Archive for the ‘Chapter 10’ Category

Proverbs 10 1-10-20

January 10, 2020

We fight clean, but we Christians DO fight. Our weapons are not of this world and they can destroy the enemy’s devises and schemes.

7 The name of the righteous is used in blessings, but the name of the wicked will rot.

Having a good name is important. We need to remember that we are ambassadors for Christ; we stand for Him. When people see us, they need to see Christ in and through us. How we fight is an important way to identify us from the world. There are a few lists that give us a good idea of how the world fights:

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:31

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. Titus 3:3

29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Romans 1:29-31

20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions… Galatians 5:20

As ambassadors for Christ, how are we supposed to fight? Paul tells us:

 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

What weapons might they be? I will list them and then include the Scripture references below:

Love, grace, wisdom, prudence, insight, understanding, knowledge, discernment, faith, goodness, self-control, perseverance, godliness (moral authority), kindness, tenderness, compassion, and the two greatest of all: THE WORD OF GOD AND PRAYER!

Galatians 5:22-23 The fruit of the Spirit

Proverbs 1:1-6 The seven pillars of wisdom

2 Peter 1:5-7 Increasing measure

Ephesians 6:14-18 Armor of God

If I were to pick out a favorite passage for this morning, it would be Philippians 2:1-5. Let’s look at it:

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus

  1. Be encouraged, be comforted, be one in the Spirit, be tender, be compassionate, be like-minded, have the same love in the Spirit, be humble.
  2. Christ considered us more valuable than His own life. We are have that same attitude and mindset toward others.

As we can see, our task is daunting WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT’S HELP. Now, we see why it is important for us to get with Him early in the morning so that He can lead us and help us all through the day. Let’s be faithful to Him KNOWING that He will be faithful to us.

Abba, thank You for the promises in Your Word that You will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and that You will tell us what to do and say in our hour of need (Matthew 10:19). May You create in us all of the weapons necessary to combat the enemy. Make us to be JUST LIKE JESUS. Amen.

Proverbs 10 12-10-19

December 10, 2019

In order to SEE from God’s perspective (wisdom), we must LOOK for God’s perspective. Is that something you want?

The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.

We tend to want God’s provision and protection but not His direction. We still want to live as we want to live. It used to be that life in America used to reflect Christian values; not so much anymore. The good side is that Christians are having to be more deliberate about their Christianity these days. As the days grow darker, we will need to be even more so. The winds of trial separate the chaff from the wheat. In other words, when Christianity no longer benefits many, they will abandon it for what does benefit them. They have missed the most important thing: Their relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ, which lets us know that there never really was one.

23 A fool finds pleasure in wicked [his own] schemes, but a person of understanding delights in wisdom.

Do we understand that our lives are not our own anymore? Do we comprehend that the Spirit of God lives in us and has, with our consent, commandeered us for His will and His glory? If so, then we will seek out God’s will, His heart, and His passion. We will work at hearing His voice and obeying His commands. We will look for His direction and then follow it.

24 What the wicked dread will overtake them; what the righteous desire will be granted [the answer in both cases is God!].

This verse is a promise for us Christians and the consequence for those who refuse to follow Christ. They will ultimately answer to God for their rebellion. We, on the other hand, will be rewarded by standing in His presence blameless, righteous, spotless and holy–made so by the blood of Jesus Christ and His indwelling presence in our lives.

It’s time to change the way we think about our lives. Paul had the right idea:

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies [when Christ returns and makes all things new]. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:18, 22-25

God has a wonderful future in store for us. We must set our hearts on what He has in the future rather than what we can get out of this world right now. Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Let’s give our mortal lives to our blessed Savior knowing that He has a much better life in store for us beyond this life. What does He want you to do? ASK HIM! He knows and has a wonderful plan.

Abba, I once again give You my life to do with as You will. I give You my health, my ministry, my marriage, my money, my material goods, my free time–everything for Your glory. May You use me to further Your kingdom in whatever manner You choose. I am Yours lock, stock and barrel. So, what shall we do today? TBC…

 

Proverbs 10 11-10-19

November 10, 2019

Christ has bought us and we are His. Our life is not our own anymore. Quit acting like it is.

5 He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Today is Sunday. What is God calling you to do? For most of us, He is calling us to meet together in His name, praise Him, and study His Word together. For some, He has different tasks (for instance, taking care of the sick). It’s all according to what He is telling each of us.

The key is to ask. But, we need to do the “leg-work” in doing so, which is grounding ourselves in His Word daily to learn His character and what He will and won’t ask us to do. There is always a right way and a wrong way to do something.

  1. The right way is the way that the Holy Spirit is leading us. We need to be tuned in to His voice so that we can hear Him clearly.  Spending every waking moment aware of His presence is how that clarity happens. It’s what Jesus was able to do and it’s what we can do, as well, because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
  2. The wrong way is to lean on our own understanding and feelings. Our understanding and feelings about a matter can change by being told a different opinion, having truth revealed to us (we may read it or someone may tell us, or we may experience it), or with how we feel physically.

Satan’s lies are prominent and prevalent. We need to seek the truth in God’s Word. Let’s do that together this morning.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
    It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.

Want to see evidence of God? Look at His creation. Six days and perfection! It’s even beautiful after the Fall and the Flood, which is what we see today.

 

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
    and all of them are righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold,
    than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
    than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.

King David saw the Word of God as a way to get to know Him. WOW! Nearly everyone else sees it as a book of rules. Let’s look beyond the rules to the Ruler.

12 But who can discern their own errors?
    Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
    may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
    innocent of great transgression.

David knew that he couldn’t be “good” on his own. He needed help. He called upon the LORD to assist him in being holy and righteous. Let’s do the same.

14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart

    be pleasing in your sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Abba, as we come to You today linking our lives with others who have given their lives to You, may we sense Your presence in and among us. May we treat each other as fellow children of God, fellow heirs of Your kingdom, and siblings with Jesus Christ Himself. I am honored to go to church today, LORD. Speak to my heart; teach me; allow me to be a blessing to others today. In Your name and Your power and Your presence, amen.

Proverbs 10 10-10-19

October 10, 2019

About what do you think most of the day? Turn it into a conversation with God. We will find out real quick if it’s godly or not!

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
    but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.

Integrity is who we are when no one else is around; it’s just us and the Lord. It’s supposed to be a time of fellowship with Him. Instead, our flesh rears its ugly head and demands that we “take advantage of this time to do what we want.” For instance, watching questionable movies and inappropriate things on the internet can be addictive.

How do we combat these often overwhelming feelings that draw us into sin? We turn to the Word of God. Paul gave us a mandate, we could even call it a formula, for right living:

12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

I used to think that there are three attitudes in this verse. I now see six:

Be joyful–full of His joy, which comes from our acknowledgement of His presence.

Be hopeful–full of the knowledge of what is to come and what He has promised, including strength to overcome temptation.

Be patient–willing to absorb whatever is coming our way and turning it into a blessing for us and for them (we give it to the Father and He gives it back to us as a blessing).

Be afflicted–realize that we NEED the struggle in order to know what is right and what is wrong. It’s how we become like God. It’s how He wants us to grow to be like Him. David recognized this truth: “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.” “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” Psalm 119:67, 71. Isaiah did, too: 20 Although the Lord gives you [allows in our lives] the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them [adversity and affliction ARE our teachers].21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you [the Holy Spirit], saying, “This is the way; walk in it.

Faithful–trusting that God knows what He is doing by allowing such trial and tribulation in our lives. “Do you trust Me?” is the question He asks of us each day, and often several times a day.

Prayerful–staying in constant contact with our Lord. It’s what our salvation is all about!

Such a simple verse, but chocked full of meaning. May we commit it to memory and live by it daily.

Abba, I thank You for bringing this verse to my attention today. Even though I read it weekly on one of my cards and among several other verses, You emphasized it today. May I take it to heart and live by it. Teach me to be joyful, hopeful, patient in affliction, faithful, and prayerful. I want to hear Your voice behind me, even in me, directing me in the way I should go. Thank you, Lord, for living in me! Amen.

Proverbs 10 9-10-19

September 10, 2019

Planes fly in holding patterns; humans do, too. Bitterness is one of those holding patterns. It’s time to land that plane!

(12) Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers all wrongs.

Bitterness begins as righteous indignation. We have been offended! We either strike out at the person or we withdraw our fellowship from that person. A simple apology may not be enough; we want retribution! Bitterness, when fully formed, turns into hate, which leaves no room for the love of God in our hearts.

Jesus dealt with this attitude in the Sermon on the Mount. He said, (3) “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust [a person’s weakness] in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank [of self-righteousness and judgemental attitude] in your own eye? (4) How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? (5) You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5

A big problem with harboring bitterness in our hearts is that it affects those around us. We become cynical, rude, and hateful. We lose our joy and our hearts grow cold toward the Lord and others. Bitterness is also an attitude that can spread to our spouses and our children(17) Whoever heeds discipline [the Lord’s way] shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction [stubbornly refuses to let go of the root of bitterness] leads others astray. Proverbs 10:17

Children see through us because they live with us and know us–sometimes better than we know ourselves. They watch to see if our words match our actions, our faith matches our preaching, and if our walk matches our talk. They may even reject our faith because they do not see us living what we say we believe. They conclude that it must not be real. We MUST deal with our bitterness and hatefulness, people!

God is very clear about what to do with bitterness:

(30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (31) Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. (32) Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:30-32

It really comes down to trust: Do we trust the Lord enough to know that He will take care of the situation? Do we allow the situation to drive us to His throne for comfort and fellowship with Him? Instead of staring at a person’s wrong, do we lift our heads to gaze at His face? Only HE can give us the strength and courage–and even the desire–to forgive. Pray for compassion. We are most like Jesus when we are compassionate.

(36) When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd [and these were the people who would eventually kill Him]. Matthew 9:36

We don’t get a “by” on this one, but we do get a second chance. All we have to do is turn to the Father and say something like, “Lord, I give you this situation. It wasn’t fair, nor was it right, but I am letting go of it and handing it to You. Give me love and compassion in the place of bitterness and hurt. I know it may take a while for me to feel the change; it is enough to know that You are working in me to effect that change. Thank You for Your love for me and Your patience with me. Amen.” Just know that you may have to pray this prayer each day for a year!

If we allow our struggles to whisk us to the throne of Grace (Heb. 4:16), we have effectively transformed our potential fellowship-breakers into worship makers!

(16) Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16