From Our Very Dear Friend Dr. Jim Denison:

“The righteous will flourish like a green leaf”

I am studying Proverbs these days and found chapter 11 especially relevant to today’s conversation. Solomon, one of the wealthiest men of all time, warned us: “Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death” (v. 4). He added: “Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf” (v. 28).

If we are not to trust in material wealth, how are we to relate to the material world?

  • We are to be righteous so that God can bless the fallen culture through us: “By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown” (v. 11).
  • We are to offer biblical wisdom to others: “Where there is no guidance, a people falls” (v. 14).
  • We are to be generous with all: “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want” (v. 24).

In short, we are to use the material for the spiritual, the temporal for the eternal.

Those we know who do not know Jesus may well be sincere in their unbiblical beliefs, from denying God’s existence to rejecting Jesus’ divinity to questioning the truth or relevance of Scripture. The fact that they are sincerely wrong means they don’t know how wrong they are.

And it means they need our witness and ministry much more than they think they do.

Torn up Bibles and lost souls

Ben Malcolmson played on the 2006 University of Southern California football team that won the Rose Bowl. He told Fox News yesterday, “From the moment I made the team, I knew God had a purpose for me there. I started pressing into that mission from day one.”

But he didn’t know how hard it would be to help his teammates meet his Lord.

He started a Bible study, but no one came. He began a prayer group, but no one joined him. He then placed Bibles at each of his teammates’ lockers on Christmas Eve, days before the team was to play in the Rose Bowl. When he returned to the locker room two days later, he found the Bibles torn up and shredded.

“It was the culmination of a season full of discouragement,” he said.

Nearly four years later, working as an assistant to Coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks, an old friend connected with Malcolmson. He told him that one of the Bibles he gave his fellow players had been picked up and read by a teammate who accepted Christ three days before passing away.

Malcolmson concluded, “Even when I couldn’t see [God’s] hand in the moment, he truly was at work all along.”

How will you follow his example today?

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Jim Denison, Ph.D., speaks and writes on cultural and contemporary issues. He is a trusted author and subject matter expert in areas where faith and current events intersect. His Daily Article provides leading insight for discerning today’s news from a biblical perspective.
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