Proverbs 4 (New Living Translation)
A Father’s Wise Advice
1 My children, listen when your father corrects you.
Pay attention and learn good judgment,
2 for I am giving you good guidance.
Don’t turn away from my instructions.
3 For I, too, was once my father’s son,
tenderly loved as my mother’s only child.
4 My father taught me,
“Take my words to heart.
Follow my commands, and you will live.
5 Get wisdom; develop good judgment.
Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.
6 Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you.
Love her, and she will guard you.
7 Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!
And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
8 If you prize wisdom, she will make you great.
Embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will place a lovely wreath on your head;
she will present you with a beautiful crown.”
The Mormon Tabernacle choir sings “Faith of Our Fathers.”
- Faith of our fathers, living still,
In spite of dungeon, fire, and sword;
Oh, how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear that glorious Word!
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.
- Faith of our fathers, we will strive
To win all nations unto thee;
And through the truth that comes from God,
We all shall then be truly free.
- Faith of our fathers, we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife;
And preach thee, too, as love knows how
By kindly words and virtuous life.
–Frederick W. Faber, 1814-1863
10 My child, listen to me and do as I say,
and you will have a long, good life.
11 I will teach you wisdom’s ways
and lead you in straight paths.
14 Don’t do as the wicked do,
and don’t follow the path of evildoers.
15 Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way.
Turn away and keep moving.
16 For evil people can’t sleep until they’ve done their evil deed for the day.
They can’t rest until they’ve caused someone to stumble.
17 They eat the food of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence!
18 The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.
Philippians 2:15-16 (New International Version)
You shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.
19 But the way of the wicked is like total darkness.
They have no idea what they are stumbling over.
20 My child, pay attention to what I say.
Listen carefully to my words.
21 Don’t lose sight of them.
Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
22 for they bring life to those who find them,
and healing to their whole body.
23 Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
24 Avoid all perverse talk;
stay away from corrupt speech.
25 Look straight ahead,
and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
26 Mark out a straight path for your feet;
stay on the safe path.
27 Don’t get sidetracked;
keep your feet from following evil.
Proverbs 4:25-27 —
Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.
Prospects for climbing Mount St. Helens were not encouraging. Rain was falling in torrents and the mountain we had come so far to climb couldn’t even be seen. Hoping that the weather would improve by morning, we pitched our tents and crawled into our sleeping bags.
When morning arrived, the weather, although somewhat improved, was far from ideal. Clouds still hid the mountain and a fine drizzle of rain was falling. We showed little enthusiasm as we strapped on our crampons and roped up for the climb.
Five hours later, our previous lack of enthusiasm had turned to gloom. The rain was still falling, visibility was poor, and the snow slope was becoming increasingly steep.
Another hour of dogged perseverance, however, brought us above the clouds and into dazzling sunshine. Wave upon wave of fleece appeared to cover the universe, with the summits of Mount Adams and Mount Rainier the only visible land masses. The discomfort which we had suffered seemed a small price to pay for the magnificent sight spread before us.
How often in the spiritual realm are mountaintop experiences preceded by periods of discouragement? Indeed, the spiritual mountaintop experiences are often the direct result of persevering in the face of discouraging circumstances—of taking one’s stand in the face of ridicule; of staying unruffled when unfairly criticized; or of remaining steadfast in prayer for a loved one who does not recognize God’s claim upon his life. Only those who toil to the summit will see the view! Only those who bear the cross will receive the blessing!
–Dr. Onas Cudley Scandrette, in Stones of Remembrance
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
Proverbs 4:18-19. http://k53.pbase.com/v3/89/415789/2/51688760.favproverbs41819.jpg
Mount St. Helens. http://images.reserve123.com/product/8708-2.jpg