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Archive for the ‘Proverbs’ Category

Do not wear yourself out to get rich;

do not trust your own cleverness.

– Proverbs 23:4 (NIV)

Riches are fleeting.

If you don’t believe me, just look at how this preceding verse is followed up.

Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,

for they will surely sprout wings

and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

-Proverbs 23:5 (NIV)

The very money that you worked yourself into an early grave to obtain can “sprout wings” and “fly off.” That doesn’t sound like a solid and prudent investment of anyone’s time and other resources like energy and thought.  It sounds like a waste.  In fact, the Scriptures are not saying that wealth is a waste.  The words relate to the effort that other versions and translations of the Bible consider to be an effort to “overwork.” It gives a connotation and warning not to overwork to become rich.

The Book of Proverbs advises a different approach in chapter 13;  “. . . but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.”

Ask yourself which way you are going about obtaining wealth and riches.

Are you doing yourself a favor by gathering it “little by little?” Or, are you doing yourself a disservice by seeking to “overwork” to get there?

At the end of the day, the choice is yours.  You can work yourself into a frenzy and have little to show for it except for a bunch of stress and agony to go along with an ulcer or panic attacks of anxiety.  You can also see all of what you have saved to go away right out of your own hands and into the hands of another.

 A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.     – Ecclesiastes 6:2 (NKJV)

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In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty. -Proverbs 14:23

Are you benefiting from all of your labor?

Do you see others who are blessed based on what you have done?

You may be a blessing to others beyond yourself due to all that you put into your pursuits.   It may be that God wants to use you and your hard work to serve as a blessing to other people, too.

Don’t just talk about what you may want to do.  Get busy doing what you can do.  Make moves that get you closer to making a living by doing what you love to do.

Talk is cheap as they say.  Biblically speaking, talk is worthless.  Do what you need to do to position yourself for a profitable life for you and others.

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In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty. -Proverbs 14:23

Are you benefiting from all of your labor?

Do you see others who are blessed based on what you have done?

You may be a blessing to others beyond yourself due to all that you put into your pursuits.   It may be that God wants to use you and your hard work to serve as a blessing to other people, too.

Don’t just talk about what you may want to do.  Get busy doing what you can do.  Make moves that get you closer to making a living by doing what you love to do.

Talk is cheap as they say.  Biblically speaking, talk is worthless.  Do what you need to do to position yourself for a profitable life for you and others.

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Keep Count in 2012

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? – Luke 14:28 (KJV)

In 2012, you had better keep count of some things.  You should keep count and keep track throughout the year. Look back at how God answered prayers and provided for you thus far, holding on with hope for Him to continue to grant you such blessings of grace and mercy in 2012.

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Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. – Proverbs 15:22 (NIV)

Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. – Proverbs 11:14 (KJV)

Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. – Romans 14:1 (NIV)

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. – Romans 15:1 (NIV)

People are in need.  People need comfort.  People need counsel.  People stand in desperate need of shared words of both comfort and counsel.

Incident #1:

A family finds itself victims of random burglary and ends up behind in bills and other matters.  The wife attends church, but the husband doesn’t come any longer.  They are split on approaching the church for help.

What do you think that they are in need of from other believers? Counsel? Comforting words?

Incident #2:

A parent discovers that her only child has shown signs of mental illness.  She is a woman of faith and a prayer warrior.  However, she seems to be at the end of her rope with the school administration pressuring her to have her daughter tested and the other parent both absent and not involved at all.

What is this woman in need of from her brothers and sisters in Christ? Counsel? Comfort?

We can go about things the wrong way.  We can make assumptions due to unmet expectations and all sorts of other junk that we put into things.  We need to be able to offer counsel to one another.  We need to be able to offer words of comfort to one another, too.

Let’s be honest and just keep it real.  We need to meet people at that point of their need.  If they are weak, let us build them up.  If they are out of line, let us bring them back into line.  Let us do it in such a way that they are better off rather than beaten down.  Give them words of comfort.  Share words of wisdom.  Offer wise counsel.  Comfort those whose hearts are weighed down with worries and weariness.

  34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35 (NIV)

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Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. – Philippians 3:12 (NKJV)

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  – Philippians 3:14 (NKJV)

Many people fail to keep going.  Unlike Paul, they fail to press on towards clearly defined goals and objectives.  They miss the mark when it comes to getting things done.  They rarely get beyond the surface when it comes to accomplishment or achievement.  These people just do not get very far despite how much or how hard they try to get with their work.

For we walk by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)

Unfortunately, these people fail due to lack of faith.  When it comes to church, some tend focus on the visible rather than hidden mysteries of God.  Some cannot keep their eyes on the prize and simply walk by faith.  They lack the faith to stick to the path that will lead to the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  They want to see it, but they cannot reach it since it seems like a great deal of work.

They get distracted.  There is a detour or delay.  Somewhere along the way, they get distressed.  They simply lose their way.

They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; They found no city to dwell in. – Psalm 107:4 (NKJV)

The trouble is that many of us fail to hold on.  We fail when the going gets tough.  We fail when the road gets rough.  We fail to keep going in faith.  We fail to keep the faith.

We need to learn to trust God at all times.  We need to have the type of faith that fully relies upon God.  Without such faith, we fail.

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You. – Psalm 9:10 (NKJV)

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. – Psalm 56:3 (NKJV)

Trust the Lord.  Trust the Lord to take you all of the way.

Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. – Psalm 37:3 (NKJV)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding – Proverbs 3:5 (NKJV)

Trusting God does not mean that you just leave things with God and walk away.  Give it to God in faith.  You let God have rule over the matter, while you remain connected to what God has given to you as divine directives.

You have to keep the faith.  You have to keep going.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.  – Psalm 20:7 (NKJV)

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Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 (NIV)

There is a vast difference between right and wrong actions.  If it applies to children, you can sure bet it applies to us as adults.  That is especially true when it comes down to the “work of the ministry” as well.

God wants us busy at work for the soul-saving and gospel-spreading calling He has bestowed upon us.  He doesn’t just want us busy.  He desires that we handle kingdom business as wise stewards of the King of Glory.  Our approach should not be come about what best fits into our calendar or life plan.  We need to see where we are best suited to truly “serve the Lord with gladness.” We need to serve where we can be found faithful, even if it is over the little things.

God doesn’t want us to go about as Bible-toting busybodiesLook at the words of Paul to his young pastoral protegé Timothy as he advises on how to handle such people (1 Tim. 5:13).  God wants us serving as a busy body of believers at work for His glory, not simply a bunch of busybody believers.

Let others see you at work for God.  Show your faith through your works.  Get busy doing the right things in the right way and at the right time.  Show the world and other Christians that there is a vast difference between right and wrong.

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“The chief purpose of prayer is that God be glorified in the answer.”
– R.A. Torrey

Assurance comes in God’s answers. We ask of the Lord and in the Lord’s name. The expectation is that we have faith in Him for the answers. We may be on edge or at our wit’s end. No matter what your situation may be, you need to see the Lord as the solution or at least the source of the solution. Otherwise, you may be apt to become tempted by sorcery and divination in the likes of zodiac signs and horoscopes.

Faith is not about fate. Grace isn’t a gamble. The Almighty has all of the answers.

God gives us answers through numerous ways. He offers us a solution to our situation. He divinely sets us apart from others by how He supplies us what we need, even when He offers us something that confirms what we’ve read in His Word. He is full of answers. After all, He created everything as the Creator.

Having trouble seeing where He is leading you? Not sure of His reasoning or rationale?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding – Proverbs 3:5

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With or Without God

In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.- Judges 17:6; 21:25

Which way will we go? Will we go with God or go out on our own? Which way will we go? Will we stick with God or strike out on our own pathways? Which way will we go?

 

The Bible speaks of instances where the children of Israel lost their way and lost sight of God as their source and supplier, the sustenance of their very existence. In fact, the Bible assesses and addresses such attitudes as foolishness (Proverbs 21:2; 30:12). The prophet Isaiah simply said: All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him (Isaiah 53:6, NASB). The tendency to go out our own rather than going on with God results in us living wayward lives that are out of the very will of God Almighty.

 

When we go out on our own, we go in our own strength. The blessing of God is not with us. We find ourselves operating in our own strength and essentially gaining no ground. We experience detours, delays, doubt, drought, and even disaster and destruction. We take shortcuts and end up stumbling, straying and even struggling.

 

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.- Psalm 23:1 (NIV)

 

Let God lead you. Position yourself as one led by the Good Shepherd (John 10:11, 14). Follow Him as one leading you to green pastures and still waters. Simply let Him lead you and follow in obedience.

 

Which way will we go?

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The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.
-Proverbs 15:2 (NIV)
The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life,
but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
-Proverbs 15:4 (NIV)

The Word provides a contrast between the wicked and the wise when it comes to conversation. Each conducts himself in a vastly different way. The wise and the wicked conduct themselves differently, especially when it comes to how they use their words. According to Proverbs 15, the conduct of the wise leads to one taking “the path of the upright” (verse 19).

  • You have to remain composed
  • You have to resist confrontation

Your conduct in conversation will reveal your character. You can turn people off or away by the way you speak to people. Think about how you say things to others. Even what you say can lose its message and meaning when you are not conscious of how you conduct yourself in conversation.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. – Psalm 19:14 (ESV)

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