Friday, January 30, 2009



Read Isaiah 26:1–12

      You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 NIV
* * *
     Throughout history men have searched for peace which always seems to elude them. Isaiah speaks of a future day of peace when Jesus will rule and reign on earth: He says, “Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith.” (26:2)
     We are still waiting for a nation that keeps faith, but we do not have to wait to experience His peace–it is a gift given to us when we trust in the Lord. The confidence that God is our Rock, the ultimate in stability, brings peace to the soul.
     Isaiah writes, “Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.” (26:4) If we are going to accomplish anything of eternal value in our lives, it will be by trusting Him.
* * *
     Lord, help us to rest patiently in faith as we wait for Your perfect plan for our lives. You have been faithful to us in the past and like Isaiah we can say, "LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us." (26:12)
* * *
      Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.   Isaiah 26:8 NIV

Wednesday, January 28, 2009




Read Isaiah 7:10-14, 9:1-7; Matthew 1:18-2:6

     All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"-which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:22–23 NIV
* * *
     The book of Isaiah was written about 700 years before Christ was born and is filled with prophesies about the coming Messiah. When the angel Gabriel appeared to Joseph, he quoted Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Jesus would be called, "Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6b)
* * *
     Isaiah prophesied that this Holy Child would live "In Galilee of the Gentiles.” saying, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined." (Isaiah 9:1b-2 NKJV)
* * *
     Dear Lord, You truly are my Wonderful Counselor and I am so thankful that the light of the gospel has shined on me. Just as Isaiah foretold the coming of Jesus, help me to tell the good news wherever I go, especially to members of my family. Keep me faithful in reading Your Word so that I will have something fresh to share with my family and friends.
* * *
     For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NIV

Friday, January 23, 2009




Read Ecclesiastes 11–12

     Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well. Ecclesiastes 11:6 NIV
* * *
     When Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes, he was old and looking back on his selfish life. With his God-given wisdom still intact, he looks at all of his achievements and comes to an interesting conclusion: "I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil-this is the gift of God." (3:12-13)
     He encourages young men to seek God early in life, saying, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come–“(12:1 NKJV) Solomon discovered that wisdom without God's blessing is meaningless. He said, "All things are wearisome, more than one can say… What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again." (1:8-10)
* * *
     Lord, help me to resist this attitude toward my daily responsibilities. Perhaps if I pray for each family member as I fold clothes, the task of laundry won't seem so endless. Thank you for the gift of children and a husband who sits at our table each evening. Help me to serve them with a joyful spirit, remembering that “this is the gift of God.”
* * *
     Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work–this is a gift of God.   Ecclesiastes 5:19 NIV

Tuesday, January 20, 2009




Read Proverbs 24

     By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. Proverbs 24:3–4 NIV
* * *
     Throughout the Proverbs of Solomon, he refers to wisdom as treasure to be eagerly sought out and cultivated. He said, “Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you…” (24:14)
* * *
     There is no better place for wisdom to grow than in our Christian homes. The beautiful home will be furnished with more than lovely possessions. True riches, if nurtured, will dwell in the hearts of our children. First, we must seek wisdom for ourselves as parents, cultivating our love for each other and the Lord; then we will have an abundance of treasure to share with our children. This is a lifelong process, but the time we have to invest in our children is all too short.
* * *
     Lord, help us to cultivate the fields of our own hearts so that we will have a harvest of treasures to bring into our home. Help us to remember that "By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life." (Proverbs 22:4 NKJV) Give us love for each other and the wisdom we need to lead our children in the ways of the Lord.
* * *
     Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house. Proverbs 24:27 NIV

Thursday, January 15, 2009




Read Proverbs 31

      A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her… Proverbs 31:10–11a NIV
* * *
      This chapter contains words of wisdom, probably from Solomon's mother, though she calls him Lemuel, meaning, "Devoted to God." Solomon’s mother was Bathsheba, and she would have instructed him, knowing the painful consequences of promiscuity. She used this Hebrew acrostic poem as a tool to teach him how to choose a godly wife. As a king, he could seek out the most beautiful woman in the land, but Solomon's mother reminds him that "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." (31:30)
* * *
      Lord, help us to be examples of the kind of woman You want our sons to choose. Bathsheba said, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies . . . She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”(31:10, 26)
     Give us the right words in instructing our daughters to be loving, faithful wives. Protect our children from the temptations of this sexually charged culture, and may they become godly men and women, honoring to You.
* * *
      Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Proverbs 31:28-29 NIV

Monday, January 12, 2009




Read Proverbs 23

     Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding. Proverbs 23:22–23 NIV
* * *
     Proverbs 23 has a lengthy section warning of the consequences of substance abuse. Solomon counsels, “Listen, my son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path. Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat,” (Proverbs 23:19–20) We live in a day when churches are no longer talking about the dangers of alcohol. As a result, even Christian homes are dealing with this problem. Drugs are illegal, yet easily accessible for many young people. Children are developing alcohol problems at an early age, as there is less and less supervision at home.
* * *
     Oh Father, this is a problem I wish we didn't have to be concerned about, but even as Christians, we do. Help us to be an example of self control in these matters, realizing that “It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.” (Romans 14:21) Help us to communicate our own convictions with clarity, so that our sons and daughters will want to live a pure and holy life.
* * *
     The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him. May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice!   Proverbs 23:24–25 NIV

Friday, January 9, 2009




Read Proverbs 22

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6 NIV
* * *
Many Christians today want to explain away the above Proverb because all too often the children of believers do turn away from what they have been taught. But then, perhaps all or most of the training today comes from teachers, television, or peers. How many parents sit down with their children for extended instruction like Solomon is giving his son in this book?

Solomon tells his son that this practical teaching is so that he will learn to trust the Lord. He says, “Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the LORD, I teach you today, even you.” (22:17-19)
* * *
Lord, help us to set aside the time to speak eye to eye with our children about all of the issues of life; and may this teaching be in accord with your perfect Holy Word. Help us to wisely discipline our children as you have said, "Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him." (22:15) But most of all give us the wisdom to faithfully teach our children “in the way they should go.”
* * *
Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge; that I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send to you? Proverbs 22:20–21 NKJV

Tuesday, January 6, 2009




Read Proverbs 20

The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out. Proverbs 20:5 NIV
* * *
In a warning about the dangers of gossip, Solomon tells his son to "avoid a man who talks too much." (20:19) But he also stresses the value of drawing a quiet man out, because that person may have valuable observations to make. Solomon observes, "Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel." (20:15)
Sometimes that rare jewel may be on the lips of a child, for God says that even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right. (20:11) The Psalmist prophesied, “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise” (Psalm 8:2)
* * *
Lord, help me to stop long enough to draw out a quiet friend or child. Help me to listen closely and then encourage that person to share her heart. God cares about my innermost thoughts, for “the lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being.” (20:27) and I should care enough to listen carefully to what someone has to say.
* * *
“Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.” Matthew 18:4–5 NKJV

Saturday, January 3, 2009




Read Proverbs 18–19

     Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge. Proverbs 19:27 NIV
* * *
     Solomon continues to speak to his son about guarding his tongue and using his ears: "A fool," he says, “finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.” (18:2)
     He goes on to say, “He who answers before listening–that is his folly and his shame.” (18:13) “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.” (18:17)
     To make a wise judgment, both parents and children need to listen carefully, because “the heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.” (18:15)
* * *
     Dear Lord, I know that I am guilty of answering before listening. As a busy mother it is easy to jump into a matter between my children and make a judgment based on what seems obvious. Help me to listen for the underlying hurt, anger or frustration in my children. Give me an understanding heart, and the patience to teach my children to “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.” (19:20)
* * *
     Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.   Proverbs 23:12

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Read Proverbs Chapters 13–14

     In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge. Proverbs 14:26 NKJV
* * *
     Solomon started out well because of the instruction he received from his parents and the wisdom he received from God. As we will see, he did not finish well because he gave in to the culture of the nations surrounding him. He allowed his desire to ‘have it all’ to corrupt his worship of God.
      Late in life, King Solomon expressed the futility of a self‑indulgent lifestyle. He said, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.” (14:12-13)
* * *
     Like Solomon, we face pressures in our homes because of the wickedness of our culture. The overt idolatry that brought Solomon down is not exactly the same; but there are many influences that are deadly to the purity and sanctity of our homes.
     Lord, help us to build up, encourage and invest ourselves in our families. You have said that "those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness." (14:22b) The influences we allow in our homes, and the people we associate with, all have an impact on our children. Give us kind words, uplifting activities, and faithfulness–the building blocks of a secure home and a godly life.
* * *
     The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1 NIV
     The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death. Proverbs 14:27 NIV