The One Year Wisdom for Women Devotional: 365 Devotions through the Proverbs

Overview

We live in a foolish world with women making bad choices and suffering from the collateral damage of other’s wrong choices. The One Year Wisdom for Women Devotional, based on the audio program of the same name, was birthed out of the great need for women to hear how God addresses every single facet of their lives through the powerful and practical book of Proverbs. For many, the Proverbs are hard to study because the topics jump around from verse to verse. The One Year Wisdom for Women Devotional is a practical ...

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The One Year Wisdom for Women Devotional: 365 Devotions through the Proverbs

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Overview

We live in a foolish world with women making bad choices and suffering from the collateral damage of other’s wrong choices. The One Year Wisdom for Women Devotional, based on the audio program of the same name, was birthed out of the great need for women to hear how God addresses every single facet of their lives through the powerful and practical book of Proverbs. For many, the Proverbs are hard to study because the topics jump around from verse to verse. The One Year Wisdom for Women Devotional is a practical tool that will help women in their daily walk with the Lord. It is a great companion to the One Year Bible because it directly follows that book’s daily Proverbs reading. Each day not only follows the script of the Wisdom for Women audio program, it also references the One Year Bible reading schedule and ends with a powerful call to action. Tyndale House Publishers

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781414375298
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/2013
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 283,154
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The One Year Wisdom FOR Women DEVOTIONAL

365 devotions through the Proverbs
By DEBBI BRYSON

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2013 Debbi Bryson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4143-7529-8


Chapter One

January 1

Fresh Start

For attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young—let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. PROVERBS 1:2-5 (NIV)

January 1: the very first day of a brand-new year. Picture with me this year laying out before you like a blanket of clean white snow. As yet, there are no mistakes, no new regrets, no fresh wounds to mar your path. This is the perfect time to let the past go and start afresh. As we begin in Proverbs 1, above, Solomon explains the purpose and life-changing effect the Proverbs can have.

But if you look around you, the pressures and influences to go in the wrong direction are strong—very strong. People are making foolish choices. Morality and integrity are ridiculed. God is mocked, the Bible neglected. Hosea said, "They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind" (Hosea 8:7, NIV).

Therefore, we must choose. W. C. Fields once said, "Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live fish to go against the flow." So choose wisdom! God has not left us to chart our course alone. He's given us his Word. Let me invite you to pick up a One Year Bible. It lays out a very doable reading schedule. It is simple and yet life changing. So today will you open your Bible to the first chapter of the book of Proverbs and begin this year as a journey to becoming a Woman of Wisdom?

Make It Personal ... Live It Out!

Will you take a moment right now to personally picture this new year as a field of fresh snow? Now picture a ray of light marking the path. God has a promise to help you start your year right. He says, "Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come" (Jeremiah 33:3). Will you pray right now? As you pray, be aware and excited that God hears and is waiting to help.

One Year Bible Reading

Genesis 1:1–2:25; Matthew 1:1–2:12; Psalm 1:1-6; Proverbs 1:1-6

January 2

Godly Reverence

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. PROVERBS 1:7 (NIV)

"The fear of the Lord." On our journey to becoming women of wisdom, it is vital that we truly understand what it is to fear the Lord. First of all we must know what it isn't. To fear the Lord is not the same as being afraid of him like he is mean or selfish or harsh or cruel. Nothing could be further from the truth.

To fear God is to know that he is righteous and he hates wickedness. God is holy. God hates sin because it enslaves us and destroys our lives. Sin separates us from his love. Jesus said, "God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:17, NKJV).

So what is it to have a proper fear of God? It is to have a deep reverence for him. It is to be in awe of him because he is awe-some. It is to understand that he is the God of the universe, and we are not. He is the Creator, the King Eternal, the Only Wise God. When we respect him for who he is and live under both his authority and his love, there is no sweeter, safer, more peaceful way to live. This is truly wisdom.

A holy fear of a holy God—it does our souls good to have such an awe-inspiring reverence. Tonight, look up at the stars and know they all can fit in the palm of his hand. As the song proclaims, "Our God is an awesome God; he reigns from heaven above with wisdom, power, and love. Our God is an awesome God" (song lyrics by Rich Mullins).

Make It Personal ... Live It Out!

There are two kinds of people in this world. There are Big God-ers and there are Little God-ers. David, Daniel, Moses, and Mary believed that God can move giants and mountains and men. Do you? Or do you live with a greater fear of men than you do of God almighty? Now the important question is, Will you choose to embrace him not just as an awesome God but as your awesome God?

One Year Bible Reading

Genesis 3:1–4:26; Matthew 2:13–3:6; Psalm 2:1-12; Proverbs 1:7-9

January 3

Peer Pressure

My [child], if sinners entice you, Do not consent. If they say, "Come with us," ... Keep your foot from their path. PROVERBS 1:10-11, 15 (NKJV)

This is a warning. Be on guard. Don't be influenced or pressured into doing something you know is wrong. Sin has a powerful lure all by itself, but when others try to pull us in, it can become even more powerful. Does this happen? All the time. Sometimes sin comes in the back door through friends—the wrong kind of friends.

I'm going to list some of the ways that we sometimes yield when we have friends who influence us to do things that aren't the best. Do you have a friend who shops till she drops? When you're together you, too, shop too much. You spend too much money, and you buy things you don't need.

Complaining. Do you have a friend you complain with every time you are together? Both of you feel free to complain about your husbands, relatives, friends, people at church.

Do you have friends who compromise? Do they entice you to compromise by recommending R movies or trashy books? Do they invite you to join them for a drink at the bar? Or—warning!—do you have anyone in your life who is flirting with you, stirring you up to unhealthy desires?

Dear sisters, two things: (1) Pay attention to the red flags of danger. Do not have a friend who entices you to sin. And (2) be careful about the type of friend you are. A godly friend is a good friend

Make It Personal ... Live It Out!

What's wrong with ungodly friends? Didn't Jesus intentionally spend time with sinners? Yes, he did. But his intentions were entirely different than just letting his hair down and fitting in. He brought light and truth into every atmosphere. He loved sinners and they knew it. He was grieved by the emptiness and pain he saw on their faces. Darkness did not drag him down; instead, he used light to lift them up.

Let's Pray

Lord, seal my heart against compromise so I can be a vessel of your light in a lost and dying world.

One Year Bible Reading

Genesis 5:1–7:24; Matthew 3:7–4:11; Psalm 3:1-8; Proverbs 1:10-19

January 4

Wisdom Calls!

As we read the proverb for today, picture wisdom as a woman—a woman like a mother standing on firm, solid, safe ground. She is calling out to those she cares deeply about. She knows, as every loving, wise, godly mother knows, that if they do not choose the higher ground of wisdom, they will be swept away by foolish, dangerous choices. So listen and picture the voice of God's wisdom calling out to you in today's Wisdom for Women.

Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares.... She speaks her words: "How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge. Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you." PROVERBS 1:20-23 (NKJV)

Did you hear both the warning and the promise? Right now I feel an urgency. This year may be indeed the most complicated and challenging year we have ever faced. There are dangerous changes brewing in our world. Do not let circumstances, or others, or the ungodly world around you pressure you into making wrong choices. Do not let the lines between right and wrong become fuzzy to you just because they are blurry to others. Choose wisdom!

If you do, God himself promises that he will pour out his Spirit upon you and make his words known to you. Choose wisdom!

Make It Personal ... Live It Out!

What is the antidote for the toxic and demeaning role models that are broadcast to us as women everywhere we look? God's Word! God's Word teaches us that women have a place of honor. We can be amazing influences for good. When God's Word is in you, you realize that the false images and values shown in the media are just cheap substitutes.

Look at the One Year Bible Reading list on this page. It gives you a simple, easy-to-follow guide. Try it. God's Word is God's love letter, God's truth, and God's light for your life. God's wisdom is calling, Will you listen? Will you follow?

One Year Bible Reading

Genesis 8:1–10:32; Matthew 4:12-25; Psalm 4:1-8; Proverbs 1:20-23

January 5

A Sober Warning

Since you rejected me [wisdom] when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me. PROVERBS 1:24-28 (NIV)

Today's proverb is very serious and, I hope, a sobering warning.

God's mercy, his love, his kindness to call us out of darkness is amazing. He will send conviction to our souls over and over with great compassion and patience, but if we repeatedly disobey, if we harden our hearts, he will refuse his grace. There will come a time when it is too late.

A few years ago I needed to catch a plane, but I was careless. I got a late start to the airport and hit traffic. It was my own fault. When I got to the gate, the door had closed. Too late. The plane took off without me. But I guarantee you the next time I was to fly, I got up early, and the plane arrived late. So if you are listening, if you have turned your back on wisdom in the past, it's time to learn from your mistakes. Don't repeat them. Don't be careless with your life and don't be careless with your soul.

Make It Personal ... Live It Out!

Some people don't like to hear or heed warnings. The captain of the Titanic was one of them. The morning before the disaster, the sky was blue and the sea calm. So he canceled the scheduled lifeboat drill. No need; the Titanic was unsinkable. He received—and ignored—seven iceberg warnings, until it was too late.

If God has sent a flashing light of warning or conviction in your heart, listen. Life has icebergs ahead. Slow down, change course, and allow him to navigate you back to safety.

One Year Bible Reading

Genesis 11:1–13:4; Matthew 5:1-26; Psalm 5:1-12; Proverbs 1:24-28

January 6

Truth or Consequences

Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord, They would have none of my [wisdom's] counsel And despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them. PROVERBS 1:29-32 (NKJV)

Today's Wisdom for Women talks about consequences. It's been said that sometimes the best way to convince someone he's wrong is to let him have his way. Or, as James MacDonald puts it, "Choose to sin, choose to suffer."

Galatians 6:7-8 explains it very clearly. Listen to what it says: "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life" (NKJV).

Okay then, let's look at your life like a garden. Every farmer knows that at every stage he makes choices. In the spring he can choose to plant tomatoes. He knows that if he plants tomatoes he won't get potatoes. He can choose to pull the weeds when they are small. He can choose to water, and fertilize, and kill every pest that threatens his crop. But he also knows that his choices add up, and one day he will have tomatoes to eat and plenty to share with others.

All this to say: don't reject the Lord's wisdom in your life. That's foolish. Call out to the Lord for the wisdom you need today in all of your choices. They will bear fruit as a blessing today and a blessing tomorrow.

Make It Personal ... Live It Out!

Although this proverb applies to all of us, this is an important message that moms especially need to hear. Those little toddlers to teenagers under your care today will be the decision makers and parents of the next generation. Like a good gardener, will you be diligent to plant the good seeds of integrity, purity, humility, kindness, thankfulness, and godliness in your children's hearts and minds? Plant the seeds and pull the weeds!

One Year Bible Reading

Genesis 13:5–15:21; Matthew 5:27-48; Psalm 6:1-10; Proverbs 1:29-33

January 7

Insight and Understanding

My [child], if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. PROVERBS 2:1-5 (NIV)

As we begin, let me ask you a personal question. Please be honest in your answer. How important is the Bible to you—really? If you say it is important and yet you live day to day like it is less important than your hobbies or your favorite TV show, you're kidding yourself. Worse yet, you are missing out on the most wonderful, interesting, and life-changing experience there is: digging into the treasure chest of the living Word of God. So listen very carefully to today's Wisdom for Women.

If you would like to go deeper in learning and growing in God's Word, good. I love it when someone wants to know how. Let me invite you to my website. It's called BibleBusStop.com. There are lots of helps there to get you started.

And then when you do read, read prayerfully. As you read, read like you are searching to know God himself. Stop and pray often. Interact with God, using your reading time to discover more than just information. Truly, this is your Father God–child time. Picture it as a journey, a journey to the very heart of God.

Make It Personal ... Live It Out!

The gaining of insight is a key topic of our proverb today. So, what exactly is insight? Why do we need it? And how do we get it?

Insight is the ability to see and understand clearly the inner nature of things.

We need insight because things are not always as they appear. As moms, we need insight to read what is troubling our children. We need insight when something is amiss in our marriages. We need insight when a friendship is broken.

How do we get insight? Call out! We need to take God at his Word: "Ask and you will receive" (John 16:24, NIV).

One Year Bible Reading

Genesis 16:1–18:15; Matthew 6:1-24; Psalm 7:1-17; Proverbs 2:1-5

January 8

Shielded

The Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, And preserves the way of His saints. PROVERBS 2:6-8 (NKJV)

The Lord does have a special relationship with those who love him and seek him, who walk in his ways and desire what he desires. God never promises that we'll have trouble-free lives, but he does promise that we'll never face anything that comes our way alone. Sometimes we forget that all we have to do is ask God for wisdom when life gets complicated, when we're confused, or when we're making a hard decision. Jesus said, "Ask and you will receive" (John 16:24, NIV).

The Twenty-third Psalm is a great psalm of comfort and hope. "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want" (Psalm 23:1, NKJV). As you read the entire psalm, it's more than just sweet sentiments. It's a list, a strong list of promises that cover every need and every phase of life from being hungry to dying.

Think of the phrase "thy rod and thy staff they comfort me" (Psalm 23:4, KJV). Both the rod and staff are tools to protect us, not just from predators but also from ourselves. We, like sheep, are prone to wander. A good shepherd needs to firmly strike a stubborn sheep, but for those sheep who love to stay near him, a little tap is all that's needed.

Make It Personal ... Live It Out!

Let's personally grab hold of the promise in today's proverb: "He is a shield to those who walk uprightly." The fiery darts of fear, discouragement, criticism, and temptations are aimed at us. But God is telling us that when we choose to stay close to him, he personally shields us. No, he does not put us in a "holy bubble." But he does stand with us and for us. We are not alone.

Let's Pray

Lord, sometimes I do feel overwhelmed and outnumbered. Sometimes evil does seem stronger than good and right. Help me to trust that you are near, holding your shield over my heart.

One Year Bible Reading

Genesis 18:16–19:38; Matthew 6:25–7:14; Psalm 8:1-9; Proverbs 2:6-15

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The One Year Wisdom FOR Women DEVOTIONAL by DEBBI BRYSON Copyright © 2013 by Debbi Bryson. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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