..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Friday, April 10, 2020

Proverbs 10:6-7

Proverbs 10:6-7 (KJV)  6 Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.
7 The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.

Proverbs 10:6-7 (NIV)  6 Blessings crown the head of the righteous,
but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.
7 The name of the righteous is used in blessings,
but the name of the wicked will rot.

Proverbs 10:6-7 (NLT)  6 The godly are showered with blessings;
the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.
7 We have happy memories of the godly,
but the name of a wicked person rots away.

The contrast is between the manifest blessedness of the righteous and the secret sinister proceedings of the evil. - Pulpit Commentary

Because the blessings are "upon the head of the just", everyone sees it. Blessings are showered openly over the heads of the righteous. It is not hidden, but seen by all who know them. Who are the "just" or "righteous"? Those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. We cannot be just and righteous on our own. It's impossible. It's why we needed a Savior. But Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to save us and He imparts His Righteousness upon us as we accept Him as our Savior. We are blessed with salvation and eternal security in Heaven with our God! We are blessed with the Word of God in the Bible. We are blessed to have the Holy Spirit living within us. We are blessed in so many ways in body, mind and spirit when we walk with God. Glory and honor and blessing be to His Name!

There Shall Be Showers Of Blessings
by Daniel Webster Whittle (1840-1901)

There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,

Sent from the Savior above.
Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need;
Mercy-drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.

There shall be showers of blessing—
Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain.

There shall be showers of blessing;
Send them upon us, O Lord!
Grant to us now a refreshing;
Come, and now honor Thy Word.

There shall be showers of blessing;
O that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing,
Now as to Jesus we call.

There shall be showers of blessing,
If we but trust and obey;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
If we let God have His way.

The good man's mouth is always open to teach, comfort, and correct others. His words direct others to Jesus. His words are of good advice, love and encouragement but the words of the wicked are different altogether.

The next part of the proverb is a little vague. There are different ways to take it: "the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions", "violence covereth the mouth of the wicked", or "violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked". It could mean:

  • Being conscious that his words would get him into trouble, he holds his tongue and hides his wicked plans and violent intentions. He conceals his violent intentions with silence.
  • Curses, filthy language and wicked plans pour out of the mouth of a wicked person, but God frustrates them and makes their words void, in essence, stopping it.
  • Becoming conscious that his mouth spews what is in his heart: hate, violence, wickedness and evil; he is shamed into silence in the presence of a righteous person.

There are those who are thinking evil, violent plans all the time. They are always hunting for the next victim to rob, rape, kidnap, torture and murder. They are secretive. They pretend to be someone else in public. They hold their hands over their mouths to keep from spilling the filth in their hearts. They don't want to go to jail. But God knows what is really in their heart. They can't hide from His searching gaze.

Maybe you know someone who talks evil all the time. They can't seem to say a single sentence without a curse word in it. They can't talk about anything but evil - violence, plans of theft, hate, illicit sex, drugs, alcohol, evil bragging. Some people can go through their whole day without a single wholesome word coming out of their mouth. In our culture today, they aren't even ashamed of the filth spewing out of their mouths any more. The worse their mouth is the prouder they are. No longer do people have the good manners to tone down their cursing in public.

And there are people who recognize their hearts are full of violence, wickedness and evil and it will come spilling out of their mouths. They are ashamed of themselves and don't want people to know the true state of their heart. They cover their mouths in shame.

"We have happy memories of the godly". Do you know of someone who is gone now but not forgotten? You have good memories of them? You speak highly of them? My parents were like that. I couldn't have asked for better parents and they were godly, loving parents too. Everyone who knew them would tell you there were good people. They will be remembered with love and fondness by their daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I pray their story would also be passed down in following generations by those of us who knew and loved with them. When their name is mentioned, good memories are associated with them and people are happy to claim them as their ancestor.

Do you know of someone who is better off forgotten? They were so evil, mean, spiteful, criminal that no one has a good word to say about them? They may pay someone to say nice things about them at the funeral but everyone knows the real story. Their death means one less evil person in the world. If their name is brought up, it's with distaste in the mouth, like eating something rotten. Bad memories are associated with their name.

Today, obituaries are usually just a list of names, dates, associations. Sometimes family will pay to put words of love in them. But obituaries are so expensive in the newspapers now. What was once a ministry to the community, is now the way they make money. We were told that a simple obituary for my parents to be put in the newspapers would be $700. And our obituaries weren't that extensive. I wanted my Mom's in Spartanburg and Greenville papers. I wanted my Dad's in Spartanburg and Albemarle papers for future genealogy purposes. But that was entirely too much money so we opted to just put their obituaries on the funeral home website and FindAGrave.com. What the newspapers did was very hurtful to my heart. But they aren't in it for the community any more. It's big business and they are losing the fight. I anticipate the local newspapers won't be around much longer.

Here is an obituary of one of my direct ancestors:
French Broad Baptist Association Minutes 1887
Elder William Reese was one of the ablest men in the Scriptures that the writer ever knew. Modest to a fault, he was strong only in his unblemished life and when in the pulpit. His sermons were made up of Bible quotations; these he piled one upon another till it seemed strange one had not seen it before. He passed to his rest mourned by all who knew him. He had lived poor, and dying, left only his spotless life and example of self-sacrifice as a legacy to his children.

What a lasting word about someone's life!

Notice on this tombstone that there is a finger pointing to Heaven, the words, "Asleep in Jesus". Their last action done in honor of their loved one was to testify, to anyone who saw their gravestone, that Jesus was their Lord and Savior and is the only way to salvation and eternal life in Heaven.

No more words could be sweeter said about someone's life!

  • Look back at Proverbs 10:6a. Read the 3 different translations and write down the 3 different ways the blessed people are described:___________________________.
  • Now write down the 3 ways these blessed people receive their blessings:______________________.
  • Can you think of examples of people who fulfill the 3 ways Proverbs 10:6b describe? Do you know of people like these? List them and journal why they match one of the 3 ways the wicked have their mouths closed.
  • Can you think of an example of someone who brings "happy memories" to mind because they were godly people? How would you write their obituary? If you could put anything on their tombstone, what would it be?
  • Can you think of an example of someone whose name rots? Why? Why are they better off forgotten? Why does their memory bring a bad taste to your mouth?
  • Now, it's time to turn the searchlight to your own life. Would you be a happy memory to your loved ones? Would you leave a godly legacy? Would people remember you with love? Do you leave a godly inheritance to your descendants? How would they write your obituary? What would they put on your gravestone? If it's not godly and not good things, you can change that by turning your life over to Jesus Christ right now. You can change your legacy by giving your heart to Jesus.

