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Proverbs 14:29

Posted on March 10, 2017 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

“People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.” Proverbs 14:29 New Living Translation


Have you ever seen a two-year-old throw a temper tantrum? You have if you’ve ever spent time around a little person trying to assert his or her will. Have you been around a moody teenager who pouts, rolls their eyes, gives dirty looks, or responds in a disrespectful tone? Yes, if you’ve lived with one or taught one. What about adults? We expect adults to be mature, to control their anger, especially if they are Christians.


It is human nature to get angry. Anger is an emotion God gave us, but we do not have the right to say or do mean, hateful things to people. James 1:26 says, “If you claim to be religious but don't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless” (NLT). I love Facebook as a means of social media. It is a great way to connect with family, old friends, and a way to make new friends. It can be a great source of inspiration and learning. However, some people use it as a way of promoting their political, philosophical, and religious views, which is fine. However, it is not fine to call people idiots because they have differing views. It is not fine to tell people they are not Christians because they practice differently, listen to a certain kind of music, watch a specific movie or television show, or read a certain book.


I must admit I have been guilty, also. Some things happening in our government, in our country, and around the world make me angry. I have no tolerance for people who abuse children or animals. I don’t have patience with people who are lazy and expect those of us who work to provide them with a free ride. I think violent people should be locked up to protect the innocent. Those are my views. I am not God—it is not my place to judge others. I am not the Holy Spirit—it is not my job to convict people of sin. I am not Jesus Christ—I cannot save anyone.


Christians are called to be the salt and light of the world. We are to be vessels of love. When we argue and call names, people don’t see the love of Christ in us. They are not drawn to the Savior through anger and insults. “Don't answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are” (Proverbs 26:4 NLT). Mark Twain said, “Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”


 

“And ‘don’t sin by letting anger control you.’ Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry,” (Ephesians 4:26 NLT). Let’s think about what makes us angry. Are we letting our anger control us? Are we stewing about it, perhaps losing sleep over it, maybe even losing friends and relationships because of it?


 

May we ask God to help us “be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (James 1:1 NLT). May we “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10 NLT). And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

 

Proverbs 14:1

Posted on January 16, 2017 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

“The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.” Proverbs 14:1 New American Standard Bible


How does a wise woman build her house? The foundation must be built on love. In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. The second commandment is to love our neighbor (others) as our self. A woman cannot build up her home without love. There may be times when we don’t like what our husbands or children do, but without love the family will fall apart. I Corinthians Chapter 13 explains what love is and what it is not. The last verse says, “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” (NLT).


Faith is an important building block. “The family that prays together, stays together.” Matthew 18:20 promises “Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Husbands and wives who pray together grow closer spiritually. Parents need to set a Christian example for their children, but it is usually the mother who reads the Bible and prays with the children before bedtime. Our children, no matter how old, should have confidence knowing we are praying for them daily in the small things as well as big important issues of life.


Women are responsible for setting the tone in the home, creating a peaceful place of refuge and safety. Ephesians Chapters five and six are the most well-known verses about family relationships. Women are to love and respect their husbands and submit to their godly leadership. Men are to love their wives as Christ loves the church, doing everything to honor her but nothing to hurt her. Parents are to train their children in the instruction of the Lord without provoking them to anger with unrealistic expectations or constant criticism.


Women build their house through hard work. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, she gets up early and provides food for her family. She makes sure they have adequate clothes to wear. She keeps the house orderly so her husband and children will never be ashamed to bring visitors home. She may work outside the home to help provide for the material needs of her family. She manages her finances wisely. She takes care of herself spiritually, physically, and emotionally, clothing herself with strength and dignity. She honors the Lord with her life, never bringing shame or disgrace on her family who will rise up and bless her.


The wise woman builds her house by showing her family compassion and charity through her example. Her kindness and goodness extend beyond her family to her community. She forges friendships outside the home, not expecting her family to provide all her emotional, social needs, while encouraging them to build interpersonal relationships also.


Ask God to give us wisdom to build up our home instead of tearing it down. Thank God for the godly women in our life, those who show us how to be a good wife and mother, how to be a light in our community. Praise God for the friendships of women.

 

Proverbs 13:12

Posted on January 12, 2017 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 New Living Translation


Have you ever wanted something so badly you thought you would die if you didn’t get it? I think of the movie A Christmas Story. The little boy wants a Red Rider BB Gun so much, that’s all he thinks about. He is obsessed with getting a BB gun for Christmas, but as time gets closer, his hope seems to dwindle. But alas, on Christmas morning, his wish is granted.


As we go through life, our desires fluctuate from one object to another. Our life goals and dreams may also change as we mature. Most little boys want to be cowboys, firemen, or policemen. Most little girls imagine being a princess, a singer, or an actress. I believe God plants within our hearts dreams or goals that He can use to further His kingdom here on earth. What dreams did God plant within your heart?


As a little girl, God gave me the desire to be a “mommy.” I loved baby dolls and real live babies. When I started school, God gave me the desire to be a teacher. I loved school. I would play school with my dolls, teaching them all I learned. In middle school, I would play school and teach the neighborhood children. In high school, I joined Future Teachers of America and tutored struggling students. When I was in the eighth grade, my English teacher gave us options of doing book work or creative writing. I discovered I loved writing and dreamed of becoming a writer.


I married young, and God granted my desire to be a mother when I was 19 years old and again three years later. This made my first dream more difficult, but God gifted me with scholarships, and I became a teacher when I was 35 years old. I specialized in English and nurtured the hidden dream to someday become a writer. I enjoyed each stage of my life while embracing the dreams deep down in my soul. I began writing in my 50’s, and published my first book and magazine article in my 60’s, after I had raised my children and retired from teaching. I am in awe at how God gives us dreams and brings them to fruition. I give Him all glory and honor and praise.


“Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it” (Psalm 37:4-5 NASB). If a dream comes from the Lord, it will be something He can use for His glory and honor. The more we grow spiritually, the closer we walk with the Lord, the more in tune we are to His will, the more our desires will align with His desires.


What dreams have you held within your heart? Which dreams have become realities? Which dreams are still a “hope deferred”?


Dear Lord, please reveal Your plan and purpose for my life. Help me commit my way to You and lead me in the right path so I can be a blessing to others. Give me patience to wait on You.

 

Proverbs 13:3

Posted on January 2, 2017 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

“Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.” Proverbs 13:3 New International Version

“Careful words make for a careful life; carless talk may ruin everything.” Proverbs 13:3 The Message


God’s Word has much to say about our tongues. Although a small part of the body, the tongue has the potential for great good or great harm. James Chapter three compares the tongue to a bit, a small piece of metal that can control a huge horse. Another comparison uses the rudder of a ship, a small instrument that can steer a large ship through stormy seas. “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” (v. 6). The tongue isn’t like a fire—it is a fire. Careless words can consume and destroy reputations and relationships. “It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (v. 8 ).


Psalm 34:13says “Keep your tongue from evil And your lips from speaking deceit.” How can we do that? We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. The 39th Psalm is a prayer for wisdom and forgiveness. Verse one says, “I said to myself, ‘I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say. I will hold my tongue when the ungodly are around me.’” It is especially important to control what we say around the wicked because they have a way of twisting what we say. People who are full of anger and bitterness will take offence and fly off the handle. We have all said things we shouldn’t have said, things we regretted later, things that hurt others, but the ungodly twist what we say and make something intended for good into something bad. Psalm 141 is a prayer for safekeeping. Verse three says, “Set a guard, O Lord over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” So we can pray and ask God to control our words.


“Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.” Proverbs 13:3 New International Version “Careful words make for a careful life; carless talk may ruin everything.” Proverbs 13:3 The Message


God’s Word has much to say about our tongues. Although a small part of the body, the tongue has the potential for great good or great harm. James Chapter three compares the tongue to a bit, a small piece of metal that can control a huge horse. Another comparison uses the rudder of a ship, a small instrument that can steer a large ship through stormy seas. “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” (v. 6). The tongue isn’t like a fire—it is a fire. Careless words can consume and destroy reputations and relationships. “It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (v. 8).


Psalm 34:13says “Keep your tongue from evil And your lips from speaking deceit.” How can we do that? We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. The 39th Psalm is a prayer for wisdom and forgiveness. Verse one says, “I said to myself, ‘I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say. I will hold my tongue when the ungodly are around me.’” It is especially important to control what we say around the wicked because they have a way of twisting what we say. People who are full of anger and bitterness will take offence and fly off the handle. We have all said things we shouldn’t have said, things we regretted later, things that hurt others, but the ungodly twist what we say and make something intended for good into something bad. Psalm 141 is a prayer for safekeeping. Verse three says, “Set a guard, O Lord over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” So we can pray and ask God to control our words.


 

Matthew 15:18 says, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man” (NKJV). Before we ask God to help us control our words, perhaps we should ask Him to create a clean heart and a right spirit within us (Psalm 51:10). We should ask Him to control our thoughts. “Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2 NLT). Following the admonition in Philippians 4:8, we can intentionally focus our thoughts on what is good and pure and lovely. Our thoughts will help shape our words.


Are we allowing God to control our thoughts, our words, and our deeds? Are we using our words to build up or tear down? Are we careful how we talk around gossips? Do we say things about people we wouldn’t say to them?

 

Dear Lord, Please create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Transform my mind and thoughts. Please use my words for good and not evil, to enrich relationship rather than to destroy them. Help me to be a positive witness for you.

 



Proverbs 12:25

Posted on October 7, 2016 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” Proverbs 12:25 New Living Translation


I have heard it said that faith is the end of worry, and worry is the end of faith. Faith is believing God when He says He cares for us. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Why would we choose worry and fear over God’s perfect peace?


But what if we or our loved ones are sick? “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14 NIV). But what if they die? Romans 8:38-39 tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of God, not even death. Jesus says in John 14:1-4 that He is preparing a place in His Father’s house for us to be with Him for eternity. We may be sad now, but in Heaven there will be no more pain or sorrow for us or our loved ones who have gone before us (Revelation 21:4).


What if we lose our job or our income? Matthew 6:25-34 tells us not to worry about food or clothing or shelter. God knows everything we need, and He will provide everything we need if we first seek Him and His kingdom. I love the promise of Psalm 37:25 “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” How wonderful life is when we take one day at a time and trust God with all our tomorrows.


 

What about when things break down or relationships fall apart? Worry comes when we think we need to fix things on our own, but Proverbs 3:5-6 admonishes us to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” We can only see the brick wall in front of us, but God sees around each curve in our life’s journey, the smooth spots and the bumps in the road, the beginning and the end. When we are uncertain or afraid, we need to take our eyes off the problem, lift our eyes up to the Lord, and allow Him to carry us through the valley.


 

The second part of Proverbs 12:25 says “an encouraging word cheers a person up.” We know our problems, but we do not know the struggles other people are facing. Variations of a modern proverb say, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle. Be kind always.” People who are hurting don’t need criticism and condemnation. Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Proverbs 15: 23 says, “Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!” (NLT).


The Lord knew that life could be overwhelming and more than we can handle on our own. That’s why He said, “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 NKJV). He is Almighty and All-powerful. He who created us can sustain us.


May we take time to tell the Lord all our problems, our worries, and our fears. Ask Him for wisdom and guidance and trust Him to fulfill all His promises to us.


May we be kind and patient and treat others the way we would want to be treated, especially in difficult situations.

 


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