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day 12

Proverbs 20:10 (KJV):

10 Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the LORD.

Proverbs 20:10 (AMP):

10 Diverse weights (one for buying and another for selling) and diverse measures, both of them are exceedingly offensive and abhorrent to the Lord.



Thoughts for the Day

These scriptures in Proverbs are dealing with integrity versus cheating. In Bible days much of the trade was done by weighing items on a pair of scales. While the item to be purchased was placed on one of the trays, the other tray held a corresponding weight and when the scales were balanced, the amount could be determined. Since the item was sold by quantity, and the price was determined by weight, a fair and equitable price was established. However, just as we have crooks today, there were traders who tampered with the weights, causing the customer to pay for more than they actually were getting. The weights and measures were unjust, which resulted in a false balance or standard. The Lord says that a false balance is an abomination to Him because it is cheating. Our God is a just God, so He loves justice and equity. He wants all of His children to be fair and just too, and never cheat each other in any way.

Cheating is a major problem in our society today. Students cheat on their tests in school, thus failing to gain the knowledge their diplomas say they have. People cheat when they file their income taxes, so they do not have to pay the right amount, leaving others with their share of the tax burden. People cheat in business by overcharging, causing the market price of an item to be unstable. People cheat by engaging in unfair contracts that are in their favor and not equitable for both sides. People cheat to win games unfairly. People cheat on their spouses by having affairs. Cheating is a form of dishonesty. No one likes to be cheated, as it is an injustice to our sense of fairness.

However, since we live in a world that is sinful, we most likely have all cheated at sometime in our lives. We also have all been cheated at sometime. The only remedy for this sin, is to ask the Lord to forgive us for our cheating and being dishonest. He most certainly will forgive us and also deliver us of this evil, if we come to Him and confess our sin.

1 John 1:8-9:

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

After we receive forgiveness, we then should forgive those who have cheated us. We are told to pray for those who despitefully use us and to overcome evil with good. Many people become very bitter and harbor unforgiveness in their hearts when they are misused. This attitude will destroy them unless they learn to give their hurt to Jesus and ask the Lord to forgive those who have wronged them.

Matthew 5:44-45:

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

Matthew 6:14:

"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Romans 12:19-21:

"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

We must pray for those who have taken advantage of us, or treated us unfairly, or cheated us. The Lord will be their judge, just as He is our judge. He will judge all men fairly, as He has eyes to see what really happened in every situation. He knows those that cheat. He sees the motives of men's hearts. He is the final judge of men's affairs and He will do that which is right. If we have cheated or defrauded any man, we first must repent, and ask the Lord to forgive us; then, we must ask them to forgive us and make it right by restoring the portion that was taken wrongly.

Genesis 18:25:

"That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

Prayer for the Day

Dear Father, Thank You for the love and forgiveness that You show us daily. Lord, help us to overcome any sin that the enemy tempts us to engage in. Lord, forgive us for the times we fail You. We also forgive those who have hurt us and sinned against us. May they come to repentance so that they might know Your forgiving love too. We all need Your love and mercy. Lord Jesus, be merciful to our family and our friends. Watch over our children and our grandchildren and keep them from harm. Guide us daily in the right path so that we do not stray from the straight and narrow. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
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day 13


Proverbs 20:11-12 (KJV):

11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.


Proverbs 20:11-12 (AMP):

11 Even a child is known by his acts, whether or not what he does is pure and right.
12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made both of them.

Thoughts for the Day

We find that the book of wisdom has a lot to say about the raising of children. Verse 11 tells us that children are known by their actions, whether those actions are good deeds or bad deeds. We all gain a reputation, whether it be an admirable one, or one that is shameful by the things we do. All of us fail at times and even our children will act naughty sometimes. However, when a deed is repeated over and over again, it establishes the character of a child (or adult). We all have known people who are habitually tardy or who habitually lie and therefore, they are known as being unreliable and/or a liar. It is important as parents to work with children, teaching and training them in character development. Teaching alone is not enough, we must also train them. That means we are to help them reinforce good habits and overcome the bad habits. This comes by patiently instructing and enforcing what we teach them.

One of the most unkind things a parent can do is to tell a child they will take certain actions if the child is disobedient and then fail to do it. The child then knows that he does not have to mind, as there really will be no action taken on the parent's part for their disobedience. Many times we find undisciplined children are simply a reflection of undisciplined parents. It takes hard work, patience and prayer to raise children that are known as good children. The Bible instructs children to obey their parents while telling the parents to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:1-4:

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

We notice in the next verse of our study in Proverbs that the Lord mentions that He made the hearing ear and seeing eye. Notice this verse follows the one about how a child acts. There is definitely a correlation between what a child hears and sees, as to how he will act. There have been many studies done lately that have proved that behavior is learned from what a child hears and views. Children who are allowed to watch violent and evil movies will many times attempt to do the things that they see in those movies, while good movies inspire children to want to be like the role models they view on the screen. It is very important that we do not allow our children to view movies with wicked and occult themes. Demonic influences through the media will adversely affect children and adults, as well.

Pornography is an evil that is hurting our society and causing it to deteriorate. It is creating unhealthy relationships at all levels. Marriages are falling apart because perverted sexual experiences are preferred over normal sexual relations. People's minds are preoccupied with evil and lustful thoughts that keep them from enjoying life. Rape, sodomy, incest, bestiality and other evils are on the increase, destroying the lives of many. We must protect our thoughts and our children's by guarding what passes through the gates of the eyes and ears. Evil people are doing everything they can to protect the right to view pornography on the internet and elsewhere, to the detriment of our children. They demand this right because they contend they are adults and should be allowed to see anything they want to see. God is watching us in our private lives and our homes. The Bible declares pornography as wrong and sinful, and people who play with this sin will find it has a deadly sting to it in the end. In the Psalm below, David declared that he would set no wicked thing before his eyes.

Psalm 101:2-4:

2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
4 A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.


