Call Insight Your Intimate Friend

One minute read.

Daily Reading: Exodus 19:16-21:21, Matthew 23:13-39, Psalm 28:1-9, Proverbs 7:1-5

Daily Verse: “Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend,” Prov. 7:4

Bina, the original Hebrew word for insight in today’s verse, means “wisdom that responds to the Lord and His instruction.”

Becoming intimate friends with Jesus will give you access to His wisdom. However, the trend over the past 30 years shows a decrease in close relationships in the U.S.

“Just 13% of adults say they have 10 or more close friends, compared with 33% of those surveyed in 1990.” World Economic Forum, ‘Friendships: Less is Now More”

According to a 2020 Gallup poll, church attendance dropped below 50% for the first time in 8 decades.

If we want to call insight our intimate friend, we must pursue relationships, first with Jesus, then with others. Attending church regularly helps us do both. 

Building a life-giving bouquet of friends begins with Jesus. Becoming intimate with Christ will give you insight and develop close relationships with Him and others.  

Lord, forgive us for not pursuing You more. Help us draw closer to Jesus today as we seek a relationship with Him.  Build our bouquet of friendships as we engage with Jesus in an intimate relationship. IJNIP. Amen

Can a Man Carry Fire?

One minute read.

Daily Reading: Exodus 17:8-19:15, Matthew 22:34-23:12, Psalm 27:7-14, Proverbs 6:27-35

As campers, we build fires often. Hot coals gather quickly once the fire starts going and become deadly to the touch within minutes. The flame’s heat causes us to stay far from it, using a poker to stoke the fire when necessary.

Once a fire gets going, it requires effort to put out. If you go looking for trouble, you will find it harder to stop than you think. 

Playing with fire never ends well. Starting an inferno begins with one match. A little flame turns into a raging blaze that destroys everything in its path.

My friend uses the analogy of a frog placed in cold water on the stove. When the burner begins to heat the water, the frog doesn’t realize the temperature change, warming with the flames. 

Playing with fire may seem innocent, but like the frog, we don’t realize the inferno’s danger until too late.

Lord, forgive us our inclination to play with fire. Help us avoid the temptations of the day ahead. Guide us on straight paths that bring life to us, not take it away. IJNIP. Amen

They Will Watch Over You

One minute read.

Daily Reading: Exodus 15:19-17:7, Matthew 22:1-33, Psalm 27:1-6, Proverbs 6:20-26

Daily Verse: “When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.” Prov. 6:22

“They” in today’s verse refers to commandments from our parents who have our best interests at heart.  Like my Mom, whose words of advice when I became a flight attendant proved invaluable:

“Don’t let any pilots in your room.”

Simple, direct, and wise, Mom’s words saved me from heartache.  During my brief time in the air, I let two pilots in my room, and both broke my heart.  Eventually, I listened, but unfortunately, not soon enough.

Mom’s wisdom came from God.  Dedicating her life to Jesus, her words of wisdom came from Scripture memorized over her lifetime. Keeping Mom’s commandments kept me in line with God’s.

My Mom knew she couldn’t protect me from life’s struggles.  But she could point me toward the One who could help me persevere: Jesus.  And so, she did, with the wisdom from her faith.

Seven Things

One minute read.

Daily Reading: Exodus 13:17-15:18, Matthew 21:23-46, Psalm 26:1-12, Proverbs 6:16-19

Seven sins God despises, also called the “Seven Deadly Sins,” come from Proverbs, all aspects of relationships:

“…haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” Prov. 6:17-19

Reading the list, you can see why God hates the list of sins. They tear people apart, destroy relationships and leave a trail of misery behind them.

God loves everyone, all equal in the King’s eyes. When Jesus died, He did it for all. We can choose whether to place our faith in Christ or not. Our actions speak louder than our words.

Thinking ourselves better than others, lying, manipulating, chasing evil, and causing discord will distance us from God and people.

But following Jesus and obeying His commands will deepen your relationship with God and man.

Crooked Speech

One minute read.

Daily Reading: Exodus 12:14-13:16, Matthew 20:29-21:22, Psalm 25:16-22, Proverbs 6:12-15

Daily Verse: “A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech,” Prov. 6:12

People who violate the law or act contemptuously and foolishly practice deceptive ways. When they speak, their words don’t carry truth, not knowing the definition of integrity.

In other words, anyone who intentionally misleads others astray falls into the category of “scoundrel” or “villain.” Wicked people cause more harm to themselves than anyone else, needing Jesus to turn their lives around.

“I read the paper every day and the Bible every day; that way I know what both sides are up to.” Zig Ziglar

Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar’s quote comes to mind when I think of the war between truth and lies. Discerning crooked speech becomes easier with Jesus, who makes our paths straight as we follow Him.

Beware of crooked speech. Discern truth with scripture and pray for those who try to lead you astray.

Lord, forgive us for believing lies. Help us discern truth as we move through our day. Illuminate our paths as we follow Jesus, and guide us in truth. IJNIP. Amen

Go to the Ant

One minute read.

Daily Reading: Exodus 10:1-12:13, Matthew 20:1-28, Psalm 25:1-15, Proverbs 6:6-11

Daily Verse: “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” Prov. 6:6

For tiny creatures, we can learn a lot from Ants. They can carry 50 times their body weight and communicate through chemicals to alert others to danger and food sources. Ants store up food in summer, preparing for winter. 

As followers of Christ, we gain superhuman ability to withstand the world’s weight when we tap into His strength. Following Jesus, we have a mission that never ends, Love God and Others. Staying connected to God helps us prepare for the winters of our lives, surviving them with His grace.

While the Ants use chemicals to communicate, we have prayer. Talking to God about our problems and concerns for others keeps our hearts soft and pliable, allowing us to love well.  

Like Ants, don’t let anything stop your journey with Jesus. Keep moving forward. When life knocks you down, get back up and continue the journey; trusting Christ will make all things work for the good of those who trust Him.

Lord, forgive us our faults.  Take our burdens from us as we lay them at Your feet.  Help us continue marching forward as we connect with You, receiving Your strength.  IJNIP. Amen

Like a Bird

One minute read.

Daily Reading: Exodus 8:1-9:35, Matthew 19:13-30, Psalm 24:1-10, Proverbs 6:1-5

Daily Verse: “Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler.” Prov. 6:4-5

Today’s passage refers to debt owed to another person. Solomon advises us to get released from the pledge as soon as possible, not resting until we do.

Personal friends of mine will attest to the fact I hate owing anyone money. When we enjoy a meal at a restaurant together, the check gets split down to the penny; no one expected to pay more than the other.

Owing people money gives them a hold on you until the debt gets paid or they choose to forgive it. The credit card balance I carried in my twenties caused me sleepless nights as I wondered how I would make the payment.

Working hard and paying off my debt gave me rest. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University honestly does give peace.

Strive to become debt free, whether from money or something else. Pay the debt and free yourself from the bondage if you owe someone something.

Lord, forgive us for our follies. Help us work to become debt free, whatever the debt. Let us experience the freedom that comes from not owing debts to others. IJNIP. Amen

Lack of Discipline

One minute read.

Daily Reading: Exodus 5:22-7:25, Matthew 18:21-19:12, Psalm 23:1-6, Proverbs 5:22-23

Daily Verse: “He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.” Prov. 5:23

Wrapping up chapter five of Proverbs, the author leaves us with this thought.  If we fall for guilty pleasures, they take us captive, leading us to death.

My guilty pleasure comes from work, absorbing me and making me lose track of time.  When I had a recent health scare due to sitting too long, causing surface-level blood clots in my leg, I had a reality check. 

Since then, I’ve adjusted in my life.  Becoming more conscious of taking breaks, not standing or sitting too long, increasing my exercise, and monitoring my salt intake requires intentionality and discipline.

If I succumb to my guilty pleasure, it takes me places I don’t want to go. But becoming more disciplined leads to a fuller and healthier lifestyle.

Whatever your guilty pleasure, take control of your actions.  Use discipline to stay on the right path.  Implementing a daily Bible reading into your life will lead you in the right direction.

Lord, forgive us for the guilty pleasure that takes us captive.  Help us stay on the straight and narrow as we pursue You wholeheartedly.  In You, we find life to the fullest.  IJNIP. Amen

He Ponders All His Paths

One minute read.

Daily Reading: Exodus 4:1-5:21, ,Matthew 18:1-20, Psalm 22:19-31, Proverbs 5:15-21

Daily Verse: “For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths.” Prov. 5:21

Working on an old wooden bookshelf for my crafting business, I meditated on today’s verse. Trying to sand the crevices of the well-built bookcase tested my patience.

“No one will see it,” I kept thinking.  But then the still, small voice from inside me said, “I will.”

God sees all we do.  The Lord knows all things.  No one keeps secrets from the Creator of the Universe.  God knows the choices we make and loves us despite our shortcomings.

Embrace the Lord’s presence and accept His love for you.  Nothing can stop God from adoring you.  Let go of the past and enjoy life to the fullest, following Jesus.

God sees and knows all we do, loving us unconditionally.  Today, we can share the gift.

Lord, forgive us for trying to hide things from you.  Help us open our hearts more to Jesus, accepting your love.  Let us forgive ourselves as You have forgiven us.  IJNIP.  Amen

Do Not Depart

One minute read.

Daily Reading: Exodus 2:11-3:22, Matthew 17:10-27, Psalm 22:1-18, Proverbs 5:7-14

Daily Verse: “And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth.” Prov. 5:7

Following up on yesterday’s Proverb, the author gives fatherly advice. 

“Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house,” Prov. 5:8

Don’t go looking for trouble, and you won’t find it. Something I often tell my husband. Like today when he began worrying about fitting the used table we found on Facebook marketplace in our dining room the way he wanted. Anxiety grew as he fed it with his thoughts.

Staying present and in the moment helps us avoid troubled thoughts. Focusing on the people God places before us and enjoying the special time shared together helps us experience eternity.

“For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity.” C.S. Lewis

Stay far from trouble by keeping your thoughts on Jesus and living to fulfill the Great Commandment: love God and others.

Lord, forgive us for looking for trouble.  As you know, life comes with enough struggles without looking for more.  Yet we do.  Keep us on the straight and narrow.  When we misstep, bring us gently back in line.  IJNIP. Amen