3:1-17, 11:7-12:8, 12:13-14) "The Young" Youth... it's a
great time to be alive. A lot of important choices are made when you're
young. The most important choice is: ‘What will you do with your creator?’ For,
this choice will make a huge impact on the rest of your life here on earth and
in eternity. So... where do you stand with God? With the time you have left on
this earth, what will you do to honor His name? Today, make a decision to
always remember your creator as you age. Make God your closest relationship for
the rest of your life. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May 30-(Ecclesiastes 10:4) "The Angry Man" Well, you've done it. You've made someone angry. They write the most awful things about you on Facebook. They send you emails that are teaming with resentment. They give you the 'stink eye' when you see them on the street. Why are they doing this? They are mad! They are mad at you. You might as well face it. Sooner or later you are going to make someone angry. What do you do with someone like this? Do you fight fire with fire? No... that will only escalate things. Solomon says don't be a part of someone's temper tantrum. Refuse to retaliate with more anger. Stay calm. Look what he says: If a ruler’s anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great offenses to rest. It's hard to keep an argument going if there is only one party acting like a hot head!! Remember, amazing results take place in conflict if one person stays calm. Today, let that person be you.
May 29-(Ecclesiastes 2:1-11,17-26, 4:1-16) "The Workaholic" After thousands of years, people still admire and respect those who are industrious and put in long hours of hard work. This kind of dedication is regarded by most as being responsible and wise. But Solomon makes a general observation about toil. He puts it this way: You can labor too much to enjoy your life. Do you know anyone like this? They work one or two jobs at a time... They dedicate so much toil to provide for their family, they seldom get to simply enjoy their family. Their overtime leads to fatigue and overload. Everything is stretched to the limit. Family life breaks down. Hmmm… Is it worth it? What's so great about having more wealth if you are too worn out to enjoy it? Solomon says living like this is a meaningless and vicious circle that will get you nowhere. It's important that you learn to regulate the labor in your life. Today, ask God to give you the wisdom to balance your labor and your life. Do a little research and see what the Bible says about labor and leisure. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May 28-(Ecclesiastes 9:1-12) "The Good the Bad and the Ugly" Solomon makes an observation about life: No matter how good you are, no matter how bad you are, you're going to die! This is what you have in common with everyone else on earth. Like everyone else on earth, you were created by God; and someday you will return to your creator. Like everyone else, you will live on this earth only one time. Like everyone else on earth, you have in front of you a series of choices. You can either make foolish choices… or wise choices. Solomon is not saying it is a waste of time to be wise. He is only reminding you that you have the same fate as a fool—and that is death! He wants you to see that your choices matter. He wants you to make your life count. So what will you do today? What kinds of choices will you make today? Every one of them matters. Today, look to your creator. Ask God to help you make the kinds of choices that will make your life count. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May 27-(1 Kings 11). "Solomon" Something has happened to Solomon. Something tragic. There was a time when Solomon was fully committed to God. But now he is ignoring all the wisdom God has given him over the years. He has married many foreign women (700 wives); accumulated vast amounts of wealth and many chariots; he sacrifices and builds temples to pagan gods. All of these, God has been clear about. Why? Why is Solomon doing these things? Solomon has no trouble following God's word until it goes against his own personal desires. This is what leads to his downfall. How about you? Are you okay with God until He challenges a personal preference? Do you find yourself following God's word, but when it challenges a particular area in your life (a sacred cow), you blow it off with excuses, and ignore what He says? Today, review what is happening to you. Make sure your commitment to God is solid and growing. Rededicate your life to respecting and obeying what God says.
May 26-(Psalm 127) "The Builder" What would you like to accomplish in your lifetime? What would you like to build with your life? Do you want to build a good family? Or would you like to build a good career so that when you look back on your body of work, you won't have any regrets? Would you like to build a good reputation in your community? How about building a good marriage? Does this interest you? Look... whatever you want to accomplish in life, make sure you start smart by building your life on Jesus Christ. For, if you work at building these things without God's help, you are wasting your time. Today, take a moment and honestly look at the house (i.e., the life) you are building. How much of the Lord is in your plans? How much is ‘pleasing Him’ in your thoughts? Do you consider what He'd want you to do? How much does His word play a part in your everyday decisions? For, when you include THE Master Builder in your plans, you can be sure that your house will stand firm and secure forever.
