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  • John T. Polk II 8:27 am on 2016-09-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , poor, ,   

    9-7-2016 Saints Serving The Poor 

    There was no Roman Catholic Church in existence when Paul wrote: “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints” (Romans 1:7 NKJV). They were “distributing to the needs of the saints” (Romans 12:13 NKJV).  Paul was “going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem” (Romans 15:25-26 NKJV).  There is more than just serving the poor, however, for “though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3 NKJV).   Serving without love “profits nothing.”  Corinthians “hearing, believed, and were baptized” (Acts 18:8 NKJV) and were “sanctified in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:2 NKJV).

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

     
  • John T. Polk II 3:42 pm on 2015-10-06 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: poor, , wholly reap   

    10-8-2015 Helping the Poor 

    When Jesus said, “you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good” (Mark 14:7 NKJV), He was confirming the Old Testament teaching. “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 23:22 NKJV). The “poor” were allowed to harvest the raw materials for food from the last of the crops. The “poor” were also obligated to pay their temple tax the same as the “rich” (Exodus 30:14-15). Nowhere in the Bible are God’s people (Israelites in the Old, Christians in the New) obligated to care for the “poor” who show no involvement in Bible teaching!

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

     
    • RichardS 11:37 pm on 2015-10-07 Permalink | Reply

      Your last sentence does not go along with Gal. 6:10 or Rom. 12:17-21 and remember that Rom. 12:20 quotes Prov.25:21-22. Benevolence is a great tool in spreading the Gospel to the lost. A missionary from Thailand told us that many souls have been won to Christ by helping the people there in their time of need.

      • John T. Polk II 3:01 pm on 2015-10-13 Permalink | Reply

        RichardS, thanks for the inquiry. The operative word is “obligated.” When “a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased” (John 6:2). Jesus fed that multitude of 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish, a miracle which impressed the multitude (John 6:3-14). When the multitude followed Him for food the next day, He taught them some “meat” of His teaching (John 6:15-59). “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more” (John 6:66). Jesus’ church has no “obligation” toward those who follow only for food and gain (1 Timothy 6:5-6).

  • Ron Thomas 7:00 am on 2014-12-09 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , poor   

    ETHICS 

    As a nation the Lord was greatly displeased with Israel. There were many things that plagued them, but in Isaiah 1:17 there are five points the Lord set forth for Israel to do. 1) Learn to do good, 2) seek justice, 3) rebuke the oppressor, 4) defend the fatherless, and 5) plead for the widow (the wording of the NKJV). The word “good” can best be understood in relation to the Lord’s will. The word “justice” simply means that Israelites were to properly apply the Lord’s word from the high ranking official all the way down to the lowest or the economically deprived in the community. The one who oppresses is rendered differently in the NET: “Give the oppressed reason to celebrate.” This seems to be best understood in relation to the next two points; the children and the widows who have no one to provide for them need assistance. That which the Lord called upon the children of Israel to do, let us do the same.

     

     
    • Beth 4:18 pm on 2014-12-13 Permalink | Reply

      Ethics grow out of Christian principles, not the other way around.

  • John T. Polk II 4:00 pm on 2014-07-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , goverment, , poor, , , ,   

    (#195) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:14-How to be Re-elected 

     

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 29:14: “The king who judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever.”

    “The king” (or any government leader who thinks he/she is a “king”) represents the administration and its governance;

    Judging the “poor with truth,” means that:

    1) no law or court decision should favor the “poor” (Exodus 23:3, 6; Leviticus 19:15), either by taking more from the “rich” or artificially raising the minimum wage of the “poor;”

    2) no law or court decision should seek to do away with the condition of being “poor,” for Jesus Christ said “the poor you have with you always” (John 12:8), and Solomon said: “The rich and the poor have this in common, The LORD is the maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2);

    3) no law or court decision should make life harder for the “poor.” Solomon had said: “Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate; For the LORD will plead their cause, And plunder the soul of those who plunder them” (Proverbs 22:22-23);

    4) no law or court decision should define or describe being “poor” so as to include more as being “poor” than there really is!  “Poor” in Moses’ Law, meant one was reduced to selling off his possessions or even himself (Leviticus 25:25-48)! “Poverty” can be the result of: laziness (Proverbs 6:9-11); stinginess (Proverbs 11:24); refusal to be disciplined (Proverbs 13:18); empty talk (Proverbs 14:23); reckless planning (Proverbs 21:5); constant fun (Proverbs 28:19).

    The truly wise will enjoy being a part of “the middle class:” “Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches-Feed me with the food allotted to 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).

    A country whose people received the condemnation of God “used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger” (Ezekiel 22:29).

    “The king” who wants to be re-elected will take note and be wise.

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
    • Jack Wirtz 12:20 pm on 2014-07-11 Permalink | Reply

      All that you say is true; for the rulers serve at the will of GOD to fulfill HIS purposes, and they will surely give answer to JEHOVAH for how they have judged. Since we do not, nor can we know the heart of man, David Lipscomb from that, and from the teachings concerning our relation to those that rule made a fair argument against voting.

      America great moral and spiritual decline is the product of a hundred years of false teaching. Her continuation in whatever form shall be at GOD’s pleasure, but regardless let us remain faithful to HIM that has called us. Be anxious about nothing taking nothing away from our zeal for The Lord.

      2Ti 3:1-4 But this know, that in [the] last days difficult times shall be there; for men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, evil speakers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, profane, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, of unsubdued passions, savage, having no love for what is good, 4 traitors, headlong, of vain pretensions, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of GOD…

  • John T. Polk II 7:23 am on 2014-06-30 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , poor,   

    (#189) The Proverbs of Solomon 28:3-Beware of the Merciless Poor 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 28:3: “A poor man who oppresses the poor Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.”

    “A driving rain” can wash away planted seeds, top soil, and even the crops, themselves. “A poor man who oppresses” is merciless and unforgiving to those like himself. Power or authority in the hands of one who hasn’t earned it is a weapon of mass destruction!

    Jesus Christ, who was “greater than Solomon” (Matthew 12:42), best described this wisdom in Matthew 18:23-35: “Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18:23-35). People have a tendency to not show pity to those who have sinned like they have, though their sin may have been worse! A “poor man” is harder and more impatient with other “poor” people because they are like he was. James warns us of this attitude: “So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:12-13).

    Anyone who knows what it is like to have sins forgiven (Mark 16:15-16) should know how to forgive others: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). We who have admitted our own sins before God should have compassion on others.

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 9:03 am on 2014-01-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , oppressing the poor, poor,   

    You’re Nothing but a Number to the Lottery 

    I listened to a story on the radio the other day about the “strength” of the Tennessee State Lottery, which, by the way, actually has a “Duck Dynasty” scratch off game. But anyways, according to the story the Tennessee State Lottery is “enjoying” the strongest growth among all state lotteries in the ole’ US of A. Truth be told, the state lottery made $1.37 billion in a downturned, struggling 2013 Tennessee economy. Yup! Pretty interesting; or should I say pretty sad?

    The interview eventually included a few audio quotes given by the lottery’s commissioner/president/CEO/boss, who actually has an award named after her by the Public Gaming Research Institute, giving her point of view of the financially booming lottery system in Tennessee. In one of the quotes she bragged about how every state lottery, three in total, that she began and maintained with her “leadership” experienced growth – all 28 years in a row. You could hear the joy and excitement and pride in her voice.

    But to me there should be no joy or no excitement or no pride about the “achievements” of any state lottery. It’s nothing but a predatory system that preys off of the poor. Study after study has revealed that the neighborhoods and communities with the lowest median income have the highest rates of sales for the lottery systems. But yet the system shows no shame, only reminding people to “play responsibly” and to call the toll-free number listed on the back if they think they have a problem.

    Well I have a problem! I have a problem with people making hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars by taking 2 and 3 dollars at a time out of the pockets of the impoverished and impressionable people who are constantly pounded with the importunities of the lottery’s TV and radio commercials! They incessantly present wining as easy and as a dream come true. And they’re right to one extent – people are dreaming if they think they’re going to get rich off of playing the lottery.

    Some may say, “But Eugene, the lottery awards money to its winners and in the grand scheme of things it’s all for the children and their education.” To that I say, “Garbage!” The lottery worries about nothing other than itself. People are nothing but a number in the system. Numbers that must be maintained so salaries can be filled; and I’m talking about salaries that the average lottery player wishes they could win! And education? If the state was so concerned about education then they could do more with the money that they tax the people with already!

    The average person who plays the lottery isn’t thinking about the education of others. They aren’t interested in going to school – they’re getting schooled every time they buy a ticket. And it’s a lesson in economics that the system is willing to teach over and over and over to people who won’t learn.

    Lotteries are all about the numbers, and the numbers don’t lie – the lotteries are in it for the money, not for you!

    He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches, And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.” (Proverbs 22:16)

    Related Article:

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-10-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "do-gooders, , , poor, , ,   

    (#85) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:20-21- With Friends Like These… 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 14:20-21: “The poor man is hated even by his own neighbor, But the rich has many friends. 21 He who despises his neighbor sins; But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.”

    Verse 20: The “poor” have less to offer than the “rich,” and neighbors “hate” (detest, are impatient with) them! The “rich” may have “many friends” who have been attracted by the wealth, like flies to garbage. How sad for both! Such “fair-weather friends” should never be considered when evaluating a person’s worth! Human value should not be based on either what a person has or doesn’t have (“rich” or “poor”).

    Verse 21: Those who “despise” (think lightly of, disregard) a “neighbor” (nearest, closest), especially a “poor” one, will not show “mercy,” and this lack of mercy will come back to them: “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be heard” (Proverbs 21:13). Jesus thought of the poor when He said, “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil” (Luke 6:35); “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:12-14). God invests good in the “unthankful and evil,” and so should His children (Christians), but it is up to the “unthankful and evil” to pay it forward! Dinners or suppers, usually require a social obligation in return, but Jesus insists that the poor and downtrodden should be served “because they cannot repay you.” Good, done for good’s sake, does not have a price tag! And Jesus’ prophecy of the Day of Judgment will be a reckoning of deeds done, “for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me” (Matthew 25:35-36). No good deed will go unrewarded because only “do-gooders” will be saved!

    Other proverbs which speak on this subject include: “The poor man uses entreaties, But the rich answers roughly” (Proverbs 18:23); “Wealth makes many friends, But the poor is separated from his friend” (Proverbs 19:4); “All the brothers of the poor hate him; How much more do his friends go far from him! He may pursue them with words, yet they abandon him” (Proverbs 19:7); “The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: The LORD gives light to the eyes of both” (Proverbs 29:13).

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-09-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , poor, , , ransom, , , ,   

    (#66) The Proverbs of Solomon 13:8-Too Rich To Be Saved? 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 13:8: “The ransom of a man’s life is his riches, But the poor does not hear rebuke.”

    Riches may have their advantages, but they also present many problems. A rich person becomes a target for the stealth of thieves, strength of thugs, and socialism of tyrants. The rich are singled out by suspicion as racists, covetous, cold-hearted, or idle. The rich must, therefore, use their riches for added security, insurance, fees, staff, taxes, and assorted extortioners, just to keep the “hounds at bay” as it were! Truly, the rich often must use their wealth as a “ransom” to buy back their freedom and independence. Elihu asked a penetrating question: “Will your riches, Or all the mighty forces, Keep you from distress?” (Job 36:14). Riches cannot buy: 1) a soul’s redemption or prevent death (Psalm 49:6-9); 2)A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1); 3) Permanence. “Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven” (Proverbs 23:5); 4) “For riches are not forever, Nor does a crown endure to all generations” (Proverbs 27:24). David had said: “If riches increase, Do not set your heart on them” (Psalm 62:10). Truly Jesus warned that it was possible for riches to kill faith before it can begin, for one “who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22).

    An advantage of being “poor” is not to have these cares or concerns. The “poor” may think only of the advantages of being rich, and thereby become covetous, which is a sin (Colossians 3:5). “A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, And does not consider that poverty will come upon him” (Proverbs 28:22). Without wealth, it seems that: “All the brothers of the poor hate him; How much more do his friends go far from him! He may pursue them with words, yet they abandon him” (Proverbs 19:7). But remember that: “The rich and the poor have this in common, The LORD is the maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2). Jesus’ statement proves true: “”Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:24). Hard, but not impossible. Riches are oftentimes a stumbling-block to both the rich and poor!

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-08-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , frivolous, poor, , , , , ,   

    (#56) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:11-Don’t “Buy the Farm”—Yet! 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 12:11: “He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.”

    The association of agriculture and hard work goes back to the Garden of Eden. God “planted a garden” (Genesis 2:8), but when man was created, he was “put in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). After sin entered the world, man was burdened with: “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). Hard working farmers should be able to share in their harvest, for “he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope” (1 Corinthians 9:10). Rulers must accept the fact that, without farmers, they have no kingdom! Solomon later would say: “Moreover the profit of the land is for all; even the king is served from the field” (Ecclesiastes 5:9). Eating “bread” is another way of saying farmers should be in the plowing and profiting business. The “hope” of hard work is profiting from it and providing for one’s family. It is hypocrisy to curse the farmer with a mouthful of food! Whatever is done to discourage farming, or force farmers to sell their farms, is destroying the entire country.

    Instead of working the land when needed, “frivolity” distracts from the real task at hand. The parallel proverb shows how wrong “frivolity” really is: Proverbs 28:19: “He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!” Entertainment instead of agriculture reveals one as being “devoid of understanding,” or worse, having “poverty enough!” It is senseless to neglect food production for fun and games! Other proverbs on this subject include: Proverbs 13:23: “Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor, And for lack of justice there is waste;” Proverbs 27:18: “Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit; So he who waits on his master will be honored;” Proverbs 27:23: “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, And attend to your herds.” Hard work is always the answer for poor economy, and “the poor” are often that way because of a lack of effort! Only thieves and robbers would steal “bread” (from the profits) without engaging in the hard work it took to produce it! Over-emphasizing entertainment is simply spreading “poverty” instead of encouraging bread-winners!

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-08-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , poor, , , , stingy,   

    (#47) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:24-25- Banking on Giving 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 11:24-25: “There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty. 25 The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.”

    The benefits of “generosity” are summarized here with: it comes back to you. The movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” visualizes the principle of helping others in a way that helps them be able to help you back. The “one who scatters” in verse 24 is the “generous soul” of verse 25. It is the “generous soul” who is “rich,” and the one who “waters” (shares blessings) will “be watered himself.” Moses’ Law required a generous spirit to the “poor man of your brethren” (Deuteronomy 15:7-11). Solomon showed generosity to an enemy can act like punishment on his conscience: “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the LORD will reward you” (Proverbs 25:21-22), which the Apostle Paul bound on Christians (Romans 12:20). Jesus Christ had extended this spirit to our “enemies” (Luke 6:27-31) ending with the words, “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” Other proverbs which teach this thought are: Proverbs 19:17: “He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, And He will pay back what he has given;” Proverbs 22:9: “He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor.” Isaiah prophesied of “a righteous king” who would see to it things were set straight (Isaiah 32:5-7), ending with, “a generous man devises generous things, And by generosity he shall stand.” Whenever there are “hard times,” whether caused by unemployment, marriage problems, short supply of goods, this principle of generosity will be sorely tested! Sometimes generosity is the only “line of credit” we are given that we must remember when our situation improves.

    The other side is of the “one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty.” This is the stingy, greedy, selfish person who sees no more than his/her own needs, and always lives lonely. The “poverty” is not only of goods, but of friendships, as well! One may become poor by holding onto whatever he possesses! Other proverbs call this oppression and mocking the poor: Proverbs 14:31: “He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy;” Proverbs 17:5: “He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished;” Proverbs 22:22-23: “Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate; 23 For the LORD will plead their cause, And plunder the soul of those who plunder them;” Proverbs 28:27: “He who gives to the poor will not lack, But he who hides his eyes will have many curses;” Proverbs 29:7: “The righteous considers the cause of the poor, But the wicked does not understand such knowledge.”

    Jesus Christ established this generosity for the church: “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-07-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , devoutness, have-nots, haves, , , , poor, , , , unfaithful, victimization, ,   

    (#35) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:3-6-What Levels “Haves” with “Have-nots” 

    Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Judgments Solomon made about individual cases brought to him for Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10), or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 11:3-6: “The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the  perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. 4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death. 5 The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness. 6 The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the unfaithful will be caught by their lust.”

    “Integrity” is associated with “blamelessness” and “uprightness,” all of which are combined in terms like “honesty,” “consistency,” “purity,” “devoutness.” God described David, “a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (Acts 13:22), to Solomon: “Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel’” (1 Kings 9:4-5). In fact, David asked God to judge him on the basis of his “integrity” (Psalm 7:8); although Job had lost everything, he kept his “integrity” (Job 2:9); and Christian “young men” should show “integrity” in doctrine (Titus 2:6-8). Other proverbs stress that a poor person who walks with “integrity” is better than a “fool” (Proverbs 19:1) or the “rich” (Proverbs 28:6), and, “The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him” (Proverbs 20:7). Those who are “poor” and spend their time feeling sorry for themselves because others are “rich,” need to learn that having “integrity” makes them far more acceptable to God than any other quality! To King David, walking “in integrity” gave him confidence (Psalm 26:1).

    It is pitiful to see and hear the plethora of false prophets and deceitful speakers who fan the fires of victimization, emphasizing the difference between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” when if they taught God’s Wisdom, “integrity” would strengthen the hearts, confidence, and goodness of all who would walk in it. The contrast drawn in Proverbs 11:3-6 shows that the “wicked” will fail and fall because of their own “perversity” (twistedness), “unfaithfulness” (failure to obey God), trust in the purchasing power of “riches” (1 Timothy 6:17), “wickedness” (lack of Wisdom or goodness), “lust” (narrow-minded concerns about their own desires above others). All preachers, politicians, parents, and professors should be about educating and overseeing everyone with “integrity,” and forget all about their quest for power and influence in any other way!

     All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-07-24 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , deceptive business, , , , , , manufacturer, minimum wage, poor, , shortchanging, wealthy,   

    (#33) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:1-Cheaters, Beware! 

    Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Judgments Solomon made about individual cases brought to him for Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10), or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 11:1: Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight.

    Whatever is “an abomination to the LORD” is as despicable as anything can be, for that places it along with: dabblers in the supernatural, Deuteronomy 18:9-12; prostitution, Deuteronomy 23:18; perverse heart, Proverbs 11:20; lying lips, Proverbs 12:22; everyone proud in heart, Proverbs 16:5. “Dishonest scales” certainly fit in that list. God’s Law through Moses was very explicit about this matter: “You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a heavy and a light. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure, that your days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who behave unrighteously, are an abomination to the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 25:13-16). Anyone who carries “differing measures,” or different weights, is planning to deal unfairly with someone, somewhere, sometime. The “all who do such things” means the practice is wrong, no matter if someone is poor, disadvantaged, under a “glass ceiling,” prosperous, an official of a government, tax assessor, tax collector, manufacturer, or all such “excuses.” When people plan to “buy and sell and make a profit” (James 4:13), it should never be as God condemned in Amos 8:5: “Making the ephah small and the shekel large, Falsifying the scales by deceit.” The “ephah” would have measured the produce and the “shekel” the money to purchase it. Shortening the measurement and acting as if the money amount was larger within a transaction is abominable to God! That describes today’s making the container look the same size but putting less inside; artificially inflating costs by printing more money without value; raising “minimum wage” for the same or less work; shortchanging customers; raising prices while lowering benefits in contracts; or any of the myriad of ways the wicked will invent to “profit.” God’s “fair labor law” was that the “poor and needy” laborer should be paid when the work was done (Deuteronomy 24:14-15), not at the convenience of the employer, regardless of ethnicity! Other proverbs uphold this: Proverbs 20:10: “Diverse weights and diverse measures, They are both alike, an abomination to the LORD;” Proverbs 20:23: “Diverse weights are an abomination to the LORD, And dishonest scales are not good;” probably best summarized in Proverbs 20:14: “‘It is good for nothing,’ cries the buyer; But when he has gone his way, then he boasts.” Minimizing the product’s worth to get a good buy shows intent to deceive. Honest discounts, coupons, merchant sales, or actually factory defective products offered at low prices are not included in this proverb, however. Honest truly applies to economics as well as to words, deeds, relationships!

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • John T. Polk II 10:12 am on 2013-07-15 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , poor, poverty arrogance, , , , ,   

    (#26) The Proverbs of Solomon Proverbs 10:13-15-Rich or Poor? 

    Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Judgments Solomon made about individual cases brought to him for Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10), or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    10:13-14: A word to the wise: Words of the wise always show understanding. A word to the unwise: Talk your head off, and you’ll only show your lack of wisdom, and probably lose your argument and be given “a rod” (punishment). To “store up knowledge” (verse 14) means the wise will have a repository of wisdom to use whenever it is needed, while “near destruction” means the “foolish” always throw away wisdom in their words. This is a recurring contrast between the “lips” of the wise and unwise (foolish): 10:20-“choice silver” versus “worth little;” 10:21-“feeds many” versus “die for lack of wisdom;” 10:31-“brings forth wisdom” versus “tongue cut out;” 10:32-“know what is acceptable” versus “perverse mouth.” The words of a fool cannot provide for anyone, while words of wisdom work!

