Image courtesy of Raymond Richardson
Author: Raymond Richardson
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27.17)
I had the privilege of serving as a board member and the Director of the Spirit Ranch. The Spirit Ranch is a team building, leadership, and spiritual training facility. The “motto” of this organization is “Iron Sharpens Iron”, from the biblical text of Proverbs 27. This is one of the greatest verses that speaks directly to me. It is not my nature to gravitate to other men to seek advice, council, and wisdom. It is probably not in most men’s DNA to do that. We are problem solvers and can figure out life without reading the instruction manual. It is then our tendency to fail and once we fail we for sure are not going to ask another man for wise council. I say all of these things from a man’s perspective, but I am sure women share a similar feeling.
I look around our church at South Plains, and I am thankful for men of all ages who are humble and willing to share life with me as a friend, brother, and mentor. We need community to grow in our walk with Christ. As I reflect on the physics of iron sharpening iron, I realize that it is a hard process that takes strength, it causes sparks to fly, and it is labor intensive. Sharing the ups and downs of life with a brother in Christ is hard. It too takes strength, time, and shrapnel could fly. But that is how we make each of us better as disciples for the kingdom. I encourage you, and I hope you will encourage me, to talk about the hard things and do away with the shallow “hellos” in the hallways. We need each other because iron sharpens iron.
CC Image courtesy of Bernat Casero on Flickr.
Author: Raymond Richardson
When I think about the book of Proverbs I think of finances and law. Proverbs is a powerful book because it generally gives the two extreme statements. There are not many grey lines in Proverbs. Blessed is the man who always fears the Lord, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble. (Proverbs 28:14) Open hearts versus closed hearts; blessed versus trouble. This is easy to understand when the author gives these types of comparisons. It shows us exactly where the Godly should be in their spiritual walk with God.
I have always been a fan of Dave Ramsey and his teachings on finance. Our family follows his biblically based principles. Proverbs has so many gems in regards to how a person and a family should manage their finances and how the eyes of their hearts should view money. If we look at Proverbs 28:20 it says, “A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished”.
Blessings are the product of honest labor. Just as Abraham was rich in gold, silver, and cattle because he was blessed of God, God will bless you abundantly if you have the faith of Abraham. Abraham was blessed and saved by faith. We are blessed and saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Someone in a hurry to get rich is taking short cuts. His ways are not pleasing to God, because they are not honest. God will hold him responsible for the way he made his money. Wealth in itself is not evil. Our attitude toward the wealth can be very evil.
Our world seems so full of get-rich schemes and plans. We tend to focus so much on what finances can bring us instead of what finances can do for God’s people. God calls us to be stewards and disciples of His kingdom here on earth. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).