Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thurs.'s Devo - Words to the Heir

Read Pr. 31:1-9
Lemuel is a symbolic name for Solomon. Solomon's mother was Bathsheba so we can assume he is talking about her and the things she taught him. In verse 2 she is establishing who Solomon is. The word son means the apparent heir to the throne. She is establishing that fact: he is her son, she bore him, and he is the son of promise that will be the heir to the throne of David. So, she has some instruction to give him. She warns him not to be distracted by women or things that will take his power away and eventually destroy him. And not to allow himself to be intoxicated by anything that will mar his judgment or cause him to lose compassion for the needy. People should be given an intoxicant if they are about to die or very sad so they can have a momentary reprieve from their circumstance. She encourages Solomon to speak up for the ones who can't speak for themselves, especially the orphans and the poor. Make sure they are treated fairly and not discriminated against.
We are also heirs to the throne and have been given a great responsibility to use our authority and position in the Lord with great soberness and love. We need to have our eyes open to the cries of the helpless and have no prejudices.
Lord, help us to reign as your heirs here on earth with your heart and your wisdom. May we not be distracted by the world's ways.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wed.'s Devo - Reaping and Sowing

Read Pr. 30:32
This chapter ends in a warning and the resolution. If you have been prideful or had an evil thought then shut your mouth. It is amazing how our speech reveals our thoughts and exposes our sins. If you churn milk, it will produce butter. If you twist someone's nose hard enough, it will bleed. If you force an issue, it will bring about a confrontation. I had that very thing happen to me this week so I'm going to shut my mouth and let God work it out. The bottom line is what ever you sow, you will reap. It is a law. The only thing that can ease the sowing is the mercy of God. David sinned in counting the people. When God gave him the choice of three punishments he chose the one where God was administering the punishment because he knew God was merciful. Sure enough, God poured our his judgment but when David cried out for mercy, God stopped. If you have done something wrong: fall on the mercies of God. If you have wronged somebody and they won't receive your repentence: fall on the mercies of God. He can pull you out and restore you. God wants to be our defender and our high tower but we have to run to him.
Lord, help us to plant seeds of kindness, forgiveness, truth, and love that we might reap the kingdom.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tues.'s Devo - Our Walk

Read Pr. 30:29-31
These verses talk about the walks of different animals that we should consider and emanate. The lion walks in kingly pride because he knows his place in the animal kingdom. He is not afraid of any other animal. The greyhound is a sprinter and not made for endurance. The male goat is very stable on his feet and can walk up trees if they have a slant to them. They can also balance on precarious rocks. The king, who rules in peaceful times is able to walk in peace and safety. We should be like the lion and know our place in the family of God. We should not be afraid of the enemy because we know that greater is he that is in us than him who is in the world. We should be like the greyhound and know how to run swiftly and be quick to obey the voice of God. We should be balanced and sure-footed like the goat who also uses his hoofs to fight off the enemy. Lastly, we should be like the king who walks in peace because of the peace in his heart.
Lord, help us to be bold, wise, peaceful and quick to obey in You.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mon.'s Devo - Little Things

Read Pr. 30:24-28
These scriptures should give us all encouragement because we all at some time feel small and insignificant, but we are really powerful and laden with destiny. The first thing that is small is the ant. Ants are the most interesting creatures to me. They all live together and get along in their tribe and all have jobs and seem to know exactly what that job is. I think that "they prepare meat in the summer" has to do with the fact that they prepare for the future. They are always looking ahead and preparing for it. Pretty smart for a creature that can't have a very large brain. We should live our lives in the moment prepared for what comes ahead. The next is the conies or the rock rabbits. A rabbit is not very strong or powerful in their physical body yet they make their home among the rocks. They surround themselves with craggy rocks to protect themselves. That is like us when we are weak surrounding ourselves with the Word of God which makes us strong and protects us against our enemy. Thirdly, is the locusts who don't have a leader yet they march as one. The body of Christ would be so powerful if we marched as one. The last is the spider. The spider in the Hebrew means a poisoning lizard. So the picture is this very small lizard can get even into the royal houses of the king and poison the most powerful. We should never underestimate what God can do with us. Like the ant, God can show us the future and tell us how to prepare. Like the conie, God can surround us and protect us in the midst of the storms of life that would overwhelm us. Like the locust he can cause us to move as one with him and devour the enemy. Or like the spider, he can plant us in the most important places of society and allow us to bring down the leaders of evil. Though we are weak, He is very strong.
Lord, we trust in your all powerful nature. We refuse to be afraid of what comes our way because we trust in your goodness and your Word.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fri.'s Devo - Things

Read Pr. 30:21-23
There are three earth shattering things and the forth is unbearable. The first is a servant who becomes a king. We see that happen all the time with American Idol, Justin Beeber, David, Jesus, etc. Sometimes, it is a terrible thing because the servant is not raised to know what to do with wealth or power so he lets it go to his head and goes wild and reeks destruction. The only way I have seen it work is if the person is a mature Christian. The second is a fool filled with meat. If you give a baby Christian the meat of God's Word before he is able to swallow it he will take that meat and hurt a lot of people. If you are taught that God can heal but don't let that truth mature in you, you will run all over town praying for people and hurting the kingdom. The third is an odious woman who gets married. The word odious means someone you personally hate. Marriage is most girl's dreams so to see this person you hate get her heart's desire is disquieting. Ideally you shouldn't hate anyone and Jesus taught us to rejoice when your enemy gets blessed. The forth thing is a slave that is heir to her mistress. What a formula for stress and strife. If you knew your servant was just waiting for you to croak so they could have all your stuff, it would make you nervous. What is to keep her from poisoning your food or hating you?
Lord, I have to admit, there are parts of your Word that I don't understand and this chapter is full of them. I thank you that you know human nature and you love us through our pettiness. We bless you today with our lives totally devoted to you.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thurs.'s Devo - Too Wonderful for Comprehension

Read Pr. 30:18-20
Now we get to talk about the awesome things that are too marvelous to understand. The first three represent air, land, and sea and the fourth one has to do with man. Have you ever watched an eagle in the air? They can soar forever and hunt from high in the air because of their keen eyesight. They are one of the largest and most powerful birds and are known as the "king of birds". The eagle is a symbol of spiritual heights. The eagle represent those who soar in the spirit and can see spiritually. The serpent on the rock is a picture of the devil standing on the rock of Jesus. The truth is the devil is totally standing on Jesus for life. He was created by God and is subject to him. One day he did worship God and one day he will fall under his power. The third mystery is a ship on the sea. How does it stay afloat and sail in the midst of that huge sea? How do we stay afloat in the midst of turmoil and waves? God sustains us and guides us. The last is a man with a maid. What is this spell called love that turns us into a different person? It is all a mystery to us. It is what makes God so beyond our comprehension. How did he come up with all these things?
Lord, you are beyond our comprehension and your creation is beyond our finding out. Teach us to meditate on your creation and grasp the enormity of your spirit.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wed.'s Devo - No Satisfaction

Read Pr. 30:17
We are still talking about the things that are never satisfied. Yesterday we talked about the first three and today we are talking about the fourth which is the worst one. It is a person who derides his father's wisdom and totally disrespects his mother. God is big into honoring those who go before us whether they are our parents or our leaders. It doesn't even say if they are righteous we are suppose to honor them. We are just to honor them because they are our parents or our leaders. The commandment to honor our father and mother is the birds and the will devour their flesh. e only commandment that has a promise attached to it though they all do. The attachment says that we honor them that we might live long on the earth. Today's scripture comes with a promise too: if we don't honor them the birds and eagles will eat our dead bodies. That was the worse thing that could happen to your dead body in the Old Testament. That is why they were always wanting to have the body of their dead kings and loved ones. To have your body left on the battlefield for the birds to eat was abominable. In the end God is going to throw the bodies of the unrighteous dead to the birds for them to eat. (Eze. 39:4; Jer. 12)
Lord, help us to be satisfied only in you.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tues.'s Devo -

Read Pr. 30:15-17
A leech is a person who clings on to another person to get all they can from them. They, like the worms will suck the life right out of you. You will never be able to give them enough or satisfy their desire. They are compared to three things. First, they are like the land of the dead that can never be full. People will always die. Secondly, they are like the barren womb that will never be satisfied. A womb is meant to bear life and we are meant to bear life. When we don't we are barren. We will never be fulfilled unless we are bringing forth life. Last of all, the leech is like the earth that is not filled with water. God promised that there will never be a flood that will cover the earth. No matter how much I water my garden, it still needs to be watered. How prophetic. No matter how much we read the Word we still need fresh water to water our souls every day. The devil is the leech that comes to us and tries to tell us we don't give enough to God. He will make us work and work and work for the kingdom to reach it in our own strength. It will only cost us our life and we'll get to heaven tired. God wants us to be free to move, give, and enjoy life to its fullest. In our moving and giving and enjoying life we will minister to those around us who are tired and barren and dry.
Lord, help us to avoid the leeches in life and be free to live for you with joy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mon.'s Devo - There is a Generation...

Read Pr. 30:11-14
"There is a generation..." is another way of saying "Now". Every generation has children that curse their fathers and don't respect their mothers. They came up with the name generation gap in the 60's to describe the relationship between the youth and the adults and their inability to get along. Now they just call it "old school" which is sometimes better than "new school". Every generation has people who are righteous in their own eyes yet they are blind to their sin. Today it is called "entitlement". We are so afraid of "judging" that we don't discipline. Every generation has people who are haughty and proud. They usually get to the top only to fall. And every generation has people who back stab and criticize and have no compassion for the poor and needy. We call it reality T.V. So that should tell us how our lives should be: we should honor our parents and the saints of past generations and teach our children to do likewise. We should be humble and repentant toward our sins and weaknesses and esteem others higher than ourselves. We should be thankful for every blessing and acknowledge it came from God. We should speak well of everyone and forgive always. We should be compassionate toward those in need physically and spiritually.
Lord, help us to train the next generation by our example. Give us the grace to do this.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fri.'s Devo - Judging Others

Read Pr. 30:10
This is another way of saying don't meddle in someone elses business. One day God said to me: "being right is not always right". What he was saying was that just because you know something that is out of order and wrong, it is not always your place to fix it or tell it. Sometimes God allows you to see an injustice because he wants you to show self-control and just pray. Someone elses' servant is not your business. And like the end of the verse says, you might be wrong. Things are not always like they seem but God sees and knows the heart. He knows our motives and he is much more merciful than we are. Jesus met an adulterer at the well and saw past all her sin and saw the longing in her heart to be loved. He spoke to her heart. She was converted. God chooses mercy over judgment so we should too. We should look for a way to see the good in people and support each other rather than see the wrong and judge them by ourselves. That will get you into trouble every time.
Lord, help us to see other people through your eyes of compassion and mercy. Get the log out of our eyes.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thurs.'s Devo - Balance

Read Pr. 30:7-9
God loves balance. This man is praying for balance so that he won't stumble. Deception is what makes us unstable and fall. Eve was deceived into eating the fruit because she believed the lies of the enemy. This man understands this so his prayer is that he be removed from vanity and lies. The enemy uses our pride to trick us. He told Eve that if she ate the fruit she would be wise and understand things only God understood. Her pride got the best of her and she ate it. His next prayer is that God would give him neither poverty or riches. He wanted to have enough to live and enjoy life but not so much that he forget the God who gave it to him or be so poor that he would be tempted to do something illegal just to feed his family. He wanted the will of God for his life: to be given the life that God had appointed him to live. He knew his weakness and wanted to stay away from it. We know our own weaknesses and if we are wise we will stay away from them. He wanted a healthy balance which is what we all should want.
Lord, teach us to be thankful for what you have abundantly given us and not complain or seek what is not ours to have. Give us your healthy balance.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wed.'s Devo - Conditions of the Promises

Read Pr. 30:5, 6
Everything God says in his word has gone through the test of purity. It has been put to the fire and refined. It is trustworthy and true and you can stand on it. It doesn't need embellishing or added to. God won't back up something he didn't say but he will be faithful to what he has said. Every prophecy and promise in the Bible will come to fruition in the right time. God's time line is unconditional and his covenant is unconditional but many of his promises are conditional. Like: love the lord your God with all your heart and soul. In return God told them he would bring them rain at the right time to water your crops and grass to feed their cattle. But if they turn their hearts toward false gods he would get angry and send no rain, and the land will not be fruitful. So that they wouldn't do this they were to bind God's word in their heart and in their soul and teach them to their children all the time. If they did this they would live a long life in the land and so would their children. God also promised to drive out the enemy before them and they would possess greatere nations than themselves. They would possess the land that they walked on and no man would be able to withstand them. What promises....and the only thing we have to do is to obey God's commandments and love him above all.
Lord, we want to love you with our whole heart and obey all your commandments. Grant us discernment and grace to do this.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tues.'s Devo - A New Name

Read Pr. 30:1-4
Agur is a man not mentioned anywhere else in scripture. His name means gathered or received among the sages. His name is also a fancy name for Solomon although his way of writing is different than any of the other Proverbs. He is an observer of life who uses everyday things to learn from. He realizes his frailty and God's enormous power and is very humbled by it. It is interesting to note that he speaks of the creator and his son in verse 4. By wanting to know his name he is wanting to know his character and his authority. Names were very important and their meanings were prophetic. That reminds me of a dream I had this week. I have had some challenges lately and have called out to God for help often. In my dream I was driving out of the woods and came to a street that was under construction. There were open air shops along my way and I saw a man standing outside his shop. He looked at me and smiled. He was very familiar to me. I had seen him do other menial jobs all over the city and I knew he was very good at everything he did but very humble. No job was too base for him. As I was thinking all this a man in a shop a few shops down came out and asked him to come and help him. He called him Grace. I woke up and realized that he was the help I was always asking God for and he always came and helped me do whatever I needed him to help me to. That is how powerful names are. They tell our character so the name of Jesus is a powerful name.
Lord, you amaze me with your wisdom. You said that you will give us a new name and only we will know it. Show us what this name is and thank you for the power in your name.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mon.'s Devo -Man vs. God

Read Pr. 29:24-27
We are not to follow after any man. Our lord has got to be God Almighty. Following man will lead us into deceit and rob us of our devotion to God. If we want favor then we draw near to God and put our trust in him. Then he can move the heart of man. David did this. He lost Saul's favor and had to run from Saul for years. Even his own men wanted to kill him at times but he found his delight and strength in the Lord. He was a man after God's heart, not the heart of men. God is perfect and loves us with a perfect love. He has designed our destiny and only he can help us bring it about. Pr. 21:1 says that the king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, and as the rivers of water: he turns it which ever he will. It is hard for us to comprehend how much God is in control of what goes on in our lives but he does. He starts at the end then builds toward that end. So he has seen your end and knows how to get you there. No man on this earth has such knowledge so it is foolish for us to look to man.
Lord, we put our total trust in you. Thank you for your plan and your wisdom to bring it to pass.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fri.'s Devo -Anger Management

Read Pr. 29:22,23
Anger is a terrible emotion unless it is against the enemy. Some of the definitions of furious in the Hebrew are bottles, heat, indignation, poison, rage, and wrath. Anger is like having hot bottles in your heart that are being put under the fire. Eventually they are going to explode and everyone around is going to get burned. Anger is resentment and bitterness and if left unrepentant will destroy your life and those around you. We cannot control what others do to us, but we can control how we let it affect us. The way to combat anger is found in verse 23: be humble in spirit. That means to go low. It is the opposite of what the world teaches. The world teaches you should be on top and have self-esteem. I think we should have God-esteem. If we know what God says about us and believe it then we will trust in him, turn the other cheek and forgive. This is easier to type than to walk out. Jesus had every right to use his power to set people straight. He was the son of God and yet treated like an insane criminal but he chose not to defend himself. He asked nothing in return for all the people he healed and set free. He chose to forgive because he could see the bigger picture and knew the depravity of man's heart. Through it all, he loved.
Lord, help us to love and forgive those who hate us and use us. Give us a humble spirit.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thur.'s Devo - Servants and Sons 6-9-11

Read Pr. 29:19-21
It is hard for us to relate to servants in the 21st century, America but after reading the verses in the New Testament that have to do with servants I realize that we are all servants and we all have servants. We are a servant to God and his body and anyone we do work for whether voluntarily or for pay. And we are master over any one who serves us whether they are the waiter at a restaurant or our own children. God said in Isaiah that he would send his servant, Jesus, who would show judgment to the Gentiles. So Jesus was also a servant and a master. As God's servant we are to blindly obey. If we are always wanting to know why God tells us to do something we will never learn faith. Sometimes God tells us to do things we will never know why in this lifetime because we are not to know, other times he needs us to act quickly instead of waiting to find out why. I love verse 21 because for someone who has known God since I was 6 it is sweet to hear. It says that if we are raised to be God's servant from our youth then we will become his son in the future. Son's have the priviledge of knowing the family business and receiving the inhertance of the father not just serving. It also means that if we adopt, mentor, and teach a person when they are young and teachable then they will be faithful to what you have taught them when they grow up.
Lord, help us to be good servants and just masters and obedient sons.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wed.'s Devo -Our Destiny

Read Pr. 29:18
I have heard this verse over and over but it is still true and powerful. Without a dream you have no direction or destination. God created everyone with a destiny. The word destination comes from the word destiny so we all have a destination we are to reach. I believe, sadly, that few people reach this before they die, but it is attainable in God. Our DNA is stamped with our destiny on it. The way to reach your destiny is found in the last of the verse: "he that keeps the law, happy is he". Nothing will fulfill us more than walking in God's will for our lives. We are made to have purpose and structure. Everyday I try to set a goal of what I want to accomplish that day and when I do I am so pleased and satisfied. If I didn't set a goal I would feel overwhelmed because I would always feel stressed over what I hadn't done. Look at all the people in the Bible that were born with a known destiny: Moses, Samson, Josiah, John the Baptist, Jesus. They all had a spoken word over them before they were born. We do too. It was spoken from heaven and all we have to do is put God first and look to him. He will perform it through us without us even realizing we are in it.
Lord, let your spirit guide us today in the destiny you have planned for us today.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tues.'s Devo Raising our Children

Read Pr. 29:15-17
Raising children is the most important task we are given. They are our inheritance and our reward. If we don't take that ministry serious then everything else we do loses its power. Our job is the beginning and God's job is the end: we are to raise them up in the Lord and it is God who brings that about in their lives. Discipline takes time and patience and is never ending when our children are young. It can be exhausting but fruitful. Today's verse says that the rod and reproof give wisdom. I think that goes for the one giving it also. I grew so much by watching my children grow up and seeing them respond to discipline. Now that they are grown I am so thankful that I spent the time with them to train them in the Lord. They are truly a delight to my soul and I am at rest. We are raising the next generation that will rule on the earth; what a ministry! The devil wants us to feel unproductive and isolated because he knows that being a parent is a powerful position. Don't be deceived: what you do as a parent is so important.
Lord, help us not to be distracted by the enemy and lose our focus when raising our children. We might not have the audience of the earth but we have the audience of heaven. Give us wisdom to walk in your timing.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mon.'s Devo.- Righteousness Prevails

Read Pr. 29: 9-14
All these scriptures have to do with the foolish man and the wise man. It makes me think of Saul and David. Saul was the foolish ruler who forsake God to worship himself. He was so full of jealousy and pride that he destroyed himself and his kingdom. He hated David, who was upright and honored God, and wanted to murder him. He gave no rest to his kingdom because he was determined to kill God's plan of making David king. He actually thought he could outsmart God. He turned his kingdom against David but God prevailed. He gave David favor and protection and watched over his word to make David king. When David did become king he faithfully judged the poor. He brought Mephibosheth, the cripple into his home and fed him at his table. God promised David that his throne would be established forever and it has been. Through David's line came Jesus who has an everlasting kingdom that will never be brought down.
Lord, help us to live our lives with eternity in mind. Watch over your word to perform it in our lives and let your righteousness prevail.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fri.'s Devo - Compassion

Read Pr. 28:6-8
The devil is not satisfied being evil, he wants to trap others in his noose. That is why you can never trust an unbeliever. His father is the devil and Satan will use anyone to trap you in sin. But the righteous who don't allow themselves to be snared sing and rejoice. They have joy and peace whatever happens. The righteous are compassionate and see the needs of those around them where the wicked desensitized themselves to the poor and needy. Those who mock at the things of God will cause a curse to fall on their city but the wise in the city can turn away God's wrath. Remember Lot. He lived in Sodom and God couldn't destroy it till he was out of it. God will not judge a city if there are godly people there who are praying. I see what happened to Joplin, Mo with the tornado and I don't understand whether it was God or the devil but I do know that we have been given power over the storms and we can rebuke them so they don't come to us. I also know that Pres. Obama had just met with Prime Minister Netaneyu to talk about moving their boundaries to pre 6th Day War. God always judges us after we go against Israel, so I knew something was coming. But, like the verse today, we need to care for the needs of the victums.
Lord, we don't understand everything that is going on around us except that we are in birth pains. We pray for all the people that were affected by the tornado that hit in Joplin. Comfort and turn their sorrow to joy. Show us what we can do for them.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thurs.'s Devo - God's Boundaries

Read Pr. 29:3,4
If you want to love God and please him you will love wisdom. God is wisdom personified. ("I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions." Pr. 8:12) He made us in his wisdom but if we spend our lives living foolishly and committing adultery then we are using our lives up. God established this land with boundaries. He made boundaries for the seas and the land and set laws for the animals. He explained all this to Job in the last 2 chapters of Job. He also created our bodies with boundaries. We have been given this land and our lives as a gift. Most people will take this gift and destroy it with their own hands. But we who are wise need to guard God's boundaries and honor the gifts God has given us. We need to take care of our spirits and what we allow to come into our lives and how we treat our physical bodies, and we need to honor the earth that God has given us as a gift.
Lord, forgive us for taking your gifts for granted and thinking they were ours to do with as we please. Show us ways to honor your boundaries in our lives and convict us of destroying what you have established.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wed.'s Devo - Righteous Authority

Read Pr. 29:2
I can't remember a really godly president since I have been born so I don't know what it would be like to live under righteous authority but I can look at David's rule and get a good idea. The people loved David and supported his decisions. He honored God and the things God honored. When he brought back the ark the second time he had a huge celebration and all the people came to help him celebrate. He put God first and the people prospered during his reign. He turned his kingdom over to his son Solomon who was also a godly ruler. During Solomon's reign the whole nation lived in peace and contentment. But when Solomon died the kingdom was given to Reoboam who was evil and oppressed the people. The people grieved and many moved away. Finally the kingdom was split and remained that way for years. America has experienced decay in leadership to the point we are no longer a Christian nation. That is very sobering and sad but if God would have saved Sodom and Gomorrah for 10 righteous people surely God will save America for the sake of his righteous.
Lord, we seek your face and humbly ask you to heal our land of sin and evil. Forgive us of our idolatry and rebellion. Cleanse the hearts of your children and restore righteous authority to our nation.