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, April 30, 2014

Be a Solomon

(Pro 30:7 KJV)  Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:

What do you really want from God today?  Remember the fairy tales where someone is given three wishes?  It seems they were all taken by the being granting them and twisted to make it all a waste of time.  Usually it would reflect on the selfishness or foolishness of the wisher.  This is Solomon speaking.  This is the man that was given one wish by God.
(2Ch 1:7 KJV)  In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.
Of course we know that he asked for wisdom and knowledge.

So?  Think about it.  God listens to our prayers.  Are you asking for what your heart really yearns for or are you the guy in the fairy tale.  Be a Solomon.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Parental Payoff

(Pro 29:17 KJV)  Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

Do you have children?  Do they bring you “rest” (comfort NASB) (5117) or pain?  If your children are old enough to use the words “no” or “mine” you have already moved out of the heady, new-parent bubble but I am talking about the big picture.  When my children were young I used to say I would wait until they are 30 before I wrote a book on how to parent.  They are arriving and  am still going to wait a while.

At the same time, they bring me “delight” (4574).  I am proud of how they have turned out.  Much of the credit goes to my wife who gave up a career to be a full time mother and totally invested herself in the endeavor.  I like to think I helped a little. 

The reason we are staying in their homes on vacation instead of visiting them in jail is that we made sure we gave correction when it was needed.  It was not pleasant at the time, but it seems to have paid off.

So?  God has a reason for what He expects from us.  Parenting, tithing, forgiving; the list goes on.  Read the Owners Manual before you make mistakes in the assembly.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Dare to be a Cotter Pin

(Pro 28:20 KJV)  A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.

This verse should be read in the context of the preceding verse.  Context is not always important in Proverbs but here it applies.  Previous verses have talked about violence, crookedness and sloth.  They are condemned.  They are not to be a part of the Christian life.  Now Solomon adds the problem of fickleness. 

It is important to be “faithful” (530).  This means that you can be counted on.  It would be the aspect of being a pillar of the community.  It is the husband who would not consider cheating on his wife or stealing the food from his children’s mouth to be the big spender at the bar.  It is the wife who pours her life into her children.  It means being steady and dependable.

It is a choice.

So?  Make the godly choices when it comes to what you face today.  What is best for your family, your church, your community?  Who will be devastated if you do not hold true?  Be a cotter pin that holds things together even if it is not noticed. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Goat Cheese for Breakfast

(Pro 27:27 KJV)  And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

I came across this theme a few days ago.  “Enough” (1767) is enough, right?  But do you really like “goat’s” (5795) “milk” (2461)?  How about goat cheese?   What do you do when God says, “Eat goat cheese” and you really wanted Gouda?

Sometimes it is difficult to know the line between being satisfied with things as they are and striving for something better.  Do you go for a better job?  Do you send back the spaghetti that was cold when served?  Do you go to the protest over the latest attempt to push homosexuality?  It isn’t easy living a vital Christian life.  It involves study, prayer, thinking and decisions.

So?  Understand that just because you can doesn’t mean you should.  On the other hand, just because someone says you can’t doesn’t mean you should not try.  This is where the daily walk and listening to the word are so important.  Just remember that goats don’t decide when they will be milked or what the milk is used for.  We are not domestic animals.  We are the family of God.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Foolish Theme

(Pro 26:5 KJV)  Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

If you were listing great themes of the Bible you probably would not come up with the “fool” (3684).  That might be because you listen too much to the modern culture and not enough to the book of Proverbs. 

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, one of my software sources, says there are three words translated “fool” in our English Bibles.  The one used here and throughout this chapter,
“has at its root the notion of grossness, the dull and heavy habit of one whose heart has waxed fat, whose ears are slow to hear, and whose higher perceptions and nobler aspirations have succumbed to the sensual and earthly nature.”
What does that say to us about people in the world, in the church and about ourselves?  It is very easy to slide into dullness and sensuality.  All you need to do to see this is go out and listen to the general conversations around you.  I recently rode on an elevator with four young men.  We were only together for five floors yet I could tell you they were fools by this definition.

So?  Make sure that you are kept sensitive to all the glory of life and of our holy God.  Find a time to focus on Him every day so that you don’t slip into dull foolishness. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Enough Is Enough

(Pro 25:27 KJV)  It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.

My first reading of this unconsciously inserts another word in the text.  When I read it I think “too much” instead of “much” (7235a).  This seems to be a step farther than moderation.  As legalists by nature we always want to know how much is too much.  When we know where the line is our tendency is to push right up to that point. 

Maybe I am speaking only for myself.  As a diabetic I am trying to watch what I eat.  I am counting calories.  As the day draws to a close I don’t ask myself, “Have I had enough?”  What I do is look at my tally and ask myself, “Can I have a little more?”  I have the idea that if I come in one calorie below my goal, I win.  When I started that may have been good enough but by now it is time to grow up.

So?  Do you also have areas in your life where you need to get out of legalism and into Holy Spirit sensitive control?  It might not be in your diet.  It might be TV or reading.  Give it a thought.  Enough is enough. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Imagined Sins

(Pro 24:9 KJV)  The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.

It is easy for me to see your “foolishness” (folly NASB) (200).  You are the first one I picture when I read verses like this.  I would venture to guess that if you knew me you could see how obvious my shortcomings are.  We are always good at seeing where others could do better.  The problem we have is in seeing our own foibles. 

This is another place where we see the principles of the Old Testament taught by Jesus in a way that people think is new.  Here Solomon is saying that silly pastimes are wrong even when we are just thinking about them.  Jesus may have had that in mind when He was teaching.
(Mat 5:27-28 KJV)  Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
So?  Guard your fantasy life and flights of imagination.  God wants to be Lord there too. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Beating the Hades Out of Him

(Pro 23:14 KJV)  Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

You have heard people use an expression like “beat the hell out of him.”  That type of approach is not what is being advocated here.  This is saying that pain is a legitimate teacher.  Fear of pain is a tool of emotional and intellectual growth.  You don’t believe it?  How many times do you have to bump your head before you learn to duck.  When I got my first bifocals it took me several major raps on the head to learn to duck when I went into the garage.  The garage door does not need to smack me any more.  I have learned my lesson.

Discipline teaches that there are consequences for bad behavior.  We teach children this principle on the small issues of life.  If they learn it, they transfer the lesson to the eternal issues.  They are saved from experiencing eternal head bumping. 

You are beating him out of “hell” (7585), not beating hell out of him.

So?  Ignore the social workers.  Ignore the culture.  Draw lines for your children and don’t let them cross without an awareness that there are consequences.  If you can’t understand the difference between legitimate discipline and brutal abuse then maybe you shouldn’t have or deal with children.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Sloth in the Livingroom

(Pro 22:13 KJV)  The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.

The “slothful man” (sluggard) (6102) is another classification that our culture has rejected.  We cannot point out that some people are just lazy.  It is a fact presented clearly in the Bible and known by our ancestors.  It is a word you can’t use today. 

It has ramifications that are more serious than obesity and poverty.  It has eternal consequences.  It has spiritual stopping power.  I think about all the time I have wasted from sloth.  It is scary.  There is a reason it is one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

So?  Do some self examination.  Have you been blaming others for failures that are really the result of lack of effort or persistence?  If you don’t change, your situation won’t change.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Wise Investing

(Pro 21:17 KJV)  He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.

Here is part of the formula for failure.  If “pleasure” (8057) is a priority you will be a loser.  I think we see a version of the Millionaire Mind here.  Those who accumulate wealth do not need to show it off.  The one who looks richest, probably isn’t.  I think of an economics quote I once heard, “It isn’t how much you make that counts, but how much you keep.”

Notice the targets of wealth in this verse.  The first, “pleasure” (8057), is a concept we can relate to.  “Wine” (3196) we understand.  But what is this about “oil” (8081)?  In our culture we hear the oil industry vilified.  We put oil in our frying pans and salad dressing.  We do not understand the place of oil in less advanced cultures. 

Oil would have been considered a lotion to soften and smooth the body.  It would be applied to reduce body odor.  It was used for medicinal applications.  Modern chemicals and cosmetics were still a long way in the future.

So?  What are you investing your life in?  Are you focused on the common targets of our culture or are you going after the strange?  The point we are to get is that the focus of our lives is not supposed to be the focus of our culture.  Jesus is not available in diet form nor is He listed on the Stock Exchange. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

True Grits

(Pro 20:21 KJV)  An inheritance may be gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed.

I have gone through a phase in life of exploring the world of grits.  At one end you have instant grits.  Boil water.  Pour and stir.  Eat.  At the other end is a product I saw on some cooking show that required the grits to be soaked over night and cooked for a couple of hours the next day.  My son related a TV program where one of the characters said, “If it hasn’t cooked thirty minutes it isn’t grits.” 

Often good things develop slowly.  We want it now.  That is the point of this verse.  Quick solutions usually aren’t.  God expects us to build toward wisdom and understanding, not the quick fix. 

So?  Patience is not just a character trait or an aspect of love.  Patience is a building tool.  Get into the walk with Jesus for the long haul not the temporary high.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fix What Is Broken

(Pro 19:19 KJV)  A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again.

“Wrath” (anger”NASB) (2534) is one of those emotions that is a mixed blessing.  It is not condemned out of hand.  Here the problem is “great” (1419) anger.

“Great” (1419) “anger” (2534) is a “great” problem.  It leaves scars.  It does damage.  It burns bridges.  This is a warning to two types of people.  The rescuer is wasting time.  The brat in the temper tamper is risking the hammer of life on his head.  I will concede that there are times when we all lose it.  Some do so with great regularity and blame it on their Irish blood or some such thing.  The message here is that there will be a price to pay if you let blood rule.

So?  Temper is just another in a long list of character flaws that God is in the business of fixing.  Call on Him.  Allow the Holy Spirit to help you grow up.  You don’t have a temper?  I am sure there is another area you can be working on.  I have a real lack of kindness. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friendly Advice

(Pro 18:24 KJV)  A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

We all want friends.  We assume this is a good thing.  The first part of this verse seems to take a different point of view.  The two translations are different.  It is more clear in the NASB than the KJV but being consumed with friends can be destructive.  The implication of the KJV is that friendships can dominate your life and usurp all our energy.  The NASB says it can ruin you.

Friends can keep you away from church.  Friends can make you neglect your family.  Friends can make you late to work.  Too much of anything is not a good thing.

So?  Have friends but like everything else keep your balance. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Take Your Medicine

(Pro 17:22 KJV)  A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

When I accepted that I had diabetes I did some research.  One of the things that I found surprising was a statement that large numbers of people with diabetes do not take their medications, even people who are on insulin.  I shared this with an EMT and he told me that is true of all illnesses, not just diabetes.  People who know they have a problem, see a doctor, get a prescription and leave the medication on the shelf are a mystery to me. 

What about people who refuse their spiritual “medicine” (1456)?  I know that there are times when I allow my moods to effect my trust.  There are times when I seem to prefer focusing on fear than leaning on hope.  I refuse to accept the cure that is offered. 

So?  Trust is the keel that keeps our ship of life from drifting to every little wind that hits us.  In this case taking your medicine is a good thing. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Part B into Slot 37

(Pro 16:20 KJV)  He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.

Do you want to “find” (4672) “good” (2896b)?  In my post yesterday I looked at the word “better” (2896a).  In the KJV reference tools the two words are the same.  The NASB tools mark them “a” and “b”.  I can tell that one form is a masculine noun and one feminine.  I can’t tell the difference with the tools I have available.

So lets look at finding.  This has the idea of attaining a worthy goal, not just recovering something lost.  We all have dreams.  We have goals.  What will it take to make you feel that life has been well lived when you are looking at the grave?  The suggestion here is that you need to ground your search in the “word” (1697).  The NASB takes a complicated phrase of three words and breaks it down where the KJV puts it all into the word “wisely”.  If you start your finding anywhere else but in the eternal word you are doomed to failure.

So?  Get out the instruction manual.  You won’t know how to put part b into slot 37 if you don’t.  You might not even know there is a part b or a slot 37.  Picture a car put together with the direction signals reversed. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Better Choice

(Pro 15:17 KJV)  Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.

Are you satisfied with “better” (2896a) or do you settle for nothing less than the best?  At times they are the same thing.  Other times they are totally different.  Better means you have two choices, best means many.  What are you faced with today?

This is a reminder to be realistic in what we wait for.  If you want to go east and the street you are on comes to a “T” junction you cannot going east.  Your choices are north and south.  Pick the one you think is better and keep looking for a chance to turn.

Are you unhappy with the choices you face today?  Quitting your job and setting out on your quest to be a professional gambler may not be the wisest of choices.  Getting to work a little early and being ready to go on time might be.

So?  Dream about the best but be realistic in what you can achieve today.  Perhaps planning, discipline and delayed gratification can bring the best within reach tomorrow.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Bitter Heart

(Pro 14:10 KJV)  The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.

Didn’t a famous politician say something to the effect, “I feel your pain”?  He lied.  It was just a sound bite.  Pain can handicap our lives.  Even worse is “bitterness” (4787a).  Bitterness can destroy.

This is the only place this specific word is used in the Bible but there are forms of it that appear at other places.  One well known place is in the book of Ruth.
(Rth 1:20 KJV)  And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
“Mara” is another form of this word.  It gives us an insight into what “bitterness” means to a life.  Naomi had lost all she loved.  She was totally defeated.  We was giving up on life and hope.  Eventually Ruth helps her out of this but it could have been the end of her.

Our answer to bitterness is rooted in a living faith in a living God.  It is founded on a trust that God is active even when we don’t see or feel it.

So?  It may be a bad day.  It could have been a bad year.  Keep your eyes on Jesus and your hope alive.  Don’t give in to a poisoned heart. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Plan on a Payoff

(Pro 13:21 KJV)  Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.

Is this an unbreakable rule or a Biblical Principle?  A rule would be something like
(Rom 6:23 KJV)  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A general principle would be something like “honesty is the best policy.”  You can see how it might not be a good policy if your wife asks, “Does this dress make me look fat?”

It is also an often repeated truth in the Proverbs.  Sin brings negative results.  Righteousness brings positive results.  This is true both this afternoon and in eternity.  Biblical principles make life better for everyone involved.  Biblical truth shares the only way to have eternal life.

So?  Keep the faith.  Stay on the Highway of Holiness.  There may be an occasional bump but it beats the dirt road with the lion lurking in a bush. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Be a Lip of Truth

(Pro 12:19 KJV)  The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

I like way the KJV puts this.  While the NASB says “truthful” (571) “lips” (8193) the KJV phrases it “the lip of truth.”  This speaks of the reputation that we have.  People can either take what we say to the bank or thy can doubt everything we utter. 

How they feel about us will effect how they feel about our God.  If people who call themselves “Christians” are liars, what does that say about the One who called Himself the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)?  How can they trust Him for eternity if they cannot trust us about what time we got to work

So?  As someone once pointed out, you may be the only Bible some people ever read.  Make sure you are an accurate translation.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Informed Righteousness

(Pro 11:10 KJV)  When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.

This is one of those verses that get me scratching my head and saying, “Really?”  I have more trouble with this than the parting of the Red Sea or Jesus walking on water.  This verse does not match up with what I see in the headlines.

People are sometimes confused.  They are only given half truths.  They get the teams wrong.  For instance, we are seeing a push to legalize drugs.  The camel’s nose is marijuana.  The mantra goes that it is harmless.  It is no worse than alcohol and more benign than tobacco.  It is just the hung up old dinosaurs that don’t want the young to have their fun.   So goes the mantra.  People seem to rejoice every time the drug laws are relaxed.  Where is the righteousness?

People are not informed.  There are more cancer causing chemicals in marijuana than tobacco.  Traffic deaths from marijuana are dramatically increasing.  It can damage your ability to think.  All of this is ignored.

So?  Work to be informed.  That obviously starts with things the Bible talks about.  Sometimes the areas that are not directly referenced in the Bible require a bit more thought and digging.  Get a shovel and get to work. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Works Is Another Word for Obedience

(Pro 10:16 KJV)  The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.

One of the struggles some people have with the Christian life is the juxtaposition of faith and obedience.  Some might choose the words grace and works.  Faith and grace emphasize the inability of sinful humans to pay the price for their sins.  Obedience and works remind us that we are to be “righteous” (6662).  Glorification of one side or the other tends to push some into accepting sin and others into legalism.  Both are taught.  Both are required.

The emphasis in this verse is on obedience.  How do you live?  If you are walking the walk then you are called “righteous” and have the promise of “life” (2425b).   Don’t like me saying that from the Old Testament?  How about the words of Jesus.
(Joh 15:10 KJV)  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
Or how about an even stronger statement?
(1Jn 2:4 KJV)  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
So?  Believe.  Trust.  Glory in His grace.  And walk in righteousness.  It is not an option.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Simple Answers

(Pro 9:4 KJV)  Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

We are surrounded by people who want to give us advice.  If you have your Bible, compare this verse to verse 16.  You will find they are exactly the same.  Both are pointing out our need and both are offering a solution.  One leads to heaven and one to hell.

How are we to know which advice is better?  Sometimes it is obvious.  Often it requires some thinking on out part.  On some occasions we might need to ask the advice of someone we trust.  Be careful where you “turn” (5493).  Ultimately we are responsible for our choices. 

So?  God has given us all the resources we need to make wise, informed choices.  The weakness is usually that we are too lazy to do the research.  Read the instruction manual. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Flights of Fancy?

(Pro 8:30 KJV)  Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

We seem to be talking about creation.  It would almost seem here that Wisdom is a reference to Christ.  It isn’t clear.  This is one of those places where I look for the thoughts of others I trust.  Adam Clarke, a scholar from the days of John Wesley, gives this caution.
“This is poetical and highly figurative; and they who think they find the deity of Jesus Christ in these metaphors should be very cautious how they apply such terms as these; so that while they are endeavoring to defend the truth, they may do nothing against the truth, in which most of them unhappily fail.”
Do I see indications here of the joyful relationship inside the trinity?  Yes.  Am I willing to make a doctrinal statement out of it?  No.

So?  There are times when we need to think for ourselves.  There are times we need to seek the wisdom of others.  Always look for insights into the things of God.  Sometimes they are a main course, sometimes a condiment.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Danger in Dependability

(Pro 7:20 KJV)  He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.

This adulteress had a husband that she could depend on.  He was gone on business and she knew how long he would be gone by the money he took with him.  I would imagine he also told her when he would return.  She knew she could count on him to be true to his word.  She used his dependability to betray him.

Does that mean that we need to get sneaky and mysterious?  Does that mean that our wives should just guess when we will get home from work?  I don’t think so.  I think it is more of a warning for us that people will take advantage of our good side as well as exploit our weaknesses.  Have you learned to turn the other cheek?  Will people take advantage?  Yes.  Does that mean we abandon the path of righteousness?  No.

So?  Expect people to manipulate you even when you are doing what is right.  We are surrounded by an evil world and one of the Devil’s names is Schemer.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Adultery = Destruction

(Pro 6:32 KJV)  But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.

I will be honest with you.  I have never been seriously tempted to commit actual adultery.  I am sure I have “lusted in my heart” to a degree and Jesus says that is just as bad.  But to actually go out and get physically involved with a woman I was not married to?  Never happen.  It was hard enough getting involved with the woman I married.

Maybe you are different.  I think that most people have drunk the kool aide sold by the movies and literature and think that people are more sexually active than they are.  The point here is that the standard of God is simple, clear and eternal.  Adultery is a sin.  Adultery is sex outside of marriage.  Marriage is between a man and a woman. 

So?  Be aware that there is a massive campaign to destroy the institutions of marriage and the family.  Don’t buy into the lie either actively or passively.  The lie leads to destruction of you as a person, the family you have and the society you live in. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pawns Must Repent, Too

(Pro 5:22 KJV)  His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.

I don’t know what you personally believe about the doctrines of election and the atonement.  I don’t know if deep down inside you feel that we are “helpless pawns in the hands fate” or focus on the phrase “whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish.”  Do you believe in free will?  No? 

It doesn’t really matter.  You still must deal with the point made in this verse.  It is your own “iniquities” (5771) that will condemn you.  Whether you were chosen to be a sinner (or not chosen to be in the elect) or whether you have acted in a God-given free will, it is your sins that will “take” (capture NASB) (3920) you.

The point isn’t to emphasize the sin but to remind you that you also are given the cure.  If you have not repented and trusted in Jesus, He is still waiting.  You are responsible but inadequate.  He is innocent, adequate and willing.

So?  Make sure that the sin has been dealt with.

Friday, April 4, 2014

No Texting While Living

(Pro 4:21 KJV)  Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

Our spiritual lives are made up of many decisions, just like the rest of life.  The previous verses are loaded with instructions and warnings.  Here we are reminded that we must remain vigilant.  Sometimes we get so into the concept of grace and the sovereignty of God that we get sloppy and zoned out.  We have all experienced it when driving.  You have those moments where you suddenly realize you have not been paying attention.  You have been driving on autopilot.

That is bad enough but what about the times when you are checking your phone or your I-pod and the car in front of you suddenly stops.  That kind of thing can happen in your ethical and moral life too. 

So?  Keep focused.  Keep the word of God in front of our eyes.  Find ways to remind yourself during the day. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Righteous Results

(Pro 3:10 KJV)  So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

What is the default result of righteousness?  If you look back through the previous verses you see a lot of instructions in actions and priorities.  Now the rubber meets the road.  Living the way God wants you to live produces prosperity.  That is a simple fact.

That is the default, not necessarily the guaranteed result.  Keep in mind that we live in a fallen world.  People will be jealous.  Think of Joseph’s brothers after he got the coat.  Think of the guy at work after you got the raise.  Think of the third world toward the United States. 

So?  If you follow the Lord for the financial benefits it might work now but you miss the entire point.  At the same time, righteousness works.  Give it a chance. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pick Your Path

(Pro 2:20 KJV)  That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.

Is this your goal today?  Really?  Do you want someone watching you to say that you have demonstrated the “good” (2896a) and the “righteous” (6662) or would you rather have them admire your style?  Would you rather be thought cool than upright?

Sometimes we mess up because that is the desire of our heart.  We think that traditional virtues such as prudence and chastity are so old school.  We want to be with it.  So we do not seek to follow the way God would have us go.
(Jas 4:2 KJV)  Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
So?  Take a moment to examine your goals and attitudes for today.  Only you know what the real desires of your heart are.  Only God hears what you are really asking for.  If the results are in order, praise God.  If you find dissonance, then repentance is in order. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Fools Come in All Months

(Pro 1:20 KJV)  Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:

This brings to mind an example Jesus gives of the judgment day.  Check out this familiar verse.
(Mat 25:32 KJV)  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
He was breaking down those before Him into two groups:  The sheep and the goats.  What divides them is how they had ministered to Him.  It is interesting that they both ask basically the same question.  The righteous asked it in verse 37 and the rest in verse 44.
(Mat 25:44 KJV)  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Both had heard the word proclaimed.  One had responded with an obedient spirit.  The other tried to find rational for avoiding the basic truth.

So?  God is speaking to you.  You know enough wisdom to live the day.  Are you going to obey or rationalize.  Remember, “I didn’t know” will not work on judgment day.  When I finished this I realized it would be posted on April Fools' day.