Thursday, January 31, 2013
"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies." Proverbs 21:10 NIV
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
"If you have played the fool and exalted yourself, or if you have planned evil, clap your hand over your mouth!" Proverbs 30:32 NIV
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
"An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins." Proverbs 29:22 NIV
"If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable." Proverbs 28:9 NIV
Monday, January 28, 2013
“And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones,
who cry out to him day and night?” Luke 18:7a
Thud, thud, thud, the noise went on for hours. After listening in various areas of our kitchen and great room, I discovered the source. A young robin sat in the redbud tree right outside the window. Every few minutes he would launch himself off the branch and straight into the window, head first.
People at a local bird specialty shop suggested covering the window with something dark and uninviting, since the bird must find something inside the window attractive. Armed with a stool, newspaper, and tape, I proceeded to cover the window, but as soon as the tape let loose, the little robin began his incessant head-banging again. For weeks, I kept replacing the paper each time it came loose, and at last the young bird learned his lesson and moved on.
What an object lesson in the dangers of persistently pursuing potentially dangerous activities despite the peril. Some people are more prone to addictive and dangerous behaviors than others, but all of us, at one time or another, have pursued something that was not in our best interests.
In Romans 1, Paul reveals God’s condemnation for those who not only persist in sinful behavior, but approve of those who practice such activities. The punishment is for God to refuse to speak to them any longer and allow them to continue in their sinful actions to their detriment.
However, the Bible speaks of another kind of persistence which is rewarded with blessing. We will be blessed when we do not grow weary and discouraged in pleading for justice. The widow who went day after day to beg for mercy and justice from a judge, who refused to give in, was rewarded when he became tired of her and gave in to get her to leave him alone. Her persistence paid off in justice, even though the judge’s motives were wrong.
What do you crave that is causing you to act in ways that are harmful? Are you as persistent in pursuing righteous ends as you are in pursuing sinful ends?
When you determine to persist in holy and not harmful activities, God will bless your efforts.
© Copyright 2013 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman
All Rights Reserved.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
"A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand." Proverbs 27:15-16 NIV
Saturday, January 26, 2013
"Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down." Proverbs 26:20 NIV
Friday, January 25, 2013
" Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of gifts he does not give." Proverbs 25:14 NIV
Thursday, January 24, 2013
"If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!" Proverbs 24:10 NIV
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
"Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord." Proverbs 23:17 NIV
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
"The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge, but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful." Proverbs 22:12 NIV
Monday, January 21, 2013
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9a
I tried to speak and no sound came out. I could not even whisper. I couldn’t even call my husband.
The months dragged on. My notepad accompanied me wherever I went—including to the bank. My kids were away at school, so I learned to text message. E-mail was the preferred method of communication. Four and a half months I remained trapped in a silent world with no hope of finding my way out.
I had a Bible study to lead, a busy life to keep up with. Every woman in the Bible study had a chance to try leading. I sat silently with my notepad and wrote notes if necessary. Several discovered they could do something they never thought they could. The study went on as we learned a new way to be a vessel used by God, emptied of ourselves.
My inner spiritual life soared. God frequently gives us object lessons to drive home the point He is trying to teach us. Eventually God led me to a speech pathologist at our local university hospital. Her laryngoscopy enabled her to see what no one else had—a condition which could be successfully treated with therapy. She thought twelve weeks—I spoke the first time. God will not let us suffer one moment longer than is necessary for teaching us the lesson He wants us to learn.
What situation in your life seems hopeless? What frightens you? Everything God allows in our lives is something to be used for our benefit and His glory.
Learn to take your focus off the obvious and look for the way God is going to reveal His strength. Whatever that roadblock is in your life is the thing you need to give to God to see what He plans to do in it and through it. Find it, give it to Him, and see what He will do.
© Copyright 2013 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman and
http://normagail-2mefromhim.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved.
"If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered." Proverbs 21:13 NIV
Sunday, January 20, 2013
"It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel." Proverbs 20:3 NIV
Saturday, January 19, 2013
"He who obeys instructions guards his life, but he who is contemptuous of his ways will die." NIV Proverbs 19:16
Friday, January 18, 2013
"Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor." Proverbs 18:12 NIV
Thursday, January 17, 2013
"Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool—how much worse lying lips to a ruler!" Proverbs 17:7 NIV
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
"He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding." Proverbs 15:32 NIV
Monday, January 14, 2013
“But these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that by believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:31
I felt alone, shaking with pain, anger, and doubt. Three weeks following my father’s sudden death, God seemed silent and very far away. I struggled to sleep at night. My whole world seemed to have turned inside out.
When I was with my family things seemed better, but when I was alone the questions seemed overwhelming. Trust came hard without concrete answers. I concentrated on familiar scriptures, hanging on to keep falling over the cliff.I’d seen death before. As a nurse I stood at the bedside of many dying people. I once listened with my stethoscope while a tired heart beat its last. I remembered my grandparent’s deaths, the early deaths of cousins, but this was my dad. This was closer by far.
God knew we would struggle with doubts. He placed answers in His word for us to read, comforting words to still our fears and calm our hearts. He doesn’t run from our questions, He answers them enough for us to trust.
Paul writes that we are not to grieve as those who have no hope. The writers of scripture were humans too, and they needed reassurance as much as we do today. The writer of Hebrews says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
When Jesus spoke of going to prepare a place for us, and said not to let our hearts be troubled, He knew what we needed. His word is full of promises to never leave us alone, to never forsake us. We may not always feel God’s presence, but His word tells us we can trust all the time.
Look back on your life and think about the good times and the bad. Write down how you’ve seen God work in the past. Keep a record for when you need to be reminded.
Take your fears and lay them before God. One by one, name them and give them to Him. Write them down and tell Him to take them all. He will. It may be moment by moment, day by day, year after year, but God is faithful to do all He said He would. He wants us to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is faithful.
Trust Him, not your own understanding, but God’s promises. It helped me. It will work for you.
© Copyright 2013 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman and http://normagail-2mefromhim.blogspot.com. All Rights Reserved.
"When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge." Proverbs 14:32 NIV
Sunday, January 13, 2013
"He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm." Proverbs 13:20 NIV
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Friday, January 11, 2013
"A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25 NIV
Thursday, January 10, 2013
"The memory of the righteous will be a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot." Proverbs 10:7 NIV
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
"Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you." Proverbs 9:7-8 NIV
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Monday, January 7, 2013
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
Red, white, green, and gold fireworks shot into the New Year’s sky in the valley below our mountain home. We watched from our window, enjoying the display, and grateful for the snow which made it possible. Our drought-ridden state is rife with fire danger, even in the midst of winter. The covering of snow provided our protection. They were beautiful to see, but carry a danger all too real.
When David wrote Psalm 51, he was suffering the conviction of his sin with Bathsheba. His lust led to adultery, murder, and the death of the child they conceived—a crimson stain he could not remove by himself. As he confesses his sin to God, he says, “wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”
Isaiah’s prophecy carries the same message. Sin is not something which can hide forever. Once found out, it shows scarlet and crimson, staining our lives in ways we are powerless to escape, much like the brand on Hester Prynne’s cheek in Nathanial Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Our only hope of cleansing is to confess our sin and commit our lives to the Lord who promises to cleanse us from the stain of sin, leaving us “white as snow.”
What hidden sin stains your life today? What do you fear will be found out and destroy you?
Just as the snow provided protection from the danger of fireworks in a dry, parched land, Jesus promises to remove the stain of our sin with the washing of His own pure blood shed on the Cross when we are powerless to save ourselves.
Begin your new year with confession, accept His cleansing, and face the future with security for all eternity.
© Copyright 2012 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman and
All Rights Reserved.
" Listen to me now therefore, O you sons, and be attentive to the words of my mouth. Let not your heart incline toward her [wicked woman] ways, do not stray into her paths. For she has cast down many wounded; indeed, all her slain are a mighty host. Her house is the way to Sheol (Hades, the place of the dead), going down to the chambers of death." Proverbs 7:24-27 AMP
Sunday, January 6, 2013
"Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways and be wise!—which, having no chief, overseer, or ruler, provides her food in the summer and gathers her supplies in the harvest." Proverbs 6:6-8 AMP
Saturday, January 5, 2013
"My son, be attentive to my Wisdom [godly Wisdom learned by actual and costly experience], and incline your ear to my understanding [of what is becoming and prudent for you], that you may exercise proper discrimination and discretion and your lips may guard and keep knowledge and the wise answer [to temptation]." Proverbs 5:1, 2 AMP
Friday, January 4, 2013
"When I [Solomon] was a son with my father [David], tender and the only son in the sight of my mother [Bathsheba], he taught me and said to me, let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments and live. Get skillful and godly Wisdom, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation); do not forget and do not turn back from the words of my mouth." Proverbs 4:3-5 AMP
Thursday, January 3, 2013
"Let not mercy and kindness [shutting out all hatred and selfishness] and truth [shutting out all deliberate hypocrisy or falsehood] forsake you; bind them about your neck, write them upon the tablet of your heart. So shall you find favor, good understanding, and high esteem in the sight [or judgment] of God and man." Proverbs 3:3, 4 AMP
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
"My son, if you will receive my words and treasure up my commandments within you, making your ear attentive to skillful and godly Wisdom and inclining and directing your heart and mind to understanding [applying all your powers to the quest for it]; yes, if you cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek [Wisdom] as for silver and search for skillful and godly Wisdom as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of [our omniscient] God." Proverbs 2:1-5 AMP
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
"The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; but fools despise skillful and godly Wisdom, instruction, and discipline." Proverbs 1:7 AMP