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July 1 – Introduction to Proverbs

During my years of active ministry, I always enjoyed preaching from the book of Proverbs. When I was asked to write the devotions for July 2022, it was the one book in the Bible to which my mind and heart was turned. The question I then faced was, “How will I approach this project?”

My answer was to read carefully through Proverbs and as I did so I jotted down the proverbs that caught my interest and spoke to my heart. I came up with one short for this devotional, so kept going and picked a final text from the following book: Ecclesiastes. This means there is no particular theme running through these devotions except to say they are all pieces of wisdom gleaned from the word of God.

You will find a wide variety of subjects on the following pages. You will find wisdom on such subjects as humility, correction, words, winning souls and wine, to mention only a few. They all touched my heart as I worked my way through them. May they all touch your hearts as you go through them during the month. 

The beginning and fullness of wisdom

“… you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God…” – 1 Corinthians 1:30 

Scripture reading: Proverbs 1:1-7

Proverbs 1:7 recalls what Job 28:28 and Psalm 111:10 teach; namely, that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This fear of God is that affectionate reverence by which we humbly and carefully submit to our heavenly Father’s will. To be wise, we must begin by fearing God.

God, the infinite, almighty Creator, has made us for Himself and we must live in submission to Him, being fearful of offending Him. This is where all wisdom begins. To seek wisdom any other way is foolishness, as Romans 1:21 declares. This explains the moral confusion of our modern, secular society that rejects God.

We start by fearing God. From there we go to Christ because in Him “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). If we come to Him with faith, He becomes “wisdom from God” for us. We are set to learn from Him.

Christ speaks to us and makes His wisdom known to us in the Bible. The gospels reveal much of His wisdom. But the whole Bible reveals much more. Recall how he addressed the two men walking with Him on the road to Emmaus, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”

He also reveals His wisdom in the book of Proverbs. May we learn much from it as we give it our attention.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask the Lord to open minds to the wisdom of Scripture.

Rev. James Reaves served his last congregation, Grace Reformed Church (URCNA), in Kelowna, BC. He retired in 2014 after fifty years of ordained ministry. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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