Pathways Through Proverbs
January 3, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 3
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Following Scripture Verses
- My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
- For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
- Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
- So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
- Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
- In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
- Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
- It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
- Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
- So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
- My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
- For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
- Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
- For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
- She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
- Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
- Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
- She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
- The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
- By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
- My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:
- So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.
- Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.
- When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
- Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.
- For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
- Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
- Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.
- Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.
- Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.
- Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.
- For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.
- The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.
- Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.
- The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.
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As we enter into a new year our tendency is to think about the things that we want to get accomplished within the next twelve months. We set goals for ourselves: to lose ten pounds, to get a better job, or to start saving for retirement. While all of these have merit, we need to focus on our spiritual lives first. Today's passage, though predominantly financial in nature, teaches us this principle.
Everything I have, my "substance", belongs to the Lord. This would include my wealth, my time, my energy, my mind, and my abilities. I am to use it to "honor" the Lord. The Hebrew word used here literally means "to be heavy". The implication here is that the Lord is to receive the "weight" of what I have. It is not enough for me to give the Lord a little bit and then claim that I am honoring Him. He deserves to get the best and the most of everything that He has so graciously allowed me to possess. Certainly it takes time, effort and money to survive in this world. Yet the Lord is to receive the "firstfruits" of my increase. Everyday God increases my life span. He deserves the priority in it. Every day I earn a portion of financial gain. His work should get the priority in how I disburse it. Every day I get twenty-four hours to use as I please. Rather than give Him what is leftover, I owe Him the best.
Verse 10 gives me a promise: If I place the Lord first on my priority list and give Him honor in all these areas, He will see to it that my "barns are filled". He can take care of me better than I can, so I should give Him my best and allow Him to take care of the rest.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery