Monday, February 29, 2016


Proverbs 30:1-4         The man declares, I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out. Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know! 

Why is the writer asking these questions? Does he not know himself? Does he know who God is? God will see that the distortion of his words is corrected in us. He will prove to us we were wrong and he is right. How do you balance a child’s toy: the teeter-totter? How do you balance your life? You cannot balance life by either of the two extremes. Your life is balanced when you are in the middle, in God’s path.

 The person that has much grace, understands, much more than others, the great height to which his love ought to ascend. He sees more clearly than others how little a way he has risen towards that height. Therefore he estimates his love by the whole height of his duty and concludes that he is astonishingly short of his duty.

True grace is of this nature. The more a person has of it the less does his goodness and holiness appear to him in light of his remaining defects.

 Genuine humility is the only path to wisdom. Unless a camel bends to his knees, he cannot get through the “eye of a needle”. So it is with you and I.

Sunday, February 28, 2016


Proverbs 29:18           Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.

Martin Luther wrote: “When once we lose sight of God, we begin to be reckless, we cast off certain restraints; we cast off praying, we cast off the vision of God in little things, and begin to act on our own initiative. If we are eating what we have out of our own hand, doing things on our own initiative without expecting God to come in, we are on the downward path, we have lost the vision.”

Ideals and visions are two different things. An ideal is a standard or principle of belief. It is a statement which can be true or false. But it is just that, a statement. Jonah believed that God was a God of justice and of mercy. But that ideal understanding did not move him to obey God and go to the people of Ninevah with God’s message. He believed an ideal but had no vision.

A vision is something that we can see in our mind’s eye. It is a picture or movie of an event, scene or activity. In a vision we see lived out a belief with a moral action. This is not the same as an ideal. Visions are the outworking of a belief. It is obedience to a command. Vision is a reality that draws us into the participation of God’s plan for our life and the lives of others. Without a vision of God there can be no fulfillment in life. We die spiritually.

Saturday, February 27, 2016


Proverbs 28:13-14         Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

Feelings of guilt that are repressed can produce havoc in a person’s life. It is no wonder that many religions try to create a system to relieve people of this sense of guilt and shame for sins committed and deeds left undone. Feelings of guilt cannot be removed by some magical practice or “ten steps” to freedom. No, this proverb gives an answer to this dilemma in people.

Feelings of guilt flow from a violation of God’s moral law. As in science, if you violate the law of gravity by thinking you can fly off the roof of your house you get terribly injured or even die. So it is with God’s moral laws. If you steal, there is a consequence. If the theft is left undone you will suffer a measure of guilty feelings. If you commit adultery in body or mind, you will suffer a moral consequence. We are made in God’s image. Our conscience is proof of this moral law knit into our fabric as humans. If a moral law is broken then the consequence of guilt or shame will be realized in some measure.

Such violations can only be remedied by God. It is His law that has been broken. He is the One offended or violated by your sin, first and foremost. Yes, others are hurt or violated. But the remedy begins with your confession of sin to God. But it doesn’t stop there. The wise will confess and renounce or forsake the sinful action. Mercy is extended first by God to the person who truly repents and turns from his sinfulness.

A healthy understanding of the nature of sin and folly entails the person having a healthy fear, or respect, for God and His standards. Relief from guilt and shame begins with your turning first to God then to the one you sinned against in this world. It doesn’t work any other way.

Friday, February 26, 2016


Proverbs 27:21
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is tested by his praise. 

The person that is praised is not only much approved by others, but he is also much proved. Praise given to someone will allow us to see that true person. The response to praise reveals much about the individual.  Either the person reflects an air of vindication, deservedness or they reflect an air of humility or undeserved-ness. The man or woman of God is tested by the praise they receive.

To seek the praise of other people is a reflection of the world within us. The praise we receive is actually a greater trial to the person who lives by principle than is criticism or ridicule. Christians live by principles. The Word of God is our standard for living. If God is working out His plan for your life each day, then when praise is given, who gets the glory? For some, such praise makes them more careful and diligent in giving God the credit for their success. They are humbled by the offer of praise by redirect the audience to the One who should be praised.

Be careful in the praise you give to others. Remember to use moderation in the praise you give. Such praise must entail the celebration of what God contributed to the success of each of us. Be careful in the praise you receive. Those who praise you may need to hear of your thankfulness to God. Your response to praise may be your opportunity to preach and evangelize.

The furnace and the crucible are used to prove which part of the liquid is the true metal. So it is for us when God allows praise to come our way. The fire is burning and we must be mindful of what our metal really is.

Thursday, February 25, 2016


Proverbs 26:11 
Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.

Let’s be honest, we have all repeated a mistake or sin sometime in our lives. Sometimes we just don’t learn our lesson the first time around. Even after the second mistake some people go on to repeat their folly again and again. There are those who spend a life-time repeating their sins, again and again. In fact, their entire world becomes painted by their habitual foolishness.

The local homeless shelter staff come face to face with this truth lived out by those they help. Men and women addicted to drugs or alcohol find the folly of repeated drunkenness following them each day. Young men with open sores and other illnesses come and go from the shelter weekly, never considering the company they keep is contributing their declining health. These people return each day to the foolishness and sinfulness that has kept them homeless and wayward the greater part of their lives.

Insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results each time. So is the mind of many homeless men and women. They believe that coming in to get physically cleaned up, fed a few full meals, and sit in on a Bible study or two will bring a change to their lives. Yet in a few days they have left and gone back to the old way of life.

Let’s be honest, there are things in our lives we need to give up, forsake. We have been fools in repeating them over and over and expecting different results each time we tried to change. It’s time to place this thought process or behavior in God’s hands. Your hands haven’t handled it well so far, right?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Proverbs 25:18           A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow. 

A trumpeter was once captured by the enemy. He pleaded with his captors: “Please spare me! I have no gun, I am not guilty of any crime. I have not killed a single one of your soldiers. I only carry this poor brass trumpet and play it when I’m told to.”

“That is the very reason for putting you to death,” his captors replied. “For, while you do not yourself fight, your trumpet stirs up all the others to battle. It causes many others to kill!”

So it is with our criticism of others. We may not hate, mistrust, or avoid the person we criticize, but our criticism can cause others to manifest these feelings and behaviors.

There once was a woman to whom gossip and criticism were so utterly distasteful that whenever someone brought up something negative about a person, she would say, “Come, let’s go and ask if this is true.” The tale-bearer was always so taken aback that he or she would beg to be excused. But the determined woman would insist on escorting the reluctant soul to the subject of the tale to verify its truth or to hear the other point of view. In time, no one repeated a tale or voiced a criticism in her presence.

 Build up your friends, don’t tear them down. Pick your friends but not to pieces.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Proverbs 24:10       If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.

You can easily determine the caliber of a person by the amount of opposition it takes to discourage him.

A student found a cocoon one day and brought it to his biology teacher. She put it in a glass box with a warming lamp. About a week later, the students saw a small opening appear on the cocoon. The cocoon began to shake. Suddenly, tiny antennae emerged, followed by a head and tiny front feet. The students watched the progress of the emerging insect throughout the day. By noon it had freed its listless wings, the colors revealing it to be a monarch butterfly. It wiggled and shook, but as hard as it tried, it could not seem to force its body through the small opening. One student decided to snip off the end of the cocoon to help the insect. Out it plopped to the table. Only the top half of it looked like a butterfly. The bottom half was large and swollen. The insect crawled about, dragging its listless wings, and a short time later, it died.

The next day, the biology teacher explained that the butterfly’s struggle to get through the tiny opening is necessary in order to force fluids from the swollen body into the wings so they will be strong enough to fly. Without the struggle, the wings never could develop.

Struggles cause numerous things in our lives to develop. Like someone who exercises, it takes pain and persistence for the body to develop muscles. Rather than struggle against struggle, we need to learn to struggle through our struggles.

Monday, February 22, 2016


Proverbs 23:26-27          My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. For a prostitute is a deep pit; an adulteress is a narrow well.

            A boy once said to God, “I’ve been thinking, and I know what I want when I become a man.” He proceeded to give God his list: to live in a big house with two German Shepherds and a garden…marry a blue-eyed, tall, beautiful woman…have three sons – one who will be a senator, one a scientist, and one a quarterback. He also wanted to be an adventurer who climbed tall mountains…and to drive a red Porsche.

            As it turned out, the boy hurt his knee one day while playing football. He no longer could climb trees, much less mountains. He married a beautiful and kind woman, who was short with brown eyes. Because of his business, he lived in a city apartment, took cabs and rode subways. He had four loving daughters, and they adopted a black puppy. One daughter became a nurse, another a writer, the third a teacher and the fourth a social worker.

            One morning the man awoke and remembered his boyhood dream. He became extremely depressed, so depressed that he became very ill. Close to death from a broken heart, he called out to God, “Remember when I was a boy and told You all the things I wanted? Why didn’t You give me those things?”

            “I could have,” said God, “but I wanted to make you happy.”

            Remember, God wants the best for each of us. Trust Him with your whole heart – He’s the original heart surgeon. God can heal a broken heart, but he has to have all the pieces.

Sunday, February 21, 2016


Proverbs 22:24-25                 Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.

Have you ever seen an entire oyster shell without an oyster in it? You may have wondered how the oyster got out. If you looked closely at the shell you might find a very small hole at the top. This hole is made by a whelk. This ocean creature has an appendage that acts like a drill. The whelk is able to use this to bore holes into the oyster shell and then suck the oyster out through the hole, little by little. Through a small whole in the shell, a whelk can do great harm and cause death.

Very often, we allow another person’s angry outbursts, their critical remarks, or their cynical comments to bore a hole into our good nature and rob us or our otherwise sunny dispositions. If we are not careful, we can become irritated to the point where genuine anger and bitterness begin to develop within us. And when that happens, we are in very real danger of experiencing disease, disharmony and discord.

One of the best things you can do is simply to avoid those people whom you find irksome, continually critical, or habitually angry at life, as well as those who seem to delight in needling you all the time. In other words, stay out of the way of whelks. Jesus said that if you hand causes you to sin, then cut it off. If certain people are dragging you down into THEIR pit, cut them off to access in your life. You will find yourself experiencing a healthier and happier life again.

Saturday, February 20, 2016


Proverbs 21:1-5         The  king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin. The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

The heart of a person is the inner prompt for his words, actions and beliefs. Desires are formulated by the heart’s will to control the world around them. Out of the will come actions and words to bring into fruition the desire of your heart. If a person is selfish, the heart will spring into action to bring about all which is desired by a person. Other people merely become instruments to meet the heart’s desire.

God is still in control of the hearts of men. He knows our hearts better than we do. The selfish and the generous hearts are equally known to him. The King’s heart is weighed by God, it is known by Him. God will guide the king based on his heart, whether good or bad, to God’s destination. The generous heart will be guided as well to a place of God’s choosing.

When we look upon our own heart we are not able to see it as clearly as God does. Sin has clouded our vision of it. We see it like we see the bottom of murky lake. We see an outline maybe but not the intricate details. As sinners we may do good things, but we are also prone to doing evil or sinful things. Yet we see our heart as good, through the murkiness of our sin.

Friday, February 19, 2016


Proverbs 20:7   The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him!

            A man was asked to give a commencement address several years ago and as he sat on the platform after the speech watching the graduates receive their college degrees, the entire audience began applauding for a student who had earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

During the applause, a faculty member seated next to the speaker leaned over and said to him, “She may be Miss Genius, but her attitude stinks.” The speaker later said, “Without even thinking, my hands stopped clapping for her in mid-air. I couldn’t help but think, How sad.”

            No matter how beautiful, intelligent, talented, or athletic a child may be, there’s no substitute for a child having a positive, loving attitude toward others. The foremost architect of that attitude is not going to be a teacher, pastor, or a coach. It will be the parents.

            Be careful in the attitudes you “feed” your children daily. They become the diet of your child’s mind, just as food becomes the diet for your child’s body. Don’t feed your children junk ideas, sour opinions, rotten theology, poison feelings or wilted enthusiasm. Instead, feed your children with the best and most Christian ideas, expressions of feeling, and opinions you have. Our children are like mirrors, they reflect the attitudes in us.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Proverbs 19:20           Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.

