Archive for the ‘Chapter 25’ Category

Proverbs 25 12-25-19

December 25, 2019

Jesus came to reveal truth: The truth about God, about us, and about getting us together with Him. We celebrate The Advent, His Coming, today.

Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel;
remove wicked officials [and their arguments] from the king’s presence,
    and his throne will be established through righteousness.

Satan’s best tactic is deception through persuasion. He takes the truth and twists it into what it is not–but it sounds good! Look at what he did to Eve:

“You will not certainly die,” [the lie] the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” What Satan said was true; the part he left out was that Eve was not ready for such knowledge, nor did she have God’s blessing to partake. Her act of rebellion was the first sin and was based upon Satan’s deception through persuasion.

What you have seen with your eyes 8 do not bring[a] hastily to court,
for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame?

We must use the Word of God to fact-check every argument. We must pray about every concept to see if the Spirit confirms it as truth. Just because someone is an expert in his field or has a good argument doesn’t mean that he is not deceived by Satan and espousing his lies. We must keep the Word of God central in our sights.

13 Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time
    is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him;
    he refreshes the spirit of his master.

We are messengers of the Truth. God has committed the TRUE message of salvation to us to share:

19b He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

Today, Satan uses an argument that undercuts the whole Bible, especially the need for salvation. It’s called EVOLUTION. We can preach Jesus and His love all we want and Satan doesn’t care. Why? Because he has convinced the world that the Bible is not based on fact and is therefore untrustworthy. It’s just a bunch of stories. Does the Spirit still call people to believe by giving them faith? Yes!!! At the same time, we have the responsibility to reveal truth. The best place to start is with the lies of the enemy.

Robin showed me something that she learned this morning: While reading the Christmas story this morning, she read where Jesus was presented at the temple (Luke 2:22-38). Simeon the priest said about Jesus, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.” Luke 2:34-35. She looked up the word “thoughts” in her Lexicon and found this:

Thoughts-dialogismos: uncovered; back-and-forth dialogue reasoning that is self-based and therefore confused; persuading others to stay in confusion with them.

Jesus came to reveal the truth against the lies of Satan and the religious order of the day. For a good example, read Matthew 23:11-36 where Jesus lowers the boom on the religious leaders.

She kept reading:

41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.

Jesus had already begun to question the religious order of the day. He would begin His formal ministry when He was 30, but I wonder if He went to the temple every year after that first one. It WAS the custom for every adult male to go to Jerusalem for the Festival of Passover (v. 41) and Jesus was now considered an adult (derived from v. 42). All that to say that Jesus’ heart was to reveal truth; ours should be, too.

Abba, thank You for opening my eyes to Your truth and my mind to all kinds of new things concerning Your Word and our world. May I prepare for the time when You call on me to present truth: To put forth the Light of Your Word against the darkness of the enemy. The agents of darkness will try to ridicule me, shout me down, make ME the problem, and even try to silence me, but I have this promise: “Your light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never conquer it.” John 1:5 May I be a faithful ambassador for You, O Lord. Thank You for coming and revealing truth to us, to me. Happy Birthday, Jesus. Amen.

Proverbs 25 11-25-19

November 25, 2019

What happens when we read God’s Word? He reveals glorious things to us!

2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings [His children].

Something that the LORD revealed to me is that even though the Jews are the chosen people of God, they are held to the same standard we Gentiles are now that Christ has come. The neat thing is that He will call them to Himself–and is, indeed, calling–as part of His Church, His Bride, His now-extended family.

Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised [a Gentile]. Romans 2:25

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it [that’s all of us]. James 2:10

Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. Galatians 6:15

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: The old has gone, and the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Ephesians 2:14-16, 18

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

I have been watching a lot of videos from IMETMESSIAH.COM about Jews telling how they came to Jesus. ONEFORISRAEL.ORG is another website that shows videos of Jews giving their testimonies about how they came to Christ. I am amazed how many testimonies include Jesus revealing Himself to them in dreams and visions. It sounds a lot like Joel 2:28, “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” Could it be that the END is nearing and this prophecy is coming true? Exciting times!

The point I want to make is that God has concealed many truths in His Word, many confirmations about archeology, biology, astronomy, history, and the future, and many facts about ourselves and all of humanity. HE WANTS TO REVEAL THESE TRUTHS, CONFIRMATIONS, AND FACTS TO US. He wants us to be prepared for the future by knowing today how to prepare. By linking ourselves to Jesus on a daily and continuous basis, we will be ready at a moment’s notice to discern the times and to do His will as He reveals it to us.

God has given us His written words so that we can study them. We have His promise that He will speak to us through them: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 1 Timothy 3:16-17. “By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:11.

Let’s allow God the opportunity to teach us by reading His Word. It’s important to Him and it’s important for us.

Abba, please open my eyes that I may see wonderful and beautiful truths in Your Word (based upon Psalm 119:18). May I understand and obey, O LORD. Teach me today. I am Your disciple. Amen.

Proverbs 25 10-25-19

October 25, 2019

Christians are people who have given up their right to live for themselves. We have been crucified with Christ.

Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence,
    and do not claim a place among his great men;
it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,”
    than for him to humiliate you before his nobles.

Exalting ourselves doesn’t help anyone. It doesn’t help God because we become unusable in His hands; we are like clay that is lumpy or has become too hard. It doesn’t help those around us because we become difficult to be around; our arrogance and/or bitterness makes us unpalatable. It doesn’t help us because we become myopic; we can’t see anything or anyone beyond ourselves.

Jesus used this very passage as a teaching tool in Luke 14:7-11,

7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

What, then, should we do? We should wait. Before making any rash decisions, we should wait on the Holy Spirit to direct us. In order to wait, we must wade through our initial reaction and feelings, understanding that they are exactly that: a reaction by the natural part of us, the part to which we have died. What part of the following verse do we not understand?

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. This life I now live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loves me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20

How do we live by faith?

  1. We trust the LORD to show us where to sit and with whom;
  2. If the host moves us up, then we go.
  3. If we are left where we are, then we minister to those around us. There is obviously a reason for us to be there.
  4. Trusting Jesus in every circumstance is key.

Do we get to skip the feelings of envy, the sting of unfairness, or the stench of prejudice of sitting with people “beneath us?” Nope. But, we DO get to process them through the Holy Spirit. We acknowledge them and then give them to Him. He takes them and transforms them into compassion and patience, even love.

It has been my experience that the conversation and camaraderie shared at the lower end of the banquet table is preferred to the other end of the table, where one has to watch what one says and how he says it, and has to do everything just so. We can learn things at the servants’ end of the table that we would never have learned at the upper end!

Living for Christ takes attitude. Just make sure it’s the RIGHT attitude: Humility.

Abba, I’m preaching to myself right here. I can get pretty put out with people. I know: I have unrealistic expectations. We are all struggling in a sinful world in sinful bodies with sinful minds, which is why You want us to put off the old and put on the new. Help me to do just that, O LORD. I want to put off my old self and my old way of thinking and put on the new self, which has been created to be like You in true righteousness and holiness. I want to be just like You, Jesus. Amen

 

 

Proverbs 25 9-25-19

September 25, 2019

What we say is controlled by what we think. In order to have a “gentle tongue,” we must think grace-full thoughts.

(15) Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

I’ve always wondered how a tongue can break a bone. Here is the verse from the Expanded Bible:

With patience you can convince a ruler, and a gentle [tender] word can get through to the hard-headed [breaks bone].

I see two things that are needed in order for this verse to happen:

  1. Time– We have to put in the time, especially if there is adversity. Sometimes it’s a good thing to pull up stakes and start fresh somewhere else. Just remember that the odds of finding exactly what we want somewhere else are not very good. We would need to put in the time there, as well, in order to affect change. Many times, we are called to stay and strive. We must believe that God has us where we are for a reason. Maybe putting in the time is the reason.
  2. Opportunity– Opportunity requires commitment over time. Trust = Time + Believable Behavior. When we get the opportunity, we must remember to use gentle, kind, soft, tender, encouraging words.

Whether it’s our spouse, kids, boss, co-workers, church family, strangers, or people we see often as we grocery shop, buy coffee, get gas, etc. it’s a good thing to demonstrate the love of Christ and the character of Christ. What is Christ’s character?

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

Let’s be gentle and humble in heart today with each other. No one has time for petty offenses. Let’s love each other fiercely and prove to the world that Christ’s way is the BEST AND ONLY way to do life right!

Abba, may I heed my own advice and use gentle words. More than that, I want to think gentle thoughts about my brothers and sisters. Help me, O Lord, to see them as You do. We are all sheep in need of a Shepherd; YOU are that Shepherd. May we follow You as we practice our Christianity on each other. Amen.

TODAY is See You At the Pole. Pray for our youth around the world as they meet at the flagpoles of their schools and pray for their schools, fellow students, their country, and the advancement of the Gospel.