Archive for the ‘Chapter 20’ Category

Proverbs 20 11-20-19

November 20, 2019

We must raise the idea of there being another way (THE Way), but we must leave the convincing/convicting up to God.

5 The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.

If you haven’t noticed, creation truths, especially new discoveries, are a favorite topic of mine. I thrill to learn something new about God’s creation and our world’s history. Why? Because they give me insights into what God is doing now and what will happen in the future.

I’ve yet to get into a full-blown argument with an evolutionist. I was berated once, but I held to my testimony of knowing Christ personally (Paul warns us in Titus 3:9-11 not to get into arguments with people about such things; there is no convincing them of the truth unless the Spirit is working on them) and that seemed to take the wind out of his sails. We left the conversation on equitable terms. I still pray for John that the Spirit would water the seed planted in him and grow the Gospel in his soul.

9 Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”?

Most people believe in evolution because that is what they have been taught. If they went to a public school, they have been brainwashed with it since kindergarten. They don’t really know how or why evolution works; it’s just all they know. We must keep in mind that we, too, were like them once:

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

Satan would have us believe the lie of evolution because it keeps us blind. We would like to believe evolution because it allows us to do as we please. We are both deceived and enslaved by it. How does a person become “undeceived” and then “unenslaved”? Only by the Spirit of God shining His light on that person’s soul.

The human spirit is the lamp of the LORD that sheds light on one’s inmost being. Proverbs 20:27

There is a note at the bottom of my Bible that says, “or, A person’s words are…” So, if we were to read the verse using the alternate meaning, it would read like this:

A person’s words are the lamp of the LORD that sheds light on one’s inmost being.

Building on this alternative translation, we can come to this conclusion: We have the opportunity through conversation (and sometimes confrontation) to shed light on a person’s soul. We plant a seed. That seed is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. With this thought in mind, I have determined:

  1. To use creation vs. evolution as a springboard into a conversation with people.
  2. If I am confronted, then I will ask them if they are open to another way if the facts are there.
  3. If they are, then we can proceed. If they aren’t, then I will give my testimony (the quick version*) and close the conversation by changing the subject or leaving.

What we bank on is the next few verses in Titus 3 that God will do in them what He did in us:

4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 

Just as God saved US and called US out of the darkness, deception, and slavery, we pray for those with whom we come in contact to be convicted by the Holy Spirit. All it takes to get the ball rolling is for us to say something. We must assume that God brings people into our paths in order for us to share the Gospel through our testimony. Let’s learn how to get into conversations with folks!

Abba, it’s time. It’s time for Your church to get up and get going. We have the perfect opportunity with creation vs. evolution to begin conversations. May I practice what I preach as You lead me into conversations with people. I pray for John that You would work a mighty work in his life. May You grow the seed planted in his heart. May he open his mind to a new way of looking at things and then open his heart to Your kindness and love. Even if we make the devil and his followers mad, may we be strong and courageous! We are Your servants, O LORD. Use us for Your glory. Amen.

*I was once blind to the truth about God. I was deceived and enslaved by my own sin. But Jesus came into my heart, forgave me of all my wrongdoing, and made me right with God–and He’s still there! We walk through life together and He teaches me how to be like Him. I know He’s real because He lives in me.

Proverbs 20 10-20-19

October 20, 2019

We are all called to give an account for our lives. It would make things easier if we started now with someone.

The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,
    but one who has insight draws them out.

I see this verse working two ways:

  1. A person can look inside himself and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, draw insight and understanding about himself.
  2. A person can avail himself to another person, one he can trust, who can help him determine what is in his heart and what to do about it–according to the Spirit.

The need for someone to whom we are accountable is based upon verse 9:

Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure;
    I am clean and without sin”?

