Proverbs 23 4-23-20

Living for the moment vs. living for Jesus IN the moment. Which one describes you?

12 Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.

19 Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path:

26 My son [child], give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways,

These exhortations call us to look to Jesus for instruction and knowledge, for the right path, and to give Him our hearts and eyes. Why our eyes? The eyes are the window to our souls. It’s through what we see that pride, greed, avarice, lust, jealousy, envy, and many times fear enter our hearts and fill our vision so that they are all we can see. When we are looking at those, we cannot see the face of Christ.

My grandson, Jake, who is just like me, can get pretty focused/fixated on a subject. In order to get his attention, I must get him to look me in the eye–even then, it’s a 50/50 chance I have his full attention! The tv is the worst offender, but anything he is really into (he loves to build stuff with legos, blocks, electronics, etc.) can keep him from comprehending anything I say to him. I probably sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher: “Wah, wah, wah.”

Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:22-23. This passage is followed by a descriptor that helps us put it into perspective:

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. 

In other words, we tend to love what we look at. Ever taken a small child to the store? They want EVERYTHING! They think they will surely die if they don’t get whatever it is they saw at that moment. Folks, we never grow out of this stage! We will fight it our whole lives. Solomon gives several scenarios in today’s chapter. Let’s look at them and see how to live for Jesus in the moment rather than just living for the moment.

Verses 1-3: The ruler has us there for his own purposes. If we don’t keep our eyes on Jesus, we will be caught up in the ruler’s web.

Verses 4-5: Riches truly are a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Robin and I chased a rainbow in Santa Fe, NM, one time. it was traveling at 65 mph along the highway. No, we didn’t catch it; it never stood still. Neither do riches. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus and He will make sure we have everything we need.

Verses 6-8: Most people have ulterior motives. Jesus KNOWS those motives. If we listen to Him, we will avoid much strife, error, and seduction.

Verses 10-11: If we look away from Jesus long enough, we can forget that He is aware of everything we do. The person who takes advantage of the helpless will find himself on the wrong side of the Judge’s bench!

Verses 13-14: With children, we must always consider the end result. What will help the child the most? Giving in to their desires? Letting them do what they want? Or, teaching them restraint? Ask the LORD. He will give you perfect instruction.

Verses 20-21: They are living for the moment. The result of their lack of control will be their downfall: Obesity, poor health, and poverty, both physical and spiritual.

Verses 27-28: For guys, sexual temptation is tied to our eyes. It’s why pornography is so alluring–and destructive! Ladies, help us out by wearing modest clothing, not watching provocative movies with us, and requiring us to keep our conversation pure and holy. Thank you!

Verses 29-35: Alcohol is a viper. It is poisonous (literally) and dangerous (spiritually). Anything (marijuana, pills, etc.) that makes us lose control of our thoughts and actions opens a door to abuse, danger, and even demonic oppression. The revealing verse is 33, “Your eyes will see strange sights, and your mind will imagine confusing things.” We will do well to stay away from them altogether. How much is too much? One never knows until it is too late!

Let’s “set our heart on the right path” (v.19) and be wise. Let’s live for Jesus in the moment by keeping in contact with His Spirit moment by moment. It’s a great way to live!

Abba, I love Your company. May I keep You first and foremost in my mind all the time. When I fail to do so, please gently nudge me. Hold my face and make me look You in the eyes (like I do Jake) and repeat after You, “I desire to do Your will, O Lord; Your law is within my heart (Psalm 40:8).” I will focus on You TODAY. I’ll not worry about tomorrow. I will seek first Your kingdom and let You handle the details. Thank You! Amen.

 

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