Saturday, March 28, 2015

Saturday, March 28th : Proverbs 13-15, Titus 2

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Proverbs 13-15; Titus 2

I find Proverbs a difficult book to study in chapter chunks - I feel like almost every verse could use it's own post, and that it's difficult not to stop and carefully think through each one.

A couple general themes stood out to me though.  One is the importance of humility and being willing to learn - both from the Word of God, and from wise mentors around us.  Of course, it's difficult to learn from wise mentors if we have not consciously chosen to surround ourselves with them.   We need to make sure we have a strong spiritual support system in our lives, and that, once we have it, we make use of it!

More recurring themes include being careful to use our words to edify instead of destroy, living a life of obedience to God which is almost always completely counter-cultural, living according to the wisdom of the Word instead of the wisdom of the world, recognizing that justice will reign in both this life (though not necessarily materially or physical, but always spiritually) and in the next, that joy is found in the Lord and not in our circumstances, that it is far more valuable to be spiritually rich than financially rich, and that the fear of the Lord is the foundation of everything.

A couple of favourites for me (some to cling to, some to convict, some to encourage).....

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

Proverbs 14:26-27 In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.

Proverbs 14:30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:5 A fool despises his father's instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.

I love the book of Titus!  Partly because it is the first book of the Bible I have memorized.  Unfortunately, I have gotten out of the habit of reviewing it and so I don't have it completely  memorized anymore (I memorized it in the NIV1984 version and I can't find an audio Bible that still carries that version which makes it difficult to review easily), but it is still very familiar to me.

One thing that jumps out at me in our passage is that we all have a responsibility to both learn from those older than us, and to teach those younger than us (and that is determined more by spiritual maturity than by actually age).   It is so important for our faith to be rooted in sound doctrine!  We cannot teach what we don't know.  We cannot live out what we don't know.  We cannot defend what we don't know.  We cannot recognize false teaching if we don't know genuine teaching.  It is so important for us to take the time to read, study, memorize, and meditate on the Word of God.

This chapter also contains one of my favourite passages in the Bible - and it also happens to be a great summary of the gospel message.

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Proverbs 16-18; Titus 3


Pamela said...

This verse stood out for me too:
A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Which kind of fits with this verse from Titus:

15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

You can tell people the exact same thing two different ways and it is heard and received differently. Criticism done in a loving and gentle way is way more effective than harsh words. When we stir up anger, our advice is not heard.

Conrad said...

I am picking up on a theme of attitude while reading the book of Proverbs. We are encouraged to adopt positive ones as opposed to negative ones. Below are some that stood out to me today:

Patience and self control (15:1), not anger,
Humility (13:10), not pride,
Contentment (14:30), not envy,
Love (15:17), not hatred.