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Daily Devotional for July 23

God's Wisdom for Daily Living

Devotional Scripture

Proverbs 21:13-14 (KJV):
13 Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
14 A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.

Proverbs 21:13-14 (AMP):
13 Whoever stops his ears at the cry of the poor will cry out himself and not be heard.
14 A gift in secret pacifies and turns away anger, and a bribe in the lap, strong wrath.

Thought for the Day

Verse 13 - We can ignore the plight of those less fortunate than we, but if we do, our cries for help will likewise be ignored when we have a need. To ignore something is to refuse to look at it. We may pass by needy people as if they do not exist, but remember, we reap what we sow. We don't know what kind of trials we may face in the future. Someday, we may greatly need someone to be merciful to us. In a sense, we can "store up" mercy so that the Lord will be merciful to us when we need it. "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy" (Matthew 5:7). If we show mercy to the poor and weak, the Lord will move people to help us in our time of need. "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). Failing to help the poor is to commit a sin of omission. True faith in God causes us to reach out to the poor and helpless. "If a brother or sister is poorly clad and lacks food for each day, And one of you says to him, Goodbye! Keep (yourself) warm and well fed, without giving him the necessities for the body, what good does that do? So also faith if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power - inoperative, dead" (James 2:15-17, AMP).

Verse 14 - The dictionary defines "bribe," as "something, such as money or a favor, that is offered or given to a person in a position of trust in order to influence that person's views or conduct." The wording of this verse suggests underhanded dealing between the parties involved. The silence (or cooperation) of people without morals can be easily bought. Money was not as widely used in ancient times as today; and items of value, or "gifts" were often used as bribes. Today, the wicked use monetary bribes as gifts or pay-offs to deal with people's anger. We think of a bribe as something only wicked people such as mobsters might employ, but the principle of bribery can be subtle. Giving a child a treat or a toy to stop a tantrum is really a form of bribery. The adult uses a treat to bribe the child into good behavior, and the child learns to use his bad behavior to get what he wants. The adult is twice guilty in such a case: first, guilty of not loving the child enough to teach him to obey out of respect, and secondly guilty of teaching the child to disrespect his parent and bring a curse upon himself. We need the Holy Spirit's help to diligently follow God's ways.

Prayer Devotional for the Day

Dear heavenly Father, I do appreciate all that You have given me. Lord, please help me to overcome any selfishness or insecurity that would keep me from giving to the poor and needy. Help me to be sensitive to the needs of others and not just concerned about my own needs. Also, let me not be neglectful to pray for those who may not have anyone praying for them. I do pray for my family and friends, but Lord, enlarge my heart to reach out beyond my circle of relationships, that I may pray for and give to those You would show me that have needs. Let me always be merciful to those who need mercy and I thank you for the many times You have shown mercy to me. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Patient in tribulation.

It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good. Whom, though I were righteous, yet would I not answer, but I would make supplication to my judge. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?

Jesus wept. A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.

Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Romans 12:12; 1 Samuel 3:18; Job 9:15; Job 1:21; Job 2:10; John 11:35; Isaiah 53:3-4; Hebrews 12:6-11; Colossians 1:11; John 16:33
He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief.

Have faith in God. Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

He that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead. Being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

Is anything too hard for the Lord? With God all things are possible. Lord, increase our faith.

Romans 4:20; Mark 11:22-24; Hebrews 11:6; Hebrews 11:17-19; Romans 4:21; Genesis 18:14; Matthew 19:26; Luke 17:5
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