Proverbs 17 6-17-19

June 17, 2019

Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does make progress. It involves evaluation and correction. Are we willing?

1 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.

What do a laboratory, an obstacle course, a batting cage, and a family have in common? They are all places of experimentation and practice. We have the goal: peace, and the problem: strife.

God works within our circumstances. He allows for our choices and the choices of others, yet somehow guides history. HE’S A BIG GOD! He is much more interested in our interaction with each other than He is getting us out of whatever situation we are in.

I heard a sermon the other day that dealt with this interaction. Matthew 15:1-20 was the text. We will look at the last four verses.

17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man [person] ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’” Matthew 15:17-20

To be unclean was to be impure; it can be interpreted as unprepared. When we address the Lord, are we prepared in our minds to receive His fellowship? His counsel? His direction?

What do we do with impure thoughts? We know that they originate in our hearts, which are exceedingly wicked, selfish, and fickle (see Jer. 17:9), and come to us as feelings. We must learn to take these feelings and run them through the filter of the Holy Spirit as we read His Word and pray.

2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Let’s work toward peace in our homes, our jobs, and at church- everywhere! – by renewing our minds and “taking each thought captive making it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:5. Let’s consider others first rather than demanding our own way. It’s the Christ-like thing to do. Only then will we be able to create an atmosphere of peace- as far as we are concerned.

Here is our goal: If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

Practice, practice, practice. We are to be lovingly obstinate. Love is patient and kind. It is never rude. But, love never fails, either. It never gives up and it works to never give in to unclean thoughts and people.

Let us never fail to love.

Proverbs 16 6-16-19

June 16, 2019

Today is Father’s Day. Do we trust our heavenly Father for salvation? For guidance? For our daily needs? For our future?

2 All a person’s way seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the heart.

Most of us were raised to be independent, to stand on our own two feet concerning physical needs, material goods, relationships, etc. The key to Christianity is knowing that we CANNOT be this way spiritually. Adam and Eve never grew spiritually beyond the nursery, and neither can we! We must realize that we are completely and totally dependent upon the Spirit for ANY spiritual discernment, for our life choices, and to grow spiritually.

SALVATION- There is nothing we can do to get salvation. It is a gift bought and paid for by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

SANCTIFICATION- There is nothing we can discern on our own. We are spiritually blind, deaf and dumb. We NEED the SPIRIT! Consider this verse:

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

What way is that? OUR WAY! When we choose to ignore God and go our own way, we show what is in our hearts: PRIDE.

18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Pride leads to rebellion; rebellion leads to sin; sin leads to a bad ending. Instead, let’s be grateful for His salvation. Let’s be grateful for His daily leadership in our lives. Let’s be grateful for such a wonderful hope we have in what is to come when we reach His place.

Jesus gave us very specific instructions about this life:

29 “And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” Luke 12:29-31

This Father’s Day, let’s thank the heavenly Father for such a great salvation and for such a wonderful life and future, and depend upon Him for…EVERYTHING!

Proverbs 15 6-15-19

June 15, 2019

Are we listening for rhe Lord’s voice? Is it a habit? Doesn’t it thrill your soul that the God of the universe talks to us?

2 The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.

As i was reading Luke this morning, I read a verse that spoke my heart. Here it is:

...for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” Luke 12:12

WOW! He wants to teach me! That’s BIG. But, what’s even bigger is that He wants me to speak for Him!

The same is true for all of us. He has called us to be His ambassadors:

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. 2 Corinthians 5:20

Here’s the previous verse from Luke:

“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, Luke 12:11

Instead of seeing difficult circumstances as, well, difficult circumstances, let’s see them as opportunities to be representatives of Christ to those around us. When we do, we experience the Lord on a whole new level. We learn what true dependence is and how much fun it can be. We learn to trust Him!

Let’s take our job as His ambassadors seriously today, shall we?

Proverbs 14 6-14-19

June 14, 2019

People who don’t know Christ have no idea about the love that Christians have for each other. It’s beyond them.

11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish.

It’s a matter of perspective. When a person is among the trees, his view is limited. “He can’t see the forest for the trees.” When he is on the mountaintop, he can see the entire landscape.

As long as we are on this earth, we are “in the forest.” BUT, the Holy Spirit gives us God’s perspective through His Word and through inspiration. The first thing we learn is that this world is no longer our home. In Christ, we become citizens of heaven.

Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

This verse contains all the basics: Who we are, whom we serve, what He is up to, and our hope of what is to come.

The second thing that we learn is that Christ’s way is completely different than the natural way of doing things. His love is “backwards” from the world’s way. It is this reason that the evolutionist cannot understand this verse:

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 10:10

Evolution says that the strong dominate the weak.

Christ says that the strong serve the weak.

Evolution says that Natural Selection is the Rule: Only the strong survive.

Christ says that He is Creator and He charges His children to care for each other, especially to care for those who cannot care for themselves.

Evolution says that “it’s every man for himself.”

Christ says to put others ahead of yourselves. Through Paul, He said,

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. rather, in humility value others above yourselves. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Humble. Taken from Philippians 2:3-7.

Evolution is about hierarchy: The greatest to the least.

Christ is about community and family: the least to the greatest.

25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave–28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:25-28

We cannot take the evolutionist’s point of view (worldview). As soon as we do, we lose sight of Christ’s point of view (worldview). Decide today which worldview you will accept. It colors how we perceive everything and everyone.

The “house” of the wicked (those who choose any other way but Christ’s) will be destroyed because it is a house of cards and will topple with the slightest truth; the result is eternal separation from God. The “tent” of the upright (those who believe Christ) base their lives on the truth of Scripture and are just passin’ through this world to His. My favorite promise Jesus gives us is:

14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms [mansions]; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

Let’s revel in this promise and build our lives around it. Let’s be devoted to one another and honor one another above ourselves. It’s the Christ-like thing to do.

Proverbs 13 6-13-19

June 13, 2019

Do we believe God? Is He trustworthy? Yes! Do we refute Satan’s lies with the truth? WE MUST KNOW TRUTH! His truth.

5 The righteous hate what is false, but the wicked make themselves a stench and bring shame on themselves. 16 All who are prudent act with knowledge, but fools expose their folly. 

The idea of millions of years is not new. Satan has been spreading this lie for millenia. He has made the argument to be about the Bible, specifically Creation and the Resurrection, versus Science, and did well until recently. Science is slowly catching up with truth. In every field, new technology is proving that life is too complex for evolution to be true, and that our world and our universe are not as old as they want us to believe.

17 A wicked [errant] messenger falls into trouble, but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.

In order to be trustworthy, we need to know the Bible and what it says about creation and the Resurrection, and we need to have ready answers for those who would refute His Word with bad science (distorted truth).

Take geochronometers, for instance. These universe and earth clocks give us approximate time frames for how old they can be. Let’s take a few in decreasing measure:

  1. The moon is moving away from the earth at a rate of 2.5 inches per year. Going back just a few hundred thousand years moves the moon so close to the earth that the tides would be one mile high and cover most land masses.
  2. The magnetic field of the earth is decreasing at a constant rate of one half every 1400 years. As we go back in time, it doubles every 1400 years to the point that it could not sustain human life. That point would be less than 10,000 years! See the link at the bottom.
  3. Comets are made of ice and lose a predictable amount each time they pass the sun. According to their mass, they are less than 10,000 years old.
  4. All great rivers (there are 12) dump sediment where they reach the ocean. The measurement of this sediment accounts for only 4500 years.

When I read about these geochronometers (of which there are many more), I feel gratefulness and thanksgiving toward my Heavenly Father who has revealed to mankind His wonderful creation and has given us validity of His Word. His Word satisfies me in ways that go beyond the physical. These verses express how I feel:

25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content [with truth], but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry [from hollow lies].

