Daily Devotion

Quick To Hear, Slow To Speak

August 7

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 must 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 must 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 must 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.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 

 

WEEK 30

August 3

Covered With Love

Proverbs 10:12 ~ Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. 

Those whose heart is full of hatred will have envy and malice towards others. They will stir up or awaken contentions and quarrels for they desire drama and chaos. These are given to lying and spreading false reports so as to keep contentions and quarrels fueled and burning hot. They love no one and therefore have great malice towards those who are given to love.

We are told in 1 John 4, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” God’s love and goodness leads us to repentance and faith in Christ as our Saviour. From there our love for Christ and our Father continues to increase. We love Him because He first loved us.

His love is a love that allows us to find mercy in His sight. His favor towards us as His creation allows His love to reach out to us through the selfless, substitutional, sacrifice of His Son for our sin. In His love He offers us forgiveness and cleansing through faith in Christ so that we might be restored to a right and proper relationship with Him. His love through this covers our sin; what He has forgiven He has forgotten forever!

The prodigal son was away from the Father by his selfish and lustful desires to indulge in the pleasures of this sinful world. But we find that once his wealth had expired, his “friends” turned away from him. He found himself in the hog pen. One day he finally came to himself and realized that it was better in his father’s house than it was out in the world. He repented and turned back to his father’s house.

When his father saw him walking towards the house he ran out to meet him. No doubt the boy smelled like a hog pen. Yet the father’s love called for the best robe to clothe him, and a ring to put upon his finger, shoes on his feet, and had the fatted calf killed to throw a celebration feast for his return.

In this account we see that when we come to the Father he robes us in His love and righteousness. The ring is a type of His seal within, upon our heart, which is the seal of His Holy Spirit. He guides and guards our steps with His Word. His Word lights our pathway and our steps as they are ordered by Him. The celebration is representative of the celebration in Heaven every time a soul comes to Christ for salvation (Lk 15:7, 10).

When we are truly Christian we are being like Christ. Therefore, we must have the humility, compassion, mercy, tenderheartedness, kindness, and the forgiveness of Christ, and all this bathed in the selfless, sacrificial love of God. We can love others and overlook their sinful lives to be a light in their life. That does not mean that we hang out with them condoning and enabling what they do. It means that we love them and keep the door of communication open so that we can be a witness to them.

We are to reprove and rebuke their sinfulness in love. The only way we can bring them to Christ is through the love of God. We pray for them in love. We speak to them in love. And hopefully they will repent, and God will give the increase. He will bring them into His love, cleansing and covering them, sealing them, and guiding them. Thus, love covers a multitude of sins (1 Cor 13:7 & 1 Pt 4:8).

We can love them in their sin without condoning or enabling them. Our goal in love is to bring peace and order to a heart and soul that is engulfed in the deception of the world, the devil, and their own flesh. We set a proper example of the blessed life with Christ as our Saviour. We show them in love by our life and our witness that Christianity is far better. All the world has to offer them is chaos, confusion, strife, and an eternal hell. Love will cover all their sins if they turn to Christ and receive the gift of eternal life in Heaven.

As a Christian you should never have a hatred for anyone. You may hate the wickedness and the folly of their sin, but you must love the person; the heart and soul of the individual. You must determine to speak to people in love for God and love for them. Without you they may never hear the Gospel of Christ.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

August 4

Understanding Breeds Wise Counsel

Proverbs 10:13 ~ In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: 

They who walk with the Lord will search Him out daily. They will read, study, and meditate to know more of Him. Remember that you must obey, yield, and abide daily if you are to walk with Him. You cannot know anything of Him outside of His precious Word. Anything that you hear of Him should come from and be in accordance with the Bible. He gave us His Word to reveal Himself to us and to give us understanding.

Let us take note here that all of this requires that you have a personal experience of the things that God reveals to you. You must take what God reveals to you and apply it in your life. You cannot fully understand what is revealed if there is no personal experience. Experience requires application and application brings experiential understanding and experiential wisdom.

Do you ask, seek, and knock to know more of Him, to be closer to Him? Asking is to go to Him in prayer and making your request known to Him. We are told that He would supply our need (not our greed), but he desires for us to ask Him for those needs so that we might converse with Him. You can go to Him for the spiritual things you need, such as His grace and wisdom, to conduct your affairs in a proper manner.

You must be sure that you ask properly. You are to ask according to the will of God, in the name of Christ, and under the direction, the guidance, and the influence of the Holy Spirit. You must ask in faith, with respect and trust, and submitting to His divine will. Simply put, we ask reverently for what we need, and we are willing to accept whatever answer He gives. He will always give the right answer and do the right thing.

Seeking also has to do with prayer as we seek God’s divine will. When you seek an audience with Him in prayer you are seeking His presence and His favor. Be sure that you go to Him wholeheartedly holding nothing back. If you are not sincere in seeking Him you are not being humble before Him. Pride is the absence of humility and God resists the proud and gives more grace unto the humble.

If you are to pray according to the will of God you must know the will of God. This will require a knowledge and understanding of His Word as we ask Him to reveal to us His will. No matter what you pray for try to find Scripture to support your request. Thus, you can seek God’s will and pray according to His will.

Knocking is the importunity in prayer. In other words, we pray until we have prayed through on a matter. You are to continue in prayer knocking at the door of mercy. The key to this door is faith. We can come boldly before God because we can obtain mercy and find grace to help in the hour of need. We are to pray without ceasing. When you need something from the Lord you pray until He either changes your prayer or you receive what you are praying for.

When you have this kind of prayer life you will have knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. This is a gift of God given to those who consistently ask, seek, and knock at the throne of grace and walk daily with Him. You will not have just a natural wisdom such as common sense, but a supernatural wisdom from Heaven on high. You will have a spiritual wisdom that will flow forth in your words as you speak of God and His works.

You will have the ability to speak of the hidden wisdom of Christ in the Gospel. You will be able to share the wisdom of the inward experience of the grace of God in salvation. You will be as the Psalmist said in 37:30: “The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.

This spiritual understanding brings wisdom that will benefit others. You will become a teacher and an instructor to those who need counsel and help in growing in the knowledge and grace of Christ. You can be very instructive and informing and you will be able to prosper others in their journey of life and faith in this world. Walk with Him and search Him out so that you might speak with His wisdom.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

August 5

The Labor of Life

Proverbs 10:16 ~ The labour of the righteous tendeth to life:

We labor for the things that we need in life. The Bible teaches that if a man does not work, neither should he eat. God also teaches us that if we do not provide for our own that we have denied the faith and we are worse than an infidel. He is saying we have disavowed our Biblical doctrine and distinctive. When we do this, we have become worse than an unbeliever. We dishonor the Father if we do not work for our needs.

We are to pray for our need, but we must also use the abilities God has given us to work and supply our need. We work for our spiritual need through the exercise of prayer, reading, and hearing the Word of God. We exercise our faith in the ordinances of the church and in the work of the Lord through the church. We work towards our eternal life though we do not work for our eternal life.

Jesus said, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” If you are truly saved and born again you are sealed by the Holy Spirit of God for all of eternity. But you work to earn heavenly rewards which you shall receive at the judgment. These rewards are for you to give to Christ your Saviour who bought and paid your way to Heaven.

We are told in Philippians 2:12-13, “… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” This does not mean to work for your salvation, but you are to work out the salvation given to you by the grace of Almighty God. He has given you the abundant life and you are to work that life that has been given to you.

Let’s say that I clear a piece of ground, till it up, and plant a garden. I then give that ground and that garden to you. If you are to benefit from the garden and harvest the crops that I planted then you will have to work and care for the garden. This is the same as working out your own salvation. God gave it to you and does not force you to do anything because He has given you liberty to live the life He has given.

If you truly know what He has done for you out of His love, then how can you not love Him? That is what He desires from you; your love and devotion. You are to work your salvation by faith in Christ trusting Him for every need. You do so out of love and devotion to Him which honors Him and benefits you.

Duty says that we must live godly, dedication says that we ought to live godly, but devotion says that we want and desire to live godly. When you were first saved you may have felt that you had a duty to live godly. After a while you became dedicated to living right and walking with the Lord. As your relationship grows you become devoted and you desire to give your all to Him holding nothing back.

Devotion leads you to commit your life to the Lord so that you desire and strive to be in the center of His perfect divine will and purpose for your life. It is like a breakfast of bacon and eggs with milk. The cow contributed to the breakfast with the milk. The chicken contributed to the breakfast with the eggs. But the hog was wholly committed by giving itself to supply the bacon.

Are you wholly committed to the Lord and His purpose for your life? Are you devotedly working in your church and supporting the work of the Lord? Support in the Lord’s work is not just monetary, though that is very important. Support has to do with you giving yourself to the Lord and His work and being actively involved in the outreach ministries.

Get your pastor to take you out on soul winning and visitation. This is where the real work of the Lord is at; this is where the rubber meets the road. Your life is freely given to you. You live godly because you love the Lord. Now is your time to be a witness and shine for His glory. True devotion uses this wondrous gift of life to show and tell others about Jesus. This is the labor of the righteous that tends to life.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

August 6

Critical Instruction

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, to assess, and to consider 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 trying 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 with calmness and clarity, and consider any criticism brought against you. Learn from it, be instructed, and be wise.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 

 

WEEK 29

July 27

Slackness vs Diligence

Proverbs 10:4 ~ He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

We could use this verse to speak about being financially secure in your life. And it is true that those who are diligent will have the things that they work for. The word “rich” simply means “to accumulate; to grow.” They will fare well who are not lazy or dependent on others to take the risks in business. What I mean by that is that someone took a chance to build and grow a business. Therefore the workers are dependent upon the business owner who was diligent and who took all the risks. They have a good job and a good income, but the owner who is diligent is the one who accumulates the profits from the business.

On the other hand, the person who does not work hard will find themselves in poverty and in want. Those who do not work will not prosper. This is referring to the person who is just plain lazy. They would rather live on entitlements and handouts rather than lift a finger to work for something. Many a panhandler stands by the road with a sign that says, “Will work for food.” Most of them will have some excuse as to why they cannot work when they are offered a chance to work for a meal.

But this verse applies more to our spiritual walk than to financial gain. Those who are diligent in their walk with the Lord are rich. They labor tirelessly to search out the Scriptures to have a greater understanding of the things of God. They pray, read, study, search, meditate, and pray some more over the Word of God. In their quest for understanding and wisdom in spiritual matters they will acquire great wealth that will benefit every area of their life.

Those are spiritually rich who will take the blessings of God and use them for His glory. They use the wealth gained from the Scriptures to invest in others’ lives. They improve others through their involvement and influence. They will put into practice what they learn. They will go above and beyond the call of duty; doing more than is required of them.

Whatever ministry you are involved in you can do great things for the Lord as long as you are personally walking with Him every day. If you are not diligent to have a personal walk with the Lord you will not be a good steward of what you have been given. Only those who are diligent in their walk will be beneficial and profitable to the Lord and His work.

If you are involved in a ministry then you are responsible for doing your part. But if you only do what is required and nothing more you are an unprofitable servant (Lk 17:7-10). Only those who will go above and beyond in their diligence will profit the Lord and His work. Those who fail to do their part, fail to make sure that their responsibility is fulfilled, are LESS than unprofitable; they do not even break even.

ILL:  A person who cannot be in their place to do their job must let the pastor or their immediate director know that they cannot be there to do their job (BTW - The pastor should always be notified). If they know ahead of time they should not wait until 30 minutes before to inform someone that they will not be able to be there. Emergencies happen and that is understandable, but we are talking about a dereliction of duty; those who deal with a slack hand. When they do not let someone know it hurts the work of the Lord.

I read a story of a bus kid who came to VBS at a church and continued riding the bus to church for 400 Sundays. During his senior year in High School, after being picked up for church over 400 times, he gave his heart and life to Christ. What if that bus driver had given up at 399? What would happen if the bus driver was not faithful to run his route or to make sure that someone ran his route when he was going to be out? This is a true story and the boy was Norman Geisler. He is a prolific author, veteran professor, speaker, lecturer, traveler, philosopher, apologist, evangelist, theologian, and a defender of the Gospel.

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. Are you diligent and faithful?

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 28

Bring Blessing To Your Lord

Proverbs 10:6 ~ Blessings are upon the head of the just: …

Those who are just are those who have trusted Christ as their Saviour. They have turned from their old life and have embraced the good life that comes through Christ. They have not only received Him as Saviour, they have made Him the Lord of their life. They strive to have a daily walk with Him and a close, personal, and intimate relationship with Him.

In the eyes of the Father you have been justified by the payment Christ made on the Cross for your sins. You are secure in the risen Saviour and have nothing to fear as far as your eternal destiny is concerned. His resurrection secures your justified status with God the Father. You are accounted as righteous, justified, and reckoned as just; but do you live as one who has been justified?

Your Head is Christ: “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” He is the Head of every believer and when you live as a child of God you honor and bring blessing upon your head (Christ). When you walk by faith you bless the Lord Jesus. When you live out your testimony you please and bless Christ. When you strive to be diligent and faithful as a good steward of the great grace of God you bless the Saviour who loved you and gave Himself for you. When you walk daily with Him by yielding, being obedient, and abiding with Him you honor, please, glorify, and bless the Lord of Glory.

However, when you fail to live out your testimony, when you are derelict in your duties and responsibilities, when you are an unfaithful steward, and when you fail to daily walk by His side you dishonor His name, you bring reproach against Him, you shame the name of Christ, and He is not pleased with nor blessed by you.

Since you are justified and just in your standing, and you truly have nothing to fear, and you know that you are secure in Christ as a child of God, shouldn’t you live like His child. If you go around convincing yourself that you are just a sinner saved by grace then you will act like a sinner much of the time. You will use that for an excuse to be lethargic in your Christian life.

You need to look in the mirror every morning and tell yourself, “I am a child of God and therefore I am royalty. I am an heir with the Lord Jesus Christ. I should live with dignity and respect to the name that has been placed upon me for I am Christian through and through.” This will help bring who you are into perspective and help you to strive for perfection and maturity in your Christian life. It will help you to be a faithful steward of the life the Lord has given you. It will keep you from bringing reproach and shame upon the name of Christ.

Put your hand to the plow in the Lord’s work and never look back. Then will you bring blessing to your Lord.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 29

Remember The Just

Proverbs 10:7 ~ The memory of the just is blessed: …

How do you want to be remembered when you leave this world? Do you want people to recognize that you had a great many worldly accomplishments? Or would you rather people remember that you gave your all to the Lord and His work? The memory of the just is blessed.

There are a great many faithful preachers whose names I remember even though I never knew them personally. Many of them I have never met and some lived hundreds and even thousands of years ago. They are great and faithful saints of God who gave their all for the Lord and the Lord has used them as examples for us to follow as we live for Him.

The reason they are remembered is for their faithfulness to the Lord. Their memory is a blessing to a multitude of people because of who they lived for. Those who lived for themselves do not have a blessing on them or their name. They have gone down in history as someone who is not to be mimicked or followed.

Only those who have lived for the Lord and for others will have a name that will go down in history as a blessing to others. They were just in their dealings with other people in their life and made a good name for themselves without trying to do so.      

The Lord Jesus is the greatest example of someone who gave His all to God and lived for others. He literally gave His all when He died for every person to ever exist; past, present, and future. He willingly came into this world for that very purpose. He came to go to the Cross to die for our sin and took back His life for our justification. He freely offers the gift of eternal life to all who will repent and turn to Him for forgiveness and cleansing.

If you are not living for others then you are not living at all. You will not leave a good memory in this world for yourself if you do not live for others. There is a poem that says, “Others, Lord, Yes others; Let this, my motto be. Help me to live for others, that I may live for Thee.”

We will all leave this world one day. But what will be the memory of your name when you are gone? Will you be known as a great Christian who gave their all for the Lord and lived to bless and help others? I would like to be known as Apostle Paul. He said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

You should know that you are a soldier in a Spiritual war. The devil is fighting to destroy your testimony so that you will not have any good influence on others; especially lost people. He wants to steal your good name so that you will have no blessed memory to leave behind. Many have come and gone in this world who have fought a good fight and have lived and departed in victory over the devil.

You ought to never look back as did the children of Israel when they came out of Egypt. They murmured and complained and wanted to go back to Egypt every time things got a little hard. You have the power of God dwelling inside of you that will give you strength and victory every day. You can continue in the face of opposition and adversity. Remember that a winner never quits, and a quitter never wins. When you have wrestled, when you have withstood, just stand your ground and the Lord will give you the victory.

Through it all stay in the Word and keep the Word in you. Let God’s Word get into your heart and let it make you the person God has created and designed you to be. You will leave behind a great name that will bless your relatives and your family and have an influence in the lives of others after you have gone to be with the Lord. You can fight, you can finish, and you can keep the faith because of whose you are.

Stay the course and keep on keepin’ on for the Lord, for the memory of the just is blessed.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 30

Walk Your Talk

Proverbs 10:9 ~ He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: …  

Does you walk back up your talk? Do you propose to be someone that you are not? If you are going to talk the talk then you need to walk the walk. When you claim the name of Christ you should never shame the name of Christ. Many people today have a bad impression of Christians because of so-called Christians who claimed the name of Christ and lived the life of the devil.

When we tell others that we are Christian then we should show forth the life and attitude of a Christian. You can impact the world in a great way if you will just live what you say you are. When you say that you are a believer then you are saying that you believe on Jesus and that you trust Him for His salvation that He paid for on the Cross. You believe that He arose from the dead and is your Lord and Advocate with God your Father.

If you truly believe that He saved you from an eternal hell of torment and punishment then you should have a deep-rooted love for Him. He saved you from this awful demise and He saved you for Heaven which is an eternal paradise. This is yours now in this present time. You are destined for that indescribably wonderful place for all of eternity. Are you living today as if all of this is really true to you?

A person who had received all of this as a personal gift would want to share it; would they not? I mean, the fruit of the spirit is love; that is godly, selfless, sacrificial love. That love ought to drive you to love the Saviour, and so much the more every minute that you live and breathe. That love should drive you to love your fellow man as Christ loved His fellow man. It should lead you to try and warn them of their eternal demise and to bring them to the saving knowledge of the One who has done so much for you.

If you won the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes you would be extremely excited about it. You would tell everyone you know about it. You would want to share your good fortune with those you love and care about. All of this is just temporary because it will only benefit in this temporal world we live in.

If you met some great person, or you had the best husband or wife in the world you would certainly want to tell everyone that they were your spouse. If you knew someone who was famous you would want others to know that you know them. No doubt you would try to show pictures of you and them together.

Now salvation is an eternal possession. It not only benefits you in this temporal world, but it will greatly benefit you in the eternal world to come. Do you not want to share this information with everyone? You should have a desire to do so even though you may not be proficient at it. You should be willing to shout it from the housetops because it is the greatest thing to ever happen to anyone. You should have an innate desire to tell others who your Lord is. You should want everyone to know who your Father is; He is the One who spoke the worlds into existence. Or are you intimidated by the fact that so many people have been deceived into believing the lies of evolution?

It goes without saying that your lifestyle must match up with your profession of faith. Do not be as the hypocrites are for they make a profession but live without true possession. Their life proves out that what they claim to have is not real. They live like the world, the devil has them in the palm of his hand, and yet they claim to believe in and trust God for their salvation. Their walk does not follow their talk.

When you walk uprightly you are making progress for the Lord. To walk means that you are moving forward, and you are making progress. When you walk with the Lord and He directs your steps you can walk with security. When you walk with the Lord you are under His protection. He will provide your need and He will prosper you in your walk. So be sure that your walk backs up your talk.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 31

Speak Life

Proverbs 10:11 ~The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: …  

In Matthew 15:11 Jesus said, “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” He went on to say, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man” (vs 17, 18). What comes out of the mouth is usually what is in the heart. You must maintain a good heart to speak life into bad situations.

So, when you speak to people what do you say to them? How do you speak to them? Your words can speak life and blessing, or your words can be very harmful. You must be very careful to speak wisely, especially when things are not going good at the moment.

It is in the heat of the moment that your flesh will take control and cause you to say things you will regret. In a moment of anger or fright your flesh tends to want to spew out words and sayings that are not conducive to Christian behavior. You must have victory over the flesh in order to keep it from welling up like a fountain that is corrupted and full of poison. You must keep it at bay at all times for it is in those intense moments that it will rise to the surface and spew forth ill, mean, hurtful, hateful, and absolutely vain and useless words. You cannot have victory over the flesh or maintain a good attitude if your heart is not right.

What you need to do is to learn to speak mercy and peace into those times when things are not going well. If someone were to cut you off on the highway would you give them a piece of your mind? Most people would, though I dare say that it would not be worth much. But whether you are alone, or someone is with you, learn to speak peace. Pray out loud for them and ask God to have mercy on them. You do not know if they are just being foolish or if they may be in a hurry to get to an emergency. But when you put them in God’s hands He can do what needs to be done for them because He knows what is going on.

Praying for them will help you; it will calm you and it will keep victory over the flesh. It will allow you to maintain control of your words and your attitude. Your attitude is critical in these times because your attitude will determine your altitude. It will determine if you take the high road to victory or if you will descend down to the low road of defeat. A good attitude comes from a heart that is right with God.

What do you do in a situation where someone is being rude to you? Do you respond in kind or do you respond with kindness? The Christian thing to do would be to speak words of kindness to that person. You may be a help to them if you will take the high road. They may be having a bad day, or maybe even a bad life. They could be under conviction of the Holy Spirit. You could speak life into their day and show them the love of Christ. Or, you could respond in kind and cause harm to what the Lord is trying to do in their heart. But when you speak life and peace you are a well of life to that individual, whether they accept it or reject it. Do not be disappointed if they reject it. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.

When you walk daily with the Lord you will have a great attitude, even when things go wrong. When people act foolishly, and you pray for them, you maintain a proper attitude. When you intentionally speak words of peace and life into those situations where others may be ill, rude, mean, hateful, and spewing poisonous words out of their mouths, you are impacting their life in a positive way for the glory of the Lord. You must purpose in your heart to look for those times of intensity to be a positive influence in a negative situation.

Determine to be ready to intentionally say good things in those moments when everything goes off the rails. When someone cuts you off intentionally say something good and pray for them. When someone is railing at you or someone else, you can intentionally speak words of peace and love to them. They may or may not respond in kind but maintain the proper attitude and take the high road of peace and life.

Go out today and look for those times when you can speak words that will be a well of life.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 

 

WEEK 28

July 20

Body and Soul Pt 1

Proverbs 10:3 ~ The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish:   

The Psalmist said, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread,” (Psa 37:25). I have never seen a righteous person in a beggar’s position in all my life. The body may suffer in this life but the soul of the righteous shall never famish. Your soul is immortal, but your current body is temporal. When the Lord returns the saved will receive a new body that will be as immortal as the soul.

The Holy Spirit tells us in Philippians that God shall supply all our needs. I was once told that this belief is an “American Doctrine.” May I say that I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor His seed begging bread; God will always supply our every need for the soul because it is eternal. It is not an “American Doctrine”, it is just misunderstood. God supplies for His own and that is a Biblical principle.

God has never failed to supply my needs to support and take care of my family. He always makes a way for us even when times are hard. We have never had to beg, and we have never been without food, water, clothing, or shelter. I say this very carefully because it is only by the grace of God that we have never been out on the streets. My God will supply your every need if you are right with Him. He can and will use people to help with the needs that you have, but He will provide a way and fulfill your needs.

I got laid off from a job one time. Work was very scarce, and nobody was hiring. I was out of work for several months. Our food pantry was bare. My wife pulled out the last two cans of beans and made us supper one night. We thanked God for what we had and told no one of our situation except the Lord.

The next morning, I was offered a lucrative job at the shipyard. I had never applied there because there was a union due of over $500 that had to be paid by non-union employees who hired on. They waved the fee only one time that I know of and that was for me – not because I was special, it was God’s grace. While I was there doing paperwork, someone came by the house with a truck load of groceries. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.  But truly He is GREAT!

I am not saying that a godly Christian cannot end up in a situation where they are without food. Most of those who claim to know the Lord and must beg have made some bad decisions in their life. They have not truly walked with the Lord as they should have. The Lord told us that we will always have the poor with us. That is just the way it is because the world as a whole is sin sick.

We are to minister to those who are less fortunate than we are. God blesses us with overabundance to bless those who are without. Do not give money for it may enable sinful practices. But you can give food and water, clothing, and blankets to those in need. This opens the door to tell them about Christ and to share His love with them.

I know that the Bible repeatedly tells us how God will take care of His own. God does and God will care for His own but only as you allow it to be so. You must walk with the Lord daily to receive His full blessing for your life. God will be merciful in dealing with people who do not walk daily with Him, but He cannot fully bless them.

To walk with the Lord daily is to exercise the love you have for Him. Our Lord Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” The way you live exemplifies your love for the Lord. When you walk daily with Him He will take care of your needs in more ways than you know. How does your love for Christ look today? How is your list of needs looking today? Give Him glory and give Him praise for His goodness towards you.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 21

Body and Soul Pt 2

Proverbs 10:3 ~ The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish:   

God will take care of you, through every day, over all the way. You will never be without the presence of God once you have been saved. You are a sealed vessel for Christ. You are set apart for God your Father. Come what may, eternity awaits you with great bounty of blessing and life. You are now a child of Almighty God and He will take care of His own.

In lean times your stomach may hunger but your soul will never do without as long as you walk daily with the Lord. He is ever there to feed your soul. You have His Spirit to guide you, His Word to feed you, and His grace to supply you. The Bread that is truly needed on a daily basis is the Bread for the soul; that Bread is Christ; that Bread is the written and the living Word of Almighty Jehovah-jireh (Gen. 22:13-14).

If you allow sin to remain in your life you are in rebellion against the authority of God’s Word. This rebellion is against God’s love and mercy and grace. Therefore, He cannot bless you without enabling you to continue in sin. He cannot and He will not do this. If He does He is not a just and holy God; He is not a loving Father.

Just a note here: Some believe that because they are saved and under grace they can do as they please. This is a false doctrine because grace is a liberty to live, not a license to sin. It is true that you cannot lose your salvation but that does not make it okay to sin. “Not under the law” means that we are not under the condemnation of the law which is death (Rev. 20:11-15). It means that we are not bound by sacrificial and ceremonial law to earn righteousness for we are made righteous in Christ in the sight of God. However, we are under the authority of the moral laws of God. We are bound to be obedient children and obey our Father’s commands.

With that being said, there have been Christians who have suffered and who have been left to starve to death for no wrong they have done. That does not contradict the Bible. God says He will supply all our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. When you walk with God you will have your need supplied.

The body and the soul are two parts of the whole person. The part that is the body is just a temporary vehicle that we reside in while we are in this world. Because of the sin curse your body is marching towards the grave; it is appointed unto men once to die. As long as the Lord does not return, your body will die one day. Whether we are persecuted and starve or die some other way, we will all face death one day.

But death is just an experience. It is not the end of existence for anyone. At the moment that your body dies your soul will leave its habitation and go out into eternity. Where you go will be determined by whether or not you fully trusted Christ as your Saviour. You must accept that He died for YOUR sin and that He paid the price of sin in full on YOUR behalf. You must accept Him by turning from your old life and receiving Him into your heart. This is the only way to know that Heaven is your eternal destination.

What do you consider to be more important, feeding the body or feeding the soul? When the body is hungry for food you look for something to eat to satisfy your hunger. When it is mealtime you may eat just because it is mealtime without being hungry. But what about feeding your soul? Do you feed your soul regularly as you would your body for nourishment at mealtimes? Or do you just feed on the Bread from Heaven when it is convenient? If you do not receive the physical food you will suffer in your body. If you do not receive the spiritual food you will suffer in your soul.

It may not be an “American Doctrine” to have all our need met in Christ. However, it is an American privilege to have the luxuries we have; our need fulfilled and a copy of the Word of God in our hands at all times. Many people around the world do not have such luxuries as we have. Feed your soul and share the Word of life with others and pray for those around the world who do not have what you have.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 22

Wisdom Delivers Fools

Proverbs 10:8 ~ The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.

Wisdom is the right understanding and the right application of knowledge. Those who are receptive to the commandments of God are wise in heart. Receiving is more than just hearing; it is to listen with an open heart that is willing to embrace whatever God says. It is to live by faith in what God says in His Word. Wisdom is the Lord Jesus Christ.

A fool in the Word of God is not a mentally deficient person. A fool refers to one who is arrogant and self-sufficient. The fool will order his life as if there were no God. He does not see a need for someone that he believes does not exist. Today there are many people who believe that what they own they have produced for themselves. They do not believe in the providence of God nor do they care to here of Him.

In Luke 12:16-20 we find a rich man who had done very well for himself. His business prospered and he had more than he could possibly need. He had no room for the things that he had already produced. So, he decided that he would tear down his old barns and build bigger and better barns to hold all of his possessions. Many today will prosper and then allow all their prosperity to take control of their life and thinking. The Psalmist wrote, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God, (Psa 14:1 & 53:1).

The rich man began to build new barns to hold all the wealth his business was producing. He felt that he had arrived and that his wealth would last him for his lifetime. He probably hired others to do all the labor so that he could sit back and take his ease. He thought he was settling into a life of luxury and that his life would be good. He thought that his wealth would last the rest of his days. That may have been true, but God does exist, and He had other plans for this man and his wealth.

God looked down upon him and said, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” When people decide that there is no God, or they in their arrogance take credit without acknowledging God’s providence, they are treading on thin ice. God’s appointed time had come for this man to step out into eternity. Afterwards all that he thought that he had produced and built for himself was taken over by someone else.

I have seen many funeral processions, but I have yet to see a U-Haul or a Ryder truck following them to the cemetery. You cannot take it all with you. There was a man who was about to die, and he had $20,000 in the bank. He made his wife promise to put his money in the casket with him when he died. She agreed to do it.

At the funeral she placed an envelope in the pocket of his jacket. A friend saw her and asked her what she was doing. She explained the conversation and the promise that her husband had her to make. Her friend looked at her and said, “You did not put that money in his pocket.” She replied, “I told him I would, so I wrote a check and put it in his pocket.”

What was worse about the rich man in dying is that he died without faith in God. He died a fool’s death; a self-reliant, self-sufficient, arrogant unbeliever. Therefore, he will be as the rich man in Luke 16 who died and “in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments.” Both men were in parables that Christ taught to His disciples. Personally, I believe that He used real people whom He knew actually knew had died and gone to hell.

Be careful that you do not get caught in the trap of deception thinking that God does not get involved in the affairs of individual people. God does get involved and God will show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him. He is looking to do for those who are looking to do for Him.

A fool does not want to believe in God, but many are in that situation before salvation. Someone was wise enough to share Christ with you so that you could be saved. Now you are a believer with power, and you know the truth, learn to share the truth, the wisdom of Christ, and the love of God with others.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 23

Wise Children Make Glad Parents

Proverbs 10:1 ~ A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

The word “glad” here means “to brighten up or to bring happiness to.” “Heaviness” means “depression and grief.” All I ever wanted as a child was to be just like my dad. But his job kept him away from home until I was about 6 years old. He took a job driving local but was still gone from home all the time. When he came home from work he would watch the news, eat supper, and go to bed.

I wanted to make my dad “glad” so he would be proud of me. I wanted him to be pleased and happy with what I did. I wanted him to be happy with who I was. Unfortunately, that was not the case. My dad loved us, and he provided for us, but he did not really associate with us. It may be because my brother and I were that last two kids in the family and my dad was up in years by the time we came along. He was tired and he could not slow down because he had a family to support. I would like to think that in Heaven now he knows and is honored by what and who I am in Christ.

A wise child is one who will hear and listen to instruction. This child will receive it with an open heart. This child will apply it to their life. They will be an obedient child for they will love instruction, knowledge, learning, understanding, and wisdom. Therefore, this child will make their father glad.

A foolish child on the other hand will not listen, learn, love instruction and knowledge, and will not get understanding. They will not be an obedient child because they will spend and squander their time in selfish rebellion. They will not respect their parents or any other authority in their life. This child is a product of those who do not believe in the disciplines of child training. Not only are the parents in heaviness, others will not be pleased with their conduct and behavior.

A parent who does not spend time with their children will bring up resentful and rebellious children. Not all parents can be at home with their children all the time due to work demands. But when they are at home they need to make sure they spend quality time with their children. The parent must teach and instill in their children the disciplines and manners that a child needs. The parent must invest in their child so they will mature and grow in order to have a productive and peaceful life.

However, the most important thing that a parent can teach their child is how to be saved. You must show them the benefits of having Christ in their heart and life by example. You must teach them by spending time reading and teaching them the Bible. You must teach them through participation in the church; it makes your teaching real to them. You must take time to pray with them. If you neglect in any of these areas you are not giving your children all that they need to have a great life. They may have a good life in this world, but a great life includes the abundance in Christ and eternity with the Father in Heaven.

Thank God that we have a Father who can always be there for us and to help us in our Christian life. He is always there to help you develop and grow in a way that is honorable and pleasing to Him. He will feed you, nurture you, provide for you, spend time with you, and instill in you the disciplines that His dear children need to live productive and peaceful lives. He will help you to prosper in whatever you do so long as you abide in His precepts. He will help you to be the best parent that you can possibly be to your children.

To abide in His precepts and to walk with Him every day shows that you trust Him. To be obedient shows Him that you love Him. You honor Him with your conduct, behavior, and your Christian character. You make your Father “glad”. You can literally brighten up His day by being wise with the life and the blessings He has given you. Learn to trust and obey every day. There is no other way to be happy in the Lord but to trust and obey. When you trust and obey your Father you will make Him glad.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 24

From Wickedness to Righteousness

Proverbs 10:2 ~ Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.    

Wickedness” in this verse refers to moral wrongs; anything that is against God. The Bible is very clear that the wages, or the treasures of doing wrong, is death. This death does not refer to the death of the body but rather the death associated with the Judgment. It is the second death which is eternal separation from a benevolent and loving Creator. It is to suffer in the eternal torments of the Lake of Fire paying for your wrongs against your loving God who gave you life and breath in this world.

You cannot live as you want without suffering the consequences which is spiritual and moral loss. You cannot profit by living according to the lusts and desires of the flesh. When you sow to the flesh you will reap corruption. Corruption contains no profit in it. You will suffer loss and if you are not truly saved and born again the loss is an eternal loss. Without Christ as your Saviour you will leave this world and go into a devil’s hell.

If you are a child of God and you continue to walk in sin you will find the chastening hand of God upon you. You cannot profit living wickedly against His will and His plan for your life. He will chasten and He will scourge you. But be aware that your punishment may have great effect on others. Your losses will be felt by your loved ones. Your losses may also affect others by your dereliction of duty in the Lord’s work. Your influence and impact on the lives of others can be for good if you live right but it can be detrimental to others if you live wrong.

Righteousness on the other hand will always have a positive effect on others. You profit when you put your trust in Christ’s payment for your sin. You are spiritually birthed into the family of God. You are justified and delivered from all guilt and the penalty of sin. You receive the gift of God which is eternal life in Heaven with Him. You receive the abundance of life knowing God as your Father and having Christ as your Mediator, Saviour, and Advocate. His righteousness is applied to your account and His righteousness will never falter, fail, or run out.

Yield to the Holy Spirit as an empty vessel. Allow Him to cultivate His fruit in your heart. Embrace His teaching and embrace His love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Life is so much less complicated when you learn to yield to Him daily. These traits of righteousness will give you wisdom to do so much more good with your life. You will have the heart of Christ that is full of compassion, love, mercy, forgiveness, tenderheartedness, and graciousness. Be that person that God desires you to be and life will be more enjoyable and much more abundant.

When you live in His righteousness and allow His Spirit to cultivate His fruit in your heart you will have a greater impact on others for good. This righteousness that delivered you from death and eternal damnation can now work through you to bring others to the saving knowledge of Christ. Your righteousness, your good works, will influence them away from the devil’s control. You can find open doors of opportunity to tell them about salvation. Your way of life and your witness can work together to cause them to repent and turn to Christ for salvation.

Righteousness delivers from death. Praise God for His righteousness bestowed! Praise God for His righteousness cultivated within!

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 

 

WEEK 27

July 13

The Laziness Without Wisdom Pt 2

Proverbs 6:9-11 ~ How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

Laziness will hurt you financially. We are to depend on the Lord to provide our needs, but we are blessed of the Lord to work and provide those needs. He gives you the physical strength to work. He gives you employment or a business to work. He gives you the skill and the ability to do the particular work involved in your occupation. He blesses you with all of this and then gives you financial advice and instructions in His Word to help you have what you need. So, the Lord does provide for your needs, but you must work.

Today’s culture wants to party, stay up late, and sleep all day. They spend their time and money for the pleasures of today without giving thought for tomorrow. Not all our young people are derelict, but many give themselves to living in the moment. If they do not buckle down and work for their needs of both today and tomorrow, they will find themselves in poverty and want. They will live paycheck to paycheck with nothing to show for their life.

Many are homeless today because they did not do anything with their life. They gave themselves to the lusts and pleasures of the flesh. They did not put back anything for the future. Many abused their bodies and now they cannot work. Some have no desire to work because they are reaping what they have sown. They have sown laziness into their flesh and now they are harvesting a life of laziness. They are suffering poverty and want due to a lack of planning and work.

You are made to work. The human body will begin to decline if it is not exercised in some way. Muscles will become weak and unable to perform as they were created to do. When the human body sits at rest too long muscles tend to go into atrophy.

There is an old saying: “You can give a person a fish and they will eat for a day, or you can teach a person to fish and they can eat for a lifetime.” You can learn a trade that will feed you for the rest of your life or you can choose to live off the handouts of the generous.

You can give a handout to those in need, but you can ruin them by doing so. You enable them to continue the destructive and lethargic lifestyle by giving to them all the time. You would do better to put them to work and allow them to earn what you give them. This is giving them a hand up out of their lethargic lifestyle.

Wisdom will follow God’s advice given in His Word. He says to work today for both today and tomorrow. His instruction is to do all that you can while you can. If you sleep your life away you will suffer later in life. The principle of working while it is day is practical as well as spiritual. The time will come when we may not be able to work and that for various reasons.

Remember the 7 Laws of the Harvest.

  1. You reap only what has been sown. If you sow to the spirit you will reap well. If you sow to the flesh you will reap corruption.
  2. You reap the same kind as has been sown. If you sow corn you will not reap peas, you will reap corn. If you sow mercy, kindness, and love you will reap mercy, kindness, and love.
  3. You will reap in a different season. You will reap in the harvest season not in the planting season.
  4. You will reap more than you sow. A kernel of corn planted in the ground will produce ears that are full of kernels of corn.
  5. You will reap in proportion to what you sow. The more you sow the more you will reap in the harvest.
  6. You will reap a full harvest only if you persevere. Do not grow weary in well doing for the harvest will come. Remember that a quitter never wins, and a winner never quits.
  7. You cannot do anything about last year’s harvest. You cannot live on yesterday’s accomplishments and you should not allow yesterday’s failures to hold you back. Wake up and keep moving forward every day.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 14

The Loathing In God’s Wisdom

Proverbs 6:16 ~ These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: (16-19)

God is sovereign and there are some things that do not set well with Him. A proud look comes from a heart of pride. Pride is self-reliance and self-satisfaction. Pride does not have any need for God or the Redemptive sacrifice of Christ. Pride says it can go it alone without any help from others. Be careful that you do not allow pride to get a root in your heart and put distance between you and the Lord.

Of course, God hates hands that shed innocent blood. Every person is created in the image and likeness of God. He is the Creator of all people; every soul is His divine creation. To end a life without merit or reason is an abomination to Him because it is His. He made it, He gave it life, and He shed His blood for their redemption. He is the only one who has the right to end a life and to give the authority to do so.

Those who devise wicked imaginations stand against everything that God is, and that God loves. The Hollywood crowd is a perfect example of this. They come up with everything that they can conjure up that is anti-God and anti-godly. They put it in every film and admittedly or not it does have an impact on every person who watches it. When you watch the filth and garbage that film makers are spewing out you are affected in some way. Many Christians see no problem with it, but they deceive themselves because it does pervert and warp the mind in a negative way.

The feet that are swift to run to mischief are the feet of the ungodly. They do not know God and they do not want to know God. They want everything that the world has to offer. They will accept every perversion that comes along because they do not care to know the truth. They do not want to be told what is right and what is wrong. They believe that whatever morality – which is actually immorality – people want to have is good for them. They have no true set of standards or values that will guide them, and they will turn to every wicked imagination and lie that comes down the line.

A lying tongue cannot be honest about anything. Some people are ungoverned and all they know is to lie about everything. They do not care who it hurts, and they do not see any harm in it until they get caught. Then it is a matter of getting caught and not that they lied. They lie because it is all they know, it is who they are, and it is what they do. The lying tongue is in its natural habitat spewing out lie after lie.

Those who would bear false witness are liars as well but with a different twist. They intentionally lie to cause grief and harm to others. They do so because they profit from it in some way. It keeps them from seeing who they really are. It will allow them to receive some sort of twisted momentary satisfaction from the pain and suffering of those whom they offend. They have a very mean disposition and are glad to cause others trouble.

But the one thing that God added to this list of things that He truly hates is those who sow discord among the brethren. The brethren are those who are the saved, born again, blood bought, and blood washed children of God. They are special to Him because they belong to His Son. They are His children as much as Christ is His child. He loves them as much as He loves Christ.

He wants us to have the unity and harmony with each other that He has with the Son. He wants us to be in one accord and in good fellowship with one another. When someone threatens that unity by intentionally causing division among them it puts them on God’s radar for punishment. Those who would cause strife and division among God’s children had better beware of the consequences.

You are not to judge any of these people in a harsh or critical way. You can only stand firm on the truth and love and pray for them. They are deceived and blinded souls. They do not see the darkness they are in. You need to shine the love of God and share Christ with them every chance you get.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 15

Can You Feel the Burn?

Proverbs 6:27-28 ~ Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?

The last half of this chapter deals with the subject of adultery and the scandal, the drama, and the dangers involved. There is a principle here which states that this sin is one that will not go unnoticed or unpunished. It will be found out and therefore there is a danger of jealousy, unforgiveness, and revenge. The basic principle here applies to all sin. Sin will not go unnoticed or unpunished in the eyes of God. There is nothing that you can do that He does not know about. Be sure that your sin will find you out. No matter how seemingly small a sin may be, it will not go unrecognized for God knows all.

When you as a child of God commit sin, you are in essence committing spiritual adultery. You are cheating on the One to whom you are espoused to. That one is Christ who is God wrapped in flesh. He is the One who bought and paid for you out of the slave market of sin. He is the One who watches over you day and night as the Good Shepherd who watches over His sheep. His desire is to give you His very best.

So, no matter how seemingly small a sin may be, you are committing that sin against a loving Saviour who bled and died to pay for your redemption. And remember this; there are two types of sin: omission and commission. To omit that which you are to do is sin. Simply put God has commanded us to go and tell others about Christ. If you do not attempt to tell others about your Saviour you are in sin.

He commands us to be faithful to church (Heb 10:19-25). The devil and the world have arranged it so that many get caught up in jobs that require them to miss church on a regular basis. It is hard to remain faithful to the Lord’s work if you miss out on the teaching and the preaching of the Word on a regular basis. It is hard to remain faithful if you are not there to be faithful. Not impossible, but extremely hard.

The Lord tells us that we are to gather together more. He knows that we need each other even more the closer we get to the day of redemption. The world is not getting better; it is sick with a sin curse. Things will tend to get worse as we see the day approaching. Therefore, we are to gather together more to enrich, encourage, and edify one another through teaching, fellowship, and serving the Lord our God in the cause of Christ our Saviour.

When it comes to church some have a reason for not attending due to their employment. That is one thing though it is a trap. But others miss regularly without a real reason. Dr. Tom Malone used to tell his people, “Three to Thrive: Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday night.” But I say, “You truly need Four to Flourish: Sunday School, Sunday morning and Sunday evening services, and Wednesday night.” You can be a good Christian attending three services a week, but you can never be a great Christian if you do not sit under the teaching of the Word of God. You need Four to Flourish.

You may not “commit” sins very often, but you need to be aware of the sins of “omission.” These are the ones that many Christians fall into the trap of and may not even realize it. The plain truth is that they are committing sin by omitting things they are supposed to be doing. This is truly the trap of willful sin; not doing what the Bible clearly teaches to do.

Sin is spiritual adultery against a loving and benevolent God whose sole desire is to have a close and personal relationship with you. Unfaithfulness is a willful and deliberate sin that will cause you trouble in the long run when you miss out on so much of what you need to grow and flourish. You are literally starving yourself spiritually when you do not feed on the Word, the fellowship, the application in serving, and the love of God by being actively involved.

Do not allow yourself to get caught in the trap of sin for God says you will get burned.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 16

Ways B4 Works

Proverbs 8:22 ~ The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.   

Proverbs 8:22-36 is proof that the essence of Wisdom is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the personification of what true wisdom is. Rev. C. I. Scofield wrote, “… wisdom is more than the personification of an attribute of God, or of the will of God as best for man, but is a distinct adumbration [image] of Christ,... “

John 1:1-3 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” And again, in Colossians 1:17 we find, “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” We know that all of this points to the one and only begotten Son of God who is the eternal Son.

Christ was in the beginning before the beginning of time, matter, and space ever was brought into existence. He is the Creator God who made us, became us, died for us, and rose again to justify us. No other God can be seen as the merciful, loving, and benevolent Creator and Redeemer. He is the only one and there is no other.

Christ is the Wisdom of the Ages. Wisdom was possessed of God before He made anything. He is eternal and therefore there is no beginning and there is no end with Him. What our finite minds can comprehend of His eternality is that He is the first and the last; the beginning and the end; the Alpha and the Omega; the A and the Z; the One who was, and is, and is to come; He is the great I AM. What we need to realize is that He is also everything that we need in between. He is our everything and our all in all.

What I want to bring out today is that His way came before His works. Our Lord tells us to stand in the ways, and see, and to ask for the old paths (Jer 6:16). These are His ways which is the good way; not A good way but THE good way. He is who He says He is. This is proven out by the fulfilling of prophecies that only He could have known and could have brought to pass. His ways are who He is. He is the LORD our God who never changes. He is Christ our Saviour who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

It would therefore be in your best benefit and interests to not only hear what He says, but to receive it into your heart and apply it to your life. When His way seems hard you must walk on. When His way seems impossible just walk on. When you do not have the strength to go, just walk on. His way is the way to eternal life. His way is the way to Heaven. His way is the way to escape the judgment and wrath that awaits all who have rejected Him. His way is the good way because it is the only safe way. His way came before His works.

When you walk on through hardship, through impossible odds, through weariness, toil, sickness, sorrows, and pain He will give you the victory. He will get you through and finish what He started. He will never leave you behind. He will go before you and He will be with you. His way is prepared before you and He will walk and work with you, in you, and for you so that you can just walk on.

His ways were before His works. Therefore, His ways are proven out in His works. His ways are to be compassionate, loving, kind, benevolent, merciful and gracious. In His ways He works to prosper His own. But in His love He must judge and punish wickedness. He loves and cares for His own as a good shepherd and wickedness is as a roaring lion looking to prey upon and devour His sheep. Therefore, He must judge and punish to protect His own. His ways lead Him to work on your behalf.

His ways are recorded in His Word so that we may know them and abide by them. Determine that you will be wise and walk in His ways so that He may work on your behalf and show Himself strong for you. He will work to prosper you in your journey of faith doing those things that only a loving Father and Redeemer can do for His children. Christ is Wisdom; abide in Him and He will abide with you.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 17

7 Pillars of Perfection

Proverbs 9:1 ~ Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:  

True wisdom is Christ Himself. He is the one from which all wisdom comes. Chapter 8 of Proverbs begins this thought and it is carried on here in chapter 9. The wisdom of God in Christ is the wisdom of the ages and it begins with Him and flows from Him. It will perfect our spiritual maturity in Christ. But worldly wisdom is earthly, sensual, and devilish and comes with the baggage of bitter envying and strife. There are the seven pillars of godly wisdom.

True wisdom comes from above and is first pure. It is clean and contains no impurity of fleshly lusts and desires. It behaves itself in innocence and modesty. It will keep you on humble ground with the Lord and with others. It will keep you from exalting self and from being self-reliant. True wisdom will keep you in close proximity with the Lord through a daily walk with Him.

True wisdom is peaceful. It does not come with the envy and strife. In the world people strive to be better, smarter, and more intelligent than their colleagues. They must have the preeminence to be first and foremost. But true wisdom will give you peace of mind knowing Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord. All wisdom comes from Him and therefore He gets all the recognition, the credit, the glory and the praise. That will eliminate the envy and the strife and leave in its wake peace of heart.

True wisdom is gentle. It is appropriate that wisdom is gentle because it is loving and kind. Again, it does not behave in a way that promotes self. When you walk with the Lord you will realize that He is the reason for all the good in your life. He blesses so that you may take His blessing and be a blessing to someone else. His blessings are not to be kept for self but to be used to edify, encourage, and enrich the lives of others.

