September 30 / Proverbs 30-31


Proverbs 30:1-4

I am worn out, stupid, and have mastered nothing.

Why not then go to the one who is never tired, who possesses infinite wisdom, and is Master of the Universe? (not He-Man)

Proverbs 31:3

Do not waste your strength on women.



Think of how much strength, energy, and time they gave (wrongfully) to women that they could have devoted directly to YHWH. Sadly, they no doubt regretted their waste of energy at some point.

What do you give most of your strength to?

Be it your time, or your thoughts…?

September 29 / Proverbs 29


(not sure if the picture fits, but what a great quote!)

Proverbs 29:11

Fools vent their anger.

There’s quite a difference between seeking wise counsel, and merely venting. Venting serves self, to make self feel better, and do naturally what it feels like. Seeking counsel, seeking advice, however, is centered on the other person, on restoration.

Venting really just relives the negative. It recycles negative feelings and embeds further negative feelings toward someone.

Venting builds walls not bridges.

Of course we don’t keep things bottled up inside, waiting to explode. We release our negative feelings to God, who wants to hear from us, who can handle it, and who will direct us (if we listen) and give us peace. In holding nothing back in my conversations with God, I have found great healing. Also, a trusted person who knows you and is committed to keeping you from unproductive, toxic venting is good. A true friend will always hear you well and also guide you toward the path of peace. We must be heard, for sure, yet not allowed to stay in an unhealthy place.

Did you ever vent your frustration about someone (to a third party, not in the “ventee’s” presence) and afterward think more highly of them? Did you feel closer to that person? I sure don’t. I feel solidified in my demonizing of them. It deepens my ill thoughts of that person, justifies them even.

But seeking wise, godly counsel on restoration brings healing and more positive thoughts toward the person with whom you are frustrated. It moves you toward reconciliation. And is not this what  a follower of the loving Jesus would do?

We could significantly raise the level of Christian community if we simply refused to speak ill of anyone. This was one of A.W. Tozer’s agreements he had made with himself, to “never defame another Christian.” This is a pretty good covenant to make with oneself.

September 28 / Proverbs 28


Proverbs 28:23

In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery.

As you look back on your life, who is it that has helped sharpen you and mold you into a better person? Chances are it was not the person who always agreed with you and thought everything you did was awesome. It may very well have been someone a little harsher, but who wanted more for you than to let you sit around in complacency.

We don’t ever want to confuse encouragement with flattery. Encouragement is vital for survival in my book. Some who have been a great catalyst for growth for me have been those who did recognize something good in me and celebrated it. That is very hope-giving!

But flattery is quite different. Flattery comes from someone who does not seem to dig as deep or pay careful attention to you. Typically, they want something, whether it be a favor, or perhaps to divert your attention from something they want to hide. And it can be effective, right? Just tell me how awesome I am, and chances are I’ll get fixed on that pretty easily, missing the fact that you may be struggling with something destructive that you’d rather not talk about.

So beware of flattery.

Also, how much of Proverbs is about embracing criticism? It’s ubiquitous. If we can just get over our little selves, and accept criticism in order to improve, we’d grow so immensely in a relatively short period, if you ask me.

I’m working on putting aside that initial prideful reaction, and taking a look at what is being brought to light so that I may grow into more Christlikeness. Tho painful for a minute, it is very good and satisfying to grow as a human being, as a person God made to mature.

In the end, I don’t want flattery as much as I want growth in Christ. The fulfillment of growth toward God far outweighs the light momentary affliction of not feeling perfect.

Is it more important to you to become a stronger, more godly-minded person? Or is it more important to avoid pain and stay feeling good about where you are and where you stay?

how many obstacles to peace we construct for the sake of comfort and conformity.

-Laurence Freeman

September 27 / Proverbs 27 / John 21


Proverbs 27:5

A public correction is better than love that is hidden.

Sages do not fear correction; indeed, they hope for it. After all, how else can they improve? Otherwise, they would be doomed to repeat their past mistakes. In any case, the openness of the correction is helpful; an unexpressed correction would not be. One might expect that kind of parallelism, something along the lines of “a public correction is better than discipline that is hidden,” but the contrast is even stronger with the introduction of “love.” Love would bring discipline, so that is included here, but the repression of love would serve the object of affection no good purpose.

-Tremper Longman III

Proverbs 27:6

Bruises of a friend can be trusted, but the kisses of an enemy are dangerous.

I believe it is of utmost importance to have at least one spiritual partner who knows you inside and out, who can call you out to make you better.

Rebuke doesn’t feel good, but it is so good for shaping you into Jesus.

John 21:14

This was now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His followers after He was raised from the dead.

That line just really moves me. Think about that today…

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to YHWH..

and all the families of the nations shall worship before Him.

For dominion (the “kingdom”) belongs to YHWH..

and He rules over the nations.

-Psalm 22:27-28

September 26 / Proverbs 26 / John 20


Proverbs 26:16

The lazy person thinks he is wiser than seven people who give  sensible answers.

Chances are, if seven or more people are saying you’re a jackhole, then you’re probably a jackhole.

Let’s be honest, we’ve all been that guy or gal (I think we should bring the word “gal” back!) who’s been fired four times and blames all those “screwed-in-the-head bosses.”

Or dumped by a dozen “wenches” all for the exact same reason.

Hmmm, what’s the common thread?

Face it, we tend to be lazy and prideful, not wanting to see that the common thread is me nor out in the effort required to live at a higher level of living.

Proverbs 26:20

Think for two seconds what would happen if we all determined not to speak ill of anyone, ever.

John 20:8

He saw, and he believed.

There’s but one way for people to really change- to see the truth for what it is, and believe it. Then you live accordingly.

Trying hard to change behavior will never work long term. You must encounter Christ at your center. Living to please Him from your innermost depths makes the root of the tree good, and therefore its fruit. It cannot be the other way around.

It is God and His power, not us.

This reminds me of I Corinthians 2:1-5:

This is how it was for me too, my dear family. When I came to you, I didn’t come and proclaim God’s mystery to you by means of a superior style or speaking or wisdom.

No: I decided to know nothing in my dealings with you except Jesus the Messiah, especially His crucifixion.

I came to you in weakness, in great fear and trembling.

My speech and my proclamation were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in transparent proof brought home powerfully by the Spirit, so that your faith might not be in human wisdom but in God’s power.

September 25 / Proverbs 25 / John 19


Proverbs 25:4

Separate the dross from the silver, and a vessel will come out for refining.

Lead ore contained some silver, and to get it in pure form, it was necessary to heat it and melt off the lead oxide (dross).

So too, our lives must be heated in order to burn away the impurities. Those things which keep God from His rightful place on His throne in your heart.

Typically, our lives are heated thru some sort of suffering. Or perhaps an extraordinary event. And these can quickly melt away what is not needed for an abundant life.

But here in 2014 America, the big problem I see is that we have a thousand times more than we need, and in comparison to the rest of the world, we suffer very little. Did you know that if you make $32,400 a year that you are in the top 1% of the world? (After reading this the other day, I told our daughters that we are FILTHY rich!) Therefore we have very little felt need for God in our day to day lives. Everything is “pretty good.” This is perhaps the most dangerous place to be! For there is little to no hunger for God.

What if there’s no trauma, no extraordinary event, such as God writing your name in the sky or speaking to you audibly in the woods? Do we have to wait for suffering to sober up?

Well I believe the way then to “heat up” your life is simply to invest your time into God. For most of us modern Americans, we just need to give time to God, to soak in His presence, to meditate upon His word and memorize it, to converse with Him about everything, to be around people who love Him, who really love Him. Do this and then tell me it wasn’t worth it, that He did not meet your sincere, seeking heart. Tell me your life sucked more after seeking God in this manner, and I will say, “OK, go your own way.”

But I’m confident that this will not be the case. You will start to experience a life you may not have known existed, or forgot existed. Abundant life. Full life. Peaceful life. Higher consciousness and awareness of God in every moment. This I have personally witnessed in a few people over the past few years, and it is amazing–without traumatic or extraordinary events, even. Just investing your life in Jesus.

John 19:31

This day was Preparation Day, and the next day was a special Sabbath day. Since the religious leaders did not want the bodies to stay on the cross on the Sabbath day, they asked Pilate to order that the legs of the men be broken and the bodies be taken away.

True religion does not kill people. It does not emotionally break people’s legs. It’s main concern is not right, wrong, or ritual.

It’s main concern is showing people to God thru Jesus Christ in loving them with a pure heart. Leading them to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and rule and not your own.

