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We all need the encouragement, comfort, and peace that comes through God’s grace. Our daily devotionals, known as Seeds of Hope, have been a means through which thousands of people have experienced this grace. Each devotional comes from God’s Word and we pray this good “seed” finds good soil in your heart. Our aim is that the Seeds of Hope will be a great source of daily encouragement to you and that God will use them to draw you near to Him
A few feet from my desk is a closet used for storage. In that closet are boxes and boxes of information that, at one time, was very costly. Today, it is worth much more than it was when purchased.
The boxes inside the closet are made of ordinary cardboard. If someone opens the door and looks at them, there would be no reason to open them other than plain curiosity. They appear to have no value unless someone knows their contents.
They are like the Bible. Unless there is a desire to look inside and find out what it contains, it is useless. Most people are more likely to turn on a television or look at a magazine. But, if one stops, opens the Word and accepts its contents, life takes on an entirely new meaning and direction.
“My son,” begins Solomon, “if you accept my words . . . and store up my commands . . . you will understand what is right and just and fair - and it will lead you to every good path, For wisdom will enter your heart.”
The Proverbs contain clear and concise guidance for those who want to choose between right and wrong. God has planted some degree of morality in everyone’s heart because we were made in His image. But only the Word of God spells out in exact words what is right and just and fair. Every law or rule or policy that has ever been written is an extension of what we find in His Word. But, only His Word is capable of penetrating the very core of our being - our hearts. When we allow it to do its work, we are changed from the inside out and become a new creation.
Prayer: Lord, people look in vain for ways to change what is wrong into what is right. Your Word is that way! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Today’s Bible Verse: My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you Proverbs 2:1a
“Larry,” he said to get my complete attention, “don’t go next door and play with Richard. He’s not good for you to be around.”
“OK, Dad. I won’t.” (At least not while you're looking, I said to myself, under my breath.)
Not long after the warning, I heard his penetrating whistle that could be heard throughout the neighborhood. However, I was next door, on the roof of Richard’s garage with some other friends having a great time. But now, the “good time” was over. I looked down from the roof, and there was my Dad standing at the foot of the ladder. I knew I was “busted.” He spoke, I refused to obey, and the party was over.
“How long will you simple ones love your simple ways?” wrote Solomon. Or, if he was talking to me today it would mean, “Larry, why were you so careless to allow yourself to drift into temptation. Don’t you remember that I gave you a warning? Why didn't you follow my advice?”
This verse contains a certain sadness: “How long...” We are all “slow learners!” We refuse to hear God.” I warned you, didn’t I? When will you ever ‘grow-up’ and accept the wisdom I offered you? I offered you my best: My wisdom that will last a lifetime and you rejected it.
Rejecting God’s wisdom is very costly. In verse 25 there are some tragic words to describe the results of disobeying God: “Since you rejected me when I called...and ignored my advice...and would not accept my rebuke, I will laugh at you." God’s grace has its limits. Hear Him today!
Prayer: Lord, how blest are those who hear Your Word, accept it and follow it. Rejecting His wisdom has its consequences. We must listen to You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Today’s Bible Verse: How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? Proverbs 1:22
Years ago, I was invited by some friends to visit a desert in Arizona. I was fascinated by the many varieties of the cactus plants. They came in almost every size and shape. Some had beautiful flowers, some contained water, some even had fruit - the “cactus pear” - but all of them had “needles.”
One of my friends warned me and said, “Please do not touch them or you will have their painful needles piercing your hands.” But, like Adam, I decided to “taste” the fruit of a cactus pear, and immediately understood what my friend’s warning about “painful needles” meant. Though difficult to see the needles, their sting was extreme painful and seemed to affect every part of my body. I was left with the sting from their needles and never enjoyed the fruit.
Solomon offered “the young” a warning: “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.” Perhaps he was speaking from personal experience. Or, maybe he saw others “enticed” by sin, fall into its attractiveness, and the damage it did to them and their loved ones. But the importance of his “words of warning” is true for everyone, no matter their age: sin. The results of sin affect the sinner – no matter their age. And, “Young” in this verse applies to any age or sex.
Sin is “enticing” because it offers a fast lane to short-lived pleasure. Those who entice us to sin never say, “Oh, by the way, I want you to know that if you gain things illegally, the gain you get, sooner or later, will one day cost you your life. So, be sure to remember this, my friend, the only ‘gains’ worth getting come from God.”
Falling into temptation is easy. Escaping its consequences is not.
Prayer: Father, these words of wisdom provide a shield of armor that will protect us all the days of our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Today’s Bible Verse: My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. Proverbs 1:10