“Don’t look at your neighbor’s harvest for evidence of God’s Sovereignty.”~TB
There are 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, and 86,400 seconds in each day. Considering that we spend only a mere fractionof that time around other people, it’s impossible to know all of the deeds and seeds being sown by anyone. Not even your child, your spouse, your sister, your brother, your best friend, anyone. Therefore, we cannot act as judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to other people’s lives. More importantly, we cannot base our understanding or relationship with God on the lives of anyone else but our own.
Everyone sows seeds, good or evil. Everyone also reaps a harvest based on the seeds sown. If you get a bad crop, it’s time to reflect on your seeds. Fortunately for us, we can all do our gardening research found in the Bible and time with God to learn how to sow good seeds. Don’t mind someone else’s garden or harvest, but rather tend to your own. Whatever they receive is between them and God and as onlookers, it is impossible to discern a harvest that which you did not plant. Instead, pray for your brother’s and sister’s and let God do the rest.
Are you foolish enough to look at someone’s harvest, believing that God is asleep at the wheel or are you smart enough to know that you know nothing about it at all?
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1Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down! How the mountains would quake in your presence!
2As fire causes wood to burn and water to boil, your coming would make the nations tremble. Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame!
3When you came down long ago, you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked!
4For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!
5You welcome those who gladly do good, who follow godly ways. But you have been very angry with us, for we are not godly. We are constant sinners; how can people like us be saved?
6We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
7Yet no one calls on your name or pleads with you for mercy. Therefore, you have turned away from us and turned us over to our sins.
8And yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.
9Don’t be so angry with us, LORD . Please don’t remember our sins forever. Look at us, we pray, and see that we are all your people.
10Your holy cities are destroyed. Zion is a wilderness; yes, Jerusalem is a desolate ruin.
11The holy and beautiful Temple where our ancestors praised you has been burned down, and all the things of beauty are destroyed.
12After all this, LORD, must you still refuse to help us? Will you continue to be silent and punish us?
“It’s better to stab someone in the front than the back, because at least you’re being honest.”~TB
Adam and Eve covering up their bodies after eating the forbidden fruit says a lot about the world today. The issue wasn’t their nakedness. The issue was that they believed they were capable of hiding anything from God. Ironically we do the same thing time and time again. We’re all trying to ‘hide’ our flaws, appear to be smarter, richer, prettier, etc. just to appeal to one another. As I grow older, I find myself walking away from the guise of being ‘better than I am’ and accepting the way God made me, flaws and all. I’ve also found honesty allows me to come before God with all that I am so that I may receive the best answers to my questions, rather than covering them up with manure.
Wolf and Sheep
God has more respect for the person being an adamant heathen than the fake spiritual man. If you are publicly screaming “Praise God”, but are privately devouring your neighbor, well, God knows. He knows the light and the dark, after all it is all His creation. So if we stand to have any sort of relationship with Him, we must stop being wolves and return to His flock as sheep. If being a sheep offends you, then I encourage you to reflect on the choices, perceptions, and decisions you make as they are all influenced by something or someone. Personally, I’d rather be a sheep for God than a mindless slave to man.
Are you being honest or is it a cover up?
1“But now, listen to me, Jacob my servant, Israel my chosen one.
2The LORD who made you and helps you says: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, O dear Israel, my chosen one.
3For I will pour out water to quench your thirst and to irrigate your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants, and my blessing on your children.
4They will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank.
5Some will proudly claim, ‘I belong to the LORD .’ Others will say, ‘I am a descendant of Jacob.’ Some will write the LORD ’s name on their hands and will take the name of Israel as their own.”
6This is what the LORD says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies: “I am the First and the Last; there is no other God.
7Who is like me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power. Let him do as I have done since ancient times when I established a people and explained its future.
8Do not tremble; do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago? You are my witnesses—is there any other God? No! There is no other Rock—not one!”
9How foolish are those who manufacture idols. These prized objects are really worthless. The people who worship idols don’t know this, so they are all put to shame.
10Who but a fool would make his own god— an idol that cannot help him one bit?
11All who worship idols will be disgraced along with all these craftsmen—mere humans— who claim they can make a god. They may all stand together, but they will stand in terror and shame.
12The blacksmith stands at his forge to make a sharp tool, pounding and shaping it with all his might. His work makes him hungry and weak. It makes him thirsty and faint.
13Then the wood-carver measures a block of wood and draws a pattern on it. He works with chisel and plane and carves it into a human figure. He gives it human beauty and puts it in a little shrine.
14He cuts down cedars; he selects the cypress and the oak; he plants the pine in the forest to be nourished by the rain.
15Then he uses part of the wood to make a fire. With it he warms himself and bakes his bread. Then—yes, it’s true—he takes the rest of it and makes himself a god to worship! He makes an idol and bows down in front of it!
16He burns part of the tree to roast his meat and to keep himself warm. He says, “Ah, that fire feels good.”
17Then he takes what’s left and makes his god: a carved idol! He falls down in front of it, worshiping and praying to it. “Rescue me!” he says. “You are my god!”
18Such stupidity and ignorance! Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see. Their minds are shut, and they cannot think.
19The person who made the idol never stops to reflect, “Why, it’s just a block of wood! I burned half of it for heat and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat. How can the rest of it be a god? Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?”
20The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, “Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?”
21“Pay attention, O Jacob, for you are my servant, O Israel. I, the LORD, made you, and I will not forget you.
22I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.”
23Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done this wondrous thing. Shout for joy, O depths of the earth! Break into song, O mountains and forests and every tree! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob and is glorified in Israel.
24This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer and Creator: “I am the LORD, who made all things. I alone stretched out the heavens. Who was with me when I made the earth?
25I expose the false prophets as liars and make fools of fortune-tellers. I cause the wise to give bad advice, thus proving them to be fools.
26But I carry out the predictions of my prophets! By them I say to Jerusalem, ‘People will live here again,’ and to the towns of Judah, ‘You will be rebuilt; I will restore all your ruins!’
27When I speak to the rivers and say, ‘Dry up!’ they will be dry.
28When I say of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,’ he will certainly do as I say. He will command, ‘Rebuild Jerusalem’; he will say, ‘Restore the Temple.’”
“Sin is like digging in the trash for treats— nothing good comes from it.”~TB
A few days ago, I forgot to take out the trash. It wasn’t old or anything, but the it contained some chicken bones and meat products, which are too much of a temptation for my dog. I figured it would be ok since there’s a lock on it, but when I arrived back home, trash was sprawled all over my kitchen floor and my dog was in the corner with her tail tucked in and a face that read ‘guilty’ all over it. Annoyed, I asked her, “Why do you go digging in the trash when I’ve bought you treats? All you have to do is behave and you get all of the treats you want”. Then, I had an epiphany. God probably says the same thing to us when we sin. We all go digging in the trash looking for forbidden treats even though God provides us good things all of the time.
Mercy at its Finest
I can’t stay mad at Abbey for long. She’s a good dog, and she’s had to put up with me for almost 7 years. Getting back to the trash, I sigh and chuckle, cleaning up the mess as I thought about how many times God has had (And will continue) to clean up mine. It’s funny though, we all mess up, digging through the trash and then hide from God as if He doesn’t already know what we’ve been up to. Fortunately for us, He lovingly cleans up our junk, erasing it from the score board, and guess what, the “treat” is till on the table. Just like our canine friends, we’ll always find trash attractive as its in our nature, but with discipline and looking out for the divine ‘treats’ maybe we can stay out of the garbage more frequently. As for my dog, well, I’ll just stick to taking out the trash.
Are you ready to stop digging in the trash?
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1This message came to me concerning Tyre: Wail, you trading ships of Tarshish, for the harbor and houses of Tyre are gone! The rumors you heard in Cyprus are all true.
2Mourn in silence, you people of the coast and you merchants of Sidon. Your traders crossed the sea,
3sailing over deep waters. They brought you grain from Egypt and harvests from along the Nile. You were the marketplace of the world.
4But now you are put to shame, city of Sidon, for Tyre, the fortress of the sea, says, “Now I am childless; I have no sons or daughters.”
5When Egypt hears the news about Tyre, there will be great sorrow.
6Send word now to Tarshish! Wail, you people who live in distant lands!
7Is this silent ruin all that is left of your once joyous city? What a long history was yours! Think of all the colonists you sent to distant places.
8Who has brought this disaster on Tyre, that great creator of kingdoms? Her traders were all princes, her merchants were nobles.
9The LORD of Heaven’s Armies has done it to destroy your pride and bring low all earth’s nobility.
10Come, people of Tarshish, sweep over the land like the flooding Nile, for Tyre is defenseless.
11The LORD held out his hand over the sea and shook the kingdoms of the earth. He has spoken out against Phoenicia, ordering that her fortresses be destroyed.
12He says, “Never again will you rejoice, O daughter of Sidon, for you have been crushed. Even if you flee to Cyprus, you will find no rest.”
13Look at the land of Babylonia — the people of that land are gone! The Assyrians have handed Babylon over to the wild animals of the desert. They have built siege ramps against its walls, torn down its palaces, and turned it to a heap of rubble.
14Wail, you ships of Tarshish, for your harbor is destroyed!
15For seventy years, the length of a king’s life, Tyre will be forgotten. But then the city will come back to life as in the song about the prostitute:
16Take a harp and walk the streets, you forgotten harlot. Make sweet melody and sing your songs so you will be remembered again.
17Yes, after seventy years the LORD will revive Tyre. But she will be no different than she was before. She will again be a prostitute to all kingdoms around the world.
18But in the end her profits will be given to the LORD . Her wealth will not be hoarded but will provide good food and fine clothing for the LORD ’s priests.
“Don’t shortchange the importance of doing your Biblical homework as trick questions are difficult to answer if you haven’t practiced beforehand.”~TB
When I was in school, I seldom— if ever— did or turned in my homework or studied. I was clever enough to pass my tests and still receive somewhat decent grades in spite of my blatant disregard for homework. When I went to college, however, not turning in homework or studying was much harder to fake as the tests were more cumbersome and I couldn’t skate by as easily. I had to fail to realize how important studying and doing the homework correlated with a passing grade. As I continue my walk with God, I realize that studying and homework are even more important, as the opposition uses trick questions and fake answers to get us to stray.
The devil’s objective isn’t just about getting us to sin. It’s more to do with derailing God’s purpose for our lives. He’ll use cheap tricks and smoke and mirrors— creating seemingly lifelike problems to get you from deepening your relationship with Christ. This is where all that studying and homework come into play. When you make daily time for the Lord and when you read His teachings, the devil’s schemes are more easily discernible. But, if you don’t do the reading or know God on a deeper level, satan’s party tricks will sweep you up into a mental storm that can be difficult to overcome. If you find yourself in a pop quiz that you didn’t study for, go back to the Source Material that is the Bible.
What the devil doesn’t want you to realize is that all of these tests, trials, and tribulations are open book. Which means that at any given time, you can consult God and the Bible for the answers. Until our last breath on this Earth, we can retake tests as needed, with God lovingly showing us the way when we humble ourselves to put in the work. No test or walk is perfect. There are many times where I still fail to study, only to realize that I must do the work so that I too will not stumble. Thank God (literally) that He still loves a slacker like me and allows me to learn. So friends, learn to discipline yourselves to do your homework, study the word, and grow with God so that you spot the fake answers and pass your tests.
Are you ready to improve your study and homework methods?
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1In that day you will sing: “I will praise you, O LORD ! You were angry with me, but not any more. Now you comfort me.
2See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The LORD GOD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.”
3With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!
4In that wonderful day you will sing: “Thank the LORD ! Praise his name! Tell the nations what he has done. Let them know how mighty he is!
5Sing to the LORD, for he has done wonderful things. Make known his praise around the world.
6Let all the people of Jerusalem shout his praise with joy! For great is the Holy One of Israel who lives among you.”
“Don’t be dismayed when trouble comes your way because God will use a breakdown to help you breakthrough your footholds.”~TB
Understand that bad things don’t only happen because you’ve done something wrong. In fact, there are many lessons to learn when failure or opposition occurs. In your struggles, you can learn how to fully rely on God and not man made alternatives that help numb your suffering. Your relationship with God is the most important relationship you will have and learning how to trust Him in all areas of your life requires enduring situations of all kinds. God is with you in the good times, the bad times, and the in between. Your breakdown strips away all of the distractions and disruptions that keep you from fully walking with God.