May 25-(Proverbs 31) "Her" Peppered with warnings of wayward and adulterous women, the book of Proverbs concludes with a beautiful tribute to a godly woman. There are some great lessons you can learn from a woman described in these verses. She works hard and smart. She wears purple... that means she knows how to handle money with good stewardship. She has a positive influence on her marriage and family. She doesn't worry or whine; for, she is wise. She knows God will take care of her. She lives her life with confidence. She is resourceful. She is kind and generous. She is a woman of strong convictions. Where do all these features come from? They come from her deep admiration and respect for The Lord. Do you know a woman like this? Today, appreciate and imitate the life of the godly women around you. Let their lives bless you with wisdom.
May 24-(Proverbs 13:17; 25:13; 12:26; 13:20; 14:7; 17:17; 18:24; 24:1-2) "Friends" From kindergarten to retirement, you form these special relationships throughout your lifetime. Though friendships may come and go, a few are your friends for life. These gifts from God shape your views and values. They influence your attitude and your actions. Here's Solomon's take on friendships: Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm (Proverbs 13:20). Solomon is saying you get to choose your friendships, but it's crucial you choose them wisely. Look...The greatest friendships you can form in your lifetime are godly ones! So... As you review your friendships this morning, who is helping you become 'wise' in the Lord? On the other hand, who would you say is having a harmful impact on your attitude and actions? Today, appreciate the godly companions God has given you. Let their love and loyalty nudge you closer to God. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May 23-(Proverbs 3:9-10; 10:15; 11:4; 11:28; 13:8; 14:20; 15:16; 17:16; 18:11; 18:23; 19:4; 19:6-7; 22:2; 22:7; 23:4-5; 27:7; 28:6; 28:8; 28:11; 28:20-22; 3:27-28; 11:24-26; 13:22; 14:21; 18:16) "The Generous" Who do you know who’s generous? Who do you admire for their generosity? What does a generous person look like? Would you say you are a generous person? Are you consistent with your giving or is it sporadic? God blesses generosity. He blesses generous people with contentment and a cheerful heart. He blesses generous people with a healthy approach to wealth too. For, you cannot out give God. Generous people are not preoccupied with making a quick buck. They are focused on how to use what God has given them to help others. Occasionally, they go above and beyond, and will sacrifice. This is the antidote to materialism. For, they know with such sacrifices, they are investing for their eternity. You don't have to have a lot to be greedy. You don't have to have a lot to be generous either. Generosity is a matter of the heart. Today, decide that you will be a generous person with what you have now. When you do, you will set into place great habits that will carry over into times when you will have more. May God help you experience that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May22-(Proverbs 6:16-19) "The Divisive" They love to stir it up. Their careless words drive people apart. With malice they deride people as they plant seeds of doubt through distorted facts. The more they talk, the worse it gets. The best thing they could do is shut up!! But they don't… they won't... because they like to stir the pot! Do you know anyone like this? Solomon puts those who like to stir up conflict on the same list as the prideful, the liar, and the murderer! Wow!! Is creating conflict between others that serious? Yes, it is! How about you? Have you been stirring the pot lately? Would the trail to the source of conflict between other members of your family or your church lead to you? If so, you need to admit it and confess it as soon as possible. What will you do today to build peace and unity in your home and in your church? Today, guard your tongue and say the kinds of things that will promote love and unity in your community.
14:3; 15:2; 15:7; 16:23; 18:6-7; 19:1; 23:15-16; 10:20-21; 10:31-32; 11:11;
12:13-14; 13:2; 15:28; 17:4; 15:23; 16:21; 16:24; 25:11; 27:14; 10:19; 12:23;
13:3; 17:28; 18:13; 21:23; 15:1; 17:27; 25:15; 26:28; 28:23; 29:5; 10:18;
11:13; 16:28; 17:9; 18:8; 20:19; 26:20; 11:12; 12:18; 15:4; 16:27; 25:23; 26:2;
17:14; 17:19; 20:3; 22:10; 26:21; 12:19; 12:22; 17:20; 19:5; 19:22; 21:6;
Talker" Can you believe all the proverbs that cover
the tongue? Whew!! Why so many? That's easy...The words you choose to say
matter. The world may say that "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but
words will never hurt me.", but that's not true. How many times
have words hurt you? By the way, Solomon would say that a gentle tongue can
break a bone (25:15). Your words can heal or hurt others. Your words can spread
love, but they also can spread lies. Your words reveal your motives. Your words
can develop, or destroy others. Your words can share good news, or spread malicious
gossip. So what will you be today? How will you talk to others? How will you
talk about others in your workplace or over lunch? How many minutes will you
use on your cell phone to promote the positive? What will be the words you
choose to use? Will you use your lips to build people up, or tear people down?
Read these passages carefully. Let the words of God convict you to
improve what you choose to say. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May 20-(Proverbs 29:22) "The Hot Head" Anger is a tricky emotion. Look what Solomon says: 22An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins. How many times have your emotions gotten the best of you, and brought out the worst in you? When you are quick to lose your temper, you are going to do something dumb! But your emotions don't have to do this to you. In fact, God can help you avoid the common pitfalls of losing your cool. If you are having trouble with controlling your anger, admit you have a problem, and ask God to help you. Get it out in the open by talking to other believers about it, and let them help you. Today, prepare your emotions with prayer. Decide this morning to respond with patience, and not react with rage. Keep your focus on the Lord. He will help you stay calm and cool. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May 19-(Proverbs 20:6) "The Reliable" Can people count on you? Do you have the reputation of being dependable? Solomon makes an observation: Many people will say that they are loyal, but who can find a reliable person? You have to admit, reliability is a rare commodity these days. The world is full of people who sincerely make promises… and break them. Unreliable people break appointments at the last minute, skip payments, distort information, and show up late for work. It's difficult for them to follow through. They are plagued with a growing list of unfinished tasks and projects. They are a major source of frustration in families, friendships, and the workplace. Solomon puts it this way: The unreliable are as painful and useless as a broken tooth or a lame foot in times of trouble (Pro 25:19). Yikes!! Who wants to be like that? If you have a reputation for being unreliable, don't let it discourage you. You can change this dreadful habit when you admit it and exert some self-discipline. Today, admit where you are being undisciplined. Tackle an area where you struggle with reliability. Today, make a commitment to be a man/woman of your word. Be determined to make your promises good. Building a reputation of dependability takes time, but with God's help you can do it! God bless. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May 18-(Proverbs 3:1-2; 9:7-9; 10:8; 12:15; 13:1; 13:13; 15:31; 17:10; 19:16; 19:20; 19:25; 19:27; 23:9; 25:12; 27:5-6; 27:17; 29:1; 11:14; 15:22; 20:18; 24:5-6)
"The Prudent" The message is obvious as you read these Proverbs and the other links for today: God rewards the prudent life. He really does! That's because prudent people listen to instruction, while mockers blow it off. Prudent people want to learn. That’s why it's hard to offend them. The prudent respect godly counsel. They don't try to justify their mistakes. You will hear no doubletalk from the lips of the prudent. They don't make excuses either. They own their mistakes. When rebuked, the prudent take it and learn from it. The prudent accept the fact that they do not know everything. They believe, sometimes, they can be wrong. They believe God is actively trying to help them though painful conversation and correction to give them a spiritual edge. By approaching life this way, the results are astronomical. The prudent mature more quickly. They are able to avoid the foolish pitfalls of life. They are able to help others. They bring glory to God. Are you prudent? Would your friends say you are prudent? Today, take the steps to humble yourself and listen to others. Let God use the godly friends in your life to give you a spiritual edge that will bless you and bring glory to God.
May 17-(Proverbs 26:4-11) "The Fool" He's stubborn. He thinks he knows more than most. He refuses to listen to the wise counsel of others. He hides his ignorance with a thin coat of pride. He appears to be open to advice; but as soon as he is on his own, he does what he wants. When he suffers tough consequences for his poor choices, he justifies it as bad luck, or blames others for his misery. He doesn't like people telling him what to do. When he talks, his counsel is skewed by immaturity and arrogance. What's his problem? He's a fool. Fools are usually not mean or nasty; they can be the nicest, yet most rebellious people on earth. Sometimes wise counsel can steer them in the right direction. But for the most part, it takes a painful consequence to get their attention. Today, avoid being a fool. Listen to the godly people God has placed in your life. Prepare your attitude with humility and openness. If you do, you will avoid a lot of trouble… and you’ll be blessed! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May16-(Proverbs 8:1-36, 9:1-6, 2:1-22, 3:13-24, 1:20-33, 9:13-18, 4:1-27) "The Woman Of Wisdom" In these proverbs, Solomon describes wisdom as a woman. She calls out to you every day, promising to guide and protect you. Sound judgment is yours when you embrace her. You can always count on her to tell you the truth. Pursue her and you will be richly blessed. Fail to follow her and you will only ruin yourself. How important is God's wisdom to you? How much do you pursue God's wisdom on your own? For, she holds the secrets of life. You will find safety and security when she is truly yours. Today, make a commitment to pursue God's wisdom. Let her teach you the will of God.
May 15-(1 Kings 7:1-12; 2 Chronicles 7:11-22; 1 Kings 9:10-28; 2 Chronicles 8:1-11; 1 Kings 4:1-34; 1 Kings 10:1-29; Psalms 72:1-19) "The Queen Of Sheba" She travels hundreds of miles to meet King Solomon. She has to see for herself if it is true—Is Solomon as wise as people claim? Does he get his great insight from God? She listens intently as he speaks of everyday topics. He weaves into his conversation the influence of his God. She discovers that the rumors are true. In fact, Solomon is wiser than people say. She can see that God has blessed Solomon abundantly too. She leaves his palace amazed at The Lord. What is your reputation? What do people hear and see from your life? Do your family and friends see The Lord in your words and actions? Will they see that God is the true source of your morals, conduct, and blessings? When they walk away from you, who will they be amazed by? Today, you have a great opportunity to make a difference in someone's life. Seize these moments with words and actions that reflect Jesus Christ. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May 14-(2 Chronicles 5:2-14, 6:1-42; 1 Kings 8:46-61; 2 Chronicles 7:1-10) "Asaph" Just imagine what it must have been like to experience the dedication of God's Temple. Imagine watching thousands of bulls and sheep sacrificed to cleanse the place and the people. All of a sudden, it's time for you to start singing praises to God. But as you begin your praise, a thick dark cloud descends upon the Temple. The cloud envelops everyone with so much of the presence of God that you cannot sing! Does this send a chill down your spine? What a moment—to have a special moment when you know God is very close! Hmmm... God wants to do more than fill buildings. God wants to fill your heart with His presence. He wants you to experience His Spirit descending and powerfully dwelling in you! When you begin to praise God, He will fill your heart with His presence and peace. Would you like that? Today, call on your God. Praise and honor His holy name. If you do, you will experience His presence. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May 13-(2 Chronicles 2:1; 1 Kings 5:1-9; 2 Chronicles 2:3-16; 1 Kings 5:10-18; 2 Chronicles 2:2, 17-18; 1 Kings 6:1-38; 2 Chronicles 3:1-14; 1 Kings 7:13-51; 2 Chronicles 4:1-22; 8:12-16) "Huram-Abi" 480 years after the Israelites left Egypt, the construction of the temple would begin. It would take 7 years to complete. In that time, Solomon would summon skilled workers from all over Israel. One of the skilled laborers who helped to build the temple was Huram-Abi. This skilled craftsman made many of the furnishings for the temple. When you think about it, God uses skilled men and women to do His work in His Kingdom. What is your particular skill? Are you gifted with your hands? Has God given you certain skills to teach? Do you have the talent to sing? Do you have an ability to organize and manage? If so, how are you using it in God's Kingdom? Today, brainstorm ways you can use your gifts, abilities, and skill to build God's Kingdom. God needs workers now! Will you be one of them? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May 12-(1 Kings 2:13-46; 1 Kings 3:1; 1 Kings 9:16; 1 Kings 3:2-3; 2 Chronicles 1:2-6; 1 Kings 3:5-28) "Solomon" Though Solomon's rule had a rocky start, God securely established his throne. But how well would Solomon rule? Hmmm... That would be determined by Solomon himself. For, when he first approaches God, Solomon doesn't ask for riches or fame. He asks for the ability to rule wisely. Solomon wants to make the wisest choices. Could you use a little more wisdom? Wouldn't you like to make better choices? Start by asking God to help you find His wisdom. By choosing wisdom, Solomon ended up with both!! Today, crave the knowledge and wisdom of God. Read... pray... and ask a few questions. Make attaining God's wisdom a high priority.
May 11-(1 Kings 1) "Adonijah" He's the younger brother of Absalom, and desires to be King... NOW! But Adonijah jumps the gun. He gathers 50 men in chariots and starts to strut his stuff all around town! He sacrifices thousands of sheep and cattle! Then he throws a party for himself to celebrate his self-appointed role as King of Israel. But in his arrogance, Adonijah counts his chickens before they've hatched. He soon realizes he will not be King of Israel. David will appoint Solomon. Adonijah crashes and burns!! Arrogance is a dangerous sin to have. For, arrogance distorts reality and twists the truth. It blinds your ability to see who you really are; you cannot clearly see God's will or purpose either. So.... Will arrogance blind your perspective? Will arrogance keep you from hearing the truth? Today, humble yourself before God.
May 10-(Psalm 45; 47; 48; 87; 110) "The King" Over and over, there is a reoccurring theme in the Psalms. God is reigning over everything! He is the undisputed King of all. He does as He wishes on the earth, and no one can stop Him. He possesses the power to reign over you and the rest of the world. There is no problem too big or complicated for Him to handle. He has the power to protect you from harm. He has the resources to supply you with all you need. He is eager to hear from His subjects. He deeply cares about you; no wonder God deserves your respect and praise. Today, be mindful of the will of your King, and seek to please Him. Count the many blessing that come from God's thrown, and offer up your praise. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
In agony, He quotes this Psalm from the cross. It gives you an idea of what He's
going through for you. He feels forsaken. For, His Father cannot stand to
witness what is happening to His son. Jesus is separated from His Father
because of your sin. He cries out to His Father... but He does not answer. All
Jesus can hear are insults from the crowd. He feels His heart pounding and His
joints hurt. He's thirsty. His hands and feet are pierced with crucifixion
nails. He watches men gamble over his clothing. It's humiliating! But as He draws
His last breath, His Father comes and takes Him. The deed is done; the price is
paid; and you are finally free! Today, praise your God. For, He gave His son
for you. Praise your God for being so generous. Praise your God for His great
love! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May 8-(Psalm 141:5) "The Righteous Man" You can see him coming your way. He looks like he has something serious on his mind. You soon find out his intentions. With love, he opens his mouth to confront your sin. You realize you are faced with a choice. Do you listen to what he has to say, or do you brush it off? You carefully ponder his words and decide to humble out. You allow him the verbal latitude to be frank. It's good that you do. So you listen carefully to his rebuke. You take it like medicine for your soul. And that's what it is—medicine for your soul. Afterward, you realize you are better. You thank God for giving you such a friend. This is what David is meaning here. Will you let a righteous man strike you? Will you give a friend the verbal freedom to be frank with you? Will you accept correction from a friend? If you will, prepare to be blessed with greater faith and maturity. For, correction is the primary way we learn the most. Correction carries with it great wisdom. Today, appreciate the friends who can look you in the eye and have the guts to tell you the truth. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May 7-(Psalms 42) "The Mighty One" Are you unsettled? Are you feeling discouraged? Are you going through a tough time? Put your hope in God! Remember, the Mighty One watched over His people, and He is watching over you! God will not abandon you or forsake you. He doesn't promise to insulate you from suffering, but He promises to protect you from destruction. So call out to him! Talk to Him about everything that is bothering you today. He'll listen. He'll answer too. Today, praise The Mighty One!
May 6-(Psalm 32) "The Teacher" Who was your favorite teacher growing up? Teachers play a major role in your life. Just imagine where you'd be without the counsel of your mentors. Kind of scary, huh? You owe a lot to your teachers! Well, God is the greatest teacher of all. For, God is full of wisdom, and holds all the great secrets of life. His word offers truth and guidance to the seeking soul. As you read Psalm 32 this morning, allow David to encourage you to be a good student and learn much at the feet of your Lord. What are you learning from God? Are you being as stubborn as a mule? Are you letting God teach you? Today, class is in session!! Be alert! Give God your complete attention. Be eager to learn from your Lord. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May 5-(Psalms 139, 145, 148, 150) "The One Who Is Praiseworthy" How much are you praising your God? How much praise does He hear coming from you? Take a few minutes and count all the blessings of God. For example: You are never alone! For He is everywhere! He knows everything about you and still loves you. He's planned your life for you too. It's a good life! He provides so much. Not only food and shelter, but friendships, forgiveness, and peace. God IS worthy of your praise. So... have you thought of anything you could praise God for today? (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May 4-(Psalm 122; Psalm 124; Psalm 133; Psalm 134; Psalm 135; Psalm 136; Psalm 138) "The Lofty and Exalted One" God's greatness is so much higher than anything or anyone else. His holiness towers above all his creation. His power has no rival. He is exalted above the heavens. He is high and mighty among the clouds. Yet, it is 'The Lofty One Of Heaven' that comes down to earth to be with you. He looks kindly from afar, and sees you clearly. Like the words of a familiar song, “He stoops down to make you great.” This is the Almighty God—Who loves you... Who watches over you... Who notices you! Today, as you scurry through your day, remember this: The Lofty One sees you and loves you. He stretched out His hands from His throne in Heaven to touch your life with his amazing love. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May 3-(Psalm 119) "Righteous God" Everything about your God is...'RIGHT'. This means everything God says to you is true. So, every word in the Bible is true too. Everything God does is legit. He will never make a mistake. He will never lie or mislead you. His motives are absolutely pure. So, every promise God gives, you can fully trust. Need direction? You can be sure that the counsel God offers is filled with greater wisdom than all the combined wisdom people have on earth. God knows what He is talking about. Even His love for you is perfect and filled with His goodness. You can't go wrong when you trust God! Today, as you read the longest Psalm, have complete confidence in everything God says, and be blessed by God's righteousness.
May 2-(Psalm 103; Psalm 104; Psalm 114; Psalm 117) "God" The Lord is great! Can you think of anything or anyone that compares to God? There is no one who forgives you completely and thoroughly like God. God never treats you like you deserve to be treated. He deeply loves you. He doesn't hide His thoughts or His will from you. God controls everything from the rain that falls from the sky to each breath you take. Kind of amazing, huh? God is so powerful He can shake the earth. Today, read these Psalms with these thoughts in mind. Realize, today, you serve an incredible God who loves you with all His heart. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
May 1-(Psalm 100) "Good God" When you stop and think about it, the Lord IS good! He loves you like no one else. When God is ever angry, He refuses to hold a grudge. God cannot stay angry for long. He loves you with continual forgiveness. The Lord is good... You're His favorite possession, and you can be sure that you have His full attention all the time. He guards over you to keep you safe. He showers you with blessings you don't deserve; so many blessings, you can't keep track of them. The Lord is good to you. Today, count your blessings, and praise your God. For, HE IS VERY GOOD!!