Monday, February 21, 2022

The Secret of Life


What is the secret to life?  If I could offer you long life, wealth, and honor, would that tick most of the boxes for you?  Let’s look at what the Book of Wisdom has to say is the combination to unlock access to these most desirable things.


Proverbs 21:21 – He who pursues righteousness and love will find life, prosperity, and honor.


Things to think about:

·       Righteousness + Love = Life, Prosperity, and Honor

o   We could spend five weeks exploring these five words!

·       Righteousness is right standing before God.

o   Unfortunately, we can’t achieve this on our own.  Does that mean it’s over before we even start?

§  Romans 3:11 - “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.”

o   Thankfully, there’s more to the story

§  Rom. 3:21-22 – “…the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”

§  So the first step is actually been offered freely to us!

·       This righteousness needs to be put into action and that action is called Love

o   Ephesians 4:31-32 - “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

·       So when we are in right stead with God, and loving others as God loves us, it unleashes some powerful benefits

o   Life

§  Eternal life - John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

§  Abundant life - John 10:10 – “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

o   Prosperity

§  Eternal riches – Matt. 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

§  Today’s needs - Phil. 4:19 - “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

o   Honor

§  Honored by men - Proverbs 22:1 - A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

§  Honored by God - John 12:26 – “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”


·       And so, the secret isn’t so secret after all!

o   Matt.22-37-40 - Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ‘This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

o   The entire Bible is the passcode to the Secret of Life

§  Go share it with someone today!

Saturday, February 12, 2022

A Tree is Known by Its Fruit


As I was reading our verse for today, it struck me that the core problem of evil is a heart filled with pride and arrogance.  The natural outgrowth of that kind of heart is evil behavior and perverse speech.  Let’s look at how Jesus taught about this and how we can apply this to our lives today.


Proverbs 8:13

I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior, and perverse speech

Things to think about:

·       In Matthew 12:33 Jesus says, “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make it bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.”

·       Pride and arrogance are at the root of a bad tree that bears bad fruit

o   Conversely, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Prov 1:7)

§  Only a heart that is marked by a humility with regard to ourselves and an awe for Who God is can bear good fruit

·       There are two branches that naturally display the fruit of our heart

o   Speech

o   Behavior


·       In Matthew 12:34, Jesus continues, “for out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

o   Ephesians 4:29 – Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.


·       And finally in Matthew 12:35, He says, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”

o   Proverbs 3:27 - Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.

The Solution

·       Galatians 6:8 - Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

·       Proverbs 4:23 - Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Took Him at His Word


There is a great story nestled in John 4 about the royal official in Galilee whose son was dying.  Jesus told the man to go and he went, and a miracle ensued!  What if we all “took Jesus at His word”?  How different would our lives and the lives of those around us be???

John 4:50

“Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” 

The man took Jesus at His word and departed.

Things to think about:

·       John tells us that the man speaking to Jesus was a royal official. That means he was a foreign occupier from Rome, he held a high position in the region, and that he was a Gentile.

·       He had every reason not to:

o   Approach Jesus

o   Consider His claims

o   Act on what He said to do

§  But in fact, he did all three  

·       What else do we know about this man?

o   He was aware of Jesus turning the water to wine at the wedding at Cana (it’s in Galilee)

o   He wasn’t hung up on religion (at all or any particular variety)

o   Maybe most importantly, he was desperate

§  His son was dying

·       The man “took Jesus at His word”

o   Mark 10:15 - Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.

o   Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

·       “He departed”

o   He took immediate, decisive action

o   He didn’t debate, deliberate, or procrastinate

·       Do I take Jesus at His word?

o   1 Sam. 15:22 - To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

§  Like King Saul, sometimes I rationalize

o   Matt. 15:8 - These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me

§  Like the Pharisees, I can twist the facts to suit my personal desires

o   Or is it only when I don’t have another option?

§  Matt 6:68-69 - Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

§  Matt 11:28 - “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

·       Can you think of a time when you took Jesus at His word and were rewarded for it?

o   What might be standing in your way that keeps you from believing and acting on what (and Who) you know?