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Daily devotional

January 27 – Proverbs on mockers

“A proud and haughty man —"Scoffer" is his name; he acts with arrogant pride.” – Proverbs 21:24 Scripture reading: Proverbs 14:6-9 If you believe in abstinence until marriage, or you take your children out of public schools, or you believe in the biblical grounds for divorce, you are seen, at the very least, as a prude, if not weird. Movie stars, politicians and judges loudly proclaim this. Christians are mocked and viewed as hindrances to progress. This is not abnormal. Christians have often been seen this way in history. What happens to mockers? Proverbs 19:29 tells us “Judgments are prepared for scoffers, and beatings for the backs of fools.” How are you to react when you are mocked? Don’t take mocking personally. It is God whom they are mocking. Avoid the scoffer. Proverbs 22:10 says: “Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; yes, strife and reproach will cease.” Chase him away because he is not interested in learning. Proverbs 15:12 adds: “A scoffer does not love one who corrects him, nor will he go to the wise.” As tough as it may be to do, leave him. Go far away. Proverbs 9:7-8 instructs: "He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, and he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.” What makes you able to react this way? Your time belongs to the Lord (Psalm 90) and He wants you to use your time wisely. If an activity will not lead to the salvation or sanctification of the soul, it is not worthwhile. Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will not take mocking of your faith personally and that you will persist in faithful obedience to the Saviour. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 26 – Proverbs on honesty

“Diverse weights are an abomination to the LORD, and dishonest scales are not good.” – Proverbs 20:23 Scripture reading: Proverbs 20:5-10 It is not uncommon to buy something that did not live up to expectations. Maybe it was not well-made. Maybe the knife did not cut the tomato like it did on television. Maybe that non-stick coating on that frying pan was not really as strong as advertised. People aren’t always honest. While that is bad, you can expect that from people who don’t feel they have to give an account to God. Solomon knew the blessing and necessity of honesty for an orderly society – “Honest weights and scales are the LORD’S; all the weights in the bag are His work” (Prov. 16:11) – which ultimately was necessary for the spread of God’s kingdom. In fact, he knew that honesty was necessary because it reflected God. Solomon knew of the danger of dishonesty. As Proverbs 11:1 teaches “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight.” He describes God as hating dishonesty. And when God hates something, you can expect His judgment on it. Proverbs 20:17 explains “Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.” That sure is not a pretty picture. And surely no one would trust a dishonest man. Proverbs 25:19 teaches us: “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint.” Don’t be a bad tooth. Be honest. God is your reward. You are rich through Jesus Christ. Why rob for trinkets when you have gold? Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will be satisfied with your possessions and position and that you will be known as a truthful man and bring honor to Jesus. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 25 – Proverbs on the duty of the mothers

“My son, keep your father’s command, And do not forsake the law of your mother.” – Proverbs 6:20 Scripture reading: Proverbs 31:21-28 Many people think mothers were given by God to make sandwiches, wash our shirts and put on Band-Aids. Solomon advised us mothers are much more. What are the duties of mothers? Giving birth is one of the smaller duties of a mother. A mother cares for, teaches and disciplines her children from birth to adulthood. It doesn’t matter if it is snowing, she will take them to the doctor. It doesn’t matter if she is tired, she will stay up with them when they are sick. It doesn’t matter if she has work to do, she will work to mend their broken hearts. It doesn’t matter if she is busy, she will take time to reinforce the truth of God’s Word. She is a cook, a wiper, a mender, a doctor, a psychiatrist, a caterer, a comforter and personal shopper. She will do these things because she wants her children to mature and continue the work of establishing Christ’s kingdom. What are the results of good mothering? Children won’t forget her birthday! But that is one of the small results of a mother’s work. Children will become independent (and leave) and be godly. They will know how to work. Proverbs 23:25 says: “Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice.” What are the consequences of bad mothering? Children will remain dependent and ungodly. As we read in Proverbs 29:15: “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.” Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will see how important a mother’s duties are and that you will always remember to pray for your mother. As a mother, ask God to enable you to fulfill these great duties. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 24 – Proverbs on justice

“To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” – Proverbs 21:3 Scripture reading: Proverbs 24:23-26  Having grown up in a corrupt third world country, I know justice is often determined by how much money you have and the ones you know. But that is not what God intended. Solomon, the wisest king to have ever lived, knew the necessity of justice and he knew how to do it well. Everyone knows how he displayed his wisdom when he pretended to order the cutting of the baby in two to handle two disputing mothers. Justice must always be based on God’s law and must be fair. That means there must be no partiality to the rich or to the poor (Proverbs 18:5). Justice takes time and investigation. It is not determined by the first to give testimony. As Proverbs 18:17 says: “The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him.” Those who are oppressed should not be denied justice (Proverbs 22:22-23). This includes the abused widows, orphans and foreigners. So speak up for the oppressed (including babies sentenced to die by abortions). Cry out for justice for those who are persecuted for their faith. Why would you do this? Do this because Jesus took God’s justice for you and you want to advocate for Him. Do this because working for justice will cause men and women to praise God. Yes, only those who know Jesus can do this. As Proverbs 28:5 tells us, “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand all.” Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will learn of injustice and fight to remove it in the home, church, and nation, and that you will thank the Lord for taking God’s justice for you. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 23 – Proverbs on adultery

“Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths; For she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men.” – Proverbs 7:25-26 Scripture reading: Proverbs 2:10-19 It is easy to fall into lusts that lead to adultery. The wicked woman flatters you with her words. Her lips drip honey and her speech is smoother than oil. She lures you with her beauty and her long eyelashes. She kisses you. She pretends she is making peace offerings and wants you to celebrate with her. She covers her bed with perfume. What are the consequences of adultery? Adultery leaves you with spiritual pain (and physical pain as well), like when you eat poisonous food that is sweetened with sugar. Adultery leads you to the grave. The adulteress will take away your strength and the best years of your life. The adulteress will reduce to a simple loaf of bread, Solomon wrote! (Proverbs 6:26). You will be burned. You will fall in a pit. Solomon knew this. He knew it in an experiential way. How should you deal with temptation to commit adultery? Be satisfied with the blessing of your life and “drink water from your own cistern” (Proverbs 5). It is safe. It is healthy. (If you are single, this is good reason to be married.) Stay away from wicked women (or men). Learn to guard your eye. You often can’t avoid the first look, but what about the second look and the lustful look? What will make you remain pure? Knowing that you are fully satisfied in Jesus Christ is the only ground that will truly keep you from sinning against the Lord. Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will be satisfied with your spouse or that you will find one if you don’t have one and that you and your spouse will encourage each other in faithfulness. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 22 – Proverbs on stewardship

“Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds; For riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations.” – Proverbs 27:23-24  Scripture reading: Proverbs 22:1-4 A good preacher will warn you to take care of your soul; he will warn you to take care of your body and he will warn you to take care of your possessions. Your possessions may be of less value than your soul and body, but your possessions are also God’s gifts and you have an obligation to care for them. So learn from Solomon how to spend your money, including how to care for your car and your new iPhone. We call this stewardship. You get things in two ways, either by hard work or by inheritance (from people who worked hard for it). “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich…” (Prov. 10:4). When you get things you are to care for them (but not make idols of them). You are required to make good investments. This is why lotteries are inappropriate. And yet, you must not overwork. “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). Money can become mist. As Christ’s child, thank God for your wealth. You are a mere steward. Don’t take credit for whatever you achieve. “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life” (Proverbs 22:4). Don’t hold too tightly to wealth. Remember what you have received from Jesus! Suggestions for prayer Thank God for your wealth and talents. Pray that you take care of them and use them for good, not hoarding or wasting. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 21 – Proverbs on giving

“He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor.” – Proverbs 22:9 Scripture reading: Proverbs 19:14-17 Most Christians accept that they should tithe and give to the poor, but giving goes beyond those things, to other causes. First, why give? Solomon said God says so. But there is more. Giving shows you are thankful for God’s love for you. Giving shows your love for your brother. Giving brings rewards. You start giving by giving to those closer to you: God, your family, relatives, and friends. Give to strangers also. Give to proper needs. This means you must investigate. Don’t simply give because others are giving to an organization. Check them out. Find out how much money goes to administration and to the main cause. Remember, the money is not yours, but the Lord’s. You are merely stewards of those gifts. And don’t boast about giving. “Whoever falsely boasts of giving is like clouds and wind without rain” (Prov. 25:14). You must give much more than money. Money is relatively easy to give. Getting your hands down and dirty is much more difficult. Isn’t that true? It is easy to give $4.50 to Scott’s Mission downtown Toronto for a Thanksgiving meal for the homeless, but would you go and help feed the homeless, especially on Thanksgiving Day? Speak for the poor. “Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:9). Give of your talents. If able, give advice on personal life, marriage and finances. Give training to a youth. Give of your time. Give support to struggling businesses. Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will help without expecting anything back and that you will be generous and not hoard. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 20 – Proverbs on the future

