Proverbs 28 (NLT link) 

Discover His heart: He provides all that we need to follow Him with boldness

A man’s conscience can really play tricks on him when he has done wrong.  The imagined scenarios of being pursued and caught for wrongdoing can drive someone to the point of insanity.  Hollywood certainly has cashed in on that plotline through the years and often manipulates us into rooting for the criminals, even hoping they get away with their terrible deeds.  The terror of continually looking over the shoulder and behind every door and cowering in dark corners is no way to live.  Of course, those who follow the Lord and live a righteous life are also being pursued by invisible forces, but they have nothing to fear.

“The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.” (1)  This verse makes me think of the sad life of King Saul who always feared that David and others were chasing him.  When the Spirit of the Lord left him, his sins tormented him as did the paranoia he had about his own well-being.  Jacob also knew some troublesome days fearing that Esau was coming after his birthright even though he wasn’t.  What a tragedy to live in fear that “your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23)

However, those who follow the Lord should know that they, too, are being pursued. “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life…” (Psalm 23:6)  Well, in that case, I’ll just stand still and be caught!  And if that isn’t enough to build confidence, “Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.” (Isaiah 58:8)

No wonder Solomon declared that “the godly are as bold as lions!”  With the Shepherd in front of us leading the way, with goodness and unfailing love always pursuing us and with the glory of the Lord protecting us from behind, why should we fear? Sometimes we just forget who is in our entourage!  Unlike the cowardly sinner who is fearful of being caught, we who follow the Lord can boldly move forward and accomplish whatever God intends for us.  And the peace and calm that comes from godly living are extraordinary. 

Moving Forward: I won’t wonder today if I can do what God is asking me to do.  How can I fail with the Shepherd guiding me, His goodness and love chasing after me and His glory protecting me?  Really, how can I fail?

Tomorrow @ Jonah

Proverbs 20-21 (NLT link) 

Discover His heart: He desires that we show kindness to others equal to His kindness to us

@ Proverbs 21
I’ve always wondered if Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, knew what he was doing when he married so many wives.  Most men are challenged enough with just one wife, but perhaps Solomon thought, being so wise and all, that he could handle it.  His Proverbs, however, give cause to question that.

“It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.” (9)  “It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.” (19)  “A worthy wife is a crown for her husband, but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones.” (12:4)  “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” (14:1)  “…a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping.” (19:13)  And once again, “It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.” (25:24)  I think I see a theme going here.

Several years ago I saw an interview on television with one of Hollywood’s older starlets.  She and her actor husband had been married for over 25 years, and that alone would grab our attention, but for Hollywood couples, 25 years is momentous.  When the interviewer asked her to what she attributed their lengthy marriage, she replied that every day they make a commitment to each other to be kind.  No matter how difficult a situation they may be walking through, they chose to speak and act with kindness to each other.  I thought that was great advice.

The familiarity we have with a spouse carries freedom to say and do what we feel when under pressure.  While we wouldn’t speak to another friend with brashness or rudeness, we often say to our spouse the very first thing that comes to mind…and sometimes that isn’t good.  Solomon later in the chapter throws in, “Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.” (23)  It’s just better to say nothing at all if we can’t say something kind.

Paul gave excellent advice in Ephesians 4:31-32 on how to treat others, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”  Remember the old saying, charity begins at home, and hopefully, it won’t stop there. 

Moving Forward:  I’m committed today to kind words and kind deeds in my home regardless of what this busy day throws my way.  My dear friend, my husband, is worthy of nothing less. 

Tomorrow @ Hosea 8-14

Proverbs 28 (NLT link) 

Discover His heart: He provides all that we need to follow Him with boldness

A man’s conscience can really play tricks on him when he has done wrong.  The imagined scenarios of being pursued and caught for his wrong doing can drive someone to the point of insanity.  Hollywood certainly has cashed in on that plot line through the years and often manipulates us into rooting for the criminals, even hoping they get away with their terrible deeds.  The terror of constantly looking over the shoulder and behind every door and cowering in dark corners is no way to live.  Of course, those who follow the Lord and live a righteous life are also being pursued by invisible forces, but they have nothing to fear.

“The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.” (1)  This verse makes me think of the sad life of King Saul who always feared that David and others were chasing him.  When the Spirit of the Lord left him, his sins tormented him as did the paranoia he had about his own well-being.  Jacob also knew some troublesome days fearing that Esau was coming after his birthright even though he wasn’t.  What a tragedy to live in fear that “your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23)

However, those who follow the Lord should know that they, too, are being pursued. “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life…” (Psalm 23:6)  Well, in that case, I’ll just stand still and be caught!  And if that isn’t enough to build confidence, “Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.” (Isaiah 58:8)

No wonder Solomon declared that “the godly are as bold as lions!”  With the Shepherd in front of us leading the way, with goodness and unfailing love always pursuing us and with the glory of the Lord protecting us from behind, why should we fear? Sometimes we just forget who is in our entourage!  Unlike the cowardly sinner who is fearful of being caught, we who follow the Lord can boldly move forward and accomplish whatever God intends for us.  And the peace and calm that comes from godly living is extraordinary. 

Moving Forward: I won’t wonder today if I can do what God is asking me to do.  How can I fail with the Shepherd guiding me, His goodness and love chasing after me and His glory protecting me?  Really, how can I fail?

Tomorrow @ Jonah

Proverbs 20-21 (NLT link) 

Discover His heart: He desires that we show kindness to others as He has shown to us 

@ Proverbs 21
I’ve always wondered if Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, knew what he was doing when he married so many wives.  Most men are challenged enough with just one wife, but perhaps Solomon thought, being so wise and all, that he could handle it.  His Proverbs, however, give cause to question that.

“It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.” (9)  “It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.” (19)  “A worthy wife is a crown for her husband, but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones.” (12:4)  “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” (14:1)  “…a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping.” (19:13)  And once again, “It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.” (25:24)  I think I see a theme going here.

Several years ago I saw an interview on television with one of Hollywood’s older starlets.  She and her actor husband had been married for over 25 years and that alone would grab our attention, but for Hollywood couples, 25 years is momentous.  When the interviewer asked her to what she attributed their lengthy marriage, she replied that every day they make a commitment to each other to be kind.  No matter how difficult a situation they may be walking through, they chose to speak and act with kindness to each other.  I thought that was great advice.

With the familiarity we have with a spouse comes a freedom to say and do what we feel when under pressure.  While we wouldn’t speak to another friend with brashness or rudeness, we often say to our spouse the very first thing that comes to mind…and sometimes that isn’t good.  Solomon later in the chapter throws in, “Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.” (23)  It’s just better to say nothing at all if we can’t say something kind.

Paul gave great advice in Ephesians 4:31-32 on how to treat others, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”  Remember the old saying, “Charity begins at home,” and hopefully it won’t stop there. 

Moving Forward:  I’m committed today to kind words and kind deeds in my home regardless of what this busy day throws my way.  My dear friend and husband is worthy of nothing less. 

Tomorrow @ Hosea 8-14