It’s Here!

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I am very excited to share with you that my Bible study on Proverbs 31, “31 Days of Proverbs 31”, has been completely revised and updated and is now ready for print! I wanted to share the first day with you here, to give you an idea of what it’s like. Each day covers one verse of this famous chapter, but the study is short enough it can be read much faster if you so desire.

Day One

Proverbs 31:1 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.

The first verse of this famous chapter is an introduction of the characters. Every good story has good characters, and Proverbs 31 is no exception. We have Lemuel, the writer, who is believed by most commentators to be King Solomon. If that is the case, then his mother is Bathsheba.  If you are unfamiliar with Bathsheba, please turn in your Bible to 2 Samuel 11-12. To sum it up, she is the woman who had an adulterous affair with King David which resulted in her child’s death, her husband’s murder and many trials for King David. Later, she gave birth to Solomon, whom God chose to follow David as King of Israel.

The name Solomon  means “peaceful, one who recompenses”.  How perfect! David’s life was anything but peaceful after committing open sin – God punished him openly – but Solomon’s birth and life showed God’s mercy and forgiveness. As children of God, we will be chastised for wrong doing. God does not chastise us in wrath, but in love, to bring restoration. Another example of God’s  mercy is the fact that Bathsheba is the one issuing these instructions. The virtuous woman was described by a woman who was not always virtuous. It is my opinion that Bathsheba could have refused to commit adultery with the King. Certainly, she could have died for that, but there are some things worth dying for. She made a poor decision, and suffered for it. But God used her in spite of that to raise up a future king.

We also see that this is the “prophecy his mother taught him.” She taught him. As a mother, I’m teaching my children every day. Not just because I homeschool my children, but because I’m their mother! They watch everything I do, and they copy most of it. (Usually the bad!) It is my job, along with my husband, to teach them the Bible. It’s the most important subject of life, and yet it’s the one I spend the least time teaching.

This one little verse has reminded me that God is just, but He is merciful. His mercy endureth for ever. (1 Chronicles 16:34) It has also convicted me about teaching my children more of the Bible. Reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic has its place, but they should never unseat the Bible in order of importance.

  1. God will not show mercy to those who have not been born again. John 3:36 says He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. The first question to ask yourself is “Am I a child of God?” If not, then Hell will be your eternal home. If you feel the convicting power of the Holy Spirit upon your mind and life, then don’t delay! Cry out to God for salvation. You need not pray a specific prayer or know lots of Bible doctrine. You must merely understand that your sin is separating you from a holy God and that Christ paid for your sin on the cross. Believe on Him – and only Him – and, as it says in Acts 16:31, “thou shalt be saved.”
  2. If you are certain that you are a child of God, then it’s important to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word. If you’re a beginner, then start small. Read one chapter a day. You could start in the book of John, or by reading one chapter of Proverbs every day. Ask the Lord to open your eyes and heart to the truths of His Word and to help you apply them to your life. Attend church faithfully in order to hear the Bible taught and preached by a man of God. Preachers are just human, but they are called of God to dig into the Word, study it, and help others to understand it. I have been in church since I was a newborn baby and I still have so much to learn! No one can learn everything about the Bible in one lifetime, but we should strive to know as much as possible. Church is also a wonderful place to meet godly friends and have good fellowship. Churches pray together and for one another. Church friends will offer a word of encouragement just when you need it! The right church is, in my opinion, a little piece of Heaven on earth.
  3. No matter where we are in our walk with God, there is always room for growth. We all should pray more, study God’s Word more, memorize verses more, serve more, love more, and the list goes on and on. Ask the Lord to reveal areas in which you need to stretch and grow, then follow His leading.

Further Reading:

My Utmost for His Highest – Oswald Chambers

By Searching – Isobel Kuhn

The Personal Spiritual Life – Peter Masters

The Bible study is being published by Bethel Baptist Church‘s publishing ministry, The Watchman Press. This ministry produces a free quarterly newspaper/magazine called The Baptist Watchman. It is available in both print and digital formats. To view the April issue of the paper, click HERE.

