Archive for the ‘Chapter 14’ Category

Proverbs 14 1-14-20

January 14, 2020

Watch your language! It reveals what you are thinking. It exposes attitudes that may not be godly. Is godliness your goal? If not, why not?

3 A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them.

7 Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.

Have you ever noticed that slang language refers to body parts and functions, many of them sexual in nature? We draw mental pictures with the words we use. The Hebrew language, the Chinese language, and other early civilizations use pictographs as letters. The pictographs are 3D in nature. The Hebrew language has a picture and a number associated with each letter of each word. In the Chinese language, each pictograph tells a story even as they spell a word. In the same way, when we use a specific word that refers to a body part or function, we call up a mental picture in the minds of our listeners.

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion. Prov. 11:22

What is referred to as “potty mouth” is language that speaks of body functions concerning excrement and other functions that go in a potty. Is that the image you want to call up in the minds of those who are listening? Your spouse? Your children? Your boss? Your LORD?

The apostle Paul gives a pretty strong charge for us to watch our language:

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [by what you say], with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:29-30

4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. Ephesians 5:4

The greatest offense is using words that have a sexual connotation or draw attention to sexual body parts. It’s just not a godly thing to do. As a biblical reference, let’s look at John 8 where the religious leaders dragged before Jesus a woman who was caught in adultery. What did Jesus do? He bent down and wrote in the sand.  He didn’t look at her or address her until her accusers had left. Was He ignoring her? Not at all. He was honoring her by not looking upon her while the topic was being discussed. He avoided even the possibility of Him being accused of anything inappropriate. But, it wasn’t about Him; it was about her. She was His creation, His child, and He cared for her. She was valuable to Him, and He treated her so.

Let’s treat our loved ones the same way by watching what we say and how we say it. Let’s find different ways to express ourselves that don’t call attention to body parts or anything with a sexual connotation. Is our language a point of salvation? No, but it does have quite a lot to do with our sanctification (becoming like Jesus).

Abba, You have dealt with me on this subject several times as You called me from one level to another in my walk with You. Right now, You are working on my “response” to people when under pressure. Help me to respond as You would, O LORD. May I always convey my love and Your love with my words and facial expressions. I feel like I’m asking the impossible, but I’m counting on You to do the impossible for me. I thank You in advance. Amen.

 

Proverbs 14 12-14-19

December 14, 2019

Have you been reading Proverbs? any of God’s Word? No Christian should be THAT busy! It is better for you to reorder your priorities with His guidance than to wait for Him to do it for you…!

The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.

Today we study why we don’t get saved by works. The reason we don’t get saved by works is the same reason that the Israelites didn’t get saved by following the Law. If we could do it ourselves, then Christ did not need to come.

21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! Galatians 2:21

Paul gives a great explanation in Romans 9. Let’s look:

30 So, what are we to say? This: that Gentiles, even though they were not striving for righteousness, have obtained righteousness; but it is a righteousness grounded in trusting! 31 However, Isra’el, even though they kept pursuing a Torah [the law] that offers righteousness, did not reach what the Torah [the law] offers. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue righteousness as being grounded in trusting but as if it were grounded in doing legalistic works [the scoffer-they could do it themselves]. They stumbled over the stone that makes people stumble.[Isaiah 8:14] 33 As the Tanakh puts it [as it is written],

“Look, I am laying in Tziyon [Zion/Jerusalem]
a stone that will make people stumble,
a rock that will trip them up.
But he who rests his trust on it
will not be humiliated.”[Isaiah 28:16]

 

Satan would have us believe that we can be like God[Genesis 3:3-4]–we only have to do certain things to satisfy Him. There are so many things wrong with this perception!

  1. We are already like God! We have been made in His image. The problem is that because of sin, our relationship with Him is broken. We are in the enemy’s camp!
  2. Doing certain things to “appease the gods” is the way of every religion in history. It sounds like the Sinai Covenant, but there is a difference: The Sinai Covenant was not designed to appease God, but to cover our sin until the Messiah came to take away our sin.
  3. There is nothing we can DO to please God on our own. It’s like trying to clean ourselves up while standing waist deep in a tar pit. “Doing it ourselves” is what got us in this mess in the first place! Had Eve trusted God instead of believing Satan, our history would be an entirely different story.

Proverbs 14 has another verse that is pertinent to our discussion:

27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.

This fear of Adonai [the LORD God] entails trust, just like a son with his father. The fear comes from knowing just who God is and what He’s about. It’s more an awe factor than a fear factor. We don’t fear what God will do to us as long as we trust in Him and follow Him. In fact, it’s not what God will do to us, but what happens to us when we wander away from His side! Sin destroys us. It’s why God hates it so. He wants to guide us around Satan’s snares that lead to destruction.

Today, let us trust Him by spending time with Him in His Word, giving our lives over to Him again today, and choosing this day to serve Him and no other. If we do trust Him consistently, our world will change: Our priorities, what we consider fun, our countenance, our knowledge base–everything!

Abba, I choose to trust you today. I trusted You yesterday and You were faithful beyond expectation! I trust You today because “You have the words of eternal life.” [John 6:68] Help me to stay focused on You as I go about my tasks. Guide me, O LORD, according to Your Spirit. Amen.

Proverbs 14 11-14-19

November 14, 2019

Our own attitude gets in the way of us hearing God. We must create the right frame of mind in order to hear Him.

6 The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge come easily to the discerning.

Think about it: Why would we not hear from God?

  1. We don’t want to. If we hear from God, He will expect something from us.
  2. We can’t. We don’t know what His voice sounds like and we cannot discern it.
  3. We hear it, but ignore it because He isn’t telling us what we want to hear.
  4. We have never taken the time to learn His language.

If knowledge comes easily to the discerning, then how do we become discerning?

  1. We need to figure out what we want. Do we want to hear from God? If so, are we willing to receive what He tells us and to do whatever He says?
  2. We need to find out what His voice sounds like, and we need to figure out why we can’t hear it. Is there something or someone in our lives that is blocking the signal? Lifestyle will do that; so will hidden sin. Wrong relationships will mute His voice, too. What’s funny is we KNOW what is blocking His voice, but we are unwilling to do anything about it.
  3. If we hear His voice, will we obey it? The works of God display–and fairly shout–His existence, which, in turn, requires our attention. The Spirit of God comes to us and invites us to join Him. Jesus is building His kingdom, which is the Church, and He wants us to not only be a part, but to help Him build it. Are we willing?
  4. It’s difficult to understand what the Spirit wants if we haven’t taken the time to learn His vocabulary, what He likes and dislikes, and what He is likely to say and what He will never say. All of these traits come from reading His Word.

Let’s pull some verses out of Ephesians 4 and 5.

5:18 Do not get drunk on wine [or anything that fogs your brain], which leads to debauchery [making ungodly decisions concerning pleasure]. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

How do we get filled with the Spirit? We sing to God His own words and our own prayers.

5:19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We sing to remember; we sing to instill His truths in our hearts; we sing to re-align ourselves with Him; we sing to ward off the enemy, the devil.

10 Find out what pleases the Lord.

What DOES please the Lord? When His children live in unity of the Spirit and harmony.

Psalm 133

How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!

It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down on the collar of his robe.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore. 

 

King David knew how unity makes every get-together, every family, and every kingdom run more smoothly. Unity requires everyone to practice Jesus’ Platinum Rule: “Love one another just as I have loved you.” John 13:34. We must “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in all things consider others better than [before] ourselves. Phil. 2:3. We must also “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” We are to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Eph. 4:2-3. In everything, we are to “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love [which means sacrifice], just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Eph. 4:32-5:2

Want to know what God is saying? Read these verses every morning and implement them. You will hear His voice soon enough–and feel His good pleasure!

Abba, may I take my own advice and commit these verses to memory so that I can implement them everyday. Hearing Your voice, O Lord, is what makes each day bearable and worth living. Speak to my heart, Lord Jesus, speak that my soul may hear. I’m listening. Amen.

Proverbs 14 10-14-19

October 14, 2019

“Live once, die twice. Live twice, die once.” – Ken Ham

12 There is a way that appears to be right,
    but in the end it leads to death.

The way that leads to death is our own way. It’s the way of our own choosing with no regard for God, His sacrifice for us, or His way of salvation. To live only once is to live without ever being born again. When a person dies in this condition, he is condemned–by his own inaction or defiance–to the second death, the lake of fire, which wasn’t even created for humans (see Matthew 25:41 and Revelation 20:14)!

