Pondering the Proverbs – Day 31

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)

If only every young man could grasp this truth. We must teach our children and grandchildren and every child we have influence over that the most important aspect of choosing a wife or husband is their spiritual condition. Everyone likes and is pleased with a nice looking young woman or young man, but as the wisdom writer reminds physical beauty is surficial it is fleeting. That’s not to say that people cannot age gracefully, but if our relationship is built merely on the physical it will be doomed from the beginning. One must look at the heart of their potential spouse. One must put their priority on finding a mate that is first and foremost in love with Christ. This is why we are reminded in scripture not to be unequally yoked together. A Christian has no business marrying a non-Christian. Set your stand on finding a godly woman or a godly man and then trust the Lord to honor that union as it reflects His relationship with the Church.

Grace to all,

Ronnie

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Pondering the Proverbs – Day 30

“Two things I ask of You; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:7-9)

What a very sobering text of scripture. In our rat race of a life; In a society that is constantly grasping for riches and fame; In a modern Christian era where health and wealth is the primary message for many; the wisdom writer says to the Lord in essence “give me each day the bread that I need for life and give me only what I need to live in such a way that I will honor you.”

This makes one reevaluate his perspective on life. It makes us rethink the idea of what it means to be successful. It is reminiscent of the Apostle Paul who said he knew how to be content in all circumstances. How true this statement is in light of human nature. How often have we seen those who have abundance blinded to their need for God. This is why Jesus said it would be difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Not because riches are evil, but because we all too often find security in our riches rather than in Christ. We become at ease in Zion and see not need for a Savior. On the other hand when things are tough our nature tends to drive us to satisfy our immediate need no matter what it takes.

Let us seek for God to give us what we need, nothing more and nothing less, so that we can live a life which glorifies His name. “Give us this day the bread that we need for life.”

Grace to all,

Ronnie

Pondering the Proverbs – Day 29

“Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.” (Proverbs 29:18)

We are more familiar with this translation, “Where there is no vision t he people perish.” Both are true the ESV is closer to the original wherein people “cast off restraint” when their is no vision to guide them along the journey. Inherent in the test is the idea that God has laid down this vision through the guide lines of the law. He has set before us a clear path and place along that path guard rails to help keep us from straying from the path.

When people live outside those guard rails they do in fact cast off all restraint and live life to their own design fulfilling their own desires in complete disregard to the vision of God. The bible tells us in another place that their is a way that seems right to man but its end is destruction. It seems that in our generation we see humanity casting off all restraints and demanding to live life as they see fit for themselves. The unfortunate truth is that this path that they are own will lead temporal and eternal destruction.

Let us hold fast to the moral absolutes of God’s word. Let us cling to the precepts of scripture. Let us live within the guard rails set in place by God in His holy word. Let us not cast off these restraints because “blessed is he who keeps the law.” Blessed is he who lives within the boundary of God’s divine purpose and vision for life.

Grace to all,

Ronnie

Pondering the Proverbs – Day 28

“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)

In our text today we must understand that the prosperity alluded to in the first phrase is not necessarily material prosperity. It seems to parallel the concept of mercy in the second phrase. It seems that the author is saying that there is an ultimate prosperity that transcends this world and that prosperity is found in the richness of God’s mercy and grace given to those who repent and believe. Therefore, those who conceal, or refuse to confess, their transgressions will not find the riches of God’s mercy and grace in this life or the life to come. However, the one who confesses his sin before God will find that God will lavish upon him mercy and grace that will cause him to be found justified and forgiven. This man will be rewarded greatly in that he will escape God’s coming judgment against sin and sinners. There is no greater prosperity one could hope to gain. The question is which man are you. Have you confessed or concealed your transgressions?

Grace to all,

Ronnie

Pondering the Proverbs – Day 27

“As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.” (Proverbs 27:19)

This reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Remember the Titans. Near the end of the movie at the final game during half time Coach Yoast tells the team that they taught him to judge a man by his soul and not his looks. This is the sentiment of this text I believe. It parallels what Jesus tells us in the New Testament about the character of humanity. In Matthew chapter 15 Jesus reminds His hearers that it is the things that come out of a man’s heart the determine his character or nature.

It is important for us to remember this truth and guard our hearts. When the pressures of life squeeze a man inevitably his true nature or hear twill be revealed just like when one squeezes an orange and gets orange juice. What is on the inside will eventually make its way to the outside. Do not be deceived. We may be able to fool people for a while but life will surely demonstrate to those around us who we really are.

It is imperative that we spend time daily in God’s word allowing the truth of the word to transform our heart. We need to intentionally feed our soul with the good food of the word and not the junk food of the world . We need to guard our hearts by intentionally guarding what we allow into our minds through our choices of entertainment via TV, radio, books, magazines, our computer and our game console. Allow the Holy Spirit to renew our minds day by day as we set our minds on the things above and focus our attention on the Savior and His call upon our lives to live as godly men and women.

Grace to all,

Ronnie

 

Pondering the Proverbs – Day 26

“For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.” (Proverbs 26:20)

The idea here is that you can either stoke the fires of argument or you can calm them. There are those among us who so enjoy the quarreling of others that they constantly add fuel to the fire and when the flames begin to die out they take the stick and stock the fire to life again. As the apostle Paul reminds us, we have been given the ministry of reconciliation. This is first to bring men to a place of reconciliation to God through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. However, I think we have also been given the responsibility to help facilitate reconciliation between those who are at odd. We have been call to live at peace with one another as much as is possible with us. I cannot control the actions of others, but I can control whether or not I fan the flames of a quarrel or I calm them down. Let us be that person who is a calming agent in the midst of a quarrel.

Grace to all,

Ronnie

Pondering the Proverbs – Day 25

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)

Here again Solomon reminds us of the significance of language. He reminds us that it is important to think before we speak. It is important to intentionally choose our words and measure our response. An ill spoken word or a word spoken in haste can be like a dagger to the heart of the hearer. Such words can bring rot to the soul and destroy relationships.

It is the wise man who takes great care in the use of his words. It is the wise man who listens completely to that spoke by other and ponders the thought before he replies. It is the wise man who understands the power of the spoken and written language. It is the wise man who uses his words to precisely engage the issue at hand. It is the wise man who so fitly places his words so that they become as precious jewels to the ears of the hearer. That is not to say that he always says what the hearer wants to hear, but even when he must chasten or disagree with his companion he so speaks in such a way that the companion understands the intention of his heart is to edify and not destroy. So, let us choose our words wisely.

Grace to all,

Ronnie