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

Every Lap Counts

Whether it is a 500 lap enduro or a 7 lap heat race every lap counts. Do you think most drivers, teams and fans would agree? I think that they do. You have to be learning with every lap and you have to be focused every lap. It may seem like they are just logging laps in a long race but those early laps of just staying out of trouble, saving your equipment, might be just what is needed at the end of the race for the win. That is why we pay attention. It is fun to see how each lap affects the next. In the same way we are to pay attention to Proverbs. Let’s dig in again.

Proverbs 8:8 All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them. God gives us a great set of promises here. 1) all the words and verse in the Bible are important. 2) All of God’s words are just. They are specific. They are trustworthy. They are truth filled. 3) The world is full of those that are crooked or perverse but God is never like that. Stop and really think about that. Now, why will I, why will you, not completely trust every word of God and obey?

Proverbs 8:9 They are all straight to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge. Are you discerning? Upright? How would God answer that? There is a good test of faith here. Side note, it is really important and good that we test our faith. There are many great studies on it. Have you found knowledge from God and what have you done with it? How about this week?

Proverbs 8:10 Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold,Another faith test. For this to do us any good we have to be honest with our answers. What is more important to you: God or self? God or your wife, kids? God or money? God or our job? God or things? God or sports? God or racing? And so on. Are God’s instruction and knowledge more valuable than riches?

Proverbs 8:11 for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.Read those last few words again – NOTHING! Can you honestly say there is nothing more important than the LORD? We can so easily fill our lives with things other than God. Would you stop right now and ask the LORD to show you anything that is in His place in your life?

Proverbs 8:12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.Look at the blessing you get when you have wisdom. We are getting echoes of the blessings God gives to those who find the LORD and His wisdom.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,

Todd

Consistency!

One of the great attributes of a successful race track is consistency. One example is Jefferson Speedway. You know what you’re getting every Saturday night. The show starts at the same time. The rules are clear. The food is the same. The personnel are close to the same and night after night, year after year they run one of the best most popular race programs in the Midwest. Why? Consistency.

God is consistent even more so than Jefferson. I know that is obvious and we cannot compare anything of man to God because it is fallen versus holy but think with me a moment. We have covered 7 chapters of Proverbs and the message has been consistent and repeated often. As I have said, I am ok with that because I need to focus on the LORD and these areas. If He took the time to repeat them, I should take the time to learn them and live them out. I have no excuse not to. REPEAT! NO EXCUSE!

Let’s dig into chapter 8 and back to the echo on wisdom. Proverbs 8:1: Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand;beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:“To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man.O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense.Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right, for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

Slow down and read that again. Where do you put God and His Word in your life? Do you passionately seek wisdom before man’s thinking? Listen to verse 6. Do you completely trust God? We need to and should. What areas in your life are you not trusting God in? What do you need to give over to Him? To have insight we have to be in step with the LORD.

>Going back to the idea of consistency, are you being consistent in your walk with the LORD? Most of us that struggle with inconsistency in our Christian life it is because we waver in staying in God’s Word and in fellowship with God’s people. It is so important to be in church and under good teaching from the Bible. So where are you today in your walk with God? How faithful have you been today? How pure have your thoughts been? How obedient have you been? If the answer is less than great then today is a day for revival and repentance.  You know that I believe everyday is a good day for revival and repentance for each of us. So take a step toward the LORD. He asks us to be faithful right where we are each day. He will lead us to His ways from there.

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd