The righteous person is rescued from trouble,
and it falls on the wicked instead.
Some think that for every good thing that we do we receive in return a blessing. Similarly, some think that for every bad thing we do a bad result is received in return. They believe in the “one for one.” They think that this thing of good and evil actions is a zero sum game where good and evil deeds are balanced with rewards and punishments. So when someone needs to receive a benefit he begins to act in good way with the hope that at some point he will receive what he desires. Others say that a good deed compensate a misdeed and his hope is that good deeds outweigh the bad ones to tip the scales in his favor. Unfortunately for them, this is not how things work in the spiritual world. It is true that the bad actions bring serious consequences and that good actions bring blessings, but for this to happen it is necessary to be consistent and coherent. We can not do something good just for the hope of receiving a blessing to later got back to our old ways and situation.
What God expects of us is obedience and respect. We must be consistent in this regard as God’s plans can only be understood in the medium and the long-term. Otherwise, we will not be pleasing to God and we will be giving very bad testimony of what God does and has done in our lives. What produces the blessing is to choose to walk in the path of justice. What produces the curse is to reject what God gives us with love and bring ourselves to walk in paths that only seem right to us because in reality they are not. Consider these things every time that you have to make a decision and make sure it is aligned with God’s plans. This is the expected behavior of a child of God. God will reward your dedication and commitment to him. To God alone be the glory!
The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.
Greed is the result of man yielding to the temptations that the world offers. It is a deep sense of dissatisfaction with what God has given us. Because of our pride we feel we deserve more than we have received. In fact, we think we deserve to have everything our hearts desire without obstacles or limit. We complaint and murmur because we think God has let us down and we’re getting less than we deserve. Of course, this position put us face to face with God, which is something impossible to achieve as well as being a highly disrespectful attitude because it ignores the obedience and respect that we must show him because of his majesty and authority. Greed can never be satisfied. When we achieve something, that something we have achieved immediately becomes unattractive and it makes us desire even more. Wise King Solomon put it this way: “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.This too is meaningless.” God’s law is also very clear: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
The apostle Paul said that he had learned to be content whatever the circumstances were: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” By the way, this last verse is taken out of context by many but that’s a topic for another day. The important thing here is that the control and dominion over greed is something that is learned. It is God’s job, through his Holy Spirit to transform our lives and one aspect that he changes is precisely that of our natural greed. So, let us not act stubbornly, but let us learn the lesson God teaches us to live happy with whatever we have. Let us learn to rely on him and only him. To God alone be the glory!
Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.
It is no secret that the world is facing an economic crisis of such magnitude not seen since the decade of the 20s of the last century, that is, almost one hundred years ago. Not only individuals have been affected by the financial meltdown, entire countries are in serious trouble today and they have not been able to recover from the economic quagmire in which they have sunk. We have the examples of Greece, Spain and Portugal, to name a few economies that in the recent past looked with some strength and are now on the verge of default. Latin American economies have seen an improvement in the last two years with the notable exception of Venezuela, but in any case, apart from Brazil, this growth does not look sustainable in the medium and long term. Even economies that were rapidly growing such as the case of China are suffering some effects of slowing down. In the U.S., the unemployment situation has not been resolved despite strong capital injections by the government in order to revive the economy. Even the rich are worried because many of them have seen their fortunes reduced by the effect of falling financial markets.
The things that are happening are signs that the end is approaching. For those who live depending on the riches they have accumulated this is a worrying situation. For those who have placed their trust in God and depend only on him, the current financial crisis is just a sneeze of the many that the world has experienced since its inception. How does the current crisis affect you? Are you at risk of a financial disaster or are you sure the Lord will watch over you and provide everything you and your family need? Do not put your trust in riches because they are unreliable. Your hope must be based on the power of God and the love he has shown you. Seek his guidance and consult with him before making any decision that may have an impact on your financial stability. He will give you the best guidance available. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged Christianity, death, deliverance, faith, God, hope, Jesus, love, Proverbs 11, righteousness, trust, wealth, wisdom, worthless, wrath
When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.
No good can come out of pride. In fact, one of the most undignified attitudes is arrogance and when it adds contempt for others it becomes unbearable. The problem with pride is that with it there is no going back. Proud people feel more proud every day that passes and they are unable to accept that given the circumstances, they might have to perform at a level lower than what has already been achieved. Imagine a Major League baseball player transfer down to the amateur leagues. Try to imagine a first division soccer player that is transferred down to a second or third division team. Can you imagine a director of a successful large company that now has to work as a middle manager in a small business? Or a pastor of a 5000 member church that now has to lead a congregation of just 100 believers? Our concept of success is closely linked with numbers and the dimensions and the importance attached to them. How do you think Moses was able to adapt to the life of a lowly shepherd in the desert after having lived a life of luxury and pleasure in Pharaoh’s palace? The word of God gives us the answer when it says: “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.”
But the best example of humility was shown to us by our Lord Jesus Christ, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” Let us maintain ourselves as far as we can from the pernicious pride that leaves us no good and, by contrast, is capable of causing much damage. Let us move forward with our sight on Christ and his exemplary attitude. To God alone be the glory!
Posted in Proverbs
Tagged disgrace, God, hope, humility, Jesus, life, love, pride, Proverbs 11, spirituality, wisdom
The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
When making decisions, we should have a clear conscience, a pure heart and a sound mind. The reality is that quite often we pay too much attention to what the world has to say, forgetting that the world is our enemy and that its essence and its destiny is plain corruption. I’m not talking about the Gnostic dualism that equates the physical realm with evil and the spiritual world with good. When we have to make a decision, often we take shelter in excuses based on cultural elements or social practices that are generally approved. There is no problem doing this as long as our decisions do not clash with the principles and commandments of our Heavenly Father. To think otherwise is just that, an excuse.
Let us be alert and let us not be fooled by mainstream trends. We run the risk of being considered politically correct by society but having to be disciplined by God. Remember that the only true and unchanging justice is that which was fulfilled on the cross at Calvary through the immeasurable sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ for all of us. The righteousness that God gives us, not our own, is what will keep us focused in the way of life and away from the paths of evil. Therefore, let us very careful when making decisions! Only if we build our house upon the rock can we be sure that whatever we decide will have the approval of God and will be a blessing to many. To God alone be the glory!