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Category Archives: Proverbs

My God is…rewarding you – Proverbs 25:21-22

Proverbs 25:21-22 – If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat;i-love-my-enemies
and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink;
for you will heap coals of fire on their heads,
and the Lord will reward you.

If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat; and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink

Definition of enemy: “one that is antagonistic to another; especially: one seeking to injure, overthrow, or confound an opponent”

Do you have any enemies? I pray that you don’t, but I would guess most of us could think of one or two people (maybe many) who would make our enemies list. You may have heard that someone was talking behind your back spreading lies. Someone may have given you the wrong time to be somewhere to thwart your day’s agenda. Someone may have given you the cold shoulder. It is really hard when someone is treating you poorly. You may feel mad, sad, hurt, insecure or dejected. Maybe you’re just tired of having to defend yourself at every turn. Feeling that way often leads us to say things and do things we would not usually do. We might even be embarrassed if someone saw how we treated those we consider enemies. Having enemies usually doesn’t bring out the best in us. But what does God want us to do?

Matthew 5:43-45 – Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven

When I was going through a situation where I felt like people were treating me wrongly (like an enemy), I did what many people would do. I talked with my mom. We talked about how I didn’t want to dislike them, be mean to them etc, but that I was hurt and frustrated that even though I was being (in my mind) kind and supportive, I was having unkind thoughts. My dear mom suggested even though it may be hard to feel unloved, I should pray for them. She said that praying for them would push out the negative thoughts about them and allow me to move towards loving them. It’s not exactly what I wanted to hear (she didn’t encourage me to go off on them or ok my coming to fisticuffs over it), She was right (yes, I said it – my mom was right).

For you will heap coals of fire on their heads
I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite parts of our verse for today is this section, “for you will heap coals of fire on their heads”. I am sure it’s probably not in the most Christian of ways either. I truly love the idea that being kind to those who don’t like you would be its own punishment for them. In most of the examples of enemies I listed, it was people wrongly attacking you, but truth be told we often have done something that is unkind as well (even unknowingly sometimes). They may feel they are the ones who are being attacked by you, and  being kind to them may lead to some sort of reconciliation or at least respite from the painful attacks. Truth is, besides heaping coals on their heads, I don’t want to detract from my God. I don’t want my petty differences to become something bigger that means people are watching to see how I’ll react to someone instead of growing in their faith or their relationships here on earth. I want them to not be surprised when I respond in love no matter what is being said. I would love for that to be the truth in my life.
The Lord will reward you
Now, I’m pretty sure that God is not going to reward me with winning the lottery for not being mean to my enemies, or even if I’m taking it all the way to being nice or loving my enemies. I think the reward for us is that we are able to reconcile with them. That we might be able to grow and learn about the forgiveness our Lord gives us. We might find we have more in common with our enemies than we would have ever imagined. If nothing else, we would get the joy of knowing that by reacting differently than the world expects, we have an opportunity to reflect the Glory of our Lord, and that is a great reward.
Are you loving your enemies?
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My God is…making my paths straight Proverbs 3:5-8

Proverbs 3:5-8 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart,Pug dog handout isolated on white
and do not rely on your own insight.
 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
 It will be a healing for your flesh
and a refreshment for your body.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not rely on your own insight.

Easier said than done, eh? I know that each day this is a struggle for me. I start most days planning to trust the Lord, then I get out of bed. Each thing I do, I try to do my own way. I focus on my solutions without approaching God for guidance. I know that some of my unbelieving but loving friends would question whether I’m supposed to go to God in everything. They would wonder why I shouldn’t make decisions all on my own or with my own goals in mind. The problem is, I cannot be trusted. Maybe by the world’s standards I can, but not by what God asks of us. He wants us to put Him first in all things, and to be honest, I don’t do that very well. I think about myself more than anyone else. That’s a little embarrassing to say (or write) out loud, but it’s the truth. Most things I do in a day are to make me happy. They’re done with little regard for anyone else, let alone God. It probably doesn’t seem that bad to the outside observer. I’m not hurting people on purpose, I’m not overly rude, and I’m not interfering with other peoples’ day just for fun. But I’m also not thinking about how to help others, what I can do to bring glory to God or make someone’s day a little brighter. I wonder how things would change if I truly trusted the Lord in all things, putting Him first and consulting with Him more.

