Pathways Through Proverbs
June 13, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 13
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Following Scripture Verses
- A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
- A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.
- He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.
- The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
- A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.
- Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.
- There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
- The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.
- The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
- Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
- Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.
- Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
- Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
- The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
- Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
- Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.
- A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.
- Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.
- The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.
- He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
- Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.
- A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
- Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.
- He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
- The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.
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Back in March we looked at the first half of this verse, and noted that many people who strive for great riches may wind up financially prosperous, but spiritually and emotionally impoverished. They may have large bank accounts and great possessions, but they ultimately find that their lives are empty, devoid of a relationship both with the Lord and with others.
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In today's passage those people are contrasted with ones who have made themselves poor. Please notice that the verse says that they have "made" themselves poor. These believers, rather than focusing on gaining money, have instead decided to surrender their material prosperity. They could have been wealthy, but they chose not to be. How would this happen? I believe that there are two probable scenarios. First, they chose to give their money away. They decided that it was more important for them to tithe to their local church, and go beyond through offerings, then it was to have a new car. They realized that the work of missions around the world was more important than purchasing a vacation home . They saw spiritual needs that required money to solve them, and they gave generously. This probably included giving to meet the material needs of others. Perhaps, as the first century church did, they sold their goods and willingly gave the proceeds to help out their brothers in Christ. Regardless of what the need was, when they saw it, they attempted to meet it.
The second way might be that they chose to devote their lives to the Lord's work, trading the wealth of this world for the work of the ministry. They could have made more money in a secular occupation, but God called them to serve Him and they willingly answered the call.
Regardless of how it happened, they made themselves poor. Yet God said that they had great riches. These riches would be found in the blessings of God, the salvation of the lost, living a life that counted for eternity, making a spiritual difference in the lives of others, and finally hearing "Well done!" at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
What kind of riches do you have: the kind that will be valueless the moment you die, or the kind that will pay dividends throughout eternity?
Pastor Mark J Montgomery