By Pastor Bryce
I love how this chapter opens up. The first 4 verses deal with the heart of the individual. I have found many times in my life that if my heart aligns with the heart of the Father it becomes so much easier to do the right thing. When I stray from doing the heart of the Father I instantly become selfish and put my desires above the desires of others. Verse 2 says, “A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.” In todays terms I think this verse addresses the “good people go to Heaven” mentality. Doing good things alone is not what will get me to Heaven. When I stand before God on judgment day I will be judged on the heart of everything that I’ve done. If my heart aligns with kingdom business the Father will be pleased. Psalm 119:1 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
Along with talking about dealing with the heart, this chapter touches on staying focused on the path ahead. Verses 16-17 says, “Whoever strays from the path of prudence comes to rest in the company of the dead. Whoever loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich.” Philippians 3:14 says, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” All of this comes back to the initial point of selfish desires verses the desires of the Father. As a Christian, my goal is to keep my eyes fixed on the things of Christ. I keep my eyes fixed on the straight and narrow.
Verse 21 says, “Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.” Righteousness by definition means “the quality of being morally right or justifiable.” (Webster Dictionary) If we align our hearts with the father, and keep our eyes focused on the straight and narrow path, living a life of righteousness will come that much more naturally.