The Worker

The worker who is careless with their tasks and idle with their time is poor and brings poverty to their people,
While another worker’s diligence, resourcefulness, and efficiency makes himself and others rich.

This is even more true of their hearts and lives than their material wealth.

Be purposeful and drive forward with an intent to do great work — because diligence itself is an even greater reward than the honor, title, or compensation it might gain you.

Be attentive to opportunities, to lessons learned, and to solutions — because resourcefulness is an even greater reward than the honor, title, or compensation it might gain you.

Be mindful of your time and how your efforts might be maximized through sorting, prioritization, automation and delegation– because efficiency is an even greater reward than the honor, title, or compensation it might gain you.

Instead of seeking honor, title, compensation, or even a good reputation from others, focus on building for yourself a life of character — and those lesser things will follow.

Poor is he who works with a negligent and idle hand, But the hand of the diligent makes him rich.
Pro 10:4 AMP

“Grit”

Integrity is not only doing the right thing when no one is looking — but it is doing the right thing when those who oppose you are looking and it will cost you more than you want to pay.

In the Old Testament Bible, Daniel didn’t make a big show of his own integrity, but his integrity was so much a part of his character — that those who hated him and wanted to usurp him knew that his integrity was the only guaranteed way that they could trap him. So they laid their plans in place for their trap, but the lions that they expected to kill him destroyed and devoured them and their families instead.

Lord, that enemy that roams around like a lion looking for someone to devour, may his mouth be shut towards your children who walk in integrity even when the cost is high — and may his mouth be open to devour and destroy those who make schemes, plot against and hate those who stand firm and true.

Many times I have failed you Lord, but I pray that I will never be found laying traps for the innocent and the upright intentionally. I pray that when my ignorance and foolishness has stumbled others that it was through my own negligence and not anything malicious or with evil intent.

But I do not even trust my own heart to have not deceived me in such things, Lord. Because there are those who I believe have wronged me, and treated me unfairly, and accused me strongly — those who my flesh cries out against them for justice, for retribution, for revenge — those who nevertheless, I must hand over to you in hopes that they might repent.

Even a man who wishes for “satisfaction” in this life has no longing for his enemy to face death, hell and eternal separation from God. And if I can wish that the whole of a man’s sin be forgiven to save him from the wrath of God, shouldn’t I also wish that his few wrongs towards me personally be forgiven? How prideful would it be to believe that another man’s sins towards me were worthy of lasting bitterness — but his sins against God were somehow “less” concern to me?

So integrity is also laying down our “rightful claims” against our enemies to pray for their salvation rather than their destruction — choosing to be a witness giving the benefit of doubt to our neighbor, rather than an accuser and and enemy of our brothers and sisters.

So if I cry out for justice, let it be against those powers and principalities working from the shadows against your people, Lord. Let me cry out against those enemies that are not flesh and blood and see those true enemies shackled and defeated — while the once captive children of God are set “free indeed” in Christ Jesus!

So, Lord, help us to walk in integrity — with little thought to reward, cost, or revenge — but trusting that you know better than we do when and how to open and shut the mouths of the lions. Amen.

People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed.
Proverbs 10:9 NLT

Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and rich.
Proverbs 28:6 NLT

13 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. 17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!
1 Peter 3:13‭-‬17 NLT

3 Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire. 4 Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy. 5 So they concluded, “Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion.”
Daniel 6:3‭-‬5 NLT

9 So King Darius signed the law. 10 But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. 11 Then the officials went together to Daniel’s house and found him praying and asking for God’s help. 13 Then they told the king, “That man Daniel, one of the captives from Judah, is ignoring you and your law. He still prays to his God three times a day.” 14 Hearing this, the king was deeply troubled, and he tried to think of a way to save Daniel. He spent the rest of the day looking for a way to get Daniel out of this predicament. 15 In the evening the men went together to the king and said, “Your Majesty, you know that according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, no law that the king signs can be changed.” 16 So at last the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to him, “May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.” 17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den. The king sealed the stone with his own royal seal and the seals of his nobles, so that no one could rescue Daniel. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting. He refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t sleep at all that night. 19 Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried out to the lions’ den. 20 When he got there, he called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Daniel answered, “Long live the king! 22 My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.” 23 The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God. 24 Then the king gave orders to arrest the men who had maliciously accused Daniel. He had them thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. The lions leaped on them and tore them apart before they even hit the floor of the den. 25 Then King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: “Peace and prosperity to you! 26 “I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God, and he will endure forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rule will never end. 27 He rescues and saves his people; he performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” 28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
Daniel 6:9‭-‬11‭, ‬13‭-‬28 NLT

Wisdom is Living, not just Knowing

What if our life’s example (not just our words):

— teaches people to live disciplined and successful lives

— helps them do what is right, just, and fair

#MeaningfulGoals #Proverbs1_3 #WalkTheLivingWord

We aren’t going to get it perfect every time, but if we don’t aim for the target, we are guaranteed to miss.

