April 1 – “Find Wisdom”

Day 91 – Read Proverbs 8

Proverbs 8:34-35 – “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord;”

Proverbs is a book of wisdom, and chapter eight specifically focuses upon the importance of living our lives under its guidance. James tells us that there is earthly wisdom, and wisdom from above. One is right, and leads to life. The other thinks it is right, but will take you down the wrong path. As Proverbs 16:25 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

Wisdom isn’t something we get once and have for the rest of our lives. It requires daily seeking. But we don’t have to look far to find it. Since true wisdom is seeing life from God’s point of view, all we have to do is look daily into His Word. But wisdom isn’t something we keep in our heads; it must be applied to every area of our lives.

He who finds wisdom finds life. Jesus said that He came to give life, and life abundant. If we want to experience life to the fullest we must first come into relationship with Jesus Christ, and then follow Him daily. This shouldn’t be something legalistic that we feel obligated to do. It is having joyful, daily fellowship with Him through worship, prayer, and the Word. As we do this, we will obtain God’s favor.

March 31 – “Trust in the Lord”

Day 90 – Read Proverbs 3

Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

There is an old story about a man who slipped and fell off a cliff. Fortunately he was able to grab onto a branch on his way down. Holding on for dear life, he looked down only to see a rock valley some fifteen hundred feet below. When he looked up it was twenty feet to the top. In great fear he yelled, “Help! Help! Is anybody up there?

A booming voice spoke up. “This is God, I am here and I will save you if you believe in me.”

“I believe! I believe!” yelled the man.

“If you believe me, let go of the branch and then I will save you.”

The young man, hearing what the voice said, looked down again. Seeing the rock valley below, he quickly looked back up and shouted, “Is anybody else up there!”

We have a tendency to want to understand God’s ways. But God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isa. 55:8). To let go of the branch makes no sense to a man clinging onto it for life. It is contrary to his understanding. But true faith trusts in God even when we don’t understand.

If we truly believe that God is good, and His plans for us are good, we will trust Him in spite of what we see, feel, or think we know. Abraham is a good example of faith. He left his homeland to go to a place he didn’t know. Then, he believed God to be faithful to His promise to give him a son, even when he and Sarah were past the age of childbearing. Again, when asked to sacrifice his only son, he did so willingly, not understanding God’s plan, but believing God knew best.

God is doing you good. Trust Him today with whatever you are facing. He will guide you in the right way that is best for you.

March 30 – “True Happiness”

Day 89 – Read Psalm 144

Psalm 144:15 – “Happy is the people whose God is the Lord.”

Choi Yoon-Hee had written over 20 books on the topic of hope and happiness. She even had a television program in South Korea where she offered her advice. Because of her influence, she was known as the ‘Priestess of Happiness”.

But Choi Yoon-Hee and her husband were found dead in a motel room. They had hung themselves in a suicide pact, dying without hope. The advice that she publicly offered to others was apparently no help to her. On the outside she appeared to be someone who had it all together. But when faced with an illness, which she suffered for two years, she didn’t have the inner strength or hope to face the future.

I found it interesting that when I looked at a dictionary and thesaurus neither used the word ‘blessed’ to define the words ‘happy’ and ‘happiness’. Their definitions seemed to be related to temporal experiences. But the word used for ‘happy’ in Psalm 144 is the same word used for ‘blessed’.   Choi Yoon-Hee and her husband were basing their happiness solely upon their temporal experience, instead of upon an eternal relationship. They were happy, but not blessed.

While the psalmist does write about happiness coming from temporal and material provision and protection, He clarifies it when he states: “Happy is the people whose God is the Lord.” True blessing and lasting contentment come only from a relationship with God. While one can experience times of happiness in this life, in God’s presence we can find the fullness of joy and everlasting pleasure. Happy is the people whose God is the Lord.

March 29 – “Heart Exam”

Day 88 – Read Psalm 143      

Psalm 139:23-24 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that the heart is deceitful and wicked. Then he asks a question: “Who can know it?”

So often we think that we know what is in our heart, only to discover that we have even deceived ourselves. In fact, many people live in deception unknowingly. They think they are on the right path, but as Proverbs 16:25 says, it ends in death. In this psalm, David turns to the only one who does know our heart and asks Him for an examination.

