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October 2011

Words to Live By - Proverbs 3

Proverbs 3 (NIV Bible)

Verses 1 and 2.  My son, DO NOT forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. 

(If we want a long life and prosperity, then just follow God's instructions! ---Everything else being equal of course.  Just like knowing how to run one's car, one's watch, one's computer etc, we must follow the instructions that come with the product.  We are God's production, and He has given us instructions telling us how to have a productive and happy life.)

Verses 3 and 4.  Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.  Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Verses 5 and 6.  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make (direct) your paths straight!

(These are two of my most favorite verses in the Bible!  The world is full of  "inviting" paths that often look very attractive, but when followed, leads one to destruction.  What adds to their attraction is that they are so easy to follow.   However, when I became a Christian, I was so glad to have my Heavenly Father show me the right path.   Does this mean it is always easy to "trust Him" instead of  "leaning on my own understanding" of things and following my own path.   No, it is not always easy, but over the years I have learned to trust God even when I don't understand what He is allowing in my life.   These two verses tell me that as long as I acknowledge and trust Him, one day ----it may not be until the Second Coming---- He will make my path straight.  Let me quickly add, God will guide us daily by His hand down the 'simple' paths of life; and while walking the 'tough and rough' paths of life, we just have to hang onto His hand a whole lot tighter!) 

Verses 7 and 8.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.  This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

(He who fears God has nothing else to fear............)

Verses 9 and 10. Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the  first-fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.

(As we return our tithes and offerings to the LORD, it will be possible for others to hear of our great God and Savior!)

Verses 11 and 12.  My son, DO NOT despise the LORD'S discipline and DO NOT resent His rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in.

(Discipline is for our spiritual growth and maturity.)

Verses 13 to 18.  Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.  She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.  Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.  Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace!  She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed.

(Wow!  At a time when many are putting their trust in gold and silver because of the world financial crisis, we can have something that is far more precious and trustworthy.  Believing and obeying God's word gives us wisdom which in turn gives us peace and life, and best of all, eternal life!)

Verses 19 to 23.  By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations, by understanding He set the heavens in place; by His knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.  My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.

Verses 24 to 26. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.

(These words should give us great comfort and confidence considering the days in which we live.)

Verses 27 to 32.  DO NOT withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.  DO NOT say to your neighbor, "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow"---when you have it with you.  DO NOT plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you.  DO NOT accuse a man for no reason---- when he has done you no harm.  DO NOT envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, for the LORD detests a perverse man, but takes the upright into His confidence.

(To gain God's confidence ---to have Him commune with us-we must avoid the DO NOTS!)

Verses 33 to 35.  The LORD"S curse is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the righteous.  He mocks proud mockers, but gives GRACE to the humble.  The wise inherit honor, but fools He holds up to shame.

(To him who has ears, let him hear!)

Praise God that He has not left us in darkness, but has given us much light and wisdom to shine on the path that leads home to His Kingdom!

May His blessings be yours forever,
Beverley Carter

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