Living right brings stability

Proverbs 12:3 says, “A man cannot be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted”.

This verse tells us that we need build our lives on righteousness or living right before God. It says we cannot truly establish a good life if we are doing it the wrong way.

Some people think that the means justify the ends. They will do anything to achieve their goals or to make money. They will sell drugs, steal, murder or rule with fear to get what they want.

Solomon (the one who wrote most of the Proverbs) tells us that their lives will not be established through their wickedness. In the end they will be found out and they will not stand on the day of  judgement.

Alternately, we see that someone who builds their lives on righteousness or right living cannot be uprooted. When the storms of pressures of life come their way, they are able to stand and are not crushed.

Let’s all purpose in our hearts today to build our lives on righteousness. Let’s all decide to follow God and keep His commands (Ecclesiastes 12:13) and build lives that cannot be uprooted.

God Bless,

Dave

Obtaining God’s favour

Proverbs 12:2 says, “A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but the LORD condemns a crafty man”.
Dictionary.com defines favour in a number of ways…

  1. something done or granted out of goodwill, rather than from justice or for remuneration; a kind act: to ask a favour.
  2. friendly or well-disposed regard; goodwill: to win the favor of the king.
  3. the state of being approved or held in regard: to be in favor at court; styles that are now in favour.
  4. excessive kindness or unfair partiality; preferential treatment: to treat some people with favor and others with neglect.
  5. a gift bestowed as a token of goodwill, kind regard, love, etc., as formerly upon a knight by his lady.

These definitions give us a good understanding of what favour is. It is about having a good standing with someone and receiving positive benefits as a result.

Today’s verse talks about having favour with God. How do we obtain it? The first part tells us that we obtain God’s favour by being a good person.

How does the Bible define a good person? Generally speaking it is someone who loves and is in relationship with God, a person who follows His decrees and someone who treats others well.

Compare this to a crafty person on Dictionary.com – “skillful in underhand or evil schemes; cunning; deceitful; sly”. When you read that definition you can see why the Lord condemns a crafty person.

So if you want favour with God, live your life in the way God intends. Love Him, follow His decrees and treat others well.

God Bless,

Dave

Receiving correction and discipline

I have decided to look at one verse per day from Proverbs chapter 12 for my private reflections over the next few weeks. As I work my way through them I will share some of these reflections here.

Today I looked at verse one of chapter 12. It says, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid”.

I believe one of the keys for our personal growth is the ability to receive advice or correction when we need it. If we want to learn and grow, we need to be open to the advice and correction from those around us.

Of course it depends who the correction comes from and how it is delivered. That is why it is important to have a core group of people around you whom you trust and you know that their advice/correction is for your absolute best.

How we receive correction and discipline says a lot about us as people. Like a stubborn horse refuses to be led by the bit in its mouth and goes it own way, we can have that same attitude and not listen to those around us.

All of us have to realise that we don’t know it all and we need the help of others at times. We were never meant to live this life alone and God has placed certain people in our lives for our own good. Giving correction is part of their role at times.

Let’s all purpose in our hearts to be open to the advice and correction from those around us whom we trust. Remember “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid”.

God Bless,

Dave

A kind word cheers him up

One of the great things I love about the Bible is that it prompts me and reminds me of certain things as I read it.

Today I read Proverbs 12:25. It says, “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up”. It is a short and simple verse, but it has a great reminder.

If someone is anxious about something or not feeling the best, a kind word can cheer them up. It is simple, practical advice that can make a difference to someone’s day!

How about you? Who can you cheer up today? Why not look around as you go about your day and see if someone needs a kind word. Let them know you appreciate them or something good they do. It might just make the world of difference.

God Bless,

Dave

Work, pay and enjoyment

I watched an interesting show on the ABC recently. It is called “The People Watchers”. It is a team of psychologists who set up different situations and observe people as they do them. Afterwards they reveal their experiment to the people and ask questions on how they felt.

In the recent episode they asked two groups of three people to pick up rubbish in a inner city park at lunchtime. Lots of people were sitting around eating their lunch while the people worked. The first group picked up rubbish for 30 minutes. They were paid nothing as they were asked as volunteers. The second group did the same job, but were paid 10 UK pounds to do it.

Afterwards they spoke to each group and the results were surprising. The volunteer group rated the work 8 or 9 on an enjoyment scale and said they felt they were helping the community by making the park nicer for visitors. The paid group rated the experience as a 1 0r 2 for enjoyment and would not do it again.

I found this an interesting experiment as the volunteers thought they were helping and giving back to society. While the paid group could only focus on what a horrible job it was and couldn’t wait to get out of there. It was the same job, but the way they viewed it was totally different!

As I write Colossians 3:23-24 comes to mind. It says, “ Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,  since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving”.

I believe this Scripture is the key to real enjoyment and satisfaction in our jobs (both paid and volunteer). When we have the attitude that all we do is for the Lord, then we will serve wholeheartedly and get a lot more satisfaction out of all we do…whether we see it as a “good” or “bad” at the time.

God Bless,

Dave

Faithfulness and judging

I was reading 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 this morning. It says…

1  So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God.
2  Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
3  I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.
4  My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.
5  Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

A few interesting things jumped out at me as I read…

1. Those who are trusted with sharing God’s message must be faithful.
2. That we shouldn’t be worried about being judged by man.
3. That even though my conscience may seem clear, it doesn’t mean I am innocent in God’s eyes.
4. That we shouldn’t judge before God’s appointed time – at Christ’s return.
5. That God will bring to light the true motives of our hearts and reward us accordingly.

It is a simple passage of five verses, but it has given me some food for thought and something to mull over.

God Bless,

Dave

What is Jesus doing now?

Someone recently asked the question “What is Jesus doing now?” We were talking about His return to heaven after He gave the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) to His followers.

Two things came to mind off the top of my head. I thought I would share them today.

1. He is interceding for us – Romans 8:34 tells us that Jesus is before the Father praying on our behalf. Like a lawyer pleads to the judge for his client, Jesus is pleading and praying for us before the Father. He is our heavenly representative!

2. He is preparing a place for us – John 14:1-3 says that Jesus is preparing a place for us. He tells us that there “are many rooms in His Father’s mansion” and that He is “coming back for us one”. He wants us to be where He is.

So what is Jesus doing now? He is praying for us and preparing the place we will spend eternity. That is great news…in fact I think that is awesome news!

God Bless,

Dave

What if John 3:16 were not true?

John 3:16 is one of the most famous Bible verses. It says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. Martin Luther said this verse was the Bible within the Bible.

However, just imagine for a moment if this verse was not true. Imagine what life would be like. Imagine how different things would be. It raises two interesting questions.

1. What if God did not love the world?

If God didn’t love the world there would be no hope. If God did not love and care for us we would be a giant rock floating through space. Our prayers would not be heard or answered. There would be nothing to live for or no purpose to life. If God did not love us first, the Bible tells us that we would no know what love is (1 John 4:19). After all God is the author of love.

2. What if God did not send His Son?

If God did not send Jesus we would have to work for our salvation and hope that we could become “right” with God through our own efforts. There are so many religions that use ritual and works to earn salvation, but God sent Jesus into this world to save us. He came to seek and save that which is lost (Luke 19:10). If God did not send Jesus, there would be no salvation or no eternal life, life would just end in death.

I am so glad John 3:16 true. God does love us and God did send His Son to save us. Knowing this truth changed my life forever. It can change your too. If you want to know more you can click here.

God Bless,

Dave