• Secrets Revealed
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on July 8, 2022 at 8:00 AM

    A few feet from my desk is a closet used for storage. In that closet are boxes and boxes of information that, at one time, was very costly. Today, it is worth much more than it was when purchased. The boxes inside the closet are made of ordinary cardboard. If someone opens the door and looks at them, there would be no reason to open them other than plain curiosity. They appear to have no value unless someone knows their contents.   They are like the Bible. Unless there is a desire to look inside and find out what it contains, it is useless. Most people are more likely to turn on a television or look at a magazine. But, if one stops, opens the Word and accepts its contents, life takes on an entirely new meaning and direction. “My son,” begins Solomon, “if you accept my words . . . and store up my commands . . . you will understand what is right and just and fair - and it will lead you to every good path, For wisdom will enter your heart.”The Proverbs contain clear and concise guidance for those who want to choose between right and wrong. God has planted some degree of morality in everyone’s heart because we were made in His image. But only the Word of God spells out in exact words what is right and just and fair. Every law or rule or policy that has ever been written is an extension of what we find in His Word. But, only His Word is capable of penetrating the very core of our being - our hearts. When we allow it to do its work, we are changed from the inside out and become a new creation.Prayer:  Lord, people look in vain for ways to change what is wrong into what is right. Your Word is that way! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today’s Bible Verse:    My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you Proverbs 2:1a

  • A Desperate Call
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on July 7, 2022 at 8:00 AM

    “Larry,” he said to get my complete attention, “don’t go next door and play with Richard. He’s not good for you to be around.” “OK, Dad. I won’t.” (At least not while you're looking, I said to myself, under my breath.)Not long after the warning, I heard his penetrating whistle that could be heard throughout the neighborhood. However, I was next door, on the roof of Richard’s garage with some other friends having a great time. But now, the “good time” was over. I looked down from the roof, and there was my Dad standing at the foot of the ladder. I knew I was “busted.” He spoke, I refused to obey, and the party was over.“How long will you simple ones love your simple ways?” wrote Solomon. Or, if he was talking to me today it would mean, “Larry, why were you so careless to allow yourself to drift into temptation. Don’t you remember that I gave you a warning? Why didn't you follow my advice?”This verse contains a certain sadness: “How long...” We are all “slow learners!”  We refuse to hear God.” I warned you, didn’t I? When will you ever ‘grow-up’ and accept the wisdom I offered you? I offered you my best: My wisdom that will last a lifetime and you rejected it.Rejecting God’s wisdom is very costly. In verse 25 there are some tragic words to describe the results of disobeying God: “Since you rejected me when I called...and ignored my advice...and would not accept my rebuke, I will laugh at you." God’s grace has its limits. Hear Him today!Prayer:  Lord, how blest are those who hear Your Word, accept it and follow it. Rejecting His wisdom has its consequences. We must listen to You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today’s Bible Verse:   How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? Proverbs 1:22

  • Warning! Danger Ahead!
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on July 6, 2022 at 8:00 AM

    Years ago, I was invited by some friends to visit a desert in Arizona. I was fascinated by the many varieties of the cactus plants. They came in almost every size and shape. Some had beautiful flowers, some contained water, some even had fruit - the “cactus pear” - but all of them had “needles.” One of my friends warned me and said, “Please do not touch them or you will have their painful needles piercing your hands.” But, like Adam, I decided to “taste” the fruit of a cactus pear, and immediately understood what my friend’s warning about “painful needles” meant. Though difficult to see the needles, their sting was extreme painful and seemed to affect every part of my body. I was left with the sting from their needles and never enjoyed the fruit.Solomon offered “the young” a warning: “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.” Perhaps he was speaking from personal experience. Or, maybe he saw others “enticed” by sin, fall into its attractiveness, and the damage it did to them and their loved ones. But the importance of his “words of warning” is true for everyone, no matter their age: sin. The results of sin affect the sinner – no matter their age. And, “Young” in this verse applies to any age or sex.Sin is “enticing” because it offers a fast lane to short-lived pleasure. Those who entice us to sin never say, “Oh, by the way, I want you to know that if you gain things illegally, the gain you get, sooner or later, will one day cost you your life. So, be sure to remember this, my friend, the only ‘gains’ worth getting come from God.”Falling into temptation is easy. Escaping its consequences is not.Prayer:  Father, these words of wisdom provide a shield of armor that will protect us all the days of our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today’s Bible Verse:   My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. Proverbs 1:10

  • Help, I'm A Parent
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on July 5, 2022 at 8:00 AM

     Throughout the Bible, being obedient to parents is always connected to being submissive to and following the teachings of God. And, if we consider God’s character to be important and the foundation of His role as our Father, parents will strive to “imitate” His characteristics if they want to be effective representatives of Him. We often speak of the characteristics of God in high and lofty terms: He is “omniscient, omnipotent, immortal, and omnipresent!” But, Jesus presented the character of God in behaviors that could be seen, and, most of them imitated. Consider these important behaviors we constantly see in the life of Jesus: loving, kind, caring, compassionate, forgiving, accepting, helping, healing, encouraging, honest, thoughtful, sensitive, open, available, authentic, a disciplinarian, knowledgeable, wise, a craftsman, a caring Son, student of the Law and Prophets, a model to be followed, submissive to and respectful of the laws and a close obedient relationship to His Father. Quite a list, indeed. And, when I review and think about this list, I wonder how often I failed my Heavenly Father as the father He wanted me to be to my children as they grew up - even now.When we consider the important role that parents are called to fulfill, spiritual, moral, and ethical examples and authorities to our children, it is easy to cry out, “This job is far beyond me!” And, it is if we attempt to do it on our own. But, if we are humble and dependent on Him, we have His Word to guide us and guard us, His Son within us to empower us, and the Holy Spirit’s presence to lead us.We also have His Word, especially the Proverbs, when we want His wisdom.Prayer:  Father, we parents who love and believe in You are blest to have You and Your Word as a “parent’s guide.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today’s Bible Verse:   – Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Proverbs 1:8

  • Obedience
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on July 4, 2022 at 8:00 AM

     The Ten Commandments appear to be divided into two sections: four of them teach the importance of honoring God, and six of them teach us to honor mankind. The fifth commandment would logically appear at the bottom of the first tablet. It is the first commandment that contains a promise: “Honor your father and mother so that you may live long (and in peace) in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” These words are echoed in Colossians: “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this pleases God.”Perhaps it would be “wise” to clear up the phrase, “My son,” in verse eight. If we acknowledge that Proverbs was written for all mankind who acknowledge God as their Lord and follow His teachings, then everyone, no matter their age, would be included in “My son.”Since this is written to “children,” it would be good to remind ourselves that the main characteristic of “youth” is vulnerability. The young would disagree with parents who would say that they are ignorant of the ways of the world and have no foresight or insight to see the results or consequences of their behavior. They need stern, loving advice, and warnings from parents who “walk their talk” and have the best interests of their children at heart. No one has more responsibility for the wellbeing and development of their children than their parents.But there are other “parents” who are also guilty of neglecting “children.” Mature Christians are responsible for “the new-born Christian.” This verse is an indictment on all of us who have allowed the “young in Christ” to face temptation, unarmed with the Word of God.Prayer:  Lord, forgive us for being negligent in instructing the young at home and in church. We need forgiveness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today’s Bible Verse:   Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Proverbs 1:8

  • How To Recognize A Fool
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on July 3, 2022 at 8:00 AM

     No one that I know wants to be called a “fool.” But, this term is used fifty times in Proverbs. Obviously, God must want us to know who qualifies for this title, and how those who are “fools” can develop a new identity.To begin with, the word used here for “fool” has nothing to do with one’s mental capacity. It would not be God-like to call someone a “fool” if they had no control over their thoughts and behavior. Instead, it has to do with a person’s chosen outlook on life. This person’s view is set, and nothing or no one will ever be able to change it.This “fool” is one who has no desire to invest any time in searching for wisdom. It’s thought to be a product that can be purchased online or in a bookstore.  Solomon clarified this when he wrote, “Why does a fool offer the sage a fee, when he has no mind to learn.” We can’t buy wisdom!  Since this is true, only reliable and dependable wisdom comes from God. Therefore, it must then be spiritual and not mental. A fool has no reverence or respect for truth. Unfortunately, the “fool” is very comfortable with things as they are. This person refuses to “fear the Lord” and rejects His counsel. The “fool” is satisfied to live life without God.Whatever we know of God, think of God, understand about God, and believe about God, comes to us from God as He reveals Himself to us. Atheists deny God, and agnostics say they are searching for proof of God. Until a person is willing and open to see God as He has revealed Himself in His world, His Word, and His Son, he will remain a fool.Prayer:  Lord, open the eyes of those who refuse to see, and the ears of those who refuse to hear Your Wisdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today’s Bible Verse:   The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

  • "Fear Of The Lord?" What's That All About?
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on July 2, 2022 at 8:00 AM

     We hear and read of it often. We know that we are somehow “obligated” to do it. We might wonder if it is something we feel. We may even be curious to know if others recognize it in our lives. We could think that if we go to church, read the Bible, give money to His work, meditate, pray, and witness, we are demonstrating our “fear” of Him. I remember as a child “fearing” my father. And, that fear had many sides to it. I remember fearing his wrath if I disobeyed him, or if he caught me being disobedient to one of his standards. I also recall the fear I had of him finding out if I did not do my best, honor my mother, did not practice the piano, or caused problems at school.When I understood what he wanted of or from me, and refused to do what he expected of me, that was the source of my fear. I knew that I would eventually have to face him, and knew that when I did, it would be “unpleasant.” That’s the way it is with God, too.When we understand what He wants of and from us, and we do or do not do it, that’s when and where our fear should begin. And, when we know what He wants from us, and turn from whatever it is that displeases Him, and look to Him for forgiveness, that is when our conversion begins. Turning from evil to God for salvation is the tipping point. Following conversion comes devotion - which means that we dedicate our lives to wanting to know Him, obey Him, follow Him, serve Him, and fear that we do not dishonor Him by being disobedient. It is only His wisdom that will lead us to obedient, disciplined and righteous living.   Fear is a good thing if it keeps us close to our Heavenly FatherPrayer:  Heavenly Father, we fear You because we love You and want to please You. Give us Your wisdom, as well as Your love, we pray. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today’s Bible Verse:  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

  • "Who's Simple?"
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on July 1, 2022 at 8:00 AM

     “God gives prudence to the simple?” Who are the ‘simple ones,’ and what does ‘prudence’ mean? And, if I’m not simple, do I need prudence?” asked a student in rapid succession. Trying to answer him while the class listened carefully was very important to me. I didn’t want them to think I didn’t know what I had been talking about.Solomon was not being smug, or putting anyone “down,” or ridiculing them, or being sarcastic. He was too wise to do that. He was being compassionate and giving a warning to those who are “easily led” or “gullible.” There are times when all of us fall into one of those two categories: following the wrong leader or not thinking things through carefully.And the word, “simple,” as used here, refers to people who are “aimless,” or “inexperienced,” who allow themselves to “drift into temptation.” They are unaware of what is going on around them, and, unfortunately, do not care to do anything about it. People in this condition are easily led astray because they have no interest in doing what is good for themselves, nor what the right thing to do might be.  Honoring God is of no concern to them when faced with temptation. The “simple” refuse to accept God’s wisdom as a guide for their lives and even refuse to hear and accept His guidance because they refuse to honor Him.        But, because of His love and grace, God continually reaches out to them, wanting to impart His wisdom to them. First, however, they must accept Him as Savior and enthrone Him as Lord. God’s wisdom is available to those who hear and respect Him. Never forget that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Those who do not hear and fear Him will remain “simple.”Prayer:  Thank You, Lord, for reaching out to us in love, and wanting us to have Your wisdom to guide us each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today’s Bible Verse: For giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young. Proverbs 1:4

  • Look At It This Way...
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on June 30, 2022 at 8:00 AM

    “One thing is for certain about you, Guido,” he said as he looked at my messy desk, “you don’t have OCD!”“What do you mean, I don’t have OCD?” I asked.“Well, if you had an obsessive-compulsive disorder you would be arranging and rearranging your desk to make it neat and orderly. Then you would do it over and over again. But, it’s not neat, never has been, and probably never will be. I’ll bet that your drawers are the same.”Realizing that he was right, I decided not to argue with him. He was a psychologist, and I was embarrassed.Many people do arrange and then rearrange things. Some people do things over and over again, and then again, to make sure that everything is perfect, or as close to perfect as it can be. They check and then recheck what they have already checked. Being around people who have habits like that make me feel guilty. They have to do things right!But there is a vast difference between doing things right and doing the right things. We can waste an entire day arranging and then rearranging food in our homes while our neighbor goes hungry. Or, we may arrange and then rearrange our cramped closets when we know there are people who wear worn out, ragged clothing because they have no other choice. We may be doing things right but we are certainly not doing the right things.Righteousness in God’s Word is a combination of both behaviors. Not only do we want to do things right  - as He commands us to do in His Word - but we must do the right things that will please and honor Him, as we serve others in need – spiritually and morally.Prayer:  Help us, Father, to be aware of how we do “righteousness.” May our lives meet Your expectations. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today's Bible Verse:    For receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair. Proverbs 1:3

  • Right Choices
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on June 29, 2022 at 8:00 AM

     “When you come to a ‘fork’ in the road, take it,” is an oft-quoted bit of advice from Yogi Berra. It has brought a smile to the face of many when they first hear it. But if you listen to what he is saying, it’s rather dangerous. Let me explain.“Wherever you want to go, is OK. Just follow your own path and enjoy life,” is what I think Yogi Berra is suggesting. But, is following our own self-designed path the best thing we can do with the life God has given us?God gave us His Proverbs for us to have His understanding to know right from wrong. In fact, if we go back to a conversation between God and Solomon, his first request of God was for the gift of insight: he wanted to be able to discern right from wrong. Solomon, at that time, wanted to honor God with his whole heart. He knew that honoring God would be difficult without God’s insight to guide him. What a wise request! “God,” he begged, “please guide me.”Perhaps he saw his father, David, struggling with his humanity when he had to choose right from wrong. Perhaps he saw his father grieve over a poor decision that cost someone their life. Perhaps he saw David, his dad, deal with guilt when he did not follow God’s guidance. There was something deep within him that challenged him to “be insightful, or discerning.” So, he asked God for this gift of “discernment,” and when he understood and applied it in his life, he recognized its value. When he recognized it’s value to him, he wanted to pass it on for us to use in our lives. How thoughtful of him to want to share God’s Word with us to guide us and keep us from sin.     God has given us the only resource we need to be discerning: His Word. If we choose to honor Him we can find His directions in His Word. Life is safe and certain if we follow His Word!Prayer:  Heavenly Father, we know that You will guide us and guard us if we seek Your will and stay obedient to Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today's Bible Verse:    For giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young.  Proverbs 1:4

  • Attention!
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on June 28, 2022 at 8:00 AM

    There are very few pictures of “Attention!” that can rival a US Marine standing tall after hearing that word. As soon as that “word” is shouted by a “superior” heels come together, muscles tighten, and faces freeze as though they were carved in granite. Persons who have served in the military know the significance of that word. When “shouted to subordinates” it results in an external rigidity that is very visible to the onlooker and represents an internal attitude of concentration that is waiting for a command to be obeyed and followed with no hesitation.Throughout His Word, God uses many different ways to get the “attention” of His children. There are times when He speaks directly to a person. There are times when He speaks to one person through another person. When God wants the attention of His children, He has many options.We read in Job that one of God’s options to get our attention is through suffering: “For He wounds, but He also binds up; He injures, but His hand also heals,” wrote Job.In Proverbs 1:2 we find a word that can be translated with several different meanings: instruction, discipline, training and chastened. But, in this instance, there is no doubt that it means “to teach by discipline” or “through punishment.”We often hear stories about people who “have to hit bottom” before they are willing to do something about a problem that is destroying them. It may be God at work. He often uses suffering and hardship to get our attention by “raising the bottom” to “save” us because He loves us.“The Lord disciplines those He loves,” wrote Solomon. God often uses discipline to get our “attention” when we abandon Him. Why? Because He refuses to let us destroy ourselves!”Prayer:  Lord, we know You love us. Do whatever is necessary to keep us in Your will - even if it means we must suffer for You to get our attention. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today's Bible Verse:   For gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight. Proverbs 1:2

  • Always Room For More
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on June 27, 2022 at 8:00 AM

     Whenever I hear the word “gain,” I think it is related to “weight,” especially my weight. There are very few mornings that I do not step on the scale to get my “daily report” on what I ate yesterday. Most nutritionists do not recommend such a program. But, my hope to see the arrow pointing downward remains steadfast.A gain or increase can be good or bad, exciting or depressing, encouraging or discouraging, depending on what the gain refers to. If we depend on the stock market, a gain can be a good thing. But, if we see a gain in our debt, it can be disturbing. Our gains or losses, for the most part, are usually in the physical or material realm.Solomon speaks of a particular type of “gain” - of being able to achieve some “things” that will last as long as we live. These “gains,” these valuable lessons are available and offered to us in Proverbs.  Our “attaining” more of God’s wisdom, or “life gains” is very important for all Christians because we are constantly challenged to “grow” throughout Scripture, and Proverbs provides this path for us if we want to grow.The word used for “wisdom” in this verse also means skillfulness - applying knowledge that comes from God to our lives every day. If we do so, we will “do the right things the right way.”  When we go one step further, we come to the fact that it is possible to develop decision-making skills that are God-honoring and enable us to establish life-principals that will bring us success. God’s proverbs can guide us through life, help us in our relationships with others, lead to good practices in business, enrich our homes, and bless God and others.Prayer:  Lord, You've left us “no excuses” on how we are to live life if we are Christians. Thanks for the directions on how to live a successful life! Now, give us courage! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today's Bible Verse:   For gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight. Proverbs 1:2

  • The Importance Of Words
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on June 26, 2022 at 8:00 AM

     “What’s a nanosecond, Keller?” I asked my ten-year-old grandson.“Papa, everyone knows what a nanosecond is,” he replied with a wry smile across his lips as if teasing me.“Well, not quite everyone. If I knew, I wouldn’t ask.” I felt like I needed to go back to school. Immediately!“It means one, one billionth of a second. It’s used to measure the speed of light and other stuff,” he replied casually. Not having any need to measure the speed of light, I thought it was a good time to end the conversation. I realized how little I knew about some things.But there is one thing I do know without any doubt: God took great care to choose the exact words He needed to explain His message of redemption. No second guessing about what He wanted us to understand. No hidden meanings for a special class of people. Nothing is left to the imagination that could cause us to make an error in knowing God’s message or direction for our lives.This is very obvious in Proverbs 1:2-4. God, through Solomon, let us know that there is a right way and a wrong way to “live life.” Each of us has choices to make about the way we will live: either a life of righteousness with God’s power that will honor and glorify Him or a life that is sinful, self-centered and leads to our death and damages others.Ten of the approximately forty words in Proverbs 1:2-4 provide different aspects on ways to understand, see and apply God’s wisdom for daily, God-centered, living. Check them out!God leaves nothing to “chance.” He wants us to succeed!Prayer:  Thank You, Father, for the “God is My Helper” successful living guide-book – the Book of Proverbs. May we follow it carefully. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today's Bible Verse:  For gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young. Proverbs 1:2-4

  • A King's Resume
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on June 25, 2022 at 8:00 AM

     Recently I was asked to write a resume. Since I had not written one in nearly 30 years, it presented a real challenge. As I thought about the many things I had done, some well and some not so well, I was grateful for the fact that the choice of what I would include was up to me.Solomon did not write his resume. God did. Nor was he the last one to make a statement about who he was and what he had accomplished. God did that as well. (And, by the way, God will do the same for you and me.)Even a casual review of Solomon’s resume is impressive. -Early Childhood Education:Exposed to sages, philosophers, wise menObserved troops preparing for battleStudied large building constructionAccompanied his father in foreign affairsSang Psalms written by his fatherInvolved in worship, prayer, and praise -Major Life Achievements:The third king of IsraelBuilt God’s Temple in JerusalemDiplomat, trader, patron of the artsRecognized as “wisest man who ever lived”Author, sage, and philosopher -Final Notations:Leadership accomplishments destroyedMarried pagan women, compromised his GodEnslaved God’s childrenWhat could have been, never was. Sadly, sin defeated Solomon, and he lost everything.Prayer:  One day, Father, we will all stand before You to be judged for the lives we lived.. May You bless us and say, Well done, Faithful Servant! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today's Bible Verse:  Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Among the many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women. Nehemiah 13:26

  • Looking Deeper
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on June 24, 2022 at 8:00 AM

    Advice only has value if it achieves its goals. Often, we follow the advice we get if it agrees with what we want to hear or if it comes from a trusted friend. When we need sound, reliable, and timely advice, we need assurance that our sourve is wise. Certainly, advice coming from David, a “man after God's own heart,” would be worth following. So, when he gave advice to his son, it was a tipping point in his career as a king, husband, father, teacher, and warrior.And, his advice was simple, and can be summed up in a few words: “Be strong and obedient to God.” But, what does this mean?First and foremost, Solomon, if he chose to succeed, needed a deep, personal relationship with God. As he grew up in David’s household, he saw his father reading the law and prophets, worshipping and praying, writing the psalms and following God faithfully. David proved what obedience was. And, when he failed, he repented, and returned to obeying God’s teachings!However, he had to know God’s laws to obey them. To know them, he had to study them before he could apply them. This would take time from other things - but would be time well invested and keep him from failing in life by being disobedient to God. He also was given advice to worship God wholeheartedly, surrender to Him completely and serve Him willingly and faithfully. Sadly, history shows us that he refused to do that.As the story of Solomon unfolds in the Bible, we read of “what might have been” if he had surrendered to God completely. His lack of surrender destroyed the plan God had for him.The same is true for us. We must study God’s Word and, surrender to Him, or fail.Prayer:  Father, may we willingly study and obey Your Word, and then surrender our lives to You and bring honor to Your Name and peace to our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today's Bible Verse: When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.  “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go.” 1 Kings 2:1-3

  • Fatherly Advice
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on June 23, 2022 at 8:00 AM

    There is no shortage of advice in today’s world. We can discover endless resources in the exploding number of self-help books and magazines, radio and TV shows. No matter where we look or what we listen to, someone has some formula to solve our problems, enrich our lives, make us more attractive, add years to our lives, and make us wealthy.Solomon, apart from his Proverbs, also offered insight on how to live life well in some of his other writings. And, at the end of his life he wrote, “Of making many books there is no end...all has been heard, and here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments.” In these few words, he went back to the beginning of his reign when his father, David, gave him some “fatherly advice” – “Solomon, be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires.”There are, as mentioned earlier, many sources and resourses on how to live life. But the advice we find here is different. After reflecting on his life and reviewing his successes and failures, he summed up the essence of life: “Life, apart from God, is meaningless.”David, “a man after God's own heart,” offered his son, Solomon, a man who would one day be recognized as “the wisest man who ever lived” the formula for success.God’s wisdom, however, only has value if followed. As long as Solomon followed the advice of his father, David, God honored and blessed him. And, nothing since then has changed.If we follow the advice of our Heavenly Father as He presents it in His Word, He will honor and bless us, guide us and guard us, too!Prayer:  To accept and live by Your requirements, Father, is easier said than done. But, with Your power, it is possible if we trust in Your strength, not ours.. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today's Bible Verse: Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. Ecclesiastes 12:12-13

  • Where Did The Proverbs Come From?
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on June 22, 2022 at 8:00 AM

    No one has ever asked me to answer a question that had no limits. Sometimes, I have been asked questions that have encouraged me to “think big” or to “go beyond what I have thought of in the past,” or to “think into the future for what could be.” Those questions have been very challenging. However, no one has ever approached me and said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you, and I will!” At least, no one who had the power to give me a “whatever.”But that happened to Solomon. And, the one who asked him that question was not his father who he would replace as king. It was One who was much more powerful than his father, and One who, indeed, could grant Solomon the “whatever” he wished for. It was God Himself!He realized and admitted to God that he was not qualified to be a king. He saw himself as “a little child.” So, he asked God to “give Your child a discerning heart” – (not mind) – “to govern Your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of Yours?” Then, the very next verse begins with, “The Lord was pleased that Solomon asked for this!” And, God responded: “I will give you what you asked for and what you have not asked for: wealth and honor, and in your lifetime you will have no equal!”What an interesting question: “Ask for whatever you want” - and what a humble answer: “Nothing for myself. My only desire is to have a discerning heart.”God granted his request and through him gave us His inspired, infallible, inerrant Proverbs as “life guides.”Prayer:  Father, in Your wisdom, You gave Your servant wisdom to offer to Your children so they could “live well!” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today's Bible Verse:   So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours? 1 Kings 3:9

  • Why The Proverbs Of Solomon?
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on June 21, 2022 at 8:00 AM

     Wisdom was a very important matter to those living during the time of Solomon. The Bible gives special recognition to the wise men of Israel’s neighbor, especially those in Egypt, as well as Babylon and Phoenicia, Arabia, and Edom. The Old Testament also refers to Gentile “sages” with a certain degree of respect – but does not mention the Gentile priests and prophets.It’s important for us to remember that there were many in that period of history who were very intelligent even though they did not speak as one having a “special revelation” from God. Individuals throughout the ages, even today can think, speak and write wisely within many different fields of knowledge, and yet not speak on behalf of God. It is this simple, significant fact that makes The Proverbs of Solomon different. Solomon spoke on behalf of God, the truth of God, to guide the people of God into “paths of righteousness for His sake.” Then, as now, following the teachings and instructions of Solomon, God's children have God's “filter” to see God’s world through God’s eyes.We often talk about “hindsight” and “foresight,” but God’s Word gives us insight into the way we are to live. We may have wisdom from other sources, but the wisdom that comes from God enables us to live victoriously and successfully, and let the world see and understand the value of submitting to His teachings. We are, of all people, most blest to have His wisdom!One more fact: We, as the children of God, also have access to the power of God, to live lives that are pleasing to God, through the strength and power of God.Prayer:  Heavenly Father, may we know, understand, accept and live in the light of Your wisdom every day! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today's Bible Verse:  The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel. Proverbs 1:1

  • What's A Proverb?
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on June 20, 2022 at 8:00 AM

    Little Ruby was saying her bedtime prayers. “Dear God,” she prayed, “please help bad people to be good and good people to be nice.” Whether Ruby knew it or not, she provided a simple way of describing what the book of Proverbs is: “a guidebook for living a life that pleases God.”Over the years, various cultures and societies have established different criteria to describe whether or not one is “successful.” Many have put “wealth” at the top of the list. And, money, to some degree, is important and necessary if one is to have the necessities of life. Others would speak of power, prestige, and one’s position in society as being critical. Those words express the core values of individuals who want to be recognized for what they have accomplished on the world’s stage in politics, the military, banking, or finance. No doubt some want to be remembered for doing some “thing” that no one else has done - like discovering a medicine that extends life or setting a record in a particular sport, inventing a product or procedure that makes life better or is useful, valuable or delightful.But, those whose lives are guided by the lessons that we find in The Proverbs are those who fear God and allow Him to guide them, guard them and give them His gifts.We often talk about hindsight, sometimes we wish we had foresight, but Solomon’s Proverbs gives us the insight to make decisions based on God’s laws. Proverbs provide us with God’s wisdom that is underwritten by God to give us His power to live good, godly lives.Prayer:  Grant us willful hearts, Lord, to obey Your laws. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today's Bible Verse:  The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel. Proverbs 1:1

  • Lasting Impressions
    by noreply@blogger.com (Larry Guido) on June 19, 2022 at 8:00 AM

    One dreadful day, many years ago, a large sailboat capsized on Lake Michigan. It was near the shore, and the lifeguard on duty, Edward Spencer, jumped into the lake and rescued all seventeen people who were on board. Finally, he fell exhausted on the shore and was taken to a hospital to recover. As he was carried into the emergency room, he kept asking, “Did I do my best?”Years later, Dr. R.A. Torrey, an evangelist, was telling this story in a revival in Los Angeles. Suddenly, a man electrified the audience. He stood up and shouted, “Dr. Torrey, Edward Spencer is here.”Shaken, Dr. Torrey asked, “Would you please come to the platform?” Slowly, the white-haired Spencer made his way to the platform as the people applauded wildly.Dr. Torrey looked at him with grateful eyes and asked, “Is there anything that stands out in your mind in the saving of those seventeen people?”“Only one thing, Dr. Torrey,” he replied. “Of the seventeen, not one of them thanked me.”“Ingratitude is the mother of every vice,” is a famous French saying. And the Spanish add, “The earth produces nothing worse than an ungrateful man.”Why is it so difficult to say, “Thanks?” Is it pride? Is it self-centeredness - the attitude that I don’t need you or anyone else? Is it because we are weak and want to appear strong? Is it a false impression of our own value?How interesting that the last verse of the Psalms reads, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”Prayer:  Lord, give us an alert mind to recognize the many gifts we receive each day. Give us grateful hearts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.Today's Bible Verse:     Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Psalm 150:6