Monday, January 23, 2017

Satisfied with Words

A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of His mouth,
And the recompense of a man’s hands will be rendered to him.
Proverbs 12:14

The New Age Movement has made a great deal of the idea of “Creative Visualization”, sometimes this is put forward as “The Laws of Attraction”, but the idea is about the same.  The idea of thinking about something and then constantly placing it before you allows you to shape your own reality is a sort of hocus pocus take on a simple concept that God has already put into place.

Once we put the mystical and magical aside we see that the concept of reaping what we sow is very clear in Scripture and is clear in our daily lives.  The words a person speaks absolutely dictates much of the flow of the life they will live.  People whose speech is offensive, mean spirited, or abusive find themselves lonely – because who wants to be around that non-sense?  The person whose speech is negative, self-pitying and defensive will also find himself alone and dissatisfied with their lives.  A person whose speech is honest, uplifting and kind will be satisfied by the words of their mouths.  This is not some strange new-age law of the universe – it is simple cause and effect!

The Peak of God's Creation

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who causes shame is like rottenness to the bones.
Proverbs 12:4

Modern American culture is having some real issues understanding ideas like gender identity and an even greater problem in dealing with the Biblical concept of marriage.  It is important that we realize two important things. First, that both gender and marriage are God’s creations (seen in Genesis 1-2).  Second, that men and women are created in an equal standing before God to serve and honor one another.  The first fact reminds us that we cannot change the rules of God’s world without disastrous effects.  The second fact reminds us that our differences serve a vital purpose in our calling and place in this world.

Once this is understood the relationship between the sexes can finally flower.  The husband values and glories in the wonderful gift of his wife.  This is made even more plain in Proverbs 31, but the reality is that a wife has the power to bring success or destruction to her household.  To build up her household, or to destroy the household.  All of this potential greatness placed in the pinnacle of God’s amazing creative work – the woman.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Really Rich

The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.
Proverbs 11:25

There is a decided trend in Scripture that simply cannot be denied: generosity has great results.  This proverb is by no means a promise that every generous person will become financially wealthy – that is not the nature of the proverbs.  It is an observation that those who are generous tend to see the good results of their kind-hearted generosity.  Generosity comes in many forms.  Monetary generosity is the most commonly considered – but there is so much more to be said on the topic.  It can be far more difficult to find a person who is generous with their time.  Even among those who are generous with their time even fewer have a truly generous and caring spirit that is attentive to the spiritual and emotional needs of others.  Investment in these areas brings real riches.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Knee-Jerk Emnity

He who is devoid of wisdom despises His neighbor,
But a man of understanding holds his peace.
Proverbs 11:12

It is easy to segment out our intellect from our emotions.  Yet godly wisdom is not simply a cold set of good moves on a two-dimensional game board.  Walking in godly wisdom effects the whole person, as does a lack thereof.  A lack of godly wisdom – that is a lack of understanding of Who God is and who we are in relationship to Him and to others – brings us to a place of hating even those who are closest to us.  It brings us to the point of building large walls of enmity between those for whom we are meant to be the most loving.  Wisdom is characterized here by the picture of a man holding his tongue, not giving vent to the knee-jerk reaction of the negative feelings and malevolent thoughts towards others.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Currency of Real Righteousness

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
But righteousness delivers from death.
Proverbs 11:4

Money is constantly equated with power.  With money one can buy many fabulous and exciting things.  Yet the abilities of money reach definite and distinct limits.  Money can buy entertainment and fun, but not contentment and joy.  Money can provide decided legal and social advantage here on Earth, but not before the One who will judge the Earth.  The currency with the Lord deals in is not our dirty little slips of paper – but righteousness.  This brings us to the ultimate and dire need of every human alive.  We do not have the righteousness which we need to stand before the perfect and almighty judge.  This is the righteousness which God has provided for any who would place their faith in Jesus Christ.  It is HIS righteousness – given to us by the person and work of His Son– by which we may stand before Him. There is no other righteousness, nor any other amount of riches, nor any amount of influence or power that provide peace with the righteous God of Heaven and Earth.