To Be Bold

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 29

Gold Nugget
Verse 10: 
The bloodthirsty hate the blameless, but the upright seek his well-being.

Commentary
 You can’t make everybody like you. Accepting that early on will free us from much disappointment. They say that you should never mention politics and religion certain settings. Pointing out your position to certain people may put you at odds with them without even knowing it. Well, I say some things that we may be at odds about are best put right out front. Just the same, establishing out front that they may share those positions can be twice as productive. One of these places where religion is considered taboo is in a job interview. So much for that concept, I can hardly wait for an opportunity to present itself in an interview where we can talk about my faith. My position is that of today’s “gold nugget”, The bloodthirsty hate the blameless, but the upright seek his well-being. Although this verse is very descriptive, it can be summed up as follows; People that are unjust will not appreciate the just, but the just will be grateful and helpful to the just. I would rather a potential employer know just where I stand and what he can expect from me, than to avoid the defining foundation of who I am and have it be an issue later. If they are just, they will respond quickly to my openness and embrace our shared faith. If they are not appreciative and respectful of this defining character, I would just as soon know this up front as well. Those that love God will love me as a brother. Those that love God I must and will also love as a brother or sister. This may not fit well with many people’s belief, but it has worked well with me. I can’t tell you what a blessing it has been allowing God to be a part of who I am in the workplace or any other so called taboo arena. I have seen too many coworkers and even clients and interviewers come to tears as we begin to talk about the love of God and deep spiritual things. I have just learned to accept that the unjust will not appreciate the just, but the just will be grateful and helpful to the just.

Prayer
Lord, help us to be as Paul requested in 1 timothy 2:8, I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting It’s my prayer that we would be bold in our faith and don’t fear those that will not accept us. Amen

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The True Gift

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 24

Gold Nugget
Verse 11: 
Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.

Commentary
The bible teaches us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23). If we believe this to be true, then we agree that all of us are guilty of sin before God. If so, what does that mean to us? What is the penalty? The bible tells us also that, “the wages (cost) of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). So we conclude that the scriptures teach us that all of us are guilty of sin and the penalty is death. It seems hopeless unless God changes His mind about what the wage or cost of sin is, but He hasn’t changed what the penalty is. Here enters the true Christmas story. Follow closely as the angel tells Joseph what Jesus’ purpose on earth is in Matthew 1:21, And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins. So we see understand that all of us have sinned and the penalty is death. To replace the hopeless state, he gave the gift of His only begotten son to free us from this trap. As mentioned earlier, God did not change the penalty; He just changed who would pay it. The bible teaches us that Jesus bore the sins of the world and paid our penalty with His death on the cross. This is the true gift to be acknowledged during this Christmas season. Revisiting the verse mentioned earlier, we will read it in its entirety, “the wages (cost) of sin is death”… but, the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23). As we gather this day and tomorrow, we can share this true meaning of Christmas with others and in so doing, we may just do as today’s “gold nugget” says and Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.

  • Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
  • Romans 6:23a – For the wages of sin is death
  • Matthew 1:21 – And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.
  • Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Prayer
Lord, I pray that we will have the boldness to share these three powerful scriptures with others this Christmas and from now on as often as the opportunity is made available. Amen

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Motives

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 20

Gold Nugget
Verse 6: Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?


Commentary
This morning I sat through a familiar repeat with an acquaintance as he ran through story after story that all featured his goodness. It was literally like it was a presentation of his greatest hits. It wasn’t an isolated incident. This is the norm when I am around him. I also know that he is like this with everyone. Today’s “gold nugget” says, Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?  Although the guy I mentioned earlier is probably the extreme, the scripture tells us that “most” men will behave this way and that a faithful (or good and just person) is hard to find. Why is it that a good person is hard to find? It’s simple. They don’t proclaim their goodness; therefore you may not be aware of what good they have done. Some people wear their “goodness” around their neck. It is part of our nature to be acknowledged for our works, but not at the extent of promoting it ourselves. Another scripture in Proverbs tells us how we get our natural need for acknowledgement without advertising it ourselves. “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth;” (Proverbs 27:2a) If we are truly a person that does good, others will notice in time and will acknowledge you for it. When someone else speaks of your goodness, it brings more credibility than if it comes from you anyway. Some people are aware of this and therefore do their good deeds in front of others to be seen of them. Jesus addressed this as well, “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. (Matthew 6:1) In summary, let us just do good to please God and let go of any other motives and expectations. If we live our lives to please God, we will be understood by those that understand Him and we will never be fully understood by those that do not understand God. Can we be satisfied with that?

Prayer
Lord, remind us of what we do good for. All we do, we do to please you and show your love to others. We do not need glory and will surely not steal it from you. Amen

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Covering Sin

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 17

Gold Nugget
Verse 9: 
He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.

Commentary
I love today’s scripture. It reminds us of the intentions we should have towards other that fall. In today’s society we approach people about their sin less than we used to.  This scripture isn’t saying that we shouldn’t approach people who sin. Today’s “gold nugget” says, He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends. It isn’t saying that we should pretend that the person who sinned didn’t do wrong. It isn’t even saying that we shouldn’t approach them about it. What it is saying is apparent from the latter part of the verse, he who repeats a matter separates friends.” As I mentioned, in today’s society we approach people about their sin less than we used to, but there isn’t a shortage in how much we will repeat it to others. People still love to gossip. It is still pleasurable for many of to share someone else’s mistakes. Somehow it makes us feel better about ourselves. We don’t think about the damage we cause in the relationships between the person that sinned and the person we are telling it to. Again, "he who repeats a matter separates friends. He who lets an offense go without spreading it is by default, covering it. He who covers a transgression seeks love.If someone I know sins, it isn’t in his best interest for me to go spreading it around. In avoiding spreading the gossip, I hold it in and “cover a transgression”. Even if, out of love, I approach him about the sin, I still show love and conceal the matter by keeping it between us. Our attitude should always be to heal and preserve. Spreading the gossip is not an act of love, but a sign of an unloving heart.

Prayer
Lord, help me to be mindful of how I should handle those that err from the truth. It isn’t going to bring them back into obedience by spreading it around. I know that I want to be restored in love when I err. Help me to consider that when dealing with others. Amen

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Highway to Heaven

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 16

Gold Nugget
Verse 17: The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul.


Commentary
When I add a destination in my GPS, my navigation tool will tell me that my current route includes tolls. Although this may be the easiest route, it may cost me more than I want to pay. I can tell it to avoid the tolls, but it may be a less convenient route. The journey through this life is much the same. The easiest route will cost you the most in the end. In Matthew 7:13-14 we read, Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. The wide road to destruction is easily accessible and most people choose that path, but the path to everlasting life is narrow and few choose it. Today’s “gold nugget” says, The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul.  We may find that the highway to heaven is not always the smoothest, most convenient or most trouble free route, but the destination makes the traveling conditions worth every mile. Conversely, I wouldn’t trade the any hardships or tribulations that I suffer as a Christian or all the things I might miss as I “depart from evil” for the open highways of this world, because of the “toll” it will take and eventually cost me. I choose to depart from evil and preserve my soul.

Prayer
Lord, I know that I miss some of the things this world has to offer as I serve you, but I choose to depart from evil to please you and preserve my soul. Amen

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Guarding Your Mouth

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 13

Gold Nugget
Verse 3: 
He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.

Commentary
The bible tells us that life and death are in the tongue. We usually associate that with how destructive our words can be to others, but we can be just as destructive to ourselves with our own words. Once a guy went on an interview and had the job based on his skills, education and small talk, but after too much rambling revealed things that the employer used against him. The old saying that says, “Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt” actually originated in Proverbs. "Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive." (Proverbs 17:28) On the other hand, not having enough good sense (wisdom), will result in things being said that can be destructive to others as well as yourself. Today’s “gold nugget” says, He who guards his mouth preserves his life, But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.There have been times where a good filter over my mouth would have saved me and others harm and even embarrassment. As we get older and look back at things we have said and done, sometimes we get a little embarrassed at how revealing our foolishness was to everyone but ourselves. I wish I could say that it was in my twenties that I looked back at foolish things I’ve said and done in my teens, but there seems to be something of the sort from the decades that followed. As I have gotten older, I have learned the hard way to apply today’s lesson. I am slower to speak foolishness and hopefully more in tune with wisdom, but there is still so much growing going on. I have found peace in knowing that I have a source of wisdom in His Word and I have nothing to regret from speaking about the things found therein. On those things, I am quick to speak and have found them to be unto life.

Prayer
Lord, when I am in your Word consistently, I find I have more to say. I hope that when I am not in your Word as I should that I will be slower to speak and less likely to cause destruction with my words. Amen

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To Rebuke or Not to Rebuke

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 9

Gold Nugget
Verse 8: Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.

Commentary
To rebuke or not to rebuke… that is the question. It isn’t always easy drawing the line between when you should confront someone and when you shouldn’t. Before we discuss what scenarios may be appropriate for rebuking and not rebuking, let’s first discuss what should never be deciding factors. The first condition that should NOT decide whether or not you should confront them is fear. If you are afraid of either being shunned or of retaliation, you should not allow that to be the deciding factor on whether or not you take your stand. Standing up for what is right never promises popularity or even safety. Another condition that should not prevent you from confronting someone is laziness. When it is appropriate to confront someone, we should let it be a priority. This doesn’t mean that we will not proceed slowly, with caution seeking wisdom, but it does mean that we will not blow it off. Now, when is it the wrong time to rebuke? Two things should be sufficient to decide when you shouldn’t rebuke. One, when neither the person being confronted or others affected by the issue are expected to receive any benefit or potential learning from your rebuke, there isn’t any wisdom in confronting them. Consider the first part of today’s “gold nugget”, Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; When you know for certain that the person is not open to receive instruction, do not proceed for your own satisfaction. If there is someone else being lead astray with their folly, it may be appropriate to speak up for their benefit. The second condition that should prevent you from rebuking someone is whether or not you can administer it with love. If you are not doing it out of love, not only will it affect the delivery, but it is evident that you are not the right person for the job. So, when is the right time to rebuke? Take the wrong time to rebuke already mentioned and use the same steps. When either the person being confronted or others affected by the issue could benefit or learn from your rebuke, then proceed with love. Consider the second part of today’s “gold nugget”, Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.

Prayer
Lord, I know there is an appropriate time to confront someone. Help me to have the wisdom and love to know when it is the right time and when it isn’t my place . Amen

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The Strongman

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 7

Gold Nugget
Verse 26: For she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men.

Commentary
Proverbs chapter seven paints the illustration of the young man that is lured away by the seductress. An evil woman with evil intentions lures him into her bed with empty promises. Trading peace and safety for pain and death, the man doesn’t see his own demise. He isn’t aware that it will cost him his life (verse 23). This scenario doesn’t seem applicable to most of us. Maybe we are neither the seductress nor the foolish young man, but we must remember that this story is an illustration of a greater lesson. Although it could be said that this book was written with a focus on younger men, it can be applied by anyone. Knowing the original target audience was to that of young men, we find it speaking in terms that they would understand. If you talk to a man about wisdom and hard work, he may not show great interest in your passion, but if you talk to him about the desires for woman and money, his ears will perk up. That is exactly what Proverbs does. When speaking about the need for wisdom, Proverbs describes wisdom as a beautiful woman. Other places it describes wisdom as gold, silver or rubies. Whether women or riches, you are speaking the young man’s language. Likewise, when warning of foolish behavior, proverbs compares it to a harlot that will cause poverty and death. Either way, you stand a better chance at getting his attention through these illustrations. We may still think we are immune to this trap. We are neither harlot nor foolish, but today’s “gold nugget” reminds us that “she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men. That is to say, those that thought themselves strong became her victims. Any of us, whether we see an applicable weakness in this lesson or not can ultimately be trapped. All we have to do is take our eyes off of the Lord and we will begin to open up the door to the snares of the enemy. Don’t put your confidence in how “strong” you are, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall”, but put your confidence in how much you can stay focused on Jesus.

Prayer
Lord, I don’t want to be the foolish young man that thought so highly of himself that he didn’t posses the humility to see when a trap was laid before him. Help me to stay humble before you and keep my eyes steadfast upon you. Amen

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The Dimmer

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 4

Gold Nugget
Verse 18: 
But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.”

Commentary
I remember my mom giving the illustration years ago that walking with the Lord is like being in a room with a dimmer switch. When the room is dark you can ever so gently begin to turn the switch on until you can barely make the images out around the room. With that, you can see where things are. You can then navigate the room easier without stumbling. Just when you think you know the room like the back of your hand, someone adjust the switch. Allowing more light into the room, you then see stains in the carpet and rips in the furniture. After a time, you clean the carpet and mend the furniture, only to find the switch has been adjusted allowing more light into the room. It’s then that you see the cracks in the walls and cobwebs in the corners. On and on it goes. You think that everything that needs work is complete only to continue finding more work to be done. You could be saddened and feel like you will never accomplish your goal, but you remember where you started and where you are now. You know that the work that has been done is not in vain.

We are much the same. When we come into a relationship with Jesus, we are what the bible teaches, moving from walking in darkness to walking in the light. Today’s “gold nugget” says, But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.” The Lord doesn’t reveal all of the areas that need attention at once. If we are sensitive to Him, we will find that He reveals things to us in the order that He considers priority based on His plan for our life. He will shine enough light into our lives to see a need for growth, repentance and change. He then expects us to react to what we see and seek Him for change. Just when we feel like we are perfect, He will adjust the switch allowing more light to reveal the stains in the carpet and rips in the furniture. We will with joy, rush to work in those areas, seeking a clean and honorable temple for Him to dwell in. He may reveal the cracks in the walls to me in my life, while revealing the stains in the carpet in your life. I must be careful to allow God to set the priorities for growth in your life even if they are different than mine. It doesn’t matter so much the order as it matters the commitment to growth and purity.

Thanks, Mom...

Prayer
Lord, continue to adjust the switch in my life and allow your revealing truth about me to shine in. I pray for humility in receiving the truth and desire for change and growth to honor you with how I react. Amen

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Having Charity

Reading For Today: Proverbs Chapter 3

Gold Nugget
Verse 27-28: 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it," When you have it with you.

Commentary
I've always liked this scripture. I appreciate it's straight to the point message. Don't be so quick to measure whether or not someone is worthy of your charity. I would hate to think the Lord only gives gifts that we deserve. I am convinced that He often gives us good gifts purely because of His love for His children and how He often dotes on us. There is a balance with this concept and another one of my favorite verses which happens to be in this very chapter, "3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, 4 And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man." This "favor" is hinged on our obedience and is by far the majority of what will bring favor from God (and man), but often times He just blesses us for no apparent reason. Often times when we haven't deserved it. Isn't He so loving? If this is the case, why do we measure someones worth in order to give charity to them? What if we measured whether or not we would help someone not by whether they deserved it or not, but by whether we have it or not. "27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so." If God has blessed us to the point where we have the ability to bless others; by all means we should. "28 Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it," When you have it with you." Let us reason with the mind of the Lord. We should exercise wisdom, but that doesn't mean without compassion. Believe that your charity may win someone over. When that person with the torn and dirty clothes is holding the sign at the intersection, be sensitive to the Lord. He may move you to give. If you feel compassion and give, let whether or not they use it for food or something negative stay between them and God. Offer your charity to the Lord and whether or not they deserve it will not be of importance.

Prayer
Lord, I want to be a blessing to others. If I am able to bless others with finances, gifts or any possible way - I want to do it. Help me to remember how often you blessed me without my deserving it. Amen

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Speak that which is Acceptable

Reading For Today: Proverb Chapter 10

Gold Nugget
Verse 32: 
The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.

Commentary
Kids say the dandiest thingswell something like that anyway. As much as we would have preferred it, our children didn’t come stock from the factory with mouth filters. How many times would it have saved us embarrassment if they did? It’s cute for the most part when they are toddlers. Their ignorance is both bliss and a blessing. There comes a time, however, when ignorance is neither bliss nor a blessing. As they get older, grace for their ignorance is lessened. What may be cute for a 4 year old doesn’t hold true for someone older. I remember once when I was about 9 years old another kid my age saying something to a person over-weight, that they should be careful when sitting in a chair, it may break. From someone 4 years old, it would have been ignorant and understandable. From someone 9 years old it was pure folly. Even at that age, I remember it so clearly today because of how foolish it seemed to me. Don’t get me wrong. I say something foolish probably daily to some extent. You don’t have to look hard or far to find someone more refined than this ol’ Texan. When in certain circles, I have to behave above my norm. The key is knowing what is acceptable. Like today’s “gold nugget” says, The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked what is perverse. Knowing the right and wrong things to say and when not to say anything at all is a characteristic of one who has both knowledge and understanding. I have been in a room when an adult will speak just as foolish as a child. With ignorance they reveal what they do not know. I imagine for every circle that you or I may be at the upper end of wisdom, there is another arena where we are at the bottom. The only confidence I have is the truth that glares at us today through this scripture. Whether we are the “wisest” person in the room or the least, we can speak with confidence if our knowledge and understanding is of His Word. Having a grasp on the Wisdom of His Word, surpasses all wisdom of this world. If we know the Word, we know what is “acceptable" and speak on it as such. If not, our mouths will speak of perversion whether we recognize it or not.

Prayer
Lord, if we hang in there with your Word and absorb it truths, we will be able to speak and do so with confidence. Give us the knowledge that comes from you when we speak and we will speak appropriately. Convince us that even as children speak out of ignorance, if we lack the knowledge of your Word, we will speak perversely as the wicked. Amen

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Possesors of Wisdom

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 9

Gold Nugget
Verse 12a: 
If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,

Commentary
There’s an old saying, “Better felt than dealt”. Another says, “You’d had to been there.” And again another says, “Until you’ve walked in my shoes.” Some things can’t be described. There are also things that you cannot be convinced of until you have experienced them yourself.  Wisdom is a personal possession. I would be careful of saying that except for how clear the scriptures are about how we should view it. We are told all throughout Proverbs that we should pursue wisdom like silver, gold or rubies. Find it as hidden treasure, obtain it and keep it. It is a possession that is gained through personal sacrifice and commitment. Through diligence and perseverance it is obtained. Once it has been caught or captured, it belongs to the captor. It cannot be passed through genes or sold in the market place. It can’t be given away or stolen. It is a reward from God and only the diligent find it. When you find it, it is yours and only yours. As today’s “gold nugget” says, If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, Those of you that have tried with passion to pass your wisdom on to others only to see them drop it on the ground by their feet and walk on into foolishness can attest to this truth. To those that have given wise advice to some that have taken it and spared themselves harm, don’t be deceived. You did not pass on to them wisdom. You passed onto them council. If they accepted and applied your council, it is because of their own wisdom that they possessed in order to receive your council. Make sure that they (and not you) are acknowledged for taking your council as a result of their own wisdom. Your wisdom is wisdom whether it is accepted or rejected. The wise can only pass wise council from one possessor of wisdom to another. As weird as all this sounds, I believe there is a MASSIVE learning and eye-opening opportunity here for us. Recognizing wise people in your life creates opportunities for amazing spiritual encounters between God’s people. This is by His design and we partake of His Master plan when we operate in this arena. This is regardless of whether you are on the receiving or giving end of wise council.

Prayer
Lord, just as Elijah thought he was the last of the prophets that hadn’t bowed down to other Gods, we are just as foolish if we think that we are the only ones that posses wisdom. Help us to engage with one another in wisdom and profit from what you have given each of us.  Amen

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Reaping and Sowing

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 7

Gold Nugget
Verse 23: 
Till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare, he did not know it would cost his life.

Commentary
Proverbs chapter seven describes the foolish man that is deceived and trapped by the seductive harlot. The man, void of wisdom, is ruled by his flesh and doesn’t believe it will cost him anything for his actions. This picture is so prevalent in our society today that has become “immediate gratification” based. I often refer to it as our microwave society. We don’t have to earn a meal like we used to. When we want something that normally takes an hour, we get it in 2 minutes. That isn’t bad in itself. I’m not throwing away my microwave, but I do recognize how we cut out important lessons of reaping and sowing. Whether it’s reaping good things from good things we’ve sown or reaping bad things from bad things we have sowed, the lesson of cause and effect is a major element in a Christian’s journey towards maturity. It’s still true that people will risk so much long term loss for pleasure today, or even for this moment. Whether it is the teens in a back seat of a car risking their immediate future or possibly even their health, satisfying the moment wins. It may be the spouse that has a one night stand, risking the happiness of their family and possibly even their health as well. It might be that extra drink before getting behind the wheel that cost them their life and/or others for the immediate pleasure it brings. There are more scenarios than I could possibly put into words, but be sure that there is one that would hit closer to your home. It would be in your best interest to fill in the blank and allow this lesson to apply to you. We press on into foolish endeavors, investments and risk not weighing the costs. This describes the foolish man in today’s “gold nugget”, Till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare, he did not know it would cost his life. Remember that just like the law of gravity is still in effect (what goes up must come down), the law of reaping and sowing will never be undone. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)

Prayer
Lord, you know the areas of my life that this verse applies to. Help me to be of a mature mind that doesn’t allow my desires of today, or this moment, to risk the work you have done in my family and in my life. Help me to walk in maturity and wisdom and be a testimony of the work of your grace and mercy in my life. Amen

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Sweeter and Sweeter

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 4

Gold Nugget
Verse 18: 
But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.

Commentary
In the 1930’s, Robert C. Loveless penned these famous lyrics.
Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before.
Every day with Jesus, I love Him more and more;
Jesus saves and keeps me, and He's the One I'm waiting for.
Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before.
Yesterday was 13 years to the day since I gave my life to the Lord and I can sing this song with conviction. On November 3rd 1997, I told the Lord I would give this one more try. This time I knew that all my past attempts at serving Him had failed and that He would have to make it work this time. That was all He ever wanted. I could never - and can’t ever live a life worthy of righteousness. My righteousness is as filthy rags. My ways were not - and never will be sufficient. My only hope, and what has made the difference, is to just get me out of the way.  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20) So I can sing with passion that “Every day with Jesus (truly) is sweeter than the day before”. “Every day with Jesus, I (really do) love Him more and more”. He is the one that saved me and has kept me, and on Him I could forever wait. Yes, every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before. You can find a real, long lasting, fulfilling relationship with Him. Jesus is the one immovable, unchangeable, everlasting, sure constant in a world of shifting, ever-changing, expiring things. Psalms 34:8 says, Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! If you have truly given Him a chance, you will have found that your future has only gotten brighter with each day. As today’s “gold nugget” says, But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.As I get older, my body may get weaker and my mind may not be as clear, but my spirit that lasts forever will only grow closer to Him. When you think of it like that, every day is something to look forward to… cause every day with Jesus, really is sweeter than the day before!

Prayer
Lord, I thank you for saving me and keeping me. I know that you are the same yesterday, today and forever. It is me that learns how sweet it is to walk with you more and more. Help us all to enjoy the walk we have with you today and even more tomorrow. Amen
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Recognizing Correction

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 3

Gold Nugget
Verse 11: 
My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor detest His correction.”

Commentary
One of the challenges with introducing discipline to a toddler is ensuring they connect the offense with the correction. When a child takes a toy from another child, discipline must be prompt to ensure they connect the correction with them taking the toy. Waiting too long will just leave them wondering why you are scolding them. Instead of being corrected, they will feel victimized. That is the last thing you want. That’s why you make sure the discipline doesn’t get ahead of their ability to comprehend it. What if they never mature to the point of understanding? There are learning disabilities that do not permit the correction to wait for comprehension.  Older children and even adults with learning disabilities may have to be separated from opportunities to harm themselves or others even if they don’t understand. Such is the case with our lives. Whether by choice or neglect, often we do not mature enough to understand when God corrects us. Sometimes we are not mature enough to connect His “correction” with the offense. When we do not obey His directions, He will often bring correction into our lives whether we are mature enough to comprehend it or not. This will sometimes leave us feeling “victimized”. Not that we necessarily feel like we are His victims, but we still wonder clueless why things are not working out for us. We may even despise the Lord for not making a way for us. We fail to connect the disobedience in our lives with the trial we may be enduring. Does this mean that our current trial is because of disobedience? Not necessarily, but often times it is just that. How hopeless are we when we fail to connect the two. This is something that requires maturity in our walk with God. Also it takes humility to admit that we may be receiving correction instead of just having “bad luck”. When we do make the connection, we need to do as today’s “gold nugget” says, My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor detest His correction.” The next verse goes on to say,  For whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights. He is a true Father that loves His children enough to correct them. Allowing us to continue in bad spiritual behavior would encourage us to continue practicing it.
Prayer
Lord, help me to be able to recognize your correction when it comes. I don’t want to miss the learning opportunity by assuming I am having a bad day, week, etc. When you are trying to teach me, help me to be a good learner . Amen
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