Today: Proverbs 10

A man was released from jail at 12:01 a.m. At 12:09 a.m. he was spotted climbing over a chain link fence back onto the jail grounds, and attempting to pass a cigarette to an inmate through a steel grate covering a window. At 12:10 a.m. the man was back in custody, charged with illegal entry into a prison facility and disorderly conduct. True story.

I love dumb criminal stories. They prove the saying, “A person reaps what he sows” (Gal. 6:7) to be true.

Out of Proverbs 10, verse 24 stood out to me this morning:

“The fears of the wicked will all come true; so will the hopes of the godly” (Proverbs 10:24, NLT).

This proverb shows that a person’s attitude, the way he thinks about things, affects what he does and how his life goes. The King James Version of Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Our actions begin with what is inside of us. What we do starts with how we think. Our emotions get ahold of the way we think and they can solidify those thoughts within us until we act upon them.

Some people live with a lot of anxiety, which probably stems from guilt for the way they are living or even just the way they are thinking. Because their hope is not in the Lord, because they do not trust him to provide, they worry, and because they worry and cannot trust him, they steal and cheat and lie and slander and more to try to take care of themselves. Eventually their anxieties come true and they must deal with the consequences.

But what about the hopes of the godly? Do they always come true? I can tell you that it does not always seem that way, not at first anyway. My own hopes may not immediately come true, but I know they eventually will. The godly do not put their hope in this world, because they know this world is not their real home. Yet, sometimes God still gives the godly the things they hope for in this wolrd when they keep their eyes and hopes fixed on what God wants, not what they want.
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires”
Psalm 37:4, NLT). 

Taking delight in the Lord is a way of thinking about life. It’s an attitude that comes as you grow in your relationship with God. How do you get to this way of thinking and living? The apostle Paul told us exactly how: “Give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will accept. . . . Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is” Romans 12:1-2, NLT, my emphasis).

What do you think about your thoughts and attitudes affecting who you are and what you do?

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Michael Mack has been involved in small group ministry as a pastor, writer, trainer, and speaker for more than 25 years. He founded in 1995 and started Small Group Leadership in 2012. He became the 12th editor of Christian Standard magazine in 2017 and continues to speak in churches about small groups, discipleship, and leadership. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. They have four young adult children. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of friends. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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