July 20

Read Proverbs 1 -- 3

In Today's Reading:

Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom; necessity of searching for wisdom; importance of trusting in the Lord.

Verses for Today:

If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her (wisdom) as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God (2:3-5).

Our loving Heavenly Father, Who desires that you have the best in life, has said: Receive My words, and hide (take to heart) My Commandments with [you]; So that [you] incline [your] ear to wisdom, and apply [your] heart to understanding (Proverbs 2:1-2). We are urged to receive . . . incline . . . apply . . . cry after . . . lift up our voice . . . seek . . . search for [wisdom] as (you would) for [hidden] treasures. This means a lifetime of earnest, daily, progressive, spiritual effort.

God is saying: "Take My Word seriously," for it alone can provide you with true spiritual wisdom that will enlighten you to understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; [yes], every good path. When wisdom [enters] into [your] heart, and knowledge is pleasant [to your] soul; Discretion shall preserve [you], understanding shall keep [you] (2:9-11).

As we read His Word, we are in direct and intimate touch with God's wisdom and power which alone are able to transform our minds and keep us from evil. The Holy Spirit led the Apostle Paul to write: Be . . . transformed by the renewing of your mind, that [you] may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2).

Strange, isn't it, how much secular education and preparation we believe are essential for our brief earthly lifetime -- eight years, day after day, in grade school, followed by four years of high school. But, for most people, that is not sufficient to reach life's goals. Most believe four years of college are still needed and yet another four years or more for those who desire to be skilled in science, medicine, or other technical fields. In contrast, some Christians spend little or no time reading the Bible, even though the Apostle Paul urged: Study to [show yourself] approved unto God, a workman that [needs] not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15). How few ever pray for spiritual achievements that they may accomplish the purpose for which God created them. Discerning Christians will put their priorities in line with God's purposes and seek . . . first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). They will make all secular goals secondary. For our conversation (citizenship) is in Heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20).

The choice of whom we will serve is of utmost importance, for it affects everything else in life. The intense energy spent in pursuit of worldly success should also apply to a Christian's desire for achievements of eternal value.

One of the most sobering facts is that the Son of Man shall (soon) come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works (Matthew 16:27).

Christ Revealed:

As the Creator Who founded the earth . . . He established the heavens (Proverbs 3:19). All things were created by Him, and for Him (Colossians 1:16; Ephesians 3:9; Hebrews 1:2-3).

Word Studies:

1:4 give subtilty to the simple = impart insight to the teachable; 1:11 lurk privily for = ambush; 1:28 early = diligently; 2:1 hide . . . with thee = receive and treasure in your heart; 2:7 buckler = a shield used in hand-to-hand combat; 2:12 froward = wrongful and false; 2:16 strange woman = adulteress; 3:26 thy foot from being taken = your life from all danger.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Sen. Larry Craig (ID) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (MD) · Pray for the President · Country: Myanmar (formerly Burma) (48 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Burmese and ethnic languages · Limited religious freedom · 87% Buddhist; 5% Protestant; 4% Muslim; 3% spirit worship, Hindu, and other Asian religions; 1% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: If the words of God abide in you, whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive (John 15:7).

Optional Reading: Titus 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 3:10