That’s Grace

A wise servant will rule over a disgraceful son, and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers. Proverbs 17:2

This verse seems to fit in with the previous verse of “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.” Parents the world over know the heartaches that their children can bring them. In the end, though, the children will get the inheritance if any exists.

While we may shake our heads at the unfairness of those types of children, think of our own spiritual lives. We do things regularly that must give God heartache, so to speak (and we have a Perfect Father). But in the end if we have trusted in Christ, we will share in the inheritance.

Unfair, you say? No, that’s God’s perfect grace.

No Worries

Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife. Proverbs 17:1

There is something great about peace, isn’t there? There are no worries, no cares, no stress. All is well.

On the other hand, strife can be very stressful and injurious to your spirit. It causes heartache, ulcers, and lots of gray hair.

Peace is definitely underrated.

Romans 12:18 guides us, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

Rolling the Dice

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. Proverbs 16:33

Is there any thing as “chance?” In the Bible there are two instances I know of that involved “chance.” The first was when they cast lots for Jesus’ clothing while He was on the cross. The second is when the Apostles had to choose another Apostle.

What did the guard really win when he cast lots for Christ’s clothing? It’s an interesting detail in the Bible but we can’t conclude much from it.

The other incident is more instructive to us. They prayed, cast lots, and chose the man. Nobody doubts that it was God who chose Matthias. Yes, he can rig dice (or whatever they used) anyway He wants.

The overall take-away from this is that God is in control of everything. The dice. My life. Your life. Our decisions.

Everything.

It’s Time

Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city. Proverbs 16:32

There’s a scene in the movie ‘Winchester ’73’ that amplifies this verse. Jimmy Stewart is patient as his sons want to go to battle to defend honor and family. Several times they come to him and he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it. When one of his children is wounded, he remarks, “it’s time.” That’s all it took was for one of his own to be injured.

In our lives we see wars and rumors of war daily. Many believe the United States’ excursion into Libya is one of those impulsive actions, a time when impatience won out over patience.

Pray for your leaders today that they would make right and God-fearing decisions. Yes, it’s time.

The Elderly

Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31

As our societies become faster paced and task oriented, one segment of society often gets overlooked: the elderly. Our nursing homes are filled with elderly who are forgotten and neglected. Relatives leave their parents in those homes to die.

As you start your day, thank God for the warriors of old, those who prayed you into the Kingdom, those who fought the good fight to pave our way. We are in desperate need of those who will stand up against the sin and degradation of the world. Our elderly showed us the way; it’s our turn to pick up the mantle.

Violent Men

A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good. Proverbs 16:29

Each of us have known angry and bitter people (which often leads to violence). Even on their best days, they can be influential. The Bible warns us against being enticed by them. They bring you down and incite you towards doing no good.

Part of the wisdom that God provides is knowing who these people are and avoiding them completely. It is very difficult to dissuade violent people so it’s best to steer clear of them. Pray that God will help you with that discernment.

The Subtle Tongue

A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends. Proverbs 16:28

The tongue is a slippery thing to control. All of us know the damage it can have on us and on relationships especially when we begin talking about others. I go back to a little poem/song I learned growing up:

Don’t believe anything you hear
And only half of what your eyes behold.
If you can’t say something good about someone
Don’t say nothing at all.

Interesting, too, is when people say, “I’d say this about him if he were around.” The problem with that is “he” isn’t around, so why say it? Even if “he” was around, is it the right thing to say?

Today, as you consider the tongue, pray that God will continue to help you use it for His glory.

Stand Fast and Pray

A scoundrel plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. Proverbs 16:27

In conjunction with yesterday’s verse, as we progress more and more into a terrorist-filled world, we need to stand up and pray against those who plot this evil.
Pray that the minds of those who hear them will not hear what the leaders says but something completely different.
Pray that God will confuse the minds of his followers so there is disorganization and distrust even among the evil.

And as you consider the implications of terror and evil in this world, cling to this one truth, God is in control.

When all else is deteriorating and being destroyed around you, God is still in control of the Universe.

The Scorching Fire of Evil

A scoundrel plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. Proverbs 16:27

As I write this, many in the press and online world are still talking about the death of Osama bin Laden. Here is a man who plotted and carried out destruction. He was an evil man. Evil things came out of his lips and he inspired fear and hatred wherever he went. We are still putting out those fires today.

The death and fear he had over people cannot be overstated. Today, as you hear the name Osama bin Laden, pray for his victims, many of them Christians in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pray that many will turn to Christ and that those who Believe will have boldness in the face of life altering disabilities. Pray that God will be glorified despite what one man and his minions wreaked on this earth.