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Proverbs

A husband and wife were driving down a street with manicured lawns, lovely flowers and beautiful trees. In the front yard of one quaint cottage was a sign reading, “ANTIQUES.” They stopped the car, got out, walked to the door and knocked. Immediately they were greeted by two elderly ladies.
“Come in,” was the gracious invitation. “Let us give you a cup of afternoon tea and a cookie.”
After enjoying the delicious snack the husband asked, “May we see the antiques now?”
“You’re looking at us,” said one of the ladies with a twinkle in her eye. “We’re very lonely and we’ve found that this is a lovely way to make new friends.”
Everywhere we look, we find people who are lonely. They fill crowded streets, social events – even in our churches. Many can be with others and still feel alone.
In Genesis we find God saying that “It is not good for man to be alone.” We were created to live in relationships. So, we all need friends who will be near when we need to be comforted, listen to us when we need to talk about a problem and even wipe away a tear when it runs down our cheek. In good times and bad, we all need a friend to share our dreams and help carry our burdens. People need people. Let’s ask God to bring a lonely person or two into our lives - today.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, humble our hearts to seek the least, the lonely and the lost and share Your love, grace and hope. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Proverbs 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Tamerlane was an oriental warrior who had defeated and conquered many armies. His many victories included the conquests of the Mongols, the Turks and the Persians.
Once when it appeared that his army would be defeated by an enemy whose strength he had underestimated, he hid in a manger to avoid being captured. As he lay quietly, discouraged and desperate, he noticed an ant struggling to carry a large kernel of corn over a steep wall. The ant tried the first time and failed. Then the second time – and failed again. Again and again the ant tried with the same result. Each time the ant tried and failed Tamerlane would make a mark in the dirt. The ant tried and failed sixty-nine times. Once again for the seventieth time the ant tried and was finally successful – making it over the top.
Tamerlane was amazed and encouraged at the persistence of the ant. His courage returned, he regrouped his army, engaged the enemy once again and won!
The book of Proverbs warns against giving in to the temptation of laziness. It says, “Take a lesson from the ants. Learn from their ways and be wise!” God used the ant as an example to encourage us to be industrious.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to take each moment that You give us as a gift of Your grace to be used wisely and thoughtfully for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Proverbs 6:1-11 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!
After a Sunday sermon on Solomon, James asked his Dad, “Why was he considered the wisest man in the world?”
“Because,” came an immediate response from his Mom, “he had so many wonderful wives to advise him.”
The Bible tells that the Lord formed man from the dust of the ground, breathed the breath of life into his nostrils and he then became a living person. However, He realized that it was not “good for the man to be alone” and said, “I will make him a companion.”
God’s creative work was not complete until He made woman. He could have made her from the dust of the ground as He did Adam. But He didn’t. God chose to make her from the man’s flesh and blood to illustrate that when a man and a woman marry they are symbolically united into one. This ultimately represents a mystical union of the couple’s hearts, bodies, minds and lives.
Proverbs ends with the characteristics of the woman that God intends for a man to marry. In addition to being virtuous, she is to be strong, wise, skilled, energetic, have great compassion and be an excellent wife and mother. Do such characteristics seem far beyond reason? Not really, says the Author. All that he describes as the qualities of this woman come from one source: The God who created her.
Prayer: Father, we pray for godly parents that provide godly homes so children will come to know You as Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Proverbs 31:10-31 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.
Gary Player, the great golfer, was completing the final hole in the final round of an important tournament. His ball landed in a sand trap and it appeared as though he would not win. He walked into the bunker, looked at his ball and then the green, and then positioned himself for a make-or-break swing. Finally, he blasted the ball with all of his might; it went up into the air and rolled into the cup!
One of his spectators shouted, “You were sure lucky, Gary!”
“Yes,” he replied, “but the more I practice and the harder I work, the luckier I get!”
Luck waits for someone or something to turn up and bring good fortune. It spends countless hours looking into the future believing that there will be a turn of events, an unanticipated shower of good things falling from the clouds, an unexpected opportunity that comes in the mail or over the phone. Luck seems to suggest that if we wait long enough, patiently enough, quietly enough, good things will happen.
Some think that chance happenings, good or bad, are a result of one’s “luck.” Is there such a thing? Is there a reference to it in God’s Word? No. But He does say that we are to seek and trust His understanding of things, not ours.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, not to wait and wonder, but to work and watch for signs and signals that give us Your directions. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
A father and his son were walking through a grove of oak trees. Suddenly the boy turned to his Dad and said, “You know, I think God really goofed. He put a watermelon on a small vine and an acorn on a big oak. I would have done it the exact opposite.”
As he was about to continue his speech, an acorn fell from a tree, landed on his head and bounced to the ground.
Quickly the father said, “Aren’t you glad that wasn’t a watermelon?”
We are often puzzled by the events that occur in our lives. We do our best to understand them only to realize that we lack wisdom and insight to interpret them. Try as we might, there are some things that simply do not make sense to us. What then?
God’s Word reminds us that “If any of you lack wisdom and insight, ask Me for help and I’ll give them to you.” These are two of God’s greatest gifts that are available to any of us. But they only come from reading His Word and taking time to be with Him in prayer and meditation. He is willing to give us all the knowledge and courage to do whatever He asks of us but it will take time and discipline. His answers are always available but we must show Him that we are willing to do our part to get them.
Prayer: Lord, may we hear and obey Your instructions and find direction and protection for our lives.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Proverbs 3:5-7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
“Supermarket behavior” is fascinating to watch. It seems as though people change when they enter the door, get their cart and begin to walk through the aisles.
The cart becomes a very special "space" that we fill with various items for our particular wants and needs. We would consider someone strange if they met us at the door and said, "Here, take my cart and fill it with what you think I want and I'll meet you at the check-out area."
Often, however, we do that with our minds. We become careless with what we read, what we watch, what or who we listen to or what we think about. It can be dangerous, just as it would be, if we allowed some stranger to fill our cart.
We are warned in Proverbs to "guard your heart above all else for it determines the course of your life." In the Bible the heart is the “keeper” of our feelings and thoughts, guides our decisions and provides solutions for daily living. The heart is critical in the battle between wisdom and foolishness, righteousness and evil. That’s why it is more important for us to set boundaries around our heart than it is to watch what goes into such a simple thing as a shopping cart.
Prayer: Help us, Father, to be very careful about the things that come into our minds and control our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
One night at sea, the captain of a large destroyer saw lights off in a distance. It appeared as though another ship was heading directly toward him. Turning to his signalman, he ordered him to send a warning: "I'm a Captain. I'm on a destroyer. Change your course ten degrees south."
Came the reply, "I'm a Seaman First Class. I'm on a lighthouse that is unmovable. Change your course ten degrees north."
There are many times when it does not matter who you are, but where you are and - even more importantly - where you are going. There is great advice to support this fact in Proverbs: "There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death."
There is a vast difference between the right choice and the choice that "seems" right. Sometimes we make decisions quickly to solve problems without seeking guidance. Decisions or solutions that are often simple, easy, convenient or attractive, may lead us in the wrong direction. This is why we need God's help and guidance to look carefully and cautiously at our options. We need to be certain to choose the ones that honor Him and lead us into the likeness of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Help us, Father, to look to You for wisdom, insight and leadership in every choice we make. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Writing in his diary, a young man predicted his future: “Someday I’m going to do something special with my life. I will become famous!”
Years later, an old man said to his family, “I could have done great things with my life, but I didn’t. I am so sorry. I wish I had. I am a failure.”
How tragic, because the old man and the young man were the same person.
God gives to each of us a limited number of days, a select number of skills and with them the ability to earn our livelihood. None of us know the number of our days or the length of our life. Some of us never develop the skills God has given us. And many do not use the fruit of their labor wisely. We must be aware of how we use God’s gifts.
An important question to ask ourselves every day is this: “What am I going to do with the time, the talents and treasures God has given me today?”
We have no assurance of tomorrow. We may lose the skills that we have through a tragedy and our treasures may be taken from us. But when we attach our lives to God’s power and plan, we will have no regrets.
Prayer: Teach us, Lord, to be faithful to You and to make the most of all You have given us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
It was the day before the most important football game of the season. Sitting in his office, the coach received a phone call from the dean informing him that his quarterback was disqualified from playing. He hurried to the dean’s office to protest the news.
As he sat across from the dean, frustrated and angry, he questioned the decision. The dean said, “He sat next to an honor student in an exam and his answers were identical to hers – word for word.”
“Maybe,” said the coach, “the honor student copied the quarterback’s answers.”
“No,” answered the dean. “The honor student wrote ‘I don’t know the answer’ for the final question and your quarterback wrote, ‘I don’t know either.’”
There is no room for opinions in honesty. We either are or are not honest. There are some who try a little “sleight of hand” by deceiving others to gain an edge or advantage. They may call it “clever,” “smooth,” “slick,” or say “it’s OK this time.” That is not how God sees it. He sets clear standards to guide us in every area of life especially this one. His Word says, “Good people will be guided by honesty.”
Prayer: Help us, Father, to be honest in all areas of life, knowing that as Christians we represent Truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Proverbs 11:1 Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, But a just weight is His delight.
“Mr. Edison,” said his secretary, “we just had a customer call and complain about a defective battery that we manufactured.” Surprised at the news, Thomas Edison wondered what might have caused the problem. Discouraged but not defeated, he began a large advertising campaign asking people to return the defective batteries his company manufactured for a complete refund. The cost to replace the batteries was staggering. The cost, however, meant nothing to him. When he compared the cost of the recall to the value he placed on is name, it did not matter.
It is critical for Christians to have an honorable name. Whatever we do, whatever we say, wherever we go we are representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we fail to live lives of integrity our witness will be damaged, our message questioned and our testimony impaired. And when that occurs, God’s name is damaged and His message becomes questionable.
Being honest and open in everything will eliminate our need to worry about being exposed or not living up to what God expects of us. He calls us to live lives that are in agreement with His Word, to follow Him and His eternal directions carefully and to ask Him to place a guard over our speech so we will not say things that are untrue, hurtful or harmful.
Prayer: Father, we ask that You will be at work in us and through us that we may represent You faithfully in all we do and say. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.
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