Proverbs 27

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“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (Proverbs 27:17 NKJV)

November 14, 2015

This is one of the purposes of fellowship: mutual “sharpening.” The life of faith is to be lived out in community. First, to be in communion with God and then, with other believers. The life lived in a community of faith offers accountability, so that spiritual growth is encouraged. Sure, when iron strikes iron the sparks may fly, but those committed to the family of God do not pull away, rather they cling to one another, knowing that this is the will of God. This verse is the motto for our church’s men’s ministry, which we call the “Ironmen Ministry.” But the verse is appropriate for all that would desire to live out their faith in community as God commands.

“Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy” (Proverbs 27:6 NKJV)

November 6, 2015

Are your friendships based on flattery or fidelity? Are your ears open to correction? A true friend will tell you the truth about you because they seek the best for you. But an enemy may flatter you to your face, while tearing you down to others behind your back. Ask God for wisdom to know the difference.

“Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds” (Proverbs 27:23 NLT)

November 17, 2014

This proverb encourages us to be responsible stewards of all that God has given us. This begins with knowing the state of your “flocks.” What are your “flocks?” Another way to ask this question would be to say, “What has God entrusted to you to manage?” Do you know the state of your finances? Do you have a budget and do you know how much you spend monthly? Are you saving for emergencies, retirement, college…? What is the state of your marriage? What is the state of your children? If you are a pastor, the state of your flock is relevant. If you are in business, do you know the condition of your store and its bottom line? Many of us go through life with a blind eye towards our “flocks.” But God would have us open our eyes and “know the state” of that which He has entrusted to us.

“Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth— a stranger, not your own lips” (Proverbs 27:2 NLT)

November 4, 2014

Self aggrandizement is unwise. If you praise yourself, others will not only remain silent, they will think you immodest. Praise from a friend is good and praise from a stranger better still. An even greater tact is to humble yourself, so that the Lord Himself might lift you up (James 4:10).

“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense” (Proverbs 27:9)

November 7, 2013

The one who lives and acts in isolation lacks the sweet fragrance of a friend’s advice. Acting without counsel, we come under the cloud of our own stinkin’ thinkin’. We usually avoid counsel because we already know that we’re planning to do something questionable. And we don’t want a friend to point it out to us. Get counsel before acting.

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring” (Proverbs 27:1)

November 4, 2013

Or as my parents and grandparents would say, “Lord willin’ we’ll do such and such tomorrow…” Although the “Lord willin” phrase sounded cliche, it still pointed to an awareness of God’s sovereignty over all things. Have we lost this awareness today?

“As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person” (Proverbs 27:19)

November 15, 2012

The heart is the seat of the intellect, passion and will. It is the motive behind every action. You can hide your heart from other people for a season, but ultimately some circumstance will expose it’s true nature. Only God can give you a new heart. What does your heart reveal about you?

“Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy” (Proverbs 27:6)

November 6, 2012

Are your friendships based on flattery or fidelity? Are your ears open to correction? A true friend will tell you the truth about you. What kind of friends have you chosen to hear?

“Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring” (Proverbs 27:1)

November 4, 2012

We put dates on our calendars and plan for events a year in advance, yet we have no promise of tomorrow. Be careful not to brag of your plans. Instead say, “Lord willing…” (James 4:15). Or as those in the South say, “Lord willin and the criks don’t rise…” Or as the old preacher of my youth taught me to say, “If the Lord delays His comin and lets me live another day, I plan to be doin such and such tomorrow!”

“If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse” (Proverbs 27:14)

November 12, 2011

Solomon must’ve been a late sleeper. He shows his sense of humor with this pithy observation. The difference between blessing and cursing isn’t just in the words we choose. It’s also our sense of timing.