Proverbs 13 – August 13

CC Image courtesy of FreddieBrown on Flickr.

CC Image courtesy of FreddieBrown on Flickr.

Proverbs 13
Author: Gary Evans

After college graduation, our daughter Rebecca spent over a year with a mission team in Uganda, Africa. Within a short time of her return to the U.S., she observed sadly one day that our lives here are so full of “clutter” and lived at such a hectic pace. She stated, “No wonder we cannot be still and know God—-we cannot even be still.”

Among other gems, the blessing of discipline is found throughout this chapter—whether it be the tongue, our lives, or our money.

Verse 3 admonishes this way: “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin. Though in a later chapter (17:28), I smile when I read, “Even a fool is thought to be wise if he keeps silent.” I believe discipline begins with our tongue. If our words are reckless, bitter, and cutting (always looking for an opportunity to put someone down thinking it lifts us up), there is no way Jesus can live in our hearts. Remember, what comes from our mouths originates in the heart/mind.

For some of us just being still with a spirit of quietness (and being silent), is a challenge (I know); and we must draw on the power of the Holy Spirit to help us.

Spend one day a month, then two, then one per week, then daily meditating on words from a Psalm or Proverb or Jesus in quietness and solitude. If you will do this consistently (begin with only 5 minutes), you will find that other areas of your life begin to refocus and become more disciplined and your days more fulfilling.

May God bless you as you allow Him to calm your spirit and fill your life with more discipline, purpose, and hope.

Proverbs 16 – June 16

CC Image courtesy of portukcan on Flickr.

CC Image courtesy of portukcan on Flickr.

Proverbs 16
Author: Gary Evans

Proverbs 16 continually draws us back to the fact that God’s ways are always right for us—in spite of our “best” (or “worst”) efforts to direct our own paths.

A favorite for me in this chapter is verse 24 (ESV): “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”

In life it seems so much easier to be negative and to continually find fault in others or in the events around us; yet we, as Christians, should be the most gracious, kind, thankful, and optimistic people on this planet. Even though we are just “passing through,” we are to be ambassadors of Jesus that “live life more abundantly.”

Jesus healed ten men of leprosy in Luke 17, but only one returned to thank and praise him. Could that be similar to the percentage of us today that are truly thankful (and express it)?

Gratitude is a choice that we make, and is not based on our circumstances or status in life. It is also inherent in almost all of the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23 (read it).

May we be more gracious (and grateful) daily so that others may see our attitudes and actions and glorify our Father—and find sweetness to their souls and health to their bodies!