I am so glad you could join us today on our search for God’s wisdom. I just wanted to open with a praise report. My wife had to work today (on a Sunday, that’s a shame) and I was a bit run down from moving a bunch of furniture yesterday and having my parents in from out of town.
I had the choice to drive the 30-45 minutes over to church to go by myself or to stay home. I was actually planning on staying home when I felt God prompting my spirit with, “If you stay home because she isn’t going with you, then who is your commitment truly to?”
I listened to God on this one and went to church. Wouldn’t you know that the message was from the beattitudes in the book of Matthew:
Mat 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
You can listen to the message in a few days (probably Tues or Wed by clicking on the Seacoast Church, Charleston SC link and then find the link for “This week’s message”. The first part of the sermon was about where our true commitment lies.
I have a tendency to be pretty hard on myself. Personal accountability is necessary sometimes but it can go way too far into beating yourself up and meditating on the lies of the devil instead of the promises of God. This first part of the message served as a confirmation from God, saying “See Matt, you are on the right path. You made the right choice in this. Now I have one more step you need to take.”
God had been dealing with me about a particular area of sin that I was extremely uncomfortable with in my life. The Lord then used the speaker from the second half of the message to deal with me about it. While my story and the speaker’s were quite different, the message was the same. Isolation allows problems to fester and multiply. It is only when we bring it out into the light (in a protected setting) that we can allow God to truly work on the problem.
I spoke about this earlier, but I am definitely looking for a men’s group to meet with after Cleansing Stream is over. At first my intentions were primarily for fellowship in a Christian businessman setting. Now I am looking for much more – accountability partners. I strongly encourage all men and women to find a same-sex group of Christians where you may truly discuss your ordeals in a confidential setting.
God created us to be in constant union with him and to be in fellowship with other believers.
Christian Wisdom from Proverbs, Chapter 28
Pro 28:1 The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.
Pro 28:2 When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but with a man of understanding and knowledge, its stability will long continue.
Pro 28:3 A poor man who oppresses the poor is a beating rain that leaves no food.
Pro 28:4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive against them.
Pro 28:5 Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.
Pro 28:6 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
Pro 28:7 The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding, but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
Pro 28:8 Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.
Pro 28:9 If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.
Pro 28:10 Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit, but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.
Pro 28:11 A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.
Pro 28:12 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory, but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.
Pro 28:13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
Pro 28:14 Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
Pro 28:15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
Pro 28:16 A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor, but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
Pro 28:17 If one is burdened with the blood of another, he will be a fugitive until death; let no one help him.
Pro 28:18 Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.
Pro 28:19 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
Pro 28:20 A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.
Pro 28:21 To show partiality is not good, but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong.
Pro 28:22 A stingy man hastens after wealth and does not know that poverty will come upon him.
Pro 28:23 Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with his tongue.
Pro 28:24 Whoever robs his father or his mother and says, “That is no transgression,” is a companion to a man who destroys.
Pro 28:25 A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the LORD will be enriched.
Pro 28:26 Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
Pro 28:27 Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.
Pro 28:28 When the wicked rise, people hide themselves, but when they perish, the righteous increase.
Notes regarding Christian Wisdom from Proverbs, Chapter 26
There are quite a few references about money within this Chapter. Take special note where our God-given responsibilities lie.
26) This verse brings up a very important point about Christian Wisdom. We are not striving to fill our minds with wisdom so we will know what to do in every situation. We are striving to recongnize God’s voice so we can follow his path for our lives.
“Isn’t that the same?”
Not really. If we trust in God’s mind we are ensured victory, whereas if we trust in our mind we are ensured defeat. We will always let ourselves down, whereas God always exceeds our most optimistic expectations. Reading the book of Proverbs lets us hear God’s voice through his Word so we recognize him in the future. Satan is pretty tricky, but he will not imitate God perfectly. Knowing God’s pure will allows us to quickly refute anything else that may try to pass itself off as the truth.
1) I’m familiar with this one. I can only imagine how much time I have spent covering my behind when doing something that is wrong. No one was even aware of my actions or plans, but I was scheming and plotting to avoid detection.
2) How is the leadership at your company? If it changes with extreme frequency this may mean more than just a series of bad hires in the top positions. What is the leader expected to do? What type of people are being hired? Who is hiring the top positions & who are the key influencers?
8) The Jewish people were supposed to lend money to other Jews who were in need without charging interest
Exo 22:25 “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him.
Of course mankind did not keep this code. I know this still exists in the United States, and I imagine it happens everywhere else as well. The Lord says that violators are storing the wealth up for the righteous, so if you are one that preys on the poor in businesses designed to increase poverty – watch out!
13) Something to note – remember this mercy happens over time. Do not be turned off to honesty if people originally take offense at your confessions. They are people, too. Have faith in the Lord and draw closer to him. He will show us the steps to take to bring healing into situations where trust has been broken.
22, 24, 25, 27) Why do we get so uncomfortable when the message at church turns to our contributions to the Lord’s work? Many claim that it is because of crooked preachers that have damaged their trust. While that may be true for some, I firmly believe that the crooked preacher meme is purely a convenient excuse for selfishness and fear. We fear that God really does not care about our finances. We listen to Satan’s lies that God wants everybody to be poor and happy – constantly persecuted but always under pressure to be perfect for the name of the Lord.
The book of Proverbs shows us how far that is from the truth. There are tons of verses that directly say that we will be blessed abundantly as we seek God; our storehouses will be filled to overflowing. With those blessings come great responsibility, though. Just as God will not allow us to be tempted more than we are able, nor will he give us tremendous blessings before we are able to handle them.
14) Fear of the Lord… A reverential awe and respect. We should always have this. We have been encouraged in recent days to speak to God with more familiarity – like he is a trusted friend. This is good, because God is friend to man, and has been since the Old Testament. I encourage you though to set some boundaries in the relationship. We are not equal to God. We should give all glory and praise to the Lord for the marvelous things he creates and works throughout the world.
A closing tip – I cut myself off from watching the news some time back because of my propensity to get too worked up over daily events. I still scan the headlines on Google News to make sure I am not missing anything very important. I also constantly read about current events through industry publications (just so you don’t think I am trying to recommend any withdraw from society).
If we have difficulty sleeping or have problems with strife in your life, try figuring out areas that bring unnecessary stress and arguments (even if they are in our own head). I cut out the news, but it may include other things such as who we associate with, or other programs we watch on TV. I know people who watch crime-oriented programming all day and wonder why they are so paranoid.
At some point the Lord may heal our emotions to be able to return to these things. Hopefully when I watch the news in the future with my children, we will pray for each situation. That turns negatives into positives and reinforces what God tells us; we do have input into the goings-on in this world. Although God’s will is supreme, he allows us some lattitude to be able to participate in the process.
More Wisdom coming tomorrow
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We’ll see you tomorrow as we wind down to the last few days of “30 Days of Wisdom”
Have a blessed day!