An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Choice Combinations

(Proverbs 16:8 KJV)  Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.

There are certain Biblical teachings that I have a hard time with but I accept because they are Biblical.  One is the concept of eternal damnation, hell.  I would prefer to think that people just end rather than suffer for eternity, but there it is.  The teaching of this verse is one that I think has been rejected by most American Christians.  It has been rejected by the rest of the world, too but they often don’t have any choice in the matter. 

“Righteousness” (6666) is more important than wealth.  In an ideal world you would have both but we don’t live in an ideal world.  Living a moral life often forces us to make choices that are not beneficial to our immediate bottom line.  Wealth tends to cloud our thinking so that we compromise on right and wrong.  They can go together but only the vigilant can deal with it.

So?  You have choices today.  Some you can do without thinking.  Others require more thought.  Many are just a matter of choosing God’s way or the world’s way.  Stay alert. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Sneaky

(Proverbs 15:3 KJV)  The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

Have you ever seen someone look around carefully, think they are unobserved and sneak something into their pocket?  They think they got away with it.  Such a person is not a Christian because we are aware that God is always watching.  It is hard for us to understand because we are locked into our bodies and our need for sleep.  We can only follow so many things at a time.  I know that some people are capable of multi-tasking but there are still things they miss.  Not God. He is on top of it.

I would hope that most of the time we do the right thing because it is the right thing.  At the same time I think all of us have those moments when we toy with the idea of cutting a few corners.  If you understand this verse then you do the right thing.  I used to get kids at school to think I had eyes in the back of my head when all that was involved was knowing them and what they would do when I turned my back.  God has eyes in the back of His head, figuratively speaking.

I had an aunt who was losing the battle with some form of dementia.  I remember one time when we took her to a Mexican restaurant and she kept sneaking chips into a napkin in her lap.  It was sad as well as funny.  She had an excuse.  We don’t.

So?  Act like God is watching everything you do.  He is. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

OT Evangelism

(Proverbs 14:25 KJV)  A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.

This could be viewed as another Old Testament statement about evangelism.  The most common translation of “lives” (5315) is “souls” in both the KJV and NASB.  We should be concerned about evangelism.  We seem to have forgotten that people are going to hell if they do not come to Jesus.  There are two applications of being a “true” (truthful NASB) (571) “witness” (5707) . 

First, we must proclaim the gospel.  We are told to be ready to explain what we believe.  We must know enough to give an honest statement.  We must believe it ourselves.  Beyond that it is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to convict and the sinner to respond.

Second, we are to live lives that are above reproach in the area of honesty.  People should know that your word is your bond and if you say something is so, it is.  I remember the librarian who let me take some materials when the computer system was down.  She said, “I know you will bring it back.”  Either she was buttering me up or my witness had been truthful.

So?  We touch our world.  Make it a genuine touch whether you are quoting John 3:16 or borrowing a cup of sugar. 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

For the Children

(Proverbs 13:24 KJV)  He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Our culture likes to talk about how they are doing things for the children.  In reality they are usually using the children as an excuse to advance their own agenda.  Children are just an accident or another tool that is to be exploited.  Few people think about what it means to raise a child.  I know that I didn’t.  I just took it for granted that there would be children and that they would somehow come to adulthood.  I had no understanding of what my parents had put into me and my brothers.

Most of the parents I worked with would tell you they loved their children.  They might even believe it.  That does not make it true.  Love is not a warm feeling.  It is not what people instinctively feel towards babies.  Anyone can smile at a baby and try to get it to smile back.  It is love that repeatedly gets up in the middle of the night to sooth it back to sleep.  It is love that changes diapers with gentleness.  It is love that cleans up the strained spinach that has ended up on the walls.  It isn’t much fun but it is love.  That is where discipline comes in.  It isn’t easy, but it is love.

So?  Love does what is best for the other person.  Hate takes the easy road. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Little White Abominations

(Proverbs 12:22 KJV)  Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.

“Lying” (8267) is an “abomination” (8441).  If there is one line of demarcation in our society, this is it.  In the church, instead of standing tall for truth we look for ways to redefine what a lie is.  While I will concede that there is a time for diplomacy and tact we have gone overboard to excuse our deceit and exaggerations for personal gain.  You may not want to answer if a dress makes your wife look fat but you do need to let her know that it does not look good on her.

In God’s eyes there is no such thing as “little white lies”.  Try calling them “little white abominations” instead and see how that plays. 

Why do we talk about lies so much?  The main reason is that Solomon felt a need to bring it up so often and the basis for that is the tendency to lie in 800 B.C. as well as the tendency to lie in 2019.

So?  Simple.  Tell the truth.  If you can’t, don’t say anything. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Payoff

(Proverbs 11:6 KJV)  The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.

This chapter has a theme of the rewards and results of “righteousness” (6666).  It is a strong statement but I don’t see much about the upright being aware of the payoff.  Even here where we are promised deliverance there is no time frame.  It doesn’t say “before lunch” or “today”.  It just says it will happen.  That is what Christian hope is all about.  It is not a matter of hanging on until the cavalry arrives.  It isn’t counting the gold in our bag.  It is an assurance about the future.

So?  Are you worried about what you see in the world around you?  Then lock your doors, stay out of the wrong neighborhoods and watch your mouth.  Those are always marks of wisdom.  At the same time don’t stay awake night worrying about whether we will see our liberty taken away.  Of course we will.  It is just a matter of time.  We will live in victory no matter what the circumstances. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Precious Memories

(Proverbs 10:7 KJV)  The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.

One thing I notice is that there is no timing on this “memory” (2143).  One of the comments I was used to hearing from students was, “I hate this class!”  I didn’t keep a record but I would guess that some of the loudest were the ones who would come back to see me a few years later.  Memory is different than reaction.  Have you ever had an experience that you totally hated but on reflection you realize it was a teaching moment for you.  I think of my time in the army.  I would not want to do it again, but I am glad I experienced it. 

You can’t know how many lives you touch and how you touch them.  What you can take to the bank is that if you are living in righteousness the touch will be for the good.

So?  Live like someone is watching.  Talk like someone is listening.  Long term reality is different than current awareness.