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Word of Wisdom

Proverbs 16:25-26 Your labor will produce sorrow or life, it's your choice!

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There is nothing wrong with hard work.  Being industrious is a virtue that typically produces many benefits.  Labor, as it is used here is something completely different.  The Hebrew term used here implies sorrowful or wicked labor.  The best way to understand this is to examine the behavior of the 5,000 people that Jesus fed in John chapter 6.

 After this miracle, the people "labored" to find Jesus, even to the point of crossing a sea to another country!   Note carefully what Jesus said to them, 
"...you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.  Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life..." -
John 6:26-27 

In other words, what you labor FOR determines if your work will ultimately produce fulfilling and lasting results.  If your goal is to pursue wealth for the sake of comfort and the pleasures of life, sorrow is in your future.   The question we need to ask ourselves is, what do we work for and why?  There is a reason that there is something called a "rat race".

Proverbs 1:20-33 If we refuse to regard God's voice, our cry for help in times of trouble will not be regarded

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Why does the book of Proverbs exist?  Simply put, God loves you and He wants to keep your butt out of trouble!  God did not start with Proverbs, He started by creating a universe that "speaks" to us (Psalms 19:1-3).  His glory and His voice are on display for all to see and hear!  Everywhere we go, God is speaking.  This  passage reveals the extent to which God has gone to "speak" to us.  He is constantly crying out.  If we refuse to stop, listen and consider His voice, our butts will not be delivered!  When distress, anguish and worse come our way and we pray for help, He will not answer!  The good news is that if we choose to regard His voice (Isaiah 55:6), He will respond and pour out His Spirit to us (Proverbs 1:23).

Proverbs 6:32-35 People who understand the deadly consequences of adultery, will not do it!

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Modern American culture has attempted to normalize adultery.  The goal is to minimize the stigma and consequences of the behavior.  This, however, will never happen.  A covenant breaker is a covenant breaker.  A cheater is a cheater.  A liar is a liar.  Words, philosophy, and feelings will never dismiss the reproach, dishonor, emotional injury, and desire for revenge  that are irrevocably attached to this behavior.  This proverb also carries a deeper message,  God is telling us how he feels and what He will do when we cheat on Him!  If we truly understood the consequences of adultery, we would NEVER do it!  Selah..

Proverbs 24:30-32 God gives wisdom to those who take the time to consider what they see

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Everyone wants to be successful.  We all want life to be joyous, purposeful and fulfilling.  Unfortunately, most people never discover the secrets that lead to an abundant life. The information and the ability to apply it successfully come from God.  This proverb actually reveals the secret of acquiring wisdom!  "When I saw it, I considered it well...and received instruction".  When reading this proverb it is easy to overlook the principle of consideration. God gives us Instruction when we choose to "see" and carefully consider His word, works, and wonders.  This is why the Apostle Paul writes in Romans chapter 1 that the "invisible attributes" of God may be clearly seen and understood by the things which exist.  Our success is hidden in our willingness to see and consider that which is all around us.  Selah (means pause and think about it).

Proverbs 20:22 God provides solutions to those who pursue His way in the midst of persecution.

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When evil people attack us, the natural reaction is to strike back.  We get angry and search for ways to retaliate.  Our solutions generally will make the matter worse.  This word of wisdom advises us to "wait on the Lord".  This does NOT mean that we do nothing.  Instead, we fight the urge to react irrationally and pursue wise council.  We refuse to speak emotionally because that makes it easier to do what is unproductive. The wisdom we need to deal with the issue is available to us. "Waiting" is not easy, but it is worthwhile.   God has promised to deliver us if we choose to "wait". 

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