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READING: Proverbs 16-17 – Proverbs of Solomon


“Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.” (16:3) Men may make plans, but they do not know the future. Our plans have a greater change of succeeding when we commit our work to our God through prayer and supplication. He will guide us when we ask Him. But if we go off on our own initiative, He will leave us on our own.

“It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness.” (16:12) When kings do evil, they are corrupt. The LORD sometimes removes such kings from their thrones. Had they been righteous, they could have succeeded. God is patient with us, but when a dynasty is corrupt, His patience runs out and removes it.

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (16:18) Here is a true parallel. Pride is the same as a haughty spirit, and destruction is parallel to a fall. This can be true of individuals or of nations and cultures. Western civilization thinks of individuals; other cultures think of communities and nations. God hates a haughty, and a prideful people will have a terrible fall – as the Jews found out in A.D. 70.

“One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and one whose temper is controlled than one who captures a city.” (16:32) The person slow to anger is self-controlled. He is contrasted with a warrior who captures a city. The man who captures a city usually is angry and often acts out from sheer hatred, both things God hates.

“Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.” (17:1) How many Thanksgiving dinners were tense with strife? Most families have disagreements, which they either endure and overcome, or they quit talking, or more rarely actually have physical violence. The tense Thanksgiving dinner is the prelude to one of those.

“Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a ruler.” (17:7) When a ruler speaks falsely and deceit, he is not establishing his domain. You do not expect fine speech from a fool. There is no telling what the foolish man may say. But whatever he says, it will not have the same impact that the false speech of a ruler will have.

“A friend loves at all times and kinfolk are born to share adversity.” (17:17) Families are important in our lives. People who have no family to fall back on, really need a family of friends that can be found in the family of God. When our church families stick with us, our friends love us, and our biological family supports us in our adversity, we will overcome it. If any of these is missing, overcoming adversity is more and more difficult.

“Even fools who keep silent are considered wise; when they close their lips, they are deemed intelligent.” (17:28) If foolish people keep quiet, others may think them wise.

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MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)   

Holy Father, my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that each of us will see some of Solomon’s Proverbs that are pertinent to us in our own situations and find solutions to our needs. This is my prayer for all who read this and for me, in the name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN!

READING: Proverbs 14-15 – The Proverbs of Solomon


In chapters 1-9 we heard from Lady Wisdom and Ms. Folly. We meet each of them in 14:1. “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.” Building a house (family) requires diligence and wisdom, but there are a million ways to tear a home apart through neglect, petulance, and not doing what needs to be done.

Where there are no oxen, there is no grain; abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.” (14:4) It takes many oxen to supply grain for the billions of people on earth today. The Green agenda is destroying our energy industry by trying to rush things. Do we need to develop renewable energy? Yes, but it will not come as quickly as many believe. Meanwhile, we need to use fossil energy to feed the planet.

Yesterday we read “Fools think their own way is right.” (12:15) Today, we come to this; “There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.” (14:12) What seems right is what we have always believed. Remember that fools think their way is right. We need to be open to the Scriptures; it is a fool who never changes an opinion.

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” (14:34) Many of us grew up believing the USA is a “Christian Nation,” but the only Christian nation is the Kingdom of God.

Here is a proverb we all ought to memorize: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  (15:1) These thirteen words would go a long way toward building better relationships in families, churches, in the workplace – and even on the road, a smile when someone cuts you off is better than a loud honk.

Here is one to remember; “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” (15:3). In the words of an old song, “There’s an eye watching you.” He watches to protect as well as to censure. He keeps us safe, but he grieves when we stray. He loves us always.

“A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” (15:13) We all like the glad heart, but there are also times of having a broken heart. Not every day is “Blue skies and rainbows.” The rainbow reminds us of God’s promise to Noah.

The fear of the LORD is an instruction in wisdom, and humility goes before honor.” (15:33). I like the ERV of this verse. “Wisdom teaches you to respect the LORD. You must be humbled before you can be honored.” Humility comes before honor. Humility is difficult; remember Jesus in Gethsemane.

Paul quotes from Proverbs as does Jesus; His parables are like proverbs.

How would we cope in this world without Proverbs? How often do we read them?

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MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)   

Holy Father, my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that each of us will find verses in the Proverbs as we read through them to memorize and meditate on. This is my prayer for all who read this and for me, in the name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN!

READING: Proverbs 12-13 – The Proverbs of Solomon


Someone said he was reading the dictionary, but it kept changing the subject. The book of Proverbs is like that, but unlike the dictionary, Proverbs is not alphabetized. The proverbs are intended to prompt meditation. Keep this in mind as you read each day’s selection. Something will speak to your heart every day. 

No one finds security by wickedness.” (12:3a) The wicked folk are always looking over their shoulders to see if someone they have gipped is coming behind them. “But the root of the righteous will never be moved.” (12:3b) Righteous people do not have that problem. They are secure from harm, for they are like a tree planted by the water that will not be moved. 

The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous will stand.” (12:7). When the wicked die, there is no hope for them; they are cast out into utter darkness. The CEB translates this, “The wicked are destroyed and are no more.” What does “destroyed and are no more” mean? In contrast, the righteous endure. 

The righteous know the needs of their animals, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.” (12:10) Good people are kind to their animals, but a mean person is cruel to them. Why are people so mean to their animals, by sponsoring dogfights and other cruel sports? 

Those who till their land will have plenty of food, but those who follow worthless pursuits have no sense.” (11:11) Hard work pays off, but people who work only on useless projects are foolish. They may not be wicked, but they are foolish. However, what most people think is useless sometimes turns out to be valuable. Having a vision for the future is not necessarily a waste of time. 

Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to advice. Fools show their anger at once, but the prudent ignore an insult.” (12:15-16) If someone disagrees with a fool, the fool will immediately show anger. Witness the ‘Woke culture’ where people ‘cancel’ those who disagree with them and do all they can to keep others from listening to opinions other than their own! 

The righteous gives good advice to friends, but the way of the wicked leads astray.” No one knows everything about everything. Fools think they do; wicked people deliberately lead people into Ponzi schemes. Good people advise on things they know about. The ERV translates this, “Good people are careful about choosing their friends, but evil people always choose the wrong ones.” 

A wise son loves discipline, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.” (13:1) Discipline does not just mean punishment; it means teaching and training as well. However, “Those who spare the rod hate their children, but those who love them are diligent to discipline them.” (13:24) Do not anger your children by punishing them without first giving them instruction, teaching, and training. 

Doing right is never wrong. 

So, why do we do what we know is wrong? 

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MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)    

Holy Father, my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that each of us will find at least one proverb each day to meditate on. This is my prayer for all who read this and for me, in the name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

READING: Proverbs 10-11 – The Proverbs of Solomon


Chapter 10 begins with The Proverbs of Solomon. Chapters 1-9 introduce the difference between Wisdom and Folly. The Proverbs of Solomon continue through 22:17 when a new heading appears, Words of the Wise.” Solomon’s proverbs are short, pithy sayings, usually of two lines, that parallel or contrast each other in the fashion of Hebrew poetry. 

They begin with a simple observation; “A wise child makes a glad father, but a foolish child is a mother’s grief.” (10:1) The second is a little less obvious; “Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death.” (10:2) 

Here are two together that speak to prudence and slothfulness; “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. A child who gathers in summer is prudent, but a child who sleeps in harvest brings shame.” (10:4-5) “To remember the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.” (10:7) These are paralleled with an opposite; the contrast makes the point. 

“Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offences.” (10:12) “The wealth of the rich is their fortress; the poverty of the poor is their ruin. The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin. Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but one who rejects a rebuke goes astray.” (10:15-17)  

Here are oroverbs where the parallels are repeating the same thought in different words. “Lying lips conceal hatred, and whoever utters slander is a fool.” (10:18) “The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” (10:22) “Like vinegar to the teeth, and smoke to the eyes, so are the lazy to their employers.” (10:26) 

Sometimes, similar proverbs are close together. Consider these, “A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but an accurate weight is His delight… The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them. Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” (11:1, 3-4) 

But 11:2 is a favorite; “When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but wisdom is with the humble.” Also consider, “When the wicked die, their hope perishes, and the expectation of the godless comes to nothing.” (11:7) “Whoever belittles another lacks sense, but an intelligent person remains silent.” (11:12) 

Some proverbs address the personal use of money. Have you ever co-signed a loan for someone? Think about this; “To guarantee loans for a stranger brings trouble, but there is safety in refusing to do so.” (11:15) This was also addressed in 6:1-5. Co-signing for a friend can destroy the friendship, much less doing it for a stranger. 

One of my favorites is this; “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without good sense.” (11:22) Who puts a gold ring in a pig’s snout? But it sets the stage for the beautiful woman without good sense! 

I love reading Proverbs. 

