Daily Devotionals for September 27
Proverbs: God's Wisdom for Daily Living
Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
Proverbs 25:14 (AMP):
14 Whoever falsely boasts of gifts (he does not give) is like clouds and wind without rain.
Thought for the Day
During Israel's six-month dry season, the ground sometimes becomes so arid that it cracks. Rain is expected when clouds appear. In a drought, clouds without rain are a bitter disappointment. In the same way, people who make empty boasts are likened to clouds without rain. Some mean well, but they forget to keep their word. Some attempt to manipulate others with empty promises. Others seek admiration by pretending to be something they are not. Feigning benevolence or generosity is hypocrisy. Jesus sternly rebuked the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. Prideful and legalistic, they were very concerned about their outward appearance, and desired praise for their righteousness. However, Jesus looked into their hearts and saw that they were impure and wicked; full of greed and selfishness.
"And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets" (Luke 11:39-43).
These Pharisees carefully gave a tithe of every source of income, including their herb crops, and made a big display of doing so. Christ sternly upbraided them for ignoring the greater responsibilities of loving God and practicing righteous and merciful judgment. He directed them to help the poor from their substance, in addition to tithing. He also admonished them for the pride they displayed in taking places of honour and making sure that their deeds were noticed. Although Jesus dealt strongly with hypocrites, He was always kind to those who recognized their sin, no matter how great it was. God listens to honest hearts. He will not deny salvation to even the most wicked and vile person who comes to Him in sincere repentance (Luke 18:9-14).
As Christians, we must beware of making empty boasts and promises. As seen in yesterday's study, it is very important to be faithful to keep our word. Whether making business appointments, promising our families a vacation, or agreeing to do something for someone, we should not promise what we cannot perform.
Prayer Devotional for the Day
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