Proverbs 21 5-21-19

May 21, 2019

How do we stay sharp spiritually? What’s the secret? Prayer and Bible study? Absolutely. But there’s more: Accountability.

16 A person strays from the path of understanding comes to rest in the company of the dead.

When we are saved, we become one of God’s children and part of His family. In our new family, we must learn to live together in unity and harmony:

Unity- One body [of Christ], one Spirit [Who unites us], called to one hope [heaven], one Lord [Jesus], one faith [in Him], one baptism [one death, burial and resurrection], and children of one God who is the Father of all of us (Ephesians 4:4-6).

Harmony- “a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.” One body (unity), many parts (harmony). Paul used the body and its parts as an illustration for the Body of Christ:

1 Corinthians 12:12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ (continued in 13-20).

WE NEED EACH OTHER. In fact, we need constant encouragement, instruction, fellowship, scrutiny, and exhortation (urgent advice and direction). Listen to Solomon:

15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. The idea here is to have certain people for certain areas hold us accountable in those areas of our lives.

15:23 A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word! It’s a two-way street: Giving and receiving.

24:6 Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers. Again, the more counsel we garner, the better our success rate.

The biggest problem we face is asking the LORD to bring someone into our lives to walk with us. Most people don’t like that kind of vulnerability. Also, it’s time-consuming. It takes commitment. What we have to decide is, “Is it worth it?” Darn tootin’, it is! My most cherished relationships are with people with whom I am committed in an accountability relationship, beginning with my wife, Robin. I am the person I am today because God has used her to sharpen me, to encourage me, to focus me, and to urge me on to a higher and deeper walk with the LORD Jesus. I also have other guys with whom I grew up who know me from way back; they can see through any smoke screen I might put up. There is nothing hidden from these guys.

Are you ready to grow? Are you ready to take a “leap of faith?” Then ask the LORD to bring someone (or someones) into your life to do life with. It may take a while, so just keep on asking and seeking. Soon, you’ll be knocking!


Proverbs 20 5-20-19

May 20, 2019

We show our maturity by acting according to what is right rather than by how we feel. What makes us happy is NOT a good gauge of mature action.

4 Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing.

If, indeed, we “reap what we sow” (Galatians 6:7), then WHAT and WHEN we sow are very important. The best time to prepare for a crisis is BEFORE the crisis.

Today is likely to be a bad day for storms, so Robin and I are preparing the house for wind and hail; we are also preparing “go-bags” in the event of a tornado. These preparations cannot be made in a moment’s time. When the sirens blow, it’s too late to prepare; we need to grab what we have and go to a preselected place to wait out the storm.

Our lives are lived the same way. Learning to listen to the Spirit means that we must quit bowing down to how we feel and start paying attention to our spiritual lives. What REALLY matters in the long run? We forget that when we came to the LORD, we gave Him our lives and pledged to serve Him. We are His slaves. If this language bothers us, then we have a pride issue. Paul said it best,

Romans 6:16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching [of Christ as LORD] that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We start out well as we pledge our lives to Christ and live according to the Spirit. So, what happens to us to get us so far off track? Jesus shared a parable–and then explained it–that gives us a clue to our own tendencies:

Mark 4:18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.

  1. The worries of this life: security, health, safety, advancement, peace, prestige–if not for ourselves, then for our children!
  2. The deceitfulness of wealth: the sacrifice of time for money, self-esteem for position, integrity for opportunity. We shoot ourselves in our spiritual foot!
  3. The desires for other things: there is a hidden treasure, a pearl of great price (Matthew 13:44-46), that we have the opportunity to possess, but it will cost us everything we have. Are we willing to “sell” all we own (and want) in order to gain this treasure? What IS this treasure?

Philippians 3:10 I want to know Christ–yes, to know the power of his resurrection and fellowship in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me [this faith is based upon His promises].

Let’s quit fooling around and being choked by the cares and worries of this life and focus on that which will last: Our relationship with our LORD and our fellowship with other Christians. Let’s bring along as many as will come with us!

Proverbs 19 5-19-19

May 19, 2019

What are you willing to give up to be like Jesus? What keeps you looking away from Him? Get rid of it!

1 Better a poor person whose walk is blameless than a [rich] fool whose lips are perverse.

We define rich in this world as money, houses, land, possessions, position, power, health, and who we know. Solomon, who had all of these, said that it is better to be poor and walk blameless with the LORD than to have everything this world has to offer and to be at odds with the LORD.  Jesus used extreme language concerning things that cause us to look away:

Matthew 18:8-9 “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.”

Jesus knew what He was talking about. It hadn’t been very long since Satan tempted Him with the same temptation:

Matthew 4:8 Again, the devil took him to a  very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'”

Jesus’ response should be the same response for all of us. Regardless of the “setbacks” it will cause, it’s worth it in the long run. Jesus had spent much time in prayer and preparation for His time of temptation. We must do the same. We never know when that BIG temptation will come, therefore, we must stay alert and be ready by staying close to the Father. Most of the time, the BIG one comes after a series of little ones. If we avoid the little ones, then the BIG one loses its punch. And look at what we gain: His love, His joy, His peace, His mercy and grace, His family, and His hope!

1 Peter 5:8-11 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Let’s focus on the things that will last: Our relationship with the Lord and with His people. Let’s enjoy Him and our spiritual family this morning at our respective places of worship.

Proverbs 18 5-18-19

May 18, 2019

The practice of Christianity is to think of others first. How good are we at this discipline? It’s a daily struggle for me!

3 When wickedness comes, contempt comes also,
and with dishonor comes disgrace. Proverbs 18:3

When our thoughts become self-centered, we exalt ourselves. The next step down this slippery slope is to hold others in contempt. In other words, we look down upon them. It shows up in several ways:

  • We ignore them.
  • We order them around.
  • We become sarcastic to them.
  • We become angry quickly with them.
  • We speak harshly to them.
  • We say hurtful things to them.
  • We are liable to steal from them, say all manner of false things about them, and even kill them (character assassination).

To sum it all up, we assume the devil’s own attitude.

What does Jesus call us to be? Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:

1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3

Paul doesn’t leave any room for limits. Neither did Jesus:

3 So watch yourselves.
“If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4 If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” Luke 17:3-4

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times [daily]. Matthew 18:21-22

As we can see, Jesus meant EVERY TIME. It’s infinite. We are ALWAYS to forgive them, even while disciplining them. Sometimes, boundaries need to be installed until the other person learns discipline and to respect those boundaries. There is nothing wrong with respectfully defending those boundaries as long as we do not slip into contempt, as well.
The key is to keep Jesus’ New Covenant command in mind:

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

Did you catch His point? LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Let’s get busy.

Proverbs 17 5-17-19

May 17, 2019

Having the mind of Christ requires that we replace ours with His. Are we willing?

16 Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom when he has no sense and is not able to understand it?

We have the Holy Spirit in us; we should be able to access the Spirit whenever we like. The problem is that we don’t like to! Our natural tendency is to do things our way. We must learn to put off the old person within us– kill him–and put on the new Person within us: Jesus!

Through the centuries, leaders have tried to “help” people be moral by making rules to control behavior. Yesterday, I saw two women who were dressed in long, dark dresses, had no makeup, and wore little white hats on the back of their heads. I did not question their faith, just their methods. Jesus talked about such behavior in Matthew 15:1-20 when He said,

11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” Matthew 15:11

He explained to His disciples:

17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled [our methods]? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands [methods] does not defile anyone.” Matthew 15:17-20

Paul elaborated on this point concerning the keeping of the Sabbath, special holidays, rituals, and diet:

22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human precepts and teachings. 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism [false humility] and severity to the body, but they are of no value in restraining sensual indulgence. Colossians 2:22-23

Paul then gives a practical view of the Christian life that is easy to say and hard to do. In fact, it is IMPOSSIBLE to do on our own. We MUST depend upon the Holy Spirit to help us, teach us, and grow us– and sometimes strive with us.

1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above [things that are eternal] , not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality [actions], impurity [thoughts], [put-of-place] passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:1-17

Let’s start by dwelling on the words of God so that they may dwell in us richly.

Proverbs 16 5-16-19

May 16, 2019

Continuous revelation: God reveals Himself to us in numerous ways everyday! Are we aware? Are we looking for Him?

20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

“Giving heed to instruction” is an attitude of humility. If Jesus is with us, then He is leading us. If He is leading us, then we need to walk in a spirit of humility. It requires trust. The neat thing is that the more we walk in humility, the more we trust Him. Experience is a great teacher. Trust = Time + believable/consistent behavior.

The past two days, I have gone into work early and done Proverbs from there. I have used an old Bible and have really enjoyed reading my notes in the margins. The Lord had shown me some great truths during the use of that Bible and has now reminded me of some of them! I love His revelations of His character and His truth.

