~ Click here to read today's Scripture on BibleGateway.com ~ // Mobile Site Link
~ Listen to today's Scripture on ESV Online.org ~
Proverbs 20 verse 1 today reminds me of the need for and success of modern day Alcoholics Anonymous - "Wine produces mockers; liquor leads to brawls. Whoever is led astray by drink cannot be wise." I don't have personal experience with AA, but have heard very good things about it from several friends. I do love the AA Serenity Prayer - I think this prayer is a great prayer for all of us - "God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference." Amen.
While I'm on the subject of alcohol, since the Bible brought it up and all :), mind if I go on a bit of a tangent on this subject? Thanks. :) I would be very interested to hear others views / experiences with alcohol in their lives in the Comments below. (I know that some of our denominations have very different views on alcohol.) I'll share with you here that I struggled with alcohol abuse big time in my teens and early 20's. Certainly this Proverb was true in my case - wine produced a mocker out of me. Liquor led to brawls - oftentimes more psychological brawls than physical. And certainly I don't think I had the ability to be wise back in the days when I was led astray by excessive drink. Very frankly, I nearly drank myself to death the night before I graduated college. Alcohol poisoning / a black out got a hold of me that night. I'll spare you all the details, other than to say that after my near-death experience with alcohol, I knew I had a decision to make. Keep going the way I was going and I would die. Or go another direction. I didn't quite know what that other direction was or would look like, but I knew I had to go in the other direction away from alcohol / the party life. And thankfully God led me to Him. It took me 6 years of searching from the night I almost drank myself to death to the night when I accepted Jesus as my Savior, but it was the most important journey to undertake in my life. (The journey to Jesus is the most important journey in all of our lives...) So, yes, alcohol can be a dangerous thing, to say the least. I do know many Christians who do not / never have really struggled with it. I don't fault anyone for drinking in moderation. (These days I don't drink anymore - gave it up when I became a father.) I just know that many people reading this blog likely struggle with or know someone who struggles with alcohol. All I know is that if alcohol is something that you are "allergic" to, stay away from it. Don't touch it. Get into AA if tomorrow if you need to. (please... do it if you need to...) Let each of us never forget this Proverb 20:1 - "Wine produces mockers; liquor leads to brawls. Whoever is led astray by drink cannot be wise."
Proverbs chapter 20 verse 3 is such great wisdom: "Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling." I once was a fool who insisted on quarreling with Tony back in about 3rd grade :) after either I beat him or he beat me in the 50 yard dash at Field Day. Tony kept trying to avoid the fight with me. But I kept on pressing it. And I got whupped! It was really a great learning experience for me. I have avoided fights ever since! Don't get me wrong. I don't think we are called to be submissive and let people walk all over us. I think we can confidently and strongly hold our ground on important issues - without fighting or quarrelling. How about you? Do you avoid fights? Do you realize this is a mark of honor? Or do you insist on quarrelling? Think this is a good idea...?
Proverbs 20 verse 6 definitely gives me something to think about: "Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is really faithful?" This is a challenging Proverb for me because I feel like I have many good friends. Many who are loyal. And some who even seem faithful. But... yet.... there are still times on occasion when these friends do let me down. Or I know for a fact I let them down on occasion. It's our human nature. Fortunately for us, long after this Proverb was written, we were given the most faithful friend we could ever dream up or imagine in Jesus. Jesus really should be our best friend. I had a friend kind of shock me with this thought by continually referring to Jesus as his best friend at a lunch we had a few years ago. For some reason I was very comfortable with Jesus being my savior. But my friend? My best friend? Well, it was a new concept to me. And maybe this is a new concept to you. I do honestly believe Jesus wants to be our best friend. And he will undoubtedly be the one true and loyal and faithful friend we all can have - now and forever. So, is Jesus your best friend?
Proverbs 20 verse 7 today is a wonderful reminder that the way we live our lives today sets an example for children: "The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children after them." What type of example are you setting for children in your life? Are you walking with integrity? Do you believe children will be blessed after you because you walked with integrity?
Worship God: Our Proverbs readings today reminded me of Chris and Conrad's song called "Lead me to the Cross." Here is an incredible live version of this song:
Have you been led to the Cross? Click here and be led!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our Chronological Bible readings at this link.
p.p.s. Download a schedule of our Chronological Bible readings for the year in PDF format at this link.
p.p.p.s. I would greatly appreciate it if you would pray for this Chronological Bible Blog ministry today. Thanks!