    10:15: The tendency for “rich people” is to think they are protected from problems as if they were in a “strong city,” Solomon adds “like a high wall” (Proverbs 18:11). Paul warns Timothy to: “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). No one is rich without blessing from God! And no one is rich without relying on many workers to produce and protect those riches! The arrogance of the rich, like the depression of the poor, says more about their mistaken attitudes than about their station in life! Likewise, the “poor” seem to think they live in “destruction” because they are “in poverty” (have not) as though it is a life’s sentence. The “poor” should not become covetous of the rich, nor overlook the fact that the rich have to hire the poor, nor ignore the principle that the difference between the blessings of the rich and the poverty of the poor, oftentimes, is simply a matter of work! “The rich and the poor have this in common, The LORD is the maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2). As far as God is concerned, wealth cannot buy salvation. “The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). The people with debt don’t own their possessions, those who loaned them their money do! All creditors have title to the possession until it is paid back. THE NATION WITH THE GREATEST DEBT HAS BEEN SOLD OUT TO THOSE WILLING TO PUT UP THE MONEY FOR IT! Economic slavery is slavery! “He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches, And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty” (Proverbs 22:16). Becoming rich by oppressing the poor will surely fail. Whether the oppressing is done by cheap wages, excessive taxation, extortion, or inflated interest on loans, the system will fail. Giving to the rich is not for good motive, but involves bribery, social influence, political power, extravagance, or personal honor, and it is a false system of confidence in men, not God. “The rich man is wise in his own eyes, But the poor who has understanding searches him out” (Proverbs 28:11). A poor person with God’s Wisdom “has understanding” to know more than a “rich man” who is “wise in his own eyes,” but not in God’s eyes!

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • Ron Thomas 7:00 am on 2013-04-15 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , mission of church, poor,   

    The Poor Always 

    It has been said time and again that the mission of the church is three-fold: the proclamation of the gospel (Luke 19:10), the edification of the saints (2 Timothy 2:2), and benevolence (Galatians 6:10). I would like to develop in brief these three points.

    The church consists of only those who are saved by the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28); there are no unsaved people in the Lord’s church (2 Timothy 2:19). When one embraces salvation there is a change in life that is really remarkable. The saved one wants to assist in the Lord’s cause in any way that there is opportunity, and one of the best ways is in living and sharing the gospel of Christ. If all Christians did as much, the first mission statement of the church would continue to be fulfilled with each generation.

    Second, as one lives the life of Christ there will always be opportunities to share the gospel of Christ with the unsaved. Some of those who are not saved are attending the Bible classes. Our Bible classes are an important work of the church. In the Bible class the prepared teacher has taken time to not only learn from the Lord, but also desires to teach those present the same things the teacher has learned. It is a disservice to the Lord, to the teacher, to the parent, and to the child (children) when there is little interest or support for the work.

    Third, James said that pure and undefiled religions is to assist those who are in need (James 1:27). There will always be people who are poor in our community. Those who are in the Lord’s church have a special obligation to render assistance to Christians in need (not want). When the elders fail to take an active role in that they not only fail the one (or ones) in need, but the Lord also!

    The Lord’s church has an obligation in the community in which it resides and to the saints. Let us do what we can to promote the Lord’s way in this regard. RT

     
    • John Henson 10:47 am on 2013-04-15 Permalink | Reply

      You are so right, brother. It is interesting the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah have statements from God accusing Judah of forgetting the widow, the orphan and the poor while they built and enjoyed their wealth. It makes sense that God remains concerned and we should, too. Thanks for the lesson.

  • Ed Boggess 8:24 am on 2012-05-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , poor   

    Jesus replied to his disciples, “For you always have the poor with you” Mt 26:11. That certainly seems to be the case in America today. Although it could be argued that even the poorest in America is wealthy compared to others elsewhere, I choose to keep it within the confines of the USA. I just read that one out of five families owes more on credit cards, medical bills, student loans and unsecured debt than they have in savings coming out of the recent economic downturn. Nearly one in four families has no savings at all! This says to me that there are a lot of our fellow-citizens hurting financially. When Jesus made the statement referenced, he was not encouraging a baize attitude to those who are struggling. Compassion demands empathy and love calls for a helping hand. Jesus was shutting the mouths of those who murmured. Please don’t get the wrong idea. I am not arguing for supporting those who refuse to work. But I am encouraging that we have a sense of understanding for others who struggle, whether through no fault of their own or the result of poor choices (who hasn’t made many of whose?). Love demands no less.

     
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