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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