Facing trials that make you fall on your face is a humbling experience. But friends, humility is the best tool that you can possess! Humility teaches you that you cannot live this life alone. Humility shows you that God is necessary and not optional. While He will never make you choose to know Him, if you study your breakdowns, trials, stumbling blocks, you will soon realize how much you need Him. Once you realize that Truth, you begin to rejoice in getting to know Him. An authentic relationship with Christ is not duty bound, but a joyful connection that comes from being one of His. Take comfort in your breakdown to experience the breakthrough that is Christ.
Are you breaking through your breakdown?
1The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh contain this message. I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God.
2I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense.
3I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One.
4Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down? Who holds the wind in his fists? Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Who has created the whole wide world? What is his name—and his son’s name? Tell me if you know!
5Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.
6Do not add to his words, or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.
7O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die.
8First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.
9For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the LORD ?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.
10Never slander a worker to the employer, or the person will curse you, and you will pay for it.
11Some people curse their father and do not thank their mother.
12They are pure in their own eyes, but they are filthy and unwashed.
“Don’t create a massive process to process forgiveness, love, and acceptance.”~TB
When you regularly walk with God, you will notice how quickly He is to forgive us when we screw up. He doesn’t read a list of past offenses, He simply acknowledges your repentance and moves on. We know this, yet we still hold the offenses of our peers to a higher standard. How arrogant and how foolish! God doesn’t beat us up because He knows that in order for you to grow, you must be given the space and grace to do so. When you look at a person, in the same way, failing to acknowledge their growth or change, well, that says more about you than the other person.
I admit, there are times where I get annoyed with my dad when he advises me to move on from offenses. In my frustration, I’d rather wallow in my “rightness” rather than extend the same space and grace that God gives me on a daily basis. I humbly laugh at my misguided nature and continually ask God to improve my resilience in that area. I’ve come to realize that my dad is not trying to diminish/erase my experience, but rather, he’s encouraging me to love people as God loves me. I share this with you to say, whatever the offense, whatever the reason, right or wrong, move on. God gives credit where credit is due, and we all reap what we sow, good or bad. So let God do the judging.
Are you letting a convoluted process hinder your walk with Christ?
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1The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD ; he guides it wherever he pleases.
2People may be right in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their heart.
3The LORD is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.
4Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin.
5Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
6Wealth created by a lying tongue is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap.
7The violence of the wicked sweeps them away, because they refuse to do what is just.
8The guilty walk a crooked path; the innocent travel a straight road.
9It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
10Evil people desire evil; their neighbors get no mercy from them.
11If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded become wise; if you instruct the wise, they will be all the wiser.
12The Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked; he will bring disaster on them.
13Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.
14A secret gift calms anger; a bribe under the table pacifies fury.
15Justice is a joy to the godly, but it terrifies evildoers.
16The person who strays from common sense will end up in the company of the dead.
17Those who love pleasure become poor; those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.
18The wicked are punished in place of the godly, and traitors in place of the honest.
19It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.
20The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.
21Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22The wise conquer the city of the strong and level the fortress in which they trust.
23Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.
24Mockers are proud and haughty; they act with boundless arrogance.
25Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin, for their hands refuse to work.
26Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!
27The sacrifice of an evil person is detestable, especially when it is offered with wrong motives.
28A false witness will be cut off, but a credible witness will be allowed to speak.
29The wicked bluff their way through, but the virtuous think before they act.
30No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the LORD .
31The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD .
“As you grow in Christ it’s important to discern the difference between conviction and condemnation.”~TB
Each step you take, following Christ, you will see that your old misdeeds of yesterday no longer bring you the same pleasure as they once did. Even still, as you mess up, you will feel the Holy Spirit correct you in your wrongdoing. Conviction is the tug from the Holy Spirit letting you know that you’re doing wrong. It brings you closer to God. Friends, take joy in the correction of conviction. This means that your flesh is being tamed day by day. While we will always fall short of perfection, the conviction of your sin and the condemnation that may occur after are two separate things.
Once you’ve confessed your transgressions to God and have turned away from your wayward behavior, that’s it. Notice how God does not harp on you about who you were yesterday, let alone a decade ago. If you feel the weight of sins that you’ve confessed and fled from creep into your life, that is not of God. Condemnation is the recurring guilt of old behaviors you left behind. Condemnation brings guilt and shame, making you feel stuck, ultimately leading you away from God. The opposition will use this to get you off your walk Consult God daily to understand what is conviction and what is condemnation.
Have you spent time with God and the Word to know the difference?
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1Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.
2The king’s fury is like a lion’s roar; to rouse his anger is to risk your life.
3Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling.
4Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest.
5Though good advice lies deep within the heart, a person with understanding will draw it out.
6Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?
7The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.
8When a king sits in judgment, he weighs all the evidence, distinguishing the bad from the good.
9Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart; I am pure and free from sin”?
10False weights and unequal measures — the LORD detests double standards of every kind.
11Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.
12Ears to hear and eyes to see— both are gifts from the LORD .
13If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!
14The buyer haggles over the price, saying, “It’s worthless,” then brags about getting a bargain!
15Wise words are more valuable than much gold and many rubies.
16Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt. Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.
17Stolen bread tastes sweet, but it turns to gravel in the mouth.
18Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without wise advice.
19A gossip goes around telling secrets, so don’t hang around with chatterers.
20If you insult your father or mother, your light will be snuffed out in total darkness.
21An inheritance obtained too early in life is not a blessing in the end.
22Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the LORD to handle the matter.
23The LORD detests double standards; he is not pleased by dishonest scales.
24The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?
25Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God and only later counting the cost.
26A wise king scatters the wicked like wheat, then runs his threshing wheel over them.
27The LORD ’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.
28Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king; his throne is made secure through love.
29The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.
30Physical punishment cleanses away evil; such discipline purifies the heart.
“Whatever your troubles may be, give it up to God so that He may restore you.”~TB
Every human has a thorn in their side, a struggle they must bear, an affliction of sorts. This flaw is the reality of humanity and also the constant reminder of our need for God. Friends, we are and never will be perfect. Our flesh is too weak, our minds too feeble, our hearts too fragile. A broken spirit will pass on their affliction to the next person, infecting an already frail ecosystem of sick people. Whatever your affliction is, give your burden to the Lord. When you open up in your weakness, whatever you lack, He will make up the difference.
Your affliction does not give you permission to hurt others. While you may have experienced harm, you must not turn around and harm your brothers and sisters. This type of thinking leads to the very broken nation we’re in right now. What good comes from repeating the suffering you endured? If you truly seek restoration and healing, go to our Father in Heaven. His answers are wiser than mere human solutions. They require an open and humble ear. To understand His ways you must read His Words. The study of the Word equips your mind to comprehend and apply the healing that God provides.
Are you ready to give up your afflictions?
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1A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
2The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing, but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness.
3The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.
4Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
5Only a fool despises a parent’s discipline; whoever learns from correction is wise.
6There is treasure in the house of the godly, but the earnings of the wicked bring trouble.
7The lips of the wise give good advice; the heart of a fool has none to give.
8The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but he delights in the prayers of the upright.
9The LORD detests the way of the wicked, but he loves those who pursue godliness.
10Whoever abandons the right path will be severely disciplined; whoever hates correction will die.
11Even Death and Destruction hold no secrets from the LORD . How much more does he know the human heart!
12Mockers hate to be corrected, so they stay away from the wise.
13A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit.
14A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash.
15For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.
16Better to have little, with fear for the LORD, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil.
17A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.
18A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them.
19A lazy person’s way is blocked with briers, but the path of the upright is an open highway.
20Sensible children bring joy to their father; foolish children despise their mother.
21Foolishness brings joy to those with no sense; a sensible person stays on the right path.
22Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.
23Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!
24The path of life leads upward for the wise; they leave the grave behind.
25The LORD tears down the house of the proud, but he protects the property of widows.
26The LORD detests evil plans, but he delights in pure words.
27Greed brings grief to the whole family, but those who hate bribes will live.
28The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.
29The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous.
30A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.
31If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.
32If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.
33Fear of the LORD teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor.
“Set aside your old foolish ways that you can live well in Christ.”~TB
As You Are
God will always love you in every stage of your life. Be that as it may, a life full of misdeeds will dampen the Truth and Joy God wants to share with you. Sinning does not revoke your salvation. It does, however, disrupt your connection to Christ. God doesn’t let go of you when you sin, you let go of Him when you do. Stop chasing fleshly pleasures as they lead you astray. Do not desire a life of power because the pursuit of your own status will cause you to forget whose power actually matters. Though this world can offer things that satisfy immediate fleshly desires, the human lifespan is a millisecond compared to eternity. Invest wisely.
If you’re tired of the obstacles and mayhem that comes with secular life, look to God. Throw off your vices, devices, and sinful behaviors to experience the Truth, joy, and contentment that can only come from our Father in Heaven. Cultivate the discipline and perseverance required to lead an honorable life. This means abandoning the ways of the world and adopting the teachings of Christ. When you apply the Godly wisdom that can be found in the Bible, notice how your life changes. The Truth will open your eyes, and suddenly what you once craved is detestable. If you allow God to write the Truth on your hearts, the world has less influence on your behavior. Follow Him to set aside junk so that you can possess your inheritance.
Did you set aside your old life or is it throwing you off?
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1My child, if you have put up security for a friend’s debt or agreed to guarantee the debt of a stranger—
2if you have trapped yourself by your agreement and are caught by what you said—
3follow my advice and save yourself, for you have placed yourself at your friend’s mercy. Now swallow your pride; go and beg to have your name erased.
4Don’t put it off; do it now! Don’t rest until you do.
5Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter, like a bird fleeing from a net.
6Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise!
7Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work,
8they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.
9But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up?
10A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—
11then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
12What are worthless and wicked people like? They are constant liars,
13signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye, a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers.
14Their perverted hearts plot evil, and they constantly stir up trouble.
15But they will be destroyed suddenly, broken in an instant beyond all hope of healing.
16There are six things the LORD hates— no, seven things he detests:
17haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent,
18a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong,
19a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.
20My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
21Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck.
22When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you.
23For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life.
24It will keep you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of a promiscuous woman.
25Don’t lust for her beauty. Don’t let her coy glances seduce you.
26For a prostitute will bring you to poverty, but sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life.
27Can a man scoop a flame into his lap and not have his clothes catch on fire?
28Can he walk on hot coals and not blister his feet?
29So it is with the man who sleeps with another man’s wife. He who embraces her will not go unpunished.
30Excuses might be found for a thief who steals because he is starving.
31But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole, even if he has to sell everything in his house.
32But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself.
33He will be wounded and disgraced. His shame will never be erased.
34For the woman’s jealous husband will be furious, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
35He will accept no compensation, nor be satisfied with a payoff of any size.
“God’s love, forgiveness, and acceptance are infinitely unlimited. Apply them to your lives daily.”~TB
Don’t allow distorted thinking to limit your understanding of God’s love for you. Whether it’s coming from the opposition or a negative mindset, the biggest mistake you can make is to confuse your limited resources for God’s. Limited thinking makes you believe that God only loves you when you’re on target. That is not so! God loves you always. So whenever you mess up, set aside your finite resources and reach out to the Lord in your weakness. Friends, strength does not come from fine-tuning your skills. It comes from understanding how weak and imperfect you are.
Strength in Weakness
There will be times when you pass tests and are doing well in your work for God. Don’t get too high and mighty, because your success can cloud your judgment and make you feel invincible. As fleshly people, no matter how disciplined, you will never be perfect and eventually, you will fail. When you fall short, as we all do, remember that your weakness is not His. In your time of need, admit your shortcomings. Friends, when you know that your resources are not enough, that is when you can truly lean on God so that He can make up the difference! His unlimited resources supersede yours, covering up the blemishes. So, don’t boast in your strength, but rather rejoice in your weakness. This way you will remember that God is the only way.
Is your limited thinking obstructing your relationship with God?
Enjoy the reading
1Praise the LORD ! Praise the LORD from the heavens! Praise him from the skies!
2Praise him, all his angels! Praise him, all the armies of heaven!
3Praise him, sun and moon! Praise him, all you twinkling stars!
4Praise him, skies above! Praise him, vapors high above the clouds!
5Let every created thing give praise to the LORD, for he issued his command, and they came into being.
6He set them in place forever and ever. His decree will never be revoked.
7Praise the LORD from the earth, you creatures of the ocean depths,
8fire and hail, snow and clouds, wind and weather that obey him,
9mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars,
10wild animals and all livestock, small scurrying animals and birds,
11kings of the earth and all people, rulers and judges of the earth,
12young men and young women, old men and children.
13Let them all praise the name of the LORD . For his name is very great; his glory towers over the earth and heaven!
14He has made his people strong, honoring his faithful ones— the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the LORD !