Scripture reading for September 5th: Proverbs 1-4, Philippians 4
Key Scriptures: Philippians 4:17-20 “Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Paul had received a generous and appreciated offering from the believers in Philippi. He let them know that it was a blessing and that God saw it as a fragrant offering acceptable in His sight. Not only that, but God would meet all their needs as well, according to His riches in glory! Our God owns it all–Amen!
Proverbs 3:9-10 “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first-fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for meeting all my needs. Help me to always honor you with my wealth and giving me the ability through Jesus Christ to offer acceptable sacrifices. Amen.
Scripture reading for July 21st: Proverbs 30-31, Ecclesiastes 1-3
Key Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, . . . “
The writer of Ecclesiastes had lived a while and observed God’s boundaries in the various times and seasons of life. As the seasons rolled around in the calendar year, so God ordained the times set for the various activities of man. God uses these seasons to draw men and women to seek Him and to find Him. This wisdom came from observation and revelation and was confirm other times in the New Testament.
Thankful God sets boundaries: “From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set of them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ “ (Acts 17:26-28)
Scripture reading for July 20th: Proverbs 25-29
Key Scriptures: Proverbs 29:11, 22 “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” . . .”An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.”
The proverbs give simple truths that stick in our hearts and provide wisdom for wise living. In these and other proverbs concerning anger, believers are warned against allowing anger to take over the spirit. It is foolish to allow our spirit to be consumed by anger because this consuming anger stirs up dissension in a person’s life, a family, a city and a nation. A reputation of being “hot-headed” marks a person as a trouble maker and warns that many sins flow from this character flaw. We see this in our nation today!
Thankful for the fruit of the Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23) “”In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry and give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:27-28)
Scripture reading for July 19th: Proverbs 21-24
Key Scriptures: Proverbs 24:3-6 “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength; for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers.”
Solomon was a great builder. He knew that great building projects required wisdom and understanding. Wisdom is the ability to take knowledge and apply it to successful living or building. Our lives are like building a great house. We must get advice from the wise and from the Source of all wisdom to build and furnish our house. In fact, Jesus Christ, Solomon’s son, is building a House for us in His infinite wisdom. We are the beautiful treasures that will decorate the rooms!
Thankful for a Wise builder: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3
Scripture reading for July 18th: Proverbs 16-20
Key Scriptures: Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 20:5 “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” Proverbs 20:24 “A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?”
The writer of Proverbs understood a little of the mystery of God’s purposes and direction of men. Men have many plans and dreams of the future and what it might hold. They often try and work out those plans and purposes. Men of insight into God’s will and Word draw out God’s purposes from the deep waters of the heart of God. But sometimes, man’s steps are taken from the path of our will into new territory through events and circumstances beyond our control. This is a mystery only understood as we seek God and walk with Him.
Our God leads us into His will: “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:26-28)
Scripture reading for July 17th: Proverbs 12-15
Key Scriptures: Proverbs 13:2-3 “From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things, but the unfaithful have a craving for violence. He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”
The wise man learns that life and death are in the power of the tongue. The tongue is guided by what is in the heart. An unfaithful man craves violence and speaks rashly, out of a wicked heart. This man will come to ruin! But the wise man will guard his heart and lips, preserving his life. Words produce fruit–good or evil!
Bless my tongue, Lord: “Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (James 3:4-6)
Scripture reading for July 14th: Proverbs 7-11
Key Scriptures: Proverbs 11:24-26 “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. People curse the man who hoards grain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell.”
God’s wisdom is the opposite of what the world thinks. The world thinks that when we give, it is gone for good. God says that the generous man will prosper and those that refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Those that give gain even more. Giving is a spiritual character trait that is like the heart of our Father, the ultimate giver! When we give, we reflect God’s heart and He blesses that! It takes faith to give and trust God for His promised return. Without faith, you can’t please Him!
Blessed by generosity: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)
Scripture reading for July 13th: Proverbs 3-6
Key Scriptures: Proverbs 4:20-23 “My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
Solomon knew that his sons would need wisdom and a healthy heart. He knew that God’s Word was to be taught to his sons because that alone would bring them true life and health all the days of their lives. He warned his sons to guard their hearts and the Word of God that was sown there. In this alone would come the wellspring of life! The mouth would flow with what was stored in the heart.
Rejoice in a good heart: “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)
Scripture reading for July 12th: Psalm 148-150, Proverbs 1-2
Key Scriptures: Psalm 150:1-6 “Praise the Lord. Praise God in His Sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power, praise Him for His surpassing greatness. Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with tambourine and dancing, praise Him with the strings and flute, praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”
Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
The worship book of Psalms ends with a mighty call to praise the Lord! Praise is due to God for who He is and for His mighty works. Praise should come with instruments and from the breath of all living creatures. God, alone, is worthy of all praise! Proverbs begins with a call to wisdom marked by the fear of the Lord! In Revelation, both come together as the wise worship the Lord of Creation!
Glory to His Name: “Great and marvelous are Your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are Your ways, King of the Ages. Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to Your Name? For You alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.” (Revelation 15:3-4)
Scripture reading for July 13th: Proverbs 30-31
As Proverbs comes to it’s conclusion, it ends with emphasis on the godly wife and mother. Wisdom was a virtuous woman in several locations in Proverbs. (Proverbs 8 and 9:1-12) The opposite of this virtuous woman was another woman, “Folly”. (Proverbs 9:13-18) Folly was a prostitute and lacked sense. She wouldn’t stay at home and was often on the prowl. Her door led to death and many were the number she had slain! (Proverbs 7:26-27)
Proverbs 31:10-31 describes the wife of noble character. This description of the noble wife has stood as a pattern for women throughout the ages of godliness and righteous living. This godly wife was a worker and trustworthy. (Proverbs 31:11-17) She got up and was busy providing for the needs of her household. She cared for the poor and needy with her excess. She was thoughtful for the future and planed ahead. She clothed her children with scarlet and her husband was honored in the city gate. She spoke with wisdom and clothed herself with dignity and strength. Her children and husband blessed her! She feared the Lord and will be rewarded at the city gate!
This woman is also like the Bride of Christ! The “Bride” is a worker and faithful to Jesus Christ. The Bride is busy and cares for the needs of the household of faith. She provides garments of scarlet–coverings of the Blood over all her true children! She reaches out to the poor and needy with gracious giving. She is mindful of the future return of the Bridegroom and makes preparations and is assured that She will be ready! She speaks with wisdom and is clothed by her Husband with dignity and strength! Her children and Husband honor her! She will receive her reward at the city gate and Her works will praise Her–The New Jerusalem!
I thank God for the godly women in my life that have modeled Christ’s character to me. I thank God for the Church of Jesus Christ! The Church also models godly wisdom to the world as we work diligently for the Master! He is coming soon!