Highlights In Today's Reading:
We see the benefit of integrity and having a good reputation. Warning is given against alcoholic drink and its subtle addiction that leads to destruction before we realize it. Then how should we treat the less fortunate and our children? Chapter 22 is unique in that the writer gives us 'thirty sayings of the wise'.
Everyone despises a liar and a thief (except for liars and thieves): The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets (22:13). His lion is an "excuse" and a lie for not wanting to work. Such a lie is common, but just as sinful. A child makes "excuses" for disobedience to his parents but he had other plans; an apprentice has an excuse for inattention; an unsuccessful salesman has excuses for no sales but he didn't make the calls. A husband makes excuses for being late coming home by saying he had to work overtime when he decided to play a game of pool. Even pastors have certain members who say they missed worship service because they were "sick" when really they were fishing.
Truthfulness and obedience are keys to pleasing God and are essential if one is to know the will of God. Jesus promised His disciples: When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth (John 16:13). In His High Priestly Prayer, on the night He was betrayed, Jesus prayed for you and me as He prayed to His Heavenly Father: Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them . . . that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me (17:20-23).
The true disciple is never satisfied with mere knowledge of the Gospel, but he is a doer of the Word, and not a hearer only (James 1:22-25). And, in this new life of spiritual freedom, disciples go forth to witness for Christ and spread the Word which has brought salvation and true joy to themselves. As the Body of Christ, they are willing to respond in every sphere of work in the service of the Church, by the bedside of the sick, caring for the poor, and seeking to bring the wanderers back to the fold. Even the weak in faith and babes in Christ witness to their joy as a new creature (II Cor. 5:17) in Christ, who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life (John 14:6). All who possess eternal life, find joy in expressing their love for their Lord and His Word.
If ye continue in My Word, then ye are My disciples indeed; And ye shall know The Truth, and The Truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32).
Thought for Today:
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16:11).
As the king who sits on the throne of judgment (Prov. 20:8). For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son (John 5:22).
20:10 divers weights, and divers measures = different weights and measures for selling and for buying; 20:19 meddle not = avoid, do not associate; 20:25 after vows to make inquiry = devote something to God, then change his mind; 21:7 robbery = violence; 21:9 brawling = contentious; 21:14 a reward in the bosom strong wrath = a secret present appeases anger; 22:2 meet together = have this in common; 22:26 Be not . . . sureties for debts = Do not assume responsibility for another's debt.
Pray for Country: Turkmenistan (4.8 million) southwestern central Asia • Major languages: Turkmen and Russian • Religious freedom • 89% Muslim (largely Sunni); 9% Eastern Orthodox; 2% Unknown/Other (Catholic, Protestant, Baha'i, Jehovah's Witness, Hare Krishna) • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to give you discernment and an understanding heart (I Kin. 3:9).
Optional Reading: Hebrews 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 9:37