Devotional Reading for March 28, 2023

Proverbs 13:16-17 “Every shrewd person acts with knowledge, but a fool displays his folly. An unreliable messenger falls into trouble, but a faithful envoy brings healing.”

The Hebrew word underlying “shrewd” means to be cunning or clever. If you gather wisdom and act on it then you’ll look smart. However, it’s very easy to tell when a person is unwilling to listen to good advice or act upon it. They do dumb things!

Imagine a ruler sends a message, only to have the wrong message arrive or to not have a message arrive at all. Disaster! A faithful messenger makes sure the correct message gets there, which is vital for the health and well being of the community. In our own lives it speaks to the importance of making sure we pass on correct information. It is also a reminder of the importance of being a faithful envoy for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! We need to live the way He wants us to live, and speak the truth He wants us to share.

Romans 10:14-15 “How are they to call on one they have not believed in? And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of? And how are they to hear without someone preaching to them? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How timely is the arrival of those who proclaim the good news.’”

Devotional Reading for March 27, 2023

Proverbs 13:14-15 “Instruction from the wise is like a life-giving fountain, to turn a person from deadly snares. Keen insight wins favor, but the conduct of the treacherous ends in destruction.”

When you give wise advice, people appreciate you. When you listen to good advice, it makes your life better. When you follow bad advice, watch out!

The Bible is our best source for wisdom:

2 Timothy 3:16 “Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.”

And Jesus is the true life giving fountain that we need to drink from!

John 4:13-14 “Jesus replied, ‘Everyone who drinks some of this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks some of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again, but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up to eternal life.’”

For worship:

Sermon outline for 3/26/23 (Radio broadcast 4/2/23) — “The Call to Wise Living”

“The Call to Wise Living”
Ephesians 5:15-21

I)  We need to live wisely because we are racing against the _____________

     A) We are to “______ up the time”

     B) Because the ________ is approaching

     C) And people so easily ________________

     D) So we need to live as ______________ as possible

II) Wise living means paying attention to ________ Word

     A) How do we know the _______ of God?

     B) Through the ___________!

III) Wise living means being _____________ by the Spirit

     A) __________ = controlled

     B) It’s a ______________

     C) It’s a _____________ process

     D) It’s different from the “____________” of the Spirit

     E) How do we display being ___________?

          1) By encouraging each other through 

          2) By expressing __________________

          3) By ______________ to one another

               a) In our general _____________

               b) By our willingness to ______________

Devotional Reading for March 26, 2023

Proverbs 13:12-13 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is like a tree of life. The one who despises instruction will pay the penalty, but whoever esteems direction will be rewarded.”

Hope is powerful. Hope makes is possible for us to carry on, even in difficult circumstances. Thank God that we have hope because of our relationship with Jesus Christ! We know that there is greater and better to come.

Ephesians 1:11-14 “In Christ we too have been claimed as God’s own possession, since we were predestined according to the one purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, would be to the praise of his glory. And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)—when you believed in Christ—you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.”

And the hope that we hold on to is given to us through the Word of God. Without the Word we wouldn’t know about Jesus. Without the Word we wouldn’t know the promise of our future inheritance. Without the Word we wouldn’t have hope! We need to read the Word. We need to love the Word. We need to obey the Word. Without it, we face despair and destruction.

Devotional Reading for March 25, 2023

Proverbs 13:10-11 “With pride comes only contention, but wisdom is with the well-advised. Wealth gained quickly will dwindle away, but the one who gathers it little by little will become rich.”

You’re smart if you listen to and are willing to take advice. You’re dumb if you don’t. And it’s worse than that. If you refuse to listen to others it often leads to discord and dissension.

How many lottery winners do you know that continue to grow a fortune and end up business tycoons? Most stories revolve around how a person won millions of dollars and ended up squandering it. Riches gained quickly are often lost, but money earned slowly can be easier to hold on to, most likely because of the work that went into gaining it!

Devotional Reading for March 24, 2023

Proverbs 13:8-9 “The ransom of a person’s life is his wealth, thus the poor person has never heard a threat. The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked goes out.”

There are some advantages to being poor – you’ll never have to worry about being kidnapped! The underlying idea is that rich people have problems too, sometimes even greater problems than the poor. Wealth doesn’t solve everything. That’s why righteousness is so important. When we have a right relationship with God it leads to wisdom, peace and joy. Wickedness leads to darkness, both literally (perhaps through idleness) and figuratively (because of the end result of refusing to follow God).

Ephesians 5:14 “Awake, O sleeper! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!”

Devotional Reading for March 23, 2023

Proverbs 13:6-7 “Righteousness guards the one who lives with integrity, but wickedness overthrows the sinner. There is one who pretends to be rich and yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor and yet possesses great wealth.”

Poor and rich is about more than money. Spiritual wealth is much more important than material possessions, and spiritual riches start with a relationship with Jesus Christ!

Revelation 3:17 “You say, ‘I am rich and have acquired great wealth, and need nothing,’ but do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked…”

Jeremiah 9:23-24 “The LORD says, ‘Wise people should not boast that they are wise. Powerful people should not boast that they are powerful. Rich people should not boast that they are rich. If people want to boast, they should boast about this: They should boast that they understand and know me. They should boast that they know and understand that I, the LORD, act out of faithfulness, fairness, and justice in the earth and that I desire people to do these things,’ says the LORD.”

Trusting in riches is a form of wickedness and it leads to sin, while living with integrity and trusting and following God brings righteousness.

Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Devotional Reading for March 22, 2023

Proverbs 13:4-5 “The appetite of the sluggard craves but gets nothing, but the desire of the diligent will be abundantly satisfied. The righteous person will reject anything false, but the wicked person will act in shameful disgrace.”

It doesn’t matter how much you want something if you aren’t willing to work for it! Unfortunately, your desire could drive you to do something wrong or illegal, which means that you may get rewarded initially, but you will end up a “shameful disgrace” with nothing to show for it. The diligent get what they desire because they are willing to work for it, and they don’t engage in anything “false” to get it.

Devotional Reading for March 21, 2023

Proverbs 13:2-3 “From the fruit of his speech a person eats good things, but the treacherous desire the fruit of violence. The one who guards his words guards his life; whoever is talkative will come to ruin.”

What comes out of your mouth comes from within. Good begets good. A good heart brings forth good speech which brings good outcomes. A bad heart brings forth bad speech and brings rotten results. And sometimes the smartest thing to do is to keep your mouth shut! A wise person knows when to speak and when not to, thereby bringing life and not ruin.

Devotional Reading for March 20, 2023

Proverbs 12:28-13:1 “In the path of righteousness there is life, but another path leads to death. A wise son accepts his father’s discipline, but a scoffer has never listened to rebuke.”

Once again we can see an earthly as well as a spiritual application here. Do good, stay out of trouble, and you have a better life! Do bad, get in trouble, and serious enough trouble leads to death. But the “path of righteousness” should remind us of Jesus, who died on the cross so that He could be our righteousness and we could have spiritual life through Him!

Romans 3:20-24 “For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (although it is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed—namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

A wise child will understand the practical and spiritual warnings that come from physical or spiritual parents, and pay attention. A foolish child refuses to listen and makes fun of godly wisdom.