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Proverbs - Proverbs 22 verses 17 through 19 today are a great reminder for why we read and study the Bible! "Listen to the words of the wise; apply your heart to my instruction. For it is good to keep these sayings deep within yourself, always ready on your lips. I am teaching you today--yes, you--so you will trust in the LORD." Great stuff. I love the part that says it is good to keep these saying deep within yourself - in your heart! And to memorize these sayings with your mind so that they are always ready on your lips. Are you listening to the words of the Bible? Are you applying your heart to the Bible's instruction? Is studying the Bible enhancing your trust in God? Actually - if anyone out there memorizes Scripture, please post up in the Comments section below? I would love to know which verses you have found useful in your life? And - if anyone has advice on how to best go about memorizing Scripture, please post that up too. Are you memorizing Scripture on a regular basis? Are you bringing Scripture to mind when faced with temptation or sadness or whatever ails you?
Proverbs 22 verses 20-21 today teach us: "I have written thirty sayings for you, filled with advice and knowledge. In this way, you may know the truth and bring an accurate report to those who sent you." These two Proverbs verses today actually tie in quite nicely with Psalm 49 verses 1-3 above. Let us know the truth of God's Word and then report it accurately to others! Actually, this is probably a good point for me to ask you if you are participating in a Bible study at your church? If not, can I encourage you to consider starting up a One Year Bible study / small group at your church next year? Seriously. Please think and pray about this leadership opportunity. I do realize not everyone is called to something like this. But - I think many of us are - probably more of us than we think are. If you have been going through the One Year Bible with us this year, you have learned much! I think you are in a great position to lead a One Year Bible study / small group at your church next year. All you need is a One Year Bible, perhaps the One Year Bible Companion book with Q&A teachings for each day's readings, and a willingness to take this opportunity on. Will you think and pray about this? Will you talk to your pastor or the appropriate person at your church about this? You don't need to know the Bible backwards and forwards to lead a group! You just need to take the initiative to lead, and invite others to join you on the journey. You will be amazed by how God moves in a Bible study! It will bless you and those around you immensely! Will you lead someone (or a group of someone's) through the One Year Bible next year?
Proverbs chapter 22 verses 22 & 23 teach us today: "Do not rob the poor because they are poor or exploit the needy in court. For the LORD is their defender. He will injure anyone who injures them." This is a strong warning to not rob or exploit the poor. I think we would do well to think of this not only in terms of the materially poor, but the spiritually or emotionally poor too. Let us not rob them or exploit them. For the Lord is their defender!
Proverbs 22 verses 24 through 25 are a great reminder to pay attention to who our friends are: "Keep away from angry, short-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul." I've read somewhere that a good way to determine the character of a person is to take a look at who their friends are. Now, this is a bit tricky I think because none of our friends will ever be perfect. We should not look for perfect friends. We won't be perfect friends to others either. Jesus is the only one true perfect friend for each of us. But, there are certainly some "friends" who probably should not be people we spend a good deal of leisure time with. There may be friends who are into lying or pornography or who are angry or short-tempered (per this Proverb) that we need to be very cautious around, otherwise we may learn to be like them. Now, I do think we are called to be friends to people who may struggle with various things - including lying, pornography, being angry, etc. - but, we need to be very cautious and clear on our boundaries. This is a tricky one I know... Overall, I will say this - there are friends of mine that I have had to let go because I knew that hanging around them was simply not good for me. How about you? Are there any friends in your life that you may simply need to let the friendship go? When might this be the appropriate thing to do? When might it be the inappropriate thing to do?
Worship God: Our Proverbs videos today reminded me of the MercyMe song "So Long Self," which has a fun video:
Have you said So Long to your Self? Click here and say Goodbye!
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!