Kevin Jesmer NIU UBF Sunday, February 19, 2012

Proverbs 11:16-31      Key Verse: 11:30
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives.”

Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the dawn of a new day, full of hope and full of expectation. Thank you the great friendship between Brett’s family and ours. I pray that you may bear much fruit in this world though the friendship our families. The auto show was great. But despite of its worldly riches, nothing compares to the riches of the kingdom of God. I would rather sit at my computer at home and write daily bread than own, maintain and drive brand new Austin Martin. Please help me to gain some understanding through this passage. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

1. Give freely (16-26).

     Verses 16-26 read, “A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth. 17 Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves. 18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward. 19 Truly the righteous attain life, but whoever pursues evil finds death. 20 The LORD detests those whose hearts are perverse, but he delights in those whose ways are blameless. 21 Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free. 22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion. 23 The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath. 24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 25 A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. 26 People curse the one who hoards grain, but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell.”

     This passage is about part of God’s character. God is kind and he is generous. That is true. One look at this world and its bounty can reveal the generosity of God. He desires his children to reflect his character and show kindness and generosity (Gal 5:22; 1Ti 6:18). That is what it means to glorify God. Galatians 5:22 reads, “22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness (NIV 1984) and 1 Timothy 6:18 reads, “18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” (NIV 84)
     I thank God for his generosity to me and my family. He has provided all things. He has helped us to prosper so that w can continue to love and to serve others in his name. We are not given over abundance. Or we may be tempted to think that we don’t need God. We are given what we need. And so that we can be generous on every occasion. I thank God for this. I pray that we may use our all of our blessings to serve God’s holy purpose in our lives and truly give and serve others in the name of Jesus.

      To be kind to another is good for the other person and also good for us. This is contrasted with the cruel and ruthless who may gain worldly wealth, but are also sure to bring about their own ruin. Moreover, when we are generous with what God has given to us, we gain even more. The Bible teaches us to “cast your bread upon the water and it will come back on every wave.” A generous person prospers and is a blessing to others. When he himself is in need, others will come and refresh him. The stingy are cursed, but the openhearted are blessed.

      Being selfish and stingy is not the way to happiness and blessing. It is the way to worry and strife and may be the original seed for some forms mental distress. In this world we are always challenged to spend and give and we loose things and things are subject to perish spoil or fade. A person that is not ready to give and keep on giving, will be in constant duress that all they are trying to keep is not coming anything. Give to others in Jesus name and the owner and the creator of the universe will give to you his riches so that you can be generous again and again. I am not just talking about giving to your pastor or your ministry. Offering to the church is important, but offering to others in your everyday life is also important.

     Our example of kindness and generosity is Jesus himself. We are reflecting Jesus when we are generous. Think about it. He was compassionate to those in need and he gave without limit. Jesus gave up his life in order to save us from sin. He gave his life so we can be saved. He became poor so that we can become rich, rich in love, faith and truth and eternal life, to mention a few things. The nature of our God is giving and giving, abundantly and unconditionally. It is our duty as God’s people to reflect the character of God in a world blinded to God by sin. How else will they know if we don’t show them in our own lives?

      There is another thing to note…If we don’t give to others and to God how can we ever think that others will step in to help us when the times are tough? Some people don’t want to tithe or make offerings at church. But how can they think that the church will be there for them in their hour of need? Some people never offer to their friends and family when there is a need. How can they ever think that others will give to them in their hour of need? A secular saying is, “What goes around comes around.” But thank God we serve a generous God who gives to us out of his mercy even when we have been selfish. But we need to be selfless givers.
2. The fruit of the righteous (27-31).

Verses 27-31 reads, “Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it. 28 Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. 29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise. 30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives. 31 If the righteous receive their due on earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner!”

      Kindness and generosity are some of the fruit of a righteous life. The righteous bless others and can even save lives. Their fruit is like a tree of life. As a spiritual principle, the righteous receive what is due them on earth. The same is true with the ungodly and the sinner. What goes around comes around. I thank God for rewarding righteousness and giving and serving others out of mercy and kindness. It is so true. When we are generous we have peace and spiritual maturity. We have the favor of others. We become beautiful people on the inside and there is type of glow on the outside, who are generous. But the stingy and the selfish walk around with a scowl on their face, because they are always called to give up what they have.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for being kind and generous toward us. Help me to be kind and to share with others what you have given to me so that I may reveal Christ in this world.

One Word: Be kind and give generously

Interact with us using Facebook

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.