“The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who begets a wise child will delight in him.” Proverbs 23:24

Children are blessings from God. All parents will agree, no matter how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ their children are. This is because children give us the opportunity to experience how our Father feels whenever He looks at us. I mean, think about it; even though your child gets up to mischief and lands himself into serious trouble, do you despise him? Do you disown him? You would sooner take the punishment upon yourself, rather than let him bear the pain, wouldn’t you?

Well then beloved, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11

Our Father certainly delights when we are “[uncompromisingly] righteous (the upright, in right standing with God)”. (Proverbs 23:24 [AMPC]) That is why He sent Jesus to die on the cross.

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Our Father, like you, does not wish to see us, His children, bear the consequence of our sin, no matter how much it is our responsibility to bear. So He sent Jesus to bear it for us. This means that we who believe in Jesus and His redeeming power no longer give our Father any cause to be angry with us for

“…now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,” Ephesians 2:13-14

So we are certainly in right standing with God.

But we could always do with some practical tips for daily living, advice to avoid the pitfalls of life. Well, our Father knows this and the book of Proverbs was written for such a purpose. So let us take a look at some of our Father-inspired words of wisdom, so that we may delight our Father when we are wise.

Don’t Bully

“Don’t walk on the poor just because they’re poor,
and don’t use your position to crush the weak,
Because God will come to their defense;
the life you took, he’ll take from you and give back to them.” Proverbs 22:22-23 [MSG]

“Don’t stealthily move back the boundary lines
or cheat orphans out of their property,
For they have a powerful Advocate
who will go to bat for them.” Proverbs 23:10-11 [MSG]

“Rescue the perishing;
don’t hesitate to step in and help.
If you say, “Hey, that’s none of my business,”
will that get you off the hook?
Someone is watching you closely, you know—
Someone not impressed with weak excuses.” Proverbs 24:11-12 [MSG]

Don’t bully others, don’t take advantage, don’t seek to profit from another’s vulnerabilities; but instead seek always to help.

But beloved, more than mere advice, remember that our Father only ever advises and instructs after He has set the example in our lives. For He has said,

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16
And even if it is your very own weaknesses that trip you up, even if you fall to temptation out of your own accord, take heart beloved, our Father has promised,

“Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the [uncompromisingly] righteous (the upright, in right standing with God); destroy not his resting-place;
For a righteous man falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.” Proverbs 24:15-16 [AMPC]

So as you step out from now on, only to help and never to bully; be confident that our Father is always with you helping you and He will never allow any harm to come to you.

Don’t be Influenced

“Make no friendship with an angry man,
And with a furious man do not go,
Lest you learn his ways
And set a snare for your soul.” Proverbs 22:24-25

“Do not eat the bread of a miser,
Nor desire his delicacies;
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
But his heart is not with you.
The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up,
And waste your pleasant words.” Proverbs 23:6-8

“Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them;
For their minds plot oppression and devise violence, and their lips talk of causing trouble and vexation.” Proverbs 24:1-2 [AMPC]

“Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord all the day long.
For surely there is a latter end [a future and a reward], and your hope and expectation shall not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:17-18 [AMPC]

Do not let the world influence you. Not the angry, not the miserly, not the evil nor the sinner. For you beloved, have been washed clean by the blood of Christ,

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Though the results of their ways may be attractive on the outside, know that

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

So “Don’t gamble on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,
hocking your house against a lucky chance.
The time will come when you have to pay up;
you’ll be left with nothing but the shirt on your back.” Proverbs 22:26-27 [MSG]

Instead put your trust in our Father who is your Shepherd, in whom you shall not want. Who makes you lie down in green pastures; who leads you beside the still waters; who restores your soul. (Psalm 23:1-2) And He shall always lead you in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. (Psalm 23:3)

Don’t be Tempted

“When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you;
And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man given to appetite.
Do not desire his delicacies,
For they are deceptive food.” Proverbs 23:1-3

“Do not mix with winebibbers,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.” Proverbs 23:20-21

“Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it swirls around smoothly;
At the last it bites like a serpent,
And stings like a viper.
Your eyes will see strange things,
And your heart will utter perverse things.” Proverbs 23:31-33

“My son, give me your heart,
And let your eyes observe my ways.
For a harlot is a deep pit,
And a seductress is a narrow well.
She also lies in wait as for a victim,
And increases the unfaithful among men.” Proverbs 23:26-28

Don’t be tempted by the riches of the world; and certainly don’t give yourself over. Exercise restraint in all things and nothing shall be able to take a hold of you. You see, the things of the world are merely that; things. They are only blessings when they benefit you and enrich your life. Wine will not benefit you if you overdo it and end up using the cistern as a pillow and retching into it the whole night. Food will not benefit you overdo it and get high cholesterol and heart disease. And relations? Well, that’s really obvious. Beloved, always remember,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33

““For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”” Isaiah 55:8-9

So trust in our Fathers’ love. He wants only the best for you and He wants His blessing to bless you and not abuse you. Show restraint and wait upon His will and provision and you will be able to fully enjoy all that our Father puts into your hands.

Beloved, our Father loves you and that is exactly why He has left these and other gems of wisdom to guide you along this journey till we all meet Him again. He says,

“Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

And so is He training us all in the way we should go. Let us therefore,

“Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your heart to my knowledge;
For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you;
Let them all be fixed upon your lips,
So that your trust may be in the Lord;” Proverbs 22:17-19

For “Do you see a man who excels in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before unknown men.” Proverbs 22:29

And for us who believe, our work really is this,

“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:29

Not the toils of our daily grind, for remember,

“Do not overwork to be rich;
Because of your own understanding, cease!
Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings;
They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” Proverbs 23:4-5

So “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2

And let the grace of our loving Father supply you with all you need, enrich your life to the fulfillment of His purposes and rest you each and every day in His peace.

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