Proverbs 13-20 Bible Reading Challenge Summary

Whenever I think of Proverbs, I think of rich truth. Solomon, the wisest man to live, desired to leave a written legacy of wisdom to his son. What a privilege that we are still reading it today as God preserved this wisdom as His written Word! So let’s look over the chapters we read this week:

Proverbs 13

Chapter 13 covers a variety of topics. From laziness to lying tongues, from poverty to leaving an inheritance for your children, each verse sheds instant light on truth. The verse that seemed to summarize this chapter for me:

The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. Proverbs 13:14

Which verse summarized or highlighted this chapter for you?

Proverbs 14

Ok, you might laugh. But this verse was so appropriate for Saturday. Our family had quite a few things going on. And on Valentine’s Day, of all days, I was focused on the urgent cleaning that needed to be done. Sometimes that cleaning sense of urgency makes me think that our family needs to simplify, but when you have as many bodies in a house as we do, it’s really not so much the amount of “stuff” but the number of people who have any amount of stuff.

Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox. Proverbs 14:4

I’m guessing you get the analogy. No blessings in the form of children=no mess to clean up. Perspective for cleaning day.

Proverbs 15

Many verses in Proverbs focus on seeking wisdom and controlling the tongue, but chapter 15 centers on these topics. One of my favorite verses:

To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is! Proverbs 15:23

Many verses discuss the importance of watching your words and the speed at which they fly out, but the flip side of that is not only holding your tongue, but learning to use empowering words to others. This is something I feel that I’m constantly working on. Perhaps you too?

Proverbs 16

Everywhere we look in today’s culture and society, the center is self. “Have it your way.” “I want it my way.” Proverbs 16 helps us grasp the difference between man’s way and God’s way. After we see the contrast between the two, I believe Solomon is pointing us toward understanding that if we simply begin with God’s way, we’ll encounter fewer problems in life. The following verse summed up this point for me:

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9

How would you explain this verse?

Proverbs 17

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There’s a pivotal word in this verse: “when.” The moment of “when” holds the critical decision. Am I going to let it fly or filter with love? I must have read this verse ten times on Tuesday. I can hear Solomon saying to his son :”It really doesn’t take much to convince people you are smart. Just keep your mouth closed.”

Proverbs 18

In chapter 18, I believe the author is reinforcing the foundation he set in chapter 17. So much of the focus is on truly using our words in a wise manner. Something you may not know about me: I consider myself a foodie. If I wasn’t a Christian blogger chic, maybe I’d be a food critic. Who knows? But the point of explaining that to you is that verse 8 of this chapter made me think:

The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body. Proverbs 18:8

Everyone likes to eat good food, right? So if we think of our words as food:

Would you rather have a day old cheeseburger that’s been sitting on the counter or beautifully prepared filet mignon?

Would you rather eat a fresh chopped salad or wilted iceberg lettuce leaf?

Would you rather drink brewed coffee or instant?

And we can’t even go near the chocolate department or I’ll go overboard.

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Proverbs 19

Sometimes “discipline” is considered a bad word. But the art of being disciplined is the focus of this chapter. One of the most noticeable characteristics of a disciplined person is? They listen well. 

Listening is an art, a skill and a science. I believe that listening is an art because it is an expression of what is beautiful. It’s also a skill because it takes practice to do it well. And it surely is a science because through listening, you acquire knowledge using observation and interpretation.

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Don’t forget the 7up prayer challenge this weekend! My kiddos expressed that they want to be involved; so while I’m shopping today, I have to look for a 12 pack of 7 up. Remember to use the hashtag #7upprayer .

Sorry for the post getting up late; internet was down here last night. Rumor has it that it froze. ha.

Can’t wait to hear from you this week! What did you learn?

Have a great weekend!!

Rachel

7up Prayer Challenge

Have you ever told someone you would pray for them, but then life got busy and you forgot to write it down? Or you wrote it down and then it was a “my dog ate my homework” scenario? Maybe you noticed someone really discouraged, a friend, relative, or co-worker, and you wanted to remember to lift them up in prayer?

Praying for others requires being intentional.

Today I have a super solution for intentionally praying for others. I’m issuing the 7up prayer challenge. (What in the world? Has she gone mad? Must be cabin fever.)

7up prayer challenge

What’s the 7up prayer challenge?

As I said earlier this week, one of the best ways I’ve found to combat discouragement is to be purposeful about encouraging someone else. Combine prayer and encouragement and wow, that’s a power-packed combo! So I thought some of you might like to join me in this prayer challenge. It’s simple.

1. Pray.

Ask God to put someone on your heart that needs your prayer encouragement. Maybe you already know exactly for whom you need to pray.

2. Purchase.

Buy a single bottle of 7up. I found mine at Speedway because gas stations typically carry small single bottles of soda. (Or you could buy a 2 liter, if someone needs a WHOLE lot of prayer. Just kidding. But a 2 liter would work!)

You could do this challenge without the gift and just give them the card. But the gift is an encouragement too!

3. Print.

Download and print out the graphic below. I created a single label sheet, as well as a sheet of four. You could share this activity with your small group or get your kiddos involved.

7up prayer tag

Download the single tag here.

Download the set of 4 here.

4. Pen it.

Fill out the label and attach it to the bottle.

5. Provide.

Deliver the 7up bottle to the person you plan for pray for the entire week ahead. You could leave it on the porch. Surprise your co-worker. Deliver it to the office where the person works. Leave it in their car. Have fun!

6. Pray.

Pray for your person for the entire week and then send them a text, social media message, call them or write them a note at the end of the week so they will know you followed through on your commitment.

It’s that easy!

Now I’m going to do the challenge beginning this Sunday, February 22,2015 through Saturday, February 28,2015, but it doesn’t matter WHEN you do it. However, I thought it would be really fun to add a hashtag so we can see how it’s working out. So use the hashtag:

#7upprayer 

There is nothing like the power of prayer.

The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16

All right, who’s in this week? I’d love to hear from you!

Rachel

BONUS: If you are praying for your husband or children, you can use these prayer guides to pray for 7 days:

7 ways to pray for your husband for 7 days

7 ways to pray for your children for 7 days

Bible Verses for When I Feel Lonely

bible verses for when I feel lonely

Not too long ago, one of our sweet readers was going through a very difficult time. When she wrote to me, I felt the loneliness dripping from her words and I wished that I could be there for her. Instead, I wrote a “Prayer for when I feel lonely” on her behalf. Today I was wondering how she is doing and I wanted to share this list of Bible verses for when I feel lonely.

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10

For my father and my mother have forsaken me,but the LORD will take me in. Psalm 27:10

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”  Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low! Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me! Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name! The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me. Psalm 142:5-7

And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20b

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. Psalm 62:2

O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Psalm 139:1&2

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the LORD, who made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, Isaiah 44:24

God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. Psalm 68:6a NLT

Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. Psalm 73:23

He is with you.

He will never leave you.

You may be lonely, but you are never alone.

Rest with Him today.

Rachel