2 Timothy 2:15 ~ Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
When I first trusted Christ as my Saviour I opened a 1611 Authorized King James Bible and began to read every day. I read great portions of Scripture but I did not fully understand all that I read. I did find that as I would read there were certain things that the Holy Spirit would help me to understand. It was like mining for precious jewels and every now and then I would find one.
Do not be discouraged in reading the Bible. If you are faithful to read every day God will reward that faithfulness and give you what you need to help you to grow. The more you grow in your spiritual life the more of Scripture you will understand. Though I did not have someone there to teach me, I did have the Holy Spirit of God there to give me what I needed as I needed it. We do not feed newborn babies steak and potatoes and God will not start us out on the true meat of the Word. There is a manner in which we feed babies so that they will grow. We start them out on milk, then move up to baby food, and when they develop teeth we can feed them meat. There is a manner in which God will feed you spiritually and you need to be patient and allow Him to grow you according to what He knows is best.
We need a sure Word from God. Let’s follow the course through which the reception of the Bible that we use today came to be. There is a three step process through which God gave us His Holy Word. The first step is the revelation of the Word of God. Revelation is the process through which God revealed specific truths to man which he otherwise could not have known (Deu. 29:29). We gain knowledge through experience, reason, and revelation. The problem with experience and reason is that they cannot answer certain questions which pertain to divine origin and purpose. There are questions, such as, “Where did we come from?” “Why am I here?” These can only be answered through revelation, or someone telling us where we came from and why we are here.
God has given us the light of creation and the light of the conscience. In Romans 1:20 we find the light of creation and in Romans 2:14, 15 we have the light of the conscience. Through creation we can know that there is someone greater than us and that all that exists has the fingerprint of intelligent design; a Creator. Through our conscience we can know that there is good and evil, and, even though some may try to deny it, the fact remains that we find there is a right and wrong. Now we have, through the process of revelation, the specific truths of the Word of God.
Hebrews 1:1, 2 tells us, “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, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” God spoke to men in many different ways in the past. With some He spoke directly as with Abraham and with Moses. With others He spoke in dreams as with Joseph and Daniel. And with some He spoke in visions as He did with Ezekiel and Isaiah. And at last He has spoken to us through His Son, Jesus Christ.
The point is that these are the actual words which God spoke. We are to receive them as His Words as did the Thessalonians when they heard them: “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (I Ths. 2:13). When you receive it as The Word of God it will have an effect upon your life.
There is a cache of holy knowledge just for you in God’s Word. Read it and allow the Lord to reveal His many wondrous truths to you. He has made numerous promises to you that you can claim, but you must get into and receive His Word to know them and claim them. - Preacher
Salt & Light: Your Impact On The World Pt 5
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.
We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. God is not doing all of this work on us just so that we can consume it upon our lusts. We are not doing all of this just for ourselves. If so then we are not truly following in the footsteps of Christ. He did not come into the world and do all of His good works just so that people would love Him. He came into the world because He loved us. He came to offer His life a sacrifice and a ransom for our life so we could have a more abundant life today and eternal life at the end. That abundant life is the life that Christ lived; it was abundant in good works towards others. Our blessings come from being a blessing to others.
Jesus taught, “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain” (Matt. 5:41). The origin of this custom finds its beginnings in Persia with the Persian government who had regular couriers to carry letters and news to different locations. They had the power to command help by pressing horses, and sometimes their owners, or ships, into service for the king. This was a custom picked up by the Romans. A Roman soldier could call upon anyone he chose to carry his burden (backpack, payload, government dispatches, etc.). When compelled to do so, Jesus said that if he called upon you to go a mile, to go with him two miles.
Why would anybody in their right mind do this for a Roman soldier, an enemy, one who thought that you were the lowest of the low? Because by doing so you accomplish three things. First, in the context of the Scripture, Matthew Henry says, “The plain instruction is, suffer any injury that can be borne, for the sake of peace, committing your concerns to the Lord's keeping. And the sum of all is that Christians must avoid disputing and striving. If any say, Flesh and blood cannot pass by such an affront, let them remember, that flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God; and those who act upon right principles will have most peace and comfort.” In other words, it is the right thing to do.
Secondly, our Christian joy starts with the first step of the second mile because now we are doing that which is not required of us and this is our blessing. And thirdly, we show forth the love of Christ who not only left Heaven to come into the world and free us from the bondage of sin, but went the second mile to take our place so that we could go free. We are letting our light so shine that others may see our good works and glorify our Father.
Our nation is “dumbing down” our citizens so that they will only accomplish what is required. We can’t get ahead of anyone else so why go the extra mile, why do the extra work? We all get the same grade in school whether we do extraordinary work or just do a really bad job. Everyone gets a trophy and we do not leave anyone out, even if they did not do the hard work. Everybody makes the same pay no matter what their skill level may be. This is the mentality of those who are in charge in our federal government. But with God this is not so. God rewards the faithful. He will prosper you as your soul prospers (3 Jn. 1:2). But you have to have the right mindset and realize that all that God blesses us with is for us to use to share the Gospel with others and to lead them in their Journey of Faith.
You are to let your light “so shine” before men. “So shine” literally means to influence the world around you as Christ would. When asked to do something at work, do you just do what is expected and then stop? That is the world’s way of doing things. As a Christian you are to do more than is required. You are to go beyond what is expected. That is when you are letting your light “so shine.” That is when men will “glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” Your good work ethic and your shameless wearing of the name of Christ brings glory to God.
Be the salt, be the light, and so shine that others may recognize God in you and give Him glory. Preacher
Salt & Light: Your Impact On The World Pt 4
Matthew 5:13- 15 ~ Ye are the salt of the earth: … 14 Ye are the light of the world…. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Following the Lord Jesus Christ and becoming His disciples will allow us to shine like a city set upon a hill. The Psalmist wrote, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way“ (Psa 37:23). As we stated before, the Bible is our Instruction Book. God has outlined the best way to live our life in His Word and that is where we will find the delight of our life. You need to incorporate some things into your life so your light can shine brightly.
First, read the Bible daily. We should have a time set aside every day that we just sit down and read through the Bible. So many Christians have such a weak testimony because they do not read their Bible every day. Let’s say that we have a glass full of old dirty, muddy water. Then we start pouring good fresh, clean water into that glass of dirty water every day. Some days we pour a cup, some days a glass full, and other days just a few ounces. Over a period of time we will affect that old dirty, muddy water and it will begin to become clean and clear. The same is true with our lives. As we keep pouring in the Word of God our hearts will become cleaner and the things of God will become a delight to us. Read the Bible daily.
Secondly, study the Word of God. Sometimes in our reading there will be a verse or a portion of Scripture that will catch our attention. When this happens, take the time, whether then and there, or later when you have more time, to study it out further. If you do not have time right then to do it, set a definite time to sit down and do it or you will find that you never will.
I have always believed that if God illuminates something in the Scriptures while I’m reading it is because I need it. If I do not need it now, I will need it in the future for myself or to help someone else. The first time I sat down and started reading through the whole Bible there were instances every week where God allowed me to minister to others with Scriptures that He had illuminated while I was reading. Study helps you to be a better Christian because it develops growth, strength, and allows you to be a help to others.
Thirdly, meditate on and pray over the Word. After reading and studying Scripture, take some time to just sit and meditate. Unplug from the world and all social media devices. Turn off the TV and the music. Get alone and just think about what God is telling you and what He is trying to teach you.
Jogging is one of my times to meditate and pray about that which God is teaching me. How can you pray and jog at the same time? God is my Father and He hears me when I talk to Him. I have times every day when I get alone in my prayer closet with God, on my knees before Him, over His Word, and making supplication for the saints. But when I’m out running I just like to think about the things that God has revealed to me in His Word and to talk to Him about it. I do meditate at other times as well.
As you do you will find that your desires come from the Lord Himself. Psalm 37: says, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Listen to the words in this song and then look very closely at this verse and you will understand: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and Grace.”
The closer you get to Him the more you become like Him; your will, your ways, and your desires. And the exciting thing is that it is natural and you do not have to struggle to be a good Christian; it becomes your nature. That Christian nature is the light of the world that allows others to see the truth of what real life - life more abundant and free - is all about.
Do these things - read, study, and meditate – and bathe it all in prayer with thanksgiving, and you too will become a light unto all those around you. - Preacher
Salt & Light: Your Impact On The World Pt 3
Matthew 5:13- 15 ~ Ye are the salt of the earth: … 14 Ye are the light of the world….
People are praying for revival in our nation and God knows that we need revival. He wants to send that revival but His people must get back to basics before He can do it. We are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Too many Christians have lost their “savour” in the world. They have indebted themselves. They have to compromise or lose everything they have. They are slaves and they have lost the energizing power to let their light shine.
When Christians get back to being the salt and the light then we will see changes take place in our communities and our nation. If we are going to see revival and see change there must be a change of heart. The only way we can save our people from destruction is by changing their hearts. The only way to change their hearts is to lead them to saving faith in the Lord Jesus. Saving faith is a working faith that changes lives. Changed lives will change a society for the good. It will take intentional sacrifice on the part of God’s people.
We are to not only be the salt of the earth when we are out in the world, not only when we are in the church, but we must maintain our walk even when there is nobody around. This is a place where a great number of individual Christians fail. “Well nobody will know if I just take a peek at this, or if I just have a little taste of that. What harm is there if I listen to this, read that, or watch something foul.” Our integrity should hold to our profession and it will if we have possession. God the Holy Ghost is always there watching, so, technically speaking, you are never alone.
But we must also realize that there is a right way for doing the right thing. God has outlined all through His Word the guidelines for living the Christian life. We must follow the whole counsel of the whole Word of God from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (See also Pro. 16:25). The right way to accomplish God’s work is outlined in our instruction manual known as the Holy Bible. After all, it is our Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. It is the Gospel truth that people need to hear and that is what we need to convey and share with them.
If we are allowing the Word of God to govern our lives so that we can be the salt of the earth, then the natural effect of that would be a light shining within us. But this can only be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit within us. His presence within us is like the oil in an old coal oil lamp. Without that oil there is no light because there is no fuel to burn. He is like the electricity that flows through an incandescent light bulb. Without the electricity to heat the element there is no light.
So we can read the Word of God and it can have an effect on our lives, but for the light to truly shine we must have that power of the Holy Spirit within. He is able to produce a work within that will begin to show up in our outward life. He is the one who gives us the ability to understand the Word and to apply that understanding to our hearts and lives. Without Him we could only accomplish so much. However, the light will not burn without the oil of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives you understanding and helps you with the application of God‘s Word.
But there has to be an effort on your part to keep the light burning. The Lord does not force you into anything, but He does reward those who are diligent in their quest to live the Christian life. Be the salt of the earth that you are supposed to be. Always be the one to season the lives of those around you. Always be the one who will hold to the truth of God’s Word. Yield to the Spirit and allow Him to work in you. Allow Him access to every area of your life so that He may clean you up (Eph 5:26). The cleaner you are inside the brighter your light will shine through. The more you yield, the greater your influence and your impact on the world around you. You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. – Preacher
Salt & Light: Your Impact On The World Pt 2
Matthew 5:13 ~ Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Jeremiah warned Judah, by the Word of God, that judgment was coming. God, in His mercy, gave them warning and command to repent and turn back to Him. He told them, “Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls” (Jer. 6:16). Jeremiah was a strong voice for the good of His people.
Just as Jeremiah was a strong voice for the good of his people in the dark times in which he served God, so we too are to be a voice for the good of the people around us. You do not have to alienate people because they do not agree with what you believe. Someone asked me if they could be friends with someone who is outspokenly gay. My reply is that we should befriend them and not alienate them. We know the truth of the Word of God and that is what they need to hear and understand. They must see God’s love and God’s Word working in our life as we befriend them and love them.
You are a vessel that God desires to use for His glory. He allows people to come into your life so that you may be a witness of His love, mercy, and saving grace. He will allow people to come into contact with you so that you may be a purveyor of His truth. You cannot condone sinful lifestyles no matter who it is or what they are doing. You can lovingly convey the truth of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Just share Christ with them at every opportunity that you have to do so without argument or conflict.
We can utilize opportunities to share our faith and to share Christ with them out of a heart of love for Christ and love for their immortal soul when we are friendly towards them. We cannot force them to hear or believe by trying to shove it down their throat, but we can love them to Christ by the love, help, and power of God. If we critically judge them then we put up a barrier that will make it nearly impossible for us or anyone else to share the love of God with them. Be a positive voice for what you believe.
All you can do is share truth with them and then only if they want to hear it. The truth they need to hear is the Gospel truth. You cannot compromise truth to be their friend. The truth is that they are in bondage to the confusion of the world’s lifestyle choices.
They must be able to see the truth in you and when they come to know the truth then God can work in their heart to break the chains of bondage. Everything must point the way to Christ for He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. His saving power is what breaks the chains of sin and bondage and nothing else will do. Know Scripture and share Scripture that will be productive in opening their eyes to Christ and do so out of a genuine heart of compassion and love.
You are to be a vessel of honor, a preserver of truth; God’s Word is truth. You preserve that truth by incorporating His Word into your heart and into your life. The world tells you to leave your faith at home or inside the church, but your faith should be the core dictate of your life. Your life - the way you live, your work ethic, your relationships, your worship practices, and your integrity, all that you are - is dictated by the fundamental doctrines of the faith that God has given you out of His Holy Word.
Determine that you will have the fortitude to stand your ground and be the Christian God desires for you to be. Do so with love and compassion for those who do not know the truth. Help them to see there is a better life with Christ than there is without Him. Help them to see and know His love through you. People do not care what you know until they know that you care.
Your impact on the world is this: Be the thermostat and not the thermometer. The thermostat controls and sets the conditions while the thermometer just measures and matches the conditions. - Preacher
Salt & Light: Your Impact On The World Pt 1
Matthew 5:13 ~ Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Jesus said we are the salt of the earth. When we think of salt we automatically think of seasoning the taste of food. It is also an important method of food preservation. But salt may also be very deadly. When we compare the Christian walk of faith to being the salt of the earth, there is a great deal of truth to that statement that we need to analyze and understand.
As the salt of the earth we can look at this verse as relating to Christians being a flavor and preservative of society. The meaning of the Greek word that was translated “salt” here carries the idea of having prudence. Prudence deals with being deliberate and quick to find the most suitable means for accomplishing something. Being prudent is exercising caution in foreseeing and avoiding evil while preserving truth.
So what does all of this mean? As the salt of the earth we are to carry out our God-given purpose in life with not only wisdom, but with prudence. We are to be deliberate in our walk as Christians and to use caution to do the right thing the right way. We are not to allow the world’s influence to infiltrate our life. We are not to allow the world to muzzle our testimony. We are not to compromise the faith once delivered to the saints for the sake of increasing our influence. The truth is, when we compromise to gain influence or to be accepted by the world, we have been influenced by the world to do so.
Political correctness says that we should not bring our faith out into the public. But Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” You do not have to be a preacher to go out and lovingly share your testimony with others. If you keep silence because you do not want to offend people and because you want them to like you then your salt has lost its savor!
You are not out to please the world or the politically correct crowd. You are out to please your Father in Heaven and to tell the world about the Lord Jesus Christ. You are to fear God and keep His commandments (Ecc. 12:13, 14). The pilgrims aboard the Mayflower wrote the Mayflower Compact before getting off the boat at Plymouth. The very first paragraph starts out as thus: “In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereigne Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britaine, France and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, etc. having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, …” We bring glory to God by fearing Him, which means to have reverential trust and respect, by being obedient to the faith once delivered (Jude 3), and by telling others the good news of salvation brought down to man by the Lord Jesus Christ. This is how we are to be the salt of the earth, to season the lives of others with the truth of the Gospel and preserving society by being a strong voice for the good of mankind.
Jeremiah warned Judah, by the Word of God, that judgment was coming. God in His mercy gave them warning and command to repent and turn back to Him. God’s people answered and said, “We will not.” Jeremiah was a strong voice for the good of His people. God expects the very same thing from us. You are to “…shew forth praises of Him…” Who has called you out of darkness and has brought you into His light.
The world around us today is refusing to walk in the good ways of the Lord. Many think it is a pathway too narrow for their taste. No matter what the world does, we, the people of the Lord, must stand tall. You must stand unashamed of who you are. You must hold your head high and walk in the paths that God has ordained without apology and without backing down. Go out this week and be everything that the Lord commands and desires for you to be in this world. - Preacher
The Weight of The Word
Proverbs 11:1 Balances of deceit are an abomination to Jehovah, And a perfect weight is His delight.
“A perfect weight” refers to the weights that were certified for the use of weighing things out. There has to be a standard from which all weights may be certified. In the international community today there is a kilogram of platinum and platinum-iridium alloy stored in France at a constant room temperature to ensure its perfect weight. Unfortunately, it is no longer a perfect weight; it has gained some 50 microns of weight from surface contamination. But it was designed as the standard for all other weights to be compared to and to be certified by.
God has no pleasure in the dishonest dealings of commerce. In fact, it is something that truly disgusts Him. The dishonesty of some brings injury and harm to estates and properties of families. It is costly to those who are trying to live honestly in a crooked and perverse world.
Even more so is the dishonesty in spiritual and religious matters. To defraud those who are trying to live righteously and godly is to harm the relationship that God has with His children. As any good parent, I am sure that God is not pleased when someone tries to defraud others with heretical and apostate teachings.
A great many of protesters came out of the Catholic Church after Martin Luther tacked his thesis to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Those who came out of that church became known as the Protestant religions. The one thing they all had in common is that they each brought the parts of the Catholic religion that they liked and agreed with out with them. Thus we have many different Christian denominations today.
The one good thing I can tell you is that the true Baptist did not come out from the Catholic Church. It was never a part of that religious organization. True Baptists were always those who were on the outside of the Catholic Church and always hunted and persecuted by them for “heresy.” They were not always called by the Baptist name but were known by many different names; some called by the name of their leaders and others by the name of their location.
The one thing that the Baptist Faith can attest to is that they truly received their doctrine directly from the Lord Jesus Himself. Jude wrote, “Beloved, … it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” (v. 3). “The faith” is the body of doctrinal beliefs that true Baptist follow. Once delivered has to do with the teachings of Christ and the writings of the New Testament.
Therefore, we have a more sure Word to follow which is the perfect Word of God. Everything spiritual and godly must be compared to and certified by this Weight. It is given to us by the process of revelation, inspiration, and illumination. God gave it to men whom He chose to write it, His Spirit gave them the very words to put down in their writing, and His Spirit teaches it to us through a process of illumination. Illumination is God giving us what we need when we need it. It is infallible which tells us that it will never fail us. It is inerrant which tells us that it contains no errors. It is alive and powerful for it will save lives, homes, and families from doom and despair.
This perfect Word is preserved by God in the Old King James Bible. We do not have to worry about corruption as long as we stay with the original that comes out of the 1611 King James Translation Project. It has been tried and proven for over 400 years. Now the devil is working to change it just as he did God’s Words to Eve in the Garden of Eden.
We also have a more perfect weight in the Living Word of God that is Christ Jesus our Lord. He will never change. He is always the same and you can trust Him when all else fails. - Preacher
Wear The Name Without Shame
Proverbs 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
There is no wisdom in pride. Pride promotes self as superior in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, knowledge, etc. Pride brings with it contention because of its excessive self-esteem. But pride will bring shame to the prideful heart because it comes before destruction and failure. Adam and Eve, Haman, Nebuchadnezzar, and many others have fallen prey to their own pride.
God tells us in His Word that the pride of life does not come from Him. God will resist the proud for pride is contrary to God. Psalm 34:18 tells us, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” The broken in heart are those who are broken over their sin; the contrite spirit literally means “crushed”. When you realize you have sinned, and you regret it from deep down within, wishing you could have a “do over”, then you are of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
Therefore, those who are lowly and humble have wisdom. They have turned from sin and have turned to God. They have disowned the things of darkness and have turned to the light. They see the crucified, risen, and living Saviour as high and lifted up above all things while seeing themselves as the least of all saints and the chief of all sinners. These are they who are wise unto salvation. These are they who will draw close to the Father and live in His honor and glory. These are they who will unashamedly wear the name of Christ.
I was at a basketball game this past week and I saw a lady with a “Witness-T” on. I could not read all the writing on the shirt due to the distance I was from her. But there were five letters that were emblazoned across her shirt that I could read. They stood out in large bold print like a sore thumb. Those five letters were the name “JESUS.” She was wearing His name unashamedly. That is how He should be in our hearts and minds; standing out amidst all of the other stuff that is going on in us and around us.
There is great value in wearing the name of Jesus unashamedly. You will benefit from His protections. When something holds you up from getting somewhere in a timely manner, it could be the Lord keeping you from harm. I believe when you get home you will find out He was protecting you when you had no knowledge of it.
We also benefit from the providence of the Almighty. We live in a free nation as a free people because of the providence of God. It was His providence that led the Pilgrims to come over and start the settlements in a new world. This led to colonies, states, and the greatest nation on the earth.
We benefit from His purpose. The purpose of God was to evangelize the world through the missions programs and the missionaries that came from America. There was a time when we were the light of the world and the salt of the earth. This was all due to the providence and the purpose of God to establish our nation as a beacon of Christian hope to evangelize the world. Unfortunately, like Israel, we have forgotten God and all of His blessings and benefits. We are not the nation we once were. The only thing that will truly make America great again is for God in His mercy and providence to send a great and mighty revival.
When we as a people will humble ourselves and pray and seek His face we can get His attention. But the one thing that will cause God to move and intervene on our behalf is for His people as a whole to turn from their wicked ways; the worldliness we have become so comfortable with. Then will God prosper His people once again and forgive our sin and heal our land. The question is, “Will God’s people turn from their wicked ways so that He can forgive and heal?”
Pride causes trouble and brings shame, disgrace, and dishonor. But the humble heart will draw God’s attention as it seeks to draw closer to God. Wear the name of Christ unashamedly. Be humble, draw close to God, and He will draw close to you. - Preacher
Righteousness Applied Deserves Righteous Living
Proverbs 11:3-4 The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
The word “integrity” comes from the Greek word tummah (too-maw’) which means “innocence.” It is doing the right thing even when there is no one around. The word “upright” comes from the Greek word yashar (yaw-shawr’) which means “straight.” It refers to honesty and truthfulness. These are the guiding principles for good character. You cannot have integrity without honesty and truthfulness and you cannot have honesty and truthfulness without integrity.
While these may be the guiding principles for good character, the Spirit of God is the best guide that you can have. He is the one who will lead you into all truth and uprightness. He will be your guide and overseer as you yield to His leading. This means that you will go against the desires of the flesh which tend to lean towards following feelings and pleasures. Following Him is following His Word anddenying selfish desires.
There is more to following the Word of God than simply reading, hearing, and studying. These are necessary food to the soul but then there must be exercise and application. You must put the Word to work in your life. What is says to do you must do. What it says to stay away from you must stay away from. These are the guidelines and the guardrails to a safe and blessed life. His righteousness has been applied to your life and deserves for you to live accordingly; yielding, obedient, and abiding.
On the other hand there is the “perverseness” which is the distortion and deception of transgressors. The transgressor is one who violates the commands and principles of God. These deal treacherously with God and with men. They care only for themselves. They follow the path of least resistance which tends to lean towards fulfilling the desires and the feelings of the flesh. These will live contrary to the leading of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
These will fall into ruin for they will be deceitful in business, in marriage, and in relationships of every kind. Their dishonesty causes loss in business, in family, and more importantly in their spiritual walk. They have corrupted their way and it will catch up to them sooner or later. God will deal with them for He alone owns vengeance. He will repay the works of the transgressor. For you who are saved your transgression was paid in Christ on the Cross. For the lost, they will stand before Him and give an account of their corrupt dealings. Their prosperity in this life will not buy nor shield them from the wrath to come.
We will all stand before God and give an accounting to Him of what we have done in this life. Both those who are saved and those who are lost will give an account of every idle word that you have spoken. You will give an account of what you have done in your body, good and bad. You will answer for what you did with the Word of God. The lost will answer for what they did with the Son of God.
For the saved it will mean the receiving or the loss of reward. But for the lost it will mean the level of eternal punishment received. First they will spend eternity paying for their refusal to trust Christ. Second they will be given a level of punishment and torment that is determined by how they lived their life. The greater their sinfulness the worse their eternal punishment will be. That is why “the Books” (God’s Word) will be opened at the judgment to judge them according to the Word of God. This is the second death (Rev 20:14 & 21:8).
You were created to have a relationship with God your Father. Your original design was to live a life free from sin and its consequences. By faith in Christ you were given a second birth to become a child of His. You should walk daily with Him for His righteousness is applied to your account. It has paid in full the debt you owed, given you abundance of grace, and has delivered you from the second death. Therefore His righteousness applied deserves righteous living from His children. - Preacher
Direction and Deliverance
Proverbs 11:5-6 The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.
The righteousness of Christ applied to our life deserves for us to live a righteous and upright life before God and before the world. It is this righteousness that leads us to strive for perfection in our spiritual walk and our relationship with the Lord. The word “perfect” means “whole or complete.” It is referring to spiritual maturity not sinless perfection.
All believers should desire to be sinless and perfect. But the truth is that as long as we live in these fleshly bodies we will struggle with sin. It will creep into our life from time to time and rear its ugly head. However, that is no excuse to let down your guard and allow sin free access.
Spiritual maturity means that you are grown in the Lord. But it also means that you are in a constant state of spiritual growth. You will never “arrive”, as some might say, as long as you are in this world. You will always struggle to maintain your Christian character and walk. The good thing is that the longer you walk with the Lord the easier the struggle becomes.
When you walk with the Lord He will direct your life. He will lead you as a Shepherd leads His sheep. As you follow Him you will experience more and more victories. The more victories you experience the easier it is to maintain spiritual integrity. His righteousness leads you to live a godly life for His glory. Praise God that when we live for His glory we prosper and benefit from it.
“Righteousness” is a principle of life while “upright” means the practice of that principle of righteousness. Your righteousness will lead to direction and stability for yourself and for others. Your uprightness can encourage your brothers and sisters to be more dedicated and devoted in their relationship with the Lord.
Are you devoted to the Lord? Are you wholly given to His leading in your life? To wholly follow the Lord is to be committed spirit, soul, and body to living for Him. To follow means that you are consistently moving forward. As the Apostle Paul said, “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” To “press toward the mark” is to keep moving forward in your spiritual growth (receiving and embracing the things of God), in your spiritual walk (applying the things you have received of God), and in your relationship with the Lord (getting closer, giving more, and doing more).
You must live this before the world and allow them to see your closeness to God develop and grow. Those who do not know the Lord need to see that He is real and that He rewards and provides for His own. This will give the Spirit an opportunity to compel them and draw them to repentance and surrender. Your daily walk could be the thing that will help others be convicted of their sinfulness. It could lead them to turn to Christ for salvation.
If they do not see it in you then who will be a light to them? As we have said before, their wicked ways will be their utter ruin and destruction. Their pride, their self-sufficiency, their hostility to God and His ways, and their contentment to live in sin will cause them to fall prey to their own devices. Those who accused Daniel and had him put into the lion’s den were the ones who were next cast in and were devoured by the lions themselves.
The only difference between you and a lost person is that you have Christ as your Saviour. Therefore you have the strength and power of God to overcome temptations and sin. If they had Christ they could have victory just like you. Live so that your direction and deliverance will help direct and deliver others. - Preacher
Where Is Your Voice?
Proverbs 11:11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Pro 14:34). When Israel followed the righteousness of God’s commandments they were the powerful nation whose enemies feared them. But when they turned from the righteousness of God’s commandments they fell into defeat and captivity.
America was once a righteous nation; she was founded as a Christian nation whose sole belief was the Word of God. Her laws originally had to be backed up by the Scriptures. Her leaders had to attest to a firm belief in the Triune God as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost just so they could sign up to run for office. In some colonies the leaders had to profess faith in Christ as their personal Saviour before they could register to run for office.
All of these truths can be found in the documents and the writings of the founding fathers and in the compacts and state constitutions. These documents were mostly written in cursive writing. Today they have ceased to teach children to read and write in cursive writing. That means that they will not be able to read the documents that were written in the founding of our nation. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are some of those documents. They affirm that our nation was built a Christian nation that was founded upon the Word of God as a righteous nation that God blessed and exalted.
America as a nation has strayed far away from what she originally was. The leaders today are progressive liberals that do not want to hear the Word of God or even acknowledge that it is what was used as a guiding principle in the founding of our nation. They do not believe that God blessed and raised us up as the most powerful nation on earth because of our allegiance to Him.
The wicked have painted America as a sadistic, intolerant, racist nation that owes the world an apology for its exceptionalism. Our nation is about to go over a cliff because of the mouths of the wicked. They have lied for so long, so loudly, and so often that their lies have been accepted as truth. They will deny, distort, and twist the truth to make it seem like the worst possible thing that could exist.
Christians and the Bible have now been targeted as the problems with America rather than the solution to America’s problems. If the Word of God says that it is sin then you cannot call it anything else. It does not matter if it is sodomy, adultery, sex outside of the marriage, homosexuality, bestiality, incest, drunkenness, murder, theft, or lying, the Bible says it is SIN and that is exactly what it is. But our nation has become a feel good, entertainment conglomerate.
Therefore anything goes as long as it feels good and does not go against what the individual person thinks truth is. They say today that there is no absolute truth. Their mentality is that your truth may not be my truth. Your sin may not be my sin. The truth is that there is absolute truth and it is the Word of God and it does tell us that sin is sin no matter who you are.
They have so denigrated Christians that they will not speak out against the insanity that is occurring today. When men are allowed to enter a ladies restroom, when they say a child can now be aborted up to the time of birth, when they tell our children they cannot carry a Bible or pray, then every Christian in America should shout out loud a resounding “NO!!!” But the Christian majority has grown silent.
Today there is no godly counsel, no knowledge of truth, no principle followed, no lifting up of Christ, and no true wisdom because the progressive liberals have done a great job at silencing the Christian voice. Where do you stand today? Is your voice silenced? Are you living in a way that God can bless you as He did our forefathers? God said it is “By the blessing of the upright the city (or nation) is exalted.” Our nation needs to get its Christian voice back. Will you let your voice be heard, or have you been silenced? – Preacher
Commit, Trust, and Experience His Promises
Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
The word translated “commit” in this verse means “roll”. It has the idea of entrusting your all to the LORD. Your whole life and being is to be committed unto Him. The way you live, all your affairs, and your manner of living is to be committed unto the LORD.
It should go without saying that this does not mean that you are to sit still, be inactive, and do nothing while leaving everything up to God. It means that you should seek His counsel and His direction for your life. Your Father is omniscient; He is the all-knowing God. He knows your past, your heart and your thoughts, the trials and difficulties ahead, and the battles that you will face. He knows everything about you; past, present, and future.
Does it not make sense to turn to Him and seek His direction so that you can face and conquer what lies ahead? Here is Someone who knows what is ahead and what is coming in your life. He will not tell you exactly what is coming for that would spoil you and be the ruin of your life. However, He has made provision in your life to help you get through whatever comes your way. He will guide your steps and your path so that you can correctly navigate your life.
He has given you a compass and a navigator to help you with what you have to face. The Compass is His Word and the Navigator is His Holy Spirit. Therefore in whatever situation or circumstance you find yourself in, you have God’s presence and you have God’s Word. Wisdom is to commit to Him who knows the right way to navigate your life.
The Psalmist wrote, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved, (55:22).” God cares more deeply for you than you will ever be able to comprehend. He loves you supremely. His heart’s desire is to give unto you His very best. To commit your all to Him is to make Him preeminent in your life so that no person or thing will ever come between you.
Then we are told to “Trust also in Him.” You have peace with God because of Christ. You are a child of the Most High because you chose to believe His Word and put your faith for salvation in Christ His Son. You trusted Him to save you because He said if you would repent and believe He would.
By the same rule you are to trust Him for all your need for every day. His supply is endless and He has enough for whosoever will come to Him (Php 4:19). To “trust also in” means to be at ease because you know the One who saved you is the One who will sustain you. He will finish what He started. He may not have promised you a smooth road through life – we do live in a sin-sick world – but He did promise you a sure road (Php 1:6).
When you “trust” in Him you have peace of mind knowing that He will provide the ways and means to get through this life in this world. When you “commit” and “trust” you have His promise that “He shall bring it to pass.” What He has promised He will do. He will not go against His own Word. Bring your needs and your requests to Him and experience the peace of knowing He will take care of you.
Go beyond simply believing what God can do. Take action and step out on faith so that He can do what He desires to do for you. You must walk by faith to please Him. It is His good pleasure to give you His very best, to answer your prayers, to protect, prosper, and to provide for you and yours.
You must commit to entrusting your all to Him. This is to step out on faith in His promises. You must trust that He will give you His very best. When you do this you will experience the fullness of His love towards you and you will be very blessed indeed. - Preacher
Proverbs 10:17 He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.
How do you react to criticism? Do you receive it as constructive and corrective? Or do you react out of defense without giving any consideration? Instruction is good even when it comes to you from a point of correction or criticism. Try to receive something helpful from it even if it is not true.
Pro 9:8-9 tells us, “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.” Here we see that those who can take reproof (to be charged with wrong or a fault), criticism, and correction and learn and grow from it are those who are wise.
I have always been one who wanted someone to tell me the truth, even when it hurt. I want to hear the truth so that I can correct my mistakes and my faults and be right with God and man. However, there have been times that deep down inside I did not take it so well. But by the grace of God I have learned to listen and to assess and consider others criticisms, even those that are unfounded. By listening to their complaints you can learn them and what makes them tick. This may help you to be a better leader.
Many times the children of Israel came against Moses and complained about his leadership. They said he brought them out of Egypt to starve to death, to die of thirst, and said he did not know what he was doing. They wanted to turn around and go back to Egypt. But Moses listened to their criticism and their complaints. By listening he learned how to pray for them and to intercede with God for them.
Someone once came up to the pastor after service and began pointing out several faults that he had in his preaching style. The preacher did not even consider arguing with the person or try to defend himself. He just very humbly asked if they would not mind praying for him.
Unfounded criticism can be helpful to those who are in leadership positions because you can listen and learn where others may be coming from. Listening to others helps you to better understand them. This knowledge can help to minister to their needs even if they do not see those needs. It may help you to pray and intercede for them as Moses did for Israel.
When you are in a leadership position you will hear criticism and complaints. You must learn to deal with it in a positive way. I once read where Winston Churchill framed in his office these words of President Abraham Lincoln: “I do the very best I can; I mean to keep going. If the end brings me out all right, then what is said against me won't matter. If I'm wrong, ten angels swearing I was right won't make a difference."
Those who are wise and receive instruction, even from criticism, are those who are in the way of life. This is a life that is lived to the glory of God. It is lived to strive for spiritual maturity so that you may honor Christ your Saviour. It is not lived to earn merit for eternal life. It is not a life lived to boast and brag of what has been done in the flesh. It is lived purely to please the Lord your God and to bring Him all praise and worship and glory.
The phrase “that keepeth instruction” refers to the instruction in righteousness that comes from the Scriptures. It is to live with the insight into the mind and will of Almighty God. It is lived by the grace of God. It is lived in the power of God. It is lived in the presence of God the Holy Spirit. It is lived to uphold and obey the doctrine of Christ which is steeped in the love of God.
If you want to avoid criticism you only have to say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing. However, if you are a Christian, you can expect folks to criticize, but you ought to live so nobody will believe them. Learn to listen, think about with calmness and clarity, and consider any criticism brought against you. Learn from it, be instructed, and be wise. - Preacher
Quick To Hear, Slow To Speak
Proverbs 10:19b … he that refraineth his lips is wise.
In verses 18-21 there is a sequence of contrasts set forth between the mouth of the just and the mouth of the fool. The first thought is that of a person who pretends to be a friend when truly they are not. “He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool,” (v. 18). There are several examples in the Bible but the greatest example is that of Judas Iscariot who betrayed the Lord for 30 pieces of silver. He lied to deceive and hide his true intentions. This is folly and it is wicked in the eyes of the Lord.
It is also said that to slander another is the way of the fool. He does not even try to hide the hatred within. He just spews forth the poison from his lips that causes great harm to his neighbor’s reputation, good name, and his credibility. We see much of this in the “leadership” of our nation today with their lack of civility. They spew forth their vile hatred for one another openly and now we see it in every facet of our society.
“In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin, (v. 19).” The multitude of words is the issue of those who have to speak to be heard and yet have nothing significant or of importance to share. There will be vain words spoken that lead to falsehood being communicated. This is the way gossip will start. Someone will say something, the next person has to make it sound more profound than it actually is, and then it becomes more and more false as it morphs and grows while being passed from one person to another.
This verse also speaks of those whose mouths are corrupt with filthy conversation. Someone who uses profanity in every other word that proceeds from their mouth is just trying to give more power to their words. They feel they have to do this because their words have no meat, no meaning, no weight, no bearing, and no importance. In these scenarios there is a multitude of words and no lack or want of sin.
“… the heart of the wicked is little worth, (v. 20).” The Lord Jesus taught that what comes from the mouth actually comes from the heart. Those who have to speak with such sinfulness and have nothing to contribute in conversation speak from a corrupt heart. The sad thing is that the wicked heart has no value. The good thing is that Christ died for those with a wicked heart. This is who and what I was before Christ came into my heart. I was wicked and of little worth without the Lord Jesus. As a born again believer you should have concern and compassion for these people and pray daily for their conversion because such were some of us.
“…fools die for want of wisdom, (v. 21).” This has to do with the spiritual death of the wicked. Are they Christ rejecters or are they just ignorant of His redeeming sacrifice. Their rhetoric and their life are void of any light and are very destructive. It is destructive to their eternal state and to those who know them. Remember that people are watching even when we may be unaware of it; you will influence and impact the lives of others just by living in this world. Be sure you are living the salt and light kind of life.
Those who refrain their lips are those whom the Lord calls "wise." The Lord gave you two ears and one mouth. He is trying to tell you that you need to listen twice as much as you speak. Your words ought to be as “choice silver” in the ears of listeners. People should desire to hear you speak and they should receive something that will benefit them when you do speak. After all, “the lips of the righteous feed many, (v. 21).”
We are taught in James 1:19 to “… be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” Again the thought is that we need to listen more than we speak. We need to be thoughtful and methodical in how we answer someone in any given situation. We teach our children to “think before you speak,” but do we take our own advice and apply it to our own selves?
It would do God’s people well to have the right heart, the heart of the Saviour; kind, compassionate, loving, tenderhearted, and forgiving. It would do God’s people well to speak from their heart. May we be like Christ and love people where they are and pray for their deliverance from the bondage of sin. - Preacher
The Blessing of God’s Blessing
Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
“The hand of the diligent maketh rich,” (v. 4). Those who are diligent to use what the Lord has given them will find that they will be blessed beyond measure. Now the riches of the grace of God have made us all very spiritually wealthy. We do not have to worry about death or dying or what eternity holds for us. We shall not taste of death because Christ has already done that for us. You are eternally wealthy.
But what you do with the blessings of God’s grace will determine your blessings in this world. We have been given the promise of the abundant life. Our life is replete with love, grace, wisdom, mercy, truth, fellowship, peace, and so much more. Now we are to take that life and put it to use by being a blessing to other people in this world.
We should bless others with the message of the Gospel. How can they have what we have if we are not willing to share it with them? Someone told you how to be saved and therefore you must tell others how to be saved. This is sharing the blessing of salvation that God has given you with others so that they also may be blessed.
Now it goes without saying that God’s blessing of life extends even to physical wealth. God blesses you according to what you do with His blessings. I am not preaching a prosperity gospel, but the blessing of God can make you rich spiritually and financially. It does not mean that you are to allow financial gain to become the reason for living for the Lord for that will ultimately fail you, nor are you to expect to become “filthy rich.”
You are given the ability to gain wealth by the power of God (Deu 8:18). But he gives that wealth to those who will use it for His glory. Those who would consume it upon their lusts have lost out already for He says that a stranger will take it away (Ecc 6:2). Remember the Lord and share His blessings with others.
R. G. Le Toureanu was a prolific inventor of earthmoving equipment during the period that our interstate road system was being built across the USA. In the beginning of his life he gave 10% of his net profits in tithe to the Lord. By the end of his life in the late 1960’s his tithes and offerings consisted of 90% of his profits and he still had more than he could possibly live on. He gave to churches and Christian schools and whatever he could give to in the Lord’s work. The more he gave away the more the Lord gave him.
When you are walking with the Lord daily and you are sharing His blessings with others He will give you more than you can stand. He blesses you so that you might bless others. When you see God’s blessing upon your life in that light then you can never out give the Lord. The more you give in service to Him – of your tithe and offering, talent, and especially time – the more He will give to you.
God will give you what you desire in life. In Romans One the people wanted to be given to the pleasure and the sinfulness of their flesh. That is the way our culture is today. God turned them over to uncleanness (v. 24), to vile affections (v. 26), and to a reprobate mind (v. 28). For those who want to please and glorify God with your life God will give you the desires of your heart and mind. He will give you what you want more of.
When things are not going so good, what we might call “mountaintop experience”, God still blesses you. When God blesses in these times it is His manifold blessing. This verse is saying that the blessing of God - His favor and goodness towards us - has no sorrow attached to it. So on bad days when God blesses you it is an added blessing to your blessing because it always brings joy, rejoicing, peace, wisdom, and grace, but it never brings sorrow.
God’s blessing always comes with blessing attached to it. Count your blessings today and give verbal out loud praise to God for His goodness towards you. - Preacher
How Is Your Outlook?
Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
Remember that the fear of the LORD is reverential trust of God with a hatred for all that is evil. Those who have the fear of the LORD are going to see a longer life simply because of the life they live. Those who live godly will separate from the world and from the wicked lifestyles that bring danger and destruction with it.
Those who live wickedly live a dangerous life in more ways than one. Spiritually they lack true wisdom to make good, safe, and wise choices in life. Many who live wickedly live a self-destructive lifestyle. They are given to the lusts of the flesh participating in all manner of sins that are detrimental to physical health. Therefore it is true that they will have a shorter lifespan than they would if they lived a godly life.
It thus becomes true that those who do live godly in the fear of the LORD shall have hope and gladness on their radar. They can expect the blessing of God upon their life. They can look forward in happiness to what tomorrow holds because of Who holds tomorrow. Your hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. You have a sure foundation and a sure anchor of hope that is steadfast and unmovable.
The hope of the wicked is not so. It can be positively optimistic with wishful thinking but that is as deep as it goes. They do not know what tomorrow brings and they have no one to hold their tomorrows together. Their sinful living pays terrible dividends because the pleasure for a season is shortened by the long-term consequences. Sinful living, however long it may be, pays the wage of eternal damnation.
As a Christian you can continue getting up and facing every day with joy and gladness. God has blessed you with another day to live and breathe and to move about and have your being. Even for those who are living in unfortunate circumstances there is joy and blessing to know the Lord as your Saviour. We have the greater outlook. The way of the LORD is wisdom to the upright. The joy of the LORD is your strength. You can get up and face every day with the wisdom and the joy of the LORD for they give you the courage to enter into and make it through another day, even when things are tough.
Those who do not have the LORD are starting out every day in a deficit. They compose their own life and their own destruction because they do not know, nor do they have the Lord’s blessings. Without God they can do nothing but expect the worse that the devil and the world have to offer them. Some may know the truth and reject it; they shall rue the day when they open their eyes in eternity. But so many more are ignorant of what they do not have; they are deceived. They need our help to see the truth. They need the Gospel; it is the power of God to save them from their deception and an eternal hell.
Many of the ungodly may seem to have the upper hand in this life. They may seem as if they are prospering and getting ahead. It may look like they have it all figured out and are living high on the hog. But the truth is that they will not inhabit eternity. Only the godly will inherit the earth in the Millennium and enter the Eternal Kingdom while the wicked will enter into the eternal damnation of the Lake of Fire.
Knowing what we know, possessing what we have, we have the greater responsibility to speak to those who are so deceived and to warn them from their wicked ways. We must show them the goodness of a life with Christ. They must see our joy and our rejoicing, our hope for tomorrow and for eternity, what they are missing, and how they can benefit from having Christ and the life we have.
Our lifestyle should emulate and be an example of the goodness of God upon humanity. They must see the benefit of the grace of God in our life. Those who claim to have Christ and are never happy, never joyful, are always struggling, and complain about their life all the time turn people away from God and away from trusting Christ as their Saviour. Be sure this is not you. Go out into the world in the joy, the blessing, and the goodness of God and let others see your joy. Smile like God loves you because He really does. - Preacher