Peace, Plan, Practice, taking a stand again sin

It is a special night (last weekend) at MIS with the Howe Memorial and at Columbus 151 the Moore Memorial and Jefferson has the Badgerland Challenge tomorrow. All pretty cool.

As the season goes on we can all get tired of getting out to the track night after night but on the other side we know how fast the season goes by and is over. Think about it. We are at the end of August already. At most tracks there are only a few more nights of racing and the season is done.

The evil one wants us to think that way with life. He wants us to disobey God. He wants us to get tired and let our guard down. He wants us to take our focus and eyes off of the LORD. I hope these short messages help you focus on the LORD and drive you to deeper study and fixing your eyes and mind on the Almighty God.

Proverbs 12:20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy.
Get the sheet out again! On the positive, godly side we have peace and joy on the negative side that is filled with self and sin, we have deceit and devising evil. I want us to think again about the word “plan”. Ya’ats in the original language has the thought of advice, counsel, guide, purpose. See the intentional peace. It is a lot easier to react in love and peace if you plan and practice. It is a better to plan to obey then not plan. If we are always just reacting that is when I get in trouble and say what I don’t want to say and act like I don’t want to act. We see it is a battle. Look at Romans 7 and the battle even Paul had with his flesh, with self. So build a plan and practice and get a good coach and accountability partner.

Proverbs 12:21 No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble.

I know there has always been trouble and there has always been hardships. But right now or at least as of late it seems there is an increase in the wickedness and the effect on the righteous. We certainly don’t deserve to have blessing but I am thankful for them.

Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.

Just a chapter ago God used that word about a crooked heart. Now on the lying lips He uses it again. An abomination! Again, look at the other side of the page. Those who act faithfully are his delight! Are you on the right side of this, on God’s side?

Proverbs 12:23 A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims folly.

We again echo that there is a quiet heart, life and mouth vs. loud, folly.

Proverbs 12:24-28 The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor. Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.  Whoever is slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth.  In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.

That last verse is pivotal. The righteous life is the one we should be trying to live out. We have studied 12 chapters of the book of wisdom, the book of echo. We should not have missed how God wants us to live, how He wants us to act, to speak, to think. We should have a clear picture of purity, of encouraging words not tearing down or harmful words. We should have a good picture of honesty and integrity. How are you doing at live this out?

Change should have occurred. Have you taken a stand again sin? Do you see it? Do others see it? Most of all is God seeing faith, trust, obedience in new areas?

I hope you are doing great and you have examples of where you have changed how you would have reacted and now it is a much more Christ like way. Keep growing, keep studying.

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

Todd

Beat the Heat

Hebrews 12:29 for our God is a consuming fire.
Revelation 20:14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
Luke 16:23-24 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’

I had too:
I heard people complaining about the heat this last week and it is hot but think with me about this, we complain about the heat, we know it is dangerous yet we don’t fear the LORD and hell? This should drive us to our knees to repent of our sin and call out on God for forgiveness of sin; ascribing glory to His name and agreeing He only is LORD and God. This heat should remind us that God wants to save us. He wants us to confess sin and surrender to Him. Think about that, you did not like the last couple of days of heat, how would an eternity of consuming heat that dries the tongue and soul to a crisp be dealt with. We are told in Hebrews we have the opportunity now during our life to turn to God but no opportunity after our last breath.

Won’t you turn now and be saved. God wants to change your life, He want to save you, He extends His mercy, grace and love to you but you must come in fear and trembling seeking change — His refining fire. Don’t miss out!

Take a drink of the living water now — John 7:38
Whoever believes in Me (Jesus), as the Scripture has said,
‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

Are You a Whoever?

I had a sad thing happen the other day. We decided we really needed a couple more shirts and hats and we went to call Jake. The number was down. I tried his web site and it was down too. After a couple more failed attempts I googled his name and there was sadness on my heart as I read of his passing. I thought to myself, “sad that someone dies and we don’t even know it. We never had those last words shared.” It also reminded me how important it is to stay connected and to share those eternal words because we don’t know the last time we are going to see anyone on earth.

Are you a whoever?

At our house often the person named nobody does things. Something will happen and we will ask the kids and it is determined that nobody is up to his old tricks. Chapter 12 has 6 whoever’s. Let’s look at a few of them.

Proverbs 12:10 Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.

We are back to the echo of righteous. God is good to talk about the righteous 87 times. Yes, you heard that right, 87 times. Do you think He wants us to understand what righteousness will look like? I think so and I think we should be studying that out and living it out. In a way this verse can remind us how every life has value from conception to death and should not be ended.

Proverbs 12:11 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.

Here the echo is on work. You can have bread or lack sense. More than that, what did you pursuit this week.

Proverbs 12:12 Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers, but the root of the righteous bears fruit.

Whoever can be on the good side or on the wicked side but here is what we see in these verses so far:

Righteous = regard for life; works hard; bears fruit

Wicked = cruel; worthless pursuits and lacks sense; covets spoils

Which ones drive you?

Proverbs 12:13-14 An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous escapes from trouble.  From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.

What satisfies you? What brings you happiness and joy? Is it good or is it sin? I admit that more often than I would like to admit it is sin that makes me feel good. Let’s work on this together to get victory over sin

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

How do you go to for advice? Who do you ask for guidance and help to discern? I hope the LORD first but we are put together to help each other in the church. We need to go to the godly and search their wisdom and understanding.

Proverbs 12:16-17 The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult. Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit.  There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

On the other side of the last statement and question is, are you one we can go to for the truth, for wisdom and understanding? Do you have discernment? What a powerful thing to be known for –truthful and truth seeker.

Also notice the use of a sword. Here it is in a way that causes harm. We have seen and see in other places of the Bible that the Word is the Sword and used for good. Our words and our mouth can be used for good or evil, to build up or tear down. What did your words do this week? What kind of sword did you use this week?

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

Todd

Tighten the Belts

At the start of a race the guys are told to tighten up the belts and get ready to go. In football you need to tighten up the pads and get a helmet and mouth guard. In wrestling (folkstyle) you need headgear. None of those are real comfortable but the alternative is not good. Let’s say you leave the belts loose and hit the wall head on. It is most likely going to be a hospital visit or worse. In football with the size and speed if the pads are not on right we are talking concussion and/or separated shoulders and/or broke bones. In wrestling the ears are going to be mashed. It is best just to tighten things up and stay safer.

I think the same principle applies to God’s Word and Proverbs. We may not think it is comfortable to obey but it is BEST and RIGHT and it does protect us in the end. So we want to tighten the Word of God in our hearts and lives. We want to fix Jesus in our mind, heart, eyes. Let’s finish up chapter 11.

Proverbs 11:27 Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it.
As I read this and think about it it appears we all search for something, either good or evil. We may not – matter of fact, we probably will not say we are searching for evil but many really are. That is why it is so important for us to be honest and have the LORD search our heart. What does it mean to seek good? It means we are setting self to the side, placing God and others first. It means living a loving humble life that truly cares for others. It means no matter the personal cost we do what is right in God’s sight.

Proverbs 11:28 Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
We are back to the money and false riches. Think about that. How often do we go after fool’s gold? Again, where is your trust? Do you want to flourish?

Proverbs 11:29-30 Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart. The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.
Some enjoy being disruptive in their homes. I have seen it happen. They like nothing more than to harm the family, parents, spouse, children. That is not cool. What is cool is the righteous and the wise. How is your fruit this week? Remember when we talked about that? Have you been intentional at being fruitful? I hope so.

Proverbs 11:31 If the righteous is repaid on earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner!
That is kind of a heavy blow to end the chapter on but think about it. Don’t be the foolish sinner as I was for so long. Turn right now to the LORD Jesus. God makes clear that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. No one can say truthfully that they are without sin outside of Jesus Christ. He alone can say that and it is true making Him alone the one who can pay for our sin, for sin must be paid for to have a hope of Heaven. We all have an eternity to face and there are only two locations for that eternity, Heaven or Hell. God leaves us a choice to be made prior to our final breath. God’s terms are that we must see our sin in the mirror, admit that we have sinned and we must bow to Jesus as LORD and Savior. He tells us we must repent, turn from self to Jesus and from sin to life, from darkness to light, from blindness to sight, from old to new. God does not want us just to say a few words and continue on as we were. God wants us to surrender and obey.

Have you done that?

Sidebar: I am not saying that works will save. It is faith and trust in Jesus alone. Remember, there will be some discomfort but God will give blessing and the greatest of all rewards! Read that again.

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

Truth for Trash

I heard an interesting thing the other day at the track. One of the drivers said that they unloaded the car and it was great, so good that he was not going to go out for the second practice session. His driving coach, his mentor, said go out and turn some laps to keep your rhythm going. I had to think about that but after thinking I was like, “Wow, what good advice.” As I thought more about it I thought that is great advice when it comes to following the LORD too. We can never let up because if we do the enemy is going to attack and he seeks to destroy. He wants to harm us so stay focused. Let’s focus on some more verses in Proverbs. What a great study.

Proverbs 11:16-17 A gracious woman gets honor, and violent men get riches. A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself. Listen to the two godly phrases and we see God wants us to be gracious and kind. When is the last time you have been intentional, when you had a purpose to be gracious and, or kind? Stop and think about that. We want others to be gracious and kind to us but we can struggle do the same to others. So as we think about that, let’s look at the flip side of those verses. Hear that? It not only harms others but it harms self. Now think about the words you used this week. I know we challenged each other last week to really think about this. Did you help others? Did you encourage this week? Did you draw near to the LORD? Or did you do harm to yourself, even though we are tricked into thinking it is good for self. Remember also from last week we cannot just coast and be satisfied.

