John MacArthur on Proverbs (Part 9) “Love your neighbor”

Over and over in Proverbs you hear the words “fear the Lord.” In fact, some of he references are Proverbs 1:7, 29; 2:5; 8:13; 9:10;14:26,27; 15:16 and many more. Below is a sermon by John MacArthur from the Book of Luke on 3 reasons we should fear the Lord. (I have posted John MacArthur’s amazing sermon on the fulfillment of Old Testament scripture before on my blog.)

PART 9

So many times at work we are rude and strike back at those who are unkind to us. At home we may find that a neighbor has done something to our property and get upset and then plan how we can get back at them. Instead, we should love our neighbor and reach out to them.

I learned a lot from Adrian Rogers’ message on this subject. Rogers observed:

God put you in that place so you could serve Him. We are to let our light shine in every place where God has places us! Matthew 5:14-16 says,
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Your job is the lampstand that God has ordained where you let your light shine!

You have been saved out of the world and then sent back into the world to witness to the world, and that’s the only business in the world you have in the world, till you’re taken out of the world!

_____________

John MacArthur

I remember hearing Dr. Adrian Rogers say that if he had to do it over again he would read from Proverbs every day to his kids. They turned out to be great kids and they were raised right. Nevertheless, if he had to do it over again he thought a more emphasis on Proverbs is the way to go. That is why I am spending so much time in Proverbs with my kids today.

John MacArthur does a great job on Proverbs and here is a portion of his sermon on Proverbs.

One final lesson. Son, love your neighbor. When we say you don’t co‑sign for a stranger we don’t mean you don’t give money to someone in need. No. Chapter 3 verse 27, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in your power to do it.” If you’ve got the money, give it. If you’ve got the goods, give them to the person in need. Generosity to the poor, meeting the needs of people around you when you have the resources is a part of honoring God. You’re to be generous in showing sacrificial love to your neighbor. Don’t say…verse 28…”Go, come back and tomorrow I’ll give it.” Don’t do that, if you’ve got it in your pocket, give it. If you have it, give it. Don’t tell them to come back. He has a need, you give the need. If you have it with you don’t send him away and have him come back.

Another thing about your neighbor while you’re loving him, don’t devise harm against your neighbor when he lives in security beside you. He feels well being beside you and you’ve got some plot going on where you’re going to get back at him in retaliation for something he did, or where you’re going to confiscate the corner of his property, or you’re going to do something to cut off his water or whatever it is. Don’t do anything that is going to harm your neighbor. Don’t contend with your neighbor, verse 30, without any reason if he’s done you no harm. Don’t be vengeful, is verse 31. Don’t have vengeance toward a neighbor. Don’t envy people who resolve all issues with violence and say…Boy, I wish I could…if I had my way I’d cut him up…don’t be vengeful. Don’t choose any of the ways of violent men. The curse of the Lord is on those kinds of people.

So, take care of your neighbor. Love him, live with him in peace. Forgive him, meet his needs. Those are the rules. And verse 35 says you’ll inherit honor…honor.

_________________

Adrian Rogers photo

Dr. Adrian Rogers

In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
Proverbs 14:23

I’ve heard people say, I sure would like to be in a Christian company and be surrounded by Christians. The only time I hear God’s name mentioned where I work now is when people are cursing. And you just cannot believe the obscene jokes, gossip, greed, back-stabbing, throat-cutting, and all of the materialism! Oh if God would only get me out of this place so I could serve Him!

Do you know how I would respond? I would tell them, God put you in that place so you could serve Him. We are to let our light shine in every place where God has places us! Matthew 5:14-16 says,
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Your job is the lampstand that God has ordained where you let your light shine!

You have been saved out of the world and then sent back into the world to witness to the world, and that’s the only business in the world you have in the world, till you’re taken out of the world!

Now, let me give you four rules for witnessing to those with whom you work.


Don’t Brag

The Bible says let your light shine. It doesn’t say make it shine. Your light is to glow, not glare. Also, people are to see the light, not the source of the light.

If you go to work with an air of self-righteousness, you’re going to make your coworkers sick and not want to even be around you. 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 says,

“It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”


Don’t Nag

If you’re always thumping a Bible or nagging somebody when he gambles, smokes, or curses, you’re not going to win that person to Christ. You may think that you’re doing a good job, but that person is not going to take a step closer to Jesus Christ through that kind of witness.

You see, his behavior is not his problem. You would be just like that person if you didn’t know the Lord Jesus Christ. He needs Jesus Christ. So let’s see how we are to respond from Colossians 4:5-6:
“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”


Don’t Lag

If you’re a lazy Christian — not getting to work on time, doing personal stuff on company time, procrastinating on work that you ought to do, then you’re a disgrace to grace. It is a sin for a Christian to do less than his best. Let’s revisit Colossians 3:23-24 says,
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”

Don’t see if the boss is looking before you work hard. I don’t care how dull or boring, it may seem. It’s not that way…if you’re working to the glory of God. Do your job to the best of your ability.


Don’t Sag

I want to tell you something about those people with whom you work. Most of them are not all that interested in going to heaven or hell. They just want to know how to hack it on Monday. And when they see you come in the office without a hangover and with the joy of the Lord Jesus on your face, they’re going to ask you, “What makes you so happy?”

And at that moment, you’re going to be able to share the Lord Jesus with him because you will have sanctified the Lord God in your heart. 1 Peter 3:15 says,
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

____________________

ONE FINAL QUESTION: WHAT DOES THIS VERSE MEAN?

Colossians 4:5-6:
“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

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