One such revelation is about His love for us. Consider these verses:

Romans 5:8 God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

John 15:26 “In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.”

1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

Throughout History, God has been revealing Himself to mankind in ever-increasing measures:

  1. God revealed Himself to a man: Abraham, and to his descendants, i.e. Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, etc.
  2. God revealed Himself to a nation: Israel, and continued to do so through the prophets.
  3. God revealed Himself to the world: Jesus!
  4. God reveals Himself to us: The Holy Spirit!

One of His main tools is His written Word. Let’s give Him opportunities to speak to us by reading, studying, memorizing and pondering His Word.

For instance, this morning I read Matthew 13:53-58 where Jesus went to His hometown of Nazareth and preached, but was not well-received. Why? Because He quoted the Messianic sign given by Isaiah which I found in the Luke 4 passage:

Isaiah 61:1-2 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Jesus pretty much quoted this passage to the disciples of John the Baptist in Matthew 11:

Matthew 11:4-6 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. 6 Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me [or, takes no offense of me and is not hindered in seeing the truth- from the Amplified version].”

The blind receive sight- recovery of sight for the blind;

The lame walk, leprosy cured, deaf hear- release of the oppressed;

The dead are raised- freedom for the prisoners;

The good news is preached- to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

These signs are the biblical Messianic signs, yet the leaders wanted still another sign (Matthew 12:38) and the people want Him to give them manna like God gave to the Israelites in the desert (John 6:30). Jesus wouldn’t do it. In fact, the only other sign He said He would give them is this:

Matthew 12:39-40 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

This sign was accomplished in Matthew 28:6,

“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”

Wow! What a revelation! May we keep the wonder of God’s amazing and overcoming love in our hearts and minds as we go through today–and everyday!

Proverbs 15 5-15-19

May 15, 2019

Let’s face it: We never get out of the nursery spiritually. We can’t control our passions or conquer temptation. Yet, God adores us!

I love this chapter. It is chocked full of great verses. Let’s look at some:

3 The eyes of the Lord are everywhere–keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

11 Death and Destruction lie open before the Lord–how much more the hearts of men!

Let’s pair these verses with 2 Chronicles 16:9a.

9 For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth [looking] to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

God isn’t looking to destroy us, but to strengthen us! WOW! That’s huge. Jesus came so that in Him we would be set free:

31 “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

We know that the Truth is Jesus Himself (John 14 :6). If we know Jesus and walk with Him, using our relationship with Him to view Proverbs 15, several verses come into focus:

6 The house of the righteous contains great treasure [knowing the Lord]…

7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge [of knowing Him]…

8…the prayer of the upright pleases Him [intimate fellowship].

9 …He [God] loves those who pursue righteousness [our relationship with Him].

14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge [more of Jesus]…

There are more verses that apply, but we get the gist. God is interested in being involved in our lives. He wants to include us in what He is doing. Can we let go of our own desires and cultivate His desire to know Him more intimately? His Spirit within us calls us to join Him every moment of every day. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 27:8, which says,

8 My heart [His Spirit] says of you, “Seek His face!Your face, Lord, I will seek.

There is one more verse I want us to consider:

24 The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep him from going down to the grave.

The more often we answer His call to seek His face, the more upward He leads us. When we ignore Him, we cannot stay neutral; we slip backwards, much like canoeing upstream: as soon as we stop paddling, we float back downstream–blind and out of control! When we are not facing Him, everything looks different. Satan’s decoys begin to look like reality. WE NEED HIM! Let’s seek His face all day today.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders [tries to get us to look away from Him] and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter [beginner and ender] of our faith…

Proverbs 14 5-14-19

May 14, 2019

To be filled the the Spirit–not unto salvation, but transformation–is to be infused with all He is.

8 The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.

Let us not deceive ourselves. We cannot be righteous on our own. We simply don’t have what it takes. We need Jesus! Consider these two analogies based on 2 Peter 1:3-8.

1. A person has an accident while driving across a bridge and winds up going over the side. The vehicle stays at the bottom of the lake for several years. Jesus comes along and pulls the vehicle from the lake (faith leading to salvation). He then begins the process of restoration. The first thing He does is pull the engine and get all the water out of it and replacing it with the proper fluids (goodness). The next thing He does is get the electrical system working (knowledge). He then makes sure that the wheels, tires, shocks, and brakes are in proper working order (self-control). The upholstery is next (perseverance). The dents in the body are finally taken out and any damaged parts replaced (godliness). The paint job is last (mutual affection). Finally, the vehicle is ready to drive (love).

2. A person is diagnosed with cancer, which has metastasized. It’s everywhere and in stage 4! Jesus comes along and begins treatment. He first gives the person hope of a full recovery (faith unto salvation). He then changes the person’s diet to starve the cancer (goodness). The cancer in the brain is removed (knowledge). The cancers around the internal organs are removed (self-control and perseverance). The skin cancers are then removed (godliness). The cancer of the eye-lid [my dad had this] is removed (mutual affection). Finally, the person is declared whole and complete and ready for service (love).

With Jesus in us, we have Him working on our character all the time. The more we allow Him to change in us, the quicker He can get to the “cosmetic” parts of us (the parts that are discernable to us and to others). He is in the process of making our fruit good:

33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” Matthew 12:33

The next verse is quite revealing:

34…”For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

Let’s fill our hearts with Him by allowing Him to fill us with His Spirit. He doesn’t want to replace us; He wants to transform us!

“…conformed to the image of His Son…” Romans 8:29

“…transformed into His image…” 2 Corinthians 3:18

“…renewed in knowledge in the image of its [our new self] Creator.” Colossians 3:10

Let’s get to know our Creator and allow Him to transform us. Let’s begin RIGHT NOW!!!

Take my heart and form it. Take my mind, tranform it. Take my will, conform it to Yours, to Yours, O Lord.

Take My Life

Proverbs 13 5-13-19

May 13, 2019

What did the Disciples teach those first days in Jerusalem when the Holy Spirit came? Jesus’ teachings!

14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.

Nothing could be truer concerning Jesus’ mission to earth! And, nothing could be truer concerning the Gospel that the disciples taught. The report of the Resurrection was given again and again, and then shared again and again. As people came to sit under the teaching of the disciples, it was crazy times!

Acts 5:12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade [at one end of the temple area]. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.

So, the disciples taught daily in the Colonnade. What did they teach? Certainly, that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. If we believe John, they also taught about Christ’s love and how to show and share that love with others:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world…13:1b Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” 16:27 “…the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

1 John 4:10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

I believe that the reason that the Gospels are so synonymous and in such harmony is because these teachings were taught over and over. In a world where the written word was rare and everything was taught by rote (verbal repetition), it was the fastest way to get the Gospel out. And people were hungry for more. Once they received the Holy Spirit, their hunger and thirst to know more of Jesus were ignited. In fact, one of His teachings was, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6. The same is true of us today!

I believe that it is these teachings that the Holy Spirit directed the disciples to teach and to eventually write down. They are the best of the best concerning the life of Jesus and the scope of His mission. They have been preserved all these centuries so that WE might learn them, too.

Let’s take advantage of such a great heritage and the miracle of the preservation of the Gospels. Let’s read them again and again. Let’s teach them over and over. They never get old and they never become obsolete. Remember that as we read them, the SAME Holy Spirit that caused the disciples to remember is teaching US so that we can remember them, too!

Proverbs 12 5-12-19

May 12, 2019

Godliness is being and thinking like God. It comes to us via the Spirit of God. We cannot generate it on our own.

3 No one can be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted.

The most damaging thing that has been done to our generation is offering them a Gospel that is based on a one-time event: If we pray a prayer asking God to forgive us of our sins, then we will be saved. Salvation is SO MUCH MORE than that! Jesus put it like this: “Follow Me.” If we are not interested in following Him, then let’s forget about calling ourselves Christians (which means, “little christs” or “Christ imitators”).

“having a form of godliness but denying its power.” 2 Timothy 3:5

We can go to church, we can claim to be His, but it all comes down to “the walk.” Are we really listening to Him and doing what He tells us?

We start with His spoken Word, the Bible, especially the New Testament. It reveals His New Covenant (NC) and is the filter for how we interpret the OC (Old Covenant). The NC is all about Him coming to live with us (in our hearts) and guiding us day by day, continuously. We live in a constant state of repentance, of a multitude of course corrections. In the old days, a ship’s captain would use star charts each night to check his course. He would make small changes each night according to the stars. We do the same as the Spirit prompts us. What kinds of things indicate that someone is claiming to be something he is not?

3:1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love unforgiving slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God– 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

We are known by our fruit. What (or Who) is in our heart will be displayed in how we live. It’s not about the rules; it’s about a personal, working relationship with Jesus Christ with Him as LORD. Let’s worship Him together this morning at our respective places of worship.