Saturday, November 28, 2015

Proverbs 11:17-21 Can't go wrong with mercy & integrity!

The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh. The wicked man does deceptive work, but he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward. As righteousness leads to life, so he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death. Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord, but the blameless in their ways are His delight. Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished; but the posterity of the righteous will be delivered. Proverbs 11:17-21

"The merciful man does good for his own soul." Proverbs 11:17a

Merciful: kindness (especially as extended to the lowly, needy and miserable)
Does good: accomplish, be beautiful, goodly
Soul: that which breathes, the inner being of man

"The blameless in their ways are His delight." Proverbs 11:20b

Blameless: sound, wholesome, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity
Delight: be acceptable, desire, favor, good pleasure

Mercy. Integrity. 
Mercy produces a godly response. 
Integrity produces good pleasure. 

Mercy and Integrity — both are results of a heart that is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). 

Simply put, mercy makes you personally happy and blameless makes God happy. You can't go wrong with mercy and integrity!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Proverbs 11:16 A Gracious Woman

A gracious woman retains honor, but ruthless men retain riches. Proverbs 11:16
Gracious: favor, grace, elegance: of form and appearance
Retains: to obtain, keep fast; maintain
Honor: splendor, glory, of external condition and circumstances

  • civil 
  • courteous 
  • devoted 
  • kind 
  • polite 
  • respectful 
  • thoughtful
  • beneficent 
  • favorable 
  • friendly
  • generous 
  • gentle 
  • good 
  • goodhearted 
  • good-humored 
  • good-natured
  • kind 
  • merciful 
  • mild 
  • sympathetic
We need to discover all over again that worship is natural to the Christian, as it was to the godly Israelites who wrote the psalms, and that the habit of celebrating the greatness and graciousness of God yields an endless flow of thankfulness, joy, and zeal. J.I. Packer
"Gracious" is a characteristic that comes from God. When a heart is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG), then grace flows freely. 

A gracious woman is one that fears God and then lives a life in accordance with His wisdom, and she is recognized by the endless flow of thankfulness, joy, and zeal for all the God has done and is doing. 

A gracious woman—a title for which to strive daily. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Proverbs 11:12-15 A Faithful Spirit

He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his peace. A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter. Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. He who is surety for a stranger will suffer, but one who hates being surety is secure. Proverbs 11:12-15

Faithful Spirit. 

Faithful: faithful in spirit (disposition); confirmed, established, sure; to trust or believe, to be quiet
Spirit: being, the will, mind, especially of moral character

What peace, to oneself and to others, a Faithful Spirit provides! The Faithful Spirit knows when to speak and what to say. A Faithful Spirit provides safety to himself and others. 

A Faithful Spirit. 
Today is Thanksgiving. As family and friends get together across the country, there will be many augments and sadly, mean things said. All because wisdom was not invited to be part of the gathering. 

A person full of wisdom, has a Faithful Spirit and brings peace to the gathering. And wisdom begins when a heart is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). 

I wish you each a Happy Thanksgiving! And may each of you have a Faithful Spirit. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Proverbs 11:7-11 Blessings are Contagious!

When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish, and the hope of the unjust perishes. The righteous is delivered from trouble, and it comes to the wicked instead. The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered. When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; and when the wicked perish, there is jubilation. By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. Proverbs 11:7-11

Blessings are contagious! 
We like celebrations. If you google "holidays", you'll find some type of holiday for almost each day of the year. Just this past week, you could have celebrated: World Hello Day (11/21); Mother Goose Day (11/22); National Expresso Day (11/23); Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day (11/24); National Parfait Day (11/25) among other things. 

When a righteous person is blessed by God, those around him are also blessed. The blessing is contagious and spreads. 

Think of it on a smaller scale. If you work, there is one cubical, office, or area which people like to visit simply because the main occupant of that space is joyful and blessed. Others want to share in that atmosphere and walk away with a spring in their step. 
There are certain stores which we like to visit, because the employees are kind, courteous, have a smile and the atmosphere is happy. 

By the blessings of the righteous a city is exalted. 
Just think of living in a place where each individual was righteous. That city would be exploding with an abundance of blessings and goodness from God. That's a place where I'd like to live! But if I want to live there, I MUST first have a heart permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). For only when I fear God, will my attitude and actions be righteous. 

Blessings are contagious! Am I spreading them?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Proverbs 11:4-6 Will direct his way.

