Daily in the Word: a ministry of Lancaster Baptist Church
by Dr. Paul Chappell
So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
1 Corinthians 14:9-12
When people stand out in any endeavor, it draws attention. Whether in business or sports or education or anything else, those who excel are looked up to by others who want to do the same. The book In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, Jr. was a publishing success story. It sold three million copies in just four years, and remains one of the better selling business books of all time. People wanted to know the traits and procedures that made excellent companies stand out. Yet when it comes to God's work, sometimes that drive for excellence is missing.
God is looking for people who are excellent, not to win fame and applause or financial rewards, but to serve Him and build up His church. God gives gifts to every believer to be used, not for ourselves, but for others. A gift that is casually treated or poorly exercised is not likely to make any positive impact. But a gift that is used in the power of the Holy Spirit to build and strengthen the work of God will change lives. It should be the desire of our hearts to be excellent in building up God's church by building up those around us. Not everyone has gifts for preaching or teaching or singing, but anyone can be an encouragement to others. The strongest churches are filled with people who are excellent in edifying.
God deserves our very best as we use what He has given us for the benefit of others.
Old Testament Reading: Proverbs 13-15
New Testament Reading: 2 Corinthians 5
1 A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
2 A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.
3 He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.
4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
5 A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.
6 Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.
7 There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
8 The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.
9 The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
11 Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.
12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
13 Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
14 The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
15 Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
16 Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.
17 A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.
18 Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.
19 The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.
20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
21 Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.
22 A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
23 Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.
24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
25 The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.
1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
2 He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.
3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.
4 Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.
5 A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.
6 A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.
7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.
8 The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.
9 Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.
10 The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
11 The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.
12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
15 The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.
16 A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.
17 He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
18 The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
19 The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
20 The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.
21 He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
22 Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.
23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
24 The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.
25 A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.
26 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. 27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
28 In the multitude of people is the king's honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.
29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
30 A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
31 He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.
33 Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.
34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
35 The king's favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.
1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
5 A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.
6 In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.
7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.
8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
9 The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.
10 Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.
11 Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?
12 A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.
13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
14 The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.
15 All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.
16 Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. 17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
18 A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.
19 The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.
20 A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.
21 Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.
22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.
23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!
24 The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.
25 The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.
26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.
27 He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.
28 The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.
29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
30 The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.
31 The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.
32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.
33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.
1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. 13 For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. 14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
1 Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. 2 A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn. 3 A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved. 4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. 5 The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit. 6 The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them. 7 The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand. 8 A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised. 9 He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread. 10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. 11 He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding. 12 The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit. 13 The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble. 14 A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him. 15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. 16 A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame. 17 He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit. 18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. 19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment. 20 Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy. 21 There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief. 22 Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight. 23 A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness. 24 The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute. 25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad. 26 The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them. 27 The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious. 28 In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.