Author Archives: Jason Sneed

About Jason Sneed

Husband, father, worship leader but most of all a God follower! I have the privilege to lead people to worship our Lord and Savior every week!

Take Heed

Proverbs 6:20

“My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:”

Recap

In the first few days, Proverbial Thoughts centered around practical warnings to each of us on how we should handle certain things such as:

The last few days Solomon was talking in verses 12-19 about “the wicked man” and how there are seven things that are an abomination to the Lord.

Today’s “Thought” begins to take the conversation back to a more practical warning to us about the topic of adultery.

Pay Attention To A Father’s Commandment

I have always had a difficult time paying attention. I know that this is not going to surprise anyone that knows me very well. I am very easily sidetracked with things that come my way. I will be in the middle of one project, then something else catches my attention and off I go.

Solomon begins verse 20 the same way he has started several other verses in the book of Proverbs, with a plea – “My son, keep your father’s commandments”. Solomon is telling us to pay attention, or to focus on the Word of God.  In a few days, we will be discussing verse 23 and how “the commandment” or the Word of God is a lamp and the teaching of light.

Heard vs. Heeded

If Solomon’s house was anything like mine growing up, then Solomon’s whole family heard the gospel. As a young child, we were always in church (whenever the doors were open – we where there!). My father has been in christian radio for over 40 years and the radio was always playing either christian songs or there was a preacher preaching – so God’s Word was heard.

But God does not want us to just hear the Word! No, He wants us to hear it and then do it! James 1:22 tells us,

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Solomon is telling his son, you know the commandments of God’s Word – now KEEP THEM!

A Mother’s Teaching

The first President of the United States of America, George Washington, had this to say about his mother:

“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.”

Just about all of us can look back when we were younger and hear our mother giving us advice on how to do this or that. I can still hear my mother telling me that “you better be careful” or “I’m not so sure I would do it that way”.

Solomon is telling us in verse 20 to not only keep your father’s commandments but don’t stray away from what your mother taught you when you were younger!

Conclusion

In today’s society, we need more fathers and mothers to sit down with their children and simply say – pay attention to what I am teaching you from God’s Word! Listen to what we have to say and it will benefit you greatly!

Lord, please help me to be a father that is in your Word.  To be a father that is willing to take the next step and apply it to my life and then teach it to my daughter. Lord, use us to teach the next generation about you!

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Don’t Be Lazy!

Proverbs 6:9-11

“How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.”

Lazy Quotes:

Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. ~Jules Renard

Benjamin Franklin put is this way:

“Laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said this about being lazy:

“So much attention is paid to the aggressive sins, such as violence and cruelty and greed with all their tragic effects, that too little attention is paid to the passive sins, such as apathy and laziness, which in the long run can have a more devastating effect.”

Enemies that Destroy:

Eleanor Roosevelt must have read the words of Solomon in chapter 6 of Proverbs when she wrote those words. In this chapter, Solomon is addressing three enemies that can have a devastating effect on a person financially, physically, morally, or spiritually:

  1. Unwise Financial Commitments (Proverbial ThoughtProverbs 6: 1-5)
  2. Laziness – Proverbs 6-11 (Proverbial ThoughtProverbs 6:6-8)
  3. Lust – Proverbs 20-35

When You Least Expect It

Verses 9 and 10 describe exactly who the lazy person is (a sluggard), while verse 11 explains what is going to happen to that person. While the sluggard is busy doing nothing – they become poor (thy poverty) and do not even realize it. I like the way verse 11 reads in the ESV – “and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.”

A robber is not going to call you up and tell you that he is about ready to invade your home and take everything from you. No, he is going to sneak into your house at a time that you least expect. Solomon is basically warning those people who are lazy and love their sleep that before you know it, you are going to lose everything.

A Cause of Poverty

There are a lot of people that are poor simply because they won’t work. There is work available, but they prefer or choose not to know about it. This is what the Bible says about those people:

  • “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth” (Proverbs 10:4 NIV).
  • “Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty” (Proverbs 20:13 NKJV)
One Final Thought – They’re Looking
Regarding being lazy – if you are a Christ follower – don’t ever forget that the world is watching! They are watching to see how we act. They are watching to see how we play. They are watching to see how we live our lives and THEY ARE WATCHING TO SEE HOW WE WORK – DON’T BE LAZY!

Lord, please help your people not to be lazy. Help us to be worth our hire – to our employers and to You. Help us to strive to fulfill Ecclesiastes 9:10 – “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…”


Stay On the Path

Proverbs 5:21-23

“For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings. His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.”

Stay On the Good Path

There is a line in Disney’s “It’s A Bug’s Life” that to me describes these verses. It starts with two fire flies that are buzzing around a bug zapper. One of the bugs is headed straight into the bug zapper while the other is warning him to look away. The conversation continues with one bug saying “No, Harry, No – Don’t look at the light”. Harry responds, “I can’t help it, it’s so beautiful!” As soon as the word beautiful comes out of Harry’s mouth, you hear and see Harry being zapped by the bug zapper. (VIDEO)

God is yelling to us and warning us to stay on the good path and not be lead astray by our own folly!

God’s Eyes

There was a little chorus that I was taught when I was little. It says “O be careful little eyes what you see; O be careful little eyes what you see; for the Father up above is looking down with love; O be careful little eyes what you see!”

We need to always remember that God is watching our every step. Nothing takes him by surprise. Even those times when we think that no one is watching us or that no one will ever find out – GOD KNOWS! Our ways are before the eyes of the Lord.

Our Choice

Something that has always fascinated me is that we (man) have the freedom of choice. We have the freedom to chose to follow God or not to follow God. One of the things that I find intriguing about verse 22 is that when we make the decision not to follow God and His laws – we find ourselves in bondage.

Warren Wiersbe says this about the power of sin:

The cords of sin get stronger the more we sin, yet  sin deceives us into thinking we’re free and can quit sinning whenever we please. As the invisible chains of habit are forged, we discover to our horror that we don’t have the strength to breath them.

God again is yelling at us “No, no, don’t go down that road! Don’t let sin entrap you and keep you in bondage!

John 8:36 says “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed”. Only Jesus Christ can set us free from our bondage of sin!

Within thy circling power I stand;
On every side I find Thy hand;
Awake, asleep, at home, abroad,
I am surrounded still with God.

– Isaac Watts

Let’s surround ourselves with God each and every day and stay focused on Him!

Lord, we thank you for your instructions to help us keep our path straight. Help us each and every day to die to self and completely give our lives to you.


It’s a Heart Issue

Proverbs 4:23 

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

The Heart

The heart is more that just our affections, as some people think. The heart encompasses mind, emotions and will. The heart is often spoken of in God’s Word as our innermost being. You can say that our heart determines who we are.

Oswald Chambers said this about the heart…

The Bible term “heart” is best understood if we simply say “me,” it is the central citadel of a man’s personality. The heart is the altar of which the physical body is the outer court, and whatever is offered on the altar of the heart will tell ultimately through the extremities of the body.

The Bible informs us that the heart is a critical center of life which touches and impacts all we are and all we do. The NIV says it this way – “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

When it comes down to it, our heart determines who we are and what we do. That is why, over and over in scripture, God talks about how we need to protect our hearts. The Bible warns us to avoid:

  • A Double Heart – Psalm 12:2
  • A Hard Heart – Proverbs 28:14
  • A Proud Heart – Proverbs 21:4
  • An Unbelieving Heart – Hebrews 3:12
  • A Cold Heart – Matthew 24:12
  • An Unclean Heart – Psalm 51:10

We all know that when we go to the doctor that he is going to listen to our heart. Just by listening, the doctor is able to tell if there is something wrong or not.

Each and every day, we need to listen to our spiritual heart! We need to listen to see if what we are, and what we are doing is matching up with God and what he wants for our lives. Above all else, we must keep our heart focused on God!

One little sin, what harm can it do?
Give it free reign and soon there are two.
Then sinful deeds and habits ensue—
Guard well your thoughts, lest they control you. —DJD

My prayer is that each day we would pray Psalm 139:23 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart…” 


Blessed Houses

Proverbs 3:33

“The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.”

A few months ago I came across a TV show entitled “Million Dollar Rooms” – yes, you read that correctly – Million Dollar ROOMS! Not million dollar homes – but rooms! It is a show that takes you on a magical ride into people’s homes who have spent at least one million dollars on one (1) room in their house. We are talking unreal rooms.

For instance, one show took us into a home where millions of dollars were spent on a 40 foot water fall in the foyer accompanied by a mist machine and a full light and laser show. Another was a bathroom, where the owner was obsessed with gold. Everything in his bathroom was made of gold. The walls of his very large, walk-in shower was made out of gold bars. Unbelievable!

In the fall of 2011, I had the opportunity to go on a missions trip to Panama City, Panama, and help to take the gospel to four different Indian tribes. What I saw there was also unbelievable!

What I saw there were structures that were patched together with anything and everything. I saw huts that had not walls and homes where you would had to climb up a ladder into the house so the snakes would not be able to crawl into your home. Unbelievable!

When I read Proverbs 3:33, I could not help but think of these two drastic pictures. When we think of being blessed, most of the time we think of being blessed with money – however, I saw this verse in action when I was in Panama. It does not matter what our physical house looks like – whether million dollar homes or small little huts – God has promised to “bless the dwelling of the righteous”.

This verse comes down to what is inside, not our homes, but in our hearts. Are we wicked people who refused to follow God’s law and are cursed or are we a righteous people who seek to please God in everything we do and who are blessed?

The buildings we live in have nothing to do with if we are truly blessed or not. It is a decision that we must make every day to follow hard after a God who has done so much for us. It is a decision to keep our eyes fixed on HIM and HIM alone and to follow Him every step of the way.

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:15 (ESV)

Lord, give me the dedication of Daniel (Daniel 1:8) to make my home a place where we will serve You. Help me to choose you today and every day that you give me breath to tell others of your glory and your love.


Focus!

Proverbs 3:21-23

“My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.”

 

If we trust and obey, God will direct our path (Proverbs 3:6) into the blessings He has planned for us. We have seen over the past several days the different ways that God will bless us if we search and find wisdom and understanding. Today is no exception.

Stay Focused

Have you ever met one of those people who right in the middle of doing something, they remember that they have to do something else?  They drop the first to attend to the second. They then are working on the second when a third items comes to mind and then the second is dropped so the work can begin on item number three. Ever met someone like that? Well, if you have not – let me introduce myself to you! This is so me! I have to purposefully make myself stay focused or I will get side-tracked by other things.

As people born with a sinful nature, we have this same tendency. This is what Solomon is telling us, don’t take your eyes off wisdom and discretion. Stay focused and don’t wander off on things that don’t matter and won’t bring you blessings.

Prone to Wander

In keeping our eyes on wisdom, God has promised us that not only will HE gives us His providential care (walk in thy way safely) but that He will also not cause our feet to stumble.

In 1757, Robert Robinson wrote the song “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” and one of the last stanzas in the song says the following:

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let that grace now like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

A prayer for my life is that I would constantly – and purposefully – keep my eyes focused on God. That I would not wander and take my eyes off of Him. When I do, that is when I will stumble and fall.


Paths of Peace

Proverbs 3:17

“Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”

Tonight’s Proverbial Thought continues to show the value of wisdom. We have seen over the past couple of days that Solomon has said that if we want happiness then we need to find wisdom (Proverbs 3:13-14). He then went on to say that obtaining wisdom is “more precious than rubies” (Proverbs 3:15), and if we obtain wisdom we can have both long life and honor (Proverbs 3:16).

How in the world could it get any better than that?

Well it does! Solomon continues to tell us in verse 17 that if we obtain wisdom then we will find pleasantness & true peace.

Verse 14-17 all deal with money in some form but we all know that having money does not give us peace. Money does not satisfy – only Jesus can satisfy and give us true peace! Warren Wiersbe writes of this verse,

“Happiness, pleasantness, and peace aren’t the guaranteed by-products of financial success but they are guaranteed to the person who lives by God’s wisdom.”

Proverbs is a book that was written by one of the wisest men who has ever walked the earth – Solomon. One word can describe the entire book of Proverbs – wisdom. In the book of Proverbs, the word wise or wisdom is used at least 125 times. This book was written to help us gather and apply God’s wisdom to the decisions and activities of our every day lives.

God has promised happiness, long life and honor, and peace to those who search and find wisdom, but it is a choice that each of us must make. We have the option of deciding if we want to pursue wisdom and understanding or not. Do you want to know God more deeply? Then find wisdom and understanding!

The blessings of the Lord are known
By those who will obey;
His wisdom, truth, and love are shown
To all who choose His way.                                                                                                                        —D. De Haan

Lord, please help us to choose your ways and paths for our lives and trust you each step of the way – Amen.