Will you try to do it all alone? Will you allow God to help? Will you try to do it your way? Will you allow the process to go God’s way? Will you try to do it all in your own strength? Will you allow God’s strength to help carry the load? Will you share the yoke with God? Are your motives in the right spot? Will you commit all that you are going to do up to God? Will you serve with humility? Will you be fair and just? Would you rather wisdom or reward? Wisdom is more valuable than gold and silver! Let’s be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger! We have 2 ears and 1 mouth — we should be listening twice as much right!
Today’s reading begins in Proverbs…
Commit Your Heart to Adonai
1The plans of the heart belong to man, but the tongue’s answer is from Adonai. 2All a man’s ways are pure in his own eyes, but Adonai weighs the motives. 3Commit whatever you do to Adonai, and your plans will succeed. 4Adonai works everything out for his own purpose— even the wicked for a day of disaster. 5Adonai abhors all the proud in heart. Be assured, they will not go unpunished. 6By mercy and truth is iniquity atoned, and by the fear of Adonai one avoids evil. 7When one’s ways are pleasing to Adonai, he makes even his enemies be at peace with him. 8Better a little with righteousness than much income without justice. 9The heart of man plans his course, but Adonai directs his steps.
The Delights of a Just King
10An oracle is on the lips of the king— let his mouth never be treacherous in judgment. 11Honest balances and scales are Adonai’s. All the weights in a bag are His handiwork. 12Wrongdoing is an abomination to kings, for a throne is established by righteousness. 13Righteous lips are the delight of kings. He loves those who speak honestly. 14A king’s fury is like messengers of death, but a wise man will appease it. 15In the light of a king’s face there is life, and his favor like a cloud of spring rain. 16How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver. 17The highway of the upright avoids evil. He who guards his way protects his life. 18Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. 19Better to be lowly in spirit with the afflicted than to share the spoil with the proud. 20One prudent in a matter will find good Blessed is the one who trusts in Adonai. 21The wise in heart is called discerning, and sweetness of lips increases persuasiveness. 22Insight is a fountain of life to one who has it, but folly leads to the discipline of fools. 23A wise man’s heart teaches his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips. 24Pleasant words are honeycomb— sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. 25There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. 26A laborer’s appetite works on his behalf, for his hunger drives him on.
Slow to Anger
27A wicked scoundrel digs up evil, and on his lips is a scorching fire. 28A perverse person sows strife, and a gossip separates close friends. 29A violent person lures his neighbor, leading him down a path that is no good. 30One who winks his eyes schemes deceit, one who purses his lips is bent on evil. 31Gray hair is a crown of glory, found on the path of righteousness. 32Better to be slow to anger than a mighty warrior. One who controls his temper is better than one who conquers a city. 33The lot is cast into the lap, but their very decision is from Adonai.
–from Proverbs 16
Character…don’t allow money or power pull you away from what is right and what is just! It’s more than just our words and our actions, God is looking to see our motive – what is in our heart! There is nothing we can hide from Him! We are to love everyone! God created each of us and so we should be treating each other with the respect and love! Let’s be peacemakers! Let’s be flipping the status quo over and live to raise the bar on society! Let’s consider what God says over what people say! Consider Matthew 5 and how Jesus flips what was common and normal towards God’s plan, God’s purpose, and God’s way! Will you walk with integrity in order to find safety? Let’s be looking to create reconciliation and forgiveness rather than allowing anger and frustration and bitterness to grow and fester and take root.
Beware Bribes and Rebellion
1Better is dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting with strife. 2A wise servant will rule over a disgraceful son and will share the inheritance with the brothers. 3A crucible is for silver and a furnace is for gold, but Adonai tests the heart. 4An evildoer listens to wicked lips; a liar listens to a malicious tongue. 5Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker. Whoever rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished. 6Grandchildren are the crown of the elderly and the glory of children is their parents. 7Arrogant lips are not fitting for a fool, much less lying lips for a ruler. 8A bribe is a charm in the eyes of its owner. Wherever he turns, he succeeds. 9Whoever covers up an offense seeks love. Whoever repeats a matter separates close friends. 10A rebuke makes a greater impression on a discerning person than a hundred lashes on a fool. 11An evil man seeks only rebellion, and so a cruel messenger will be sent against him. 12Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than to deal with a fool in his folly. 13Whoever rewards evil for good— evil will never leave his house. 14The beginning of strife is like letting out water— so stop a quarrel before it breaks out. 15Acquitting the wicked and condemning the righteous: both are an abomination to Adonai. 16Of what use is money in the hand of a fool since he has no intention of acquiring wisdom? 17A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. 18A man lacking judgment shakes hands on a deal and puts up financial security for his neighbor. 19He who loves sin loves strife. One who builds a high gate invites destruction. 20A perverse heart finds nothing good a devious tongue falls into trouble. 21Whoever fathers a fool gets grief. There is no joy for the father of a disgraceful son. 22A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. 23The wicked one receives a bribe in secret to pervert the ways of justice. 24Wisdom is before the person of understanding, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth. 25A foolish son is grief to his father and bitterness to her that bore him. 26Also, to punish a righteous person is not good, nor to beat up an honorable one for his integrity. 27One with knowledge restrains his words, and a discerning person stays calm. 28Even a fool, who keeps quiet, is considered wise, discerning, if he seals his lips.
–from Proverbs 17
Let’s do a self assessment today…Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. …Use forgiveness and love to replace such things. Jesus, the rock of the faith was rejected. The cornerstone of faith was rejected. So consider pure joy when you face trials of many kinds for it will work in you so that in the end you will be complete, lacking nothing. We don’t have to worry, even though in this world we will have troubles, because Jesus has already overcome the world!
We are to make a difference! Do you know why? It’s because you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
1So get rid of all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all lashon ha-ra . 2As newborn babes, long for pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow toward salvation— 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen by God and precious, 5you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house—a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Messiah Yeshua. 6For it says in Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen, precious cornerstone. Whoever trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” 7Now the value is for you who keep trusting; but for those who do not trust, “The stone which the builders rejected— this One has become the chief cornerstone,” 8and “a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they are disobeying the word—to this they were also appointed. 9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 10Once you were “not a people,” but now you are “God’s people.” You were shown “no mercy,” but now you have been shown “mercy.” 11Loved ones, I urge you as strangers and sojourners to keep away from the fleshly cravings that war against the soul. 12Keep your conduct honorable among the Gentiles. Then while they speak against you as evildoers, they may—from noticing your good deeds—glorify God in the day of visitation.
Respect and Order
13For the Lord’s sake, submit yourselves to every human authority—whether to a king as supreme, 14or to governors sent by him for the punishment of those who do evil and the praise of those who do good. 15For this is God’s will, that you silence the ignorance of foolish men by doing good. 16Live as free people, but not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil. Rather, live as God’s slaves. 17Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. 18Slaves, with all respect submit yourselves to your masters—not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are harsh. 19For this finds favor if, for the sake of conscience toward God, someone endures grief from suffering undeservedly. 20For what credit is there if, when you sin and get a beating, you endure? But if you endure when you do good and suffer for it, this finds favor with God. 21For you were called to this, because Messiah also suffered for you, leaving you an example so that you might follow in His footsteps: 22“He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth.” 23When He was abused, He did not return the abuse. While suffering, He made no threats. Instead, He kept entrusting Himself to the One who judges righteously. 24He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we, removed from sins, might live for righteousness. “By His wounds you were healed.” 25For you like sheep were going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
–from 1 Peter 2
God is good! God is love! God is perfect! God is eternal! God is light!
An Aside with the Disciples
1Meanwhile, when thousands of people had gathered, so many that they were trampling one another, Yeshua began speaking first to His disciples, “Be on guard yourselves against the hametz of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
2There is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and nothing hidden that will not be made known.
3Therefore, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in private rooms will be proclaimed from the housetops.
4“I say to you, My friends, you should not be afraid of those who kill the body, since after this they have nothing more they can do.
5But I will show you whom you should fear. Fear the One who, after the killing, has authority to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear this One!
6“Aren’t five sparrows being sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God.
7Indeed, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
8Now I tell you, whoever acknowledges Me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge him before the angels of God.
9But the one who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
10And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who slanders the Ruach ha-Kodesh will not be forgiven.
11And when they bring you to the synagogues, rulers, and authorities, do not worry about how you should defend yourself or what you should say,
12because the Ruach ha-Kodesh will teach you at that time what is necessary to say.”
A Request from the Crowd
13Then someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14But Yeshua said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or arbitrator over you?”
15Then He said to them, “Watch out! Be on guard against all kinds of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the material goods he possesses.”
16And Yeshua told them a parable, saying, “The land of a certain rich man produced good crops.
17And he began thinking to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do? I don’t have a place to store my harvest!’
18And he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do! I’ll tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I’ll store all my grain and my goods.
19And I’ll say to myself, ’O my soul, you have plenty of goods saved up for many years! So take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry.”’
20But God said to him, ‘You fool! Tonight your soul is being demanded back from you! And what you have prepared, whose will that be?’
21So it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich in God.”
Instructions for the Disciples
22Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “So I say to you, do not worry about life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will wear.
23For life is more than food and the body more than clothing.
24Consider the ravens. They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. How much more valuable you are than birds!
25“And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
26So if you cannot do even something very little, why do you worry about other things?
27Consider the lilies, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these.
28But if God so clothes the grass in the field—which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow—then how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
29“So do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying.
30For all the nations of the world strive after these things. But your Father knows that you need these things.
31Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you.
32Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father chose to give you the kingdom.
33“Sell your possessions and do tzadakah. Make money pouches for yourselves that do not get old—a treasure in the heavens that never runs out, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.
34For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
35“Have your belt strapped on and lamps burning.
36Be like people waiting for their master to return from a wedding feast, so that when he comes and knocks, they may open to him immediately.
37“Happy are those slaves whose master finds them alert when he comes. Amen, I tell you, he will prepare himself and have them recline at table, and will come and serve them.
38”And if he comes in the second or even the third watch and finds them so, they will be happy.
39But understand this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
40You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you don’t expect.”
41Then Peter said, “Master, are You telling this parable for us, or for everyone?”
42And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their food portion at the proper time?
43Blessed is that servant whose master finds him so doing when he comes.
44Truly I tell you, his master will put him in charge of all his possessions.
45“But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is taking a long time to come,’ and he begins to beat the young slave boys and girls and to eat and drink and get drunk,
46the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know. And he will cut him in two and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
47“That slave who knew his master’s will but did not prepare or act according to his desire will be harshly whipped.
48But the one who did not know and did things worthy of a beating will be whipped lightly. From everyone given much, much will be required; and from the one for whom more is provided, all the more they will ask of him.
49“I came to pour out fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already ablaze!
50But I have an immersion to endure, and how distressed I am until it is finished!
51“Do you suppose that I have come to bring shalom on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.
52From now on there will be five in one house in opposition, three against two and two against three.
53They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
Lessons for the Crowds
54Then He also was saying to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, instantly you say, ‘A rainstorm is coming’—and so it is.
55And when a south wind is blowing, you say, ‘It will be a scorcher’—and so it is.
56Hypocrites! The surface of the earth and sky you know how to interpret yet you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
57Why can’t you judge for yourselves what is right?
58For while you are going with your accuser to the authorities, make an effort to come to a settlement with him—so he doesn’t drag you before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer of the court, and the officer of the court throw you into prison.
59I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid back the last little bit.”
–from Luke 12