In the study of the eighth commandment last month, we noticed several proverbs from that great Bible book of wisdom and made a list of lessons taught about material possessions from them. This week I am reflecting on those. For the past couple of weeks, we have been hard at work moving Glenn’s elderly parents to Huntsville. My nights have been very short and very interrupted. My days are quite full and even chaotically overflowing. Sometimes I think about how difficult it would be to go through challenging days like these if the important things were awry. But the important things are dependable. His providence for my ultimate good is a sure thing (Romans 8:28). His salvation that is my light at the end of every tunnel is a guarantee (1 John 1:7). His way of deliverance from every trial is already mapped out (1 Corinthians 10:13). His ability to care for me while caring for you, too (and all of His children) is never in jeopardy (1 Peter 5:7). Material things are not enduring and they are not endearing. He is faithful. As I enter His throne room with my cares, I know He is listening to Jesus interceding for me. May I thus use every material blessing (and they are so many and so individualized to me) for spiritual good.
Here are twenty of those Proverbs lessons. Thanks to Kim Chalmers. This list is mine and Kim’s combined.
- Don’t worry about keeping up with the Joneses (12:9; 13:7).
- The Lord loves those who are generous with the poor (28:11).
- Hard work and good decision-making usually lead to increased material prosperity (10:4).
- Money is inferior to righteousness (16:8; 28:6).
- Your good name is what people will remember; not your wealth (22:1).
- Be above board and ethical in business (15:27).
- Don’t have a false sense of security in your wealth (18:11).
- Work arms us against both poverty and covetousness in God’s economy (6:10-11; 10:4-5; 13:11; 14:3).
- Durable riches are better than gold (8:18,19; 13:7; 28:6; Luke 12:21).
- Material riches stop bearing any profit at the time of death (11:4).
- Covetousness and violence often accompany each other (11:16).
- Sometimes people act rich when they are really just covetous (12:9).
- It is not wrong to save for your children (13:22).
- Greed (selfishness) makes for trouble in the home (15:27).
- There is no peace in ill-gotten gain (16:8).
- Get-rich-quick schemes don’t work (28:22; 21:5).
- Debt steals freedom ( 22:7).
- God can provide for needs of people even through wickedness of men (28:8).
- Riches and pride are often partners (28:11).
- Women can add honor to their husbands by being prudent with finances (31:11).
Hope you’re ready to dig into the ninth commandment during May. These last commands are a great place to find contentment in our souls and peace with the people in our circles of influence.
We all knew it was coming and we all know it is only the beginning. But we know that God still has His people in His bundle (1 Samuel 25:29) of life. Faithful elders in one of our American towns are under public attack for withdrawing fellowship from a member who has divorced her husband and entered a very public lesbian relationship.
Notice just three important key points that Christians should remember:
1. The denunciation of this sin and the withdrawal are Biblical requirements for those who are following Scripture. (Romans 1: 26-28; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11, 1 Corinthians 5:1-8). The Holy Spirit left no room for disputation about that.
2. Publicizing sin is never the purpose of withdrawal of fellowship. Elders did not/do not wish to make it known in communities that there’s sin in the church. (That’s antithetical to their purposes.) The sinner announced her sin in a broad and public way. The addressing of the sin was done/is done in private communication up until the date of withdrawal . Even then, the nature of the sin is not always specified and the announcement of withdrawal is made only to the members of the local body for which the elders are responsible.
3. When one becomes a member of the church in a community, it’s an exercise of religious liberty. No one forces anyone to be a member of the New Testament church. People willingly place their souls under the care of the shepherds of a church, willingly giving elderships the responsibility to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance in protecting their souls from loss in this commanded way. The assigned task of elders is grave (Hebrews 13:17). May we support and encourage those who are serious about their responsibilities.
True persecution of godly men and their families has ensued as a result of their commitment to following the Scriptures. I would ask each woman who reads to pray fervently for the church right now; especially for her elders and their families. This is the quickly emerging and fiery persecution that the people of God are facing in a country in which religious liberties are at stake. This one thing is sure: Our citizenship in heaven is secure. Romans 8:28 is happening this week. Things will work out for the ultimate benefit of His people even if that benefit is the ultimate rest around the throne. There IS a way of escape for godly people who are determined to follow the directives of the Holy Spirit given in Scripture, even if we find that way to be fraught with peril and even if the escape route guides us more quickly to death and victory (1 Corinthians 10:13). Let’s be prayerful for the men of God who are privileged to partake in a significant way right now in the sufferings of our Lord (2 Timothy 1:8). As mothers and grandmothers, let’s be doubly vigilant to prepare our children for life in the new America in which there will be fewer and fewer lukewarm members of the body. Those who commit to being in the body will be signing up for persecution like we’ve never faced in this country. Our kids have hard days ahead of them.
Kiss a camel, float in the Dead Sea, contemplate the cross from the vantage point of the Garden of Gethsemane, worship on the temple steps, or think about past and future persecutions of our family as you sit in the Roman Colosseum. This and so much more. For diggers and their family members only, registration for the trip to Israel and Rome is now open! (Others may register beginning in January of 2022, providing spaces are still available at that time.) To qualify as a digger, one must have participated in the Digging Deep study for any period of time (at least a month of any study) in any year.
Glenn and I are anticipating that this trip will be just as memorable, faith-building and fellowship friendly as our 2019 trip proved to be (and that trip was nothing short of phenomenal)! Three quick reasons that this trip is the absolute best way to tour the Bible lands and I will leave you to the brochure and registration form.
- You will not find a more scripturally sound, knowledgable, and Bible-focused tour guide than John Moore. Many are the Christians who have told me that they went on tours with denominational or Catholic groups and, although they enjoyed seeing Bible lands, they were confident that much of the information they were given about where Biblical events occurred, was just not true. Often, false teaching can occur when those leading the tour don’t have the simple gospel and the principles of restoring New Testament Christianity at the core of their own faith. In this tour, the gospel, in its purity, informs the entirety of our educational experience.
- You will not enjoy (till heaven) a sweeter fellowship than what you will experience on this trip. This was the part of the trip that caught Glenn and me, by sweet surprise. We knew we would love the people on the trip because they were God’s people. But to be able to worship together on the temple steps, sing praises on Galilee’s shore together, assemble together for Digging Deep sessions near the very site where Nazareth has been unearthed in recent years or where Jesus knelt on the night before the crucifixion–to do these things together brings a closeness that you can’t imagine until you are there! On our last tour, there was not a single shred of disunity among the travelers. This was like being in the foyer of heaven, itself.
- Memories! You will never be able to “unsee” the wonderful things you will see. And you will not want to! These memories will be faith-growing, work-producing, eternity- enriching and evangelism-inducing! They will make you different, in a very good way! I hope you can go with us!
Here you go!
2022 – Digging Deep Bible Land Passages Tour Brochure – Israel and Rome
It’s here, at last. One more way to access Digging Deep materials. This YouTube channel is specifically for housing the podcasts for Men’s Digging Deep, but, of course, its content is applicable right now to ladies studies, as well. You will find them beneficial–meaty and relevant. Be sure and re-invite your husbands and dads and brothers and boyfriends to take a look here, too. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC8CpAr8ic6DTYq0-MeyVPQ
Also remember the full details for the men’s program are here: Calebcolley.com/diggingdeep
We’re so blessed to have access to these supplemental materials. Your family will be doubly blessed if both spouses are digging! You don’t have to do Digging Deep to go to heaven, But you have to be in the Word!
The good news is really all in one book. Make your life better. Make it eternal.
Last year, some of you participated in this exciting synchronized door-knocking event. Of course, anytime a person opens the door to hear the gospel, it’s exciting. But when scores of thousands of doors are knocked in one day, our God will enter more homes and be glorified in many places at once! The gospel will find multiple receptive hearts. That’s what is still happening from last year’s national door knocking day and we’re hoping to keep right on knocking, just in more places. Matt Wallin, whose big passion for lost souls makes him the impetus behind this event, says this:
“Good morning brothers and sisters! We have an exciting idea that we want to invite you to be a part of. On October 2, 2021 we will once again join with hundreds of congregations of the church of Christ and dozens of brotherhood works for the Second Annual Brotherhood Wide Door Knocking Day. Our goal is to get at least 1000 churches of Christ going into their communities on the same day.
Sign up for free at nextdoor.housetohouse.com to join hundreds of sister congregations. When you sign up you will receive door knocking tips and videos to help you get excited, encouraged, and prepared. Signing up will also let us know how many churches are participating so that we can all encourage each other.
You’ve worked with us before to share the truth with your friends and family. Will you join us in taking those gospel truths to your neighbors? Visit https://thecolleyhouse.org/store to get prepared and purchase things to share with your neighbors, and then sign up to join us!
A knock could change everything. Let’s go meet our neighbors.”
Last year, at least six lives were changed by the gospel. 6 X eternity. 6 X infinity. 6 X lifetimes of influence. You can’t even finish that equation. The product is better than we can know! So go ahead now and get this on your calendars. Let’s make a giant open door for the gospel! Someone who opens a door on October 2 may be the gospel preacher who will bring hundreds to the Lord. Someone who answers may be holding the baby who will grow up and be the elder who shepherds a large flock of God’s people. After all, some of you who are reading are people who, long ago, opened the door to the best day, the best news, of your lives!
This is Digging Deep writing week. So here’s the little annual excerpt from the big topic that’s rolling around in my head during every conscious moment. I remind myself often that Digging Deep is not “my thing.” It’s such a blessing from God that we get to do this together. Most of all, the study is a blessing from God, the Holy Spirit. Holy men of God spoke as they were borne along of Him (2 Peter 1:21). Every word of the book I’m reading this week was breathed of God (2 Timothy 3:16). And the book gives us the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Please talk to the Father about next year’s study. If you could pray for quiet moments to prepare, for efficient proofing and printing and for hearts tender to this study. As the time approaches, please invite. This is a great study for those who’ve never become New Testament Christians–who have never put on Jesus (Galatians 3:27) And, for now, stay focused on “The Ten.” You’ll be glad if you finish. The best is yet to come! The best is always yet to come when we are in the Lord, the finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Here’s a snippet:
Sometimes we think in big terms of commitment, when we might do better to think incrementally. Examples:
“I can kick this habit right now, for all of my life,” vs. “I can make it through this one day without succumbing to this desire.”
“I am going to read the whole Bible once every year for the rest of my life,” vs. “I am going to spend twenty minutes on Digging Deep each day this week.”
“I will never disrespect you again,” vs. “I am going to make it through this day speaking only in respectful terms to my husband.”
“I am never going to shout at my children again,” vs. “Today I am going to make it my goal to speak gently while disciplining consistently.”
“I will never gossip again,” vs. “I am going to tell my friend prior to this lunch that I am repenting of this sin and I am not going to speak negatively about any sisters while we are together today.”
Thanks for praying. I am praying for you today, too!