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Proverbs 10:4-5

Proverbs 10:4-5 (KJV) 4 He who has a slack hand becomes poor,
But the hand of the diligent makes rich.
5 He who gathers in summer is a wise son;
He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.

Proverbs 10:4-5 (NIV) 4 Lazy hands make for poverty,
but diligent hands bring wealth.
5 He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son,
but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

Proverbs 10:4-5 (CEV) 4 Laziness leads to poverty;
hard work makes you rich.
5 At harvest season
it's smart to work hard,
but stupid to sleep.

NAS Exhaustive Concordance
slack hands - rmiyah - laxness, slackness, idle, lazy man, negligent, deceitful

diligent - charuwts - sharp, diligent, threshing sledge

Proverbs 10:4 is comparing and contrasting someone who is a lazy, deceitful, worker and one who is diligent and honest.

"He who has a slack hand becomes poor" means someone who looks like they are taking care of business but are really lazy, slothful, lax, negligent. There is deceit involved because they present to themselves, and to others, that they are doing something needful and productive. But the reality is they aren't. I think of those employees who punch in to work but do as little as they can get by with. They are "on the job" but doing little work. They showed up but aren't really there. They make a show of it and do enough just to get by.

Then there are those who make big promises but are really con artists and fraudulent. They are tricking you into thinking they are doing something. Ponzi schemes where they trick a person into investing in their "business" when there really is no business and they are merely trying to enrich themselves at your expense. There is no real work being done. It's merely an illusion, a sleight of hand.

Proverbs 6:6-11 (NIV)  6 Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.

According to this proverb, laziness produces poverty. You may think you are getting by with it, but people notice more than you realize. And God certainly knows what you are doing. If you aren't doing a quality job, He knows. If you are stealing time on the job, He knows. If you aren't giving a good day's work, He knows. If you are making money off the backs of others while you are doing nothing, He knows. When someone hires you and pays you, you are under contract to give them what they pay you for... a good day's work or accomplished project. God knows if you aren't fulfilling the contract. And when it comes time to evaluate employees, bosses know who was a good worker and who wasn't.

I have a friend who is one of the hardest working people I know. They go the extra mile to a fault! They work whatever hours the company requires and do a quality job of whatever they are tasked with. They are on the job on time, following the rules. They work well with others but there are always some who are slothful employees, pushing the boundaries at work. That makes more work for my friend because lazy employees don't do their job. But during this pandemic, the company is laying off people and guess who still has a job? My hardworking friend! Employees late coming in and early clocking out... employees that didn't accomplish their tasks and goals... employees who resisted being told what to do... employees who took smoking breaks, coffee breaks, bathroom breaks (beyond the normal)... employees who refused to do anything extra because it "wasn't their job"... employees who did sloppy work and didn't care about quality... employees who didn't work well with others and always causing drama... these are the employees the company is letting go.

"But the hand of the diligent makes rich" means those who are honest and work hard to produce quality will be rewarded.

Diligence - steady, earnest, and energetic effort; constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; the quality of working carefully and with a lot of effort; Steady application, constant effort, exertion; careful and persistent work or effort.

Poverty does not prepare but diligence involves extreme preparation. Poverty is reactive where diligence is proactive. "He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame".

If you owned a business, who would you hire? Would you pay an honest wage to someone who is lazy, deceitful, dishonest? You can't trust an employee like that. But you wouldn't mind paying an honest wage to someone who is industrious, hardworking, honest, diligent and trustworthy. I always told my nieces and nephews that you would have a greater chance at success if you are honest, hardworking and dependable. It's not a guarantee you will be financially rewarded for being honest, hardworking and dependable but you have a much better chance at it. And God WILL reward you one way or the other for being a diligent employee. The work of your hands will be blessed.

Let's say you are doing your very best to be a good employee in your company but for some reason they aren't rewarding you with higher pay or promotions. This does happen despite it being a pretty stupid thing to do. But, God sees you doing your best and He will reward you. Maybe your car will last without problems a lot longer than a normal car. Saving you money. Maybe you happen upon a sale and you are able to buy something much cheaper than normal. Saving you money. Maybe you don't get sick as often and don't have to go to the doctor, saving you money. Maybe you don't have high blood pressure that you have to buy medicine for... yep, "saving you money"!

We've been talking about real life here, good workers versus bad workers and the consequences of both. But let's go beyond our work life and look at our home life. Are we being good stewards of the blessings God has given us? Are we keeping our home clean? Are we raising our children right? Are we maintaining the car God gives us? Are we washing and carefully keeping the clothes God blessed us with? Are we taking care of the healthy body God has given us?

Or, are we neglecting the yard because we want to play video games? Are we not cleaning the house because we'd rather binge watch on Netflix? Are we not maintaining our car (washing it, changing the oil, taking it for repairs, getting new tires) because it's too much trouble? Are we throwing our clothes in the floor because it's too hard to put them in the drawers and closet? Are walking on our clothes because it's too hard to do laundry? Are we sitting our kids in front of the TV because we are too lazy to engage and help them and teach them? Do we send them off to daycare or to others too much because we don't want to take care of them ourselves? Are we neglecting to exercise, eat right, take our vitamins because it's too hard?

Would you want to give a big, new house with all the latest technology to someone who can't even keep their room clean? Would you give someone a brand new Chevrolet Suburban with all the latest gadgets to someone who trashes it, never washes it, doesn't even do routine maintenance on it? Would you give someone a whole new wardrobe when they would trash it by throwing it on the floor and walking over their clothes rather than washing, drying, and putting away? Would you give someone beautiful children if they were just going to ignore them and push them off on someone else? Would you give them a healthy body if they were going to deliberately damage it and waste it away?

We spend our time wishing we had this, that or the other but we are too lazy to take care of what we have! (This is not to condemn someone who CAN'T take care of something because they are elderly, handicapped, disabled, or don't have the skills. I'm talking about someone who has the ability but just won't use it.)

Thank God, God is not a you or me! Or none of us would have anything! We are all guilty of taking the blessings that God has given us for granted. God forgive me for taking Your blessings for granted and for any laziness on my part.

Now let's look at the spiritual side to this proverb. There are those in this world that like to moan, bitch, complain and whine about God and Christianity. But they will do absolutely diddly-squat to study and learn in order to know what they are talking about.

"If there really was a God, then why do bad things happen."
"Religion is just a way to control the masses."
"The Bible contradicts itself."
“Why would a good God send people to hell?”

They like to throw questions like this out to excuse their unbelief. As if no one has ever asked these questions before and they're are so smart to come up with them! Sorry, but if you were to actually put some work and effort into studying the Bible, God and Christian beliefs, you would find some of your questions have answers. But people are generally too lazy to read, research, ask questions, sit under teaching. So they use those for excuses.

Then there are Christians who are true believers in Jesus Christ. But they have gotten lazy in their spiritual growth. We probably all have at one time or another. We get busy with other things and we tend to push God further and further back into the background of our lives.

It takes determination, effort, self-discipline, and... you got it!... DILIGENCE to pursue God. Now, on a job, we may or may not get rewarded for diligence and hard work. At home, we may or may not get immediate gratification for a job well done. (God sees and always rewards us one way or another, but you know what I mean.) But there is one place in our lives that always, 100% guaranteed, gets rich rewards for determination, effort, self-discipline and diligence and that is spiritually.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

When we make God our focus and value Him as our most precious element in life, we will pursue and seek Him with effort and diligence. And we are richly rewarded far beyond what we can comprehend!!!!

We have opportunities every day to grow in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We have opportunities every day to learn more about God, to read His Word, to serve others, to be obedient and productive for the kingdom of God. You may ask, "What opportunities are you talking about?"

When you wake up in the morning, you have been given time on this earth. That's an opportunity!
If you can get out of bed and move. That's an opportunity!
When you eat breakfast and have your coffee, God has given this to strengthen your body. That's an opportunity!
If you have an hour... That's an opportunity!
If you own a Bible then God has blessed you with His. Very. Own. Words! That's an opportunity!
If you have a television and can get Christian programs... That's an opportunity!
If you have a laptop and an internet connection... That's an opportunity!

You see, we have all kinds of opportunities in our day to spend time with God, learn from God, worship God, serve God. Those are opportunities. But too often we waste those opportunities. God gives us another day and we spend it on everything else BUT God. God gives us a moving, healthy body and we waste it doing anything but for God's service. God gives us food and drink to keep up our strength and we take it for granted and waste it on fueling us for a job, a jog, time laying on the couch watching TV. God gives us a Bible but we let it sit on a dusty shelf, never opening it. God gives us a television and laptop but instead of using it to research and learn about God, we use it to watch cartoons, soap operas and sleazy prime time fluff. Or we use our laptop to cruise Facebook, peruse Pinterest, play games or watch videos.

There may be nothing wrong with watching TV, sleeping in late, taking a solitary jog, going to work, checking Facebook, etc. What I'm saying is God has given us opportunities to pursue Him in our day and we would rather do anything BUT seek Him. We take Him for granted and don't work hard and diligently in order to get to know Him and grow spiritually.

Jesus was followed by a huge crowd because He was healing the sick and doing miracles. When they became hungry, Jesus took 5 loaves and 2 fishes and miraculously divided it in order to feed the 5,000. They were all full. When Jesus left, they followed Him. Why? Because He was doing things for them... healing the sick, doing miracles, providing them with food. But here is what Jesus said to them:

John 6:26-27 26 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. 27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”

2 Peter 1:5-10 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

Hebrews 6:10-12 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Matthew 6:19-21 19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

  • Look back at the definition of "slack hands" and think of an example of someone who fits that description. It could be someone close or a celebrity, anyone that comes to your mind. Journal about how that person fits that description.
  • Take an honest inventory of your life. Are there areas where you have had "slack hands"? It's a good time to repent and ask God to help you do better.
  • Now look at the definition of "diligent". Why do you think this word could also reference a threshing sledge? Journal about what "diligent" means to you and how a threshing sledge is appropriate.
  • Can you think of an example of someone who has NOT been rewarded on the job for hard work, honesty and diligence? (It may be you, a co-worker, someone you know.) How do you feel about it? Did you ever think about how God can reward you in other ways? Can you think of rewards God has blessed this hardworker with, aside from the ungrateful company?
  • Have you taken God's blessings in your life for granted? Have you been a good steward of what God has blessed you with? Why or why not?
  • Have you put forth effort, work and diligence in order to pursue God? Sometimes we do and sometimes we get lazy about it. Do you need to re-prioritize right now? Do you need to make some effort? Do you need a little self discipline in order to force yourself to take time for God? Let me be the first to congratulate you because you have a desire to do it. But it's not always easy. There is a reason for that. But it's so worth the effort! Ask God right now to help motivate you, to help you see the opportunities, to give you a hunger and thirst for Him and to bless your efforts to pursue Him.

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Proverbs 10:3

Proverbs 10:3 (KJV) The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.

Proverbs 10:3 (NIV) The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.

Proverbs 10:3 (NLT) The LORD will not let the godly go hungry,
but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked.

Supporting Scripture:
Psalm 34:9-10 Fear the LORD, you His saints, for those who fear Him lack nothing. Young lions go lacking and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Psalm 37:25 I once was young and now am old, yet never have I seen the righteous abandoned or their children begging for bread.

Matthew 6:31-34 (Jesus speaking)  31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

"The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish", or "to perish by famine": not but that good men may be afflicted with it, as Jacob and his sons were, when the famine was in Egypt and in other lands; and as the apostles, particularly the Apostle Paul, were often in hunger and thirst, yet not so as to be destroyed by it; for in "famine" the Lord redeems such from death; though the young lions lack and suffer hunger, they that fear the Lord shall not want any good thing; at least whatever they may suffer this way does not arise from the wrath of God, nor does it nor can it separate from the love of God and Christ, Job 5:20. Moreover, the souls of such shall not be famished for want of spiritual food; shall not have a famine of the word and ordinances; their souls shall be fed, as with marrow and fatness, with the finest of the wheat, and with honey out of the rock: the church, though in the wilderness, is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, Revelation 12:14 - Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Psalm 107:1-9 (NLT)  1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
2 Has the LORD redeemed you? Then speak out!
Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
3 For he has gathered the exiles from many lands,
from east and west,
from north and south.
4 Some wandered in the wilderness,
lost and homeless.
5 Hungry and thirsty,
they nearly died.
6 “LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he rescued them from their distress.
7 He led them straight to safety,
to a city where they could live.
8 Let them praise the LORD for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
9 For he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.

God promises to make provision for us. What we need, and when we need it, will be provided unless there is a higher purpose going on that God alone knows about. For instance, when Jacob and his family were in Canaan and there was a famine, they experienced lack. Enough for them to be forced to go to Egypt for supplies. They might never have gone to Egypt but for that reason and God had a plan and purposes to fulfill for them in Egypt. He had prophesied to Abraham that his descendents would go to Egypt and be there 400 years until the inhabitants of Canaan had been given every opportunity to turn to God. Once that time of opportunity for the Canaanites was over, then God would use Moses to lead the descendants of Jacob (later re-named to Israel, thus the children of Israel) out of Egypt and back to the Promised Land where they would defeat the Canaanites. God had been planning this all along and He had maneuvered Joseph, the son of Jacob, into position in Egypt to provide for Jacob, his family and servants during the famine. But they had to first be desperate enough to go to Egypt. So God allowed them to suffer lack in order to push them to Egypt. God had a big, huge plan all along and their temporary hunger was what pushed them to be where God wanted them to be. Once in Egypt, Jacob and his family were well provisioned by Joseph who had been warned in a dream of what would happen and whom Pharaoh had commissioned to be in charge of the famine efforts.

There were times with the Apostles went hungry. That doesn't mean God didn't care about them or was not able to provide for them. God certainly knew their needs but He had His own reasons and it would be worth it. I guarantee if you asked the Apostle Paul, in Heaven, what he thought about those times when he was hungry or experienced pain, "Was it worth it?", he would now give a resounding, "YES!! Praise be to God and glory to His Name!"

God is most concerned with our spirits. We may be more concerned with our bodies and with material things but God is ever working for what is best for our spirit to grow. And the only true satisfaction we will find for mind, body and spirit is to be found in God! At the root of our dissatisfaction is a never-ending thirst that nothing in this world can satisfy. We try to fill that hole with all kinds of things in this world but it will never satisfy. Only God will satisfy us.

John 6:27 (Jesus speaking) "But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”
...32 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”
35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty...
47 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. 48 Yes, I am the bread of life! 49 Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. 50 Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.”

Psalm 63:1-5 (NLT)  1 O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Psalm 73:25–26  25  Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26  My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Another thing to ponder on is how God is fully able to provide for all our needs and desires. He is a God who owns everything. It is all His! The stars in the heavens down to the last grain of dirt is His. He created it. He knows where every nugget of gold is, every vein of precious stone, every valuable mineral... there is nothing hidden from Him because He created it. We have lists of the world's richest men/women? God is alone on the list of the Richest. Because He actually created and owns everything. The rest of us are given use of His possessions. So who do you think God takes care of first? His Children or strangers who reject Him? There is no lack with God and Christians are His Children!

Philippians 4:19 And my God will fully supply your every need according to his glorious riches in the Messiah Jesus.

Psalm 50:10-12  10  For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
11  I know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
12  “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and its fullness are mine.

Acts 17:24-25  24 “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25 and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need.

Why aren't Christians rich then? Because God knows each of His Children and He knows what each of us needs and what we don't need. If we were all rich, we might think we didn't need God at all. Or money would turn us into selfish, greedy people so it's better we don't have too much money. God knows if money or riches would turn us into corrupt people and ruin our spirits. What I'm trying to say is, each of us are unique and we learn in different ways and there are different agendas, schedules, goals, and tailored lesson plans that God has to use so that we grow spiritually according to our unique ways. God knows this person needs this and that person needs something entirely different. A parent knows each child is different and needs different approaches in order to learn. One child might learn if they are sent to the corner to think about what they did. But that might be totally ineffective to another child. The other child may need a swat on the behind to learn the lesson. And a third child might need to learn the hard way with some consequences. We must come to the conclusion that God created us; He knows what is best for us; and, we can trust His love for us. So we take what God gives us and thank Him because He is doing what is best for us.

1 Timothy 6:9 (ESV) But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

Luke 12:15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

That's not an easy conclusion for humans to accept. We want to be in control and we don't want problems. Sunny days, baskets of puppies and stacks of gold. But we don't grow spiritually by trying to take control away from God and doing our own thing. In fact, we lose ground spiritually when we do that. We all struggle with it, so you are not alone. It helps to realize the struggle. And it's a daily struggle. To submit our will to His Will is a struggle. But we can do it. Did I say it was a struggle? LOL!

Something else to think about is the difference between "necessities" and "luxuries". Too many times we think of things as "necessities" when they are really "luxuries". When my parents got married, they didn't have a TV. In fact, there were years I remember when we didn't have a TV as little girls. When I was 18 and newly married, I only had a 9" black and white TV with 3 channels. I had bought it with my little earnings when I was about 14 yrs old. So it was already 4 yrs old when we got married. That was our only TV for 1 1/2 years of marriage. Then I really splurged and bought a 19" black and white TV for Stan for Christmas. We finally were able to move up to a color TV, multiple TVs, satellite, flat screens, sound bars. Today, young people think they each need a color TV with cable or satellite, DVRs, remote controls, sound bars, blah, blah. What was a luxury for my parents is commonplace now. What was a luxury for my husband and I is commonplace now. But that doesn't mean having a large, flat screen, color TV with cable/satellite is a "necessity". It's not. You won't die if you don't have it. I know, I didn't have it when I was younger and I didn't die from it. I could die if I don't have food to eat, or shelter during bad weather, or clothes for warmth, or medicine. Those are necessities. But not having a TV won't kill me. I might be miserable for awhile until I figure out other things to occupy my time. But I won't suffer and die without it. In America we are fairly spoiled with all the technology we have become accustomed to. Beware of riches that lead to the ruin of the soul.

Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Mark 10:17-25  17 As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. 19 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’”
20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”
21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” 24 This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard to enter the Kingdom of God. 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

When we put God first in our lives and see Him as our only treasure, all the other things will fall into place! "Seek ye first the kingdom of God" means we see God as our treasure, more precious than anything this world has to offer. We desire Him. We look for Him. We seek Him. We want Him above anything on this earth!!! Then all these things will be added to us.

But this proverb has something to say about those who only look for satisfaction in worldly things. Nothing in this world will ever satisfy. People have a craving, a longing and they think people or stuff will fulfill that craving. Because they are looking to other things, instead of God, they will never be satisfied.

God frustrates the eager longing (for food or other good things) of the wicked; they are never satisfied, and get no real enjoyment out of what they crave. - Pulpit Commentary

"Casteth away" ... - Better, overturns, disappoints the strong desire of the wicked... they never get the enjoyment they thirst after. - Barnes Notes on the Bible

The people you look to for happiness and fulfillment cannot do it. They are not God. It's an unrealistic expectation to believe they will satisfy your need.

The things you think will satisfy you and bring you happiness and joy cannot do it. They are not God. Things will decay, rot, burn up, become obsolete, mold and mildew. They cannot satisfy and it's unrealistic to think they will.

A new job, more education, different circumstances, self-help, better health, drugs... none of these things can satisfy. They may bring you some happiness for a short time but then it's gone, leaving the craving even bigger than before. They are not God. To think they can fulfill you and supply your need is unrealistic.

God wants you and He wants you to be solely His Child. No idols, no other gods before Him. He created you. He loves you. He provided a way for you to be saved. He has given you everything you need to be who you were made to be. In our rebellion we are always looking to something else to fulfill us so we don't have to have God. So God sometimes allows us to find out the hard way that nothing else gives you satisfaction and eternal life. He frustrates your attempts to get it from something else other than Him. He won't leave you happy and ignorant of eternal damnation. He will keep letting you get frustrated until you finally turn to Him and are saved through Jesus Christ. Eternally safe and secure in Jesus! Thank God for His love that leads us to salvation through Jesus!

Romans 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Lee Is A 911 Dispatcher

Our nephew, Lee, got his dream job of being a dispatcher in the Highway Patrol several years ago. After 2 years with the state Highway Patrol, he got a job as a 911 Dispatcher here in our town. No more traveling everyday to Greenville. He had to have more training to be able to handle multiple first responders, not just Highway Patrol. He had to learn how to do Fire, Paramedic, Police, etc. He did the training and did so well. We are so proud of him. He has been Christ's voice in so many situations. Sometimes he's the last voice someone hears on this earth. Sometimes he's calming those who are hysterical, afraid, injured, grieving. During this COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, he's had to take all kinds of calls from the little old lady who lives alone and is scared, to a sharp uprise in domestic disputes and violence and those who are calling for an ambulance due to not being able to breath because of the virus. I don't know they do it but we owe our first responders, including dispatchers, a great debt. We are so proud of him.

Being a first responder, they have to be very careful about photos so I don't get any photos of him at work or of the building and his co-workers. So he took an upclose selfie for me. The other photos I had to find online from who knows what sources (I googled for images). Then I used his Facebook announcement that he had finished his training and was officially certified. But this is the digital scrapbook page I did for him to document it.


Blaire is our grand niece, sister of Reagan, daughter of Katie, granddaughter of Kathi, and this digital scrapbook page shows her riding in her little electric car she got for Christmas.

Reagan This Spring

One of our great nieces, Reagan,  this Spring. This first digital scrapbook page was a quickpage I found but it was perfect for the Father/Daughter dance photos.

Here she was in her elementary school Fun Run to raise funds. This her digital scrapbook page and one of the photos shows her walking with her little sister, Blaire, hand in hand.

In this digital scrapbook page, she had won the Kiwani's Terrific Kids certificate at school.

Now their school is closed for the COVID-19 coronavirus quarantine. Stan's sister, Kathi, and her husband, Eddie, had helped Katie and Dustin (their daughter and her husband) by letting them move in with them after they sold their house. They are in the middle of building their new house when all this hit so they are quarantined with Kathi and Eddie. But they haven't let that stop them from having good times. They just stay in their own yard. This digital scrapbook page is of a backyard picnic they enjoyed.

This digital scrapbook page is of Reagan riding in her little battery car that she got for Christmas in their large driveway.

New Chicken House

Our nephew, Luke, and his son worked on building a new chicken house last weekend. He used wood he had leftover from previous projects and went to the farm and got some wood from my Dad's Shop. My Dad, his grandfather and Will's great grandfather, had saved wood back when he was younger. He would pick up scrap wood from trees cut down back when he was the City Engineer. He would take it to the sawmill and had it cut into boards. When he built his house on the farm, he built his house with that wood he had gathered. When it came to the finish parts like wall paneling and floors, he took it to Greenville somewhere and had it finished and tongue and grooved. He had stacks leftover that he dry-stacked in the shop and it's been there all those years (about 40 years). So Luke went and got some to help finish his new chicken house. He also found tin roof that Dad had found and saved from somewhere. So he got the roof on.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Proverbs 10:2

Proverbs 10:2 (KJV) Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.

Proverbs 10:2 (NIV)  Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value,
but righteousness delivers from death.

Proverbs 10:2 (CEV)  What you gain by doing evil won't help you at all.
Obeying God is the only way to be saved from death.

Our verse today begins by saying anything gained by wickedness will have no value in the Grand Picture! But it doesn't necessarily only refer to wealth. Anything gained by wickedness will not be rewarded and blessed by God. Evil deeds and actions, whether they are monetarily profitable or not, have consequences that affect our lives here on earth and can have eternal consequences.

In Micah 6:9-15, it says "Fear the Lord if you are wise! His voice calls to everyone in Jerusalem" Micah is talking of godly wisdom. Wisdom that comes from God begins and ends with God. We have learned that the Father is wisdom. The Son is wisdom, The Holy Spirit is wisdom. Godly wisdom is found only in God. It is His Wisdom in all creation. We also know that the beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord. That means a reverent awe of God. We have to see and accept Him in order to respect and revere Him. In Micah, God appeals to the wise, those who fear Him. But then He begins to talk to those who reject Him:

Micah 6:9-15 (NLT)  9 Fear the LORD if you are wise!
His voice calls to everyone in Jerusalem:
“The armies of destruction are coming;
the LORD is sending them.
10 What shall I say about the homes of the wicked
filled with treasures gained by cheating?
What about the disgusting practice
of measuring out grain with dishonest measures?
11 How can I tolerate your merchants
who use dishonest scales and weights?
12 The rich among you have become wealthy
through extortion and violence.
Your citizens are so used to lying
that their tongues can no longer tell the truth.
13 “Therefore, I will wound you!
I will bring you to ruin for all your sins.
14 You will eat but never have enough.
Your hunger pangs and emptiness will remain.
And though you try to save your money,
it will come to nothing in the end.
You will save a little,
but I will give it to those who conquer you.
15 You will plant crops
but not harvest them.
You will press your olives
but not get enough oil to anoint yourselves.
You will trample the grapes
but get no juice to make your wine.

How does He describe those who turn their backs on God and reject godly wisdom?
  • Cheaters
  • Dishonest
  • Thieves
  • Extortionists
  • Violent
  • Liars

What are the results?
  • Armies of destruction are coming
  • They will be wounded
  • Ruined
  • Their lusts and needs are never satisfied
  • Any money saved will be lost and given to others
  • No gain from their work
  • No profit from their investment and work

Wickedness may seem to profit for awhile. But it is an illusion. They will be losers one way or the other.

Here are famous billionaires who have gone broke or declared bankruptcy:

The former billionaire Vijay Mallya was a prominent liquor tycoon known for his extravagant partying and high-flying lifestyle.  According to Business Standard, the businessman is accused of "bank fraud and money laundering charges amounting to an estimated Rs 90 billion," approximately $1.3 billion.

Once considered to be the richest man in Ireland, Quinn lost a majority of his $2.8 billion fortune. He was charged with contempt of court for attempting to hide his property assets from the bank in an effort to avoid paying back his debts.

Bernard "Bernie" Madoff holds the infamous title of leader of the largest Ponzi scheme in US history. Before the scandal, he and his wife had a personal net worth between $823 million and $826 million. Madoff conned his list of investors out of a whopping $65 billion. He was tried by the Department of Justice for 11 counts of fraud, money laundering, perjury, and theft. Now he's broke and serving a life sentence.

Elizabeth Holmes was once a Silicon Valley star on the rise with a net worth of $5 billion. Her blood-testing company, Theranos, was valued at $9 billion. The company promised to revolutionize the way patients are tested and treated for various diseases and illnesses. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) then performed an inspection of the company. In 2016, CMS concluded Theranos' testing might pose a safety risk to patients. Holmes and her ex-partner Sunny Balwani have been charged with wire fraud by the Department of Justice.

Once Brazil's richest man, with a net worth of $30 billion, Eike Batista lost a majority of his wealth when his oil company, OGX, went bankrupt in 2013. As authorities began investigating Brazil's top companies and why they had declined so quickly, they charged Batista with money laundering and corruption in January 2017. In July 2018, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for bribing former Rio de Janeiro Gov. Sergio Cabral.

The leader of the second-biggest investor-fraud case in US history, Allen Stanford is notorious for his shady business dealings and for conning more than 18,000 customers out of their money. Many of Stanford's victims were retirees who were promised "safe investments," making this case of investor fraud even more nefarious. Stanford was convicted on 13 felony counts in 2012 and is serving a 110-year sentence at a high-security prison in Florida.

Psalm 49 (NLT)  1 Listen to this, all you people!
Pay attention, everyone in the world!
2 High and low,
rich and poor—listen!
3 For my words are wise,
and my thoughts are filled with insight.
4 I listen carefully to many proverbs
and solve riddles with inspiration from a harp.
5 Why should I fear when trouble comes,
when enemies surround me?
6 They trust in their wealth
and boast of great riches.
7 Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death
by paying a ransom to God.
8 Redemption does not come so easily,
for no one can ever pay enough
9 to live forever
and never see the grave.
10 Those who are wise must finally die,
just like the foolish and senseless,
leaving all their wealth behind.
11 The grave is their eternal home,
where they will stay forever.
They may name their estates after themselves,
12 but their fame will not last.
They will die, just like animals.
13 This is the fate of fools,
though they are remembered as being wise.

14 Like sheep, they are led to the grave,
where death will be their shepherd.
In the morning the godly will rule over them.
Their bodies will rot in the grave,
far from their grand estates.
15 But as for me, God will redeem my life.
He will snatch me from the power of the grave.

16 So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich
and their homes become ever more splendid.
17 For when they die, they take nothing with them.
Their wealth will not follow them into the grave.
18 In this life they consider themselves fortunate
and are applauded for their success.
19 But they will die like all before them
and never again see the light of day.
20 People who boast of their wealth don’t understand;
they will die, just like animals.

Matthew 16:26 (Jesus speaking) "For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?"

Judas’s pleasure at thirty pieces of silver did not last long, as he committed suicide (Acts 1:18-19). Achan’s family suffered the day he stole some of Jericho’s riches (Joshua 7:19-26). Gehazi could not use the money he got from stealing to buy a cure for leprosy (2 Kings 5:20-27). Ananias and Sapphira held back some money by deceit and they couldn't take it with them (Acts 5:1-11).

Luke 12:4-10,13-34 (NLT, Jesus speaking)  4 “Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. 5 But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, He’s the one to fear.
6 “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. 7 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
8 “I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels. 9 But anyone who denies me here on earth will be denied before God’s angels. 10 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven"...
13 Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” 15 Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”
16 Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’
21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”
22 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?
27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.
32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be."

In this verse today it says, "righteousness delivers from death".

The Hebrew word translated "righteousness" has a much wider meaning than the English word "righteousness". A "righteous" man, in Hebrew, is one who "renders to all their due," both God and man.

"To his fellow-men his 'justice' will show itself in liberality (Psalm 37:21), mercy (Proverbs 12:10), carefulness of speech (Proverbs 15:28), truthfulness (Proverbs 13:5), and wisdom (Proverbs 9:9). He is considerate to animals also (Proverbs 12:10)." - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

"Righteousness (Proverbs 14:34); not simply justice and moral goodness, but more especially liberality, benevolence." - Pulpit Commentary

It means a man of God who has holiness of heart and life and one who produces the fruits of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law..

Always remember that fruit is developed naturally on the tree. There has to be a tree with roots deep in the soil. The soil has to be fertilized and watered and the tree pruned. Then the fruit will develop. God is the Master Gardener. He has planted us in His Family through Jesus Christ. If we are in relationship with Him; speaking to Him in prayer; worshiping; studying His Word and trying to obey what He teaches us... then fruit will naturally result and begin to develop. This does not mean a person is sinless, holy and perfect. It means that they are in right relationship with God because of the work that Jesus Christ did on the cross. Through Him we are saved. Then God puts the Holy Spirit within us to empower, teach and train us. That's the Master Gardener working on us, his olive trees. If we are cooperating, then we should be growing spiritually and begin to exhibit fruits of the Holy Spirit. When we sin, we can repent and Jesus' blood on the cross covers our sins, past, present and future. God knew we could not be perfect and provided for that. Praise God! But a righteous man means someone who is saved through Jesus Christ who clothes us with His righteousness. And it means a man who is walking in right relationship with God, a current, loving, worshiping relationship with their Father God. And it means the fruit of the Holy Spirit's work in our lives is showing by being generous, loving, kind, etc.

There are Christians who have stunted their growth in the spirit. In fact, it's probably safe to say, all Christians have some stunted growth in our history. We don't always exhibit the fruits of the Holy Spirit. That's because we aren't cooperating with our Master Gardener and our growth has been stunted. The Master Gardener is there caring for His Family. He has provided all we need to grow and produce fruit. But, for various reasons, we push Him away or we neglect Him or take Him for granted and we quit spending time with Him and His Word. This can stunt our growth and our fruit (or lack thereof) shows it. God has to prune us back when we get too wild and wooly and we aren't producing fruit.

Matthew 6:20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

1 Timothy 6:18-19  18 Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, and to be generous and ready to share, 19 treasuring up for themselves a firm foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

2 Corinthians 9:6-12 (NLT)  6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say,
“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”
10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.
11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.

Does this verse promise we will never die? Not exactly. Our bodies will eventually die. But God promises we will have eternal life through Jesus Christ. Our "righteousness" is but filthy rags.

Isaiah 64:6 We are all infected and impure with sin.
When we display our righteous deeds,
they are nothing but filthy rags.

Romans 3:10-11;23-25a  10 As the Scriptures say,
“No one is righteous—
not even one.
11 No one is truly wise;
no one is seeking God...
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.

How are we made righteous? By accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. His righteousness becomes our righteousness. And by His righteousness we are saved and have eternal life.

  • "What you gain by doing evil won't help you at all". We looked at examples of those who gained and lost it all because of their criminal ways of getting rich. Can you think of other ways people think they have gained something by cheating, dishonesty, deceit, lying, wicked deeds? How will it end for them?
  • Ponder and journal your thoughts on an issue that has come up in churches: What if someone in the church does something wicked where they gain monetarily and they try to donate to the church out of that gain? Is that OK? Is it blessed? Does it matter where the money comes from if it's used correctly by the church? What do motives have to do with whether or not the church accepts the money? If the church needs new pews, does it matter that the person who donates the amount for the new pew wants their name on a plaque on the pew (pride) or the motive is to "pay their way to heaven"? These are some very sticky issues churches and pastors have to face. I'm not judging or taking sides. I'm just prompting you to think about it and write your thoughts on the subject.
  • Another subject to meditate and journal on is how important is it for the church to be careful how they bring in funds or how they invest the church's money? For instance, another sticky subject would be how does God see churches who raise funds through gambling like having church Bingo parties and raffles, investing in the stock market? Can a church get away with some shady fundraisers to raise funds to be used in the church ministry? Should a church invest church money in shady ways (investing in mutual funds that include casinos, alcohol manufacturers, etc) to realize a profit that can be used in ministry?
  • How circumspect should Christians be in the way they make money? Can a Christian own a bar? Can a Christian work for a company that makes or sells liquor? Can a Christian own a business and abuse it's employees/investors/vendors or is staying just this side of the law in order to make a profit? Will God bless that? Can a Christian be a slumlord? Can a Christian invest their 401k in mutual funds that include businesses that would be legal but maybe unethical or not run according to God's standards?
  • God's Word is very current. In issues we all face, we can go back to God's Word. We must also pray about it and listen to the teaching of the Holy Spirit on God's Word. Once the Holy Spirit has made something in God's Word very clear to you, will you obey it? Even if it means changing jobs, investing your money in different ways, cleaning up your act?

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Proverbs 10:1

We are now about to begin the Proverbs. Let's begin by defining what a proverb is.

Proverbs - The purpose of a proverb is to present wisdom in a short, memorable format; a short well-known saying containing a wise thought; truths or words of wisdom; a quote which gives advice or tells you something about life; a brief, simple, and popular saying, or a phrase that gives advice and effectively embodies a commonplace truth based on practical experience or common sense;phrase expressing a basic truth which may be applied to common situations.

The Book of Proverbs in the Old Testament is a collection of wisdom. It is one of the "Wisdom Books" of the Old Testament: Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (Song of Solomon), and Job. Here is a general outline of the Book of Proverbs. We've already been through chapters 1-9 which are the "Call to pursue wisdom" chapters.

Outline of Proverbs (Willmington's Bible Handbook Outlines)
WORDS OF THE WISE (22:17-24:34)

Topics in Proverbs (Barry, J. D., Grigoni, M. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software)

Prov 12:16; 14:17; 14:29; 15:1; 15:18; 16:32; 19:3; 19:11; 19:19; 20:2; 21:14; 22:24–25; 29:22
Prov 10:1; 13:1; 13:24; 14:26; 15:20; 17:6; 17:21; 17:25; 19:13; 19:18; 19:26; 20:11; 20:20; 22:6; 22:15; 23:13–14; 23:22–25; 28:7; 28:24; 29:15; 29:17
Prov 13:25; 14:30; 16:8; 19:23; 23:4–5; 25:16; 30:15–16
Prov 24:10–12; 25:26; 28:1
Prov 6:1–5; 17:18; 20:16; 22:7; 22:26–27; 27:13
Prov 6:16–19; 10:18; 11:1; 12:17; 12:19; 12:22; 13:5; 14:5; 14:25; 16:28; 16:30; 17:7; 17:20; 19:5; 19:9; 19:22; 20:10; 20:14; 20:17; 20:23; 21:6; 21:28; 24:28–29; 25:14; 25:18; 26:18–19; 26:23–28; 29:12; 30:8
Prov 3:31–32; 12:12; 14:30; 23:17–18; 24:1–2; 24:19–20
Prov 1: 32–33; 9:13–18; 11:29; 12:15; 12:23; 13:16; 14:1; 14:7; 14:8; 14:16; 14:18; 14:24; 14:29; 15:2; 15:5; 15:14; 15:21; 17:10; 17:12; 18:2; 18:13; 20:3; 24:8–9; 26:4; 26:5; 26:11; 27:22; 28:26; 29:9; 29:11
Prov 13:20; 14:20; 16:28; 17:9; 17:17; 18:24; 19:4; 19:6; 19:7; 20:6; 20:19; 22:24–25; 27:6; 27:9; 27:10; 27:17
Prov 11:24; 11:25; 14:21; 14:31; 19:6; 19:17; 21:25–26; 22:9; 25:21–22; 28:8; 28:27; 31:20
Prov 8:15–16; 14:28; 16:10; 16:12; 16:14; 16:15; 19:12; 20:2; 20:8; 20:26; 20:28; 21:1; 24:21–22; 25:1–7; 28:2; 28:12; 28:15; 28:16; 29:2; 29:4; 29:12; 29:14; 29:26; 31:4–9
Prov 1:10–19; 11:26; 12:12; 13:11; 15:27; 17:23; 20:21; 21:13; 21:25–26; 22:16; 22:28; 23:10–11; 27:20; 28:8; 28:20; 28:22; 28:25; 29:4; 30:15–16
Prov 4:24; 11:1; 12:17; 12:19; 14:5; 14:25; 16:11; 16:13; 24:26; 27:5; 28:13; 28:23
Prov 11:2; 12:9; 12:15; 13:13; 15:33; 16:19; 18:12; 22:4; 25:6–7; 25:27; 27:2; 29:23
Prov 1:19; 13:23; 15:27; 16:8; 17:15; 17:23; 18:5; 21:7; 22:8; 22:16; 24:23–25; 28:16; 28:21; 29:27
Prov 2:6–8; 11:1; 12:5; 16:10; 16:11; 19:28; 20:8; 21:3; 21:15; 22:22–23; 28:5; 29:4; 29:14; 29:26; 31:9
Prov 6:6–11; 10:4; 10:5; 10:26; 12:11; 12:24; 12:27; 13:4; 14:23; 15:19; 18:9; 19:15; 19:24; 20:4; 20:13; 21:25–26; 22:13; 24:30–34; 26:13; 26:14; 26:15; 26:16
Prov 5:15–19; 15:17; 18:22; 19:13; 21:9; 21:19; 27:15–16; 30:21–23; 31:10–11
Prov 3:28; 11:9; 11:12; 14:20; 14:21; 16:29; 21:10; 24:28–29; 25:8–10; 25:17; 25:18; 26:18–19; 27:14; 29:5
Prov 13:11; 14:29; 15:18; 16:32; 19:2; 19:11; 20:22; 20:25; 21:5; 25:15; 28:20; 29:20
Prov 6:10–11; 10:4; 10:15; 13:7; 13:8; 13:23; 14:20; 14:23; 14:31; 15:16; 16:8; 16:19; 17:5; 18:23; 19:1; 19:4; 19:7; 19:17; 20:13; 21:5; 21:13; 21:17; 22:2; 22:7; 22:16; 22:22–23; 23:10–11; 23:20–21; 28:3; 28:6; 28:19; 29:7
Prov 8:13; 11:2; 12:9; 12:15; 15:12; 15:25; 15:32; 16:5; 16:18; 16:19; 18:12; 21:4; 21:24; 25:27; 26:12; 26:16; 27:1; 29:1; 29:23; 30:11–14
Sexual Immorality
Prov 5:1–23; 6:20–7:27; 22:14; 23:26–28; 29:3
Prov 10:4; 10:15; 13:7; 13:8; 13:18; 14:20; 15:16; 16:8; 16:19; 18:23; 19:4; 22:2; 22:7; 28:6; 28:8; 28:11
Prov 6:6–11; 10:4; 10:5; 12:11; 12:14; 12:24; 12:27; 13:4; 14:23; 16:26; 18:9; 20:13; 21:5; 22:29; 23:4–5; 24:27; 24:30–34; 26:10; 28:19; 31:27

For your own study, I would suggest you make your own topics and add each proverb in the next 21 chapters into your own chart or list like the one above. The topics must make sense to you because it will be a list you would go to in order to find a specific proverb.

Now let's look at the first verse in Chapter 10.

Proverbs 10:1 (KJV) The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

Proverbs 10:1 (NIV) The proverbs of Solomon:
A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
brings joy - יְשַׂמַּח־ (yə·śam·maḥ-) - Verb - Piel - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8055: To brighten up, be, blithe, gleesome

but a foolish - כְּ֝סִ֗יל (kə·sîl) - Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3684: Stupid fellow, dullard, fool

grief - תּוּגַ֥ת (tū·ḡaṯ) - Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 8424: Depression, a grief

We have been learning in chapters 1-9 how wisdom in these books refers to godly wisdom. A "wise" child would be practising godly wisdom. He follows God, has a relationship with God. He knows God's Word and tries to live how God shows him to live. He is obedient to God. He puts God in first place in his life. He practises relationship with His Father God by prayer and meditation on God's Word. He is spiritually growing.

A parent is proud of a child who is in relationship with God and exhibits godly wisdom. We are naturally proud of our children when they graduate from college, get a good job, marry well, get a commendation, get a promotion, have their children. But these are worldly achievements. We should be proud of them and congratulate them. But what should bring the most joy to our hearts is their relationship with God. A child who has a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. A child who is baptized as a believer. A child who reads the Bible and is involved in Bible study. A child who knows how to pray and reaches out to pray for others. A child who tries to obey God. A child who is growing spiritually. A child who knows how to praise and worship his God! These achievements are of far more value! They have eternal value! They mean your child is saved, going to heaven and will have accumulated treasure in heaven. Your child may have been used to bring souls to salvation and there is great reward in heaven!

When I see one of our children in the family practicing kindness, generosity, love, prayer, worship, Bible study... my heart wants to burst and I'm so thankful to God I can't stand it. This is what is meant by this proverb.

But the terrible grief that is caused by a wayward child who has no relationship with God is unbearable to a parent. We aren't just talking about the grief caused by worldly concerns such as addiction, incarceration, sexual relationships, etc. But knowing that these are signs of, either not being saved, or of pushing God away in order to have worldly pleasures. Those behaviors and actions come from a place of coldness towards God. To a Christian parent, this would be their worst nightmare. They love their child and want their child to be saved through Jesus Christ and to be walking towards God, not running away from God. The child is not exhibiting godly wisdom. They are pushing godly wisdom away as though it were nothing of value. They may have been raised right but are now rebelling against their raising.

This brings great heartbreak, depression and fear to a Christian parent. They are constantly having to go to the Lord in prayer and trying to give their child into God's Hands. It's a real struggle to let go and let God. And it's so hard they probably are having to deal with the struggle daily. Trying to make right decisions, use godly wisdom; when to use tough love or to be merciful and forgiving, it is all wrapped up in dealing with a wayward child. It's heartrending.

Parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, great aunts and great uncles, cousins and siblings, are all affected by the wayward member of the family. Christian families will be on their knees praying and seeking God for that wayward member. They pray, they grieve, they try so hard to do what God would have them do. Sometimes it's almost co-dependent. You don't want to be co-dependent. That's the struggle. You want to be there for them but not have your life dependent on their behavior because when they do bad things, it destroys you and you had nothing to do with their choices. It's a very hard balance to have and to keep. It takes godly wisdom and that comes through prayer and God's Word.

  • How would you categorize this proverb?
  • Have you experienced the joys of a child who is following God? Journal about how that makes you feel.
  • Have you experienced the heartache of a child who is not following God? Journal about how that makes you feel.
  • Have you experienced the heartache for a long time? How are you dealing with it? What is your struggle like? Do you feel like you are in balance or out of control? The only balance will be found in God. And, being a fallible human being, you will go in and out of balance. But the only balance you will find is in God so keep going back to Him, daily. He loves you and He loves your child(ren).

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

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