Psalm 36:8 They feast on the abundance of your house [Your Word]; you give them drink from your river of delights [truth].

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [and truth], for they will be filled. 

Tomorrow, we will discuss why the evolutionist cannot understand this verse:

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 10:10

The Earth’s Magnetic Field and the Age of the Earth

Proverbs 12 6-12-19

June 12, 2019

What are we willing to do/change in order to find the way to life? The Spirit will show us the way IF we are willing.

28 In the path of righteousness is life,
and in its pathway there is no death.

Jesus changed everything on how we are to look at ourselves, salvation, and our relationship with Him and each other with this teaching:

3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself [takes this lowly position] like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3-4

We started life wrong without the Holy Spirit within us. We have to be born again, this time by/with the Spirit (see John 3:5). We, then, must continue as little children spiritually in order to learn complete dependence on Him. We must unlearn what we have learned and learn it correctly, such as:

  1. The world teaches Independance. The Spirit teaches complete dependence on Him.
  2. We can’t learn it all in a day. Trust comes through time with acceptable behavior. We learn to trust Jesus as we go through life with Him. We don’t have to worry about Him trusting us–He knows us all too well! Just remember that “Love (Jesus) always trusts (1 Cor. 13:7).”
  3. We must learn the 101 courses before we can learn the 201 courses. Our spiritual skills are wisdom, discernment, discretion, knowledge, discipline, understanding, prudence, and especially guidance. Once we learn to hear and follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, we can graduate to the next set of classes: Experience, hardship, and suffering. NOTE: It is the LORD’S prerogative to mix up the courses. BE READY!
  4. Repetition is how we learn best. We don’t count the times we fail; we count the times we succeed. Jesus knows how many times we will try before we have success and He rejoices in that truth (1 Cor. 13:6).

How do we begin the process? We are already in it! We up our game tremendously when we saturate our minds with His Word. When we immerse ourselves in it, we connect with Him and He teaches us. Lets DIVE into His Word TODAY!

Proverbs 11 6-11-19

June 11, 2019

Kindness is a characteristic of God. Unkindness is not. Therefore, be kind and you will be like God=godly.

17 Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.

What other words could we include with cruel? Of course, unkind; also, harsh, manipulative, demanding, abrasive, self-centered, haughty, as well as others. Each of these traits damage relationships, and we all are capable of at least some of them.

It’s God’s design. In order to have the capability to love, we must be given the capability to hate. Our ability to choose to love is what makes us like God. We are made in His image (Genesis 1:26), and therefore, have the ability to choose to be like Him. God IS love (1 John 4:16). The problem is that we don’t have the POWER to be like Him, which is why we need His Spirit within us.

With the Holy Spirit empowering us, we CAN be like God=godly. So, what is God like? According to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8,

  1. He is patient.
  2. He is kind.
  3. He is not envious.
  4. He does not boast (put others down by lifting Himself up).
  5. He is not arrogant and proud (He is God, but He doesn’t impose Himself upon people).
  6. He is not rude. OUCH!
  7. He does not insist on His own way (which is why the world is in the shape it’s in!).
  8. He does not get irritable or resentful.
  9. He does not delight in evil.
  10. He rejoices when truth is revealed and honored.
  11. He always protects (our spiritual position in Him).
  12. He always trusts (He allows us to make our own decisions).
  13. He always hopes (His hope is different; He KNOWS that we will someday be glorified).
  14. He always perseveres/endures (He is working His PLAN).
  15. He never fails at any of these attributes.

How about us? Through His Spirit, we can be JUST LIKE HIM. Jesus was when He walked this earth, and we are being transformed into His image (see 2 Cor. 3:18 and Romans 8:29).

The KEY is to walk with Him daily, seeking His face in prayer and in the Scriptures, and then living out His characteristics. Let’s take the initiative and DO IT.

My heart says of you, “Seek His face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. Psalm 27:8

Proverbs 10 6-10-19

June 10, 2019

Want to know what is in people’s hearts? Listen to what they say. How they talk to and about others is quite revealing.

31 From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be silenced.

Jesus said, 18 “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these [can] make a person ‘unclean.'” Matthew 15:18. Our hearts rule our mouths. So, how can we control our hearts? Well, we can’t. The only way is to give our hearts to Jesus and allow Him to rule in our hearts, which He does by teaching us to renew our minds with His words and His Presence and participation in our lives.

This verse seems impossible: 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their need, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29 How on earth are we supposed to do it?! Paul gives the key in another letter.

Do not live…“by the standards of this world. 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:2b-5

Where did we ever get the idea that we can take or leave Christ’s directives? His way is the only way through this dangerous maze of life. Jesus says,

18 “Therefore consider carefully how you listen [to Me]. Whoever has will be given more [ever-increasing dependence upon Him]; whoever does not have [dependence upon Christ], even what they think they have will be taken from them [selective dependence is really no dependence at all].” Luke 8:18

Let’s make sure that we are listening and obeying EVERY command of Jesus, especially concerning how we talk to others. If we are impatient with our wife/husband/children, then we are demonstrating that we have an impatient heart. Patience is one of the fruit of the Spirit. If we have the Spirit, then we will hear/feel His conviction even as the words leave our mouths. We MUST learn, by His direction and power, to step back and catch those words at the source–our heart. What is it that makes us impatient? Allow the Spirit to reveal the root and to dig it up. It’s vital to our spiritual health–and our physical health, too!

Proverbs 9 6-9-19

June 9, 2019

Jesus reduced the entire Law to one command: To love as He loves. Do you have the desire? How about the power?

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Jesus changed the word, “fear,” to, “love.” “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

As if His command was not enough, Jesus then based His entire ministry on this one principle by saying, 35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

The problem comes when we don’t want to love, but to hurt and to hate. Then, even if we WANT to love, we don’t have the power to overcome our own feelings and desires.

The Apostle Paul knew exactly how we feel. He said, 21 “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me [inside trying to take over]. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who can rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” Romans 7:21-24.

So, even if we want to love God, we are subject to our rebellious nature and the feelings that rise up from our hearts. Without Christ, we are, indeed, wretched. But Paul doesn’t leave us here. He goes on:

25 “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus [Therefore, NO CONDEMNATION!], 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 7:25-8:2.

We still have our old nature because it is wrapped up in our flesh, but we also have the Spirit of Jesus Christ living in us giving us first the desire and then the power to do His will, all the time pronouncing us and keeping us clean, pure, and holy before Him ALL BECAUSE OF THE BLOOD OF JESUS.

13 “For it is God [the Spirit] who works in you to will [the desire] and to act [the power] in order to fulfill his good purpose [to do his will]. Phil. 2:13

What about when we sin now? Well, know that it is covered by the blood, paid for, and removed as far as the east is from the west. We serve Christ out of GRATITUDE IN OUR HEARTS for all He has done for us. We enjoy sweet fellowship with Him. Why? Because He is CRAZY about us! “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1.

As we worship Him in our respective churches this morning, let’s express our gratitude to Him for such a great and most excellent salvation.

Proverbs 8 6-8-19

June 8, 2019

Christian- one who loves and follows Christ, who has Him in his/her heart, submitting to Him and obeying Him in all things.

8 “All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. 9 To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge.”

46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete. Luke 7:46-49

Robin and I watched the movie, “The Impossible,” about a family of five who survived the Thailand Tsunami in 2004. WOW! Anything not nailed down–and a lot that was–was carried off by the tide as it came in. What surprised me was the reverse tide as the waters rushed back to the sea. The water carried much more “trash” as it came back. Incredible story! It’s on PureFlix. This movie was a perfect illustration of the importance of having a good foundation.

Build on the Rock!