The Lone Ranger

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 18

Gold Nugget

Verse 1-2:  A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment. 2 A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart. 



Commentary
Once while working with a team on a project, we had a particular member that preferred to work from his desk instead of remaining in the conference room with the rest of us. He was very skilled at his job and didn't get much resistance from us for his move. As skilled as he was, each of us in the room brought different and valuable insight to our efforts. For several weeks we worked diligently. Us in the conference room and he at his desk. When it came time to merge our work, we found that it was impossible. Early in the project we began to develop and hone the approach to reach our objective. Although we made efforts to pass our discoveries on to him, he didn't stay in tune and benefit from our unity. In the end, although he was very talented, we ended up having lots of rework. He didn't suffer alone. All of us had to work overtime to get the project out on time, due to his mistakes. 

God gives all of us talents but does not give us all talents. Simply said, God gives us each a talent to bring to the table, but we don't each have all the talents. He intended it to be as such. He made sure that I would have something you need and you will have something that I need. If I were self sufficient, then I would have no need of you. He wanted me to need you and you to need me. If you continue to hang out in Proverbs, you will see that the Word tells us that there is wisdom in counsel and strength in numbers. Together we can do more for God than we can alone. If we separate ourselves as mentioned in verse 1, we will begin to see things with one perspective. This can be dangerous and will disable our ability to grow. 

Consider this beautiful passage from 1 Corinthians chapter 12, for now I have trimmed it down.
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 20 But now indeed there are many  members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 

Also
Hebrews 10:24-25 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Prayer
Lord, thank you for reminding me that I need my brothers and sisters in Christ. Give me a desire to bond in the unity of the faith. Help me to learn from other members of this body that I am a member of. I want to please you and be a blessing to others. Show me ways to benefit from and minister to others.
Amen

If you are reading this devotional in an e-mail and would like to post a comment, click on this link http://proverbfortoday.org/

While Waiting

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 13

Gold Nugget
Verse 12: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
                                                                                                                             
Commentary
Having to wait for something we really desire can be very difficult. As a matter of fact, today’s “gold nugget” declares that it can even make the heart ache, Hope deferred makes the heart sick...”. This sick heart feeling often makes us forgo any wait. Whether it is waiting on the person we should marry, the job we should change to, the car or house we should buy, any of those can make the heart even sicker in the long run if the wait is cut off prematurely. The old saying thats says, good things comes to those who wait is exemplified in this passage. Look closely at the latter half of today’s “gold nugget”. but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. There are some things that just cannot be rushed. I know it can be hard, but it will be worth it. Patience is a virtue and it belongs to the virtuous. Be virtuous. Wait on God to deliver the desires of your heart. He will do so at the right time. If you don’t wait, you could bring difficulty into a relationship, be trapped in a dead in job or maybe end up in a high car or house note that you can’t afford. I would rather have a sick heart from waiting now than a broken heart later. I’ve had both and the latter is worse. Know this - God is aware of your heartache and the important thing to remember is how much He cares. It may be possible that He is waiting on you before He moves on your behalf. He may have the spouse you need, but out of love for that person He won’t put them through what He is waiting to fix in you first. Maybe you are so focused on what you want that you won’t allow God to show you what He needs to prepare in you first. It’s possible that He is working on something in them before bringing the two of you together. Either way, trust God and serve Him to the fullest while you wait.

Prayer
Lord, sometime it is hard to wait on the things I feel like I need or want in this life. Give me the spiritual maturity to wait for them and trust you for the right now. Amen

If you are reading this devotional in an e-mail and would like to post a comment, click on this link http://proverbfortoday.org/

Instruction

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 5


Gold Nugget
Verse 23: 
He shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.”


Commentary
Just as the scriptures teach us that the people perish for lack of vision and lack of knowledge, it also teaches us that people perish for lack of instruction. Even if I know that I have a doctor’s appointment and know the time I’m supposed to be there, I still need direction on how to get there. Instructions come in various forms and that can be the problem. If our instructions came in the way we want, expect and find convenient, we would be in good shape. Unfortunately things are not always so convenient. Often our instructions will come at what may seem the most inopportune times, places and through sources that we may not be open to. These are the times when we can either grow or digress. When we are headed in the wrong direction, but are enjoying the ride, it may not be the time when we want to be instructed to go elsewhere. When we are unsure of what to do and want to stand still, the instruction to move out or on may not fit into our comfort zone. Often the most difficult time to receive instruction is when it comes from someone that we really don’t want to receive instructions from. All of these scenarios present us with the choice of making a sacrifice. Whether we sacrifice our fear, our will or pride, we have much to gain in the choice to be obedient in following the instructions. Too often we fail to realize what we have to gain through the obedience, but instead neglect or reject the wise instructions before us. What needs to change in our lives is for us to become a people that choose what it right. We accept it even if it comes at the “wrong” time, place or from the person we would prefer it didn't. We are to be more concerned with the personal growth and that will defeat our fear, our will and our pride.

Prayer
Lord, I know that you send me instructions sometimes in ways difficult for me to accept. I also know that you don’t send it in ways that are impossible. Give me the wisdom to follow good instructions without hesitation. Amen

If you are reading this devotional in an e-mail and would like to post a comment, click on this link http://proverbfortoday.org/ 

Charity

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 3

Gold Nugget
Verse 27-28: "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so. 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 its 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, "Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, 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. "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 shouldn't "...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

If you are reading this devotional in an e-mail and would like to post a comment, click on this link http://proverbfortoday.org/ 

Wisdom vs Wisdom

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 2

Gold Nugget
Verse 6: 
For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
Commentary
When it comes to knowing US law, Harvard and Yale have the highest ranking among all universities. Anyone that claims to have an understanding of the law and holds a degree from either of these schools has much credibility. Such is anyone who gains their wisdom from the Lord. There is “wisdom” that is of the world and there is Wisdom that is of the Lord. The wisdom of the world cannot be “measured” against the Wisdom of God. In order to “measure” how long something is in Europe, you have to use metric. In order to measure how long something is in the US you have to use imperial. In order to compare the two you have to use a “conversion” chart. One will have to be “converted” to the other. They cannot work together. The same is with the wisdom of the world and the Wisdom of God. Paul describes this dilemma in 1 Corinthians 2:6-8 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” He declares that the wisdom of this world and all its glory wasn’t sufficient enough to even recognize the Lord Jesus when He came. In this, they missed Him, misunderstood Him and crucified Him. So much for the wisdom of this world. Our wisdom must be derived from the Lord, through His Word, by His Spirit. Today’s “gold nugget” says, For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Of all of our “getting” we must get wisdom from the Lord. This “getting” can only be “gotten” from a steady intake of the scriptures with prayer and meditation. This is not reserved for just the “preachers”. This is the minimal expectation for every believer.

Prayer
Lord, you have made your Word readily available to us. In it are the Words of knowledge and potential wisdom. You are the source of all Wisdom and cannot be compared to. Help me to desire your Word more and by it gain you’re wisdom to equip me for your service. Amen

If you are reading this devotional in an e-mail and would like to post a comment, click on this link http://proverbfortoday.org/ 

Blood Thirsty

Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 1

Gold Nugget
Verse 11: If they say, "Come with us, Let us lie in wait to shed blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; 

Commentary
Today's "gold nugget" has a deep and somewhat dark overtone to it. It seems unnecessary to instruct us to avoid this ridiculous enticement. Who would actually be enticed by someone that said, "Come with us, Let us lie in wait to shed blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause"? If this is such an outrageous scenario, why take the time to include it in the book of wisdom? In fact it isn't as uncommon and avoided by us as we would like to think. If we were to put on our spiritual glasses today and see things as God sees them, we would be alarmed at how often we not only are enticed with these words, but actually entice others with these very words. Let's examine a few things from God's perspective.  God sees the spiritual as more significant than the physical. Consider what Jesus says in Matthew 10:28 "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." The scriptures go on to tell us that life and death are in the tongue and as Jesus said in the sermon on the mount, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder,  and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.' But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause  shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire." (Matthew 5:21-22) As the scriptures also say in Ezekiel chapter 3, "not warning people of their evil ways and the pending judgment will put their blood on your hands."  All this being said; it is apparent that some of the "mild" offenses we commit against our brother/neighbor are perceived by God just as the people in today's "gold nugget".  In God's eyes, gossiping about someone would be considered shedding their blood. If this is true, wouldn't gossiping be saying to someone, Come, Let us lie in wait to shed blood? Whether it be gossip, tearing someone down with our words, neglecting to tell them about impending judgment and many other things along those lines, any would qualify us as those who listen to or are actually saying "Come with us, Let us lie in wait to shed blood". It's just a thought… or is it?

Prayer
Lord, I need to be reminded of the blood that I shed spiritually. I don't want to do this. Give me the ability to see how much harm can be done with my words, actions and lack of words and actions. I want to perceive people as you do. Give me your eyes so I can see them. Give me your heart so I can love them. Amen

If you are reading this devotional in an e-mail and would like to post a comment, click on this link http://proverbfortoday.org/ 

Labels