Posts Tagged ‘Proverbs 3:27’

Potential and Possibilities

October 24th, 2017

“Small things can have vast potential.”

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed which is smaller than all the seeds on earth.” Mark 4:31 NKJV.

My thoughts and comments today are about,

“Potential and Possibilities.”

No good thing that is said or done is inconsequential. Things that may appear small at first are not always as small as they seem. A simple, small seed can hold a world of potential. Jesus taught that, “[The Kingdom of Heaven] is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.” Mark 4:31-32 NKJV. God places high value on small things when they are the right things.

Every enterprise begins small, appearing insignificant at its early stages, except to those who see potential others do not see. Small things can have vast potential. They should not be disparaged. The Bible cautions, “Do not despise these small beginnings for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” Zechariah 4:10 NLT. And Jesus noted that, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” Luke 16:10 NIV. Faithfulness is learned in small things and responsibilities grow in proportion to reliability.

Little things are not necessarily little in value. By that I mean, some little things have amazing potential and could produce big results. For instance, a small seed holds disproportionate potential; a small idea can produce a profitable business; a small kindness can begin a long friendship; a wise word can change a life’s direction. “Now may He Who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:10-11 NKJV.

But also, I must warn that little things can also have big, unwanted, and unintended repercussions as well. While describing the effect of a small bit in a powerful horse’s mouth and a small rudder to turn a large ship, the Bible warns that, “Even so the tongue is a little member that boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles . . and the tongue . . defiles the whole body.” Read James 3:2-12 NKJVWords mean something. Words can heal; words can harm. They hold vast potential, both for the person who speaks them as well as those who hear them. An ill-advised word can disparage ideas, diminish incentive, or destroy hope.

Solomon addressed this negative potential with the image of a vineyard, “Catch the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.” Song of Solomon 2:15 NKJV. The vine is where growth and fruit are to be found; those represent your future possibility and productivity. Solomon knew that small things could cause great damage. Such causes are often unnoticed until after irreparable damage has been done. Most of us are not undone by big things. Those are more easily recognized and readily avoided. Small things are often our undoing: such as the road not taken, the opportunity overlooked, the omission unrecognized, the little temptation embraced, or lesser failure indulged.

The Bible says, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” Proverbs 3:27 NKJV. A special moments can be spoiled by inaction – an achievement not celebrated, an anniversary forgotten, a thank you unspoken, a kindness unappreciated, a person’s efforts not valued, and many other similar opportunities for good that are just overlooked. Such things happen every day. Small things as simple as one’s countenance, tone of voice, body language, attitude, or mere words can assist or resist progress, build or dampen enthusiasm, and develop or disparage an idea. Protect the vines; secure the fruit of blessing; determine to use whatever you have to bless others positively.

Today, I pray for you to celebrate the great and Godly potential in yourself and others.

Christian Communications 2017

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An Abounding Life

September 9th, 2016

EDL sowing and reaaping                  

Whatever good toward God or man will be returned from God’s own hand.

“Whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord.” Ephesians 6:8 NKJV.



My thoughts and comments today are about “an abounding life.”

There is a simple lesson in life. What you do and say, whether good or bad, eventually comes back to you in some form of either kindness or distress. Because you feel like speaking or behaving in a certain way does not mean that you should. When you give and what you give determine what you will receive. Therefore, it would only be wise to consider carefully the effect of what you do or say before doing so.

Solomon wisely observed, “Your reward depends on what you say and what you do; you will get what you deserve.” Proverbs 12:14 TEV. Now that can be either encouraging or terrifying. It’s great to know that God rewards goodness; It is not so comforting to realize that He does not spare you the bitter fruit of wrongdoing. The Bible calls that sowing and reaping: “For he who sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption. He who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Galatians 6:7-10 NKJV. Whenever you are not reaping enough, you are not sowing enough. 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 NIV.

As a child, I remember my grandfather McGinness saying, “God will be no man’s debtor.” I have come to understand what he meant by that. A simple rhyme comes to mind: “Whatever good toward God or man, will be returned from God’s own hand.” My grandfather had learned that whatever good is done, toward God or man, will be returned with added blessing from God, in one way or another at one time or another. God lets no good go unrewarded, however unnoticed by others. Your return may not always come from an expected source, but your reward always comes from the true Source of all that is good. God uses whom He chooses to do His work.

Here’s the practical lesson in this. Never hesitate to do what is right or to deal generously when you can; those opportunities come your way with God’s promise of blessing and enrichment. Conversely, never do what you know is wrong, nor withhold what you know is due, however small or secret that may at first appear. Solomon was specific. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is the power of your hand to do so.” Proverbs 3:27 NLT. There is a moral law. Good comes from the good you do or the grace God gives.

You can count this to be true, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does.” Ephesians 6:7-8 NKJV. You may not realize the connection with a previous occasion at that moment, but God does, and remembers and rewards accordingly.

Today, I pray for you to do good freely and receive reward extravagantly.


You may be receiving “Abounding Life” twice, we were notified that the majority of readers did not receive this devotional because of a server error. We want to provide this devotional for those who did not receive it. We apologize for that. Know that much time and effort has been invested in rectifying this technical problem. We trust the error has been corrected. And watch your Monday email for my thoughts on, “Living Passionately.” Spiritual life weakens when passion lessens.

Christian Communications 2016

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Wise Benevolence

September 2nd, 2015

“Cast your bread upon the waters.” Ecclesiastes 11:1 NKJV.

God directs the affairs of men with wise benevolence.

My thoughts and comments today are about “wise benevolence.”

Theologians of a previous era wrote often of the providence of God, describing it as, “The care and character of Almighty God who with foresight and omniscience directs the affairs of men with wise benevolence.” Your life is more providential than you might realize. Will you abandon your carefully devised plans? Trust your Heavenly Father, who is the Almighty God, to provide for you by means of His “omniscience and wise benevolence.”

(1) Let your generosity be deliberate and unmeasured. “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again . . (your gifts will return to you later).” Ecclesiastes 11:1 NIV/NLT. To me, the phrasing of this verse suggests an open-hearted lifestyle of liberality toward God and others, with no personal constraints as to what and when the return will be. The Biblical concept is the surrender of predictability. You can determine neither the source nor the time of your compensation. Such carefree release is a wonderful thing. Isaiah understood this elementary trust, “What is due me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God.” Isaiah 49:4 NIV. If and when others do not respond as you expect, trust your disappointment to God who always rewards righteously. God will be no man’s debtor.

(2) Liberality is a lifestyle for times good and bad. “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.” Ecclesiastes 11:4 NIV. The limits of one’s foresight makes predicting what will or will not be beneficial a waste of time. ”Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.” Proverbs 3:27 NKJV. A content and confident life results from abandoning your cautions to God’s wise and provident reward. Rest your heart and hopes in the wise benevolence and providence of God. Your own or others’ forecast of your future will be inaccurate.

(3) Life is tiring when you hold things too tightly. “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” Ecclesiastes 11:6 NIV. Solomon observed, “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:24-25 NIV. God can only multiply and return what you will release. Choose to refresh others and discover the path to being refreshed.

Today, I pray for you that every word or act of kindness will bring multiple joys.

Christian Communications

EDL PIX rushing waters

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Interruptions and Opportunities

May 16th, 2014

As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people.” Galatians 6:10 NIV.

Opportunities often appear as interruptions or inconveniences.

My thoughts and comments today are about “interruptions and opportunities.”

Good people do good things when they can and there are plenty of opportunities, if you are watching and wanting to do so. “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart.” Luke 6:45 NIV. Can you remember how good you felt when someone was helpful and kind to you, when they weren’t obligated? There are people around you every day who would be encouraged by even the smallest act of kindness – a compliment, a thank you, a door held open, a smile, a helping hand, a gesture of concern, a kind note or call, or an offer of prayer. See Ephesians 2:10 NIV. When you see a need, is it an opportunity, or an interruption or inconvenience?

Paul’s instruction to the Church is clear, as is the reward, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers . . Because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does.” Galatians 6:9-10 /Ephesians 6:8 NIV.

Usually, failure to do a good thing is not for lack of opportunity. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV. Why do we not do what we can when we could? I think the answer is simple: opportunities often appear as interruptions or inconveniences.

In the context of being neighborly, Jesus told the story of a Good Samaritan. Read Luke 10:30-37 NKJV. A man had been robbed, beaten, and left beside the road. A priest and a Levite actually paused long enough to see the man, but hurried on their way without helping. A Samaritan “saw him and had compassion on him. So he went to Him, bandaged his wounds . . and took care of him.” See Matthew 5:16 NIV.

I have over simplified the story for the sake of brevity. Were they afraid for their own safety? Were the religious men uncaring? Maybe to one it was an interruption to his plans, to another possibly an inconvenient time, but for the Samaritan this was an opportunity to do good. Solomon advised, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.” Proverbs 3:27 NKJV/James 4:17 NIV. It is likely the others’ lives were no busier than the man who stopped to help. Inattentiveness is often the culprit but busyness is the cause.

The deciding factor should always be: “Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:16 NIV. Pleasing others is a trap; pleasing yourself is a dead end; pleasing God is rich with reward. Everyday, in ways large and small, there are opportunities to help. If you aren’t available to those opportunities that appear large, you probably will not recognize the ones that seem small. Jesus is your example; ”God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and He went around doing good . .” Acts 10:38 NIV. You are anointed to bless others.

My prayer for you today is that you will embrace every opportunity to do good.

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Good Is Intentional

March 4th, 2013

“God anointed Jesus . . who went about doing good and healing.”Acts 10:38 NKJV.

One healing touch can disrupt a continuing cycle of hurts.

Every person possesses the power to choose how they will live. Some people just never get around to choosing or don’t realize they should. Many people live randomly, wandering without purpose or direction, just doing what comes naturally. There is something far better. When you know you have a certain destiny you will find a clear direction. “Anyone who does what is good is from God.” 3 John 11 NIV.

Some people leave chaos around and behind them, wherever they go. Their words and behavior can bewilder and injure others, while they seem to go on their merry way. Jesus was clear, “While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world” (John 9:5 NIV), and your commission now is as His own was then, “You are the light of the world . . in the same way, let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:14/16 NIV. Good isn’t coincidental; good is intentional.

The Apostle Peter’s introductory remarks to a Roman Centurion, and his household began with, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” Acts 10:38 NKJV. Jesus’ intent was to always do good, bringing His healing touch to hearts and lives. He still does, but now the Holy Spirit also anoints you with the ministry of Jesus to heal broken and hurting hearts.

Hurting people hurt people. One healing touch can disrupt a continuing cycle of hurts.In a time of prayer, a practical understanding of a simple but powerful, ministry truth was impressed upon my thoughts, “Only what touches the heart has the power to change a life.” You have the power to touch a person’s heart. With your touch, God can change their life.

Such an assignment is not without effort, but the good to which you are called – gracious acts of kindness, mercy, and charity – contrasts sharply in the darkened, hurting world in which you minister. God is the Source of all good; you are to be His instrument of healing, “. . that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life . .” Phil 2:15 NLT.

Theologians discuss sins of omission, as well as sins of commission. “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4:17 NIV. Apparently, failing to do good for another when need and opportunity are presented is a serious omission. See Proverbs 3:27 NIV.

Let me add a word of caution: your reward for the good done is not always here on earth. Some people who have hurt a long time might not be readily thankful. “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all . .” Galatians 6:9-10 NKJV.

My prayer for you this day is that God’s goodness flows freely from your life to others.

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