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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Paycheck to Paycheck

The laborer’s appetite works for him; his hunger drives him on. Proverbs 16:25

Fortunately we live in a culture where, as a whole, we haven’t known much hunger. In fact, the opposite is true. We’ve had plenty. More than plenty. Again, I realize homelessness exists and there are people who hunger, but by and large we are a plentiful people.

Many, though, still know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck. I still remember it growing up and I think it’s in the back of my mind that it’s something I’d rather not return to. The same thing that drives the person I mentioned in the previous devotional may not be the same thing that drives someone who lives paycheck to paycheck. In fact, I would say they are very different motivating factors, as much as “getting by” and “having plenty” are opposites.

I think we need to be careful of our attitudes of those who are managing from paycheck to paycheck. It’s easy to conclude that perhaps they’re not working hard enough or are lazy. If the person is content in what he is doing, does it really matter what we think about them? Hardly. I only say that because I have been that person looking down at someone else.

The times we live in are troubled. Pray pray pray that the leaders throughout the country making decisions that could affect jobs do what’s best for the people and not their pockets.

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