Day 321 November 17
The proverbs of Solomon, King David’s son, from Israel:
2 Their purpose is to teach wisdom and discipline,
to help one understand wise sayings.
3 They provide insightful instruction,
which is righteous, just, and full of integrity.
4 They make the naive mature,
the young knowledgeable and discreet.
5 The wise hear them and grow in wisdom;
those with understanding gain guidance.
6 They help one understand proverbs and difficult sayings,
the words of the wise, and their puzzles.
7 Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction;
don’t neglect your mother’s teaching;
9 for they are a graceful wreath on your head,
and beads for your neck.
10 My son, don’t let sinners entice you.
11 when they say:
“Come with us.
Let’s set up a deadly ambush.
Let’s secretly wait for the innocent just for fun.
12 Let’s swallow up the living like the grave—
whole, like those who go down into the pit.
13 We’ll find all sorts of precious wealth;
we’ll fill our houses with plunder.
14 Throw in your lot with us;
we’ll share our money.”
15 My son, don’t go on the path with them;
keep your feet from their way,
16 because their feet run to evil;
they hurry to spill blood.
17 It’s useless to cast a net
in the sight of a bird.
18 But these sinners set up a deadly ambush;
they lie in wait for their own lives.
19 These are the ways of all who seek unjust gain;
it costs them their lives.
Comments: Proverbs is full of practical advice, wisdom, suggestions, life experiences. They are intentionally reflective in tone, even parental. Proverbs is not a book, but a collection of sayings that have benefited the community. Proverbs is not meant to be history or scientific; they are wise says/instruction and are often culturally based from over 2000 years ago, yet so appropriate today!
2 Corinthians 4:7-18
7 But we have this treasure in clay pots so that the awesome power belongs to God and doesn’t come from us. 8 We are experiencing all kinds of trouble, but we aren’t crushed. We are confused, but we aren’t depressed. 9 We are harassed, but we aren’t abandoned. We are knocked down, but we aren’t knocked out.
10 We always carry Jesus’ death around in our bodies so that Jesus’ life can also be seen in our bodies. 11 We who are alive are always being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that Jesus’ life can also be seen in our bodies that are dying. 12 So death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13 We have the same faithful spirit as what is written in scripture: I had faith, and so I spoke.[a] We also have faith, and so we also speak. 14 We do this because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus, and he will bring us into his presence along with you. 15 All these things are for your benefit. As grace increases to benefit more and more people, it will cause gratitude to increase, which results in God’s glory.
16 So we aren’t depressed. But even if our bodies are breaking down on the outside, the person that we are on the inside is being renewed every day. 17 Our temporary minor problems are producing an eternal stockpile of glory for us that is beyond all comparison. 18 We don’t focus on the things that can be seen but on the things that can’t be seen. The things that can be seen don’t last, but the things that can’t be seen are eternal.
1 Peter 4:1-11
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin), 2 so as to live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires but by the will of God. 3 You have already spent enough time in doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you no longer join them in the same excesses of dissipation, and so they blaspheme. 5 But they will have to give an accounting to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that, though they had been judged in the flesh as everyone is judged, they might live in the spirit as God does.
7 The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaining. 10 Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. 11 Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
Prayer: may your presence go with us into ministry this day, dear Lord, for without you how could we exist? Amen.