31 Days of Devotionals from the books of Psalms and Proverbs written by Pastor Ryan Binkley.
“Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are. Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.
Honoring a fool is as foolish as tying a stone to a slingshot.
An employer who hires a fool or a bystander is like an archer who shoots at random.”
Proverbs 26:4-5, 8, 10 NLT
A good portion of this chapter in Proverbs addresses the pain of having someone who is foolish in their life around you. We all have some family member, work associate, or friend that we love and care about but is also foolish in their actions. Solomon starts off the discussion with a contradiction by stating that you should not answer foolish arguments of fools or you will become like them, then he states that you should answer them or they will become wise in their own minds. I think what he is stating the we all will deal with difficult people who are responding and acting foolish at times and sometimes they need to be addressed and sometimes they need to be ignored. The first thing is that you have to be careful of is to not answer a foolish argument in the same manner as they do. If you are upset or if you are angry about their comments, be slow to speak or you will come across as foolish as they did. Many times the response is worse than the initial comment or action. We must also be wise about our response and make sure that it with understanding, patience, and clarity. It is important to answer the right way otherwise a foolish person will think that they are right and likely feel empowered to keep acting foolish. You have to address and correct a foolish person in the work place or they will bring havoc in the organization. He goes on to say that honoring a fool is like tying a stone to a sling shot or when you hire one it is like an archer who shoots at random. This means to me that even a fool will do some things right on occasion, but as soon as you appreciate it they are likely to do something foolish and you will come to regret it in the end. We need to be steadfast, diligent, faithful, patient, hardworking, good listeners, and consistently responsive and we will know how to respond to and avoid foolish people that may be in our lives, otherwise if we respond like they do we will come across foolish ourselves.
“Give your love of justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king’s son. Help him judge your people in the right way; let the poor always be treated fairly. May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful. Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy, and to crush their oppressors. May they fear you as long as the sun shines, as long as the moon remains in the sky. Yes, forever!”
Psalms 72:1-5 NLT
Father, give me a heart for justice and righteousness and may your ways be established in my heart. Help me to lead and judge people fairly and to always have the heart to help those in need. Help and defend the poor in our generation and remove the oppressors for their lives. I love you and may our nation and city bring grace to love to all those in need. May they know that you love them through the church and our actions and may You be glorified in all that we do. Amen.
“It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them.”
Proverbs 25:2 NLT
There are many times that I have received hints or thoughts from the Lord about a ministry or business idea and they have been enlightening but somewhat vague. What I have learned over the years is that the Lord will drop things to us but often will not give us all of the details of what He has planned because he wants us to enjoy discovering something new. It is His privilege to conceal things, but if you ask He will reveal things to you at the right time. It was well over ten years ago that the Lord gave me a dream about my purpose. He told me that I was called to build a great company and then I would plant a church in the suburbs and then one in the city. I remember thinking at the time why would I go through all that trouble to start a church in the suburbs and then let that go and start another one in the city. Then about a year or two later, the technology became available for churches to use broadcast technology over the internet to simulcast services so they can have the same services at multiple campuses. The Lord showed me aspects of this before it was being done or before I understood it. I also didn’t know what suburb I would start in until years later. I really didn’t worry about it at the time because I knew the company I was running was not really that great at the time and we had a lot of work to do, but eventually the company excelled and the time came for me to start seeking Him for the vision of the church. And when I did in 2012, He started sharing more details and gave me the location and name for Create Church in Richardson, Texas. It was great privilege to discover all that He had in mind and I know there is much more to discover every month as He reveals His plans layer by layer. Keep seeking His plan for your life. Although many of His plans may be concealed at this time, they will get revealed as you seek Him and inquire about your future.
“God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God.”
Psalms 53:2 NLT
Father, I thank you for looking down at me and allowing me to see all that you have my future. Lord, I look to you now and praise you for all that You are and are doing in my life. Restore me, strengthen me, and give me vision for the future. I am seeking You, Your heart, and Your will for my life. I look to you and you alone for my future. I bless Your name today Lord. May you be exalted in every area and facet of my life.
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.” Proverbs 24:33-34 NIV
Growing up my parents did a pretty good job with this scripture to scare me and to get me to stay up late to study because they said based on this scripture if I slept too much I was guaranteed to be poor. I am from Nigeria and I’ve seen what poverty looks like and trust me, poverty is not something I want. The problem I have now is not necessarily sleeping too much, but actually sleeping too little because I would stay up late and still wake up early to be at work on time. I stay up late most times because of fruitless time spent on non essentials of life like social media, channel surfing, internet surfing, checking email over and over again. The issue here is that I am not spending quality time on these wonderful tools to develop my spirit and my mental faculty. I’m sure a lot of people can identify with what I am talking about here. Perhaps you spend too much time on social media and it simply makes it impossible for you to get to work early or you get to work and you are extremely tired to give your very best.
This scripture is a warning for us to make sure that we spend quality time on what is necessary. Whatever area of our life that’s experiencing poverty is calling for quality time. It could be relationships with your spouse, children, academics, or occupation; give it the right amount of quality attention and you will see a major change. Let’s cut down on fruitless, time consuming items and increase time on things that enhance our Spirit and Mental faculty so we can experience God’s blessings and abundance in those areas.
“You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Psalm 23:5 NIV
Father, I thank you that poverty is vanquished in my life. I manage my time appropriately today. I am disciplined and focused to invest my time in what is essential. In the midst of my enemies (the distractions of life) I flourish because the anointing on my life causes me to triumph in Jesus name.