Good News of Proverbs 20

Summary by Verse
V1: Drunks are fools.
V2: Don’t piss off the king.
V3: Don’t lower yourself to arguing over dumb stuff.
V4: Be lazy = go hungry.
V5: Deep thoughts are available to deep thinkers.
V6: Many talk a good game, but few are for real.
V7: Children are blessed by good parents.
V8: Judgmental people see evil everywhere.
V9: Nobody’s perfect.
V10: God hates cheaters.
V11: Actions speak louder than words.
V12: Vision and hearing are gifts from God.
V13: Lazy people are poor, but if you stay on your toes you’ll be fine.
V14: (See the “good news” section below.)
V15: Truth is better than a good novel.
V16: Take care of what you are entrusted with.
V17: Treasures stolen don’t satisfy.
V18: Talk over plans before you do something serious.
V19: People who can’t shut up are dangerous – don’t listen to them.
V20: Dissing your parents is sure to be bad for you.
V21: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
V22: Don’t be hasty for vengeance – the Lord will deal with it in due time.
V23: God really hates cheaters.
V24: God knows where we’re going and since we aren’t God, we can’t see it.
V25: Don’t blindly accept things at face value, even when they appear good.
V26: Face and defeat evil.
V27: You can’t keep a secret from God.
V28: Love will keep us together.
V29: The young can brag about their brawn, but gray hair has its own bragging rights.
V30: Tough love can do a lot of good.

Good News of Proverbs 20
Proverbs 20:14 “Bad, Bad,” says the buyer, but when he goes away, then he boasts. The seller has a good product. The buyer wants to get the best deal possible, so in negotiation he tells the seller his product is no good. When he gets the product cheap, he leaves happy with himself and brags to his buddies.

Are you a buyer or a seller? With regard to the Good News, if you’re a buyer then you’re “in the market” for a Savior. If you’re a seller then you’re evangelizing. If you think you are neither, then I’ve got a message for you, too…

Attention Sellers:
A good product sells itself. Simply show it and mention what it does for you. A seller who looses the sale on a product as good as Jesus Christ isn’t presenting the product and allowing it to do the selling. Jesus Christ isn’t a mere product and in spite of what you might be thinking, he isn’t for sale. The “sale” is a metaphor for a person becoming born again. Some people think the parable of the talents (Mt 25:18-30) means we get credit for providing salvation. Some evangelists come to believe they are responsible for saving souls. Here’s some good news for you. Jesus saves. Not me, not you, not Billy Graham or Rick Warren or any preacher. No man can save your eternal soul except Jesus Christ (Pr 20:9). You don’t have to keep score and you don’t get credit. The Pharisees moaned when they fasted and made spectacles of themselves whenever they did a good deed so they could be seen by men. God searches the soul and knows the heart (The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts. Pr 20:27). Don’t be smug or egotistical or vain in your work. God knows your heart and he knows if you’re motivated for selfish reasons or if you truly love him. Jesus used the word “love” a lot. Love is the treasure, and you don’t get to keep it. To get love, you must give it away for free. So, the good news for the seller is you can give away love because there will always be more, there’s no score card to keep, and you don’t have to save anyone because Jesus saves. (Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. – Mt 11:28)

Attention Buyers:
You can’t buy eternal life. It is a gift. The biggest excuse given for refusing the free gift of eternal life is the lousy example given of so called born again Christians. I can sight a million bad examples of Christianity. The “hard sell” is at the top of my list, and I think it is for a lot of other people, too. It isn’t about what someone says, its about what they do. The thing is, it doesn’t matter what people do, it matters what Jesus did. He changed my life and he can change yours, too. I’m a lousy example, but I once was a very lost soul. I’ve failed him, I’ve run from him, I’ve boasted arrogantly and I’ve cried from the floor. Jesus loves me anyway. I don’t deserve it and I can’t explain it, he just simply loves me. No amount of good deeds will get you to heaven. Good comes from you when he comes to you, not the other way around. You can’t buy it and you can’t trick God into giving you eternal life. The catch is you can only get it from one person, Jesus Christ. He lived a sinless life, spoke openly and constantly of his heavenly father whom he loved with all his heart, and died like any other sinful man. Unlike any other sinful man, his sinlessness made his death an acceptable replacement for ours if we choose to accept his gift. We know we have hope for eternal life because Jesus returned from the dead, victorious over death, and he promises our death is also defeated. (And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” – Luke 24:5-7) He doesn’t ask us to do anything. He does ask us to acknowledge who he his, our risen Lord, and he asks us to join his family. If our love is genuine, our heart will desire to labor with him in this world as a brother (or sister). If we do this, if we trust him, we will willingly submit our thrown of power over ourselves to his authority, we will receive far more than we could acquire as our own ruler. By this I mean eternal life. No man can save you. Not me, not a pastor, not an evangelist. Only Jesus Christ can save you. He loves you, too, and his hand is open to you. Submission doesn’t mean becoming a slave, it means freedom. Through submission you will learn what being elevated is really about. While it isn’t a license to behave any way we want, it is freedom from the bondage of sin and hopelessness and certain death. Choose life. Choose Jesus.

Attention Everyone Else:
Rev 3:15-19 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Apathy will not get you to heaven. Denial certainly will not.

If you claim to be a born again Christian, but you aren’t living in submission to the authority of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master, you’re living a lie and by the life you lead you are deceiving others with a false impression of Christ. God hates cheaters (Pr 20:10 & 23). If you’re the Christian who thinks your church membership is enough, if you think your tithes are enough, you missed the point completely. This passage in Rev 3 is about you.

If you don’t claim Christianity and you don’t think you need Jesus, you’re ill informed about who he is or you’re walking in denial. You’re a potential buyer and I hope you’ll at least open you’re heart and let Jesus give his pitch to save your soul.

About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
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