Search This Blog

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Do's and Do Not's On The Path To God.

     We have been looking at the path to God.  Five posts ago we said that the Christian life is found in the commands and promises of God’s Word.  If we want to receive the promise; we first must achieve or obey the command.  We used the saying, “If you want the promise you must meet the prerequisite.”  I would like to add “If you want to receive blessings you must achieve obedience.”  This is in no way, shape, or form claiming we can earn salvation or grace, but obedience proves our salvation, not earns it! 
     Then we learned about two different paths.  One leads to God and the other is of the wicked.  We are on one or the other.  We serve sin or righteousness! “RO 6:16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?”  THERE IS NO IN BETWEEN!!   
     After that we learned how to stay on the path that leads to God.  We discussed 7 things we must do to remain on that path.  These things are not a smorgasbord!  You can’t pick and choose which to do.  You must be doing them all to remain on that path.  This time we will see some “do” and “do not” things on this path that leads to God.

Ronald Blevins said of this verse, “This shows that God inspires what He desires for us to have.”  I find it amazing that 1Ki 4:32 say Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs and so few made it into God’s Word.  Dt 29:29  Why is not for us to know!

“kings” This means an official on many levels; it was a common term for any magistrate.  In this day and time, all civil was based on common law.  They couldn’t function on statutory law alone.  Their custom was to rely on the magistrates who were considered to be moral men. 
        If it be God’s glory to partially conceal his purposes, it is the glory of a king to search and examine this word, that he may understand from God how kings reign and magistrates decree judgment.
        All of God’s people should be searching God’s Word to see how we are to act in a certain situation!  DO YOU?

Many leaders, kings, or magistrates have hidden agendas.  We far too often are taken by a good speech and campaign slogan.  When we look at leaders, or any person for that matter, we should never fall to lip service because “their heart is unsearchable.”  Jesus understood this.  He says as much in Mt 7:20

Silver that has not been purified is worthless.  So is the king who is surrounded with wicked advisers.  You make the silver valuable by removing dross, or the bad stuff/impurities.  The same concept applies with a king or magistrate and his bad or wicked counselors. 
        Sometimes the wicked things or people that must be separated are close to us like friends and family.  Jesus knew that too!  He said Mt 10:34-39

PR 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
Jesus makes a reference to this concept in Lk 14:8-11 
“Whom your eyes have seen” There was a custom in the ancient world of never looking directly in the eyes of a superior until told to do so!

“neighbor” This is a reference to a personal friend, more than just an acquaintance. 
        In today’s society people are so “sue happy” this verse is more applicable than ever!  People today see the court system as a get rich quick scheme!  We should be trying to solve our problems with each other outside of a court.  Paul says a similar thing 1Co 6:1.  May we seek to fix our problems with one another by going to one another.  That’s what Jesus taught in Mt 18:15-20

          As we travel through life may we all be sure to travel the path that leads to God.  Jesus few will find this way and if desire to be part of the few we better be searching God’s Word, removing wickedness from our lives daily, and remain humble.  While doing that we must also put no trust in the flesh, avoid be proud, and do not ask others to solve our personal problems!  May we all strive to hear, “Weel done good and faithful servant.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wet Pants

Let me take you to a third grade classroom..... There is a 
nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden, there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are wet. He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened. It's ever happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they'll never speak to him again as long as he 

The boy believes his heart is going to stop; he puts his
head down and prays this prayer, 'Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I'm dead meat.' 

He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered. 

As the teacher is walking toward him, a class mate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy's lap. 

The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, 'Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!' 

Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher
rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk. The sympathy is wonderful. But as life would have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to
someone else - Susie. 

She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. You've done
enough, you klutz!' 

Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the
bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers,
'You did that on purpose, didn't you?' Susie
whispers back, 'I wet my pants once too.' 

May God help us see the opportunities that are always around us to do good.. 

Remember.....Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car. 

Each and everyone one of us is going through tough times
right now, but God is getting ready to bless you in a way that only He can. Keep the faith. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Be A Man!

Read 1Co 16:13 NASB

What is a real man?  Does being a rough and tough guy, who shows no emotions, constitute a real man?  I read about Jesus weeping and say that tough guy act is in correct.  In my opinion, a real man is one who will stand and morals and ethics without wavering, even when the rest fall away and entice him to do the same!  That is what we should be looking for in a real man.
Consider the following:
God give us men!  A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands.
Men whom the lust of office does not kill,
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy,
Men who possess opinions and a will,
Men who have honor, men who will not lie,
Men who stand before a demagogue 
And disprove his treacherous flatteries without winking.
Pure men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty and in private thinking.
---J. G. Howland                    
It surely isn't easy being a real man with all the temptations in the world.  The constant battle with the enemy for our souls.  Who do you know who was and is a real man?  I can truly think of one, and it is not me!  Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I have crumbled to peer pressure, he never did1  I sin daily, he never did.  I am exactly what not be or follow.  Jesus called and said "follow me."  He doesn't call the qualified; he qualifies the called!

I daily call fore divine help from my Lord as I strive to be a real man like Jesus.  Do you hear that call today?   "Follow me", Jesus says.  Why not submit to him and be a real man?

The need is greater than ever.  God stands ready to help.  The rewards are tremendous for those real men.  I pray you will follow Jesus and be a real man today!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Staying on the right path

We know that Proverbs is the book of short pithy sayings.  This book often refers to wisdom.  Well, two posts ago we learned from Pr 3 that quality and peace in life comes not from just hearing the Word of God, but obeying it as well!  Hearing of the Word is only half of the job!  Last week we learned that we must avoid following others down the wrong path, THAT WICKED PATH!  IT TAKES SOME WISDOM TO DO THAT!  Pr 3:5,6 told us we must not trust in ourselves or our own understanding, but trust in the Lord.  He then will direct our paths.  TODAY, WE WILL SEE HOW GOD DIRECTS US THROUGH HIS WORD TO REMAIN ON THAT PATH!

These verses deal with counselors.  When you look at the Proverbs that deal with “counselors” I believe the message that is communicated is the old saying, “2 HEADS ARE BETTER THAN 1.”
          “folly” root word silliness.  Not silly as in funny or laughing, but silly in decision making!  People see me laughing and goofing around and always say I’m a happy person.  FAR TOO OFTEN, PEOPLE ALLOW THE “PERSONA” TO OVER SHADOW THE PERSON.  Don’t think this verse says a happy go lucky person is “destitute of discernment”, but it is addressing a person who doesn’t think things through! 
DO YOU SEEK GOD’S COUNSEL?  In the past 6 months what was a major decision you made?  Did you sit down and say, “What does the Bible say about this” or “I don’t know what the Bible says about this, so let me seek the counsel of someone that may know?”  IF YOU DIDN’T YOU ARE IN DANGER OF BEING THE “FOLLY” PERSON, NOT THE HAPPY GO LUCKY PERSON. 

23- Words are powerful: they can either build up or destroy. Solomon devoted many of his proverbs to the consequences of speech.  Just as foolish words can bring about a person’s own destruction, a wise word can bring joy to all who hear it. The apostle James wrote of the destructive power of words or the tongue! Jas 3:5 6 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.  See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
24- Life may be an uphill battle, but when we reach the top the effort is always worth it!  IF IT IS VALUABLE TO YOU, ITS WORTH WORKING FOR!!  The hard work develops character.  The character turns into humility! 
        Christian labor, producing fruit, adds personal value to our salvation.  The labor some work, fruit production, deepens our character and gives us humility because we know God has brought forth the harvest!!!
25- the widow- The most extreme type of desolation, stands as the representative of a class safer in their poverty under the protection of the Lord, than the proud in the arrogance of their strength.
        God will bring about justice in the end.  Scripture in many places describes God as a Protector of the defenseless.  Ps 146:9 The LORD watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
“pure”  This word is a derivative from the word be pure, be clean.  It is referring to ceremonially, ethically, or morally pure as opposed to a physical pureness or cleanliness!
        Notice that God knows the mere thoughts of the wicked.  THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PRIVATE THOUGHT!!
        The Christian should be more like David.  Ps 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.

The Bible makes it clear that we are to be changed.  Rom 6:4 we are “baptized into his death” & “walk in the newness of life”   Jesus himself said Mt 18:3 Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven
28- When our hearts are changed we will study and meditate before we answer because we desire God’s will to be done!  Contrast the “studying” of the wise before he answers and the hasty babbling of the foolish!
30- When our eyes are changed our perspective will alter what we see!!!  You ever look at a cloud and see something, and another person looking at that cloud sees something totally different.  A Christian looks at the Lord’s Supper, cross, Resurrection, etc different than a person of the world.
31- When our ears are changed these things begin to work together!  Our hearts feel, eyes see, & ears hear differently so that we will seek the Lord’s Will for our lives!!

The prayers of God’s people are very important!  This is one of those verses that most people underestimate!  Those “faith only” people need to be taught this!
        “righteous” This word is more than being a nice person!  It is derived from the word that means just.  It literally means honest, righteous, & lawful.  It portrays a person who is OBEDIENT TO THE LAWS OF GOD!! 
Therefore, those who disobey, regardless of what they believe, will be the wicked!!!!!
GE 6:9 These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God

George Lawson says, "We are born like a wild ass's colt in dire need of instruction; but some are such enemies of themselves that they will no consent to be taught wisdom.”    A society of the undisciplined rapidly degenerates into a state of unethical devistation.

The fear of God’s power is what should keep us in obedience!  Jesus understood this concept he taught Mt 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

CONCL:      If we are going to stay on the path of righteousness.  The narrow way with the small gate that leads to life we must SEEK God’s counsel, have humility, hang onto God’s Word, be converted, continually pray, seek to understand, and fear the mighty God!  Do you struggle in any of these areas?  If so, are you willing to make changes?

Get on the right path

Last post we talked about how commands and promises are tied together.  We said that obedience is not EARNING Grace but PROVING our salvation.  If we want the promise we must meet the prerequisites!  This week, the verses kind of break down like this: two ways of living are presented; and then they are compared. "Prov. 4:10-13 describe the way of wisdom; Prov. 4:14-17 describe the way of the wicked; and Prov. 4:18-19 present a comparison of the two ways.

Vv10-13  The Way of Wisdom

10- This is basically saying the same thing as we started last week.  PR 3:1,2 My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; 2 For length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you.
        Remember, last week we said that this isn’t necessarily a promise of many years, but quality if years!  This is a promise of a life worth living if we are obedient.  Last week we looked at Lk 11:28 where Jesus say blessing do not come from merely hearing the Word, but hearing it AND KEEPING IT!

11-  I have taught thee in the way of wisdom”, and so it will be found to be at last.         “I have led thee”  not in the crooked ways of carnal policy, which does wrong under colour of wisdom
        “right paths”  agreeable to the eternal rules and reasons of good and evil.”

12-  NKJV “hindered” KJV “straitened” NASB “impeded” NIV “hampered”  The root word means to press or narrow; it means to be distressed, narrowed, straitened.  Not “straightened”, but straitened = to put into difficulties!
        Proverbs is saying that the road of the wise will be narrow and not distressed!  Jesus said something similar Mt 7:14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
        Christianity should teach us to keep out of embarrassments.   A Christian ponders their paths, and carefully poises occurring circumstances; and as the fear of God will ever lead them to act an upright and honest part, so their way in business and life is both clear and large!

13-  Take firm hold” seize it strongly, and keep the hold; and do this as for life. Learn all you can, retain what you have learned, and keep the reason continually in view!  1Co 15:1, 16:13 Paul talks about “standing in faith” 
Do we do that today?  Do we hold firm to our Gospel and stand firm in our faith?  I DON’T THINK SO!! We live in a time when it is easier and more acceptable to COME OUT OF THE CLOSET than it is TO CLEAN THE CLOSET!!   Today’s Christian will allow a person to believe they can get to heaven without baptism, homosexuality is biblically acceptable, and it’s OK if you tell me not to pray in Jesus name!!!  THAT’S NOT WISE!

14-17 The Way of The Wicked

“Do not enter the path of the wicked” Never associate with those whose life is irregular and sinful; never accompany them in any of their acts of transgression.

Vv14,15  Do not enter…  do not walk…   Avoid it…   do not travel…   Turn away from it…   pass on
         The object of all these impressive verbs is the way of the wicked. There is no way that language could more forcibly warn God's servant against the way of wickedness.

Vv16,17  These verses exhibit the extreme depravity and wickedness of hardened sinners. In a metaphor they are said to eat the bread of wickedness and to drink the wine of violence. They cannot sleep unless they have first exerted themselves in the perpetration of evil; and upon those days when they have not caused someone to fall, they cannot sleep at all! The Bible does not hide the fact that one can become just as zealous for evil as for good. Iniquity of the worst kind can become the food and drink of those who depart from the way of Truth.

Vv18,19 The Comparison

There is nothing in these verses that is hard to understand or that requires any emphasis from scholarly comment. The most common metaphor in the New Testament is that which contrasts the way of God's children who, Walk in the light as He is in the Light, and that of the sons of the devil who revel in The works of darkness.

Mt 7:20!  Look at our daily lives!  What did your fruit say about your path this week?  Path of the righteousness or of the wicked! 

Mt 12:30 Jesus said we’re either with him or against him!  If our fruits are not clearly for him, then they are against him.  Jesus goes on to say, “If we do not gather we scatter.”  Did your path this week do anything to gather unto Christ?  IF NOT YOU SCATTERED!! 

Finding out we have some areas in our lives that need change is not a problem!  The problem is when we REFUSE TO CHANGE!!