Two Parts - Listen and Apply

There are days that are just tough at the track. You unload and the car just is not right, the speed just not there and you never get close. There are days that are just tough on the job. There are days that are tough at school. There are days that are tough in the marriage or family. You get the picture.
What is one way to help on those tough days? One thing to do is to listen well. I mean you are able to repeat back what you have been told or what is said. I was given a good question a couple of week ago. Do you wait to talk? Most people would say, why yes I do but it is a trick question in that we should not wait to talk, we should be listening and not think how we are going to respond. Another thing is to apply what you know is right. It is amazing what God can do when we listen to Him and apply what we know is right in His eyes and do those right things. Now back to Proverbs

Proverbs 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Back on the subject of discipline of children. We live in such an interesting time. I work around many young people and there are many outstanding kids but there is also a good number that seem to not have a clue of what work is. Worse is there is a number that don’t know what the words respect your elders mean. There was a day when we looked up and honored those with age on their side. We watched them and learned from them. That was a segue, now back on topic. Discipline is important in development, that is, appropriate discipline. There is a pretty clear line between abuse and discipline. Part of it is the heart of the one administrating the discipline and the control used. The is also the part of the child and that is to learn and obey.

Proverbs 22:16 Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.
Clear?! Echo?! I think so. God cares deeply for the poor. That is an interesting statement. If God cares so much why are there poor? Because God uses those with little material things to show His kindness. The second part is because God wants to see our response. Because our response measures our humility. Careful if you are rich and many of us, ok most if not all of us are rich compared to much of the world and compared to even 30 years ago. Look at our houses and how “full” they are.

Proverbs 22:17 Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge,
Two parts – listen and apply.
Listen – we have talked about it a lot in Proverbs but we are reminded again that we are to listen to just anyone and anything. WRONG! We are to listen to the wise and there is One that is wise, the LORD God, Jesus Christ, God the Father and God the Spirit. We are to surround ourselves with wise men and women, those filled with the Spirit and the Word. Are you careful about those you are around and in close relationship with and to? And what are you allowing in?
Apply – If we are willing to act on what we read in the Bible it will change our life and change it for the better. We need to live out James and do what the Word says. Are you? Are you reading and studying with purpose if change in mind? With the purpose of sanctification in mind? With the purpose of revival, repentance, growth in mind?

Proverbs 22:18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips.
Part 1 – Keep – We need to hang on to God’s Word. We need to hang on to it in such a way that it and we are at the ready. Think of it this way. If you are hanging over the edge of a cliff and the rope is God’s Word, imagine the grip you would have. You would not want to fall to your death. Yet we hang over the damage of sin and without a firm grip on God’s Word and wonder why…
Dear LORD, help me to remember your word and to prepare.
Part 2 – Ready – we are to be ready in season and out of season. There is a big difference from being ready for a test and life and the opportunities life bring. Yes, it is good to practice. It is good to test but it is the race that really counts. It is those opportunities in life that real matter. That is why we must know God’s word and be ready with it to obey and act.

Proverbs 22:19 That your trust may be in the Lord, I have made them known to you today, even to you.
We have talked about it before and asked the same question but again, who and what are you putting your trust in?
Part 1 – Trust – we trust in the safety equipment in a race car. We need to place out trust in Jesus, in God for our life and eternity.
Part 2 – Know – we know how the safety equipment works in a race car and we know what is right and wrong. We need to know God and His Word.
Having both is best not just one or the other.

Proverbs 22:20-21 Have I not written for you thirty sayings of counsel and knowledge, to make you know what is right and true, that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
Why do we read and search and study the Word daily? Because it is of highest value! Because we find truth in its pages! Because we find right from wrong. Amen!

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,
Todd

Easter 2017

So I asked the kids at Awana tonight what special or special traditions they had for this week. It was a good list: food; movies; candy; Good Friday church; Sunday church (surprised no one said sunrise service) and then the big talk, it was Easter egg hunt.

We decided there were several types of people on the hunt. Those that look a little and stop because it is too hard or everyone else gets them. Those that want others to find them for them. Others that did not look at all. And then the ones that look really hard and score the golden egg or the one with the special message, that the tomb is empty and Jesus is risen.

That is an excellent example of people. Some don’t look for Jesus. Some look a little but not intentional and make little effort. Some want works or someone else to get them into heaven and some search with all their heart and seek Him with everything they have. They are willing to sacrifice whatever they have to be saved. Will you be that person?

Then I shared with them some of my favorite Easter verses:
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God
I asked the kiddos how could this be an Easter verse. I told them I would give them another clue and another favorite Easter verse.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Not much closer but a few were starting to catch on. I said I would give them another clue.
Romans 5:6-8 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Now they could see a little more. They said Jesus died for us. I said that is right! The reason the other verses are Easter verses is because there has to be a sinner in order to have a Savior and each one of us are sinners. We need Jesus and here are His terms.
Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
We have to repent in our thinking. And we need to repent of our sin. We can’t just say a prayer and keep on living in sin. God is looking for a change of heart and life. Look at what Jesus did for you.
1 Corinthians 15:3,4 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures
And His example to each one of us.
Philippians 2:5-9 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

I pray that you have surrendered to Jesus as LORD. If you have, will you be intentional at telling someone this week the gospel, the good news, the hope we have in Jesus?

Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,

Todd