SUBLIME SUSTENANCE - Sustaining a healthy life!
Guidelines to use: It is important that we feed every
single day on God’s word. There is so much to learn. God is continually
changing us, shaping us and making us into His Holy people. Sustaining
your walk with God is vital and these notes are to help you with that.
Over the next month use these to guide you into God’s presence, learn about
His word and live out a healthy life that is full of Him.
This set of notes are to help you get into the book of
There are 31 chapters - one for every day of the month!
So don’t just read them once, carry on and read one chapter every day of
the year! In these notes there is a key verse everyday and some questions
to think about which will help you draw what God is saying to YOU out of
the scriptures. There is also some further reading and some prayer notes
to get hold of.
I’ve used the N.I.V. Bible for this and the questions
are based around the N.I.V but other versions are just as good ! In fact
if you have more than one version of the Bible then look it up in each;
it will help you understand the verse more thoroughly.
DAY ONE - GET WISE AND FEEL SAFE
“For attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight”
Proverbs 1:2 The NIV Bible
Look at Proverbs chapter 1 and think about the following questions: ·
From verses 1-7 make a list of all the things proverbs are for..... ·
In verse 7 it says that the ‘fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge’.
What does the fear of the Lord mean to you?............. · Look
at verses 23-33 and write down what God promises to those who respond to
Him and listen to Him................
Going Deeper: Read the whole of chapter 1 again and underline
the verses that particularly spoke to you today. In your prayer journal
you could write down why.
Prayer: Put on some quiet music and think about verse 33. Do
you feel at ease? Do you feel safe? Allow God to come and make that verse
a reality in your life.
DAY TWO - FIND KNOWLEDGE
“Then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of
God “ Proverbs 2: 5 The NIV Bible ·
Read Proverbs 2:1- 4 carefully. God wants us to have knowledge and
to be wise, not just in Godly things but in the way we live our everyday
lives. Write down what God says will help us find that knowledge........
· God wants us to live a ‘victorious’ life too and to be successful
in all that we do. In v
erse 7 what do those words ‘victory’ and ‘shield’
mean to you?..... · Verses 9-11 and 20-22 tell us how God’s wisdom
helps us make decisions and know what is right and fair in life. God also
protects us and keeps us on the path He has for us. Think about what it
would be like to live in that way every single day. Do you believe it is
Going Deeper: Read chapter 2 completely. Find a verse that you
really want to live by and remember it. Write it down and put it somewhere
you will see it often.
Prayer: Are there things causing you to stray off of God’s path
for your life? Confess them and ask for God’s forgiveness. Ask Him to give
you His wisdom to go the right way.
DAY THREE - LET LOVE NEVER LEAVE
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart” Proverbs 3:3 The NIV Bible ·
Read Proverbs 3: 1-4 and put your own name where it says ‘my son’.How
can you make sure that you don’t forget God’s teaching? · Verses
5 and 6 are quite familiar to most of us. Rewrite them in your own words
and really think about what ‘acknowledging God in all your ways’ means.....
· Discipline is something you may find really hard and it makes
you react in a negative way. Verses 11 and 12 say that God only disciplines
those He loves and delights in. God has your best in His heart and He instructs
us to live in a certain way for our own benefit.
· Read verses 13 - 18 and write down what benefits being
disciplined and having wisdom (described as she) brings........
Going Deeper: Read the whole of chapter 3 and write down the
verses that spoke to you today.
Prayer: Thank God for giving you His love and being faithful
to you. Be still and quiet with Him now and imagine His love and faithfulness
never leaving you. Write them on your heart.
DAY FOUR - GUARD YOUR HEART
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs
4:23 The NIV Bible
· Read Proverbs 4 verses 4 and 21 carefully. God’s desire
is that we feed on His word every single day to keep ourselves strong (spiritually
and physically - see verse 22) and get His word right in our hearts. Verse
4 says and then we will live! God wants us to live to our full potential
NOW. Not when we feel we reach maturity in the future, but He has all this
wisdom, understanding and love for us to begin to take hold of today. ·
Read verse 23 . What do you think a ‘wellspring’ is?........ · How
can you ‘guard’ your heart?....... · The next 2 verses, 24 and 25
give you a bit of a clue to that last question. Again God is highlighting
the importance of what we say and what we focus our attention on. God doesn’t
want us to trip up. He wants us walking on a level ground that is firm
and consistent where we won’t get distracted and walk onto evil paths.
Going Deeper: Read the whole of Proverbs 4
Prayer: As you’ve looked at guarding your heart take a look now
at what flows out of your heart. You may find God needs to do some changing
of attitudes or some softening there. Ask Him to reveal your heart to you
and pray as He directs you.
DAY FIVE - BE CAREFUL
“For a man’s ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all of
his paths” Proverbs 5:21 The NIV Bible
· Read verses 1 and 2 of Proverbs 5. Now try to rewrite them
in your own words....... · Verses 11-14 are talking about someone
who has ignored all of God’s words and instructions. They sound pretty
regretful and have found themselves at the end of their life in ruin. If
you are finding discipline hard at the moment, then think about these verses
and verse 23 too. · Look at verses 15-21. It may not seem relevant
to you at the moment but God is saying here how valuable marriage is to
Him. In Bible days cisterns
and wells were very valuable things, not to
be shared around with others. God desires for you to have one partner in
life who will bring you lots of joy and you will stay with no matter what.
So it’s worth praying about and waiting for God to bring you together with
the right person. · Read verse 21 carefully. There is no getting
away from God’s eyes, He knows you inside out. How does that make you feel?....
Going Deeper: Read Proverbs 5 completely.
Prayer: Dwell on the thought that God knows, understands and
cares about all you are feeling today. Talk to Him about it.
DAY SIX - WORDS TO GUIDE
“When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep they will watch over
you.” Proverbs 6:22 The NIV Bible
· Read Proverbs 6:9- 11. God has been calling his people
to WAKE UP . Here’s the proof that God didn’t call us to be passive people.
We’re to be alert, ready and willing to obey Him. Interesting how poverty
and scarcity (which means not having enough) are linked to too much sleep!
· Look at verses 16-19. What are the 7 things God hates?.... Notice
how they are all things that involve putting other people down. ·
What is it that guides, watches and speaks to us in verse 22?.... ·
It is God’s commands, His word that helps and protects us and is a lamp
leading us through life. Don’t you think then that the Bible is worth reading!
Going Deeper: Read Proverbs 6 and underline verses that you feel
are relevant to you.
Prayer: Are there verses in Proverbs that have spoken to you
about a particular situation you are facing at the moment? If so then use
those verses to pray into that problem. Ask God for His wisdom in praying.
DAY SEVEN - DON’T BE DISTRACTED
“Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths.” Proverbs
7: 25 The NIV Bible
· Read Proverbs 7. · The Bible doesn’t hold back when
describing and dealing with issues like adultery. It was a problem thousands
of years ago and it’s still the same today. It is a temptation and a trap
that people believe will give them pleasure and fulfillment in their lives.Look
at verses 22-27 What is the end result?.. · God has provided ways
for us to resist all sin, not just adultery. Verses 1-5 tell us what they
are. God repeats Himself doesn’t He? These words are at the beginning of
most of the Proverbs we’ve read so far. They must be important! ·
In verse 2 what does ‘the apple of your eye’ mean to you?
Going Deeper: Read Matthew 5:27-30 where Jesus says how lust
is as bad as adultery. Look up the word lust if you’re unsure of it’s full
Prayer: Think about people you know whose lives have been torn
apart by affairs and wrong relationships. You may need prayer yourself
as you realize how much hurt in you is caused by marriage breakdown. Cry
out to God for a conviction of sin to be in people caught in this area.
DAY EIGHT - LISTEN UP
“To you, O men, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind “ Proverbs
8:4 The NIV Bible
· Everything that God speaks is wisdom and His voice is crying out
to be heard. Study verses 1- 9. · Rewrite verse 11 in your own words.......
· Look at Proverbs 3:19 and it will help to make sense of chapter
8: 22-30. Read the cp. 8 passage carefully and realize that it was with
wisdom that God created the earth. What a powerful thing wisdom is then!
· Read verses 32- 35. What does God call us to do?.....
Going Deeper: Read 1 Corinthians 2:6-16.
Prayer: Pray that God’s voice would be heard more clearly in
your city. You are God’s voice, are you making yourself heard?
DAY NINE - COME AND EAT
“Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding”
Proverbs 9:6 The NIV Bible
· Read Proverbs 9;1-6 and imagine the scene i
t sets. Wisdom
is a lady who has built a lavish house, cooked a tasty dinner and then
she invites those who need guidance, who need help, who are lost on their
way through life, to come and eat with her and hear all she has to say.
If you knew of someone who had all of the answers to all of your problems
and they invited you to their house for dinner, wouldn’t you be there right
on time?! Well God has and He does!! All of God’s wisdom and answers to
life’s challenges are wrapped up in the pages of His Book. Most of us though
need help to unravel the words and make sense of them for ourselves. The
Holy Spirit is pretty good at that, He can help you to understand what
the Bible means. It’s called ‘revelation’ and it happens when The Holy
Spirit shows you what God wants you to know through the Bible. When you
get revelation it is brilliant. The Bible comes alive and you want to share
it with everyone. You want to read it more and more and you wonder why
you didn’t understand before! God gives us revelation at different times,
it doesn’t all come at once. So before you read any further today STOP,
ask the Holy Spirit to come and help you to KNOW God talking to you through
the Bible. That is the golden rule: Always pray before you read.
Going Deeper: Read the rest of Proverbs 9, asking God to make
the words relevant to you.
Prayer: Open your heart, eyes and ears to receive from God as
you pray about what you have read today.
DAY TEN - BE BLESSED
“Blessings crown the head of the righteous” Proverbs 10: 6 The NIV Bible
The way that these Proverbs are written in chapter 10 onwards, is using
a lot of comparisons. You will read a sentence about a good man and then
it is followed by the opposite. Read through Proverbs 10 and note down
all of the kinds of people who will be blessed, according to these verses........
· There is a lot of talk about blessings in these verses. What do
you feel ‘blessing’ is?........ · Look at verse 6 now and describe
someone who is ‘righteous’........ · Righteousness actually means
to be in a right relationship with God, but we often link it with selfish,
big headed types. Think about your relationship with God now as you read
again verses 24 and 32.
Going Deeper: Read 1 Timothy 11-21 where Paul tells Timothy to
‘go after righteousness’.
Prayer: Do you feel in a right place with God today? Give Him
thanks for all the blessings He has given you and that He wants to continue
to give you.
DAY ELEVEN - GIVE FREELY
“One man gives freely, yet gains even more” Proverbs 11: 24 The NIV Bible
· Read verses 10,11 and 14 of Proverbs 11. Do you see what
God is saying here about how you can make a difference in your city and
your nation? Because of your righteousness, the city in which you live
will be thought highly of. All through history God has wanted this. He
has wanted a group of people who will be disciplined and live by His ways
so that he can show other people, other cities and other nations what a
blessing it is to be in God’s family and have Him as King. · One
way that God wants us to live as a righteous family is to give freely to
each other. Look at verses 24- 28 which talk about giving. What can you
give, is it just money?.......... · Read verses 21 and 31. It may
seem like lots of ungodly people make it through life quite nicely and
have no need for God. These verses tell us that eventually there will be
punishment for those who don’t give their lives to Him.
Going Deeper: Read Proverbs 11 through completely. Underline
the verses that have helped you.
Prayer: Ask God to reveal to you ways that you can be more giving
and if there are specific people that you can help. Trust Him as you give.
Believe verse 17 that your kindness will be a blessing to you.
DAY TWELVE - BE CHEERFUL
“ An anxious heart weighs a man d
own, but a kind word cheers him up” Proverbs
12: 25 The NIV Bible
· Read Proverbs 12 verses 6,14,18,19,22 and 25. What part
of the body are they talking about?.... · Think about how you feel
when you are worried, tense and not enjoying life. You feel heavy, tired
and miserable. Your heart is ‘weighed down’. It is occupied by all the
cares and concerns of your day. Now think how it feels when someone says
kind and encouraging things to you, when they pick you out to pay you a
compliment. It feels good doesn’t it? and you forget about your worries.
Kind words cheer you up. God is saying here that He wants us to be the
ones doing the cheering, speaking encouragement to people and helping them
through the day. So when you are talking to people, stop and think of good
things to say about them - be an encourager! · Look at verse 24.
What does diligent mean? Find out if you don’t know and then read the verse
Going Deeper: Read the whole of Proverbs 12
Prayer: Ask God to give you opportunities to encourage and to
build others up. If you find it hard to be positive then ask God to help
you see the good in the people you are with.
DAY THIRTEEN - BE DILIGENT
“ The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent
are fully satisfied” Proverbs 13: 4 The NIV Bible
· Yesterday we ended with a verse about diligence. To be diligent
means to carry out a task with care and perseverance. Those who are wise
persevere, they don’t give up at the first sign of a hitch or failure.
They stick with what is right and never give up. Diligence is mentioned
many times in Proverbs because a Godly lifestyle takes perseverance. No
one said it would be easy, the difference is the benefits are wonderful
and last forever. As you work diligently at your relationship with God,
Proverbs 13:4 says your desires will be fully satisfied and God will bless
you with all that you dream. He won’t do it all at once though, He knows
that would be too big for you to handle. He blesses a little at a time.
God’s in no rush to see your plans fulfilled. His plan is to change you,
mature you and help you become the person who can carry out the dreams
and vision within you. So God is asking you to work hard and be disciplined
in your life for a reason - so that He can bless you and give you the desires
of your heart. · Read verse 13 and 18 and list a few more benefits
Going Deeper: Read the whole of Proverbs 13
Prayer: Agree with God to spend time with Him every day. Ask
Him to show you areas in your life where you have not done your best. Maybe
you have only given God the left over time in your day. Talk to Him about
how you can be more diligent in your time with Him.
DAY FOURTEEN - BE GENEROUS
“ Whoever is kind to the needy honours God” Proverbs 14:31 The NIV Bible
· Read Proverbs 14 verses 21 and 31. Think about what being
kind means. It means much more that just being a nice person. When someone
is in need we should be generous with all that we have. One way that we
can be free to do that is by understanding that everything we have is not
ours but it belongs to God. We are only looking after the possessions that
He has given us. · Look at verse 30 and rewrite it in your own words..........
· God cares about our physical health and He says that envy and
jealousy are bad for us and cause decay right at the centre of our all
that holds us together physically; our bones. God gives us His peace and
that’s how He wants us to live. So don’t be caught up with what other people
have. Don’t be jealous of their lives otherwise it will eat away at yours.
God made you with a plan and purpose and no one else can take your place,
you are precious to Him and you have no reason to envy what is going on
with someone else. · Think about all God has done for you and continue
kind and generous. Verse 22 says if you plan to do what is good you
will find love and faithfulness. Do you remember what Proverbs 3 said about
Going Deeper: Read Matthew 25:14-30 about what happens when we
are wise and generous with what we have.
Prayer: Give over to God everything that you have as you seek
His face and worship Him.
DAY FIFTEEN - GOD IS WATCHING
“The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the
good.” Proverbs 15: 3 The NIV Bible
· Proverbs cover many different issues in life and they give sound
advice which is relevant to every man from every country and it never goes
out of date. There are lots of things in Proverbs 15 that we have already
looked at in chapters 1-14. So why do you think this book of the Bible
is so repetitive? Shouldn’t God have only needed to say stuff once? ·
God knows what short memories we have and that what we learn one day, we
may forget the next. That is why Proverbs is written in small memorable
chunks that we can get hold of, learn and live by. · Proverbs help
us when we are tempted to sin. As you study the verses and remember them,
you are building up a library of answers in your head. When the devil comes
along with a tempting thought you can answer him back with a Proverb. For
example, someone annoys you and you feel like giving them a piece of your
mind, if you had Proverbs 15:1 at the ready, it would calm you down and
stop you getting into big trouble! · As you read through Proverbs
15, try and put each verse into your own words and think of when you could
use it to correct you in the way you are thinking or about to act.
Going Deeper: Read 2 Timothy 3:10-16, especially 14,15 and 16
Prayer: Pray as you read the Bible today and ask God to help
you learn those verses He knows you will need to help you in the days ahead.
This page was last updated on 19th June 1997.
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