Archive for the ‘Proverbs’ Category

Proverbs 21 4-21-19

April 21, 2019

THE STANDARD: HE IS RISEN! What we believe about this event defines us. It defines EVERYTHING!

2 All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart [He sets the standard]. 3 And, to do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

If we believe that Jesus is who He says He is–

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Revelation 22:13

And believe that He did what He said He did–

and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, Revelation 1:5

And believe that He will do what He promised He would do–

“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done [with the knowledge of Me].” Revelation 22:12

Then we will allow Him to guide us by His In-dwelling Spirit ALL THE TIME! We don’t get the option of holding a final opinion on a subject; He does! We are to check with Him on ALL things. Why? Because all of our filters run through the flesh.

Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by [our] evil desires. 2 Peter 1:4

Let’s celebrate our Risen LORD today with other believers. He is RISEN! He is RISEN, indeed!

Proverbs 20 4-20-19

April 20, 2019

Tomorrow is Easter. Our HOPE is in this event. Celebrate at church somewhere. It’s important.

6 Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?

In John 21, Jesus had breakfast ready for “the boys” (that’s what He called them; it was a term of familiarity) when they came in from fishing. Their catch was miraculous, which helped them know who He was. Then John says this:

Jesus said to them, Come have breakfast. But none of the disciples ventured or dared to ask Him, Who are You? because they knew that it was the Lord. John 21:12

They walked with Jesus for three years. They ate together, traveled together, camped together, and worshipped together. The disciples knew Jesus, and they knew this was Jesus.

Evidently, His glorified body looked a bit different. Mary Magdalene didn’t recognize Him at first. The disciples on the road to Emmaus didn’t recognize Him until He broke bread with them (another meal). They knew Him because of their familiarity with Him.

How about us? Do we recognize Jesus in others because of our familiarity with Him? Do we see Him at work around us because we are used to seeing Him work in our lives?

We say we love Him, but are we faithful to put our relationship with Him first in our lives? In my ministry, I have had two people–very involved in church life people–tell me that they were too busy doing ministry to have a quiet time reading the Bible. Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it? Yet, how many times have we had good intentions and then never gotten around to it?

One time, my dad told me to mow the lawn. I told him I would when I got around to it. He left and came back with a wooden coin. On it was printed, “TOIT.” It was a round to-it! He said, “Here you go. Now, go mow the lawn.” I did!

Let’s be that faithful person for Jesus. Let’s walk with Him, hanging on His every word, and getting to know Him so well that we have no trouble seeing Him at work around us in His family, His Body, His Church.

Lets go to church tomorrow and worship our RISEN SAVIOR together! At our respective churches, of course.

Proverbs 19 4-19-19

April 19, 2019

Although each Gospel book has a different take on the event, the CIT is: THERE WAS A RESURRECTION!

12 A king’s rage is like the roar of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.

When police detectives take statements from eye-witnesses, variance is not only expected, it’s mandatory. If the stories are too close, a rehearsing of the stories is suspected.

In the case of the resurrection, variance is exactly what we have. Were there two women or more? One angel or two? Inside or outside the tomb? The main point of EVERY statement given is that JESUS IS RISEN!

You are probably wondering how the resurrection connects with our Proverbs verse. Consider this: If you went through everything the Father did to reconnect with mankind and then were snubbed, how would you feel? If rising from the dead, AFTER prophesying that you would, people still chose to reject the TRUTH, wouldn’t you be angry?

People act as though salvation through Jesus is just another choice. Well, it’s THE choice. What a person does with Jesus and His resurrection is by far the most important decision we make.

Aren’t we glad that God is a loving God and offers such a wonderful gift of salvation, adoption, and inheritance? Check out these verses:

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 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. 1 John 4:9-10

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:17

With this great salvation comes great responsibility. We need to have other people in mind who need to receive His salvation. As we think on them, we pray and ask the LORD for opportunity and prompting, either by us or someone else.

Jesus was single-minded: He had us in mind all along. Let’s be just like Him!

Proverbs 18 4-18-19

April 18, 2019

Reaching family is hard. For some reason, they will not accept testimony from family. KEEP PRAYING!

19 An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.

When family members are offended by us when we live our lives according to the Gospel, we really don’t have much choice but to pray for them. It does mean that we are on display concerning Christ. They will be watching closely, and often they are hostile.

What do we do when this happens? We run to Jesus!

10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

It helps to realize that Jesus had the same problem. His brothers didn’t believe Him (see John 7:4-5). It became such an issue that Jesus told His mother to live with John, who was Mary’s nephew (Jesus’ cousin). We can only assume that there was much strife because Mary chose to believe her eldest Son. If they had witnessed the events leading up to the birth of Jesus-and raising Him, I’ll bet- they would have believed, too.

So, what WILL change a relative’s mind and heart? AN ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS.

Then he appeared to James [His brother], then to all the apostles. 1 Corinthians 15:7

Jude also believed, maybe on the testimony of James. We have their letters in our bibles: the books of James and Jude. Here’s what Jude thinks of Jesus:

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jude 24-25

Let’s pray that God will speak to them through the circumstances of life and that He will bring someone into their lives to lead them to the Truth. How long it takes doesn’t matter; only THAT it takes. PRAY!

Also, we must live our lives to show Him working in us. We are to display-even to radiate-His love, joy, peace, hope, faith and grace. THESE are very attractive traits to unbelievers.

Let’s be Christ to those around us, especially our family.

Proverbs 17 4-17-19

April 17, 2019

With whom do you align yourself? Be very sure you are on the Right side. It’s a matter of eternity.

11 Evildoers foster rebellion against God; a messenger of death will be sent against him.

Judas chose the wrong side. So did the Jewish leaders. So did Pilate and Herod (see John 18-19).

Each one was led to a place where he had to decide who he was going to follow. That fork in the road comes for all of us and reveals where our allegiance lies. It’s a matter of character built upon a lot of little everyday choices. Every choice we make builds our character either toward godliness or toward selfishness. One is a foundation of gold and is laid on the Solid Rock; the other is built on sand with sticks.

The apostle Paul explained it like this:

11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15

For some, it’s a salvation issue. For others, it’s a relational issue. Only the Father knows– and the individual. Either way, here is the litmus test:

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

May we be diligent to “hear His words” in our hearts and to DO them. In doing so, we pledge our allegiance to the z.

Proverbs 16 4-16-19

April 16, 2019

Our highest motivation must be to please Christ. He knows our hearts, so be straight up with Him.

2 All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD.

John 18 tells of Jesus’ arrest and trial before the Jewish leaders and then Pilate. There are three “fails” in this part of the story:

1. Peter, who still thought that Jesus was the Conquering Messiah, so he started to protect Jesus by attacking with his sword. He hit a servant on the side of the head and cut off his ear. We find Malchus’ story in Luke:

51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. Luke 22:51

Since John stated his name where the other accounts only called him the high priest’s servant, we gather that Malchus likely became a known believer. We can certainly hope!

2. The Jewish leaders, in that they were wanting to stay ceremonially undefiled to continue celebrating the Passover (it was an all-week affair), yet were in the process of having the Son of God put to death! Truly, Jesus’ statement about them was true:

24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. Matthew 23:24

3. Pilate, when he was interviewing Jesus, refused to recognize the Truth standing right in front of him!

Even though Jesus knew their hearts, He honored their decision to reject Him. How sad to be so close and yet miss the Savior!

Christianity is not a “pick and choose buffet” where we select how we want to serve Him. We are to obey the Holy Spirit on ALL directives.

Bryan quotes Adrian Rogers, “Jesus may be resident in your heart, but is He president?”

I’ve heard it this way, “If Jesus is not LORD of all [in our lives], He is not Lord At all.”

There is also this illustration: In our hearts are a throne and cross. Which one is Christ on and which one are you on?

Proverbs 15 4-15-19

April 15, 2019

Hints of the Future

We have it so good! If we only realize that Jesus is in us and we in Him!

8 The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.

…9 The LORD detests the way of the wicked but he loves those who pursue righteousness.

… 26 The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, but those of the pure are pleasing to him.

… 29 The LORD is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Solomon was under the Old Covenant, yet he had glimpses of what it would be like under the New Covenant. God was– and is– all about relationship. It would seem, though, that God was passive in His approach to people, waiting and watching to see who would pursue a relationship with Him through obedience.

The New Covenant is all about God pursuing us! Jesus left heaven (John 17:5) and came to earth to provide a way for God to live in us. WOW!

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. John 17:20-21

There are several things we can learn from this passage:

1. Jesus had us in mind as He prayed that night! That’s inspiring and humbling at the same time.

2. He established how future believers would come to know Him: through the testimony of others.

3. We all are joined together by His Spirit in Him. That connection is a blessing and a “curse” in that we call on it during times of trial, but chafe against it when we want to disregard Christ and do things our way. Actually, it’s a blessing both ways. 🙂

4. Here is the Gospel presented before Christ even went to the Cross! Jesus told us what the draw would be before it even happened: Christ in us and us in Christ. THIS is the Goal of the Cross.

As we walk through this holy week, may we take time to consider Christ’s Plan and how we fit into it.

Included is a link to a chronology of the Passion Week. Passion Week

I hope that you will follow along each day and enjoy the confirmation of His Spirit in you. May we be forever grateful for His wonderful Plan!

Proverbs 15 4-15-19

April 15, 2019

Hints of the Future

We have it so good! If we only realize that Jesus is in us and we in Him!

8 The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.

…9 The LORD detests the way of the wicked but he loves those who pursue righteousness.

… 26 The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, but those of the pure are pleasing to him.

… 29 The LORD is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Solomon was under the Old Covenant, yet he had glimpses of what it would be like under the New Covenant. God was– and is– all about relationship. It would seem, though, that God was passive in His approach to people, waiting and watching to see who would pursue a relationship with Him through obedience.

The New Covenant is all about God pursuing us! Jesus left heaven (John 17:5) and came to earth to provide a way for God to live in us. WOW!

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. John 17:20-21

There are several things we can learn from this passage:

1. Jesus had us in mind as He prayed that night! That’s inspiring and humbling at the same time.

2. He established how future believers would come to know Him: through the testimony of others.

3. We all are joined together by His Spirit in Him. That connection is a blessing and a “curse” in that we call on it during times of trial, but chafe against it when we want to disregard Christ and do things our way. Actually, it’s a blessing both ways. 🙂

4. Here is the Gospel presented before Christ even went to the Cross! Jesus told us what the draw would be before it even happened: Christ in us and us in Christ. THIS is the Goal of the Cross.

As we walk through this holy week, may we take time to consider Christ’s Plan and how we fit into it.

Included is a link to a chronology of the Passion Week. Passion Week

I hope that you will follow along each day and enjoy the confirmation of His Spirit in you. May we be forever grateful for His wonderful Plan!

Proverbs 14 4-14-19

April 14, 2019

We are sanctified by truth; God’s word is truth. Jesus said as much. Our job is to read and do. He will lead us.

4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.

This is one of my favorite proverbs because it is so rich in meaning. It describes the difference between being religious and being committed to Christ.

We can live a life that is pleasing to us–WE choose what we consider to be godly and what is allowed, keeping our lives “clean enough” to be accepted by God– or we can listen to the Spirit and be obedient.

The first way leaves our “barn” clean and looking good, but there is no fruit, no toil, no harvest.

The second way has messes to clean up, broken things to fix, animals for which to care, fields to plow, etc. But there is also a harvest that is coming to those who really enter God’s workforce.

God has sanctified us. We are set apart to do His work. He has given us the keys to His barn and access to His fields. Let’s start plowing!

Proverbs 13 4-13-19

April 13, 2019

Two reasons to believe in Jesus AND heaven: John told us, and we have met Jesus!

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

What is the teaching of the wise? John said, “But these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have eternal life.” John 20:31 We base our faith on the fact that Jesus is who John said he is. We believe:

1. That Jesus is God, that He came from God for a specific purpose, which was to die in our place so that we could be re-established with the Father.

2. That Jesus rose from the dead and is the Firstborn of all who will rise from the dead when He returns.

3. That Jesus ascended back to His throne in heaven and awaits the time when the Father says, “Son, go get your children!”

4. That Jesus is COMING AGAIN!

There is another reason that is better than any explanation that John could give us. It is that time when the Holy Spirit came to us and asked us to allow Him (Jesus) to come into our lives as LORD and Savior. WE HAVE MET HIM! Not only that, He RESIDES in our hearts as LORD! I don’t need anyone to convince me that Jesus is who He says He is. Jesus HIMSELF confirms in my inner being His Lordship.

Since we are talking about John, let’s look at his testimony:

1. He walked with Jesus for 3+ years. He heard His teaching, he saw the miracles, he watched Him die, and he ate breakfast with Him on the shore of the sea of Galilee the next week.

2. He experienced the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Jesus came to take up residence in his heart! Up until that time, the Holy Spirit was WITH him, but not IN him.  Now He was IN him. “–the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:17

3. John met Him again while on the isle of Patmos. John was very old; assuming that he was at least 16 when he began his walk with Jesus, he had his vision in 90+ A.D. which means that he was around 80. At that time in history, 50% who lived past 16 died by the time they were 45. In a village of 165 people, there might be 1 person who was 80 or above. The funny thing is that our mortality rate is practically the same as it was back then even with modern medicine. God has, indeed, established man’s days to be numbered: “Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures;” Psalm 90:10.

John’s vision that LORD’s Day was something that encourages our hearts today. He began his recollection with an interesting greeting:

“I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.” Revelation 1:9

1. Suffering- John saw his share of it, although with an interesting twist. From history: “According to Tertullian (in The Prescription of Heretics) John was banished (presumably to Patmos) after being plunged into boiling oil in Rome and suffering nothing from it. It is said that all in the audience of Colosseum were converted to Christianity upon witnessing this miracle.” John on Patmos

2. Kingdom-  We are family! He is preparing a place for us (John 14:1-4). The word, “place,” is a very specific word for a physical place. For us, it’s heaven. Jesus said that He wants us to see Him in His glory (17:24), the glory He had with the Father before the world began (John 17:5)–that would be heaven!

3. Patient endurance- Another person who knew all about suffering is Paul. Here’s what he had to say:

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience (patient endurance), and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:9-12

John goes on in Revelation 1:10-20 to give a description of Jesus in His PRESENT glory. One day, soon, we will see Him, too! What great motivation to spend time with Jesus in His Word and in the Spirit. Let’s be about the Father’s business today as we look forward to our forever tomorrow!