Morning Bible Study
Our landlords, the Lutheran
church known as Friends in Christ is going to be merging with another Lutheran
church known as Searchlight. The new entity will be called “Searchlight”, and
they will have their services at 8:30am and 10:00am.
This will take place next week, December 3.
There will be some impact on our usage of rooms, and on the parking lot,
but I want to encourage you to be flexible and welcome this new flock to the
The book of Proverbs is all about wisdom.
Wisdom is not about knowing facts.
Wisdom is about knowing what to do with what you know.
Wisdom is knowing when to do it.
Wisdom is knowing how to do it.
Proverbs are sayings, typically short, that give wisdom and insight into
They are intended to help you lead a better life.
They are not absolute promises, as in “if you do x,y, and z your life will
They are general principles – that if you do them your life will be
generally better than if you didn’t do them.
:1 The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her
:1 The wise woman builds her house
This isn’t talking about construction practices, but family life.
Build up or tear down?
How do you influence those around you, especially your family?
Moms (and Dads), you have a choice as to how you will affect your family.
Are you building them up or tearing them down?
Wallace is a pastor’s wife and
mother. She writes,
I hear it all the time. Most often it’s when I’m waiting in line at the
grocery store. I listen to the responses of the mamas in front of me. The
overly chipper Trader Joe’s cashier will kindly ask, “How are you doing ma’am?”
The mama replies, “Fine, I’m tired. These kids are driving me crazy.” The look
on her face says it all. “I’m exhausted. I’m spent. I’m weary. And I don’t want
to answer your questions right now. I feel frustrated, angry, and I just wanna
get out of here.”
Meg also writes,
I was talking with a woman a few months ago who was sharing with me her
plans for their summer break. She told me of all the activities she was going
to put her girls into. From camps, to classes, to lessons, to sports, to
VBS…overnight play dates, a trip to Grandmas and babysitters lined up for the
I must have had a shocked expression on my face because she stopped and
then said with a little laugh and an obvious edge of contempt, “I think I’m a
50% kind of mom. I honestly don’t like my kids. I try to sign them up for as
much as I can because I just don’t want to be around them.”
Some parents will take it to an even uglier level…
Meg Wallace writes about the danger of developing hardness of heart when it
comes to your kids. A hard heart
-believing that being short tempered and easily angered is just a normal
‘mom-thing’ and excusing it because everyone else does it too.
-tearing your kids down with words.
-demanding your kids be perfect because their obedience directly correlates
to your identity.
-thinking more of what you deserve instead of what you can give.
-treating your kids as though they are in the way and making sure they know
there are far more important things you could/should be doing.
How do you build up your family?
(Jude 20–21 NKJV)
—20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith,
praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our
Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
It starts with…
Learn to pray every day for your spouse and your kids.
Keep yourself in the center of God’s love.
If you are swimming in God’s love for you, you will do a
better job of loving others.
:2 He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him.
:3 In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the
wise will preserve them.
:4 Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; But much increase comes
by the strength of an ox.
:4 Where no oxen are, the trough is clean
(Proverbs 14:4 NLT)
oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.
The ox was one of the chief working animals – the tractor of the ancient
world. But an ox also made a mess in its stall.
You can live your life in such a way that you always “play it safe” and you
never get messy.
But you will probably also miss out on a lot of life.
Raising kids can be kind of messy.
Yet raising kids can bring a great blessing.
Are you willing to put up with a little bit of mess in order to produce a
Some of us can be a little OCD when it comes to messes. We will do anything to avoid having a mess on
The issue is, are you willing to look at what you might gain if you allowed
some of the mess into your life?
:5 A faithful witness does not lie, But a false witness will utter lies.
:5 A faithful witness does not lie
When you’re trying to figure out whether to believe someone, it’s not bad
thing to consider the pattern of their life.
If this is a person who tends to lie or “fudge” with the truth from time to
time, it should give you pause before you believe something important from
If you are a person who doesn’t fudge on the truth when it’s convenient, you’ll
find it easier for others to believe you.
:6 A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, But knowledge is
easy to him who understands.
:7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive in
him the lips of knowledge.
:8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, But the folly
of fools is deceit.
(Proverbs 14:8 NLT)
prudent understand where they are going, but fools deceive themselves.
It’s wise to think about the consequence of your actions before you take
:9 Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is favor.
:9 Fools mock at sin
sin – ‘asham – guilt, sin,
trespass or sin offering
This might describe the kind of sacrifice you’d bring to God to make things
right with Him.
HCSB) Fools mock at making restitution, but there is goodwill among the upright.
Make it right
Some people have the idea that we Christians believe that all we need to do
when we sin is to confess our sin to God, and everything moves along as normal.
That’s not quite true.
The problem comes when our sin affects other people.
You can confess your sin to God and find forgiveness from Him, but you
still need to make things right with the other person, especially if you want
to find “favor” with them.
Some Christians are downright obnoxious in their behavior towards others,
thinking they don’t owe anybody anything.
Yet when Zacchaeus the evil tax collector met Jesus, he made changes that
meant making things right with others.
(Luke 19:8 NLT)… Zacchaeus
stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord,
and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times
The Corinthian church had made some big mistakes. They were rebuked by the apostle Paul
himself. They responded to Paul’s harsh
words by making things right.
(2 Corinthians 7:11
NLT) Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness,
such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to
see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you
have done everything necessary to make things right.
