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God’s Word for You

Proverbs 19:4-7

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Saturday, October 11, 2014

4 Wealth attracts many friends,
     but even the closest friend of the poor person deserts them.
5 A false witness will not go unpunished,
     and whoever pours out lies will not go free.
6 Many curry favor with a ruler,
     and everyone is the friend of one who gives gifts.
7 The poor are shunned by all their relatives—
     how much more do their friends avoid them!
Though the poor pursue them with pleading,
  they are nowhere to be found. (NIV)

Each of these proverbs has something in common: Bad friends. We would call them “fair weather friends.” These are friends who vanish when the money gets tight, or who have been lying to get something for themselves, or who just hang around to benefit in some way, or only look out for themselves.

What kind of friends are we to God? He is the kind of friend who has planned his existence around us. We’re the kind of friends who plan our existence around us, too; not around him. Let’s ask ourselves some questions. Am I the kind of husband who will defend his wife when someone badmouths her? Would I defend my sons if I heard someone telling lies about any one of them? Would I stick up for a friend? How about God? Do I say something when someone uses God’s name in vain? Do I say something if someone badmouths God?

Christians do sinful things just like everybody else, and anyone who sins might be criticized for it. But as friends of God—more than that, as his adopted sons and daughters—we should never be afraid to come to his defense. After all, he came to ours, and rescued us even from the attacks and accusations of the devil and from the sentence of eternal death itself.

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

     (Joseph M. Scriven, 1820-1886. CW 411:1)

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.