Proverbs 29:1-14 – Be Righteous!

Read Proverbs 29:1-14

When you hear the word “righteous” what images go through your mind? Do you picture someone acting “holier than Thou” lording over everyone with hypocrisy? Or do you picture an upright, holy person, wanting to please God in everything they say and do? We have probably observed both types of individuals, each claiming to be righteous. To be truly righteous, we must be holy and in tune to God’s plan for us. We are righteous when we are connected to God and our desires are to please him and do his work in the world.

There are several verses in this passage that speak to how a righteous person acts. In verse 6, “Evil people are trapped by sin, but the righteous escape, shouting for joy.” In verse 7, “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”

Continue reading “Proverbs 29:1-14 – Be Righteous!”

Proverbs 14:21-35 – Bless the Poor

Read Proverbs 14:21-35

There are so many good messages in today’s reading. We should fear the Lord, be understanding, do good, be godly and with it comes great benefit. But what about the poor? Is anybody looking out for them? I am bombarded with requests from poor souls in developing countries to help them, send food, send money, help them escape poverty. I wish I could help every single one.

But in reality, I’d run out of money to support myself if I were to take on the task of helping everyone who asks me. What I can offer is prayer. I can pray for the mission organizations that we do support with funding. They know the best ways to help the most people. Just throwing dollars at those who beg will only be a short-term solution and not solve the bigger problem. My mission dollars will go a long way in the right hands. Yet my heart still cries out for those poor souls who are seeking my help.

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Luke 6:20-26 – Just Wait

Read Luke 6:20-26

In this passage we are given hope and a warning, or word of caution. Nobody wants to have sorrow or misfortune, so the second part of today’s reading can be a bit frightening. The first half, however, is very uplifting.

What defines poor and what defines rich in this case? Continue reading “Luke 6:20-26 – Just Wait”

James 5:1-6 – Are You Rich?

Read James 5:1-6

Are you rich? Depending on the definition of rich, I could answer that both yes and no. Compared to the majority of the world, living in poverty in developing nations, I am rich. Compared to those living in penthouses, gated communities, owning their own yachts and jets, I am poor.

The “things” of earth will pass away in the end. My treasure is in the hope of heaven.

I get the impression from this passage that the writer was not rich. This is a warning to those who have plenty that they be careful not to allow their possessions to take control. These same possessions will not last forever and will rot away. We should not be relying on these “things” for our happiness.

The warning seems to also speak to actions. Not every rich person is selfish or malicious. Many wealthy people are very wise with their money and giving to the poor and needy. This warning is not for them. There is an assumption here that with wealth comes abusiveness. As people make money, they become ruthless, wanting more and more, and at what expense of others. Do others get trampled or used in the process?

It is not sinful to be wealthy. What is sinful is how we use our wealth and our attitudes about money. One of the most talked about topics in the Bible is…money. I’ve heard differing opinions, 800 times, 2000 verses. I’ve found an interesting article about it. You can read it here.

Suffice it to say, money is not evil, it is how we think about it. We should NEVER worship it or put it before God. We should always trust God for provision. God’s economy works differently than ours, but it is the one we can trust. We’re not all destined to live in luxury. That’s okay. Whatever our station in life, we need to be grateful and work on multiplying the love in our hearts.

When money is plentiful, we need to be wise stewards in how we save and spend. This behavior honors God. A selfish heart will not be rewarded in heaven. A grateful heart reminds us that God is the Giver of all good gifts. We were never intended to be fully self-sufficient in this life. A grateful heart reminds us that ultimately God is our Provider, that all blessings and gifts are graciously given to us by His hand.

Let’s pray. Father forgive me for my selfish desires that only benefit me. I trust you in everything, especially the provision of my daily needs. With the wealth you have blessed me with, may I in turn bless others. I long to be more giving to those in need. May I never have an entitlement attitude or one that looks down on others. People do struggle with their finances, and pray for opportunities to help those people find the right solution. Bless our business, Lord, so that we can provide a source of hope, founded on you, to those in need. In Jesus’ name. Amen.