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Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom

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Words of Wisdom

Lunghezza:
291 pagine
3 ore
Pubblicato:
Nov 21, 2012
ISBN:
9781466967618
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Words of Wisdom is a daily devotional inspired by my wife, Jody L. Novak. Our kids are all grown and have moved away, so she encouraged me to find a way to continue to provide input into their lives without interfering. I decided to send them passages of Scripture along with commentary, thoughts the Lord had given to me, combined with my dry sense of humor. I began sending these short devotionals on September 9, 2007. This book is a compilation of those e-mails, entitled Words of Wisdom.
Pubblicato:
Nov 21, 2012
ISBN:
9781466967618
Formato:
Libro

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Words of Wisdom - John Novak

Words

of

Wisdom

John Novak

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© Copyright 2012 John Novak.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written prior permission of the author.

Printed in the United States of America.

isbn:

978-1-4669-6762-5 (sc)

isbn:

978-1-4669-6761-8 (e)

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Words of Wisdom is a daily devotional inspired by my wife Jody. Our kids are all grown and have moved away, so she encouraged me to find a way to continue to provide input into their lives without interfering. I decided to send them passages of Scripture along with commentary, thoughts the Lord had given to me, combined with my dry sense of humor. I began sending these short devotionals on September 9, 2007. What follows is a compilation of those e-mails entitled, Words of Wisdom.

A special thanks to Johnny for his inspiring Father’s Day encouragement, A father needs the ability to render gentle and sensible advice for critical decisions and rules that are established in life. Father’s Day, 2002, Fellowship of Christian Believers.

Many thanks to my brother Joe and my friend Cindy Fassler for their amazing editing skills.

Dedicated to Jana, Joe, Johnny & Jaimee, and my niece Cally, and too many nieces, nephews and grandkids to mention by name. Also, I didn’t want to leave out any that have not been born as of this publication.

January

1

Proverbs 1:1-6

These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel. Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just and fair. These proverbs will give insight to the simple-hearted and knowledge and discernment to the young. Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles.

January

2

Proverbs 1:7-9

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck.

This is where it all begins. Everyone knows that the foundation of anything is the most critical part of the structure. Whether it’s a building, education, organization or makeup, if you don’t have a sound foundation it is doomed to failure. True knowledge is like a tape measure. If it is calibrated incorrectly, every plan, decision and execution is going to be wrong. The same happens in life. There are really only two worldviews or calibrations. One view believes that God created and has a plan for mankind. The other view is that mankind and all of existence came into being by chance. There are many variations of these two views, but these are the two foundations. From each of these foundations emerges a set of knowledge, wisdom and discipline. Parents with a sure foundation are essential to form a solid foundation for their children. If all that happens, you end up with a crown and chain. If not, you get a dunce cap and suffer serious consequences.

Love,

Dad

January

3

Proverbs 1:10,11,13-19

My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them! They may say, "Come and join us. Let’s hide and kill someone! Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent… Think of the great things we’ll get! We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take. Come, throw in your lot with us; we’ll all share the loot. My child, don’t go along with them! Stay far away from their paths. They rush to commit evil deeds. They hurry to commit murder. If a bird sees a trap being set, it knows to stay away. But these people set an ambush for themselves; they are trying to get themselves killed. Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life.

There are two great commands: love God and love people. How do we love God? By loving people. You cannot say you love God and not love people. I would have to say that murdering people is not loving them. However, you might say, I have never murdered anyone. But anything that deprives a person of that which sustains him or diminishes him is murder. Murder goes way beyond just killing someone. Again, we are back to foundations. You can’t dismiss God and truly love people. Without God, the temporal will always swallow up the eternal. Without eternal foundations, others will always come second and you will always be first. If you are first, then God and people are secondary; and, therefore, on that basis, you cannot fulfill His only commands: love God and love people. Even a bird gets it; I hope you do.

Love,

Dad

January

4

Proverbs 1:20-23

Wisdom shouts in the streets. She cries out in the public square. She calls to the crowds along the main street, to those gathered in front of the city gate: How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simpleminded? How long will you mockers relish your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge? Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise. I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come. I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.

God is wisdom. He is the One Who is proactively trying to persuade these beings to whom He has endowed free will to consider the obvious: that He created us and that He loves us. Look what’s on the plate here: His knowledge, His counsel, His wisdom, and His very heart. How many offers do you get like this? And it’s not even a one-time offer. The verse testifies that He has called often, but to no avail. And He calls out to every station in life. Notice the locations. He calls in the street where the common man walks. He calls in the public square where businessmen mingle. He calls along main street where high-society types flaunt their wealth. And He calls in front of the city gate where the rulers gather. All are simpletons; all are mockers; all are fools; and all hate knowledge. Wow! What a horrible pedigree. What more is He to do, given the lavish gift of free will by which even He is bound?

Love,

Dad

January

5

Proverbs 1: 24-33

You ignored my advice and rejected the correction I offered. So I will laugh when you are in trouble! I will mock you when disaster overtakes you—when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone, and anguish and distress overwhelm you. When they cry for help, I will not answer. Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me. For they hated knowledge and chose not to fear the Lord. They rejected my advice and paid no attention when I corrected them. Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way, choking on their own schemes. For simpletons turn away from me—to death. Fools are destroyed by their own complacency. But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.

Sounds like God is really vindictive, but He is not. He is grieved by our choices. However, this is the natural consequence of ignoring wisdom. You ignore the sign that the bridge is out and then drive off a cliff, and wisdom laughs at you in a metaphorical sense. While you’re plummeting over the cliff and searching for wisdom, it’s too late. Once wisdom is rejected and foolishness is charted, it’s hard to reverse course in the middle of that stream. Life and history are rife with such experiences. The key here is to embrace wisdom and avoid folly. There is no way for man to accomplish these two ends without the knowledge and grace of God.

Love,

Dad

January

6

Proverbs 2:1-5

My child, listen to what I say and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord and you will gain knowledge of God.

Ever search for a radio station while driving your car? There is a lot of static while trying to find something of interest. Life has tons of static while trying to tune into wisdom. Notice all these action words: listen, treasure, tune, concentrate, cry out, ask, and search. All of these action words require proactive effort on your part. There is not one passive word associated with acquiring wisdom, understanding or knowledge. But notice that the direct object of all these actions is to understand the fear of the Lord and to gain knowledge of God. Stop. Fast forward to your last breath and tell me what matters.

Love,

Dad

January

7

Proverbs 2:6-9

For the Lord grants wisdom! From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to Him. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go.

You buy a new Chevy truck and then buy a Whirlpool washingmachine manual in order to operate your new Chevy truck. Huh? That’s what I say. If you are going to buy a truck, make sure you get the manual that goes with it. Well, the same applies to life. If man is an accident, then there is no manual. If man is a purposeful creation, then a manual exists. The maker of this marvelous creation called man knows how it works. He knows that man needs wisdom, knowledge, understanding, common sense, and integrity in order to work properly and function peacefully with others of his kind. Man loves what is right, just, and fair just like his Creator. Just ask any 5-year old and you will discover that these are cherished human desires. You cannot err by being right, just, and fair.

Love,

Dad

January

8

Proverbs 2:10-12

For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe. Wisdom will save you from evil people, from those whose words are twisted.

Ever had to deal with an overwhelming problem? Then suddenly, the light bulb comes on, you have the solution, and it works? I remember when I was living in St. Louis, poor enough that I had to fix my own cars. I was replacing a wheel bearing. After taking the old one out, I couldn’t get the new one in. I spent hours trying to figure it out, until it got so late I just had to go to bed. I had a dream about it, and in the dream I saw a space between the racer (the housing for the bearing) and the wheel base. I woke up about 5:00 a.m., got my flashlight, checked the space, and sure enough, there it was. I used the old spacer, placed it over the new spacer, took a hammer, pounded twice, felt the new spacer slip into place, and had the entire job done in 10 additional minutes. You know I don’t get excited too easily, but that’s an example of joy filling my heart. If you have never changed a wheel bearing, you don’t have a clue what I am talking about. Sorry.

Joy is great, but wisdom does so much more for you. With wisdom comes true knowledge, and with true knowledge you can fix a car or mend a broken heart. Wisdom is truly a remarkable acquisition in anyone’s life. Most of the bad news you hear every day on the news or read in the newspaper is due to a lack of wisdom. Think about it. If wisdom ruled this planet, newspapers would be out of business. Realistically, wisdom is not going to rule on this planet until Christ’s return, but it can rule in your heart. It’s a choice.

Love,

Dad

January

9

Proverbs 2:13-15

These [evil] men turn from the right way to walk down dark paths. They take pleasure in doing wrong and they enjoy the twisted ways of evil. Their actions are crooked and their ways are wrong. [emphasis mine]

There is a perception in our modern world that there is no such thing as evil. This kind of thinking exists to obfuscate the concept of good. Good can only be defined in absolute terms or it cannot be good. If there is an absolute good, then the absolute good must be perfect by definition. If an absolute, perfect good exists, then all men become accountable to this standard. This accountability is defined as law. The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. Psalm 19:7. If you don’t believe in gravity, then stay away from tall buildings. If you don’t believe in evil, avoid dark alleys. If you don’t believe in God, avoid death.

Love,

Dad

January

10

Proverbs 2:16-22

Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman, from the seductive words of the promiscuous woman. She has abandoned her husband and ignores the covenant she made before God. Entering her house leads to death; it is the road to the grave. The man who visits her is doomed. He will never reach the paths of life. Follow the steps of good men instead, and stay on the paths of the righteous. For only the godly will live in the land, and those with integrity will remain in it. But the wicked will be removed from the land, and the treacherous will be uprooted.

I am sorry to say that men are sometimes not the brightest stars in the sky. Faithfulness, integrity, and purity are not our strongest suit; however, they are supposed to be. Men are meant to be protectors, providers and priests. Men can’t be what they ought to be without the character to support the behavior. The danger in faithlessness is that it spreads like a cancer. Men can’t be faithless in one area and be faithful in another. The lack of judgment in the one will always invoke the spill-over affect. Just ask Solomon. Build a foundation of faithfulness, integrity and purity, and nothing will penetrate that fortress. There is nothing like a man of integrity. He is every woman’s dream!

Love,

Dad

January

11

Proverbs 3:1-2

My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commandments in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.

When I was a kid, there was a TV series entitled, Father Knows Best. It was a little corny, but those were the value-laden shows the public demanded in the 50’s. Thirty years later, we have Married With Children, where the dad is an idiot. The diminished capacity of men and their roles as fathers in society are reflected in the 30-year span of father—themed sitcoms. Which one influenced which is not really important. The reality is that today fathers reflect Al Bundy of Married With Children more than they reflect Jim Anderson of Father Knows Best. However, you have a choice. You can either be an idiot like Al or you can listen to me and live a long, satisfying life. That will be ten bucks.

Love,

Dad

January

12

Proverbs 3:3-4

Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.

I know I am going to get into trouble here, but loyalty is why I prefer dogs over cats. If there is one human characteristic that prevails above all, I would have to say that loyalty would be on the top of the list. I think losing a loved one is the only thing that feels worse than being stabbed in the back by a friend. I am not the only one who feels that way. Read this proverb again. The issue of loyalty has been around for a long time. Loyalty runs the gamut from the low life to the highest level of integrity. Since loyalty has such a high premium in human terms, people just naturally gravitate toward a loyal person. Just don’t forget kindness. Without kindness, loyalty can turn into deep bitterness and resentment. Just ask the Mob how they view loyalty. The one/two punch in life is loyalty and kindness. Everyone wins with this kind of person.

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