Proverbs 23 1-23-21

“End days” or not, we must plan on living a long and full life, but live like Jesus will come tomorrow–which He just might!

31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly. 32 In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.

Ordinarily, I would be talking about the unwise dangers of the excessive use of alcohol and its negative effect on nearly every area of a person’s life, but today we will use this verse to talk about “drinking the Kool-Aid.” Sinners look like they are winning in this world, but that’s the catch; this world is not permanent. There is a much bigger and longer-lasting world to which we go. It is the kingdom of God and His Son, the Messiah. One day, the two shall become one where the kingdom of this world is swallowed up by God’s kingdom.

15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:15

54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:54

We are encouraged by Solomon to not envy sinners whose way is coming to an end (don’t drink the Kool-Aid), and to be zealous for the fear of the LORD. In other words, make serving the Lord Jesus our main goal. There are a few ways to become zealous:

  1. Remember– Remember back to what you were and how you were before Christ came into your life. When King David was depressed, he would think back to good days when he would go into the house of the LORD with others and worship. Psalm 42 is a great example.
  2. Focus– Focus on the things that help rather than things that are wrong or tempt us. The apostle Paul gives us a starter list in Philippians 4:8-9, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthythink about such thingsWhatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
  3. Read and meditate– Reading God’s Word helps us to know the future (God wins); it lets us know what happens to us when we die; it reveals God to us and tells us how to know Him; and it tells us how to be like Christ even while living life with Christ inside us.
  4. Pray– Talk to God as if He is always with you, which He is. The Spirit knows all about you–and loves you all the more for coming to Him for life, wisdom, joy, strength, comfort, and companionship. Jesus wants your company! Give it to Him. A good passage to read often is John 15:9-17 because it speaks of the love of the Father and of Jesus Christ for us, the fact that we are His friends, and tells us what pleases Him the most (trusting Him enough to obey Him).

If a person reads the mentioned passages (Psalm 42, Philippians 4:8-9, and John 15:9-17) each day for a week, I am confident that he would realize that zeal is a fervent desire to know and please our Lord Jesus even as it wells up inside him. Try it; I know you’ll like it.

Abba, thank You for turning my mind to these passages this morning. May I dwell on them rather than on the temporary circumstances, “the light and momentary troubles of this world.” As I remember all the blessings of being Yours, i want to stay focused on the prize, which is heaven with You, read and meditate on Your Word, and stay in conversation with You all day long. I know that I will remain zealous for the fear (the exhilaration I feel when I realize that I am with You all the time and that You are in me all the time!) of You. Keep it coming, Lord Jesus! I’m lovin’ it. Amen.

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