Drop the Green Flag, It’s Time to go Racing

Are you excited to get back on the track? It is time to get the season started but there is still work to be done. Is there a little scramble for parts and getting ready to go racing? Have you ever had that part that seems to be a hassle to get? I know with just a regular street car that has happened a few times. What does it take to get it – patience and steadfastness and it helps to know the right person. You can’t give up the hunt and then you have to wait for the delivery of it.

Well here we are into chapter 9 of Proverbs and we are waiting on the LORD and the next lesson He has for us. Let’s dig in.

Proverbs 9:10-11  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life. Anyone hear an echo? We are in Proverbs so of course there is an echo. We are reminded here that wisdom starts with the fear of the LORD. Here there is the addition that the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. What do you think that means? To me, it is opening the Scripture and discovering all you can about God and He will begin to unfold His truth to you and me. Verse 11 helps me think of the fourth of the Ten Commandments and how God will add years to those who honor and obey their parents. This verse does not necessarily mean years but the multiplication of the value and depth of life. It is the increase of love that brings eternal significance and meaning to life. That can be a wow moment in life. Don’t miss it.

Proverbs 9:12-18 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it. The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house; she takes a seat on the highest places of the town, calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” And to him who lacks sense she says, “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol. We have to be careful who and what we listen to. It is far too easy for us just to let junk into our lives and homes by not saying no to what has no eternal value or is of the world or just clearly sin. Remember that the evil one uses both quick and loud volume to slip into our lives. He will always use a little truth and then twist lies into it. He feeds off our desire to be comfortable instead of wanting to be refined. Take some time to think about that.

See you at a track soon and have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Good Friday and Happy Easter, Resurrection Day 2015

What do you look forward to? Your birthday, a raise at work, the birth of a child, a new job, going on vacation, etc… There are many things we look forward to. I know I have them. I know my kids have them. I think we live in a country that looks forward to, “the next big thing.”

Talking about looking forward, how much are you looking forward to the race season? I am guessing that many of you are very excited and really looking forward and glad that it is not far off at all. This is an exciting time of the year because everyone is even on points, our setting goals, and because it has been a while since we have heard the roar of the engine and the smell of racing. We are looking forward to seeing one another and hanging out at the track around one of the things we much enjoy, racing. There will be a new season soon and new adventure. For some there will be a new track or new series.

As much as you and I are looking forward to the race season and as much as we might be excited about it there are more important things to look forward to. Listen to what the Bible talks about in that area.

Hebrews 11:8-10  By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. (ESV)

2 Peter 3:12-15  as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.  So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, (NIV)

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,  waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

You know the power of a race car. You can feel it when you are strapped in and stumping on the gas pedal. You feel it as it flies down the straightaway. As fans, you see the power on the track and you hear and feel it when they race by. Can you imagine that power right now if you close your eyes? Do you feel it? Well, to me these verses are even more powerful than those racing feelings. Stop with me and think about this week where we pause to think about what God did and wants to do. Go back and read the three sets of verses.

In the first set we see Abraham obeyed and was faithful. We see God is the builder. In the second set we see God promises that there will be a new heaven and earth for those who have cried out to Him. We also see God wants us to live a life that is spotless, blameless and at peace with Him. Salvation is on God’s terms and obedience is on His terms. In the third set we see an echo that God wants us to say no to sin and yes to Him. Verse 13 and 14 are incredibly powerful! Do you wait in great anticipation for the LORD and His return? We also see in verse 13 a clear, deliberate proclamation and declaration of Jesus’ deity. Do you see it – our great God and Savior Jesus Christ? How could you possibly miss this or not understand this definite statement that Jesus is God. What a great bunch of things to think about this week as go through the passion week.

May you be intentional in your worship and your thinking this week. May your thought be of eternal value. May you share the hope we have in Jesus with someone. And may God bless your obedience.

Have a great weekend and a great day racin’ in the SONshine and see you at the track soon,

Todd

 

Back to the Beginning Again

So you get nine races into the season and it seems like a lot is the same each week yet each night is new and different. The winners are different. The number of cautions is different. The drivers are different, some new ones, some are not about to make it. But as drivers, teams, fans we keep coming out and excited about another night of racing.

So it is as we hit chapter 9 of Proverbs. We are back to wisdom! Do you remember what we studied earlier? Go back and check out those early chapters and studies out then let’s move on to this new one.

Proverbs 9:1 Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. 2She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table. She has sent out her young women to call from the highest places in the town. Look at those last words. God calls out to us with His truth. It is all around us. It is our responsibility to catch the truth and apply it to our lives. Are you doing that? Stop and really think about it. How intentional are you being today? What is your plan for tomorrow? What have you (Titus 2:12), SAID NO TO? Until we are saying no to sin we are not going to know what God wants and we are not going to be blessed and we are not going lead others to truth, and our witness weakens.

Proverbs 9:4-6 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” To him who lacks sense she says,“Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.” Read that again. Are there some simple things you can do to take steps to the LORD in obedience and in calling? Do them! There is so much the LORD is teaching you right now if you will stop, learn them, live them. Sound like an echo? It is my bi-line name for Proverbs, “The Book of Echoes – Live in Obedience” Second point out of this section is, think of Matthew 26:26 and Jesus at what was the first and perfect example of the LORD’s Table.

Proverbs 9:7-9 Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. This is important teaching. It brings into question who do we invest time and effort into, yet we have to be careful not to say, “I don’t have to reach out to the unbeliever.” To me, this points to HOW we approach them, those who are not in the family yet. In my humble opinion you cannot attack the sinner. You have to show them God’s love and mercy and serve like Jesus’ example (see Mark 10:45). You cannot accept sin but you can remember back when you did not know the LORD and lived in rebellion. What did you need? 1) You needed to know you were a sinner, leave that to God and the commandments to convict you and then confess them. 2) There is hope, that God, that Jesus, loves you and desires to extend His mercy to you! 3) You need to know that Jesus is who He says He is, Lord, Savior, perfect and only way to salvation. There is NO other name to be saved by. 4) Repent, you needed to turn from your sin and cry out, Jesus is LORD.

I hope you have done that!

See you at a track soon and have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Where To Get Started?

Think about building a car. Where do you start? Chassis? Motor? Sponsor? Crew? The rules? Where you start is important in building a car and a race team. Where you start in many things is important.

Think about school and the things being taught there. Do you start with 1+1 or the square root of 64 multiplied by 63? Building the base in anything, the foundation, is the key to success. Your starting point in your world view in critical. I am firm in my world view of creation done by God. I even think a year of around 4000 BC can be established via Genesis and the clues left for us. With that in mind let’s look at the following verses.

Proverbs 8:27-29When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth.

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit were all involved in creation. See Genesis 1:; 1:2; Hebrews 1:8-12; Colossians 1:15-16; Nehemiah 9:6. Stop and think about the power behind these words. They clearly state that God is the Creator and that He established limits and boundaries. He marked out the foundations, perfect alignment! Here is another thought, God created and did not need evolution. Let’s teach our children the truth, don’t leave it up to the schools to confuse them and lead them down a path of lies. Teach them sound Biblical science that gives evidence of creation instead of a circular type of reason portrayed as a fact.

When you look to the sky or see a great sunset think about the Creator, God and worship Him. When you see the great power of a waterfall or ocean waves, worship the Maker, the LORD God Almighty!

Think about this:
Have you stood and marveled at the ocean?
And with a Word God spoke it!
Think of the power of the waves
And God set the limits
Think about the great need you have right now
And God knows it and cares for you.
That’s my loving, great God
Is He your LORD too?

Proverbs 8:30-36 30 then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, 31 rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man. 32 “And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. 33 Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. 34 Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. 35 For  whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, 36 but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”

Can you believe it? We are back to the echo of “hear instruction”. Think about this, we can be part of God’s family by submitting to Him as LORD. We have to bow before Him. A plus is we get blessing from God. That blessing comes from following Him, obeying Him, listening to Him. Are you? Are you really listening to God and obeying Him or are you playing church? Seriously, think about that. A lot of people play church and are hoping that is going to get them into heaven and to be with the LORD. Your employer would not let you work a few hours a week and call it good. No, you need to be committed to God fully.

See you at a track soon and have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Who's Talking

Have you ever been in a big crowd and you can’t tell who it is that is speaking or listening on the scanner and think, “who’s voice is that”? At the track it can be loud and hard to hear who is talking. Sometimes I even wonder when the kids are talking where did that come from? That cannot be so and so talking.

It is important to know who is talking and as we go back to our Proverbs study we need to remember that here Wisdom is speaking. Let’s look at some more verses in chapter 8:Proverbs 8:14I have counsel and sound wisdom; I have insight; I have strength.

Think about this for a moment and then the verse. I am completely dependent on God, if I will admit it or not. God gives life and counts out our days. He knows all and is all powerful. He IS sovereign. Stop and think about that. He is independent of all others and has no need. SO who should we lean on and rely on? That is right – God! DO you? Do you place all your trust in Him? Is He guiding you? Are you spending time in His Word?

Proverbs 8:15-16 By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just;16 by me princes rule, and nobles, all who govern justly

Oh how I pray that this country would be lead by God fearing men and women. We are surely going down a bad road. I am speaking about both of the big two parties. Neither one has very many that lead by what God would have them do. It is a sad thing to see and be part of.

Repent!!!>Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

Are you seeking God first? Seriously, stop and think about this. Are your thoughts on God part of the day, a little bit of the day, some of the day, most of the day, or all of the day? I know that I need to fix my eye, ear, mind and heart and thoughts on Him much more that I do. So what will you do right now to place God first in your mind, heart and thoughts?!

Proverbs 8:18 Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness.

Look at your checking, bank account, 401K, savings, stocks, home, retirement? How do they look? No comparison to the rest of the world? Most are looking for a, yes “a” meal today of mush or rice. Many will not have a bed to sleep in. Many will not have clean water. Many will not more then $5 earnings for a 12 hour work day today. So who is rich? In a worldly sense, every American or at least most are but most are really poor because the riches God talks about is the riches of knowing Him and having a personal, daily relationship under His authority!

Proverbs 8:19My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.

What is your fruit today, what is your spiritual fruit today? Did you live out joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control today? Oh and the greatest of these is love? See Galatians 5:22-23 for a list of the fruits of the Spirit.
Proverbs 8:20-21 I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice, 21 granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.

Reread the last two and put them together and add where are your treasures laid up? Remember you cannot take your car, your house, your bank account with you. So give. Give the way God calls you to give, sacrificially.

Proverbs 8:22-2322 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old. 23 Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.

God knows us before we were born. He loves us and wants the best for us but leaves us with choice. I like how the 1984 NIV words these two verses -2 Timothy 1:9who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, and Psalm 102:25In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. Add that to Psalm 139 and we see a) every life has value from conception to the last breath and man should not end life prematurely. b) God gives us life and sees every moment of it. He desires to have us come to Him for salvation and in faith and trust of every moment in our life. He is available. It is up to us to lean into Him and seek His guidance through His Word, prayer and Spirit.

Proverbs 8:24-2624  When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth,26 before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world

As long as we are doing subjects that counter the American school of thought lets go from abortion taking a real life, a living person, a human, fully human to how we got here. It was not millions of years. That is easy to see. We can even go with a “young earth evolution” position. But what does God say? He says He created. He says He breathes life. He says that each was made to its own kind. God created, just by saying the words and he created all the universes and everything in them. He created life on one planet. Science shows this clearly and the world around us too. Think about this. There is no half man half ape. If evolution was true we would see many and few of the apes and men. Think about how a cell would develop an eye and what would all the stages in between look like and why don’t we see them? And staying on a simple level, why would it stop at humans if evolution is true? One more thing, does not the Law of Thermodynamics state clearly that things regress and do not morph into great life? It takes way too much faith and fairytales to believe in evolution.

Thanks for studying and thinking with me!

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Remember Back When?

Remember back to that great race? It was Trickle and Reffner side by side at the Dells when Back went three wide or was it Shear and Trickle at Capital and John Ziegler? The memory sometimes can get fuzzy from years ago. Worse is when you think of the week before and can’t remember if it was Casey or Dale battling with someone else. Well I think there are too many times when we do that with even more important things like the message in church or Sunday School on Monday or on Sunday afternoon. You know it was good. You know it was important. But those details are what is missing. I know it was three points all starting with “s”. Maybe that is why God repeats Himself so much in Proverbs. So that someone like me will catch it on the second, third, tenth time. It is practical living lesson and we need reminders.

I say this because do you remember lesson One when we talked about fear? Or lesson Four when we touch on it? Well we are back to it. Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. Remember the fear we are talking about is yir’ah in the original languages. It means to be exceedingly fearful and its root is found in yare’ which is to be afraid. In this verse we are given an example of what it should look like in our life. It is to hate evil. Let me ask, what is your relationship to evil? Maybe first I should ask, what is evil? We should not want to do harm to anyone, especially God, and including ourselves. Evil should be our enemy. That seems basic right? Part two of this verse gets a little more uncomfortable to me. I am to hate pride. Often as we talk at the dinner table about sin we need to deal with it and it will center on pride. This good definition comes from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pride

: a feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by other people
: a feeling that you are more important or better than other people
: a feeling of happiness that you get when you or someone you know does something good, difficult, etc.

That does not sound that good when we read it that way. When I talk to the kids about pride I remind them that it is when we push someone down and push, puff ourselves up. It is a sin that is all around us, in and out of the school, play, work, home, church, etc… When is the last time you stopped and asked God to show you your pride? Would you stop right now and ask God to examine you and show you areas of pride? This is how serious pride is. It is top ten material (see the Ten Commandments). It is in big three from 1 John 2:16. It is going to be touched on 7 times in Proverbs. It is serious business to battle against pride and I hope you address and fight pride in your life and in your marriage, in your family. As much as I have stressed purity in the previous messages I hope I am stressing the sin of pride now.

We are given three more things we are to hate: arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. These are all worthy of stopping and thinking about. Let’s stop at the speech part. How are your words about others? How about your word selection? I am guessing we all need a lot of work in those two areas.

I know this lesson was challenging but I think it is really important. I hope you take some extra time to think about it and deal on a deep way with the LORD.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,

Todd