PROVERBS 20:21 - Berean Lamp Memory Verse - (Oct 9-16)

Posted by Nathan Warner on

The Berean Lamp Memory Verse for this week is:

“An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning Will not be blessed in the end” (Proverbs 20:21).

One of the great humanist gospel messages that has swept our culture is that we should live “in the moment.” We are told to "have no regrets" and "to not apologize for our past actions." It is a message that subliminally teaches us to throw off self-control, responsibility, and self-sacrifice - and instead, to live for our own transitory happiness and gratifications in our present circumstances.

It causes blindness in its adherents, for they will not learn from past mistakes and they refuse to see beyond their immediate situation, so that they might see the future cost and consequences of their current self-centered actions. And so, it is no surprise that the outcome has been the complete degradation of our culture with rampant immorality, crime, self-centered behavior, abortion, and the like growing in the generations. The disciples of this gospel become unproductive, unfeeling, unloving - a burden to all and treacherous to everyone, for they are faithful to themselves alone.

Consider that if you live for the moment, then the long-term values of an education, a good job, marriage, children, and family mean nothing to you. These things require patience, perseverance, self-control, self-sacrifice, love, and responsibility, because they are about delayed gratification and long-term goals for the good of others more than, or equally, to yourself.

In contrast to the world's present gospel, the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us about facing the past and repenting of our sins while living this present life for the future inheritance that is coming to those who entrust their lives to Him. The Gospel is about delayed gratification for unbelievable glory that is unseen now but is coming. It teaches us that the purpose of life is a long-term goal to enter a permanent inheritance, not fleeting temporal gratification of living in the moment.

The Jews were supposed to live their lives for their inheritance - the nation of Israel and its future good. Their behavior's effect on future generations was supposed to be very important to them. Similarly, the North American Cherokee tribe considered the effects down to the seventh generation that their present actions were having. This is the kind of outlook that our culture desperately needs - one that sees, for example, an unborn child, not "in the moment", but as the young girl she will be, playing in the grass; the young woman learning about God and His creation; the mother she will become to children of her own; the grandmother to grandchildren that she will watch over in prayer. That is the way a Christian sees the world - comprehensively - and no wonder, for we know the beginning and the end of this present world and all its dissipating fads - God has told us in His Word.

The Christian is not a creature of the moments they are living in - they are timeless in their outlook, emulating their Heavenly Father Who is eternal and unchanging - the Alpha and the Omega - the beginning and the end. Believers value the past to learn from our mistakes while valuing the present for its opportunities to please God and store up for the distant future of our eternal inheritance in Christ.

And those opportunities to please our Heavenly Father are found in honoring Him in our thoughts and actions and doing good to all mankind. This has inestimable practical value to society - that we live out the First and Second Commandment in our communities for our children's futures, preparing an inheritance of a Godly society for them to be nurtured in and inherit as their own when they come of age - doing good to everyone and building everyone up in love and faithfulness.

May we testify to the light of the Gospel that saves men from the eternal penalty of living a self-willed, self-centered life of harm. May we share the good news of the Gospel that teaches faithfulness and commitment for the peace and good of our societies. And may we never cease searching the Scriptures daily and seeking God's wisdom in His purposes on earth, which are for the good of all.

Other verses to consider:

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous” (Proverbs 13:22).

“For You have heard my vows, O God; You have given me the inheritance of those who fear Your name” (Psalm 61:5).

“An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning Will not be blessed in the end” (Proverbs 20:21).

“And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).

“But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me’” (Acts 26:16-18).

“He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:9-12).

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:8-10).

“Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Corinthians 15:50).

“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might” (Ephesians 1:17-19).

“For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5).

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality” (Colossians 3:23-25).

“By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Hebrews 11:7).

“By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going…. All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:8; 13-16).

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5).

“He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son” (Revelation 21:7).

“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

“For they are a nation lacking in counsel, And there is no understanding in them. Would that they were wise, that they understood this, That they would discern their future!” (Deuteronomy 32:28-30).

“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the Lord always. Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. Listen, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way” (Proverbs 23:17-19).



Tags: eternity, future, self-control, patience, past, second commandment, responsibility, present, self sacrifice, delayed gratification, moment, instant gratification, first commandment


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