Friday, February 25, 2011

February 25th – Proverbs 25: Are You Polluted?

“Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked.” – Proverbs 25:26

I believe that this Proverb is all about compromise and is a very real warning to all believers. The word in the Hebrew here for “gives way” is translated to: waver, to fail, to shake and to be moved. When the righteous are moved by the wicked, springs get muddied and wells get polluted. The purity of the spring is defiled. The very purpose for the spring, to provide a drink and refreshing to the weary is thwarted. It’s like Jesus said,

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” – Matthew 5:13

We’re called to be the salt of the earth, the light of the world and springs in the desert. But if we back down to the wicked and if we compromise, we lose our effectiveness.

There is a PR campaign being waged against the church by the kingdom of darkness. This campaign tells us that to minister to the lost, hurting and dying, we must become like them. Pastors and leaders are taking their cues from Hollywood and Wall Street. (What we’ve been left with is infotainment that makes a HUGE profit!) We’ve been told that if we’re going to reach this world, we must become like it. Huge swaths of the church have embraced the mantra of being “relevant” to the world.

Many Christians “love” unbelievers so much that they have decided to become one!

But it’s our purity that attracts the defiled. Your difference is what sets you apart. You SHOULD stand out. I don’t blush when I tell unbelievers that my wife is the ONLY woman I’ve ever had sex with. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve never seen the inside of a strip club or smoked a joint. It’s what sets me apart and it’s what makes me different. It’s the light they come running to when they are afraid of the dark.


Some Christians are so “relevant” to the world, they are irrelevant to eternity.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

February 24th – Proverbs 24: Harvesters, Not Homebuilders

“Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.” – Proverbs 24:27

My wife and I really enjoy the show, “Gold Rush: Alaska”. In the show, several guys, in debt up to their eyeballs and out of work head up to Alaska to try their hand at gold mining. The show to us in an accidental comedy; it’s not supposed to be funny, but to us it’s hilarious for reasons described in this Proverb. They arrive to the gold claim and have limited time to set up camp and get mining before the Alaskan winter shuts them down for the season. Several of the guys take days and weeks to set up this elaborate camp, with beautiful camp homes that have every possible convenience.

The entire time they are doing this I was hollering at the screen, “GET BACK TO MINING!”

Of course, they take their time and are JUST about to get some decent gold as they run out of time and the Alaskan winter shuts down their operation, well short of the financial goals they need to meet. It was amazing that as the weather began to change and the end of the season was imminent how focused they became. They mined 12-16 hours a day at the end but it was too little, too late after wasting literally months screwing around doing anything but gold mining.

This is like so many of us. Instead of being focused on the task at hand, we get busy taking care of our own house. I can’t tell you how many folks I’ve watched have one good season or year in their business go out and buy a palace for themselves. Instead of investing back into the business to make it stable and strong, they get busy building their own house and taking care of themselves. In the meantime, their bread and butter melts down, with the sound of their construction project still lingering in the air.

Jesus told us:

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33

We’re called to seek FIRST His Kingdom, not our own well-being. His job is to take care of us, our job is to pursue the Kingdom. If we were as focused on working HIS Harvest field as we are in taking care of ourselves, all that we need would be GIVEN to us!


You’re a harvester, not a home-builder.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 23rd – Proverbs 23: The Hurt Rod

“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death. “– Proverbs 23:13-14

The Bible couldn’t be any clearer; if you want to save your kids soul from death, SPANK THEM! Yet all the self-help, pop psychology gurus in the world (and in the church) would have you think otherwise. Their thinking is: “Instead of disciplining our kids with the tried and true methods of corporal punishment, maybe we can talk them out of their bad behavior with manipulation logic?”

Maximum Security jails are full of the undisciplined fruit of this thinking.

Sorry, no matter how much you dislike the rod, the Bible tells us to use it. I’ve heard some “leaders” in the church with nice, shiny books on the subject who are promoted by certain “mega-pastors” on the left coast refer to spanking as “violence” and “control”. This is dangerous psychobabble that encourages people already predisposed to NOT doing the Bible in their error and the sham teachers that preach such blatantly unbiblical stuff will be held accountable for every soul they taught to disobey God.

Some folks have legitimate reasons for not wanting to spank; their parents didn’t discipline them when they were kids and they turned out all right. Or even worse, maybe Dad beat them in a rage instead of disciplined them! Well, good news, that’s what the blood of Jesus is for. You can come to Jesus and get healed of all your past garbage so you can be free to obey God and live according to His.

The results are amazing and the promise is clear: “if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.” Nobody wants their kids to die prematurely; everyone wants their kids to outlive them. But the righteous discipline their kids with the rod, teaching them that foolish behavior is painful. The logic is iron clad: foolish behavior and disobedience HURTS. When you reason with the rug rats, they may learn how to talk themselves out of discipline, but they still don’t understand that their behavior has painful repercussions. At best, not disciplining your kids is irresponsible parenting and unkind to their future development.


Save the planet: SPANK YOUR KIDS. Dirty hippies that are opposed to spanking unleash the hordes of hell upon the earth with their undisciplined little monsters that have never known a moment of discomfort.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 22nd – Proverbs 22: Train Up A Child

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

To a parent, this is one of the most encouraging, yet sobering Proverbs there is. There is a command to train our children and then an encouragement that if we do, they will not depart from it in their old age
Training is VERY different from what most pop psychology teaches us.

Webster’s defines training as: to develop or form the habits, thoughts, or behavior of (a child or other person) by discipline and instruction. The purpose of training is to form habits, thoughts and behavior. But to what end? The Bible tells us to train our children in the way they should go”. What way should they go? The same way we should go, after Jesus!

It’s appalling to me the hypocrisy of many parents regarding training their children spiritually. They will gladly train their physical bodies: “Take a bath”, “Wash behind your ears”, “Brush your teeth” and my favorite, “Eat your vegetables!” They gladly train their little minds. “Go to school”, “Do your homework”, “Study hard”, “Don’t roll your eyes when I talk to you!”

But somehow when it comes to training kids spiritually they go all mealy mouthed! “They don’t want to come to church and I don’t want to make them do anything they don’t want to do so…”

What is wrong with you people??

If you left your children do what they want in any other area of life, they would NEVER take a bath, they would eat candy 3 times a day, rot their teeth out, and they would play in the street! So what makes us think we can afford to not train them spiritually?

And just in case you “Grace Police” think this is only Old Testament and somehow we as parents are absolved of our responsibility to train our kids under the New Covenant:

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4

Stop trying to be your kids’ friend. They have lots of those. Just be their parent, they only have you. Train their little spirits. Teach them to worship, teach them to pray, and teach them to sacrifice a couple hours a week to go and worship God with other believers at church.


Kids are stupid. You have to train them to be wise.

Monday, February 21, 2011

February 21st – Proverbs 21: More Coffee, Less Beatings

“To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” – Proverbs 21:3

I had a rather religious friend back in the day. He was in his 40’s and I was barely 20 at the time, just married. He would wax eloquent on his spirituality, talking at length about his newest, latest and greatest revelations. He was always doing some strange fast or bizarre prayer ritual and the Holy Spirit was talking to him about EVERYTHING. At the time I was in awe of someone that could pray for hours a day, memorize huge portions of scripture and have a DEEP prayer life.

One time we went out for breakfast and instead of ordering his usual coffee he ordered some water. He was a big coffee fan so I asked him what was up. With hushed tones he told me how the Holy Spirit spoke to him and convicted him of being addicted to coffee. He would be fasting coffee for several months, maybe giving it up entirely. I was in awe. Firstly that the Lord would speak to him about his beverage intake and secondly over his great spirituality that enabled him to sacrifice so much for the Lord! I mean, come on people, COFFEE!? Wow.

My response was classic. My new wife and I were having considerable difficulty communicating at the time and I was always very frustrated with my total inability to be a good husband. As he told me of his great sacrifice of doing without coffee I replied, “Wow, all I’m trying to do is not hit my wife!” (For the record, I have been quite successful, never hitting my wife in 13+ years, praise me.) Shaking my head, I walked away disappointed with myself at my apparent total lack of true spirituality and in awe of this great man’s amazing relationship with God.

We lost touch over the years, but it was discovered by some mutual friends that this guy had a serious problem with anger, beating his wife and children bloody repeatedly for 20+ years.


Go ahead, drink coffee and don’t beat your wife.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

February 20th – Proverbs 20: A Faithful Man

“Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?” – Proverbs 20:6

I could fill a book with the quotes of people I have known that have claimed unfailing love; love for their mate, love for their friends, love for their calling and love for God. Yet for all those proclamations, few have stood the test of time and proven themselves faithful with their actions.

Why is this?

I promised on the day of my marriage to be faithful and love my wife “Till death do us part”, but that profession means little if I don’t get up every day and actually DO what I said! The proof of my faithfulness is not in what I promised but in what I deliver. I am not a faithful man because a couple hundred folks at my wedding witnessed my proclamation of unfailing love. I am a faithful man because I do what I vowed to one person, my wife.

I’ve read that there was a time when a person’s word was their bond and I’ve heard about the good old days when bankers would close large accounts with a handshake. But I’ve personally never witnessed them. I’m sure there has always been a remnant of folks that lived up to their word, but in reality, since the days of Solomon, men have been professing their undying love and affection with only a few sticking around to become what they promised they would be.

Let’s be those men and women.


You aren’t what you say, you are what you do.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

February 19th – Proverbs 19: Owning Your Failures

“A man's own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the LORD.” – Proverbs 19:3

Time and time again I have watched people royally mess up their lives through their own bad decisions only to turn and get angry at God!
The way it happens is like this:

We’re presented with a problem or difficulty. (Nobody said life was going to be easy, especially God) We respond badly to a bad situation, which is BAD. Things get worse and start melting down. Faced with the overwhelming failure that is our life, (marriage, relationship, finances, etc.) we start looking for a scapegoat. We need someone to blame for this mess and it sure as heck can’t be us! I know, let’s blame GOD! Deep down we know that He is infallible and perfect but why should that stop us? We rage against the Lord and run from Him, wrecking our lives further, instead of repenting and CHANGING. That should teach Him!

It’s the oldest response to sin in the book:

“And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." – Genesis 3:11-12

Man sinned in the garden. God calls man on his sin and what does man say? "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Adam shouldn’t have eaten it, period. But he doesn’t own his failure; he pawns it off on God. And we all know how this story ends. Lots of blood and generations of sin. Not good.


Own your failures and learn from them. Ruining your life won’t teach God anything.

Friday, February 18, 2011

February 18th – Proverbs 18: The Separated Man

“He that separates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound wisdom.” – Proverbs 18:1

As a Pastor for the last 15+ years, I have had the privilege to interact with lots of believers. Over the years, I’ve seen patterns of behavior play out time and time again. This Proverb describes one of them exactly.

You’ll see folks, once interested in sharing their life with other believers in a community of other Christians disappear. They pull back from their believing friends and involvement with other Christians, many times giving work, a new business venture or stress as an excuse. Sometimes they will even say that God is drawing them to Himself, giving the illusion of spirituality. But in reality, they are separating themselves. The reasons may sound noble, but in fact are quite selfish. They are pulling back to avoid the discomfort of interaction with others.

In our culture, we’ve been taught that all discomfort or “awkwardness” is to be avoided at ALL costs. When things get a tad uncomfortable, when people step on your toes or make you feel awkward, most of us retreat. When people offend you or say the wrong thing, we run. In doing so we miss the wisdom of God! Being a part of the body of Christ is supposed to be uncomfortable. When iron sharpens iron, sparks fly! It’s in those moments where we have the opportunity to press into the heart of God and actually grow in love towards one another, overlooking petty disagreements and offenses.

Part of the reason many Christians are so immature is because they avoid such moments like the plague! It’s difficult to grow in love unless you encounter those who are unlovely. Sadly, those that separate themselves will have no opportunity to do so.


Separating others from the awesome that is you is selfish, no matter what you call it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

February 17th – Proverbs 17: Feasting On Dry Crust

“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.” – Proverbs 17:1

In 2004 we were in debt up to our eyeballs. After several years of a failed graphic design business, we were carrying credit card debt on top of a second mortgage. We had nice things, a nice home and a couple decent cars. But we also had serious financial pressure. Every month we had to squeeze and believe God for miracles to make the payments on our debt.

