Tag Archives: wisdom

Sacred Snippet: Tests and Trials

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Tests and Trials

You look okay on the outside. Everything looks great to others, but privately you feel threats, encounter significant problems, or experience suffering that people can’t see. The Bible calls these tests and trials.

When people start seeing through you, it’s tough. You don’t want to feel weak in front of other people. You don’t want them to see the difficulties you might be facing, the threats you might be encountering, or the internal turmoil you are going through. However, you know they are there.

My Test and Trial

One day, I opened my blog website and discovered it was no longer there. Panic engulfed me. Also, emails were being sent to my blog subscribers, which I did not send. I panicked–fearful some obscene image or article might show up on my site sent by an intruder. I tried to fix the problem on my own. But the backend software (the hidden infrastructure of the website) was in complete disarray. I went to my paid subscription sources and hosting site and got partial help. But internally, the data inside my blog was corrupt. There were severe problems–five, to be exact. “Hacked” was a word I never wanted to hear, but hackers were precisely who infiltrated my site. [However, if you are reading this now, no worries, it has all been fixed, my dear friends.]

God is our Source

In our lives today, personal pressures and problems consume our thoughts, and nobody but us know they are there. They destroy our thinking. We even go to trusted websites or self-help books to help to no avail. When we face inner struggles, our heavenly Father is the one to approach first. He knows what is going on in our minds, personal ruminations, and physical selves. God is there not only to help us with these difficulties but to walk alongside us until the time is right for Him to show us His purposes. 

Children, take your intimate struggles to the Lord and ask Jesus to plead with your heavenly Father to show His purpose. 

Sit before Your Heavenly Father

The Bible says we will have struggles and trials. Being a believer does not alleviate living in this fallen world. Before reaching out to friends, family, or Internet sources, go first to God, sit before him, rest, and ask Him to handle your threats, problems, struggles, and concealed thoughts. He is there for you. 

James 1: 2-5 says, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

Then wait in prayer, meditation, and Bible reading for an answer. Sometimes God answers quickly, but oftentimes, we are left waiting, yearning, and seeking His response for even years. As we wait, let us be growing in an abundance of love for our Lord and Savior. Live in joy and service until the time comes when we have “been approved” for our dedication and undefiled obedience, whether in this life or the next.

James says, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial, for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).

How to Handle Tests and Trials

  • Recognize that tests and trials come to all people,
  • Realize our adverse circumstances allow us to reach greater maturity in Him,
  • Pray for guidance,
  • Seek His wisdom,
  • Obey God’s principles and precepts,
  • Understand that our trials are opportunities to honor the Lord,
  • Be joyful through testing and trials,
  • Trust that God knows what He is doing,
  • Know that when the trials cease, our faith will be stronger,
  • Stand firm no matter how long our testing or preparation takes, and
  • Know that the ‘Crown of Life’ awaits us when we have stood the test and our trials are over.

Just as it took time to fix my website, commit to journeying with the Lord during your wait time and love Him with your entire being, no matter what!

God Bless,

 

 

 

Books by Patti Greene

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My Favorite Pericope: James 1:5-8

Today, let us summarize a pericope from James 1:5-8.

Did I catch your attention with the word “pericope”? It is not a common word used outside of theological studies, but I will share my new vocabulary with you since I recently learned its meaning. Oxford Lexico defines a pericope as “an extract from a text, especially a passage from the Bible.” ¹

So, let’s move on!

JAMES 1:5 SAYS

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

We all encounter trials! That is why we need wisdom. We must ask God for wisdom. Why? Because He gives it to us liberally and without reproach. Reproach means “disapproval or disappointment.”

SOLOMON’S PRAYER FOR WISDOM

In that night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you?”

And Solomon said to God, “You have dealt with my father David with great lovingkindness, and have made me king in his place. Now, O Lord God, Your promise to my father David is fulfilled, for You have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth.

Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of Yours?”

God said to Solomon, “Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may rule My people over whom I have made you king,

wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you. And I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings who were before you has possessed nor those who will come after you. (2 Chron 1:7-12 NASB).

