Saturday In The Proverbs—Knowing True & False Riches (Proverbs 22)

[Each chapter in the Book of Proverbs contains thoughts that fit into a theme; they are not just random thoughts gathered together. In this “Saturday In The Proverbs” series, I will share a theme that I see in each chapter. But the cool thing about God’s Word is that you may see an entirely different theme. That’s great! If you do, I would love for you to share it in the comments below.]

…riches… (Proverbs 22:1, 4, 16).

There are earthly riches and there are heavenly riches. There are temporary gains and there is eternal wealth. This Proverb helps direct us to true riches that last forever. 

Good character and a good reputation are better than money (v. 1)

God alone decides what is truly valuable (v. 2)

Prudence helps you avoid bankruptcy (v. 3)

Humbly fearing God is the path to eternal wealth (v. 4)

A perverse pursuit of wealth is a hard and painful path (v. 5)

Better godly children than gobs of money (vv. 6, 15)

Debt enslaves (v. 7)

Cutting corners to make a buck will come back to bite you (v. 8)

Generosity leads to more blessings (v. 9)

Don’t pay attention to those who scoff at God’s ways (vv. 10, 24, 25)

A grace-filled, pure lifestyle will get you noticed and rewarded (v. 11)

God rewards those who do things His way (vv. 12, 17-21)

A good work ethic brings rewards (vv. 13, 29)

Immoral pursuits end in a deep pit (v. 14)

Don’t treat people differently because of their ‘net worth’ (vv. 16, 22, 23; see also James 2:2-4)

Be careful to whom you make financial  commitments (vv. 26, 27)

Don’t encroach on others’ space (v. 28) 

Saturday In The Psalms—Blessings For The Obedient

Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments (Psalm 112:1).

For the one who loves God and wants to obey Him, check out these blessings—

  • blessed, powerful descendants
  • blessing the current generation
  • taking care of his household
  • keeping his righteousness intact
  • giving him light in dark times
  • multiplying his graciousness, compassion, and righteousness
  • blessing him to be a blessing to others
  • giving him discretion
  • a solid, unshakable foundation
  • a legacy to pass on to his children
  • no fear of evil
  • steadfastness
  • more than enough to share with others in need
  • exalted on earth and in heaven

Bring it on!

10 Quotes From “Jesus’ Terrible Financial Advice”

I loved the financial insights that John Thornton presented in Jesus’ Terrible Financial Advice. The advice is “terrible” in that it flies in the face of conventional financial wisdom and puts it in the proper biblical light. Check out my full review of this book by clicking here.

“As God waits patiently to receive our all, wonder, and appreciation for all He is and does, an idol steps in to accept our applause. Like an insidious illusionist, the idol misdirects our attention to itself. … What does an idol do? Nothing. That’s all an idol can do. Nothing. Nothing but steal God’s glory.”

“Jesus is not trying to impoverish us when He tells us to store up treasures in heaven.”

“Here is where some people mistakenly make it about the money. They wrongly conclude that rich people can’t make it to heaven, but poor people can. This is a grave error. In truth, no one can enter the kingdom of heaven, rich or poor, without God.”

“If we are seeking heaven because our life here is so good that we don’t want it to end, or simply because we don’t want to go to hell, we’ve missed the point. We’ve made the same mistake this young man made [Mark 10]. So doing what Jesus always did, He redirected the young man to the right thing. The greatest good. He redirected the young man to God. Jesus clarifies that no one is good but God Himself. … What makes eternal life good isn’t the length. It’s the company. God Himself is what is good about heaven [John 17:3].”

“Regardless of how much of a blessing of wealth has the potential to be, it becomes a curse for us when it separates us from the love of God.”

“Don’t wrongfully conclude that rich people can’t make it, but poor people can. Or that poor people are godly, but rich people are not. If we do this, we miss the point entirely. We think that Jesus is just calling out rich people. We think He is talking about people’s financial position, when He’s really talking about our heart condition. … At the end of the day, answer to the question ‘Does Jesus want you rich or poor?’ is obvious. The answer is yes! Jesus wants you. And the answer is all about God’s goodness, not ours.”

“The number one theme related to wealth in the Bible is that it is a blessing from God.” 

“Whenever we conclude that the plans we have for our lives are better than the plans God has for us, or that the gifts we have for ourselves are better than His gifts, the false master Money steps up. Money promises to put us in charge. With it, we can smooth the way or save the day. Don’t worry. Be happy. But God has a better plan for our lives. We were made to live for so much more. And He is more. God wants us to understand and know Him, His ‘kindness, justice and righteousness,’ for in these He delights (Jeremiah 9:24). God’s plan is to complete us.”

“Wealth becomes a curse for us when we choose it over God.” 

“In a society where we have taken independence, individual freedom, and self-love to cult status, submission is taboo. We want to be our own master. Money offers us what we want, so we love it or fear it, trading in the true God for a false one. But Jesus shows us we have it all wrong. He shows us that submission to His Father is the only way to be truly free. Free to live life to the full. The only way to live a life that matters is to find our sole purpose in Him.”

Thursdays With Oswald—Extravagant Christians

Oswald ChambersThis is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Extravagant Christians

      Our reason for giving is not to be because men deserve it, but because Christ tells us to give. All through the Old and New Testaments the counsel is on the line of hospitality. As long as we have something to give, we must give. … The true nature of devotion to Jesus Christ must be extravagance. … 

      We have deified economy, placed insurance and economy on the throne, consequently we will do nothing on the line of adventure or extravagance. To use the word “economy” in connection with God is to belittle and misunderstand Him. Where is the economy of God in His sunsets and sunrises, in the grass and flowers and trees? God has made a superabounding number of things that are of no use to anyone. … 

      When a man is rightly related to God he has to see that he enjoys his own life and that others do too.

From Shade Of His Hand

What controls your hospitality and generosity? Is it economy, or an extravagant overflow?

How much God has blessed us with that we should be lavishly giving to others! If we’re not, perhaps Common Sense is on the throne of our hearts instead of our All-Gracious God.

Just something to think about…

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading & watching from today…

“The nearer our souls draw to God the larger our love will grow, and the greater our love the more unselfish we shall become and the greater our care for the souls of others. Hence increased spiritual experience, so far as it is genuine, brings with it a strong desire that others may know the same grace that we ourselves enjoy. This leads quite naturally to an increased effort to lead others to a closer and more satisfying fellowship with God.” —A.W. Tozer

[VIDEO] What a good sport! Assembly of God General Superintendent Dr. George O. Wood is “interviewed” by comedian Michael Jr.

“There is in the life and teachings of Jesus a relentless tendency toward simplicity. There is a steady impulse toward living at risk, and with a kind of abandon to the Father’s care that looks foolish to the well-off world. There is an unsettling otherworldliness that made Jesus and His first followers radically useful in this dead-end world. There is a freedom from things and for the Kingdom that thrills the heart of His disciples. Lord, give us this freedom.” —John Piper 

“Jesus asks you not to lead; He Himself has gone before; He calls you to no labor which He has not Himself already accomplished. … I know the proud flesh wants to serve Christ, by striking out new paths. Proud man has a desire to preach new doctrine, to set up a new Church, to be an original thinker, to judge, and consider, and do anything but obey. This is no service to Christ. He that would serve Christ must follow Him; he must be content to tread only in the old footsteps, and go only where Christ has led the way.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Preserve, then, my sons, that friendship ye have begun with your brethren, for nothing in the world is more beautiful than that. It is indeed a comfort in this life to have one to whom thou canst open thy heart, with whom thou canst share confidences, and to whom thou canst entrust the secrets of thy heart. It is a comfort to have a trusty man by thy side, who will rejoice with thee in prosperity, sympathize in troubles, encourage in persecution.” —Ambrose

Don’t be deceived: Fifty Shades Of Gray is pornography! Here’s how to fight it.

[VIDEO] The Bible Project has these helpful, artistic videos that give you a big-picture-view of a book of the Bible. Check out what they have already done with Genesis.

Thursdays With Oswald—The Standard For Generosity

Oswald ChambersThis is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

The Standard For Generosity

     Not how much we give, but what we do not give, is the test of our Christianity. When we speak of giving we nearly always think only of money. Money is the life-blood of most of us. We have a remarkable trick—when we give money we don’t give sympathy; and when we give sympathy we don’t give money. … 

     If my heart is right with God, every human being is my neighbor. … We measure our generosity by the standards of men; Jesus says, “Measure your love for men by God’s love for them, and if you are My disciple, you will love your neighbor as I have loved you.”

From Conformed To His Image

Wow!

With that definition in mind I’m asking myself … How generous am I really?

11 Quotes From Nick Vujicic In “Stand Strong”

Stand StrongStand Strong is an invaluable resource for school-age students, their parents, and teachers and principals in our schools. Nick Vujicic uses his own life as an example of how to overcome bullies. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are some quotes from the author I highlighted in this book.

“If someone hurt you, then become the person who reaches out to others who are hurting. If you were not treated with compassion, then change that pattern by offering compassion to others. If no one stood up for you, then stand up for someone else.” 

“What happens in our lives isn’t about chance. It’s about choice. You and I may not be able to stop bullies and thoughtless people from saying and doing hurtful things, but we do have the ultimate power—the power to choose how we respond and how we live.”

“There is nothing wrong with wanting to fit in and be accepted, but there is something wrong with abandoning your values and beliefs to do it. … Try this instead: Be so comfortable with yourself that other people feel comfortable with you too. Create a life that makes you so joyful that they will want to share in your happiness.” 

“Being secure and comfortable in your identity, trusting that you have value, and having a strong sense of your purpose are important in every aspect of life. Those qualities also help make you less vulnerable to bullying. … If we let bullies drag us down with their cruelty and meanness, why can’t we pull ourselves back up by being friends to ourselves and building up our confidence and spirits when we need a boost? … So here’s my suggestion for a simple, easy-to-apply, no muss, no fuss first step to building your antibully 1.0 operating system. Be a friend to yourself. Forgive your mistakes, your flaws, and your failures. Be kind to yourself instead. Focus on the good.”

“What’s easier to hit, a sitting duck or a rabbit on the run? If bullies are looking for someone to hit, their last choice will be a moving target, someone who has it in gear with the pedal to the metal on the road to a better life.” 

“If you are generous to others, you will feel better about yourself, and that makes it more difficult for bullies or anyone else to get to you.”

“Being gentle isn’t about being weak. … Being gentle is more about practicing humility, giving up the need to be right, putting other people first, being a good listener and a good friend, protecting those who are being abused, and comforting those in need. … Many of the strongest and most admirable people I know are gentle spirits who don’t have to prove how tough they are on the outside because they are so strong on the inside.” 

“Psychologists say the more social interactions we have—the closer we are to family members, and the more friends and acquaintances we have—the less likely it is that a bully can isolate us as targets.”

“One of the key facts about relationships: people respond to you and treat you according to the way you act, not the way you think or feel.” 

“The people I want to keep close and trust the most are those who make me want to be better, smarter, more loving, more open minded, more collaborative, more trustworthy, more empathetic, more faith filled, more God loving, more grateful, more forgiving, and more open to opportunities to serve God and those around me. These are the type of friends that will make you and me bully proof.”

“I encourage you to develop empathy for others, like the Good Samaritan showed. Please do everything you can to protect others from emotional and physical harm caused by bullies. … Stand together so no one will stand alone!” 

 

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading & watching from today…

[VIDEO] Derek Jeter has been a classy baseball player (even if he does play for the Yankees!). This Nike video tribute to The Captain is also very classy and well deserved. #Re2pect

[VIDEO] This is a lot of fun: Toy Wars.

I have to agree with this: Israel’s ‘Reasonable’ Response To Hamas.

“For real business at the mercy seat give me a homemade prayer, a prayer that comes out of the depths of your heart, not because you invented it, but because the Holy Spirit put it there. Though your words are broken and your sentences disconnected, God will hear you. Perhaps you can pray better without words than with them. There are prayers that break the backs of words; they are too heavy for any human language to carry.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Generous pastors lead generous churches, and generous churches embody the true Spirit of Christ, Who gave Himself a ransom for all.” —T.M. Moore

Dr. Horton was a giant, not because of his impressive achievements, but because he embodied what it meant to have a servant’s heart. I pray that his legacy of godliness and servanthood live on in future generations of Pentecostal scholars.” Read more about the life of Dr. Stanley Horton.

This is a hard-hitting piece, but it is definitely on-target. Too many churches are selling out on the pro-life message. Read Faith & Forceps.

“…While man and woman are equally valuable in God’s image, and while both of them have essential and satisfying roles to play in the drama of God-exalting human life, nevertheless men bear a primary (not solitary) responsibility for leadership and protection and provision in the human race. Therefore they bear a representative role when it comes to accountability (Genesis 3:9; Romans 5:12-14). This unique calling is a responsibility to bear in sacrificial love, not a right to seize in dominating power. Where it is embraced with servantlike, Christ-honoring courage, and supported by women with faith-filled, fearless, intelligent joy, the best harmony of man and woman prevails.”—John Piper

15 Quotes From “I Like Giving”

I Like GivingI Like Giving by Brad Formsma is a unique look at how to impact our communities. You can read my full book review by clicking here, but I strongly encourage anyone who wants to see their world changed to pick up a copy of this book. Below are some quotes I found thought-provoking in this book.

“Living generously is about giving your life to other people so that everything you do—whether it is your work, your charitable giving, or your contribution to your neighborhood—becomes both a gift to others and rewarding for yourself.” 

“Don’t make giving too big a project. Sometimes your best and most perfect gift might be as simple as a smile or a compliment. Maybe it’s paying for a stranger’s lunch.”

“Watch out for these nasty four-letter words: debt, fear, and busy. They steal the joy with the greatest of ease. Be aware of them as they compete with the nudge to do for others.” 

“The good news is that it’s never too late to give. If an opportunity comes your way and you don’t seize it, don’t get stuck in the downward spiral of regret. Smile, tell yourself all is well, and then ask for another one. If there are people around you, there will be more opportunities to give.”

“No matter how successful you are, it is giving your life away to others that makes you happy. … The right response, though, is not to shun success but to replace selfish ambition with other ambitions—doing things for others.” 

“Give daily, in small ways, and you will be happier. Give and you will be healthier. Give, and you will even live longer. … Giving protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease.” —Dr. Stephen Post

“Don’t let the occasional person who abuses the goodwill of others ruin your giving and deter you.”

“Compassion doesn’t mean giving every time, but when I give, I do it knowing that I’ve loved a fellow human being right where that person is, whether the money will be wasted or not.”

“One thing I’ve learned through the process is that I can’t force generosity. I can’t lead my family unless I’m going there myself. Simply keeping my eyes open for opportunities to give and ways to include the whole family sparks the idea in my kids. Kids are too young and innocent to believe they can’t be generous if they see adults living that way. … I never want to underestimate the example I am setting. My kids are watching how I live, and the choices I make have rippling effects down through the generations. I can choose to do nothing and let my children be swept up in the current of empty materialism that is rampant in our culture, or I can choose to live a different way by living generously.” 

“I don’t think we can ever overestimate just how profound the effects of giving can be. You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving. The reality is that other people are watching how we live our lives, and what we do can have extraordinary effects in our communities. Generosity is for all of us. It is available to all of us, even when the cultural tide is moving in the opposite direction. Why not be brave and live differently?”

“Is weakness really that bad? Could it be that our specific weaknesses allow other people’s strengths to shine? Could it be that life sometimes throws us a curve that creates a need in our own lives? Once you experience the joy of giving, you realize that other people feel the same way when they give to you. Receiving might be harder than giving, but if you think about the joy the givers are receiving when they give to you, that will help you open up to receiving. You know that refusing the gift would deny them that joy.” 

“Focusing on what you don’t have or the bad hand you were dealt can actually make your life worse. What you think about affects who you become. It affects your relationships and the people you attract into your life. Keeping your focus on what you do have, what you have been given, and the good things in your life will make you happier and more grateful and will empower you to become a generous person yourself.”

“Often when we see someone in a bad situation, our natural response is to say, ‘Hey, if you need anything, let me know.’ Please don’t say that. Unknowingly you have put an added burden on the person. For some people the pressure is just too great, so they freeze and never respond. It’s a dangerous comment that produces a false sense of doing good. I encourage you to assess the situation and make something happen.”

“There are a lot of problems in the world. Sitting around talking about them or waiting for a large organization to do something about them doesn’t work. Finding opportunities to help others and change the world around us does work. We just have to take that scary step of actually doing something. We don’t need to overthink what we do. Sometimes we just know this is our opportunity to help. When we recognize an opportunity and dive in, amazing things happen! … So the question then becomes, are we willing? Will we decide to live generously and then be open to the opportunities that come our way?”

“You don’t have to make massive life changes, move to another city, or start your own nonprofit to become a gift to other people. You can start with who you are, right where you are, right now. In fact, you probably are already a gift to many people in many ways, but you might not always be aware of it.” 

 

Links & Quotes

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Some great reading I found this weekend.

“God’s work on this earth languishes when God’s people give up their ministries of prayer and supplication.” —A.W. Tozer

Very thoughtful: Why We Should Say “Yes” To A Culture Of Marriage.

Hmmm … Teen Pregnancy Rates Drop When Planned Parenthood Locations Close.

An informative article about the Holy Spirit: Jesus’ Closest Companion.

“Grace is given to heal the spiritually sick, not to decorate spiritual heroes.” —Martin Luther

It becomes those to be generous who are the children of a gracious God.” —Charles Spurgeon

Debunking 7 Myths About Marijuana.

This is so cool! Laser surgery conducted on twins girls while they were still in the womb.

Where is the outrage in the mainstream media?! Pakistani married couple sentenced to death for their “anti-Islam” texts.

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