The NASCAR season has started and now the local season has start. I don’t really keep up or watch much NASCAR but I do enjoy the local touring series and tracks. What is one of the big differences between the big three and local racing? We know the people and are close to the action and the people. It is not just on TV. You get the smell and the sounds up close. With local racing you feel like more than just a spectator, you feel and are connected.
The same can be said about church. We can be just spectators in church too and that is not good. We want to be involved, up close and personally connected. Does that describe you and the Lord and you and your involvement in church?
Proverbs 22:22-23 Do not rob the poor, because he is poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate, for the Lord will plead their cause and rob of life those who rob them.
Thirty-five times the word “poor” is used in Proverbs. I think it is very clear what God wants our response to the needy, to the poor to be. There are a lot of good organizations that tend to the needs of poor and we can just give a dollar here and there or many dollars and let someone else tend to the poor or we can identify those around us that have a need. The tough thing for me is that here we have few that are in real need compared to some parts of the world where poor means no home, little food, little clothing. That is poor. Be intentional in your help.
Also, don’t just give money to other. That is too easy. Instead serve yourself. Go down to the food pantry, go to the shelter and work. Ladies, go to the Women’s Access Center. Serve a holiday meal or go to Chicago and serve meals at PGM. Get involved and see if God drives you to pray in a much different way and give in a much different way.
Proverbs 22:24-25 Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
This too is a pin-point teaching. God does not want to see anger in our heart as it comes out of our life and harms others and harms the angry person. Catch the second verse here that talks about how anger overflows in other lives. If you want to protect your family and friends put away anger because anger is a snare and entangles us and hurts others too. Don’t get caught up in it. Instead live in peace, in joy, in happiness of the LORD. We know anger is just selfishness flowing out. We know it is wrong when a little one stomps their feet or flops themselves on the floor but we adults can do the same thing.
Proverbs 22:26 Be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debts.
This is an interesting verse. Does this mean no leans, no debt, no co-sign? We live in a much different country where the norm is to have debt, to take a loan, to borrow. I think we need to take a long hard look at that and each individual and each family needs to discern what the LORD would be calling them to. I am pretty clear on where I stand and that may not be for you but please carefully study this.
This could become even more important if we see the end of a nation approaching or if we do enter the end times.
Proverbs 22:27 If you have nothing with which to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you?
This is a tough verse for me. Is it saying that we give a free pass to those that owe us money? That does not seem to be true because it also says in Proverbs to pay back what you owe. Could it be the expectation of being paid back? Or is it saying we are to give to the truly needy and not expect anything in return? I am going to let you study this out and determine what God is saying. I do think it is clear we are not to hold it over someone’s head that we will take their things to live on – food; clothing; shelter. So the question lies more with what is excess.
Proverbs 22:28 Do not move the ancient landmark that your fathers have set.
This goes back to dealing with honesty. Be honest in your work, in your purchasing, in your selling, in your words. One of the great reasons we can trust in God is He is honest, He is pure, He is holy in all He says and does. We are to be just that too. Can you be counted upon? Do you speak the truth? When you say, “I will do ‘such and such’” will it happen? Don’t be a manipulator or play games with those around you.
Proverbs 22:29 Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.
God gives us work. God gives us the talent. God opens and closes doors. Don’t force open a closed door just walk through the open doors. In your deals be proud of your work that God has given to you and you have obeyed. Give Him the credit. Remember to be thankful and have your priorities right. And remember take God calls us. If you are saved the LORD has placed a call on your life.
This work has to include what God has called you to in serving Him. Don’t miss that part or you will be a spectator and in what really counts, the work of loving God and serving Him to bring Him glory and pleasure. Don’t sit on the sidelines or in the stands. Get involved.
Have a great day racin’ in the SONshine,