Thursday, April 23, 2009

Do you have Heart Disease?

Proverbs 23

"Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord" (17).

Do you have a wise heart or is your heart diseased? I've listed below the signs of heart disease and the characteristics of a wise heart that is zealous for the fear of the Lord.

A Heart Over-dosed on Pleasure
Gluttony (2-3;20-21)
Seek Riches (4-5) Stingy (6-7) Foolishness (9) Envy sinners (17) Drunkenness (20-21; 29-35) Immorality (27-28)

A Heart Zealous for the Fear of the Lord
Applies Knowledge (12)
Applies Instruction (12)
Disciplined (13-14; 23)
Lips that speak what is right (16)
Seeks the right path (19)
Listens (19, 22)
Seeks truth, wisdom, discipline & understanding (23)
Righteous (24)
Obedient (26)

Develop a heart that is skilled in following God's ways. Examine your heart (12, 15), lips (16), ears (12, 19, 22), and eyes (26). What are you thinking about, talking about, listening to and looking at? Stop, look and listen! Are there signs of "heart disease"? Be zealous for the fear of the Lord and "there is surely a future hope for you" (18).

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Rare Commodity

Proverbs 20:6 "Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?"

A faithful man is a man who firmly believes in God and God's ways. His thoughts, words and deeds all attest to his firm conviction that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. His life is consistent with God's truth and directives. He does not waiver from the right path. This kind of man is truly rare.

A wise man is a faithful man. This is the kind of man Proverbs challenges us to emulate. What are the practical signs of a faithful man? He is true to his word. He is dependable. He follows through with his commitments. If he says he will do something, you can count on it being done. Excuses, sloppy schedules, or even forgetfulness are absent from his lifestyle. He does whatever it takes to remember those significant events and people in his life. He is prepared, punctual and persistent.

Above all, he is faithful to God. He does not allow the idols of comfort, sleep, recreation, career, wealth, power, or the desire for acceptance and approval to interfere with his walk with God. The bottom line is that he is full of faith and that faith drives his life to full devotion to God and an unwavering obedience to His directives. This man is truly a rare commodity.

The Wise Way of Success

Proverbs 16
God is sovereign. He knows the motives of our heart (2). He works everything out for his own ends (4). The Lord determines our steps (9). Nothing is left to chance (33). So, why fight him? Why attempt to live life our way, according to our time table? "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed" (3). Get on the highway - the wise way of success.

A Heart at Peace

Proverbs 14 & 15

"A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones" (Proverbs 14:30).

What is in my heart? What am I seeking after? What do I desire? How do I invest my time, energy and resources? What do I think about most often? Are these qualities in my heart? Am I pursuing these things?
  • peace (14:30)
  • wisdom (14:33)
  • knowledge (15:7)
  • discernment (15:14)
  • cheerfulness (15:15, 30)
  • righteousness (15:28)
  • the fear of the Lord (14: 26-27; 15:33)
  • humility (15:33)

Remember, the heart of man is wide open before the Lord (15:11).