Searching the Soul
Lord, help me live today better than yesterday, more in step with You, more loving to others.
Read PROVERBS 20:1-30
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Proverbial wisdom is available to everyone. The wise are those who heed God’s commands while the foolish ignore them. Wisdom is all important in the business of living” (Derek Tidball).
Practically helpful and spiritually searching, these sayings are born of a sharp eye and a godly heart. We enjoy new pearls and the ever-fresh beauty of familiar ones. Here are a few, under two headings.
The soul and sin. Verses 6 and 9 remind us of some key things. Don’t make overblown claims about how holy you are; be realistic about your purity. Never let the devil dupe you into thinking that you have outgrown your need of the cross. We live by faith in Christ’s righteousness “from first to last” (Rom. 1:17). Verse 27 warns us: God’s searchlight—his word and his purity—is too bright to leave dark recesses in which sin might remain unseen. Verse 30 encourages us, albeit strangely: the Lord disciplines those whom he loves (Heb. 12:4-13). Don’t be duped into assuming that those inmost sins won’t be challenged. The sins to which you might be blind are seen by God, who will rid you of them. It will hurt, but only if you’ve cherished them.
Life’s ruin. Wine and beer (1) are not made of evil molecules, but if you let them master you they will make a fool of you. This is important to God. He made you to bear his image; he is remaking you in Christ to bear that image again. It’s cost him a lot. You matter, and the quality of your humanity matters to him. If he is your master, he will ennoble you; let alcohol master you and it will ruin you. The same goes for the self-indulgence of laziness (4,13): you don’t set out to be a sluggard, it creeps up on you. But you’ll be ruined by it. God cares about this, so work hard, be industrious, while enjoying rest in its proper place.
Are any of the issues raised in today’s reading a struggle for you? Addiction, laziness, or secret sin? If so, bring them to the cross for forgiveness.
Lord, help me to be wise and obedient to Your instruction. There are so many clamoring voices demanding my attention. I desire to trust and obey You.
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