Some of you know that my personal theme this year is "Turn the Page." I will explain the theme and what it entails in another column. But one commitment I'm making as I live out this year's theme is to turn the pages of my Bible. If you were tuned in last June, you went through that month with me, reading a proverb a day and the accompanying devotional I wrote for each day. I'm glad to share that I'm still getting lots of visits here on the Korner, and many of them are searching through last June's lessons on Proverbs.
The thought occurred to me last night, as I was reading my chapter in Proverbs, "I write all of these personal application notes next to my verses, but do I really pay any attention to them after I've written them?" So what you will find here, faithful readers, is a verse-by-verse run through of what ministered to me, challenged me, inspired me, or just made me reflect as I worked my way through God's book of wisdom last month.
The verse is in quotation marks, and my personal notes are in italics:
Prov. 2:3 - "and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding..." Do you want it? (01.02.08)
Prov. 3:7 - "Do not be wise in your own eyes..." Don't think for a moment that you have arrived! (01.03.08)
Prov. 4:13 - "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life." I intend to use my Ph.D. training more directly and consistently. (01.04.08)
Prov. 5:18 - "...may you rejoice in the wife of your youth." The things that first drew me to Cathy are still part of who she is! (01.05.08)
Prov. 8:36 - "whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death." When I don't find the wise thing to do, I actually hurt myself. (01.08.08)
Prov. 9:9 - "Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning." This implies teachability in a righteous person. (01.09.08)
Prov. 11:6 - "The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires." [written next to the words "delivers them"] from temptation. (01.11.08)
Prov. 12:3 - "A man cannot be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted." Righteousness has deep roots. (01.12.08)
Prov. 15:9 - "The Lord detests the way of the wicked but he loves those who pursue righteousness." It's a mindset; a way of life! (01.15.08)
Prov. 18:10 - "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." Call on God's Name when you are tempted! (01.18.08)
Prov. 19:3 - "A man's own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord." "Turn the Page, 2008" [My personal theme for this year] (01.19.08)
Prov. 21:21 - "He who prusues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor." Pursue the right things and you get bonus blessings. (01.21.08)
Prov. 24:10 - "If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!" Which is why I need to run to the Name of the Lord. (01.24.08)
Prov. 25:27 - "It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to seek one's own honor." Either way, it's about unchecked appetites. (01.25.08)
Prov. 27:12 - "The prudent seek danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." [written next to the word 'danger'] maybe spiritual. [written next to the words 'take refuge'] in the Name of the Lord. (01.27.08)
And there you go. This is what the Bible's book of wisdom taught me during the month of January. One obvious theme I was pondering last month was the Name of the Lord and the extent to which I actually use it in the way it was intended: for shelter, for strength, for rescue.
Do you see any other themes? I'd love to hear from you via email or in the comments section. I'll post these personal learning notes each month, so look for the February lessons to appear in early March.
Peace to you, my friends.