Righteousness Exalts a Nation

Scripture Reading: Proverbs 14:15-35

The blessings of God are upon people groups who live according to the wisdom of God’s Word. Those who ignore God’s Word and live according to their own man-made standards will find themselves trapped in wickedness and sin. There is a curse that comes from sin. A nation that ignores God will not be at peace. As Christians, we must make sure that we ourselves are living in obedience to God’s Word. Our cumulative obedience will result in our nation being blessed. We must also pray for our nation’s leaders that they too will seek the Lord and live in obedience. A righteous nation is blessed by God. A nation that is full of wickedness will miss out on God’s blessing and will have no peace.

What is God saying to me: Make sure that you are living in obedience to My Word. The more who live in obedience, the more I will bless the nation.

What should I do today: Commit to living in obedience. Commit to praying for our nation’s leaders.

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Building your house

Scripture Reading: Proverbs 14:1-4

There are three institutions set up by God: the home, the church, and human government. The priorities of these should be noted. Of all the things that we invest our time in, the home should take priority. Parents should be concerned with building a home that is safe and that encourages and enhances spiritual growth. Those who build their home is wise. Those who destroy the home is foolish. The home should be built on righteousness. The spiritual condition of the home is of upmost importance. The home should be rid of all personal pride. A family is to be a team. The family is to be together. The home is also a place where a good work ethic is taught and practiced. There is much blessing to be gained in the working home.

What is God saying to me:

There is nothing greater than a home that honors Me? Build your house according to the principles I have given you in My Word.

What should I do today:

Be thankful for the family God has given to me. Work hard to make my home a place that will honor God.

Good vs. Bad Companions

Scripture Reading: Proverbs 13:20-25

The people you hang out with goes a long way in determining the kind of life you live. People will rub off on you. The people you spend the most time with will be the people you are most like. Having the right companions is very important. If your companions are foolish and wicked, you will find yourself doing more and more foolish and wicked things. If your companions are wise and righteous, you will find yourself living a much more holy life. A good companion is like a good father who disciplines his children. He will not allow you to live a life of sin. He will correct you. A good companion will help you in your daily walk and not tear you down and cause you to sin. Having such good companions will prove to be a blessing and your life will be much more satisfied and content.

What is God saying to me:

I have place people in your life to help you. Choose good companions and lean on each other as you grow in your relationship with Me.

What should I do today:

Evaluate my companions. Make sure that those I hang out with are strengthening my faith rather than pulling me down.

Dreams Fulfilled

Scripture Reading: Proverbs 13:19

The New Living Translation says, “It is pleasant to see dreams come true, but fools refuse to turn from evil to attain them.” The Message interprets this verse as, “Souls who follow their heart thrive; fools bent on evil despise matters of soul.” Have you ever had a desire or dream come true? The fulfillment of a dream brings great joy and satisfaction. Have you ever desired something for a long time? What did it feel like when the thing you desired finally came to pass? The foolish person cares little about fulfilling inner desires and dreams. They are caught up in the here and now and have no vision for the future. They will not do what it takes in order for dreams to come true. What about you? What do you desire? What do you long for? The scripture says, ‘if you delight in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart.’ When you delight in the Lord, His desires becomes your desires. The closer you are to Jesus, the more your dreams will reflect His will and plan for your life. Don’t be as the foolish man. Dreams do come true. Pursue God, dream big, and His dreams for you will become a reality.

What is God saying to me:

I have amazing plans for your life. There is so much that I want to do with you and through you. Follow Me. Pursue Me. Trust Me. I will give you the dreams I have for you.

What should I do today:

Ask God to remove from me any desire that is not from Him. Trust in Him to bring about the dreams He has for Me in His time.

The law of the wise

Scripture Reading: Proverbs 13:13-18

The law of the wise is none other than the word of truth or the Word of God. Those who despise the word is foolish. If you do not listen and heed to instruction from God’s Word you will be destroyed. The Word of God gives life. Apart from God’s Word there is no life. To have life, you must heed to God’s Word. Those who receive and respond appropriately to God’s Word will be blessed. Therefore, the wise thing to do is to pay attention to God’s Word and to obey it. The foolish thing to do is to run from God’s Word and to ignore it. Don’t ignore God’s Word. Listen to it. Read it. Study it. Because God’s Word will give you life.

What is God saying to me:

I have given my Word in order that you may live. If you obey My Word, you will be blessed.

What should I do today:

Pay attention to God’s Word. Have a greater commitment to reading and studying the Bible. Listen when others speak God’s Word to me.

Where is your hope?

Scripture Reading: Proverbs 13:12

Have you ever really hoped for something and it never happened? Have you ever expected something and it never came about? Have you ever desired something and it actually did come about? Compare your feelings in both circumstances. One, I am sure, brought great joy. The other, I am sure, brought great despair and discouragement. The real question to consider is, ‘where is your hope’? If you hope in your own desires and efforts then you will be discouraged. If you hope in the things of this world you will be discouraged. If you hope in God, you will never be discouraged. God always keeps His promises and He knows what is best for you. Put your hope in God and you will find real life and real joy.

What is God saying to me

I love you. I desire the best for you. My ways and My plans are so much better than your own. Trust in Me. Put your hope in Me and you will never be discouraged.

What should I do today:

Put God first in my life. Seek Him. Look to Jesus for satisfaction and not in my own ambitions or in the things of this world.

Increase that comes from labor

Scripture Reading: Proverbs 13:11

Someone once said that, “hard work never hurt anybody.” In the entitlement society that we live in today, people who have strong work ethics are hard to come by. Many people just want things handed to them. However, this was never God’s intent. As a matter of fact, even before the fall, man was commanded to work. God told Adam to tend to the garden. Work is something that God created and intended for man in his perfect state before the fall. During that time, work was a joyous thing and a pleasant thing. However, after the fall, work became difficult, strenuous, and hard. Our scripture reading tells us that hard work produces increase. However, those who gain wealth apart from hard work will soon see those riches fade away. There is a great joy found in working for something and enjoying the fruit of our labors. This is what God intends for us. He wants us to enjoy what we work for. The key is to work for it.

What is God saying to me:

I have gifted you with various abilities and skills. Use those gifts wisely. Work hard at what you do so that you may enjoy the blessings that I have in store for you.

What should I do today:

Take pride in my work. Do the very best I can do in all that I do. Enjoy the fruit of my labors.