Kindest Acts of the Wicked

A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel. Proverbs 12:10

Wise and righteous men take care of those around them, including the animals entrusted to their care. Of course those who do not trust God are also able to take care of those around them. But the wicked, the perverse, the corrupted have a tainted perspective.

Again, going back to the cruel dictators that we talked about a few days ago, cruel men just do not have it in them to do kind things. They, of course, think they are being benevolent and kind when they don’t put one of their subjects to death even though he should have known not to cross his eyes, for example, in front of the leader. I exaggerate, but not much.

All around this world there are men and women who are still being tortured for their faith in Jesus Christ. Pray for these dear believers. Pray that their witness will be effective and bold. Pray that their families will know that the prisoners are, in an odd way, doing God’s work (who else will go to the prisons??).

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No Faltering Here

Wicked men are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous stands firm. Proverbs 12:7

Recently I walked out into the shallow waters of the ocean. I waited, got my feet wet, and just stood there. I began to sink after only a few seconds. Not far, but after 20 seconds my feet were covered with sand as the water receded.

I was slowly sinking on the sandy beach. If I were to stand there for an hour, I may be up to my knees in sand.

Contrast that with those who are building their lives around Jesus Christ, the Rock of the Ages:

  • He doesn’t shift.
  • He doesn’t sink.
  • He doesn’t falter.

We will stand firm until we are taken home. Encourage one another with these words.

Amen.

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For the Nations

Wicked men are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous stands firm. Proverbs 12:7

Witness in the 80s when the Romanian dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, was forceably removed from office (and executed). There was dancing in the streets. To many he was a wicked man.

  • Idi Amin
  • Joseph Stalin
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Pol Pot
  • Vlad the Impaler

The list unfortunately could go on. There has been no shortage of evil men and women throughout history.

Sadly.

And when they are finally tossed out, there is true rejoicing in the streets. Average people are then able to breathe easy because they have relative freedom.

Today as you contemplate these words, consider those in foreign lands who are being suppress, stifled and even beaten for their faith at the hands of cruel men and women.

Open Doors USA has a list of fifty of the worst offenders in existence today: http://www.opendoorsusa.org/persecuted-christians/persecuted-country-profiles/

1. North Korea
2. Iran
3. Saudi Arabia
4. Somalia
5. Maldives
6. Afghanistan
7. Yemen
8. Mauritania
9. Laos
10. Uzbekistan
11. Eritrea
12. Bhutan
13. China
14. Pakistan
15. Turkmenistan
16. Comoros
17. Iraq
18. Qatar
19. Chechnya
20. Egypt
21. Vietnam
22. Libya
23. Burma (Myanmar)
24. Azerbaijan
25. Algeria
26. India
27. Nigeria
28. Oman
29. Brunei
30. Sudan
31. Kuwait
32. Tajikistan
33. United Arab Emirates
34. Zanzibar Islands
35. Turkey
36. Djibouti
37. Morocco
38. Cuba
39. Jordan
40. Sri Lanka
41. Syria
42. Belarus
43. Tunisia
44. Ethiopia
45. Bangladesh
46. Palestinian Territories
47. Bahrain
48. Indonesia
49. Kyrgyzstan
50. Kenya

Take a few minutes and go to that site. Click on any of the countries to find out exactly how you can pray for that nation.

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What Then?

The plans of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful. Proverbs 12:5

What are your plans for the future? What are your goals and hopes and dreams? If you really want to get to the meat of all of that vision stuff, ask the simple question, “what then” early and often.

  • I want to raise my kids in the fear of the Lord. What then?
  • I want to retire by the time I’m 55. What then?
  • I want to go on a Summer missions trip every year until I retire. What then?
  • I want to take a long vacation. What then?

You can ask these same questions of the non-Christian as well, and it forces people to think.

Ask these questions. It’s better for longer term thinking but it can be applied to the short term as well. It’s actually a scary question if you think about it because it forces US to answer the tough questions.

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Noble or Disgraceful

A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones. Proverbs 12:4

The two opposites in this verse are noble and disgraceful. They apply to the actions of men and women alike.

When was the last time you heard someone talk negatively about their spouse? I suspect it wasn’t long ago because it seems to be a natural tendency with both sexes. It saddens me when I hear it because, ironically enough, it doesn’t put the spouse in a bad light as much as it does the complaining spouse.

But the issue remains: what kind of character are you building? Forget for a moment your spouse. What are you building inside yourself? As in the previous verse, do you like what you see? Do you badmouth others? Do you lie when it suits you? Do you laugh at the things you should be weeping at?

What are you becoming?

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