True wisdom is easy to be entreated which means it is good for persuasion. A wise person will feed the faith of others. As a Christian you must be about the work of the Lord. That means you must be trying to reach others to get them to come to know the Lord Jesus as their Saviour. You persuade them because you possess and know the Truth which is Christ. When you know the truth, you do not have to be envious of others or strive to prove anything. You know that you know and that is enough. But it is that knowledge and understanding of that truth that is wisdom and it allows you to peaceably and gently lead and persuade others to come to Christ. It is that wisdom that allows you to encourage others to continue to walk daily by the Saviour’s side.

True wisdom is full of mercy and good fruits. Wisdom will look compassionately upon others the way the Lord has had compassion on you. The mercy extended to you by Christ and your Father will cause you to have the same attitude towards others. You should look upon lost souls with compassion and mercy not with disdain. You can hate the sin they commit without hating the person. It is a fine line sometimes but there is a distinct line that allows us to hate their sin while loving the person. This will allow you to do things for them without enabling their sinful actions. This will allow you to build a rapport that will open the door to lead them towards accepting Christ as their Saviour.

True wisdom is no respecter of persons. You should not have partiality when dealing with people. When you hold people in high esteem by the world’s standards it will lead to a negative perception of people. You should never look down on someone because of their color, race or national origin, not even for their beliefs. Remember that you know the Truth and that is what gives you confidence while allowing you to be humble, gentle, kind, compassionate, merciful, peaceful, and persuasive.

True wisdom will lead you to be consistent in your thoughts, words, and actions. There is no hypocrisy in wisdom for hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing another.

Practical wisdom is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. These are the seven pillars of true, heaven-sent wisdom that you as a Christian must practice in your life to help you perfect your spiritual maturity in Christ.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 

 

WEEK 26

July 6

The Loyalty From Wisdom Pt 3

Proverbs 5:16-17 ~ Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee.(Read vs 15-20)

A young man in the army confided to his friend that he would never date another girl if he was within fifty miles of home; his loyalty went fifty miles. How far does your loyalty to your spouse go? What about your loyalty to Christ Jesus? Being unfaithful and disloyal to your spouse is infidelity to Christ.

Loyalty goes a long way when you think about it. It builds fidelity and fidelity breeds stability. You cannot have a fruitful and productive marriage without loyalty to one another. God says that we are to drink waters out of our own cistern and to take water only from our own wells.

These verses refer to the reproductive part of the marital relationship. A man is not to give himself to another woman and have children by her. If she is not his wife she is a stranger. The only person a man is to have children with is the woman with whom God gave him in marriage. She is his partner and his mate.

By the same token the woman should never have children with anyone other than her husband. Too many women today have children by more than one man. There are some who have 4 to 6 children and every one of them have a different daddy. Some have had children for the sake of getting more entitlements from the government welfare roll. This is a sad for both the mother and the children. There is no faithfulness, no loyalty, no fidelity or stability. The children grow up not knowing the grace and goodness of God and all that God intends for a husband, wife, and family to share and experience.

There is more to the relationship than just a few moments of pleasure here and there. The marriage bed is the icing on the cake. The whole relationship is to be a partnership of living life to the fullest. The joy of the physical only enhances the joys of the spiritual and mental part of the relationship. Without every area of the relationship in good health then the whole relationship suffers.

All of these go together; the spiritual part of worshipping God together, the mental part of being bonded together, and the physical part of enjoying our bodies together and having children. If one area is not healthy then the whole relationship suffers. The most important is the spiritual. If it is not right everything else will be out of square.

If you are not loyal to God you cannot be fully loyal to your mate. Loyalty means more than just keeping yourself to the one you married. Loyalty means that you fulfill every part of your responsibility in the marriage. You must be there spiritually, making God preeminent in the home and in your personal life. It means being there mentally for the entire family spending time with them and giving them the due attention they need. It means being there physically, not out of appeasement duty, or obligation, but because of desire.

Loyalty means to always be on their side, never degrading them or standing against them. Loyalty loves them in their mistakes and in their weaknesses. Loyalty stands by them when they are wrong, not condoning, but not critical and condemning either.

When there is a part of the relationship that is not healthy then there is a place for temptations. A look can lead to thoughts and thoughts can lead to actions. In other words, looks turn to lust and lust turns to leaps. Keep your relationship with your spouse alive, vibrant, and growing. God will allow you the best experiences through the marriage that you cannot find anywhere else.

Your relationship with your spouse will be the best thing to ever happen to you. Let them be the one with whom you are consistently delighted, the only one to give you the pleasure and experience of a godly relationship that you can never experience in any other way.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 7

The Lunacy Without Wisdom

Proverbs 5:21 ~ For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.   

The ways” is the road or the path of life that you follow. Are you walking with Christ or without Christ? It does not matter which path you are on; God sees all. He is omniscient which means He is all-knowing. He is also omnipresent which means He is everywhere at all times. It is absolute lunacy for people to think that they can do something and keep it from God.

Whatever you look at or watch God sees. Whatever you listen to God hears. Whatever you think about God knows. There is no keeping anything from Him. The tourism commercials for Las Vegas lie to people when they say, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” No, it does not! God sees all, hears all, and knows all.

You might think that among 7.8 billion people in the world that you are insignificant to God, but you would be dead wrong. God knows you as the one single individual that you are. He knows you better than you know your own self. He has intimate knowledge of you. Just as His eye is on the sparrow so He watches over you. Every hair on your head that you have ever had has had a number that only God knows. That is how intimately He knows you.

He had infinite knowledge of you because there is nothing that you can think that He does not know. God even knows the intent behind every thought you have. He knows why you think what you think even when you do not.

God has instant knowledge of you. He “pondereth” your goings; He knows the path you are on. If you follow Him it means that He prepares the road ahead for you. In Proverbs 21:2 we are told, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.” Here it means that He weighs things out in the balance of righteousness. He considers your heart because He has perfect knowledge of your heart. No man’s heart is always right and that is why we are to be dependent upon God for instruction in righteousness. You are to allow Him to search your heart and try your thoughts.

Altogether the Lord knows you. Moment by moment He is constantly aware of you and all the affairs of your life. Nothing surprises Him or catches Him off guard. Everything that happens in your life must go before God and be approved by His grace before it reaches you.

There are many people today who claim to be saved and to know the Lord, but they do not bear good Christian fruit in their life. They have been deceived into thinking that they can do as they please under grace and find forgiveness for it later. Many ask for forgiveness for the day’s thoughts and actions knowing full well that they will rise again tomorrow and do the same things over again. I dare say there is no true forgiveness given to these poor people because there must be repentance in forgiveness.

True repentance is a change of heart that will change your direction. When you confess your sin, you are agreeing with God about what He already knows; you agree with Him that you have sinned. But you must turn from that sin and forsake it (Isa. 55:7). Forgiveness will only come when you turn from the sin and have no intension of going back to it (2 Tm 2:19). We all make mistakes and we all may have times of weakness when we may do something or neglect something, but the habitual walk in sin cannot continue if you want forgiveness and cleansing.

All sin must be confessed because God already knows about it before you go to Him. You cannot do something away from church and think that God does not know it. Remember, He is everywhere all the time. You should carefully read the 139th Psalm. It reveals that you cannot run from, hide from, or get away from God. It is certain that no born-again child of His can escape His grasp. And no sin will ever escape His reach.

Do not try to keep anything from the Lord. Give it all to Him and rest in His ever-faithful care.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 8

The League in Wisdom

Proverbs 6:3 ~ Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. (Read vs 1-5)

Be careful who you are in league with. These verses have to do with good financial and business principles. Before you indebt yourself for a friend you need to make sure that your friend is not only capable of making good on it, but you must also be sure that your friend is honest in his financial dealings. This can become very troublesome. Making good for a family member is one thing, but for a friend it is completely different.

Make sure of your friends. You need to know that your friends are your friends. If all they ever want is to receive and never give, they are not a true friend. A friend is usually the one who is walking in when everyone else is walking out. A friend will never look for something in return for their friendship.

If you are going to have true friends then you must be a friend. The Bible teaches that if you are going to have friends then you must show yourself friendly. There are three analogies of a true friend. The first is that of a leaf. The leaf on a tree is very weak and you cannot put a lot of weight on it. These are those you cannot really depend on. You cannot be mad at them, that is just who they are.

The second type of a friend is like a branch in a tree. You must not put all your weight on them until you know if they are capable of handling the load. Some may be sturdy enough to hold you up and to help you out. However, when storms come they may stay through a few rough times, but after that they will break away.

The third type of friend is like the root of the tree. A tree can have many branches and leaves but very few roots. They are there to always give nutrition and support. They rarely need to be seen or heard. They are the support system that helps the tree in many ways. A friend of this nature is a true friend indeed.

Wrong friends lead to wrong practices. When you socialize with the wrong crowd you are on thin ice. You are not safe from temptations or the attacks of the devil. Wrong friends will lead you down the wrong path. They are the flesh friends who will encourage you to feed the flesh. They will usually bail on you when things get truly tough.

Some may say, “But, Preacher, I am just trying to get them to come to church with me.” That is great, but you do not have to socialize with them to invite them to church or to share Christ with them. That makes about as much sense as putting 10 well people in the room with one who is sick and highly contagious in hope that the sick one will get well. No, the sick one will infect some of the others.

Lot vexed His soul in Sodom. “Vex” means “to wear down”. Lot allowed his soul to be worn down by the filthy and vile wickedness of that place for profit and popularity (2 Pt 2:7-8). Do not allow yourself to be deceived, the wrong people will not help you to live godly.

Right friends will invest in your life. They will give of themselves to help you when and where they can. They will be Christ-centered and following Christ. They will hold no grudges when you make a mistake. They are motivated to help you because of the bond of love that God has placed in their heart. They are going to improve your quality of life and add to your life spiritually. They are Spirit friends who will feed your faith.

When you are in league with the right people you will be blessed. But you must be careful who you are in league with. You will reap the kind of friendships that you sow. You can have many acquaintances, you can have many who will call themselves friends, but you may only have a few who are true friends.

What kind of friend do you want to be? Jesus says, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Mt 7:12). In other words, treat other people the way that you want them to treat you. You will reap the kind of friendships that you sow. Be in league with Spirit people who will feed your faith and be a good friend.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 9

The Labor of Wisdom

Proverbs 6:6-8 ~ Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:  

These verses deal with laziness. “Sluggard” means “one who is lazy, unmotivated, and undisciplined.” It goes with the former verses in this chapter on financial and business principles. Here we are given a great example of what it means to be actively hard working. The ant is looking ahead, it is motivated, disciplined, and a self-starter. They plan ahead and lay up for the winter.

The ant is a workhorse that works today to have for both today and tomorrow. You never know what tomorrow may bring so it is best to have something to fall back on. The labor of wisdom is to live by the philosophy of doing all that you can today and put back some for tomorrow. It is also the wisdom of not putting off till tomorrow what you can do today.

Too many people today live for “NOW”.  They want everything, they want it their way, and they want it now. They live for today and give very little to no thought of tomorrow. The culture today is indifferent to their future needs. Many are expecting the government to make sure that they have what they need. The concept of working today for tomorrow is a dwindling philosophy among our young people.

The Bible teaches, “…that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (2 Ths 3:10). Consider the ant. It has nobody telling it what to do. It knows what must be done and it goes to work doing it. If it does not work it will not eat. If the ant does not work the whole colony suffers for it.

Each and every ant has their part in the work they are doing. They are building a colony. Some provide the food, some construct the colony (the ant beds), some take care of the nursery where the eggs are kept, and some are there for protection. They all have a part and they are all faithful and loyal to do their part.

And again, we are told, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (2 Tim 5:8). This means more than food and shelter. The head of the home is responsible for the spiritual needs, the physical needs, the material needs, the financial needs, security needs, and the mental and social needs of the family. The man is responsible for his home, but the husband and wife team are better equipped to fulfill this role together, each doing their part.

This is true in the home, but this principle is also true in the church. We are supposed to be working together to build a church. Every person has a part and if they do not do their part then the church as a whole will suffer for it. Those who have been given a job or responsibility in the church must be faithful and loyal to be in every service to do their part. If they are not there, if they do not do their part, they are hurting the body.

We are to work together as a team to do the Lord’s work. The acrostic “T.E.A.M.”  means “Together Everybody Achieves More”. The church needs people to take on responsibility and to be faithful to fulfill their commitment and their obligation. When people in the church are faithful the church will grow spiritually and numerically. As a member of a New Testament church, as a Christian, nobody should have to have someone micromanage their every move. They know what to do and they should consider the ant and just do their job.

If it seems more like a job than a joy to work in the church, then there is a problem with your heart. Working for the Lord should never feel like a burden or a chore. It should be a delight to the soul to do for the One who gave His all and died for you. If it is a burden and there is no delight, then there is a problem of the heart. You would do well to get on the altar and ask God to show you what is wrong.

The ant was made to work. It finds delight in its work. It would be miserable if it did not work. Consider the ant and give yourself to the Lord’s work. Be a part of building a great church for the Lord. Do not concern yourself with what others are not doing, just put your hand to the plow and don’t look back.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 10

The Laziness Without Wisdom

Proverbs 6:9-11 ~ How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

Again, the theme of laziness continues. People who procrastinate will put off till tomorrow what could be done today. When tomorrow comes they once again procrastinate and thus they start getting farther and farther behind. Eventually they will reach a point where they will never get caught up.

Laziness hurts you spiritually in that you cannot experience all the Lord has for you if you are too lazy to work on your relationship with Him. It takes work and study to find all the treasures God has given you in His Word. Study is like mining for precious stones, sometimes you must work hard to acquire what the Lord has for you. If you do not work and study you cannot know God’s perfect will and you will miss out on all that He has for you.

Laziness has adverse effects on church growth. Spiritual growth is stifled by those who are not faithful to study and learn. Paul told the church that he could not teach them the weightier things of God because they were not growing spiritually. He could not give them the meat of the Word because they were still babes in need of the milk. They were in this condition because they did not put into practice the things they were taught; they did not exercise basic principles because of spiritual lethargy.

Laziness will keep you from working for the Lord. The Lord says you are to “Go”. To “go” requires putting forth effort to accomplish His will. He says you are to “press toward the mark” which requires forward momentum which means work. You cannot keep moving forward if you spend all your time having fun and sleeping.

Many want to have special events and meetings, special sings, and fellowships. People love having a church that is busy with activities and programs for every age group. The problem is that there are very few people who are willing to do the work involved. A church is built by winning people to Christ through a soul winning and visitation program. Unfortunately, there are even fewer people who are willing to sacrifice time and work in a soul winning and visitation program.

God has invested into your life through His redeeming power. He has commanded us to invest in others’ lives by helping them come to Christ. He has given you the bread of life and you are to share that bread with others. He has put a lot into you; He gave His all for you on Calvary. Now you must take His love and “pay it forward.” Someone told you about the Lord and someone told them about the Lord. Now you must be involved in telling others about the love of God in Christ. Do not procrastinate for there are souls in danger of perishing forever.

Are you working for what you need today and tomorrow? Are you working for what you will need to invest in others? Are you working on your relationship with the Lord? Are you living in His abundance by putting into practice what He has given you? Are you working to invest in others’ lives and build the church? You must keep moving forward so that you will not become stagnant and lethargic. You must reach out to others so that you can invest in them the way the Lord has invested in you.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 

 

WEEK 25

June 29

The Law of Wisdom

Proverbs 4:20-22 ~ My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.  Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. 

We are to attend unto the words of the Lord our God. The word “attend” means “to prick up the ears; to hearken.” When you hear the words of the Lord you are to hear with the ears and to hearken, or listen, with the heart. Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines “attend” as “to go with as a companion or servant; to be present, accompany, or be united to.”

You must attach yourself to God’s words and allow them to permeate the deepest recesses of your soul. Allow them to get into you and to change you from within. The person people see on the outside will be a direct result of who you are on the inside. You may put up a false front, but the true person within will be revealed over time. The more you are around the same people the more deeply they will get to know you and the true you will come out. Let it be the person who is attending to the words of God.

Your Father wants you to “incline” your ear unto His “sayings”. Simply put you are to lean towards hearing and heeding what God says or tells you through His Spirit and His Word. When you came into this world you were bent - leaning toward - a sinful nature and life because you were spiritually dead and badly deceived. Once you received Christ as your Saviour you were straightened up and brought to life by the power of the Spirit within you.

Now you need to attend to God’s words and stretch yourself towards them so that you may fashion your life after His sayings. Remember that God wants to prosper you. He wants you to benefit from His counsel. He is the only One who knows what is right and what is best for you. Therefore, it would be wise to attend with the heart and incline towards what He says.

We are to be like plants that make their food through photosynthesis. The leaves of the plant will lean towards or face the sunlight so that the chlorophyll in them can convert water from the soil and carbon dioxide from the air into oxygen and sugar. The plants use the sugar for food while releasing the oxygen into the air which gives us quality air to breathe. This can only be done in the presence of the sunlight. Without sunlight the plant will not be healthy; it will wither and eventually it may even die.

You are to be like the plant; leaning towards the light of God’s words and sayings. You can use His words for food for your soul and you are able to share His Word with others to comfort, strengthen, encourage, edify, and enrich their life. You are only able to do this as you stay in the light of His Word. Without it your physical and spiritual health will wither. Without it you cannot be a source of help to those who have true spiritual needs.

Any godly parent will use the Word of God in their parenting to teach their children the way they should live. If you will “train them up in the way they should go” you have God’s promise that they will not depart from it when they are older. The world wants to destroy the godly faith of our children. You must be sure that your parental guidelines are based on Scripture for your children to know the truth. You cannot attend unto the words of the Lord and incline unto His sayings without leading your children to do so. 

When you attend to and incline towards God’s words - reading, studying, meditating, and obeying – you will experience the best God has for you. Keep His Word in front of your eyes and it will be planted deep within your heart. It will permeate the deepest recesses of your soul. His words will give you peace and understanding that will be life and health to your soul and your body. Keep His Word in front of you and follow Him. You will experience greater spiritual growth and be a source of blessing for others.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

June 30

The Leading in Wisdom

Proverbs 4:23~  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. 

It is simple to say that out of the heart comes the truth of who we actually are as a person. When we talk about the heart we are talking about the soul from which proceeds imagination, conscience, reasoning, memories, affections, and even emotions. You must guard your heart with due diligence.

The Lord Jesus taught that out of the heart proceed evil thoughts (Mt 5:19). The word “evil” means “hurtful and degenerate”. These are the thoughts that unregenerate and reprobate people have towards the Lord and His stuff. These are thoughts that will keep people from hearing truth and will cause some who hear and know truth to reject it. These include wicked imaginations, carnal reasoning, lustful desires, and malicious schemes which are developed in the heart of deceived and corrupt individuals.

A corrupt heart that allows evil thoughts to be cultivated within will follow a path that takes a downward spiral. It will lead away from God and His goodness and blessings. This is a pathway that leads away from the light of wisdom and into the darkness of this wicked and corrupt world. That is why that the Lord said that out of the heart proceed evil thoughts and murders. It only stands to reason that those who would willfully and deliberately take the life of another have a corrupt heart that is darkened and deceived by corrupt thoughts.

The Lord Jesus also said that adultery proceeds from a corrupt heart. The spouse who can be unfaithful to their partner is one whose heart is not thinking clearly. They certainly are not using the light of the wisdom of God’s Word to guide them in their choices and decisions. Their heart is not attending to nor inclined to the words and the sayings of Almighty God. It is certainly sad to see when a Christian has given in to the lust of the flesh rather than follow the clear teaching of the doctrine of Christ which is loving God and loving others. Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts and they lead down a dark path.

Christ also said that fornications come from the heart. No doubt that evil thought is the beginning of all these heinous crimes against God and humanity. The word “fornication” literally refers to harlotry –both men and women – which includes adultery and incest. A mind that is governed by the darkness of evil thought is a mind that would easily be ensnared in these licentious acts of perversion.

The world today is increasingly turning to theft, false witness, and blasphemy. You can see it in politics every day. Every good and decent person that disagrees with the worldly elite will find themselves attacked through some type of character assassination. Candidates, those nominated to some public office, people who oppose the evil and wicked practices of those who oppose all that is good, decent, and wholesome will be attacked. People come out of the woodwork to make whatever false accusation they can make just to make the populace think ill of them. Their good name is stolen through false witness and blasphemy.

Christ said blasphemy comes from the heart of evil thoughts. “Blasphemy” means “vilification”. Too many of the liberal progressives today are trying to vilify those who would live godly. You are considered intolerant, a radical extremist, a racist, a bigot, hateful, and a weak individual if you oppose the ungodliness that has consumed our culture today. If you speak out you are labeled, called out, and pressured to apologize or you will suffer loss of jobs, businesses, and good standing in your community. 

You must allow God’s Word to abide in your heart. Out of a heart where the Lord reigns and His Word abides there will come forth the issues, or the source, of life. Your life decisions come from your heart. From your heart will come godliness (right thinking), truth, goodness, and righteousness (right actions).

Guard your heart. Fill it with God’s Word and you will have victory over the enticements and the temptations of the devil and this corrupt world. Keep your heart and it will lead you in wisdom.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 1

The Life of Wisdom

Proverbs 5:1-2 ~ My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:  That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. (Read verses 1-14)

We live in a day that is darkened by evil thoughts and corrupt hearts. God judged the earth for the evil of man’s heart in Noah’s day. He judged the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their evil and licentious ways. He will judge and punish the earth again just as He said in His Word.

As a Christians you are to attend (to prick up the ears; to hearken; to go with as a companion or servant; to be present, accompany, or be united to) to God’s wisdom found within His Word. You are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Salt is a preservative and you are to preserve the godly way of life to honor your Father and Christ. You are to be the example to those who are in the world, both the saved and the unsaved.

Regard discretion” means “to hedge about or to guard your caution and judgment from the influence, perversion, and corruption of the world.” When we think of discretion we are talking about the ability to be cautious and make right and proper judgment calls with the decisions we make every day. Again we are told by the Lord to attend and to bow the ear to His words. His Word is knowledge that brings with it understanding and wisdom to apply it. It is relative and it is applicable.

When you focus your attention on the Lord you will experience more of His love, His blessing, and His grace. You are to take what you receive from Him and exercise it in your life; put it to work. Then will you have the foresight needed to escape the snares of the devil. He is working to trip you up and will use everything in his arsenal to do so. He does not want you to succeed at living godly because of the positive influence and impact you will have on the world.

The first fourteen verses of this chapter in the Bible talk about the loose and licentious woman (harlot) who works to tempt the young man. This is a man who is not mature in his thinking. He is blinded and deceived by the lust of the flesh. He is being lured with the pleasure of sex. This is exactly what goes on in our culture today; hooking up with every person you can and getting all you can. The harlot also represents temptation of any kind and the young man represents any person who is not spiritually mature and is easily deceived.

The “wormwood” is the empty, unsatisfied, trouble-filled lifestyle that comes with yielding to sin. It is the bitterness of the sinful life and broken fellowship with God. People are driven by the lust of short-lived pleasure. Many have shortened their very lives by indulging in such sinful practices. Surely their steps go down to death and many have taken their plunge into the eternal demise of hell because of it.

But God is gracious, beneficial, merciful, and a loving God and Father. He gives us words of warning so that we can have the foresight needed to keep us from falling into such deceitful traps and snares. He gives us prudence to be careful and think before we leap. His Word and His Spirit within give us wisdom to avoid the pitfalls of temptation and to be responsible, mature, Christians.

You must be vigilant to stay in His Word. You must be diligent to heed His Word. When you see the temptation, you are to flee the temptation. You are to lean upon the Lord and His strength. He will always give you a way to escape any and every temptation that you face today.

Christ gave us the perfect example of fleeing temptation when He was in the wilderness with Satan. With every temptation that Satan brought to Him Christ used Scripture to refute it. He ran from the temptation by running to Scripture. That is why it is so important to be well trained and knowledgeable of the Word of God. Without knowledge and understanding there is no wisdom to fight temptations.

Attend to God’s Word, bow to His understanding, regard discretion, and live the life of wisdom.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 2

The Loyalty From Wisdom Pt 1

Proverbs 5:15 ~ Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. (Read vs 15-20)

Biblical marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. The man is to leave his father and mother and to cleave unto his wife. Cleave literally means to cling to or adhere to; to be glued to. There is to be no other woman in the marriage. In ancient times men had many wives and concubines. But God never intended it to be so. His original design was one man and one woman glued together in marriage for life.

With social media and internet abilities, too many today are being unfaithful to their spouse. Even when it is a relationship that is strictly an online “thing”, even though there is no physical contact or meeting, it is still adulterous and unfaithful. It violates the vow of loyalty taken in marriage. It does not matter if it is on the phone or on the computer, if it involves intimacy with someone other than your spouse it is sin.

Pornography has been the ruin of many marriages. But that problem escalated when internet made it possible to tune in to it with the simple click of a button. Our Lord taught that if you look upon a person to lust after them then it is sin. Men and women are caught in the snares of the devil as they look to lust after someone other than their spouse. Just looking violates your oath and your loyalty; it violates your partner’s trust.

When a man and a woman come together in marriage, they take their vows before God and a company of witnesses. In Ecclesiastes 5:5 God says, “Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” God will require your vow and you will answer to Him if you break those sacred vows.

You vow to love, cherish, and honor in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse. There is no reason for you to be unfaithful. God is telling men that they are the responsible party in keeping the fidelity within the marriage. They are the head of the family and everything rises and falls upon leadership.

Husbands keep your eye only on your wife. She is the one with whom you chose to spend your life with. No matter what happens you can never let your eyes wonder. Job said, “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” Some have told me, “It doesn’t hurt to look.” But the truth is that if you take a second look you have gone too far. It is then that you have allowed your mind to open up to lustful thoughts. The covenant is to keep your eyes and your focus only on the one with whom you are married.

All the responsibility does not just rest upon the husband. He should continue to do all that he did to win you over before marriage. That premarital work of winning the heart should continue throughout the marriage. It should never end. He should take care of himself and not let himself go after the vows. He should always try to look his best for his wife. He should not grow lazy in keeping the spark alive.

The wife has the same responsibility to take care of herself and take care of her husband. He should never have a need to turn his eyes elsewhere. A wife should always try to look her best for her husband; inside and out. I did not say you have to have a model figure, I said look your best. Keep yourself up and do not let yourself go. Take care of your health and your body. What you did to get his attention before marriage should continue after marriage.

A husband and wife must continue to look their best and also to be their best. You must keep each other’s respect. There is to be no flirtatious conversations with others. There can be no comparisons made to another person. There can be no putting down in front of others. There must be love and respect in the relationship.

There is a difference between marriage and relationship. Marriage is a vow; relationship is living it.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

July 3

The Loyalty From Wisdom Pt 2

Proverbs 5:18  Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. (Read vs 15-20)

I see many husbands and wives who are “married” and that is all they have in their relationship. For some that may be enough. But I believe that we are to live life to the fullest. God gave us life and marriage and all that goes along with it. You can be married and have a family and be happy, but I believe God intended the marriage relationship to be so much more than just “married”. Too many today have left their first love.

The first love is that love that you had before the “I do’s”. Does your marriage still have that same spark that it had in the beginning? Has the spark gone out? It should not die when children come into the picture. That original spark should burn brighter and brighter; it should grow your whole life through. If it has not you are missing out on the whole life God intended for you. You have left your first love.

It is like God gave you a garden. At first you were excited about it and you kept it up. You pulled the weeds, you watered it, and you gave it a lot of attention. But then other things started requiring more of your time and you did not give it the care you once did. You did not have time to pull the weeds. You did not have time to water it. The garden will eventually die from being choked by the weeds, lack of water, and no tender care. You still have the garden, but it is barren and produces no fruit.

Loyalty requires that you stay faithful to your mate. That means that you work to take care of what God has given you. You work to keep the marriage alive and vibrant. You must work to keep the fire going. You must work at it to keep the weeds of despondency, doubt, distress, disappointment, and discouragement out of the relationship. You must water it with the tender love God put in your heart for each other. You must sacrifice time to put back into the marriage what you take out of it.

The devil is attacking the family today because it is the foundational unit of a godly society. He has made it so that if a family is going to own their own home it is necessary for both spouses to work to afford the mortgage. But then there is the added cost of a second vehicle, insurance, and gas. Separate lunches add to the cost of living as well. Rather than catching up they simply go farther in debt.

Too many families today are indebted to the world and do not even realize that they are. They are so far in debt that if one loses their job they risk losing everything. If their employer says they must work on the Lord’s Day then they do so because they have to, not because they want to. There are some occupations that require people to be on duty such as medical, law enforcement, fire, and emergency services, etc. But not all occupations are of such magnitude that they require people on duty 7 days a week.

All of this puts a strain on marriages that do not have to be there. There is no time for the intimacy that God is referring to in Proverbs 5. The husband and wife do not have the personal time to keep their marriage fresh and vibrant. Children need personal time with mom and dad so there is a good and beneficial bond between them. Too much time spent away from children will affect that relationship; no matter how good it may seem. All of this adds to the strain in the marriage and for some it is too much.

You must be loyal to your spouse first. Even if you both have to work to pay for everything you have, you must work even harder at keeping your vows and your marriage intact. You must make sure that you have quality family time, but you must also make sure that you have quality one on one time with each other.

Do not fall into that trap of robbing God and taking time away from church to have family time together. Do not take away personal time with Him. This only adds to the problems that already exist. 

You must regain the first love you have left by remembering, repenting, and returning to the first works. When you do you can rejoice with the spouse of thy youth.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 

WEEK 24

June 22

The Philanthropy in Wisdom Pt 2

Proverbs 3:29-30 ~ Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

The Laws of the Harvest tell us that we will reap that which we have sown, good or bad. We will reap more than we sow and in a different season than we sow. There is also the Law of Reciprocity which states that we will receive in kind to what we give or do. So, if you devise evil against someone it is more likely that you will suffer the same fate. The old saying says, “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.” What goes around from you will return in like kind to you.

Neighbors who conspire against one another will ultimately ruin the atmosphere of a good neighborhood. There were two neighbors living next to each other and shared the same alley behind their homes. One man and his adult son threw out an old mattress and bed springs in the alley for the trash to pick up. The other neighbor became enraged and made some verbal threats. They met in the alley, the man and his wife and the other man and his son. The man and his son were both armed. After some very heated words and threats were exchanged, the father and son opened fire and killed the other man. A neighborhood ruined because of two neighbors who devised evil against one another. Strife is not godly, and you will reap what you sow.

You are warned against quarreling and fighting with your neighbors, but there is also a warning here about fighting with strangers. There is no place for strife in the heart and life of a born-again believer. It does not edify others to be disruptive and divisive. You cannot win over your enemies if you look for ways to get back at them. You never want to be a part of or be accused of causing trouble with someone for any reason.

I am not a pacifist; I will protect and defend my family and innocent people if I must. 1 Timothy 5:8 says, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” To provide for our own means to provide spiritually, mentally, emotionally, materially, and even security and physical protection when needed. But we are not to be the aggressors nor are we to look for reasons to cause strife or get even.

The Bible goes on to say that you are not to render evil for evil; there is no getting even. If it is at all possible, you are to live peaceably with all men; good or bad, neighbor or stranger, friend or foe. Vengeance belongs to God and when you seek to get even with those who have wronged you, you put yourself in God’s place; sounds like what Lucifer desired in Isaiah 14. (Ref: Rom 12:17-21)

The idea is to win your enemies over by not allowing the evil of this world to overcome you. You are to overcome evil with good. The Bible says, “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head” (Rom 12:20). This does not mean to do things to mock or enrage him. It means you do good to make them think of the wrong they have done. You magnify the wrong by contrast of the good. In doing so you are looking to gain two victories: to maintain your own integrity and to win your opposition over to the Lord.

I challenge you walk with God as His dear child. Then you will have no fear and you will love in ways the world cannot comprehend. You will have a greater love for the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. You will have a greater love for all of mankind. You will desire for others to come to know Christ and for them to enjoy that vast, deep experience of love, peace, hope, and joy that you have in Christ.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

June 23

The Passion Opposite of Wisdom

Proverbs 3:31-32 ~ Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.

Envy” here means “to be jealous.” “Oppressor” is the violent person who is unjust in all their ways. Why would you be envious of such a person? The world today paints these people in a positive and heroic light. Unknowingly many do envy such a tough guy image. But the Lord says to avoid this way of life no matter how prosperous it may be.

Not only are we to avoid it in the sense of actually being this type of person, but He is saying here is that you are not to even consider or ponder in your heart what it might be like. Envy has the sense of lust and a desire for the forbidden. If you allow these thoughts to grow in your heart you will most likely begin to act upon them.

There is an old hymn that says, “Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder, Why it should be thus all the day long; While there are others living about us, Never molested, though in the wrong. Sometimes I wonder why I must suffer, Go in the rain, the cold, and the snow, When there are many living in comfort, Giving no heed to all I can do.” The fifth verse in this song says, “‘Faithful till death,’ said our loving Master; Short is our time to labor and wait; Then will our toiling seem to be nothing, When we shall pass through the heavenly gate.”

