A parallel between the Pharisee and the young person exists today. Many are conforming to standards without a true heart for God. This devotional addresses this issue and discusses the remedy for it.
Is this verse about evangelism? Can we trust our English translations of the Bible. Why do some make Scripture so complicated. This devotional answers these questions and challenges us to win people to Christ: the second greatest joy behind our own salvation.
Beware of Prating Perversity
Young people will either receive commands and develop character and a righteous reputation or they will prat about and go their own twisted ways. It is important that we show them that they are at a crossroads and warn them of the danger of allowing others to choose for them.
We must believe that eternal life and temporal needs will come to the righteous.
“Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death. The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish, but He casts away the desire of the wicked. ” (Proverbs 10:2–3)·
These verses provide another contrast between wickedness and righteousness. Jesus taught that we should lay up earthly treasures that may be either destroyed or stolen (cf. Matt 6.19). Proverbs 10.2 not only speaks of temporal treasures; worse, these treasures are treasures of wickedness. Where is the 30 pieces of silver used to betray the Lord Jesus? Where is the soul of Judas right now? What really matters?· Righteousness delivers from death. The temporal must be viewed in the light of the eternal. As Christians, we know that the righteousness which delivers is the righteousness provided by the Lord Jesus. We have no righteousness of our own.· Verse 3 makes us mindful of the fact that God will provide what we need on the temporal level; we will not famish. But God casts away the craving of the wicked. We may not be wealthy, but God cares for us. This is much better than misfortune pursuing us at every turn.
Do we hate what God hates? The body acts: the tongue, hands, heart, and feet. But actions represent the perversity of the heart, the inner man. God considers seven things an abomination: pride, deceit, murder, deviousness, pursuing evil, false testimony, and discord.
People will come to us because they know us to be kind and tenderhearted. Often they are in helpless situations that seem impossible. We must be careful about attempting to rescue them and failing to live up to the responsibility to do so. We also must admit that they may be struggling because that is precisely where God wants them.
Proverbs 5 teaches young people that seduction is the main road to ruin (verses 1-6). Seduction’s path is paved with ignorance (verses 1-2). Scripture points up the fundamental building blocks of a sturdy understanding of matters pertaining to physical intimacy. 1) God has given the institution of marriage to a man and a woman for life; 2) Any intimacy outside of marriage brings difficult and devastating consequences. Along seduction’s way, there are four directional signs which steer students toward ruin. 1) Give your honor to others; 2) Give your money to others; 3) Give your body to breakdown; 4) Give yourself to a lifetime of regret.
Wisdom: The Best Way of Doing the Best Things in Life
Retaining and keeping the commands of God are good things. But applying what you get is wisdom. Wisdom is relational. She is ours for the taking. She brings delight into our lives. We need her desperately in order to do eternal good. Wisdom truly is the best of doing the best things in life.
Fear the Lord and Depart from Evil
Pride and self-reliance, qualities of the world, communicate the absence of fear. Young people suffer immensely when they choose to forget that God is close at hand. Godly standards and the pursuit of holiness will keep them on track to developing good relationships with God and others.
How Does God Direct Your Path? Proverbs 3.6
God directs our paths through His Word by the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit. He also works providentially through others and through our daily obedience. Students must understand that they must labor as if everything depended upon them, but trust as if everything depended upon God.
September Character Trait: Attentiveness
God is good in that He always works everything to our benefit. He forgives those who are willing to forgive others. He is abundant in mercy for those who call upon Him. The good, forgiving, and merciful God deigns to listen very attentively to our voices as we offer specific prayer requests before Him. God is not only attentive to our needs but even our desires. We should be attentive to manifesting His good, forgiving character.
Confidence in God
Confidence in God must meet three benchmarks: 1) It must be complete (trust with all your heart); 2) It must be confined (lean not on your own understanding); 3) It must be consistent (in all your ways acknowledge Him).
Benefiting from the Wisdom of Solomon
Solomon understood the value of wisdom, but he also moved away from God to experience the folly the world had to offer. We must benefit from his experience with wisdom in three ways: 1) Wisdom will keep us from the evil ways of evil men; 2) Wisdom will keep us from immorality; 3) Wisdom will keep us on the paths of righteousness and peace.
Faithfulness Keeps You from Evil
The knowledge of God will influence our lives in at least four ways: 1) It enables eternal vision; 2) It quickens the conscience; 3) It alerts us to temptation; 4) It leads us to God for help.
How to Find the Knowledge of God
You have to know what it is before you understand how to get it. Wisdom from God is rooted in the heart. Whereas the knowledge found among scholars and men is finite, the knowledge of God is infinite. The former wisdom is temporal in nature but the latter is eternal. The wisdom of God is mocked by the wise of this world. However, Christians love the light and we are children of the Father of Lights. Thus, we lift up our voices for wisdom. We dig deep and are willing to work hard, but we recognize that true wisdom is a gift from God.
Attentive to Grace
If even those who hate knowledge and delight in scorning turn at the rebuke of God’s wisdom, He will be very gracious to them. However, if fools persist in rejecting and scorning the wisdom of God, they will face ultimate ruin. We must be attentive to the grace of God found in the wisdom of God today - while it is still called today. If we wait until tomorrow, God may swear in His wrath that you shall never enter into His rest. That’s a chilling prospect.