Archive for the ‘Chapter 26’ Category

Proverbs 26 11-26-19

November 26, 2019

People who believe that evolution is true call our salvation into question. They do not believe in the need for the Gospel.

5 Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.

At the center of evolution is MAN. He is the pinnacle of the food chain. He is exalted above all other life forms and has no need for a god of any kind. The problem is that he is living in a fantasy land. GOD created the heavens and the earth. HE created mankind beginning with Adam. So, what should we tell them?

The first thing we need to remember is the previous verse: “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.”

Oh oh. It seems we have a contradiction! How could these two verses be interpreted?

Verse 4: Evolutionists tend to come at Christians with an attitude of arrogance and contempt and many times aggression. We should NOT use these tactics in our approach.

Verse 5: We need to meet them on their own ground by taking that ground back through facts. There are plenty out there thanks to TRUE science and technology.

In all of our conversation, though, there is this truth: We KNOW Christ personally as our LORD and Savior. We KNOW that our faith is real and is based on real information and on truth. That’s why we should move quickly to the Gospel as soon as we see a “faltering” in their argument. If we can cause them to doubt evolution, then we have a chance to win them back to the Gospel. It’s the same tactic that Satan used in the garden. He got Eve to doubt God’s goodness and truthfulness. If we can get them to doubt the truthfulness of evolution, we may win them back by presenting the Gospel. The Holy Spirit will take it from there (as if He wasn’t involved in the first place!).

If a person doesn’t believe that the first 11 chapters of Genesis are real and literal, then there is no reason to believe in Abraham and the miracle of his Call and the miraculous birth of his son, Isaac. If we don’t believe in the Promise, then we have no basis for the salvation of the Gentiles–or anyone, for that matter.

18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousnessfor us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Romans 4:18-24

Asking someone if he believes in evolution is a great conversation-starter. He will almost always come back with, “Yes.” It’s not rude to ask him why he believes. Most people will answer, “Because it just is; everyone believes in evolution,” which is a great lead-in for us to say, “I don’t, and here’s why…”

  1. Life doesn’t come from non-life. Biology bears this out.
  2. New information doesn’t come from old information. Genetics bears this out.
  3. Irreducible complexity. Chemistry bears this out.
  4. A young earth. REAL science (that can be measured and tested) bears this out.

It would be wise on our part to know the science behind these reasons. There’s plenty out there! Just Google it.

We are in a war, people! Evolution is behind why our society is failing. It has taken away people’s reason to live, to strive, and to get along. It has taken away the moral authority of the church and our standing in the community. It has caused doubt and fear, disdain and hostility toward Christians and the Gospel. It is Satan’s BEST LIE: “You will be like God [or, you will be your own god]…” Genesis 3:5

Consider this:

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” Psalm 14:1a

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1

To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, 26 to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd. Psalm 18:25-26

If we know the LORD and He shows Himself to be faithful, blameless and pure to us, then we can be shrewd in order to show Him to those who have been deceived. They will see our sincerity (which comes from a daily, close walk with him) and the Spirit may prompt them to want what we have. If we can get to the Gospel as quickly as we can, we may just win this war ONE SOUL AT A TIME.

Abba, I am feeling the urgency of the times and hopefully Your Spirit to speak out on this subject. May You give me opportunities to give testimony of your love and grace, Your glory and Your goodness. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for those opportunities. Amen.

 

 

Proverbs 27 10-27-19

October 27, 2019

We are in a war. The battle has been raging for some time. Will you fight or will you cry “peace at all cost?”

2 Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.

This war is for the souls of men, of women, and of our children. It’s been going on for quite a while, now, and we are seeing the results of our pacifism. What am I talking about? The Bible vs. Darwinian Evolution.

This quote is from “Gospel Reset” by Ken Ham:

Let me put it this way. It’s as if the devil has said, “You Christians can go on teaching kids about the miracles Jesus did in the New Testament. You can teach them about the babe in a manger, and the Resurrection. You can teach them about Jesus healing blind people and raising the dead. Teach them about the feeding of the 5,000, about the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, about Jonah being in the great fish for three days. Go ahead. Teach them these stories. And while you are doing that, I’m going to be indoctrinating those same kids not to believe the Book. I’m going to use the fake news of evolution and millions of years to brainwash them into believing science has effectively disproved the Bible, making it nothing more than an outdated, obsolete book of ‘stories.’ And since you won’t be teaching apologetics, I will teach my own apologetics through the education systems, media, and the Internet to make sure they doubt God’s Word. The more this happens, most won’t even listen to your message of the gospel.” Page 107

What we don’t realize is the importance of the first 11 books of Genesis. Our entire Gospel is based upon God creating the heavens and the earth, in a real-live Adam and Eve, sin, the Curse, the Great Flood, the tower of Babel–even the account of Jonah. If these events were not real events, then Jesus “hung his hat on the wrong hook.”

[3] Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” [4] “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female, [5] and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? [6] So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Matthew 19:3-6

Jesus’ teaching on marriage is based upon the Genesis account.

[38] Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.” [39] He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. [40] For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earthMatthew 12:38-40

Jesus based His resurrection on the fact that Jonah was a real person and his story was a real event.

[36] “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. [37] As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. [38] For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; [39] and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Matthew 24:36-39

Jesus based His Second Coming on the account of Noah and the Great Flood.

More than 75% of youth who grow up in church leave the faith after high school. The percentage is higher for those who attend a secular college. Why? Mainly because of the teaching of Evolution. WE MUST DO SOMETHING!

What can we do? Let’s begin by believing that:

  1. The Genesis account is TRUE. It happened in a literal six days. Adam and Eve were real. So was the Flood. And Jonah.
  2. Realize that Satan is the mastermind behind this war. He wants our children and grandchildren. Jesus spoke of this day, [9] “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. [10] At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, [11] and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. [12] Because of the increase of wickedness, the love [and faith] of most will grow cold, [13] but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:9
  3. Be proactive. Learn. There is SO MUCH archeological, biological, astronomical, and other information out there today that refutes Evolution that it’s ludicrous for us to NOT be sharing this information.

Verse 14 of Matthew 24 is where we should live, [14] And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Because of these verses, I believe that the Return of Jesus is very near. Let’s join the battle!

Abba, I pray that all who read this blog will take it to heart and see the need to be proactive in what we believe and what we share with our family, friends, and all who are willing to listen with an open mind. Give us faith; open our eyes. Give us courage, knowledge, and wisdom to know what and when to share. Amen.

 

 

 

Proverbs 26 10-26-19

October 26, 2019

We are creatures of habit. In most ways, that’s good. In some ways, though, it can keep us in a loop. Break Out!

11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.

I reckon dogs have always been dogs. ‘Nuff said about that.

The big question is why do we continue to repeat bad choices? It’s like a moth to a flame: we can’t help ourselves. Whether it’s habitual sin, bad relationships, or damaging habits, we seem to have difficulties breaking out of our ruts. I heard one time that a rut is really a grave with both ends kicked out. If we are to follow Jesus daily, then we need to get out of our ruts and be prepared to take a new course.

Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23. Do we WANT to be His disciples? Will we DENY ourselves of our “creature comforts?” Are we willing to take up our cross, which means, to me, to turn my back on what I know and be ready to try whatever He has for me? Are we willing to make NEW HABITS by following Him DAILY?

One of the best–and saddest–examples of what Jesus is asking of us is found in Mark 10:17-22,

17As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

18“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. No one is good—except God alone. 19You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”

20“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

21Jesus looked at him and loved him. One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

The man’s question was a good one and one that is asked by a good many people. Jesus confronted him with a question, “Why do you call me good?” Then, He spoke truth to him: “No one is good–except God.” The implication is that if Jesus is good, then He is God. The true question was, “Do you believe that I am God?” If yes, then He is worth following; if no, then…

Being God, Jesus knew his heart and what meant the most to him. His wealth was weighing him down. There are many movies about wealth bringing about the demise of many who tried to hold onto their riches but then couldn’t escape. In “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” Indiana wanted to go back for the cup when the building was falling down. Elsa had already lost her life trying to get it. His dad told him, “Let it go.” Indy did and they all got out safely. The lesson is that they tried to hold onto something that was actually holding them back from life. One let go; one didn’t.

Matthew and Luke also have this account in their Gospels, but Mark added a little note that the other ones didn’t: “Jesus looked at him and loved him.” He loves us the very same way. He looks at us–I mean, REALLY looks at us all the way down to the depths of our souls–and loves us wholly, completely, and with abandon. He calls us to give up that which is holding us back from loving Him, from following Him, and from the life that He has for us. Many prefer to stay in that open grave (the rut). LET’S GET OUT OF THE RUT!!!

Here’s how (according to my own experience):

  1. Categorically turn whatever it is over to Jesus. Release it into His hands.
  2. Praise Him for taking it and for how He is going to use it to make us more like Him.
  3. The next time we are tempted, we praise Him for the opportunity to win. In other words, we use praise to remind us of our decision, the feelings we had when we let Him have it, and our pledge to fight.
  4. Ask Him for strength and for a way out. We have this promise: No temptation has seized you but which is common to everyone. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13. I memorized this verse LONG AGO!
  5. If we succeed, rejoice! If we fail, we repent (acknowledge our failure) and receive His love, mercy and grace, encouragement, and instruction on how to beat it next time. We use the event to have a great time with the LORD. We come away looking a little bit more like Jesus.
  6. After a while, either Satan realizes that the particular vice we have is causing him more harm than good because it drives us to the Father, so he backs off, or, (and this is what I really think) we come to see the besetting sin as God does–as that which hurts His children–and it loses its power over us.
  7. When we want to sin, we run to Him. It’s what He wants. He said as much: “Come to Me, all who are weary [of fighting against your sinful nature] and heavy laden [with the burden of carrying the weight of our sin] and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you [it’s a double yoke, and He will pull the Lion’s share of the load] and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest [and peace] for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden [for you] is light. Matthew 11:28-30.

Let’s use today as a spiritual exercise by putting this method into practice. I think that you will find Him to be a GREAT companion, one full of understanding, sympathy, and encouragement.

Dear Lord, I praise You for leading me into this lesson early in life. I still follow it today–I still NEED it today. Help us all to learn to trust You as we walk with You. You are our Rock, our Shield, our Fortress, our Sustainer and our Strength…I think I’ll break out in song! In You, I will not be shaken. Bless You, LORD! Amen.

Proverbs 26 9-26-19

September 26, 2019

Were it not for the Holy Spirit, we would all be fools, sluggards, wise guys, meddlers, gossips, and liars!

(12) Do you see a person wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

(16) A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven people who answer discreetly.

Want to know what we are like without the Holy Spirit? Just read this chapter. It shows the natural side of our human nature. What the Holy Spirit does is He takes the unrestrained drive to control, manipulate, and conquer and makes us like Christ. He channels and focuses that energy into godly activities and godly characteristics:

  • Loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and having self-control;
  • we always want the best for people, and rejoice in their success;
  • we are sad when they are sad and when bad things happen to them (whether self-inflicted or not);
  • We do not repay evil for evil, but overcome evil with good.

A fool who realizes that he is a fool and gives his life to Jesus Christ then uses the drive that once made him a fool to please Christ (with the help of the Spirit).

The sluggard who once did only what he felt like doing (which was as little as possible) gives his life to Christ then takes that desire to please himself and places it upon Christ (with the help of the Spirit).

The meddler who once put his nose in everyone else’s business gives his life to Christ and then begins to look for ways to be Christ to others (with the help of the Spirit).

The gossip who once took great pleasure in sharing privileged information gives his life to Christ and begins to pray for those people, talking to God about them instead of others (with the help of the Spirit).

The liar who once manipulated through untrue speech gives his life to Christ and begins to take life as it comes, being truthful in every situation (with the help of the Spirit), thus gaining the trust and respect of his family and peers.

We were never intended to be unbridled, unrestrained, and unfocused. Sin has stripped mankind of its ability to be godly. The problem is that instead of recognizing what has happened, mankind has reveled in its “freedom of captivity.” They prefer the chains of sin to the yoke of Christ.

For those who have received Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are exhorted, with the major assistance of the Holy Spirit, to:

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness,righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking 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.

And people wonder why we go to church–WE NEED EACH OTHER!!! We need encouragement, corporate worship, teaching, direction, example, inspiration, and sometimes rebuke, correction, and training (see 2 Tim. 3:16). Church is where we go to practice loving each other. Sometimes, it’s hard to love family. It’s still what we do, though. When it gets untenable, we pray and ask the Lord if we are free to go or if we need to stay and strive. HE directs our path.

Just remember one thing about church: It’s all about attendance. If we don’t go, we cannot participate in what God is doing through the body of Christ. “Isolated embers soon grow cold.” Or, “Isolated members soon grow mold.” Whichever. I’m not saying that we need to be there every time the doors are open. It’s just that in our hyper-mobile society, we tend to treat church as a convenience. Vacations, sleep-time, company, events, and a plethora of other things are given higher priority. Just remember that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be, also.” Matthew 6:21.

So, the question is: Where is your heart? At the ballfield? The bed? Work? Or, is it in God’s hands? If so, then we will place a high priority on being with the family of God.

Abba, I pray that all Christians will see the benefits of being part of a church, the body of believers that honors You and, therefore, each other. It’s tough, sometimes, but I learn so much about myself and about how You are working in other people’s lives when I go and participate, and I am encouraged. May we be Your hands and feet, Lord, to those around us. Give us discernment and discretion; give us wisdom and understanding; give us knowledge and prudence; give us insight into what You are achieving through Your Body, of which I am a part. Amen.