Proverbs chapters 21 to 31

Last month I took part in 31 Days in May. Everyday throughout the month I read one chapter from the book of Proverbs: chapter 1 on the 1st, chapter 2 on the 2nd, chapter 3 on the 3rd and so on throughout the month.

I decided to write down a couple of sentences each day to help me remember what struck me in each chapter. I thought it might be interesting to share these thoughts and so this week I am posting what I wrote for Proverbs chapters 20 to 31. The thoughts are very brief for each chapter and are about the length of a Twitter posting! However, hopefully they will be a blessing to others.

Chapter 21 – God knows our hearts and motives, however right we may think we are! Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, this will keep you out of trouble. Think before you act.

Chapter 22 – There will be thorns and snares around but the one who guards his soul stays far from them. My speech should be gracious. Pay attention to the words of the wise and apply your heart to their instruction.

Chapter 23 – Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge. Give your heart to God. Let our eyes take delight in following God’s ways.

Chapter 24 – God sees our hearts and everything we do. He will repay as our actions deserve. Wisdom is sweet to the soul and provides hope for those that find it.

Chapter 25 – Don’t betray another person’s secrets as it destroys your reputation. It is valuable to listen to valid criticism. Don’t tell lies about others. Self-control is essential.

Chapter 26 – Do not be like the fool who repeats his foolishness.

Chapter 27 – Prudent people sees potential dangers and take precautions, unlike the simple who keep blindly on and suffer the consequences. The heart reflects the real person.

Chapter 28 – Our nation needs wise and knowledgeable leadership. Don’t conceal my sin, confess it and turn from sin and find mercy. Always fear the Lord and don’t harden my heart.

Chapter 29 – It’s foolish to speak without thinking. Don’t just accept criticism but heed it too. Fearing people traps us.

Chapter 30 – Never slander a work colleague to my employer. God is a shield to those who come to Him for protection.

Chapter 31 – Speak up for the poor and helpless and see that they get justice. A wife of noble character greatly enriches her husband’s life.

 

Proverbs chapters 11 to 20

Last month I took part in 31 Days in May. Everyday throughout the month I read one chapter from the book of Proverbs: chapter 1 on the 1st, chapter 2 on the 2nd, chapter 3 on the 3rd and so on throughout the month.

I decided to write down a couple of sentences each day to help me remember what struck me in each chapter. I thought it might be interesting to share these thoughts and so this week I am posting what I wrote for Proverbs chapters 11 to 20. The thoughts are very brief for each chapter and are about the length of a Twitter posting! However, hopefully they will be a blessing to others.

Chapter 11 – There is a stark contrast between the life of the godly and the wicked. The generous will prosper and those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

Chapter 12 – It’s important to always be open to correction. Wise words bring healing, therefore use words carefully.

Chapter 13 – A wise person heeds instruction. It’s foolishness to ignore them. Watch your words as speaking rashly can ruin everything.

Chapter 14 – Fear of the Lord is shown by the way we live. If we live rightly we fear God, if we choose the wrong way we despise Him. A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil.

Chapter 15 – Godly people think carefully before speaking. Listen to constructive criticism and accept discipline. If I reject discipline I will harm myself.

Chapter 16 – We can have ideas and made our plans but God determines the steps. The Lord examines our motives. Fearing the Lord helps us to avoid evil. We need more biblical fear of the Lord in our lives.

Chapter 17 – Sensible people keep their eyes glued on wisdom. It’s wise to be careful of our words which will mean keeping quiet on occasions where we might wish to speak.

Chapter 18 – A fool only wants to air their own opinions. Their mouth gets them into trouble. They spout off before listening to the facts to their own shame. The Lord is a stronghold for the righteous / godly. Money does not provide this security.

Chapter 19 – I can make many plans but the Lord’s purpose will prevail. Always listen to advice and instruction. If I stop listening to them I am turning my back on knowledge.

Chapter 20 – Only fools insist on quarrelling. We are known by our actions. God knows every hidden motive.

 

Proverbs chapters 1 to 10

This month I have been taking part in 31 Days in May. Everyday throughout the month I have read one chapter from the book of Proverbs: chapter 1 on the 1st, chapter 2 on the 2nd, chapter 3 on the 3rd and so on throughout the month.

I decided to write down a couple of sentences each day to help me remember what struck me in each chapter. I thought it might be interesting to share these thoughts and so this week I am posting what I wrote for Proverbs chapters 1 to 10. The thoughts are very brief for each chapter and are about the length of a Twitter posting! However, hopefully they will be a blessing to others.

Chapter 1 – The purpose of the proverbs is to teach wisdom and discipline. I need to apply discipline to my life. If I ignore God’s warnings then it’s my fault when things go wrong.

Chapter 2 – Give priority to seeking wisdom. It will help in making right decisions. Heed God’s warnings.

Chapter 3 – Storing God’s commands in my heart is very important. Wisdom is the most precious thing I can seek: “Nothing you desire can compare with her.” (v15)

Chapter 4 – Pay attention to God’s word and let it penetrate deep into my heart. Take hold of instruction and do not let go of it. Guard the heart above all else.

Chapter 5 – Listen carefully to God’s words. God sees every path we take (including decisions). Sin holds us captive. I must exercise self-control and not be led astray by my folly (foolishness).

Chapter 6 – God’s word is a lamp and a light for me. It’s corrective discipline is the way to life.

Chapter 7 – Treasure God’s commands and store them up within me. Write them deep within my heart. Do not let my heart stray into wrong desires.

Chapter 8 – Listen to wisdom. There is nothing that we can desire that is better than her. Do not ignore her instruction.

Chapter 9 – The fear of the Lord is the foundation / beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgement.

Chapter 10 – The wise are glad to be instructed and to accept discipline / correction. They treasure knowledge. The words of the godly benefit and help others. They know when to keep quiet.

 

31 Days in May

The church that I visited on Easter Day is running a challenge this month called: 31 Days in May. They describe this as a simple but potentially life-changing idea and an initiative for the whole church to engage with the Word of God together.

Everyday throughout the month of May they will read one chapter from the book of Proverbs. Chapter 1 on the 1st, chapter 2 on the 2nd, chapter 3 on the 3rd and so on throughout the month. Church members are then being encouraged to pray over it and into it as they go through the book: for themselves, for their friends and contacts, for the church and for our world.

Although this might sound quite a simple idea it struck me as being a very good initiative and one that could be very beneficial both for individuals and for the church collectively. Therefore I have decided that I will take up the 31 Days in May challenge myself this month.

If you have not got any specific bible readings planned for May why not join in 31 Days in May and immerse yourself in the book of Proverbs this month.

Reviving the Soul

In Psalm 19v7 there is a wonderful statement by David:

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.”

I’m not sure about you but so often my soul needs reviving. At the end of a stressful day at work or an exhausting and busy week I certainly need to be revived. Yet to be honest I don’t always turn to God’s word for revival. There are occasions when instead of doing this I turn to earthly things e.g. leisure activities, food, sport, TV, social media etc. Whilst none of those are necessary wrong in themselves, they will not bring revival to the soul.

This is because those things are not God’s word. They may be enjoyable past times and activities, but they do not revive us. Instead of turning to them we should turn to God’s word. We regularly need to read the scriptures, study them and meditate on them. It’s important that we set aside time each day to do this.

If we neglect these disciplines, then we miss opportunities to experience a revived soul. Some people also find it helpful to have a bible verse in their mind for them to ponder as they prepare to go to sleep each night. It’s a good way to finish the day.

If you ever read anything about the persecuted Church, you will see their love for the bible. In many of these countries a person can get into severe trouble for owning a bible. When they receive a bible, they are so grateful and full of excitement. Conversely, many of us in the west have numerous different translations of the bible at home, not to mention the ones on our phones! Yet we often rarely read them.

Let us not neglect the scriptures but instead know the reality of this wonderful phrase in Psalm 19v7:

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.

Continue reading “Reviving the Soul”

Reading through the Bible chronologically in 2019

Have you ever read through the whole Bible in a year? There are many different reading plans available to assist with this. If you visit your local Christian bookshop or type “bible readings plans” into your favourite search engine, you will see a variety of options that can be used. One of my favourite ways is reading through the Bible chronologically.

The advantage of reading the Bible chronologically is that it enhances our understanding of the historical context of the individual books of the Bible. We can see in the Old Testament how books like Ezra, Hosea, Amos and Micah fit into the history of God’s dealings with his people. Likewise, in the New Testament we can look at each of Paul’s letters and see at which stage of his missionary travels they were written.

I personally have used the “Cover to Cover Through the Bible As It Happened” reading plan which is produced by CWR. This is an edition of the Bible that is split into 365 different readings with various helpful notes that assist the reader.

The prospect of reading through the bible in a year though does appear a daunting task. Many might think that it is impossible or have tried in the past but given up after a couple of months. It might surprise you however to know that it only takes between 15 to 20 minutes per day to do this. If we consider the amount of time we spend on social media, watching You Tube videos or on Netflix’s then surely, we can spare that small amount of time reading the scriptures in 2019?

Although everyone is different I prefer to do my Bible readings in the morning. If you are a “morning person” why not set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and do the reading before you start the day. Others though prefer to read during the day or in the evenings. The most important thing is to find a time that works best for you and to set that time aside each day. If for any reason you miss a day don’t get discouraged or give up but keep going.

Why not make 2019 the year you read through the Bible chronologically?

 

New Daylight Bible Reading Notes

I know that Christians have mixed views on Bible reading notes. Some find them a valuable tool to aid them in their daily readings whilst others think it’s better to read the Bible without the aid of notes.

Over the years I have used a number of different Bible reading notes and found some to be very helpful. There are also others that I have found not so useful (no names mentioned!).

Since the start of 2017 I have been using “New Daylight” which is published by BRF (The Bible Reading Fellowship). New Daylight notes provide four months of daily Bible readings. Each day starts with a reading which is followed by a comment on the passage and finishes with a prayer or thought to ponder.

Although that format is the same as all the various other Bible reading notes I have used, New Daylight uses contributors who come from a range of different church backgrounds. Therefore unlike other reading notes I have used, I have encountered writings from other Christians whose church traditions are different to mine.

There are a number of differing themes in each addition of New Daylight. Some of these themes are for one week but most of them generally cover two weeks.

Amongst the themes covered in the current edition are:

  • Studies on Psalms 81-93
  • Acts 1-6: adventures of a Spirit-inspired community
  • 1 Samuel
  • Fate and free will in Mark’s Gospel
  • In truth and love: 2 John and 3 John
  • Unsung heroes of the Old Testament
  • Zechariah: rebuilding, God’s way

So as can be seen that is a nice variety of passages and themes. I was particularly impressed that 2 John and 3 John were featured in this edition. I suspect most Christians have not heard a sermon preached from either of those two short letters let along studied them in their daily readings!

If you are interested in using New Daylight then more details can be found on their website. https://www.biblereadingnotes.org.uk/new-daylight/