Friday, December 14, 2012

3 Considerations in the Battle of Good vs. Evil

"Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live, but he who pursues evil will die" (Proverbs 11:19). If you have been searching for the key to life, look no further than God's word. It gives us the answer to everything we need. The secret to life has fascinated mankind since the beginning. Adam and Eve did not have to contemplate the brevity of life till they were booted out of the garden and given the death sentence because of their sin. Since the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and all have sinned (3:23), nobody can live forever since sin entered the world through Adam. With that said, everyone can expect one of two things in the battle of good vs. evil, life or death. What path are you traveling?

The second consideration in the battle is this, "Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the Lord, but those of blameless ways are his delight" (Proverbs 11:20). What a terrible class to be placed in if you are an abomination to the Lord. Anyone who sins is an abomination. The wise man did not talk of levels of sin, but simply noted crooked hearts. Where is your heart? That is where your treasure is (Matthew 6:21). Set your heart on Christ's kingdom and be God's delight.

A third consideration, "Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered" (Proverbs 11:21). Do not let Satan deceive you as he did Adam and Eve. Part of his deception was that no punishment would come upon them. Satan still uses that lie today. One would think after thousands of years people would catch on to his tricks and he would have to come up with something new. This same deception works today though. Satan is whispering to you, "No one will ever know." Resist his lies and James tells us he will flee from us (James 4:7).

Why should humans be concerned about death when we are told how to avoid it? We have a choice in everything we do. With those choices come certain consequences. These will end up in life or death. What changes do you need to make?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Violent Men Get Riches

Don't let your actions be reactions. Some people have the mentality that the best thing to do is wait to see what happens. This is often a necessary and wise philosophy, but this ought not be the mindset for our attitudes. For example, when someone mistreats you or lies to you the reaction is often one of defense. In this defense you may end up lying back and/or mistreating that person in return. If this is the case, you may be letting your actions simply be reactions. You can change this by aligning your principles beforehand so your actions will be proactive rather than reactive.

The wise man wrote, "A gracious woman gets honor, and violent men get riches. A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself. The wicked earns deceptive wages, but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward" (Proverbs 11:16-18). If you wait for grace to be given in order to give, you may never get around to it. The wise man encourages a proactive grace. When you wait to be honored without being yourself gracious, do not hold your breath. In a sense, the common saying holds true to this proverb, what goes around comes around. The wise man went on to describe violent men who may obtain riches, but true honor is not due them. Same goes for those who are kind, kindness will be returned. Likewise, if you are a jerk, don't be surprised when others are jerks to you. Be proactive in graciousness and kindness before others interact with you.

Are you interested in riches? It's intriguing that the scriptures never talk negatively about money itself, but does give fierce warning to how riches are obtained and to the ones obtaining them. Do not let your wages be deceptive. My high school history teacher, Mrs. Osborne, used to tell us, "Don't back up to the pay window." In other words, work hard, be honest, and treat others with integrity. These actions need to be proactive. When they are then honor, grace, and kindness will be due you, if not here, then in eternity.