:10 The heart knows its own bitterness, And a stranger does not share its
:10 The heart knows its own bitterness
Even though we ought to be compassionate and understanding towards each
other, the truth is that no one really knows what you are going through.
Be careful when you say to someone, “I know exactly what you’re going
It’s okay to say, “I’ve been through something similar…”, but it’s quite
bitter to have someone say they know what you’re going through and then give
Here’s a slightly different take on this verse:
(Proverbs 14:10 The
Message) The person who shuns the bitter moments of friends will be an
outsider at their celebrations.
:11 The house of the wicked will be overthrown, But the tent of the upright
:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is
the way of death.
:12 There is a way that seems right to a man
What seems right
Some things can look good to the eyes, but will cause nothing but trouble.
When it comes to the most important thing in life, salvation, there is a
way that seems right, but is most definitely wrong.
7:13–14 NLT) —13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The
highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that
way. 14 But the
gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever
If you were to ask the ordinary person on the street what they thought it
would take to get to heaven, most would say something about being “good enough”
My friend, there is only one way that you and I are ever going to be “good
enough” for heaven, and that’s when we learn to trust our lives to Jesus and allow
Him to be “good enough” for us.
(2 Corinthians 5:21
NLT) For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our
sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
:13 Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, And the end of mirth may be
:13 Even in laughter the heart may sorrow
This makes me think of the tragedy of many of the great comedians like
Robin Williams, who have been very troubled people but learned to mask their
troubles with being funny.
:14 The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good
man will be satisfied from above.
:15 The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his
:15 The simple believes every word
Use your head
(Proverbs 14:15 The
Message) The gullible believe anything they’re told; the prudent
sift and weigh every word.
Some people seem to be willing to believe just about anything.
The last few days there’s
been a news item about a fellow who is planning to launch himself in a
homemade rocket to prove to the world that the earth is flat. Wow.
I guess it’s because we place such an emphasis on “faith”, but it seems to
me that Christians are some of the most gullible people on the planet.
I don’t think God wants you to “believe” everything you hear.
He wants us to test things and make sure they are true.
This is part of the great value of a trip to Israel (nine
pics, ending with Gethsemane), where you start catching a glimpse of the fact
that the Bible is talking about real people, real places, doing real things.
God wants you to use your brain.
After Paul was kicked out of Thessalonica, he traveled to Berea.
17:11 NKJV) These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that
they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to
find out whether these things were so.
:16 A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is
:17 A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of wicked
intentions is hated.
:18 The simple inherit folly, But the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
:19 The evil will bow before the good, And the wicked at the gates of the
:20 The poor man is hated even by his own neighbor, But the rich has
This is a simple statement of fact.
When a poor person wins the Lottery, they have friends coming out of the
woodwork they never knew they had.
:21 He who despises his neighbor sins; But he who has mercy on the poor,
happy is he.
You can be a “friend” to a wealthy person (v.20), but you will find
happiness by being merciful to the poor.
:22 Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong
to those who devise good.
:23 In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to
:24 The crown of the wise is their riches, But the foolishness of
fools is folly.
:25 A true witness delivers souls, But a deceitful witness speaks
We talked back in verse 5 about the importance of whether a person is
consistently telling the truth or not.
:26 In the fear of the Lord there
is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge.
:26 the fear of the Lord
A healthy respect for God.
:27 The fear of the Lord is
a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.
:28 In a multitude of people is a king’s honor, But in the lack of
people is the downfall of a prince.
:29 He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who
is impulsive exalts folly.
:30 A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness
to the bones.
:30 A sound heart is life to the body
(Proverbs 14:30 The
Message) A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones.
Oncologists will tell you today how important your emotional state is to
your cancer prognosis.
:31 He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him
has mercy on the needy.
:31 reproaches his Maker
God is the Maker of all men.
We honor our Maker by showing mercy to His creation.
:32 The wicked is banished in his wickedness, But the righteous has a
refuge in his death.
:33 Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding, But what is
in the heart of fools is made known.
:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any
:35 The king’s favor is toward a wise servant, But his wrath is
against him who causes shame.
:34 Righteousness exalts a nation
Making America Great
Does the phrase, “Make America Great Again” sound familiar?
Just what would make America great again?
Would it be a stronger military?
Would it be a stronger economy?
In God’s eyes, the only thing that makes a nation “great” is righteousness.
We need to once again learn to walk in the ways of God.
I don’t think that will come from electing leaders who
will enact laws to force people to change.
It will only come when we as individuals turn our hearts
back to God, and He helps us turn our society back towards His path.
It starts on the inside, in our hearts.
I find it fascinating that for the moment our media seems intent on
exposing sexual abuse.
I found an
article yesterday by USA Today titled, “Weinstein aftermath: All the men accused of sexual misconduct”.
It listed 49 men who have been accused in the last month,
all leaders in government or the entertainment industry.
I find it extremely ironic coming from the media, which
continues to produce TV and movies that glorify sexual misconduct.
Paul saw something in the Roman world that resulted from men turning away
NLT) —28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them
to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives
became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder,
quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are
backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new
ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break
their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know
God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they
do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.
We have lost our way as a nation, but there’s a way back.
God told Solomon:
Chronicles 7:14 NKJV) if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and
pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from
heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
It starts with us, as God’s people, to make sure that we
have humbled ourselves and are following after God.
We lead the way.