Monday, September 24, 2012


Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. 

As I read this verse, I thought about what a difference it would make in this world if people would just learn to talk to each other in the right way.  The world today is a small place thanks to the technology age in which we live.  News travels around the word in minutes via internet and television.  Foolish choices that people make that would have gone unnoticed in past times can instigate all kinds of trouble and even put others in danger because of the way we choose to express ourselves.

Yes, as a Christian, I firmly believe that God, the Creator of all we recognize as reality, and Jesus Christ His Son provide the only acceptable foundation for determining truth and morality through the pages of scripture.  My desire is to be bold in my faith and share what I believe to be true, but not with the intent to anger and/or endanger others.  The scripture tells us that we are responsible to speak the truth, but we should speak that truth in love.

Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.”

Ephesians 4:14–15 “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ....”

There are many in this world today who choose to mock the beliefs of others in such a way as to make a name for themselves, anger others and/or instigate trouble.   We who claim the name Christian should always measure our words and actions by how they reflect on our Lord and Savior.  We need to be ever aware that God knows everything we do and say.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Proverbs 14:34 “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”

Considering all that is going on in our nation and in the world right now, this verse really says volumes.  The Complete Jewish Bible states it like this:  Righteousness makes a nation great, but sin degrades any people.” 

What is righteousness?  Webster defines it as follows:  The quality or state of being righteous; holiness; purity; uprightness; rectitude.”  Great words—but what is he actually saying.  Holiness is defined as “perfect moral integrity or purity; freedom from sin; sanctity; innocence.”  Immediately we run into a problem.  How does one determine what is moral integrity or purity?  Purity is defined as “cleanness; freedom from foulness or dirt….Freedom from guilt or the defilement of sin; innocence.”  Another problem—How does one determine what sin is?  As a Christian, I know that only the truth of God’s word can give me the right answers to those questions.  Those who refuse to accept God as the sovereign authority over our reality actually have no foundation for making such determinations.  They are dependent upon the reasoning and logic of man, and such a foundation is about as firm as shifting sands.  Jesus stated it as follows:

Matthew 7:24–27 “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

Webster went on to define righteousness as being upright or honest and just.  He also declared that it included possessing rectitude—rightness of principle or practice; exact conformity to truth, or to the rules prescribed for moral conduct.  As you can see, to be able to determine what is honest, what right principles are and what is true all require a foundation from which such determination can be made.  Only God provides a foundation that is sure and solid.  Any other standard that is used for such determination is unstable and as changeable as the men that embrace it. 

Our nation and the world as a whole have decided to embrace the wisdom of man over the wisdom of God.  I do not believe that there is a nation in existence today that can be described as righteous.  I believe that every nation in existence today embraces sin over righteousness.  Thankfully, there are individuals in the world that cling to faith in God through Jesus Christ and in the truth of His word.  These people are those who belong to the true kingdom of God; it is this kingdom only that can be called righteous—but only because Jesus has imparted His righteousness to each person that is a part of that kingdom.

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Romans 3:21–22 “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe….”

As I continue to observe how the nations of the world are speeding toward a society that completely rejects God and embraces the “god of this world,” I know that the time of His return is getting ever nearer.  Jesus posed a very pertinent question—Luke 18:8 “….Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

2 Corinthians 4:3–4 “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Come Lord Jesus!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I had to read for a while until another verse jumped out as another urgent need in this world today—especially among Christians.  Its truth is repeated at least twice more in the book though worded a bit differently.

Proverbs 12:15 “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.”

Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death….There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

When scripture describes a time when men are doing “what is right in his own eyes,” it is not a good thing.  The two times it is used in Judges is as commentary on a time of when the children of Israel are without a king and are characterized by idolatry and evil.  As we continue to read through the history of Israel, we find that having a king resulted in the people following the example of the king.  When the king followed God, the people followed his example; when the king was an idolater and wicked, so were the people.

Solomon is continually contrasting wisdom, knowledge, understanding and discernment vs. foolishness and lack of understanding or discernment.  He is constantly pointing to possessing a healthy fear of God and embracing the will of God as revealed in His word as the only acceptable standard by which wisdom, understanding and discernment can be gained.  It seems that this is becoming one of the most ignored truths in the professing Christian world today.  Sadly, I believe that many who profess to be Christian are impostors.  Jesus commented on this truth in connection with His return.

Luke 18:8 “….Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

Matthew 7:21–23 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Matthew 7:13–14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Generally speaking, the world today functions according to the wisdom of men—not God.  Those who stubbornly refuse God’s word as the standard for truth and discernment are destined to death—spiritual and physical death for a miserable eternity outside the presence of God.  

Saturday, September 8, 2012


We will next consider just a few verses in chapter 9.  The truth they declare is so evident in world society today.

Proverbs 9:7–10 “He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”

I remind you that the context of this passage is a teaching about wisdom.  In that regard I think it is important to look at the truth of verse 10 first—“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom….”  Solomon is clear in declaring that the wisdom about which he is teaching is rooted in a holy reverence for YHWH, the self-existent, eternal God.  He is the one and only God, the Creator of all we call our reality.

Isaiah 45:5 “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me….”

Isaiah 45:18 “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.”

Isaiah 45:22 “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”

With that foundational truth, we can now rightly identify the “scorner,” the mocker.  Those who choose to reprove or correct a scorner of wisdom, will only be shamed and insulted for their efforts.  There are very vivid examples of this truth in the professing church today as we witness so many who claim Jesus as Savior very boldly distort the truth of God’s word to fit their own agendas and belittle those who stand firmly to the truth as declared in scripture. 

Those who choose to rebuke the wicked/ungodly/immoral person can expect to be vilified and abused.  It seems that cultures throughout the world today declare this truth.

It seems to me that the Spirit is saying through Solomon that your words of rebuke against a mocker are wasted.  However, if you point out to a wise person the error of his/her ways, he/she will treasure you as a friend. 

It is obvious to me that pride is again the issue.  Those who are self-righteous and hard of heart are not able to receive rebuke because they are not willing.  They have set themselves against God and the truth He declares; they have no fear of God.

When the wise person receives rebuke or teaching from the truth of God’s word, his heart is receptive because he “fears” God.  His desire is to honor God in what he says and does.  His initial response might be one of surprise and dismay, or it might be one of relief to finally be held accountable.  He/she will truly appreciate the one through whom God shares His wisdom, His truth.  I might also say that we should follow the LORD’s example when rebuking one another; it should be done in love.

Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten….”

When talking to the grandchildren, I often remind them that we only discipline them because we love them; we care about the kind of person they will grow to be.   We should only rebuke or chasten one another in love with a heart to produce good in the one being rebuked.

1 John 4:7 & 11 “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.... Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”

Paul adds that our rebuke should be done from a heart of goodness and patience.

Romans 15:14 “And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.”

2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

To fear the LORD is to know the LORD.  To know the LORD is to discover the truth about Him as revealed to us through His Son, His Word, and His Creation.  To deny that revelation only positions one as a fool and leaves you with no excuse on the day of judgment.

Hebrews 1:1–2 “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son….”

2 Timothy 3:16–17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
Psalms 19:1–3 “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.”

Romans 1:19–20 “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”

Psalms 14:1 “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”

Proverbs 14:16 “A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.”

Saturday, September 1, 2012


First, a personal note of thanks to those of you who prayed for my son-in-law—He is now home and seemingly on the road to a full recovery, though he still has a road of rehab ahead of him. 

Now to continue on our search for nuggets from Proverbs that I think are especially relevant to these end times in which we live.  In this section of verses “wisdom” is personified, and the Holy Spirit speaks through her to give us special words of counsel.

Proverbs 8:12–14 “I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.”

I liked the wording of the Bible in Basic English for verse 12:  “I, wisdom, have made wise behavior my near relation; I am seen to be the special friend of wise purposes.”

Each one of us who claim the name of Jesus as Savior should be able to substitute our own name for the word “wisdom” in the above translation.  The Hebrew for the word prudence makes reference to discretion.  We should use cautiousness and discretion when making choices concerning how best to live our lives in service before the Lord.  If we will take the time to utilize what we know with thoughtfulness and care, our testimony will be so much more effective.  Such thoughtfulness will help us avoid “foot in mouth” disease and will help guard our testimony as we witness to the lost.  

Wisdom also declares that those who fear the Lord will hate evil.  This goes hand-in-hand with a previous post from chapter 6, verses 16-19.  I think it is significant to note that again “pride” is first on the list.  I know I usually think of pride and arrogance as interchangeable; but according to Webster, “arrogancy” is the type of pride that focuses on self-importance.  “The evil way” makes reference to a course of life or mode of action; in other words, a life that is totally characterized by evil.  A “forward mouth” makes reference to speech that is willfully erring, wicked, and stubborn.  As an American, my thoughts cannot help but turn to the actions of both political candidates and the media and how so many of them act in pride and arrogance and do not hesitate to employ lies to advance their own agenda.  Christians are supposed to stand out as lights in this world that glorify God and to live so as to be recognized as distinct from the ways of the world.

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Romans 12:1–3 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

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