We can justify anything. When we can’t justify what we want, we blatantly do what we want, anyway. DESIRE is just too strong an opponent. Eve had the same problem:

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food [it looked delicious] and pleasing to the eye [sparkly and shiny], and also desirable for gaining wisdom [would make her like God-see verse 5], she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

What should have happened is that Adam should have reached over and knocked it from her hand. If she ate it before he could do that, then he should have counseled her to go before the LORD and confess what she had done. Instead, he allowed her to drag him down with her. Evidently the DESIRE was too great to overcome for him, too.

ON our own, we cannot overcome DESIRE. We need HELP. That help comes from the Holy Spirit. His Spirit in us gives us everything we need for godly living (see Heb. 13:20-21 and 2 Peter 1:3). At the same time, we sometimes need “God with skin on.” We need someone in whom we can trust and with whom we can share our weaknesses and burdens. Then, going to the Word of God, we approach the throne of grace and receive mercy and grace in our time of need (Heb. 4:16).

FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED.

PREPARATION IS 90% OF THE BATTLE.

Back in the 90’s, Promise Keepers was a great vehicle for accountability among men. They set up groups of four to six that met weekly for accountability and Bible study. Many good things came out of those groups.

Whether it’s one-on-one or in a group of 4-6, you might consider either forming or joining an accountability group. Solomon, the wisest man on earth, said,

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

I know this: It’s impossible to get a sound check by yourself. I also know that it’s impossible to live a perfectly righteous life without an objective opinion. I need accountability. So do you. Ask the LORD who He has in mind for you.

Abba, I thank You that Robin is my accountability partner. She holds my spiritual feet to Your fire. I also thank You for the men in my life who love me and ask me the hard questions. May I be that person for other men. Help me to pay it forward, Lord. Amen.

 

Proverbs 20 9-20-19

September 20, 2019

Double standards are tough! We have them and don’t even realize it. Let’s make sure our lives line up with His Word.

10 Differing weights and differing measures—the Lord detests them both.

Moses brought us the Sinai Covenant. It was forged by God’s hand on the tablets (Exodus 31:18) and written out in Hebrew. According to archeological and linguistic studies, the Hebrew language is the oldest language known besides hieroglyphics (which was really a picture language). Each Hebrew letter has a picture and a number attached to it, thus making it rich in meaning. The original version was more than likely developed by Joseph in the 1800’s B.C. and expanded by the LORD with the 10 Commandments in 1550 B.C. and, subsequently, by Moses as he dictated what God had him write down during his lifetime.

This covenant was all about having one standard: God’s standard of holiness.

Leviticus 19:1 The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.'”

Leviticus 20:7 “‘Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God.Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the Lord, who makes you holy.'”

The 10 Commandments are Exodus 20:1-17. The commands are a primer for holiness. In holiness, we find unity and oneness.  God commanded the Israelites to treat each other with respect:

Leviticus 19:18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

We have heard this verse before! Jesus quoted it in Matthew 22:39. God even commands for them to treat foreigners as fellow Israelites:

Leviticus 19:34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-bornLove them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

It’s interesting to note that God was interested in equality among the Israelites and even the foreigners (mostly Egyptians) that were among them. Remember our verse on double standards?

The point of the Law was to show us that we are a sinful people in need of a Savior. It was never designed to take away sin, but to cover sin. “Atonement” means, “to cover.” Jesus’ blood on the heavenly altar does more than just cover us: IT CLEANSES US! Let’s take a look at Hebrews (the book):

9:22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood,and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

10:4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

9:12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

7:24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

The best verse for equality is Galatians 3:28,

28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

In Christ, we are all on the same playing field. We are heirs of God, co-heirs with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17) and we will spend eternity together worshiping the LORD (Revelation 7:9-10). Let’s imitate Jesus, who loved everyone as His own, and make Him our Standard.

Dear Lord Jesus, may I weigh every opinion, every judgement, today by asking the Holy Spirit His opinion. May You speak to my heart so that I will be able to test and approve what Your will is–Your good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2). Whether it’s eating habits, what I watch on TV, what I say about others,  help me to have ONE STANDARD: YOURS, O Lord. Following You, Amen.