July 20

Read Proverbs 1 -- 3

Our loving Heavenly Father, who would lead us to 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; Yes, if you cry out for knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding; If you seek wisdom as (you would) silver, and search for wisdom as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2:1-5). 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 guide 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 Paul to write: Be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good 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 and junior high, followed by four years of high school. But 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 (II Timothy 2:15). How few ever pray for spiritual achievements that they may accomplish the purpose for which God created them. The discerning Christians will put their goals in line with God's purposes and seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33) and make any 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 by which worldly success is pursued should also apply to a Christian's desire for achievments of eternal value.

One of the most sobering thoughts to remember 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 . . . and established the heavens (Proverbs 3:19). In Christ all things were created (Colossians 1:16; Ephesians 3:9; Hebrews 1:2-3).

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

Prayer:

Government Officials: Sen. Larry Craig (ID) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (MD) · BPM Staff: Clarence Rathbone · Pray for The Spoken Word of God Ministries and Jack Turney · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in memory of Wade J. Duke, Jr. · Country: Russia (150 million) northeastern Europe and northern Asia · Major language: Russian · Religious freedom · 55% Russian/Armenian/Georgian/Old Believers Orthodox; 9% Muslim; .8% Shamanist/animist; .7% Protestant; .6% Buddhist; .5% Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice that our Savior was born (Luke 2:11).

Optional Reading: Titus 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:162,167