Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 31:1

PROVERBS 31:1 "The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him" King = leader, authority Lemuel = for God Oracle = a burden or message from God or another spiritual entity that is a spiritual, soul, and even physical weight on your being until you deliver it to the intended parties. This proverb is a burden from God which came to the mother of Lemuel for all those who would be leaders for God. You must understand the way God sees leadership and your responsibilities. This proverb sets out priorities and orientations for those who would be leaders for God. They were not to use their power and authority to pursue immorality or collect women. The position of power draws certain

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 30:1

PROVERBS 30:1 "The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the oracle. The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal." the oracle: This is the Hebrew word for burden or load. The person whom God selected to carry His message had an extra heavy load – especially because it was usually a word of rebuke; a word that would not be received well. This oracle was a spiritual burden, a soul burden, and a physical burden. You could not refuse to say what God had put on your heart. You carried the burden of the Lord, and it weighed on you until you unloaded it on His people. Jeremiah says that it was like fire in his bones. He tried to shut it up within him but he was unable. When God has chosen you to be a

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 29:1

PROVERBS 29:1 "A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy" hardens: This is something that the person does; their self-will rises up and stiffens them against counsel – both friendly and divine. There is a point in which God will just say “ENOUGH” and will severely limit a person's potential, ability, opportunities, etc. Realistically they did it to themselves, but they will be broken and unfixable. Grace will come and work its wonderful work, but one cannot go back when the hardening is of such a nature that a breaking had to come. There will be no remedy. This is so strong, but it is truth. There are some consequences that are unrepentable. Things w

A Look at Psalm 15

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit a sweet little church in Carmel, California, and I want to share a teaching from the Reverend, Dr. Rick Duncan. For his full sermon, you can download it HERE. I highly recommend it. How taking up a reproach against others steals your peace and joy. We can look at Psalm 15 to show us how to live more in God's presence and thus have joyful and peaceful lives. This passage describes "the citizen of Zion," that is one who dwells in the presence of God. For Christians, this applies to us, though we know that God dwells in our hearts now and we are the tabernacle (1 Cor. 3:16). He does not dwell in a building or tabernacle or tent anymore. But what does the

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 28:1

PROVERBS 28:1 "The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion" the wicked flee when no one is pursuing Those who live outside of God's moral boundary structure are always in a position in which they could be caught doing something that society finds wrong. Therefore they are ready to take off or scurry away at a moment's notice. They even take off when no one is following them. The word for flee is nus in Hebrew which means to retreat, wander, flee, or moving away in a hurry from the scene. At the slightest little disturbance, the wicked are gone because they fear the inspection of the light. The word pursuing is the word radap in the Hebrew which means to foll

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 27:1

PROVERBS 27:1 "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth" One of the great dangers is to begin to count too heavily about tomorrow – this is going to happen or that is going to happen... When we boast about what we will accomplish tomorrow, it is even worse. All of our lives are under the sovereign control of God, and we do not really know what will happen tomorrow or what we will accomplish. We can prepare the best we can and we can pray, but ultimately the outcome of tomorrow is in His hands. We all need a healthy dose of internal realization that it is all whether God wills or if God wills, we will do this or that. Many people who had great plans on or af

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 26:1

PROVERBS 26:1 "Like snow in summer and like rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool" like snow in summer and like rain in harvest The focus is on appropriateness. It is not appropriate to add value to a person who is selfish, impulsive, and rebellious. When a person who is a moral fool has value added to him or her, it destroys that person. It adds credence to their already inflated opinion of themselves. We make choices every day that will move us in the direction of foolishness or wisdom. Are we only thinking about what we want and what feels good at the moment or are we contemplating a world full of others who could win or lose by our decisions? Every one of us has talents tha

Growing Your Kids towards Independence (Part 2)

Today's article on Responsibility is the second of two parts. One of the primary goals of good parenting is for your children to be an independent, responsible, productive young man or young woman. A parent's job is to make them more and more responsible for decisions they'll have to make as they incorporate themselves into the real world. Responsibility says, "I am accountable for all of my choices." It also teaches, "Everything I think, say, do, and emote is a choice. I am responsible for each one." Take a look at what these two scriptures say about responsibility and accountability: "Correct your son, and he will give you comfort; He will also delight your soul. Where there is no vision,

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 25:1

PROVERBS 25:1 "These also are the proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, transcribed" This is a historical reference to the discovery of a list of proverbs that Solomon, the King of Israel, had put together and that the men of Hezekiah had transcribed or translated for the public consumption of the people. What is interesting is that many of the proverbs in this section are found in other parts of the book of Proverbs, but they are included here because they come with a different context so they have a different meaning or nuance. The context for the proverb is the proverb that precedes it or is two back. While many commentators declare that there is no context for the

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 24:1

PROVERBS 24:1 "Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them" This is a strong proscription against this behavior. This is the same sentiment that is registered in Psalm 73: I was envious of the wicked until I perceived their end. do not be envious of evil men The word envious is a very strong word. It is translated zeal when directed toward God. Zeal for Thy House has consumed me. Envy when it is directed toward another person's goods. Jealousy when it is directed toward your own goods. Notice that there are two prescriptions in this proverb: First, do not be envious of the evil person. Second, do not be desirous of being with them. Both of these actions happen on the inside but

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 23:1

PROVERBS 23:1 "When you sit down to dine with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you" This proverb teaches conduct around a superior. How are you to act when you are in the presence of a leader above yourself? It clearly follows, as advice, the verse that ends chapter 22. If you are gifted and skilled enough to be noticed by great men or rulers, then be prepared to be ushered into the presence of luxuries and delicacies that will be extremely tempting. This is almost like a warning: no matter what you see and no matter how bad you want it, hold yourself back; show restraint, moderation, and control over your desires or you won't be in the presence of great people long. The caution is

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 22:1

PROVERBS 22:1 "A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, favor is better than silver and gold" Throughout life you will be tempted to surrender your good name for a short-term gain – maybe a boyfriend or a girlfriend, maybe profits, maybe prestige or power. Whatever compromise is required is not worth it. Your good name and your best approximate at righteous integrity is more important than any short-term gain. In fact, your integrity will guide you by keeping you out of deals that will in the short-run launch you, but in the long-run rob you of real joy and peace. People will try and get you to compromise your high standards, to lighten up, to loosen up, to live like everyone els

Choosing to Take God at His Word

Lord, regardless of how I feel right now, the truth is that you are my thoroughly capable caretaker, my most devoted friend, and my infallible guide. You want nothing less than the absolute best for me. You love me more than I love myself and can take better care of me than I can take of myself. I'm struggling. You're so invisible; it's impossible for me to see you in this darkness, so please help me to sense your presence in a tangible way. Right now, as an act of my will, I choose to come toward you, to cooperate with you rather than the enemy. Even though I feel depressed and self-protective, I choose to believe that your promises are absolutely legitimate. I choose to push away the awful

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 21:1

PROVERBS 21:1 "The King's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord. He turns it wherever He wishes" There are a number of observations to make here. the King's heart It is the leader's mind that is being discussed. We must understand that God can redirect the thinking of a leader anytime one of his larger purposes will be served by that redirection. It is a great comfort to realize that when my purposes line up with God's, then He is able to move those in authority over me to do things that they may not have been inclined to do before. When I am the leader that is in question, I must realize that God is moving me to a place of recognizing His direction and His purpose. It is n

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 20:1

PROVERBS 20:1 "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise" This proverb is one of the basic lessons of a wise life. Don't get captured by alcohol. It is a selfish pursuit. Most people just assume that everyone knows this truth, but they don't – especially the young people who the proverbs are aimed at. How much harm and heartache could have been avoided if this simple proverb had been heeded? Think of all the things that wouldn't have been said; all of the hurt that wouldn't have been done. Think of all the positive things that could have been done that weren't done because that time and energy was spent on drinking or recovering from being drun

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 19:1

PROVERBS 19:1 "Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool" This is one of those value proverbs where God, through Solomon's observations, is trying to teach us the importance of something by comparing it with something else we would not expect. This particular proverb is a very interesting and strange sounding comparison to our ears. We are essentially asked which do you think is better – this kind of person or that kind of person? We may not want to be either, but it highlights that right value that Solomon wants us to see. The word integrity is the Hebrew word tom which means complete, perfect, finished. It can have the theological meani

Affirming Righteous Decisions and Opportunities

"For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness." (1 Timothy 6:10-11, NASB) First Timothy 6:10-11 makes a contrast between pursuing money and the things of this world (v 10) and pursuing the Christ-honoring qualities that define a blessed life (v 11). God in His wisdom continues to provide solutions for those of us who want the blessed life -- we cannot get it when we go after the things of this world. God giving you some money and material possessions is wonderfu

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 18:1

PROVERBS 18:1 "He who separates himself seeks his own desire, he quarrels against all sound wisdom" This seems to refer to the person who, in the midst of a team-work type of interaction, breaks away and will not consider other people's point of view; does not want to be involved in the normal give-and-take of relationships; does not want to win some and lose some. This person wants to win every encounter with others. This is the person who will not reengage with people because it means admitting that they were wrong or selfish. They just want it their way. This type of selfishness brings a temporary peace to their world, but it costs them dearly. If you cannot be involved in human relations

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 17:1

PROVERBS 17:1 "Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it than a house full of feasting with strife" The word better appears throughout the Proverbs as a means of "establishing value." Usually the things compared are reversed in their value in the eyes of most. Wisdom is seeing the value in what the proverb points out. Wisdom realizes that things are not always as they seem. When you see the word better, remember that the proverb is trying to get us to question what we value with this type of proverb. Which item has a higher price tag in your world? In the proverb before us, bread with contentment is contrasted with rich parties with anger. Most people in Solomon's day and in our own would

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 16:1

PROVERBS 16:1 "The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord" The whole of the first four verses of the 16th proverb is about the plans and direction that you are making. This is the way to discern what God wants you to do: First, listen to what you yourself are saying; it could be God trying to get through. Second, check your motives. Why are you planning to do a particular thing? Third, to make sure that you have God's best for you, pray a lot about it and actually go over the whole plan with God. Fourth, understand your purpose and that God has made everything else for a purpose. You won't find what you are to do until you understand your purpose. the

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