rise up and succeed in what I am doing. You understand and consider the thoughts that I will have in years from now. You surround me when I am awake and asleep and you are familiar with my course of life and mode of action. Every word I will ever speak, you already know it. You have placed me in the hollow of your hand. This knowledge is overwhelming to me. I can't begin to comprehend it." (paraphrased)
Lord, help us to see from your perspective and remember how purposeful our lives are for the kingdom.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wed.'s Devo - When to Speak

Read Pro. 17:25-28
Proverbs is the book of good verses evil and the consequences of sin verses the blessings of walking righteously. Today we read that a foolish son will drive his father to anger and his mother to sadness. That is true when it comes to earthly fathers, but the father of the prodigal son represented God and he never gave up waiting for his son to come home. He laid down his anger and embraced the son he loved and welcomed him back with gifts and a party.
The last two verses have to do with our mouths once again. If you understand life and are mature then you realize you don't have to share everything you know. Sometimes it is better to be quiet. People will wonder what you are thinking and think that you are wise. They will discern your excellent spirit and honor you. Even if you are ignorant and keep your mouth shut people will think you know something and still honor you. It is hardest to keep your mouth shut when you have an opinion and know you are right. That is when if you can keep your mouth shut, you are most mature. There are times to speak out and God will show you when that time is; usually when you are asked.
Lord, help us to keep our mouths shut and our opinions to ourselves unless you want us to share; then let it be with love and humility.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tue.s' Devo - Godly Judgment

Read Pro. 17:23-24
The first verse says that wicked men take bribes which perverts their judgment. Our justice system has lost its goal for justice and is more about who can out-smart the other. There are lawyers who are paid to win not to bring righteous judgment. These payments would be bribes because they have become a business proposition instead of a conviction. Most of us aren't lawyers but we still may have our judgment swayed by money or other benefits. The next verse gives us the answer which is godly wisdom. Godly wisdom helps us to see the big picture and the future. It is not profitable to gain the whole world and lose your soul. Today I had a conversation with a man about our yoga class. It is becoming full of Buddhist mantra-talk and yen this and yen that and I am concerned about it. He said that he tried to keep a broad mind about things like that to which I responded "the road is narrow that leads to life and few find it." He smiled and then told me a religious joke. I know he thinks that being open-minded is the politically correct way to be but I just don't see Jesus caring about being politically correct. He pretty much called a spade a spade when dealing with the scribes and Pharisees. He had a few things to say about wrong business dealings too.
Lord, help us to have godly judgment and wisdom in our dealings today.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thur.'s Devo - Thanksgiving 11-15-10

Read Ps. 22
Today is Thanksgiving and I was thinking about all the things I was thankful of and what to write about. God led me to Psalms 22.
I had read today in Genesis today about the story of Jacob and his wives. Rachel got mad at Jacob because she couldn't conceive a child so she told Jacob to have a child through her handmaiden, Bilhah. She said that Bilhah will have her baby lying against her so that it will be like she is having the baby.
When I looked at Ps. 22:9-10 it talked about how God drew us out of the womb and gave us hope. He was like Rachel waiting to catch us and become our father just like Rachel was waiting to catch Bilhah's baby and make it her own. This chapter goes on to tell of the suffering that Jesus will do for us and ends up with the glorious ending where all the kingdoms will turn to God and worship the Lord. They will remember all the things the Lord has done for all generations and repent. Now that is something to be thankful for!
Lord, thank you for the blood of Jesus and all he suffered to give us. Help us to be appreciative of your plan and your ways.

Mon.'s Devo - Healing

Read Pro. 17:19-22
The popular T.V. programs today are reality shows which feed off of strife among the contestants. Verse 19 says that if you love strife then you love sin. David said, "How pleasant and how good it is when brethren dwell together in unity." Ps. 133:1 So the devil's plan is stife and God's plan is love and unity.
We have all been taught that self-exaltation leads to a fall and it is true. "Pride goes before destruction; and an haughty spirit before a fall." Pro. 16:18. There are people who are evil and have hearts that are not true to God's Word. Nothing good will come from these people. Their very words are twisted and produce evil. The parents of evil off-spring are left with sorrow and sadness because of their children. But.... the flip side of this is that having a merry heart is like medicine. Many medical accounts are saying that laughter and a good outlook on life is healing and causes you to live longer and with better health. The last part says that if your spirit is wounded it will dry up your bones. That sounds like arthritis to me. I wonder how many people could benefit from forgiving people in their past and letting the oil of the Holy Spirit reoil their bones. I bet they would feel a whole lot better on the physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.
Lord, help us to yearn for righteousness and feed our spirit with the Word and good news instead of bitterness and strife.

Thur.'s Devo - Thanksgiving 11-15-10

Read Ps. 22
Today is Thanksgiving and I was thinking about all the things I was thankful of and what to write about. God led me to Psalms 22.
I had read today in Genesis today about the story of Jacob and his wives. Rachel got mad at Jacob because she couldn't conceive a child so she told Jacob to have a child through her handmaiden, Bilhah. She said that Bilhah will have her baby lying against her so that it will be like she is having the baby.
When I looked at Ps. 22:9-10 it talked about how God drew us out of the womb and gave us hope. He was like Rachel waiting to catch us and become our father just like Rachel was waiting to catch Bilhah's baby and make it her own. This chapter goes on to tell of the suffering that Jesus will do for us and ends up with the glorious ending where all the kingdoms will turn to God and worship the Lord. They will remember all the things the Lord has done for all generations and repent. Now that is something to be thankful for!
Lord, thank you for the blood of Jesus and all he suffered to give us. Help us to be appreciative of your plan and your ways.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fri.'s Devo - Testimony in Business

Read Pro. 17:18
God wants us to be wise concerning the dealings of the world. He doesn't want us cheated or taken advantage of. It is not wisdom to put yourself up as collateral for a deal. In fact, you are not to enter into contracts lightly. In our society we are forced to sign contracts for our houses, businesses, etc. but we must do our homework and know what we are signing. I have made some bad decisions by not praying about things first. If you are forced to make a quick decision then I would say back away and take some time to think about it. It is very hard to make the right decision when you are being rushed, but if you give yourself some time to mull it over in your mind and pray about it you will see with different eyes and have the wisdom to make the right decision. Wisdom takes patience; impulsiveness is the doorway to bad decisions. We are to be a testimony to our friends and those we do business with as to how we make our decisions
Lord, may our decisions be taken seriously with meditation and prayer so that they glorify you.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thurs.'s Devo - Brothers and Friends

Read Pro. 17:17
I have three sons and it used to irritate me that they could get along with their friends but they fought constantly among themselves. This proverb says that a brother is born for adversity. The word adversity means trouble, rival, tightness. You don't find too many brothers in the Bible getting along. Cain and Abel sure didn't and neither did Jacob and Esau or Joseph and his brothers. There is a lot of competition between brothers, even more than between sisters, although there are always exceptions. God set it up that way so that they would challenge each other to go further and not be satisfied. Usually the first born is the leader/lion where the second born is the follower/golden retriever. These characteristics grate each other but can be a useful combination when they are mature and seasoned. My sons have grown to love each other and love being together. They are all so different: the lion, the golden retriever, and the otter. Needless to say, we have interesting reunions.
Friends on the other hand love at all times. They can look over faults better because they don't live together and don't have to share so much of life together. Jonathan and David were the epitome of friendship. Jonathan gave David his inheritance and laid down his life to make sure David got his destiny. They fought together side-by-side and didn't compete.
Lord, thank you that you call us your friend.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wed.'s Devo - Hunger for More

Read Pro. 17:16
It if foolish to spend money on expensive schooling when the student is not serious about learning. I have seen freshmen at college that came only to party, flunk out, then go home and get a menial job or worse yet: try a new college. It was a waste of their parents money to send them in the first place. It is the same in the spiritual. If you show no heart to learn the deeper things of God then you will not get the opportunities to do that, but if you yearn for more then God will arrange the teachers you need to sit under to be fed. I have always had an insatiable hunger for God's Word even as a child. My mother was in charge of placing the kids with their Sunday School teachers so she always made sure I got the best teachers. I can still remember some of the things they taught us. Through the years God has brought me so many people that have taught and challenged my growth as a Christian. I am not content to just know that I am saved; I want to know my Saviour and all his secrets. They are found in his Word. Uncovering the mysteries of God under the tutalage of the Holy Spirit is the best college there is and it's tuition free!
Thank you Lord, for the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth. May we walk in that glorious truth today!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tues.'s Devo - Covering the Guilty

Read Pro. 17:14-15
Don't start a fight; it will open a floodgate. It is better to just hand it over to God and let him be your advocate and defender. He is great at doing that and will do it fairly and right. He sees the heart of man and what is hidden. He is the only one that can truly judge fairly. But, don't justify a wrong or judge the just because God hates that. God knows how to bring to light things that are hidden and hide things in full view. He hates deceit. The devil, on the other hand, is the master of deceit. It is hard to know what to do when you are dealing with close friends. Do you want to lose the friendship over a trivial matter? Is being right the most important thing? I say no to both. It is better to cover someones weaknesses and give in to another opinion than to be justified and right. Let God settle your injustices. It is the little foxes that steal your peace and kill your relationships. God loves people and people have problems. So we should love people and cover their problems. Ham lost his blessing because he laughed at his dad's fault. His brothers were blessed because they chose to cover their dad's nakedness.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mon.'s Devo - Living for the Future

Prov. 17:10-13
A righteous man only needs to be told of his sin to repent where an evil man won't even learn if he is beaten with whips. When Nathan came to David and exposed his sin with Bathsheba, David instantly owned up to his sin, repented, and received God's discipline. He didn't become bitter when the consequence was the life of his son but instead he praised God and had another son who became the great king Solomon. In contrast, King Jehoiakim was warned by Baruch of his sins and he burned the prophecy in the fire as it was read to him. So, just like the prophecy said the Babylonians came and destroyed the land and fulfilled every word of judgment written in the prophecy. He was the evil man that only sought rebellion and was sent a messenger with a cruel word that came to pass. He rewarded evil for good and evil did not depart from his house. None of his descendants were allowed to sit on the throne even though it would have been their inheritance.
Lord, help us to guard our steps and live a life that will result in blessings to our posterity.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fri.'s Devo - Returning Evil for Good

Read Pro. 17:10
If you are wise all you need is instruction for you to change your ways and repent; you are teachable. If you are a fool even a beating won't teach you, much less instruction. Evil men are bent on rebellion and don't want to change their ways so they reap what they sow. God will send an enemy to defy them and expose their sin in hopes that they will repent. If you confront a person who is deceived and foolish it will not be pretty. You are taking your life in your hands because all they know is defense and retaliation. They are unable to see their faults because they are deceived. Even if you put the mirror in front of their eyes they won't see what is staring back at them. They are the ones who return bad for good. If you do something nice for them they construe it into a negative plot to hurt them. They don't realize that you do reap what you sow not only for themselves but for their offspring. Harming an innocent person brings a curse on you and your inheritance.
Lord, we long to be wise and trusted by you. Give us discernment today and increase our love for you. May we return good for evil.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thurs.'s Devo - The Prince

Read Pro. 17:7-8
Jesus was called the Prince of Life in Acts 3:15 and the Prince of Peace in Isa. 9:6. He lives inside us which makes us a prince also. We are to speak the truth because we have been given a gift. We have been given the gift of salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit so that whatever we do will be prosperous if we are walking in our gifts. The verse today says that this gift we have is like a precious stone. In 1 Pet. 2:5-7 is says that we are living stones that make up a spiritual house, and a priesthood that offers sacrifices that are acceptable to God. Jesus was the chief cornerstone of our building. This "building" is the chosen generation, the royal priesthood, God's holy nation, His peculiar people that praise Him in all that they do.
Lord, You are the Prince of Peace and Lord of Lords and we exalt you in all we say and do.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wed.'s Devo - Children's Children

Read Pro. 17:6
I am going to be a grandmother in 7 months then again in 8 1/2. Both of my daughter-in-laws are pregnant. Talking to my friends that have already passed into the land of grand babies I know it is going to be different than having my own children. For one thing I know that the stress of parenting will not be there. I will just get to love them and pass on any wisdom my kids want to hear. I am so looking forward to it. It is interesting that the verse for today says that grandchildren are the crown of old men but the children get their glory from their fathers. So the grandfather is blessed by his grandchildren and the children are blessed by their fathers. It is a cycle, which should give us hope. For some of us, raising our children was hard and full of heart ache and intercession but the grandchildren make up for it. I can see this in one of my friend's lives. She who went through a lot of pain and grief raising her daughter. Her daughter actually got pregnant before she got married but the child is an absolute delight to my friend. Her grandson took away the pain of the past and has been a healing balm for her.
Lord, thank you for your plan of family. Sometimes family can be so tough and complicated but we learn about ourselves and about You by walking in such close fellowship with our families. You love family; help us to love ours.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tues.'s Devo - The Wise Son

Read Pro. 17:2-5
"A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causes shame." There are so many examples of this in the Bible. Joseph proved to be so wise that both Potipher and Pharoah set him up to rule their households/kingdoms over their sons. Because of what Joseph did he provided an inheritance for his own family. In the New Testament the Gentiles received Jesus more readily than the Jews who were the sons and the heirs. Now all are heirs if they accept Jesus as their Saviour and Lord. God looks at our hearts and that is what determines what we are. Whatever is in our hearts will manifest in our fruits. The fruit of the ungodly or shameful looks like this: he listens to lies and speaks perversely. He makes fun of the poor and laughs at people's calamities. The wise seeks out truth and speaks life. He has compassion for the poor and reaches out to those who have fallen into hard times. Lord, may we be wise sons who appreciate our position with you and walk in the humility of Christ.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mon.'s Devo - Peace and Quiet

Read Pro. 17:1
We all want peace and quietness in our lives. This verse says that it is better to have peace and only eat beef jerky than to have all the meat you want and live in strife. Peace is tangible; you can feel it. It means safety, happiness, friendly, prosperity, healthy, and wholeness. Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world giveth, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit which means we can grow peace and multiply it in our lives if we learn to practice peace. Two of my sons just found out they were going to be dads for the first time and that their business is fading out so they will be without a job. I can't tell your the peace God has given me about this. I believe that when God said if he clothes the flowers and feeds the birds that he would take care of us, that he meant it. God is so actively involved in our lives and nothing misses his observation. I can't wait to see his plan for them.
Lord, thank you for your plan for us. We are inadequate to do anything apart from you. Fill us with your spirit today to do what you have called us to do today. May we walk in your peace.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fri.'s Devo - Seven Men

Read Pro. 16:26-33
These verses describe 7 different types of people. The first is the laborer. The first part of this verse says that "he who labors labors for himself." If you look up these words in the Hebrew you will find that it means if a man's work is a misery and a wicked work, then his work will be irksome and futile. He will be doing all that toil for himself and not for God. He will be self motivated but never satisfied. His complaining will add to his misery. The next man is the ungodly man: he will breed evil and with the things he says he will kindle destruction. The third man is the froward man. Froward means "perverse or fraudulent". He starts quarrels and loves drama. He or she is a gossiper and will say anything about anyone to get the attention. Forth we have the violent man who is the bully who tries to get everyone to join him in his evil tasks. He is the intimidator and the leader who tells everyone what to do. Fifth, is the old man. He is mature and has experience under his belt. He has chosen righteousness because he has learned it is the only way. And the sixth man is the person who is slow to anger. His patience and gentle spirit makes him powerful beyond physical strength. Last of all is the man who can rule his own spirit. He understands spiritual warfare and proclaiming the Word of God. He can take down a principality with his authority he found in Jesus.
All these people's destinies are put into God's lap and he will determine their verdict.
Lord, you judge righteously and fairly. We trust in your unfailing love.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thurs.'s Devo - The Wise of Heart

Read Pro. 16:20-25
The Bible considers you wise by the way you handle things, the way you instruct or teach, and the way you make decisions. All of these come from the heart. If Jesus is in your heart and you have cultivated that relationship then you are wise. We all make mistakes, but how do we handle our oops? It is better to be humble than to try to cover up a blunder or worse yet, make excuses. Our natural tendency is to be defensive but it is God's nature to be humble and truthful. I am facing this very thing today and so this is for me. I now know what I need to do to make things right and pray that I will receive mercy and not rejection. But I know that if I do what is right then God will be on my side and no matter what the outcome, I have done what is right. Love covers a multitude of sins.
Lord, help us to display your wisdom in all that we do today and help us to choose to be humble.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wed.'s Devo -Eternal Value

Read Pro. 16:18, 19
All my life I have heard this saying: "pride goes before destruction." I know what pride is but the word 'destruction' in the Hebrew means a fracture, a bruise, hurt, crashing, breaking, but specifically it means "a solution of a dream". We know what this verse is talking about in the negative but let's look at it in the positive side. One of the definitions of pride is excellency. So one interpretation is that pride and arrogance will always lead you to fail. But the flip side of that verse is that excellency will precede the fulfillment of a dream. That is comforting. The second part of this verse means just what it says: an arrogant spirit will cause you to totter and fall.
Jesus was such an example of an excellent spirit with every reason in the world to be puffed up in pride, but chose humility. He had just what he needed to live and was totally satisfied. He knew there was nothing on earth that was worth having if it meant losing what was ahead. He had his sights on eternity for the whole human race. When we keep the big picture in mind we don't get tripped over the everyday trials and the glitter of the world.
Lord, expand our vision to eternity and what is really of value to you.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tue.'s Devo -Silver and Gold

Read Pro. 16:16, 17
All through the Bible gold is used as a symbol of gold. Even in our culture gold is a symbol of wisdom. We have 50 year anniversaries known as the Golden Year. Senior women are called the Golden Girls. Wisdom comes with age. The only way to truly learn something is to experience it so it takes years to gain wisdom but even young people can be wise beyond their years if the meditate and read the Bible. Silver is used as a symbol of understanding. Understanding comes by experience also so it is best when it is aged. Old people have silver hair which is their crown. Joshua and his high priest both wore crowns of silver and gold which tells us that they both were filled with God's wisdom and e. God esteems wisdom and understanding highly so we should too. We gain that by living according to God's Word and by taking God's highway. Verse 17 says that God's highway is righteousness and by keeping your soul from sin.
Lord, change our value system so that we value what you value.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mon.'s Devo - King Jesus

Read Pro. 16:10-15
All these verses have to do with the king. Our king is Jesus so let's see what it says about him. When he gives a sentence it is just and fair. He cannot sin and his throne is established in righteousness. He does get angry but we can change his wrath to mercy if we are wise. Time after time in the Old Testament God wanted to destroy people and cities but an intercessor went before God and pleaded with him not to. Usually he honored the intercessor, except for the time with Sodom and Gomorrah. God's desire is to save and not destroy.
"In the light of the king's countenance is life": Moses beheld the glory of God and when he left he came back with the glory of God on his countenance so strongly that the people asked him to veil himself. By being in God's presence Moses was strengthened. It says that when he died his eyes were still good and he still had his strength. We shine when we are in his presence and our youth is renewed. His favor is like the cloud of the latter rain. The cloud brought the hope of the manifestation of the promise. We are living for the latter rain of God's presence to fall down on our nation and world. To see the cloud would be a great encouragement.
Lord, we honor you as our king who is merciful and just. We pray for the latter rain of your spirit it fall on us. May we draw near and shine for you today.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fri.'s Devo - The Steps of a Righteous Man

Read Prov. 16:8-9
It is better to have less and have a good conscience than to be rich and dishonest. I worked for a person who made a lot of money at the expense of others and now lives in seclusion because they don't want to run into someone who they might have wronged. What a terrible way to live. It would be better to make less and live at peace.
The next verse says that we make many plans but it is God who will direct our steps. God gives us the desires of our heart by directing our paths to fulfill those dreams. He will set us up to meet the right people and be at the right place at the right time. We are here to fulfill HIS plan and he will be sure it happens. The other day I was driving down Mingo and passed a store that was going out of business. God told me to turn around and go back. I obeyed and found some outstanding bargains. But the real reason he sent me was to meet the owner who needed a laugh. She was depressed about having to close down and I came in and before long we were visiting and laughing. I was able to share some of her grief and be a blessing to her and she to me. We are all part of a network of God's family and we need each other. Direct our steps toward your destiny for us.
Lord, thank you for the blessing of a good conscience. May our drive be to you and not to riches.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thurs.'s Devo - Peace with our Enemies

Read Pro. 16:7
When we please God he makes peace between us and our enemies. That is what he did to Solomon: he gave him peace with his enemies as long as he followed God. Evil can only come in through an opened door and if God closes the door, no one can open it. Proverbs 26:2 says that a curse causeless shall not come. In other words, a curse has to have a cause to light on you. If it has no cause it can't touch you. So how do we please God?: by loving and obeying his Word. We are to love mercy, do justly, and walk humbly with our God. It all boils down to loving God and loving people. Our enemies are not flesh and blood, but principalities and powers and spiritual beings in high places. So God will give us peace from tormenting spirits that try to attack us. That is a huge comfort.
Lord, we want to please you in everything we do. It is you who have defeated our enemy through the blood of Jesus and we are so grateful.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wed.'s Devo - Destiny's

Read Pro. 16:4-6
It is hard for us to comprehend that God created Satan knowing that he would rebel and become his arch enemy. He also creates evil people to use for his purposes like Hitler, Mussolini, Hiro Hito, Nero, Caesar, and Judas. They fulfilled their God-given destiny. It doesn't seem fair to us who see things through our carnal eyes, but it makes perfect sense to God. He will raise up anyone he wants to bring his chosen to repentance. When we get this it makes it easier to see that God is in control of everything.
The next verse says that pride is an abomination to God. Pride says that "I don't need God; look at what I can do." God judges us individually so it doesn't matter how many people have joined together. We can't hide behind anyone or blame anyone else for our sins. We are not victims; we are chosen to the life God has given us. The way we depart from evil is by fearing God. If we want to be clean God is merciful and good and he will purge us of our sin.
Lord, teach us your ways that we might fear your name.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tues.'s Devo - Establish our Thoughts

Read Pro. 16:3
God wants to join us in everything we do. It reminds me of a young boy wanting to work right alongside of his father. We are the young boy and our father has things on his workbench he wants to help us build. All we have to do is show up. Our work is not really our work, it's God's so it just makes sense to let him show us how to do it. When we commit our works to God he teaches us the best way to do it. Then our plans will succeed. When I started planning my kitchen for my business I went to a place where they custom-made cabinets. The man was real excited to work on an old home and told me he could do what I wanted. He was suppose to meet me at the house that Tues. afternoon and measure it. He never showed up so I went to God and said, "You must have another plan." Then I put it aside and worked on other things. As I waited on God the plan started materializing. It will be finished this week and it is better than I had ever imagined it would be and is what I really wanted. God knew! He gave me the ideas and sent the right people to help me make my dream come true. He establishes our thoughts or makes our plans succeed. When God is for you, who can stand against you. We serve a mighty God.
Lord, we commit all our works to you, the people in our family, ourselves, our thoughts, and our dreams. You are the only one who can make them succeed.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mon.'s Devo - God's Ways

Read Pro. 16:2-3
I would love to see through God's eyes. He doesn't see us through our facades but he sees our naked spirits. Nothing is hid from him which is a little scary. Thank God for mercy and grace! He doesn't weigh our deeds but our spirit. If our spirit is pure then our deeds will be pure. It's the thing about the good tree producing good fruit and the bad tree producing bad fruit. But, if we roll all our cares and schedules on the Lord's desk, he will establish our thoughts so we will do the right thing. I love the verse in 1 Co. 10:23-24 that says, "I am allowed to do anything - but not everything is good for me. I am allowed to do anything - but not everything is beneficial. Don't be concerned for you own good but for the good others." Only God knows the best plan and the right path but he wants to share it with us. All we have to do is commit our works to him and let him gives us the ideas we are suppose to have. We forget that our decisions not only affect ourselves but all the other people that God has planned for us to influence. We are a part of HIS plan not visa-versa.
Lord, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fri.'s Devo - The Answer

Read Pro. 16:1
It is God that prepares our heart for what he has destined our lives to be. The word "preparations" in the Hebrew means "mental disposition". God gives us our mental disposition. We can distort this by allowing evil into our lives or we can cause it to flourish if we eat the Word of God and meditate on God. He will give us what to say and how to answer. Our tongues are literally instruments that can be a fork of flame or a cove of water. We can cut into someones soul or we can bring a well of healing. Sometimes people need a cut and sometimes they need a well. My daughter-in-law had gone to her best friend and confronted her about her walk. The friend confronted immediately cut off the relationship and ended the friendship. Several years later my daughter-in-law received an e-mail from this friend asking her forgiveness and telling her that she had been the best friend she had ever had because she had cared enough to confront her with the truth. This is an example of a fork of flame. Other times we are to bring healing with an encouraging word. People desperately need some hope and encouragement. The key is knowing when to be the fork and when to be the cove.
Lord, prepare our hearts so that out of our bellies will flow rivers of living water.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thurs.'s Devo - Put Your Antennas Up

Read Pro. 15:31-33
If you have children you know that you can hear without really "hearing". To hear in the Hebrew means to "hear intelligently with attention on obeying" If you can hear a reproof or a correction and change and do what is needed to correct the situation then you live among those who are intelligent and skillful. If you are defensive and can't hear instruction then you hate your own soul. God says that he only chastises and corrects those he loves so they can succeed in life. He wants to give us understanding but the only way he can teach us is if we are teachable. Being teachable is being humble. It is the definition of meekness. If you want wisdom and honor then you need to be able to take advise and correction and be humble. Then we will have the fear of the Lord. In Acts 9:31 it says that the early church walked in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost. That is our prayer. Make us not only hearers of the word but doers also.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wed.'s Devo- Out of the Heart....

Read Pro. 15:28-30
Whatever is in your heart will come out of your mouth. If you have softened your heart to receive Jesus then your words will reflect that. The heart of the righteous will ponder the deep things of God and speak of these things but the wicked will speak out of a wicked heart. The verse says it will pour out what is in the heart. God hates wickedness so he doesn't draw near to the wicked. But God delights in holiness and will hear to the prayers of the righteous. He makes his home with the heart of the righteous.
Our eyes are doorways into our heart so whatever we see naturally and spiritually will cause the heart to mourn or rejoice. In verse 30 the word "light" means "cheerfulness". Our eyes show emotion so they reveal our heart and if the light is cheery then it will make our heart rejoice. A good report gives us strength and lifts us up. How much more will the good news about Jesus lift up a person who has no hope.
Lord, guard the entrances of our heart and only allow your goodness to enter in.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tues.'s Devo - Desire Vs. Greed

Read Pro. 15:27
The dictionary says that "greedy" means - "wanting or taking all that one can get, with no thought of others needs: desiring more than one needs or deserves." Having that kind of evil desire will affect your whole family, especially if you are the head of the house. I have seen very wealthy people who live by the code of greed and they may have everything they could ever want but they need what they will never be able to buy. Their offspring inherit a heap of trouble and are not prepared to handle it with wisdom unless they find Jesus. But the last part of the verse says that if you hate bribes you will live. You might not get what you think you need at the time, but you will gain something much more eternally.
I think that we sometimes forget that we are surrounded by a crowd of witnesses that watch our walk. They cheer us on when we turn from evil and pray for us when we fall. We can so easily fall into the sin of greed when we see someone else being used powerfully by God. We have all been given gifts from God and it is wrong when we compare our gifts to other's gifts. God gives gifts as he wills because he has a purpose in everything he does. If we will be faithful to use our gifts then we will be given more. We are to desire earnestly spiritual gifts but never to be greedy of them. The difference between "earnestly desiring" and "greed" is the desire of our heart: are we wanting this for our own personal gain or for the benefit of God's people?
Lord, examine our hearts and burn out any seed of greed in us. We want to earnestly desire you and all you have so that we might benefit your body.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mon.'s Devo - It is all about Heart

Read Pro. 15:25-26
The proud is contrasted with the widow. My mother is a widow and she has told me that she is not looked on the same way as when she was married. Being a widow is very humbling and lowly. God said that he would destroy the house of the wicked. A house is a symbol of a person so everyone is responsible for their own salvation and if you are wicked you will be destroyed. But, he will establish the border of the widow. A border speaks of your line of inheritance. For the humble, God will establish your family to come. Acts 16:31 says that if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be saved and your house. The word "house" there means "family". That is what gives us the authority to claim our families for salvation.
The next verse says that the "thoughts" of the wicked are abominable but the "words" of the pure are pleasant. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks so you can imagine what the wicked say. We were watching tv last night and Dave was surfing the channels. Every channel he paused the people were saying the most vulgar things. If these are their words then their hearts are far from pure. (We landed on a John Wayne movie.) Satan can bring impure thoughts to our minds but it is up to us to flee these thoughts and choose to think on things that are lovely, honest, of good report, and pure. (Eph. 4:8)
Lord, be with the widow and the humble people of the earth. Lift their hearts to you and bless them. Guard our thoughts and words that they may edify you.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fri.'s Devo - Be the Oracle of God

Read Pro. 15: 22-24
It is always best to seek counsel before you make a big decision. God has given each of us a different perspective on life and we bring that to the table. I know in restoring this old house that there are many ways to skin a cat or to put in hot water. I asked 3 different sources and got 3 different answers but I decided to go with the man with the most experience and he got the job done. I now have hot water! I have learned that people want to share their gifts and all you have to do is ask. The asking part is the part that we have trouble with because it deals with our pride. But the next scripture says that it gives a person joy to give you the answer and when his words come at the right time they bless everyone. We can be the answer to someone who is seeking. All we have to do is press into God, read his Word then ask God to use us. When we open our mouth we will speak a word in the right season and it will be good and bring joy to the listener. Our way of life is godly and not of this world so we can speak things that are "not of this world" that only God knows need to be spoken if we just listen and obey. I have told people things I had no idea what I was talking about, but they did and were blessed. It is hard for us to realize we can be the oracle of God...we are suppose to be the oracle of God. Lord, help us to listen to those random voices in our minds that we toss out as silly . They may be you talking to us and telling us what to say. Teach us to hear.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thurs.'s Devo - Silliness vs. Joy

Read Pro. 15:21
"Reality TV" has become so popular because for some reason we love to think that our normal life is exciting and if we see it on TV then it verifies our importance. But, where do they find these "normal" people? I don't know anyone in my scope of friends that lives with that much drama. They seem to epitomize silliness. Today's scripture says that silliness or folly is joy to the person who has no wisdom. So silliness is the counterfeit for our joy. What a bad substitute. Silliness is a behavior that comes from a weak mind where joy is a condition that dwells in the person who has chosen wisdom. Wisdom helps you walk uprightly and with stability where silliness is destined for a fall. Joy comes from God and is the strength of those who walk with God. Silliness demands an audience but joy is a there whether you are alone or with a crowd. They are both contagious but one for destruction and one for life and healing. Joy can heal a mourning soul.
I remember one time we went to see a family who had lost their mother. When we got to the house I got overwhelmed with joy and bubbled all over these people. As we were leaving everyone was laughing and light. It hit me when I got in the car that we had gone into the house of mourning and left them laughing. I was devastated that maybe I wasn't sensitive to the situation but my husband assured me that it was just what they needed.
Lord, help us to let your joy out and let it infect those around us for You.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wed.'s Devo - I Love You, Mom

Read Pro. 15:20
Dave and I respond so differently to news about our boys. If something is going bad for them at work, Dave feels responsible and feels a weight of guilt. When they make good decisions Dave feels so proud and relieved. So I understand fully the first part of this verse. The next part is questionable. I don't know if it means if you despise your mother you are a fool or that all fools despise their mother. Either way, it is just best if you love and honor your mother. Your mother is the source of your existence. She is the one that carried you 9 months and raised you while your dad went to work. The mother is the one who cares for you when you are sick, drives you to most of your activities, and plans your schedule. The mother is the nurturing part of your family and you need her whether she is the ideal mother or not...she is your mother. God placed us in the families he wanted us to be in and we are to thrive in these families and learn principles that we will need for the rest of our lives. If the circumstances of home are not good then we might learn patience and endurance. If they are good then we should learn gratitude and compassion. God knows just what we need for the ministry he has for us.
Lord, we honor our moms and dads and all authority you have placed over us. May the path we have been given to walk be filled with lessons that make us more like you.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tues.'s Devo - Exorcising the Thorns

Read Pro. 15:19
The lazy slacker wakes up to face a wall of thorns. "Thorns" in the Bible are symbolic for curses. The slothful man's ways are surrounded by curses. These people have trouble after trouble until it snowballs into a pit they can't get out of....except for Jesus. The way of the godly man is straight and full of provision and abundance. Proverbs 26:2 says that you can't have a curse without a cause. In other words, curses have to be invited by us or our family in order to land on us. We, or someone in our family has to have opened a door for it to come in. Curses look like lack, sickness, early deaths, miscarriages, divorce, accident proneness, etc. The way we get rid of curses is to pray out loud, call the curse by name, cast it out and cover it with the blood of Jesus. Whenever you cast something out you must replace it with something else or that spirit you cast out will come back with 7 other spirits worse than the one you cast out. So if you cast out a spirit of infirmity you must orally replace it with a spirit of healing and health. It is really very easy to do and so simple that we often miss it. The key to keeping yourself "clean" is to constantly speak the Word of God over you and your family. Speaking it out loud is one of the most powerful ways you can pray. When you pray out loud the devil has to obey. Greater is he in us than he in the world.
Lord, help us to clean up our garden of the thorns that have grown up. Open our eyes to see them for what the really are and get rid of them. Thank you for the blood of Jesus.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mon.'s Devo - What really matters?

Read Pro. 15:14-18
Solomon spent his life looking for pleasure and what really mattered on earth and he realized it all boiled down to fear God and keep his commandments. This is better than riches, food, pleasure and the only thing that gives us life. We live in a fallen world as regenerated people that need to live like we are the head and not the tail. We are to seek knowledge that comes from the Bible and be joyful and satisfied. This world is temporal and will one day be destroyed but we will live eternally. Love is eternal and has to be our highest goal not only to God but to others. There is nothing that gets our priorities right than a weak economy. But because of Christ's love inside us, I see the body of Christ reaching out and helping those in worse need than themselves and I know this blesses God. We can't take any of this "stuff" with us so why not share it. Why not share patience and peace in the midst of strife. When we seek God first he illumines our path and makes it straight. He will lead us to those we need to bless. These are the things that really matter.
Lord, let us live our life today for eternity.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fri.'s Devo - Cheers!

Read Pro. 15:13
It seems like the world is full of melancholy people. I love to find a person who is full of life and fun. We are suppose to be carefree and full of glee and joy because everything in our life is in the hands of a loving father who watches over us and loves to lavish us with his goodness. If our hearts are joyful, our countenance will portray it. I was in the grocery store one time and I knew the sacker because he went to my church. We started laughing about something when one of the other sackers a few aisles away came running over to us saying, "I want to laugh too." I was so impressed at this guys desire an opportunity to laugh. We have the spirit of God residing in our hearts and when we realize it and let it flow out of us in a joyful manner it draws people to us. Everyone wants to laugh and feel good inside but some people don't even think that is possible. How sad. Why don't we look for these people and let our countenance change theirs. It is amazing what a smile will do for someone. It is not just a smile, it is an acknowledgment that they matter on the earth. When we engage a person face to face our spirit goes out to them and touches their spirit and it can change them without them knowing what hit them.
Lord, may we live every moment "on purpose". Let our merry heart and cheerful countenance heal a broken spirit.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thurs. Devo - Constructive Criticism

Read Pro. 15:10-12
Why is it so hard to take criticism without being defensive? It would be easier if we just took it and learned from it instead of having to take up for ourselves. We have this thing called pride that keeps raising its ugly head and letting itself be known. God said that he corrects and chastises those he loves. We do that to our kids. It takes time and patience to stay on top of what our kids are doing and correct them when they miss the mark. That is how God feels. He wants us to be promoted and grow so he can give us more responsibility so he chastises us when we go astray. It is his great love for us just as it is our great love for our children that we correct them. We take it so personally when we should take it gladly as a gentle prod to get us back on the right track.
Verse 10 says that if we hate reproof then we will die. I wonder if that is why some people die young? If we are bent on living our own way the Bible says that he will destroy our body to save our soul. The next verse says that God is always beholding hell and destruction so how much more does he look at hearts. It is our heart that determines where we go in eternity. It is the only thing that God sees when he looks at us.
The last verse says that a scorner will not appreciate being reproved nor will he look for wise council. This is the story of man: he wants to be in control. This is also the story of God: he wants to be in control. He has the better view, and is wisdom so it makes sense to do life his way and if we are his children it is the only way that will work. What I love about God is that he knows just how to show us we need him.
Lord, remind us of your great love for us and may we surrender all to you.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wed.'s Devo - Our House

Read Pro. 15:6-9
Our "house" is our body. Our spiritual house is full of treasure because we are God's house and his house is arrayed with gold and silver and beautiful things we can't imagine. Our lips are the doors to our house that open up and share the treasures inside. Everything we do comes out of what is inside us so our prayers delight God because they come from his treasure inside us. The more we share the treasure we have in our earthen vessel the more he can fill it back up with greater things.
The foolish have no treasure but they are full of death and ruin so that is what comes out of their mouth and their walk. Everything they try to produce is an abomination to God because of the source. If the seed is bad, then the whole plant will be bad. That is why we see people that are bent on evil and seem to have no conscience. The Bible says that they wake up looking for any other way they can do something wicked.
"We are all the children of the light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness." I Thess. 5:5. Let's walk as children of the day and share the treasure that is within us.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tues.'s Devo- Deflecting Arrows

Read Pro. 15:1-5
We have all had people attack us and it is not comfortable. Words are so very important and carry power. We can deflect the enemy by speaking tenderly when he tries to make us mad. Our arrow is a soft answer. It unarms the enemy and calms the atmosphere. To respond in like manner is to play the devil's game and he is better at his game than we are. He is the master of argument but he doesn't know what to do with kindness. We can use our tongue for death or life. Those who chose to walk in the spirit will speak knowledge rightly and their words will bring life and healing. God has surrounded us with people that speak the truth and can instruct us in righteousness. The fool stirs up anger, speaks foolishly, and is perverted in every sense. Fools despise instruction and demand on doing things their way. God is all knowing and omnipresent. He watches and sees everything and he deals with justice and righteousness with everyone.
One place where we have the hardest time with our temper is in our car. I have had people flip me off, yell at me and get way too upset over small things like pulling out in front of them and making them slow down for a second. But, I love to smile at someone who does that to me and give them grace. Why are we in such a hurry to be the first one to the red light? We major on the minors. I do believe in being a conciderate driver and some times I understand why the other guy might be upset with me but we need to lighten up and learn to be courteous and gracious. One second of our time might mean sharing or losing your testimony.
Lord, give us your grace to slow down and speak softly. Make us conscious of what we say and what we do. Our lives are your testimony and we want to honor you in all that we do.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mon.'s Devo - A Wise Friend

Read Pro. 14: 32-35
Proverbs is the book of wisdom. Verse 33 says that wisdom will rest or settle down in the heart of the person that has understanding. There is something very peaceful about that statement. The only way to get understanding is to read the Bible and ask God for eyes to see. Understanding and obedience bring wisdom automatically. Wisdom cultivates righteousness which raises up a nation. The last verse says that we will have the favor of God if we have wisdom because to have wisdom you had to have read the Word, meditated on it, sought God's ways and lived them. That makes us a friend of God. He is looking for friends he can trust with his secrets and treasures. He doesn't give them to everyone but only those who have proven trustworthy.
Lord, may we seek your understanding and your ways with all our hearts. We want to be found worthy of your friendship.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fri.'s Devo - Mercy for the Poor

Read Pro. 14:31
This scripture reminds me of last Sat. I was meeting a friend for lunch at Panera Bread. I got there first and was standing by the door waiting when a lady came in with steel crutches. She must have had polio as a child. I found myself looking her right in the eyes and saying, "hey, how are you?" She smiled and we instantly connected in the spirit. I knew she was a sister in the Lord and she knew I was. She ordered and sat down and my friend showed up and we ordered. The place was pretty busy but I looked and saw the lady mouthing something to me with a distressed face. I realized that she had gotten situated with her soup and her spoon was really dirty. She asked me if I would go get her another spoon and I told her I would be glad to. When I brought it to her she held my hand in hers and thanked me. It turned out she was sitting next to us so I talked to her till my friend sat down. She was the poor. Poor in the Hebrew means "weak, thin, needy, dangling". She was weak and the spirit of God in me met her need. It was a great feeling to reach out to someone who truly needed my help even if it was to just get a spoon and be friendly. We honor God when we do that. To ignore people who are needy is a reproach to God because he made them and loves them just as much as he loves us. We who have been given much are to give much.
Lord, help us to honor you in the way we see your people. Show us who the poor are so we can meet their needs.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thur.'s Devo - My Birthday!

Today is my birthday so I am going to deviate from the study of Proverbs and talk about something on my heart. Our pastor just finished a series on joy where we went through the whole book of Philippians. Our community group is talking about Philippians 4:8. In fact the book we are using is called "4:8". Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." The book gives you practical things to do to get joy in your life. I agree that we have to train ourselves in righteousness and the things of God because they do not come natural to us and these exercises are a good reminder for changing bad patterns. But joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. An apple tree does not need to do apple-producing exercises to produce apples. It will just do that naturally if it is well fertilized and planted in good soil. The same is true about us. Ps. 1 says that if we don't walk the walk of sinners, and we don't sit around complaining about everything but are thankful and our delight is in Him then we will be like a tree planted by the water and we will bring forth fruit in season. If we plant ourselves in the Word and do what it says and love and delight in God then joy will be a natural fruit that we produce. Interestingly the tree never prunes itself - the gardener does. The gardener is the Holy Spirit. He is responsible for cutting off the things that don't benefit our walk with God. We just need to stand where we are planted and spread our limbs. God does the rest.
Lord, remind us to rest in you today and to cease from trying to be perfect but to praise the Perfect One. May we think on things that are honest, lovely, good news, virtuous, and praiseworthy - that is a perfect description of You!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wed.'s Devo - Brittle Bones and Healed Hearts

Read Pro. 14:30
A person who has a heart that has been healed and is whole will not envy or be jealous. A healed heart can love without fear of being hurt or rejected. A whole heart is what we are to love God with and anything less of that is not the best. The person with a cured heart can help someone else be whole. Having a healed heart keeps you healthy in every other area of your life. Your emotions play a big part of your physical health. You can link every illness with an emotion and the Bible is the source of those remedies. This verse says that if you have envy it will cause your bones to be decayed and rotten. That will cause them to break easily. If you have brittle bones that are easily broken then maybe you need to deal with the sin of envy. It is hard not to compare yourself with others who have seemingly been given more, but the best rewards and things you can be given are wisdom, understanding, love and peace. They all come from God. Material things are just that - material. The things God gives are eternal. They go on into the next life. They are worth more than gold or silver so don't compare yourself to others but press into God who is the source of everything good.
Lord, we look to you to heal our hearts and cleanse us of envy and jealousy. Give us an insatiable hunger for the more weightier things like a pure heart.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tues.'s Devo -Slow to Wrath

Read Pro. 14:29
"The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy." Ps. 103:8 God's nature is patience and grace and we are to have the nature of God. If you are tempted to be upset and angry but instead of letting it out, you wait and meditate on God, then he can calm your spirit and show you insight about the situation. For me, God usually shows me why a person acted that way and how I have acted the same way in similar situations. That is enough to humble me and shut me up and keep me from blowing it by acting out. When I don't stop and consider God then I always regret it. I do something hasty and have to eat the fruit of my impulsiveness. God is slow to wrath because he sees the whole picture and he will wait a long time to give a person time to repent. He knows that one day he will sit in judgment and all will be judged according to their deeds. So noone gets away with anything unless they are covered with the blood of Jesus. Even if you are covered you will reep the rewards of your deed on earth.
To be hasty is to exalt folly. In other words, if you react you are not following God so you must be exalting darkness. The devil loves to trick us into worshiping him and one way we do that is by reacting out of our emotions instead of out of our faith toward God.
Lord help us to love mercy and grace, be slow to anger and choose to show mercy just like you.