The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all. (Proverbs 22:2)
We are to be stewards, not victims, of our circumstances. Because our lot in life is ordained of God. That we are not necessarily foreordained to remain in our current state is clear from the lives of people like Paul and Joseph. Paul said: “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound” (Philippians 4:12). He’d personally experienced both feast and famine and learned to be content in either circumstance. As for Joseph, he went from second-in-command in his own household, to prisoner in Egypt, to second-in-command of Egypt. The key in the lives of both these men was how they stewarded their circumstances. Who they were was not defined by their current socio-economic status. They were defined by whom they worshiped and honored with their lives. Their God was unchanging, so regardless of where and how they found themselves, they also were unchanging.
Church discipline is never a pleasant thing. It weighs heavily on the hearts of church leadership and it is uncomfortable for a church body to endure. That’s by design. It isn’t meant to be pleasant. It is corrective (Proverbs 22:10) and instructive (Proverbs 21:11). Unpleasant as it is, when it is not carried out, the church and its power in the community both suffer. Continue reading
Be faithful even when it’s tough
Proverb 12:9 “He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.”
This verse is better understood as “A poor person who provides for himself is better than someone who is proud and destitute.”
You’ve probably met, or seen the proud and destitute. They’re often holding up a sign that says “Will work for food,” but when you try to offer them work, they have excuses for why they can’t, and would prefer a generous donation instead.
And you may have met the poor, but self-providing individual. He may be between jobs or have hit upon hard times, but he’s faithfully seeking work where he can and doing what he must to provide for himself and his family. God says there’s more hope for someone like that than there is for the “proud and destitute.” Continue reading