Archives For Proverbs

I once read our excess money is given to us to share with others. This is something I’ve tried to incorporate into my own life because I feel there is good Biblical precedence for it. Early Christ followers shared all they had with each other (Acts 4:32-35). This seems to go even beyond simply giving away our excess. In the Old Testament, God gave laws commanding people to not harvest the edges of their fields so the poor could come and get some food for their families (Leviticus 23:22).

giving away our excess,wealth,hoarding,generosity,tithe,tithing,John 10:10,Luke 12:16-21,Proverbs 30:7-9

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Jesus told us not to hoard our wealth (Luke 12:16-21). The next question I generally get when discussing this is, “How do I determine how much is excess?” To me, this question is always the result of a scarcity mindset.

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Jesus said to pray for your enemies (Matthew 5:44). I have a hard enough time making time to pray for my friends and family, so praying for my enemies has rarely made it high onto my priority list. I admit there was a certain sly satisfaction in knowing my prayers could heap piles of burning coals onto their heads (Proverbs 25:21-22). That’s more what I typically have in mind when I think about my enemies!

pray for your enemies,love your enemies,obedience,obey His commands,Jesus first,Matthew 5:44,Proverbs 25:21-22,heap burning coals on their head

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Still, Jesus said if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. He didn’t say some of His commandments. His words certainly imply we keep them all. Thus, you must learn to pray for your enemies, and I must learn to pray for mine.

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It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done. God can and will still use you if you let Him.  The Bible tells us even though we fall seven times, we can still get back up (Proverbs 24:16). Too many people use the failures of the past to disqualify them from the victories in their future.  If you are still breathing, God can still use you.

Not dead yet,building God's Kingdom,Kingdom of God,not too late,never too late,God's not done,though a man falls seven times,Proverbs 24:16,get up get going,never too old,only this moment matters

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No one is too low or too damaged to build the Kingdom of God. We limit ourselves by thinking God could never use someone who has done the things we have done. Since we can’t stop sinning, we think God has surely turned His back and run the other way. But these are just lies Satan loves to tell us.

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I’ve been focused lately on living intentionally. My theme this year is “Devotion”, and I’ve already discovered increasing my devotion to Christ is nearly impossible without ordering my days in an intentional way.  Unless I am very specific about how I will choose to spend my time, my time will get spent in ways that in no way reflect my devotion to Christ. At least at this stage of my own walk with God, unstructured time rarely defaults to time spent with Him.

living intentionally,intentional living,John Maxwell,Francois Fenelon,Israelites,manna,Exodus 16:16-20,Exodus 33:9,Proverbs 30:8-9,provision,obedience,trust

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It’s been both an enlightening and frustrating realization. While I’ve been reading books on living intentionally, it was Francois Fenelon who helped me see how living intentionally is firmly rooted in the pages of God’s Word. Here’s how the Bible demonstrates intentional living through the practice of living in the moment, keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus, and being content with what you have…
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aw tozer,a.w.tozer,tozer,pride,Proverbs 16:18,pride goes before a fall,love as Jesus loved,Matthew 6:25-34,God will provide all your needs,humility,humble,John 15:12Photo Credit: bowler1996p via Compfight cc

A.W. Tozer once said that “The proud man cannot worship God any more than the proud devil can worship God.” Pride is a relationship killer. When we love someone, we make everything about them. Pride makes everything about us. The only relationship that thrives in the midst of pride is the narcissistic one we have with ourselves.  If we would follow Christ with all of our hearts then we must love as He did (John 15:12). We must be humble as He was. There is no room for pride in our relationship with God. We’ve got to let go of every feeling of self-sufficiency and rely fully on His character and promise of provision (Matthew 6:25-34).

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the lord's prayer,God's will for your life,God's will for my life,God's will,obey God's commands,the sheep and the goats,Matthew 25:31-46,Luke 10:27,John 14:15,John 14:23-24,Proverbs 30:8-9Photo Credit: Old Shoe Woman via Compfight cc

When Jesus gave us what is known as “The Lord’s Prayer”, He gave us much more than a simple model prayer.  Within these few short verses are the keys to God’s will for each of our lives. If you’ve ever wondered how you should pray, it’s in there. If you’ve ever wondered what God’s will is for your life, it’s in there as well. Want to know how you should treat others? Jesus articulated it in His prayer.  Are you curious about how to have a right relationship with your money? You guessed it, it’s right there in the Lord’s Prayer. It’s a short passage, so let’s break it down piece by piece.

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In the trials of life it often seems that God is far away. We wonder where He is in the midst of our pain, as if He wandered away and left us to fend for ourselves. The truth is that God never leaves us. Because He indwells us, it is impossible for Him to leave those who have believed in Him and committed their lives to Him. We are one, and nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). The Bible states that God knows the number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30). As Steven Furtick points out in his book, Crash the Chatterbox, “You can’t count someone’s hairs, one by one, from a distance.” God is always close, no matter your circumstances.

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Woodland Hills Church,Financial Peace University,Dave Ramsey,Pub Theology,Daron Earlewine,Rick Grover,christ centered ministries,hands and feet of Jesus

A reader asked if I could give some examples of ministries I’ve seen honoring God. Since I spend a lot of time encouraging us to engage in following Christ with all of our hearts, I thought it was an excellent suggestion and an opportunity to highlight some people and ministries of which I have become aware. I have added a new section on the “Resources” tab of this site that lists several ministries I support and endorse. But I wanted to highlight a few people and organizations that I have personally witnessed being the hands and feet of Jesus, walking in His footsteps and reaching out to people in need.

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Jesus is Lord,Lord of your life,Jesus first,God first,Samson,strength,blessings,integrity,character,Delilah

I have always been drawn to the story of Samson. Maybe growing up as a long-haired rock-n-roll guy, I liked the “no hair cut” rule of the Nazarite vow. I love how God has recorded stories about such diverse individuals that we can always find someone who resonates with us. Samson had it all. He was the strongest man in the world. Having devoted his whole life to God, he should have been one of the greatest men in history. Unfortunately, the details of Samson’s story are more often than not very sad, and ultimately, quite tragic. Instead of living out his days as a great man of God and leader of Israel, Samson squandered his blessings and ended his life as a ridiculed slave.

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Jesus is Lord,Lord of your life,Jesus first,God first

Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. It was a decent sum of money, enough to buy a piece of real estate (Matthew 27:3-10). It certainly wasn’t enough to set him up for life. He still was going to have to work for a living. Perhaps it would be easier to excuse his actions if he had been paid millions of dollars to betray his friend, not to mention the fact that this friend just happened to be the Son of God. Yet it only took thirty pieces of silver to convince Judas to turn away from the one he professed as Lord. We turn up our noses in disgust that such a small sum would entice Judas. It’s easy to say that we would never have done such a thing. Until, of course, we look at our own price for betrayal.

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