Tag Archives: Prayer

March 7

March 7. Here it is again. I am sure I am not the only one with a day. A day is only a day in your eyes. As the world sees the day, it is very different from your vantagepoint. A day is filled with scars, with unanswered questions, with tragedy, with depth, with decisions, with memories that don’t quite add up. Today is my day.

When this day first became my day, it was a moment when my life forever changed. I had such dreams of what could be in my life; however, I found that life isn’t a Hallmark movie and what I had hoped would be my prayers answered and my white picket fence and my happily ever after became something different—something raw, uncontrollable, unsatisfactory to my plans. It was a day that began a long journey trying to process what was truth, what was the new normal, and what fears needed to be overcome to navigate the new waters. It took years to heal many of the scars, some of which went unnoticed for a long period of time. It required me to let God into the broken areas, to freely move, to reveal to me things I never wanted to see—so that He could repair—so that He could make new.

This was 2004. Every year since, I have celebrated this day. I rejoiced this day not because of what was lost and because of what I so desperately wanted to be truth back then. I rejoiced this day not because I lost my white picket fence and had to face reality. I rejoice because through the years I have been blessed to see God move again and again for my family. I have seen Him move mountains in my life. I have seen Him part waters when there was not a way to pass. He has provided me strength, comfort, and He has protected and provided for my family at every turn.

Today it was hard to celebrate. As I drove to the office knowing that this day was again another end to a season, I cried out the Lord. The brokenness and heartache that I felt back in 2004, has long since faded. I am not that same person. And the pain I felt that day is very different than the pain of today. It was strange as I was on my morning drive to consider that God knew even back in 2004, what would happen today. He knew when I was putting my hand to the plow, that this day would come.

But this day was different. In 2004, I didn’t have a real choice of anything. I had to get up off the floor, dust myself off, and press onward. It was either that or wallow for a time. But this day was a choice, a step forward that I have taken even knowing some of the brokenness that would follow. Sometimes we can see truth and we know it is truth, but we don’t want to receive it and be bold in faith. Sometimes we see truth but ask why God won’t change things so the truth could be different. Sometimes we are faced with the option of trusting God, stepping forward, letting go, and trusting that out of the brokenness He is still making all things new.

As I neared the office, and continued to seek comfort in Him, knowing that after today, so much of what was a huge part of my life is going to be changed, even seeing glimpses of those changes these past few weeks, Lauren Daigle’s song “Trust in You,” began to play. The lyrics reminded me of the battles over the years, reminded me of how things often make little sense when I’m faced with a road to take. It was in that car ride to work that I could continue to do what I’ve done each year on March 7th—celebrate Him! Not everyone will understand what I feel on this day. Not everyone will know all the hours of prayer leading up to this day. Not everyone will be excited for this day.

Even still, I rejoice. I rejoice in knowing that God is still God. I rejoice in knowing that He has a great plan, beautifully orchestrated. I rejoice in knowing that He is still Lord of my life, my Savior and King. I rejoice in knowing that He will still see me through these murky waters. Long ago, He gave me this calling to preach His Word. Following in faithful obedience to this calling led me up to this very day, and this very decision. As 1 Timothy 4:16 says, I must keep watch on my life and keep watch on my teaching and then in doing these things, may the hearers be saved. May I continue to be faithful to His calling upon my life. The Word will go out as He leads!

As this day, March 7thslowly ends, I question my verse for this season. The verse, 1 Chronicles 4:10, speaks of blessing and enlarging the ministry—praying that there would be no pain or harm allowed. None of these words make sense to me today. This doesn’t seem like the season I’m currently navigating; it seems like polar opposite. But so often, we do not know what He has planned. That is why it is called faith.

This is not a devotion. This is not a sermon. This is not a Bible study. This is not a poem. This is my day. This is my heart. This is my reality. May this testimony point to the One who is greater than I, to a Father who has never left my side, a Savior who paid something I could never pay, the Spirit who continues to reveal to me that I have a lot of growing yet needed.

Look to Him. Draw near to Him and watch how everything changes!

