Proverbs 14:23 Hard Work Or Just Talk

Honey bee on flower

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

Talk is easy. People can talk about a lot of things that they will plan to do. Dreams and goals are often talked about and set on a daily basis by millions of people. Grand dreams of changing the world, inventing the newest gadget, starting a business, and much more.

Every new year, people will draw up elaborate lists of goals for the new year. Many times they will go into great detail of what the goal is and how they plan to accomplish it.

Out of all of the goals set, very few will ever be accomplished. Very few people will take the steps needed in order to fulfill the goal that they had set.

Solomon brings out a great truth about hard work and talk. Hard work will often lead to a profit or success, while just talking will bring only poverty.

It will often take hard work and dedication to accomplish a goal. Most goals are not easily accomplished.

It is common for people to seek to gain without the hard work. They want the ‘get rich quick’ method, rather than the slower hard work method. In the process, most of their goals are just talk, leading to nothing.

This can also be found in the life of a believer. Many believers talk about following God and believing in Jesus, yet, that is all it is…talk. Their lives never change. They continue to live the same way, often in sins, and refusing to be a witness.

Although salvation is free, God has work for every believer to do. It sometimes takes hard work to be a witness. It can be hard work to turn away form sin. It can be hard work to pray or read the bible. Yet, doing each of these and following God will bring about a profit of the soul.

Not working for God will bring to a poverty of the spirit and soul, missing what God has for the person.

Do not just allow yourself to talk about being a follower of Jesus, be one. Do the hard work God has called you to do.

Work at turning away from sin, work at being His witness, work at being like Jesus. Do what it takes to build your life into the image of Jesus. As you do your part, God will do His part and bring the reward and increase the efforts effects.

I pray today that you will know the salvation Jesus brings; that you will work to turn from sin against God; that God will give you the strength to be His witness; and that you will not be a follower of Jesus just in words, but in action.

Labor Day Remembrance

Happy Labor Day

It is Labor Day in America today. It is a time to celebrate the hard work and labor that men and women have done to make this country the great country it is. Many people have worked hard at building things, inventing things, and building this country.

Throughout the years there have been many who have attempted great things for this nation and failed at it. Others have attempted and been cut down and ridiculed until they chose to quit. Some have been stopped by others to keep them from achieving something that would be great.

While many have failed, stopped or been stopped, many have also succeeded. The invention of many different things have been done in this nation that has led to a better workplace. New laws have been put in place requiring better safety in the workplace.

There are many things that you and I enjoy today because someone else has paved the path for us. It does not matter what country you live in, it is the same for every nation in the world. Think about all the paved roads you drive on. Someone had to design them, clear the land for them, and build those roads to make them what they are today.

road

The grocery store that you buy food from each day is the result of many people’s hard work. The farmer had to grow enough food to provide for the store; someone had to process that food; someone had to deliver it to the store; someone had to build the building for the store; someone had to stock the shelves; and someone has to be there to sell it to you.

Everywhere  you look there is signs of someone’s hard labor to make what you enjoy possible.

On Labor Day in America, many people get the day off to enjoy the fruits of their labor. They grill out with family and friends to enjoy some good food as they relax.

Grilling

As you relax, you must remember what others have done ahead of you, not just your own hard work. When this day is over and you go back to work, go back giving it your best as you remember what others have done for you.

Along with the work that we often see in the public places, there is another labor that I want you to look at and remember the hard work of. This is one that is not so commonly honored. It is the work of the ministry of building God’s kingdom here on this earth and for eternity.

God had set hard work in motion when He created the heavens and the earth in six days. He set man upon the earth to work the land and thrive upon it. Man, being jealous and greedy, wanted all the glory for himself and rebelled against God’s way of doing things. This is where the fall of man comes in.

Adam-and-eve-evicted

Immediately God set into plan a work to save all mankind from sin. He had a plan in the works to destroy all sin and death for eternity. For man, the ability to destroy death was impossible. In order to do that he had to get rid of the sin in his life, which was impossible.

This was accomplished through the work of Jesus dying on the cross and being resurrected three days later. When Jesus rose from the dead, He had defeated death and was given the power to remove all sin from every man and woman on this earth for all time.

After Jesus had done this, He got ready to leave the earth. As He left the earth He gave this command to the disciples:

Matthew 28:19-20 New International Version (NIV)

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The disciples followed His command and began to preach the gospel message to every person they came in contact with. Later Paul would come along and go through a lot of persecution to spread the gospel message around the world. Many men and women gave their lives in the early days of the church striving to get the gospel message to every person. They put in long hours and hard work to get the message out to every one.

As time went along, more and more people heard the gospel message and believed in Jesus for their salvation. Many of those people continued the mission and hard work of getting the gospel message spread.

Over the years there were many people who spread the gospel message: Martin Luther, George Whitefield, John Wesley, William Booth, Billy Sunday, John Wycliffe, and Billy Graham, plus many more untold thousands who have spread the gospel message. These are just a few of the list of men who impacted thousands. Alongside of these are thousands of men and women who never stepped into the pulpit, wrote a book or had any full-time ministry.

These are the men and women in everyday jobs, living a normal life, but are willing to tell their neighbor, co-worker, friend, anyone they meet about Jesus. Some of these people have gone through extreme persecution, shunned by families, hated by friends and lost their jobs and lives in order to keep the message of the gospel going to more people. They did not fear the persecution ahead of them, but sought to bring every person to a saving knowledge of Jesus.

Spreading the Gospel Message

One or more of these people have had an impact in your life. It was because of these people that you are a believer today. They worked hard so that you may know Jesus today. Some strived to pass the gospel message on to the point it impacted your life.

As you celebrate the hard work and labor of men and women today in your nation, remember those who have gone before you in the spiritual work.

Hebrews 12:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

 

Colossians 3:23 New International Version (NIV)

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

 

2 Chronicles 15:7 New International Version (NIV)

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

Do not stop telling people about Jesus. Seek to tell someone everyday. Do not be ashamed of the gospel for it has the power to save. Do not make the hard work others have done before you worthless. Do not stop what they have continued since Jesus walked on the earth.

As you work hard at building God’s kingdom, you are getting yourself ready to stand before the Father some day and hear Him say:

Matthew 25:23 New International Version (NIV)

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Proverbs 31:10-27 The Right Wife

The passage that I have chosen today is too long to want to copy all of it here. Please click on the link Proverbs 31:10-27 and read the passage.

There are many views on who the right wife is for a man. Each person, man, woman, mother, or father, has a different view. In this passage a description is given that is often ignored.

The wife described here is not one who is a door-mat, that just gets walked all over by her husband or her children. Nor is she one described as the boss of the household.

Often wives have a career and are focused on moving on up in that career. They are focused on how to look better in this world. It may be to look better in this world for her husband or children, but the focus is still on her. The wife described here is focused on making life better for her husband and her children.

She is willing to work with her own hands to provide the best for her family, not for herself. Many marriages are built around the concept of his and her own stuff. Each one has their own checking account, own vehicles, own food, own life and are not together. Everything done is for self, rather than for the family.

This is not about women’s liberation, but about love for family. When a woman puts her family first and meets their needs first, she will be blessed in the end. Her family will see all the hard work she does and bless her. Her husband can trust her to make all the right choices in this life and for the family.

If you are a wife and are reading this today, what is your focus in your family? The first level of focus must be on God, the second is on your husband, and third is on your children. The last area of focus is to be on yourself.

God will provide for your needs as you pour out yourself into the needs of your family.

The method of meeting your family needs will be different for each wife. Seek God to know how you can best do that and be the wife that is blessed.

I pray today that God will give you the strength to work for your family; that God will guide you in what to do for your family; and that your family will see a treasure in you.

Proverbs 18:9 Not Working The Best Work

One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys. Proverbs 18:9

Working hard takes hard work and dedication, two characteristics that many people lack in. Although most people are dedicated to showing up for their job, most do not always give 100% of their efforts at the job.

Everyone knows of someone who slacks on the job. That job could be a paying job in the workforce or a volunteer job somewhere else. It is the person who stops and talks all the time, or has to use the restroom every few minutes. It is the person who does the job very slowly on purpose. It is the person who does not follow all the directions in getting the job done. There are many ways that a person can slack on the job.

Solomon likens this person to one who destroys. Some may ask how is that destroying anything, they are not physically hurting anyone or anything.

When a person does not give his all in work, he is destroying in several ways at a minimum. That person is destroying the integrity of the business–not giving the best service. Destroying the moral at work, because others see the slacking and join in it or they begin complaining. The personal integrity is destroyed by not doing what he says he is doing. It teaches those under a person to also cut corners and slack off on work.

Every job at you have and do you are to do it as unto the Lord with all of your heart. God did not do any slacking when He created you or this world. Jesus did not slack at all when He went through the process to provide salvation for your soul.

God is in the process of building a kingdom that will last forever. You have been asked to be a part of that building process. No matter what you do, you are in that process.

There will be days when you will be tempted to slack off and cut corners in your work. You will see others slacking off. Do not follow them. Follow the example of Jesus and keep working faithfully. God is looking for faithful servants who will do the work required.

Are you building?

Or are you slacking off and destroying?

I pray today that you will know the work God has for you to do; that you will work as unto God; that you will work with the integrity of God; and that God will give you strength to do the work needed to be done.

Proverbs 14:23 Work Versus Talk

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

It can be easily seen that hard work will usually bring about a profit for a person. Being dedicated to the job and getting the job done in the best way possible, will allow a person to get promoted to a better position with better pay.

Those who do not work or do not work hard, fall into poverty. This will include people who do work, but do the absolute minimum work possible. They try to cut the corners to get out of working hard. Doing this will keep the employer from giving any pay raises or promotions and will keep them in poverty. They only talk the talk.

Looking at hard work and the rate of pay is the most common way to look at this verse. However there is the spiritual realm of a person’s life to be looked at.

In the same way that people refuse to work hard at their job, there are many people who refuse to work hard on their spiritual growth. Becoming a Christian believer in Jesus is very easy to do. Growing and maturing in Jesus is another thing. It is something that takes hard work and dedication.

Paul said in Philippians 2:12, to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. He told Timothy to fight the good fight and to take captive every thought. You are also told to put on the full armor of God so that you can fight the battle.

Each of these verses show that you must work hard. It is a battle to control your thoughts. It is hard work to fight against the schemes of the devil in this world. It takes dedicated focus to flee all sin.

If you are faithful in working hard at growing and maturing in Jesus, God will ensure you success and profit in the spiritual realm. You will hear the voice of God and God will do great things in and through you.

If you slack on it and do the minimum, you will be in spiritual poverty. You will not hear God’s voice and He will be unable to do great things in and through you.

Do not just talk about being a Christian, work at it and be one.

How hard are you working today?

Are you giving it your all?

Or are you doing just the minimum?

I pray today that God will show you areas to work harder at in your life; that you will dedicate your life to being like Jesus; that you will make every effort to grow in God; and that God will give you great spiritual success in this life.

Weeds In A Garden

During the spring, I had cleared out all of the weeds in the garden and planted many types of vegetables. For a while I was able to keep most of the weeds out. At one point, some animals got into the garden and ate down some of the plants. Then we had some severe rain storms that destroyed many of the plants. This led to discouragement and caused me to cut back on the work in the garden. Along with that, there was no plants that were producing any vegetables. Why work on keeping the weeds out, if there are really no plants to protect? With that I left the garden alone for the last two months.

Over the last two weeks I had decided to start working in the garden again to get it ready for the fall planting season. Nearly the entire garden was completely covered in weeds, some of which were standing more than two feet tall. It was a nightmare to look at, and very discouraging.

I set out to start clearing the weeds out of the garden. Over several hours of work, over several days, I have cleared more than half of the garden of any weeds, most of which I had pulled by hand. In the process I noticed that my green pepper plants and tomato plants, which I thought had died, were alive and thriving. I already have pulled about 15 nice sized green peppers from the plants, and green tomatoes are already growing, much to my surprise.

As I was pulling weeds, I began to think about the garden, life and what Jesus said about weeds. Life is like a great big garden that God has planted. Jesus said that in the end God will have the angels toss out all the weeds in His garden. These are those who do not believe in Jesus, who are not serving God and producing His fruit. In our lives we are supposed to produce fruit that He desires.

Just like my garden has weeds, so does God’s garden. Seeds from weeds in other places have found their way into my garden and taken it over.

The world is hard at work planting seeds of weeds in God’s garden. The world does not want God’s garden to produce His fruit.

In my life, and everyone else’s life, there have been seeds of weeds sown. These are seeds of discouragement, unbelief, fear, hatred, greed, jealousy, and the list goes on. If left alone, these seeds will grow and take over your life, just like those seeds did in my vegetable garden.

To combat these seeds, you need to regularly work at weeding your garden of life. On a daily basis, take a look at your garden and ask God to reveal the weeds in your life.

Go before God, the master gardener, and seek is wisdom and strength to get rid of the weeds in your life. Do not allow the weeds of this world overtake your life and destroy the fruit God has planted in you.

This means it will be work. Sometimes it will be very hard and dirty work to get rid of those weeds, but it will be worth it in the end. The longer the weeds have been allowed to grow and mature and spread, the more work it will take to get them out of your garden. The longer the seeds of sin have been allowed to grow, mature and spread in your life, the more work it will take to get them out of your life.

Start today to weed your garden. Work to produce the fruit God has made you to produce. Be the great garden that God has planned you to be

 

Labor Day

Labor Day is a day that the United States has set aside to honor those who work. It was made a national holiday in 1894 and has been celebrated ever since.

Nearly all government jobs, schools, banks, and many other businesses allow their workers a day off on Labor Day to honor their hard work. The thought is that without most people working hard all year long, the economy would not be successful and things would not progress forward.

Without the farmer working his land, there would be no food available. Without the construction worker building, there would be no new buildings. Without the assembly line worker, there would be very few to no products. Without the seamstress, there would be no clothing. Without the teacher, there would be no learning. And the list goes on.

Work is often seen as a necessary evil to many people. They get up each day dreading having to go to work the next day. People go to work, watching the clock all day for the moment they can clock out and go home. The go to work each day seeking to clock out for their weekend off. Or waiting until they can take their next vacation.

In the beginning of time, God was working at building this world. When He made Adam, He told Adam to work the ground and tend to the garden. Right from the beginning of time, man was made to work.

Although God did rest on the seventh day, He continues to work until this day. There is work to still be done. He still maintains this world and meets the needs of every person on this earth.

Jesus had said that there are few workers to go out into this world and bring in the needed harvest (Luke 10:2). This work is the evangelization of this world. It is bringing the good news to the world that God loves the people and wants to save everyone. There is a work still to be done in this world.

There are people in this world that cannot get a job to earn the needed money for food, clothing or housing. They would love to have a job. If you have a job, count it a blessing and a privilege.

No matter what your job is, your ultimate job is the one for God, to be His witness in this world. This can be done first by being a good hard worker for your boss. You must do the work required with the best of your abilities. You then must be willing to talk to others about Jesus.

If you are a parent, you must demonstrate being a good worker in this world, both for your earthly boss, and for God. Whatever you do, you are to do it as though you were doing it for God (Colossians 3:23). Your children are watching and learning from you. They see how you work and they hear how you feel about having to work.

Are you grumbling and complaining about having to go to work? Then your children will grumble and complain more about having to do chores or work.

Do you refuse to work and just play games or watch football all the time? Then your children will do the same, thinking it is acceptable.

Set the example for your children, so that they will grow up being a great worker for God. They can work for God, whether in a non-church related job, or in the church. But they will only do that if they have been shown how to do that.

Solomon said that if you just sit back and relax poverty will come on you very quickly (Proverbs 24:33). Find your rest on your Sabbath day. Find your rest in God.

How do you view work?

Do you see it as privilege to be working for God?

Or do you see it as a necessary evil?