JAMES 1:6 STATES

But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

If we do not believe God will give His wisdom to us, James compares us to a wave of the sea tossed by the wind. We need to be solid and firm, not insipid about our faith.

JAMES 1:7-8 CONTINUES

For that person ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

James calls the one who does not believe he will receive wisdom from God a “double-minded man.” Some scholars call him a “double-souled man.” James also says that such a person should not expect anything from the Lord. What a tragedy when God wants to give us the best life possible by emulating Himself!

SOLOMON AND THE BABIES

In 1 Kings 3:16-28 (CEV), Solomon, a man of wisdom, had to make a difficult decision.

Two women came to him, and the first woman told him that she lived alone in the same house with another woman. This woman had a baby boy, and three days later, the second woman also had a baby boy. While they were sleeping, the second lady rolled over her baby, and he died. Then, she got up and took the first woman’s son out of her bed and put the dead baby next to her.

As you can imagine, the first woman saw the dead baby in the morning and knew it was not her son. In front of King Solomon, they continued arguing back and forth.

The king said, “Someone bring me a sword.” When a sword was brought to Solomon, he ordered that the living baby be cut in half, so each woman could have a part of the baby.

The real mother screamed, “Your Majesty, I love him very much, but give him to her. Just do not kill him.” The second woman shouted, “Go ahead and cut him in half. Then neither of us will have the baby.”

With all his godly wisdom, Solomon said, “Don’t kill the baby.” Pointing to the first woman, he declared, “She is his real mother. Give the baby to her.” And all Israel was amazed when they heard how Solomon wisely made his decision.

This kind of wisdom is possible for us as well. I experienced God’s wisdom when I asked Him for it early in my spiritual walk.

MY FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH PRAYING FOR WISDOM

Back in the 1970s I was an elementary-grade teacher in the Fort Worth, Texas school system. Each spring, teachers selected by the district to be retained had to decide whether to sign a new contract, confirm their agreement to stay for the upcoming school year, or not sign and seek opportunities elsewhere.

Before me was the question of whether to stay in Fort Worth, or move to Houston. It was my first encounter with genuinely seeking God’s wisdom.

On April 1, 1977, our principal walked into my classroom while I was teaching and, in front of everyone, handed me my contract for the upcoming year. “I need it back by 4:00 p.m. today,” he said.

I was struck with fear of being forced to make such a consequential decision so quickly! I gave my students some busy work and consulted my Bible. I prayed, then searched the Scripture for the Lord’s direction.

I eventually came upon Ecclesiastes 11:5:

Just as you do not know the path of the wind, and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes everything.

While it does not make sense to anyone else but me, that verse might as well have said, “Patti, move to Houston.” That very day, I told my principal I was moving and never looked back.

I can say that following James 1:5 in asking for God’s wisdom, He answers. It might not be the way one might envision or in the timeline preferred, but God loves us so much and has so much compassion on us that He always answers at just the right time.

HOW TO ATTAIN WISDOM

  1. Ask for wisdom—not human understanding, but divine wisdom from God’s Holy Spirit.
  2. Make it a habit to cleanse yourself from all known sins.
  3. Trust in God’s word to guide you as you seek His wisdom, then
  4. Trust that God’s wisdom will change your life.

God makes wisdom attainable to us. My charge is for you to follow the steps above and always recall this Godly pericope from James 1:5-8.

PRAYER

My dear Lord, when I am fearful to ask You for help, understanding, or wisdom, guide me by Your Holy Spirit, to You—to trust You and have faith. I want to live my life fully attuned to Your will and ways, but sometimes I fail. Please give me the courage to ask for wisdom in faith to be stable in all my ways. Amen.

BIBLE VERSES

  1. Wisdom and Understanding—King David said, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His Commandments; His praise endures forever!” (Psalm 111:10).
  2. Faith—Jesus said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to” (Matthew 17:20b).
  3. Stability—Paul said, “For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.” (Colossians 2:5).
  4. Freely Given–Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. (2 Timothy 2:7)

God Bless,

¹”Pericope.” Dictionary. Accessed December 12th, 2021. https://www.lexico.com/definition/pericope.

Edited by E. Johnson.

Linked Bible verses come from the New American Standard Bible.

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Solomon’s Wisdom: Bring Me a Sword

Wisdom

The Elementary Bible Truths Handbook defines wisdom as “the ability to use one’s knowledge and experience to make good judgments.”¹

While this is a good general definition, it does not differentiate between secular wisdom and godly wisdom. The late Pastor Adrian Rogers bridged this gap when he said that, “Godly wisdom is wisdom seeing life from God’s point of view. Secular wisdom (also known as knowledge) comes from looking around; [while godly] wisdom comes from looking up.”²

Days of Our Lives

1 Kings 3:16-28 puts godly wisdom in the forefront. King Solomon is tasked to solve a dispute between two women. If there ever was a story to grab someone’s attention, the story of Solomon and his wisdom is it. It has all the drama, including two bickering prostitutes, a “she said, she said” scenario, no witnesses and two babies—one dead and one alive. If this does not sound like a Days of Our Lives soap opera, it will.

As a child, I had a Bible storybook titled A Small Child’s Bible by Pelagie Doane that I read over and over and over. For hours I would ruminate on the stories and stare at the illustrations of two special Old Testament stories: King Solomon and the Baby and [Jonah] Jonas and the Great Fish. To read my story about Jonah, click here.

Below is the story from my childhood book, which still sits in my bookshelf to this day.

A Paraphrased Story Version of 1 Kings 3:16-28

Solomon sat upon the throne of David, his father. David had died and now Solomon was king. He was a good king and wise.

One day two women came to him. They had a baby with them. One woman said, “We live in the same house. We each had a baby born to us. This woman’s baby died one night, and she came and took my baby. She put her dead baby in my bed.”

The other woman said, “It is my child who is alive and hers who is dead.”

The first woman said, “No. The dead is your son and the living is my son.”

And so, they argued.

The king said to one of his men, “Bring me a sword.”

The sword was brought, and the king said, “Divide this child in half and give half to each of these women.”

One woman said, “Oh, do not kill the baby! Give him to the other woman but let him live!”

The other woman said,” No. Let neither of us have him. Divide him.”

Then King Solomon knew which was the mother of the child.

He said, “Give the child to the woman who does not want the child divided. She loves it and wants it to live.”

When the people heard how wise King Solomon had been, they said, “He knows what is true. He has thoughts of God.”³

Guiding Light: The Search for Wisdom

Solomon was King David’s son from his wife Bathsheba. His upbringing in an extremely wealthy household allowed him to have just about every privilege a child raised by a rich godly king could expect—fine food, a good education, religious training, little conflict, and more.

Solomon’s life was most likely free of conflict until it was time for him to ascend to the throne of Israel. His brother Adonijah tried to force a coup, doing all he could to get the kingship for himself that David already promised to Solomon. Fortunately, he did overthrow Adonijah’s attempt to rule Israel and became king.

Solomon knew he needed God’s wisdom if he were to enlarge the kingdom and construct the temple his father David had already prepared for him to erect.

Solomon loved God, and as a young ruler, he wanted the wisdom to rule this vast kingdom fittingly. Knowing he needed to dedicate himself totally to the Lord, he sought wisdom and guidance, and in a dream at Gibeon, not far from Jerusalem, he offered multiple sacrifices to the Lord. Then, God came to him in a dream and asked Solomon to ask Him for anything he desired.

God said, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.” Then Solomon said, “You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You; and You have reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” 1 Kings 3:5b-9

It was at Gibeon Solomon asked for WISDOM. He wanted to administer justice and judgment using true godly discernment. It was normal in those days for the common people to have access to the king, and he took his job seriously. Shortly after his asking for wisdom, Solomon was introduced to these two prostitutes—both seeking to resolve a dispute between them and a living baby.

One Life to Live: Mothers

These two temple prostitutes stood before their ruler and king, waiting for his judgment as to which woman should be allowed to keep the live baby.

Sidebar: I believe most mothers can recognize their own child, especially after three days of caring for and loving them.

But, the disagreement over the baby’s “ownership” continued all the way up to the top court. King Solomon, not being privy to DNA testing, listened to both women’s side of the story. He gathered facts and information. Although Solomon had many responsibilities, as kings do, such as peacemaker, builder, worshiper, administrator, and scholar, this was his opportunity to be a discerner, noted Warren Wiersbe.⁴ Solomon was looking for the real mother. Most Bibles and commentaries refer to the first woman mentioned in the story as the real mother and the second woman mentioned as the untruthful mother.

Both mothers were distressed—one because she knew she might lose her baby, and the other one because she lost her baby; and her maternal instincts were so strong, she was willing to lie and deceive to have any baby.

We see this kind of behavior even today. In February 2020, Juliette Parker, former Colorado Springs mayoral candidate, posed as a “friendly” baby photographer in an attempt to steal Elysia Miller’s newborn child. Meeting Miller on a Facebook newborn baby site, they connected. Parker met under the guise of taking free baby pictures to build up her portfolio and administered GHB—the date rape drug—to try to steal Miller’s baby. Fortunately, Miller called 911 after feeling drowsy and the plot was averted.⁵

In the original story, Solomon, using his divine wisdom, called for a sword. His solution was to cut the baby in half and give half to each woman. He was wise and I feel sure his intent was never to follow through on dividing the baby. Solomon was looking to see which woman had the most compassion towards the child to find the real mother.

“And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other, the first woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for she was deeply stirred over her son and said, ‘Oh, my Lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.’ But the other said, ‘He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!’” Then the king answered and said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother.” When all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had handed down they feared the king; for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.” (1 Kings 3:25-28)

God is a God who works out the most magnificent things and coordinates situations in His timing to be used for the glory of God. In this case, God took two prostitutes: they lived in the same house, allowed them to get pregnant at the same time, and had them deliver their babies three days apart—to be used as a very early catalyst for the people of Israel to see his wisdom. Warren Wiersbe says, “for weeks, this even was the main topic of conversation in all Israel displaying to all that King Solomon was truly a wise king.”

As the World Turns: How to Gain Wisdom

We live in a culture not much different than Solomon did in the 900s BC. Today we encounter obstacles just like the people did back in Solomon’s day. Many times, we need wise people to arbitrate our difficulties and problems.

Right now, we might be like the first woman in this story desperately needing advice, the second woman who lied and deceived, or we might be like Solomon—the one to whom people come for leadership or arbitration.

Know that no matter what situation we find ourselves in, by repenting and choosing to live a life honorable to our Lord and Savior, we can gain God’s wisdom. By following King Solomon’s steps, let us do what He did first and then commit to following whatever He says in His Word.

How to Gain Wisdom

First Solomon ASKED FOR GOD’S WISDOM. (1 Kings 3:9; James 1:5) So should we, then we can work on:

Wherever we are on this pendulum called life, let us remember that we are loved by a holy and just God. He is there to give us direction.

Look to Him for divine strength. Look at people through His eyes.

It can be difficult after we have been lied to, deceived, humiliated, criticized, or disregarded, but God has a purpose for every one of us. Striving to live a life fully dedicated to Him is costly, but wisdom is supreme. Therefore, get wisdom. Ask for wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get [His] wisdom and His understanding.

It is then that we can look at life correctly as we Search for Tomorrow.

Bible Verses

For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding, He established the heavens. Proverbs 3:19

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10

Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good. Ecclesiastes 9:18

All verses are from the New American Standard Version (NASB).

Prayer

My heavenly Father. We need Your wisdom. We cry out to You for it. As King Solomon prayed, so we pray and ask You to give “Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people to discern between good and evil.” For it is only when You and Your Word is ingrained upon our hearts that we can begin to fully follow You. Give us a deeper walk from now until we reach Your heavenly kingdom. In the Name of Your precious son Jesus. Amen.

