A False Portrait

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 28

Gold Nugget
Verse 13: He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

Commentary
It’s natural for us to hid our faults. As a matter of fact, we are very thorough when it comes to how we portray ourselves. We go to extremes to hide our weaknesses and even further to hide our sins. Likewise, we go through just as much effort to demonstrate our strengths or even the illusion of strength in an area that we may actually be weak in. We are so consumed with this need to convince people of who we think we are or who we want to be that it keeps anyone from truly knowing who we are… even ourselves.

Have you ever known someone who is so honest with who they are that they seem even to have no shame? Like the guy who will ask how to spell a word that surely any educated person should know. Does he not know that the word has a simple spelling? Shouldn't he be embarrassed to reveal his apparent weakness? Well, I know people like that and I want to be more like them. I don't want to necessarily have their weakness; I do however, want to have the strength they posses. Where we can see their weakness, we can also see their humility. I admire and respect people with humility; especially those who are humble about their weaknesses in the flesh. I am encouraged when someone is open about a sin and confesses it for help and repents.

As mentioned, we are so consumed with presenting ourselves as we want to be seen, that no one really knows who we are. In the process, we make ourselves unchangeable. We stunt our own growth as the first part of today’s “gold nugget” says, “
He who covers his sins will not prosper”. I want to be able to benefit from God's mercy that is present through confessing and forsaking sin like the second half of today’s “gold nugget” declares, “But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy”.  
Prayer
Lord, when you open up the door for me to have people that can bond with me spiritually, I want to pour my heart into the relationship. I need someone of spiritual maturity that I confess my faults with - someone who can pray with me and stand with me. Help me Lord, to know how deadly it is to keep sin hidden in my life. I want and need to be purged from the impurities of this world. Amen

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Iron Men

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 27

Gold Nugget
Verse 17: As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend,
                                                                                                                             
Commentary
Several years ago when I first started doing the proverb a day on a regular basis, several of us guys would get together to read and share our thoughts. While reading the proverbs, we couldn't avoid the high level of accountability that is clearly expected of us on its pages. In an age of ever growing tolerance, accountability is failing. Godly leaders are calling for this level of accountability, but the amount of noise and pressure coming from the tolerance concept is louder. It is winning. We must continue to press this issue in whatever fields of influence we have. In a theocracy (which is what Christians live in) the majority doesn't rule. God's commands remain the object for achievement. In His kingdom we are responsible for one another actions. The concept that your actions affect you and my actions affect me and that’s it, is not only failing - it's foolishness. Drawing from the verse in today’s “gold nugget”, “As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend”, we called our men's group "Iron Men". There was a high level of accountability, because we accepted this truth that a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. We discussed deep issues, confessed our faults one to another and prayed with each other for healing. When I talk to some of those guys that used to meet together, there is a common response of it being some of the strongest times spiritually as well as some of the closest times we've had with God. Do you know someone that you could gain strength from through their encouragement as well as their correction? If not, I would highly recommend you seek the Lord for this person or persons. When God does provide you this atmosphere, receive it with gladness and commit to it with all your heart.
 
Prayer
Lord, help me to see the need to bond spiritually with others that walk in your light. Help me to have the love, compassion and boldness to be you to them. Help me to have the humility and openness to allow them to be you to me. Amen

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Foolish Conversations

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 26

Gold Nugget
Verse 4-5: 4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
                                                                                                                             
Commentary
Today's gold nugget is a close relative to a previous devotion, "Let's Tango" . It's one of my favorites because it reminds me not to be limited by my natural perspective. Which should we follow? Verse 4's instruction to give no answer to a fool or verse 5's instruction to answer a fool? It  boils down to your motive and what the end result will be. Through wisdom, you will be able to have a good understanding of what the potential response will be should you take objection with a fool's folly. Will he reject your response as foolishness? If you know without doubt that the foolish person will reject your wisdom as foolishness, why provoke him? Wouldn't that be foolish? If so, then you have answered a fool with foolishness, and become like him. 4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. Remember what Paul wrote to Titus "But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless."(Titus 3:9)

Concerning Verse 5, "
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes." There is a time when someone who is speaking foolishness should be answered. Again, through wisdom, you will be able to have a good understanding of what the potential response will be should you take objection with a fool's folly. If someone is speaking foolishness and there is the potential that they would receive your correction, then you have an opportunity instruct in wisdom. If you do not correct or instruct when the opportunity for it to be received is open, he will think himself wise in his own eyes. Why let a fool continue in his folly if you can enlighten him? Also, weigh out the potential for bystanders to be led away with a fool's folly. For their benefit, you may need to speak up in gentleness.
Prayer
Lord, today may present situations where people are speaking foolishness. Give me the wisdom to know whether I should speak or remain silent. If I should speak, give me the boldness and courage, together with gentleness to speak words of wisdom. If I should remain silent, give me the self control to do so. Amen

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Zero Gravity

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 24

Gold Nugget
Verse 10: If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.
                                                                                                                             
Commentary
Lately things have been very hectic for me. I’ve been very busy, all day, every day for a while. A few personal things have been weighing heavy on me and stress has been knocking at my door. Maintaining time for the Lord, His Word and keeping good spiritual maintenance over my mind, body and soul is taking a back seat. That’s not an excuse or acceptable, just an observation and honesty. Writing the devotion as opposed to lying in bed is a challenge, but I was never asked to walk a path of convenience. I have some adversity presently, but now of all times is the greatest time for maintaining myself spiritually. This is when I am most vulnerable. If I fall now because of adversity, I am weak. As today’s “gold nugget” says, If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Anyone can resist the temptation to eat donuts while in a donut-free country. Strength is only of value when there is resistance. In space where there is zero gravity, me and my granddaughter can lift the same thing no matter how big it is. What good does strength do in an atmosphere like that? Many of us are so weak spiritually that God has to keep us in a zero gravity (or zero adversity) atmosphere. We can’t do Him any service there. We are still on earth where the laws of gravity are still in play both in the natural and spiritual realm. That being said, I will put my flesh into subjection, be strong in the face of adversity and be obedient to Him. I don’t know what adversity you may be facing today, but lift up your head, press on and exhibit your strength. You do not have to be limited to a zero gravity atmosphere; you are a front line warrior!

Prayer
Lord, thank you for reminding me today of what my priorities should be. If my time gets pressed and I have to let some things slip, let them be things that are not of a spiritual nature. If I don’t get any play or TV time, let them slip off the schedule before you do. Amen

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Keep it Simple

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 22

Gold Nugget
Verse 2: The rich and the poor have this in common, The Lord is the maker of them all.
                                                                                                                             
Commentary
When we get to heaven, you won't have to worry about keeping up with the Joneses. We'll all be Joneses. For those of you that may not be familiar with this old term, this has nothing to do with The Jonas Brothers. I didn't make a typo. "Keeping up with the Joneses", is a term to describe our lustful and covetous nature to insist we have what someone or everyone else has. We weigh our self value too often by how we perceive the value of others. Many of us have an outward perspective of someone based on their social status or financial position. This is limited to us as humans. Animals do not judge according to this stature and neither does God. So we see that what is beneath us and Who is above us stands apart from our unique standard for the value of a person. As today’s "gold nugget" says, "The rich and the poor have this in common, The Lord is the maker of them all. No matter what we do to get self worth or how we measure the self worth of others, at the end of the day, God sees His creation. He is the only one qualified to place value on us. When we finish this time here on earth, He will see one of two things in us; either He will see His creation that rejected their Maker and will inherit eternal separation from Him or His creation that accepted Him and will inherit eternal life with Him. That's it. It's really that simple. All our efforts to measure ourselves by each other is in vain. We will not be put through the Hitler test on that day. That is to say, we will not be placed next to Hitler to see if we were bad or not. We also will not be placed next to Billy Graham to see if we were good enough. We just will not be measured by each other. We will be measured by whether or not we have given the life we received from Him back to Him. Yes, all He asked was for us to give to Him what is already His. He died for us so we could live for Him. It is time that we started seeing each other as He sees us and not by the world's standards.

Prayer
Lord, thank you Jesus for reminding me of who you are and who we are. I will purpose to remember this and keep things and people (including myself) in proper perspective. Amen

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Hold Your Horses

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 21

Gold Nugget
Verse 5: The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but the plans of everyone who is hasty, will surely be brought to poverty.
                                                                                                                             
Commentary
The worst idea is the good idea that was poorly executed. As a consultant, I am often in front of a client helping them implement industry best practices to make them more efficient and productive. On occasion, the client will grasp the idea and try to implement it without being diligent in planning out the necessary prerequisites to ensure its success. As today’s “gold nugget” says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but the plans of everyone who is hasty, will surely be brought to poverty.” The old saying, “Good things come to those who wait” still holds true. Just like picking fruit too early or pulling the silver out of the fire before it is purified; trying to reap benefits too early can ruin opportunities for prosperity. Getting married too soon, changing jobs too soon, buying that vehicle or getting into that big house payment before you are financially ready can only bring you to emotional and financial bankruptcy. Waiting for things to develop and opportunities to open demonstrates patience and endurance; two elements that are often in short supply in our lives. Just like trying to grow up too early or retire too early, waiting for the natural or appropriate order of things can increase the probability for happiness. Even in our walk with the Lord, we find that Jesus teaches of the drawbacks from trying to develop too quickly. Consider His words in the Parable of the Sower from Matthew 13 when he teaches about the sower that cast his seeds upon the earth, 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.” Sometimes we have great opportunities for success, but we try to pick the fruit too early or fail to plant the seed deep enough to ensure strong roots. Consider today the desires you have that may not have evolved to the point you wanted them to. Don’t be tempted to act too quickly. Your patience will increase the probability of success.

Prayer
Lord, I know there have been times that I bailed on a good idea or plan that you had for me because of being impatient. Help me to see the benefit of waiting on you to open doors instead of me climbing through a window. Amen

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The Peacemaker

Reading for Today: Proverbs Chapter 20

Gold Nugget
Verse 3: It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel.
                                                                                                                             
Commentary
Usually it's best to finish what you started, but there is an exception. There have been instances where I have either started or contributed to a quarrel, and then realize how immature and foolish I have behaved. By then your foolish actions are now sealed in foolish pride. Backing down now would only be acknowledging your mistake. Remembering th devotion, "The Best Defense is to not be an Offense" we are reminded that once you have started down the wrong path and engaged in ungodly behavior, you can still demonstrate good Christian character by exercising repentance. Remember what it means to repent; to repent simply means to turn away from your present course. If you have started or contributed to a quarrel you have shown poor Christian character, but you still can repent (turn away from your present course), do as today’s “gold nugget” says, and "stop striving". It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarrel.This is the honorable thing. As we often find as believers, we must humble our pride and repent.

Prayer
Lord, reveal to me my patterns of initiating or contributing to strife. I want to remember your words that tell me to avoid strife. If I do start to contribute to strife, give me the strength to turn away from it. Amen

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Freelance Christians

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 19

Gold Nugget
Verse 16: He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, but he who is careless of his ways will die.
                                                                                                                             
Commentary
In today’s Christian world there is less emphasis on the laws of God and more emphasis on grace. The grace of God is as amazing as the song so beautifully describes. I am saved by His grace and am lost without it. However, because of His amazing grace, I can’t in good conscience neglect His laws. We have confused His grace as contrary to His law. The opposite of grace is not law, the opposite of gracious is merciless.  His mercy is not in place to give us a free pass to live to our own discretion. No way! His grace is sufficient for us as we grow in it, but mind you, we should grow for certain. Grow in the understanding of who He wants us to be. Growing in who he wants us to be will create a set of standards and expectations from Him that should become laws to us. Yes, that’s right. I’m not talking about the “thou shalt nots” written in stone that we have read about in scripture. Those speak for themselves and we see their value. I’m talking about the ones that He is writing in our hearts as we grow in Him. Has He written laws in your heart or are you like today’s “gold nugget” that says, He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, but he who is careless of his ways will die. As we grow in our relationship with Him He writes His expectations on your heart. He doesn’t need to write them on stone like He did before. He wants to write them in the tenderness of your heart that belongs to Him. Too many people today abuse the grace of God and live their life without any standard that lines up with the Word of God. Consider this passage from The New Testament in Hebrews. “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (Hebrews 8:8b-10)

Prayer
Lord, thank you for reminding me that I am not some freelance Christian that roams around doing whatever “feels” right. I am glad to conform to the expectations that you have revealed to my heart through your Word and your personal plan for my life. Amen

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The Best Defense is to not be an Offense

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 18

Gold Nugget
Verse 19: A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle.”
                                                                                                                             
Commentary
What should we do when we have offended a brother or sister? As much as I would like to think that I am a nice person without desire to bring harm to people, I do on occasion offend. Sometimes it’s unintentional, sometimes simply because of my flesh getting out of control. How we react to us offending people is paramount. The first thing we must do is repent inwardly and toward God. Acknowledge your wrong doing and prepare yourself for the humbling lesson that lies before you. Despite the pride that may stand between you and confessing your fault to the one you have offended, you must walk in obedience to God by following through with it. As hard as it may be to restore the relationship, the longer you put it off - the more it will rot away at your spirit. If you have ever suffered your pride and confessed your offense, you will remember the freedom and peace that came from doing your part to restore the relationship. Of course it is best to be careful not to offend, but how you react to your own wrong doing will reflect who you are as a Christian. If you do someone wrong, be quick to repent and confess to that person and ask for their forgiveness. It will be the first step to mending the relationship that has been harmed by your actions.

Prayer
Lord, I want to be careful not to offend anyone, but if I do - help me to suffer my pride and confess and repent immediately. If I fail to show true Christian character with my deeds, show me how to demonstrate Christian character through humility and repentance. Amen

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Safety Valve

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 16

Gold Nugget
Verse 32: He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”
                                                                                                                             
Commentary
I have worked for years in the industrial field and have installed hundreds of safety valves. Depending on the facility that I worked in, it may have been referred to as a Pressure Safety Valve (PSV) or A Relief Valve (RV), etc. A safety valve is designed with a set pressure at which it will open itself and release it's pressure and contents, either to atmosphere or into a particular controlled location. It is commonly installed in pipe systems, tanks, vessels, etc. If you want to see what one looks like, take a look at your water heater. There will be a small brass valve on the side near the top or directly on the top. Just like the systems in the industrial industry, your water heater has this safety device that is installed to prevent ruptures and or explosions. The safety valve on my water heater has some pipe coming off of that is open ended to the floor. Some safety valves are open ended without any pipe on them. Mine is designed to open at either 150psi or 210F degrees. Because water heaters do just what their name implies, it has a heat source. Your water heater's heat source can be adjusted to where it heats the water to a certain temperature and then stops heating. If something was broke that keep the water heating, it would keep heating and rising in pressure until it reached 150psi and send hot water blasting onto my floor. 

When installing these safety valves in the industrial field, I knew that it was extremely important that these safety valves were installed in the correct lines. If I installed a valve in a line that needed to vent at a certain pressure, but the valve was designed to vent at a higher pressure, the line could rupture or explode. Likewise, if I installed a 150psi safety valve in a line that was designed to operate at 225psi, the line would never reach it's necessary operating pressure and be useless.

All of us have a "set pressure" at which we must vent. If we do not have a "safety valve", when we reach that point we will rupture or explode. My safety valve works like this; when I am under heat or pressure to the point that I may rupture, I shut down the entire system. I don't try to back the pressure down, adjust the heat or anything to moderate or control it. I just shut the whole thing down. I will walk away, completely stop talking or some equivalent. Again, this is when I am nearing the rupture pressure. I know when that is. It's the point where I want to just start getting in the flesh and saying things to hurt. In my opinion, my "set pressure" is actually very high. Over the years, the Lord as steadily adjusted that set pressure to allow me to handle more heat and pressure before I need to vent. I'm not talking about an unhealthy "holding things in", but a healthy resistance to anger. It's important that we know our set pressure and ensure that our release of the frustration and anger is controlled. 

God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13b)

Having our set pressure at an appropriate level is critical for relationships.
·         Having our set pressure to low can cause us to shutdown at the slightest conflict.
·         Not having control measures for frustration (like not having a safety valve installed) can cause us to rupture, causing destruction. 
Prayer
Lord, please help me to learn to be slow to anger. Help me to remember that how I react to these things can damage my testimony or bring glory to you. I want to be able to endure hardships and bring glory to your name.
Amen

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Get Away

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 14

Gold Nugget
Verse 7: Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge.
                                                                                                                             
Commentary
Todays "gold nugget" instructs us to get away from the foolish man that does not speak with knowledge. Often times we are in situations where we cannot get away from people that we really would like to. I am keeping with the object of this verse when I say "we want to get away from someone". It is foolish of us to want to stay in the presence of those who instruct in foolishness, but what if we just can't physically remove ourselves? If we can't remove ourselves physically, then we should do it spiritually. The person that is described in this verse may be someone from work, school or another place that you do not have control over. This is when we see the need for us to separate ourselves spiritually. The bible tells us without fail that we are to separate ourselves from wickedness, foolishness, etc. I have done this without ever leaving the room. It requires boldness, but you can do it. An example of when I did this brings me back to a day when our crew had gathered together - just finishing off the day with small talk. One of the guys told an offensive joke and without fail the entire crew erupted with laughter... well almost the entire crew. It was a small area and very close quarters. My refusal to acknowledge, encourage or even smile was like nails on a chalkboard. It was like the elephant in the room.. everyone could see it, but nobody said a word. We may not always be able to leave the room, but we can sure separate from others when it is appropriate to do so. There may be someone in your life that you know you need to be bold and separate yourself from. It isn't always easy, but if you commit to it - God will see it through and give you strength.

Prayer
Lord, I see the need to separate myself from those who speak and live in wickedness and foolishness. Give me the boldness to make the stand against them when the time comes. Amen

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Being Tender

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 12

Gold Nugget
Verse 10: “A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”

Commentary
Today's "gold nugget" is one that spoke to me years ago in a special way. I wasn't aware of the bible mentioning cruelty to animals. I just figured God was so concerned with us that He didn't make mention of animals. Although I would consider myself one that loves animals, the measurement of how a man's general state is connected to whether or not he is wicked or righteous. We do have a tendency to be "righteous" in the right areas of our lives. That is, the areas that we think measure who we are. The problem is that we have the whole thing backwards. Being cruel to animals is just the symptom of the real wickedness that infects our lives. The wicked heart is the real problem and manifests itself through various symptoms. It could be cruelty to animals, laziness, selfishness, perversion, drunkenness, or many other potential ways it could reveal itself in our lives. You may know the ways it rears it ugly head in your life. You may be aware of the many ways it may manifest itself. Many people try to focus on the symptoms instead of the real cause. The only real progress one can make in having victory is to acknowledge their inner defect and allow the Lord to take rule in their heart. The wicked manifestations we mentioned are the overflow of a heart that is, or gives in to wickedness. In turn, the Lord's rule in our heart will overflow with righteousness. Don't focus on the works of the flesh, focus on putting to death the flesh and its works will perish with it.

Prayer
Lord, help us to demonstrate tender and mercy in how we treat each other and even possibly some of your lesser creation – animals. Cruelty is not a character trait that we want anyone to consider normal or acceptable for a Christian. Amen

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Aliens

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 11

Gold Nugget
Verse 4: Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death.
                                                                                                                             
Commentary
"Iv'e never seen a hearse pulling a U-haul trailer". No matter how many times I've heard that old saying, it still makes as much sense to me now as the first time. It's amazing how much we invest in the temporal. The bible says that, "...life is but a vapor, it appears for a little time, then vanishes away." (James 4:14b) Having the proper perspective on what this life on earth really consists of is crucial. Imagine one grain of sand on an entire coastline of beach. That one grain of sand compared to all the sand on the beach is minuscule, and yet so many of us have forfeited the entire beach to ensure we maximize or own desires with the single grain of sand. Our life is the where we invest in the beach. We need to make sure that our lives are not lived with the focus on the things of this world and it's riches and pleasures. When those things do not conflict with the principles for living that God has established for us, and do not hinder us from the purpose to which we are called, they are acceptable. When they become the principal and purpose, that's when we really get ourselves in trouble. Remember that we are aliens in this world. We are visitors living in tents and out of suitcases (so to speak). We are not staying and we have our focus on the things above and how the things here relate to eternity. The scriptures tell us that we are not of this world. Why should we be consumed with it?

Prayer
Lord, I'm thankful for the blessings you have provided for me. I am grateful for the provisions you've granted me. I am appreciative of the finances you've trusted me with. My desire is to handle all of the blessings, provisions and finances with honor to you. I commit to you that I will not let them become my focus. Amen

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Better to Receive than to Give

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 9

Gold Nugget
Verse 12: “If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you will bear it alone.
                                                                                                                             
Commentary
As much as we may want to share, some things cannot be gifted. I neither give wisdom nor give it away. Wisdom is earned. I can receive or give good advice, but the wisdom is in the person that receives it. Wise people take advice and are wiser for it. Notice earlier in verse 9, Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. Notice it says, “give instruction” and a wise man will be wiser still. It doesn’t say give wisdom. Again, wisdom is in the receiver. A foolish man can be exposed to instruction all day long and it has no bearing on the giver’s status. A fool will despise instruction and remain a fool; a wise man will receive instruction and increase in wisdom. The point of today’s “gold nugget” is, If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you will bear it alone. You will either be wiser or continually foolish of your own accord. Maybe it’s better said, of your own choice. What is the key element that makes the difference? The key is humility. It takes a degree of humility to assume that instruction is acceptable to receive. Many of us would rather give instruction whether we posses wisdom or not. As a matter of fact... pause for self application… if we are more focused on giving instruction than we are receiving it, we exemplify foolishness. In the act of choosing to give instruction rather than receiving it we, by definition, scoff wisdom and inherit foolishness. We should embrace every opportunity to receive instruction. We cannot expect to receive instruction when we are always positioning ourselves as the Alpha-Male. Man or woman, we are often so prideful that who can possibly instruct we who are at the top? Humble yourself, receive instruction, gain wisdom and exemplify the character that God has intended for us. The ironic thing is, the more we do this, the more we will be put into positions of giving instruction. Isn’t that a doozy?  How do you spell doozy anyway? Anyone care to instruct me in this?

Prayer
Lord, help me to be more receptive to instruction and open to correction. Help me to be humble without having to be humiliated. Amen

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Wisdom in the Word

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 8

Gold Nugget
Verse 11: For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.
                                                                                                                             
Commentary
Today is a good day to be reminded of why we do what we do. Why do we read the Proverbs? We have an entirety of Scriptures. Why is this particular devotion focused on Proverbs? First I would want to remind you that Proverbs should not be the entirety of your bible exposure or study. The reason this devotion focuses on Proverbs is because of the focus of Proverbs itself. This book is considered a book of wisdom and it is loaded with thousands of individual “gold nuggets” of wisdom that can retrain the mind to reason in a way that absolutely does not come natural to man. Only by repeated exposure of such reasoning will a person begin to adopt what are not our natural concepts and allow them to become our norm. Wisdom is not natural to us. We are not born with it and only grow into it by choice and experience. Some grow into it more than others. Only those that see wisdom for what it is, will with passion seek it and find it. As a man will spend his life in search of hidden treasures, so should he seek wisdom. As today’s “gold nugget” says, For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her. A Christian should seriously seek after wisdom. The Scriptures guarantee if we seek after wisdom we will find it. “Seek and you will find, ask and it shall be given unto you, knock and it will be opened unto you.” (Luke 11:9) Seek wisdom, ask for wisdom and knock on the door of wisdom and you will find, receive and see it opened unto you. Seeking, asking and knocking are all verbs that require action. One of the actions you should take can be reading the Scriptures daily. Proverbs will serve as a valuable part of your Scripture intake and this particular devotion brings in many other verses to help see the relevance of these “gold nuggets” to the Scriptures as a whole. As we mentioned in the words of Jesus in Luke 11:9 today, the wisdom of Proverbs works together with the Bible as a whole as any part of the Scriptures work in harmony. My hope is repeated exposure to the wisdom in Proverbs will be continue to change my way of thinking to be more in line with what God wants and I hope some others may find such valuable truth in these passages as well.

Prayer
Lord, I know that taking one vitamin every week or so will not change the way I feel and improve my health, but I do know that a daily intake of vitamins will begin to change the way I feel for the better. I also know that one proverb every week or so will not change the way I think and improve my spiritual health, but I do know that a daily intake of your Word will begin to change the way I think and reason for the better. Amen

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