Mon, June 26, 2017
Proverbs 17:27-28 – A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.
Proverbs teaches us about values and character and how to live a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair. James shows us how our values play out in the reality of everyday life (James 1:19,26). Most of us have failed with words at one time or another—just because we said something doesn’t mean we were understood. Hopefully, we learn to listen deeply, read the air of the room, and engage wisely in our interactions. Words are usually the last expression shared after thoughts and emotions and body language are engaged. We can hurt or heal through any of these expressions. Jesus knows the fragility of the human soul and we can learn much as we watch Him in action with all kinds of people in scripture. He is the master of social psychology.
Tue, June 27, 2017
II Kings 10:30, 31 – …the LORD said to Jehu, “You have done well in following my instructions to destroy the family of Ahab...But Jehu did not obey the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart.” Jehu received the prophecy sent from Elisha and became God’s avenger “to destroy the family of Ahab…and avenge the murder of my prophets and all the Lord’s servants who were killed by Jezebel” (9:7).
Like a wild man, Jehu led his troops against evil King Ahab’s household, and all the priests to the cult of Baal—all who had led God’s people into idolatry and disobedience and away from their divine destiny. The bloodbath reads like a blockbuster film but the goal is to help us understand how the decline and collapse of Israel and Judah occurred because of failure by the rulers and people to heed the warnings of God’s messengers (Elijah and Elisha). What’s our takeaway? Sin ultimately brings awful death and destruction (Rom. 6:23). Don’t yield to sin’s seduction. Run. It brings deadly consequences (I Tim. 6: II Tim. 2).
Wed, June 28, 2017
Take Time to Listen
Proverbs 18:2 – Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.
Proverbs contains many little nuggets of truth to help us live a balanced life in an out-of-balance world. Self-absorbed people love the paparazzi. But Jesus slipped away from the crowds to find solitary places to pray (Mk 1:35) and focus on the one voice that mattered most: the voice of His Father. God gives us insight and understanding when we make time to listen.
Thu, June 29, 2017
Psalm 147:1 – Praise the Lord. How good to sing praises to our God…
You will strengthen your spirit when you listen to music that honors the Lord. Look at all the benefits of praise described in this chapter: healing for brokenness, bandages for our wounds, understanding and support, and divine provision. When you engage in heartfelt worship, a kind of force field wraps around you that disperses the enemy. Keep worship music playing in your car and use it at home to ready your heart as you prepare for daily bible reading and devotions. On Sunday mornings as we sing together, open your heart to God’s presence and power by being intentional with your worship--it’s more than just following words and notes on a page or screen. The Holy Spirit is healing and re-orienting our souls. How good to sing praises to our God!
Fri, June 30, 2017
Finish Your Work
Acts 20:24 – But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.
Paul’s final words to his friends in Ephesus are steeped with passion and purpose. He would never see them again (vs. 25) so these were his last words. Read it all. See his heart. Feel the love that he had for them. For those of us who serve in full-time ministry at WEAG, Paul’s words are our words to you! You are beloved to us. We desire to teach you well, lead you well, and love you with Christ’s unconditional love. We want to point you to the grace of God and the word of God and the Spirit of God; and we will do so until the day we die or God moves us on. Let us all commit to “finishing the work assigned” to each of us by the Lord Jesus Christ. Wherever you serve, finish your work and do it with love.
Sat, July 01, 2017
Bring it to the Lord
II Kings 19:14 – After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the LORD’s Temple and spread it out before the Lord.
Have you ever had something terrifying come against you, threaten you, and try to discredit God and His power? King Hezekiah responded appropriately by taking his threat to the Lord. He acknowledged God’s omnipotence and prayed for deliverance so that all who saw it would know that Jehovah alone was God. In a single night Hezekiah’s problem was solved. An angel came and put to death 185,000 Assyrian soldiers (vs. 35). By morning’s light the victory had been won. What’s your challenge? Bring it to the Lord. Spread it out before Him. Surrender to His Lordship. Then watch what He does for you.