“Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.”
Jesus spoke of two men in the same condition.
One was poor, the other rich.
Both died, yet they went to two different places.
One was comforted in this life, the other comforted in eternity.
“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”
The wealth of the rich man could not buy his salvation, nor rescue him after he reached his eternal destination.
“Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.”
In his torment, he begged for even a drop of mercy and pleaded for his friends and family to be warned of their fate should they not repent.
Will it be too late before we get that kind of burden for the lost?
Lazarus was a beggar before he died, and had received evil things during his lifetime. He may not have had the good things that the rich man possessed, but he received far greater rewards in eternity.
Are we focusing on the temporal or that which has eternal value?
Every day we have to choose whether to live for today or in light of eternity.
We must trade the riches of this world for the riches of His grace!
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
1 Chronicles 23-24 | Colossians 3 | Proverbs 30-31
“Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.”
The foolish cannot truly understand the difference between right and wrong, because they simply do not know the Truth.
There can be no true discernment where there is no Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:11-14
“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
The Spirit of God reveals unto His children the things of God.
Wisdom is available to us if only we will ask Him. He chooses to reveal His understanding through His Word.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
Without the Truth and Wisdom of the Word, there is only a form of godliness; which only leads to confusion and deception.
Satan has blinded the minds of those who do not know God.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
We must continually seek the Lord through His Word so that we can shine the Light within the darkness of this world. When we shine, He is glorified.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
The eternal state and forgiveness of others depends on our obedience to share the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God is able and willing to forgive our sins, when we ask; yet many have no knowledge that they are in need of Him. We have been commissioned to tell them.
“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
It is our purpose to shine for Him, but we must first seek to know Him.
Seek Him today while shining the Light for all to see.
1 Chronicles 21-22 | Colossians 2 | Proverbs 29
“A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food. They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.”
The purpose of rain is to allow that which is planted to grow.
A sweeping rain is counter-productive, washing away that which it has grown.
The poor oppressing the poor is as destructive as rain that causes death instead of life.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
Through oppression, He brings new life to those who die to themselves.
Until we submit our will for His, we will accomplish very little on our own merit.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
The Lord has given us His Word so that we may know Him.
He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to God without Him.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Despite this Truth, there are still many that choose to forsake the Word while praising wickedness. We live in a day where right is wrong and wrong is right. Darkness abounds, therefore there is a greater need for us to shine the Light of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
When we shine the Light, God enables us to contend for the faith amongst the oppression of the wicked. We are nothing without Him, but with Him we are able to all things.
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
1 Chronicles 19-20 | Colossians 1 | Proverbs 28
“For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.”
When wickedness consumes a nation, chaos and turmoil abound; yet where there is Wisdom there is stability.
“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”
The children of Israel experienced a roller coaster of rulers. There were many that did not please the Lord, and a few that did. This chaos continued throughout the judges and kings.
In these Last Days, no matter their location, a Christian can attest to both of these verses in reference to the state of their country.
There was and is a need for Wisdom.
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
Whatever the problem, Wisdom is the answer.
We must begin with a fear of the Lord. There is no Wisdom without fear of Him.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.”
Only Wisdom can provide the ability to overcome the sin of our flesh and the stability to the chaos of sin around us.
“And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.”
1 Chronicles 17-18 | Philippians 4 | Proverbs 27
“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
There are no coincidences within the Word of God.
Every Word is there for a specific purpose. Every phrase and description is Divinely inspired with specific reason.
Lions are known as the King of the Jungle due to their immense strength and courage. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Solomon depicts boldness as the characteristic of a lion. This is the first mention of being bold; and refers to a sense of security for the righteous believer. We have no need to fear when we are on the Lord’s side.
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
The Strength of the Lion
Through Christ we have the strength to accomplish anything that is set before us. We need only submit our weakness to Him.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
The Courage of the Lion
With Christ by our side, we can have not only courage, but good courage. There is no need to fear because He will never forsake us.
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
Boldness is a rare quality today.
How can we be bold as a Lion?
We must spend time with Jesus.
The boldness of Peter and John shows us that any of God’s children can boldly speak stand for Him. The people around them could tell that they had spent time with Jesus. Could the same be said of us?
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”
We must speak to Jesus so that we can boldly speak of Him.
Because they prayed, God showed up in a great way. He empowered them to speak the Truth boldly. Could the same be said of us?
“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”
Ask the Lord to give you bold Wisdom today.
1 Chronicles 15-16 | Philippians 3 | Proverbs 26
“The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.”
The Diligent Shepherd desires to take care of His children.
He knows our needs before we even ask. There is no need to worry about how He will provide. We must simply trust that He will.
“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.”
The Diligent Shepherd desires us to diligently seek Him.
He is our greatest need. We must realize that we need Him more than we need even our food or clothing. Rather than be concerned about where our next meal or drink will come from, He simply wants us to seek Him.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
The Diligent Shepherd desires that we trust Him.
After seeking Him, we must learn to trust Him. Not just in the big or little things, but in every single thing. He cares about every detail of our lives. He is in control of everything; yet He chooses to allow us to have the choice to choose Him, and to choose to trust Him.
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
Seek Him today.
Trust Him today.
Any time we diligently seek Him and choose to trust Him we will never be empty handed.
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
1 Chronicles 13-14 | Philippians 2 | Proverbs 25
“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?”
Diligence is a rare quality today.
In our fast paced and entitled society, we often quit a hard task rather than put forth the consistent effort required to complete it. Our flesh can begin to doubt that we will ever obtain the victory.
David must have taught Solomon how to tend to the fields and herd in flocks of sheep. He knew what it was like to consistently work hard. Solomon therefore used the example of a Shepherd tending to their flocks in reference to being diligent.
The Good Shepherd always knowing the state of His flock.
He is always watching. He knows His sheep and calls us by name.
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
With Him as our Shepherd, we have no need for anything or anyone else.
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
The Lord is the Ultimate Example of diligence.
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
Whatever He starts, He finishes.
If you doubt His diligence today, look into His Word and remind yourselves of His promises.
1 Chronicles 11-12 | Philippians 1 | Proverbs 24
“Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.”
A mortar and pestle is used to crush grains into fine powder.
The children of Israel used this process with the manna God provided for them. They baked it in pans and made cakes.
“And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium. And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.”
The pestle is used to put great pressure on the substance in the mortar.
Even the greatest pressure cannot force foolishness out of a person.
Each of us must choose to depart from foolishness.
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Just as He did the children of Israel, God has given each of us a freewill to choose Him over our foolishness.
1 Chronicles 9-10 | Ephesians 6 | Proverbs 23
“As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.”
How we handle the praise we receive speaks much of our character.
“The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.”
Vain men desire praise.
“Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”
Proud men praise themselves.
“He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.”
Weak men are puffed up by praise.
1 Corinthians 4:6
“And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.”
Wise men detour praise to the Only One worthy to receive it.
“Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”
Praise can make us or break us; it builds or destroys our character.
As we detour the praise we receive to the Lord, it encourages us to retain our integrity and desire to diligently improve ourselves for His glory.
1 Chronicles 7-8 | Ephesians 5 | Proverbs 22
“Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.”
Hell enlarges itself in order to accommodate the many that are going there.
What a sobering thought that hell is never full.
We must be busy about the Lord’s business, faithfully warning people of the destruction that awaits them if they choose to reject the free Gift of salvation in Jesus Christ.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Just as hell is never satisfied with its number of residents, our eyes are never satisfied. They are always craving more of the pleasures of this world.
1 John 2:15-16
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
Destruction begins by looking in the wrong places.
Adam and Eve were not satisfied within the perfect Garden of Eden. There was only one tree that they were forbidden to eat of and that temptation was enough for them to fall into sin.
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
Solomon was a man of Wisdom before he allowed his eyesight to lead him astray. His demise began when his eyes desired the things of this world.
“And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.”
We must continually seek Wisdom from the Word of God in order to avoid finding ourselves regretting the vanity of our fleshly desires.
1 Chronicles 5-6 | Ephesians 4 | Proverbs 21
NEW ONLINE DEVOTIONAL SERIES
Copyright © 2018
Delight Thyself Design Ministries, Inc.
All rights reserved.