Click here for today’s read http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%2030-31&version=NLT
Today we “just” have two Proverbs to read and this will end our readings in this book. BUT BOY ARE THESE PROVERBS PACKED with such wisdom!! First PRAY before you read and ask the LORD to show you what HE wants you to know. Then, PLEASE… read them slowly, allow the LORD to highlight the Words off the page for you in whatever area HE may be speaking to you in. HE may highlight ONE special verse for you….read it out loud, use the audio portion on http://www.biblegateway.com and SOAK it in. If ONE verse is highlighted for you search for the meanings of the original Words through http://www.blueletterbible.org ….. Ask the LORD to be OBVIOUS and PERSONAL then GRAB on to ALL the LORD has for you in these last two Proverbs.
Proverbs 30:4 — was the first scripture that caught my eye:
“4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Whose hands have gathered up the wind?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is the name of his son?
Surely you know!”
Two things I wanted to point out to you in this verse. The first thing is that this is a foreshadow of JESUS!!! “WHAT is HIS name, and what is the name of HIS SON?” WOW!!! So KEWL!! The second thing is that if you have been with us since the beginning of the reading you may remember our reading of Job. God is infinite and aspects of his nature will always remain a mystery on this side of heaven. Job 38-41 asks God these same questions and more. And of course, you remember how God responded…HE never answered any of Job’s questions…HE simply reminded Job of all of HIS character traits…HIS nature!!
Verses 5-6 state: “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar”.
These are words from the Lord that were quoted as early as Deuteronomy 4:2 (possibly stated even before that!!) “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.” It is also said in Deuteronomy 12:13, IN THIS PROVERB, and it is one of the LAST things God says in Revelation 22:18 — “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll.” WHOA BABY… if you’ve ever heard that if God says something three times (and I found 4)….PAY ATTENTION…. Don’t just memorize it…LIVE IT.
Verses 7-9 also caught my eye: ” 7 “Two things I ask of you, Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.
Sounds like two great things to ask for in our lives!! Did you notice the end of verse 8 “BUT GIVE ME ONLY MY DAILY BREAD.” ??? Sound familiar??? Ummmmm…maybe “The Lord’s Prayer”??
Another note before leaving this Proverb is that whenever you see the author tell us “there are three things, maybe four…” what it really stands for is a poetic way of saying the list is incomplete and could go on and on. I also LOVE the way The Lord gives us examples of nature and animals to guide us in how we live. I LOVE animals and nature and learn so much from each about God. I know many people find nature and science contradictory of God’s Word. Yet if we really dig deep….we see God IS in control… HE created it all. God is limitless and when we try to put him in a box…and/or feel we ourselves are limited in our lives by money, education, career choice, race, sex, body size, hair color, etc….we are putting God in a box concerning HIS character and concerning what HE has planned for us. GOD IS LIMITLESS!!!
A dear friend shared with me something called the “X” structure today. This is SUCH a powerful example of how science and God REALLY are ONE. GOD IS BIG… HE IS LIMITLESS!! Psalm 116:2 (NLT) says: Because HE BENDS DOWN to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” Did you grab that… He BENDS DOWN to listen to us!!! HE IS GIANORMOUS!!! Stay with me just another moment on this topic… The MOST powerful thing we have to be able to see beyond earth and the stars is the Hubble Telescope. Here is a link so you can see the “X” structure at the core of the Whirlpool galaxy that the Hubble Telescope picked up!! http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/pr1992017a/
I MEAN is this NOT a mind blower or WHAT!!!??? It is like the DNA Laminin cell I shared earlier this year that is the glue that holds our body together….. it is shaped like a CROSS!!! If you are just joining us….take a look at this one too: https://www.google.com/search?q=dna+laminin&client=safari&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=JVbfUYj7COaiywGIlIHwAw&ved=0CDMQsAQ&biw=1024&bih=644#biv=i%7C0%3Bd%7C7iJ5x6-Fg5S69M%3A
If that doesn’t blow your mind do a google search on either DNA laminin or Louie Giglio and listen to his sermon <<<smile>>>.
Proverbs 31 — Almost 25 years ago one of the ministers (the minister who led me to the Lord 9 years prior to my marriage) read this at my wedding ceremony about the growth he had seen in me over the previous 9 years. To be honest….it was both a complement and a lot of PRESSURE, because I thought it literally MEANT I was supposed to BE ALL THAT woman was, ALL of THAT woman. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be her, but many of those areas simply are not/were not areas in which I am gifted (and it wasn’t that I didn’t try!) However, last year my eyes were opened and continue to be opened more EACH time I read this Scripture.
The first thing I noticed last year was that this Proverb begins as “The sayings of King Lemuel — an oracle his mother taught him…” I NEVER noticed before then, that THIS is advice from a mother to her son!! She first gives him good advice on being a good, respected king (good for any leader!) The she gives him advice on selecting a wife. I am sure she had set a good example for him as well. However, something new the Lord showed me this year was that the woman described in this chapter has outstanding abilities BUT it may not have been describing just ONE woman… she may have been a composite word picture of qualities to look for in a wife (and of things for a woman to strive to become.) Rather than seeing her as a “model woman” to imitate every detail; see her as in inspiration to be the best YOU that God made YOU to be. When God showed me that “tidbit” it was most liberating for me. So to all the women reading this…. look at her characteristics….she is more valuable than rubies (she is precious) and her husband has full confidence in her. She lacks nothing of value, brings her husband good and not harm all the days of her life. She is a good business woman, is not lazy, knows where and how to get the best for her family, is wise in land purchases, uses her words wisely, provides food for her family, buys things out of her earnings, helps the poor and needy, dresses her family well, and decorates her home with taste, has a good sense of humor, speaks with wisdom, is faithful, watches over the affairs of her home, is honorable, is loved by her husband and family, and does things to help her husband be respected among the community. OK…. DON’T panic!!! Just read over her characteristics….which ones are you good at? What has The Lord called you to do using one or more of these characteristics? If you are married, it is important that we do things to help our husbands succeed and be respected. Also did you notice that she clothed herself in strength and dignity? We are also told that charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting BUT a woman who fears The Lord is to be praised. To repeat an old cliche … beauty is in the eye of the beholder and beauty does not mean every woman is supposed to look like a Barbie doll!! So the message for women? Don’t try to be EVERYthing…find out what The Lord has called you to and do it all with excellence. Now, God may be placing an area on your heart to add to your strengths…for me…I am re-learning how to make healthy, fresh food, healthy fats, healthy sugars, little dairy, little gluten…it is a challenge for me but I know it blesses my husband …. so I am re-learning and continually praying for easy ideas. As I said in the beginning….this is all PERSONAL so PRAY for God to show you what HE wants you to learn from today’s reading (and actually every reading every day…there is always something wonderful each day).
Now if you are a man reading this….. possibly praying for a wife…. I challenge you to look at these characteristics in choosing and praying for the wife God has for you. If you are married I encourage you to encourage your wife in her strengths given by The Lord. If you are a single man… look at what God says are the important things…are you looking for a godly woman, a woman you can trust with your life….your money….your children…what is her heart….does she have a heart for God? Again….this came from a King’s MOTHER to help him choose the best wife for him…to help him in all he did and all they would have together. Are you looking for these characteristics if you are single? And if you are married, are you encouraging your wife in her God given strengths to be the best woman God desires for her to be?
So, we’ve covered a lot of territory today, right? What has The Lord shown you? What has he put on your heart?
Sharing HIS love,
Click here for today’s reading http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%2027-29&version=NLT
I switched versions on you today (I may have used the NLT yesterday as well) in the event that you click on the reading through this page. It’s a little different but sometimes we can see something in a new light that we have never seen before simply by switching versions…. and there are a lot of good versions. http://www.biblegateway.com allows you to add parallel versions so you can compare the wording. And of course if you really want to dig into the original Hebrew or Greek meanings of certain words http://www.blueletterbible.org is an awesome resource, it ONLY uses the KJV…but GREAT information to deepen our wisdom of God.
SO much wisdom in the Proverbs!! As I read them (actually this goes for the entire Bible), they can make perfect sense, yet LIVING them takes an awesome amount of commitment, desire, belief, and humility. Each time I read Proverbs I am painfully aware of my short comings and humbly grateful that Jesus died for me and for each believer so we may have life to the full till it overflows….. here on earth and that’s before we ever make it to the glory of heaven. HALLELUJAH!!!
The verses that stuck out the most to me today were:
27:4 Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood,but jealousy is even more dangerous.
It is AMAZING how jealousy is MORE dangerous than anger and wrath!! I know I have seen jealousy destroy many people in its wake including the jealous one!!
27:6 – “The wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”
Has a friend ever hurt you so badly that your heart was crushed, you CHOSE to forgive, and the hurt they brought was a HUGE teachable moment in your life?
The next Proverb hit me like a ton of bricks as if to say this is how you should pray for the US and our President and all of our leaders NOW and for the future. My prayer became “Lord, let not our nation be a nation of moral rot so that our government does not topple easily. Lord, I pray for wisdom and knowledge for EACH of our leaders so they may bring stability to this great land now and forever. And, Lord show me how I can do my part.”
28:2 When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily.
But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.
We need to PRAY for our leaders on all levels in all areas (church, city, county, state, country, and in our homes.) Being a leader is not an easy job and it is often a lonely one. A leader who loves The Lord and chooses to follow HIS ways and HIS teachings and try to bring them into others lives in a respectful, honorable manner….has a very hard job and they NEED and covet our prayers. Leaders who do not need The Lord need our prayers all the more …. praying that God will use them “anyway” to lead us back on the proper path.
28:27 –“He who gives to the poor will lack nothing…”
29:25 — “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in The Lord is kept safe.”
YEA YA BABY….. I vote for trust in The Lord and not allowing ourselves to become snared through fear of man. Fear of anything except The Lord will lead, if not to destruction…., to not living the full life God has in store for us. Fear prevents us from living the dreams that God placed in our hearts LONG ago. Fear can destroy us if we are afraid of people, places, things, dreams, goals, careers, etc.
What are you afraid of? What holds you back from living your best life? Are you willing to lay it at the feet of Jesus and tell HIM….Lord I want to live for you. I do not want to have fear of anyone or anything EXCEPT you because your word says “fear is the beginning of wisdom, knowledge, understanding”… and I want your wisdom, knowledge, and understanding so I may live the life you planned for me from the beginning. I want to use the talents YOU gave me for YOUR glory. Help me Lord to turn everything over to you….my money, my career, my food, my obsessive compulsive behaviors, my desire for approval, my need for security, any idols obvious or hidden,……(or whatever The Lord is showing you)….Lord HELP me use all I have for you TODAY…one day at a time…one step at a time. I lay down the past. I won’t look to the future to wait for the “right time to do what you are telling me to do.” I CHOOSE to believe you have already prepared me with what I need right now to do what you have placed on my heart…..so Lord…it’s me and YOU…. powering ahead all for your glory!!
Share if you dare…truly it is all in confidence …. unless you feel lead to share it on the blog below.
Sharing HIS love
Click here for today’s reading http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%2025,%2026&version=KJV;NLT
The remaining Proverbs we will be reading were written by Solomon but collected by Hezekiah. Hezekiah was one of the few Kings in Judah that honored the Lord (in contrast his father, Ahaz, was not one of the good kings and NAILED the Temple doors shut.) These Proverbs are written toward the Leaders and Kings. We today are the leaders. Jesus used Proverbs 25:6-7 as a parable in Luke 14:7-11.
Proverbs 25 — It touched on some “hot” topics that we would be wise to use such as: humility, confidentiality, the power of the words we use, maintaining balance, honesty, compassion and empathy, dealing with our enemies. Verse 4 spoke about removing the dross. Merriam Webster defines DROSS as: “1-the scum that forms on the surface of molten metal; 2- waste or foreign matter : impurity; 3- something that is base, trivial, or inferior.” Once the dross is removed from the silver, what remains is beautiful and is what the silversmith works with for his design. The Lord is the Silversmith. We are his Silver. In order for him to mold us and make us shine, in order for Him to make us beautiful to the owner (Him) first the dross needs to be removed. From reading I have done and in speaking to people who work with silver, and other metals, it takes a very high heat to pull the dross out. Years ago, I remember reading someone asking a silversmith how he knew when the silver was at its purest. His response in the story was “when I can see myself in the silver.” However, did you catch that it takes VERY HIGH heat to get the dross, the impurities out….. so God can see HIMself in us. So if you decide to live a life more according the Lord, you need to clean it up inside and out. When HE can see HIMself in US, then others can see HIM in US!!! YEP.. I KNOW… AMAZING–eh?? THEN HE can make you His Gem. A Gem in the crown of THE King. Flawless!
Proverbs 26 — WHEE DOGGIES!!!! I’d say these verses were VERY straightforward. It certainly had a LOT to say about FOOLS and LAZINESS. The first definition of a FOOL according to Merriam Webster is “a person lacking in judgment or prudence.” I am only using that definition because I believe that is exactly who is being spoken of in these verses. It is also important to remember that we are not the judge and jury to decide who is a fool. God gives us wisdom to recognize situations and people where we need to choose not to be involved with certain people (don’t bring them home, don’t marry them, don’t live with them, etc.) As we read this Proverb we might think of certain people in our lives… I know… I see those names flashing through your mind (some flew through mine)<<<smile>>>>!!! However, the important thing is that we need to always read them and think “Is that how the Lord sees ME today?” I KNOW>>>OUCH!!! Definitely soul searching or maybe I should say Spirit searching!! Folly, Gossip, Pride, Malice, Drunkard, Fool, Sluggard (Lazy)…are we SURE none of these were us today? Did you notice how important our words are…..when we speak the wrong words we can’t take them back or undo them. Of course we can always ask for forgiveness and our loving, gracious, merciful Father will forgive us. However, I am sure we can all think of times when someone said something to us that was very hurtful. We have forgiven them and yet there are moments when those words sting our heart. God wants HIS Word to be on our hearts….written on our hearts….so that out of our mouth flows the overflow of our hearts. And HIS Words are good Words…even in hard times.
Interestingly, the fact that we grow older in years does not mean we become more mature and age alone is definitely NOT a sign that we have allowed God to REFINE us (removing the DROSS.) Sometimes God simply puts us in situations where we are forced to let go of things, and pray through the heat of change. Other times, God expects us to simply obey HIM over and over and over again….especially when we don’t see the results…and feel as if we are in the fire much hotter than we can tolerate ….we must remember that HE IS WORKING in us and through us…..HE is removing the dross. In these times, I’ve learned I really have to CHOOSE to BELIEVE HIS WORD, READ HIS Word, SPEAK HIS Word, be in fellowship with other believers, worship HIM, PRAY through the situation, LISTEN to HIS still small voice, SERVE HIM through our tithes and gifts and through our actions, listen to and sing praise songs, and anything else I can do to obey and follow HIM. There are days when I can ONLY hang on to HIM while the wind is blowing so hard that my rope appears to be down to one lonely string. YET HE IS THERE.
I’d love to hear how The Lord spoke to you today, or what touched you.
Sharing HIS love,