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Proverbs 16:19 ” Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.”

As Believers, we all want to do the right thing…to use practical wisdom and our moral compass to seek out God’s ultimate plan and purpose for our life.  So how can we stay the course?  I Corinthians 15:33 gives us the best advise – “Bad company corrupts good character.”  For it’s very hard to remain humble and unpretentious in spirit when you only hang around with people that are arrogant, haughty, and vain.  You may think you’re not being affected by their proud disposition…but more is rubbing off than you think.

I Corinthians 9:24-25 ” Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

No one walks casually into the Olympic Games and announces they’ve decided for the fun of it to compete in a race.  Olympic athletes train for years…fully committed in all aspects of their lives with concentration and drive.  And in the end for a few, their heroic struggle pays off with a gold medal.  Our Christian life is one of training daily and fighting for victory over temptation.  James 1:12 tells us, ” Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”  We are in training for a crown of life, a crown of glory that will never fade away, and eternal victory.

I Kings 8:23 ” O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth below – You Who keep Your covenant of love with Your servants who continue wholeheartedly in Your way.”

Are you going through trouble and hardship today…then this is for you.  Remember, there is no one like our God.  He is a faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands. (Deuteronomy 7:9-12)  For this covenant of love we have with God is everlasting…unshakable, unbreakable, merciful, and kind.  He knows exactly what you’re going through today and He cares.

Matthew 13:57 ” But Jesus said to them, ‘Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.’ “

Jesus was speaking of Himself in this verse…but it could also apply to many Believers.  For example, maybe you grew up in a rough neighborhood, full of violence and drugs…and maybe you became involved in all of it.  But later in life, you gave your heart to the Lord, cleaned up your act, and changed completely.  Yet sadly when you go back home, those who knew you only see the person you were, and cannot accept the person you’ve become.

Isaiah 40:6 ” All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.”

We are but mortal beings…flesh and blood…here on earth for a time, but then gone.  Our life,  as fleeting as the wild flowers we find in a meadow…beautiful one day, and wilted the next.  Our bodies, as lowly and fragile as the dust and ashes we return to.  Even the kind acts, the mercy and love we’ve shown others during our time on earth will eventually fade from  memory.  So make the most of the day God has given you.

II Peter 3:15 ” Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation…”

God has the power to punish mankind…yet He refrains from doing so.  Romans 2:4 tells us it’s the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience that stops Him from giving us what we deserve…quite simply, Hell and eternal separation from Him.  His mercy and long-suffering are blessings we need to consider and seriously think about then, for God’s patience can last only so long…and sooner or later His judgement will come.

Ecclesiastes 10:1 ” As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.”

It only takes one time…one misstep, one lapse of judgement, one bad decision to overshadow all the good we’ve done.  For when we lack good sense and act foolishly…we are not operating with practical spirituality and prudence, but rather with indiscretion and carelessness.  And to paraphrase Proverbs 18:2, that’s when a fool opens their mouth and inserts their foot.