Wisdom is Better Than Gold

Wisdom is Better Than Gold

Wisdom is Better Than Gold is a sermon teaching us that we choose either our way or God’s way and that we ultimately answer to God for the choices we make.

Key verses:
Proverbs 16:1-33

I want us to start in Proverbs chapter sixteen verse sixteen, Solomon writes:

Proverbs 16:16: “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!”

Rich is Relative

We take our title from the first part of that verse, “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!” We will talk about that this evening. I said this morning that it is not a sin to be rich. Many people have the idea, they go from one extreme to the other. They will either think you have enough money that people would consider you to be rich, by the way, rich is a relative term, you know that don’t you? And if you are rich, you will find out who your relatives are. But the truth of the matter is, it is a relative term.

This was many years ago, a pastor, a best friend of mine, had gone to Africa, it may have been Kenya, but I am not sure I have the right country. He came back and we were talking about his experience. He said that those people, the people that lived where he went and the people he was ministering to, he had made several trips there, he said that the people over there in their mind think he was rich as an individual. Really, by comparison, you are. I did not argue with that. I did not debate that; it is very likely to be true. You could compare me to some other people, but it is a relative term to say that you are rich, it really is. Rich as compared to what or compared to whom?

Better Than Gold

Just to give you a little backdrop about gold because Solomon says, “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!” I am not an expert on gold, but I did a little research to get the story straight. In just a matter of days, a week before the end of the Mexican American War, a prospector from New Jersey discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill in California. That launched what came to be known as the California Gold Rush of 1849.

To this day, you have a football team called the 49ers and you have a university called Golden State, but it all goes back to that event from 1849 to 1854. By the time that the Gold Rush peaked in 1854, 750,000 pounds of gold had been mined in California. Understand, they did not have big mining machinery, it was hand-dug. About 750,000 pounds of gold were mined in just about five years.

The price of gold in 1849 was $20.67 per ounce. You may think that is nothing, no, that is not nothing. Again, remember what we said earlier about being rich is relative. Gold was $20.67 an ounce. The total value of the gold mined in 1849 terms was approximately $250,000,000, that is everybody’s combined. If that does not sound like much, let me try to put it in perspective for you. Forty years later, in 1889, a trailhand on a cattle drive earned $30 per month.

Let me go further. Do you know what a schoolteacher earned in that era? $30 per month. My father, many years after that in the 1930s, now we are going up ninety years, worked at a bank and I heard him talking to a man who worked at the same bank at the same time. He said that when he started working there about 1939, he earned $50 a month. The man said, “They gave you $50?” Evidently, he was not making even that much. So, it is relative.

In 1849 terms, one ounce of gold was approximately a little more than two-thirds of a month’s pay for a cowboy forty years later. We are keeping everything relative here, the average price of a dinner in a restaurant in those days, cowboys did not go to restaurants a great deal, but other people did, was $0.25. I can still remember in my lifetime, no I was not there in 1889, when I could buy lunch for $0.25.

The price of gold today and I mean today, I checked this week is $1,750 per ounce. That is an increase of approximately 850%. I do not give out financial advice very often because it is not my field of expertise. But I am going to give you some. What you should have done is, you should have bought gold in 1849 and held on to it until today and sold it, you would have an 850% profit. What do you think, is that a good plan? But it would not work, would it? You cannot do that, but it sounds good.

Solomon is saying that wisdom is much better than gold. Look at verse sixteen:

Proverbs 16:16: “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!”

By the way, Solomon had both wisdom and gold. He knew what he was talking about. He had the wisdom but also had the gold. There is no question about that. God places things in our hearts and He gives us wisdom if we allow Him to give it to us. What do I mean to allow Him to give it to us? Because most of us are too busy thinking we do not need it, thinking we have got everything figured out on our own.

But, if we allow Him to give us wisdom, we will get the direction we need for everyday life. That is how I want you to look at this chapter in Proverbs, Proverbs sixteen, as wisdom for everyday life. Look at verse one:

Proverbs 16:1: “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.”

What is he saying there? God places in the heart of every human being a spiritual hunger. You have heard this before. The French philosopher and scientist, Blaise Pascale, said that inside every human being there is a God-shaped vacuum that only He can fill. That is just another way of saying what I said to you that God places in the heart of every man a spiritual hunger. Jesus taught us that what comes out of the mouth originates in the heart. This is what Solomon is saying:

Proverbs 16:1: “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.”

A Choice of Wisdoms

In verses two through seven, Soloman teaches us that mankind has a daily choice between his own wisdom and the wisdom that comes from God’s Word. By the way, the book of Proverbs is the book of Wisdom. A proverb is a wise saying.

I shared some of these with you before but there are proverbs that do not come from the Bible, but they are still proverbs, wise sayings. For example, an ancient Chinese proverb tells us that if you have to protect yourself, to avoid is better than to check, to check is better than to wound, to wound is better than to break, and to break is better than to kill. That is a proverb, it is not a Bible proverb, but it is a proverb.

And then, I told you this many times. It reminded me of when I was out there in Arizona, my children gave me a few years ago several paperback books that are cowboy proverbs and one comes to mind right now. One book title is called “Never Squat When You Are Wearing a Spur.” That is good advice. Another one says to never drink downstream from the herd. There is just a great deal of wisdom there that you can use in your everyday life. But mankind has a daily choice between man’s wisdom and the wisdom from the Word of God.

Proverbs 16:2: “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.”

Solomon writes, “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes;” – isn’t that true? Everybody thinks that they have got it right and that they are doing it right.” Again, “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.” – What that is telling us is we may think that we have got it all right.

I had a short discussion with someone recently who said they were an atheist and the reason he was an atheist was he feel that religion has done so much harm to the world and continues to do so much harm to the world. Let me help you with that a little bit. Has anybody killed someone in the name of religion? The answer is yes, they have. But atheism has killed multiplied millions of people than any religion ever has, or all religions combined.

Adolph Hitler was an atheist. Everyone knows that he killed six million Jewish people or was responsible for it, but twelve million people altogether. Joseph Stalin was an atheist and killed more people than Adolph Hitler did. Although, when we think of who the worst person who ever lived, hardly anybody says Joseph Stalin. Mao Tse Tung did not say in these exact words, but he said, “Hitler and Stalin are amateurs, let me show you what I can do.” He killed far more than Joseph Stalin did. All of them were atheists. So, when somebody says that religions kill so many people in the world, atheism has killed more and continues to do so. So, this is what he is saying:

Proverbs 16:2: “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.”

God is the final judge and one day, we stand before God, and He judges the decisions that we made. So, what is the advice on that? Verse three:

Proverbs 16:3: “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.”

What he is saying is, if you make your purpose right, you will think right. If you make your purpose as serving God, then you will think straight. I was talking to somebody the other day and they are struggling with some things as many of us are struggling with things. I said, “What is your life’s purpose?” In essence, they did not have one. They did not have a life purpose, not one driving purpose that got them out of bed every morning and got them going every day. Yes, they had a job. Yes, they had an education. They have what most of us consider you need to have to get along in everyday life.

But what is the point of it all? I can tell you what is missing in the lives of many people and that is the Lord. They do not have the Lord’s purpose in mind and that is what Solomon is saying here, “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” If you make the purpose of God your purpose, He will give you the thoughts that you need.

Old Bob Jones Sr., put it this way, he said, “If you give God your heart, He will comb the kinks out of your hair.” Boy, that is right.

Proverbs 16:4: “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.”

Some people will say, “See, God is evil. He made people wicked. You cannot blame people like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, because God made them evil.” That is not what the verse is saying. Here is what the verse is saying, “The LORD hath made all things for himself” – that is true. Multiple times in the Bible it says that God made creation for himself. You will find it in the Psalms, Colossians, and you will find it multiple times in the Bible. What does it mean, “even the wicked for the day of evil.”? Has God ever used wicked people to accomplish His purposes? Yes.

