I'm sitting up in bed today, reading some powerful verses in Proverbs and I couldn't help but think that the world of the ancient times is in many ways the same as it is today. Yes, we got iPhones and sports cars, but people were just as foolish then as they are today, living lives focused on material gains and aspiring towards status & fame, rather than living humbly and seeking knowledge and wisdom.
The desires of our flesh were just as strong 2 or 3 thousand years ago. And reading these verses caught me by surprise, realizing that if more of us would read the Word, we'd certainly have been able to benefit from the instructions of wisdom outlined in the bible, and we'd be a far better society than we are today.
From my reading, I thought to share a few simple & practical disciplines that we can use to help develop and mature spiritually:
1. We need to invite ourselves to prioritize our reading of the Word daily.
By reading more of the bible regularly, we're going to be armed with practical instructions on how to handle our own life's challenges everyday. It's going to help us to gain the understanding, knowledge and wisdom we so desperately need to lead better lives. Believe me, we'll be armed to be better husbands, fathers and leaders in our society. Instead of listening to the foolish advice of brother man (your brother, bredren, pal, wife, mother, father, child or whoever else… you'll instead take God's advice, which is best).
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
2. Speak and act on positive thoughts and attitudes or keep our mouths shut entirely!
There are two Proverbs to share here:
Proverbs 10:19 – “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise”
Proverbs 10:32 – “The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.”
Instead of getting into an argument and saying something that you'll surely regret, hold that tongue and remain silent. And before you or I go ranting off some curse words to the guy who drops the football today, let's give some thought to what's fitting as a christian, seeing that we're setting an example for others to follow.
3. Stop procrastinating and doing nothing proactively to better your life – It's Time To Get Active!
Proverbs 10:4 – ” Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth”
This wealth doesn't have to be monetary. If you want to help your team win, you've got to work hard day and night to be a great player and contributor towards the goals you've got laid out. If you want to help your church grow, you've got to find a need and get active in helping them succeed at the objectives set. If you want to be recognized as the best employee, you've got to put in that extra time when everyone is punching out to go home and you've got to think smarter than the rest to be more efficient and productive.
Same goes towards God's kingdom. We all need to do more than come to church on Sundays for one to two hours and think that God's happy with us doing nothing else for his kingdom the rest of the week. Would your boss be happy with you if you worked one or two hours a week? Would your team be happy if you only practiced one hour for one day a week? Would you be recognized as employee of the month? MVP of your league? Probably not.
Let's work harder towards becoming better christians, by working hard each and every day to increase our wisdom.
4. We need to live our lives in service to our society.
Proverbs 21:13 – “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.”
How many people are in need that you are blessed to be a blessing to? Again, this has nothing to do with giving a single penny in your pocket. This has everything to do with your talents and how wisely you use them.
Could we donate one hour a week of our time to help mentor a child who's orphaned? Could we cook a meal and provide it to a shelter for someone who can't afford to eat today? Could we pay the toll for the person behind us? Could we help an old man or woman get their groceries in their car, instead of rushing into our car to make it home in time for our evening webinar?
Guys, let's do a better job of using what talents we have to serve those in need. Let's teach our kids how to serve and be unselfish.
Proverbs 22:9 – “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.”
5. Stop chasing the wealth in money & material things and start chasing the wealth of eternal life!
Proverbs 23:4-5 – “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”
Proverbs 22:1 – “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold”
And with that, I wish you all a blessed week.
Thanks Stephen. Great application of the Word. Simple wisdom. There are so many opportunities to serve everyday. Good to have a reminder that helps re-open our eyes to these things. Keep em coming.
thanks Kerri, will keep them coming
Wow!! God must have called you this weekend and told you about me. I have been reading, but I get it out of the way in the morning and don’t look back. I have been telling myself to serve his kingdom, whether in the church or in the community and have an issue with procrastination. I have had the application to serve on my desk for weeks now, waiting to fill it out and submit it. What am I waiting for? I find myself praying to be a better spiritual leader in my household, but then slip up with curse words or negative attitude. I watch church online lately giving myself excuses not to get up and go to church. I pray for change in my life but am waiting for God to zap me. 99% of the time God will not zap us, he will use people around us as He is using you my brother. You hit the nail on the head today my friend. We need to get motivated and stay motivated to serve and share the word of God. We need to stop procrastinating and stand up and stop making excuses. I feel so inspired and want to make so many changes in my life after church, then Monday comes and I don’t want to do anything. Satan attacks us even more when we try to make a step in the right direction. We need to keep pushing, lean on God, and not allow Satan to steer us away. We cannot do that without God, His Word, His Mercy, His Love, and His Grace (Daniel 6 – The Lion’s Den). We need to stand up for God. It’s time, we need to stand up together and pray for each other and our Nation. It’s not too late, but soon will be. Thank you Stephen. Thank you. God bless you my brother.
Thank you so much for your comments. God’s blessings to you and your family. I’m so happy that you want to serve and let me tell you that there’s nothing that fills you up more with excitement and motivation, than when you’ve done good work for the kingdom. Just reading your message here tells me that this blog reached someone today and that this blog is serving its purpose. If I can motivate even ONE person to seek Him and to serve Him, then I’m the happiest man on earth.
May God bless you, your family, your wife, your kids, your finances, your portion, your work for his kingdom. I hope He’ll encourage you today to not only get back to church on Sundays, but to get out and serve in a big way.
Much love P.
Stephen great article. As Christians we all know what needs to be done, however we often need a little reminder. I took particular interest in step number 3. We spend 40 plus hours a week on our jobs and only a few hours doing Gods work, and at the end of the day we expect all these wonderful blessings to come pouring in. My pastor made a very interesting comment in church on Sunday. He said every day we are placed in different situations so we can share the wonderful name of Jesus, but instead we get scared and let the opportunity passes. We all can do better especially myself, doing Gods work is our sole purpose for being on earth, nothing else.
Nuff respect Stephen for the good work.
I give Him the honor and the glory for the inspiration to share. Thanks for your kind words Courtney.
I praise the Lord for people like you Stephen. Thank you so much for using your time and talents for God’s glory. Thank you for reminding us what’s truly important about life-God and His very Word.
The Lord bless you abundantly, more than you can ever imagine. 😉