Two Parts - Listen and Apply

There are days that are just tough at the track. You unload and the car just is not right, the speed just not there and you never get close. There are days that are just tough on the job. There are days that are tough at school. There are days that are tough in the marriage or family. You get the picture.
What is one way to help on those tough days? One thing to do is to listen well. I mean you are able to repeat back what you have been told or what is said. I was given a good question a couple of week ago. Do you wait to talk? Most people would say, why yes I do but it is a trick question in that we should not wait to talk, we should be listening and not think how we are going to respond. Another thing is to apply what you know is right. It is amazing what God can do when we listen to Him and apply what we know is right in His eyes and do those right things. Now back to Proverbs

Proverbs 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Back on the subject of discipline of children. We live in such an interesting time. I work around many young people and there are many outstanding kids but there is also a good number that seem to not have a clue of what work is. Worse is there is a number that don’t know what the words respect your elders mean. There was a day when we looked up and honored those with age on their side. We watched them and learned from them. That was a segue, now back on topic. Discipline is important in development, that is, appropriate discipline. There is a pretty clear line between abuse and discipline. Part of it is the heart of the one administrating the discipline and the control used. The is also the part of the child and that is to learn and obey.

Proverbs 22:16 Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.
Clear?! Echo?! I think so. God cares deeply for the poor. That is an interesting statement. If God cares so much why are there poor? Because God uses those with little material things to show His kindness. The second part is because God wants to see our response. Because our response measures our humility. Careful if you are rich and many of us, ok most if not all of us are rich compared to much of the world and compared to even 30 years ago. Look at our houses and how “full” they are.

Proverbs 22:17 Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge,
Two parts – listen and apply.
Listen – we have talked about it a lot in Proverbs but we are reminded again that we are to listen to just anyone and anything. WRONG! We are to listen to the wise and there is One that is wise, the LORD God, Jesus Christ, God the Father and God the Spirit. We are to surround ourselves with wise men and women, those filled with the Spirit and the Word. Are you careful about those you are around and in close relationship with and to? And what are you allowing in?
Apply – If we are willing to act on what we read in the Bible it will change our life and change it for the better. We need to live out James and do what the Word says. Are you? Are you reading and studying with purpose if change in mind? With the purpose of sanctification in mind? With the purpose of revival, repentance, growth in mind?

Proverbs 22:18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips.
Part 1 – Keep – We need to hang on to God’s Word. We need to hang on to it in such a way that it and we are at the ready. Think of it this way. If you are hanging over the edge of a cliff and the rope is God’s Word, imagine the grip you would have. You would not want to fall to your death. Yet we hang over the damage of sin and without a firm grip on God’s Word and wonder why…
Dear LORD, help me to remember your word and to prepare.
Part 2 – Ready – we are to be ready in season and out of season. There is a big difference from being ready for a test and life and the opportunities life bring. Yes, it is good to practice. It is good to test but it is the race that really counts. It is those opportunities in life that real matter. That is why we must know God’s word and be ready with it to obey and act.

Proverbs 22:19 That your trust may be in the Lord, I have made them known to you today, even to you.
We have talked about it before and asked the same question but again, who and what are you putting your trust in?
Part 1 – Trust – we trust in the safety equipment in a race car. We need to place out trust in Jesus, in God for our life and eternity.
Part 2 – Know – we know how the safety equipment works in a race car and we know what is right and wrong. We need to know God and His Word.
Having both is best not just one or the other.

Proverbs 22:20-21 Have I not written for you thirty sayings of counsel and knowledge, to make you know what is right and true, that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
Why do we read and search and study the Word daily? Because it is of highest value! Because we find truth in its pages! Because we find right from wrong. Amen!

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Easter 2017

So I asked the kids at Awana tonight what special or special traditions they had for this week. It was a good list: food; movies; candy; Good Friday church; Sunday church (surprised no one said sunrise service) and then the big talk, it was Easter egg hunt.

We decided there were several types of people on the hunt. Those that look a little and stop because it is too hard or everyone else gets them. Those that want others to find them for them. Others that did not look at all. And then the ones that look really hard and score the golden egg or the one with the special message, that the tomb is empty and Jesus is risen.

That is an excellent example of people. Some don’t look for Jesus. Some look a little but not intentional and make little effort. Some want works or someone else to get them into heaven and some search with all their heart and seek Him with everything they have. They are willing to sacrifice whatever they have to be saved. Will you be that person?