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. John 3:3, 5-6

15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15

The decision is not up to the Father, but up to each individual. Jesus said that there is only one unforgivable sin, and that is the denial of the Holy Spirit unto salvation.

31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Since it is the Spirit who is Jesus in us, by Whom we are sealed unto the day of salvation, our Deposit, our Guide, and our Taste of what is to come, it makes sense that a person who denies the Spirit entry into their lives cannot be born again and therefore cannot be saved. It is the entry of the Holy Spirit that gives us salvation. Jesus said, “Spirit gives birth to spirit.” A person lives twice through rebirth by the Spirit.

Jesus tells us in His letter to the church in Smyrna that a person who is born again cannot be hurt by the second death:

11 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.

Ken was correct: Those who are born once die twice, but those who are born again in Christ Jesus through His Spirit die only once. The question is, where are YOU in the process?

Abba, I pray for all who read this blog that they would examine their hearts and give their lives to You, O Lord. May they be born again in Your Spirit as You come and reign in their hearts. I know that walking with You wipes away the fear of dying because I do not have to fear the second death. When I die, I get to be with You forever! Thank You for calling me to walk with You early in my life. It has been grand!!! I pray I will be faithful to You until the day You call me home. Amen.

Proverbs 14 9-14-19

September 14, 2019

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Our journey’s end is the throne of God. Remember that.

(18) The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

I wonder if life is not like driving a car. If we don’t keep our eyes on the road, we can end up in a ditch or take a wrong turn. Have you ever been adjusting the radio and found that you have drifted to the shoulder of the road? It’s even worse with cell phones!

In this verse, the simple got what was coming to them–and they didn’t have to do anything! They simply “lived.”

The prudent were intentional about what was going on around them. They read; they listened; they applied what they learned. They were crowned with knowledge. This knowledge is of God, about God and His plan for the human race, individually and collectively.

Individually- The Holy Spirit lives in each of God’s children and is raising us up to be like Christ and to eventually be WITH Christ.

Collectively- Jesus Christ will one day step out of heaven and come back to earth to rule. The events leading up to His Return are becoming more evident by the day!

In Matthew 11:12, we find a cryptic verse, “And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent people are attacking it.” Prophesying was bad enough to get you killed, or at least, persecuted. Announcing the fulfillment of prophecy is what John the Baptist endured as well as Jesus.

If we look at the Christian news, we find that the Muslims are coming to Christ by the thousands as Christ is coming to them in dreams and visions. The world stage is being set for a one-world currency, a global market, and eventually, a global leader and religion. I believe that there are many in our nation’s leadership that would push us toward this eventuality. Only The Restrainer holds them back (2 Thess. 2:7). The Restrainer, who is the Holy Spirit, resides in each of us. If we are taken away, then so is the Spirit. Does this mean that people can’t be saved if the Rapture comes before Christ returns? No. It means that God will raise up an army of evangelists– 144,000 to be exact (Rev. 7:1-8, 9:4) to continue to build His church during the Very Last Days (Rev. 11:13, 12:11).

Let’s quit fiddling with the radio and focus on our driving. Let’s learn all we can according to the Word of God. Let’s do some research and see what God is doing in other countries, especially Israel. She is still God’s chosen people. The Sinai Covenant was fulfilled by Jesus, but the Covenant to Abraham will not be fulfilled until King David returns with Christ to sit on the throne of Israel. Ezekiel shared with us:

18 “When your people ask you, ‘Won’t you tell us what you mean by this?’ 19 say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph—which is in Ephraim’s hand—and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah’s stick. I will make them into a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.’ 20 Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on 21 and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land [This pilgrimage has been going on since 1867 and climaxed in 1948 with the rebirth of the nation of Israel]. 22I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. 23 They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. [We are still looking for this prophecy to be fulfilled.]

24 “‘My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees.25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever.26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.’” Revelation 21 and 22 describe the joining of Heaven and earth with God’s throne among the people. It will be amazing!!!

Abba, I can hardly wait to see how Your Plan will unfold. Will You come, Lord Jesus, during my lifetime? What an amazing realization that You may! If not, then I will get to watch from the other side and come back with You as You establish Your eternal reign on earth. Exciting times, Lord. May I keep the main thing–Your Plan– the main thing in my life. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Amen.