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, but the wicked will fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, but the unfaithful will be caught by their lust. Proverbs 11:4-6
"Will direct his way aright"

Direct: make smooth, straight
Way: course of life, or action, undertakings

When one follows wisdom and listens to the leading of the Lord... all things really do work out for HIS glory and honor. 
Yesterday, I had to take my Mom to the ER. After they ran some tests, they decided to transfer her to another town where a specialized Doctor could run more tests. My Dad and I drove to the hospital and even on the drive there, God directed our ways as we were in the correct lane to get our exits, etc. 

After getting Mom settled into a room for the night, I tried to call several hotels to see if they had rooms available for Dad and I. The first I could not get through; they simply did not answer the phone. The second said they had rooms, but we were disconnected. So, Dad and I decided to just drive until we saw a place and see if we could get some rooms. 

We found a Motel and next store was a restaurant. We inquired the hours, since is was already past 9 pm. They were still open. Dad and I enjoyed a bowl of Thai chicken soup — very good after such a long day. As we were enjoying our soup, we noticed that the music playing was Christian. We heard "Blessed Assurance" and a few other songs. 
After our meal, Dad gave the owner one of his Bible Studies. The owner perked up. He went to get his wife from the kitchen. We enjoyed talking with them for about 30 min. They have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and had some questions. We answered their questions and they even video taped Dad as he answered some. This way they can share it with their relatives in Thailand! It was a God-designed appointment! And a great blessing after a long day at the hospital. 

Will direct his way. God directed us the place we needed to be so that we could encourage believers. Having a heart permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG), gives one great peace and assurance that God is working and will direct us to where He wants us to be. 

Will direct his way. Are you being directed by God and His wisdom?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Proverbs 11:1-3 Honesty. Integrity. Humility.

Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight. When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom. The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. Proverbs 11:1-3

Dishonest: deceit, deceptive
Abomination: something disgusting, an abhorrence
Just: complete, full, perfect
Delight: goodwill, favor

Pride: insolence, presumptuousness of godlessness
Shame: ignominy, dishonor, disgrace
With: in one's possession or keeping, mental quality
Humble: modest
Wisdom: ethical and religious

Integrity: blameless, innocence
Upright: well-pleased, righteous, straight
Guide: by implication to transport, lead
Perversity: distortion, viciousness
Unfaithful: to act covertly; by implication, to pillage, deal deceitfully
Destroy: devastate, ruin

Honesty. Integrity. 
The concepts of honesty and integrity seem to be missing from our society as a whole these days. Lying is common place. Deceitfulness is considered the norm. Cheating is the standard practice. 

Yet, no matter how common place dishonesty is, is remains an abomination to the Lord! It's disgusting to Him. And if it's disgusting to Him, it should be to us as well.

It SHOULD be. Why isn't it? 

Because of Pride. We tend to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to, and to make ourselves look better in the eyes of those around us, we "enhance" our speech with lies. And soon, it then becomes the norm for us. We liked that the lie, made us "better". 
Sadly, it is only an illusion. For a life based on dishonesty and pride is just, well full of hot air. It's not good for anything. It ruins trust. And it also eats away at oneself, because no matter how many lies are told—we know the truth, even if we think we've deceived others. 

Honesty. Integrity. Humility. 
Three important traits that begin when a heart is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG) 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Proverbs 10:27-32: Positives—a far better outcome!

The fear of the Lord prolongs days, but the years of the wicked will be shortened. The hope of the righteous will be gladness, but the expectation of the wicked will perish. The way of the Lord is strength for the upright, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity. The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not inhabit the earth. The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked what is perverse. Proverbs 10:27-32

Prolongs days. (add strength = grow stronger)
Will be gladness. (glad result, gleeful issue)
Is Strength. (figurative, of God as refuge)
Never be moved. (secure)
Brings forth wisdom. (bears the fruit of wisdom, prudence)
Know what is acceptable. (assuredly, be aware goodwill, favor)

Each of these positives is followed by a BUT showing the negatives which, sadly are often too common. The positives have a far better outcome than the negatives! 
The Question: Why when we have the opportunity to make a choice that is all positive do we chose to ignore it and follow the ways of fools? 
The Answer: Because of the first 5 words of Proverbs 10:27: "The fear of the Lord." 

Instead of having a reverence for who God is, we would rather declare ourselves god and follow the folly of our own ways leading us to misery and death. We may say we believe in God, but that doesn't mean we fear Him. The devils believe in God too—and they know what God can do! But they don't obey God. 
Belief and reverence for God MUST translate into obedience of His wisdom. We can't expect the positives to happen if we ignore the foundation of fearing God and obeying Him. 

Each attitude and action is based wether we fear God or hate God. If a heart is truly permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG), then the attitudes and actions will result in the positives listed in Proverbs 10:27-32. 

Positives—a far better outcome!