Tag Archives: christian devotionals

She is a tree of life | P3-V18

The Rewards of Wisdom

Proverbs 3; I die daily devotional.

17 Her ways are pleasant ways And all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast.  19  The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens. 


Good morning, it’s still early here in Dallas Tx; the sky is dark, street lights are lit; a glistening mirror of wetness covers the surface of the ground as though to be a dew, but it’s no dew; in a few hours … sunrise. There is a graceful thunder rumbling outside, although, at times, the thunder is strong enough you can feel the vibration of its sound; cars all around our neighborhood are sounding the alarm as though being broken into simultaneously; as the seconds count, a subtle rainfall begins only to end in minutes thereafter, but not before the sound of another … rumble.

You know what; I think that might have nothing to do with today’s devotional, but it felt good when writing it out, perhaps because I love stormy weather and nonfiction stories are the best when a storm is involved—that holds more weight than my opinion, okay, don’t judge me, it’s fact.

Now let’s watch how that storm navigates into wisdom being a tree of life in the midst of our impending death. Don’t be discouraged by the storms you experience in your life (which is much easier written than practiced in real time); no matter what that “storm” is described as for you, it’s not the end according to our gospel if we are holding fast to the tree of life that is wisdom. Hold fast with me. She is our experience of happiness. Wisdom is a lady that blesses us with the reward of gladness in the face of adversity because we’re alive in Christ our Lord, Jesus. Jesus is the salvation of our souls, and no amount of sin is capable of removing that promise upon belief in Jesus Christ.

However, the gospel warns us about people choosing to remain in their sin of disobedience to this gospel. To believe in Jesus means to have wisdom as our tree of life that seals us in the book of life, but if we’ve continued in our sin after claiming to be Christian then we’ve missed the mark of conviction that secures our promise through faith. Jesus tells us to go and sin no more. It is by grace through faith we are saved by the work of the cross, not our cross, but the cross of Jesus Christ. What that means is that the Holy Spirit of God will help us live in obedience to the gospel through faith as we learn more and more through the discipline of divine inspiration—the Word of God at work in the heart, mind, soul, and strength of our conversion (born again).

Hold fast to what wisdom teaches us in the letter to the Hebrews:

6:17 In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose,  interposed with an oath,  18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Whenever we hear to understand this gospel, there is an experience of conviction that pierces the conscience of a person. That experience is the truth said in love by almighty God, telling us about our sin condition that died with Christ Jesus, the Son of God; Jesus made peace with God our Father (God had poured out His wrath on our sin that His only begotten Son took on our behalf) when He [Jesus] was crucified to death for our salvation—which means we are to be resurrected as a new creature—born again with a seal of promise, our hope set before us as an anchor of the soul—eternal life. So if you’re still in sin while claiming Christian, it’s time to repent and be saved to a living purpose rather than a dead one in Hell.

18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast.


God our Father in Heaven through the mighty Name of Your only begotten Son, Jesus. I pray for me and my friends reading this devotional that might not know the glory of Your Lady Wisdom that blesses us with the memory of Your law and commands for long life and length of days and peace added to us. Thank you so much for sending Your only Begotten Son to die on the cross for our sins, and I pray we will take hold of the tree of life and hold her fast. In Jesus Name … Amen.


RESOURCE

Proverbs 3 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; 2 For length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you. 3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones. 9 Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine. 11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof, 12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father  corrects the son in whom he delights. 13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding. 14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver And her gain better than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways And all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast. 19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens. 20 By His knowledge the deeps were broken up And the skies drip with dew. 21 My son, let them not vanish from your sight; Keep sound wisdom and discretion, 22 So they will be life to your soul And adornment to your neck. 23 Then you will walk in your way securely And your foot will not stumble. 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Do not be afraid of sudden fear Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; 26 For the LORD will be your confidence And will keep your foot from being caught. 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it, ”When you have it with you. 29 Do not devise harm against your neighbor, While he lives securely beside you. 30 Do not contend with a man without cause, If he has done you no harm. 31 Do not envy a man of violence And do not choose any of his ways. 32 For the devious are an abomination to the LORD; But He is intimate with the upright. 33 The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous. 34 Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the afflicted. 35 The wise will inherit honor, But fools  display dishonor.


COMMENTARY

Chapter 3

Matthew Henry (P3-V18) Commentary
3. It is the happiness of paradise (v. 18): She is a tree of life. True grace is that to the soul which the tree of life would have been, from which our first parents were shut out for eating of the forbidden tree. It is a seed of immortality, a well of living waters, springing up to life eternal. It is an earnest of the New Jerusalem, in the midst of which is the tree of life, Rev. 22:22:7. Those that feed and feast on this heavenly wisdom shall not only be cured by it of every fatal malady, but shall find an antidote against age and death; they shall eat and live for ever.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil | P3-V7

The Rewards of Wisdom

Proverbs 3; I die daily devotional.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.


As I think about this verse am examining how it pertains to me personally as well as how it might pertain to you. I think of what it means to be wise from the eyes of Christ and His Church on earth.

I then think about the world and how my eyes were well acquainted to sin before experiencing the freedom from Hell by the wisdom of God in the work of His Son on the cross.

Being wise in our own eyes from the western part of our globe looks like the freedom to be happy in doing whatever makes us “happy”, no judgement or consequences, just … power and pleasure to be who we want to be. It looks like the world is on its way to self-sustainability for life apart from religion, or life apart from the conviction of truth—telling us how went wrong, are sinful, and in need of repentance until the return of Christ to make us Holy.

However, fearing the Lord by turning away from evil (repentance) reminds us of where our truth is … which is in us by faith if we pass the test. The test being that we are found securely fastened to the gospel promise of Christ, the Son of God, our salvation. Our faith producing in us glory to glory…

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 But we all, with unveiled faces, looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?


RESOURCE

Proverbs 3 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; 2 For length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you. 3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones. 9 Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine. 11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof, 12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father  corrects the son in whom he delights. 13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding. 14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver And her gain better than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways And all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast. 19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens. 20 By His knowledge the deeps were broken up And the skies drip with dew. 21 My son, let them not vanish from your sight; Keep sound wisdom and discretion, 22 So they will be life to your soul And adornment to your neck. 23 Then you will walk in your way securely And your foot will not stumble. 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Do not be afraid of sudden fear Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; 26 For the LORD will be your confidence And will keep your foot from being caught. 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it, ”When you have it with you. 29 Do not devise harm against your neighbor, While he lives securely beside you. 30 Do not contend with a man without cause, If he has done you no harm. 31 Do not envy a man of violence And do not choose any of his ways. 32 For the devious are an abomination to the LORD; But He is intimate with the upright. 33 The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous. 34 Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the afflicted. 35 The wise will inherit honor, But fools  display dishonor.


COMMENTARY

Chapter 3

Matthew Henry (P3-V7) Commentary
We have here before us three exhortations, each of them enforced with a good reason:-

  • I. We must live in a humble and dutiful subjection to God and his government (v. 7): “Fear the Lord, as your sovereign Lord and Master; be ruled in every thing by your religion and subject to the divine will.’ This must be,
    • 1. A humble subjection: Be not wise in thy own eyes. Note, There is not a greater enemy to the power of religion, and the fear of God in the heart, than conceitedness of our own wisdom. Those that have an opinion of their own sufficiency think it below them, and a disparagement to them, to take their measures from, much more to hamper themselves with, religion’s rules.

From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness | P2-V13

The Pursuit of Wisdom Brings Security

Proverbs 2; I die daily devotional.

13 From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness;


THOSE WHO LEAVE

From those who leave the paths of uprightness… that sounds like someone experiencing apostasy. I think our commentator, Matthew Henry, would agree, but what is apostasy?

Heb 6:4-6 — For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

As having been a faithful disciple to the cross of Christ by these devotionals … imagine seeing yesterday’s devotional only to find a completely different post today; a post that communicates an issue of the heart. It could be that I just outright denounce my faith here and now, and what you see is content that reveals dark desires of my heart. It could also be that I’m going through a phase, where—I’m very angry and say things I don’t actually mean … or drowning in emotions so that they might confuse the fruit of my words to indicate a need; what fruit am I communicating if my narrative is off, literature out of whack, and something is just not adding up? There could be an experience of apostasy as whatever event/s mean to shake up my faith. Wisdom will deliver us from this, if this happens to be you, keep the faith. We’ll get through it together.

WAYS OF DARKNESS

I find it easy to quit this faith if my heart were to twist the truth of God’s wisdom for my own pleasure. To walk in the way of darkness is always a temptation, or, at least, it feels that way while in this flesh of my body that demands all sorts of maintenance. While our bodies demand maintenance, emotions are rampant, and the mind is vulnerable. There is so much to experience when I think about the way of the world, but being disciplined by this wisdom will deliver us!

  • What road are you on in life?
  • What fruit to you produce (good or bad)
  • What kind of tree are you? (find the scripture)
  • What is your way of darkness?

RECOURCE

[BP]

Proverbs 2 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org
1 My son, if you will receive my words And treasure my commandments within you, 2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; 3 For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; 4 If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come  knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8 Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones. 9 Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; 11 Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you, 12 To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things; 13 From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness; 14 Who delight in doing evil And rejoice in the perversity of evil; 15 Whose paths are crooked, And who are devious in their ways; 16 To deliver you from the strange woman, From the adulteress who flatters with her words; 17 That leaves the companion of her youth And forgets the covenant of her God; 18 For her house sinks down to death And her tracks lead to the dead; 19 None who go to her return again, Nor do they reach the paths of life. 20 So you will walk in the way of good men And keep to the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright will live in the land And the blameless will remain in it; 22 But the wicked will be cut off from the land And the treacherous will be uprooted from it.


COMMENTARY

Matthew Henry (P2-V13) Commentary
[2.] They are themselves apostates from that which is good, and such are commonly the most malicious and dangerous enemies religion has, witness Julian (v. 13): They leave the paths of uprightness, which they were trained up in and had set out in, shake off the influences of their education, and break off the thread of their hopeful beginnings, to walk in the ways of darkness, in those wicked ways which hate the light, in which men are led blindfold by ignorance and error, and which lead men into utter darkness. The ways of sin are ways of darkness, uncomfortable and unsafe; what fools are those that leave the plain, pleasant, lightsome paths of uprightness, to walk in those ways! Ps. 82:51 Jn. 2:11.

To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things | P2-V12

The Pursuit of Wisdom Brings Security

Proverbs 2; I die daily devotional.

12 To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things;


WAY OF EVIL

Wisdom assures that disciples of the cross will be delivered from the way of evil, and people who speak perverse things.

What does this mean, that we’ll be delivered?

What is the way of evil to be delivered from?

I hope that I’m revealing the evidence of this in my own life (especially through my writing as the literature reflects the condition of my heart); I continue to practice preaching the gospel to fellow disciples that can discipline me with the Word of our God, and it’s only a matter of time before the iron is sharpened so sharp it will be time for battle, and then the process of sharpening starts over again for the next battle… before the war. I want to be ready if our Lord returns in the next moment, hour, day, year, but always at the ready.

Until then, there are souls lost out in the seas of this world that need saving, and what does it profit me if I’m physically fit for the storms of evil but not spiritually equipped with the gift of good news?

2Ti 3:5 — holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

Jesus equips His disciples with power … even and especially today! So don’t fear the mention of the cross of Jesus Christ; because He’s the way, truth, and life!

Jhn 14:6 — Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

The power of the cross is evident by how we conduct ourselves in a world that wants to kill, just as it was in the days of God in the flesh and blood of Jesus. When converting to Christian, we become aliens in this world … it’s obvious by how we’re treated, but God knows those who are being drawn to Jesus by the work of His Word in His Church yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Are we trusting the wisdom of this verse when we preach, confident that we’re delivered from the way of evil (those who’ve denied the power of godliness)?

PERVERSE THINGS

I think the apostle Paul informs us well about the man who speaks perverse things:

2Ti 3:1 — But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3  unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,  4  treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate  weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses,  7 always learning and never able to come to the  knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. 9 But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also.

Paul also testifies to the glorious work of this verse in his letter to Timothy:

10 Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, 11  persecutions,  and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! 12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

What say you?

  • Are you delivered from the way of evil?
  • From the man who speaks perverse things?
  • How do you experience this verse?
  • Are you preaching the gospel for the lost?

RECOURCE

[BP]

Proverbs 2 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org
1 My son, if you will receive my words And treasure my commandments within you, 2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; 3 For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; 4 If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come  knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8 Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones. 9 Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; 11 Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you, 12 To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things; 13 From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness; 14 Who delight in doing evil And rejoice in the perversity of evil; 15 Whose paths are crooked, And who are devious in their ways; 16 To deliver you from the strange woman, From the adulteress who flatters with her words; 17 That leaves the companion of her youth And forgets the covenant of her God; 18 For her house sinks down to death And her tracks lead to the dead; 19 None who go to her return again, Nor do they reach the paths of life. 20 So you will walk in the way of good men And keep to the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright will live in the land And the blameless will remain in it; 22 But the wicked will be cut off from the land And the treacherous will be uprooted from it.


COMMENTARY

Matthew Henry (P2-V12) Commentary
2. More particularly, wisdom will preserve us,

  • (1.) From men of corrupt principles, atheistical profane men, who make it their business to debauch young men’s judgments, and instil into their minds prejudices against religion and arguments for vice: “It will deliver thee from the way of the evil man (v. 12), and a blessed deliverance it will be, as from the very jaws of death, from the way in which he walks, and in which he would persuade thee to walk.’ The enemy is spoken of as one (v. 12), an evil man, but afterwards as many (v. 13); there is a club, a gang of them, that are in confederacy against religion, and join hand in hand for the support of the devil’s kingdom and the interests of it.
    • [1.] They have a spirit of contradiction to that which is good: They speak froward things; they say all they can against religion, both to show their own enmity to it and to dissuade others from it. They are advocates for Satan; they plead for Baal, and pervert the right ways of the Lord. How peevishly will profane wits argue for sin, and with what frowardness will they carp at the word of God! Wisdom will keep us either from conversing with such men or at least from being ensnared by them.

But he who listens to me shall live securely | P1-V33

Wisdom Warns 

Proverbs 1; I die daily devotional.

 33 “But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”


Finally… the climactic verse that quiets the soul after the storm of hard verses prior to receive, but necessary for an experience of discernment between good and evil nonetheless. It might prove wise to refresh yourself with the previous disciplining verses of this chapter to then experience a feeling of understanding by it. After all, as children of a Heavenly Father that loves us, means to teach us in a way that prepares us for eternity with Him. And because our Eternal Father is Holy, we experience the consequential nature of sin by the Spirit of Wisdom at work in the soul of death—that we would find life in Christ. This verse reflects on the secure life we have in Jesus Christ, and no evil can cause us to fear, but rather… we’re equipped with a profound confidence to press on into the maturity of eternity.

LIVE SECURELY

So if we listen to Wisdom as she reminds us like a mother teaching her children to behave; she reminds us of the wisdom gifted us through her presence and yet, in the same breath, warns us of those who choose otherwise. And even though her children of disobedience, our siblings in the flesh, are not listening; she will still respect us as adults to make our own decisions that will inevitably experience the consequences thereof.

Just as a human mother knows by instinct how to nurture and care for the wounds of the innocent and guilty children, so too does mother Wisdom know how to spiritually address each of us.

Just as a child might experience a swaddling by their earthly father by disobeying his instructions, so too does our Heavenly Father know how to save His Child from death by His Word. Wisdom of which is presently speaking in our souls the words of the gospel, is also gracing us with a conscience equipped to heal from the pain of what was once wrong.

Now, here we are, in a place of silence, we can bow our heads, close our eyes, and pray on; we’re now more learned children, more prepared to face the dread of evil.

And when we open our eyes to see the world of the dead, we’ll know more how to understand the nature of respect and honor, but most importantly… the LOVE of our Eternal Father in Jesus Christ.

  • After the refreshed memory of the previous verses, how does this verse affect you?
  • Is there any part of your life where you’re not wanting to receive the counsel of Wisdom on, and why?
  • How do you feel about seeking a trusted person (in Christ) as a means to practice listening to counsel?
  • Do you experience the dread of evil?
  • Will you pray for clarity of conscience, and as you are guided through the Word of God for that clarity, seek cleansing and confidence through the Holy Spirit alive in you?

RECOURCE

Proverbs 1 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; To give prudence to the naïve, To the youth knowledge and discretion, 5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, 6 To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.  8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; 9 Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head And ornaments about your neck. 10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. 11 If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause; 12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, Even whole, as those who go down to the pit; 13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth, We will fill our houses with spoil; 14 Throw in your lot with us, We shall all have one purse,” 15 My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, 16 For their feet run to evil And they hasten to shed blood. 17 Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net In the sight of any bird; 18 But they lie in wait for their own blood; They ambush their own lives. 19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; It takes away the life of its possessors. Wisdom Warns 20 Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; 21 At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: 22 “How long, O naïve ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? 23  “Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 24 “Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; 25 And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof; 26 I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, 27 When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. 28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me, 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD. 30 “They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof. 31 “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices. 32 “For the waywardness of the naïve will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them. 33 “But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”


COMMENTARY

Matthew Henry (P1-V33) Commentary
4. He concludes with an assurance of safety and happiness to all those that submit to the instructions of wisdom (v. 33): “Whoso hearkeneth unto me, and will be ruled by me, he shall,’

  • (1.) “Be safe; he shall dwell under the special protection of Heaven, so that nothing shall do him any real hurt.’
  • (2.) “He shall be easy, and have no disquieting apprehensions of danger; he shall not only be safe from evil, but quiet from the fear of it.’ Though the earth be removed, yet shall not they fear. Would we be safe from evil, and quiet from the fear of it? Let religion always rule us and the word of God be our counsellor. That is the way to dwell safely in this world, and to be quiet from the fear of evil in the other world.

For the waywardness of the naive will kill them | P1-V32

Wisdom Warns 

Proverbs 1; I die daily devotional.

32 “For the waywardness of the naïve will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them.


Was the year 2020 a wayward year? You’re the judge, but TODAY … is more than a NEW DAY! We’ve just kicked off the starting line of a NEW YEAR! TwentyTwenty-one! MMXXI! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2021

The first part of our verse today kills me (no pun intended) because the waywardness of the naïve is seen not only in my environment—as I think of select individuals and their reasons to reject the proclamation for a behavior contrary to the spiritual work of the gospel—but all around the world through social media. I mean if we really looked intently at the law of liberty (James 1:25) next to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. posts can see the alarming nature of the human condition that will kill them. Now, of course, it might be that someone reading this is still in the process of learning about the Christian faith while Christians of the faith are still going through their process of sanctification, and when these two different stages of faith developments’ collide can be catastrophic to the conscience of both parties, but as we go through these Proverbs together will discover the healthy environment that the Holy Spirit works in—to the glory of Jesus Christ.

COMPLACENCY

If you happen to be one of those people who are seeing the nature of sin by the world around you as your conscience bears witness, your spirit gradually descending into depression, don’t fret or become intimidated by the information overload that our advancing society expects us to keep up with; you know… the new trend, or… that new smart technology, whatever it is that compels you to show it off in a new selfie photo, waiting for the ‘likes’ and ‘loves’ of those who care. “OH BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!” Now distracted by the ‘ads’ in the onslaught of social media feeds that the complacency of fools spend there days to grab your attention, sucking your life blood into their vortex of demise, an outcome that will destroy them. It’s time now to turn our attention to the good Word of God that means to save your soul, not destroy it. You see, there is an Eternal Father that loves you more than you’ll ever know because that’s how faith in eternity works, a hope that is for you, personally:  Romans 8:24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.  Hebrews 9:27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. So don’t find yourself wayward with the naïve, but blessed by the grace and mercy of God to pray for a clean conscience and live by that faith; don’t get distracted (for at least too long) by the social media drama and become so complacent you forget that perfect law that set you free from sin. Let’s replace the sin about our lives with the confidence we have in Christ!

  • How have you kickstarted your new year?
  • What are your faith goals for 2021?
  • How can you avoid being naïve?
  • What is the best strategy against complacency?
  • How can you serve the Church this year?

RECOURCE

Proverbs 1 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; To give prudence to the naïve, To the youth knowledge and discretion, 5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, 6 To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.  8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; 9 Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head And ornaments about your neck. 10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. 11 If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause; 12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, Even whole, as those who go down to the pit; 13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth, We will fill our houses with spoil; 14 Throw in your lot with us, We shall all have one purse,” 15 My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, 16 For their feet run to evil And they hasten to shed blood. 17 Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net In the sight of any bird; 18 But they lie in wait for their own blood; They ambush their own lives. 19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; It takes away the life of its possessors. Wisdom Warns 20 Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; 21 At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: 22 “How long, O naïve ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? 23  “Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 24 “Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; 25 And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof; 26 I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, 27 When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. 28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me, 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD. 30 “They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof. 31 “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices. 32 “For the waywardness of the naïve will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them. 33 “But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”


COMMENTARY

Matthew Henry (P1-V32) Commentary
[5.] Now they value themselves upon their worldly prosperity; but then that shall help to aggravate their ruin, v. 32.

  • First, They are now proud that they can turn away from God and get clear of the restraints of religion; but that very thing shall slay them, the remembrance of it shall cut them to the heart.
  • Secondly, They are now proud of their own security and sensuality; but the ease of the simple (so the margin reads it) shall slay them; the more secure they are the more certain and the more dreadful will their destruction be, and the prosperity of fools shall help to destroy them, by puffing them up with pride, gluing their hearts to the world, furnishing them with fuel for their lusts, and hardening their hearts in their evil ways.

What Is Discipline

We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

1 John 4:16


You might have noticed a theme to these “What Is…” devotionals. I’ve stayed around the subject of Judas Iscariot because the relationship between Judas and Jesus reveals the love of God for His enemies; that’s paramount. But it also reveals the authority that is given the Son of Man to remove the restrainer that protects against the lawlessness of Satan (2 Thes 2:7).

God loves us as a Father that disciplines His children (Heb 12:7-11). We can see that happening as Judas exercises miracles, authority over demons, preaches the kingdom at hand (Mat 10:5-8) and even eats the morsel received from Jesus at the passover (Jhn 13:26). So if God loved Judas, why would Satan be permitted to enter into him? Let’s look at this from another angle. Remember when Jesus calls out Peter saying, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luk 22:31-32). What was going on with Peter that Jesus would say this to him? My observation (and Peter please forgive me for where I might be wrong) is his desire to lead by acting on Christ’s behalf, his ambition manifests through insecurities wanting to prove himself. And it looks like Satan was eating that up inside Peter because it wasn’t that Peter wanted to deny Christ, but his zeal was clouding his judgment about what Christ meant regarding thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Luk 22:30); possibly felt an erratic jolt of emotions for such a position, not to mention what came next, and didn’t know how to react or respond other than to get ampt. Next thing you know he cuts off a dudes ear and starts cursing… can you relate?! Shoot, I feel like I can!

But what do we make of Satan? This issue of sin dates back to the seed of Adam and is written in our DNA because Adam was not deceived when eating that fruit (1 Tim 2:14, Gen 3:6). And so we were living in the lie of evil because we are of our father the devil (Jhn 8:44) choosing to believe in ourselves rather than the truth of the Word of God (Gen 3:7), which is what Peter was doing by cutting off the right ear of a chief priests’ slave at the arrest of Jesus (Luk 18:10) and then denying Jesus for fear of his own life because it was time for the hour of darkness (Luk 22:53) in fulfillment of scripture. Notice what Jesus said to Simon (Peter),but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; …” Jesus said that He prayed for Peter. And why if Peter has no choice to his faith? After all, God is the one that hardens the heart, and Judas is the one to betray Jesus. So what glory is there to marvel at if God creates His vessels to do what they have no power over? We would be robotic in nature, without option but to marvel. Jesus prayed to His Father who gives us our faith that will either condemn or save us based on the condition of our hearts. And we are either using the faith of God to become hardened like Judas to an illegitimate father (Satan 1 Cor 5:5, 2 Thess 1:9)); or receiving salvation as promised like Peter through a relationship with the love of our heavenly Father (Jesus (Mat 18:14, 1 Tim 2)). Because faith is obeying by believing that Jesus did come in the flesh, and is Son of God, that grants us our promise into the kingdom of God (Jhn 14:6).

The last significant detail about these words of Jesus to Simon is,and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” . There is an obvious mediation going on here by the data revealed about Simon’s heart. Jesus is confident that Simon will be turned again to Peter (Mat 16:18) for the responsibility of His office. But it’s through his portion of faith (Rom 12:3-6) to trust in the seal of the Holy Spirit (Jhn 3:33-36, 2 Tim 2:19-26).

How Faith Makes One Perfected In Love

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

1 John 4:18


Don’t confuse the language of fear in this verse with the language of fear in the Lord, because the meaning of fear in this verse is very different than having the fear of the Lord (Pro 14:26). If you believe in Jesus Christ as the living Son of God that has come in the flesh (1Jo 4:2) then you have no reason to fear as described because our faith produces confidence in love that fills the place of fear (Heb 4:16) through conversion. God is love (1Jo 4:16)!

  • But you might be struggling with doubt or disbelief that God is love?
  • Or it might be that your belief is secure, but your faith is in question?

I pray this devotional will encompass you with perfect love. We need to establish the experience of faith to understand how love is perfected as the previous devotional incited. To do that, lets distinguish the difference between belief and faith because the relationship between the two reveals the invisible power of God for salvation to glorification. If you’re not a Christian, please consider following along our devotionals.


THE TREASURE OF FAITH

If you are a Christian, then you know who Jesus Christ is because you’ve heard and believed in the good news of the gospel; God sent His only Son (Jesus Christ) to be that Person who took away the sin of the world (Jhn 1:29, Heb 9:26). That means every repentant believer—although experiencing the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life—is born again to salvation through the baptism of Jesus Christ (Mat 3:13-17, 1Jo 2:16, Rom 10:8-13, Mark 16:16, Act 2:38). When our Lord was baptized, the heavens opened and our heavenly Father said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”(Mat 3:17). Why was our heavenly Father well-pleased?

Justice for sin is the death of this world unless it passes over somehow for life to exist eternally. To be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect means to have faith in the love of God—For God so loved the world—that He gave us the example of faith (Jhn 3:16-21). So to believe in Jesus means we’ve experienced salvation from our sin by the transfer of our account, that’s right, money and all—the sin of our souls—onto the cross of Jesus Christ. That requires faith! We no longer fear death because our lives are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ who still lives (Act 2:33)! And that is how death passes over those who believe. So to have faith in Jesus means our future is established in heaven where He is right now (Rom 8:35-39)!

The relationship between belief and faith is a declaration of trust in the invisible work of God. The aim of our faith is what casts out fear because we look to Jesus Christ!

The two most difficult tasks of faith conversion:

(1)Dying to the idol worship of yourself (because when your faith is in sin—rejection of the truth—your belief remains in the evil one of this world Jhn 8:44). The other is (2)loving your enemy to the extent Jesus loves you (because it’s only natural to gravitate toward the comfort of your environment (Gal 2:11-13) and harbor animosity against your abusers — to not care for the life of your enemies Mat 5:43-48). But when your belief is united by faith in Jesus (Heb 4:2), you’ve overcome the evil one (1Jo 2:12-14) and have the power to love your enemy even to death; your life is converted by the aim of your faith because your belief rests where Jesus is now (Heb 4:3). And so you are converted from a lifestyle of condemnation to a lifestyle of freedom; that is the promise of God and work of the Holy Spirit (Jhn 3:36). Our mission is clear, tell the world, and hope they hear (Luk 2:10-11).


How To Be Perfect