Genesis 23:1– 24:51 Matthew 8:1/17 Psalm 9:13-20 Proverbs 3:1-6
I know a man who is very successful by the world’s standards. He has money, property and owns a large oil company here in West Texas. He loves to hunt and fish and has bought thousands of acres of land to build habitats for deer and fish tanks. He has brought in deer from Kansas, the ones that are large and unlike our Texas deer. He has fenced in hundreds of acres so those deer do not breed with the other deer. He has a boat, a home in town, at the ranch and on the ocean. He is successful!
But if you were to see him on the street you would notice nothing special about him, in fact, you might think him plain and ordinary. His wife is the same way, just looking at her you would think the same thing, nothing special, certainly not a multi-millionaire. If you looked at the clothes they wear you might think they NEED money. If you looked at the truck he drives, you might think he needs a new one (He likes Ford F-250’s before 2005) and if you look at their home in town you would be unimpressed.
But if you look at his heart you would be mightily impressed. He lives out the proverb in today’s reading:
3 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
You would be impressed because he has not tried to do it all by himself. He told me when he was building his company he would sleep in his car on a wellsight to save money because the Bible does not speak well of debt. He has studied the Bible and tried to follow it in his personal life and his business. He has tithed and given above and beyond what is expected of anyone. In fact, he is trying to live the 10/90 plan. What is that you ask? He is trying to get to the point where he lives on 10 percent and gives away 90 percent.
I’m not saying God is demanding we all live on this plan, but this desire is illustrative of how he has lived. He has built a retreat center in Poland because he was touched by the ministry, he supports their pastor as well. his heart is to follow God and this is what he has done. He, like Abraham, is not perfect, but like the centurion in our Gospel reading today, he is faithful and is a believer.
By the world’s standards, he is a success, but no one would know it, but by God’s standards he is a superstar, spend a day with him hunting or fishing or attending a worship service and you would know it too. What if you and I followed the teachings of Christ fully, we may not be rich (or we may be), but we would know peace like my friend.
What do you think? Until next time, peace.
Tyndale. The One Year Bible NIV (OYB: Full Size) (Kindle Locations 1511-1512). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.