My Favorite Proverbs: Devising evil and good (Proverbs 14:22)
Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good.
In the original language, the word “devise” in this proverb means, “to plow.” Picture a farmer cutting and plowing his rows as he anticipates a good harvest in the not-too-distant future. That preparation, according to today’s proverb, is done spiritually every day by people for evil or for good. Imagine with me some examples….
- Plan a party and purchase alcohol to be served.
- Wear a revealing dress while knowing it may impress men the wrong way.
- Scheme over how to earn or win money through business deals which are not completely honest.
- Think through how you can escape God’s commands in your religion and still have His approval: “I attend most of the assemblies; I doubt He’ll care if I miss to attend this ballgame just this once.”
- Imagine ways to hurt those against whom you hold a grudge, or simply use your influence to prevent good things from happening to them.
- Deceive your parents. Lie about where you’re going and with whom you are going.
- “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Phil. 4:8).
- Plan your schedule every week to attend the worship assemblies.
- Spend time every day thinking of ways to serve your fellow man.
- Think of ways to encourage young people to make good decisions.
- Imagine ways you can be a more positive influence in this church.
- Concentrate on individuals you’d like to convert to Christ, and devise ways to help them toward that end.
As you ponder this proverb today, remember that another one says: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7).
Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy
For tonight let’s start analyzing the details of the judgment criteria in Matthew 25: 31ff. Jesus said…
“I was hungry and you gave me food.”
Tonight, if you have teeny people, practice the exercise in the video below in your home, and upon your first opportunity, take along your teeny people to actually knock on just such a door. Even if there are no door-knocking opportunities ever in your congregation, still make them for your family. (I learned, very early in my life, the value of children knocking on doors; both the value to those children and to people in our neighborhood who had tender hearts. Just do this. You will be glad you did. Take invitations to gospel meetings. Take pies. Take tracts. Take CDs of sermons. But take your children!)
If you have bigger people, bake bread or cookies tonight to leave on the doorstep of someone who really may be having a tough time getting to the store these days or for someone who has lost (temporarily or permanently) the income they had before the virus. (Think hairdressers, waiters, restauranteurs without drive-throughs, many of those in retail, and most in hospitality industries.) Make sure your children, sign a card, pray for the individual and go with you tomorrow to deliver. Pray together for this family/person tonight.
Review with your children how that Joseph was happy to give food to his brothers even when they had treated him very poorly. Emphasize that, even though the people to whom we give the food may not always be the most faithful to God (they may not even be Christians), the One to Whom we give the food is the spotless lamb of God who died for us, even when we were still sinners, too (Romans 5:8).
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.