Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
August 31 Scripture Selection: Proverbs 11
Food for Thought: Prov. 11:1, 10, 11, 18-20, 24
There was a time when most people in the U.S. lived by Christian values, even when they were not born again. They were influenced by the Christians and the Word of God that was taught in the schools and even printed in the daily newspapers, and there were many benefits to the entire society because of it. Even now, we Christians who walk in the integrity of God and are not conformed to this world can have a very positive influence on our community.
Unfortunately, in most places, the lack of Christian values has become so prevalent that some Christians have trouble discerning what is a worldly culture and what goes against the very nature of God. Remembering that we, as born-again believers, have within us the Holy Spirit and the nature of God (II Pet. 1:4), and understanding the characteristics of God help us discern and make decisions of integrity, regardless of the pressures surrounding us. He is righteous, pure, honest, and cannot lie nor be persuaded by a bribe. Nor does He take unfair advantage over anyone. He is love. We can trust Him. And the more we reflect Him and His ways, the more the entire city benefits by our integrity (vs. 11).
The apostle Paul urges the believers in Romans 12:1, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” The world cheats and only is concerned about personal gain. From gas pumps that charge for more that what goes into the tank, to rocks added to the purchase of grains, to the proverbial “thumb on the scale,” anything that does not represent a true transaction harms not only the person being cheated but all society. Standards are lowered across the board and is evident even in the justice and banking system. Usury, bribery, shedding innocent blood, false testimony, and the like permeate the society where the Lord’s ways are abandoned, and that leads to poverty (vs. 24). (See also Prov. 19:1; 6:16-19; 15:6, 27; 17:15; Ex. 23:8; Ps. 15:1-5.)
While it is true that we cannot earn our salvation by our own efforts to become righteous, once we are made righteous, the natural result is that we can do good works and influence those around us. Jesus says in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Peter echoes this in I Peter 2:11-12: “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” There is so much to gain by living in the integrity of the Lord!
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):