The the cost of the “31 Days of Proverbs 31” booklet is $3 (just to cover the cost of the printing) plus shipping; and the PDF or Kindle formats are absolutely free. To order a print copy, just send me your mailing address and we will include a bill. To get the free digital copies, or to be placed on the mailing list for The Baptist Watchman just send me your email address.

I hope and pray these materials will be a blessing to others. You can contact me using the “Write to Me” tab above. The goal of our church is to bring glory to God and edify His people through the preaching and propagation of the Word of God.

Thank you for stopping by today!

With love,

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Proverbs 31: The Lady I’d Like to Be

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She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. ~ Proverbs 31:26

It’s hard to believe that the month of March is over, and so is our “March” through Proverbs. It’s kind of bittersweet. It feels good to have read through a book of the Bible, doesn’t it? But I’m kind of sad that our journey together has come to an end. The good news is that we can just flip back a few pages tomorrow, on April first, and begin again! For me, one time through Proverbs (or one hundred times) just isn’t enough. Please feel free to share with me through this blog, my email, or any one of the 5,000 other social media outlets, a blessing that you receive from Proverbs. My online door is always open, so please come by.

Many of these posts have been about words, so I thought it would be fitting to end on one about words. I love Proverbs 31! This chapter convicts me every time I read it. There is so much here, that it was hard to select just one verse to write about. I think for me, today’s verse was it. If I could open my mouth with wisdom, if I could use kindness in all of my words, I would be a better person. But it’s not just my words that need more kindness, my whole demeanor could use it. I catch myself frowning a lot, and scowling at my children. I don’t want to be that way. I know there is a time for firmness, but it isn’t all the time.  I want to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. It’s a constant battle! I have much growing to do, and the job certainly is daunting.  I’m so thankful to have a loving, patient Heavenly Father to forgive me when I fail, and guide me as I grow. This chapter is what I’m aiming for in my life. This is the lady I want to be.

Thank you, again, for joining me. May your life be filled to overflowing with blessings from God’s Word!

With love,

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Proverbs 30: Pure Words and Protective Watchcare

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Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. ~ Proverbs 30:5

How precious are God’s Words! I recently read about a Chinese Christian who prayed for a Bible. He prayed for many months before finally receiving a copy. It was delivered at night so that the couriers would be less likely to be arrested by the Communist government for simply having a Bible. I’m sorry to say that I don’t value God’s Words the way I ought to. I often take for granted the privilege of owning my own copy – in fact, many copies! – of God’s Holy Word.

This verse also says that those who put their trust in Him have the greatest protector of all. Better than a Glock, better than the newest high-tech security system, better than a hundred armed guards  is the Lord! Nothing goes without His notice. Not one of His children can escape His watchful care.

God’s Words are pure, His arm is strong, and His grip never loosens.

Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.  –  Psalm 113:2

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Proverbs 29: The Foolish and the Wise

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A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards. ~ Proverbs 29:11

As Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 3:7 there is “…a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;” It is up to us to discern when to speak and when to keep silence. I’ve often told my husband, after some unpleasant situation, that “I wanted to give her a piece of my mind!” Of course, his jocular response is, “Don’t do that. It’s your last piece!” But how often have I vented my thoughts or opinions on someone, only to regret it soon thereafter? Too often to admit!

There are times we must boldly proclaim the truth. But we must be careful that it is the truth we are speaking. It seems to me that discernment is the need of the hour. I want to be sensitive to know when to share my thoughts, and when to keep it till another time. A few questions we can use to guide us might be these:

  1. Is what I’m about to share helpful to this situation?
  2. Is this information from God’s Word, or just my own opinion?
  3. Do I have a perspective from personal experience that can help this situation?
  4. Would this information be well received now?
  5. Does this person need to hear the Gospel?

The answers to these questions can help eliminate unnecessary talk. If the person is angry, they  may not receive any words very well, even helpful ones. If you have no experience with what is being discussed, then how can you help? If the person needs to hear the Gospel, then we should boldly share it. If we see that we have nothing of value to add, we can always excuse ourselves by offering to pray for the person, and then actually praying for them.

Only a fool stands around and gives his ideas on a matter about which he knows nothing; the wise man waits, considers and prays before sharing his thoughts. I pray the Lord will help me to be wise.

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Proverbs 28: Do Right

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To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress. – Proverbs 28:21

To “have respect of persons” means to favor someone more than everyone else. When I read this verse, my first thought was about politics. Politics is messy because of this verse. There are too many politicians who will “transgress” because he wants favor with a big-wig. (That’s what we Arkansans call rich people.) This leads to poor decision making on the part of the politician. Instead of being led by Scripture, or even good-ol’ common sense, he is only thinking about the interests of the one person who can make him successful.

On greater inspection, I see that this verse can apply to more than just politicians. It applies to all of us. Will we “respect” someone at work so much that we lie or cheat for them? It could happen. What about our children? Will they become so important to us, that  we overlook serious character flaws which should be addressed? What about at church? James admonishes us not to have respect for the wealthy church members over the poor ones. (James 2:3)

I remember that this situation presented itself to us at one of the churches my husband pastored. A man offered to give us a car. We declined because it seemed so extravagant. Later, this man purchased three suits and a winter coat for my husband. We gratefully accepted these gifts, thinking nothing about it…until a few weeks passed. We soon found out that there were strings attached to the gifts. My husband did not bend to the wishes of this man, and the gifts stopped.  We saw clearly that there were some in the church who wanted to cause us to “transgress”.

In every area of life, we must strive to make decisions based on God’s Word alone. It can be tempting to please man; to care about the thoughts and opinions of man, but that is the wrong path. Let’s remember the words of Bob Jones, Sr., which I learned as a chorus when I was just a teenager:

Do right, till the stars fall, do right, till the last call.

Do right, when there’s no one else to stand by you.

Do right, when you’re all alone; do right, though it’s never known.

Do right, since you love the Lord. Do right! Do right!

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Proverbs 27: My Filthy Rags

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Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. ~ Proverbs 27:2

In a world where social media is king, this verse is becoming harder and harder to heed. It’s so easy to get online and proclaim our accomplishments, post photos of ourselves with celebrities, or with awards. It’s so easy to boast and brag about all that we have done.

Praise from the mouth of another is comely and appropriate. Praise of ourselves by ourselves, isn’t. We have all known someone who bragged on themselves or who sought out  praise from others. I’m fairly certain we have also been guilty of these charges ourselves. But even if we have kept silent about our perceived goodness, we have thought it about ourselves. “I look great tonight!” or “No one could have done this the way I just did it!” These thoughts are the beginning of self-praising words. These thoughts are just as prideful as the spoken words would be.

Many of my posts in this series have been about words, because that is my weakness. This one is no different. How often have I, without thinking, naturally slid into praising myself while talking to someone!

The only solution to this dilemma is to humble myself before God and seek His forgiveness. I must remember that without Christ , I am nothing! I would be bound for Hell were it not for Him! Even now, my righteousness is as filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) Now there’s a Facebook status: “Just want everyone to know – all that I have done is but filthy rags.” At least that would be a true statement. I want to recall often the words of John the Baptist: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” – John 3:30. May it be so, Lord, in me.

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Proverbs 26: Joker, Beware

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As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death,  So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport? ~ Proverbs 26:18-19

I love to laugh. I love hearing funny stories and sharing them. But this passage reminded me today that you can have too much of a good thing. While I love laughing, I do not enjoy a joke which is at the expense of another. Practical jokes or jokes which humiliate someone, is what this passage is about. I quote Charles Bridges’ wise words:

“How little does the thoughtless man consider the misery, which his wantonness occasions to others! He bears no  malice. He indulges on the pure love of mischief. He carries on a scheme of imposition as harmless play. His companions compliment him upon his adroitness, and join in the laugh of triumph over the victim of his cruel jest. What the man calls ‘sport’ is the ‘madman’, scattering murderous mischief – firebrands, arrows and death. What are smoothly called ‘practical jokes’. . . come under this awful charge.”

When we purposely deceive someone in order to tell a joke, does this remove our deception? No, it just makes the deception look cute. It seems excusable because it puts a smile on a few faces, but what about the one who has been deceived? Could their smile be forced? Could their smile be a way to hide the hurt and embarrassment they are feeling? It is likely.

Let the joker beware: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. – Galatians 6:7

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