Archive for the ‘Chapter 11’ Category

Proverbs 11 1-11-20

January 11, 2020

Is what God says in His Word important to you? Is He your chief source, or do you have others that weigh in as heavily?

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

As you read Proverbs 11 this morning, consider the word “righteousness” to stand for truth according to God’s Word concerning Creation. Conversely, think of the word “wickedness” and its corresponding descriptors to stand for those who believe in Evolution.

Let’s define “evolution.” Evolution can stand for Darwinian Evolution or Neo-Darwinian Evolution. Both tout macro-evolution (complex life from simple life) as the origin of life and leaves no room for any kind of intelligent design. Life happened and continues by chance.

There is such a thing as micro-evolution, which is usually referred to as adaptation within a species. In other words, everything that “evolves” was already latent in the genes of the species. God made them adaptable.

There are two verses that particularly stand out to me:

19 Truly the righteous [those who strive to for righteousness] attain life, but whoever pursues evil finds death.

27 Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it.

Here is what I see: It’s not enough to just avoid evil. We must seek righteousness, searching for it as we would mining for gold. We must dig for it, haul it out of the mine of our minds and process it. With gold, it would be cleaned up, melted down and purified, and then shaped into whatever form the Maker has in mind. With righteousness, it would be dug out of Scripture, pondered, and laid at the feet of Jesus; He would then help us apply it to our lives.

If I were asked why I believe that Evolution is a deception of Satan and why I believe in Creation, I would answer (in order of least to greatest):

  1. The odds of life coming from nothing are too great for it to be true. It would take more faith to believe in life from non-life than to believe in Creation.
  2. Intelligent Design leads to a Designer: God. More specifically, Jesus, through Whom all things were made and are held together (Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:2-3). Irreducible complexity is one of the ways we see the I.D. of God.
  3. The Spirit of God came to me and opened my mind to His world, confirming His creation of it. He and I have an ongoing relationship in which He reveals new truths about this world, Himself, Heaven and eternity.

If you are wondering, “What’s the big deal? Can’t a person believe whatever he wants to believe?” You would be right. The problem is that Evolution is not just being believed. It is being taught–more than that, it is being forced upon many unsuspecting souls. We might as well call it the Gospel of Evolution. We must know what we believe and WHY so that when the opportunity arises, we can intelligently give an answer for the hope we have in Christ. Consider these two verses:

24 The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep them from going down to the grave. Proverbs 15:24 We are moving either up or down. Let’s keep moving UP!

15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1 Peter 3:15-16

Let’s prepare ourselves both in knowledge and in response concerning this matter. IT’S IMPORTANT for the sake of our generation, the next generation, and future generations.

Abba, Your Word is truth. I learned that straight from Jesus (John 17:17). You said You created everything and I believe it. It is settled in my mind. From this point on, I am simply discovering how You did it. It is for Your glory to reveal concealed knowledge (Prov. 25:2). As I learn new facts and discover new truths, may I glorify You and praise Your name; may I teach others these new facts and truths so that they may praise Your name and glorify You, as well. The saga continues–for a while. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Amen.

 

Proverbs 11 12-11-

December 11, 2019

What legacy do we want to leave? Are we heroes of the faith? Let’s be remembered for our faith, courage, and love for Jesus.

24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
    another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

25 A generous person will prosper;
    whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

 

If we were to act on these verses, what would it look like? It would look like we were “testing God” to a certain extent. And, you know what: It would be true! Yet, here is what God says to us about our faith:

38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

How about this verse:

10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. Luke 16:10.

Ah, but there’s a catch:

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:48b

We in America have been given great wealth. All we need to do is study history and we will see that our generation is the wealthiest in America’s history. If we look at the other countries of the world, we will see that we as a people are far wealthier than 90% of the population. Yet, the people around us are starving for spiritual food. They are being fed “food” that is NOT nutritious for their spirits:

  • Our phones in and of themselves are not bad, but the time we waste on them is;
  • We are, generally speaking, dependent upon expressing our opinion;
  • Likewise, we are hooked on TV in that we watch more television than we do reading;
  • Our food has been tainted by the food industry: we are hooked on flavor instead of nutrition, convenience rather than responsibly cooking it ourselves;
  • Even though we have more free time than any generation before us, we are overweight and use our time frivolously.

What does Jesus want from us as a generation? Let’s look at God’s Word and see:

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2

If we are to enter the harvest, what shall we face? What does that field look like?

  1. It’s a spiritual battle. Evil is invading every area of society.
  2. We will lose this world. It’s a given. Look at 2 Peter 3:10. Instead, “we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” v.13
  3. The battle will grow intense as the Day of Christ’s return draws near. To the seven churches in Revelation 2-3, Jesus said, “To the one who is victorious…” 2:7, 11,17, 26, 3:5, 12, 21. We must stand firm.

We have this promise:

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58

What more could we ask? Let’s be about the Father’s business. There are people to reach for Christ, so let’s use every available asset to reach them!

Abba, I include myself in this exhortation. I want to “go out in a blaze of glory,” one that honors You and brings many to Christ–or, at least, witnesses to them. Their decision is their own. My responsibility, my desire, is to exalt You in all I do. Use me, LORD Jesus, to be a prayer warrior for the lost, including Israel and the Muslim countries, and to be an ambassador to all around me. Amen.

 

Proverbs 11 11-11-19

November 11, 2019

What is your perspective? Are you looking forward to spending the day with the Father?He is with you.

5 The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.

Our righteousness is in Christ. He gives us His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). His Spirit in us makes us blameless; all our sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus. Because of the atoning action of His blood, we are constantly cleansed until the day when we step out of these bodies into new and glorious ones that no longer have the sin nature in them! This next verse tells us to what we have to look forward:

To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling [and falling] and to present you before His glorious presence without fault [blameless] and with great joy— Jude 24

Not only are we kept from falling, we have been given any and every spiritual gift (as we need them):

Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:7-9

“Fellowship with His Son” is key. It is the entire point of salvation–it IS salvation! If we are not interested in fellowshipping with the Son, Jesus Christ, who lives in us by the Person of “Mr.” Holy Spirit, then we have missed the whole point of salvation. Heaven is all about Him! If we don’t want any part of Him now, what makes us think that we will be happy in heaven when EVERYTHING there is about HIM?

What we are talking about here is abiding. We are to abide in Christ. Abiding is all about making our relationship with Christ permanent. It means “to remain, to live.” Our lives are to be all about Christ. His Spirit even gives us the want-to to want to! Let’s not let how we feel today give the devil a foothold; let’s not give him an inch of ground by committing ourselves to Christ today, studying His Word, and “setting our face like flint” to converse with Him all day, doing as He says and following where He leads (Isaiah 50:7).

26 I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. 27 But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ. 1 John 2:26-27

Let’s remain in fellowship with Christ today. He will teach us everything we need to know and will equip us with everything we need. Is it a battle? Yes. Will it be easy? No. But, it will certainly be worth it!

Abba, You have promised us so much: Your presence, Your participation, Your protection, Your provision, and so much more! Help me to stay connected to the Vine, which is you, O Lord. May I fellowship with You all day today as we walk through life together–to the real life You have waiting for me by Your side in Heaven. Thank You for Robin, in whom I see much of You. Help us to finish well. We love You, Lord. Amen.

 

Proverbs 11 10-11-19

October 11, 2019

Making our lives all about Christ–is that your goal? The Spirit within us urges us to make life all about Him.

The righteousness of the upright will direct his way, but the wicked will fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, but transgressors will be taken by their schemes.

What we chronically forget is that we don’t live in a vacuum. Our position is not clinical. We have the Lord drawing us on one side and the devil pulling us on the other. Our own sin nature tends to lean toward the devil’s side while our new nature, Christ in us, counsels us to imitate Jesus.

I see two outcomes:

  1. If we succumb to evil and our own nature, then we must live with the consequences either in this live or the next–or both.
  2. If we answer the call of the Spirit within us, then we reap the benefits and fruit of righteousness. We become a little bit more like Him. We experience His love, His joy, His peace; we gain patience, kindness, goodness, and we become faithful and gentle, even as we increase in self-control. We learn truth and practice righteousness.

Paul expressed this process in this way:

21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

Randy Lind, our state Music Director, shared the anecdote about texting the song, “I Love to Tell the Story,” and his predictive text changing it to “I Live to Tell the Story.” He looked down and realized that the predictive text version was more accurate than the real title!

We must ask ourselves this question, “Is my goal to please myself or to please my Lord?” This question plays a part in every decision we make. If we have truly given our heart and life to Jesus, then we want what He wants. If we are still resistant to the Spirit and what Jesus wants, we need to take the test in 2 Corinthians:

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 2 Corinthians 13:5

We who are in Christ:

  1. Are sanctified by Him. John 17:19
  2. Are being conformed into His image. Romans 8:29
  3. Are being transformed into His likeness. 2 Corinthians 3:18
  4. Are being renewed inwardly day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16
  5. Are having Christ formed in us. Galatians 4:19
  6. Are being renewed in the image of our Creator. Colossians 3:10
  7. Are being strengthened by His power through His Spirit in our inner being. Ephesians 3:16
  8. Are having our needs met according to God’s glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
  9. Participate in the divine nature by living according to His very great and precious promises, thus escaping the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:3-4
  10. Have the glorious riches of the mystery of Christ in us so that through us He might make this mystery known to the world. Colossians 1:27

NOTE: If you don’t have these verses highlighted and linked, it would be a good thing to do.

Abba, You have invested so much in me. I want to give back to You all I can. Even THAT takes You working in and through me! Have Your way in me, O Lord. I want all to know that Christ lives in me! Amen.

Proverbs 11 9-11-19

September 11, 2019

Today is 9/11. We remember that tragic day when we saw the extent of evil in this world. Were it not for the Spirit, where would we be?

(18) A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.

We have a fight inside of us. Were the Holy Spirit not present in our lives, there would be no fight. We would be easily won over to a cause, to temptation, to seduction, and would be easy prey for the Enemy (Satan). Anything we could justify we would do with no guilt–on the contrary, we would feel satisfaction! Proverbs 15:21 tells us that “folly delights a person who has no sense [Holy Spirit].” 

But, we DO have the Holy Spirit, therefore we struggle each day to overcome our base desires and to do what pleases Him. Knowing that I am already pleasing to Him positionally helps, but it doesn’t erase the heaviness I feel when I have to fight so hard–and often lose–to submit my fleshly desires to the Spirit. I want what I want! But, more than I want what I want, I have a higher desire, which is to please the Lord Jesus. Therefore, I work really hard to “put to death” my natural desires and lean on Him. It’s one of the times that I feel closest to Him. He shares my struggle.

Verses that support this process:

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do [even while loving it].16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me [he is not saved at this point], that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing [even when he tries to do good, he can’t sustain it].20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it [we are all slaves to sin].

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me [his own base desires–his flesh], waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

To a certain extent, we still live here. As long as we are in these “old covenant” bodies, we will fight the natural desires of this flesh. But, look at what Jesus has done for us:

8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 7:14-8:2

In the Greek, this phrase reads, “Therefore, NO CONDEMNATION!!! for those who are in Christ Jesus!” This is the part we live by faith: to receive according to His word that we are pleasing to Him.

As for Him sharing my struggle,

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Dear Lord Jesus, may I take advantage of Your grace and humbly submit myself to You today. My hope is that by staying in Your presence, I would have Your perspective of sin and temptation and be able to resist it. May I not turn my back on You in order to sin, O Lord! In so many ways, I am still like a 2-year-old spiritually. Grow me up, Lord. Give me wisdom so that I CAN see from Your perspective, but I will need Your strength and Your power in order to actually overcome sin and temptation in my life. I can NEVER do it on my own. Fill me up, Lord, with Your Presence. I will certainly need Your Participation. Amen.