 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

When you want to lead an animal someplace, what do you do? You use a leash or a coaxing mechanism like food to get them to follow you along the paths. When you do that (and I say you, because I try to have as little to do with animals as possible – no hate mail, please), you’re trying to get the animal to focus on you so you can get them where they need to be. You’re counting on the fact that they’re not going to be able to take their eyes off that morsel of food you’re using to tempt them. A lot of times it works too, because animals think of only themselves. Humans aren’t far behind, but if we keep our focus on Jesus, we know that He will make our paths straight. He will be leading us. Like the animals trust you, we too can follow our master and be assured that He’s got something good for us at the end of the path.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

But we get distracted. If someone comes up while you’re trying to lead your animal a certain direction and offers them something else that they want, they can become distracted. They may not know which way to turn. Now, depending on your relationship with that animal, how well they know you and trust you, they may not turn away for long. But that doesn’t mean the untrustworthy stranger will give up. We kind of work the same way. We start out following God, but then the devil distracts us with a whole myriad of distractions. They may not even be bad things all on their own, but that’s not the devil’s point. The devil isn’t really worried about how bad the things are that you do, he’s more interested in where your focus is, or to what you’re giving your focus. He wants to keep us looking towards anything that distracts us from keeping our focus on the Lord. Big events to small problems, the devil uses them all, but each of these events is an opportunity to turn towards the one who does have our best interest at heart – Jesus Christ.

 It will be a healing for your flesh
and a refreshment for your body.

The devil doesn’t want anything good for us, but God does. His path ultimately leads us to perfect healing and refreshment. When we follow the Lord, knowing that it is only through Jesus that we escape our terrible doom, putting our faith in our savior Jesus, we will end up in heaven. There we will no longer experience the pain, sorrow and hurts of this world. We will find refreshment and healing!

Do you need refreshing?

 

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My God is…a fortified tower Proverbs 18:10

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; strong-tower
the righteous run to it and are safe.

Where do you go to feel safe? 

I remember when I was little, my grandma would come to visit. She was from California. She hated thunderstorms and was very scared there would be a tornado. She didn’t have a lot of experience with either of them, and they frankly scared her beyond reason. I always thought it was kind of fun when there would be a thunderstorm when my grandma was around. She would make us all go to the basement, we would take the little portable black and white television, set it on the washing machine and keep an eye on the news so we could see the ensuing storm. My sister and I would sit on the floor playing Barbies, and not even flinching a bit. We had seen lots of storms, but grandma hadn’t,so we all did what it took to make her feel protected. The basement, having her family around her made her feel like she was safer. The thick walls of the basement gave her security.

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower

I wonder how my life would change if I took this verse from scripture to heart. If, like my grandma would take off for the basement, when life got stormy I went running to my strong tower, the name of the Lord. Calling on the name of the Lord. This morning, I was a mess. I was having problems with my computer yesterday, so I had my husband take it to the store and ask to get it repaired. He did. This morning, I totally freaked out. I was concerned about my files, passwords and identity theft. I couldn’t contain myself. I looked to my husband to fix it. He had no good answers. I started to blame him, cry and basically go a bit crazy. It was embarrassing.

I had just finished a Bible study the night before where we talked about the power of the Lord’s name, and how we have to call on Him when we’re in trouble. I felt pumped. I told myself things were going to be different now. I was always going to trust God and let Him handle the stresses of my life. That lasted about 8 hours. I was so busy throwing a fit that I never calmed down enough to pray about it and turn it over to the Lord.

The righteous run to it and are safe

God promises when we come to Him believing that He will take care of us, we will be safe. I didn’t trust that this morning, and for that I am ashamed. I don’t want to live like that anymore. I want to live in the freedom of Christ in me and letting Him handle things for me. I don’t have to fix everything.

Putting our trust anywhere else is futile

Isaiah 50:9-11 says,”Behold, the Lord God helps me; who will declare me guilty? Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant?
Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on his God.
Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who equip yourselves with burning torches!
Walk by the light of your fire, and by the torches that you have kindled!
This you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment.”

 

In these verses, we can see that we can trust in the name of the Lord and rely on God. The Lord God helps me. I spoke to a friend about my embarrassing behavior this morning, and she encouraged me that at least I was now recognizing my lack of faith. I can now start to practice having faith more often, even in the face of trials. Each moment is an opportunity to react differently than the world. To not freak out, trust in the Name of the Lord and give God the glory by our unusual reaction to trials, tantrums and torment.

Have you ever thrown a tantrum?

 
 

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My God is…establishing your plans Proverbs 16:3

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do,resolutions
and he will establish your plans.

Do you make resolutions? My cousin Lisa is always working to improve herself, a year or two ago she did mini resolutions each day. She posted them on Facebook, and I found myself inspired to do more in my life as well. Looking at our selves honestly and taking an assessment t of what’s working and what isn’t seems to be a natural part of life for many people.

Do you keep your resolutions? Many of us , new year after new year state the same resolutions. Maybe your resolution is to lose more weight, spend more time with family, or spend more time at the office (who am I kidding no one makes a resolution like that, do they). If you have made resolutions before, which ones did you keep? What made you keep them.

Resolutions are hard! If resolutions were easy to keep, we wouldn’t have to make them. We would be doing them already. If you’ve resolved to change something, what is your strategy to make it happen? Did you notice, our scripture reading gives us a way to make our resolutions happen.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.

If we commit to The Lord whatever we have resolved, He will establish our plans. So what does that look like? It’s probably a little different for everyone, but here is what I would try in light of this verse:

    • Pray about your resolution

Talk to God daily about what you’re trying to accomplish. Maybe even more often. If you’ve resolved to lose weight, pray when you are tempted to eat something you’ll regret later.

    • Read God’s word

Staying in the word will help you to grow closer to The Lord so you can discern His will more clearly, making decisions less confusing or muddled.

    • Talk with other Christians

Finding a support system for the resolution, the praying or reading scripture helps you to be held accountable to stick to what you say.

Have you made a resolution?

 

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My God is…My Confidence Proverbs 3:21-26

Proverbs 3:21-26 

My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion,
and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck.
Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. 

If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,
for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.

I’m a confident person…I think

Yep, most people would consider me a confident person. I’m loud, bubble and generally cheerful (except when I’m not). I am relatively quick on my feet and handle my self well in most situations. What people don’t see (except my husband) is that when I get home, I can replay the entire evening in my head. I know exactly what I said and the ten ways I think the other person may have misunderstood me. I’m certain at the time that they’re going to never want to speak to me again. My husband has named this condition post social anxiety. I am getting better, but sometimes I lack confidence.

No Matter Who You Are…Trust God

This week I’m helping out at our church’s VBS. I’m leading the video section for the preschoolers with one of my sons (they switch off) and my husband and the other son are running the video for the elementary children. It’s fun to spend time with your family serving. This year we’re using Group’s Sky VBS. Each day they have a different theme”People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7). So whether I look confident or am actually falling apart inside, I need to trust God.

No matter how you feel…trust God!

The second day’s theme was “No matter how you feel…trust God!” Do you get the feeling I may be getting more out of VBS than the pre-school children to whom I’m showing the videos? Lacking confidence, needing encouragement, being depressed, even in those times I need to trust God. The verse they used for that day was “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God.” (John 14:1) In our women’s Bible study last night, the woman on the video said that keeping our focus on God is a discipline. I think that trusting God is a similar thing. It’s something we have to work at, and even sometimes flies in the face of all we think is true in our human world.

No matter what people do…trust God!

Sometimes people are not nice. Sometimes they’re actually out to get you. They lie, cheat and steal. On day three of VBS (today) we learned that  those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. (Isaiah 40:31). What wonderful promises the Lord gives us in regards to trusting Him. Trusting God will give us new strength. This makes me think about all the kids in middle school and high school who face a sea of unkindness every time they enter school. These verse are such a blessing and encouragement, and I hope to keep them handy when my boys may face difficulties. I guess not just the boys, but when I face difficulties too.

No matter what happens…trust God!

Sometimes when things go wrong, we think God has abandoned us. We think He’s left us to flap in the breeze. But that’s not the case. He’s still there, and He will give us that new strength and get us through the toughest times. “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.” (Romans 8:38)

No matter where you are…trust God!

Whether I’m at church, a party full of people or in my home having an argument with my children, no matter where I am I need to trust God. He promises to be with me wherever I go. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) I love that this verse says that I shouldn’t be afraid or discouraged. I think discouraged is one of the places I hang out a lot. I let words, thoughts and untruths fill my head and I let them get in the way of trusting in God for the results.

If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

This part of the verse above is amazing, and so applicable to my life. So many nights I have laid in bed wide awake. I think about the day I’ve just had. I think about all the things I have to do tomorrow. I get overwhelmed. My head starts to spin, and soon I realize I’ve been awake for hours. But God promises that if I put my trust in Him, my sleep will be sweet. Woo Hoo! That’s so wonderful.

The Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught

The Lord will be my confidence. When I lack confidence in myself, I’m no longer out of luck. I have some reserves. I have confidence that comes from the Lord. He has an unending supply of confidence to give me. I know that I have never been disappointed when I have put my trust and confidence in Him. I maybe haven’t always understood, but I haven’t been disappointed. God is good. I need to trust Him more and get some of that sweet sleep!

Are you confident?

 
 

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My God is…My Victor Proverbs 21: 30-31

Proverbs 21: 30-31 

© Maridav  File #: 16017479

Are you doing a Victory Dance?

There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
that can succeed against the Lord.

The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the Lord.

We know the outcome

Imagine going to a baseball game, bowling match, or any sporting event, knowing that your favorite was going to win. Others will battle against your favorite, trying to get him down off his throne of victory. But your favorite is victorious once again.

No plan can succeed against the Lord

The devil is continually coming up with ways to tempt us, control us and manipulate us. He wants to pull us away from our Lord. Satan wants to separate us from the Lord in the same way he’s separated from God. Satan knows victory is Gods, but keeps attempting to take over. But satan is the underdog that will never overcome the favorite. In John 10:27-29, Jesus says no one can snatch us out of His hand, and that no one can snatch us out of the Father’s hand.

Victory Rests with the Lord

Jesus holds the trophy. He’s the victor. He went to the cross to conquer death. Because He sacrificed His life, we know that our coach, our MVP has a perfect record. He’s going to keep having a perfect record, and nothing can stand against Him. Because we are His children, we too are victorious. It’s like we’re members of His team, the winning team. Because victory rests with the Lord, and we are with the Lord, victory rests with us too.

Victory Dance

I don’t know about you, but I needed these verses right now. Money is tight, and it seems like there’s always something popping up to make things tougher. We’ve been stretching the usefulness of the boys glasses, and my husband said our insurance will pay for their next eye exam in July. Kid you not, this was the conversation we had this morning. While I was writing this post, my son calls to tell me his glasses broke in half. We’re going to have to figure out how to get glasses without the insurance. We’ve already been taping the glasses, re-gluing them and basically anything else that makes my boys look like total geeks. I can’t tape them in the middle. That’s just cruel. So I’m going to stand in the Victory. Hold on to the promises of the Lord and know that nothing can stand against me when I’m on God’s team. I’m about to do my Victory dance. So – soon my son will be sporting new glasses, and may even get contacts. How? I don’t know, but God does, and that’s going to have to be enough for me right now. Victory rests with the Lord.

Are you doing a Victory Dance?

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2012 in My God is My Victor, Proverbs

 

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God is Wise – Proverbs 3:19,20

Proverbs 3:19-20 – By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.

My God is Wise! 

Why is it important that my God is Wise? It’s important, becasue if my Lord wasn’t wise, I wouldn’t be able to trust Him. But I can. In this verse from Proverbs, I’m assured of his wisdom in design on the earth, but throughout the Bible, we also see that people are given Wisdom from the Lord. To me that means He has an over abundance of wisdom, and has always been a valid source for gaining more wisdom.

Proverbs 19:21 (NKJV) There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel; that will stand.

The beauty of the Lord’s wisdom is that we are able to get a glimpse of it through everything in the Bible. I’ve often had the discussion with people about how to know what the right option is in any given situation. What should I do? I don’t claim to know the answer to all problems of the world, but because my Lord is wise, I don’t have to worry. This verse in proverbs says that the Lord’s counsel will stand. So I search the scripture, trust God and go forward full force, leaning on the promise that all things work for the good of those that love Him (Romans 8:28).

How have you seen God’s Wisdom displayed in your life?

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2011 in God is Wise, Proverbs

 

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