Working Up a Hunger

“A worker’s appetite works for him, for his hunger urges him on.” (Pr 16:26)

Hunger is the best seasoning to a meal, the greatest motivator to success, and the best antidote to laziness.

There is nothing wrong with doing without and being poor.  The world would probably be a better place in some respects if we weren’t always handed things, but instead had to work for them.  Prosperity of the body can lead to poverty of the soul.

You do a man a favor when you let him earn his keep instead of treating him like he is capable of nothing other than welfare.  Nothing wrong with helping people back on their feet, but we do well to remember that they can stand on their own two feet once they’re there.  Work gives us dignity.

“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, If any will not work, neither let him eat.” (2 Thess 3:10)

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

Don’t Sell Out

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“Better is a little with righteousness than great income with injustice.” (Pr 16:8)

Money isn’t the only thing with value.  Your character should be worth something to you.  If you are willing to compromising your values for financial gain you have sold yourself short.  Lying, deceiving, being cowardly, or bullying for the sake of “getting ahead” will leave your soul behind.

You are worth more than that.  Your soul is the most valuable thing you have.  Don’t sell out.

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (1 Tim 6:10)

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

A Peaceful Lifestyle

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“When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Pr 16:7)

It is hard to hate a good man.  You may not want to be him and his “boy scout” ways might irritate you from time to time, but you know where you stand with him and you know he is sincere.  Turns out that when we pursue God, our relationships with mankind improve, too.

Selflessness, integrity, hard-work, and kindness are always in fashion.

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

A Weighty Matter

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“All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the LORD weighs the motives.” (Pr 16:2)

What we do is not the same as why we do it.  A compliment can come from sincere motives or devious flattery.  Truth can be told to educate or with the goal of inflicting pain.  Even the devil quotes Scripture.

Why we do things matter.  Do the right things for the right reasons.

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

God Has a Spam Filter, too

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“The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.” (Pr 15:29)

The Bible is consistent in the message that God adores hearing from His children.  Paul tells us to pray without ceasing in 1 Thess 5:17 and Jesus provides an entire parable to illustrate that we should always pray and not grow weary in Luke 18.

Proverbs 15:29 provides the other side of that coin.  We cannot live wickedly without love of God or our neighbor and expect Him to listen.  Prayer is not an ATM that allows you to draw on the divine power like some tool.  Prayer is communication with the great I AM.  He loves to here from His children, but He has no time for those who are just spamming Him wanting stuff.

“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16)

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

The Best Laid Plans…

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“Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.” (Pr 15:22)

The best plans are sturdy ones, able to withstand the unexpected because they have considered all possibilities.  This only happens when we get advice from multiple sources before finalizing our thoughts.

Far too often, we can find ourselves only turning to people that already agree with us.  This creates an echo chamber that repeats what we are already thinking instead of testing our beliefs and plans against other ideas.

Good planners exhibit the mental toughness to subject their ideas to scrutiny from dissenting voices.  If you shut down the conversation before it can start, you never grow and you never learn.  Consult the opposition and let them test your beliefs.  After all, the truth has nothing to fear in investigation.

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

A Well-Seasoned Meal

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“Better is a dish of vegetables where love is than a fattened ox served with hatred.” (Pr 15:17)

The right people are the best seasoning to the meal.  If you have people in your life that love you, count yourself blessed.

And the power of family dinner should not be underestimated.

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

Learning Can Be Fun

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“The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly.” (Pr 15:2)

Before Mary Poppins said, “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” there was Solomon’s advice.

Learning can be hard medicine, but a wise man with gentle words can make you happy to see your own flaws.

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

Patriotic Sorrow

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“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Pr 14:34)

If you have ever wondered why Christians get so upset over things like Roe v. Wade, the legalization of same-sex marriage this verse is why.

It isn’t because we hate homosexuals or we don’t care about women.  It is because we know what sin does to your life.  It will bring you sorrow and shame and pain and suffering in so many unintended ways.  Nobody is more acquainted with the awfulness of sin than Christians.  We chose Jesus because we realized how broken we were.

When the nation we love chooses the road that destroys us, we grieve.

Not because we hate, but because we love.

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

Do Something

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“In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” (Pr 14:23)

Making plans is fine, but not merely making plans.  At some point we have to put our hand on the shovel and start digging.  Stop talking about evangelism and start evangelizing.  Stop talking about doing good to others and start doing it.  A little good beats big talk every time.

The brave do.

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warmed and filled, without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (Jas. 2:14-17)

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

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