Tim’s Daily Bread Devotional 1.7.22

By January 7, 2022Daily Bread

Good morning!

I hope this day finds you and your family well. I invite you to take a few moments with me to read and reflect upon today’s scripture selection — and to carry these thoughts with you into your day.

Today’s Scripture: Proverbs 16:1-9 

The plans of the mind belong to mortals,
but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
All one’s ways may be pure in one’s own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the spirit.
Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.
The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
even the wicked for the day of trouble.
All those who are arrogant are an abomination to the Lord;
be assured, they will not go unpunished.
By loyalty and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
and by the fear of the Lord one avoids evil.
When the ways of people please the Lord,
he causes even their enemies to be at peace with them.
Better is a little with righteousness
than large income with injustice.
The human mind plans the way,
but the Lord directs the steps.

Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today

Here we are a week into the new year, and today’s reading from Proverbs is full of wisdom to ponder as we think about what lies ahead in our lives.

The book of Proverbs is a collection of sayings. The goal is to pass on important understanding for the practical living of life to succeeding generations. It’s not so much knowledge, but what might be called “practical wisdom.”

Wisdom, according to the Oxford English Dictionary is: “Experience and knowledge together with the power of applying them critically or practically.”

You see here that wisdom goes way beyond knowledge. They’re not the same thing at all — in fact, they’re quite different. In practical terms, it’s kind of hard to express what that difference is, but let me give this a try:

Wisdom is not so much knowing how to make a living as it is knowing how to make a life. See the difference?

Wisdom is not so much knowing how to build a house as it is knowing how to create a home.

Wisdom is not so much knowing how to repair a clock as it is knowing how to make the best use of time.

Our scripture reading for today, the introduction to Proverbs, holds wisdom up as critically important to the life of faith. The Bible, especially the “wisdom literature” in the Bible, speaks of wisdom not only as a goal to be attained but as a gift given to us from God.

Some of the Proverbs are really quite colorful:

“As a door turns on its hinges, so does a lazy person in bed.”  (Proverbs 26:14)

“Like somebody who takes a passing dog by the ears is one who meddles in the quarrel of another.” (Proverbs 26:17)

Proverbs 1:7 tells us that wisdom begins with our deep reverence for God, so wisdom is grounded in our relationship with God. That relationship is the source of our wisdom.

As you think ahead to the coming year with this reading from proverbs in mind,

What plans do you have?

How will you live?

What will you cherish and hold onto — and what will you let go of?

I invite you to read this section from Proverbs again now, one verse at a time, pausing after each to think about its meaning for the direction of your own life in the coming year.

Hymn Suggestion

“Take My Life and Let it Be”

Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in endless praise,
let them flow in endless praise.

Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee,
swift and beautiful for thee.

Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee,
filled with messages from thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as thou shalt choose,
every power as thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne,
it shall be thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee,
ever, only, all for thee.

Thank you for sharing this moment of your day with me, with God, and with these reflections on a portion of scripture.  I hope you will carry these with you throughout your day and night.

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor


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