Proverbs 11:18-19 The wicked earns deceptive wages, but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward. Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live, but he who pursues evil will die. Look at our balance sheet again. We have ‘sure’ and ‘will live’ vs. ‘deception’ and ‘death’. The enemy wants to deceive us. He crowds in on our life and wants to push truth out for a lie; truth for trash or will it be trash for truth? Don’t let the evil one take ground in your life and heart. Stand firm. A great prayer is to ask God to show me where am I believing a lie that I need to replace with His truth. God will answer that prayer.

Proverbs 11:20 Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the LORD, but those of blameless ways are his delight. I know I have said this already but is God serious about sin? YES! Listen to the strong word He uses here about a crooked heart – ‘abomination’. When I read that word I don’t think, oh, it’s not too bad. I think this is serious sin, deplorable, yuck. “tow` ebah” is in the original language a disgusting idol. Think about sin as in vomit. Would you stand or sit in vomit? NO! It stinks, it is repulsive, it is offensive yet that is what we do when we sin and stay in the sin. On the other side of it are those obeying Him who are His delight, His joy, His pleasure. God is proud of those who obey Him. It puts a smile on His face.

Proverbs 11:21 Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered. How many times have you heard, “I thought I would get away with it?” The person might not say that out loud but their actions speak loudly that is what they are thinking. We know better. We cannot hide from God. Sin will be punished. It must be according to God’s personhood. On the other side is being delivered. I would rather be delivered then be punished. How about you? I say this to myself as well as to you, to live that way, the way of obedience of righteousness. Do you want to be pleasing to God.

Proverbs 11:22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion. Would you waste a gold ring on a pig? Women, think about what you are wearing. Think about your words. Think about how you are acting. Think about how you move. Please! Go back to all those verses on purity that we covered early in the Proverbs study.

Proverbs 11:23-26 The desire of the righteous ends only in good; the expectation of the wicked in wrath. One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.

What is your deepest desire? Are you one who holds back from the LORD? How did that work out for the couple in the book of Acts? Ananias and Sapphira. They got carried out died. It is not a good thing to withhold from God. Be a giver. What does it take to be a good giver? Willingness. An open wallet or check book. Being a good, no great, listener. Most of all, discernment and that only comes from having a close relationship with the LORD and others, and experience; then knowing when He is prompting you to give.

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

Todd

What’s Your Normal?

Do you normally finish in the top 3, top 5, or top 10? How about the 11-20 place? Maybe your goal is to make the feature. All of us have targets, goals whether is it is racing or on the job or family or other parts of life. Let’s go back to the guy that normally finishes in the 6-10 spot. Occasionally, there is a top 5 and a couple times a season behind 15th. We can be satisfied with those 6-10 finishes and happy about the top 5 and just say, “oh well” on the 15th or deeper in the finishing order. We can just coast along where ever the finish is.

Here is how this relates to the LORD and the Bible. We can also just coast along too in life. Maybe our desire is to spend x number of minutes or hours in the Word or in prayer or obeying the LORD in this area but we are ok with little slips in those areas. We can drift a little here and there. God does not want us to be satisfied with any sin in our life. He wants us to be maturing and He wants us to live blameless and holy. He knows we are not going to but he desires this for us. Is that your desire? Is there a sin that you are ok with? Stop and really think about that.

Now back to Proverbs!
Proverbs 11:11 By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown.
The theme continues, echo! We are dealing with the mouth and our words again in this verse. How did you do this week? Look at the first part of this verse. If we live upright, with integrity, we bless those around us. Do you want to be a blessing to those around you? Seriously, do you?

Proverbs 11:12 Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.
Ouch! Here is a practical lesson and I happen to be under conviction as I look at this. We have a bunch of great neighbors but we have one that, you know, it is that one, the one that is difficult. This verse is very direct. God wants us to be understanding and loving toward that neighbor just like the rest of them. We are not to belittle and I know I have, even in this last week so LORD please forgive me and help me to keep this verse in mind.

Proverbs 11:13 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.Again we are talking about what comes from our heart out of our mouth. Think about your words this past week. What was the root of them? What was your agenda? Think about that piece of paper with the two columns I talked about a couple of weeks ago. Think about the two sides. Where do you fall on this verse?

Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. We switch subjects here and it is a good one and one that is so needed for today. I don’t see the problem being people asking others this or that. What I do see as the problem is that the feedback we get is often times non Biblical and not truth. Think about who you go to for guidance. Is that person going to give us truth, answers based on God’s Word? When we take advice from (you name the person) or from “friends” on facebook or the internet we have an issue. Once in a while I will read a trend that I know is not going to be good just to remind myself that this is not the place. Not the place to get advice. Not the place to find truth.

Proverbs 11:15 Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer harm, but he who hates striking hands in pledge is secure. Here we are warned about our promises. Let me just say to be careful. Think before speaking, before promising.

Now this week’s challenge. We are to be careful with those we get advice from so who is it that you got advice from this week? Who did you surround yourself with? We are not to be loners so what foundation do the people you rely on have?
Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine. I look forward to seeing you soon at a local race track.