Archive for January, 2014

A Journey through Proverbs – Proverbs 31:8-9

Friday, January 31, 2014

Thank you for spending January with me as we studied Proverbs.

Proverbs 31:8-9Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Listen to the wise people of faith surrounding you. Act to increase the justice in this world. Be peacemakers whenever possible. Live in harmony with your community. And always care for the least among us. These are just a few of the rich lessons of Proverbs.

Prayer: Loving and almighty God, encourage us, and sometimes nudge us when necessary, to be our best selves in service to you and your children. Amen.

A Journey through Proverbs – Proverbs 30:5-6

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Proverbs 30:5-6Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or else he will rebuke you, and you will be found a liar.

The Church Health Center is filled with people who have a deep and abiding faith. Yet if we read the same passages of scripture, we might have different interpretations. Rather than calling us to one mind, I see this passage as calling us to be good students of God’s Word.

Prayer: Almighty God, open our minds to your Word so that I can know your will for us. Amen.

A Journey through Proverbs – Proverbs 29:7, 14

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Proverbs 29:7, 14The righteous know the rights of the poor; the wicked have no such understanding…If a king judges the poor with equity, his throne will be established forever.

Our passage reminds us today that the difference between good and evil, at least in part, is the consideration we give to those least among us.

Prayer: Loving God, helps us to remain mindful of the needs of one another, especially those most in need. Amen.

A Journey through Proverbs – Proverbs 28:5-6

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Proverbs 28:5-6The evil do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it completely. Better to be poor and walk in integrity than to be crooked in one’s ways though rich.

Seek is a great word. It suggests a process – seeking God, seeking what is fair. But it doesn’t necessarily suggest an end. Seek the Lord. It is a lifetime obligation.

Prayer: Understanding God, help us to be seekers of your Word. Amen.

A Journey through Proverbs – Proverbs 27:10

Monday, January 27, 2014

Proverbs 27:10Do not forsake your friend or the friend of your parent; do not go to the house of your kindred in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is nearby than kindred who are far away.

‘Do not turn your back on your friend,’ we are instructed today. We are to care for one another in ways that allow us to remain together in our community, even during the worst of times.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us to know the needs of our neighbors, and guide us to ways that we can be helpful to them. Amen.

A Journey through Proverbs – Proverbs 26:20-21

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Proverbs 26:20-21For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases. As charcoal is to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.

We are offered more instruction on being peacemakers in this passage. Today we are encouraged to temper our own words and actions in ways that de-escalate a situation or conflict in which we might find ourselves.

Prayer: Gracious God, life can place us in difficult situations with one another. Help us to know when to take a step back in our own words or deeds. Amen.

A Journey through Proverbs – Proverbs 25:21-22

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Proverbs 25:21-22If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat; and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink; for you will heap coals of fire on their heads, and the Lord will reward you.

Making peace with anyone, even an enemy, requires intentional acts of kindness, trust and mutual respect. Always act in ways that try to bring peace.

Prayer: Loving God, let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. Amen.

A Journey through Proverbs – Proverbs 24:17-18

Friday, January 24, 2014

Proverbs 24:17-18 Do not rejoice when your enemies fall, and do not let your heart be glad when they stumble, or else the Lord will see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from them.

There is so much violence in our world today, whether on the street around the corner or in a country around the world from us. We are reminded that in all of these conflicts it is not so much us versus them, but brother versus brother, sister versus sister.

Prayer: Gracious God, help all of us gain an understanding of our interconnectedness so that we can live together in peace. Amen.

A Journey through Proverbs – Proverbs 23:10-11

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Proverbs 23:10-11Do not remove an ancient landmark or encroach on the fields of orphans, for their redeemer is strong; he will plead their cause against you.

There are a growing number of community gardens in Memphis. In some of these gardens, neighbors are encouraged to pick freely from the produce as it ripens. In others, part of the harvest is left on the vine, inviting others to partake.

Prayer: God of our abundance, help us share our bounty with those around us. Amen.

A Journey through Proverbs – Proverbs 22:2

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Proverbs 22:2The rich and poor have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all.

It is worth restating from time to time: we are children of God. As such, we are brothers and sisters called to act toward one another as such.

Prayer: Gentle God, remove the scales from eyes that keep us from seeing you in the people standing next to us. Amen.

A Journey through Proverbs – Proverbs 21:2-3

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Proverbs 21:2-3All deeds are right in the sight of the doer, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

I see these as two powerful verses appearing together in Proverbs 21. Not only are we called to ACT in ways that bring justice, but we are also reminded that our intentions must come from a just place, too.

Prayer: Loving God, help us act intentionally to bring peace and justice to our community and our world. Amen.

A Journey through Proverbs – Proverbs 20:10, 23

Monday, January 20, 2014

Proverbs 20:10, 23Diverse weights and diverse measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord…Differing weights are an abomination to the Lord, and false scales are not good.

Vendors selling goods by weight would use a scale and weights to determine, for example, how much sugar was 1.0 pounds of sugar. If the counterbalancing weight was not 1.0 pounds but say 0.95 pounds, each buyer would be getting a bit less than what they were paying for, and the seller would be making a bit more profit with each sale.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us to be fair to one another in all of our dealings. Amen.

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