Archive for the ‘Chapter 15’ Category

Proverbs 15 1-15-20

January 15, 2020

Are you looking forward to heaven? Do you know anything about it? What does life after death entail? Let’s look!

19 The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway.

Our journey on this earth leads us to the throne of God. The last verse of the hymn, Footsteps of Jesus, says, “Then at last when on high He sees us, our journey done; we will rest where the steps of Jesus end at His throne.” According to the apostle Paul, to be absent from the body is to be present with the LORD. 2 Cor. 5:8

There is another hymn that speaks of heaven, but it leads us to a wrong conclusion. It is, “This World is Not My Home.” The verse goes,

This world is not my home, I’m just a’passing through.

My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.

The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door,

and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

The song is true in this sense: We all die and proceed to the throne of Jesus. It is what He wants. In His prayer in John 17:24, He tells us, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” But, that’s not all there is to heaven. Revelation 19 tells us that we will all return with Jesus to earth to establish heaven on earth!

11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns.He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

You will notice that “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” This phrase refers to Psalm 2:9 and ushers in the Millennial Kingdom when Christ establishes His rule on this physical earth from the temple in Jerusalem. It will be the “Restoration of All Things” as is spoken of in Matthew 19:28,

28 Jesus said to them, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, in the renewal [that is, the Messianic restoration and regeneration of all things] when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you [who have followed Me, becoming My disciples] will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

This is not in heaven, my friends; this is in Jerusalem! Jeremiah 3:17 tells us, At “that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the Lord. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.” Won’t THAT be a sight to behold! We actually WILL!!! Here is the LORD’s promise to us:

16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

So, dear friends, let’s not get caught up in living only for this world, or let the trials of this life get us down. We have a great and glorious future ahead of us with Christ Jesus and all His saints! Let’s set our eyes on the prize that is to come. The apostle Paul said it best:

10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection [His Spirit in our lives] and participation in his sufferings*, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead [the process: We suffer, we die, we are resurrected!]12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:10-14

*We bear His name and thus open ourselves to ridicule and persecution. We also live in these frail, mortal bodies as He did while He was here on earth, until the time we get to be with Him in heaven. On the Day of His Second Coming, we will receive our new and glorious bodies and be reunited with our flesh when we come back to earth to reign with Him. See 1 Corinthians 15,  1 Thessalonians 4, and Revelation 19.

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8

So, “encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thess. 4:18

Abba, how exciting it is to study how things will be when we shed these mortal bodies and step into our new and glorious bodies and into Your presence! At the same time, we long for Your appearing, at which time, we won’t have to die, but will be transformed on the spot!!! While we wait, I lift up all who are going through persecution for Your name’s sake, and for all who are enduring pain and suffering in these frail bodies. It’s not what You had in mind, nor is it what You have in store. We DO take comfort and encouragement with these promises that we have from Your Word. Just a little longer, LORD, until “the times of the Gentiles is completed.” Amen.

 

Proverbs 15 12-15-19

December 15, 2019

Doing for God is not enough. It’s never been enough. We are to walk with God in the Spirit.

Adonai detests the sacrifices of the wicked but delights in the prayers of the upright.

We can be zealous for God and yet miss God. We can even have great knowledge and still not know God. We can serve God and still not please Him. How? By doing things our way, by making all the decisions in our lives on our own and by our own intellect. Consider:

1 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s deepest desire and my prayer to God for Isra’el is for their salvation; for I can testify to their zeal for God. But it is not based on correct understandingfor, since they are unaware of God’s way of making people righteous and instead seek to set up their own, they have not submitted themselves to God’s way of making people righteousFor the goal at which the Torah [the Law] aims is [to know personally] the Messiah, who offers righteousness to everyone who trusts.

My question is this: Why would we want to be introduced to Jesus, receive forgiveness and His Spirit into our hearts, and then ignore Him, going about our business as if He WASN’T in our hearts? Living by faith means that we don’t trust our own opinion, but seek His opinion; we don’t trust our own feelings, but lean on Him to lead us. Our own hearts are wicked and capricious; the only thing we CAN trust about them is that they will lead us astray. Our hearts amplify how we feel, which is controlled by how we think. Satan is the master controller of manipulating how we think. He has culture turned against Christ, so we cannot trust what is considered “right” in our world. We must re-train our minds according to the Word of God. It is from His Word that we read:

What, then, does it say?

“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.”[Deuteronomy 30:11-14]

that is, the word about trust which we proclaim, namely, that if you acknowledge publicly with your mouth that Yeshua [Jesus-the Greek translation of Yeshua] is Lord and trust in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be delivered [saved]. 10 For with the heart one goes on trusting and thus continues toward righteousness, while with the mouth one keeps on making public acknowledgement and thus continues toward deliverance11 For the passage quoted says that everyone who rests his trust on him will not be humiliated.[c] 12 That means that there is no difference between Jew and Gentile — Adonai [the LORD] is the same for everyone, rich toward everyone who calls on him, 13 since everyone who calls on the name of Adonai will be delivered.[d]

As we can see, salvation is not only a one-time event, but also a process of becoming righteous. God sees us as having the righteousness of Christ; now, we are to walk in that righteousness, which can only happen by walking in step with the Spirit each day. Our banner verse should be:

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a]may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. NIV

Here it is in the Complete Jewish Bible:

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; 17 thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good work. CJB

Want to feel the breath of God? Read His Word. He will whisper to You His truths and His instructions for you today.

Abba, I want to feel Your breath upon my face as I walk closely to You. As I read Your Word, may You instruct me, correct me, train me and even rebuke me. I count it as a kindness! May I be rewarded with a true sense of Your presence and the love, joy and peace that flow from Your throne onto -and into- all who stand in Your presence.

Bless us as we meet today, Abba. May we enjoy each other’s company as we worship You in Spirit and in Truth. Amen.

Proverbs 15 11-15-19

November 15, 2019

“Be careful what you ask for; magic comes with a price.” Righteousness is what we seek. HE is who we seek.

6 The house of the righteous contains great treasure, but the income of the wicked brings ruin.

Simply put, the great treasure is the blessing of God–His forgiveness through His Son’s sacrifice, His presence in our lives through the Holy Spirit, the connection we have with Him through the family of God, and the blessed hope we have in what He has in store for us. His righteousness is what we are to seek.

The ruin of the wicked is their income–it blinds them to the fact that they need a Savior; it fulfills just enough desire to keep them from looking for true Desire and fulfillment in Christ. The things to which they hold will spoil and rot, which includes their souls.

How do we get this great treasure for our lives? It starts with a willing heart. Then we ask for the want-to to want to, a higher desire, one that comes from His Spirit. Then we begin to read His Word. When we get to a verse that stands out to us, we stop and meditate on it beginning with thanking Him for speaking to us. We ask these questions:

  1. Why would the Holy Spirit shine a spotlight on this verse?
  2. Is it personal, in that is it revealing a weak area in my life?
  3. Does it have to do with another verse or passage (write the reference in)?
  4. What is there about the passage that stands out to me?
  5. Is the Lord wanting me to “take a note” about an idea?

We need to write down whatever comes to mind. Once all is written down, we can go about our day or night–just as soon as we thank Him for conversing with us and giving us wisdom. At a later date, we can re-read what is written and make sure it makes sense. We can make any adjustments that need to be made in grammar, connectivity, and references (other verses that help explain what we wrote).

Now we need to thank the Holy Spirit for entrusting us with this information. We ask Him to guide us in how to use it in the coming days and weeks. We need to read it often to remember and to further ingest the lesson and expound on it if necessary.

The last thing is to run it by someone we know who will give us an honest and godly opinion about what we have written. It’s not that we need a second opinion, but that the Spirit speaks to us through our brothers and sisters in Christ. They may have another point to add or they may help us shape how to say it. We all need objective help seeing truth.

The question is, are we really interested in learning from the Holy Spirit? Consider these verses:

2:1 My child, if you accept my words [from my word] and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding–3 indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD [what it means to stand in His presence] and find the knowledge of God [see from His perspective].

Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.

18 Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.

32 I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding.

Abba, there is so much more to Your Word than what I know! I want to know as much as my brain can absorb! May I read Your Word in different ways so that I may grasp new meaning in every passage. Then, LORD, give me a place to proclaim what You have shown me, whether it is evangelistic or in a teaching format. Whatever You have planned is what I want. Thank You for having a relationship with me. It means everything to me. Amen.

Proverbs 15 10-15-19

October 15, 2019

What does it take to have a discerning heart? It takes awareness, which can only be given by the Holy Spirit.

14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge,
    but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.

The Holy Spirit comes to us and invites us to become God’s children and to join His family. By accepting Him, we place ourselves under His protection and His leadership. This connection is what Christianity is all about!

Jesus asked for my heart one day. I was six years old. My best friend, Mindy, had recently trusted Him. Her decision prompted me to start paying attention. I know now that His Spirit was using Mindy to get my attention.

I have walked with Him for 52 years now. I don’t really remember the part of my life when I didn’t know Him. Even then, I was learning about Him thanks to my Mom and Dad. For someone to say that He isn’t real is ludicrous to me.