In November of that year, I remember distinctly feeling that I should go to a conference in Toronto, Canada. While there, I was totally disinterested in what the speakers had to say so I found a spot on the carpet and laid there, trying to hear from God. Just as clear as day, the Lord showed me a picture of our family living in a mobile home. In the vision, our surroundings were humble and not nearly as nice as what we had at the time, but we were at peace, with no financial pressure.

I realized in a few moments that it didn’t matter how nice my external world was if my internal world was not at peace. I also realized that peace in our lives was more valuable than possessions. If we had peace, like the Proverb said, a dry crust would be better than a house full of feasting without it.

It took some time and effort, but we sold our home and more than half of our possessions, bought a mobile home and slashed our living expenses drastically. In no time at all we liquidated all of our debt, except a small mortgage on our home. To many folks, we are to be pitied, living in a little mobile home without too many nice things. But we are as happy as can be without stress, worry or financial pressure, feasting on a dry crust.


You can have your banquet without peace; I’ll just enjoy this dry crust, thank you very much.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February 16th – Proverbs 16: When Less Is More

“Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.” – Proverbs 16:8

We make value decisions every day. We choose what is valuable to us. Value is determined by what people are willing to pay for a certain thing. What we pay to possess is what is valuable to us. Many in their pursuit of what is really important to them sacrifice what is truly valuable in the sight of God.

The Bible says,

“…What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.” – Luke 16:15

Righteousness, peace and joy aren’t very highly regarded among men, yet they are of great worth in the sight of God. Many times righteousness is seen as a stumbling block to wealth. People skirt the lines of what is ethical in their pursuit of what is truly valuable to them. The salesman may “stretch the truth” to close the sale, the underwriter may “overlook” a few items to write the policy, or we may cheat on our taxes in order to “have a little extra for the family”. Yet the Bible is clear, it would be much better to have less with a clean conscience than much gain with a loss of righteousness.

This is true because God values righteousness more than He values money or possessions. A real believer superimposes God’s value system on his. What is important to God becomes important to the believer. You begin to recognize that true wealth is going to bed at night with a clean conscience, not on silk sheets purchased with dishonest gain.


Bigger is not always better and sometimes less is more.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February 15th – Proverbs 15: The Cheerful Heart

“All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.” – Proverbs 15:15

I’m almost always happy. Not as a result of my circumstances, but as a result of the Gospel. God has set me free! I can personally verify this scripture; the cheerful heart has a CONTINUAL feast! No matter what’s going on around me, I’m happy and you can’t touch that!

Several years ago when we first started getting out in the community and preaching the Gospel, I thought that the number one thing I had to offer the oppressed was the power of God in Healing and Miracles. Many folks got healed and saw a demonstration of His power, but again and again the thing people would talk about is the peace they felt as we prayed. I began to realize that the peace and joy that I have as a result of the Gospel was more attractive than miracles! You could have a healed body and you could have a good job, but without peace and joy, you are miserable still.

This is a Proverb that I keep constantly on the back burner. I must remember that those who are oppressed are not truly happy. The piles of money, girls, status and fame might fool you. Sin is enjoyable for a minute (that’s why everyone does it!), but then the fruit of that lifestyle eventually catches up with you. So the wicked are left with an aching hole where their heart should be and when they encounter someone who is truly cheerful and full of peace, instinctively they want it. They may not tell you and may resist to the bitter end, but you have what they need: JOY!


Freedom is the TRUE riches.

Monday, February 14, 2011

February 14th – Proverbs 14: The Path to Poverty

“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” – Proverbs 14:23

It is absolutely true that if you will work diligently on whatever you do, you WILL succeed! Lots of folks want a way around hard work, that’s why there is such a market for get rich quick schemes that take people (Christians) for a ride to the tune of millions every year. Sorry folks, but you will have to work hard for what you have. There is NO substitute for hard work.

But besides the obvious implications this Proverb has on finances, I think that there may be more to this principle than our bottom line.

This Proverb says that mere talk leads to poverty. This reminds me of the state of the church today. We talk and we talk about concepts, philosophies and theologies until we are blue in the face. We have conferences, we write books and we wax eloquent on the finer points of the Gospel. But many of the biggest speakers and authors have no actual experience in DOING what they talk about. This produces a profound poverty, not financially (since there is a booming market for peddling falsehood) but in experience, reality & authority.

I could find 100 leaders who will extol the virtues of evangelism for every 1 who will lead someone to the Lord. This should not be! The Gospel is about more than talk, it’s a living, breathing power to set men free! We can no longer afford to have such profound poverty. We need to be rich not only in theory and concepts but in good deeds!

“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” – I Timothy 6:18


Less talkie, more dooie = WEALTH.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

February 13th – Proverbs 13: Do You Hate Your Kids?

“He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” – Proverbs 13:24

If you listen to all the self-help, feel good psychoanalysis out there, good old-fashioned discipline is a thing of the past. I’ve actually heard Christian leaders refer to corporal punishment (spanking) as violence. The mantra is that we’ve evolved past discipline and that there is a new way to steer your kids, through manipulation and control reasoning and logic. All we have to do is appeal to their little logical brains and we’ll make responsible adults.


The Word of God is clear. If you don’t discipline (yes, spank) your kids, you HATE them. If you keep this thing from them, you show your resentment for them. It’s not evolution to not discipline your kids, its contempt. You are showing them that there is no real consequence to foolish behavior. You are showing them that you care more about your temporary comfort than you do their long term well-being.

I’ve heard every excuse under the sun: “I was abused as a kid” and my favorite “I just love them too much to hit them!” Well, if you have scars from being abused, go to the cross and get healed! The solution is not to mess up your kids. And no Mom (or Dad) you DON’T love them at all, that’s why you don’t spank them.

Obviously we’re not talking about disciplining in anger or randomly hitting your kids. We’re talking about the loving application of discipline through a neutral object (the rod) to the seat of correction (their butt!) Corporal punishment (spanking) is a signal to your children that associates foolish behavior to pain. They learn very quickly, “When I do that foolish activity, I hurt”. That’s all their little cheerio and apple juice addled brains need to understand.

I can regularly spot the Christians that weren’t disciplined as little kids; they are strangely averse to the discipline of God. I think it’s because they forget this very important fact:

“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.” – Revelations 3:19


Unlike some of us, God is a good Father who freely disciplines. Be like Dad.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

February 12th – Proverbs 12: Chasing Fantasies

“He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.” – Proverbs 12:11

This is one of those Proverbs that resonates in my spirit on a regular basis. It keeps me grounded and focused on the task at hand. It’s also one that illustrates why so many Christians lack their basic provision. Put simply, to work your own land is to work with diligence on what God has given you today, not working FOR tomorrow. To chase a fantasy is to live each day not for the present, but for the future.

Think about it, how many marriages and families have been sacrificed in the pursuit of wealth, a new business or ministry endeavor? In almost every case, the motivation for starting the business or making the money is to provide for the wife or kids. But in the pursuit, many folks lose the very thing they are working for! Why? It’s because they are off chasing a fantasy instead of working their own land.

The land they have TODAY is their marriage, or their family. But they leave the very important task of tending and cultivating their land in pursuit of another field! In America we call it “The pursuit of happiness” and it’s one of the primary reasons for so much destruction in marriages and families.

I’m not knocking an entrepreneurial spirit; I’m not knocking hard work or innovation. These things take faith. But if at any point in your pursuit of what ISN’T you forsake what IS, you lack judgment. You can have your cake and eat it too. You can pursue the dreams that God has put in your heart without destroying what He’s given you TODAY.

You CAN achieve the goals that Jesus has put in your spirit without destroying your life, your marriage and your family. It will take TIME and PATIENCE, two words no American understands or wants to hear.

Friday, February 11, 2011

February 11th – Proverbs 11: A Generous Spirit

“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” – Proverbs 11:25

This is one of the great mysteries of the Kingdom. Give and it comes back! This principle is diametrically opposed to the principles of this world. In this world, to gain more, you hoard, you acquire and you never let go. If you do this long enough, you will have great wealth. But in the Kingdom, it’s literally the exact opposite. This is counterintuitive. We feel like we are losing when we give, when in fact we are gaining.

Jesus said it like this:

“Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." – Luke 6:38

Many believers feel a desperate need and are constantly seeking prayer and ministry from others to fill the void. But their answer is right here! Generous people prosper and those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed! Not stingy people! Maybe the answer is not going to be found by praying and seeking for your prosperity and blessing, but rather in extending yourself to bless and refresh others?

This is something the Lord illustrated to me any times when I was first filled with the Holy Spirit and began walking with Him. The Lord challenged me to give extravagantly on many occasions, “daring” me to let Him show me how much He wanted to bless me. This wasn’t only financially, but with my time and with my energy. He has never let me down! You really can’t out give God.


Give to receive. Bless others to be blessed yourself.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

February 10th – Proverbs 10: Too Many Words = SIN

“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” – Proverbs 10:19

It seems like many folks are working their hardest to disprove this Proverb, yet there is simply no way around it. When you say too much, you WILL sin. This includes the written word, spoken word and yes, even FACEBOOK! Holding your tongue/pen by saying/writing less will keep you from sinning in what you say and is therefore WISE.

That’s why I avoid people that talk too much like the plague.
It’s also why I am done writing right now.



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February 9th – Proverbs 9: Responding To Correction

“Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.” – Proverbs 9:8

EVERYONE needs correction and rebuke from time to time since none of us are perfect. We all blow it and miss the mark and need loving correction to get us back on track. No one is above this. The wise actually seek it out… But it is how we respond to correction & rebuke that is probably one of the easiest “acid tests” of our character.

If our reaction to correction is anger and hatred directed at the person giving correction, we are mocking fools. If it is love towards the person correcting, we are wise. It’s that simple!

I remember one time a good friend rebuked me for some things they saw in my life. The immediate response I had was (as this Proverb describes) hatred! I got MAD. I began to pick apart their life, building a case for why they were not qualified to speak into my life. After a couple hours of this, the Holy Spirit simply reminded me of this scripture, quoting it to me. I realized that I was responding like a proud, mocking fool and not a wise man. I want to be wise, so I quickly repented of my response and embraced the correction I received.

I can honestly say that it was one of the most life giving rebukes I have ever received. I ended up getting delivered of a major stronghold in my life that I didn’t even know was there! On top of this, my love for the person giving it increased exponentially. Sounds like the Kingdom to me!

Don’t shoot the messenger; it only reveals your lack of character.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February 8th – Proverbs 8: When It’s Ok To Hate

“To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” - Proverbs 8:13

This is such a powerful statement! IF we fear the Lord, the result will be the hatred of evil. Again, there has been such a watering down of the basic tenets of our faith in the church today that there is deep tolerance of evil in every form and almost no fear of the Lord! The scripture is not saying that we are to hate the evil doer, but hate evil, pride, arrogance, evil behavior and perverse talk.

It’s pretty difficult to fall into behavior that you have cultivated hatred towards.

Serving this God who is love, hatred seems out of place, but it’s not. David (a man after God’s own heart Acts 13:22) said in the Psalms:

“O Jehovah, do I not hate those who hate You? And am I not grieved with those who rise up against You? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.” – Psalm 139:21-22

It’s not unspiritual to hate what God hates. It’s not unspiritual to detest that which God detests. Think about it, if sin put Jesus on the cross and sickness and disease bloodied his back, shouldn’t we hate it?


Those who fear the lord, HATE evil. I’m bringing HATE back!

Monday, February 7, 2011

February 7th – Proverbs 7: Keeping His Word

“My son, keep my words and store up my commandments within you.” – Proverbs 7:1

Proverbs 7:1 starts with the admonition to “keep my words” and it means to guard, to protect and to take heed! Somehow in our day and age we have equated hearing with doing. Subtly we believe that if we have heard something, we are doing it. What a great deception! For some reason we are satisfied with the acquisition of knowledge more than the application of knowledge.

Weekly, we minister in a local prison. Many of the guys in this prison have been convicted of murder. The difference between them and me is simple: I may have the knowledge of what it takes to kill someone. Anyone who has seen an action movie has a pretty good idea too. Take a gun, point it at someone’s head; pull the trigger and BOOM! They’re dead.

The difference between them and me is that they actually did it. They applied their knowledge. They did it for evil; they did it to take life. But the same principle works in the reverse. The knowledge that we are blessed with, the revelation from God we are given is not only to be heard, but put into practice.


You are not the product of what you know, but rather what you DO with what you know.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

February 6th – Proverbs 6

“My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have struck hands in pledge for another…” – Proverbs 6:1

Is this a warning by a financial counselor to not co-sign on a loan for our neighbor? Obviously, that’s a bad idea, but as you read verse 2 you see what the author is really speaking about:

“If you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth…” – Proverbs 6:2

How many times has this happened to you? You commit to something rashly, a business deal, a relationship, a new car or house. You didn’t sit down and REALLY count the cost, but the next thing you know, you are on the hook for something, in over your head and that terrible sick feeling in your stomach hits you. You messed up and you know it.

So what do you do?

“Then do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands: Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor!” – Proverbs 6:3

It’s actually written in the law in many states that after making a large purchase you have a brief grace period to terminate the deal. Even when the law is not applicable, many folks WILL let you out of the deal if you did what the Bible says to do. When we’re in over our head and our gut is telling us to GET OUT, we should take this approach and MOVE QUICKLY to get out!

“Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.” – Proverbs 6:4-5

The Bible is telling us, “DON’T REST! GO QUICKLY! FREE YOURSELF!” So why do many of us sit back, feel miserable and pray for God to free us? Most likely because it requires HUMILITY. If we would just go back and humble ourselves, say we are in over your head and get free, we’d be free!

Humility hurts for a minute, but the fruit of bad decisions can sting for a lifetime.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

February 5th – Proverbs 5

“Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say.” – Proverbs 5:7

The first 9 Proverbs seem to be ALL about avoiding sexual immorality and adultery. When I was a 17 year old kid and just started walking with the Lord I would read these Proverbs while rolling my eyes. I was thinking “What’s the big deal?” In my naivety I thought that staying free from sexual immorality and adultery was a given. EVERYONE showed discretion and NO Christians would ever even flirt with such a sin!... Right?


Now that I’ve been walking with the Lord for 16+ years I am learning that the “basics” AREN’T a given. In fact most of the things that I believed to be the fundamentals of Christianity and that I assumed EVERYONE was doing, I am learning are in fact exceptional and few actually do them!

One of the things Proverbs repeatedly warns against is adultery and fornication. It gives some of the most solid advice I’ve ever heard. In fact, it’s SO solid and SO basic that almost no one does it! Like if it’s not complicated then it’s not spiritual. In warning his son against the perils of adultery and the adulteress he simply tells him:

“Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house,” – Proverbs 5:8

Basically, STAY AWAY! Don’t even go NEAR such a person or activity. Many Christians are trying to bear up and RESIST sins that you should RUN from! You don’t even get close to something that can kill you. I like the way David Hogan said it, “Things that have eaten my lunch in the past I don’t even let sit down with me at the table!”


AVOID Sexual immorality; don’t try to bear up under it!

Friday, February 4, 2011

February 4th – Proverbs 4

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” – Proverbs 4:23

Our heart, our core is the center of who we are and we are instructed in Proverbs to guard it, ABOVE ALL ELSE! Why is there such a stern warning to cultivate our heart? The word for guard here in the Hebrew means to protect, maintain, observe and watch over. We’re called to show that level of vigilance over our heart because from it spring the issues or source of life.

I’ve personally been shocked at how quickly my heart can get hardened by hurt, circumstances, disappointments and anger. It seems that if I let a hurt or disappointment set in for more than 24 hours my once tender heart can get become hard and calloused. As my heart hardens towards the Lord and others, it becomes difficult for it to be an efficient channel for which life to flow.

You’ve heard it said that “Time heals all wounds”. Well, that is a lie. Time causes some wounds to fester and a once small, seemingly insignificant hurt can, over time, become a life threatening mortal wound! I recently spoke on this; how hurt and disappointments become anger and ultimately bitterness.

It’s not only hurt and disappointments that we have to be on guard against, but all moral and spiritual filth. Jesus said,

“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” – Luke 6:45

What we put in there WILL come out, one way or the other. Fill our heart with anger and anger comes out, fill it with perversion and perversion will come out. Likewise, if fill our hearts with the Word of God and the Spirit of God and life will come pouring out as it is needed!


VIGILANTLY guard your heart; it’s the only one you got!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February 3rd – Proverbs 3

"Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine." - Proverbs 3:9,10

There is huge debate in the church on whether or not tithing (giving 10% of your income) is Old Covenant, New Covenant or Pre-Covenant. I believe that Proverbs sheds light on this and refers to giving God the FIRST fruits of our wealth to God to Honor Him.

Giving is about worship. It’s a heart issue, not a financial one.

Abraham was inspired to give Melchizedek 10% of the spoils (Genesis 14:18-20) out of gratefulness, and awe of who Melchizedek was, not obligation. The word honor in the Hebrew here is one of the words used to describe the "Kabad" (weight) of Glory. Quite literally, giving is a practical way we give glory to God, as we honor him with the FIRST fruits of what we earn or possess.

I’ve known many wonderful Christians that struggle with giving, over a theological question or simple greed; but I can honestly say that in 15+ years of ministry that I don’t know anyone with chronic financial problems who is a regular cheerful tither and giver. Yes, its anecdotal evidence and I wouldn’t build my life around it, but do with that what you will.

I tell many folks to keep their money if they aren’t happy about honoring God with it. You get no points for giving under obligation. Jesus said,

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Matthew 6:21

For all the talk and argument out there on the subject of tithing and giving, the bottom line is that if the Lord doesn’t have your money, he doesn’t have you.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February 2nd – Proverbs 2

“My son, if you will receive my words and hide my commandments with you, so that you attend to wisdom, you shall extend your heart to understanding; yea, if you cry after knowledge and lift up your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you shall understand the fear of Jehovah and find the knowledge of God.” - Proverbs 2:1-5

This passage reveals more than a passing interest in wisdom and knowledge and its benefits. Look at the intensity of the pursuit!

“If you will receive my words and hide my commandments with you, so that you attend to wisdom, you shall extend your heart to understanding;”

That’s more than simply hearing and forgetting. We’re talking about hearing, taking in and cherishing. This means to hearken unto, regard and give heed to. Translation: OBEY.

“Yea, if you cry after knowledge and lift up your voice for understanding; “

This is a passionate desire for knowledge and understanding! This is a desire that eventually breaks out of the heart (invisible) realm and into the mouth (visible) realm. The Bible says that,

“For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” - Matthew 12:34

It’s not REAL to you until it fills your heart and comes pouring out your mouth. You’re not really desperate for something until you hear yourself proclaiming your need of it!

“If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures,”

I have been watching this show on the Discovery Channel called “Gold Rush Alaska”. In that show, several men and their families risk EVERYTHING they own in the pursuit of gold. When the Bible tells us to seek Wisdom and knowledge like silver and hidden treasure, it’s saying, “drop everything and pursue her (wisdom), she’ll keep you alive!”

“Then you shall understand the fear of Jehovah and find the knowledge of God. “

Only after posturing ourselves in this kind of extreme seeking are we promised anything. THEN you shall understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.


Today we’re promised a quick fix, microwave solution when the Bible is clear; it takes a REAL and INTENSE pursuit of the things of God to produce the fruit we so desperately need.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February 1st, 2011 - Proverbs 1

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” Proverbs 1:7

All knowledge of the Lord BEGINS with fearing the Lord. You can’t truly know Him until you fear (revere) Him. The definition of reverence is a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe. You can’t know Him correctly unless you have some deep respect and awe for Him.

I’m aghast at the way so many Christians flippantly refer to the Lord. Yes, He’s our friend (John 15:15) but He’s GOD. So many claim the benefits of being God’s friend, yet they miss the condition that He bestows friendship upon us:

“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” – John 15:14

If you are His friend, you’ll do what He says. If you don’t do what he says, you aren’t His friend. If He is your friend, you’ll do what He says because you love, respect and yes, revere (fear) Him.

Fools despise discipline, many times shirking it as being legalistic or “works”. As if being disciplined in our lifestyle is “religious”. No, you’re just lazy. Fools despise wisdom and wise people, because wisdom testifies against their lifestyle. No matter how “FREE” you are, some decisions are ALWAYS stupid and despising the very wisdom that could change you for the better is dumb.

Fear God and love wisdom and discipline.