True religion simply loves people, sacrificially, with no need of return favors, for its heart is already filled to overflowing with God’s perfect love. And it can’t help but to spill out onto others and indeed, the world.

September 24 / Proverbs 24 / John 18


Proverbs 24:16

The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.

Godly people don’t wallow in defeat, self-pity, self-loathing…lots of self-stuff. They get back up after every time they are knocked down.

That’s what we do.

Refuse to give in to the constant temptation to beat yourself up. That only comes from pride and self-love of your own self-centered demand for perfection.


And a way to actually refuse this is to converse with God candidly about it, holding nothing back. He wants to hear your cares, your pains, and take them. He desires to give you peace and heal your heart. But you need to be vulnerable with YHWH and actually allow Him in to the recesses of your heart. Let Him in to every room, not just the ones you’ve already cleaned up. He wants to help you clean up the messy ones.

If you have a messed up shoulder, you don’t go to the doctor’s office only to complain to the receptionist about how you keep doing stupid things to further intensify the pain of your injury, then go get back in your car and leave!

Why do we love complaining, wallowing, and not seek healing?

John 18:33-38

What is truth?

Pilate attempts to objectify truth, but Jesus does not allow it by His brilliant answers to questions with not mere objective answers, but rather invitations to new depths of understanding.

Truth is found within the person of God.

When people ask deep life questions, look to see why they are asking. Help them to see for themselves what they are really seeking. Lead them to the deeper truth of God Himself, never just a simple, objective answer.

God is truth. And truth sets you free.

Answers do not set you free, truth does. Perhaps that’s what we’re talking about here–the difference between truth and answers. Pilate’s questioning culminated in Jesus testifying, “Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”

People who are seeking answers to their questions typically are not seeking truth. It’s more of a trivia game. If you were told by someone who figured it out, the objective fact of why bad things happen to good people, would it truly change your heart and inspire you to give your every moment to Christ? Though it would be a really cool day (finally hearing the answer to this perennially asked question) it likely would not turn your heart around on account of the information alone. Knowing objective facts about someone is far different than knowing someone. Hearing about a person through someone else is not even close to the same as sitting with that person face to face. Knowing answers is an astronomical difference from relational experience–knowing truth.

But to know the truth is to be set free. Jesus showed us that God is truth. And to know something or someone, you must be in relationship with it or him or her. So “You shall know the truth. And the truth shall set you free” is to be in relationship of the deepest nature with God through Jesus. It is then, and probably only then, that you no longer need answers to all your questions, for you are now residing in a place of such deep trust, that many questions fade away into unimportantness, filed away in the category of “Don’t really need to know in order to know God.”

What is truth?

Truth is a Person.

Get to know the Truth.

Then you’ll have all the answers you want.

September 23 / Proverbs 23 / John 17


Proverbs 23:4-5

Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich; be wise enough to control yourself. Wealth can vanish in the wink of an eye. It can seem to grow wings and fly away like an eagle.

Know when to stop. To say, “Enough is enough.” Not only with regard to money, but also with regard to work. Money is fleeting, so why wear yourself out for it?

Sabbath. We all need sabbath rest. It was made for us. If you do not take a 24 hour period of rest every week, I promise you that you are not as at peace as you could be.

Seek first the kingdom of God, and all your needs will be met by your loving, heavenly Father. If we have food, clothing, and shelter, then we have quite enough to pursue the kingdom of God and its righteousness. Hell, many have not even had those basic needs for a period in their life and still pursued Christ!

As the book title goes: Jesus + Nothing = Everything

John 17:23

“They must be completely one, so that the world will know you sent me.” -Jesus the Messiah

Jesus Himself prayed for us.


We who are on earth right now, who are “His church” as we say.

We have one section of one chapter of the entire Bible where it is recorded that God’s chosen One actually prayed something specifically for those who would later believe the true message of His disciples.

So whatever He prayed and was recorded must be of vital importance, right?

And what did He pray?

He prayed for our unity.

It is jugular that we followers of Jesus be in agreement on the few things that matter.


Because that’s how the world will know that Jesus is from God. Because nothing screams “Love of God” more than a bunch of angry “Christians” arguinging at each other about who is right and who is going to hell, can I get an amen??…..uhhhhhh, yeah. Right.

When enough people agree on the same thing, people will start to take note and even believe it. Jesus knew what He was doing. He knew what He was praying.

How can one argue with thousands upon thousands of lives transformed by the exact same thing–Jesus?

It is to Him we look. It is on Him we must agree. It is Him who we must love with all our heart.

A hundred pianos, all tuned to the same fork, are automatically in tune with each other. -A.W. Tozer



September 22 / Proverbs 22 / John 16


Proverbs 22:6

Train up youths in his path; then when they age, they will not depart from it.

I have read a couple of interesting comments on this much misappropriated verse.

First, that some interpret “in his path” to the training of a child according to their individual personalities and giftings. To know the person of each child. To me that says that though there is one right way to live, there are indeed many different methods or roads, if you will, to get there. I certainly do not train Gabriela and Zayra the exact same way. That would be detrimental in many ways for them.

Yet, Longman reminds us with:

Some have argued that this simply means that children are to be raised according to their natural tendencies. Yet this clearly would not be supported by the understanding of the rest of the book that it takes work, discipline, and even physical coercion to encourage a person to take the right direction in life.

The book of Proverbs is consistent in teaching that there is one and only one right way. It also acknowledges that there is a wrong path to be avoided. The idea is to train a child in the way of wisdom as explicated in the book of Proverbs. And this is none other that God’s (“his”) path.

Also, the second part is misunderstood as a promise, but Proverbs does not give promises, but rather what is likely to come, all things being equal. Understanding this saves us from unnecessary guilt or pride when our children turn out to take the wrong or right path.

And one other interpretation I found very interesting, it states it in the ironic sense:

That is, “train up children in their way,” the way they want to go, and they will never leave that dastardly way!

I guess be careful letting your kids do whatever the heck they want, because it will be nearly impossible for them to live the rest of their lives unselfishly!

John 16:9

The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. [NLT]

This reiterates the notion that the ultimate sin according to John is the world’s unbelief with regard to Jesus. Jesus came to “take away” the sin of the world, but the offer of salvation in Jesus becomes effectual only when those whom God has given to Jesus out of the world put their trust in Jesus.

Thus there is a level playing field: the world at large and the Jews alike are sinners and must believe in Jesus for salvation. As long as they persist in their unbelief, the Jews are no better than the world; in fact, they are part of it. Paul’s words ring true: “There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood–to be received by faith” (Romans 3:22-25). In this cluster of assertions Johannine and Pauline theology are in perfect harmony.

-Andreas Kostenberger

September 21 / Proverbs 21 / John 15


Proverbs 21:31

A horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory belongs to Yahweh.

Human preparation and strategy is called for, but one must keep in mind that these only succeed if Yahweh so wills.

John 15:16

I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.

What is fruit that will last?

What is lasting?

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

The word(s) of God will never pass away.

The love of God will never pass away. Nothing can separate us from it.

Giving God’s word and God’s love is always a good idea. Always. Because it is lasting. Sure it can be refused, but don’t stop giving it!

And I also think of habits. Habits can be lasting. Some may even be everlasting. We live in this in-between time, anticipating the coming of God’s Kingdom fully realized, Jesus’ second advent. In this time now we can actually form habits that will last for eternity. Praising God, Loving God–this is what we do gladly forever and ever. Living for God and in the values Jesus modeled–this also is fruit that will last. Why not devote your time and energy now to all that really matters forever?

There’s focus. Habit forming requires focus. Think of anything you’ve ever given significant focus to in your life. You can remember it, can’t you? Because you dedicated yourself to it over time and in great depth. And that causes it to stay with you, to last. This can be for good or bad as we know. Some things we replay in our mind again and again that we wish we wouldn’t. But think of all that we can dedicate ourselves to play over and over in our mind that we are able to embed for good, for growth, for healing. This is meditation. And we’re meditating daily, intentionally or not. For good or for ill. O like that quote: “Worrying is praying for what you don’t want.”

Focus on people, in positive ways, can be the healing of the nations if we actually do it. This can be called prayer. There’s a million, shallow, time-wasting things we’ve done in life that don’t last for more than a few minutes. But there’s so much we can do that lasts, and it goes against what we are intensely coaxed to do in our luxurious culture of excessively extravagant meaninglessness.

How much time do we really need to surf the net, watch another series of shows, and do work from home? Some of that is ok, yes, but how much of our time is really used for things that will last?