caught in bear trapToday’s devotional is simple, insightful and a good reminder that, “things are not always what they seem” (Phaedrus).

Proverbs 29:6 – “In the transgression [sin; rebellion] of an evil [wicked; bad] man there is a snare [trap; hook; noose] : but the righteous [just; lawful] doth sing [shout for joy] and rejoice [glad; joyful; merry].”

Let’s be honest: The world we live in paints sin with a brush giving the impression the party will go on forever; however, the reality is sin desensitizes, blinds and in the end demands full payment.  Preachers used to warn their congregations—“There is a pay day, someday”.  Every transgression comes with the same promise, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).  That promise is like a two-edged sword including not only physical, but also spiritual death—eternal separation from God and the judgment of hell for eternity (Revelation 20:12-15).

I have observed a third, immediate element of sin’s snare: Sin kills dreams and dream killeraspirations.  Consumable vices like drugs and alcohol erode one’s quality of life, abbreviates the life span and devastates potential.  Adultery kills a marriage and destroys a family.  Lies and deceit entrap a man and ruin his testimony.  Rebellion ensnares the teenager drawing him down a path of self-destruction that robs him of a bright future.  My friend, sin is to a man’s soul what cancer is to his body if ignored—a sentence of death.

The righteous are not haunted by regrets or enslaved by the consequences of sin (29:6b). They rejoice in the assurance of God’s forgiveness, mercy and grace (1 John 1:9).

Proverbs 29:7The righteous [just; lawful] considereth [know; perceive; observes] the cause [judgment; plea] of the poor [weak; needy; helpless]: but the wicked [ungodly; immoral] regardeth [understand; perceive; discern] not to know it.”

tithesCharitable giving, whether it is giving one’s tithe to the church or giving to the cause of charity, is a low priority for far too many professing Christians. I believe many church members raise an emotional barrier when the subject of tithes and offerings is the topic of a sermon.

However, when the righteous see the poor oppressed, there arises within them a desire to not only identify with their need, but also to address it as well. The ungodly; however, are less willing to know and identify with the plight of the poor. I have observed those in positions of power and influence pound the “bully pulpit” for the government to do more, while their own acts of charity are miniscule at best.

God’s Word promises—charity will be remembered and rewarded!

Matthew 25:34-40 “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was Benevolencesick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38   When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39   Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith