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.