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.

What is That?

A few weeks ago I was at the track and group of us were sitting on the wall and there was a part left in the access road and one of the drivers picked it up. To me there were several things I thought it could be and I was in the right ballpark. The couple guys next to me thought about the same, but the driver could tell what make and page number from the parts book that it is on and what went with it in high detail. It was fun to listen to the expert. At one point I thought he was going to be able to name which car it came off of. We want to know God and His Word in that kind of detail. How well do you know Him? How much time did you spend today getting to know Him?

Let’s look at some more verses in Proverbs and try to learn more about our great and awesome God.

Proverbs 11:7 When the wicked dies, his hope will perish, and the expectation of wealth perishes too.
Stop! This verse talks of death. Are you prepared? If this was your last breathe are you ready? Do you know where you would spend eternity? Are you sure? Why?
Those are some of, if not the most important questions we need to be able to answer. Right now, stop and consider your answer. If you cannot turn to God’s Word and know the answer is Heaven because Jesus died on the cross and rose and because He is my LORD and Savior, then I ask that you stop and consider this. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10-12; 3:23; 6:23) and there is only one way – Jesus (John14:6) and we must cry out to Him (Romans 10:9; 13). Have you trusted in only Jesus and placed your faith and trust in Him? Have you repented as Jesus tells us to? I know that was brief and fast. I would be glad to talk to you more. Please look me up and ask me what question you might have.
Also in this verse, listen to the despair, the hopelessness. Listen to the warning that we are taking NO wealth with us. Listen to the emptiness that this verse states. Don’t be that person. Get right with God and do it now.

Proverbs 11:8 The righteous is delivered from trouble, and the wicked walks into it instead.
Now listen to what God says about the righteous. Remember that we only get a righteous standing because of what Christ has done. The righteous are delivered. Do you need to be delivered? I know I do. But the other side of this is the wicked walk into trouble.

Proverbs 11:9 With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor, but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
See the contrast here?! The godless will join the evil one in destroying. Stop and really think about that. Do you lift others up or tear them down? What would others say? What knowledge do the righteous have? It is the gospel. It is that each one of us have sinned and that Jesus died for our sin and that God raised Him from the dead and that is we agree Jesus is LORD, if we call out on Him, if we surrender to Him as LORD we will be saved. We are to be repenters.

Proverbs 11:10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.
I am not sure this would be found to be true here in America or in much of the world. As a matter of fact I think it is quite the opposite. To me, and I am not sure if I have this one right, it is a picture of what God wants as far as the first part. We know there is rejoicing when the lost are found, when the blind can see, when the dead in Christ come alive in Christ. Yes, over one getting saved there is much rejoicing in Heaven and I hope in the church and those believers around the one just saved.

So as we end today’s thoughts remember two things: 1) God wants you to know Him and 2) God wants you to know and be saved but only in His way not man’s, not a church, not a false hope but His way. Don’t miss out!

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

Todd