Don’t Be Mean and Evil–Just Because You Can–Proverbs 3 Part 2

It’s sort of sad when you consider it, but adults should not have learn this lesson.  It should not naturally occur to any of us to do mean and evil things to others—just because we can.  Imagine a culture where people just act civil.  They help each other instead of prey upon each other.  They encourage one another instead of harass.  They reach out and give instead of sneak in and take.  Sadly, one can only imagine such a place—because in current culture, no such place exists.

In a society where there is no Godly influence, its population becomes self-absorbed.  In such a society, it is little better than the law of the jungle.  The strong survive and the weak become prey. In government, in business and in schools the basic order of civil society disappears and anarchy and chaos become standard.  Basic definitions of what is a family, what is a gender and what is a marriage become confused and destroy all things sacred.

America, the great experiment, has become what it abhorred.  It was a land of the free and the home of the brave.  But, without God it has become the land of the mean and home of the weird. Doing what is good kind and selfless exposes one to danger or at least economic ruin.  Acting bravely is considered right wing or radical.  Worshipping God is frowned upon, while worshipping deviance is considered entertainment. 

As a church, we must pray and stand firm on being selfless, being kind and doing the right things for the right reasons.  If we will do that—even at risk of death or destruction, We can bring order and goodness back to our nation.  Join me, please.

God Bless You

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,     when it is in your power to act. 28 Do not say to your neighbor,     “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—     when you already have it with you. 29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,     who lives trustfully near you. 30 Do not accuse anyone for no reason—     when they have done you no harm.

31 Do not envy the violent     or choose any of their ways.

32 For the Lord detests the perverse     but takes the upright into his confidence. 33 The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,     but he blesses the home of the righteous. 34 He mocks proud mockers     but shows favor to the humble and oppressed. 35 The wise inherit honor,     but fools get only shame.

Roadmap to Wisdom–Proverbs 3 Part 1

So, what does it mean to be wise—if one was to draw it out on a whiteboard, what factors are included in the life of the people that embrace wisdom? In Solomon’s mind there were several factors.  First—listen to your parents…there are no people in your lives that are more unconditionally in love with you and want you to have a good life.  Often their ways seem antiquated or irrelevant, but, as we grow older we learn to spot the traps of life and can save our kids from falling into them. They truly want for you to have a great life—listen to them.

Next, allow your defining traits to be love and faithfulness.  If you are remembered for those traits, you will be universally loved and favored by both God and others.  So few people focus on loving and caring for God and others—when they do, they stand out and literally change the course of the world they live in.

Third, trust God to define your path and lead you.  Allow him to call the shots—He knows all, sees all and is the author and creator of your story.  If you allow him to lead—he will do so with such joy that your journey will be remarkable.  It is like touring a city with a local historian—they bring out the nuance and beauty like none other.

Finally, Trust God with your stuff—give the best of your time and money. Like any father, he will not allow you to outdo him.  He will bless you in ways that are amazing.  He will make your legacy both wonderful and beautiful—and despite your circumstances, you will be considered rich beyond belief.  That, is the body of Wisdom.

God Bless You

My son, do not forget my teaching,     but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years     and bring you peace and prosperity.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;     bind them around your neck,     write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name     in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart     and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,     and he will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;     fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body     and nourishment to your bones.

Honor the Lord with your wealth,     with the first fruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,     and your vats will brim over with new wine.

God’s Gifts to His Faithful–Proverbs 2 Part 2

While it may seem a bit supernatural, God actually loves and protects his own.  In this passage, Solomon simply lays it out.  God gives wisdom, knowledge and understanding! He holds success in store for the upright. For those that follow him he is their protection and shield.  He runs interference and guides his followers. God enlightens those that will simply seek him out.

With this amazing insight, why would anyone ignore Gods love and leadership.  The wisest man in the world would wonder that himself.  Yet, he was one of the worst offenders.  Most who follow Christ, like Solomon, know the truth—yet, we still act independently of God’s leadership and make decisions that put us at risk and makes our lives miserable.  The great news is that we can always turn back and follow God.  As we do, he provides the knowledge and protection to continue the journey with confidence and peace. 

Help me Lord to do so with Love.

God Bless You

For the Lord gives wisdom;     from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright,     he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just     and protects the way of His faithful ones.

Then you will understand what is right and just     and fair—every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart,     and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. 11 Discretion will protect you,     and understanding will guard you.

 

God Wants You to Know Him–Proverbs 2 part 1

Most people that have any interest in spiritual things would agree that they would love to know and understand God.  Amazingly, God replied,—“I want you to know me. Here’s what I will do—

  1. I will make myself evident in all of creation.
  2. I will send men to speak on my behalf and keep you informed about how to navigate life.
  3. I will send the Messiah to let you see me for who I am, in human terms.
  4. I will put my thoughts and instruction in writing so you can see how to live a free and abundant life.
  5. Finally, when we connect, I will send my spirit to guide you to the truth of who I am.”

 From a pure objective perspective, few would argue with the statement that God has come well past halfway to help men know him.  The greatest benefit of wisdom–is grasping these facts and seeking God in all these places.  Solomon knew that there simply is no short cut to knowing God.  It is a lifetime pursuit that pays amazing and eternal dividends. He calls us to seek God and allow God to reveal himself to us; and, make our lives full and meaningful. 

 It is still, however, our choice.  On a daily basis—we have to choose to seek and follow God. We can never grow complacent and allow the world to sneak into our lives and replace God as our primary focus. When we do—as in any other relationship, we begin to lose touch with wisdom and who God is and miss out on all the blessings Solomon lists as its benefits.  Help me, Lord–to seek you and your wisdom—each and every day.

 God Bless You!

My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands.
Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.
Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding.
Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.
Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.
For the Lord grants wisdom!

Wisdom the Bridesmaid???–Proverbs 1 Continued

We have all met them.  Perfectly lovely people who have for one reason or another not been able to connect with another.  We all pull for them and want so badly for someone to scoop them up and love them—and yet, alas, it never seems to happen.  That is Solomon’s illustration for wisdom.  So many people say they want to be wise and insightful.  We want the answers to life’s difficult questions and issues.  Solomon indicates that it is us–not wisdom.  Like the girl never picked at the dance, no one is willing to partner with wisdom.  Some would say it’s just too weird—wisdom is not their type.  They prefer sarcasm and google.  Others shy away feeling they are not worthy to have such an amazing partner.  Still others flirt with wisdom but just want what it will give them not caring instead what it will make them.

Wisdom, like the beautiful maiden, stands arms outstretched longing to be embraced.  But, we have to want to be wise and not simply knowledgeable.  What’s more, wisdom does not share the stage with base emotion and trash thought—She expects a desire to remain humble and to diligently seek God.  Finally, wisdom requires faith in God and his timing in order to be the lasting influence in our lives—This ain’t no one night stand. It is a covenant relationship that comes with age and commitment to service.  James 1 sums it up quite nicely—“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God who give generously and without judgment.  But when He asks let him ask in faith—or he will be like aa double—minded man.

If you have not begun, yet; today is the best day to court and win the hand of Wisdom in your life.

God Bless You

20 Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; 21 on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech:

22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? 23 Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. 24 But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, 25 since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, 26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—

Don’t Chase Your Thuggy Friends–Proverbs 1 part 3

As the old saying goes, You are known by the company you keep. Solomon starts his instruction by giving the most sage and practical advice to a prince—Listen to mom and dad! Don’t chase after your thuggy friends and lower your standards to please them.  Youth is sooo wasted on the young.  Solomon helps his son and all of us to remember that living to please your friends can lead to STUPID and deadly short term decisions.

The lives of the chosen should center around helping others—not lying in wait rob or kill them.  While it seems simple, so many have wasted their lives to be liked and connected to their friends.  Solomon reminds his son and us, that the one we need to impress is God, then, the one we should listen most closely to is our folks—they really care about us and they always have our back!

God Bless You

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction     and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head     and a chain to adorn your neck.

10 My son, if sinful men entice you,     do not give in to them. 11 If they say, “Come along with us;     let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,     let’s ambush some harmless soul; 12 let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,     and whole, like those who go down to the pit; 13 we will get all sorts of valuable things     and fill our houses with plunder; 14 cast lots with us;     we will all share the loot”— 15 my son, do not go along with them,     do not set foot on their paths; 16 for their feet rush into evil,     they are swift to shed blood. 17 How useless to spread a net     where every bird can see it! 18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;     they ambush only themselves! 19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;     it takes away the life of those who get it

The Beginning of Wisdom–Proverbs 1 Part 2

When Solomon wrote the Proverbs, he knew that the priority for any and everybody should be to “FEAR THE LORD!” Without the proper reverence for God and who he is, abundance of knowledge is useless and mundane.  Prior to Google, to accumulate knowledge of the world was a lifetime pursuit filled with trials and sleepless nights. Those people who spent their lives in pursuit of God, knowledge and wisdom were unique, sought after and honored.  The reason was not so much that they had the answers, it was really because they knew God!

In the information age, we can literally answer any question that we can imagine by keying it in to our phone.  It is so prevalent, that we have lost respect for knowledge and certainly have lost our reverence for God and those that seek him. Still, there are those that learned and remember the timeless truth—Reverence of God leads to amazing knowledge and wisdom.  The reward to those that seek God and his wisdom is invaluable—

  • Wisdom and instruction—How to do life
  • Instruction in prudent behavior—How to act appropriately
  • Giving prudence to the simple—Helping to exceed their natural oblivious and self-absorbed ignorance
  • Knowledge and discretion to the young—Making one wise beyond their years
  • Additional learning and understanding for the wise—The ultimate truth that one never quits learning

This is the reward for a healthy reverence for God and a lifetime pursuit of knowing Him and His word. Those who have followed this course have left a legacy in the lives of others that is unmatched; those whom have chosen to ignore it have at best been insignificant and at worst down right destructive.  God tells us—The choice is ours.  Help me Lord to never stop seeking you and all you can show me!!!

God Bless You

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

for gaining wisdom and instruction;     for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,     doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple,     knowledge and discretion to the young— let the wise listen and add to their learning,     and let the discerning get guidance— for understanding proverbs and parables,     the sayings and riddles of the wise.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,     but fools despise wisdom and instruction.