Prayer for the Day

Dear Heavenly Father, I ask You to help me keep my thoughts pure and to resist any temptation to view anything that is corrupt and vile. Lord, I also ask you to keep my children and grandchildren safe from being exposed to all pornographic material, as I know evil men and women are peddling these wicked things. Lord, deliver the people who are already bound up in this snare. Forgive them and set them free. Lord, dry up the resources behind the production of these evil magazines, books, videos, CDs and movies. Lord, move on the hearts of those in the courts and legislative branches of our government to pass the laws that will do away with and prevent pornography from spreading. Cause Your people to desire things that are good and pure and to put away things that are evil in their homes. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
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Posted 7/10/08
day 14


Proverbs 20:13(KJV):

13 Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

Proverbs 20:13(NIV):

13 Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare.



Thoughts for the Day

These verses in Proverbs address a certain work ethic that deals with a life discipline that must be cultivated in order to be successful in life, that is, overcoming laziness in the form of sleeping too much. Sleeping is, of course, a necessary thing for our bodies, just as eating is also necessary. However, when we overindulge in food, we become fat and unhealthy, just as an overindulgence in sleep will produce laziness, that in turn leads to poverty.

Discipline in the Christian life is one of the hardest things to attain and we all need the help of the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish a disciplined lifestyle. The Bible teaches that we should practice moderation in all things.

Philippians 4:5:

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Eating and sleeping are blessings that the Lord created man to partake of in moderation. Eating was given for pleasure and to sustain our bodies, while sleep was given to refresh our bodies and our minds as well. The devil hates God's creation of man, so he works to cause men to pervert the very things that God gave us as a blessing. In fact, the very first sin man yielded to was one that caused him to eat something that God told him not to eat. That one act of disobedience caused the fall of Adam and Eve and, subsequently, all men since then.

Genesis 3:1-3:

1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

Overindulgence in sleep is also a sin that will rob a man of his productivity, thus causing him not to prosper. Getting up in the mornings and leaving enough time to pray and seek God about the day and have a time of meditation and read a devotional is not an easy task. However, it brings a great reward as we allow God to set the tone for the day and guide us from the beginning. I have experienced days when I have neglected to seek the Lord and my day did not get off to a good start. I would end up facing some problem unprepared and then would be forced to stop and pray and get back on track. It is much easier to do preventative prayers than corrective prayers.

Physicians tell us that we only need 8 to 10 hours of sleep to be refreshed. Part of our discipline is learning to go to bed earlier. I remember when I was a young Christian, I struggled with getting up early enough to include a time of prayer in my morning schedule and went to the pastor to ask him to pray that I would be able to get up earlier and pray. He didn't pray immediately; instead he asked me what time I went to bed in the evenings. I told him I was a night owl and stayed up until 1:00 or 2:00 A.M. every day. He simply told me to go to bed earlier if I wanted to get up earlier. I couldn't seem to conquer the habit at the time so I began saying my morning prayers at night before I went to sleep. I would pray about the next day and the Lord honored that arrangement until I could work on my bad habit of staying up late. I still am more awake in the evenings than the mornings and the Lord knows about that internal clock in me. The main thing the Lord showed me was the need to pray and as long as I did it, He would meet me morning, noon and/or night. He will do the same for you. We just need to form good prayer habits and not allow oversleeping or any other thing to prevent us from praying and seeking God, no matter what times during the day we decide to seek Him.

Prayer for the Day

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your kindness toward me in working with me to overcome the areas of my life that need more discipline. I do want a prayer life that is pleasing to You. Help me in this endeavor. Correct those areas in my life that would hinder me from spending more time with You. Grant me the grace to overcome any laziness that tempts me. Fill me with Your Spirit this day and let me be a blessing in this life to all I come in contact with. I ask this in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
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Posted 7/13/08
day 15


Proverbs 20:14-15(KJV):

14 It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.
15 There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

Proverbs 20:14-15(AMP):

14 It is worthless, it is worthless! says the buyer; but when he goes his way, then he boasts (about his bargain).
15 There is gold, and a multitude of pearls, but the lips of knowledge are a vase of preciousness (the most precious of all).


Thoughts for the Day

The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about trade and commerce policies. Verse 14 is a statement made by a crooked trader. This buyer has convinced the person whom he is making a purchase from that his goods are really worth a lot less than the seller is asking for them. So he makes the transaction and then he goes and boasts to others about the great bargain he got. The Lord is not happy with people who do this sort of dealing, as it is another form of a false balance. It is cheating and is not a fair purchase.

Sad to say, but I have heard of Christians boasting the same way about how they took advantage of someone and got a great bargain and even attributing it to God's favor. However, the Lord wants us to make just and fair deals and not one-sided ones. We always pray when we sell something that it will bring a fair market value. That way we are blessed to be able to sell it and the buyer is blessed to be able to get it at a fair price. Now, if someone wants to reduce the price as a kindness or help to someone, that is fine, but the bargaining should begin from a fair starting price. The negotiators should be honest with one another about the merchandise. Sometimes things are offered at a bargain price due to overstocks, seconds, closeouts, etc. and this is fine, as long as the merchandise is presented correctly. The thing the Lord hates is deception involved in our dealings.

Some businessmen have two financial statements -- one, when they want their company to look prosperous and one when they want their company to appear making less. When borrowing money, they want to look prosperous and when paying taxes, they want the bottom line to appear less. Certainly businessmen can take every tax break that is available to them; however, juggling the books for appearance sake and gain is another matter. God is calling businessmen at this hour to serve Him and He is looking for those with the highest standard of integrity.

Verse 15 makes an important statement in regard to integrity. It tells us that the value of gold, pearls or rubies is not as valuable as one who speaks with the knowledge of God. The entire book of Proverbs is a book about God's wisdom and how to apply it in this life. One of the wisest things we can do is to control our tongues and speak with the knowledge of the Bible. We can build with our mouths or we can tear down with our mouths. A man who speaks with knowledge will build with his mouth and speak gracious things. We have all been guilty at times of speaking things that later we regret. The Word of God is compared not only to jewels, but to silver as well. The scripture below lets us know that God's Words are pure and that is why we need to study the Bible and speak His Words if we want to be an overcomer.

Psalm 12:6:

"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."

Prayer for the Day

Dear Heavenly Father, We desire to be like You so we are asking You to help us to be honest in all of our dealings with others. May we be concerned about the other party when we purchase something and not just look on what is always advantageous to us. Help us to overcome selfishness. Lord, help us to control the things that we speak and speak things that are kind and edifying. Deliver us from anger and resentment and let us keep a forgiving attitude when others wrong us. Lord, we are trusting You to vindicate us when others take advantage of us. Lord, we just do not want to be the ones guilty of taking advantage of another. Help us to always be fair and honest in our dealings. I ask this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
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Posted 7/14/08
day 16


Proverbs 20:16-17 (KJV):

16 Take his garment that is surety for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.
17 Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.

Proverbs 20:16-17 (NIV):

16 Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger; hold it in pledge if he does it for a wayward woman.
17 Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel.



Proverbs 20:16-17 (AMP):

16 (The judge tells the creditor) Take the garment of one who is security for a stranger, and hold him in pledge when he is security for foreigners.
17 Food gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.

Thoughts for the Day

These Proverbs, in essence, tell us to avoid a man who has a bad character. We have a description of that character in these scriptures. In the Amplified version, verse 16 begins like this: "The judge tells the creditor." In other words, this is a declaration of how a man who is a fornicator and who is careless should be treated by the court. The judge says he is not to be trusted, so hold his garment for security until he settles with the court.

The book of Proverbs advises us not to take surety for a stranger. What is surety? It means that a person will give security for the payment or will pledge to pay another's debt if they fail to pay it. We are told that if we do this for a stranger (someone we do not know that well), we will end up hurting for it, as we can lose all that we have put up for them. Strangers, who have the audacity to ask someone they do not even know to be surety for them, usually do not possess the character to repay the debt in the end. It is better to avoid this kind of dealing, so that we will not be stuck with the penalty of paying someone else's debt.

There are many scams going around and most of them could be avoided if we heeded the principal of not trusting a stranger when they ask for money for an investment. Many times the person who is gullible and falls for these scams will end up not only losing their money, but they can also end up being arrested as part of the scam too, if they get deeply involved with the wrong kind of people.

Verse 17 also sends a warning to those who would be tempted to steal by using deceit and fraud. It is compared to bread that is stolen. At first, it tastes good, but after a while it will turn to gravel in their mouths. Anything that we do in a deceitful manner will come back to haunt us because it triggers the law of sowing and reaping.

Galatians 6:7-8:

7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Proverbs is full of good advice and as we apply it to our lives, we will dwell in peace in this earth. We will not fall into the traps of the devil that will cause us trouble and pain, if we heed the advice in this book of wisdom.

Prayer for the Day

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to You today and I do thank You for all of the wonderful advice You have recorded in the Bible. Help me to heed it and live by it, for I know that when I do, I will experience blessings in this life. Lord, help me not to get caught up in anything that is deceptive or that plays on the fleshly desires in my life. Give me discernment and wisdom in my monetary affairs. Help me to put You first in my finances by giving tithes and offerings. I know then You will protect me from the snares of the devil who comes to rob, steal and kill. Thank You, Lord for Your provision today and help me to be sensitive as to how I can help others and the work of the gospel. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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day 17


Proverbs 20:18 (KJV):

18 Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.


Proverbs 20:18 (AMP):

18 Purposes and plans are established by counsel; and only with good advice make or carry on war.



Thoughts for the Day

The book of Proverbs is full of wise advice throughout its pages. In verse 18 we are told to undertake counsel in order to establish our plans and purposes and especially in the matter of war. There is another verse in Proverbs that also tells us there is safety in Godly counsel.

In the verse below, it states that for any purposes or projects to be accomplished,good counsel is a must. In fact in larger projects, a multitude of counselors will get it done, as opposed to one man. Team work is vital for a large vision to be accomplished. A good counselor is one who weighs out the pros and cons of any situation and suggests the best way to accomplish something, or even to correct something, if it is needed. With a multitude of many counselors, the goals and purposes will not be frustrated, but will be completed because of good help. Each department will have good suggestions to get the thing established.


Proverbs 15:22

"Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established."

When anyone is facing a situation that requires any kind of battle (making war) it is especially important not to go it alone. The very nature of war means you will need reinforcements to win the battle, as the one you attack will surely retaliate. The Bible is not against war when it is for a righteous cause; however, it should never be entered into lightly nor without ample counsel from those who will be your allies.

Some Christians are having difficulty with the actions of our government in the area of war, as the heart of Christianity is to love our enemies, not destroy them. How do we reconcile this as Christians? We must understand that the Bible deals with the role of government differently than that of an individual Christian. Throughout the Bible, the main role of governments was to protect its people from threatening invaders and to maintain law and order within its borders. This was done by maintaining a military force. Those who would argue against our country's military position, must also ask what our nation would be like without policemen and prisons.

God set boundaries on mankind by establishing ruling authorities that would make and enforce the laws He gave. The purpose for this was because He knew unregenerate society, without any restraints, would seek to destroy good men. God's desire is that all men would come to Him and live by His laws. However, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and broke His law, sin entered into the world and was passed down to all of mankind through Adam's seed. God, in His love for mankind, made a way for men to come back to Him, through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. Because Jesus lived free of sin and obeyed the law of God perfectly, He became the sin offering and died upon a cross, thus paying the price for all men's sin. He then rose from the dead the third day, showing that He indeed was the Son of God. Now those who accept what Jesus did and repent of their sins can find their way through faith to be reconciled to God. This sacrifice covers and cleanses men, even from the worst of sins, including murder. Now, through Christ, even murderers can be forgiven and restored to a relationship with God so they can live forever with Him; however, they must repent and give their lives wholly to Christ.

Where we find most of our problems with the military action of our government versus loving our enemies is that God's law of justice for the taking of a life demands that life be taken; yet, God's spiritual law of mercy and forgiveness grants that a murderer can be forgiven and restored. How can we reconcile this? We must understand that God instituted civil authorities to maintain order in the earth. God uses them to restrain evil and they should be obeyed for this purpose.

An analogy would be like a family that had a son at home and who was given love, freedom and many privileges. However, one day the son committed an evil crime and was sent to jail. The rules he lived under at home while he was obedient must now be changed to the rules of the jail because of the son's sin. The same is true with God. His will is to bless the earth and all those who obey and live in harmony; but for those who disobey, He had to set up separate rules so that the ones who are evil do not destroy the good. War is like that, as God uses civil authorities to maintain order in the earth. God is a God of love, but He is also a God of justice. Sometimes battles must be fought to bring justice to bear on situations in this life.


Romans 13:1-5 (RSV):

1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
2 Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
4 For he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer.
5 Therefore one must be subject, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.

From these verses we see that governments can elect to bear the sword (go to war) to deal with evil men. Although the act of war is a harsh form of punishment upon evil invaders, the alternative is far worse -- the destruction of innocent people by wicked aggressors.

Prayer for the Day

Dear Heavenly Father: We know that You hate war, but You also hate what evil men do to innocent men, women and children; therefore, wars come when good men stand against the evil of wicked men. May You grant all that fight in righteous causes Your grace, wisdom, strength and ability to overcome evil. Lord, give all righteous rulers and leaders Your wisdom as they direct the course of war. Protect those who are on the battlefields fighting in these conflicts. Bless their families and give them comfort and faith in Your ability to protect and keep those who call upon You! Lord, may we prevail in every righteous cause and stand united behind all those who must pursue the course of war to overcome evil. I ask this in the name of Jesus, Your Son. Amen.
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day 18

Proverbs 20:19-21 (KJV):

19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
20 Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.
21 An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed.

Proverbs 20:19-21 (AMP):

19 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore associate not with him who talks too freely.
20 Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in complete darkness.
21 An inheritance hastily gotten (by greedy, unjust means) at the beginning, in the end it will not be blessed.



Thoughts for the Day

The wisdom in these verses specifically warns us not to associate with unscrupulous people and not to curse our parents. The first warning in verse 19 is to stay away from a talebearer. People that are always talking in a degrading fashion about others cannot be trusted, as they will also talk about you behind your back. You cannot trust these people with your secrets or private issues as they delight in spreading such knowledge. They are "loose talkers." They are also the kind of person who will manipulate people by using flattery to their face. They are not sincere with their compliments, but only use that kind of flattery for selfish reasons. We are told to avoid those types of individuals.

The second warning is given to children who curse their parents. The basic meaning of the word "curse" in Hebrew means "to speak evil of any one or wish evil on any one." Many children would say they are never guilty of cursing their parents; but in this verse, it also means to esteem lightly; therefore, when children disrespect and disobey their parents, they are actually cursing their own parents. One of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:12 says, "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."

In verse 20 of our study, we are told that the penalty for cursing one's parents is that the children will lose their guidance in this dark world (their lamp will be put out). This means that if we cannot see the proper path we are to walk down, we can end up on the wrong path which can lead to destruction. In the New Testament we find that we are promised long life when we obey our parents, and our lives can be cut short when we disobey. (This, of course, would exclude evil parents who would be a threat to a child's safety.) However, those children who despise their parents' Godly advice will end up with a life that is shortened. How many loving parents have pled with their children to stay away from alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and evil companions, only to have their words ignored and despised? Many of these same children have had their lives cut short because they did not heed the advice of their parents.

Ephesians 6:1-3:

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Continuing in our study, verse 21 of Proverbs deals with another parent/child relationship. This issue is about inheritance. A warning is given to siblings that if they obtain their portion (or their siblings' portion) of their parents' inheritance by greed or by unjust means, they will lose the blessing that goes with it. There is a story in the Bible about a brother who through deceit took his brother's birthright (his inheritance) and it caused him the loss of a relationship with his brother and he lived in fear for many years that his brother would kill him for his act of treachery. His name was Jacob and his brother's name was Esau. His mother was also a party to deceiving her husband into giving his "blessing of the birthright" to the first born, to the youngest son. Jacob gained it by trickery, instead of it going to the rightful heir, Esau. Eventually, Jacob repented and was restored to his brother; but the whole incident caused much heartache for the entire family. You can read the story in Genesis 25:20-34 and Genesis 27. As Christians, the Bible teaches us that we should value relationships more than things.

Prayer for the Day

Dear Father, Thank You for the wonderful friends and family You have given to me. Lord, may I always value these gifts of love and friendship and never violate them. May I always be the kind of friend that is trustworthy and that others will know their secrets are safe with me. Guard my mouth and let me only speak things that are edifying and needful. May I always respect my parents and elders and give them honor. Lord, may I treasure my relationships and always value them above things. If I lose things, they can be restored; but if I lose a relationship because I value material things above my friendships and cause a brother or sister to be offended, I may never win their trust again. Help me always to embrace the truth that -- relationships are more valuable than things. I ask this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
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day 19


Proverbs 20:22-23 (KJV):

22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.
23 Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.

Proverbs 20:22-23 (AMP):

22 Do not say, I will repay evil; wait (expectantly) for the Lord, and He will rescue you.
23 Diverse and deceitful weights are shamefully vile and abhorrent to the Lord, and false scalesare not good.


Thoughts for the Day

The book of Proverbs gives us instructions as to how we are to react toward those who do evil things to us. Its wisdom cannot be applied without God helping us to follow those instructions. In verse 22 we are told not to repay evil for evil, but rather wait on God to deal with the injustice that was done to us. In other scriptures in the Bible we are told that God will deal with our enemies, as vengeance belongs to Him. He knows how to deal with all injustice.

Romans 12:17-21:

17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

In these scriptures we are told to do something that is impossible on a personal level when someone has done an evil deed toward us, and that is, to "repay evil with good." We can only do this through the power of the Holy Spirit, as our natural reaction to evil and injustice is retaliation. The Bible throughout its pages teaches that His children are to rise above evil and not react wickedly to anyone. We are to show the world that we are different than the devil's crowd. When we are lied about, we don't tell lies back to offset those lies. We tell the truth, and expect God to defend us, even if by telling the truth we become vulnerable.

In a marriage, or any other relationship, if they lose their temper and rail at us, we do not return railing for railing as the Bible tells us that instead "a soft answer turns away wrath."

1 Peter 3:8-17:

8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

Proverbs 15:1-3:

1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

From these scriptures, we can see that we must call on the Lord to help us when vengeful anger or resentment begins to rise in our hearts. We must ask the Lord to cleanse us from those evil traits and give us His love, patience and His solution to the problem. He has the power to change other people's attitudes toward us if we keep our hearts right before Him. Remember, He sees all that is happening and He will rescue us if we cry out to Him in faith. He can change any heart that is designing evil against us or change the circumstances surrounding the problem in our favor, if we trust Him and ask Him to forgive and bless those who are persecuting us.

The subject in verse 23 of our study today is mentioned in the book of Proverbs three times. When we hear something repeated in scripture three times it is because the Lord is emphasizing it and wants to bring it to our attention. Cheating by using false standards is a very vile and corrupt thing to the Lord. He hates someone who is a thief and someone who is deceitful. God loves honesty and truth, so those who use or take advantage of others through unethical practices are very detestable to the Lord.

In Bible days much of the trade was done by weighing items on a pair of scales. While the item to be purchased was placed on one of the trays, the other tray held a corresponding weight and when the scales were balanced the amount could be determined. Since the item was sold by quantity, and the price was determined by weight, a fair and equitable price was established. However, just as we have crooks today, there were traders who tampered with the weights, causing the customer to pay for more than they actually were getting. The weights were unjust, which resulted in a false balance or standard. The Lord says that a false balance is an abomination to Him because it is cheating. Our God is a just God, so He loves justice and equity. He wants all of His children to be fair and just too, and never cheat each other in any way.

Prayer for the Day

Dear Heavenly Father, I do want to be like You, so help me to react with Your love when someone does something toward me that is evil. I confess that I cannot do this in myself, but I am asking that You give me the love, understanding and patience that I need to be able to overcome evil with good. Father, Jesus forgave those who crucified Him on the cross, even in the midst of His agony; let me remember what You did on the cross, when I need to forgive trespasses done against me. Lord, give all of your children the power of the Holy Spirit to sustain them in their trials in this life. We all need Your power and grace to overcome and be like You. I ask this in the name of Jesus, my Lord. Amen.
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day 20

Proverbs 20:24-25 (KJV):

24 Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?
25 It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make inquiry.

Proverbs 20:24-25 (AMP):

24 Man's steps are ordered by the Lord. How then can a man understand his way?
25 It is a snare to a man to utter a vow (of consecration) rashly and (not until) afterward inquire (whether he can fulfill it).

Thoughts for the Day

The wisdom in today's verses tell us that to understand our way in this earth, we must know God, and that we are also to be careful about making any promises to God that we do not keep.

Verse 24 from Proverbs brings up one of the oldest questions all men have about life and that question is -- "Why was I born and what is my purpose in life?" Man was placed on the earth by God and his "goings" are laid out by God. Without God, man cannot understand life, nor why he was born and where he is going. God loves you and created you to know Him personally.

John 17:3:

Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

God sent Jesus Christ, His only Son, so that we might have new, everlasting life. The Bible tells us, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). By His death, burial and resurrection, Jesus paid for our salvation. He broke the power of sin and death, making it possible for us to have everlasting life. The life of God raised Jesus from the dead and He was the first born Son into the kingdom of God.

God created mankind so that they could all become His sons and daughters and be like Him. However, God has given all men a free will, so we all have a choice to receive and accept what Jesus did for us on the cross when He died to take away all men's sins. Jesus is the Son of God and was an innocent man who was crucified, died, and raised up by God on the third day and now lives forevermore. All mankind is separated from God and each of us must repent of our sins and ask Jesus to come into our hearts and change our old sin nature. When we do this by faith, we are then "born again" into the family of God and we become His children.

He then reveals His life and plan to us. He will then show each of us our part in the scheme of His world. By reading the Bible, we receive revelation as to how He wants us to act and what we are to do. He will show us how we are to help others know His love and goodness. He will also give us understanding and show us the steps we are to walk in daily.

Psalm 37:23-24:

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

These scriptures tell us that even when we make mistakes and fall down, He will help us to get up and walk on with Him.

Proverbs 20:25 in today's study also warns us to be careful about telling God we will do something and then not do it. The Lord wants us to be like Him and keep our promises. So many people promise they will do something and then they do not do it. This is bad enough when we do this with other men, but when we do this in regard to holy things, it is a very serious matter before the Lord. He is very merciful and forgiving when we fail, but we should not tempt God by making promises to Him that we do not keep. We should give serious thought about anything we tell God we will do.

Prayer for the Day

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for saving my soul. I am so glad that You are my Father and I can come to You, no matter what kind of problem I have. You are always so kind and merciful to me when I fail and I do appreciate it. Help me, so that I will be able to walk in the straight and narrow way and not take steps that are out of the way. I want to please You and have my steps ordered of You. Show me what You would have me to do and then strengthen me to do it. Also, help me to guard my mouth and not promise things to others that I am not able to perform. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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day 21

Proverbs 20:26-28 (KJV):

26 A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them.
27 The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
28 Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.

Proverbs 20:26-28 (AMP):

26 A wise king winnows the wicked (from among the good), and brings the threshing wheel over them (to separate the chaff from the grain).
27 The spirit of man (that factor in human personality which proceeds immediately from God) is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.
28 Loving-kindness and mercy, truth and faithfulness, preserve the king, and his throne is upheld by (the people's) loyalty.


Thoughts for the Day

The book of Proverbs even records instructions to kings and rulers, as well as guidance to individuals. In verses 26 and 28 we are told that a wise king (or ruler) will remove the wicked from his court (or staff). The analogy given here is an illustration of how in Bible days they separated the grain from the chaff at harvest time. This threshing instrument was also known as a "cart wheel." It consisted of three or four heavy rollers of wood, iron, or stone, roughly made and joined together in a square frame, which is in the form of a sledge or drag. The driver sits on the machine, and with his weight helps to keep it down as the oxen drag it over the grain to separate it from the chaff.

A good king or ruler will attempt to winnow out those in his kingdom who are wicked, so that justice prevails. The Lord, Jesus, as the soon-coming King, also gave a parable in the New Testament about the separation of the tares and the wheat that will happen at His coming. He also plans to deal with and remove the wicked in His kingdom. You can read about this in Matthew 13:24-40.

Verse 28 in today's study tells us that the throne, or government of a king or ruler, can only be upheld by the people's loyalty in that kingdom. As individuals, we should all be grateful when a good man is the ruler over our respective governments and when this is true, we should be loyal supporters of that person. When leadership is supporting things that foster loving-kindness, mercy, truth, faithfulness and integrity in our land, we should be thankful. We are blessed to be able to vote in our nation which allows us to have a part in electing our rulers. We should pray that we make the right choices and study to see if the candidates support those things that the Bible upholds. For example, if a candidate supports abortion (an evil that the Bible condemns), then we must not vote for them. We should check voting records and then make our choices based on how much they agree with Biblical principles. We are accountable before God as to how we vote. We are also accountable if we are apathetic and just don't take time to vote, thereby allowing the wicked to make the choices for us.

Verse 27 of our study tells us that the God who gave us a spirit, is also the God who searches our spirits through His candle or lamp. This means God has eyes to see the innermost thoughts and intents of every man's heart. When God created the first man, Adam, He breathed the breath of life into him, giving him a spirit.

Genesis 2:7:

"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

Man is a trichotomy made up of spirit, soul and body. He is a spirit (spiritual being) and he has a soul (mind, emotions and will) and he lives in a body (the physical body). God designed man as a functioning unit with his reborn spirit to be in charge of the soul (mind, will, and emotions), and with the body in subjection to the soul and spirit. The Bible tells us that man was created in the image (spiritual image) of God. Until we understand this, we cannot begin to understand ourselves.

Genesis 1:26-27:

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.''

First let us notice God said, "Let us make man in our image.'' God is also a triune being. The Godhead is made up of the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. We must have some understanding of this mystery if we are to understand our own makeup. Perhaps through an analogy we can understand better how He can be three in one. A married man with a family is a father, a husband and a son. He is not three different men, but has three different roles. He relates to his children, wife, and parents in a different way. It is similar with the Lord. He relates to us as the Father, as the Son (Jesus), and as the Holy Spirit. God does not change; He is holy, He is spirit, He is eternal. God is one, but He has three forms, even as water can manifest as a solid, liquid, or gas, yet is still one compound. As ice, it takes a definite form and shape; as a liquid it flows freely, and as steam, it becomes vaporous. Even so, the Godhead manifests Himself so He can be seen as Jesus, felt like rivers of water as the Holy Spirit, and known as the invisible power of the Father.

Prayer for the Day

Dear Father in Heaven, Thank You for Your Words of wisdom to us in this wonderful book of Proverbs. Help us to heed them in all of our affairs and being especially careful not to neglect our civil duties, such as voting. Give us Your wisdom and guidance as we go to the polls. Let us see the candidates with Your eyes and hear them with Your ears. May we not be so traditionally tied to a political party that we would be blinded and not see the things You would have us see in the men and women running for the various offices. Let us look at issues and people with Biblical principles in mind, so that when we vote, we vote for the things that You approve of in Your Word. I ask this in the name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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day 21


Proverbs 20:29-30 (KJV):

29 The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head.
30 The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.


Proverbs 20:29-30 (AMP):

29 The glory of young men is their strength, and the beauty of old men is their gray head (suggesting wisdom and experience.)
30 Blows that wound cleanse away evil, and strokes (for correction) reach to the innermost parts.


Thoughts for the Day

These verses in Proverbs tell us there should be no generational gap, as both young and old are needed and they also point out the need for correction. Verse 29 points out that the younger men are needed for strength while the older men are needed for their wisdom and experience. Cultures who do not utilize this truth about the experience and wisdom of the elders in a society, waste the resources that are within their older citizens. Some people are waking up to the need for this and are finding a wealth of knowledge that can be used to lighten the load for the younger ones. While the old men cannot physically employ the many different ideas because they may have some physical constraints; they can share with the younger generation and they can implement those ideas. This does not mean the young men cannot add their ideas, they should. Building on the foundation of the elders should make the young men's ideas and plans even greater! This verse simply points out the strengths of both generations. They need each other.

We are seeing what happens to young men who are raised without a father figure right now in our society. Many are totally dysfunctional. They become aimless and rebellious without a father's guidance. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:28: Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set. This simply means that children should not tear down those parameters and standards that the fathers have set. They know many things that are harmful for them, or things that will work, and things that will not work, just from experience.

Even in the church, we are commanded of the Lord to build on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Ephesians 2:19-20: Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. Because of deception, many people are embracing false doctrines because they have failed to build on the doctrine of Christ, which He establishes through His apostles and prophets and the Bible. Hebrews 13:17 says, Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

In our study today, verse 30, also tells us through an analogy that correction that comes by blows and strokes aimed at rebellious actions will produce a cleansing effect. When children are not disciplined by spanking they end up rebellious and unruly. A little accidental bruise an their buttocks from a spanking is better than seeing them end up being destroyed by rebellion. If you tell a child not to do something that is dangerous and they persist it could kill them. An example would be to tell them not to run into the street as they might get run over. Some children that are head strong have to have a spanking to get the message across. Now we are not advocating beating a child in an angry rage, but a good swat on the behind has helped many a child to listen to what you are saying in order to prevent the child from danger.

Proverbs 13:24 (KJV):

He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.


Proverbs 13:24 (AMP):

He who spares his rod (of discipline) hates his son, but he who loves him diligently disciplines and punishes him early.


Prayer for the Day

Dear Heavenly Father, We pray today for the restoration of the generation gap. May the fathers have Your wisdom in dealing with their children. May the young men respect and honor their elders. Lord, convict fathers to be the proper role models for their children and love their children with Your love. Your disciplines are never done to destroy us, but to correct and turn us away from the things that are harming us. May the fathers look to You as how to deal with their rebellious children. Lord, give the children and young men submissive spirits so that they heed their father's good advice and may they offer their strength to help their fathers. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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day 22

Proverbs 21:1-2 (KJV):

1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

Proverbs 21:1-2 (AMP):

1 The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord as are the watercourses; He turns it whichever way He will.
2 Every way of man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs and tries the hearts.



Thoughts for the Day

These scriptures in the book of Proverbs let us know that we can absolutely rely on God, as He ultimately is in charge of all things and knows all things. These scriptures validate that God is not only sovereign, but give us insight into His omniscience and His omnipresence. The definition for these two words simply means this: omniscience means that God has infinite knowledge knowing all things; while omnipresence means that God is present in all places at the same time. These abilities are some of the things that make Him God.

Verse 1 in this study is one of my favorite faith scriptures. Why? Because I know that God has the power to change the hearts of men, even kings. Why is this important? If the devil has stirred some evil up in someone's heart against me, I know that I can pray and the Lord can change that person's heart toward me. I am very thankful that I learned this truth early on in my walk with God, as I have watched God turn nasty situations around many times in my life. In fact, many times, the very people the enemy was using to come against me, later came back to me and apologized for their bad behavior as the Lord touched their hearts and convicted them of their wrong attitudes and actions when I took an humble posture toward them.

One of the greatest truths I have learned from the Lord is that when I have relationship problems with anyone, I must turn to the Lord in prayer as to why this is happening. I first examine my own heart and ask God if any of my actions or attitudes precipitated the problem and if I need to ask forgiveness for something. I have learned to humble myself first to God, and then to the angry party. I also need to see if there is anything that I need to change or mend. If I am right in a situation, and I refuse to react wrongly, the Lord will then move on the other party's heart to soften them. I must keep an attitude of love and respect toward others and do as my Lord did and that is to trust God to defend me. Only God can change people's hearts and if I truly obey God in learning how to overcome evil with good, I will see hearts changed before me. That is what Jesus did as recorded in

1 Peter 2:21-23:

21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.

Romans 12:19-21:

19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Proverbs 13:10:

Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

The Bible teaches us that contention comes by pride. So if we humble ourselves, and refuse to be contentious, God will defend us and take bad situations and turn them into something good for us and then we bring glory to Him! Even if a King, or one that was in authority withstood us, God can turn that man's heart to cause him to allow us to do the will of God. It is easy for God, as he can change the course of a river.

Verse 2 of our study says that everything that man wants to do is right in his own eyes, but the Lord looks on the heart. God watches everything we do, but He goes deeper than just viewing our deeds, He looks into our hearts to see what motivated those deeds. We may do good deeds, but we may be doing those deeds just to get the praise or attention of men, instead of doing the deed just so we could serve or help others. Sometimes our deeds may not look to others as something worthwhile; however, if we are obeying God and we are serving Him, and others through those actions, then they are pleasing to Him. An example of this might be of a mother who decided to stay home and take care of her children, and raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, yet she is chided by other women who are set on pursuing their careers. However, God looks at the commitment of the stay-at-home mom as she ministers to those children and is well pleased, as He sees the heart of a mother who puts her children before her own desires. (Certainly it is not wrong for women to work outside the home. In fact, some women have no choice as they are the soul provider. The point I am making is that God sees our heart and when we follow Him in our daily lives, He will bless all that we are doing; however, if we are selfish and do our own thing, He sees that too, and we are weighed in His balances.)


Prayer for the Day

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for always being there for me. Lord, I do want to keep my heart right before You, and before those people whom You have placed in my life. Please forgive me when I fail to do the right thing. Strengthen me to be kind and good toward others, especially my own family. Help me to overcome the fear of what men think, and to be more concerned about what You think. I know that You look at my heart and see things that are not pleasing to You. I give You the right to deal with those things and remove them from my life. Help me to be meek and lowly like You are, and not to allow pride to keep me from communicating with those whom I would rather not have to deal with. Fill me with Your love and wisdom in all my relationships. I humbly ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
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day 23

Proverbs 21:3-4 (KJV):

3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
4 An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.

Proverbs 21:3-4 (AMP):

3 To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
4 Haughtiness of eyes and a proud heart, even the tillage of the wicked or the lamp of joy to them, (whatever it may be) is sin (in the eyes of God).



Thoughts for the Day

Today's verses from the book of Proverbs tell us that doing right is more important than sacrificing anything and that man's pride and life without God is sinful. Verse 3 emphasizes that God is more interested in a daily life that is integral toward Him and toward his fellowman, than one who might sacrifice by fasting or giving a large offering or giving up something that is important to us. In fact, a daily life that is unselfish and one of uprightness before God and man is the very reason God has us sacrifice. He wants to lead us into a righteous life style that is steadily maintained instead of one that is up and down with Him.

Our human nature is one that we tend to coast at times. We slack off doing the things that we should. It is not easy to live a disciplined life unto the Lord where we pray, read our Bible, reach out, and walk in faith in all things. Sometimes we think the outward things like doing good works and giving our tithes and offerings are sufficient to please God. However, God is after a relationship with us and a heart attitude that is one of mercy, and a walk of faith. In the New Testament Jesus spoke these words to some religious people known as scribes and Pharisees:

Matthew 23:23:

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

In verse 4 God deals with another thing that He hates and that is "pride." The definition of pride in this verse is an attitude of haughtiness. When a man thinks more highly of himself than he ought to think, he is then a prideful man. Earlier in the book of Proverbs we found a list of seven things that God hates and pride was at the top of the list.

Proverbs 6:16-19:

16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

The Bible also says in the New Testament that God resists the proud and exhorts us to humble ourselves to God.

James 4:6-7:

6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Our study verse tells us that not only is pride sin, but even the good things in this world like food (tillage) and entertainment (lamp of joy), without God become sin. God made the things of this world for man to enjoy, but when we seek those things first and leave out God they become sin to us. He told us to seek Him first and then all those things would be added unto us.

1 John 2:16-17:

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Matthew 6:31-33:

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Prayer for the Day

Dear Heavenly Father, I am thankful that You have always supplied all of my needs. Help me to always trust You and not to worry about having a supply of food and clothes and the other things that I need in this world, but to just seek You and Your will daily in my life. Lord, I want to be more concerned about having a pure heart in Your sight than any material thing. Lord, I humble myself in Your sight and ask You to remove all pride and critical attitudes from my heart. Give me a heart of mercy and love for others and most of all, I want to always love You and follow You in all things. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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Posted 7/28/08
day 24

Proverbs 21:5-6 (KJV):

5 The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.

Proverbs 21:5-6 (AMP):

5 The thoughts of the (steadily) diligent tend only to plenteousness, but every one who is impatient and hasty hastens only to want.
6 Securing treasures by a lying tongue is a vapor driven to and fro; those who seek them seek death.



Thoughts for the Day

These verses in Proverbs tells us that certain good virtues produce wealth, while evil virtues lead to lack and death. In verse 5 we are told that having plenty involves our thought life. Negative thoughts bring about negative things in our lives, while positive thoughts and a good outlook produce good things. The Bible tells us that actually the things that manifest in our lives have a deeper origin, and that place is in our hearts.

Proverbs 23:7a:

"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:----"

The heart of man is his spirit, while the mind is in the soul. Man is a spirit, and he has a soul, and he lives in a body. Of course, all men think with their minds, but it is the spirit man that influences the mind. If a man is unregenerate and has not been "born again," he will by his own sinful nature be influenced by ungodly imaginations. Once we are "born again," we then are given a new nature and heart (spirit), therefore we now have access to the Holy Spirit and the "mind of Christ." If we yield to the influence of the Holy Spirit, we will do that which is right. The devil will still try to tempt us by putting evil ideas in our minds and tempting us in the flesh, but we now have the power of the Holy Spirit to cast down those imaginations and put the devil to flight.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5:

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

The Lord told Solomon in the Old Testament that He would bless him financially so that he would have an inheritance for his children, if he would serve God with a perfect heart and a willing mind.

1 Chronicles 28:9:

And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

This scripture in our study also says that wealth sought in haste will bring a man to want. We see that today with so many people gambling. They spend their hard earned money in an attempt to get rich quick and thousands of dollars are lost that could have been used in a way that would have brought them to a prosperous position. Many people are also tempted to invest in "get rich quick" schemes that result in the same end -- they are a loser, they come to want.

Proverbs 28:20:

A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.

Verse 6 of today's study also tells us that trying to get wealth by lying will lead a person down a path to death. The Bible tells us that "we shall reap what we sow." A modern day expression is "what goes around, comes around." If a person lies, others will lie to him, as the wrong kind of people will be attracted to him. Thieves tend to run with thieves, and liars with liars, and because of the lack of integrity in that kind of environment, each person will take advantage of the other. There is an old saying that is so true and it is, "There is no honor among thieves." Habitual liars and thieves have also been known to be murderers, so death is also a highly likely possibility for people who lie to get their riches.

Prayer for the Day

Dear Father in Heaven, Thank you for giving us your guidelines for every area of our lives. We know that when we follow your ways and keep Your commandments we will enjoy blessings in this life. Lord, help us to be honest in all of our dealings with money so that we will be blessed. Forgive us when we have put money into the wrong things. Lord, forgive those who have stolen from us and taken advantage of us. We look to you to restore what was lost. Help us to be wise and not be tricked into using our money in the wrong ways. May we use our money and resources to not only take care of our responsibilities, but to also give, to help others and to help get the gospel out to others. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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day 25

Proverbs 21:7-8 (KJV):

7 The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.
8 The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.

Proverbs 21:7-8 (AMP):

7 The violence of the wicked shall sweep them away, because they refuse to do justice.
8 The way of the guilty is exceedingly crooked, but as for the pure, his work is right and his conduct is straight.



Thoughts for the Day

These verses tell of the fate of the wicked who are thieves and violent men, in contrast to the fate of those who are pure in their affairs. Robbers think that they can get by with their deeds, but the Bible tells us differently. In the book of Galatians we are told that we all shall reap what we sow.

Galatians 6:7-9:

7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

These scriptures use an analogy of planting seed into the ground and then it grows and produces a crop. When evil deeds are sown, the scripture tells us that there will be a crop of corruption, while on the positive side when we sow good seed it will produce a crop that will have eternal value. That is why when we give to the works of God, we shall receive eternal rewards in the form of souls. We cannot take our material goods to heaven with us but we will be able to meet those people whom we helped come to know the Lord. We can reap those acquaintances because we gave our time in prayer, our time in witnessing and our financial aid that helped get the gospel out. We are told not to be weary in well doing, for in time we shall reap, if we faint not.

The devil tries to discourage us when we do not see instant results to our prayers and when we see the wicked prospering for a season, but we must keep our eyes on Jesus and on what He promised and not look at our present circumstances. That is what faith is - not allowing the devil to talk us our of our blessings.

The Bible tells us in Psalms 32:10: Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.

Those that are wicked will have many sorrows, while those who trust in God will find His mercy. The scripture here tells us that mercy will be all around us. There is another scripture that has always blessed me and it is the one found in the last verse of the 23rd Psalm:

Psalm 23:6

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

I wondered why the scripture here spoke of "goodness" and "mercy" following us, as opposed to being in front of us. The Lord revealed to me that goodness and mercy were always behind us because we needed them to catch us and pick us up when we fall. When do we need mercy? When we have failed the Lord. When do we especially need someone to be good and kind to us? When we have made a mistake and have fallen down. When we trust God, He is there for us, to help us up, so we can go on walking with Him. How great is His love for us!

Men without God are wicked by nature. We cannot change until we receive the mercy and forgiveness of our sins through accepting what Jesus did for us through His death, burial and resurrection. When we receive Him in our hearts and become a child of God, then we have the privileges God has given to all of His children available to us. We are then pure in the sight of God, and therefore our works before Him become good works. Through following our Lord daily we are able to live the overcoming life. The evil that we once loved, we now hate. The power of the Holy Spirit purifies our thinking and we no longer desire the old life we used to live, we now love the things of God. This is a wonderful miracle -- a God who makes us pure and good like Him.

Psalm 37:35-37:

35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

Prayer for the Day


Dear Father in Heaven, I love you so much. You have been so good to me. Thank you for Your mercy and goodness to me over the years. I have not deserved Your great patience with me, but I am thankful that You were there for me every time I fell down and every time I failed You. Thank you for picking me up and forgiving me and washing me clean so I could start again on that narrow path where my careless feet went astray. Help me to be merciful, like You, to those in my life who need Your mercy through me. Give me grace not only to forgive them, but to love them as You have loved me. I ask this in the name of Your precious son, Jesus. Amen.
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