God Bless,

greenenpastures.org

Edited by E. Johnson

Works Cited

¹ Elementary Bible Truths Handbook. Greeneville: Bob Jones University Press, 1981.

² Adrianisms: The Collected Wit and Wisdom of Adrian Rogers. Collierville: Innovo Publishing, 2015.

³ Doane, Pelagie. A Small Child’s Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 1945.

⁴ Wiersbe, Warren. The Bible Exposition Commentary Old Testament: Joshua—Esther. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2008.

⁵ Benzel, Lance. “Former Colorado Springs mayoral candidate allegedly duped local man before baby abduction plot.” The Gazette. Feb 18 2020; Updated Feb 25 2020. Gazette.com.

Books by Patti Greene – Order Below

Christian Caregiving

Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending

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Wisdom: Winning With Proverbs

Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance. (Proverbs 1:5 NLT)

Yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:3-5 ESV)

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:6 NASB)

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. (Proverbs 4:5 KJV)

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. (Proverbs 5:18 NIV)

My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. (Proverbs 6:20 NLT)

My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teachings as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend. (Proverbs 7:1-4 ESV)

I love those who love me, And those who diligently seek me will find me. (Proverbs 8:17 NASB)

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10 KJV)

The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, But violence covereth the mouth of the wicked. (Proverbs 10:11 ASV)

A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence. (Proverbs 11:13 NLT)

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. (Proverbs 12:25 ESV)

He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction. (Proverbs 13:3 KJV)

Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty! (Proverbs 14:23 NLT)

A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1 NASB)

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. (Proverbs 16:3-4 KJV)

The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues. (Proverbs 17:27-28 NIV)

It is not good to be partial to the wicked or to deprive the righteous of justice. (Proverbs 18:5 ESV)

Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool. (Proverbs 19:1 ESV)

He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips. (Proverbs 20:19 KJV)

He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered. (Proverbs 21:13 NASB)

Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul. (Proverbs 22:24-25 NLT)

Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. (Proverbs 23:4 KJV)

Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers. (Proverbs 24:6 NIV)

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter. (Proverbs 25:2 NASB)

Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly. (Proverbs 26:11 ESV)

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. (Proverbs 27:1-2 ESV)

Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all [things]. (Proverbs 28:5 KJV)

Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor. (Proverbs 29:23 NIV)

If you have been a fool by being proud or plotting evil, cover your mouth in shame. (Proverbs 30:32 NLT)

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, [But] a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. (Proverbs 31:30 NASB)

Conclusion on The Wisdom in Proverbs

May God bless and keep you safe from all harm. May His power and strength keep you on the straight and narrow path because it is only when we follow His path that we encounter true joy, peace, and contentment in our lives.

Think about making a commitment to read the entire Book of Proverbs. Since there are thirty-one chapters in the book, you can finish the entire book in approximately 1 month by reading only one chapter each day.

In this blog, I just shared a “sprinkling of God’s wisdom” with you. Why not get a “downpour of His wisdom” by starting today with a Proverbs reading plan!

God Bless,

GreenePastures.org
GreenePastures.org

Member Inspirational Writers Alive; Bible Gateway Blogger Grid Member


Works Cited

Swindoll, Chuck. (n.d.) Proverbs Overview. Retrieved from HTTP://bereanbibleclass.tv. 8 Jan 2018.


Books by Patti Greene

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer (A Devotional Prayer Journal) by Patti Greene, click here

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer (A Devotional Prayer Journal) by Patti Greene, click here

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer (A Devotional Prayer Journal) by Patti Greene, click here

Surprising Proverbs

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 Surprising Proverbs

As a teenager, I had a healthy, holy regard for the Bible from afar. But, once I began to read the Bible at the age of 16 years old, I was awed that this HOLY BOOK contained some of the funniest and most profound things I had ever seen. One of the funniest proverbs I read as a new believer was about how it was better to live in the corner of an attic than with a crabby woman in lovely home. [Proverbs 21:9] I pictured my future husband hanging out in an attic because he couldn’t stand to be around me. Of course, it was funny because I wasn’t married at the time. Then, I read about a dog who returns to his vomit, just like a fool repeats his folly. [Proverbs 16:31] Finally, I read about how white hair is a crown of glory and is seen most among the godly. [Proverbs 26:11] — It made me think of my Grammy! Once I read verses like those, I was hooked into reading more of these surprising Proverbs. Believe it or not, those verses were what God used to get me interested in reading more of the Bible!

I love the word “PITHY.” My definition of a proverb is, “a brief, pithy statement voicing a wise truth regarding how we should live or how we should not live.”

The Book of Proverbs is an Old Testament book. Many of the proverbs come from King Solomon who spoke these words in the 10 century B.C. Solomon’s 3,000 wise sayings and 1,005 contains wisdom sayings for everyone — from the very young to the aged. God wants to instruct us on how to be a better person. He does this through this little instruction book by discussing the fear of God, reckoning, human speech, human sexuality, and more.

‘The purposes of the book of Proverbs are stated in the prologue to the wisdom collections in Proverbs 1:2-7.” They include:

  • Know wisdom and instruction
  • To receive teaching in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity
  • To help the simple gain prudence and the youth to gain knowledge and discretion
  • To increase learning and to acquire skill in understanding
  • To understand proverbs, parables, wise sayings, and riddles, and
  • To learn the fear of the Lord.¹

I can’t help but encourage all of you to read this awesome book. Reading the Book of Proverbs will make you laugh, cry, inspire, and convict you. Today, let’s look at one proverb or phrase from each of the 31 chapters of Proverbs. Hopefully, these will excite and motivate you to read the entire chapter. Determine to read one chapter of Proverbs each day for a month. What a wonderful way to study this outstanding book. And, for all you women reading this blog, check out Proverbs 31 – It’s written just for you!!!

Surprising Proverbs: Verses from The Living Bible

Proverbs 1:7-9 How does a man become wise? The first step is to trust and reverence the Lord! Only fools refuse to be taught. Listen to your father and mother. What you learn from them will stand you in good stead; it will gain you many honors.

Proverbs  2:1-5 Every young man who listens to me and obeys my instructions will be given wisdom and good sense. Yes, if you want better insight and discernment, and are searching for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure, then wisdom will be given you and knowledge of God himself; you will soon learn the importance of reverence for the Lord and of trusting him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.

Proverbs 4:24 Spurn the careless kiss of a prostitute. Stay far from her.

Proverbs 5:18 Be happy, yes, rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Proverbs 6:10-11 “Let me sleep a little longer!” Sure, just a little more!  And as you sleep, poverty creeps upon you like a robber and destroys you; want attacks you in full armor.

Proverbs 7:1-3 Follow my advice, my son; always keep it in mind and stick to it. Obey me and live! Guard my words as your most precious possession. Write them down, and also keep them deep within your heart.

Proverbs 8:33-34 “Listen to my counsel—oh, don’t refuse it—and be wise. Happy is the man who is so anxious to be with me that he watches for me daily at my gates, or waits for me outside my home!

Proverbs 9:6 Leave behind your foolishness and begin to live; learn how to be wise.

Proverbs 10:4 Lazy men are soon poor; hard workers get rich.

Proverbs 11:13 A gossip goes around spreading rumors, while a trustworthy man tries to quiet them.

Proverbs 12:20 Deceit fills hearts that are plotting for evil; joy fills hearts that are planning for good!

Proverbs 13:11 Wealth from gambling quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows.

Proverbs 14:17 A short-tempered man is a fool. He hates the man who is patient.

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words cause quarrels.

Proverbs 16:3-4 Commit your work to the Lord, then it will succeed. The Lord has made everything for his own purposes—even the wicked for punishment.

Proverbs 17:27-28 The man of few words and settled mind is wise; therefore, even a fool is thought to be wise when he is silent. It pays him to keep his mouth shut.

Proverbs 18:17 Any story sounds true until someone tells the other side and sets the record straight.

Proverbs 19:21 Man proposes, but God disposes.

Proverbs 20:13 If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Stay awake, work hard, and there will be plenty to eat!

Proverbs 21:14 An angry man is silenced by giving him a gift!

Proverbs 22:1 If you must choose, take a good name rather than great riches; for to be held in loving esteem is better than silver and gold.

Proverbs 23:22 Listen to your father’s advice and don’t despise an old mother’s experience.

Proverbs 24:17-18 Do not rejoice when your enemy meets trouble. Let there be no gladness when he falls— for the Lord may be displeased with you and stop punishing him!

Proverbs 25:2 It is God’s privilege to conceal things, and the king’s privilege to discover and invent. You cannot understand the height of heaven, the size of the earth, or all that goes on in the king’s mind!

Proverbs 26:17 Yanking a dog’s ears is no more foolish than interfering in an argument that isn’t any of your business.

Proverbs 27:1-2 Don’t brag about your plans for tomorrow—wait and see what happens. Don’t praise yourself; let others do it!

Proverbs 28:5 Evil men don’t understand the importance of justice, but those who follow the Lord are much concerned about it.

Proverbs 29:20 There is more hope for a fool than for a man of quick temper.

Proverbs 30:5-6 Every word of God proves true. He defends all who come to him for protection. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

Proverbs 31:10-12 If you can find a truly good wife, she is worth more than precious gems! Her husband can trust her, and she will richly satisfy his needs. 12 She will not hinder him but help him all her life.

I hope you enjoyed this little trip through the Proverbs.

If you have a favorite proverb, I would love to hear it in the comment section!

God Bless.

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Bible Verses:

See above.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, I want to be a wise person. Please show me what I need to do and what I need to learn to be more like you. Help me to read through your Holy Scriptures with an understanding given from the Holy Spirit. I need you in my life and I need to be constantly close to you. Give me power to be committed in Bible study and prayer. If I don’t have you by my side, my life will spiral out of control and I don’t want that. Thank you for who you are and how you are going to lead my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


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¹ Hill, Andrew and John H. Walton. A Survey of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. 2000.

Humility

What humility!

Hudson Taylor was scheduled to speak at a large Presbyterian church in Melbourne, Australia. The moderator of the service introduced the missionary in eloquent and glowing terms. He told the large congregation all that Taylor had accomplished in China, and then presented him as “our illustrious guest.” Taylor stood quietly for a moment, and then opened his message by saying. “Dear friends, I am the little servant of an illustrious Master.”¹

Hudson Taylor was scheduled to speak at a large Presbyterian church in Melbourne, Australia. The moderator of the service introduced the missionary in eloquent and glowing terms. He told the large congregation all that Taylor had accomplished in China, and then presented him as “our illustrious guest.” Taylor stood quietly for a moment, and then opened his message by saying. “Dear friends, I am the little servant of an illustrious Master.”¹

Humility is not a fashionable word to throw around. You don’t hear many people talking about it; it is very rarely spoken about from the pulpit; and if one says they are humble, it usually means they are not.

I knew when I wrote about PRIDE last week that I was obligated to tackle the tough topic of humility next. On a personal level, I desire to be humble, but I fear true humility is way beyond my reach. I feel more comfortable writing about topics I have some degree of knowledge about. But humility can’t be bought or achieved by intellectual means. It can only be obtained as we grow closer and closer to the Lord Jesus Christ. So, because the Bible addresses humility, I will attempt to give some perspective on it.

Michael M. Smith, the author of Becoming more like Jesus, defines humility as a trait that is “indispensable for growth in Christian character – for becoming like Jesus.”² As believers, we are called to be humble people. 2 Chronicles 7:14 states, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

To become humble we must be willing for the Lord to peel pride from our character and be totally God-centered like the Lord Jesus. However, we each have areas in our lives that usually hinder our quest for humility. And, we usually do not like sharing this personal information with others lest they glean something into our character that we don’t want them to see. As you read the next few paragraphs, think about some of the triggers that affect you from becoming more Christ-like, i.e. jealousy regarding a friend’s fabulous vacation; pride because your child received a higher SAT score than their peers; or coveting the larger, custom home of a co-worker.

Characteristics of Humility [a humble person]

  • Asks for forgiveness and says, “I’m sorry” quickly;
  • Rejoices and praises others, but not themselves;
  • Follows Christ’s example the best they can;
  • Possesses Authenticity;
  • Listens to God
  • Possesses a grateful/thankful spirit;
  • Gives generously;
  • Shows modesty regarding their achievements;
  • Enjoys serving others;
  • Loves others;
  • Possesses the ‘Fruits of the Spirit’;
  • Enjoys seeing God in everything;
  • Projects sincerity;
  • Holds wisdom close by;
  • Retains control over their tongue;
  • Waits patiently upon God;
  • Admits faults easily;
  • Overlooks the failures of others;
  • Enjoys giving others credit that is due them;
  • Understands that they have so much to learn in the spiritual realm;
  • Accepts personal responsibility;
  • Desires daily encounters with God;
  • Longs for a touch from the Holy Spirit;
  • Agonizes over sin;
  • Compares themselves to the Lord rather than other people;
  • Recognizes their need for continual repentance; and
  • A humble person will NEVER boast of their humility.

Jesus – A Biblical Example of Humility

The Bible has many examples of humble people: Samuel, Esther, David, Daniel, and more. But, the most humble person in the Bible has to be the Lord Jesus Christ. He washed the feet of his disciples. [John 13:12-17] He gave his heavenly father all glory and honor [John 5:19,30,41] But, the biggest act of humility anyone could give, is that he submitted to God so fully that he took the form of a servant, humbled himself, and became obedient to the point of dying on the cross for our sins. His love for God and us was that strong.

It is one thing to talk about how to recognize a humble person, but we need to get to the point where we pursue or desire to pursue that kind of life ourselves with our entire heart and soul. But how?

Pursuing a Life of Humility involves:

  • A willingness and desire to rid ourselves of pride and be humble like Christ;
  • Praying for humility;
  • Faith in God’s ability to humble us;
  • Studying His Word continually;
  • Depending daily on the power of the Holy Spirit;
  • Following His leadings;
  • Living a disciplined life free from sin; and
  • Understand that God expects us to be humble.

Humility does not appear overnight. It is a trait that takes time to develop. We need time to grow into a person who is permeated with wisdom and grace. We will be tested to see if we will follow Him in many different circumstances. We need time to be taught what is right and wrong. We need time for the Word of God to blend into our life and character. But, as we experience more of God, we will find following him much easier as days pass by. With His grace, God’s strength will be perfected in us. As we find ourselves falling more in love with God, His Word, and our time communicating with Him, we will grow in humility. We might not even notice it, but others will. Look for opportunities to practice humility. Pray for those opportunities. Let’s stop tooting our own horn and let God have His way with us because he really is our “Illustrious Master.”

Blessings Always,

Patti

Bible Verses:

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2

Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:7-11

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Romans 12:3

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Romans 12: 10-16

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3:12-13

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

Prayer:

Oh Jesus, I confess my proud spirit to you right now. Please give me the discipline to develop my character to become more like you. I desire your presence in all areas of my life. Make my prayer life and Bible reading be filled with your Holy Spirit’s leading, so I can be the person you designed me to be. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

¹Wiersbe, Warren. Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching and Preachers. 7 Dec. 2015. p. 243.

²Smith, Michael. Becoming More like Jesus. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1999.

Bible Gateway Blogger Grid (BG²) is an international network of independent bloggers who meaningfully blog—and who are serious—about matters relating to the Bible. Follow the members on Twitter using our BG² List.

Bible Gateway Blogger Grid (BG²) is an international network of independent bloggers who meaningfully blog—and who are serious—about matters relating to the Bible. Follow the members on Twitter using our BG² List.

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