Daily Reading: June 18th


#DailyDevotion The Lord Doesn’t Mind Talking About Business

June 18

Prov 20:5–25

Pro 20:10  Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the LORD. Pro 20:23  Unequal weights are an abomination to the LORD, and false scales are not good.

 

Religion, politics and business are not talked about in polite society. God is not polite society. He talks about them all. We’ll talk about business today. It is amazing that corruption is so thorough in business today that it has been accepted and normalized. How will they cheat you next? When’s the last time you bought a 2×4 that was 2” x 4”? If you don’t know the industry standard of cheating how can you begin to build anything. Luckily for us, builders and carpenters know and it’s fairly standard.

 

But what does the Lord say? Unequal weights and unequal measure are an abomination to him. False scales are not good. But we need not get too literal with this. We can go beyond weights, measures and scales. When we sell something are we honest with the other person as to what you are selling them. Have you disclosed what defects you know about? Christian businessmen should not sell things caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). What we sell should be reliable or at least the buyer should know what they are getting. Not doing so angers your Lord.

 

(14)  “Bad, bad,” says the buyer, but when he goes away, then he boasts.

But it’s not just sellers! It’s buyers too! Do you buy things at a fair price? Do you take advantage of sellers who don’t know better at garage sales or thrift markets? You have an obligation from the Lord to buy at a fair price as well. If the owner knows the value but he wants to sell it to you cheaply anyway that’s fine. But you should find out before assuming he does. It is the Christian thing to do. The Lord does not deal so cheaply with your salvation.

 

Pro 20:13 Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.

Finally we as Christians have a duty to work for our daily bread. It’s one thing to pray for daily bread but if you do not lift up your hands to work, you cannot complain the Lord is not taking care of you. Start your own business or work for someone else and put in a fair day’s work and the Lord will bless the work of your hands. And do not work just for your own mouth, but work so you may have something to provide for someone else who is lacking. This is pleasing to the Lord. For once you were poor in salvation and the Lord Jesus Christ worked to his death to give you the earning of eternal life.

 

Heavenly Father, as we go about the business of our day, may we work to the glory of your Son Jesus Christ and to the glory of your name. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Readings: June 17th


#DailyDevotion What Are You Doing With Your Tongue?

June 17

Prov 17:1–28

Pro 17:4-5  An evildoer listens to wicked lips, and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.  (5)  Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.

 

You know you’re just as much to blame for gossip if you listen to it. God calls you an evildoer here. Not only that, he says you are liar as well when you listen to a mischievous tongue. For the Lord can look into your heart and see your intentions better than you can at times. If someone starts speaking evil of others, you need to shut them down quick and remind them what the Lord of Hosts says of such things. You might even exclaim, “Mouth of the serpent!” You probably won’t hear gossip from such people ever again. Another fine note in these verses is who we treat the poor and those that encounter misfortune. To mock such people and to be glad at others calamities is to insult the Maker of those who made them. You are insulting God! Instead we are to see how we can help such people.

 

Pro 17:9-10  Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.  (10)  A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.
He speaks again to how we use our tongues. Will we use it to cover the sins of others and put the best construction on people’s actions or will we repeat matters to others. People will love you when they find out you defended them in front of others and you will be honored if you can keep a secret. Yet if you hear evil about you, if someone rebukes you how will you handle it? Will you examine yourself to see if it is true and if so, will you let it sink into your depths so that you make a change? Or will you ignore it like the fool who gains no understanding about himself even if he is beaten?

 

Pro 17:14  The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.

Starting a fight is like letting a cat out of bag. Good luck restraining it! It may start with a small thing but people’s feelings are hurt quickly, fear escalates and it’s hard to restrain. The good advice here you probably heard from your mother—if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

 

Pro 17:27-28  Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.  (28)  Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Sometimes, most of the time, we talk too much. Perhaps we type too much as well. Demonstrate your knowledge and wisdom by learning to have restraint. Why even if you are a fool, if you don’t say anything people might think you are intelligent.

 

Heavenly Father, you give us the gift of language. Help us to use this gift to be a blessing to others and not as wicked people. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: June 16th


#DailyDevotion Have You Told The Lord Your Plans? Did He Laugh?

