©2022 by Dale M. Sides
Note from Dr. Dale: This is a post I recently wrote for my granddaughter's blog site, specifically targeting her generation. However, I believe it can help us more "mature" folk as well and so I've decided to post it here for all of you to benefit from too. I believe it's a great way to start the day--using the book of Proverbs as a daily devotional guide. Enjoy!
January 23, 2022
Hey this is Kaitlin’s granddad and #1 fan, Dr. Dale. I love her blog and want to contribute.
Have you ever wanted to read the Bible but didn’t know where to turn to once it’s in your hands? I have a great little tip that will help you: go to the Proverb of the Day.
The Proverb of the day is the one that matches the day of the month. For instance, I wrote this on January 23rd, and so I would have turned to Proverb 23. The Book of Proverbs, which is found about half way through the Bible, is an awesome book because it gives you words of God for direction and counsel in your life. It was designed to build knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and the fear (reverence) of the Lord. Not only that, but there are 31 proverbs in it, which means it fits conveniently into a month (give or take).
Did you know that the book of Proverbs was written for youth to obtain wisdom (Proverbs 1:4)? Of course, it works for us adults too—to show us whether what we are doing is right or wrong. Regardless, as you read it each day of the month, God’s Spirit will emphasize particular verses that seem meant just for you at that point in time. It’s good to write these down and even memorize them and say them throughout your day, because they can keep you grounded and peaceful—no matter what is going on around you.
As you do this, the Holy Spirit will build your character and help you to be a better witness for Christ.
Here is my personal story that illustrates the Proverb of the Day.
After graduating from college (just after Noah got off the boat), I wanted to go on an overseas mission trip, but could not. Money talks. So, I went on a self-commissioned mission trip at my job at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte because I knew that Jesus was real here in the USA too. As glorious as it sounds, I was handing out gym equipment—basketballs, volleyballs, handball rackets, clean shirts, towels, and jockeys (to the boys). In fact, my official title became “jockey-jockey.” I just smiled at the nickname, knowing that I was on mission for the Lord—and getting paid for it too!
There’s a lesson in this: if our number one mission is to represent Christ, then we can do this anywhere we are—whether we are on a “mission trip” (for which we had to get funds and/or donations) or at our job where we are getting paid. Wherever we are, and whatever we are doing, if we are doing it for the Lord, then we are in full-time ministry. Whether you’re an Uber driver, or a medical worker, a school teacher, a civil engineer, a mortician, or a full-time parent (which I suppose every parent is full time) we are in a full-time ministry position—if we are representing Him well. You may be earning a living but you are also getting paid by Jesus. This is true double indemnity. Get paid twice. Once by your boss and then by the REAL Boss. You get paid by Jesus as long as He is the reason you show up and show off.
Even at that young age, this became my God-ordained, self-commissioned mission: to witness the Bible to every person I could each day. And guess how I did it? By reading the Proverb of the Day every morning before I went to work.
Each morning before I left, I read the Bible, looking particularly for something in the Proverb of the Day that stood out and inspired me. I then wrote it down on a 3” X 5” card (because “post-it-notes” had not yet been invented). On my way to work and all throughout the day, I kept that card close so I could remember what I read and say it aloud or to myself. I was “hiding it in my heart” like the Bible talks about in the book of Psalms. The next thing I did was to look for a place to share it.
As I handed out gym equipment, the Proverb of the Day was in my mind, and I silently looked at each student for any hint of hunger for God. I gave everyone a “God bless you” and a smile; and when the Holy Spirit prompted me I added, “Would you like to hear the Proverb of the Day that I memorized for you?” Then without waiting for permission, I blurted it out. If I couldn’t remember it, I simply stopped and checked my card—and then blurted it out!
The results were amazing,
like throwing a baited hook with a cork into a pond. If they smiled, I told
them what it meant to me and then asked them if they had any ideas about what
it might mean to them. And if they didn’t smile, I’d throw the bait out again
the next time I saw them. Sometimes the big fish need to see the bait more than
once before they grab it. I didn’t give up but fished for them again and again using
my Proverb of the Day bait.
I have lost count of the numbers of people whose lives were impacted by the Lord through this simple but powerful “mission” method of using the Proverb of the Day. What is found in each day’s reading was relevant then, and it is relevant today. Remember that these were designed for you—for youth—to obtain wisdom and build a Christ-like character. Not only have these proverbs helped me to represent the Lord well, but they also molded my character to become a better minister, husband, father, grandfather—and a reasonably respectable “spectator” at my granddaughter’s basketball games. They can likewise mold you into a holy, considerate, loving, Jesus-person as you read them, memorize them, and then share them.
I wrote this post on January 23rd. The verses that stood out to me that morning from Proverbs 23 were 24 and 25; and these were what inspired me to contribute to Kaitlin’s Jesus blog.
The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who begets a wise child will delight in him. Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her who bore you rejoice. ~Proverbs 23:24–25
These verses apply to you now, as you honor your parents, and will apply to you later, when you have your own children.
As you become wise and make good decisions from reading the Proverb of the Day, your parents (and grandparents too) will greatly rejoice, as I do in Kaitlin. As a minister who has worked quite a bit with youth, I have witnessed many parents who were influenced by their own children as they saw them live love, the Bible, and Jesus. My own mom and dad turned to the Lord in a much deeper way when they saw the genuineness of my faith. 😊
So, get your Bible, and if you do not have one, ask Jesus to bring you one, and wait on the Lord. (If He tarries, let me know and I will intercede and maybe someday I will tell you the story of how I was called to the ministry by asking for my first Bible.) Many of the nicer Bibles have a ribbon bookmarker sewn into the binding, so ask Jesus for a nice one! Put the ribbon in Proverbs and begin reading the Proverb of the Day. Remember to write down any verses that stand out to you and memorize them, by speaking them aloud repeatedly. Say them often throughout your day and talk about them. When you see a date on the calendar or on your phone, or wherever, you will be reminded of the verses you memorized on those days.
Note: You can also download a Bible app on your phone which will give you a Bible verse a day to read or memorize. But remember that the Book of Proverbs is the book that was specifically designed for you as a youth to build wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and a reverence for God in your mind and heart.
As these proverbs impact your life and change you, they will remain with you forever and give you the underlying confidence that you will never be alone.
As you turn to the Proverb of the Day each and every day, you will never have to wonder what to read when you open your Bible. And you can always get to it even when the internet is down. 😊
So get your Bible and put the ribbon in Proverbs!
Proverb of the Day
Read, Memorize and Share:
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. ~Proverbs 1:5-7