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Living with Him

In Psalm 27, David demonstrates why he is known as the man after God’s own heart. The one thing, the ONE THING, that he sought from God above all else is the privilege of living with Him. We don’t read of a grocery list of wants and desires for material things. We don’t read of David wanting for his own safety above all else, despite David spending much time being chased or being involved in battle. Above all else, he wants to enjoy the presence of God.

This is what a true relationship with God is all about—about craving God, delighting in His presence, wanting to be near Him. If you do not have this desire for God and His Word, if you find it okay to not seek out God and spend time with Him for even a day, it is most likely that God is not first in your life.

If you are not yet at this point in your walk with Jesus, do not be discouraged. Draw near to God. As you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you. Be intentional with your time. Carve out parts of your day to enjoy His presence and dig into God’s Word. As you continue to meet with God, you will grow in your relationship with Him. You will begin to see the privilege of living with God. You will want to spend more time in His glory and grace. You will begin to enjoy the sweet loveliness of His face and crave Him above all else.

“Here’s the one thing I crave from God, the one thing I seek above all else: I want the privilege of living with him every moment in his house, finding the sweet loveliness of his face, filled with awe, delighting in his glory and grace. I want to live my life so close to him that he takes pleasure in my every prayer.”- Psalm 27:4 [TPT]

Restores and Revives

On a Saturday morning, I find myself sleeping in and spending more time in the Word. It is certainly a time of refreshment for me—the sleep and the time with God. We need rest. We need God.

Today’s verse speaks about how God restores and revives. The actual word translates to mean restore, refresh, renew, or revive. When you take a closer look, the Hebrew word “shub” means to turn back or return. This return is to a state you were once in, and this return is not from an occasional nap or reading the daily verse of the day. Shub points to a revival of your life, your strength, your energy. This is something God offers you daily, but it cannot happen if we are not staying connected and being mindful of His presence every day as we go through our day.

If you are feeling tired or drained or if you would like to sleep the next week of your life away, perhaps it is a good time to for shub, to turn back to Him and allow Him to pour into you. What is needed for shub? You simply return. Be intentional about prayer and reading your Bible. As you lean into Him in prayer, as you dig deeper into His Word, you will be restored and revived. Remember this shub isn’t a cat nap that gets you to finish your day with no major issues—there’s so much more! I pray this return to your first love will restore and revive you. The fruit of this revival points to the fullness of God.

“That’s where he restores and revives my life. He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honor to his name. – Psalm 23:3 [TPT]

 

Mentor Outline

6-18-17 Mentor

A mentor is a wise & trusted counselor or teacher

The word “mentor” is not used in the Bible; many mentor relationships appear.

 

2 Thessalonians 3:7 –For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you,

Philippians 4:9 –Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me–everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

1 Peter 5:3 –Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.

1 Corinthians 11:1 –And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.

 

 

PREPARE FOR FUTURE – ALL ABOUT GROWTH /CHANGE (Embrace, Encourage, Equip, Empower)

 

Moses – Joshua (Exodus 33, Numbers 27)

  • Exodus 33:11 –Joshua assisted Moses at Tent of Meeting
  • Numbers 27 –Joshua commissioned to lead

 

Eli  – Samuel (1 Samuel 3)

  • Samuel served Lord by assisting Eli (v. 1)
  • Eli taught Samuel how to respond to God – “Speak Lord, your servant is listening”

Elijah – Elisha (1 Kings 19, 2 Kings 2)

  • Elisha was plowing the field when called to be a prophet
  • Elijah told Elisha to consider what he did for him
  • 2 Kings 2– Elisha was still beside Elijah & he was prepared when Elijah taken up

Jethro – Moses (Exodus 18)

Jethro was father-in-law to Moses – Moses had RESPECT for him (v. 7), they had CONCERN for each other (v. 7), they had COMMUNICATION with each other (v. 7), Jethro had DELIGHT for what God was doing with Moses (v. 9-10), Jethro offered ADVICE to Moses (v. 14, 17-18) and God was at the center of the advice – GOD-CENTERED (v. 19-23)

 

Samuel – Saul

1 Samuel 10:8Samuel was RELIABLE

1 Samuel 13:8-11 – Samuel took long time to show up and Saul handled offering

1 Samuel 15:26-28 –Samuel says the hard things / SPEAKS TRUTH / ACCOUNTABILITY

 

Mordecai – Esther

Esther 2– Mordecai took Esther in – she was his young cousin, her parents died – He helped when she was in need – ASSISTANCE

Mordecai told her to not disclose herself as a Jew for safety (2:9, 2:20) – GUIDANCE / DIRECTION

He had CONCERN for her – every day walked to check on her (2:11)

 

Barnabas – Paul (Acts 9, Acts 11)

INVEST in person, ENCOURAGE / MOTIVATE person (Acts 9:26-27)

Brought Saul alongside him to serve (Acts 11:22-26)

 

Priscilla & Aquila – Apollos

Acts 18 – Paul lived and worked with Priscilla & Aquila as tentmakers

Apollos knew scripture well, but only knew John’s baptism so Priscilla & Aquila took him aside and explained more accurately. (Acts 18:24, 26) – KNOWLEDGE & UNDERSTANDING

Naomi – Ruth

Naomi and Ruth had a tight bond as mother-in-law / daughter-in-law

Naomi gave Ruth ADVICE (2:22), told to be patient (3:18)

Naomi looked for BEST INTEREST in Ruth (3:1)

 

Paul – Titus

Wise instruction to young Pastor Titus – KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING, EXAMPLE FOR LIFE

 

Paul – Timothy

2 Timothy 1:3 –Timothy, I thank God for you… Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers – PRAYED FOR HIM

2 Timothy 1:12 –Paul talks about his suffering, but reminds Timothy about the importance of sharing the Good News. He says he’s suffering in prison, but not ashamed because he knows the one in whom he trusts. Reminds Timothy to carefully guard the precious truth entrusted.            BE REAL

2 Timothy 4:17 –The Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And He rescued me from certain death. SHARE TESTIMONY

2 Timothy 2:2 –You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. PASS IT ON

 

Feast on Jesus Outline

8-26-17 – Provision – “FEAST ON JESUS”

BREAD OF LIFE

John 6:35 – Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

 

LIVING WATER

John 7:37-39 – On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”(When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)

John 4:10, 13-14 – Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” … Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.

1 Corinthians 2:10-12– But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

 

HOLY COMMUNION

Luke 22:15-20 – And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you.For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

  • Look Back in Remembrance
    • Of Christ, of what Christ did on Cross, of the love of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:24)
    • AFFECTIONATELY REMEMBER
    • Body of Christ broken for you
    • Blood of Christ poured out for you
      • Poured out – GAVE His life.
      • 1 Peter 4:20 before the foundation of world
      • Wasn’t spilled like an accident
    • Look Ahead to His Coming
      • As often as you eat bread & drink cup – proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes (I Corinthians 11:26)
    • Look Within
      • Examine yourself before Communion (1 Corinthians 11:28)
      • THOROUGHLY EXAMINE
        • Doximazo “dok-im-ad-zo”
        • Discern / examine / test / prove
      • Repent of any sin, if you don’t do this you dishonor the body of Christ and damn self (v. 29)

 

Jesus and His disciples during Last Supper drank:

1stcup (sanctification– He chose us to be set apart)

2ndcup (deliverance– He alone sets us free from the bondage of our sin)

3rdcup (redemption– He alone pays our ransom price) was one drank for introduction to Holy Communion teaching.

Still had 4thcup (hope– we have hope in the coming of Jesus) to drink in New Jerusalem

 

Have you answered the call? Are you ready for His return?

Isaiah 55:1 – Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Revelation 7:16-17Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’

Revelation 19:7 – Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.

 

3 parts of wedding:

  1. Marriage contract signed by parents, dowry paid for bride & then the engagement begins

 

  1. About a year later, the groom and friends go to house of the bride, then they parade through the streets. The bride knew in advance that it would happen in about a year, but didn’t have the exact time. She best be ready (Matthew 25:1-13, Parable of the Ten Virgins) – 1-year engagement

 

  1. Supper went on for days (John 2:1-2) – 7-day feast – most important people invited first & everyone stayed then to the end of celebration.

 

1stphase is completed – New Covenant with God, believer put faith in Christ, dowry paid to God the Father – the blood of Christ was shed on the bride’s behalf.

2ndphase – Christ is coming to claim His bride

3rdphase – Wedding Feast with the Lamb

 

HOW CAN WE PREPARE:

 

THE WORD:

 

Matthew 4:4 – But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Jeremiah 15:16 – Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.

John 10:14-15I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. YOU RECOGNIZE WHO YOU KNOW

Ephesians 5:25-29Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church

 

OBEDIENCE:

 

John 4:32, 34 – But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.”… Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.

 

AS YOU EAT THE WORD, YOU FIND NOURISHMENT FOLLOWING IT.

 

PRAYER:

 

If seeking this close, intimate relationship with Jesus – PRAYER IS CRUCIAL

Psalm 63:1 – You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

 

The book of Revelation – how the Church prays to initiate things to happen. Our prayer life must be active.

We read in Revelation 8 of the prayers of God’s people filling bowls and being mixed with fire (God’s Power). It is these prayer offerings from the saints that lead to the 7 trumpetswhich move us toward the New Heaven and New Earth!

Revelation 22:17– The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. We as Church should cry out EVEN SO COME

 

Psalm 42:1-2 – As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?

We should desire to be with God… to be near Him… to commune with Him… to be in His Presence always!

 

Let us feast on Jesus!

Let us be washed by the Word!

Let us prepare for the coming of our King!

Let us cry out to the Lord in Prayer…. Even So Come!

Lord, we are desperate for You Lord!

We wait for You!

In the Breach

We can glean a lot from the leadership of Moses. This picture we get of him standing in the breach is one that exemplifies what it means to be a leader. Don’t stop reading with the excuse that you are not a leader. Everyone is leading someone. The question is—do you stand in the breach?

First, you have to know what it means that Moses stood before God in the breach. When you consider a breach, picture a wall. You have a wall for protection. This wall works great so long as it remains intact. However, there are moments when there is a breach in the wall—a breakdown of the wall at some point that makes the wall ineffective. Now whatever you are trying to keep out is now coming through this break in the wall. When soldiers are protecting an area and there is a breach, the soldiers will use their own bodies to stand at the breach to continue to ensure the area is protected.

When we look at Moses and this picture of him standing before God in the breach, we see a leader who is concerned for the Israelites, the people he was leading. Despite their sin, their shortcomings and failures, he cared for the people. He sought for their best interest. He stood between them and God and made his plea of intercession. He recognized their weakness. He recognized their sin, but he did not let that change the way He cared for them. He sought the mercy of God. He prayed for the people.

As a leader, the most important thing is to care for the people you are leading—to love them. Love them like Jesus loves them. Love them with all that you are and love them despite their shortcomings and failures. Look at them as God sees them. Do all you can to stand in the breach. Pray for them. Give them your very best as you pour into their lives. Treat your time with them as precious. Don’t sell them short. Don’t treat them as a number or a task. Seek their best interest always. Love them. Love them like Jesus.

“So he said he would have destroyed them–if Moses his chosen one had not stood before him in the breach to turn his wrath away from destroying them.” – Psalm 106:23 [CSB]

Observation

As the dogs and I were walking along, I noticed that Marci was walking differently. I picked her up and found something on the bottom of her foot that I quickly removed.

Observation – paying attention – requires us to be intentional. It is necessary to be intentional to understand the needs of the people around you. In this busy world, we often don’t listen when someone is talking with us, because we are trying to contemplate the best answer to the conversation or even thinking about the next task we must accomplish, looking beyond the current interaction. Many times, we are so stuck on ourselves and our goal is to be heard instead of to listen. Also, we are rarely present in the moment, and yet this presence is what is needed to show love and compassion to others. Time is precious, and how you use time is a choice. Do you choose to run around on empty and allow the situations around you to dictate your actions? Do you attempt to be in the moment wherever you are at, being at attention, and calmly following the leading of your Father?

Notice that Jesus was always intentional—always present – and able to understand the needs of those around Him. He spent much time in prayer. He spent much time interacting with people, whereby He invested in their lives, actively listening and engaging in conversation. Conversation, such a lost art today.

Today, be mindful of what is happening around you. Wherever you go, be there. Slow down. Listen for His still small voice. Invest in those before you. Enjoy the people God has put before you, and ask God how you can bless them today to bring Him glory.

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” – James 1:19 [ESV]

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3 [NIV]

Search Inward

Many of us are celebrating the Lenten season. It is a season of fasting and renewal, a season that reminds us that we are but dust. Life is fragile. Life is but a breath. It is a season that looks to the Cross. We spend these weeks mindful of the shortness of life, but even more mindful of the One Who poured out His blood at Calvary so that we could have new life—life in Him. As Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the Wilderness, so we spend this time in self-reflection, repentance, and prayer.

Some people are trying to stick diligently to the removal of some item from their life. Some people may have even publicly noted an ongoing battle with trying to stay true to a vow to give up this thing for Lent. It is important to remember some things about Lent and fasting, because many get lost on the journey to the Cross. Lent instructions are not found in the Bible—it’s something that was instituted by the Church. However, with the fasting, one should be mindful that publicly boasting or grumbling is not applauded (see Matthew 6:16). Fasting is personal. The idea of fasting during Lent is to remove something that is getting in the way of your relationship with Jesus, and then replace that thing with something that will bring you closer to Jesus Christ.

Remember, Lent is all about Jesus. If you are keeping yourself from drinking soda or eating sweets but that doesn’t interfere with your relationship with Jesus, and you have not supplemented these things with more time in prayer, reading God’s Word, or spending time doing something that brings you closer to Jesus, then you are missing out. This is a time to search inward, a time to repent and renew yourself in Him. Today, whether or not you celebrate the Lenten season, take time to look inward. What is getting in the way of your relationship with Jesus? What has become a stumbling block? Pray for the removal of this from your life. Pray for a closer relationship with Jesus. Seek Him diligently today. Pray for your heart to open and spend time in the Word. Ask Him to speak to you in a new and awesome way.

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” – Psalm 63:1 [ESV]

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for You, O God.” – Psalm 42:1 [ESV]

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” – Hebrews 12:1-2 [NLT]

Mail Truck

Recently I noticed something. Mail trucks and vans do not have license plates. I never knew it. For some reason, I never looked for their license plates. I happened to be stopped behind a mail van during my travels and found myself staring at where the license plate should be and thought to myself, who knew?!? I missed it and yet I see mail trucks every day. I have seen hundreds, maybe thousands, of mail trucks.

Whether you have good vision or failing vision, you could miss something like that if you aren’t intentionally looking. In the same way, when you are going through your day, you can miss how God is moving if you are not living intentionally. This means recognizing that you are living continually in the presence of God. This means keeping your eyes fixed on Him and following His leading. This means not being overly busy or drowning in the ungodly.

God brings people into your path. Surrounding you are the unseen angel armies and the visible beauty of Creation. Given to us is His Word and the Spirit of God is poured into us the moment we declare the name of Jesus. Too often we declare the absence of God—we question if He is truly active and moving in our lives. With our attention elsewhere, we miss seeing Him move. We instead have our eyes focused on where we expect Him to be, despite knowing we do not think or imagine as God. Today, take time to sit in the silence. Breathe in. Listen to the quiet. Get away from the noise. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you in a new and awesome way. Then be continually aware of His presence as you go through your day. Continue your conversation with Him throughout the day. Expect Him to move. Enjoy the God who is with you always.

“I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” – Psalm 16:8 [NIV]

Do Not Rejoice

There are people who do not always treat you nice. For some of those people, they would be defined as enemies. An enemy is not only those who are openly hostile to you, but also anyone who are opposed to you. If you are living for Jesus, you are bound to have some people who are opposed to you because they are opposed to Him and His ways.

The Bible tells us that we are not to rejoice when enemies fall. We are not to be happy when enemies stumble. God wants the very best for people. Even when the people He created turn their backs on Him, there is still the desire for their very best. That never changes. He does not want anyone to go to hell. There is still the opportunity for these people to repent and come to Him.

Today, seek to show compassion to all. When you see enemies stumble, pray for them. Ask that their hearts be softened. Ask how you can be used to witness to them. Desire the very best for them.

“Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble.” – Proverbs 24:17 [NLT]