March Madness Proverbs Day 3

March 3, 2007

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Read Proverbs chapter 3 today!

From the Life Application Bible:

Verse 3: Loyalty and kindness are important character qualities. Both involve actions as well as attitudes. A loyal person acts responsibly. A kind person works for justice for others. Thoughts and words are not enough – our life reveals whether we are truly loyal and kind. Do your actions measure up to your attitudes?

Verse 5-6: When we have an important decision to make, we sometimes feel that we can’t trust anyone – not even God. But God knows what is best for us. He is a better judge of what we want than we are! We must trust him completely in every choice we make. We should not omit careful thinking or belittle our God-given ability to reason; but we should not trust our own ideas to the exclusion of all others. We must not be wise in our own eyes but be willing to listen to and be corrected by God’s Word and wise counselors. Bring your decisions to God in prayer; use the Bible as your guide; and then follow God’s leading. He will direct your paths by both guiding and protecting you.

Verse 6: To receive God’s guidance, said Solomon, we must seek God’s will in all we do. This means turning every area of life over to him. About a thousand years later, Jesus emphasized this same truth (Matthew 6:33). Examine your values and priorities. What is important to you? In what areas have you not acknowledged him? You may already acknowledge God in many areas of your life, but the areas where you attempt to restrict or ignore him will cause you grief. Make him a vital part of everything you do; then he will guide you because you will be working to accomplish his purposes.

Verses 9-10: This refers to the practice of giving to God the first and best portion of the harvest (Deuteronomy 26:9-11). Many people give God their leftovers. If they can afford to donate anything after the bills are paid, they do so. These people may be sincere and contribute willingly, but they are not obeying what God says. God wants the first part of our income. This demonstrates that God, not possessions, has first place in our life and that our resources belong to him (we are only managers). Giving to God helps us conquer greed, helps us properly manage God’s resources, and opens us up to receive God’s special blessings.

Verses 11-12: Discipline means “to teach and to train.” Discipline sounds negative to many people because some disciplinarians are not loving. God, however, is the source of all love. He doesn’t punish us because he enjoys inflicting pain but because he is deeply concerned about our development. He knows that in order to become morally strong and good, we must learn tht difference between right and wrong. His loving discipline enables us to do that.

It’s difficult to know when God has been disciplining us until we look back on the situation later. Not every calamity comes directly from God, of course. But if we rebel against God and refuse to repent when God has identified some sin in our life, he may use guilt, crises, or bad experiences to bring us back to him. Sometimes, however, difficult times come even when there is not flagrant sin in our life. Then our response should be patience, integrity, and confidence that God will show us what to do.

Verses 16-17: Proverbs contains many strong statements about the benefits of wisdom, including long life, wealth, honor, and peace. If you aren’t experiencing them, does this mean you are short on wisdom? Not necessarily. Instead of guarantees, these statements are general principles. In a perfect world, wise behavior would always lead to hese benefits. Even in our troubled world, living wisely usually results in obvious blessings – but not always. Sometimes sin intervenes, and some blessings must be dalyed until Jesus returns to establish his eternal Kingdom. That is why we must “live by believing and not by seeing” (2 Corinthians 5:7). We can be sure that wisdom ultimately leads to blessing.

Verses 27-28: Withholding good is inconsiderate and unfair, whether it is repaying a loan, returning a tool, or fulfilling a promise, Withholding destroys trust and creates a great inconvenience for the other person. Be as eager to do good as you are to have good done to you.


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