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July 26, 2022

Proverbs 26:22 – Gossip & The Human Heart

A very poignant proverb on how like moths are drawn to a flame; so how we are drawn to gossip!

Pro 26:22  The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, And they go down into the innermost parts of the body.

A dainty morsel is like a tasty snack, and when we get a taste of a chocolate or donut; a dainty morsel, it stimulates us and we want more…that is what the words of a whisperer or hearing gossip does to us, it scratches an itch.  

If we think about that, that is absolutely true; if someone is preaching a sermon to us, we typically can’t wait to get out of there and be done with it, but man, when we hear some juicy and salacious gossip about someone, we stop everything we are doing, put down the phone, turn down the music and drop everything at once just to hear the salacious details of whatever juicy scandal is happening.  It is not wonder why the most profitable magazines in the world are tabloids – or celebrity gossip, the Kardashians entire fortune is built on publishing their scandalous affairs! 

This all really speaks to the sad state of the human condition, how we can’t get enough of these dark details and try and explain away why we like hearing bad rumors and gossip about other people, it is the sinful condition of the human heart, but the beauty of the Gospel is that when we look to the cross, and see Jesus there in all of His pain and anguish and suffering as the Perfect sacrifice for all of our imperfect sins, we come to terms with the dark thoughts that permeate our minds when we contrast them with the Light that is found in Jesus.  

He is the only cure, and His Perfect Life and Perfect sacrifice give us an acute awareness of how broken we are and how desperately we need Him, He is the road to repentance and recognizing these bad behaviors like gossip and suddenly wanting nothing to do with them anymore or hating ourselves when we find ourselves getting caught up in it.  

That is the beauty of the regenerate heart, the new heart that the Holy Spirit gives us when we declare Christ as Lord of our lives.  We see darkness for what it is, and more importantly we see Christ as the Light that shines through the darkness.  

July 25, 2022

Proverbs 25:16 – Avoid Excesses

Good instructions on sensible living is found in our Proverbs today:

Pro 25:16  Have you found honey? Eat only what you need, That you not have it in excess and vomit it.

Back when this was written, a sweet like honey was a big deal, considering there was no McDonald’s Flurries or See’s candies back when the Proverbs were written…so while honey tasted sweet, if you ate to much of it, it would make you sick.  

We can apply this Proverb to how we live our lives today, and we certainly should, because there is so much junk in our world that we can overindulge in.  Many pleasures are readily available at the touch of our smart phones.  Now we can have pizza delivered to our house at the touch of a button, we can watch virtually any film genre of any movie or show for endless hours.  You would think that the made-to-order pleasures on hand at the ready from our smart phones would make us happy, but too often we overindulge on this stuff, and as a result we are anything but happy!  Obesity is at a record high, and if physical health ailments are taking our lives too early, then it is our mental health!  From the year 2000 until now, suicide has increased by 30%!  That is a very alarming statistic, and also shows us that overindulging on screen time is not making us happy.  That stat paint of picture of life before and after smart phones.  

We take it back to our Proverb; if you find honey, only eat what you need, or you’ll eat too much and get sick…happiness is not found in overindulgence, nor it is found in things of the world, and the things of the world condemn us anyhow.  Jesus tells us, what profit is it for a man to gain the world but lose his soul?  Wordly pleasures bring death, while true pleasure is found in declaring Christ as King and giving up our vices, repenting and making Jesus the center of our affections.  How do we do that?  We learn about Jesus, and that is revealed for us in the Bible, and so is endless amount of wisdom to instruct us in our lives, that warn us against things like we talked about today, over-doing things…the blue print to live a Godly life is found in God’s revelation of Himself to us; the Bible.  And while we are dogging on smart phones today, there is some good stuff in them too, you can get the Bible in almost any language on a smart phone, there are lots of good sermons to watch on YouTube.  So if you’re hearing or watching this from a smart phone, download a Bible, it’s free and start reading God’s Word today.  

 

July 22, 2022

Proverbs 22:2 – Rich & Poor; God made both!

One of the more foolish things people can do is judge someone else on how much money they make or how big their houses are.  The sad reality is that people who are at a higher station in life tend to look down on people who make less money or are less educated.  

Today’s Word tells us that rich and poor are both made by God

Pro 22:2  The rich and the poor have this in common, The LORD is the maker of them all.

In society, where the love of money prevails, people tend to have more friends, more status, more admirers when they have more money.  Conversely, someone who is working class or not university educated is looked down upon as not being as “enlightened” by those who do have a college degree.  

Those are all worldly and unGodly standards that we judge others by.  However, God is not impartial and does not play favorites to those who have bigger bank accounts or MBA’s.  

Poor people and rich people alike are both image bearers of God, and in a world that tends to classify and organize the masses be it by race or income status, we as Christians need to remember that rich and poor do not matter, there are only two races; those who are in Christ and outside of Christ.  A poor person who declares Jesus as Lord has an eternity to look forward to versus a rich person who worships their worldly possessions like a big house or bank account but doesn’t worship God.  

We remember Lazarus and the rich man, the rich man wanted no part of Lazarus the beggar on earth, but when Lazarus was in eternal condemnation, Lazarus suddenly he found himself the beggar asking Lazarus for water.  

As the text says rich and poor are both made by God.  Humans may discriminate about income status, but God does not!  

 

PC – Nigel Lawrence

July 21, 2022

Thursday Proverbs – No Hiding Sin From God

Today’s Proverb tells us God sees all, even when our leaders and judges and law enforcement don’t, or turn a blind eye to wickedness, God does not and moreover God will bring a wrecking ball upon them.

Pro 21:12  The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked; he throws the wicked down to ruin.

In many civilizations, bribes and graft and cronyism rule the day…that saying; the rich get richer comes to mind, and often the regular Joe’s feel helpless while there is corruption all around them.  

Today’s Word assures us that while the higher ups may look the other way because they got a pay off, God does not look the other way, the text says “God observes them” or God is looking right at them, they may hide their wickedness from man, but there is no hiding it  from God.  

Even scarier for those folks, is God throws them down to ruin.  That is bad situation to be in for sure!  A lot of these people who live high on the hog from dishonesty tend to be arrogant and haughty…God hates all of that, and today’s text says, they are in for a rude awakening.  It might not be in this life, but God will render every an according to His deeds.  The only way forward is to declare Jesus as Lord, and that is not done just by praying on Sunday’s, God prefers obedience over sacrifice, when we say Jesus is Lord, that means we are to follow Him, and Jesus tells us to turn from our sinful ways, or to repent!  That means, stop getting up to the bad stuff we are doing, because death comes like a thief in the night.  You could be living the good life now, and think you’ll get right with God on your own terms, but what happens when you die of a heart attack tomorrow?  That may sound harsh, but death is the one thing that man does not control, we may predict everything else, but we cannot predict on how we enter or leave this world, that is done on God’s terms, and more importantly. This world is only temporary, the next life is forever.  Christ tells us, the only Way to The Father is through The Son, so Listen to the Son, repent, know that He came and died for our sins, and stop sinning and stealing!  

July 20, 2022

Proverbs 20:17 – The Juice Isn’t Worth The Squeeze!

A wise warning not to cheat or steal, no matter how tempting or immediate you’ll be rewarded: 

Pro 20:17  Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.

When we take something that isn’t ours, or cheat someone or lie to get ahead, we may immediately get ahead – the Word says “it is sweet” as in at first, it’s great – I embezzled a bunch of money from my job, now I can go buy a 1st class ticket to Maui!  That’s pretty sweet, right?  

But let’s look at the second half of the text, afterwards his mouth will be full of gravel…yikes, harder to think of something more unpleasant and further from sweet, than a chewing on rocks.  

So the guy may have gotten the first class ticket to Hawaii from the money he stole, but then he is sin is revealed, and the punishment is terrible,  What is a first class ticket for a two week stay in Hawaii, when he later winds up spending two years in jail.  That’s just one scenario, but while those are just punishments meted out here on earth, what is even scarier is upsetting God who commands us not to steal or be dishonest?  