June 16

Prov 16:1–24

Pro 16:1-4  The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.  (2)  All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit.  (3)  Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.  (4)  The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

Pro 16:9  The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

 

We have a proverb ourselves. Want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans. In many of the passages from this chapter of proverbs deal with man’s plans and God’s providence. Indeed we may make all sorts of plans. We devise numerous ways of dealing with life today and what we think about doing tomorrow. But where is the Lord in all our planning? Verse two is particularly poignant because we think all of our ways are pure. Well they are in our eyes. Rarely do we do and plan what we think is wrong. We think even our most wicked plans are justified, good and right. But the Lord weighs our spirit and knows our hearts, our intentions. What will he find when he looks into our plans?

 

Before making plans and before putting them into action, we should commit our work to the Lord. Begin your plans with meditation upon God’s Word. What does it say about what you plan to do? Ask the Lord for guidance in whatever your task it. Nothing is too big, small or in between. You are not bothering him when you come to him in faith and trust. When your work is committed to the Lord in all its ways, he promises your plans will be established.

 

Everything in God’s creation has a purpose. He has a plan for everything. The Lord even uses the wicked to bring days of trouble for other wicked and for his purposes. Indeed, he used the wicked to accomplish our salvation. The Jews who rejected Jesus and the

Roman soldiers who crucified him were part of God’s plan in redeeming you from death and to make atonement for your sins and for theirs.

 

We should keep in mind these two other verses not included in the reading: Pro 16:25 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Pro 16:33 “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.” The first is related to Jesus’ teaching that out of the heart comes every evil and broad is the way to destruction. It seems right to us to do things but we can be deceived so we should compare it to what God’s Word says otherwise it may bring eternal death. The second is that since every decision is from the Lord we should humble ourselves under his hand that we be used for good. For every decision from the Lord is for the benefit of those who trust in him even if it doesn’t seem so at the moment. All things work for good for those who love God who have been called according to his purpose. (Rom. 8) May his will be for your good in Christ.

 

Heavenly Father, grant that by your grace we commit our ways to you and your Word that everything we plan and do may have your blessing. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: June 15th


#DailyDevotion Instruction On Your Mouth And Your Ears From God

June 15

Prov 15:1–29

Pro 15:1  A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Pro 15:5  A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.

Pro 15:12  A scoffer does not like to be reproved; he will not go to the wise.

Pro 15:28  The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

Pro 15:31-32  The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.  (32)  Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.

 

There are several themes in this chapter. One theme here is the giving and receiving of instruction, correction or reproof. Concerning giving instruction, correction, and reproof we are advised to give a soft answer. How may we correct someone in a manner which doesn’t make the other person angry? Of course, depending on the person receiving it, they may take it wrong anyway. But we are called to do our part. We should ponder how to answer someone who is wrong in their words or deeds. Are we speaking from a right motive, i.e. the love and improvement of our neighbor or are we being self-righteous? Are we speaking in a manner that is pleasing or does our very voice stir up wrath in the person listening?

 

Now there two types of people who receive what we have to say. There is the scoffer. He does not like to be reproved. He will likely throw back at you the things you bring against him. He will despise your instruction. Why he won’t even listen to his father’s words much less yours. You may decide it’s better to let them go their own way than to get involved. Such a person despises himself. It not that they like the way they are. They do not like themselves this way but they hate themselves so much they will not seek improvement or go to someone wise to get better. It just seems easier this way.

 

But there is the person who heeds reproof. Such a one is prudent. He recognizes he can use improvement and loves himself enough to seek out those who can help him to get better. He will seek out those who are wise, those who have experienced what he himself is going through and found a better way. Such a person will dwell among those who have learned from experience or better yet, learned from those listened to those who have learned from the experienced and put into practice without having to fail. But such people are rare.

 

We are called to fear the Lord to live in wisdom. This is a call to trust in our Lord Jesus Christ. To believe he has conquered sin, death and the devil and then to live out that faith in our lives will enable us to live in this wisdom for that is how he has treated us.

 

Heavenly Father, grant us proper fear of the Lord Jesus Christ, that we may be reproved to eternal life and be given a mouth that speaks as you would have us to speak to those around us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: June 14th


#DailyDevotion Your Way May Seem Right But It is Death

June 14th

Read Prov 14:1–27

Pro 14:12 ESV  There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

Pro 14:26-27 ESV  In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.  (27)  The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.

 

Jesus said, Mat 15:19 ESV  “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”  If you listen to the media they have not paid much attention to Prov. 14:12.  Every where you turn, every tv show, movie, and song out there is telling people to listen to their hearts.  But the heart is the most deceptive thing.  Wickedness dwells there.  Sure, the thoughts that come out of the center of our being sound good to us, but its advice will lead you to death.  For the heart will lead you to sin and the wages of sin is death.

 

What you rarely hear is to Fear the Lord.  To fear the Lord is to hate evil and all its manifestations.  To fear the Lord is to love Good.  To fear God is to truly love and trust in His Word.  It is the pure and clear Word of God that gives life and instructs us in the ways of the Lord.  True faith comes from the hearing the good news of Jesus Christ.  Jesus has come and overcome our hearts and has come to make them His dwelling.  Jesus doesn’t wait to be invited.  He invites Himself.  Remember the account of Zaccheaus.

 

As faith is created in us through the Word we begin to truly fear, love and trust in God above all things.  We live in this Word and live out this Word.  When we possess the fear of the Lord we can have a bold confidence that in Jesus the Father is on our side.  He will take care of us.  He will see us through unto the end.

 

We also will raise our children in the light of the fear of the Lord.  It will be their refuge on the day of temptation.  The evil one will never leave us nor them alone.  He seeks their and our destruction.  He wants us to be separated from the Love of God even has he is separated.  He wants us to be caught up in the snares of death.

 

But the Word of God is living, double edge sword.  Using it in prayer with trust in Christ is our best defense and offense in the spiritual realm, the battle field of our hearts.  It also is the pure fountain that refreshes us and makes us glad that we may turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and look to him for help in every need.  He will never leave us or forsake us.  He has promised as much.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, leave us not to the will of our fallen hearts, but come by your Word and Spirit clear out our hearts and make it your captive that we may truly fear, love and trust in you above all things.  Amen.

Daily Reading: June 13th


#DailyDevotion What Is Your Wealth And Light?

Jun 13th

Read Prov 13:1–25

Pro 13:4-11 ESV  The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied… (7)  One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.  (8)  The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth, but a poor man hears no threat.  (9)  The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.  (10)  By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.  (11)  Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.

 

Solomon speaks about wealth again today.  There are only 3 important things to talk about in life. Religion, politics and business.  I know this because only important things divide people and these are the big three you’re not supposed to talk about.  But we must.  So Solomon again instructs to not to sluggards but diligent.  Those who are sluggards day dream all day about what they want but never do anything about it.  Wishful thinking is all they do and is all they have.  If you diligent about your work it will produce something.

 

How we present out wealth is another thing.  We know plenty of people who are credit rich for now, but their bills will come due.  Then there are those billionaires who run around in a 79 beat up Ford pickup truck.  The rich display or rather use their wealth when they need to do so.

 

But wealth has its own problems.  Poor people don’t have to worry about losing anything because they don’t have anything to lose.  Wealthy people have to worry about thieves, fraudulent accountants, bankers, business partners, kidnappers etc..

 

How we gain our wealth is also brought up.  Those who get rich quick get poor just as quick.  We know all about a number of lottery winners who don’t know how to handle money so it goes out just as quickly as it comes in.  Then there are those who build their wealth slowly and learn how to deal with it so it builds itself up instead of flowing out.

 

Those though are truly wealthy who have the righteous light.  That righteous light is Jesus.  If you trust Jesus has given you eternal life, won salvation and defeated the crafts of the devil then you will be able to rejoice even when times are bad because you know the end of it.  Everything ends in Christ Jesus.  We have his promise in Matt. 6 that we need not worry about a thing when we are seeking him and his righteousness.

 

If wealth, prestige and other things are your main goals in life your light will eventually be put out.  You will end up in darkness because these things are only temporary.  They cannot be trusted.  They will not bring ultimate joy and fulfillment.  Only the One True God can do that and He is only accessible through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, give us a right understanding of wealth and my our hearts ever be anchored in you that the light of our righteousness be rejoicing in you who is our righteousness.  Amen.

Daily Reading: June 12th


#DailyDevotion Make Your Fathers Glad

June 12

Prov 10:1–23

Pro 10:1-3  The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.  (2)  Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death.  (3)  The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked…16 The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin.  (17)  Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.

 

We continue with proverbs from the mouth of Solomon. What makes one wise and what makes one foolish? Wickedness and righteousness seem to have something to do with it. Certainly we would want to live in a manner of life that makes our fathers glad and not to bring sorrow to our mothers. Yet how do we do that? We are told things gained by wickedness will not profit us but righteousness will deliver from death. Certainly he know that no matter how good we live we will die never the less and many who live in sin die ripe old ages.

 

Verse three sound a bit like Mat 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” And then again in Joh 4:14  but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” or Joh 6:35  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

 

Not included in today’s read nor tomorrow’s are these verses: Pro 10:27 “The fear of the LORD prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short.” Pro 10:29 “The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the blameless, but destruction to evildoers.” Now there is an absolute beginning of having the fear of the Lord and being on the way of the Lord.  That is we must trust the Lord our God and believe in his promises. As we trust the Lord and believe his promises our actions in life will correspond. Sure not always perfectly but it will be different from those who lack such faith. In the Old Testament it was trusting in the promise of a coming messiah and the teaching of Moses. In the New Testament era all men everywhere are called to trust in the messiah who has come Jesus Christ and his promise of everlasting life.

 

Without this basic trust we will not curb our tongue, watch our actions, restrain our thoughts and desires. We will not heed instruction. But with this faith in Jesus the Holy Spirit will begin to open our ears and mold our hearts to the fear of the Lord and place on the paths of righteousness. Our fathers will become glad and our mothers will not be in sorrow.

 

Heavenly Father, grant us true fear of the Lord that we may walk in righteousness and have ears that hear and eyes that see all the good you have for us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: June 11th


#DailyDevotion The High Priest Has Died. We Can Return Home

Holy Trinity Sunday

Num 35:9–30

Num 35:30-32  “If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the evidence of witnesses. But no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness.  (31)  Moreover, you shall accept no ransom for the life of a murderer, who is guilty of death, but he shall be put to death.  (32)  And you shall accept no ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge, that he may return to dwell in the land before the death of the high priest.

 

You may have little trouble with the reading today. Who wants to talk about murderers, manslaughterers, how to tell the different and what to do with them? But in this we see the mercy of God the Lord. First we must understand that these are laws to govern a nation under the authority of God. So we as Christians should make a distinction here between what our country does (which is not Israel) and what the Lord commanded his Israel to do as a nation. We are not under the Mosaic covenant—though it would be good to learn some lessons from it. Indeed some of our law concerning these things mirrors the law given here.

 

But we should note the mercy of God here. In making a distinction between persons and their actions which bring about a death of another person, there is the intent of the individual. One whose actions intend to kill another are treated one way and those whose actions were not intended to kill are treated another way. We are given what to look for to discern intent. And even those whose actions might be interpreted as intentionally killing someone, there must be two witnesses to the fact. There is no my word against his word.

 

Those who commit manslaughter are given a place of refuge until judgment is determined and if it is determined that it is manslaughter they can stay in the city so the avenger cannot kill him. On top of that, he only has to stay in that city until the day the high priest dies when the killing occurred. After that, he is free to return home.

 

Here is where Jesus comes in. Now the devil has been a murderer since the beginning. There is no forgiveness for him. He has been murdering mankind since the garden. His fate and those who followed him is the Lake of Fire. But for those of us who sin or who may unintentionally lead other to sin there is a day of ransom for us. Jesus is our high priest and he has died on the cross for us. With his death, mankind has been ransomed. We can return to our homeland. And where is that? The New Jerusalem. The New Heavens and New Earth. If you believe that Jesus’ death has provided the ransom for your life then you can leave the city of refuge (this world) and return home to the Father.

 

Heavenly Father, you have provided a ransom for our life in the death of our high priest, your Son, Jesus Christ. Grant us faith in his work that we may look forward to returning home to you knowing our adversary the devil has no power over us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.