“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day; For surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off.” – Proverbs 23:17-18  Scripture reading: Proverbs 24:19-20 Who likes to have to wait for blessings? But deferring blessings is like using small fish to catch bigger fish. You might have to wait longer, but you will get more in the future. This is why Solomon urged you to wait for your future blessings. You have a rosy future that is much more than 100 years. It is for eternity! Your future blessings will come because you are a child of God, saved through Jesus Christ. Moreover, even the minutest area of your life, God knows and controls. So whether you live or die in the next year, you can be sure your future is in God’s hands. As Proverbs 10:28 says, “The hope of the righteous will be gladness, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.” Remember, the righteous are only made righteous through Jesus Christ. So be patient for your blessings to come. Expect tough times, but be confident of the future. While some have abandoned serving the Lord because they don’t want to wait for blessings, you must not! At the same time, don’t forget there are great blessings in this world now that you should appreciate! As you wait, work hard and save up more future blessings. And in order to wait, feed daily on God’s Word and His promises. The more you eat, the stronger you will get. Eventually, heaven will come. Proverbs 13:12 teaches: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Suggestions for prayer Pray that God will give you patience when things don’t go well and that you will learn to rest in the promises of a secured future through Jesus Christ. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 19 – Proverbs on dealing with fools

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” – Proverbs 1:7  Scripture reading: Proverbs 14:7-9 Is it reasonable to call someone a fool who carelessly drives into your lane and causes an accident? Maybe! But biblically speaking, the greatest fool is the one who does not believe in God or one who rejects God. The fool has contempt for true knowledge and wisdom. “Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words” (Proverbs 23:9). The fool loves his own ideas more than anyone else’s (Proverbs 14:16). In Prov. 17:16 Solomon said the fool has no heart for wisdom (Wisdom is a picture of Jesus). Proverbs 28:26 tells us “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool…” A foolish son is one who rejects his father’s instruction. And Proverbs 15:5 teaches: “A fool despises his father’s instruction, but he who receives correction is prudent.” A fool loves his own opinion (Proverbs 10:10). The fool brings trouble on his own head. “Judgments are prepared for scoffers, and beatings for the backs of fools” (Proverbs 19:29). The fool even brings eternal judgment on himself (Proverbs 1:32). And he brings destruction on others who follow him (Proverbs 13:20). Fools also bring grief to their parents (Proverbs 17:25). You respond to fools by avoiding close relations with them. They will lead you astray. Proverbs 17:12 warns: “Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly.” You must call fools to faith and repentance and tell them how to get them (Proverbs 8:5-6). Fools need faith! Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will learn to recognize and deal with foolish people in a way that honors the Lord and pray that your children will not be foolish, but fear God instead. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 18 – Proverbs on women

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” – Proverbs 31:30  Scripture reading: Proverbs 31:10-23 Men are incomplete without women. God said so. He is perfectly wise. Women show the wisdom of our heavenly Father. A woman perfectly fits the needs that man has and a man perfectly fits the needs of a woman. Praise God for that! But when that relationship is corrupted, as Solomon found out, there is much hardship in the family, church and state. How can this happen? If a woman insists on independence, which is taking a rival position to the place where God put her, the family breaks down. If a woman insists on leadership (or control of) over a man, which is taking a rival position to the place where God put her, anarchy sets in. As the Chinese saying goes, “You can’t have two tigers in one mountain.” One will likely kill the other. A woman’s duty is to submit to her husband and be a helper to him, even advising him. (Advising is helping!) Proverbs 31 outlines some of those duties. A woman must, therefore, be humble so she can serve her husband, even if he is not always as loving as he is called to be. She serves because of Christ, not because of her husband. This is the kind of woman a man should want as a wife. She is good for him and she is good for the kingdom of the Lord. Fathers, train your daughter to be this virtuous woman. As Proverbs 31:10 says, “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.” Suggestions for prayer Pray that God will help you as a woman to be submissive and that God will help you as a man to love your wife so much that it would be easy for her to submit to you. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 17 – Proverbs on work

“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  Scripture reading: Proverbs 10:1-4 The generation after WWII was known for overworking as they tried to rebuild western society. Because of overworking, their lives became unbalanced. Wives, children, church and society suffered in other ways, even while economic success rose. Many of the present generation have moved in the other direction – to laziness. Some now are advocating for a three-and-a-half-day work week, with some companies in Europe already having a four-day work week. The lazy often then demand that others supply their needs. An example is Ontario, which recently tried a program to give “guaranteed income” whether one worked or not. But the lazy one has no purpose in life and becomes unbalanced and unhealthy. Consider some warnings from Solomon who worked too much and ignored his own soul and his children. First, you are commanded to work, work hard enough that you have enough for yourself and extra to share with the poor. But don’t work so much so that you don’t have time for your wife, children, church and society. Second, guard your hearts against laziness. You are not entitled to other people’s labors. Both overworking and laziness are dangerous to the individual, the family, church and state. To be balanced in life, let Christ govern your entire life. Work hard and honestly. As Proverbs 20:13 teaches us: “Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.” Then share with others. And don’t be lazy. Remember, “Six days you shall labor.” Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will get and keep a good job and that you will share what God has given to you. Also that you will teach by words and example the blessings of good work and the dangers of overwork. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 16 – Proverbs on wicked people

“The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous will come through trouble.” – Proverbs 12:13 Scripture reading: Proverbs 6:16-19 There are extremely wicked people around you. These wicked people are sinister and savage. They don’t care what they do; they abuse their bodies and live however they want. They cheer each other on in their sin. An example of this is the government of Canada which rewarded Dr. Morgentaler, who aborted thousands of babies, with national honors. Consider two things Solomon taught regarding wicked people. First, don’t be close to them as they will pull your heart away from God. Don’t marry them. (Wicked women led Solomon away from worshipping God.) They don’t really care about you even if they pretend to. They will hurt anyone who gets in their way and they might use you as a stepping stone to get what they want. Further, if you are close to them you will start acting like they act. They will hinder you from progressing in your Christian walk (Proverbs 28:28). Keep your children away from them. Second, know the real danger in which wicked people are. They have rejected God’s authority and care nothing about God’s law. Proverbs 3:33 tells us, “The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked…” With no faith and obedience, the wicked are heading to the tortures of hell. Knowing the danger they are in, don’t close your eyes. Get the Gospel to them. Yes, being very close to them will hurt your sanctification, but you have to be close enough to share the Gospel they need for their salvation. Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will guard yourself from being close to wicked people, but be close enough to share the Gospel with them to save them from hell. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 15 – Proverbs on divine protection

“Every word of God is pure; he is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.” – Proverbs 30:5 Scripture reading: Proverbs 2:1-8 You probably heard of ADT. It is a popular home security company. But can they really prevent most dangers? They can’t really protect your body. The most they can do is call for the ambulance, fire department or police. They can’t protect your soul. You need someone else and Solomon spoke of Him. God is able to protect you. He said so. Solomon’s father said that even when you go through the “valley of the shadow of death” God is able to keep you. He protects you by His angels. He protects you by giving you wisdom. He watches over you all the time. We read in Proverbs 15:3 that: “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” God even destroys your enemies when it suits Him. Why does God protect you? He protects you because you are His children and He loves you. Proverbs 2:8 says: “He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints.” Even sinful, earthly fathers try to protect their children. This does not take away your responsibility. Proverbs 13:3 tells us: “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.” You guard yourself by following the Lord’s commands. As Proverbs 19:16 says: “He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, but he who is careless of his ways will die.” The two tables of God’s laws are like rails to a train. You are safe when you remain on them! Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will learn to trust God’s sovereignty and that you will not worry about your or your children’s future and that you will not fear disease and death. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 14 – Proverbs on politics and politicians

“Mercy and truth preserve the king…” – Proverbs 20:28 Scripture reading: Proverbs 16:12-13 Most people, when they hear of politicians, want to hold their noses in disgust because politicians often put their own welfare above others’ welfare, take bribes and forget the promises they made before their election. Because of these sinful practices in politicians, Christians have avoided being involved in politics altogether. But what did Solomon teach about politicians? A politician must be qualified. He said a slave with no experience is not able to lead others (Proverbs 19:10). A politician must love righteousness, knowing righteousness brings blessings on nations (Proverbs 14:34). This means a politician must know God’s truth which teaches that his job is to protect the godly and punish the wicked. It is not his job to show empathy or redistribute wealth. Why do politicians compromise? Because many politicians begin to love power more than God, they try to preserve their power at all costs, even compromising the truth. When politicians are wicked, the nation suffers and either tyranny or anarchy becomes law. Tyranny can come in the form of over-taxation in order to provide for those who would vote for that politician. Anarchy can come when the politician has no interest in public safety (only in his advancement) so criminals run rampant. But whether it is tyranny or anarchy, under these circumstances the kingdom of Jesus Christ cannot expand. Remind politicians they will have to give an account to God for whatever they do. Pray for them. Be active politically if you are able. Redeem the culture and promote God’s truth. Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will not hate politicians. Pray for them and for their removal from office if they refuse to do well. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 13 – Proverbs on the unchangeable Scripture

“Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; keep her, for she is your life.” – Proverbs 4:13 Scripture reading: Proverbs 30:1-6 It didn’t take long for Nintendo GameCube to be tossed aside for a new and better version, and then another and another. But there is no such worry about the Scriptures. God’s truth never changes. God’s truth is perfect and that means it can never be improved. You need truth. Truth shows the danger you are in without Christ. (Truth is used figuratively by Solomon to refer to Jesus. Jesus described Himself as the Truth.) Truth shows you the way to return and remain in a right relationship with your heavenly Father. As we read in Proverbs 4:4: “He also taught me, and said to me: 'Let your heart retain my words; keep my commands, and live.'” God’s truth shows God’s love. What about those who are trying to reinterpret God’s Word, or water it down to make it more acceptable? Look at one example. Some don’t like only men as elders, so they reinterpret the Scriptures to allow women elders. In reality they are changing God’s Word. The Lord warns what would happen to anyone who changes one jot or tittle of his Word. So read Christ’s Word, hide it in your heart and work to see it established in your life, in your family’s life, in the church and in the world. Teach God’s Word, starting in your home, and note that the Lord puts the focus especially on fathers to do this. Keep your children alive! As it says in Proverbs 4:6: “Do not forsake her , and she will preserve you…” Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will be diligent in reading, meditating on and promoting the Holy Scriptures and that you will rely on God’s Word to guide in all areas of your life. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 12 – Proverbs on lying

“He who speaks truth declares righteousness, but a false witness, deceit.” – Proverbs 12:17  Scripture reading: Proverbs 6:12-19 The tongue, which was created as an instrument to praise God, can instead be the source of great hurt, great, great hurt, when it tells lies. What happens when you lie? When you lie there is chaos in society. Proverbs 20:28 tells us “Mercy and truth preserve the king, and by lovingkindness he upholds his throne.” But when you lie, families and churches are destroyed. Consider some examples: A mother who lies to protect her children from discipline destroys godly order. Those children lose a sense of what the truth is and would not be able to trust the Bible and its doctrines. A State that teaches that abortions are not murders, or a civil court that says that spanking a child is mentally destructive, is undermining societal structure and robs God of honor. As we learn in Proverbs 26:28: “A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, and a flattering mouth works ruin.” Moreover, lying in court can send an innocent man to his death. No wonder lying lips are compared to poisonous snakes. Ultimately, lying lips send people to hell. How then are you enabled to speak the truth and help to maintain order and bring honor to the Lord? When you are filled with the Holy Spirit of Jesus, Who is the personification of truth in you, you will speak the truth. There is no other way! Proverbs 8:7 says: “For my mouth will speak truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.” Invest in truth. Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will know the truth, speak the truth and train your children to do so and that you will support the speaking of truth in every area of society. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 11 – Proverbs on love

“Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.” – Proverbs 10:12 Scripture reading: Proverbs 17:9-14 Love is not the excited feeling you sometimes get around a girlfriend or wife. That may be a response to love, but it isn’t love. Solomon described love quite differently. Love is not a feeling. Love is an act. Love is shown and seen. You are commanded to love all men, but your love must be stronger for those who are closer to you. So love your wife more than you love your neighbor. Never allow your children to doubt your love. Love them by exercising discipline, as we read in Proverbs 13:24: “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” Love will make you confront sin in the lives of others as it says in Proverbs 27:5-6: “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Love even your enemies, as we we are taught in Proverbs 25:21: “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink…” Remember, love is not a popularity contest (done to be loved back). Love is work! You are only able to love the way God commands after you experience God’s love in Jesus Christ. So only the Christian can truly love. That’s the truth! Be warned then not to intermarry with non-believers because they can’t truly love. They don’t know true love. Are there benefits in love? God promises to bless those who love. Also, others may love you back and you will find contentment. Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will grow in your sanctification by learning how to love and that you will die to selfishness and reflect more on God’s Love Letter. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 10 – Proverbs on giving and receiving honor

“By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life.” – Proverbs 22:4  Scripture reading: Proverbs 26:1-8 It is strange that in our society we often give movie stars and sports personalities more honor than we give policemen. If you watch reality TV shows about policemen, you’ll find there is an increasing lack of respect for them and you’ll even see violent attacks against them. And they serve us and protect us. But God commands you to show honor! Start with the fifth commandment and honor those on whom God places honor: parents, elders, teachers, employees, etc. (Proverbs 3:35). Respect them and treat them well. You are able to humble yourself and honor others when you remember what you were before and what the Lord Jesus has made of you. You were the pauper running madly to hell. He rescued you and gave you a new heart, a new record and a new life. You were brought into His kingdom, protected and fed. He then commands you to honor those over you. Then make it easy for people to honor you by living well. Don’t praise yourself; wait for honor. As Proverbs 27:2 says: “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.” Or as we read in Proverbs 12:9: “Better is the one who is slighted but has a servant, Than he who honors himself but lacks bread.” Gain honor by fearing the Lord (Proverbs 15:33). Don’t be proud. Pride will destroy you (Proverbs 18:12). Or as it says in Proverbs 25:27, “It is not good to eat much honey; so to seek one’s own glory is not glory.” Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will worship and honor God in humility and that you will not boast about what you are or have accomplished and that you will honor those God has placed over you. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 9 – Proverbs on friends and neighbors

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” – Proverbs 17:17  Scripture reading: Proverbs 19:1-6 It is very sad when a person has few or no friends. It is wonderful when you have friends – friends you are able to support and friends who support you back. You can pour out your hearts to each other. You can laugh, be sad and grow together. Those who like being alone rob themselves of one of the greatest blessings God gave to His children and they are robbing God of the praises that come to Him through friendships. But here are some warnings the wise man wanted to pass on regarding friendship and neighbors. Choose your friends carefully. Consider what you can give to a friendship, not just what you can get. Don’t choose friends because they are rich or have influence. Choose friends who won’t abandon you in difficult times. (Do you remember David and Jonathan’s faithfulness to each other?) Don’t be a fairweather friend either. A true friend will speak the truth to you, even if it hurts. A good friend will challenge your sinful actions. A good friend will challenge you to grow in your faith. You must also consider there may be friends you have to give up because they don’t build you up. That is a small price to pay. Christ died for you and brought you into His family with many wonderful brothers and sisters. Moreover, He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Enjoy Christian company and work together for Christ’s glorious kingdom. Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will be unselfish in your friendships and that you will work together with friends and neighbors for Christ’s kingdom and that you will always speak the truth. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 8 – Proverbs on discipline of children

“Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction.” – Proverbs 19:18 Scripture reading: Proverbs 13:22-24 I heard someone say, “My children are my friends; I don’t hit friends.” But that is wrong on two fronts. First, your children may be friendly with you, but they are not your friends. They are your children! You don’t make friends eat vegetables or go to church. Second, you don’t “hit” your children; you spank them. Hitting is to satisfy your anger. God commands discipline. As Proverbs 13:24 says “… But he who loves his son disciplines him promptly.” So to not discipline your children is to hate them. That same verse begins: “He who spares his rod hates his son…” You must discipline from love. And you are to start discipline when they are young. And of course, spanking is not the only form of discipline. As children get older, the type of discipline changes. Children need discipline. In Proverbs 19:18 we read: “Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction…” You can’t bend a branch when it is old. It is hard to do a worse thing to your children than not disciplining them. There are blessings to discipline (especially when it is combined with instruction). Discipline teaches a child to be humble. Discipline restores the child to the right path. In fact, Solomon said that if you spank your child you will save his soul from hell (Proverbs 23:13-14). So to not discipline your child is to desire for his death! And don’t forget the shame a bad child brings to parents. Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will be able to discipline from love not from anger and that you will have patience with your children, knowing God’s patience with you. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 7 – Proverbs on taking advice

“By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom.” – Proverbs 13:10 Scripture reading: Proverbs 1:25-27 Some people think they know everything and so they don’t want to take any advice. Other people struggle with pride so they don’t want to take advice. But the reality is that every single person at one time or another (and for most of us, many times) needs advice. When you take advice, you not only evidence a humble spirit, but you are also equipped to better serve the Lord. Taking advice is a mark of wisdom. Through taking advice you gain wisdom. If you don’t take advice, you are foolish and you won’t be able to be effective for the kingdom. Remember the foolishness of King Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, and how he lost most of the kingdom for taking bad advice! And didn’t Napoleon ignore advice about the Russian winter and faced a horrible defeat? So take advice. Take sound advice from those who are grounded in the Lord and know more than you. The Lord stores wisdom in others. Draw from them. Later in life you will be able to pass on that advice. As Proverbs 15:22 says: Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established. Your Wonderful Counselor, Who Himself is the personification of wisdom, saved you and will equip you through His Word and through His servants! Listen carefully. Listen to the Lord and live. Only He has good advice. The Devil pretends to be wise, but he leads men to their death! Suggestions for prayer Pray that you would not be a know-it-all and that you would seek advice from others to do the work the Lord has called you to in the home, church and society. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 6 – Proverbs on alcohol

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” – Proverbs 20:1 Scripture reading: Proverbs 23:29-35 God gave alcohol as a blessing to man, not a curse. Jesus personally made barrels of fine wine for people to enjoy at a wedding. Christians drank wine at fellowship feasts. So wine is not sinful. The trouble comes when this gift of God is abused, when it is consumed in inordinate amounts, or when it is consumed by those who should not use it. But just as you may not blame food for being fat, you must not blame alcohol for drunkenness. The abuse of a gift doesn’t make it a bad gift. What are the consequences of drunkenness? Poverty. Spousal abuse. Murder. Consider Solomon’s direct words from Proverbs 23:19-21, Hear, my son, and be wise; And guide your heart in the way. Do not mix with winebibbers, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty… Yes, the abuse of alcohol does bite like a viper, but ultimately, the greatest consequence of alcohol abuse is hell. How can you prevent drunkenness? First, if you do drink alcohol, make sure it is in moderation. And you will have to stand before God and account for “moderation.” Second, remember that you don’t need to drown your troubles or escape reality with alcohol. The Lord will help you through your trials. You are His. Third, remember your sufficiency is in Christ. He meets the greatest needs of your life. Learn to be satisfied in Him. Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will guard against drunkenness in your life and that you will not use alcohol to avoid dealing with troubles in your life. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 5 – Proverbs on the poor

“He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, and He will pay back what he has given.” – Proverbs 19:17  Scripture reading: Proverbs 28:19-22 Poor people are all around. You see them on the streets asking for help. You see their images on TV at Christmas time and you hear the pleas to help them. There are also the poor among the people of God who need help and they must be your first priority. You start with helping at home! (By the way, those who teach that Christians who are poor are only poor because they lack faith are unkind and wrong. God may providentially want some to be poor so they can empathize with other poor people and help them. God may also ordain people to be poor in order that the rich could learn to care for them.) In order to help the poor in the church, God appointed deacons. Along with deacons, God wants you to be merciful to the poor and help them. But you are not only to help the poor by giving them money. In fact, money may not be their greatest need. They may need a rebuke and they may need advice on how to spend money. They may need encouragement to be patient in poverty. You may help the poor by speaking up for them if someone is abusing them. Your motivation to show kindness is in the fact that Jesus showed love to you and enriched you. As a result, you would want to help His people, especially the poor ones. Suggestions for prayer Pray that God will show you those who are truly needy and that you will be generous and reflect on how rich you are in Jesus. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 4 – Proverbs on food

“Have you found honey? Eat only as much as you need, lest you be filled with it and vomit.” – Proverbs 25:16  Scripture reading: Proverbs 23:19-21 The average North American eats more than 150 pounds of sugar per year. No wonder North America is the fattest continent in the world. But the misuse of food is not new. It occurred many, many times in the Bible. Now, Solomon enjoyed food, even exotic, tasty food. Food is God’s gift. But because of abuse of food, which hinders our sanctification, Solomon was compelled to address the issue of food abuse, or rather, body abuse. What did he teach? Enjoy your food, but don’t be a glutton. Being a glutton is acting as if God couldn’t provide for you tomorrow and you must eat all today. It is also an abuse of the body. Many diseases are caused by overeating. Enjoy your food, but learn to share with those who do not have, especially with those who are from the same blood, the blood of Jesus. Remember, the reason you have more food is not because you are better than Christians in Africa, but because God is pleased to bless you. A suggestion might be to miss one meal a week and give that money to the needy. (That might be good for your health as well!) Enjoy your food, but don’t waste it. Save up for hard times. Learn from Solomon’s ants (Proverbs 30:25). It seems that ants even store up more food when they sense a famine coming. Not being a glutton and not hoarding is evidence that you are growing in Jesus. Suggestions for prayer Pray that God will teach you to live a balanced life and that you will share of your abundance and be satisfied with God’s gifts. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 3 –  Proverbs on anger

“A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention.” – Proverbs 15:18 Scripture reading: Proverbs 22:24-25 Good anger is a God-given emotion that every Christian must use properly. So be angry when your God is blasphemed and when His people are attacked. Be angry when babies are killed by abortions, when the family is attacked by the state and when covenant youths sin against the Lord. Then respond in the right way, knowing that even good anger can become sinful if your response is improper. For instance, if you are angry, but do nothing when you see Christian young people doing wrong, breaking the Sabbath, for instance, your anger becomes sinful. But there is also anger that is sinful. Sinful anger has resulted in wives being abused, people being killed in motor vehicle accidents, divorces, broken friendships and destroyed congregations. Men and women can become like volcanoes and blow up, even as Moses, who struck the rock instead of speaking to it for water for Israel. Other people bottle things up until their anger finally explodes. So when you are properly angry, react properly. Pray, speak and act if you can. When you are sinfully angry, ask God for the cure for sinful anger. Ask Him to make you patient with others in their weaknesses. If you ask anything in Christ’s name, He will give it to you. God has obligated Himself to do so. So stop saying you can’t control your anger. Sin is not able to reign in your body unless you let it. Suggestions for prayer Pray that you might learn to control your anger and be patient and kind with others. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

January 2 - Proverbs on fear

"The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe." – Proverbs 29:25  Scripture reading: Proverbs 3:24-26 Everyone is afraid of something. But not all fear is bad. You may fear standing at the edge of a cliff, touching a hot stove or hearing the rattle of a rattlesnake. Those are good fears. So use these fears. They will save your life. What about bad fears? First, there are irrational fears, like the fear of house spiders or the fear of enclosed spaces. There is no real danger, but some are afraid of these things. Second, some fear things that are outside of their control, like the future.  And this type of fear is based on a distrust of God, or at least it is based on a weak trust in God. Fear makes people prisoners. They don’t do what they should because they are afraid they can't control their circumstances. They don’t drive because they think they could have an accident and hurt someone. They won’t evangelize because they are afraid of rejection. They lack trust in God’s providence. They don’t think that God is willing and able to help. They may isolate themselves and not fulfill their responsibilities. How can you cure bad fears? The fear of God is the cure for sinful fears. Proverbs 9:10 tells us "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…” The “fear of God” means you know and trust Him. You know and trust Him through Jesus. You experience love. Perfect love casts out fear. Love conquers fears. The more you love, the less you fear. Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will see how fear cripples you from doing God’s work and ask the Lord to remove fears so you can live for Him. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON.  He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....

Daily devotional

Introduction to the month of January

We do not preach a lot of sermons from Proverbs, but it is not Solomon’s fault.  He was inspired by God to write these proverbs and God preserved them for us.  Since all Scriptures speak of Christ (how He saved us and how He sanctifies us for His glory) then we must find Christ in them.  It is our fault therefore that we do not preach more from Proverbs. One of the reasons we likely have not heard more preaching from Proverbs is that the book is seen as a list of morals. And since we insist on historical, redemptive preaching, Proverbs doesn’t seem to fit well into that way of preaching.  Well, maybe it is hard to preach Proverbs, but we must be bold.  We must dig into Proverbs and learn of our salvation and sanctification through Jesus Christ. This is what we will do this month. I hope after this month you will take more time to dig into this book regularly and see the rich doctrines it contains and illustrates. Let God’s Word bless you. Proverbs on pride  “By pride comes nothing but strife…” – Proverbs 13:10a  Scripture reading: Proverbs 21:1-5 Do you enjoy being around a humble person, someone with a gentle spirit?  You feel safe around him.  But it is most difficult to be around a show-off or egomaniac. He only talks about himself and you can’t wait to get away from him. What does pride look like? Proverbs 21:24 says: “A proud and haughty man —'Scoffer' is his name; he acts with arrogant pride.” A man may think he is superior by virtue of his education, money, position, ability or influence. What happens when one has pride?  The proud man with elevated feelings crushes others or takes advantage of them. Because of pride, Solomon enslaved his fellow Jews!  Pride caused slavery. Pride caused the destruction of the Jews in the holocaust by Hitler, the slaughter of the Armenians by the Muslims, and the murder of the Chinese and Koreans by the Japanese. Today we see pride when men abuse their wives, belittle different races and display impatience. God may destroy you if you are proud or destroy the thing in which you show your pride: car, wealth, job, education or health!  Remember Herod and the worms! Remember Adam. How do you cure pride? Know that God hates the proud.  Proverbs 8:13 tells us: “…Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate." God brings them down to destruction. You must, therefore, remember you are not your own but belong to your Saviour Who died for you. You are His servant. Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will follow wisdom (another name for Jesus) and abandon pride, that you will humbly serve and worship the Saviour. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON.  He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed....