February 8, 2019

The Cause

By: Larry Shaffer

The view from our apartment in Houston.

The Cause 

Proverbs 3 

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding He established the heavens. By His knowledge the deeps were broken up and the skies drip with dew. My son, let them not vanish from your sight; keep sound wisdom and discretion. So, they will be life to your soul and adornment to your neck. Proverbs 3:19-22 

Parents teach the principles of cause and effect continuously. “You left your half-eaten Popsicle on the dining room table and now, look what happened?” With our children, we probably spend a lot more time pointing out the negative results of cause and effect than we proactively nurture the positive side. 

My grandson Ryker,age 6, loves the garden club at his school. Gardening is filled with the positive principles of cause and effect. Plant these tomato seeds, water the right amount and tomatoes will grow. Not carrots, or beets, but tomatoes. Easy to understand and very predictable. 

Adult Learning 

As adults, we clearly understand the physical aspects of cause-and-effect. We still try to defy them at times, especially us men, but maturity has taught us how foolish it can be to defy gravity.  We do, however, need to be reminded more often of the moral implications of cause-and-effect.  

He gave us the Bible and especially Proverbs, to make us aware of the moral principles of cause and effect so that we can know how it all works. What’s interesting is that moral “causes” produce moral AND physical effects. Let’s reflect upon that for a moment. 

Last time, we looked at seven very desirable moral and physical ‘effects’ in Proverbs 3 that we all would love to see happen in our lives. Let’s dig into the ‘causal’ actions in Proverbs 3 that produce these wonderful ‘effects’. 

Cause: Attain truth and practice kindness, verse 3. Read your Bible and be nice! Effect: People will like you and trust you and God will honor you, verse 4. A moral cause and a moral effect. Very cool! Simple, but not always easy.

Cause: Be humble; revere the Lord; turn away of evil, verses 5-7. Effect: vitality and healing will come to you, verse 8. A moral cause and a physical effect. Hmmm…this is interesting, isn’t it? 

Cause: Apply learning to biblical knowledge and apply wisdom to your life, verse 13.  Effect: You will have resources at your disposal that are greater than the riches of gold and silver, verse 14. A moral cause and a moral effect that produces physical rewards. 

Cause: Obey God’s commandments, verse 1. Read your Bible and do what it says! Effect: you will have a long life with peace, riches and honor, verse 2, 16. Can you believe this? Is that simple or what?

Cause: Hold on to biblical wisdom and apply it to your life, verse 18a. Effect: Peace and happiness, verse 17, 18b.  

Cause: Keep your eyes focused on biblical wisdom and discretion, verse 21. Write down scripture and tape to your mirror, refrigerator, etc.  Effect: you will live with confidence and security, verse 23. I want some of that.

Cause: Do smart things, be kind and fair to people, verses 27 -31. Effect: God will bless your home, verse 33. 

Folks, when Ryker plants seeds in garden club, the vegetables don’t grow to maturity in five minutes. This is not the prosperity gospel and I’m not a motivational speaker. These are life-long principles of godly living that result in a long life of fruitful and productive results. Renew your commitment to a life of reading, meditating, reflecting and writing down the principles of God’s wisdom and truth. Allow them to go deep into your mind and flood your soul. Your life will be changed! I don’t guarantee it, God does! 

Lord, Your loving-kindness guarantees You will keep Your promises. We cling to these promises that we have considered today and by Your grace, we re-commit to apply Your guiding principles to our lives. As a result, we trust that You will fill our lives to overflowing with peace, security, blessings, riches and honor. All for Your glory and not ours. Amen!