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  • John T. Polk II 2:00 am on 2014-01-09 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , name of the LORD, , , , riches, , ,   

    (#133) The Proverbs of Solomon 18:10-11-Do You Have Social or Spiritual Security? 

    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 18:10-11: “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. 11 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own esteem.”

    Soon out of the Garden of Eden, “men began to call on the name of the LORD” (Genesis 4:26); Abraham “built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD” (Genesis 12:8); David offered sacrifices and “blessed the people in the name of the LORD” (1 Chronicles 16:2), who repeated his confidence: “Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8); Jesus Christ was welcomed into Jerusalem with people saying: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’” (Mark 11:9); and even today, Peter “commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48). “The name of the LORD” has always been the authority figure for the Bible. David summarized its power when he sang: “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:2). The Israelites generally refused to flee to God, however, as Jesus lamented: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Luke 13:34). The Gospel of Jesus Christ reveals that “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

    The tendency of mankind seems to be, when trouble arises, to hide behind “a high wall” of “wealth.”  This is forbidden in the New Testament. Jesus warned, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:24). “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). It is sad, indeed, as an economy weakens, to see people flock to a “give-away government,” Lottery chances to be rich, or crime, trying to become rich quickly. Why flee to the security of “wealth,” when Wisdom has declared: “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). “The rich man’s wealth is his strong city; The destruction of the poor is their poverty” (Proverbs 10:15).

    With the uncertainty of money’s value, and the haughtiness of those who think they are rich, and seeing how economies can be sucked dry by covetous leeches, why flee to “wealth” for security, when “the name of the LORD” is always dependable? “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-10-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , little, , , , , riches, ,   

    (#95) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:17-One Ingredient Makes All Food Better 

    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 15:17: “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred.”

    Huge houses, heavily-laden tables, fancy cars, loads of recreation, none of these can take the place of “love” within the family! “Love” makes a little a lot! People who are raised in a loving home frequently comment, “We didn’t know we were poor.” Riches and poverty are states of mind, more than something in the hand! There is much more to life than working to have things, so “Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease!” (Proverbs 23:4). Solomon later will write there is, “A time to love” (Ecclesiastes 3:8), and we must love in this life, for when we die, our earthly “love” perishes with us, so we must “Go, eat your bread with joy, And drink your wine with a merry heart; For God has already accepted your works. Let your garments always be white, And let your head lack no oil. Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 9:7-9). Without a loving home, life is empty, shallow, and vain! With a loving home, it matters little what possessions we may not have. After life’s experiences had tumbled in, Solomon wrote: “Better a handful with quietness Than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:6).

    No proverb says it better than Proverbs 15:17, but other proverbs emphasize this truth: “Better is a little with righteousness, Than vast revenues without justice” (Proverbs 16:8); “He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends” (Proverbs 17:9); “Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed” (Proverbs 27:5); “A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 28:20).

    Jesus clearly taught this Wisdom when He said, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15); and the Holy Spirit echoed it through Paul, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8).

    Job #1 is to make our homes full of love, designed to build up each member with truth, honesty, and forgiveness. Paul’s commands surely apply within the home: “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth” (Colossians 3:8); “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6). No one who loves their child will say the horrible things we hear said in public. Truly “above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).  How are your meal-times?

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

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:50 am on 2013-10-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , riches, ,   

    Random Thoughts (and a few links) for the Weekend 

    Doc Phillips, who is one of the fellows here in TFR, wrote a post on his congregation’s blog that includes some powerful examples of some individuals hunger for the word of God and then makes a couple of applications for the American culture to consider. Check it out sometime. I’m going to use it in our bulletin soon enough.

    It has been said and asked, and rightly so, “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) Talk about a timeless truth that still preaches! In a recent story about the Navy’s first supercarrier, the USS Forrestal, it was revealed that this ship, which once wore the title of the world’s biggest ship ever built, could be set to be sold for a penny – yes, I said one little lowly ole’ American penny! The ship “which took an estimated $217 million — nearly $2 billion in today’s dollars — to build” didn’t necessarily see its value fly away, but it sure did sink like a rock while staying afloat, didn’t it?

    The “pope” recently took action against a “bishop” who was living in a multi (and I mean multi) million dollar residence according to this story. It was said that “pope” “Francis has made clear he expects his bishops to live simply, setting as an example his own humble lifestyle.” I guess that’s his way of saying no one is allowed to live in a more expensive residence or carry a bigger cross made of solid gold than him!

    This coming Sunday morning in Bible class we’re going to look at the basic layout of the Tabernacle of God that Moses and the children of Israel built. We started the study last week and I think it’s going to continue to be a profitable one. The Tabernacle has a lot of shadowy, not dark but shadowy, lessons that can be revealed and learned by today’s Christians through the light of the Gospel (Hebrews 8:5; 9:9, 23 and 2 Corinthians 3). From learning to have the proper mindset toward sin, God and the atonement that He offers to the way that Jesus can be seen in the Tabernacle’s furnishings I’m looking forward to studying this series out with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Look for a way to help someone see the Way today!

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

    (#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 2013-08-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , chaste conduct, gracious woman, overwork, , , riches, ruthless man, ,   

    (#41) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:16-Honor or Riches? 

    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 11:16: “A gracious woman retains honor, But ruthless men retain riches.”

    “Graciousness” should be every bit as valuable to a woman as “riches” would be to “ruthless” (strong, violent) men! There is NO justification for ruthlessness in obtaining wealth, and a woman’s reach to obtain graciousness should never approach the ruthless reach of a man for riches. Other proverbs point out dangers in a ruthless approach to obtaining riches: Proverbs 13:7: “There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches;” Proverbs 23:4: “Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease!;” Proverbs 28:20: “A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.” Such grasping will have “nothing,” will make “himself poor,” cause “overwork to be rich” and miss out the really good things in life (family, worship, contentment), and it “will not go unpunished” (by God). “Honor” to a “gracious woman” will be her goal, but not the “ruthlessness” to obtain it. The “virtuous wife” will have “strength and honor” as her “clothing” (Proverbs 31:25), that her virtuous character is more respected than anything from her closet! Christians wives who have “chaste conduct” are admonished to “not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel– rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3-4). This echoes our proverb.

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-07-09 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , riches, , ,   

    (#22) Studies in the Book of Proverbs Eight Reasons Why Listen To Reason: #4: 8:12-21 

    #4 Verses 12-21: She Speaks Prudently

    Verses 12-14: One who accepts God’s Wisdom, will also receive “prudence” (critical thinking), “knowledge” (factual insight), and “discretion” (ability to use, good judgment). One basic judgment underlies all: reverence for God means rejection of “evil” illustrated by “pride” (opposite of humility, Proverbs 29:23), “arrogance” (inflated opinion of personal power), “evil way” (determination to do wrong), and “perverse mouth” (advocating what is in their heart). No one can love God and love evil. Jesus said: “”No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).  Paul taught: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9). God offers “counsel” (good advice), “sound wisdom” (good thinking), “understanding” (awareness of choices), “strength” (ability to stand with decisions).

    Verses 15-16: Since all authority is with God, then every human government should recognize God’s Wisdom, for with it all layers of government would work: kings, rulers, princes, nobles, and judges. Jesus Christ reminded even the Roman Governor that he “would have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:11).

    Verses 17-21: To love Wisdom is to be loved by Wisdom (John 14:21), and diligent searchers “will find me.” Jesus Christ said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). The value Wisdom brings to a person’s life is not just “riches and honor,” but riches that last because of “righteousness.” Earth’s “gold” and “silver” cannot mean more than Wisdom’s “fruit” (benefits) and “revenue” (worth). Wisdom leads only in what is “right” and “just” which brings “wealth” and “treasures.”  This is illustrated in Daniel’s life, for after he had taken his stand on his faith and used his miraculous gift to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, he prospered. “Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel, and commanded that they should present an offering and incense to him. The king answered Daniel, and said, ‘Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret.’ Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts; and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon” (Daniel 2:46-48). No empire, kingdom, country, or territory lasts long and prospers well that rejects God’s Wisdom!

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

     
  • TFRStaff 5:58 am on 2012-07-24 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: riches, , ,   

    The richest man 

    A rich landowner named Carl often rode around his vast estate so he could congratulate himself on his great wealth. One day, while riding around his estate on his favorite horse, he saw Hans, an old tenant farmer. Hans was sitting under a tree when Carl rode by. Hans said, “I was just thanking God for my food.” Carl protested, “If that is all I had to eat, I wouldn’t feel like giving thanks.” Hans replied, “God has given me everything I need, and I am thankful for it.”

    The old farmer added, “It is strange you should come by today because I had a dream last night. In my dream a voice told me, ‘The richest man in the valley will die tonight.’ I don’t know what it means, but I thought I ought to tell you.” Carl snorted, “Dreams are nonsense,” and galloped away, but he could not forget Hans’ words: “The richest man in the valley will die tonight.”

    He was obviously the richest man in the valley, so he invited his doctor to his house that evening. Carl told the doctor what Hans had said. After a thorough examination, the doctor told the wealthy landowner, “Carl, you are as strong and healthy as a horse. There is no way you are going to die tonight.”

    Nevertheless, for assurance, the doctor stayed with Carl, and they played cards through the night. The doctor left the next morning and Carl apologized for becoming so upset over the old man’s dream.

    At about nine o’clock, a messenger arrived at Carl’s door. “What is it?” Carl demanded. The messenger explained, “It’s about old Hans. He died last night in his sleep.”

    Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

    “Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

     
  • Mike Riley 11:05 pm on 2010-04-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: falsehood, feed, , , , , , prescribe, profane, riches,   

    Favorite Biblical Prayer 

    My favorite biblical prayer comes from the Proverb writer in Proverbs 30:8-9:

    “Remove falsehood and lies far from me;
    Give me neither poverty nor riches –
    Feed me with the food You prescribe 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.”

     
    • John Henson 12:40 pm on 2010-04-15 Permalink | Reply

      You’re absolutely right, Mike. Not only is this a beautiful prayer, but also it’s a tough one, too. Not many people (in or out of the church) would have enough courage to pray this. I believe the apostle Paul echoed this prayer when he said, “And having food and raiment let us therewith be content.”

      • Mike Riley 10:22 pm on 2010-04-15 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, I’m sure the apostle Paul was very familiar with this prayer.

  • Mike Riley 2:39 pm on 2009-12-27 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , riches   

    Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing, and only character endures.

    Horace Greeley, American journalist and educator (1811-1872)
     
  • Mike Riley 8:01 pm on 2009-12-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , riches   

    Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing, and only character endures.

    Horace Greeley, American journalist and educator (1811-1872)
     
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