Our decisions, our words, and our actions today will not only bring us personal consequences, but they will influence lives around us — and leave the world “changed”.

You are a “world changer” with everything you do.

What change are you bringing today?

These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel. Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles. Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Proverbs 1:1‭-‬7 NLT ( https://bible.com/bible/116/pro.1.1-7.NLT )

[Spruce Pine] Proverbs 12 NLT

Proverbs 12 (NLT)

12 To learn, you must love discipline;
it is stupid to hate correction.
2 The Lord approves of those who are good,
but he condemns those who plan wickedness.
3 Wickedness never brings stability,
but the godly have deep roots.
4 A worthy wife is a crown for her husband,
but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones.
5 The plans of the godly are just;
the advice of the wicked is treacherous.
6 The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush,
but the words of the godly save lives.
7 The wicked die and disappear,
but the family of the godly stands firm.
8 A sensible person wins admiration,
but a warped mind is despised.
9 Better to be an ordinary person with a servant
than to be self-important but have no food.
10 The godly care for their animals,
but the wicked are always cruel.
11 A hard worker has plenty of food,
but a person who chases fantasies has no sense.
12 Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot,
but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit.
13 The wicked are trapped by their own words,
but the godly escape such trouble.
14 Wise words bring many benefits,
and hard work brings rewards.
15 Fools think their own way is right,
but the wise listen to others.
16 A fool is quick-tempered,
but a wise person stays calm when insulted.
17 An honest witness tells the truth;
a false witness tells lies.
18 Some people make cutting remarks,
but the words of the wise bring healing.
19 Truthful words stand the test of time,
but lies are soon exposed.
20 Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil;
joy fills hearts that are planning peace!
21 No harm comes to the godly,
but the wicked have their fill of trouble.
22 The Lord detests lying lips,
but he delights in those who tell the truth.
23 The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge,
but fools broadcast their foolishness.
24 Work hard and become a leader;
be lazy and become a slave.
25 Worry weighs a person down;
an encouraging word cheers a person up.
26 The godly give good advice to their friends;
the wicked lead them astray.
27 Lazy people don’t even cook the game they catch,
but the diligent make use of everything they find.
28 The way of the godly leads to life;
that path does not lead to death.

COMMENTARY

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/proverbs/12.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/proverbs-12/

Videos/Sermons

[Spruce Pine] Proverbs 11 NLT

Proverbs 11New Living Translation (NLT)

11 The Lord detests the use of dishonest scales,
but he delights in accurate weights.
2 Pride leads to disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.
3 Honesty guides good people;
dishonesty destroys treacherous people.
4 Riches won’t help on the day of judgment,
but right living can save you from death.
5 The godly are directed by honesty;
the wicked fall beneath their load of sin.
6 The godliness of good people rescues them;
the ambition of treacherous people traps them.
7 When the wicked die, their hopes die with them,
for they rely on their own feeble strength.
8 The godly are rescued from trouble,
and it falls on the wicked instead.
9 With their words, the godless destroy their friends,
but knowledge will rescue the righteous.
10 The whole city celebrates when the godly succeed;
they shout for joy when the wicked die.
11 Upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper,
but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.
12 It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor;
a sensible person keeps quiet.
13 A gossip goes around telling secrets,
but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.
14 Without wise leadership, a nation falls;
there is safety in having many advisers.
15 There’s danger in putting up security for a stranger’s debt;
it’s safer not to guarantee another person’s debt.
16 A gracious woman gains respect,
but ruthless men gain only wealth.
17 Your kindness will reward you,
but your cruelty will destroy you.
18 Evil people get rich for the moment,
but the reward of the godly will last.
19 Godly people find life;
evil people find death.
20 The Lord detests people with crooked hearts,
but he delights in those with integrity.
21 Evil people will surely be punished,
but the children of the godly will go free.
22 A beautiful woman who lacks discretion
is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.
23 The godly can look forward to a reward,
while the wicked can expect only judgment.
24 Give freely and become more wealthy;
be stingy and lose everything.
25 The generous will prosper;
those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
26 People curse those who hoard their grain,
but they bless the one who sells in time of need.
27 If you search for good, you will find favor;
but if you search for evil, it will find you!
28 Trust in your money and down you go!
But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.
29 Those who bring trouble on their families inherit the wind.
The fool will be a servant to the wise.
30 The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life;
a wise person wins friends.
31 If the righteous are rewarded here on earth,
what will happen to wicked sinners?

COMMENTARY

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/proverbs/11.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/proverbs-11/

SERMONS

The Impact

Everyone who will read this is part of my community of friends. Everyone who reads what you post is part of your community of friends.

I wonder how often we consider the impact our words have on that community of friends?

When we reach out with our words of anger, of offense, of forgiveness, of confession, of love, of truth — do we consider that there are ears to hear and hearts to receive what we are pouring out?

Or is more important that we have an outlet and a platform to be heard and seen, no matter the cost?

“With their words, the godless destroy their friends,
but knowledge will rescue the righteous.

The whole city celebrates when the godly succeed;
they shout for joy when the wicked die.

Upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper,
but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.

It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor;
a sensible person keeps quiet.

A gossip goes around telling secrets,
but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.” – Proverbs 11:9-13 NLT

Even if you are not yet a believer in Christ Jesus, you cannot deny in your heart the truth, guidance, and instruction found in His Word, even if your mind fights to excuse it, dismiss it, and ignore it.

“Professing Christian”, if you are foolish and will not listen, if you will not receive correction, if you have chosen your sin over God’s instruction, remember that we are told they those who receive His correction are his children, but those who do not are illegitimate and are not children of God (Hebrews 12:8). I say these things while there is time for you to truly turn to God and learn to love God (Joshua 24:15). If you do what is right and trust and believe the Lord, you will be accepted and forgiven — but if not, sin and death wait at the door to devour you (Hebrews 10:26-27).

Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Acts 2:37‭-‬47 ESV

[Spruce Pine] Proverbs 10 NLT

Proverbs 10 (NLT)

The Proverbs of Solomon

10 The proverbs of Solomon:

A wise child brings joy to a father;
a foolish child brings grief to a mother.

2 Tainted wealth has no lasting value,
but right living can save your life.

3 The Lord will not let the godly go hungry,
but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked.

4 Lazy people are soon poor;
hard workers get rich.

5 A wise youth harvests in the summer,
but one who sleeps during harvest is a disgrace.

6 The godly are showered with blessings;
the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.

7 We have happy memories of the godly,
but the name of a wicked person rots away.

8 The wise are glad to be instructed,
but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.

9 People with integrity walk safely,
but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed.

10 People who wink at wrong cause trouble,
but a bold reproof promotes peace.

11 The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain;
the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.

12 Hatred stirs up quarrels,
but love makes up for all offenses.

13 Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding,
but those lacking sense will be beaten with a rod.

14 Wise people treasure knowledge,
but the babbling of a fool invites disaster.

15 The wealth of the rich is their fortress;
the poverty of the poor is their destruction.

16 The earnings of the godly enhance their lives,
but evil people squander their money on sin.

17 People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life,
but those who ignore correction will go astray.

18 Hiding hatred makes you a liar;
slandering others makes you a fool.

19 Too much talk leads to sin.
Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.

20 The words of the godly are like sterling silver;
the heart of a fool is worthless.

21 The words of the godly encourage many,
but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.

22 The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich,
and he adds no sorrow with it.

23 Doing wrong is fun for a fool,
but living wisely brings pleasure to the sensible.

24 The fears of the wicked will be fulfilled;
the hopes of the godly will be granted.

25 When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away,
but the godly have a lasting foundation.

26 Lazy people irritate their employers,
like vinegar to the teeth or smoke in the eyes.

27 Fear of the Lord lengthens one’s life,
but the years of the wicked are cut short.

28 The hopes of the godly result in happiness,
but the expectations of the wicked come to nothing.

29 The way of the Lord is a stronghold to those with integrity,
but it destroys the wicked.

30 The godly will never be disturbed,
but the wicked will be removed from the land.

31 The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice,
but the tongue that deceives will be cut off.

32 The lips of the godly speak helpful words,
but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words.

Commentaries

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/proverbs/10.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/proverbs-10/

Sermons/Videos

[Spruce Pine] Proverbs 9 NLT

Proverbs 9 (NLT)

9 Wisdom has built her house;
she has carved its seven columns.
2 She has prepared a great banquet,
mixed the wines, and set the table.
3 She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come.
She calls out from the heights overlooking the city.
4 “Come in with me,” she urges the simple.
To those who lack good judgment, she says,
5 “Come, eat my food,
and drink the wine I have mixed.
6 Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live;
learn to use good judgment.”
7 Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return.
Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.
8 So don’t bother correcting mockers;
they will only hate you.
But correct the wise,
and they will love you.
9 Instruct the wise,
and they will be even wiser.
Teach the righteous,
and they will learn even more.

10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom.
Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.

11 Wisdom will multiply your days
and add years to your life.
12 If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit.
If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.

Folly Calls for a Hearing

13 The woman named Folly is brash.
She is ignorant and doesn’t know it.
14 She sits in her doorway
on the heights overlooking the city.
15 She calls out to men going by
who are minding their own business.
16 “Come in with me,” she urges the simple.
To those who lack good judgment, she says,
17 “Stolen water is refreshing;
food eaten in secret tastes the best!”
18 But little do they know that the dead are there.
Her guests are in the depths of the grave.

Commentary

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/proverbs/9.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/proverbs-9/

Sermons

[Spruce Pine] Proverbs 8 NLT

Proverbs 8 (NLT)

Wisdom Calls for a Hearing

8 Listen as Wisdom calls out!
Hear as understanding raises her voice!
2 On the hilltop along the road,
she takes her stand at the crossroads.
3 By the gates at the entrance to the town,
on the road leading in, she cries aloud,
4 “I call to you, to all of you!
I raise my voice to all people.
5 You simple people, use good judgment.
You foolish people, show some understanding.
6 Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you.
Everything I say is right,
7 for I speak the truth
and detest every kind of deception.
8 My advice is wholesome.
There is nothing devious or crooked in it.
9 My words are plain to anyone with understanding,
clear to those with knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction rather than silver,
and knowledge rather than pure gold.
11 For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies.
Nothing you desire can compare with it.

12 “I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment.
I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.
13 All who fear the Lord will hate evil.
Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance,
corruption and perverse speech.
14 Common sense and success belong to me.
Insight and strength are mine.
15 Because of me, kings reign,
and rulers make just decrees.
16 Rulers lead with my help,
and nobles make righteous judgments.

17 “I love all who love me.
Those who search will surely find me.
18 I have riches and honor,
as well as enduring wealth and justice.
19 My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold,
my wages better than sterling silver!
20 I walk in righteousness,
in paths of justice.
21 Those who love me inherit wealth.
I will fill their treasuries.

22 “The Lord formed me from the beginning,
before he created anything else.
23 I was appointed in ages past,
at the very first, before the earth began.
24 I was born before the oceans were created,
before the springs bubbled forth their waters.
25 Before the mountains were formed,
before the hills, I was born—
26 before he had made the earth and fields
and the first handfuls of soil.
27 I was there when he established the heavens,
when he drew the horizon on the oceans.
28 I was there when he set the clouds above,
when he established springs deep in the earth.
29 I was there when he set the limits of the seas,
so they would not spread beyond their boundaries.
And when he marked off the earth’s foundations,
30 I was the architect at his side.
I was his constant delight,
rejoicing always in his presence.
31 And how happy I was with the world he created;
how I rejoiced with the human family!

32 “And so, my children, listen to me,
for all who follow my ways are joyful.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise.
Don’t ignore it.
34 Joyful are those who listen to me,
watching for me daily at my gates,
waiting for me outside my home!
35 For whoever finds me finds life
and receives favor from the Lord.
36 But those who miss me injure themselves.
All who hate me love death.”

Commentary

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/proverbs/8.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/proverbs-8/

Sermons

[Spruce Pine] Proverbs 7 NLT

Proverbs 7 (NLT)

Another Warning about Immoral Women

7 Follow my advice, my son;
always treasure my commands.
2 Obey my commands and live!
Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.
3 Tie them on your fingers as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.

4 Love wisdom like a sister;
make insight a beloved member of your family.
5 Let them protect you from an affair with an immoral woman,
from listening to the flattery of a promiscuous woman.

6 While I was at the window of my house,
looking through the curtain,
7 I saw some naive young men,
and one in particular who lacked common sense.
8 He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman,
strolling down the path by her house.
9 It was at twilight, in the evening,
as deep darkness fell.
10 The woman approached him,
seductively dressed and sly of heart.
11 She was the brash, rebellious type,
never content to stay at home.
12 She is often in the streets and markets,
soliciting at every corner.
13 She threw her arms around him and kissed him,
and with a brazen look she said,
14 “I’ve just made my peace offerings
and fulfilled my vows.
15 You’re the one I was looking for!
I came out to find you, and here you are!
16 My bed is spread with beautiful blankets,
with colored sheets of Egyptian linen.
17 I’ve perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning.
Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses,
19 for my husband is not home.
He’s away on a long trip.
20 He has taken a wallet full of money with him
and won’t return until later this month.

21 So she seduced him with her pretty speech
and enticed him with her flattery.
22 He followed her at once,
like an ox going to the slaughter.
He was like a stag caught in a trap,
23 awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart.
He was like a bird flying into a snare,
little knowing it would cost him his life.

24 So listen to me, my sons,
and pay attention to my words.
25 Don’t let your hearts stray away toward her.
Don’t wander down her wayward path.
26 For she has been the ruin of many;
many men have been her victims.
27 Her house is the road to the grave.
Her bedroom is the den of death.

Commentaries

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/proverbs/7.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/proverbs-7/

Sermons