cross-roadsLife demands decisions and not a day passes that you and I do not face the challenge of determining whether our steps and journey will be after the way of the Lord or the way of the world.  Looking at the condition of churches in the United States, it seems 21st century Christians have forgotten God’s warning: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)

“Choices have consequences” is a frequent enjoinder of Solomon’s proverbs to his son and Proverbs 19:16 is an example of the gravity of that truth.

Proverbs 19:16“He that keepeth [guard; watch over; retains; observes] the commandment [Law of God; Ordinance of man; Instruction] keepeth [guard; retains; observes] his own soul [life; heart]; but he that despiseth [disdains; scorns] His ways [the ways of the Lord; course; journey] shall die [put to death].”

This proverb is a spiritual crossroads faced by every man and woman—whether to hear and heed the Law and Word of God or reject it and face the inevitable consequences of sin and rebellion—death.keep God's commandments

Solomon stressed to his son that a man who retains God’s Law in his heart will keep and preserve his life.  However, a man who has disdain for God’s Law and despises His way will die.

Our society trivializes sin and mocks God’s Word; however, the Word of God is sure and His promises are true: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20a).

Proverbs 19:17 is a wonderful exhortation for God’s people to be compassionate and God’s promise He will not forget the grace and kindness we extend to those less fortunate.

Proverbs 19:17 – “He that hath pity [showing mercy and favor] upon the poor [needy; helpless; afflicted] lendeth [borrow; delay payment of a debt; join] unto the LORD; and that which he hath given [recompense; reward; deal with hands] will He [the Lord] pay him again [restore; repay; complete; pay in full].”

“You cannot out give God” is a cliché’ that is simple and true, but how many of us practice that principle in our giving?   If God rewarded us on the basis of how gracious we are to others, how many of us would find ourselves poor and miserable?

no one has ever becomr poorConsider what Proverbs 19:17 is teaching:  When you show grace and kindness to those less fortunate, God is not only pleased, He looks upon your gift  as a loan you have made to Him.

When we are willing to serve as a conduit of God’s blessing and meet the need of another, God promises He will restore to you all that you have given—and more!

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8  And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:”

Do you believe you cannot out give God?  Are you practicing that principle?   You need only look as far as your checkbook to answer those questions!joy of giving

Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith