Category: Proverbs–BibleTrekToday

Grace to the Humble!

Scripture reading for November 5th:  James 4, Psalm 71, Proverbs 5

Key Scriptures:  James 4:6-10  “But He gives more grace.  Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be wretched and mourn and weep.  Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.”  

James knew what he needed and the people of God would need as they walked through this pride-filled world influenced by demonic power.  More grace was the antidote that would keep them all on the right path.  James taught that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  (Proverbs 3:34)   He encouraged all people to humble themselves before God by drawing near to Him to confess sin and receive cleansing.  God would draw near to them and exalt them in due time.

Faith Confession:  I humbly draw near to God and seek Him for forgiveness and grace to share His mighty works of salvation in my old age, to those who are coming behind me.  I praise Jesus Christ for His righteousness and grace to His people.

Psalm 71:17-18 “O God, from my youth You have taught me, and I still proclaim Your wondrous deeds.  So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim Your might to another generation, Your power to all those to come.”  

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Seek the Wisdom from Above!

Scripture reading for November 4th:  James 3, Psalm 70, Proverbs 4

Key Scriptures: James 3:14-18  “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.  This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.  And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”  

Our world is full of jealous and selfish people who are out for themselves.  This brings disorder and chaos to society.  Christians must beware of this unspiritual and demonic form of earthly ‘wisdom’.   God’s wisdom is peace-loving and gentle.  It is open to reason and full of mercy.  It is impartial and sincere.  Christ’s followers sow this wisdom and the fruit of the Spirit of Jesus and reap a harvest of righteousness and peace.

Faith Confession:  I lay hold of the Wisdom from heaven as I ask God to fill me with His Holy Spirit.  I seek to sow God’s wisdom in the fruit of His Spirit to bring a harvest of peace, mercy and righteousness.

Proverbs 4:11-12  “I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness.  When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble.” 

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Penetrating Questions!

Scripture reading for November 1st:  James 2, Psalm 69, Proverbs 3

Key Scriptures:  James 2:14-17 “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?  So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” 

God likes to ask us questions that cause self-examination and bring repentance.  James used the example of seeing or hearing about a brother or sister in need of food and clothing because of a trial in their life.  If we say we believe that God cares for the poor and needy and meets their needs but do nothing ourselves, our faith is empty and of no value and could cause others to stumble and lead us to ruin.  We are to act on what we believe and show that our faith is real.

Faith confession:  Lord, I want to act on what I believe and trust in Your Word.  Forgive me for being slow to follow at times and give me clear direction by the Holy Spirit.  “Let not those who hope in You be put to shame through me, O Lord God of Hosts.” 

Psalm 69:5-6 “O God, You know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from You.  Let not those who hope in You be put to shame through me, O Lord God of Hosts; let not those who seek You be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel.”    

 

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Ask God for Wisdom!

Scripture reading for October 31st:  James 1, Psalm 68, Proverbs 2

Key Scriptures:  James 1:5-8 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”  

James was the half-brother of Jesus Christ and pastor of the church at Jerusalem.  He was known as a man of prayer.  He opens his letter encouraging the church to count it all joy when they have trials and tests in their lives.  This testing will be of their faith and should produce the spiritual fruit of patience.  If wisdom is needed concerning the test of faith, prayer is the simple antidote.  But any asking of God must be in faith, not doubting God will answer.  Doubting is double-mindedness and that produces nothing but fear and unbelief.

Faith Confession:  I thank God for the trials of my faith that have produced patience in my life.  I ask God for wisdom and understanding to walk through the trials and stay single-minded in trust of Him and His unchanging Word.

Proverbs 2:6-7  “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, . . “

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Believers basic behavior

Scripture reading for October 30th:  Hebrews 13, Psalm 67, Proverbs 1

Key Scriptures:  Hebrews 13:1-5 “Let brotherly love continue.  Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.  Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.  Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 

Since Christ Jesus is with us now and forever, we have an obligation to live a life that pleases Him in our basic relationships.  We must love our brothers and sisters in Christ, part of our family now and forever.  We must also show hospitality to strangers, because they may be angels of God sent to minister to us or others.  Prisoners are also to be remembered and visited as well as the persecuted for their faith.  Above all, marriage is sacred and to be honored as God has decreed that godly children are to be raised up in the family.  Finally, love God, not money!

Faith Confession:  Jesus Christ is my constant companion and friend.  I choose to live a life of love for God and others that reflects my love for Jesus Christ.  I will be with Him forever!

Psalm 67:1-3 “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on earth, Your saving power among all nations.  Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You.” 

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Run with endurance!

Scripture reading for October 29th:  Hebrews 12, Psalm 66, Proverbs 31

Key Scriptures:  Hebrews 12:1-4 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.  In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”  

In light of the record in Scripture of the many witnesses that have preceded us, we can confidently lay aside every weight or hindrance and run the race of faith straight to the finish line–the presence of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Jesus set the perfect example and He is with us to help us through the mountains and valleys we encounter along the road of faith.  Unlike Jesus, our faith walk has not yet cost us loss of our own life blood.  Even if it should, we have Jesus’ resurrection to encourage us.

Faith Confession:  I look ahead to Jesus Christ as my goal of life and example of how to achieve it.  By faith and confidence in Christ, through reading God’s Word and following the Holy Spirit, I will not grow weary or loose heart but will obtain the Goal!

Proverbs 31:8-9  “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”  

 

 

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Blessed Assurance!

Scripture reading for October 28th:  Hebrews 11, Psalm 65, Proverbs 30

Key Scriptures:  Hebrews 11:1-3, 6 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the people of old received their commendation.  By faith we understand that the universe was created by the Word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. . . . .And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.”

The writer of Hebrews reviewed past history of God’s people recorded in Scripture.  Those who pleased God were those who by faith obeyed Him and lived a life of worship and trust, even when they did not receive what was promised.  God always rewards those who seek Him and commends those with trusting faith.  If we see it now, we don’t need faith.  If we hear God speak, we can wait patiently for it to come to pass!

Faith Confession:  I believe in God the Father and Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Maker of heaven and earth.  I believe the universe was created by God’s powerful Word out of nothing.  I am a new creation by believing His Word in Jesus Christ and await a full reward of eternal life.

Psalm 65:4-5 “Blessed is the one You choose and bring near, to dwell in Your courts!  We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, the holiness of Your temple!  By awesome deeds You answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas; . .”

 

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Hold fast your confidence!

Scripture reading for October 25th:  Hebrews 10, Psalm 64, Proverbs 29

Key Scriptures:  Hebrews 10:23-27 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.  For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer is a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”

Because God is faithful and His promises are sure to be fulfilled, God’s people must hold fast to the confession of their faith.  This includes meeting faithfully together and encouraging one another.  The Day of Christ is coming quickly, each day is one day closer!  Living in deliberate sin after coming to truth in Jesus will only leave a former believer in fear of judgment and eternal fire.

Faith Confession:  I confess my complete and total trust in Jesus Christ, Son of God and soon-coming King.  I will meet regularly with God’s people and encourage others to stand firm, warning about deliberate sinful conduct and its dire consequences.

Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”

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Once for all!

Scripture reading for October 24th:  Hebrews 9, Psalm 63, Proverbs 28

Key Scriptures:  Hebrews 9:11-14 “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, He went through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.  For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”  

Jesus Christ offered His own blood as the perfect and only sacrifice on the altar in the actual Most Holy Place in God’s presence in heaven.  This perfect sacrifice is mediated by Jesus who Himself is our High Priest.  His sacrifice alone has the power to cleanse our conscience from dead works and enable us to serve the living God instead of dead idols.  This offering is already made and is effective for all time and all who will believe.

Faith Confession:  I trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ as the final and only sacrifice for my sins and the sins of the world.  I am forgiven by grace through faith alone and serve the living God whose steadfast love draws my praise!

Psalm 63:3-4 “Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You.  So I will bless You as long as I live; in Your Name I will lift up my hands.”

 

 

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The New Covenant of Grace!

Scripture reading for October 23rd:  Hebrews 8, Psalm 62, Proverbs 27

Key Scriptures:  Hebrews 8:6-7, 13 “But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant He mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.  For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.  . . . In speaking of a new covenant, He makes the first one obsolete.  And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” 

Christ’s ministry was far superior to that of Moses.  Moses was the mediator of the old covenant of law.  Those who obeyed would live, an impossibility because of our sin nature.  Christ’s covenant was one of grace through faith.  If we repent of trusting in our own good works and believe on Jesus, we will be saved.  The old covenant is obsolete–out of date!  It has been replaced by something new and better–forever!

Faith Confession:  I thank God for the new covenant based on grace through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  I live by faith in the gift of eternal life and receive grace to stand forgiven before God in Christ Jesus my Lord.  Keep me from the danger of self-righteousness.

Proverbs 27:12 “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”    

 

 

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