October 20, 2017

Today you should read: Proverbs 23

Proverbs 23 continues a numbered list of wise sayings from chapter 22; that is, the “thirty sayings of counsel and knowledge” (22:20). Thus, chapter 23 encompasses saying 6 to saying 18 (for more info check out the ESV Study Bible) outlined below.

Verse #’s, “saying” #, & Topic.

1–3, saying 6, Warning of the deceptiveness of the wealthy.

4–5, saying 7, Warning of the danger of overwork and pursuit of wealth.

6–8, saying 8, Warning of receiving gifts from a manipulator.

9, saying 9, Warning of a fool’s obstinacy.

10–11, saying 10, Warnings for those who would take advantage of orphans or the weak, God is their Redeemer.

12, saying 11, Pursue wisdom.

13–14, saying 12, Correct and discipline your children in order that they may pursue the Lord’s mercy.

15–16, saying 13, The result of a child raised with discipline is wisdom that brings joy to the parent.

17–18, saying 14, Warning that sinners should not be envied because their future is doom.

19–21, saying 15, Warning of a lack of self-control, over eating and heavy drinking.

22–25, saying 16, The greatest gift a parent can receive is child whose life illustrates wisdom.

26–28, saying 17, Parents must provide an example because sin (especially sexual sin) can ensnare.  

29–35, saying 18, Warnings about too much alcohol.

Life is full of danger, and we must step with care. We can all learn from our own mistakes, but are we wise, humble, and aware enough to learn from the mistakes of another? Proverbs 23 sounds a lot like a person who has made plenty of mistakes and learned from them. We have the chances as we meditate on these wise sayings and learn from an example—an example of perfect wisdom from the Lord—and navigate the pitfalls of life.

What sticks out to you from these wise sayings? Do you need to hear that the relentless pursuit of wealth is a vanishing trap? Do you need the reminder of the fact that it is foolish to envy sinners, that the consequences of their sin will ultimately catch up with them?  Let us know in the comments.

For myself, my wife and I not only entered the stage of “terrible two’s” with our first daughter, but we also just welcomed our second child into the world. Newborns represent a unique challenge, but we’ve been through this before and, aside from the normal tiredness, things are going pretty well. What I needed more than anything was sayings 12 & 16—as we attempt parenting a two-year old, we must ask ourselves if our efforts, our discipline strategy, reflect the Lord and point our toddler toward righteousness.

By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate

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October 19, 2017

Today you should read: Proverbs 22:17-29

I hope you’re enjoying the journey through Proverbs. Today’s reading in chapter 22 is a review and summary of the main themes we’ve dealt with so far in the book.

Verses 22-23 – The Golden Rule: “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” Luke 6:31

Verses 24-25 – Bad company corrupts good character. Be careful who you spend time with – you will become just like them!

Verses 26-27 – Be very cautious about how you invest your money. This can cause you great grief. A simple guideline: 10% to God, 10% to savings, live on 80%.

Verse 28 – Don’t cheat others – God is watching. This is true in our taxes, our breaks at work, with clients or customers, at the grocery store, etc, etc, etc. You get the point – don’t cheat others.

Verse 29 – Have a good work ethic – don’t be lazy. Laziness produces “hungriness”.

We’ve seen these themes over and over in the first part of this book – now Solomon is reinforcing them so we won’t forget.

Verses 17-21 says it so well…

“Listen to the words of the wise; apply your heart to my instruction. For it is good to keep these sayings in your heart and always ready on your lips. I am teaching you today—yes, you—so you will trust in the LORD. I have written thirty sayings for you, filled with advice and knowledge. In this way, you may know the truth…”

Review today – Listen, obey, and change.

“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22

By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor

October 18, 2017

Today you should read: Proverbs 22:1-16

This passage of scripture basically rests on verses 1-6 and 15-16. I love the ideas behind what is being said, especially serving in the student ministry and knowing I am called to that area of ministry by God. If you look at verses 2-5 you will notice that they are a single unit that is dealing with wealth poverty and the road to ruin.

It is important to take this in because there are clear hints being dropped that help us understand what will lead us to and away from ruin. It is no accident that we are told to train up children in the way to go. Parents are instructed to be the ones who would disciple, lead, and train their children to grow into strong adults who follow after Jesus. I personally did not grow up with that, and I am extremely thankful for other adults in the church who came along to help me in this.

This is not an easy task! Verse 15 speaks to this. Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him. Children, and teenagers are going to be rebellious and are going to fail. This is why we as adults and you as a parent if you have children must be resilient and consistent. I was a bit hard headed but my student pastor was never afraid to tell me how it was and even let me experience the discipline of the Lord as a result of my actions. It was through those things that I grew. When we lack discipline we lack reason to grow. The Lord disciplines us to show us our wrongs and to get us to see that we need a change, and because we deserve it. We are responsible as disciplers, leaders, and especially PARENTS to do the same.

By: Dakota Gragg — Student Ministry Associate

October 17, 2017

Today you should read: Proverbs 21

Alright fellow CPC Jumpstarters, let’s try something a little different today. This may totally fail and I may not have a job tomorrow but I’m feeling a little risky and noticed that this chapter has some really good, potentially hot button bible bombs in it so I’m going to throw out a few grenades.

Here are the rules of warfare, I’m going to throw out a few verses from the chapter below and ask a challenging question in light of that Proverb. Comment below with your thoughts but only do so with a few things in mind:

  1. Do not be divisive in your comments and answers. We are one body in Christ and there are open-handed and closed-handed issues. Many of the verses and questions I’ll be asking will lead to open-handed answers and thoughts. Don’t let your own personal conviction turn into a law.
  2. I’ll take the day to moderate as best as I can. I’m writing this before the initial post date so I’m not sure what my schedule holds for that day outside of a few discipleships but I will do my best to comment, control and put down church discipline for anyone getting out of hand. 😉
  3. Let’s remember the rules of hermeneutics here. One Proverb out of potential context does not speak for the entirety of the Bible and it’s initial purpose which is revealing the Gospel through Creation, Fall, Redemption and Consummation. I may even ask some questions that are leading to a discussion that the verse is not implying in it’s context. If so, prove it.

Alright now, fingers crossed and here we go.

  1. There are many NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem before their games and this has caused a very divisive conversation between not only politicians but Christians. Below are two articles where conservative, evangelical pastors state their case for each side.

Against Kneeling

For Kneeling 

Without giving my opinion, I’d probably say that I’ve met more Christians in agreement with the “Against Kneeling” view. However, in light of the Proverb below, can one make a Biblical case for God’s justice over Country’s sacrifice?

To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. Proverbs 21:3

Share why or why not being respectful of the potential other view.

  1. There’s almost daily Facebook outrage over local Lexington “pan-handlers” at interstate exits and entrances begging for money and even operating a planned out deceptive scheme as detailed in this link.

I’ll be honest if I didn’t say that I don’t get annoyed at times when someone who is homeless, smelling of alcohol wanders into a church service asking for money for gas or food but refusing to take any type of help outside of unaccountable cash. If we’re honest, these attitudes have led most Christians to a general distrust and if we’re completely honest, a disdain toward the homeless and poor. However, in light of the Proverb below, what does this mean about our attitudes of pan-handlers, the homeless and the poor.

Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered. Proverbs 21:13

Share below being respectful of each other’s comments.

By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor