June 10, 2015
Patience is the fruit of the Spirit that makes us “slow to anger.” The Greek word for patience might also be translated “long-suffering.” Or it might be understood in modern terms as having a long fuse. Are you easily angered? Do you have a short fuse? Ask God to give you the fruit of patience, which makes us slow to anger.
June 7, 2015
There are those who say that there are many ways to God. They say that all religions are essentially the same, so it doesn’t really matter what you believe as long as you have faith. Yet, God’s Word says otherwise. Jesus talked about this. He warned, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matt. 7:13-14). So, what is the right way, where is this narrow gate? Jesus answered this question. He said, “I am the gate” (John 10:9). He also said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). What you believe matters. There is only one right way: Jesus.
June 5, 2015
Knowledge informs the mind, but wisdom controls the mouth. The fruit of the lips reveals the character of the heart. Does wisdom rule there? In Proverbs, wisdom is always seen as being from God alone. Therefore, asking does wisdom rule is the same as asking, “Does God rule?” Who monitors your mouth?
May 29, 2015
There is no biblical prohibition against making plans. There is wisdom in planning for the future. Yet, it is foolish to leave the Lord out of our planning for God is the one who holds the future. So, ask for God’s wisdom when making plans. Seek godly counsel. Pray for clarity and follow God’s instruction. And when things don’t go according to plan, don’t get frustrated. Adjust. Be flexible and listen. Perhaps God has a better plan.
May 17, 2015
When there is no love in the home no amount of food or furnishing can compensate. Without love, a rich banquet is dry and tasteless. With love, the simplest fare is life-giving. Everything tastes better with love. Make sure to include it in every recipe. Love makes the menu.
April 30, 2015
As we grow older, we know the truth of this proverb. The pure and simple laughter of our youth has become mixed with the sober realities and growing complexities of this life. Rare is the day of unfettered joy that is not muddied with some grief. Yet, we long for an unclouded day, where joy rises like the sun and we leap like a calf released from the stall (Mal. 4:2).
April 9, 2015
Are your words a pressure cooker or a pressure release for others? When you see someone struggling with anxiety, do they need something more to worry about? Or do they need a “good word” that lifts them up? Consider how people perceive you. When they see you coming, what do they expect? Does anxiety grow in them, anticipating criticism or trouble? Or do they lean towards you, hungry for the blessing of your words? Of course, the best word is God’s Word. Fill your heart and mind with His Word and you’ll find that it flows from your tongue when needed to bless others.
February 14, 2015
Our God is both Lord and Father. Recognizing God’s holy justice and our own sinfulness, we fear Him. A holy terror comes over us as one entering a lion’s lair. But this fear is only the “beginning of wisdom.” Being made right with God through Christ we gain understanding of our relationship with him as loving Father, so that the fear of God is united with the love of God. And so, Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father, which art in heaven (loving relationship), hallowed be Thy Name” (holy, to be held in awe).
December 8, 2014
Parenting is a holy stewardship. Our children are a gift from God and He instructs us to “discipline” them. The word “discipline” used here could also be translated “to bind, chasten, correct, instruct, reform, reprove, or teach.” This is a full-time job, which is why many parents struggle. For they themselves are so undisciplined in their personal lives that they find it difficult to hold their children to any standard of behavior. To truly be able to discipline your children, so that you know the blessings of this proverb’s promise, you will need God’s power and wisdom. Submit your own life first to God, then depend on Him for strength to help parent your child.
December 6, 2014
Have you heard someone make excuses about the way they lose their temper? They blame it on a family trait or a situation, but they don’t own the problem. In the book of Proverbs, the words wisdom and foolishness are considered nearly synonymous with righteousness and sin. In this verse, fools (sinners) express uncontrolled anger, while the wise (righteous) keep theirs under control. Is anger sin? No. It is an emotional response to a felt offense. Even God gets angry. Yet, His anger is always under His complete control, whereas, our anger usually is not. Don’t let your anger be an excuse for sin. Believers can put their anger under the Spirit’s control, practicing self-control, which is the fruit of those filled with the Spirit.