Such is the case with all of sin really, we may get a sense of instant gratification at first, but the end result is punshment!  We can take it back to the garden of eden, the forbidden fruit certainly had to taste good to Eden when she bit into it, but that fleeting pleasure pails in comparison to getting thrown out and banished forever, right?! 

So, how to we avoid the unsettling taste of gravel in our mouth, that today’s Proverb speaks of?  We don’t sin!  That is the central call of The Gospel, our sins are taken away when we declare Jesus as Lord, because He became sin, and put those sins to death, and He also calls on us to repent or stop sinning, so we can be spared that mouthful of rocks, or worse yet, eternal punishment!  The juice is not worth the squeeze!  

July 19, 2022

Proverbs On Forgiving Others

Great Word in our Proverbs that helps us keep our triggers in check, and certainly flies in the face of today’s culture that constantly has us angry about one thing or another: 

Pro 19:11  Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

Good sense or…Wisdom keeps us from getting angry, and we take it back to the Bible, what is wisdom?  Wisdom is looking at the world from a biblical lens, knowing that God is sovereign, and always watching us, God has already designed everything that is going to happen in our lives and while we are here in this world, we are to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to God, that brings honor to God.  

As we learned in yesterday’s Word, the fool only sees things through the me, myself and I perspective, while the wise person has empathy or is willing to understand and to listen.  

With that said, something that can certainly agitate us is when we are driving and someone cuts us off in traffic.  We immediately make all of these false and foolish assumptions about that person, they think that because they drive a newer car than me, they are better than me, or that person is not a smart as me, or younger and a dumber driver than me…just a ton of misconceptions pop into our minds that are built on love of our own selves and pride and further, hatred of others.  

However, wisdom give us that biblical reality check, that says: maybe that other image bearer of God is having a bad day, we don’t know what it happening in the car in front of us,  They could have gotten a phone call from a family member that is suddenly in the hospital, or they could be sick, we have no idea what is going on with them.  That is good sense, and the empathy that comes from loving others as we love our selves, or wisdom.  

The second half of today’s Proverb tells us “it is his glory to overlook an offense”.   John MacArthur very aptly stated once that the closest thing we can be to Jesus is forgiving.  the Bible tells us, Christ forgave us, should we not forgive others? 

 If we take it back to today’s hypothetical road rage scenario, maybe that person who cut us off was acting a fool?  But if we look within our selves, can any of us say that we too haven’t driven badly?  Is there any one of us who haven’t just not being paying attention and cut in front of someone?  The answer is no, as Jesus said; let the person who never sinned throw the first stone.  And what happened next?  Everyone left because none of them could say they didn’t sin!  That same thing is applicable to us when we are in situations that can agitate us, none of us are without sin, and chances are we all did the same thing being done to us, or worse!  

So headed back to our Proverbs, A God fearing perspective keeps these things in mind, that Christ is the only One who was without sin, the rest of us are sinners in need of His Grace as we navigate this very short life that is never not full of unimportant things that can try and agitate.  Christ is what is important, and what is eternal and what we should focus on, not secondary distractions that come and go.  

July 18, 2022

Talking Without Listening

Today’s Proverb shows us the hallmarks of a fool and how they interact with others, while none of us want to be foolish, it also lends some understanding on how to be righteous:  

Pro 18:2  A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

A foolish or wicked person does not want to listen, in fact they have no desire to understand anyone else’s point of view besides their own.  

The text also says they only want to express their own opinion…if we have ever talked with a fool, communication is a one way street to them.  Lots of talking, but zero listening!  

So while we have an understanding of how a fool talks to others, as in just broadcasting their own insights, how does a righteous of Godly person engage?   

The righteous person wants to understand, and rather than belching out their own “hot takes” they listen to others.  

A God-fearing person, or righteous person wants to understand, and we also need to apply that to how we approach God’s Word; as we learn in 2 Timothy 3:16 — All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness

God’s Word is given to us to correct us, and train us, so let us not approach it like the fool and apply worldly and secular principles to it, like “that was written by some man 1000 years ago” but that it is actually given to us by God and designed to give us the blueprint on how we should live our lives.  

As The Proverb today point out The righteous person is willing to understand that, while the fool has no desire to understand but rather broadcast their own foolishness!  

July 15, 2022

Proverbs 15:16 – God’s Warnings Against Greed!

Good cause and affect in our Proverbs as it relates to walking the straight and narrow path versus being a crook! 

Pro 15:27  Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household, but he who hates bribes will live.

Someone who cheats, steals or takes bribes, is headed for trouble.  Another way of saying, sin catches up with us!  We may get instant gratification, or suddenly become wealthy by cheating and being dishonest with someone, but God sees all, there is no dishonesty or hiding sin with God, and God’s scales and standards are just and true!  

How often have we seen in the news about a politician taking bribes only to leave office in disgrace?  What were once lofty goals for the greater good have now come crashing down and wrecked their legacy.  

The other half of the Proverb takes us to the righteous person, “he who hates bribes will live”—  Someone who takes the narrow and righteous path that brings honor to God will live, as in not perish like the crook who is only in it for themselves.

The crooked person gets trouble and death, while the righteous and honest person escapes death and lives.  We can hide our misdeeds from other people and the law, but there is no hiding our sin from God, God sees all!  

July 14, 2022

Proverbs 14:23 – Talking vs Doing

We learn a big difference today in the Proverbs between talking and actually doing; 

Pro 14:23  In all labor there is profit, But mere talk leads only to poverty.

Note the word says there, in all labor there is profit, when we are doing a task, there is always some kind of reward for it, it might not always be immediate, but there is something that we gained from what we put in effort in.  Some times what seems like wasted time at a task that didn’t work out can frustrate us, but at the very least, we learned what not to do next time.  Lived experiences can often be better than anything we can pick up in a class room.

On the other hand, talking a big game about what we are going to do produces nothing but hot air.  Action is what gets results, how many people have we encountered are on the precipice of some get rich quick scheme that never actually materializes, that euphemism “they talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk” comes to mind.  

We can also apply this with God’s Word.  We can certainly talk about the importance of Christian living, and while doing so, point out the sinful ways of others, but are we actually practicing what God’s Word tells us to do?  Are we just hearers of God’s Word, as in we know what it means, but not actually doers?  

A good opportunity for some introspective here that tells us to act, not just talk or go through the motions of sitting in church, letting Bible verses wash over us while we watch the clock waiting for service to end, but actually hear, act on ultimately obey God’s Word.  

July 13, 2022

Proverbs 13:6 – Avoiding Trouble Through Obedience

Important wisdom in the Proverbs that shows us how living a Godly life keeps us out of trouble:  

Pro 13:6  Righteousness guards the one whose way is blameless, But wickedness subverts the sinner.

Being righteous, or obedient to God’s Word, keeps us out of trouble.  

As the text says, it *guards* us, and there is no shortage of trouble in this world to get into, but if we do what God tells us, which He does in the Bible, the revelation of Himself to us, we avoid  many of the pitfalls of life….Stealing, cheating, lying, committing adultery, these are all tempting sins for us to fall into, but Proverbs says when we live a life that is pleasing to God, we don’t have to worry about going to jail, getting slammed with divorce papers or the litany of other bad things that can happen to us here on earth when we backslide in sin.  

The other half of the text says; wickedness subverts the sinner – the sinners wicked ways will catch up to them at one point or another, some sinners face a reckoning in this life and end up in prison or broken marriages, others face God’s wrath on the other side of this short life, and that side has no end.  

The choice is clear, live a life that is pleasing to God, and confess Jesus as Lord, and repent (stop sinning),  None of us are perfect, but Christ is perfect and is the Perfect Sacrifice, which takes away the debt that our sinful ways have piled up.  

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