Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 31:7

Proverbs 31:7 "Let him drink and forget his poverty and remember his trouble no more. Let him drink." This proverb is not a justification for people in poverty to drink and become drunk. Notice that verse 6 says that we are dealing with a person who is dying, and this verse is a continuation of that thought. Instead, this verse seems to be a compassionate way to deal with the pain surrounding the end-of-life issues. In that day they did not have access to or understanding of the stronger drugs, such as morphine, to dull pain. So alcohol was the strongest pain medicine. Even Jesus was offered strong drink mixed with a pain-killing drug to mask the pain of crucifixion. He refused the offer. Bu

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 30:7

Proverbs 30:7 "Two things I asked of You, Do not refuse me before I die: Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches, Feed me with the food that is my portion, that I not be full and deny You and say Who is the Lord? Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God. Give me neither poverty nor riches." This section tells us that God has boundaries around your prosperity. There is an upper limit that you should make and a lower limit that you should possess. These limits are somewhat expandable by your actions, attitude, and choices; but there is a point at which you should not go even though you could. Every person has a lot in life. God has buil

How do you know if your life is out of balance?

Are you a stressed out mess? Do you long for peace and quiet? Does your life feel like it’s spiraling out of control? I've been there, friend, believe me! At one time or another, we have all experienced feelings of being out of control. When we aren’t experiencing order, or balance, in our lives, it creates anxiety, panic, confusion, and a sense of feeling helpless. This happens for one of four reasons: We have allowed some area of our life (or person) to take more of our energy, time, resources, and emotions than should be allowed, creating an imbalance; We have allowed our priorities to become misaligned, causing us to veer off course; We have too high of expectations for ourselves and oth

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 29:7

Proverbs 29:7 "The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor, the wicked does not understand such concern" righteous This is the Hebrew word sedaqa which means conforming to a moral standard. In this case – and in every case of the Old Testament – it meant conformity to God's standard; living in God's box. Its original meaning was to be straight; to do things the way that they were supposed to be done; its opposite "to be crooked or twisted" was the definition of perverted. A way of thinking about this in a broad sense: one is righteous in this idea when one lives within the boundaries of the Ten Commandments. This is the moral box for your actions. Now both the Old and New Testament

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 28:7

Proverbs 28:7 "He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father" This is a contrasting proverb that puts two very different actions in juxtaposition. It is always instructive what the proverb says but also what the proverbs contrasts, connects, compares, or condemns. he who keeps the law is a discerning son The word keep is nasar in the Hebrew, which means to watch over, to protect, to keep in view. The word law is the Hebrew word torah, which is the body of revealed law, usually compressed into its enduring moral components to the Ten Commandments. It may be helpful to just add a note of explanation to a New Testament understanding of the

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 27:7

Proverbs 27:7 "A sated man loathes honey, but to a famished man any bitter thing is sweet" This is an extremely important proverb in that it gives insight as to the reason why we do all the things that we do. All people do the things that they do because they think that what they are doing will meet the needs that they have. Don't miss the significance of that statement. People do everything they do because they think it will meet the needs that they have. In many cases they are wrong. In many cases they are drinking salt water to cure thirst; it will only make them thirstier. I am asked all the time why did that man commit adultery? Or why did that person cook the books in their company? Or

Secrets of the Lord's Prayer: God, Hallow Your Name Through Me!

Today, I want to take a deeper look at what Jesus is actually asking us by telling us to spend time hallowing the name of God. Jesus told us in Matthew 6:9 to ask God to hallow His name and we are the answer to the request. Yes, God will exalt His majesty in answer to this request, but we must participate by focusing on God and allowing ourselves to lift Him high in our thoughts. We find many examples of this in the Lord's Prayer, this “model prayer” Jesus gave us to interact deeply with the Father. In other words, we are to ask God about when our participation is the critical component to the answer God is ready to give us in the request we make to Him. For example, we are to ask God to giv

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 26:7

Proverbs 26:7 "Like the legs which are useless to the lame, so is a proverb in the mouth of fools" One of the characteristics of a fool is unapplied truth – wisdom that lies unused in their life. It is just too much trouble to change their convenient way of acting. It is just too much work to become more effective. As the Apostle James says, this is the person who hears the word but does not do it. The natural man/woman is like the person who looks at their image in a mirror and then promptly forgets what they look like because they do nothing about what they see. proverb This is the Hebrew word masal. The word means to be like or to be comparable to. Proverbs points out relationships betwee

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 25:7

Proverbs 25:7 "For it is better that it be said to you, "Come up here," than for you to be placed lower in the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen" This is one of the “better than” proverbs, which tries to teach us a principle about life and how things really work. These types of proverbs give us the position of aged wisdom in accessing the relative value of various actions. In this proverb the comparison is between clamoring and competing with colleagues for position, promotion, and attention from the boss and winning through the force of your personality and shrewdness only to be left stranded when another person is selected as the recipient of the boss’ favor. This type of co

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 24:7

Proverbs 24:7 "Wisdom is too exalted for a fool, he does not open his mouth in the gate" Wisdom carries clearly the ability to see options and nuances of actions that others do not see: The ability to find the wise course of action amongst the ones presented; the ability to see a good choice amongst the two that are the only choices; to be able to perceive more than the obvious choices is the wise thing. Wisdom is, at times, realizing that the truly wise and righteous choice will not present itself until you are further down the road than you are now or not until you make certain critical – albeit small – choices at the present time. It could be called: Finding the everybody-wins choice. Wai

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 23:7

Proverbs 23:7 "For as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, "Eat and drink" but his heart is not with you" This is one of the most famous passages of Scripture in the 21st century. The KJV version reads, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." It has been often quoted as, "For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." This verse gives us a key insight into the way people act and live. It is their thoughts that control lives. In this case Solomon is directing our attention to the thoughts of a "selfish" person (the Hebrew reads: one who has an evil eye). This is the person who, no matter what they say, their strategy and goal is some personal benefit. Many have seen, in th

Talking to Your Kids about Sex

I’ll never forget the first “sex talk” I had with my son Zach at Chick-fil-A a few years ago. It was one of the most awkward moments of parenting. But, I recognized that helping my son live pure and understand God’s design for our sexuality would be a challenge in today’s culture, so I wanted to start early and be ahead of the curve, so that he learns about sex from me, rather than someone else. The other day, a dad asked me how he should go about communicating with his kids about sex. Here’s what I had to say on the subject: Start Early The key here is that you want to be the primary and first source of information for your child. The old saying is true, “If you don’t tell them, someone els

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 22:7

Proverbs 22:7 "The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender's slave" There are facts of life that we can wish were not so but are true. The truths in this proverb are true and no matter how much you wish this were not true, they still are. It is these kinds of truths and insights that Proverbs is trying to imbed deep in your thinking so that you can succeed in the world that is instead of wishing the world were different. This verse deals with two kinds of being under authority or being ruled: the first comes from being poor; the second and far more grating comes from borrowing. The word rich is the Hebrew word oser, which means wealth, abundance, treasure. One of the pe

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 21:7

Proverbs 21:7 "The violence of the wicked will drag them away, because they refuse to act with justice" The word, translated violence, is the Hebrew word sod which means havoc, chaos, violence. The wicked person creates havoc and violence through their intimidation and impulsiveness. It is this havoc, chaos, and violence that drag them into further wickedness and destruction. They are about imposing what they want. A wicked person is a person who has decided to live outside of God's moral boundary structure. They want what they want. They create chaos through sexual license, shouting, intimidation, cursing, stealing, lying. The wicked person seeks to maintain what they want through almost an

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 20:7

Proverbs 20:7 "A righteous man who walks in his integrity. How blessed are his sons after him." righteous This is the Hebrew word saddiq which means conformity to an ethical or moral standard. Notice that it does not mean that one avoids violating a standard; it means living up to a positive standard. A righteous person is not one who avoids violating the Ten Commandments but one who lives out the two great commandments: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God and thy neighbor as thyself. I am not righteous just because I don't do something; I am righteous because I do something. Now it is very important to note that our best righteousness cannot earn or deserve God's favor. It is not good enough;

Secrets of the Lord's Prayer: From Self Focus to God Focus

So much of this world tries to distract us from thoughts of God. Have you noticed that much of our thoughts consist of our own plans? We constantly think about what we are going to do with this issue, or what we think about what someone said, or how we are going to react to what that family member did, or what we want in regards to something. It is all about us! Our own natural inclinations are self-focused, but if we are going to have a great relationship with God, we must break through this natural, selfish perspective and “see” God. We need to break through this self focus and reach for God focus. The answer about how to do that is adoration and exaltation of our great God. Not just when

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 19:7

Proverbs 19:7 "All the brothers of a poor man hate him; how much more do his friends abandon him!" This is the final extension of the idea in verse 4 and verse 6. Deep friendship is begun and built on the idea of mutual benefit. This verse deals with the negative side of friendships. When friendships dissolve or come apart, it is because the benefit is not high enough for the gain. Notice the idea that a person who is poor or who has nothing to share is abandoned. Now this is not talking strictly or even mainly about money. It is talking about the nature of friendships. What is the benefit that you have? Are you developing it and being generous with it? In what areas are you rich? Where can

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 18:7

Proverbs 18:7 "A fool's mouth is his ruin, and his lips are the snare of his soul" This insight that Solomon drops in our lap is crucial. How do you spot a person who is a fool? It is through what they say. Their constant selfish, impulsive, and rebellious speech is a clear give-away. Many of us do not want to face the fact that someone we know and, maybe even like, is a fool in the moral sense of the word. But Solomon is trying to get us to perceive this type of person before we try and depend upon them; before we try and delegate things to them; before we get sucked into their folly; before we get in an argument with them. It is their mouth that keeps getting them in trouble. They do not

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 17:7

Proverbs 17:7 "Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool, much less are lying lips to a prince" excellent This is the Hebrew word yeter which means rest, abundance, excellency. The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament says that the root, "... refers to the portion of a quantity which has been divided. Generally it is the smaller part..." The idea in this verse seems to be that the fool – the selfish, impulsive, and rebellious person – has this ability that they usually don't which is that they know how to talk extremely well and therefore act as though they are wise. The ability to say things in an excellent or persuasive way is an art, and it usually accompanies wisdom. So it is unusu

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 16:7

Proverbs 16:7 "When a man's ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him" This proverb, in the original, opens with the word pleasing. It is the Hebrew word rasa which means favorable, to be pleased with, to find delight in. In other words, the emphasis of the sentence is upon this key idea. It is important to note that this proverb does not say when a man pleases the Lord but when the ways of a man. The Hebrew word is the word derek which means the path or road or way. So the proverb is noticing that when a person brings the tenor and conduct of their life into line with that which would please the heart of God, then God will make the person's enemies to

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