For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly. Proverbs 5:23
Discipline is the ability to make oneself do the right thing or to choose to not do something wrong, regardless of how hard that decision is. Athletes discipline themselves to work out and practice long and hard in their skill to improve and become better. They push the hardships of the hard work aside to improve.
Many in the world do a great job at disciplining themselves to do a sport, but often will not choose to discipline themselves in other areas of life that are not good.
There is no discipline used to hold oneself from living in sinful ways. Choices to commit and live in adultery, homosexuality, or some other deviant lifestyle are common. Each of these and many more ways are ways that lead to death. Sinful lifestyles are accepted as normal and promoted.
Solomon realizes that lack of discipline will bring about death. People are led down wrong paths by their own folly.
The believer must choose to live for God and according to His ways and commands. It takes focus and discipline to live for God.
Yet, there are many in the church who have chosen to put discipline aside and follow the ways of the world. Men lust after other women or men who are not their wives. Women lust after men and women who are not their husbands.
Sin is embraced and accepted as the world accepts it.
True discipline will choose to not walk down sinful paths. This is not down out of legalistic beliefs, but out of love for God for what He has done for each person. Jesus died to remove sin and the death sentence of sin upon a person.
Walking in sin puts that death sentence back into place. It is foolishness to choose to die.
Each day you will have choices to make. You can either look into and follow sinful ways, or you may turn away from all sin and follow God’s holy and righteous ways of living.
God wants you to have an abundant life. Living in sin may be abundant for a short season, but in the end it will bring about death.
Discipline yourself, train yourself to stay focused upon God and His ways. Train yourself to choose to obey God’s commands and not live in sin.
Embrace the life God has for you, not the death the world offers.
I pray today that you will know the salvation Jesus provides; that God will guide you into His ways of living; that God will give you strength to walk in His ways; that you will keep your eyes focused upon God; and that you will have discipline to obey God.
Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. Proverbs 4:14-15
There are many different paths in life for a person to take. It is most common for a person to take the path that the most people have taken.
Choosing that path is easy because it goes with the flow, it does not create ripples or hardships and there are others on that same path. It appears to be the best path because many others are on it.
Solomon says that one should not set foot on the path of the wicked at all. One should avoid it at all costs and go another direction.
The path that the majority of people take in this world is one of selfishness and sin. It is usually a path that goes against God and leads one into more sin. The paths are ones of hatred, vengeance, greed, violence, pride, gossip, jealousy, and more.
There are many ‘believers’ who are taking the path of those in the world, the path of the wicked. They choose to watch, listen or do sinful things, because that is what every one else is doing. Often they do it with the claim that they are free in Christ and not bound by the law.
Jesus did not die to allow a person to sin more, but to free him from the bondage of sin’s punishment. It is to free the believer from continuing to sin on purpose. He has given a new path to walk on that is narrow and straight and leads to life and victory in love, grace and mercy.
Turning towards sin and accepting it as a part of life is to deny Christ and what He has done. The believer must avoid all paths of sin and run the other way, flee temptation.
The world will strive to get you to walk on their path. They will make it look and sound good for you. Avoid it, run from it. Avoid walking in any type of evil or sin.
God’s path for you has true life. It may be narrow and difficult, but it is full of life, leading to eternal life. Do not walk it to earn your salvation, but because you are saved. Walk it to thank God for what He has done for you. This is not to be done out of legalism, but out of love for God.
I pray today that you will know the path God has for you; that God will reveal to you paths that are wicked; that God will guide you from paths of the wicked; and that God will give you strength to avoid sinful paths.
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10
Bringing in more money is the goal of many people. The goal is to get more money so that they can do more with it or to have a better retirement in the end.
While the majority of people do not make money to save and make more money, most people want to have more so that they can spend it. They want to be able to get things that they desire or that makes them look better. Others want to be able to do more things of their hearts desire.
In order to do this, they use one hundred percent of what they earn for their own personal purpose and goals.
Solomon tells the people to honor God with their wealth, with the firstfruits of their crops. The purpose of this, is so that God can overflow their barns and vats with more.
During the time of Solomon, wealth was most often found in crops and animals. The giving of the first fruits was an early concept of tithing to God. The first and best of a person’s earnings were to be dedicated to God.
God has not changed that method of honoring Him. Today one is still supposed to honor God with a tithe off of his earnings. This is the first ten percent of all he has earned.
Giving of tithe is to be done out of love for God. It is to be done to provide for God’s house (the physical church) and the work God has being done.
While many see this as a ‘work’, it is not. It should be seen as an honor to God. It is giving back just a small portion of what God has blessed one with. God has given the believer eternal life, why not give back a little of the money? This way He can bless one with more.
Each time you receive some pay for your work, take the first portion of it and give it to God. Trust God in providing for all that you need and more.
As you pour into His kingdom, God will then be able to pour more into you. Don’t be selfish with what you get. God owns it all and can give you more as needed.
I pray today that you will see God’s hand of provision in your life; that you will trust God with all that you own; that you will be generous in giving to God; and that you will trust God to provide abundantly for all that you need.