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Archive for November, 2010

Proverbs 7:14 (1-27) “I was due to offer peace offerings; today I have paid my vows.

What interested me about this verse is her attitude towards God. Although she is obviously a religious person the god she believes in and the one we believe in are not the same. See, she has set times when she goes and pays her god off so she can go and do as she pleases.

The father warns his son that this is not the kind of person to have any associations with. They live in the moment, planning only to gratify an impulse. Self-control is something we all learn as early as possible. Yet, we can all easily fall to the call of an impulse; and we don’t worry about it if we can control it.

But, when those urges control my relationship with my God then there is something wrong. Living on impulse lasts for a very short time with no redeeming value. Only a person who has never lived thinks that following after wisdom is boring. Being spontaneous (considering God and others) and being impulsive (with no thought of self or others) is not the same thing.

Self-control involves placing even our deepest longings under the control of the Holy Spirit.

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November 29.10 ethot

Proverbs 6:23 (20-35) “And reproofs for discipline are the way of life…

You may have already noticed that this father is no longer talking to a child.

In chapter 2 the father contrasts earning real wisdom with the supposed easy way of living. The reason the father uses the scenario of an adulteress is because she offers quick satisfaction of a sexual desire with no serious relationship necessary. Here in this passage again he is trying to get his son to see that anything or anyone worth having is worth the energy and work to keep.

Just as we have to work at learning anything we have to work at establishing and maintaining a relationship. If you’re not working at a relationship you loose it. It is no different within marriage. It is the most important relationship you’ll ever have next to God. Either can be very hard and demanding at times, but always well worth it.

Marriage, unlike what we’re told in the movies, is not about scratching an itch; it’s about not having to face life alone. There are times when the ministry God has for us demands that we stay single and those for which God needs us married, Matthew 19:10-12.

Diligence involves applying the right amount of energy and concentration to the mission God has called us to do.

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Proverbs 6:16 (6-19) “There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:

A sluggard doesn’t want to do the research and so settles on co-signing.

The sluggard or the lazy are compared with the ant, the worthless person and all that God hates. In the comparison with the ant we see a contrast because the ant is highly motivated to meet not just his present needs but his future needs. So, he gets up and provides for himself and others, v. 8.

In contrast to the ant the worthless person is using a different method to insure his future. Rather than doing good, his business is to stir up trouble for everybody. He earns his living by extortion. Spreading out right lies and innuendo his victims pay him off to keep quiet. Any success he has will not last, v. 15.

I’m not going to list the things God hates, it’s enough that the sluggard is compared to something God hates. Just as although the lazy are not necessarily extorters it’s enough being compared to one. I would rather be compared with the best things in the world, even though I may not be the best, rather than the worst, even though I may not be the worst.

But the lazy don’t really care about the comparisons they’re just too tired to get up, v. 10.

Initiative involves taking action to follow God completely.

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November 25.10 ethot

Proverbs 6:3 (1-5) “Go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor.

The warning the son is receiving is that he not co-sign for anyone, even your neighbor. To co-sign for a loan means that if they are not able to pay off the loan it becomes the co-signers responsibility.

You would think that if it was a father co-signing so his son could buy his first house it would be fine, but not even that is good. Remember that the father is trying to teach. So what is he teaching? The answer is found in v. 3 where the son is told to go and humble himself.

If the son has already asked God for direction in the purchase of a house, say for his wife and child, and has received no clear answer, should he assume that he needs dad’s help to move on? If the father does co-sign he becomes part of the problem and should suffer whatever consequence. God has been clear in that it is not yet time to buy.

Co-signing does not confirm the will of God; it circumvents the will of God.

Humility involves not letting your emotions and pride dictate your decisions.

Think about the things you already have and compare with others who have less and be thankful today.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving Day!

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November 24.10 ethot

Proverbs 5:21 (15-23) “For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He watches all his paths.

The paths of a man that his Lord is watching are his habits. There will always be the possibility, opportunity or temptation to have what some call a fling. But, it is our habits that seem to better define us.

As we noted yesterday the father continues to warn his son to keep his eyes on his own wife, and no one else’s. The imagination is a powerful motivator but the father here calls his son to imagine fathering children who will never know who their father is, lost and without a heritage they can honor, v. 16.

Rather than falling into the bad habit of unsatisfying sexual affairs throw yourself completely at your wife. Make her your undiscovered country and exploring every facet of her person. Let attention to your wife become your new and ever deepening habit.

This warning is given because it the all-seeing God that is watching and on that final Day of Judgment you’ll have no excuse because the evidence will be undeniable, v. 22.

Decisiveness involves making a commitment now to insure success later.

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November 23.10 ethot

Proverbs 5:7 (1-14) “Now then, my sons, listen to me and do not depart from the words of my mouth.

In Proverbs 4:10-19 the father tells his son to avoid bad company and in verses 20-27 he adds that he needs to learn to control he desires because they can change his life, for better or worse.

Now in chapter 5 he points to one of those desires that can cause you to ignore that council to avoid bad company. An adulteress is a married woman who has an illicit affair. She is an older woman looking for something to give her life meaning and has decided that an affair would do it.

The young man needs to understand that this affair will do him and the woman no good, even in the moment. Although an adulteress is a woman who has had sex with a man other than her husband, Jesus pointed out that just thinking about it is doing it, Matthew 5:27-30. The damage is done. She can never see a man any other way and the young man will never see a woman any other way. This is one of the dangers of pornography.

As a young person a sexual affair will destroy the joy of your marriage bed, because what you have experienced will always color the moment from the very first night. So avoiding bad company includes especially those who want to reduce life to just sex.

Alertness involves being fully aware of the consequences of present actions, words, attitudes, and thoughts.

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November 22.10 ethot

Proverbs 4:23 (20-27) “Watch over your heart with diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.

What motivates you in this life, from day to day, can be easily influenced by almost anything. This is why this father urges his son to watch, to watch out for those influences and be picky of what you let occupy your mind.

I think this not only speaks about the friends you keep at school, work, the neighborhood or even church; it speaks about what you read, what you watch and today the Internet. I don’t think we realize the power of what we see has over our minds. I remember once there was this guy who would come to work with a porn picture in his brief case so all could see (what was occupying his mind, what was his motivation in life?).

Years back our Pastor suggested that we put the right things in front of our eyes at home where we have the most control. He had me create an eye pleasing arrangement of part of Job 31:1, “I have made a covenant with my eyes”. May I suggest that we do the same in our cars and our work and study areas? I also used to stick a piece of paper, with a verse on it, in my pocket and every time I touched it I would take it out and read it.

Diligence involves applying the right amount of energy and concentration to the mission God has called us to do.

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