At military schools, servicemen are encouraged not to own an automobile. This is not meant to be a punishment or a way to control the student. It is an attempt to protect him or her from a sad pattern of events that is common to young students in the academies.

All too often a student becomes a slave to his car. At first the car requires very little of the student’s time and money, but the demands for gas, oil, tires, insurance and maintenance lure the student away from his main responsibilities as a student. As a result he begins to neglect his studies and the other requirements of his military and technical training. His first reason for being in the service of his country takes a “backseat” to his owning and maintaining a car.

Hours and time he should be spending in class, the library or studying get lost in town, at the movie or cruising the surrounding community. If this continues then he begins to jeopardize his education, skills training and future career.

The price we pay for something that takes us away from our first priority cannot always be measured. The loss of an opportunity to better yourself and to secure a better career in the future is priceless. It takes a mature man or woman to turn down a short lived opportunity for a life time gift of an education.

 God can help us to seek knowledge and wisdom over temporary pleasures. God can help us see the value in developing ourselves in character and integrity in order to be blessed and to be a blessing to others. Such a life begins with your willingness to listen to  the counsel of Godly leaders. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Proverbs 18:24           A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

A true friend loves and accepts us just as we are, stays close to us in good or in bad, and is always ready to help in time of need. An old hymn, What A Friend We Have In Jesus, was written by Joseph Scriven to describe his closest and best friend. He spent his entire life showing real friendship to others.

Joseph had wealth, education, a devoted family, and a pleasant life in his native Ireland. Then unexpected tragedy entered his life. On the night before his wedding, his fiancée drowned. In his deep sorrow, Joseph realized that he could find the solace and support he needed only in his dearest friend, Jesus.

Soon after this tragedy, Joseph dramatically changed his lifestyle. He left Ireland for Port Hope, Canada, determined to devote all of his extra time in being a friend and helper to others. He often gave away his clothing and possessions to those in need, and he worked, without pay, for anyone who needed him. He became known as “the Good Samaritan of Port Hope”.

When his mother became ill in Ireland, he wrote a comforting letter to her, enclosing the words of his newly written poem with the prayer that these lines would remind her of a never-failing heavenly Friend. Later in his life, when he became ill, a friend who came to call on him happened to see a copy of these words scribbled on scratch paper near his bed. The friend read the lines and asked him who wrote such beautiful words. Joseph replied, “The Lord and I did it together”.

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Proverbs 17:3-4         The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts. An evildoer listens to wicked lips, and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.

Remember that temptation is not sin. Satan makes his advances on us and we recognize his presence. Sin occurs when the temptation is met by us with our willingness or consent to participate. You may find yourself considering the temptation in your mind but that too, is not sin. There is no sin because the real choice of your spirit is fixed immovably against it. You can only stand against temptation if you are walking with the Jesus.

God allows Satan to do as he wants. God sees what Satan is trying to do to you. God regards his temptation of you simply as a solicitation, an offer to what you shouldn’t. When you deny temptation its victory over you then God credits you with an obedience pleasing to Him. You have overcome because of your trust in God’s will and God’s way, not Satan’s.

We do not fully know how evil can find access to our nature and seem to incorporate itself into our thoughts and feelings. It is marvelous that at the same time we resist and overcome it and remain devoted to God’s will. The testing of our will gives us a reminder for the days ahead when we are faced with a new temptation. We can remember the past victories and again not give in to Satan’s tactics.

Victory over temptation is a harp string that is plucked by a clumsy or untrained hand giving off a terrible noise. The noise is not due to a defect in the harp but because of the hand that plucked it. So when a trained musician plucks the same harp the sound is melodic and pleasing to the ears of others. Victory against temptation is a practiced skill. Walking in the Spirit, reading God’s Word and praying to Jesus will develop your spiritual strength and ability to withstand the testing that Satan brings to each of us.

Monday, February 15, 2016


Proverbs 16:23-24      The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Life is very easily made up of words. Try living your normal day without saying a word and you will find much difficulty and frustration. Words enable us to communicate with other people in order to function at home, work or play. Without words then danger, misunderstanding, loss, and disappointment will fill the void.

Words of rebuke, anger, jealousy, rage, hatred, etc. will bring negative responses. Where no words are used we see a resulting life of emptiness. When negative or abusive words are used we find enmity, bitterness and a warring spirit between people. Such words cause separation not unity. Words can drive people away if used improperly. They can leave people ignorant for such words cause people to stop listening. Words can be damaging if used improperly.

Then there are words that bring positive responses from others. There are words that can be used that bring benefit to the speaker and to the listeners. The Christian should learn to speak words that build up others and not words that tear them down. Words should be used to further God’s will for the listener.

James (3:9-10) reminds us that with our words “we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.” This is not what we should be doing with our words. So we should learn to speak with our eyes heavenward knowing our words are heard by men and by Jesus.

Sunday, February 14, 2016


Proverbs 15:13-15         A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly. All the days of the afflicted are evil, but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.

The medical profession has long realized that happy people are the healthiest of people. But how does someone achieve that state of happiness or joy? The child of God knows that it comes from living close to Jesus. And beyond that, joy experienced should also be joy expressed in one’s life.

This should be true in our individual lives as well as when we gather in our churches for worship. True worship must have the ingredient of festivity and joyfulness. The Psalms insist that we “burst into jubilant song with music” (Psalm 98) and that we praise our God and Savior with trumpet, lute, harp, tambourine, and loud crashing cymbals.(Psalm 150)  

Too often believers give the impression that the Christian worship experience is a cheerless journey of harsh self-discipline that must be painfully endured. Only then will the heavenly rewards be finally realized. But, little joy or praise is evident in such an approach to worship or Christian living.

When we find our worship and personal life filled with joy and songs, it will be easier for our lives to encourage others to know this same happiness. Smile, Christian, smile! You have much to be joyful for.

Saturday, February 13, 2016


Proverbs 4:18-19            But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.

The instruction we receive as young people is to be guarded. The knowledge we receive from family and teachers is given to protect us and to prepare us for success in life. God’s word gives us additional instruction to prepare our hearts and souls for life’s journey into eternity. This instruction is to be guarded, but why?

There are people who do not believe what we Christians believe. They believe there is no God. Heaven is only a wishful thought to them, reality as we see and experience it in this life is all anyone can attain, so they say. Such people will seek to persuade us into believing what they believe. These beliefs are foolishness according to scripture. It is a fool who denies there is a God. 

The path that leads to understanding, wisdom and a true knowledge of God is like the morning sun. Out of the darkness of night we begin to see a glimmer of light. Something begins to come into view as we read and study Scripture. As time progresses the light of understanding begins to be seen for what it is. God is the light we begin to see. We acknowledge His existence and the light begins to brighten.

As the day emerges the light gets ever brighter until our knowledge is turned into belief and our belief works itself out into faith or trust. In the fullness of the day we have compete trust in God’s existence and activity in our life. Each day continues this ever rising dawn within us. This living dawn is our daily walk and growth in the wisdom and knowledge of God.

Friday, February 12, 2016


Proverbs 13:24           Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

A boy once made headlines as the result of his repeated acts of vandalism in his neighborhood. Even though he came from a well-to-do family, he was, by every indication of behavior, a perfect example of a “juvenile delinquent.”

A reporter quizzed the boy in detention, asking, “Why do you feel the need to destroy property? Are you angry?” The boy just shrugged his shoulders and turned away. The reporter persisted, “Weren’t you afraid of getting a licking from your parents?”

At this the boy looked at the reporter, and said, “I’ve never had a licking in my life.” The tone of his voice, however, was not one of anger, but of sadness. The reporter talked with him further and realized that “not having a licking” meant to this young boy that his parents didn’t care one whit about him. The young man concluded the interview by declaring that if the police turned him loose, he would continue to take out his vengeance on the neighborhood until one or the other of his folks cared enough to stop him.

Spanking is not abuse. Abuse is rooted in a parent’s uncontrolled expression of power. Spanking is a form of discipline intended to restrain and redirect a child’s uncontrolled expression of their power. Abuse never has a place. Spanking sometimes does.

Thursday, February 11, 2016


Proverbs 12:15-16                 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.

A wise man can take “No” for an answer. He is able to listen to the wisdom and truth of a friend. Pride can be an impediment to our learning and growing in God’s graces.

Even insults are not taken personally by the wise person. Insults that are spoken about us by people with limited knowledge of us.

I have found that the people who have only a casual relationship with me are the easiest to dismiss when they throw an insult. Such words are the easiest to dismiss because they are often baseless. Insults that are painful are those spoken by close friends.

Vs. 16 a prudent man does not take insults personally. Self control, ability to correct yourself and say sorry, means less stress in your life.

What are the benefits of being truthful? It brings healing, experiences of joy, less trouble with people and the presence of God on your side in a dispute.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Proverbs 11:24-26          One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.

Why does God bless those who give of themselves to help others who are in distress? The answer should be easy to find. God meets the needs of people not by raining down loaves and fishes from the sky. He uses people like you and I to bring relief to the downtrodden. God provides monies and resources to people beyond their own needs in order for them to faithfully give to others. Christians are conduits used by God to help others.

It can be overwhelming to think that God can use any of us to help with the emotional and physical needs of strangers. This ministry is prevalent in the book of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament. When society cast away the weak and the poor, the early church reached to them in love and with the scant resources that they possessed as a community. It is no different today. It is even more imperative for us given the amount of resources that each of us possess.

Helping others is work. It takes both physical and spiritual energy to work with the floundering lives of the poor. In the process of equipping us with tangible resources to meet these needs, he also equips us spiritually and emotionally. The Holy Spirit is with us always to empower, guide and refresh us in our calling to reach out to others.

The righteous thrive because they know that riches in this world are temporary. The true treasures we seek will only be found in God’s Kingdom yet to come.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Proverbs 10:4-5         A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.

            Miss Smith, an elderly spinster, was the oldest resident of her Midwestern town on the day she died. In writing her obituary, the editor of the local newspaper became stumped after noting her age. Miss Smith had never spent a night in jail or been seen intoxicated on the streets. She also had never done anything noteworthy. While musing about what the might write, the editor went out for coffee and in the local café, he met the owner of the tombstone company, who was equally perplexed as to what to write about Miss Smith.

            The editor returned to his office and assigned both the obituary and tombstone epitaph to the first reporter he saw, who happened to be the sports editor. If you pass through that little town, you’ll find this on Miss Smith’s tombstone:
                        Here lies the bones of Mildred Smith.
                        For her, life held no terrors.
                        She lived an old maid. She died an old maid.
                        No hits, no runs, no errors.
            If we don’t try, we don’t do…if we don’t do…we can’t bless others. We each have a contribution to make to the lives of others. Give your best effort today. It’s your best shot at scoring in the game of life.

Monday, February 8, 2016


Proverbs 9:7-8            Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you.

When Charles Spurgeon was still a boy preacher, he was warned about a certain woman with a reputation for being extremely argumentative. He was told that she intended to give him a tongue-lashing the moment she saw him again.

Spurgeon said, “All right, but that’s a game two can play.”

Shortly thereafter she met him and began to assault him with a flood of verbal abuse. He simply smiled back at her and said, “Oh, yes, thank you. I am quite well. Thank you for asking. I hope you are the same.”

His remarks were followed by another tirade of know-it-all comments, this time voiced at a slightly higher volume. He responded again, smiling quietly, “Yes, it does look rather as if it might rain. I think I had better be getting along.”

“Bless that man!” the woman exclaimed and then concluded, “He’s as deaf as a door post. What’s the use of talking to him?”

Never again did she assault Spurgeon with her arguments. And never did he tell her what he had done. There’s no point in arguing with know-it-all people. Better to let them have their say and walk on. The only fool bigger than the person who knows it all is the person who argues with her.

Sunday, February 7, 2016


Proverbs 8:17-19            I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.

Wisdom loves her lovers, and seeks her seekers. The person who seeks wisdom is already wise, and has almost found wisdom. What is true of wisdom in general is especially true of the wisdom embodied in our Lord, Jesus Christ. Him we are to love and to seek, and in return we will enjoy His love, and find Him.

Our business is to seek Jesus Christ early in life. Happy are the young who know Him and spend each day with Him. It is never too soon to seek Christ. Early seekers make certain finders. With diligence we are to seek Him. A successful entrepreneur arises early to get to his business and meet his customer’s needs. A successful Christian is eagerly striving to be with their Lord each day. Having fellowship with Him makes all other things a distant concern.

The “Prosperity Gospel” is destroyed in these verses. Wisdom is not found in the search for material blessings. The presence of material blessings are not indication of the soul’s true status before Christ. Wisdom draws us to seek the person of Christ, despite the absence or presence of material wealth.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:24 that Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God. If you want to be wise beyond your years then turn your heart toward Him. In fellowship with Him you will be blessed beyond your years.

Friday, February 5, 2016


Proverbs 6:2-3           If you are snared in the words of your mouth, caught in the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, and save yourself for you have come into the hand of your neighbor: go, hasten, and plead urgently with your neighbor.

A woman in a fine luxury car waited patiently in a crowded mall parking lot for a place to park. She drove up and down between the rows until she finally saw a man with a load of packages headed for his car. She followed him and parked behind him, waiting while he loaded his packages in the trunk. Finally he got into the car and backed out.

Just as she was preparing to pull forward into the space, a young man in a small compact sports car – coming from the opposite direction – turned in front of her, zipped into the space, got out of his car, and started walking away.  The woman was livid. She shouted from her fine luxury car, “Hey, young man! I was waiting for that parking place.”

The teenager responded, “Sorry, lady, but that’s how it is when you’re young and quick.”

She instantly put her car into drive, hit the accelerator, and crashed into the rear end of the sports car, crushing its right rear fender into the trunk. Now it was the young man’s turn to jump up and down, shouting, “What are you doing? Are you crazy lady?”

The woman in the fine luxury car calmly responded, “Well, son, that’s how it is when you’re old and rich.”

Most of the world’s problems and conflicts could probably be resolved if, instead of retaliation and revenge, apologies were made all around. The best way to get the last word is to apologize, first!

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Proverbs 5:3,6            For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil…. she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it.

The two greatest traps that lay in wait for the wise are the perils of unworthy company and unreliable words. A mark of the prudent Christian is to know these traps and how to avoid them. Nothing in our lives clouds our judgment more than succumbing to illicit passions. No matter how flattering the words of an immoral person are, they are totally unreliable.

The need for attention to this matter is urgent. The culture in America today promotes such sexual immorality among men and women, married or unmarried. Daily people must choose between the wisdom of our culture and that of God’s Word. To listen and heed the teachings of Scripture are to block out the voice of our immoral culture. Your refusal to listen and respond to her call will save you great pains.

To listen to her voice is to be poisoned by “wormwood” or bitterness. Her words cut us to our heart, severing the life we had from the immoral life she promotes. Following after her is to set yourself on a path that destroys both life and soul. To associate with her is to share in her disorientation in life. Together you and she will wander through life until death finds you both. 

Beware of the immoral woman and the culture that she shares with others. What seems healthy and joyful quickly turns to sourness and disappointment. There is no turning back when you enter her door.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Proverbs 3:5-6             Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

             If you stopped to think about the number of times in your life that you were wrong, you would be astounded. Think of all the tests you took in school growing up, or in college. You didn’t get every question right over the years. Think of the times on the job when someone had to correct your work or remind you of something you had forgotten to do. If you were to add up all these incidents, you might never trust your own thoughts again.

            Despite these numbers, we still rely on ourselves most. Only on occasion do we get input or advice from others. We have forgotten our track record so quickly. Even when we check with our spouse or ask someone at work for input before you make the decision, you forget that the advisor is as imperfect in their past as you have been.

            Our understanding is colored by sin. When we make decisions we tend to focus on our benefit in the process. Our perspective is also short-sighted since we cannot see or anticipate everything that could influence the choice we make. Our vision and knowledge is limited.

            The answer to our dilemma is to seek God’s input after we have considered the input from ourselves and others. God is able to know all the relevant facts about our decision. He sees the future and the impact the world around us will have on our choices.  When you allow God to guide and influence your thinking then you will find less mistakes and better results in the choices you make and the success in your life.

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