When you see others “living high on the hog” and seemingly not having any trouble in their life you must remember that your time is coming. Your time here may be a time of labor and toil without due recognition. But remember that the Lord is always watching you; His thoughts are continuously toward you for your good. He desires to give you abundance of life now. He has no thoughts of evil towards you. Be very careful how you think about things because the world, the devil, and even your own flesh can give you thoughts and desires that are not conducive to positive spiritual growth and conduct.

The Lord will prosper you here when you follow Him and His ways. But your greatest prosperity will come when you go to be with Him. The chorus gives us some good advice for now: “Farther along we’ll know all about it, Farther along we’ll understand why; Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine, We’ll understand it all by and by.” We are to live in the Light of God’s Word; read, study, meditate, memorize, and apply. Then will you have the joy of the Lord, even in troublous times.

Froward” in this verse means “to turn aside or depart.” A believer who departs from the truth and goes back to the world is apostate and an “abomination” to the Father. That word means “disgusting and abhorrent” which means that it is something that God hates; NOT the person but his sinfulness. But the “secret” of the Lord is with those who walk in His ways and His righteousness. That literally means that only those who walk with the Lord will receive His counsel and advice. You have an inside Source that will tell you how to receive God’s absolute best for your life now.

The world may glamorize this type of character and this lifestyle. But the truth of the matter is that these people are not truly happy. The devil and his world have deceived them into thinking that they are. Their own flesh has deceived them into thinking that they have the very best that life has to offer. They are searching desperately for peace and satisfaction within and cannot find it. They are empty on the inside and use all their worldly gain to fill that void. Only Christ can fill and satisfy that emptiness. Do not envy them, with Christ you have it so much better than they ever will.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

June 24

The Preciousness From Wisdom

Proverbs 3:33-35 ~ The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just. Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

Here we see the blessing and the curse of God. When the Lord removes His hand of blessing then generally the sin curse against the wickedness of this world prevails. Some would say that there is a general curse of God against wickedness and with that I do agree. Without His hand of blessing you are cursed to suffer the struggle of a sin-cursed world on your own.

Why suffer the struggles of this life without God when it is so much easier to walk with God? People may be willing in their spirit to walk with God, but so many give in to the weakness of the flesh; its lusts, its desires, and its short-lived pleasures. But to do so is to remove you from the blessings of the Lord; His power, His protection, His provisions, and His peace.

Curse” here means “execration or the extreme hatred of God against all that is evil and wicked.” “Wicked” refers to a person who is morally wrong and thus a truly sinful person. He cannot bless a wicked person in their sinful wickedness and therefore they abide under His curse. It is sad how many homes suffer because of the foolishness of a wicked, Christ-rejecting person. Without Christ that home will never know the love, the peace, or the prosperity of God.

It also says that He scorns the scorners. “Scorneth” and “scorners” both mean “to have a low opinion of someone and to treat them very mean and shamefully.” Psalm 9:16 says, “The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.” God will allow the sinful wickedness of a person to come back on them; He laughs at their foolish rejection of His love and goodness.

Those who live shameful lives in the eyes of a loving and benevolent Creator will suffer for that shame and reproach one day. The only way they can escape it is to repent and turn to Christ for forgiveness. Their shamefulness will catch up to them one day, whether it is here or at the Judgement. Those who are foolish enough to disregard the love of God in Christ will suffer the shame and disgrace of being turned away from God for eternity.

But those who grow in the knowledge and grace of Christ, walking in the wisdom of a loving Father, will know the preciousness that comes from that wisdom. They will know the love of God, the peace of God, and experience the abundant provisions of God. Their home will be filled with the grace of God.

But of greater note is that they will inherit glory and will have it for all of eternity. How precious is the wondrous promise of God, that if we would simply trust Him and walk with Him, that we can have abundance of life. Not the abundance of greed, but the abundance of living in joy and happiness in this sin-cursed world. But even more precious is the promise of eternal life with Him in Heavenly bliss.

Will you live like the child of God that you are? Take time out of your busy schedule to get to know more of Him. Spend more time in communication with Him; let Him speak to you through His Word and His Spirit. There is preciousness to life that you will experience as you take time to walk with and talk with Him. When you get to Heaven it will be so much sweeter because you took time to be with Him here.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

June 25

The Light of Wisdom

Proverbs 4:18 ~ But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

We are all just travelers in this world. We are all on our way to another destination. From birth till death we travel between the eternities. We journey through this world as sojourners and pilgrims. But the day quickly approaches when we shall step into eternity and reach our destination. For some it will be great and for others it will be horrible.

This world is longing and wanting for light. It is a place of spiritual darkness because of the one who rules its corrupt sphere. God gave the rule of this world to Adam and when he broke his sacred trust he gave it to the devil. Now the devil works to blind the minds of those who have not yet trusted Christ. He works to oppose those who have. He is the great deceiver and he is extremely efficient in his work.

We need light to see our way through this world. We are on a journey in the darkness and require light to see our way clear. God gave us His Word to be our light. It is to be a lamp unto our feet. That means that the Word is there to guide our every step in life.

Because of the dangers and the traps that the devil has set for us, we need to be very cautious and aware of our surroundings. Every step you take should be illuminated by His Word. Every decision you make should be held up to God’s Word for approval. The lamp aspect is the checks and balances of God in approving or disapproving your decision and choices in life. Whatever choices you make, whatever decisions you make, all must be in accordance with the guidelines of God’s Word.

Making decisions in the dark can lead to some regrettable consequences. Back in the days before electricity, a tightfisted old farmer was putting down his hired servant for using a lantern when he went to call on his girlfriend. “When I went to see my girl,” he exclaimed, “I never used a lantern. I always went in the dark.” His hired man said, “Yeah, I can believe it; look at what you got.”

God’s Word is a light unto your path. He wants you to make your decisions in accordance with His Word. But His Word will reveal to you the path He wants you to follow. With His Word you have a protection of God that will keep you on the right path and help you to make every step along that path.

Your path will take you through the darkness of this old world. Your salvation is your deliverance out of the ill-fated alliance of the world. Your situation is that you are still in the realm of this darkened world. Your separation is to have no allegiance or fellowship with the order of this world. Your service is to travel through the darkness allowing the good that God performs in and through you to shine unto others.

The light of God’s Word shining through you magnifies just how dark it is; it does so by comparison. You are the light of the world in Christ. You are a Gospel witness that is to shine the light of the Gospel to any and all who will listen. When the light of the Gospel of Christ gets into a heart it can remove the blinders of the devil. It can open an opportunity for repentance unto salvation. You will benefit by following the light, but more importantly, others will be influenced by your light.

As you grow in knowledge and wisdom, your light will become brighter. Your life will have an impact on the world around you. You must keep moving forward in growth and in service. You must determine to fuel the fire within to burn brighter for the Lord. You must consistently increase in your sharing the light with others. Some people will change their ways when they see the light, others only when they feel the heat.

God will bless you and keep you when you follow His path. He will make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. He will look upon you and give you peace, even in troublous times. Therefore, you can let your light SO SHINE that others may see God’s goodness and the love of Christ in you. You travel through a dark world, but not alone.  God is ever present with you to light your way and you have nothing to fear.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

June 26

The Lack of the Light of Wisdom

Proverbs 4:19 ~ The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Knowing the will of God for your life is important for that is the path you are to be on. But on that path you will have to navigate safely through the rough terrain of this world. God has blessed you with His Word to use as a road map. It gives you directions to where you are going. It is a compass to keep you focused in the right direction; keeping your affection on things above where Christ sits on the right hand of our Father. It is your instruction book to show you how and what to do in all areas of your life.

When you follow it, all will be well. I did not say that all will be just as you want it; I said all will be well. Bad things happen to good people. But with God and with His Word you can handle the bad days just as easily, and even better, than the unjust handle the good days in their life.

Even in the face of the passing of a loved one we do not sorrow as those who have no hope. Our hope is in Christ and the promises of God in Christ. Again, I did not say that you would not sorrow, because we do have sorrow. But our sorrow has hope attached to it; not a knock-on wood, keep your fingers crossed, wishful, positive thinking type of hope. Our hope is rooted and grounded on the Word of God who cannot lie. It is a firm hope that is steadfast and sure to the very end.

But the way of the wicked is not so. They have no such hope; not in this life nor in the life to come. Most do not believe there is an existence beyond the grave. They have willingly allowed the devil and the world to deceive them. They have also allowed the lusts of their own flesh for the pleasures of sinful wickedness to deceive them.

Since they do not believe there is an existence beyond the grave they do not believe in Heaven or hell. There is no consequence in living a lifestyle that opposes all godliness. I believe the mentality of today is worse than in the days of Noah. They would eat, drink, and be merry because they did not believe in God. They had no belief in a judgment for ungodly living, or in an eternal punishment. Today they use science and intellect to do their dead-level best to refute the truth of God’s perfect, accurate, infallible, and inerrant Word.

With no existence beyond the grave and no consequence for ungodly living, they have no need for a Saviour. They do not believe that Jesus really existed. This is taught in many major colleges and universities. But true historical writers who lived in the first century and into the second show that he did exist. The great historian Josephus speaks of the Lord Jesus, but every attempt is being made to refute its authenticity. They will not accept truth when it is right in front of them because, as we have stated, they are willingly deceived.

They have no need for God because they see no wrong in living the way they do. They grasp at straws in living their life thinking that they must get all they can here because this is all there is. They stumble along adding deception to deception. They would rather believe that aliens started life on this planet than to believe in a divine, intelligent Creator. They would rather believe that they came from apes than to believe that they were created in the image and likeness of Jehovah.

They desire a spirituality that comes without conviction, condemnation, or repentance. Some even want a Christ who will allow them to believe without giving up their sinful lifestyle. In September of 1987, Jessica Hawn, former church secretary who committed immoral acts with Jim Bakker (former host of the PTL Club), and later brought down the PTL empire, said that God gave her "real peace" about granting an interview to Playboy magazine and posing for topless pictures. On 9-29-87 the news reported that she still considered herself a Christian, but goes to God "one-on-one," not through any church or organization.

The way of the wicked is dark because they do not have the light of God’s Word. Show no prejudice or malice towards them. They are deceived and they need our love, our light, and our prayers.

 - Dr. Todd Taylo

 

 

 

  WEEK 23

June 15

The Profit of Wisdom

Proverbs 3:9-10 ~ Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

God has blessed us with the gift of eternal life, and we must use that life to exalt Him and glorify Him, which is to bring great joy and pleasure to Him. The word “substance” means “wealth or riches.” What He is telling us here is to honor the LORD with the wealth wherewith He has blessed us. In other words, we are to honor the LORD with our finances.

The firstfruits of our increase are the first percentage of our wealth. The first percentage of our wealth is the tithe according to Scripture. God gives you 100% and then commands you to give Him back 10% out of a heart of love and loyalty to Him. That means that if you are tithing the way the Lord commands, you are giving 10% of your gross earnings before Uncle Sam takes out his share for taxes. That is the firstfruits. Tithing on your net income is not honoring the LORD.

When you do tithe, do so without regret and never try to control what God does with what is given to Him. When you are obedient to the Lord, and you love Him as you should, you willingly give the tithe with joy in your heart. The Lord loves the cheerful giver.

It has been said that this is an Old Testament principle. But Christ criticized the Scribes and the Pharisees for being hypocrites. They paid tithe of spices they took from their gardens. But they left off good judgment, mercy, and faith. They were willing to do the external but left off the greater spiritual virtues of godliness, that were of greater importance.  He told them that they should practice godliness and to NOT leave out paying the tithe. The tithe was important, but they should also have good judgment, mercy, and faith (Mt 23:23).

When we honor the Lord with the firstfruits of all our increase we can expect to be blessed. He gives us the analogy of a farmer: our barns will be filled with plenty, nothing lacking, and our presses shall overflow with new wine. Be sure that we cannot out give the Lord our God. All that you have comes from Him. He gives 100% and requires 10% to be given back as a show of appreciation. When we do it with the right motive we will be blessed; it is a promise. (By the way, the word translated as “new wine” simply means “the first squeezing of the grapes,” what we call “grape Juice.”)

A person who cannot give their finances to the Lord cannot honor the Lord with their life. If God gave you all that you have then it is only right that you give Him His due. Is He not worthy of all that you can give Him and more? Too many today claim to love the Lord with all their heart and will not let go of their finances to the Lord. The tighter you hold on to your finances the less God can bless them. He said that those who sow sparingly will also reap sparingly. That means that the less you are willing to give up TO the Lord the less He can bless you. Those who give up their finances to the Lord may not be rich by the world’s standards, but never do without.

The second mile Christian goes above and beyond to give to the Lord. They love Him and serve Him out of devotion. They do not give grudgingly. They give joyfully and cheerfully because they know that all they have is given to them by God. They pay tithes, but are also quick to give to special offerings, such as building, Jubilee, bus ministry, youth ministry, etc. They will also be avid supporters of Faith Promise Missions. They truly honor the Lord with their finances. Our Father said, “Them that honor me will I honor,” (1 Sam 2:30). Love Him, go the second mile, and give to honor Him.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

June 16

Punishment Promotes Wisdom

Proverbs 3:11-12 ~ My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Chastening is for correction of ignorance. We do not know everything all at once when we are saved. We are newborn babes in Christ who need proper upbringing to become a mature Christian. So, the Lord uses chastening to correct and instruct our ignorance so that we may stay safe in the world.

Chastening is also for those who may be looking and leaning towards falling into sin. To look is not necessarily a problem. But a second look may lead to lusting after forbidden things. It is also for the neglect of things in your life. If you get to where you neglect your Bible (reading, studying, meditating, etc), your daily time with God, your church attendance, etc., God may chasten you for the neglect so that He may help you to correct the situation. God will chasten through Holy Spirit conviction.

Scourging is for the correction of disobedience which is our right rebellion. When we know the truth and do not follow the truth then God will use scourging to bring us back to proper behavior. Scourging refers to spiritual spanking; this may be whatever the Lord has to use to get your attention. It may be something physical with your health, some spiritual defeat, some financial difficulty, or some other hardship that will cause you to repent and get back where you need to be with the Lord.

You must do the same thing for your children. You must teach them right and wrong, teach them the benefits and the consequence, and then you must enforce the rules and guidelines for proper behavior. You may chasten them with rebuke and stern warnings first, but if they continue to do wrong then the punishment will get a little harsher each time. Physical punishment – spanking - should be a final punishment, not the first.

God has given us His Word to set the parameters of our behavior. His Word is good and profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. Doctrine is instruction to believe the right things. These are the essential truths of His Word. These cannot be compromised for any reason whatsoever. If you compromise doctrine you sin against your holy and benevolent Father.

Reproof is rebuke of wrongdoing to convict of sin. The Spirit of God will use the Word of God to convict you of sin. He does this so that you will repent and get right. If you keep falling into the same trap you may cause God to bring harsher punishment against you. But the sooner you repent and get right the easier it will be on you. By the way, the Lord does not enjoy punishing His child, but He does it out of love because He wants to prosper you in life.

Correction gives us solutions so that we might stay and live right. He does not just give you reproof without giving you a solution to your problems. The reproof warns you that you are in the wrong; you have broken the parameters of good behavior. You need to repent and obey His Word. Now He tells you what you need to do to stay right so that you may consistently obey and live right. You must learn from your mistakes.

Instruction is training and teaching so that we can help guide others in the right paths. God so graciously allows those who have walked in the paths of wisdom to invest into your life through teaching a Bible class, mentoring, through setting a right example for you, preaching, and giving counsel in navigating through difficult times. Do not be weary of His correction or punishment. Your Father loves you with infinite, sacrificial, undeniable, unconditional love. His desire is to protect and prosper you in life so that you can have the best He can give you.

When you have come to a place of spiritual maturity, then you can teach others and help them. You must have a daily diet of God’s Word so that you can know right, get right, stay right, and teach right.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

June 17

The Protection by Wisdom

Proverbs 3:21-24 ~ My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. 

Wisdom is God-given common sense. You are to ask for it if you do not have it (Jam 1:5). Wisdom will give you the discretion to make right choices and right decisions. When you follow God’s counsel you will find that you will have less chaos, confusion, and disorder in your life. The drama that we see in the world today will decrease in your life as you walk with the Lord. Your life will become more ordered and less hectic.

Having “sound wisdom” means applied wisdom; it is wisdom in active use with thoughts, words, and actions. This results in having a rich, robust, full, and pleasant life. Not only do we profit from keeping sound wisdom and discretion, those around us will benefit as well. Thus, you will have a positive impact on the community around you.

You will find that a life that is free from drama and chaos is a safe life. What you do will prosper and you will not stumble if you hold to walking daily by the Saviour’s side. You will not stumble because with “sound wisdom and discretion” you will find daily spiritual growth. We are told in Second Peter that spiritual growth is to experience the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.

The Bible says that you must add to your faith these things: virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity (love in action). He said that if you will learn and do these things you will be fruitful in the knowledge of Christ. He said if you do not grow in the Lord you will be blind to spiritual things. He said in doing these things you “shall never fall” (2 Pt 1:4-11).

Walking daily with the Lord will give you peace of mind that passes all understanding. It is a realization that God is in control of all things. You can trust Him in all situations and circumstances good and bad. Everything that you face has met with His approval and has been approved by His all sufficient grace. You can lay it all on the altar and leave your cares and concerns with Him knowing full well that He will take care of you. That means that you can lie down and sleep without worrying yourself sick.

Knowing that you are in the Master’s hand – yielded, obedient, and abiding – gives you the confidence that takes away all fear. When you give your all to Him you can lay your head down to sleep and experience the sweetest, most peaceful, and relaxing sleep. There is no sudden fear nor is there any fear of death. Death is simply a translation from this life on the temporal plane to the next life on the higher eternal plane. It is a graduation from the temporal to the eternal, and therefore we can celebrate the life of those who have gone on to be with the Lord. We certainly do not sorrow as those who have no hope.

Walk closely by the Lord. Try to get closer to Him every day. Experience the life, the grace, the safety, the security, and the peace of God that He offers to you. Your sleep, as well as every waking moment, will be a sweet adventure as you journey towards Heaven.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

June 18

The Peace in Wisdom

Proverbs 3:25-26 ~ Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken. 

I know that I keep saying this, but to walk with the Lord is to be yielded to the Holy Spirit, obedient to the Word of God, and abiding in Christ our Saviour. This will build your confidence in Him and He will be as close to you as your own right hand. With Him you shall never fall for He will keep you safe through troubles.

There will be times when a crisis may come upon you suddenly or you may be alarmed by some sudden thing. Wisdom, which comes from walking with the Lord, will allow you to respond properly. To respond is to give an answer out of calm assurance and wisdom. "Sudden fear" for those who do not walk in wisdom will cause reaction rather than response. React means to give an answer out of impulse without much forethought. You can respond without fear knowing that you are living your life according to God’s divine plan for your life.

When I was a child my mother and I were involved in a very bad accident. A large container truck came down a steep grade off a railroad crossing and ran a stop sign. We were in the intersection when my mother saw the truck, but it was too late to avoid being hit. She grabbed me and pulled me over into the middle of the seat and lay over the top of me. The truck hit us with such force that the container on the truck broke loose and landed on top of the car crushing it flat.

Within minutes there were men there with crowbars trying to pry open the doors so that they could extract us from the vehicle. By the grace of God neither of us was injured, but as I think about those moments in my mind I can honestly say that I had absolutely no fear during that whole ordeal. I knew that I was safe there under the cover of my mother.

It is much the same way with the Lord. We are under His sheltering arms. The closer we are to Him the safer we will be. I had rather walk close to the Lord and not have the pleasures of this world. I know that when all is said and done I will have all eternity to enjoy far greater pleasures. I can live here with no fear of what will happen to me, not even sudden fear that comes without notice. God has given us His promise to always be there for us. He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

We are made to live by faith, not fear. Fear is foreign to the child of God while faith is familiar territory. Worry and anxiety are like grains of sand in the machinery of life, but faith is the oil that keeps the machine fit and running properly. You can live by fear with doubt and anxiety that will take its toll on your attitude and your health. But you would do better to live by faith and confidence where you can enjoy a healthy attitude and a healthy body. It is a proven fact that those who tend to worry all the time about every little thing die sooner than those who do not.

Do not concern yourself with worrying over the threats of those who oppose godliness and holiness. Wisdom is to walk with the Lord and to enjoy His protection and His peace of mind. The world lives to oppose you, but God lives to prosper you. It is better for you and for those around you to live by faith and not by fear. God made you to live by faith and to depend upon Him with the greatest of confidence.. Remember, the just shall live by faith, not by fear.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

June 19

The Philanthropy in Wisdom Pt 1

Proverbs 3:27-28 ~ Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.

The word “philanthropy” means “the love of mankind.” We are to love the brethren, to love our neighbor as our own self, and to even love our enemies. There is no human being whom we are not to love. The imperative in theses verses commands us to be benevolent to any and all who are in need. The golden rule tells us to do unto others – good or bad – as you would have them do unto you (Mt 7:12).

Now this verse tells us to do good “to whom it is due.” We owe our employer a full day’s work for a full day’s pay. We owe those whom we have debts with to pay them and to do so according to the terms that we have agreed to. We are to give our thanks to those to whom it is due. There is wisdom in paying the good owed to someone and doing it promptly.

Whether it is debts to creditor or alms to the poor we are to pay it and in a timely manner. The alms are what are more emphasized by verse 28. Alms is charity (love in action); anything given to those in need to supply the need such as food, clothing, money, etc. If they have a true need and God has blessed you and put you into a position to be of help, you cannot refuse without violating the Word - the commandment - of your Father. It is a sin to know that you are supposed to do well and to refrain from doing it (Jam 4:17).

There was a man traveling down the road one day. He saw that some of his neighbor’s cows had gotten out through an open gate. He stopped, herded the cows back through the gate and secured the gate. He never told the man what he had done. It was in his power to do it and so he did. If you see someone on the side of the road with a flat and you are physically able to stop and help, you are to do it. If it is raining, if it is extremely hot or bitter cold, you should stop and offer assistance.

A man once asked me, “Preacher, if I see this woman who has done our church family so wrong on the side of the road with a flat tire in the rain, am I supposed to stop and help?” I answered with an emphatic, “Yes sir, you most certainly are. You are to stop and offer assistance and she can choose to accept or reject. If she accepts, you help; if she refuses you can bid her good day and walk away.” It does not matter what she has done. She was someone in genuine need of good.

The Lord Jesus repeatedly told the disciples that they would always have the poor with them. He told us that we are to take care of the needy. There are those who for some unfortunate set of events or circumstances cannot do for themselves. But if it is in our power to do something, we are commanded to do it. We are not to turn them away as long as we have the power to do something.

You cannot be a respecter of persons. Those who have a need that you have the power to meet qualify for due good in these verses. It would be wrong to help only those who have the power to pay you back some day. That is the wrong motive and heart. God said do not offer the rich the best things and give the poor the scraps and leftovers. This is not the way to show love to thy neighbor and God says it is sin (Jam 2:1-9).

We are told in Galatians 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” We are told to do good to all men, but especially to those who are true believers. And we are to never put off till tomorrow what we can do today.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 

WEEK 22

The Prolongation by Wisdom Pt 1

June 8

Proverbs 3:1-2 ~ My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

The problem that Israel had which caused them to keep turning to idolatry in the Old Testament was their forgetfulness. God blessed them and made a nation of them, yet they often forgot who made them so great. They repeatedly forgot all that God had done for them and that is what caused them to turn to pagan religions, gods, and rituals.

When they forgot the bounties of God He would allow their enemies to bring them into servitude as a form of corrective punishment. Then God would show mercy and raise up a leader to deliver them and bring salvation. When they followed God, they were blessed with silence from their enemies. In the book of Judges alone we see them repeatedly fall into the same routine of rebellion, retribution, repentance, restoration, and rest. Surely the Lord’s mercy endures forever.

America today has a serious problem. Just like Israel, America has forgotten and abandoned the Lord who made her so great.  The arrogance of a people who would rebel against the one who made them the greatest superpower on planet earth; America’s problem is a heart problem. Our country has deteriorated because not only has she forgotten God; her children today do not even know who God is.

Our deterioration has led us to the point of depravity. There are rampant drug and alcohol addictions, and many are taken by the sin of lewd and lascivious behavior. Your name, a handshake, and a smile mean nothing anymore without a 20-page contract to back it up. Murder has become a commonplace thing in so many places. Mass murders are on the rise and all anybody can offer for solutions is to blame anybody and anything other than the person or persons who committed the crime. You cannot trust the media or the government to give you the whole truth anymore because they are clueless as to what is wrong.

What is wrong with America is that she has a problem with forgetfulness. There is so much that is wrong; so many are playing the blame game. The real problem with our nation is in the heart. We told God that we could do a better job of raising our kids without Him and His Word in our public classrooms. We forget that the schools were started by godly people in the church house. Many of our major universities and colleges that will not allow the Bible or Christ Jesus talked about on campus were started by Christians.

We told God that we could handle sin without His help or input into the life of a sinner. We have every kind of interdiction and rehab program that you can think of and yet they are full of people who are repeat patients. Whatever the addiction - sexual, drug, alcohol, eating disorder, etc. - there is a program. Not only do we have better programs, we have better drugs for all that ails you. Yes, even drugs for those who are trying to kick the drug addiction problem.

Our children today are killing each other in the streets and in the classrooms because as a nation we have forgotten God. We turned from Him to our own ways and forgot all that He did for us in the beginning. Now our children do not know God because we took them away from Him. We forgot the warnings in His Word; that He would not bless those who forgot Him and all His benefits. We have sown to the wind; we will reap the whirlwind.

Whatever you do, remember God’s commandments, promises, and blessings and give Him thanks. Be grateful that you are delivered from the penalty of sin, you are being delivered daily from its power, and you will ultimately and eternally be delivered from its presence. Thank God that even though our nation has forgotten Him, He will never forget you. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

June 9

The Prolongation by Wisdom Pt 2

Proverbs 3:1-2 ~ My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

The Psalmist wrote, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” (Psa 33:12). The principle of that verse is true for the nation as a whole, but it is also true for the individual. When we continue to walk in the ways of the Lord we can flourish and have the joy of the Lord. Even though our nation is off the rails and headed in the wrong direction we can still prosper and be blessed of the Lord.

Those who choose to be planted close to the Lord will not wither. You should delight in the Word of God and you ought to meditate therein day and night; when you do so the Lord has said that you will be like a tree that is planted by the rivers of water (Psa 1). “Rivers” is plural because you have the water of His Word to hydrate you spiritually. There are also “rivers” of living water that will feed your soul from the pulpit, as well as those who will edify, encourage, enrich, and empower you to be better and to live better.

All that we have discussed about wisdom will prosper you and you will benefit and profit from its advantages if you will heed what you read. You can bear fruit in your life, even in times of struggle and difficulty, if you will stay close to God. He has promised over and over the benefits of walking close to Him. When you strive to get closer to God He will move closer to you. Then you will grow spiritually and find your life fruitful, productive, and profitable.

But the greater benefits of all of this is the fact that not only will you prosper, but those who are close to you - your family and home, your relatives, your friends, and your acquaintances - will also benefit. God blesses you to bless others. Your blessings may help someone come to accept Christ as their Saviour. You will be yielded and filled with the Spirit having springs of living water flowing from you to edify, encourage, enrich, and empower others.

We look and see all that is wrong with our nation today and realize that America has a heart problem. They did not stay with God and rejected His Word. They have forgotten all the benefits, prosperity, and blessings that came from obeying His commands. Now America’s sin is finding her out. She cannot outrun the consequences anymore.

When 9-11 took place, the churches were full for about six months. Will it take something as horrific or something worse to get our attention again? Israel was repeatedly defeated and oppressed by enemies when they turned away from God. Do we really think that it cannot happen to America? God said, “… be sure your sin will find you out” (Num 32:23).

I believe that Satan learned that he could not push people away from God with the attacks on 9-11. I believe that he realized that it would take something closing churches to get people to move away from God. This virus that has infected the world may just be a trial run for him to see what he can get away with; to see how easy or how hard it would be to close churches and keep people at a distance from God. Has he succeeded in keeping you away from the church and put you at a distance with God?

If you will heed God’s Word you will be blessed; if not, it is sin and your sin will find you out. You can look at two people of the same age; one who lives a wanton life of sin and one who lives for the Lord. The older they get one will age more rapidly than the other. It is the one who lives in sin because your sin will always show itself.

Those who live for the Lord in heartfelt obedience will have a greater quality of life with peace and happiness. Quality of life begets greater quantity of life. Now it goes without saying that God has an appointed time for every person to leave this world. But the quality of life is more spiritual and eternal than temporal and limited. Wisdom will prolong life. It is His promise to those who will keep His commandments. Read it, heed it, do it and be blessed beyond measure.

- Dr. Todd Taylor

 

June 10

The Preeminence of Wisdom

Proverbs 3:5-6 ~ Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Trust in the Lord begins with saving faith. If you are not truly saved you cannot truly trust in the Lord. Real trust comes through having a personal relationship with God as your Father. You cannot have a relationship with God without having Christ as your Saviour. That means that you have come to a place in your life where you have turned from living your way in this world and have turned to put your trust in living God’s way.

That is repentance and it is inseparable from believing on and receiving Christ Jesus as your Saviour. You realize that you owe God restitution for violating His law and His Word. It is a debt that you can never get paid in full; a debt that will send you to the Lake of Fire for eternity. You believe and trust that Christ Jesus paid it in full in your place on the Cross when He died. His being raised from the dead says that God accepts His payment in place of yours. You trust His payment in lieu of your payment because His is more than enough and yours is not. This is the beginning of a relationship with your Father and the beginning of your trust in Him. You trust and call upon Him to save you and remove this debt from you.

Wisdom says to put all your confidence in the LORD your God. You can trust your Father in all matters great and small. There is nothing so small that He would not be concerned about and nothing so great that He would not be able to successfully handle on your behalf. He is always looking out for your good; to benefit, to prosper, and to bring you profit in your journey of faith.

Lean not unto thine own understanding” does not mean that you cannot think for yourself. You must think if you are to make decisions. Your thoughts must be open to the Lord; He knows them anyway. He wants you to willingly open your heart and thoughts to His influence, persuasion, guidance, correction, and leadership. When you live by faith - abiding in Christ, obeying God’s Word, and yielded to the Spirit – this will become commonplace to you. It is to be free from pride and arrogance and humble before God your Father.

Too many people do not see how easy it is to neglect this wisdom. When you get sick do you call on God first or the doctor first. Even in an emergency you can call on God first. Nehemiah was asked by King Artaxerxes, “For what dost thou make request?” Nehemiah says, “So I prayed to the God of heaven.” Then he gave his answer to the king. In that very moment Nehemiah prayed to God and then he spoke to the king. Even in the smallest moment while dialing 911 you can call upon God first; that is leaning upon Him with all your heart. That is the trust and confidence that He desires for us to have in Him.

In all that goes on in your life you can put total and complete trust in your Father with all your heart. The word translated “acknowledge” means “to know”. When you follow wisdom’s counsel you will come to know that your confidence and trust in the providence of God in all your affairs is right and safe. You will come to have peace that will pass all understanding. You can place your requests on the altar of prayer and have confidence that God is going to do the right thing. Whether He does what we ask or not will not sway nor deter us from taking all our concerns to Him. He knows what is best and He will always do what is right and what is best.

Learn to trust, lean upon, and acknowledge (to realize and know) that the LORD will always do the right thing, then your Father will show you the way to go.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

June 11

The Practicality of Wisdom Pt 1

Proverbs 3:7-8 ~ Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

Herein is a threefold truth of applying wisdom in our daily life. This is a trilogy of imperatives that we are to obey if we are to practice wisdom daily in our thoughts, words, and actions. Be not wise in your own eyes. This goes back to not leaning upon our own understanding. “Lean” means “to support oneself.” It is self-reliance and a self-sufficiency that leaves God out of the equation.

To be wise in your own eyes is to retain the pride of life. This is the opposite of wisdom because we do not lean upon or trust in the One who knows what is ahead. Consider what would happen if you were trying to traverse your way through mountainous terrain. There are hills, sharp, jagged rock formations, deep ravines, drop-offs that may fall hundreds of feet. There are wild animals ready to devour you. If you were out in the dark with no light - no moon, no stars, and no light at all – you could not safely navigate your way through this rugged terrain. Those who would try are those who are prideful and full of themselves.

This is the type of terrain that we must traverse in this sin cursed world that we live in today. There are hills and hurdles that you must get across. There are sharp dangers all around you ready to tear you apart. There are pitfalls that the world and the devil love to put in front of God’s people. The devil himself is a roaring lion ready to devour you. There will be dark valleys that you must get through. There are high mountains that you must get over. This world is in darkness and we must traverse through its rugged terrain not knowing what is ahead.

But the Lord has given us wisdom to use His light to get through this world safely. He knows what is ahead. He knows what tomorrow holds. He is always there to hold your hand and take care of you. Wisdom will depend on the Lord and not upon your own self-sufficiency. Besides, your self-sufficiency is never enough, but God’s grace is always sufficient. You would do well to heed the Word and “lean not unto thine own understanding” and “be not wise in thine own eyes”. Allow God’s Word to be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.

The second command is to “fear the LORD”. This phrase is found 30 times in Scripture. But there are seven times that we are directly commanded to “fear the LORD”.  Seven is the number of perfection and this is no coincidence. This fear is a reverential trust and respect of the LORD with hatred for all that is evil. When you love Him, you will hate evil (Psa 97:10). When you trust and respect Him you will hate evil (Pro 8:13). He preserves the saint while He hates the prideful heart.

He does not hate the soul, which is the person, but he hates that attitude which lives and walks foolishly; against all that is Scripturally holy, just, true, godly, and moral. God loves every soul, or person, though He may hate their sinful, foolish life. He wants to help and give hope to all. He wants all to live victoriously and to prosper in life. He wants all to benefit from His love and grace. Those who do not fear the LORD cannot benefit and prosper. They cannot safely navigate this world.

A person who thinks they are wise, that they know it all, that they do not need any help, is a foolish person who is apt to suffer diverse types of harm in this life; spiritual, emotional, mental, physical and financial. They are also in danger of missing Heaven. Do you think or desire to go it on your own?

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

June 12

The Practicality of Wisdom Pt 2

Proverbs 3:7-8 ~ Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

The third command, “depart from evil”, is the principle of separation from the world which stands opposed to God and godliness. You cannot hook up with anything of the world; it may look attractive, and there can be pleasure, but it comes at great cost to you. You cannot hug a campfire and not get burned!

There is always a consequence to doing that which is against God. You can drink alcohol and have a very short-lived pleasure. But the detriments of consumption far outweigh the pleasure. You will do things against your nature, foolish things, and you will reap the repercussions of those things. You will be tempted to do immoral things, things that you may find fun or exciting at the time but will deeply regret after the fact.

You will find that alcohol is not a friend to your body, and you will suffer the unhealthy affects from consuming it. There is the hangover from a dehydration of the brain; destroying brain cells that cannot be replaced. There is also liver damage that can occur. When a person says they can control their drinking they have entered into that self-reliant pride that does not have a respect and trust of the LORD. They do not control that which controls them!

There are many disadvantages to living in or even dabbling with sin. Many young ladies have found themselves with child by giving control of their faculties to alcohol for a night of “fun and pleasure.” Many men and women have found themselves starting a family prematurely and experiencing great hardship, while others contract some sort of STD because they gave their bodies over to the lust of the flesh. Sin is pleasurable for a season, but it is a short-lived season. You cannot hug a campfire and not get burned!

You are to depart from all that is evil and from the very appearance of evil. If it appears evil you are to run away from it. Whatever the temptation may be, we are commanded to “flee” which means literally “to run from it.” We are commanded to flee fornication which is sexual promiscuity, adultery, and incest. We are commanded to flee idolatry which is the practice of giving worship to anything other than God. We are to flee from greediness, the love of money, and youthful lusts.

You must determine in your heart to be humble, trusting God and His ways, giving Him due reverence, departing from evil, and even the appearance of evil. With this three-fold commandment God gives us a promise. He said that if we do these things that they would be health to your naval and marrow to your bones. That means that you shall have good health in the innermost parts of the body.

If sickness or disease takes over your body you can still have your innermost health because you are saved and sealed for eternity. At death the body goes to the grave and you go to be with the Lord. You have the gift of eternal life. It is a present possession; you do not have to wait until you leave this world to know. There are not a set of scales to weigh out your good and bad. Your good is the righteousness of Christ which is more than enough to get you through this life and into Heaven.

Live the life of obedience and you will reap the benefits of quality of life (abundant) and quantity of life (eternal). Obey His commands and experience all of God’s desires for you.

 - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

 

 

 

WEEK 21

June 1

The Power of Wisdom

Proverbs 1:7-8 ~ The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.  My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 

The power of God is the power of wisdom. Without God we are nothing and we have nothing. Without God you would not exist in this world today. You may claim to be a product of your parents, but it is God who made you a living soul and gave you a body to live in.

If you are saved and know Christ as your Saviour it is the power of God that saved you. That life that you now live in Christ is given by the power of God the Holy Spirit who literally dwells within your soul. You are kept safe in Christ Jesus by the power of God forever.

You are saved to the uttermost which means you are as saved as saved can possibly be and you are saved all the way as far as you can go; it is the gift of eternal life. Eternal means it reaches into the farthest reaches of eternity which has no beginning or end; it is infinite. Eternal life begins at the moment of salvation and is the infinite existence of every born-again soul beyond the experience of the death of the physical body.

The power of wisdom is the fear of the LORD our God. The word translated “fear” refers the reverence that is given to the LORD. This is the beginning of knowledge which is what wisdom is built upon. Those who reject the knowledge of a holy Creator, the God of the universe, the God of all that is living and life, are “fools”.

The word “fools” here means perverse; they are twisted and distorted in their thinking because they refuse and reject true wisdom. The foolishness of rejecting God has caused man to create his own beginnings through the perverse teachings of evolution which corrupts all modern public education. It leaves students without the knowledge of or a fear of Jehovah God. Only by reverencing and respecting the Majesty of the Almighty Infinite God of all Creation can true education and knowledge be developed.

They also despise “instruction” which in this verse is speaking of the chastening, correcting, and reproof of the Lord to instill discipline. In many families today there is such a degrading of moral and godly principle that most children do not receive proper godly instruction from their parents about the issues of life. They lack the proper knowledge and experiences to give them the wisdom they need to live right. They do not have the discipline, the obedience, or the principle of righteousness instilled in them because it is lacking in their preceding generations.

We as Christians are to spread the Gospel and bring others to Christ and get them baptized. But it does not stop there. You must spend time with that person to help them learn the ways of Christianity. You must instruct them in the things of God’s Word. You must instill within that person knowledge, discipline, obedience, and the principle of righteousness. You must be the mentor or “spiritual parent” that they need to train them up in the way that they should live.

Learn it, love it, live it, and then go out and give it. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

June 2

The Persuasion of Wisdom

Proverbs 1:8-9 ~ My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:  For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

The instruction of the father refers to the chastening, the reproof, correction, and instruction given by a father. This is something that is lacking in America today. Too many today do not have godly fathers and too many do not have a father figure in their life at all.

The instruction of a father is to train the child in the issues of life. You must teach them how to live godly by example first. You may tell your children to do what you say and not what you do, but your child will do as they see you doing. Therefore, you must set the proper example.

The greatest example to set for a child is for a parent to know Christ as their Saviour and to teach the children of Christ every day; to teach them about salvation through Christ and the consequences of not having Christ. Then you can teach them the ways of Christ and help them to build upon the principles of God’s love. The doctrine of Christ is a doctrine of loving God and loving others. It teaches them to put others before self and therefore teaches them to behave well.

A parent does not have to be harsh all the time to get results in training their children. If a parent shouts at their children all the time when they misbehave then the child will also shout when they do not get their way. Parents would do well to calmly and softly talk to their kids when they misbehave and then follow through with the proper punishment if they continue to misbehave. This teaches the child self-control and lets them know that the parent means what they say. Cooler heads will always prevail.

But the instruction must be given before discipline can be instilled. You must teach them what is right and what is expected of them. You must then teach them what is wrong and what to expect if they do wrong. The punishment must fit the crime, so to speak, but they must first be taught, instructed, and trained.

As Christians we do not automatically spank a child the first time they get out of line. There must be mild but sincere judgment and punishment for the first offence. They must be taught, and you must ensure that they understand, that the punishment level will intensify with each time they continue to disobey. However, it is not the severity of punishment that acts as a deterrent; it is its inevitability that punishment will come. 

Therefore, as a parent you cannot afford to make idle threats either. If you tell your child that you are going to give a certain punishment for disobeying, then that punishment must be given for that infraction. To do otherwise is to teach them that there is no real consequence for doing wrong.

You must always show them that you love and care for them after you have punished them. They must understand that they are loved, even when they must be punished for doing wrong. It does not do well to punish a child and then leave them feeling rejected and broken. When punishment is done, you must love on them.

The ornament of grace and the chains of beauty are the blessings that will come to them and to others as self-discipline and obedience will make them pleasant to get along with. But it all starts with the parent being right with God and teaching the ways of God in the love of Christ. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

June 3

The Principles of Wisdom

Proverbs 1:8 ~ My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 

If the parent is to train a child to behave properly, then what are parents to teach? We live in a day when evil is called good and that which is good is called evil. Light and darkness have been reversed. You are admonished to “… not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” No matter what society and the culture is teaching children today, we must train our children how to deal with the issues of life. We must teach them according to the Scriptures.

The first thing you need to teach your children is to be respectful of spiritual things. If they do not respect the things of God and respect His Word, then you cannot properly teach them godly things. Teaching them to be obedient to the commandments and the principles of God’s Word will teach them obedience to rules and regulations in all their life.

We must teach them to respect authority. God has placed certain ordained authorities in our life to guide us and direct us in our daily life. There is the authority of Christ our Saviour, of His Holy Spirit to teach and instruct us in the things of God, the Word of God to give us basic instructions for living in this world, and the men of God whom God has called and ordained to deliver God’s spiritual necessities to His people. God has given civil authority, and these should be respected and obeyed as long as they do not oppose the Word of God. 

Through the Word we can teach them to have self-control over anger, emotions, and words. This control comes from within the heart and the thought processes. The heart must be right if the child is to have proper thoughts, and thus to control words, actions, and decisions. This will lead them to successfully accept and receive instruction and correction with the right heart.

The doctrine of Christ our Saviour is a doctrine of love for God and for others; loving our neighbor as our self. We are to love the brethren as well as our enemies. Your children will treat others with respect and kindness and will learn to sacrifice and be helpful when they know Christ and are taught the things of Christ in love.

The doctrine of Christ will also teach your child how to be honest when they know that God already knows all about them. They can learn a good work ethic because we are taught in the Bible to do our work for others as if we were doing it for the Lord Himself. This will teach them to be respectful of schedules; to be on time every time. They will learn to do a job right the first time; to give their very best first and foremost.

These truths are the godly principles that are based upon God’s Word. They are basic good behavior even though the world does not teach these things today. You are responsible to teach these things to your child so that they can be the children of their Father in Heaven. They will have a better life by having godly teaching in their lives, not by having every new thing that comes along.

Teach them to respect the things of God – His authority and His Word; to be obedient to rules and commands; to respect authority; to practice self-control; to receive correction well; to love, respect, and help others; to be honest; to practice a good work ethic; to respect schedules; and to always be honest with God and with others. Parents, grandparents, church leaders, and mentors are all responsible to model these principles before others. Are you living a proper godly example before others? - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

June 4

The Practice of Wisdom

Proverbs 1:10 ~ My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

Even when so many children do not have a father figure in their life, they have a Father in Heaven who will instruct and guide them in the ways of wisdom. But the truth is that they need to know Christ as their Saviour so they can receive the benefit of the Spirit’s teaching and guidance. Unfortunately, many are without Christ because of the lack of godly instruction in their life. Without Christ they can learn, but they miss out on the strength and the power to resist the power of deception; deceptions of the world, the devil, and even their own flesh.

The great tempter enticed Eve with false promises of godhood in the Garden of Eden. “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:4-5). She was enticed by outside influence but then was led by the desires of the flesh. The fruit appealed to her hunger, it appealed to her sight, and it appealed to her pride; she looked, she lusted, and she leaped into sin. Thus, she gave into the temptation and then led Adam to do so. She was deceived, but Adam was not (1 Tim 2:14); he willingly gave in.

The same is true of those who live in denial and rebellion against all that is godly and holy. They would love nothing more than to corrupt others. They spew out their corrupt beliefs in society through print, speeches, and every source of media they can use. Hollywood is the greatest advocate of the profane and the unholy. When that does not work, the worldly liberals and progressives will use laws to force their unbelief on all who will not openly and willfully accept their ideology.

Our Father in Heaven offers us all the ammunition we need to overcome the temptations of the world, the devil, and our own flesh. It is found through the Holy Spirit teaching us the Word; the truths, the principles, and the commandments of God. He will instruct you and then give you wisdom, power, and strength to overcome and to conquer the influences and temptations. He will influence and encourage you to not get caught in the trap of looking, which will lead you to lusting, and eventually cause you to leap into sin.

Therefore, when sinners entice you, lean upon God’s Word and God’s Spirit, and realize that you are more than a conqueror in Christ. He says, “… consent thou not.” This literally means “Do not yield to their persuasions; do not listen to their solicitations.” If you do, you cannot successfully fight against them. You should show no liking to them nor give them any credit of any sort. Too many “Christians” today try to dabble in a little sin without falling into the trap of the devil. They are like the mouse trying to lick just a taste of peanut butter off the mouse trap just before it snaps closed on his neck.

Christians should not go to movies where you know they are going to be doing things, saying things, or even insinuating things that are contrary to sound Biblical teaching. You as a Christian should not sit in the privacy of your own home and watch or listen to such as this. This includes looking at things via internet, wi-fi, or social media. Looking at pornography is just as sinful as living a sexually lascivious lifestyle. Many have deceived themselves by saying, “It doesn’t hurt to look.” But Christ our Lord said it does in Matthew 5:28!

The bottom line is this: learn of Christ and His ways. If you will spend your time with your Father and Christ, you will not have time for the enticements of the world. Be aware that these enticements are real, and they will come. Give them no attention. A look may lead to lust which can tempt you to leap. - Dr. Todd Taylor

 

June 5

The Provenience of Wisdom

Proverbs 2:1 ~ My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

We ought to desire to receive the words of our Father. He loves you enough to make sure they are recorded for you so that you may daily benefit from His wisdom. His Word is magnified above even His name. It is of great importance to Him and therefore should be of greater importance to you. His Word is the provenience or origin of wisdom for us.

His Word is recorded for all of eternity which means it will never cease to be of such great importance. You can bank on God’s Word being absolute truth. I have always believed and said that if my Father could not preserve His Word just the way He wanted it down through the ages, then He is not the same God who spoke the worlds into existence.

When they say, “We must revise it for today”, they are saying that it needs to be made better. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “revise” as “to review; to re-examine; to look over with care for correction; as, to revise a writing”. The rewrite from the Authorized KJB came about because they said it contained “errors”. That was a ploy of the devil to subtly make miniscule changes that have led to major doctrinal changes.

Today they tell us that we need to update it for the culture to keep up with the changes in the world. That means that it is not good enough. It means that we are trying to keep up with Satan because in my Bible he is the god of this corrupt, sin-cursed world. When you change the Bible, you are changing what God decreed for the benevolent good of His children. The devil’s plan: death by a thousand cuts, or changes, to the Bible.

God’s Word is inspired which means His Spirit breathed into the souls of men the words that our Father wanted to record. He used the men as they were – their character, personalities, circumstances, environments – but the Spirit gave them the words to speak and to write for you and me. They are words of life, of wisdom, and of power. But they are also words of love; His Word is a letter from Him to every child of His. Receive His Word and receive the benefits of knowing Him on a more personal and a more intimate level as His dear child.

Hiding His Word is allowing it to permeate the deepest recesses of your heart. When you receive His instruction with an open heart you will benefit from it. When you benefit you will automatically store it deep within. Hiding His Word in your heart is to let God’s Word get in and make the proper changes so that you will be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

To receive His Word is to order your life after His Word. You will develop a lifestyle that is more Christ-like. You will become more considerate of what pleases and what displeases your Father. You will desire to please Him and to do whatever He asks of you. You will increase in knowledge and understanding. You will have the discernment to make wise decisions for yourself and your family. You will have the compassion to be a help to those who are in need. You will see a difference in your thinking and thought processes. Selfishness will become a thing of the past as you will tend to put God and others before your own self.

Therefore, if you are going to receive the Word of God and reap the benefits that He intends for you to receive from Him, then you must have a true copy of the true Word of God. After all my studies and my own personal research, I am convinced that the Authorized KJB is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, absolute, authoritative, accurate Word of Jehovah God preserved in the English language for all time. - Dr. Todd Taylor

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