Then I shared with them some of my favorite Easter verses:
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God
I asked the kiddos how could this be an Easter verse. I told them I would give them another clue and another favorite Easter verse.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Not much closer but a few were starting to catch on. I said I would give them another clue.
Romans 5:6-8 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Now they could see a little more. They said Jesus died for us. I said that is right! The reason the other verses are Easter verses is because there has to be a sinner in order to have a Savior and each one of us are sinners. We need Jesus and here are His terms.
Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
We have to repent in our thinking. And we need to repent of our sin. We can’t just say a prayer and keep on living in sin. God is looking for a change of heart and life. Look at what Jesus did for you.
1 Corinthians 15:3,4 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures
And His example to each one of us.
Philippians 2:5-9 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

I pray that you have surrendered to Jesus as LORD. If you have, will you be intentional at telling someone this week the gospel, the good news, the hope we have in Jesus?

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,

Todd

Particular

Are you careful at getting the tire pressure just right? Are you careful what stagger you have? Are you careful what fuel you put in the car? To be good on the track you have to be careful, particular about these things and many more.
How about what fuel, what food, what drink you put in your body. I know I should be better, I should be more careful at what I eat and drink and the amounts I consume. If we want to be healthy we have to be careful, we have to be particular about what we eat and drink.
It is the same with our spiritual lives. Are we careful what we put in our minds? Are we careful what we look at and listen to? We need to be careful, we need to be particular if we are going to be spiritually healthy.

Proverbs 22:8 Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail.
Would you call yourself a just person? Are you fair? On the other side of that we see a heavy punishment.

Proverbs 22:9 Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.
Listen to the blessings God wants to give you. He wants us to give to the needy, to the poor. Do you? I am reminded of what that someone else said, God is not so much concerned with how much we give but more importantly He is concerned with how much we feel we need to keep.

Proverbs 22:10-11 Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarreling and abuse will cease. He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
So which one are you? Is your heart pure or is it not? God wants us to be pure in all areas of our life. He wants us to be gracious in our speech.

Proverbs 22:12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge, but he overthrows the words of the traitor.
God sees everything. Nothing is hidden from Him. How much would change, how many choices would be different if we really understood God is watching. Stop and really think about that. What you are about to do is, IS, going to be seen by God. Are you still going to do it? I know if I kept this in front of my mind more I would stop some things, some words.
(Good place to stop and pray, confessing and repenting)

Proverbs 22:13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!”
This verse illustrates how deceptive people can be and are. It is important we have a discerning spirit by the Spirit. Every day we talk to people and we need to discern if they are speaking truth or not. Are you careful as you listen, as you hear?
This does remind us of James that warns the evil one the devil, is a lion looking to devour and destroy us. He just does not give up. We have to be on our guard and we have to be in the Word of God and on our knees in prayer and surrounded by those that are serous followers, believers. Are you doing those things? Do you see the power of God at work in them?

Proverbs 22:14 The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit; he with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it.
We have spent much time in our study on purity and here again God gives us warning. Men and women can use their worldly beauty and seduction. There is so much sex and immorality all around us. I know it has been a problem for all of time, we can trace the sin Biblically to the beginning of Genesis, but in today’s world images are available everywhere we turn. We have to be able to turn away, not take the second look, and not fixate on images that will draw us in to the snare of the evil on. He will lie to us about it.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Your Name

When your name is brought up what is the reaction? Do people say, “That guy or gal is a good person, good friend”? Do people see honest trustworthy character in you? Or do they cringe at your name? I think it is important what you are known for but even more important is if they are seeing what God sees inside your heart. I hope your name means something. Let’s see if that matches Scripture

Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.
You name is important. Have you looked into the Biblical and Ethnic meaning of your name? It is worth the research time and fairly easy to do on the web. Your name is much more important than the zeros in your bank account. Read that again. God calls you special and He loves you. Read that one again too.

Proverbs 22:2 The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the Maker of them all.
When God measures if you are allowed into His family He does not look at if you are rich or poor. He looks at your heart and what you have done with Jesus. When we think about the importance of a name I cannot help but to think about Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Proverbs 22:3 The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.
Are you aware of your surroundings? Seriously, are you? There are far too many people unaware of things going on right around them, right in front of them. Psalm 139:14 b says “wonderful are Your (God) works”. Do we see God’s hand at work?

Proverbs 22:4 The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.
I told you we would get back to an echo on the fear of the LORD. Stop and read that again and pause at each word and think. God wants to reward you and He will if you are humble! God wants to reward you and He will if you are humble! God wants to reward you and He will if you are humble! You know in the Hebrew context something repeated three times means it is very special and important. So did you catch it?

Proverbs 22:5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
What do you think of when you think of snares and thorns? I think of sin. I think of the trap of sin? I think that Satan put them out there to step in but I am the one that steps into the trap by not being careful. That is why we need to be surrounded by the Word and in the Word and focused on the Spirit.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Dad’s – Have you put the time into training up, educating your family in the LORD?
Son’s – Have you obeyed what God teaches? Is it your own and not just your Dad’s faith?

Proverbs 22:7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
This teaching is important on two levels. One, on just a pure stewardship and money level it is important for us not to be indebted. We become slaves. On a spiritual level this verse reminds us we can not live off of anyone else’s faith. We have to have our own faith. We cannot get saved because our Grandma was or Mom. We have to cry out and repent. I hope you have.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Desire; Crave; Sacrifice; Endure

When you hear racing words it gets you thinking racing. If you think Bible terms you will be thinking about God. So let’s do some thinking on God’s Word.

Proverbs 21:25 The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.
Can you hear this warning?! I know that many work very hard and this verse does not apply to them but there are some that don’t work hard and God is giving a stern warning. As I think about this I also think of the times when I do not work hard at the Lord’s work, whether that is Bible study or prayer or discernment, etc.… We need to be at work for the Lord out of love for Him.

Proverbs 21:26 All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
I have asked this before but I ask it again now, what satisfies you? What do you crave? What do you hunger and thirst for? What we spend our time and money and energy on will give a clear indication of our real love and what we really value.
Catch the last part of the verse too. We have talked about it. One of the marks of a true believer is giving – who we give to; what we give; what we want back for credit, etc.

Proverbs 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with evil intent.
Think about this with me. Those that rebel against the Lord, do they know they are rebelling? Do they use excuses? Think about those in a “false church”. They are convinced they are doing what is right. Now after thinking about that it should give us the pause to think about where we stand with the Lord. Is there a sin God wants to show us and have us deal with?

Proverbs 21:28 A false witness will perish, but the word of a man who hears will endure.
Echo! God is very clear here with what lives forever and what does not. Lies and non-truths die but God’s Word and those that will hear and obey will endure, will last.

Proverbs 21:29 A wicked man puts on a bold face, but the upright gives thought to his ways.
This verse is good for believers to hear. First we need to be discerning on what people said and how they act. Second we need to be discerning on our thoughts prior to them becoming words and actions.

Proverbs 21:30 No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord.
Bottom line — Man’s plans just don’t work out. In the end they are going to end empty, without meaning or substance that will count for eternity. Don’t miss that mark.

Proverbs 21:31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.
Great verse!!!
What it says to me is put the work in. Be prepared. Study the Bible and spend time in it and in prayer but lean on the LORD for the victory.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Life Lesson

Racing is hard. I mean there are lot of challenges but like with many sports there are many life lessons to learn but we have to have the right attitude, the right view, and the right focus. Do we want to learn anything from racing that will be a life lesson or are we just looking for enjoyment and feeding self? So much of life is wrapped around communication with each other. A lack of communication (talking); too much of; note listening;

Proverbs 21:18 The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, and the traitor for the upright.
There is unexcapable punishment to those that sin with intention to harm others and the believer should see this. It should warn us also that we are to stay far from sin.
Proverbs 21:19 It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
This is speaking to the women reading this. You have the responsibly to be respectful and loving to your husband and as us men read this we should be reminded the Bible and God is very clear that we are to be loving and washing our wife in the Word. This would cure many of the marriage issues we have. Please stop and really think about this, am I being the husband, wife, child that God wants me to be or am I feeding self and ego and my wants over others.
Proverbs 21:20 Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.
Did you think we were not going to hear “wise” or “Wisdom” again in Proverbs – Wrong, here we are back talking about it! Oh, and there will be more. What do you consider treasure? Is it God’s Word and wise? We can learn much from what we value and what price and time we put on and in it.
Proverbs 21:21 Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.
Let us think about the word “pursues”. What do you think about when you read the read “pursue”? I think of going after something with intention, with intensity, with a desire. So do we have that passion for righteousness and kindness?
Proverbs 21:22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
We can trust in a political party or person and we can trust in a ‘brand” or we can trust in a name or in things but that is not where or who we should trust in. We should trust in the Creator of the universe. We should trust in the one that gives and takes life. We should trust in the one that is all-knowing and all-powerful. Think about people’s reaction in politics. When Mr. Obama was elected there was an attack on his person, his family origin. There were a lot of lies and attacks that were not right. Now Mr. Trump takes office and people are demonstrating with a LOT of hate in their words and actions. Instead of trusting in those two it would be much better to trust in Jesus. Who will really protect you or really provide for you?
Proverbs 21:23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
Let’s skip over this verse. Okay, just kidding. This is a tough one for me. Far too often I will just say what I am thinking, or not thinking if you know what I mean, and it can cause trouble or even harm others. It is not good. I need to do more than just read this verse, more than just study and memorize this verse. I need to obey it.
Proverbs 21:24 “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride.
Pride is one of if not the “greatest” of all sin. One that is filled with pride thinks only of self. They think more of themselves and less of others. They distort truth. Their view is skewed and they puff up self and deflate others. It is so easy for us to be prideful even on a spiritual level. We have to be watchful and on the lookout.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd