Proverbs 12:2

“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

There’s not much “middle ground” when it comes to feelings about “teachers’ pets” in the classroom or those who are “the bosses most trusted friends.” If a student has found “special favor” with a teacher or an employee has gained “special recognition” by someone in authority at work, the rest of the class or work force often resent the attention they receive. And why not?

Often there appear to be “secret” or “hidden” paths to such status. How they got there or what they did is not always obvious. At one time it was an “apple” or “box of candy” for the teacher. Perhaps it was a “cup of coffee” to begin the day or a “special gift” on a holiday. But the way to gain this status is not published in a student handbook or organization policy manual.

With God it’s different. He has no favorites. There are no hidden secrets if anyone wants Him to recognize them. He is always there waiting for us to call upon Him. His ears are always open. His eyes are constantly looking for those who need Him. His heart is full of love for each of us.

But, Solomon made a statement that stands out: “A good man obtains favor from the Lord; but the Lord condemns a crafty man.” A “good man” in the eyes of the Lord is one who lives a self-sacrificing life; one who does what he does because he is motivated by God to serve Him and help others. A man who is “crafty” is one who “devises evil” or hides the facts, is not open and honest nor truthful in his dealings with or service to others.

Want God’s favor? Follow Solomon’s advice!

Prayer:  Lord, Your instructions are always clear and easy to understand. Give me Your strength to be obedient. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 12:2 The good obtain favor from the Lord, but those who devise evil he condemns.

It’s true. God does have favorites!

It’s also true that He offers all of us the opportunity to become “one” of His favorites. And, it’s not that difficult, either. “Good people,” wrote Solomon, “obtain favor from the Lord.” It’s rather obvious that those who want “His favor,” as well as those who receive “His favor” are those who are “good people.”

Since most of us have our own definition of “good,” it is important to understand God’s definition of “good.” If we know His definition of “good” we then have a choice: we can either meet His requirements and receive “His favor” or decide that “His favor” is not worth the effort.

Throughout the Old Testament “good people” are the ones who are motivated by a Godly-love to do Godly-things. They willingly set their own needs and desires to the side while they serve the needs of others. Doing “God-things” is the driving force in their lives. The “good” are those who are able and willing, when they see someone in need, to do something about it - even if it causes a sacrifice. The “good” are those who work with God to bring honor to His name when one of His children is being treated unfairly or unjustly. The “good” are those who follow the example of Jesus: His life was about doing “good.” The “good” have God’s “seal of approval” on their lives.

“Those who devise wicked schemes” are the opposites of the “good people.” Their lives are about self, not sacrifice; their “schemes” are unfair, unjust, unholy; they lack decency, honesty, integrity or kindness. God’s wrath awaits them.

Prayer:  Lord, convict me, challenge me, discipline me and burden me until I become one of Your “good people.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 12:2 Good people obtain favor from the Lord, but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes.