Proverbs 24:20

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

". . . And the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out" - 24:20. 

The Christmas story is one of good triumphing over evil and doing so through the birth of a baby and not through a war or epic struggle. The wicked King Herod tried to kill the baby Jesus and almost succeeded. Yet what became of Herod? He died and his kingdom came to nothing, while Jesus and His flock live and reign forever. True to today's verse, Herod's lamp was snuffed out, while Jesus leads His people to victory in this life and the next, overcoming sin and death on their behalf. Are you living in the fullness of this eternal victory that Christ won for you? Read 2 Corinthians 2:14 and 1 Corinthians 15:53-55 and be reminded of the victory over all things that you have in Christ.

Proverbs 23:22

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"Listen to your father, who gave you life" - 23:22.

Think about the people who have brought life and help to you at critical times. It is good to know who those people are and to draw on their help when needed. These folks may be in your family, but they can also be an author, a mentor, a friend or someone in ministry.  Who speaks to you and it brings vitality to your life and work? Do you recognize that it is the Lord oftentimes speaking to you through them? In the Christmas story, Joseph received supernatural advice, which he followed, and it saved his family's life! (see Matthew 1:18-25, 2:13 and 2:19-20). Advice you receive may have the same effect, so listen carefully.

Proverbs 22:2

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"Rich and poor have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all" - 22:2.

The Christmas narrative reinforces the truth that all people need a Savior. In the account of Jesus's birth, we learn that both the poor shepherds and rich Magi came to find and worship King Jesus. Yet both financial conditions can erode spiritual sensitivities, for the rich are busy pursuing and protecting their wealth and the poor use all their time and creativity to eke out a living. Are you preoccupied with your riches, or lack of the same, and thus shortchanging your spiritual life? Are you telling yourself if you had more money, it would be easier to serve the Lord? What's more, your bond with others is not your economic status, but your mutual relationship with the Lord. Do you acknowledge your unity with those who are not on your economic level, acknowledging your Lord is their Lord, too? Read Romans 3:22-24 along with Matthew 2 and Luke 2 to interpret today's verse in the context of the Christmas story.

Proverbs 21:23

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity" - 21:23.

The worst part of saying the wrong thing can be how badly you feel after you made others feel badly, not to mention the trouble your words can cause. The only way not to cause problems with your words is to use your mouth to bless and not for selfish or mean-spirited reasons. Is it time to post a guard over your mouth? Perhaps it is time to deal with some heart matters for Jesus said, "What you say flows from what is in your heart" (Luke 6:24 NLT)? As a man who knew how to use his words to bless and encourage others, check out Simeon in the Christmas story in Luke 2:25-35 and then follow his example.

Proverbs 20:11

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

“Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right” - 20:11.

There are no age limitations in the purposes of God. He can use the young and the old alike, as we see in the Christmas story with Mary and Elizabeth. At the same time, we see that God wants not only holiness (conduct) but also actions (deeds and fruit) and once again, there is no age ceiling or floor. Are you using age as an excuse for not doing more for the Lord? Are you content with one or the other: good deeds or holiness? How can you combine the two to be a champion of your purpose who God can rely on to serve others? Read about those two women, one young and one older, in Luke 1:5-45 and then make yourself available today for God to use you now however He sees fit!

Proverbs 19:14

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"Houses and wealth are inherited from parents,
but a prudent wife is from the Lord" - 19:14. 

The holidays are a time to express gratitude to the Lord for many things, including family and friends. It's also time to tell your family you love and appreciate them. The greatest gift you can give your family this time of year is your attention and gracious words. What special expressions of love can you give this holiday season?  Read Proverbs 31:28-29 and then find ways to express your love for your family in the days ahead.

Proverbs 18:15

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge;

the ears of the wise seek it out" - 18:15.

You cannot be passive and serve the Lord's purpose. Instead, you must employ constructive waiting and seek out what you need to do and become to succeed in the future while you wait for your future to unfold. What are you doing to acquire knowledge and improve at what you do and who you are? What books are you reading? What classes are you taking? Read Daniel 1 and see how Daniel prepared himself spiritually and practically for successful work in Babylon; then go do the same.

Proverbs 17:22

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

“A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” - 17:22.

Your joy, or lack of it, has health and mental implications for good or bad. Are you doing what you love? How can you do it more often? How often do you laugh? Are you depressed or in a positive frame of mind? Perhaps some of your health or emotional challenges are directly tied to your lack of joy. It will help to read the truth about joy found in Nehemiah 8:9-10 and then determine if you have God's strength for daily living. Do you know what gives you joy? If not, what can you do to discover and connect with your joy? 

Proverbs 16:20

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers
and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord" - 16:20.

You must maintain a teachable spirit and not become an island unto yourself. If you cannot receive from others, then you may not even be able to receive from the Lord Himself!  Where and when have you stubbornly resisted input from others? What has it cost you? Has that really been a reflection of your lack of trust in Him?  As an example of a man who did not heed advice and instruction, read about Pontius Pilate in Matthew 27:17-24

Proverbs 15:24

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep him from going down to the grave" - 15:24.

Wisdom is practical and keeps you safe, alive, and growing. It is also compared to a path, which is always leading your somewhere. This implies that wisdom is something to assist you on your way through life as you do something where your purpose and goals are concerned. Those who lack wisdom will not find life but instead will enter into a premature grave where they appear to be alive but are just biding their time until the end comes. Is your path of life upward or flat? Are you growing in your knowledge of God?  Are you fulfilling your purpose?  What goals can you set for the New Year that will take you 'up and on' in the Lord?  Read God's promises for you if you overcome the difficulties of life in Revelation 2:26-29 and Revelation 3:11-13.