The work we engage in is it indicative…

The work we engage in – is it indicative of our abilities? Unfortunately, a good many people engage in work with as little effort as possible and it shows. Let that not be said about God’s saint. One’s occupation and work ethic associated with the vocation can be a great evangelistic tool. Is God able to use YOU as His tool, or does He need to find another?

#evangelism, #occupation, #tool, #work

(#153) The Proverbs of Solomon 21:5-Hurry Up And Lose

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 21:5: “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.”

Work, hard work, and plenty of it is the only way to true wealth. Though God could have Created “the heavens and the earth” instantaneously, He used 6 days to establish a work ethic for humankind (Genesis 1:1-2:3). His example established the principle of daily work, which He commanded in the Law of Moses: “”Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed” (Exodus 23:12); and in the Law of Christ: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). “Steadfast” and “immovable” are the characteristics of “steady” and “sure.” The Apostle Paul obeyed God’s work ethic to support his preaching of the Gospel: “For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:9). Other proverbs emphasize this principle: “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men” (Proverbs 22:29); “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, And attend to your herds; For riches are not forever, Nor does a crown endure to all generations. When the hay is removed, and the tender grass shows itself, And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in, The lambs will provide your clothing, And the goats the price of a field; You shall have enough goats’ milk for your food, For the food of your household, And the nourishment of your maidservants” (Proverbs 27:23-27).

The other side of this is found in the common phrase, “haste makes waste.” ALL shortcuts, fast tracks, or quick remedies will fail. There is no gambling game, lottery, raffle, pool, sweepstake, betting, or bookmaking that substitutes for diligent, daily, hard work, either in personal satisfaction or security. “An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning Will not be blessed at the end” (Proverbs 20:21). Second generation fortunes seldom survive; most lottery winners squander their monies; those on an unearned government dole can lose it on a whim; gamblers are generally just contributing their bets to someone else’s jackpot! No one has ever thought of a scheme that betters God’s principle of satisfying work! Solomon will later say: “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, Whether he eats little or much; But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep” (Ecclesiastes 5:12). He then explains: “Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor-this is the gift of God. For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart” (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20).

Keeping busy is the work of God which He rewards, but hastening to be rich will fail. Do you want to hurry up and lose?

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

#betting, #bible-study, #daily, #diligent, #gambling, #god, #hard-work, #haste, #hasty-poverty, #labor, #lottery, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #raffle, #sweepstake, #toil, #unearned-government-dole, #wealth, #work

Our prayers usually ask God for fruit from…

Our prayers usually ask God for fruit from our work. This request is a new, interesting twist: “Grant us work that bears fruit in spite of our faults and weaknesses …” Bears careful consideration, don’t you think?

#fruit, #prayer, #work

JUSTIFICATION

                No man can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him (John 6:65). This interesting remark by the Lord tells us much about why people are not saved. People are not saved because they are not listening to the Father via the word He proclaimed (John 6:44-45). That which is more important to a large percentage of humanity are the following:

Recreation: life is stressful and when there is opportunity to get away from familiar surroundings one feels to need to exercise it. Thus, remarks like the following are spoken: “On the weekends my family gets out on the lake because we don’t go boating very much and, besides, we can’t find a better day than today.” (This is said about camping also.) “Are you telling me that I can’t go on vacation with my family because I need to go to church?!”

As you listen to the one who speaks this way or in a similar way, they will tell you much more than they want known. The guilty ones who offers excuses like these attributes words and motivations to the “accuser” because of their own guilt. What they really desire is to get away from the stress of life in their normal surroundings, and this includes attending services where the Lord’s church meets.

Work: rather than taking necessary time away from their work environment there is an effort to justify missing Sunday services in order to get caught up on whatever is felt as lagging behind. This perceived notion of getting caught up is like having a carrot tied to a string and placed on a stick and put in front of an animal who chases it continually.

Family: some justify their refusal to come to the services of the Lord church because problems occur in the family. Jesus said, “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” Matthew 10:32-38, ESV).

Unfortunately, these same people who make attempts at justification are the same people who do have an affinity for the Lord. On judgment day, however, that affinity (sympathy) will have the Lord showing none to them. RT

#family-excuses, #justification, #justifiy, #recreation, #work

(#122) The Proverbs of Solomon 17:8-Why “Santa Claus” Is Popular

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 17:8: “A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor; Wherever he turns, he prospers.”

“A present” is a voluntary expression of love or concern from a friend or family member. It was given in the past, but remains as a “present” reminder of those thoughts. Truly, “it is the thought that counts.” The “present” should be received with the same appreciation with which it was chosen by the giver.

Jacob, fearful of his reunion with his brother Esau, “took what came to his hand as a present for Esau his brother” (Genesis 32:13), too much to wrap (Genesis 32:14-15)! Deep in famine and later in life, Jacob, now named Israel, thought he was dealing with a powerful man in Egypt (who was really his long-lost son!), told his other sons: “Take some of the best fruits of the land in your vessels and carry down a present for the man-a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds” (Genesis 43:11). He believed in the proverbial truth about gifts: “A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men” (Proverbs 18:16); “Many entreat the favor of the nobility, And every man is a friend to one who gives gifts” (Proverbs 19:6). Rarely does anyone go wrong by gift-giving. The make-believe “Santa Claus” was invented because everyone likes to receive a gift. The real Jesus Christ, however, taught that “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

The “gift of God” is for everyone who lives by God’s rule: “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread” (Genesis 3:19). “As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor-this is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 5:19). If properly considered, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Unlike the mythical “Santa Claus,” God requires our obedience to enjoy His gifts! God blesses with “His indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15), but the ultimate “gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus Christ “became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9), so Jesus requires of “every creature,” “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:15-16).

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

#bible-study, #christian-living, #gift, #gift-of-god, #god, #jesus-christ, #life, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #present, #proverbs, #santa-claus, #wisdom, #work

(#113) The Proverbs of Solomon 16:20-Work With Faith

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 16:20: “He who heeds the word wisely will find good, And whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he.”

A “people will be oppressed” when they remove the wise from leadership (Isaiah 3:1-5).

An internship, or a minimum-wage job, or some other entry-level work, is designed for someone to learn a work ethic, while receiving lower wages, because these are to help the worker gain experience and learn to progress from that point! “Heeding” in that job becomes a stepping-stone to further oneself beyond that job. Whatever we earn, we have in our possession; whatever we give to God, He has treasured for us in Heaven. Jesus said, “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” (Matthew 6:19-21).

Trusting in the LORD, or “faith,” is the theme of the Word of God, which shows that God is completely dependable and capable of guiding us in the best way to go, here and in the hereafter.

Christians with jobs are admonished: “Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:22-24).

Applying “Wisdom” to all that we do produces “good,” and to do it with “trust in the LORD” completes a soul’s satisfaction. Paul wrote to Christians: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).

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

#bible-study, #christian-living, #faith, #job, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #wisdom, #work

(#96) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:19-A Thorny Issue

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 15:19: “The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns, But the way of the upright is a highway.”

If this refers to real thorns, “the lazy” will refuse to struggle through difficulties and work. If this refers to imaginary thorns, “the lazy” will imagine too much difficulty to overcome and refuse to work. Either way, “the lazy” is an expression denoting those who are wasting their lives. Jesus Christ described a man giving three servants “talents” “each according to his own ability,” five, two and one. After the others produced profit equal to their talents, the one-talent man returned his one with the sorry excuse: “Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours” (Matthew 25:24-25). Jesus was hard on such a lazy person when he was condemned as a “wicked and lazy servant” (Matthew 25:26). “Wicked” for blaming someone else for expecting him to produce, “lazy” for producing nothing with what he had! God will save no lazy person from himself/herself, or from eternal punishment for such laziness! Jesus’ invitation is for “all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). After Jesus miraculously fed 5000 men not counting the women and children with 5 loaves of bread and 2 small fish (John 6:1-14), they followed Him for another “free meal” the next day. Jesus told them: “’Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.’ Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent’ (John 6:26-29). Those who call the church only when their laziness has dug them a hole, need repentance, not repeated assistance! Helping those who are searching for the Truth of God’s Word is benevolence, helping those who don’t care about Truth but only “freebies” is malevolence. Gospel Truth includes the Holy Spirit-inspired rule: “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). The “lazy” have not “will” to work, and therefore crowd government lines for: commodities, food stamps, reduced-price school lunches and Internet, free cell phones, health insurance, and whatever else the government is willing to re-distribute among them. They are stealing from any who have a deserving need for such temporary aid; are empowering laziness in government who no longer has to work at meeting their constitutional obligations because of built-in votes; and are clogging up the “highway” of “the upright” by forcing them to support wastrels whom not even God will have without changing! Another proverb God has given says: “Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread” (Proverbs 20:13).

Becoming a Christian requires willful obedience (Acts 2:38, 40-41), and the souls of new Christians were to be strengthened when exhorted “to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God’” (Acts 14:22). Those who are sleeping through their lives, expecting to return to God their one-talent lives, will hear their Judgment: “Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:28-30).

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

#bible-study, #church-of-christ, #god, #jesus-christ, #lazy, #life, #obedience, #profit, #proverbs, #salvation, #unprofitable, #upright, #will, #wisdom, #work