At the same time, how can I relate to someone who doesn’t know the Lord personally how it feels to have Him in my life? I can’t, really. Jesus has to make Himself known. Just like He did to me. God used Wendy’s testimony to get my attention. He will use our testimonies to reach out to others, too. It’s all part of His plan.

I DO know this:

BECAUSE Jesus lives in my heart and converses with me constantly, I trust the verses in the Bible that talk about His resurrection. His Spirit bears witness with my spirit.

BECAUSE I believe in His resurrection, I understand His mission on the cross. He not only reopened the door to heaven, He blew it off its hinges!

BECAUSE I believe His mission, I read the New Testament to study His life to learn how God really feels about us, about sin, and about how we treat each other while learning how we are to treat each other.

BECAUSE I learn about Jesus’ life by reading the accounts of the men (and possibly women who helped with the narratives of Luke and John) who walked with Him, I want to know all that led up to His Coming, which is what the Old Testament is all about!

BECAUSE I have read in the OT of the interaction of God with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Ruth, David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Josiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Mary, and many others, it verifies in my soul my belief in Him and God’s interaction with me. Since Eden, it has been His goal to live in us!

BECAUSE I believe in Him and His goal, having experienced it for 52 years now, I believe in a literal Genesis 1-11. There is NO OTHER WAY for things to happen and come out with the same result: Christ in me, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).

The fun part is that everyday (it seems) I learn something new of how science confirms the Bible. It’s like God saved all these great discoveries for our generation. I guess He knew we would need them, huh?

Abba, thank You for Mindy’s willingness to share her testimony with me. Thank You for speaking to me through her. Thank You for making Your presence so real in my life. Thank You showed me early in my life that a consistent and daily time with You is essential to my walk with You. Thank You for being my Guide. I look forward to being with You face to face someday. Amen.

Proverbs 15 9-15-19

September 15, 2019

Our attitude toward church tells us a lot about our spiritual condition. Church is not about us; it’s for us.

This morning, we are going to look at a set of verses in this chapter.

The house of the righteous contains great treasure,
    but the income of the wicked brings ruin.

Having the Lord as the Ruler of our house and the Leader of our home brings us great treasure on a spiritual basis, relational basis, and even monetary basis (more in savings rather than earnings).

The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
    but the hearts of fools are not upright.

We must get our hearts right before we can spread knowledge. This verse is BIG for teachers, especially Bible teachers.

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

“Relationship above ritual.” God is interested in US, not what we can give Him or do for Him.

The Lord detests the way of the wicked,
    but he loves those who pursue righteousness.

If we love the Lord, we will pursue His ways; we will want to be like Him; we will stay close to Him; we will desire His presence and participation over all else.

10 Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path;
    the one who hates correction will die.

It’s not that God is waiting to hit us with a big mallet–but life is! Satan uses every opportunity to make us doubt, suffer, and quit serving the Lord. Discipline and correction are the way to life if we will just receive it.

11 Death and Destruction lie open before the Lord
    how much more do human hearts!

We can’t keep anything secret from the Lord. Why do we even try? He knows us and loves us anyway! In fact, the very fight that we have with ourselves concerning right and wrong is what makes us most like Him. Jesus chose right every time. Let’s strive to be like Him. He’s rooting for us!

12 Mockers resent correction,
    so they avoid the wise.

It all comes down to attitude. A mocker is not interested in God’s opinion or ways. The child of God must kill this part of himself in order to seek God’s face and opinion.

What happens if we begin to kill the mocker in us and seek God’s face and opinion?

  • We begin to understand the we are always before the Lord. We merely have to turn to Him and there He is!
  • We begin to see His loving discipline and correction are for our good. He is a Loving Father.
  • As we pursue righteousness, we feel His love pouring over us. Proverbs 1:23 comes true: “If you repent at my rebuke, I will pour out my heart to you and make my thoughts known to you.”
  • As we focus on our relationship with Him in Bible study and prayer, we lose our fear of punishment–not that we think He won’t, but that we live in the safety of His presence as we walk with Him. His teaching, correcting, rebuking, and training are reserved for His children: Us! It’s part and parcel with our relationship with Him.
  • When our hearts are right with Him, then our lips will speak knowledge and in a loving way.
  • Our spiritual houses will contain great treasure as He pours into us His wisdom, understanding, and knowledge (see Proverbs 24:3-4).

This morning, as we go to church, let’s remember that it’s the place we go to corporately worship the Lord, practice our Christlikeness, and learn more about walking with God.

Abba, may You be honored, magnified, and glorified as we lift up the name of Jesus today. Be president in our lives and not just resident. May we love on each other, especially the EGR’s (extra grace required). Who knows? Someone may include ME in that group! May I feel Your pleasure as I spend time with our family in worship today. Amen.