What choices will you make! Will you decide to do things that are good? Will you decide to do things that are wise? Will you decide to do things that will build up? Will you decide to do things that will last? Will you decide to do things that will endure? Will you decide to do things that will show your love for God? Will you decide to do things that will show your love of others? Will you decide to walk with character? Will you decide to walk uprightly? Will you decide to live in a trustworthy manner? Will you decide to forgive rather than to allow a bitter root to eat away at you from the inside out? Will you decide to consider it pure joy when you face trials and troubles of many kinds? What will you do with your life?
Wisdom Builds Up, Folly Tears Down
1A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands. 2The one who walks uprightly fears Adonai, but one devious in his ways despises Him. 3In the mouth of a fool is a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise protect them. 4Where there are no oxen, the stalls are clean, but from the strength of the ox comes an abundant harvest. 5A trustworthy witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies. 6A scoffer seeks wisdom yet finds none, but knowledge is easy to the discerning. 7Walk away from a fool— for you will find no knowledge on his lips. 8The wisdom of the prudent is to consider his way, but the folly of fools is deception. 9Fools mock guilt of sin, but among the upright is goodwill. 10The heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy. 11The house of the wicked will be demolished, but the tent of the upright will flourish. 12There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. 13Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief. 14A backsliding heart partakes of its ways, and a good man is rewarded for his. 15The naïve believes every word, but the shrewd discerns his steps. 16The wise fears and turns away from evil, but the fool is hotheaded and reckless. 17One with a short temper acts foolishly, and one with crafty schemes is hated. 18The naïve inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. 19Evil men will bow in the presence of the good, and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
Poverty and Riches
20The poor is hated even by his neighbor, but many are those who love the rich. 21Whoever despises his neighbor sins, but whoever is gracious to the needy is blessed. 22Indeed those who plot evil go astray but grace and truth come to those who plan good. 23In all hard work there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. 24The crown of the wise is their riches, but the folly of fools is foolishness. 25A truthful witness saves lives, but one who utters lies is treacherous. 26In the fear of Adonai one has strong confidence. It will be a refuge for His children. 27The fear of Adonai is a fountain of life, turning one from the snares of death. 28A large population is a king’s glory, but lack of subjects is a prince’s ruin. 29One who is slow to anger shows great understanding, but a quick-tempered one exalts folly. 30A tranquil heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones. 31The one who oppresses the poor shows contempt for his Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors Him. 32The wicked is brought down in his calamity yet the righteous has a refuge even in death. 33Wisdom rests in the heart of the discerning, and even among fools she is known. 34Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people. 35The king shows favor toward a servant who acts wisely, but his wrath is on one who is disgraceful.
–from Proverbs 14
How will you answer? How will you speak? Will others be able to receive it? Will you speak in a way that others will be receptive to? Will you speak life? Will you speak hope? Will you speak truth? Will you speak love? Will you speak healing? From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks…so fill your life and your heart with the right stuff and the right attitude so that you can live and speak life!
Tongue of the Wise
1A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 2The tongue of the wise treats knowledge correctly, but the mouth of fools spouts folly. 3The eyes of Adonai are everywhere, observing the wicked and the good. 4A healing tongue is a tree of life, but a deceitful one crushes the spirit. 5A fool despises his father’s discipline, but one who accepts reproof is smart. 6The house of the righteous has great wealth, but the income of the wicked brings trouble. 7The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but not so the heart of fools. 8The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to Adonai, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.
Pursue Righteousness and Reproof
9Adonai detests the way of the wicked, but loves those who pursue righteousness. 10Stern correction awaits one who forsakes the way. One who hates reproof will die. 11Sheol and Abaddon are before Adonai— how much more the hearts of people! 12A mocker dislikes one who corrects him; he will not go to the wise.
Heart Attitude Matters
13A joyful heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. 14A discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on folly. 15All the days of the afflicted are bad, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast. 16Better is little with the fear of Adonai than great wealth with turmoil. 17Better a meal of vegetables where there is love, than a fattened ox where there is hatred. 18A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but one who is slow to anger calms a quarrel. 19The way of the slacker is a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway. 20A wise child brings joy to his father, but a foolish person despises his mother. 21Folly is joy to one who lacks sense, but one with discernment walks straight. 22Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. 23A person has joy in an appropriate answer— how good is a timely word. 24The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep him from going down to Sheol. 25Adonai tears down a proud man’s house, but He maintains the widow’s boundary. 26Evil thoughts are an abomination to Adonai, but pleasant words are pure. 27One greedy for gain troubles his household, but whoever hates bribes will live. 28A righteous heart thinks before answering, but a wicked mouth blurts out evil things. 29Adonai is far from the wicked, but hears the prayer of the righteous. 30Bright eyes bring joy to the heart. Good news gives health to the bones. 31One whose ear heeds a life-giving reproof dwells among the wise. 32Whoever avoids correction despises himself, but whoever heeds reproof acquires understanding. 33The fear of Adonai is the discipline of wisdom, and humility comes before honor.
–from Proverbs 15
Have you been born again? Have you received God’s grace and mercy by ask Jesus into your heart? It’s not too late if you are reading this, so why not make today your birthday?
Interested and not sure what to do or how to do it? Leave me a comment.
John 3 NLT
1There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. 2After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”
3Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
4“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
5Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
9“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.
10Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? 11I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. 12But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. 14And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.
16“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
18“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”
Today’s reading closes in 1 Peter 1…
1Peter, an emissary of Messiah Yeshua, To the sojourners of the Diaspora in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia—chosen 2according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, set apart by the Ruach for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Yeshua the Messiah: May grace and shalom be multiplied to you.
A Message of Living Hope
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah! In His great mercy He caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Messiah Yeshua from the dead. 4An incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading inheritance has been reserved in heaven for you. 5By trusting, you are being protected by God’s power for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6You rejoice in this greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials. 7These trials are so that the true metal of your faith (far more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire) may come to light in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Messiah Yeshua. 8Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. And even though you don’t see Him now, you trust Him and are filled with a joy that is glorious beyond words, 9receiving the outcome of your faith—the salvation of your souls. 10The prophets, who spoke about the grace that was to be yours, searched for this salvation and investigated carefully. 11They were trying to find out the time and circumstances the Ruach of Messiah within them was indicating, when predicting the sufferings in store for Messiah and the glories to follow. 12It was revealed to them that they were providing these messages not to themselves but to you. These messages have now been announced to you through those who proclaimed the Good News to you by the Ruach ha-Kodesh, sent from heaven. Even angels long to catch a glimpse of these things.
A Call to Be Holy
13So brace your minds for action. Keep your balance. And set your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Yeshua the Messiah. 14Like obedient children, do not be shaped by the cravings you had formerly in your ignorance. 15Instead, just like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in everything you do. 16For it is written, “Kedoshim you shall be, for I am kadosh.” 17If you call on Him as Father—the One who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds—then live out the time of sojourning in reverent fear. 18You know that you were redeemed from the futile way of life handed down from your ancestors—not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19but with precious blood like that of a lamb without defect or spot, the blood of Messiah. 20He was chosen before the foundation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through Him you are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your trust and hope are in God. 22Now that you have purified your souls in obedience to the truth, leading to sincere brotherly love, love one another fervently from a pure heart. 23You have been born again—not from perishable seed but imperishable—through the living and enduring word of God. 24For, “All humanity is like grass, And all its glory like a wildflower. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, 25But the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was proclaimed as Good News to you.
–from 1 Peter 1