August 31 / Proverbs 31 / Luke 18


Proverbs 31:25

Strength and honor are her clothing; she laughs at the future.

We know the future brings uncertainty, difficulties, and obstacles, yet this woman is so confident in her wisdom (implying a relationship with YHWH), that she is able to laugh without fear at it.

She is ready because she has rooted herself in what is good and lasting.

As Psalm 1 tells us, spiritual development and freedom come from journeying on the right path (a long obedience in the same direction), and being rooted in God as our source of energy and the good ways He has gifted us indicating how we may rightfully navigate reality in our real lives now, day to day.

*Interesting note, I just read that Psalm 112 is the male counterpart to this poem of Proverbs 31:10-31. Never knew that.

Luke 18:1-8

The parable of the persistent widow.

Will the Son of Man find faith on earth?

Jesus tells His disciples to not lose heart no matter how things look, no matter how long justice seems to take according to our finite minds.

Will you stay faithful to YHWH and anticipate His justice despite great injustice such as this Isis evil?  Will you remain true to the end, believing in the second coming and new heavens and earth?

We don’t talk of this as much these days it seems, but this is what Jesus appears to be indicating here–to be faithful and persistent to the one true good God in the face of what is so horrible and seemingly never ending. Do not grow weary in doing good or in prayer. The importance of prayer is stressed in this passage by Jesus Himself. Persistent prayer is powerful in ways we probably don’t even know, not least of which is the changing of our own hearts.

I believe so much of Scripture is about trusting God no matter what. Trust in the midst of whatever is going on, good or bad, is key to living the Christian life. Trust implies that you are acknowledging God’s presence and care. He is for us, no matter how dark it appears.

Will He find us faithful until He returns?

Followers and Desire

Followers want change only when they aren’t happy and usually when it doesn’t require much risk or sacrifice on their part.  A leader seldom marshals troops who are willing to sweat, let alone die.  One can speak of vision and mission, calling and opportunity until the cows come home, but when the day ends, most people want nothing more demanding than some television and a few uncomplicated laughs.

-Dan Allender

Leadership That Mimics Jesus

Don’t miss this:  leadership that mimics Jesus will not be normal.  It will be neither expected nor, in most cases, preferred.  It will be disruptive and anomalous, and it will demand one’s body and soul, fortune, reputation, and all the other small gods that keep our lives safe and satisfied.  Here is God’s leadership model:  he chooses fools to live foolishly in order to reveal the economy of heaven, which reverses and inverts the wisdom of this world.  He calls us to brokenness, not performance; to relationships, not commotion; to grace, not success.

-Dan Allender

Leaders and Storytelling

God calls leaders to tell a story of redemption through their lives as they lead others in the redeeming story of God.  Leaders are primarily storytellers and story makers; and troubled people are called to be leaders because they create and tell compelling stories.  Sane, reasonable, play-it-safe people are not sufficiently engaged in life to generate great stories.  Instead, they sit back and wait for a leader-storyteller to come along and get them caught up in a life worth living.

-Dan Allender

August 30 / Proverbs 30 / Luke 17


Proverbs 30:8-9

Perhaps I don’t have more than I do (in any sense) because YHWH, in His wisdom, knows I would be drawn away from Him.
Perhaps I need to shed some of what I already have so as to be more easily focused on Him and not distracted.
So much to keep up with, He gets crowded out.
It should be the other way around.
Being so consumed with YHWH, other stuff gets crowded out as it is seen for what it is, in proper perspective.
Created things pale in comparison to their Creator.

Luke 17:21
The Kingdom of God quietly manifests itself within those who accept Jesus’ claims of what is truth and who do His will.
The power is within you, waiting for you to tune in to it.
“A Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him” because he is so wired in.


August 29 / Proverbs 29 / Luke 16


Proverbs 29:23

The arrogance of people causes them to fall; but a lowly spirit holds glory tight.

Humility is valuable for the wisdom enterprise because it depends on a teachable spirit. Wisdom is not a natural trait that needs to be preserved in a human. Folly is natural; wisdom must be inculcated. To do so, people need to be open to criticism of their words and behavior. They hear and change. On the other hand, because of pride fools will resist criticism, even mocking those who try to help them in this way. The results are clear. The proud are doomed to repeat their mistakes and end up falling, while the humble will gain glory.

-Tremper Longman III

Proverbs 29:25

Anxiety about people is a trap, but those who trust Yahweh are protected.

Those who trust in YHWH have nothing to fear from any person.

Perfect love casts out fear. 

Don’t fear those who can only kill the body, but Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell.

One who fears God does not fear human beings. Do we really fear God? Or is it a mental concept only?

Sometimes I wonder if, in our Western Christianity, we fear death too much. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Perhaps this is not real to us. Perhaps deep down, we do think that this life is all there is.

In God I trust. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? [Ps.56:11]

Anxiety about people is a trap that even the most religious can fall into, and it is a hard one to get out of.

Luke 16:1-13

The parable of the unfaithful, but clever steward.

The moral of this story seems to be to use our possessions to serve people and further God’s kingdom rather than simply accommodate ourselves and make our lives more and more comfortable.

We are only God’s managers of anything we have.

August 28 / Proverbs 28 / Luke 15

comforting lies line

Proverbs 28:23

Those who correct others will later be liked more than those who give false praise. 

If we love someone, we will correct them from a destructive path.
If someone is in a building we know is getting ready to collapse,
we don’t care what they think of us, we just care that they get the
hell out of there.
Too many times we are afraid not to offend, or that someone
won’t be happy with us or what we have to say..this results in
the travesty of precious people living life unchallenged, therefore
not growing, and staying on their path that leads to inevitable
destruction of their lives and many times lives around them.
To flatter and say everything is ok when it is not, this is not ok.
If we care about someone, we will gently, lovingly correct them.
Not correcting them shows we don’t really care about them,
for we care more about protecting ourselves & what they think of
us than helping them to life abundant.

Luke 15:31
“My son, you are always with me, everything I have is yours.”
Do I love God, or His gifts more?
Is He enough for me, truly?
My dad would say to me, “Rob, if you need more than Jesus to be happy, then something is wrong.”
All 7 billion of us are infinitely loved, unconditionally…God loves none of them more than me, or less than me.
Asking why someone has something I don’t is not trusting YHWH as ultimately wise & loving.
Asking “Why me?” is setting foot on a very dangerous and pointless path to uber unhappiness.


August 27 / Proverbs 27 / Luke 14


Proverbs 27:2

Don’t praise yourself. Let someone else do it. Let the praise come from a stranger and not your own mouth. [NCV]

Don’t sing your own praises. Let someone else do that for you.

Performing for an audience of One, you won’t feel any need to talk about how awesome you are.

It’s interesting that this proverbs tells us to let a “stranger” praise us. I wonder if its implication is that this is usually true, unbiased praise as opposed to just your mom praising you because she will no matter how awful you are at something, be it basketball, info graphics, or relating to people. Or someone who wants you to be their friend so desperately that they don’t have the cullions to be honest with you when you don’t really deserve praise for something.

Proverbs 27:3

Stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a complaining fool is worse than either.

This is so true…a person living foolishly, with no reverential awe for God, who complains about their life is about the most annoying thing in the world. It can really wear you down and be life-stealing.

Luke 14:34-35

Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand! [NLT]

Unsalty salt is as pointless as a disciple who does not live as a disciple.

Are you affecting others for the kingdom of God in some way, or keeping it all to yourself?

You either live as tho Jesus is Lord of your life, or as tho YOU are lord of your life.

August 26 / Proverbs 26 / Luke 13

lion in the street

Proverbs 26:13

The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion in the road! Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there!”

As laziness grows and grows, so do the excuses. We say the most ridiculous things to get out of hard work…

“I heard some zoo animals escaped and there may be one in my area. Better I stay home and be safe all day than take a chance and go to work.”

Which is about as asinine as, “I don’t have time, really, to spend with God.” HAHAHAHAHA! I mean what else is even close to as important as spending time with the Creator and Sustainer of your very life? We have all the time we could want, we just fill it with fatuity.

In my own modern, culturally sensitive translation of Proverbs 26:13, it would read:

The lazy person postulates, “I have 4 more seasons of this series on Netflix to get thru this week! How can I possibly squeeze God and His work in anywhere?”

Remember, whenever we say we don’t have time for something, what we are really saying is, “I value something else more.”

What do you value more than time with God?

For a while for me, it was going to the gym. That is a good thing, but I have found time spent alone with God is much more enriching. [Not that God is not with me at the gym of course, but it’s a matter of focus and available faculties, mind you]

Luke 13:22-30

The Narrow Door.

narrow gate

What an intense and sobering section of Scripture.

Do you know Jesus, or just know of Him?

Is it a superficial fascination, even admiration, or sincere submission to Him and His ways?

These are some of the most jugular questions of life we can possibly ask ourselves.