Let me give you one example, there are many. God sent multiple preachers, multiple prophets, to preach to the people of Israel generally and the people of Judah in particular and tell them that they needed to repent of their idolatries. They needed to get back into worshipping God, they needed to live according to His Word and His will, or judgment would come upon them.

They did what most people do, and say, “Well, you know God says that, but I am not sure He really means it and I do not care whether He does or not, I am going to do what I want to do anyway.” So, God used a wicked king, Nebuchadnezzar, to come down and take Judah captive and take them away to a place called Babylon for seventy years. There is much more to that story as you know.

A brother who went to be with the Lord not too long ago, I used to hear him say this often, “If you and I would not listen to God’s preacher, then we will listen to the persecutor.” And we will. That is what it means, “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.”

Proud in the Heart

Proverbs 16:5: “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.”

Here is what it is saying. “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD:” – You read through Proverbs and God does not have a high view of human pride, He does not and likely, you and I should not either, speaking as a minimalist there.

But the fact of the matter is, he goes on to say this, “though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.” How many of you have heard this, “If we team up we can do anything.” Is that true? To a certain extent, it is. Teamwork is generally better than individual work. If you work together to do things you will accomplish more.

Sometimes humans get a little too proud and think that if we all team up we will do it and we do not need God. I will give you an example of that, the Tower of Bable. People decided that they did not need God, they would have their own way to get into Heaven and when they got there, they probably had in mind to dethrone God and get rid of Him because they did not need Him anymore.

Friedrich Nietzsche was a philosopher in the 1800s and he is the fellow who started the “God is dead” theory. You have got to take that not as what people usually interpret that as. That is not what Niche meant. He did not mean that God got old, got sick, and died. That is not what he meant. He meant that we had become so advanced in the 1800s.

We had become technologically advanced in the 1800s, so much so, that the head of the U.S. Patent Office wanted to close the Patent Office because there was nothing else to invent, it has been all done. The late 1800s, do you think he was right? No, he was not, was he?

Nietzsche was saying that man had evolved to the point that God was unnecessary and by our own efforts and ideals and accomplishments, we no longer needed God. He says in his writings that mankind had killed God. Did he mean that mankind literally got into Heaven and murdered God? No, he did not literally mean that. He meant the idea of God is dead, He was no longer necessary.

Someone who took Nietzsche’s teachings very much to heart and was a student of the writings of Charles Darwin, I dare say mention this, that his two favorite authors were Nietzsche and Darwin, was Adolph Hitler. If you read Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” you will find that to be true. “Mein Kampf” follows the teachings of Nietzsche and Darwin very well. You see what the following of those teachings produce. I could go on about this, but I think you have the point.

So, we get the idea that I, by myself, may not get along without God, but if all of humanity works together, we can do it without God. You might even hear somebody say, “Stronger Together.” Are we stronger together? Yes, to a certain point we are. Are we stronger than God together? No, we are not. As we told you in the series, we just finished this morning about enemies, the real battle is not a physical battle, the real battle is a spiritual battle, and it is fought largely in the hearts of human beings.

Verse five again:

Proverbs 16:5: “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.”

What does that mean, “an abomination to the LORD”? It means that God hates it. Just like in Revelation chapter three when Jesus says the church of Laodicea, He says:

Revelation 3:16: “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

God will spit you out. Why do you spit something out? Because it tastes terrible. To “spue thee out of my mouth.” – that is the idea of being an abomination. Something that makes God sick.

Proverbs 16:5: “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.”

Depart from Evil

Proverbs 16:6: “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.”

What Solomon is saying here is this, we get hold of mercy and truth, not man’s wisdom but God’s. We get hold of mercy and truth, and we surrender our heart to the Lord and then we depart from evil. We do not want to do evil; we do not want to sin. We do not want to displease God. We do not want to be an abomination.

Proverbs 16:7: “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

How about that. We just talked about a series on enemies. Do you want your enemies to be at peace with you? Do what pleases God. You may say some people do not like that, but a lot of people will like it.

Proverbs 16:8: “Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.”

Why does he use the term “revenues”? Because he was a king, he was the head of a national government. He is saying it is better throughout life to be right and have a little than it is to be wrong and have a lot.

Proverbs 16:9: “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.”

Jesus says:

Matthew 6:20: “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:”

Solomon is saying here that we are going to do things for eternity’s sake or are we going to do things for the present. We have a choice of one or the other. He is also saying here that we are going to walk our way or else we are going to walk God’s way and that is a choice we all make. How often do we make it daily or perhaps hourly?

Deal Justly with People

Verses ten to fifteen talk about God’s will for kings. Now, he is a king and he is writing from that perspective. He knows what he is talking about.

Proverbs 16:10: “A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.”

What he is saying here is that the king should seek God’s guidance in governing the people so when he speaks, when he issues his edicts, when he gives forth the law, it is righteous law, it is good.

Proverbs 16:11: “A just weight and balance are the LORD’S: all the weights of the bag are his work.”

What is that talking about? You have heard the old story of a fellow who was selling meat and he puts meat on the scale to sell to a customer and he puts his thumb on the scale just to tip a little farther than it ought to. I know you heard that or similar stories. What is God saying? God is saying that you should deal justly with people. You treat people right. You have a just and honest weight. This is not the only place in the Bible that says this.

“A just weight and balance are the LORD’S: all the weights of the bag are his work.” – what is he saying? You follow God’s way and be honest in dealing with people and you do not deceive them. Do not tilt the scales in your favor. Use a just and honest balance.

Proverbs 16:12: “It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.”

What Solomon is saying here is God established human government. Those who sit in the seat of the king or national leader ought to govern in righteousness not by selfish purposes. It is an abomination, God hates it, when kings commit wickedness.

I have heard some things in recent days that have occurred that have never occurred before, in many ways, strange things and things that do not bode well for the near future. Decisions have been made. Some people are feeling betrayed, other people are wanting revenge. By the way, leave revenge to God.

Proverbs 16:13: “Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.”

If you are under a righteous leader you are going to rejoice in that. You are going to like that. You are going to like what goes on unless your heart is against righteousness. Is there anybody like that whose heart is against righteousness? Of course.

Proverbs 16:14: “The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.”

Do not underestimate the authority of people in power. Let me give you an illustration I think you can relate to. If you are dealing with the Internal Revenue Service and if you owe money on taxes, you will go a lot farther if you just obey the law and work within the law than you will if you take the attitude in saying to them in essence, “I am not paying, and you can’t make me.” They will take that as a challenge, and they will win that challenge. Do not take that attitude.

There is a right way and a wrong way of doing things. One of the things I am thankful for in this country is that there is still a right of appeal. If we think the government is wrong about something, we can appeal it in most cases. We ought to be thankful for that. It is not true everywhere you go. This is what Solomon is teaching us here. “The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.” – you do not want the king to be angry with you. He has the power and the authority to put you to death.

Proverbs 16:15: “In the light of the king’s countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.”

Humility Over Pride

Proverbs 16:16: “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!”

Solomon is not saying here that you do not want gold, you do not want silver, you do not want any money, you do not want any of that, it is not what he is saying. What he is saying is that it is so much better to get wisdom. Did you ever stop to think that if you had wisdom, you might be able to improve yourself financially? That would make sense, wouldn’t it?

Someone said this to me in the last couple of days. “I know stupid people who are rich.” Maybe you do, I am not sure that I do but I may. They asked, “You don’t think you know any stupid people who are rich?” I said, “No.”

I know some who are not nice people and may not be honest people, but they are not stupid. Be careful who you call stupid. Never underestimate other people. They will surprise you and often that surprise will not be a pleasant one. You may say that they are too stupid to figure things out. Really? They may just show you how they figure things out. Be careful about dismissing people like that, it is not a good plan, it is not a good idea.

We obey the king’s laws because he has authority. Where does he get his authority? Ultimately, from God. It is good to live favorably with the king.

Proverbs 16:17: “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.”

What is he saying there? The same thing he said in other places, depart from evil and do good. You know, if you do what is right, you are going to live longer. Longer than what? Longer if you will not do what is right.

Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

When I was preparing for tonight, I remembered there was a popular song back in the 1960s and it had a line in it that says, “pride goes before a fall.” I thought about that and wondered if the person who wrote that song and the person who performed it and had a hit recording with it, I wonder if they knew it came from the Bible. Because the person who wrote and performed this song was not known as a godly person. Had they ever gone to church? I am sure they had but did they know that it came from the Bible when they put that in their song? I do not know the answer to that question, maybe they did, maybe they did not.

But it is true that “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” It is one of the many, many times God speaks against human pride in the book of Proverbs. Choose humility over pride:

Proverbs 16:19: “Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”

Humility will get you a lot farther than pride will.

Trusting the Lord

Verses twenty to twenty-three tell us that trust in the Lord will lead us to wisdom and wisdom, in turn, will lead us to happiness. It does not say it will lead you to wealth, it says it will lead you to happiness. I mention a while ago and I have said this often if somebody is rich, they cannot be right with God. They got it with greed, treachery, and all that. Some people probably have but not everybody. I told you before about very godly people who became wealthy. There is nothing wrong with that.

The Bible is full of wealthy people who were godly people. Not everybody, not many of the main characters in the Bible were wealthy, but some of the major ones were like Abraham, a very wealthy man, like Solomon, a very wealthy man. You come to the New Testament and there are wealthy people like Joseph of Arimathea, he was a wealthy man, and we are told of others.

So, having money and an abundance of money does not make a person evil. But there is an attitude today in American Christianity, it does not prevail in all places, but in too many places it does. If you are poor, it is because one of two things happened, either you are not right with God or you have not accepted your blessing. Because if you are right with God and accept your blessing you are going to be rich. Tell me where it says that in the Bible. If that were true, why would Jesus say:

Luke 9:58: “And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”

That does not fit together, does it? So again, trust in the Lord will lead us to wisdom and wisdom in turn will lead us to happiness.

Proverbs 16:20: “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.”

Proverbs 16:21: “The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.”

Proverbs 16:22: “Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.”

Proverbs 16:23: “The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.”

In the Heart, Out the Mouth

Remember we said earlier in the chapter that Jesus tells us what comes out of our mouth comes out of our heart. Solomon is saying this here again. Verse twenty-four is a wonderful statement:

Proverbs 16:24: “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”

I heard a story years ago, of some people I was acquainted with, but we were not close friends. The wife was very ill, and the husband took a tape recorder in those days, not some of the electronic advancements we have now, and placed it on her bed and played the book of Proverbs over and over.

The doctor came in and said, “What is this?” and the man said this, “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” He said, “I want my wife to get well, and here are the pleasant words that she needs.” Do you know what the doctor did? He wrote a prescription that she should hear Proverbs daily. That is a true story. I knew these folks.

Proverbs 16:25: “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

There is more than one place in your Bible that says that. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man” – a lot of people, as we said earlier, think they have it all figured out, they have life figured out. You do not need to teach them anything because they know it all. They have chosen the good and the right way and their way is best, and they are going to stick with it. But many times, the end of that way is death. Why? Because it is not God’s way. You may say, “It works for me.” It works for you up to what point?

I was reading the other day about the death of a young man who in his time was very famous. Some of you may recognize him and some of you would not. In his short life, he was very successful, but he made a poor decision and it cost him his life. The decision he made, he did not commit suicide, it was not like that, he just made a mistake and made a poor decision. He knew what he was doing, or he thought he did, it seemed like the right thing to do, but it ended up costing his life.

Proverbs 16:25: “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

Proverbs 16:26: “He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.”

What is it saying there? It is saying that you work because you are hungry and you want to supply your own needs, and that is not bad, that is not wrong. You need to trust God in all of it.

Do you know what God expects us to do? He does not expect us to find a comfy couch somewhere, sit down on it, and say, “OK, Lord, feed me, serve me, and take care of me.” God does not expect us to do that. He expects us to get out there and work. In fact, Paul writes that if any man will not work, neither should he eat. He did not say if they cannot work, that is a different situation. He said that if any man will not work, neither should he eat. That is pretty clear, isn’t it?

Proverbs 16:27: “An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.”

Did you ever know anybody that just digs up evil? There are people who dig up evil. If there is anything evil, they are going to find it and they will bring it out for everybody to see. Can I share something with you? Pretty much everyone we know, including the one we see in the mirror every day, if someone dug around enough in our life, they could find something really embarrassing on us and they could find something evil. What are we supposed to do about that? I will tell you what we are supposed to do about that. Give it to God and go on with your life. That is what we are supposed to do.

Proverbs 16:27: “An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.”

Proverbs 16:28: “A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.”

What a statement. What does it mean to whisper? It means to gossip. It is someone who goes around and tries to get you against some people. I have seen that so many times, too many times. Somebody turns around and tries to get you to go against somebody else without that person knowing anything about it.

Proverbs 16:29: “A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.”

“A violent man” – I have trouble when I read stories about murder, it bothers me. I think, “How can you do that to somebody else, how could you?” They might say, “They made me angry.” That is not an excuse for it. One of my favorites, “I was drunk and could not help it.” Nonsense. Total nonsense.

Proverbs 16:30: “He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.”

What does it mean “He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things”? He is thinking of evil, and he shuts his eyes to the truth. He shuts his eyes to God, he shuts his eyes to what is real and devises his own evil plan.

Proverbs 16:31: “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.”

“Hoary head” means white hair. What Solomon in essence is saying here is that wisdom should come with age. Why do I say should come with age? Why not just say it comes with age. But it does not for everybody. Some people get older but they do not seem to get wiser. But the truth of the matter is, it should make us wiser.

Proverbs 16:32: “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”

Stay calm, rule your own spirit, practice self-control. If you do not, you are likely to make choices that you are going to regret for years to come. Do not act in haste, do not act in anger, do not do that. Stay at peace.

Let’s go back to what I said about murder. One Chinese proverb says this, “All life is precious and none can be replaced. Is that true? It surely is. Do not act in haste, do not become that violent person.

God’s Way or Our Way

Proverbs 16:33: “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.”

What Solomon says there is that we make our own choices, and we are free to do so, but ultimately, we will answer to God for the choices that we made. The proverbs were given to teach us wisdom and they are given to give us practical wisdom that will get us through each and every day, help to lead us to make choices that lead in God’s way instead of going our own way.

As I said in the beginning, the choices we need to make, whether they are God’s way or our own way, those choices come daily and even hourly. I tell you what, you start out a day, and the Bible says, “Thou knowest not what a day may bring forth,” and you think that the day is going one direction and actually it goes a totally different way than you have planned. You have to make choices. You have to decide what you are going to do. We need to plan, we need to prepare, but there are some things you cannot plan for, some things you cannot prepare for.

I was talking with some folks on a totally different subject the other night and I said, “Many times, you think you know what to do in a certain situation, but you do not until you are in that situation.” You may think that if this happens, you know you would do A, B, and C, and you get in there and say, “Wow, what do I do now?” Because theoretically, you had it all figured out, but when the real situation came, your theory was not as good as you thought it would be. That is why following the Lord is a step-by-step process.

Years ago, I heard an evangelist preach a sermon “The One-Legged Christian.” What he was saying about that is really, you have got to live life just one step at a time, you cannot take two, three, four all at the same time. Take one step and then another, and another, and another, and that is how you live life.


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Dr. Michael L. McClure, our lead pastor, is known for his in-depth knowledge and effective teaching style of biblical truths applicable to every day living.

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