14 An intelligent person is always eager to take in more truth;
fools feed on fast-food fads and fancies.
-Proverbs 15:11-14 The Message
11 Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord;
how much more the hearts of the children of man!
12 A scoffer does not like to be reproved;
he will not go to the wise.
13 A glad heart makes a cheerful face,
but by sorrow of the heart, the spirit is crushed.
14 The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,
but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
Verse 11 study: Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord. They were open. When we cover our hearts, we are hiding horrors of the invisible world, which is plain to God. Hell and destruction are before God. Regardless, he can see through our hidden thoughts.
Verse 14 study: You are what you eat and study. It is essential to remember that what we feed our minds is just as important as how we feed our bodies. Reading books, people we talk to, the music we listen to, and movies we watch is what is called the “mental diet.” Show concern for what you do because what you feed yourself based on your influences affects your body and well-being. This reminder should tell us why we should discover knowledge. It is the mark of wisdom.
he loves those who run straight for the finish line.
10 It’s a school of hard knocks for those who leave God’s path,
a dead-end street for those who hate God’s rules.
-Proverbs 15:6-10 The Message
6 In the house of the righteous, there is much treasure,
but trouble befalls the income of the wicked.
7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
not so the hearts of fools.
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
but he loves him who pursues righteousness.
10 There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way;
whoever hates reproof will die.
Verse 8 study: the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord; a gift to God is unacceptable if it comes from evil, an evil heart. A prayer can be a request to God that brings Him pleasure if it is from a righteous heart.
2 Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise;
fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense.
3 God doesn’t miss a thing—
he’s alert to good and evil alike.
4 Kind words heal and help;
cutting words, wound, and maim.
5 Moral dropouts won’t listen to their elders;
welcoming correction is a mark of good sense.
-Proverbs 15:1-5 The Message
A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
keeping watch on the evil and the good.
4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
5 A fool despises his father’s instruction,
but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.
Verse 1 study: Have you tried to argue by whispering? That is complex to do when you want to answer gently. Then you have voice raising and harsh words, most of the time triggering a response. Instead, choose gentle words to turn away wrath and seek peace.
Verse 3 study: Many people believe that God is letting evil run through the world, and we often wonder if he notices it. God clearly sees what’s going on, evil actions, and evil intentions behind it (15:11). He is not different when it comes to observing. He is caring and active in the world. Right now, his work may look incomplete and not seen. Don’t give up. One day, he will wipe out evil and punish the evildoers, just as he will put forth the effort to the righteous that do good by His will. He sees and keeps account of everything. You are not hiding if you say you are hiding.
31 You insult your Maker when you exploit the powerless;
when you’re kind to the poor, you honor God.
32 The evil of bad people leaves them out in the cold;
the integrity of good people creates a safe place for living.
33 Lady Wisdom is at home in an understanding heart—
fools never even get to say hello.
34 God-devotion makes a country strong;
God-avoidance leaves people weak.
-Proverbs 14:31-35 The Message
31 Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker,
but he who is generous to the needy honors him.
32 The wicked is overthrown through his evildoing,
but the righteous finds refuge in his death.
33 Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding,
but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools.
34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin is a reproach to any people.
Verse 31 study: God has special concerns regarding the poor. He said that those that have material goods should be kind enough with those goods to the poor. This is a command throughout the Bible. The purpose is to help change attitudes.
22 “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.”
-Leviticus 23:22 ESV
7 “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, 8 but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be.
Deuteronomy 15:7-8 ESV
5 Who is like the Lord our God,
who is seated on high,
6 who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?
7 He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
8 to make them sit with princes,
with the princes of his people.
9 He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!
-Psalm 113:5-9 ESV
5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the sojourners;
he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
-Psalm 146: 5-9 ESV
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
-Isaiah 58:7 ESV
9 As it is written,
“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”
-2 Corinthians 9:9 ESV
The Sin of Partiality
2 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
-James 2:1-9 ESV
Verse 34 study: Corporate righteousness brings corporate benefit. If you do the right thing, the right things will come back to you. So, yes, there is such thing as Corporate righteousness.
Righteousness management is the quality of being morally right in managing your people, your business, your partners, and your customers. It comes not from rules or regulations but from the heart of the person responsible for the job. (Source: LinkedIn)
29 Slowness to anger makes for deep understanding;
a quick-tempered person stockpiles stupidity.
30 A sound mind makes for a robust body,
but runaway emotions corrode the bones.
-Proverbs 14:25-30 The Message
25 A truthful witness saves lives,
but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.
26 In the fear of the Lord, one has strong confidence,
and his children will have a refuge.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life
that one may turn away from the snares of death.
28 In a multitude of people is the glory of a king,
but without people, a prince is ruined.
29 Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,
but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
but envy makes the bones rot.
Verse 25 study: No point in having leadership if there are no followers to follow.
Verse 26 study: Refuge: a shelter, refuge, protection, fortress, hope, a place of trust, and a shelter from the storms. Reread the Scripture. How powerful is this? How comforting is His truth?
Verse 29 study: A quick temper is like a wildfire. It can do harm around us and in its path. Anger divides us and allows us to make bad decisions that can cause bitterness and guilt. Anger is not wrong because it can be a legitimate reason for injustice and sin. When you feel angry, find the cause. Are you reacting to a bad situation that you waited to set right? Or is it personal and your plan to act selfishly in response to a personal insult? Take time to pray that God will help you control your feelings into good actions and forget your selfish anger through humility and repentance.
11 Lives of careless wrongdoing are run-down shacks;
holy living builds soaring cathedrals.
12-13 There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough;
look again—it leads straight to hell.
Sure, those people appear to be having a good time,
but all that laughter will end in heartbreak.
Sift and Weigh Every Word
14 A mean person gets paid back in meanness,
a gracious person in grace.
15 The gullible believe anything they’re told;
the prudent sift and weigh every word.
16 The wise watch their steps and avoid evil;
fools are headstrong and reckless.
-Proverbs 14:11-16 The Message
11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will flourish.
12 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
13 Even in laughter, the heart may ache,
and the end of joy may be grief.
14 The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways,
and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.
15 The simple believes everything,
but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
16 One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil,
but a fool is reckless and careless.
Verse 12 study: The “way which seen right” may show many options and fewer sacrifices. Easy choices should make us give the opportunity a second look. Is this a solution drawn to you because of laziness? Is it because it doesn’t ask you to change your lifestyle? What about moral restraints? The right choice is always hard and is worth sacrifice. Don’t be drawn to shortcuts that seem right but end in death.
Verse 13 study: Outer beauty doesn’t always appear authentic to feelings of the heart.
6 Cynics look high and low for wisdom—and never find it;
the open-minded find it right on their doorstep!
7 Escape quickly from the company of fools;
they’re a waste of your time, a waste of your words.
8 The wisdom of the wise keeps life on track;
the foolishness of fools lands them in the ditch.
9 The stupid ridicule right and wrong,
but a moral life is a favored life.
10 The person who shuns the bitter moments of friends
will be an outsider at their celebrations.
-Proverbs 14:6-10 The Message
6 A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain,
but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.
7 Leave the presence of a fool,
for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
8 The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way,
but the folly of fools is deceiving.
9 Fools mock at the guilt offering,
but the upright enjoy acceptance.
10 The heart knows its own bitterness,
and no stranger shares its joy.
Verse 6 study: Scoffers are known to mock every word of instruction or advice. They will never find wisdom; they don’t seek instruction or guidance seriously. Wisdom comes to those who pay attention to experienced people and God. If you are seeking wisdom, and it doesn’t come easy to you, try changing your attitude. that may be your barrier to knowledge.
Verse 9 study: How often do you find goodwill? We see angry drivers act crazy towards others in the streets or disgruntled employees and employees demanding rights. But the common ground of God’s people should be goodwill. People with goodwill think the best of each other and assume that others have good motives and intend to do right. When someone crosses you, ask yourself how you can show goodwill towards this person.
Verse 10 study: Your inner pain and feelings are a private matter that most people won’t understand. Don’t expect people to understand your feelings.
I didn’t mention in my last blog (Keep Pushing! Keep Digging! | Sincerity (devotionsonline.blog) that I wanted to increase my activity when exercising. So I logged many exercise minutes to ensure I was burning calories to lose weight. So here it is, a new week, and it’s time to start planning the week. I continue to use the cycle and the elliptical machine. And I continue to eat heavy at the beginning of the week, like today, Monday, and Tuesday, and on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday is the days I eat very light. Salads, cottage cheese, grapes, and things like that keep calories down and continue to burn them simultaneously. I don’t use lettuce on my salad; I use spinach, the big leafy greens for fiber so I can feel full longer. Here are the results of my workouts this week.
October 11, 1,615 calories and did 79 minutes of exercise.
October 12, 1,647 calories and did 76 minutes of exercise.
October 13, 1,590 calories and did 76 minutes of exercise.
October 14, 1,682 calories and did 79 minutes of exercise.
October 15, 2,079 calories and did 100 minutes of exercise.
October 16, 1,726 calories and did 80 minutes of exercise.
October 17, 1,010 calories and did 37 minutes of exercise.
I can honestly say that this week’s production really paid off. But trust me when I say this; there are consequences behind your actions. Good or bad. Sunday, October 17, is weigh-in day. I have to say I am impressed. I dropped 5 pounds; I’m finally under the 299 threshold. I’m at 294. The weight keeps coming down. It is not the time to stop; it is a time to keep pushing and digging. I must continue to be active and find what I can do to keep myself motivated. It’s a never-ending process. This is good. What are you doing to stay motivated?
Week of October 17 – October 24
I am happy because I finally got under the 299 threshold I’ve been sitting on; I’m more dedicated to losing weight and keeping fit. But, it’s a new week, and it is time to start planning it. Failure to plan is planning to fail. So, put the work into the plan. My plan is; that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I will use the elliptical and cycle machine for my workouts, strictly cardio (spoiler alert; I will regret that later.) So, I hit the gym bright and early and got to work. Here are my results for the week.
October 18, 1,461 calories and did 75 minutes of exercise.
October 19, 2,453 calories and did 126 minutes of exercise.
October 20, 1,906 calories and did 79 minutes of exercise.
October 21, 1,953 calories and did 86 minutes of exercise.
October 22, 2,224 calories and did 125 minutes of exercise.
October 23, 1,774 calories and did 81 minutes of exercise.
October 24, 1,063 calories and did 41 minutes of exercise.
So I weighed myself as it was October 24. I’m confused. I stayed at 294. What is going on? This issue has to be investigated. I talked it over with my mother, a former fitness trainer, to help dissect this issue. We both came up with something that it could be. Today, I felt bloated, and I have no idea why I felt bloated. That was part of the problem.
Meanwhile, during the week, I drank a lot of Powerade. I believe it was the Powerade. My mother thought it was the tea I had been drinking. Then we both came up with a third option that could be an issue. That is the cottage cheese. It was not the low-fat kind of cottage cheese. After examining what I’ve eaten and been drinking over the week, we devised a plan to see if it worked. Find out in the next blog what the plan is and see if I actually lost weight.
Sir Fool comes along and tears it down brick by brick.
2 An honest life shows respect for God;
a degenerate life is a slap in his face.
3 Frivolous talk provokes a derisive smile;
wise speech evokes nothing but respect.
4 No cattle, no crops;
a good harvest requires a strong ox for the plow.
5 A true witness never lies;
a false witness makes a business of it.
Proverbs 14:1-5 The Message
14 The wisest of women builds her house,
but folly with her own hands tears it down.
2 Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord,
but he, who is devious in his ways, despises him.
3 By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back,
but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.
5 A faithful witness does not lie,
but a false witness breathes out lies.
Verse 1 study: We discussed tearing down and building with your tongue. This passage of Scripture is about a woman building or tearing down your house with her hands based on foolishness. The proverb woman is compared as either being wise or foolish. This is a rare proverb talking about feminine behavior. Her hands are the symbol of her actions or behavior. She can destroy her family or build it.
Verse 4 study: No action? There will be no problems. But, sometimes, you have to be willing to have the power (the ox) to put up with the clutter that comes with it.
When a farmer doesn’t have oxen, the animal manger is empty. The only way to keep your life free of people’s problems is to keep it free of others. If your life is devoid of people, it is useless; if you live for yourself, your life loses meaning. So don’t avoid people; serve, share your faith, and work for justice. Is your life clean but empty? Does it show you serving God wholeheartedly?