The word ‘search’ is used to describe the process of digging into the earth in search of water or metal. It means to look deeply into, as opposed to a surface inspection. The outward appearance can be very deceiving at times. But God searches the heart. You can’t hide anything from Him.

When a doctor gives us a physical examination it isn’t so that he can punish us for what he finds wrong; but so that he can correct whatever is not right. So it is with God. David is asking God to see if there is any wicked way in him. The word ‘wicked’ literally means ‘idol’ or ‘pain’. It is the word used in 1 Chron. 4:9 about Jabez being born in pain or sorrow. When we follow an idolatrous path it will lead to pain and sorrow. The only way to get onto the right path is to let God lead you. He knows the way you should go. Let Him examine your heart today.

March 28 – “God is Thinking of You”

Day 87 – Read Psalm 139

Psalm 139:17-18 – “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.”

What an insightful psalm about how God looks upon each one of us. He doesn’t just look down from heaven and see a mass of unnamed, unknown, humanity; but he knows each one of us individually, intricately, and infallibly. He knows everything about us. In fact, He designed us before we were born.

No matter what anyone says, you were not an accident. God created you with a special plan in mind. He determined every aspect of your being to fulfill His purpose and bring Him glory. And even though you may have strayed from the path he designed for you, He will never turn away from you. He loves you too much.

You are so special to God that He is thinking of you right now. My children and grandchildren all live over a thousand miles away from me, and hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about them. But my thoughts toward my family can’t compare to the thoughts God has for you. His thoughts can’t be numbered.

As you go throughout the day today, remember that you are not alone. God is thinking of you.

March 27 – “God is at Work”

Day 86 – Read Psalm 138

Psalm 138:8 – “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; do not forsake the works of Your hands.”

Paul wrote to the Ephesians that we are God’s workmanship (2:10); and he told the Philippians that He would complete the good work He has begun in us (1:6). You are not here by accident, nor are you just stumbling through life on your own hoping to make it to the finish line. God has a plan for your life, and He will not give up on you.

There are a lot of roads to choose from as we journey through life. And, as Isaiah said (53:6), sometimes we go astray. But even when we take the wrong path, God doesn’t leave us on our own. That’s where His mercy comes in. The Good Shepherd came to seek and to save the sheep that has wandered from the fold.

The prophet Jeremiah described us as clay in the hand of the potter. When the vessel he was making was marred he didn’t throw it away. He put it back on the wheel and made something new. That’s what happens in our lives. When we go down the path of sin and rebellion, or if we just take the wrong road by mistake, God won’t reject us and throw us out with the trash. He puts us back upon the potter’s wheel and makes something new.

God is doing a good work in you. Don’t let the enemy deceive you into thinking that you have blown it beyond repair. God is able to complete that which He has begun in you, and when He is finished, you shall come forth as gold.

March 26 – “The Benefits of God’s Word”

Day 85 – Read Psalm 119:57-80

Psalm 119:66-68 – “Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe Your commandments. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word. You are good, and do good; teach me Your statutes.”

Psalm 119 is not only the longest chapter in the Bible (176 verses), but it is also a poetical masterpiece. Each section of eight verses begins with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and describes the value, qualities, and benefits of God’s Word.

Throughout the psalm, the author continually testifies of how his life has been impacted and influenced by knowledge of the law, precepts, statutes, commandments, and word of God.

In the verses above, the author mentions a time when he had gone astray. Apparently, his wayward lifestyle only led to problems. But instead of destroying him, his problems led him back to God. In verse 71 he states: “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.” And verse 75 says: “in faithfulness You have afflicted me.”

None of us like to be afflicted. We do everything we can to avoid it. But, if we are straying outside of God’s will, He will often allow us to be afflicted in order to get our attention. It is not that He is punishing us as much as it is that He is calling us back to Himself, His Word, and His ways. God is good, and He only wants good for us. When He sees us heading in a direction that will harm us, He does whatever needs to be done to turn us back onto the right path.

God’s Word will keep us moving in the right direction. As you read through this entire psalm you will discover that God’s Word cleanses us, keeps us from sin, gives us wisdom and understanding, revives and strengthens us, gives us hope, comfort, peace, and guidance. Let God’s Word be your treasure and delight today.

March 25 – “Chosen by God”

Day 84 – Read Psalm 118

Psalm 118:22-23 – “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.”

Have you ever been rejected? It is not a pleasant experience. No one purposely sets out to be rejected, and when we are it can leave deep scars in our lives. Sometimes it is as simple as not being selected for a sport’s team. At other times, it can be aggressively intentional, as when a group of peers make fun of one who is different or doesn’t measure up to their standards. No matter what kind of rejection it is, it usually hurts.

While this portion of scripture has been correctly applied to Jesus, that was most likely not its original intent. It may have referred to David. He was the youngest of eight sons. When Samuel went to anoint one of them as king, David was not even included. Later, he was chased out of the house by Saul and had to flee for his life. But David became the greatest king of Israel.

There were others who experienced rejection, too. Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery. But he ended up second only to pharaoh and became the means by which they were saved from famine. Jephthah was the son of a harlot. He was driven out of the house by his half-brothers and stripped of his inheritance. But Jephthah became commander over them and a judge in Israel.

All of these, who were rejected by men, were chosen by God.   Ephesians 1:6 says that we have been “accepted in the Beloved” (in Christ). The word ‘accepted’ means to be graced, or highly favored. No matter who you are, or what you have done, God accepts you in Christ. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, you will never have to fear being rejected by God. You can go confidently into His presence right now, and you will not be turned away.

God accepts you just the way you are, but He loves you too much to leave you that way. He has good plans for you.

March 24 – “Precious in His Sight”

Day 83 – Read Psalm 116      

Psalm 116:15 – “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”

Death is not a subject we like to talk about. We live our lives trying to avoid it. In fact, prolonging our lives has become a multi-billion dollar business in the sale of medicine, vitamins, exercise equipment, visits to the doctor, and so on. But eventually, death comes to us all. For that reason, it is good to have a healthy, biblical perspective on death.

The psalmist had just experienced a severe trial that took him to the brink of death. So, he is giving thanks to the Lord for his deliverance. Nevertheless, he learned an important lesson: death is not taken lightly by God.

The word ‘precious’ means ‘valuable’. In the context of this psalm the death of a believer is so important to God that He will not allow it unless it fulfills His purpose and brings Him glory. Death is not defeat, nor is it the end of life. In Romans 8:28 Paul writes that everything works together for good to those who love God. He goes on to state that we are more than conquerors through Christ (8:37), and that not even death can separate us from His love.

Later, Paul admonished the Thessalonians (1 Th. 4:13) not to sorrow as those who have no hope. There will be a resurrection, and those who die in the faith will return with the Lord when He comes again.

While no one likes to experience the loss of a loved one, we can do so knowing that we shall be reunited. As a believer in Jesus Christ, death is another victory for the work of redemption, and their reception into heaven is glorious as those already there celebrate their arrival. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”

March 23 – “Give Thanks”

Day 82 – Read Psalm 107

Psalm 107:8-9 – “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.”

Children can learn to communicate through sign language before they are even able to talk. So, my daughters began to use this technique with my grandkids. They taught them how to say they were hungry or thirsty, or if they wanted more to eat. But they also taught them to say ‘thank you’. This is one of the first things we usually teach our children when they are given something. But it seems like this lesson must be repeated throughout our life, especially as it pertains to God.

Just as nine out of ten lepers went on their way healed without giving thanks, many people go through life without recognizing God’s goodness to them. Romans 1:20-21 tell us that the works of God can be clearly seen, but men were not thankful. Paul told Timothy that in the last days men will be unthankful (1 Tim. 3:2). And Jesus said that God is kind to the unthankful and evil (Luke 6:35).

God is good, and He does many wonderful things for all mankind. But there are special blessings to those who are longing for Him. The word ‘longing’ is translated ‘thirsty’ in other versions. Jesus said “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matt. 5:6) If you are hungry and thirsty for Him, you will be satisfied.

Has God been good to you? Praise Him! Give Him thanks today.

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