They always give us something to think about. 

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MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)    

Holy Father, my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we will each seek Solomon’s wisdom in the proverbs he wrote, even though he did not always follow his own advice. For myself, and for all who read this, in the name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 


READING: Proverbs 8-9 – Gifts of Wisdom, Wisdom’s Feast, General Maxims, & Folly’s Invitation                    Archives are here  

These two chapters focus on Lady Wisdom, whom we met in Proverbs 1 crying out in public places for people to listen to her to find life. We have similar instructions in these chapters. 

“Does not wisdom call and raise her voice?” Then we hear her saying, “My cry is to all that live. O simple ones, learn prudence; acquire intelligence. I will speak noble things, for my mouth utters truth. All my words are righteous; nothing twisted is in them. Take my instruction instead of silver and choice gold. I live with prudence and attain knowledge and discretion.” (8:1-12) 

 Do you see how Wisdom is personified; it is not an attribute of people but is instruction for all people who listen. Wisdom in us is to know God; Wisdom continues, “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. I have insight. By me Kings reign, rulers’ rule, and nobles – all who govern rightly. Those who seek me diligently find me. Riches and honor are with me. I walk in the way of righteousness, endowing with wealth those who love me.” (8:13-21) 

Remember that true riches are those laid up in Heaven. 

Wisdom was with God before the beginning of cration. “The LORD created me at the beginning of His work. When He had not yet made earth and fields, or the world’s first bits of soil, I was there. I was beside Him, like a master builder. I was daily His delight, rejoicing in His inhabited world and delighting in humanity.” (8:22-31)  

With all this in view, listen to Wisdom’s words as she says, “Now, my children, listen to me. Hear instruction and be wise. Happy is the one who listens to me, for whoever finds me finds life, but those who miss me injure themselves; all who hate me love death.” (8:32-36) 

TORAH literally means INSTRUCTION. Torah is the Old Covenant. The New Covenant surpasses the Old Covenant given at Sinai. The New Covenant is Messiah’s blood given for all people whom God loves. Like Jesus, Wisdom has a feast prepared for those who listen. 

“Wisdom has built her house. She has slaughtered her animals; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table. She has sent her servant-girls out. She calls from the highest places” for the simple and those having no sense to come in to eat her bread and drink her wine. (9:1-6) 

General maxims: Rebuking a scoffer or the wicked brings hurt, but “The wise, when rebuked, will love you. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of Wisdom. If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it.” (9:7-12) 

The foolish woman is loud and ignorant, knowing nothing. She calls those who pass by, saying “You who are simple, turn in here. Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But her guests are in the depths of Sheol.” (9:13-18) 

Unfortunately, most people listen to ignorant, foolish guides. 

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MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)  

Holy Father, my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we will each seek LADY WISDOM and listen to her teaching and instruction, knowing that what she says is from you. For myself, and for all who read this, in the name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

READING: Proverbs 5-7 – Adultery and Practical Admonitions


Headings for these three chapters in my Bible are Warnings Against Impurity, Practical Admonitions, and The False Attractions of Adultery. Back in chapter two, Solomon says wisdom will save you from the loose woman with her smooth words. In chapters five and seven he comes back to this topic with deeper warnings. 

In chapter five, he says, “the lips of a loose woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end, she is bitter as wormwood. Her feet go down to death.” (5:3-5) He warns them to keep away from her for strangers will take away your wealth (as anyone who has been through a divorce knows).  

He closes chapter five by saying, “Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. Should your springs be scattered abroad? Let your fountain be blessed and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely dear, a graceful doe. May her breasts always satisfy you. Why should you embrace the bosom of an adulteress?” (5:15-20) Of course, he would also be an adulterer if he consorted with an adulteress. 

In chapter seven, he writes of a youth seduced by a woman whose husband is away and will not be back for days. She, dressed as a prostitute, “seizes him and kisses him, tells him she has made sacrifices and paid vows (meaning her menses have ended), and is eager for him to come to her bed perfumed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. She says, “Come, let us delight ourselves with love.” (7:6-20). He follows her “like an ox to the slaughter… not knowing it will cost him his life.” (7:21-23). The chapter ends, “Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.”  

Even in chapter six, practical admonitions take nineteen verses; warnings about sexual purity take sixteen. “reproofs of discipline are to preserve you from the wife of another… He who commits adultery has no sense and destroys himself… Jealousy arouses a husband’s fury; he will accept no compensation and refuses a bribe no matter how great.” (5:20-35)  

Why is this topic addressed so much? It is because sexual sins have always been a problem in the whole human race. Look at the misery generated by promiscuity and adultery today! The sexual revolution is a disaster – and is getting worse. 

What practical admonitions are there? If you have pledged yourself to cover someone else’s debt, hasten to get free of that promise! (6:1-5). Take a lesson from the ants if you are lazy. (6:6-11) Scoundrels and villains have “crooked speech,” winking, pointing fingers, and always sowing discord; calamity and damage beyond repair will come. (6:12-15). And seven things the LORD hates as abominations are “haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart devising evil plans, feet that run to evil, a lying witness, and one who sows discord in a family.” (6:16-19) 

Israel did not pay much attention to these admonitions. 

How well are we doing in counseling the young as well as older people? 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Father, I pray that I may always listen to your teachings, yes on matters of sexual activity as well as other teachings; this is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN!  

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)   

Holy Father, my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we will each seek Your wisdom instead of the wisdom of the sexual revolution, which shows no sign of abating. For myself, and for all who read this, in the name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

READING: Proverbs 3-4 – Trust God and Sound Parental Advice


Yesterday’s devotion ended with James telling us to ask God for wisdom. When Solomon became king, he did just that, perhaps because of parental advice: “When I was a son with my father, tender, and my mother’s favorite, he said to me, ‘Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget. Do not forsake her; love her, and she will guard you.’” (4:1-9) 

It is interesting, that Solomon wrote about trusting and honoring God before he told us of David’s advice to him when he was still tender and Bathsheba’s favorite. He wrote, “Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; write them on the tablet of your heart. So, you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and of people. (3:3-4)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, 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.” (3:5-7) 

He continued, “Honor the LORD with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” (3:9-10) 

Solomon also said not to despise discipline the LORD gives, for “He reproves the one He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” (3:11-12; see Hebrews 12:5-6). Yes, discipline is hard to accept, but it is for our good that the LORD disciplines us so we will learn to discipline ourselves. The saddest thing is to see a person living an undisciplined life. 

True wisdom is from God, and “Happy are those who find wisdom and understanding, for their income is better than silver and gold. Her ways are paths of peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her. Those who hold her fast are called happy.” (3:13-18) 

After all, God is the source of all wisdom. “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding, He established the heavens. (3:19-20) He established all the things we need to live. 

His wisdom also tells us how to live. “My child, keep wisdom and prudence; they will be life for your soul. You will walk securely; if you sit, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” (3:21-24) 

Solomon warns, “Do not enter the path of the wicked. Avoid it; do not go on it. For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness: they do not know what they stumble over.” (4:14-19) 

There is a strong ethical content in the wisdom that is from above. “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Let your gaze be straight before you; keep straight the path of your feet. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” (4:23-27)  

Jesus taught this concept of the heart. (Mark 7:18-23) 

Where is your heart focused? 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Father, I pray that I may always trust You to guide me in paths of righteousness; this is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN!   

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)  

Holy Father, my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we will each seek Your wisdom instead of the so-called ‘wisdom’ from below. For myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

READING: Proverbs 1-2 – Wisdom, Warning, Call of Wisdom, Value of Wisdom  


The fear of the LORD is the beginning of Knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (1:7) 

Learning, wisdom, instruction, understanding words, wise dealing, righteousness, justice, equity, shrewness for the simple, knowledge and prudence to the young – “let the wise hear and gain in learning, and the discerning acquire skill, to understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles.” (1:2-6) 

Proverbs are not absolutes; they are wise maxims that are generally true but do have exceptions. Proverbs are one way of training children. “Hear, my child, your father’s instruction, and do not reject your mother’s teaching.” (1:8) But what if you discover later that your father is a philanderer, and your mother is a dingbat? 

Temptations often come as enticement to sin. When one entices you, what do you do? If he suggests you become his partner in robbery where you expect to gain great booty and we will have a common purse, do you do it because he waved a hint of wealth before you? If there is a common purse, who will keep it? If he steals from others, won’t he also steal from you? The moral? Be careful of who you hang out with! (1:8-19) 

Wisdom also has a voice. “In the squares she raises her voice. At the busiest corner she cries out, at the entrance of the city gates she speaks; ‘How, long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?’” (1:20-22). In Proverbs, the “simple” are the naïve; “scoffers” are “know-it-all’s”; and “fools” are those who openly reject God’s knowledge and ways. Each of these rejects’ wisdom. Wisdom says, “I will pour out my thoughts to you… Because I have called and you refused… and because you ignored all my counsel… I also will laugh at your calamity.” (1:23-26). The simple, the scoffers, and the fools will cry for wisdom but will hear no answer. “But those who listen to me will live at ease, without dread of disaster.” (1:33). 

Chapter two talks about the value of Wisdom. If you treasure Wisdom’s commandments, incline your heart to understanding, and cry out for insight, seeking it like hidden treasures – you will understand the fear of the LORD and find His knowledge. “For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth comes understanding.” (2:1-6) 

“Then you will understand righteousness, justice, equity, and every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.” Prudence and understanding will guard you from the way of evil. (2:9-12) 

Wisdom will save you from the loose person with the smooth words, “who forsakes the partner of one’s youth and forgets the sacred covenant.” That way leads to death. Walk in the good paths so you will abide in the land (that is, the land promised to Israel), whereas the wicked will be cut off from the land and be rooted out of it. 

James said if you lack wisdom, ask God.  

Have you asked him lately? 

________________________________________________________________________________________ 

PRAY FOR YOURSELF  

Father, I pray that I may find wisdom from You, wisdom that will always guide me in paths of righteousness; this is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN!   

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)  

Holy Father, my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we will each seek wisdom more than gold, for righteousness more than fame, and for the fruit of the Spirit more than the works of the flesh. For myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

READING: Proverbs 1-2 – Wisdom, Warning, Call of Wisdom, Value of Wisdom  

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of Knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (1:7) 

Learning, wisdom, instruction, understanding words, wise dealing, righteousness, justice, equity, shrewness for the simple, knowledge and prudence to the young – “let the wise hear and gain in learning, and the discerning acquire skill, to understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles.” (1:2-6) 

Proverbs are not absolutes; they are wise maxims that are generally true but do have exceptions. Proverbs are one way of training children. “Hear, my child, your father’s instruction, and do not reject your mother’s teaching.” (1:8) But what if you discover later that your father is a philanderer, and your mother is a dingbat? 

Temptations often come as an enticement to sin. When one entices you, what do you do? If he suggests you become his partner in a robbery where you expect to gain great booty and we will have a common purse, do you do it because he waved a hint of wealth before you? If there is a common purse, which will keep it? If he steals from others, won’t he steal from you? The moral? Be careful of who you hang out with! (1:8-19) 

Wisdom also has a voice. “In the squares, she raises her voice. At the busiest corner she cries out, at the entrance of the city gates she speaks; ‘How, long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?’” (1:20-22). In Proverbs, the “simple” is the naïve; a “scoffer” is a“know-it-all,” and “fools” are those who openly reject God’s knowledge and ways. Each of these rejects wisdom. Wisdom says, “I will pour out my thoughts to you… Because I have called and you refused… and because you ignored all my counsel… I also will laugh at your calamity.” (1:23-26). The simple, the scoffers, and the fools will cry for wisdom but will hear no answer. “But those who listen to me will live at ease, without dread of disaster.” (1:33). 

Chapter two talks about the value of Wisdom. If you treasure Wisdom’s commandments, incline your heart to understand, and cry out for insight, seeking it like hidden treasures – you will understand the fear of the LORD and find His knowledge. “For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth comes understanding.” (2:1-6) 

“Then you will understand righteousness, justice, equity, and every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.” Prudence and understanding will guard you from the way of evil. (2:9-12) 

Wisdom will save you from the loose person with the smooth words, “who forsakes the partner of one’s youth and forgets the sacred covenant.” That way leads to death. Walk in the good paths so you will abide in the land (that is, the land promised to Israel), whereas the wicked will be cut off from the land and be rooted out of it. 

James said if you lack wisdom, ask God.  

Have you asked him lately? 

________________________________________________________________________________________ 

PRAY FOR YOURSELF  

Father, I pray that I may find wisdom from You, wisdom that will always guide me in paths of righteousness; this is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN!   

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)  

Holy Father, my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we will each seek wisdom more than gold, for righteousness more than fame, and for the fruit of the Spirit more than the works of the flesh. For myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 


READING: 2 Timothy 1-4 – Paul’s Last Letter                     Archives are here  

Paul wrote this letter from a prison in Rome. Seeing the end first, he sounds deserted needing friends. Demas forsook him because he loved the present world. Paul sent Tychicus to Ephesus and Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke was with him. He told Timothy to bring Mark with him when he came “for he is useful in my ministry.” He asked Timothy to “bring the cloak left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.” (More writing?) In his first defense, “no one came to his support, but all deserted him.” He prayed it would not be counted against them! “The Lord stood by him and gave him strength.”  

His last words to Timothy were, “Do your best to come before winter;” he would need his cloak. Looking at the end gives us an idea of his state of mind. Yet, even in what we call depression, he gave Timothy good instructions from 1:1–4:8. He worked for the Lord in all he wrote. 

He loved Timothy and wanted to see him in chapter 1, and where he spoke of the faith that was first in Timothy’s grandmother and mother – and which was certainly in Timothy. He encouraged Timothy not to be ashamed of Paul’s suffering for the Lord but u him to join in suffering for the gospel. He spoke of the grace given in Christ before the world began, which has been revealed through the coming of the Messiah, Jesus. 

He challenged Timothy, “Hold to the sound teaching you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”

Favorite passages: 

  • “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline” 1:7. 
  • “I know the one whom I believed, and I am sure He will guard what I have entrusted to Him” 1:12. 
  • “What you heard from me, entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others” 2:2. 
  • “Do your best to present yourself to God, approved by him, a worker with no need to be ashamed” 2:15. 
  • “The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly, patient, correcting with gentleness” 2:24-25.  
  • “From childhood, you knew the sacred writings instructing you for salvation through faith in Christ” 3:15. 
  • “Preach the word; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable” 4:2. 
  • “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. There is the crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not to me only, but to all who have longed for His appearing” 4:7-8. 

Paul was a great mentor for Timothy from Timothy’s teens about a.d. 50 until Paul’s death in Rome c. a.d. 66. 

I wish each believer would mentor at least one “Timothy” in our lives; one of our children, a convert we taught, or a friend we meet along the way. 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF  

Father, I pray that I may have someone to teach me as Paul taught Timothy; this is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN!   

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)  

Holy Father, my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we will each pour ourselves into the lives of a few who will be able to do the same for another few. For myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

READING: Titus 1-3 – Good Works & Sound Doctrine


Except for Philemon, Titus is the shortest of Paul’s epistles. Paul calls Titus “my loyal child in the faith we share.”  

There are two major themes in this book: the importance of good works and sound, healthy, doctrine or teaching. He charges Titus to appoint elders in every town. He talks about the sort of man to appoint. “He must have a firm grasp of the trustworthy word in accordance with the teaching, so he may preach with sound doctrine and refute those who contradict it.” 

In Crete there were rebellious people, especially Jews, who needed silencing. One of their own said, “Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons.” Paul said, “That testimony is true.” They needed sharp rebuke, “so that they may become sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths.” 

Sound doctrine = healthy teaching. Without healthy teaching a church will not function as the Lord intends. Chapter two has much healthy teaching. Older men must be temperate, serious, prudent, and have healthy faith, love and endurance. Older women must be reverent, not slanderers, or “slaves to drink.” They were to teach what is good, and “encourage young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, being submissive to their husbands, so that God’s word may not be discredited.” Misbehavior is detrimental to the gospel! 

These admonitions overlap, for all ought to have the principles of sound teaching. Young men also need self-control. Titus himself was to be a “model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, and sound speech that cannot be censured.” Slaves were to be submissive to their masters. They were “not to talk back, nor to pilfer, but to show complete fidelity, that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Savior.” Good behavior helps spread the gospel! 

I discovered grace when I began to understand Titus 2:11-15. Grace is not license to sin; instead, it teaches us “to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly.” We do not wait until the Lord returns to become righteous and godly. “He gave Himself for us that He might redeem us and purify for himself a people who are zealous for good deeds.” 

In chapter three Paul says to remind the church of the basics of Christian living as he also reminds them of how all formerly lived. When “the goodness and loving kindness of God appeared, He saved us, not because of works of righteousness we had done, but according to His mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” 

Paul tells Titus to insist on these things (that God has done), “so believers will be eager to devote themselves to good works.”  

Paul closes his admonitions by saying, “Avoid stupid controversies” for they are “unprofitable and useless.”  

After two admonitions, have nothing more to do with anyone who causes divisions. 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Father, I pray that I may always be eager to do good works because of what You, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit have done to save me, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN!   

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself)  

Holy Father, my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we pay close attention to Paul’s instructions to Titus that he be careful to stress the things that will make us eager to do good works. For myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN! 

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