Getting Back Up

Have you had a tough night at the track? It is always good to get back to the track. It is kind of like falling off the bike or a horse when you are young. It is best to get back on the bike or horse as soon as you can. As we have gone through chapter 10 and headed into chapter 11 you might feel the same way. You might think you fall way short, sin and the enemy wants you to just give up but God wants you to get back up and keep working on living holy.

Let’s look at some more verses together.

Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.
Again God wants us to be honest in what we do. If we are selling 10 pounds of corn seed it should not be 9 pounds 10 ounces. It should be 10 pounds. If we say we are going to do something. We need to do it. God still has not changed His mind on honesty.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.
Do you think honesty is a big deal to God? Well being humble and not prideful is a really big deal to God. What would you say on the question, “How am I doing in the area of pride?” This is worth taking some more time to have God look into your heart.

Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
Four times in Psalms and five times in Proverbs God is going to talk on integrity. I would say that is enough to call it important to the LORD. Look at the comparison – guides them vs. destroys them? Yet far too often integrity is just a word to us instead of a life style. How are you doing at living with integrity as God would measure integrity?

Proverbs 11:4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.
I like how the NIV states it, “Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath”. We talk about being blessed in the USA. What we really mean is we are filthy rich. That by no means makes us blessed. What makes a person blessed is humbleness and living a righteous life. How are you doing at living righteously?

Proverbs 11:5 The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight, but the wicked falls by his own wickedness.
God is laying it out pretty clear that those who live for self are not going to end up with a good outcome. Here the call continues to live blamelessly. Does that mean you are not going to sin? NO! No one goes even a day without sin. The Bible is clear that we sin and will continue to sin but the blameless person is the one that confesses sin, repents of sin and does not go out with the intent to sin. You CANNOT calculate sin saying oh, I will just do this sin and then confess and repent and it will be ok. That does not work. That will lead to a stronghold and the enemy taking MORE ground in your heart and life. Stop and really think about that because I think that is a big problem in the church. So is your life characterized by wickedness or righteousness? Blameless or wicked?

Proverbs 11:6 The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.
Talk about big problems in the church, here is another. We hear of leaders who fall into relationships that lead to the destruction of their ministry and a church. We had dozens of verses earlier in Proverbs on lust of the flesh and a lot of warnings. Are you upright or captive of lust?

I hope you are enjoying this study. I know I am. It is not easy to have God scrape away sin but it is best and good in the end and for the end goal of living unto the LORD. I hope this week you can take some intentional time to have God example your honesty, your integrity, your faithfulness. Remember we want to see sin in the mirror not thinking hope the guy next to me gets this. So go back and look at the verses and ask God to deal with me.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine. I look forward to seeing you soon at a local race track.

Todd

Is This True About You?

First, our condolences go out to Sam Bartus’ friends and family. Mr Bartus had a huge impact on racing in Wisconsin. I pray that God bring comfort to Sam’s family and friends.

Testing, that word could mean a lot of different things to different people. Ask a teenager that and they probably recoil as they think of school and having to take a test. Ask a race car driver and they probably have a different reaction. Testing can be a good way to learn. The teenager or school testing is a good way to see what they know and don’t know. A driver and team testing does have a cost but is the cost worth it to improve and extra knowledge? Well, God likes for us to be tested too. Psalm 26:2 Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; (NIV). How do you feel about taking a test right now? Let’s do it and let’s be honest and let’s see what areas we need to repent in. It is a good thing.

Proverbs 10:24 What the wicked dreads will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted.
One thing that you see in the righteous is humbleness. They live out what is right and what is godly. Is that statement truth about you?

Proverbs 10:25 When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more, but the righteous is established forever.
Another thing we see in the righteous is a view of eternity in their heart and lives. Do you have an eternal view of life? What are you focused on?

Proverbs 10:26 Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him.
Think of how much discomfort those two are. It is not the best feeling. God is looking for the one that is steady and righteous, the one that can be counted on. Can you be counted on?

Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the Lord prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short.
Remember back in Proverbs 1 and 2 and 3 and 8 and 9. I am smiling right now because you all know what I think of the echo principle. We are here again thinking about the fear of the LORD. A reverence, an awe, a fear of what God could do if He wanted to, an acknowledgement of our unworthiness. Again we are not talking about length of time on earth but the opportunity to turn to God for salvation and to be able to worship God. Is the statement true that you fear the LORD?

Proverbs 10:28 The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.
Read that one again! Think of the dichotomy. You have hope on one side and perishing on the other yet billions, yes that it “b” as in billions, choose to perish. Why? Pride, self, I can do this on my own, it is the easy way… Is it true that you have hope and joy?

Proverbs 10:29 The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the blameless, but destruction to evildoers.
We have talked about strongholds. Often when I talk about strongholds I am talking in the negative way but look at this. God is talking on the positive side of having the LORD a stronghold for you. Who or what has a hold, a stronghold on you?

Proverbs 10:30 The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not dwell in the land.
God speaks here from an Israel prospective. God gave Israel a land, a nation. We do not want to be on the wrong side of that. Are you righteous?

Proverbs 10:31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
What is coming out of your mouth? You know that is what is in your heart. We have talked about that. Worth going back to, Matthew 15:18-19a 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come…. What is coming out of you mouth and your heart?

Proverbs 10:32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.
The word “know” is worth stopping and thinking of. We know in our heart what is right and what is wrong. We know but the question is will we acknowledge the truth. Are your thoughts, heart, acceptable to the LORD?

Have you taken some time and really asked God to examine your heart and life? I would ask that you take some time and get quiet before the LORD and see if there is some needed business to be done. I guarantee if you get serious about seeing sin in the mirror and asking God to show you and help you that great things will happen. I also know that the enemy will attack so let me know so that I can be praying for you.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine. I look forward to seeing you soon at a local race track.

Todd

Are you Rich?

Do you get annoyed by being told over and over what the rules are? Are you one of those who needs to be reminded often what the rules are? Do you tune out the race director when he talks about the rules? You could easily do that in this part of Proverbs as God comes back to the same subject matter again. He wants to deal with money and our words. They both come out of our heart so that is why it is so important and why I think God repeats Himself so much in Proverbs. I am ok with it. How are you doing with it?

Proverbs 10:15, 16, 22  A rich man’s wealth is his strong city; the poverty of the poor is their ruin. The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin.  The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.

Can you believe it? Echo continues. Hope you can stay with me. God has something to teach us. Listen to the words God uses for the ones not handling money well – ruin, sin. Do you want that or do you want the words He uses for those following Him – life, strong, blessed. The thing most essential to remember as we think about and as we spend is that all money is God’s and He gives it to us to use for His glory and use. Test – if someone to look at your check book, what would they find? What would be their conclusion about your life and what is first importance.

Proverbs 10:17-21 Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray. The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool. When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the heart of the wicked is of little worth. The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense.

God has mentioned His path before and He desires for us to be on it. We need to follow His instructions and obey. What does that look like? It looks like loving, kindness. It looks like showing mercy and grace to others. It is saying no to sin. It is being pure in thoughts and motives. It is being honest and truthful. It is a life of integrity. The list could be long but you get the idea. Draw and line down the sheet of paper. On one side write down what God would have us do and on the other what disobedience would look like. Add a verse to them both. It could be very helpful when times of sin and challenges come and when you are in the battle. Having a plan is so important. The enemy can use our lack of being prepared. If we are intentional and have the armor on and ready we have a much better chance of saying no when we need to. Did you catch the blessing a righteous word can be? How that is needed. I know there is far too much beating down vs. lifting up. Be intentional today and lift someone up in your words.

Proverbs 10:23 Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.

Have you seen the person that just thinks it is funny when harming themselves or others? They laugh it off like it is not big deal.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine. I look forward to seeing you soon at a local race track.

Todd

Reinforced

Have you watched the parts come off enduro cars or demolition derby cars? Those bumpers are reinforced and so are the side panels. There are a bunch of extra bars, tape, cords and zip ties, etc… holding things together and in preparation for being slammed into.

As we have studied through Proverbs we have often talked about echo. God repeats, He echoes a lot of the messages. Again I will repeat, it is not for Himself. He knows all perfectly. God does not have to hear it twice or multiple times. It is for you and I to reinforce what we have heard. His repeating is so He can get our attention and then we are to be intentional at following the command, the teaching. We are to obey. Interestingly, if God says it once we should listen and obey. Did you hear that? If God says it once we are to pay attention and obey. (1)see footnote.

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. When you see the word “hatred” what images come to mind? Each one of us have a different image come to mind. We may have a person that comes to mind. Hatred and bitterness often go hand in hand. They are serious issues, serious sin. The second part of this verse could be one of those taken out of context more often than others. Real, God type love is what we should be after, not the man type love. It does not mean, “getting MY way” all the time. It does not mean we can sin and then I will love and cover the sin. What is does mean is that we are to love like we see in 1 Corinthians and other parts of the Bible were we get self out of the way and let Jesus shine through us. It is allowing the Spirit to guide our words and thoughts and actions. How did you do this week? Is there something you need to confess and seek forgiveness for and turn from?

Proverbs 10:13 On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.

Again, echo! God cares about our thinking and our words. Be wise in your thoughts. Study to understand. Be deliberate, purposeful. Do you have a longing, a yearning to know what God says and to do it? Stop and reread that and think long about it.

We need to be careful on the second part of this verse too. Does this mean that a child should be snapped with a rod? I don’t think that is taught here. We can’t expect a child to be wise and understand deep theological disciplines. So does it mean that we should line people up at church and physically discipline them – NO. That would be cult-like. What does it mean? How does it apply to us today? I believe it means God wants our attention and His Word can either be food to feast on or it can be a hammer, a sword. Let God do the discipline. That does not exclude church discipline. If you are in a solid Bible believing church there should be a clear course of discipline your leadership uses. See Micah 6:9 and Matthew 18. This does not mean we are not to correct and discipline out children. There is a ditch on both sides.

Proverbs 10:14 The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.

More echo! What are you storing in your heart and mind? What is being stored up in your home? Again we see how God wants to bless storing up His Word and ways and we see words that tear down are going to bring ruin. What do you want?

As we see this set of situations I pray you are having victory in each area. I also know that all of us fall short and have things we need to work on. Get together with someone that knows God’s Word and has had victory and study together.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine. I look forward to seeing you soon at a local race track.

Todd

(1) To be clear that does not mean we take a verse or part of a verse and twist it. We need to be in context and in agreement with the whole of Scripture.

Driving Hard

Have you ever got out of the car and just knew you had driven a great, hard, clean race? Have you looked at the replay and knew you had driven hard, even more than normal, it was special. You kept digging every lap, lap after lap? The night when guys came up afterwards and said, “Great job” and you knew they meant it.

Here in chapter 10 God continues to drive His message hard and clearly. He has a clear message and call to us. He wants to bless us and He wants to have us obey and do what is best. It may not, ok, it will not be the easy way, but it is His way. Let’s study and pick up on some of the things He is reinforcing.

Proverbs 10:9 “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.”

Let’s key on a couple of words. First “walk” – to me that is a word showing consistency. It is not just some of the time or once in a while but day after day. “Integrity” – it is to be upright, morally innocence, soundness. It is to be trustworthy and reliable. To me it is missing in a lot of places – our families, our work, our schools, the media. We need to be a person that is willing to take a stand for what is right and we need to be trustworthy. Think about how people would react to that. It would be counter to much that is around us. “Securely” – God gives us a promise. Now that does not mean it is going to be easy but that we can have a confidence in the LORD.

On the other side of that, is the one that is not honorable. They are not trustworthy. They cannot be counted on. Listen to 1 Timothy 5:24-25 “The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them.  In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden.” (NIV) Sin will come out. It may be hidden for a while but it will show up and probably not at a “convenient” time.

Do you catch the theme being echoed? God wants us to be honest and hard working not just at our job, but at all we do. How have you done today? How have you done this week? Is there confession and repentance needed of any sin? Do so now. These messages are not easy to write and think about. I often have to pause and deal with my own sin but that is a good thing and we all have to continuously be on the alert against sin in the mirror, daily we need to deal with our own sin.

Proverbs 10:10-11 Whoever winks the eye causes trouble, and a babbling fool will come to ruin. The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

God deals with our eyes several times in Scripture. Here He talks of the winker. We need to be careful in this area. It is not the wink that is the problem. It is the heart and mind behind the wink. Think about that. What is the attitude? Same with the babbling. God talks about our words and tongue often. Stop and think about Matthew 18:7-9 “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes! “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire. ” If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.” (NASU) God does not want us cutting off body parts. He wants us to deal with the sin that is behind the action of the heart and mind that comes through and out of the mouth and eyes. Did you catch that? He is saying, “Take the sin that seriously and stop.” Do whatever it takes to stop, to guard against sin. If it means not to turn on that music or that tv show –stop. If it means not going to that restaurant, because you know you will over eat –stop. If it means not going there because you know people are not going to be dressed appropriately – don’t go there. It is about making intention, deliberate choices. It is about being prepared ahead of time.

Think about those last two words in 11. The mouth is not just a little problem. Here it is talking about violence that is coming out. That could be physical, mental, emotional, relational, etc… Please be the one that is a fountain of life!

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine. I look forward to seeing you soon at a local race track.

Todd

Memorial Day 2015

In racing there are several memorial races. They are both sad and happy events. Sad in that we miss the person whom the event is named after. Happy because we remember their friendship and accomplishments.

A couple of years ago my Dad went on the Honor Flight. It was and is one of the highlights of his 93 years. He said it was a joy yet heavy on the heart at the same time. As he went before the huge memorials and read names, names of guys he served with, he wondered why, why was he allowed to come home and others were not.

As we come to Memorial Day we remember the fallen soldiers throughout this Nation’s history. So many have given it all on the battle field. At this time of year with Armed Force Day on May 16th and Memorial Day weekend coming up this weekend we remember the great sacrifice they made. We remember the love they had for this country and for us.

As I think about this weekend I think about the One whom gave for us. It brings some of the same thoughts as when we reflect on memorial races and the soldier. We should be glad and happy about the salvation that is made available because of Jesus’ love for us but on the other side it cost Him to be beaten and crucified and that should leave us convicted of sin and the cost of our sin.

So as you stop and are thankful to those who have served this Nation also stop and think about where you sit for eternity. Have you admitted to sinning? Have you confessed your sin? Have you agreed that only Jesus can pay the price of your sin? Have you confessed Jesus is LORD and believed in your heart God raised Him from the dead? Today Memorial Day can have new meaning if you reach out for salvation.

Go see what the Bible has to say in the following verses: Romans 3:10-12, 23; 6:23; 10:9,10; Titus 2:12; 3:5-9.

I want to end by saying thank you to all who have served. I want to say thank you to all that are serving. I want to say thank you to the families of servicemen and women and especially to those families that have lost loved ones. I also want to thank the law enforcement officers as they too are in harms way often. Join me in personally thanking those who serve.

Have a great and safe weekend in the SONshine and see you at a track soon,
Todd