Category Archives: Proverbs

Bad News

Seems like all we see is bad news, either in the news or social media. God gives us hope and peace when we feel hopeless or distressed.  bad news

John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Iron Sharpens Iron

Proverbs 27:17Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another”.

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This verse from Proverbs tell us how a relationship is sharpened and shows us how good friends will bring out the best in one another. This does not mean that they will not see and deal with one another’s faults, as this is part of the sharpening of each other’s personalities. True friends are able to share even their differences, and find a way to resolve them. As they do this, each one’s character is refined, just as an iron blade is sharpened by the honing from another piece of iron. Even though sparks may fly when this happens, the end result is a sharp edge.

Prepare

“Sing to Yahweh, you His faithful ones, and praise His holy name. For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor, a lifetime. Weeping may spend the night, but there is joy in the morning. When I was secure, I said, ‘I will never be shaken'” Psalm 30:4-6.

“‘Comfort, comfort My people,’ says your God. ‘Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and announce to her that her time of forced labor is over, her iniquity has been pardoned, and she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.’ A voice of one crying out: Prepare the way of the Lord in the wilderness; make a straight highway for our God in the desert'” Isaiah 40:1-3christmas candle light

Whenever we’re on mission with God like Joseph and Mary were as they waited for the birth of Jesus, we have to prepare. No one plants seeds one day and expects a harvest in the morning. There are things to do. We are called to cultivate our lives and rest in the fact that God has our future in his hands.

In the story of the prodigal son, Jesus tells the story of a father. This father knew that he couldn’t control the will of a rebellious, spiteful son. He just gave him what he asked for and let him go. But after the son left with his share of the farm in his back pocket, the father began to prepare for a celebration. He started fattening a calf. He bought a ring and a robe. There were things to be done. Their relationship was broken, but he still had hope as he watched every afternoon for a familiar figure to appear over the horizon.

Preparation is a statement of faith. It’s committing to trust even though you’re hurting and heartsick. Every detail of the Christmas story tells us that Mary and Joseph endured more than their fair share of trials as they waited for the arrival of Jesus. Mary left town. Joseph refused to reject her on the basis of an angelic dream. We can just hear the neighbors gossip about the scandalous events of Mary’s pregnancy. But they prepared and endured it all to be on a much greater mission than any carpenter’s family could imagine.

As you prepare for Christmas and all God has in store for you in the new year, be challenged to prepare for all that’s in store in the following ways:

  • Eliminate distractions. Don’t allow the stress of the Christmas season to distract you from what is really is important. Spend more time with the family and less time at the mall. Simplify your life. Be still and listen to God’s voice. “… keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of faith …” Hebrews 12:2a.
  • Notice God’s hand. Reflect on this past year. Perhaps you, like many, have faced financial difficulty. Or maybe you’ve escaped danger or disease through an unforeseen miracle. Perhaps this year has been a time of suffering or relationship disasters. How has God carried you through all these things? Remember the words of Joseph in the Old Testament: “You planned evil against me; God planned it for good …” Genesis 50:20.
  • Determine God’s will. Ask God to give you direction. “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps” Proverbs 16:9.
  • Unite in a mission. Mary and Joseph undertook an amazing mission on the way to Bethlehem. It certainly must have strengthened their bond as they conquered many obstacles and challenges. There’s nothing more powerful than a couple, a family, or a church rallying around a cause.

*** Matt Tullos is pastor of Bluegrass Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee

Choose This Day

“A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but a man of evil devices he condemns.” Proverbs 12:2

Much of daily life can be framed in terms of relationships. The most important, of course, is our relationship with God. As we move through the routines and interactions of an average day, it’s worth remembering that the Lord is on the side of virtue and honesty.

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Watch Your Words!

Proverbs 12:18 “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me!” At one time or another, all of us have sung this schoolyard song. But have you ever stopped to consider how incredibly untrue it is?
Granted, name-calling isn’t going to break any bones or have the same physical effect of hurling debris at someone. But let’s be honest—sometimes words inflict wounds that run deeper and last longer. Words have a powerful impact!
We see this portrayed perfectly in Proverbs 12:18. It says there’s a person whose words are like a sword piercing someone’s heart. You know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of words like that. Something is said that utterly cuts you down. It leaves you limping and lying on the battlefield of life.
On the flip side, there are also people whose words promote health. What they say has a way of infusing fresh life and vitality into us. We’re revived and invigorated to press on instead of dwelling in discouragement. Our circumstances haven’t changed, but our spirit has been strengthened by the “tongue of the wise.”
Words are powerful. They can damage and destroy, or they can encourage and edify. Again, we’ve been on the receiving end of this reality. But now we need to consider our role on the other side.
God has given most of us the capacity to communicate, to express ourselves through what we say. Remember, our words have a powerful impact on others, and we should be constantly watching our words to make sure they’re promoting health instead of piercing hearts.
Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear”