Category: Proverbs–BibleTrekToday

Believe! Confess! Be saved!

Scripture reading for June 6th: Proverbs 3-5, Romans 10

Romans 10:8-13 “But what does it say? “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is the Word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.”

Salvation is not mysterious. God does not try to hide His plan for saving the lost. He has made it very simple and universal for all people, all races, and ages. The Word of God is preached. This is the Good News of Jesus Christ, Son of God, come to earth to reveal the Father and the Way to His House and household. Jesus shed His blood on the cross becoming a substitute for sinners. He was buried and experienced death for all. He rose again on the third day, conquering death, hell and the grave, having the keys and leading the faithful out. It is so simple that we must become like a child and believe with our heart and confess with our mouth that “Jesus Christ is Lord” and we will be saved! All who call on the Name of Jesus Christ will be saved. There are no ‘maybe’ or ‘hope to’ people in these statements! Amen!

Romans 10:17 “So faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the simplicity of salvation and for its universal application to all people of all nations and cultures. Thank You for sending a believer to share the Gospel with me. Send me to someone who needs to hear the Word and draw them to believe, confess, and be saved as I share the Word of Jesus Christ with them. Help me guard my heart each day and let Your Word flow out of me.

Proverbs 4:23-26 “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.”

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God over all–blessed forever!

Scripture reading for June 3rd: 1st Kings 4, Proverbs 1-2, Psalm 43, Romans 9

Romans 9:1-5 “I am speaking the truth in Christ–I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit–that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, Who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.”

Paul was a Jew and loved God and His people. He knew the Old Testament Scriptures and was taught in the law and worship and promises and then taught them to others. But Paul encountered Christ and now Christ had given Him a new and deeper understanding of God’s grace to the whole world. He now understood that the Jews were privileged people but they were blind to Jesus Christ as their Messiah. He was so full of anguish for his own brothers and sisters that if he could, he would be accursed so that they might be saved! Sounds like the heart of Jesus Christ Himself for His own people, Jew or Gentiles! May God be praised and blessed forever and ever! Amen!

Psalm 43:3-4 “Send out Your light and Your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.”

Prayer: Our Father, You have sent Your light and Truth in the person of Jesus Christ to both Jew and Gentile. Thank You for being my Exceeding Joy! I pray for the salvation of all peoples, especially the Jews who had the privileges of carrying the Seed of Christ, receiving Your laws and promises. May all peoples bless You forever and ever! Amen!

Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

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Abundant restraint!

Scripture reading for January 21st: Genesis 38-40; Mark 15

Mark 15: 1-5 “Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound Jesus, led Him away and handed Him over to Pilate. “Are You the King of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “You have said so,” Jesus replied.” The chief priests accused Him of many things. So again Pilate asked Him, “Aren’t You going to answer? See how many things they are accusing You of.” But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.”

Nothing hurts as bad as being falsely accused by people you love and respect. Both Jesus and Joseph of old had similar experiences and endured it with grace and restraint. In this passage, Jesus was falsely accused but refused to defend Himself. He fully entrusted Himself to His Father and gave Himself to do His Father’s will that He might save all who would believe on Him. Joseph entrusted himself to God and God used him to save His people from famine. God is our defender and will ultimately bring justice for all His people. Now, in this life, our role is to serve others. Our life is the sweet aroma of God’s life to those being saved but the fragrance of death to those who are perishing! (2nd Corinthians 2:15-16)

Genesis 39:19-21 “When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in prison, the Lord was with him; the Lord showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the examples of Scripture where Jesus and Joseph suffered false accusation and imprisonment and with Jesus, death. Thank You for Your purposes and abundant restraint and patience that You bestow on Your people in their suffering and the vision of fulfilling Your will and plans! Fill me with abundant restraint and self control.

Proverbs 16:32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

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Giving should be willing and cheerful

Scripture reading for September 28th: 2nd Corinthians 9

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 9:5-8 “So I though it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction. The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”

Paul explained to the Corinthians that he had been boasting about their willingness and readiness to give. To be sure that this was the case, he was sending brothers in advance to arrange for the gift and give time to have it ready when Paul arrived. He did not want to pressure them in person and these men were also not part of pressure. Paul carefully explained to all giving was to be an act of faith from a willing heart. No one was twisting arms. Giving also should be done cheerfully, not grudgingly or with reluctance. God is watching the offerings and those giving and He loves to reward those doing so cheerfully by faith. Paul used the example of planting seed. To harvest a big crop, seed must be sowed abundantly. God brings the increase in the crops planted and He also brings back a harvest from giving into His work. How much do you want to harvest?

2nd Corinthians 10:10 “He Who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, supplier of every good and perfect gift, and seed for those sowing, thank You for first giving to us that we might be able to give at all. Help me to keep an open hand to give to Your work and to keep a cheerful and faith-filled heart when giving to ministry and those in need. I want to reap a harvest of righteousness and have plenty of seed to sow again!

Proverbs 11:24-25 “One gives freely yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”

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Power in prayer and declaration

Scripture reading for July 27th: Matthew 21

Key Scriptures: Matthew 21:18-22 “In the morning, as He was returning to the city, He became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, He went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And He said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.””

Jesus was spending His last days on earth before the crucifixion teaching His disciples and imparting truth that would help them be overcomers and fulfil their mission on earth. On this particular morning, Jesus was returning to Jerusalem from Bethany and came to a fig tree that was covered with leaves, but upon inspection had no fruit. Jesus spoke to the tree with a declaration: “May no fruit ever come from you again!” Matthew records that the tree withered at once at Jesus’ Word. The disciples were mystified and asked Jesus how this happened. Jesus gave them clear instructions about their authority through faith to speak to whatever ‘mountain’ or problem and see it removed. He put it simply: “Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Take a moment and let that truth sink into your soul and ask God to increase your faith to act on His Word. This is the fruit that Jesus is looking for.

Matthew 21:43 “Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for this powerful truth about faith in Your Word and producing fruit of answered prayer. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and faith today and bring this truth to my remembrance every time I face a situation that looks impossible. May You receive all glory and a harvest of souls as I produce fruit!

Proverbs 18:20-21 “From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”

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Jesus linked hatred with murder!

Scripture reading for July 5th: Matthew 5

Key Scriptures: Matthew 5:21-26 “You have heard it said, to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.‘ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court; lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.”

Jesus was preaching to a crowd of people in what is one of the longest of His sermons in Scripture. Jesus was told His followers of the blessedness of life in the kingdom of God and explained what that life looked like. He took one of the ten commandments, “Thou shall not commit murder” and expanded on its deeper heart issue: hatred. Hatred is the root of murder in one’s heart and it must be dealt with urgently and in a timely manner or it will bring death and destruction. Hatred imprisons those who hold onto it and holds them fast. Our current culture and world is full of hatred and the resulting fruits of murder, destruction and imprisonment in bitterness and rage. Oh how we need to heed Jesus’ Word of instruction and warning! Many are locked in prisons and won’t be able to get out until they do. Some will end up in eternal suffering. Jesus paid the price to get us out if we will repent and ask forgiveness.

Matthew 6:43-45 “”You have heard it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father Who is in heaven. For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, forgive me for harboring hatred in my heart towards those who offend me. Cleanse me from all hatred and fill me with Your love and forgiveness. Use me to bring deliverance to those imprisoned by hatred and bitterness and to overcome evil with good.

Proverbs 10:12 “Hatred stirs up strife, but loves covers all offenses.”

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God’s protection through faithfulness

Scripture reading for June 23rd: 2nd Thessalonians 3

Key Scriptures: 2nd Thessalonians 3:3-8 “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. Now we command you, brothers, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and burden we worked night and day that we might not be a burden to any of you.”

Paul closed this second letter with encouragement and warning to the believers. He was confident in the Lord that the believers would follow Christ Jesus and obey His Word as taught by Paul and the elders. He prayed that the Lord would direct their hearts deeper into the love of God and the steadfastness of Jesus Christ Himself. Paul had preached Christ and also set an example of faithfulness and love for these brothers and sisters. He had provided for his own needs and those of the ministry team by working and providing for their needs, even though he could have taken offerings and assistance. He asked these believers to imitate his example. Then he warned them to avoid those who were idle and living off others. This temptation came from the evil one and lead to other sins. Some of these used the pretext that Jesus was coming soon. This is not how believers are to wait for Christ’s return. We must be about the Master’s business and work to provide for our needs.

2nd Thessalonians 3:10-11 “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your example of active ministry as well as this record of Paul’s life and work ethic. Help me to imitate Your example and work at providing for my needs and also having abundance to give to Your work. May my example inspire others and lead them deeper in the love of God and the steadfastness of Your Word, which will protect them from the evil one.

Proverbs 24:30-31 “I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down.”

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“Do not be afraid!”

Scripture reading for May 12th: Acts 27

Key Scriptures: Acts 27:21-26 “Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to Whom I belong and Whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island.””

God likes to encourage His people when they are in the midst of a trial. Paul was a prisoner of Rome, being transported from Caesarea to Rome during the winter. As it got later and later, sailing became more treacherous with the stronger winter storms. Paul had advised the captain not to set sail. Of course, who was Paul to give him advice? They set sail anyway and a terrible storm caused them all to despair of life. After 14 days of constant wind and waves, Paul had an angelic visitor with a word of knowledge. He shared it with the crew and others while boasting on God and His mercy. He spoke out in faith and it happened just as he had been told. The ship was lost but all survived by God’s amazing grace!

Acts 27:43 “But the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, and the rest on planks or pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for encouraging words of knowledge when Your people are in dangerous situations. It is comforting to know that in every situation, You are with us and for us! Use me to give words of knowledge and encouragement as fearful times come.

Proverbs 4:13 “Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.”

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Obeying God, not men!

Scripture reading for April 12th: Acts 5

Key Scriptures: Acts 5:27-33 “And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this Name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, Whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree. God exalted Him at His right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, Whom God has given to those who obey Him.””

Obedience to God has rewards now and in eternity. The high priest was in authority over Israel and had brought the apostles in earlier and sternly commanded them to not speak or teach in the Name of Jesus. The apostles, in opposition to these instructions from spiritual authority, had continued to boldly preach repentance and forgiveness in Jesus’ Name. Many signs and wonders were also being reported through the Name. Peter, when directly confronted, plainly told the high priest that they must obey God rather than men. He then accused them again of crucifying the Lord Jesus Whom the Father had raised from the dead and exalted to His right hand. This was the ultimate position of spiritual authority. Listen to the witnesses!

Acts 5:38-39 “So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice, . . “

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the Holy Spirit and the boldness of Your witnesses recorded for us in Scripture. Deliver me from the snare of fearing men and empower me to obey You alone.

Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man is a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”

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Praying for boldness!

Scripture reading for April 9th: Acts 4

Key Scriptures: Acts 4:27-31 “. . for truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, Whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant Your servants to continue to speak Your Word with all boldness, while You stretch out Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the Name of Your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the Word of God with boldness.”

Peter and John had just been before the Sanhedrin and were warned to never again speak or teach in the Name of Jesus. They told the Sanhedrin that they must listen to God and speak what they saw and heard from Him. After more severe warnings, they were let go for the man that was healed of his lameness from birth was over 40 years old. They went back to the gathering of disciples and shared what had happened. They all began to lift their voices in prayer and thanksgiving to God, declaring God’s plans and asking protection and power to speak His Word even more boldly! In answer, God shook the gathering place and they went out in great power.

Acts 4:33 “And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, shake my house and my church house as Your people gather to praise You and ask for more boldness! Work with us in signs and wonders to draw sinners to Jesus and heal broken people. Make me bold as the Lion of Judah! Amen! Let it be so!

Proverbs 28:1 “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”

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