Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Wisdom and the Babbling Buffoon

The wise in heart will receive commands,
But a prating fool will fall.
Proverbs 10:8

I love the phrase “prating fool”.  Sadly because it so frequently describes me.  The idea is of a fool who is babbling.  In some areas of the country we might call this the fellow who is “running his mouth”. This is fascinating as our culture seems to value one who talks over the one who remains silent.  He book of proverbs has so much to say about wise speech and about controlled speech  and even about silence, but the reality that running the spigot doesn't

 Change the nature of what is coming out of the well.  Wisdom listens and seeks to understand, foolishness babbles without even having understanding as a distant goal.  As we could rightly expect, both choices have their natural consequences.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What Legacy to Leave?

The memory of the righteous is blessed,
But the name of the wicked will rot.
Proverbs 10:7

I recently visited my alma mater to find a new portion of a structure that was named for one of my favorite professors.  It is so pleasing to see those lives well spent memorialized by some fitting gesture or dedication.  While we may never have a building named after us, we certainly leave a legacy.  Every person will leave a legacy and a name behind that will be remembered by someone for something.  Will the legacy that we leave behind be a godly and positive legacy in the lives of others, or will our memory be washed away in a matter of moments after our physical death.  The way to have a valuable legacy is quite simple: to invest in eternal things.  Our chief legacy is not what we do but who we are.  What my children and grandchildren, friends and neighbors will most remember is whether or not I have loved them with the powerful and perfect love of Jesus Christ.  Did I know Him and make Him known.  The time we spend growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The time we spend in the Bible, in prayer, in fellowship with others, these are the things that determine who we are and what our legacy will be.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Power of Diligence

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

Poverty can be caused by any number of reasons.  Unexpected events, sickness, even political upheaval can cause financial ruin and hardship.  It would be totally false to suggest that poverty is always caused by laziness.  However, it would be equally false to say that poverty is never caused by sloth.  Again, the proverbs are not guarantees, they are observations about how God designed the world to operate.  God made the world such that diligence in work brings a profitable and positive return.  The Lord may yet allow poverty to strike any one of us, but let it be a result of His greater plan to work in and though our lives as we fill up the sufferings of Christ and not because of our sinful unwillingness to redeem the time that has been given to us by His amazing grace.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Good Investments

Treasures of the wickedness profit nothing,
But righteousness delivers from death.
The LORD will not allow the righteous soul to famish,
But He casts away the desire of the wicked.
Proverbs 10:2-3

In the film The Money Pit a young couple buys their dream house, knowing that it has “a little work” to do.  Over the course of the film they find that there was much more wrong with the house than they could ever have anticipated and they are going to be bankrupted by what they thought was their best investment.  So it is with the gains made through wickedness.  They may seem to be advantageous.  A person may even go to their grave having never seen their fortunes turn.  Though we may amass great wealth apart from God that wealth will never satisfy.  A person can quite easily pour their life into the accrual of earthly goods and have lost everything in the process.  The only wise choice available to us is to place our investments of time, energy, and finance into things that are eternal: our relationship with God and in our relationships with others.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Two Invitations

Wisdom has built her house,
She has hewn out her seven pillars;
She has slaughtered her meat,
She has mixed her wine,
She has sent out her maidens,
She cries out from the highest places of the city,
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
Proverbs 9:1-4a

It is not unusual for us to have to make a choice.  Two party invitations on the same night means that a decision must be made.  How do we make this choice?  Perhaps we make a pro and con list.  We may evaluate the company at each party, the possible social obligations represented within them, and we may even evaluate the risks of attending one party over the other.  Proverbs 9 presents just such a situation.  Having described the ways of wisdom and folly in various ways the choice is placed upon the reader.  Which place will you go and abide?  Both have sent out their invitation, both have prepared their table and both have made their promises.  Which invitation will we choose to receive favorably?  This choice is presented to every single person.  Will we humbly choose the wisdom of God – accepting His perfect provision in Jesus Christ?  Or will we choose to seek our own fleshly desires and selfish satisfaction?  Each table is freely open to us and each hostess beckons us in…but choose carefully because each table has consequences that will permanently affect our lives.