Proverbs 4:23 – Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – We need to be alert to actions and thoughts that are contrary to our hearts. No matter how insignificant that they may seem. Because eventually they will pollute our hearts. Changes in the heart will almost always affect what you think, how you act and who you are (wellspring of life). It may be a slow process (like erosion) but changes in the heart are harder to correct.
My Advice – Do not kid yourself by thinking that you can brush up against sin and not become entangled. You cannot simply just have a bite, because one bite calls for another. Avoid situations that you know are wrong but are tempted by. Stay away, turn around, flee from them.
Proverbs 3:11, 12 –My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Usually we do despise it, crying out “God, why are You doing this to me?” Rather we should be asking, “God, what do You want me to learn from this?”
My Advice – I trust that you do not despise your mom and me for the times we had to discipline you as you were growing up. You may not have liked it at the time, but perhaps now, you see them as acts of love. View God’s discipline the same way whenever it comes your way. His motives will be purer than ours ever were, and backed by a love that is even deeper than ours is.
Proverbs 1:2-5 – For attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young – let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. (NIV 1978)
My Musing – This book has valuable information for both the simple and wise. You are never too simple to learn these lessons and never too wise that you do not need them.
My Advice – You would do well to make this a book in your Bible with pages that are unusually worn. The advice is timeless, practical and true. Consult it often. No matter how wise you think you’ve become, always be willing to listen.
Psalms 139:16 – All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – It should be very comforting to us that He chose us and that He has plans for us. Plans that are good and for our benefit.
My Advice – You are not here by accident. Your life is not unfolding without design. God chose you long before you were even born. Keep your eyes open for the paths that He will lead you down. Keep your ears open so you will always hear Him calling.
Psalms 127:1 – Unless the Lord builds the house, its builder labors in vain. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – There are so many things that we build in life without God’s involvement. How much better they would turn out if we included Him.
My Advice – As you build a career, family and relationships, make sure you include the Lord every step of the way. All of these are much too important to leave God out of them.
Psalms 119:71 – It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn from your decrees. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – We do not think of affliction as good, but there are so many things we learn from it that we could not learn any other way. Much more of our character comes from rough waters than it does from smooth sailing. We must try very hard to learn from these situations. How sad to think that we might go through them and learn nothing.
My Advice – Learn from adversity. In every hardship, there is something that God can and will teach you if you look for it. So whenever the going is rough, ask God what He is trying to teach you – and He will.
Psalms 119:9-11 – How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your Word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – How can we live according to God’s Word? By seeking Him and hiding it in our hearts. There is no situation that we face that we cannot take to Him in prayer. If we know His Word well enough (hidden in our hearts) we often know what to do.
My Advice – Living a life that is pure in God’s sight is easier if you know His Word well. Read it and study it regularly and often. Staying in a close relationship with Him is also helpful, because when you seek Him, He will always be near.