Proverbs 23: 17 – 18
Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
Observation: There will always be opportunity for me to envy others. But, instead, I can choose to be excited and focused on the Lord. In the Lord there is hope and that hope is secure.
Application: When I feel envy creeping in my soul, I need to remind my heart that secure hope is not in money, people, or things. I need to remind my heart that my secure hope, my future, and my life is in Jesus. I need to be reading the Word daily so that I’m always constantly reminded of what Jesus says and of where true hope lies.
Prayer: Jesus, you are my hope. You are my future. Remind my soul that everything I need is in you.
This is Shanelle. She was born and raised in California. Shanelle moved to NYC 9 years ago. She loves the city, the craziness, and the people.
The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the public square!”
Proverbs 22:13 NIV
When I first read this I thought, “Yes, sluggard! Protect yourself from that lion!” But on re-reading I’m sure that’s not the intent of the verse. What struck me here was the link between fear and laziness. It’s not that the experience of fear means that someone is lazy. As I understand this verse, the meaning here is that this lazy person finds excuse for his laziness by using fear as a justification.
My prayer is that I stay motivated in times when it’s easiest to be lazy, that I will not confuse my laziness with fear, and that I will not allow fear to paralyze me into inaction.
Quenesha is a native New Yorker living, working, dreaming in the Big Apple. She’s passionate about educational equality and finding the light in people who may have a hard time finding it in themselves.
O Lord, in Your strength the king is glad! How great is his joy in Your saving power!
At times I think that I am superwoman; I can do it all! Hear me ROAR (we all have been there at some point). It’s not that it is bad that we think that we can do it all and that we are determined to crush goals and do things on our own, but it does become an issue when we only rely on ourselves. In Proverbs 21:1, David says, “O Lord, in Your strength the king is glad! How great is his joy in Your saving power!” This one tiny verse made it very apparent that the King was glad in God’s strength and God’s saving power. Ladies and Gents, you don’t have to do it on your own, you don’t have to do this alone. You can count on Gods strength for everything and you can count on it every day. Don’t forget His saving power! I just think about God sending his Son to die for my sins! This is the type of saving power that God extends to us daily. We have access to God’s strength and his saving power daily! When you feel overwhelmed, tired or just like you need someone in your corner, don’t forget that you have access to God’s saving power and strength!
Mental Health Awareness: It is OK to seek Mental Health services! It doesn’t mean that you don’t trust God or that you are not relying on his help. You can seek help and still trust God! We sometimes need to seek Mental Health professionals to help us through our difficult times! If you need help, please seek it! -Macielle
Macielle loves to travel, eat and her heart is to help others in any way possible. She has a passion for teaching and hopes to write a book geared to empowering women through devotions!
Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without wise advice.
Observations: Success doesn’t just happen. Success requires as sound plan. A successful plan outlines a step-by-step approach to accomplishing an intended goal. As we plan for success let us not overlook the very important step of securing sound counsel (advice, guidance, direction or instruction). King Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, submits the need to seek guidance concerning our plans–that without good counsel plans fail; but in a multitude of counselors plans are established (Prov 15:22). Gleaning from people who are knowledgeable, wise, experienced and have your best interest at heart is a crucial step in success of our plans.
Application: For the past week this verse has been stirring my spirit. As I meditate on it and think about the way I normally plan, I must admit that seeking advice is a step that I rarely take. My planning process has been to make a decision, pray and execute. I’ve been successful to a certain extent, but acknowledge that had I gotten guidance from a knowledgeable or experienced person, I could have avoided unfortunate and unnecessary situations. I am encouraged to take this counsel and implement it as a part of my planning process.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for your word, advice and counsel on life and for teaching me how to live a successful life. Help me to be receptive to the things that don’t come natural to me, like actively seeking advice. I pray that you would put people in my life that would provide sound counsel to my life. I pray that you would also make me sound counsel to others. Lord, I ask you this in your name. Amen.
Samara has a heart for seeing women and girls stepping into their God given destiny. She’s at her best when she’s loving on them and encouraging them to embrace their Brilliance. Her favorite thing in the world is being a wife and Mom to her 4 sweet, strong, smart daughters.
Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Proverbs 19:21 ESV
As a teacher, you often fall into the category of a control freak or a perfectionist. As much as those might be descriptive words they also have to come along with flexibility and openness. In a split second your plans might fall apart or you may have a schedule change you need to abide by. Honestly, as much as you can plan, there are always curveballs. Similar to life, we can plan as much as we want to (for us control freaks), but God may have other plans for you. Even if you’re not a control freak and you’re a go-with-the-flow type of person, your whole life can be altered in a moment’s notice. Take note of the word “purpose”. There is so much depth to what God has stored for you that’s intentional and supersedes all that we might have planned (or not).
Two things that I am currently still working on is setting my heart in a posture of listening and trusting. So often we’re consumed with our day-to-day, whether it’s consumed with activities or we’re just hanging out, that we forget to be intentional with tuning in with to God has to say. Our God is a good God who doesn’t have plans to harm us, but plans for good. Whether or not that very moment may be planned, His purpose is well thought out and sustainable. Wouldn’t you rather trust God’s (the one who created the universe) plan than your own? #GodsPlan AYE.
God thank you for being a good God. Thank you for the purpose and plans you have over my life. Please help me be open to listening and trust your plans beyond mine.
Joelle is a Second Grade teacher with a concentration in Urban Education. One of her greatest joys is finding community in the most uncommon places and making it home.
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
The power of the words we speak is a theme throughout the bible. The Bible begins in Genesis with The Lord speaking and the earth forming. God spoke life into existence. The bible says that The Word of God is alive, it is living, and inspired by the Holy Spirit. The power of spoken words cannot be denied. The author in Proverbs is ascribing that our words are equally as powerful, but the choice is ours as to whether they are life giving or death bringing. He goes as far to suggest that those who love to “talk” or gossip, will reap the consequences.
To me, our words carry so much weight. Whether it is from the platform or whether it is to a friend or colleague, the way we say it and the intention behind it can actually shape the way it is received. In verse 24, it says there are “friends” who destroy each other. I never want to be thought of as the person who is always negative or speaking death over people. I never want to be the friend who is destroying. I want to be the person who is giving life!
I think there are 3 very important ways we can be intentional about speaking life.
• Speak life over yourself
I don’t know what your self-talk looks like, but sometimes mine is pretty terrible. I can be my harshest critic. Honestly, if I’m not speaking life over myself, how can I expect others to take it seriously when I speak it over them? Find some verses that really speak to you and speak/pray them over yourself every morning. My go to verse in this season is 2 Timothy 1:7.
• Speak life over others
When was the last time you made an intentional effort to find the good in someone? Intentionally encouraged them, not just when they did something good? Sometimes, people actually need someone to call out the gold in them before they start living in that truth. Make it a priority to encourage someone or to speak God’s promises over them. Remind them they are a child of the most high King, that they have a plan and a purpose, that they were created by God ON PURPOSE, that they are the head and not the tail. The Bible is full of amazing encouragements that apply to every single one of God’s children. Find someone today and speak LIFE over them.
When we practice praying the Word of God out loud, we are planting seeds of Truth and reminding ourselves of God’s promise to us. Practice praying out loud. Practice praying the Word of God out loud. Even if you feel silly, if you are consistent, you will being to see that the words you are speaking are actually giving you life. The more practiced you become, the more confident you will be in speaking life over others.
Father thank you for your son Jesus. Thank you for your Word and the power of life that lies within it. Forgive me for my negative speaking and any time I have had a critical spirit. I pray that you would help me to know your word and know your promises, so that I can begin to speak them over myself and others. Help me to always encourage and lift others up, even when I am tempted to speak death. Let the words that come out of my mouth be encouraging, lovingly challenging, and like water to the soul. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Megan is a single gal living in NYC (the best city in the world) and working in ministry. She is passionate about helping women grow in their confidence of who God has created them to be and helping them develop their God-given gifts and talents. She has lots of great stories to tell so just ask!