Proverbs 27:2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips
A reminder to be humble and not to boast about our accomplishments. We always need to remember that any of our accomplishments are only by the grace of God and all the glory should go to Him, not us.
Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend
A friend that genuinely loves you will speak the truth to you in love, even if it hurts sometimes. When our good friends need to have a conversation like that with us, we need to be humble enough to listen to what they have to say. When we need to have that conversation with a friend, we need to make sure we speak in love, that we have the right motive, that we've grounded ourselves in the Word to make sure we're speaking truth, and that we've prayed and received assurance that it is the right time to speak up. And of course, take the plank out of our own eye first.
Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
That's what we're doing here!
Proverbs 28:9 If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.
I'm pretty sure that hearing, in this case, also means obeying. We can pray and sing praise songs with tears streaming down our eyes all we want, but if it's not followed up by obedience, we need to examine ourselves. Is our faith genuine or are those tears simply an emotional but empty response?
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
Parents who truly love their children discipline them. Allowing children to do whatever they want is not love. It may stem from laziness, disinterest, frustration, helplessness, pessimism, or a myriad of other things - but it is not loving. We are all inherently sinful - children need their parents to teach them the Word and to train them to be men and women after God's own heart.
Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
When our actions are guided by our fear of man more than by our fear of God, we are in trouble and headed down the wrong path.
Hebrews 4:2 "For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith."
Lots of people that grew up in church know a fair amount about God, but they don't know Him personally and so that knowledge is worthless. After all, Satan knows a whole lot about God!
But on the flip side, the more we know God personally and love Him and desire to serve Him, the more knowledge of Him we will also desire.
v12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.First, in order for God's Word to do its work, we need to know it. We need to read it, study it, meditate on it, memorize it. The Word brings both judgment and grace, conviction and encouragement. What a great gift God has given us in His Word! We need to remember too, that so many generations before us didn't have access to the Bible like we do today. For years the majority didn't even own one Bible, let alone multiple copies. Their only access to the Word was what they had stored in their hearts - they treasured it! How much do we take that access for granted today!
v15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
I think we are quick to discount many of the things that Jesus did as being possible because He was God. Obviously it is true that He was and is God, but He was also fully human. He set aside His God-ness, so to speak, when He was born, and He faced temptation as a human, just as we do. Filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and armed with the Word of God He had memorized as a man schooled in the Jewish synagogues, He faced temptation and yet was without sin.
We have that same power available to us! We have the very Word of God to study, to meditate on, to memorize, to rely on, to sustain us. And we have the power of the Holy Spirit within us. And because of this, Jesus called us to be like Him. To be like our Rabbi. And when we are like Him, we show the world who He is.
May we be like our Rabbi.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Proverbs 30-31; Hebrews 5