Hebrews 1:1-2a ~ God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, …
God spoke by the prophets to the saints of old. Those same prophets still speak to us today in the Bible. The prophecies that have been fulfilled prove the validity of the Bible. They prove that the unfulfilled prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled will happen just as they are written.
Dr. Henry Morris wrote, “The Bible is the very Word of the living God. Its histories are authentic, its science is accurate and far in advance of its times, its practical wisdom for daily living is unexcelled, and its insights into the human heart are profoundly perfect for every soul.”
God spoke through these men then and now. But Christ Jesus out speaks the prophets. He is the One who is the Word made flesh. He is the One who fulfilled all the law and the prophets. He is the One who has the words of life. He is the One who is deity that became human. He is the One who is the perfect mediator between God and man because He is wholly God and yet He is wholly man. He is the greatest of all prophets because He is the sum of all that they wrote and spoke.
Christ Jesus outranks the angels. He stepped down and was made a little lower than the angels who have great power, and yet He is higher than any angel could ever imagine being. He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than any of the angels. He has the seat at the right hand of Majesty on High. He has the very ear of God, the eye of God, and the very heart of God for He is God. In infancy He frightened a king, in childhood He confounded the scholars, in manhood He ruled nature, in death He conquered sin, and in resurrection He conquered death.
Christ Jesus will outlast the universe. The universe speaks and cries out of the intelligence of God’s design. Everywhere you look you can see the fingerprint of God. Everywhere you look you can see the light of creation. Everywhere you look you can see the testimony of the One who created all things. Christ was there creating all that can be seen and all that cannot be seen. All of creation was created by him and all was created for His glory. He is the Rock of geology, the Star of astronomy, the Lamb of zoology, the Lord of history, and the God of eternity.
Christ Jesus is our all in all for He is all we need. Christ Jesus is enough because He is all you will ever need. He is eternal and the heir of all things. Praise God we are heirs with Him of all of eternity. He became everything that you are so that you could become everything that He is. He is worthy of all recognition, acceptance, worship, praise, and adoration. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full into His wonderful face, and the things of this old world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
Jesus Is Enough Pt 1
Hebrews 1:1-3 ~ God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
God spoke to mankind in the Old Testament times through the prophets. Under the New Testament Covenant, He has spoken unto mankind through His Son, Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour. He has received all power and all authority and has been made the Heir of all things.
Christ was in the beginning with the Father when all was created and brought into existence. He was there when the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, when God spoke and brought forth the light of His presence upon and fledgling planet that was just coming together. God the Father and God the Son worked in unison as One and they spoke all that exists into being. They gave life to our universe and They gave life upon this planet. All that we can see, all that can be discovered, came from the Creator of all things.
So-called scientific theories morph and change with every new generation that comes along. Every succeeding generation must make some new and bigger discovery that refutes the former generation’s theories. But the Word of God never changes. It is easier to believe the Bible than to believe the scientific theories of today because the Bible is constant and has been proven truthful through both historical and archeological discoveries.
The plain truth of the matter is that God spoke the very worlds into existence. The Lord Jesus was there in the beginning and everything that was made was made by Him and for Him. He is the Lord of Glory. He is the physical personification of all that God truly is. All that was made is kept in check by His infinite power and wisdom. He will redeem this fallen Creation, and everything will be made right in the end.
He is working right now to redeem fallen man which is the pinnacle of His Creation. Mankind, you and I, were made in the image and likeness of God. But through Adam’s fall we are all condemned by sin to an eternal demise. But Christ chose in the beginning, knowing that man and free will would ultimately fail under the temptation of sin and fleshly pleasure, to be the One to redeem Creation. He chose to become one of His creatures and be the ultimate sacrifice once for all people, once for all time, and once for all sin.
Though He died on that old rugged cross He arose again three days later and ascended forty days later back into Heaven. There He sits on the right hand of God to make intercession for you on your behalf. He interceded to bring you the Gospel so that you might repent and be saved from an eternal demise. But there is more to it than that. He saved you to have a personal relationship with you.
Your life should revolve around the fact that the Creator of all desires to have fellowship with you every day of your life. He is there for your every struggle, trouble, trial, temptation, and tribulation that you may experience. He is there to comfort, console, strengthen, advise, guide, direct, and walk with you through every good and every bad moment in your life. He is enough!
He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, God in the flesh, come down to save you and redeem you back to Himself. He loves you and desires to talk to you and with you. Look to Him, walk with Him, and talk with Him today for Jesus is enough.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
Praying With Partners
Matthew 18:19 ~ Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
It is good to pray in conjunction with others. Find a prayer partner whom you can pray with and you will find that your prayer life will become a life of its own; it will take on new meaning and have great power.
When I was in training for the ministry I had a prayer partner for a time. He and I would meet at the church almost every night and pray over anything and everything. We found that God heard and mightily answered prayers. There were times when we would pray for someone who was sick, and they would be healed. I noticed that if we missed praying for someone who was sick that they did not get better. So, when you know you are in the will of God, and you pray with someone who agrees with you about the will of God, Jesus says great and mighty things can be done.
Remember, anything is possible with God for nothing is impossible for the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present, all-sufficient Creator of the world. Find someone with whom you would feel comfortable sharing your shortcomings with. I say this because when you pray, and you confess your faults to Christ, God will hear your confessions. Find that person you are comfortable with and go to work in a time of praying together.
Let me make a note here: I keep referring to knowing the will of God in prayer, and we should know the will of God in prayer. But the more time we spend in prayer the more our personal “wills” and “wants” will align with the will of God. If you do not know the will of God in a situation then pray humbly and earnestly for God’s will to be done. You can pray not knowing God’s will and have your heart ready to accept His will in whatever answer He gives. Just pray with a sincere and a humble heart in these situations putting personal feelings and wants aside so that you are not looking to consume it upon your lusts (trying to pray for what you personally want).
One example here is that when I pray for someone who is very sick and I do not know if God will heal them, I can pray earnestly for God to heal them in such a way that He receives the credit and the glory He deserves. I would want God to do it so that others may come to know Him and be saved and that those who are saved may be strengthened and encouraged. But whatever He does, we make sure that He receives the praise for allowing us to come and make our requests known to Him.
If they are saved, God may give the physical healing requested. But He may choose to take them home to be with Him where they will receive eternal healing. So, either way we can and must praise God for His goodness. If they are not saved we should earnestly pray for the mercies of God to save their eternal soul before it is too late.
Having a prayer partner does not mean that you must always be together to pray. You can set a time when the two of you can pray at the same time for the same things. You can have more than one prayer partner. Two or three praying at the same time for the same thing in different locations will accomplish great things, and all for the glory of God.
A prayer partner will keep you accountable in prayer. A prayer partner will encourage and enrich your life. Find someone to pray with daily, whether it is a spouse or a friend, pray together earnestly in the power and the will of God and you will see great and mighty things that you can only imagine.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
Praying With Gratitude
1 Thessalonians 5:18 ~ In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
We are to pray with others, and we are to pray with thanksgiving. God says, “In every thing give thanks:” In every situation and in every circumstance, whether good or bad, give thanks. And then He tells us in Ephesians 5:18-19 that we are to be filled with the Spirit and in verse 20 He says, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” When we walk close to the Lord we will find that we can thank Him for the good and for the bad. You may say that you could never do that, but what you need to understand is that God told us in Romans 8:28, “… that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” All things good and bad work together for our good when we love God and we are living according to His purpose for our life.
When my wife makes homemade biscuits she mixes flour, lard, milk, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt. How many of these ingredients would you consider to be tasty by themselves? Lard? Flour? Baking powder? Baking soda? You would probably say none of these would ever taste good alone. But mixed in a homogenized mix with some milk or buttermilk, some butter, and a pinch of salt, and put into the fire for a short time, you will have the best homemade biscuits this side of Heaven. The good and the bad go together in a mix, then they go through the fire, and they come out as something that is good for the taste buds.
God allows the good and the bad to come and lets us go through a little fire of testing to build and mold us into vessels with a Christian character that will withstand the attacks of the world and of Satan. So, we must give Him thanks for the good and the bad. The bad times in my life have drawn me closer to God. They have made me stronger than I was before them (Php 4:13). I can now thank Him for those rough, fiery trials that I have gone through in my life. I can do so because the good times and the bad times have worked together to make me a better Christian for the Lord and for others to whom I am a minister.
But we are to be thankful in the bad times. That means when things are at their worst I can thank God. How? By looking at the eternal and comparing it with the temporal trials and troubles. The eternal benefits far outweigh the temporal problems. When you think in the eternal realm, keeping your affections set on things above where Christ sits on the right hand of God you can be grateful, even in the troublesome times. You are saved forever. You will live and exist in Heaven forever. You will never be condemned to an eternal hell ever again. One day all your problems will come to pass away. Praise and thank God for all these wondrous benefits. Pray always with gratitude, with giving thanks in all things and for all things.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
Praying Intentionally Pt 1
Mark 1:35 ~ And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
You need to set a time every day when you will go to the Lord in intentional prayer. If you do not set a time for prayer you will more than likely not pray. Now we can pray all day through. Prayer is not a certain posture or place; it is communication with the Lord. You do not have to be kneeling at an altar to pray.
You can pray driving down the road just the same as you can talk with someone who is riding in the car with you. You can pray while you are walking around. But you should have a time every day when you find the time to intentionally kneel before your Father in Heaven. It is a time of humble respect for Who He is. He is your Father and He delights to hear you communicate with Him. Now if it is physically impossible for you to kneel, you can kneel in your heart before the Lord. He is looking at your heart, not your posture. Just set aside a special time every day to get alone with God.
In Mark 1:35 we find the Lord Jesus setting the perfect example for us to follow. I have for nearly three decades now used this as the pattern for my personal prayer time with the Lord every day. Sunday through Saturday I get up early in the morning and spend time with the Lord in Bible reading and prayer. You will benefit from this by drawing yourself closer to God. He promised that if you would get closer to Him He would draw closer to you.
In this verse we find four things that we as Christians need to incorporate into our personal prayer time with the Lord. Our personal prayer time requires prioritizing. Putting God first in every day puts God first in every way. It requires discipline to get up a little earlier than normal so that you might have that time with the Lord. Even when I must be at work at 5 or 6 am I get up early enough to have my personal time with the Lord. It requires isolation. That is another good thing about doing it so early every day; I am usually the only one up at that time. It requires time because the Lord desires to have personal one-on-one time with you in your relationship with Him. Prioritize, discipline yourself, get alone, and spend time with Him every day. You will be amazed at what He will do in you and for you.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
Praying Intentionally Pt 2
Psalm 55:16-17 ~ “As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice.”
A life of intentional prayer works because it is a life that has fellowship with God. Fellowship with God is a necessity. Fellowship is having the ability to talk to God at any moment about anything and everything. It is having a close communion and association with the Creator of the universe. It is a togetherness that allows you to call upon Him as your personal Father because we “… have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (Rom 8:15, Gal. 4:6).
It is a closeness that goes beyond that of any earthly relationship. It is an intimacy that gives us a greater affection, assurance, and confidence than any other that exists. It is closeness to the Almighty. A life of intentional prayer works because it gives us all the benefits of knowing God on a personal level that can exceed all human relationships.
A life of intentional prayer that works is based upon our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. It is based upon the fact that we serve a risen Saviour, the only begotten Son of the Living God. It is based upon the fact that our prayers will be heard and answered because it is the Father’s will and good pleasure to hear and answer the prayers of His children. It is based upon our confidence that our Father will do what He says He will do. It is based upon His Word that He is “… a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” A life of intentional prayer is a life that works because it is a life that walks with God daily.
A life of intentional prayer that works is a life that realizes that everything that we do must be bathed in prayer. Anything that is worth doing for the Lord and for others should be done through prayer. Dr. David Gibbs said that, “Prayer is the greatest power in the universe.” Elijah changed the weather patterns of the earth for three-and one-half years through prayer. So, everything that we do must be done through prayer.
Prayer gets a hold of the heart of God and moves Him to action on the behalf of others and ourselves. Prayer is power, and we should pray for the power of God. Without His help and His power all that we do is in vain. We cannot do anything in and of ourselves. It is only through prayer that we can accomplish any good in our life. Intentional prayer works.
When you intentionally set your time to pray every day you are prioritizing, you are disciplining yourself, you are getting alone, and you are spending time with God. Follow the example of Christ who put His prayer time first thing in the day. Follow the advice of King David who says that we ought to pray intentionally all throughout the day. Intentional praying works; it benefits you, it benefits those you pray for, and it pleases God.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
Stand With Honor
Luke 4:4 ~ And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
In all three temptations that the devil came against Christ with, He quoted the Word of God. When you are tempted, tried, troubled, or in tribulation you need to know the Word so that you may stand against the devil. It is your only offensive weapon in God’s arsenal that He provides for you. Therefore, you need to know more of the Word so that you may use and respond with more of the Word. You need His Word to be able to stand with Christian dignity and honor in defense of your faith.
God’s Word is your spiritual nourishment. If you eat two to four times a day to keep up the health of your body, then it makes sense that you need a daily regimen of the Bread of Life to keep up your spiritual health. When the body needs nutrition, you get hunger pains. But when the soul needs nutrition, is there a longing for, a hunger for the Word? Get into the Word and allow the Word to get into you. Read It, heed It, hide It in your heart, and meditate on It at all throughout your day.
This is a part of the worship life. If you are going to truly worship God then it is imperative that you spend time listening to what He has to say. Without His Word what would you know about Him? How would you know about His love, His mercy, His forgiveness, and the riches of His Grace if it were not for His Word? It is a love letter to you and if you truly want to worship Him, shut out the world and listen to your Father as He speaks to you through His precious Book.
When His Word is in you It will speak to you and for you in times of need. The Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance what you need when you need it. But if you have not put in the time to read It then you do not have your arsenal properly stored up and ready.
To study God’s Word is to hone and sharpen your Swordsmanship. You cannot properly use your weapon if you are not familiar with it. This too is a part of your worship; to be ready to stand and contend for the faith honorably for Him who loved you and gave Himself for you.
Choose you this day whom you will serve. Choose you this day to get into the Word and allow the Word to get into you. Let it transform you so that you will be the person that God desires for you to be. Always let IT be your very thoughts and meditation so that when temptations, trials, troubles, or tribulations come you will respond just as Christ did; with Christian dignity and honor.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
The Love for God’s Word
Psalm 119:140 ~ Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
Men do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them. A seventeenth-century Puritan named William Bridge said that harping on discrepancies shows a very bad heart, adding: “For a godly man, it should be as it was with Moses. When a godly man sees the Bible and secular data apparently at odds, well, he does as Moses did when he saw an Egyptian fighting an Israelite: He kills the Egyptian. He discounts the secular testimony, knowing God's Word to be true. But when he sees an apparent inconsistency between two passages of Scripture, he does as Moses did when he found two Israelites quarreling: he tries to reconcile them. He says, ‘Aha, these are brethren, I must make peace between them.’ And that's what the godly man does.”
The Word of God is Truth. It is inerrant. We are told in Proverbs 30:5, “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.” If you look at the Bible’s account of history you will find it has been proven by archeology. When archeological discoveries have been used to try to disprove the Bible, it has never been proven true. The prophecies of the Bible that have been fulfilled thus far have proven to be accurate. In fact, they have been so very precisely accurate that we should take note that those which have not been fulfilled yet will come to pass just as predicted! The kings, the leaders, and the peoples of the Bible have been verified. We have an inerrant Word which means it is incapable of being wrong!
When you consider the prophecies of Christ alone you will find some very startling facts. The likelihood that all those prophecies could be completely fulfilled in one man is phenomenal. Peter Stoner in his book, Science Speaks, says that the probability of one man fulfilling just eight specific prophecies of Christ are 1 in 1017, or 1 in 100 quadrillion. He then goes on to say that if you were to lay 100 quadrillion silver dollars on the face of TX it would cover the entire state two feet deep. If you were to mark one of those, mix them all up, then blindfold someone and tell them to walk across the state and pick up the marked dollar, their chances of doing so would be the same as one man fulfilling those recorded prophecies of Christ.
The Word of God is indestructible. Someone said that the Bible may be without error, but it is not without enemies. Consider for a moment those who hate it, who want to eradicate it, and want it removed from society by keeping it out of the public arena. Why do they want to do this? They want to avoid the possibility that the Bible is true. If it is true they are accountable to God, it matters what they do with Christ, and it matters that they live with integrity. To disbelieve and discredit the Word gives them some since of peace because in their mind they can live without fear of judgment or punishment.
Many have tried to destroy the Bible. They have killed those who wanted it translated into English, they have burned it, tried to discredit it, banned it, and have tried to keep it out of the public arena by removing it from the schools, the courthouses, the military, etc. They have failed miserably in their efforts.
I read a story about a man who had recently been saved and was very badly injured in an explosion. His face was disfigured, he lost his eyesight, and he had lost both of his hands. The greatest disappointment he had was that he could no longer read the Bible. He had heard of a lady who could read braille with her lips and he tried this. Unfortunately, the nerve endings in his lips were also damaged. However, in trying his tongue touched the raised characters on the page. In just a short time he was able to read completely through the Bible and has done so many times. He had a genuine handicap, but He loved God and His Word.
While some are looking for ways to discredit or destroy the Bible we should look for ways to spend more time in it than ever before. Do you love the Bible enough to find a way to read it if you were handicapped as this man was? How much does the Bible mean to you? Be thankful that you can have it in your hands and read it any time that you want to.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
You Have Not, Because You Ask Not
James 4:2b-3 ~ … ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (Read James 4:1-10)
In the life of the believer there is a very great resource through which he can gain his every need. That resource is prayer. Prayer is nothing more than open communication with our Father in Heaven. Whatever we need, we know that we can go to Him because He has promised that He would supply our every need. The Father desires to hear our requests and He desires to fulfill our requests. He desires to have communication with us and to bless us every day of our lives. He loves us and He wants to give us His very best. So, when you have a need, or even if you do not, just go and talk with God and see what He will do for you. Remember, He wants to give His very best to you.
Those who are trying to gain the world’s goods, to keep up with what everyone else is doing, and with what everyone else has, are just fighting and warring for nothing. The material wealth of this world is temporary. It should not be our primary focus. The Christians that James is speaking to are those who are striving to keep up with the world. They do not have all that they are trying to have, and they certainly would find no satisfaction in it if they had it all. When a person has it all, the truth is that it is never enough. They do not have what they are trying to obtain because they have not asked God for it. And yet, when they do ask they do not receive because their heart and their motives are all wrong. They want it to feed the lusts of their flesh driven desires. Someone once asked an extremely wealthy man how much was enough. His reply was, “Just a little more.”
They are seeking the life of this world and not the true life of the world to come. They are working their fingers to the bone within their own power to get what they think they need. They will fight, scheme, plan, and war just to get what they want. We need to realize that trying to gain what we want in our own power is futile at best. This world’s goods are only temporary. Whatever problems or troubles you may have in life can be solved through the avenue of prayer. Prayer links our will with the will of God. Prayer will bring to us a power that we otherwise cannot have.
A child was trying the best he could to move a large stone while his father sat nearby watching. The boy strained with every muscle in his body and with all his might to move the stone with no success. His father asked him if he was using all his strength. The child said, “I am using all of the strength that I have.” His father informed him that he really was not using all his strength. The child looked at his father with a puzzled look, and the father said, “You have not asked for my help.”
How many times is it true in the life of a Christian? They will give it everything they have but they lack the proper power to be successful. They have not asked for the Father’s help. When you ask God for help, you tap into the greatest power on earth. You can struggle and strain, war and wrestle, and yet have not because you ask not. God wants to move and work in your life if you would only ask Him.
When we fail to go to the Lord with our requests and our petitions we are in sin. We are commanded to pray. We are to “Pray without ceasing,” “…always to pray, and not to faint” (Lk 18:1). We are told, “… in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Php 4:6). The stronger our prayer life the more accomplished we will be. It does not matter what people think of you in this world nor in this life. It matters only what you are in your prayer closet. A person on his/her knees stands head and shoulders above everyone else. You are never more powerful and feared by spiritual wickedness than when you are on your knees. Do not be found guilty of forsaking prayer! This includes praying for every aspect of your daily life; spiritual, physical, social relationships, business success, etc. Whatsoever you do, do it all to the glory of God.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
You Receive Not, Because You Ask Amiss
James 4:3-4 ~ Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (Read James 4:1-10)
In all that we do we are to do it to bring glory to God (1 Cor 10:31). Foolish praying does not even consider God or try to make Him the preeminent in prayer. What would we be like if we were given everything that we ever asked for? I believe that God wants what is best for us, that He offers His best to us, and that we can expect to receive the things that we ask for in faith. But we should be very careful of what our motives are in prayer. We need to make sure that we ask God for the things that we need, but to also ask for those things that will bring Him glory and are in accordance with His will.
James says that being the friend of the world is a direct violation of our fellowship with God. It will hinder our prayer life if we give in to the world’s ways of doing things. If we are seeking after the things of the world and have our priorities out of alignment with God’s priorities, we cannot have the things that we seek to have. That is what these Christians were doing. Thus, they made themselves adulterers and adulteresses in the eyes of the Lord because they are committing themselves to worldly pleasures and passions rather than spiritual pleasures and passions. They work to obtain their needs through their own efforts rather than ask God. They align with the ways of the world rather than the ways of God.
We see an analogy here of the relationship between the husband and the wife. When we receive Christ as our Saviour, we became a part of the Bride of Christ (2 Cor 11:2). Men need not allow their pride to stand in the way of the spiritual implications of our relationship to Christ. The marriage relationship between a man and a woman is a picture and a type of the relationship between the Church (of whom you are a part) and the Lord Jesus, who is the Head of the Church.
As a husband, if your wife were stepping out with another man and giving her love to him, how would you feel? If she came to you and wanted you to give her money, a car to drive, a place to live, food to eat, and clothes to wear, how would you respond? I would dare to say that most men would give her and emphatic, “NO!” When you get involved in the world and the world’s ways, and you do not consider the Lord’s will, or His desires, or His glory, you will find that your prayers are not going to be answered.
The world is hostile to God; they are an enemy to Him. Those who follow the worldly ways are following the devil’s ways for he is the prince of the power of the air and the god of this old world’s social and cultural ways (Eph 2:2 & 2 Cor 4:4). We may have to live in this world, but we do not have to be a part of this world. When we align with the world’s ways, asking for things with selfish and fleshly desires, motives, and greed, we make ourselves a part of the world. Our prayers become ineffective because it comes from selfish, flesh-driven, worldly desires of the heart.
If we are going to receive what we ask for we must be on praying ground before the Lord our God. That means we do not want to be like these people who are described as keeping up with the world, getting into bed with them, and being seen as God’s enemy when He looks at them. Praying ground is having the right heart and the right motive when we go to the Lord to make our requests known unto Him. It is asking for those things that are according to the known will of God.
Think about your prayer life and ask yourself if you are on praying ground. Know that you are and know that you are praying to seek God’s will when you pray. Praying according to the will of God is to bring Him glory. It is not as much about getting our prayers answered as it is being in the will of God. When you pray the right way, having your will aligned with His, then you will honor and glorify your Father in Heaven.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
On Praying Ground
1 John 5:14-15 ~ And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.
We must learn to pray in accordance with the will of God. This is praying with a clear understanding of what and what not to ask for. When we do, we know that He will hear us, and we know that He will give us the petitions and the requests that we have made to Him.
It is God’s will that you come to Him in faith, with a humble heart, submitting to Him while resisting the world, the flesh, and the devil. You must come to Him, preferring Him and His will in all situations and circumstances, walking daily closer to Him, having no unconfessed sins, having your heart clean and pure before Him, with no malice nor envy towards anyone, having full assurance of faith in the thing that you are asking for.
Hebrews 11:6 tells us that, “… without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Believing that He is, and that He hears and answers prayer, is the beginning to a successful prayer life. When you were saved you put this principle to work in your life. You were praying according to what God said in His Word. Now that you are on your Christian journey in life you need to keep this principle at work every day. Praying according to what God has said in His Word is praying in the will of God.
Getting answers to prayer gives added assurance of salvation and it witnesses to the fact that we have a living and vibrant relationship with Christ. We can have a bold assurance to come before the Throne of Grace because Christ is our Great High Priest. Coming before Him in prayer is proof of faith and God will honor faith. When you have proper faith in God you will seek His desire when you are praying. Ask yourself, “What does He want in this situation? What would bring Him glory?”
When we pray, we pray in Jesus’ name. That is nearly the same thing as having His power of attorney. That means that we should pray and ask for those things that He would ask for if He were the one who was praying, in other words, “What would Jesus ask for in this time of prayer?” We pray for the things that would honor and glorify Him just as we pray to honor our Father. If Jesus were praying He would ask for things that would be in accordance to God’s perfect and holy will.
But praying in the will of God is not so much always knowing what God desires to do in the thing we are praying for; it has much to do with having our will aligned with His will and desires. It is praying in faith that God hears and answers the prayers of His children. It is praying with an open and submissive heart that will accept whatever God chooses to do because He will always do the right thing. When you pray openly like this you are praying in the will of God.
This is the promise of God; you have His perfect Word on it. You can pray according to Scripture and know that you are praying in the will of God. The best example is praying for someone’s salvation. God is not willing that anyone would miss Heaven and spend eternity in hell. He is willing that all people would be saved and spend eternity with Him. So, when you pray for a lost soul to be saved you are praying in the will of God for He is not willing that any should perish and that all would be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Knowledge of God’s Word is knowledge of God’s will. Pray and trust God to hear and to answer your prayer. He said that if you would ask He would answer, if you seek you will find, and if you would knock He would open doors for you. Seek God’s will in your prayer life and you will see answered prayers increase on your journey.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
On Praying Ground Pt 2
Isaiah 59:2 ~ But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.
If you are to be on praying ground with God then you can have no unconfessed sin in your life. If there is something in your life that you know is sin, you must cut ties with it so that God will hear your prayer. God has made it very clear that sin will hinder His hearing of your prayers. In Jeremiah 5:25 He says, “Your iniquities have turned away these things (God’s daily provisional blessings), and your sins have withholden good things from you.” Sin hinders your prayers from being heard and from being answered.
God has made a provision in His Word for us so that we can have our iniquities forgiven and cleansed. But you must be willing to admit sin when it is brought to your attention and repent of it. Repentance is a change of heart that will change your direction. If you truly love the Lord you will regret having sinned against Him. You will have sorrow, not because He knows, but because of the grief that it causes Him.
To repent of sin is to turn away from it and turn unto godliness (right thinking), righteousness (right living), and holiness (separating unto God). It is to leave the sin for the life of blessing that God wants to give to you. In 1 John 1:9 God tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” To confess your sin is to agree with the Lord that it is sin. He already knows about your sin and He knows why you sinned.
When you confess the sin, you must forsake the sin. If it is sin and you confess it with no intention of forsaking it, then that is not true repentance. That is not a heart that is truly humble and broken over sin. Why would He forgive us, and how can He cleanse us from the defilement it causes, if we intend to keep on doing the same thing? He cannot!
We are told in 2 Timothy 2:19, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” True repentance is to forsake, to turn away from, to depart from sin. If you are to be on praying ground then you must confess and forsake everything that God says is sin in your life.
Are you going to make mistakes and commit sin? Yes, you are. Are you going to fail and mistakenly omit some things that you are supposed to do? Yes, you are. That is why we can come before the Throne of Grace and confess these things so that we might find forgiveness and cleansing. It is not a license to continue to make mistakes and fail. It is the ground upon which we can walk closer to Him every day, knowing His will, and having our prayers heard and answered. That is staying on praying ground. It is the love, mercy, and grace of God to offer hope, forgiveness, and cleansing. To continue in gross sin will grieve His Spirit and cause Him to turn a deaf ear to your prayers.
Hebrews 4:16 tells us, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” When you come before God in prayer, take time to think and purge, through confession, any unconfessed sins you may have. That is obtaining mercy which puts you in the will of God. That puts you on praying ground. All of this comes through the power of the blood on the altar in Heaven. There is no reason for you to not have your prayers heard and answered. God does everything in His power to make it possible for us to come to Him and receive His best when we need it. When you are on praying ground He will hear and answer your prayers.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
Salt & Light: Impacting the World For God and Christ
Matthew 5:16 ~ Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. (Eph 6:5-6).
When I read this verse many years ago the Holy Spirit put a conviction in my heart to work for my employers as if I were working for the Lord Himself. It changed my whole work ethic. This has given me great success in whatever job I was in. I received promotions and raises without even trying to get them. I just enjoyed doing my work because I did it as unto the Lord Himself.
What if we see someone in need who is our enemy, not by our choice but perhaps because of what we believe? If we were to see them on the side of the road with a flat tire we are to stop and try to help. It is ours to offer, it is theirs to accept or refuse. We are not to act any differently towards them than we would a brother or sister in Christ. Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven” (Mt 5:44-45a). Be a Christian and let your light so shine that others may glorify God our Father!
On your own, in the flesh, you cannot truly accomplish this. This is a supernatural ability that can only come through the power of God within you. That is the power of the Holy Spirit who is the love of God within you. He cultivates that love within as we yield to Him and His guidance. He teaches us the things of Christ who loved us when we were His enemies. He transforms a yielded vessel into the image and likeness of Christ Jesus. Then you can love as He loves.
The Lord Jesus taught that when we have done just what we have been commanded, we are unprofitable servants. In Luke 17:10 we read, “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” Does that sound like something that you want said of you when you stand before God? God does all His work in our hearts to bring us to a place where we can let our light “so shine” before men. We are to do this so that they can have the opportunity to be saved and to know the love and the blessings of God. Everything that God does in our hearts, everything He gives us in life, every blessing, ever gift, and every talent should be used to let our light “so shine” that men may see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven! We are to shine and to share as we preserve society and present the Saviour.
If you do not shine for the glory of God it becomes more and more difficult to share Him with others. People will only listen when they see that it is true in your heart and life. If they do not believe that it is real to you then you have no influence on them. When it is real to you it will show forth in your concern, your care, and your compassion as you show forth God’s love towards them. People typically do not care what you know unless they know that you care. When they know that you care they are more likely to listen to what you have to say.
Therefore, it is extremely important to live an intentional Christian life in this present world that you live in. Living intentionally will allow you to have great influence and to impact the world around you every day. You must allow the Holy Spirit to work in your heart and be sensitive to His voice and to His leading. He will give you the wisdom, strength, and the power to live in a way that will intensify the light that you have within. All of this comes to life and maturity when God is exalted and glorified in your life by your conduct. Then you will impact the world around you in a way that will draw others to the saving power of Christ.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
The Revelation of Divine Truth
2 Timothy 2:15 ~ Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
When I first trusted Christ as my Saviour I opened a 1611 Authorized King James Bible and began to read every day. I read great portions of Scripture, but I did not fully understand all that I read. I did find that as I would read there were certain things that the Holy Spirit would help me to understand. It was like mining for precious jewels and every now and then I would find one.
Do not be discouraged in reading the Bible. If you are faithful to read every day God will reward that faithfulness and give you what you need to help you to grow. The more you grow in your spiritual life the more of Scripture you will understand. Though I did not have someone there to teach me, I did have the Holy Spirit of God there to give me what I needed as I needed it. We do not feed newborn babies steak and potatoes and God will not start us out on the true meat of the Word. There is a way we feed babies so that they will grow. We start them out on milk, then move up to baby food, and when they develop teeth we can feed them meat. There is a way God will feed you spiritually and you need to be patient and allow Him to grow you according to what He knows is best.
We need a sure Word from God. Let’s follow the course of how the Bible came to be. There is a three-step process through which God gave us His Holy Word. The first step is the revelation of the Word of God. Revelation is the process through which God revealed specific truths to man which he otherwise could not have known (Deu 29:29). We gain knowledge through experience, reason, and revelation. The problem with experience and reason is that they cannot answer certain questions which pertain to divine origin and purpose. There are questions, such as, “Where did we come from?” “Why am I here?” These can only be answered through revelation, or someone telling us where we came from and why we are here.
God has given us the light of creation and the light of the conscience. In Romans 1:20 we find the light of creation and in Romans 2:14-15 we have the light of the conscience. Through creation we can know that there is someone greater than us and that all that exists has the fingerprint of intelligent design; a Creator. Through our conscience we can know that there is good and evil, and, even though some may try to deny it, the fact remains that we find there is a right and wrong. Now we have, through the process of revelation, the specific truths of the Word of God.
Hebrews 1:1-2 tells us, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” God spoke to men in many ways in the past. With some He spoke directly as with Abraham and with Moses. With others He spoke in dreams as with Joseph and Daniel. And with some He spoke in visions as He did with Ezekiel and Isaiah. And at last He has spoken to us through His Son, Jesus Christ.
The point is that these are the actual words which God spoke. We are to receive them as His Words as did the Thessalonians when they heard them: “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Ths 2:13). When you receive it as “The Word of God” it will have an effect upon your life.
There is a cache of holy knowledge just for you in God’s Word. Read it and allow the Lord to reveal His many wondrous truths to you. He has made numerous promises to you that you can claim, but you must get into and receive His Word to know them and claim them.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
The Inspiration of Divine Truth
2 Timothy 3:16 ~ All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
The second step in the process is inspiration. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God ….” literally means that God spiritually breathed His Words into the heart of men whom He chose to be His penmen. Just as your breath crosses your vocal cords to produce the sound of your voice and the words you speak, so the breath of God breathes onto the heart of men His words and they came forth through them. We find this process in 2 Peter 1:20-21, “… no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” These men were nothing more than the keyboards of a typewriter, each one having his own unique character which God chose to use, and the Holy Spirit of God typed out the very Words that God wanted spoken and recorded.
Revelation and inspiration give us a sure Word from the Lord. It is profitable to us for doctrine. Our philosophy of life (what we believe and how we live) is based upon our Theology. Our Theology is based upon Bible doctrine. Doctrine is the belief that we get from God’s own Word. It is given to us so that we may believe right. We can believe the truth about the revelation of God and who He is, of His creation of all that exists, the fall of man, the redemption of God through the substitutional sacrifice of Christ, the end time prophecies of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, of His return and the end of all that is evil and wicked, and our eternal life in Heaven.
Reproof is the conviction of sin in our life. It is profitable because conviction of sin shows us the way of salvation through the Lord Jesus. Reproof tells me that I must be saved, but that I cannot save myself. It shows me that the only way to be saved is to appropriate a righteousness that I cannot attain. It is reproof that convinces me of the judgment that is to come to all of those who have not the righteousness required to escape that judgment. Reproof is profitable so that we may get right with God by accepting the work of Christ in place of our own work and receiving Him as our personal Saviour.
Correction is profitable for it gives us the way to stay right with God. Correction is there to show us how to do the right things the right way. After we are saved we are still battling the temptations of the flesh, the world, and the devil. Sometimes we may make mistakes and make a wrong choice or decision. Some may feel like they need to be saved again, but when you are truly saved it is eternal. The truth is that there is forgiveness for our mistakes because of the blood of Christ; He is our advocate (1 Jn 1:9; 2:1). As we grow in the knowledge of God’s Word we will find the right way to do the right thing so that we can stay right. It will reveal to us the way of salvation and the way of godliness, holiness, and righteousness. In simplest terms, godliness is having right thoughts guided by the Word of God. Holiness is a willingness to be set apart from the world’s ways to God’s ways. And righteousness is having right actions and conduct that follow godliness and holiness.
The Word of God is profitable for instruction. As we grow in the Lord we should come to a place of spiritual maturity where that we may teach others the right way from salvation to sanctification to service. When we believe right, get right, and stay right we can guide others right. The Word of God is profitable to us to help us to become profitable to others. This is how we fulfill the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20.
If the confidence of our salvation is dependent upon what we have received from the Word of God then we need a sure Word from the Lord. His revelation and inspiration have given us that sure Word that is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction. Live by it and live in it. Get into God’s Word every day and let God’s Word get into you. When you do you will see and experience your best life and the best of living. You have not begun to live until you live by the Word of God.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
The Preservation of Divine Truth
Psalm 12:6-7 ~ The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
Revelation and inspiration bring us to preservation. God breathed His Word into men so that we could hold a copy of that finished work in our hands today. God preserved His Word just the way He wanted it to be in the predominate language of the earth. If it were full of errors then we cannot say that we have a sure Word from God. If we do not have a sure Word from God then we cannot trust Him. If He is not powerful enough to preserve His Word to us without error, then we have no God to serve. If He is not powerful enough to preserve it without error, how could He be the same one who spoke the worlds into existence? If he cannot do this, we cannot trust that He is the one who made all that exists.
But we do have the process of preservation; the revealed, inspired, and written Word. We believe that the inspiration was preserved in the old King’s English. This subject of preservation has been the cause of so much controversy today. Preservation is God’s power to keep His Words untainted and pure down through the centuries. He promised in His Word that He would keep and preserve it forever (Psa 12:6-7). I will give you just a brief summary of why I stand where I do with the King James Bible and you can do your own research and make your own decision about it. I have gone back several times and went through the material. The first time I researched out the process of preservation I did it in a public library. Since then I have had the luxury of the internet.
Back to 2 Peter 1:20, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” The Scriptures have no private interpretation. Some might say that you need to get a newer updated version of the Bible so that you could better understand what you are reading. I will not go into great detail here about which version is the best for there are many books about the King James Bible. But I have done my own personal research and I know that there is great corruption in the revisions and the versions that have come out since the 1870’s. That is why I have stayed with the King James for the past thirty years. It has been tried and proven for over 400 years. I say all of this because we are to desire the “sincere” milk of the Word. “Sincere” here in the Greek means the non-deceitful, unadulterated Word of God. We need a genuinely pure Word of God which is not what you will find coming from the corrupt manuscripts that were used in the 1870’s revision committee. Every new version on the market today comes from those corrupt manuscripts.
God has said in Malachi 3:6, “…I am the LORD [Jehovah], I change not.” You must have an unaltered Word from God. You don’t need a “more authoritative text”, “an older manuscript”, nor do you need “the best authorities.” When these are referred to, they are usually speaking of the Siniaticus and the Vaticanus manuscripts. The Vaticanus was officially catalogued into the Vatican library in 1475 and the Siniaticus was found in trash at St. Catherine’s Monastery by a German scholar by the name of Count Tischendorf in 1844. It is a very sloppy piece of work and is said to have been altered by as many as ten different men. These manuscripts not only differ greatly from the Masoretic Text and the Textus Receptus, but they also differ from each other over 3000 times in the Gospels alone! These are not the older and more authoritative manuscripts. However, there are others that agree with the King James text that date as far back as the 2nd and the 4th century.
As a Christian our time in this world is short. Therefore, we must study God’s Word. Knowing the Bible and being filled with the Spirit are essential for living a victorious life for Christ. How can you contend for the faith if you do not know what God has to say about it? Be patient and try to get into God’s Word every day that you live. You will find precious treasures in the Book, but just like mining for precious jewels, you must dig to find them. Again, I say, “Get into the Book and let the Book get into you.”
- Dr. Todd Taylor
The Illumination of Divine Truth
Psalm 119:104 ~ Through thy precepts I get understanding: …
There is another process which is not a part of the process of how we received the Word of God, but it is a part of the process of how you as an individual receive the Word of God. It is the process of illumination. That is when the Holy Spirit takes something and brings it to your understanding. Just imagine for a moment that when you are reading the Bible and something on the page just jumps out at you. It is almost as if that verse or portion of Scripture is the only thing on that page. It lights up while the rest of the page goes dark. That is illumination. That is when the Scripture becomes God’s Word to you.
When God illuminates Scripture this way He knows that you need it and He is ready for you to receive and understand what it is saying to you personally. It may be something that you need for your personal life right then. It may be something that you are about to need in the very near future. Or it may be something that you are going to need so that you may be able to effectively minister to the needs of another.
The journey of life that God desires for you is that of a disciple of Christ. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines a disciple as “A follower; an adherent to the doctrines of another.” Hence the constant attendants of Christ were called his disciples and all Christians are called His disciples. Christians profess to learn and receive his doctrines and precepts. It is the governing of our self-will and letting it out to the Holy Spirit that He may guide and direct our lives. In other words, my will and wants and desires are given up so that I might live His will, His wants, and His desires. To be like Christ is to say as He said, “Not my will, but Thine, be done”(Lk 24:42).
However, this is easier said than done. There is a part that you have and that is the role of determining and purposing to do other than you would normally. I determined that it was vitally important for my spiritual life to sacrifice sleep to spend time with God every day of my life, including Sundays. I determined that it was vitally important to have this time when I first awoke in the mornings. This framed my thought processes to always put God first; first in every day puts Him first in every way.
For you it may be to take time at the end of the day to read and study your Bible. But when you awake in the morning, try to meditate upon what you were reading and studying the night before. You can do it as you are going through your morning routine getting ready for work, school, or whatever your day may hold. You may have to get up a few minutes early so that you can just look over what you were reading. Just find a time every day that is convenient for your schedule and spend some quiet time with God; just you and Him in the Bible and in prayer.
The more time you give to study, the more you will learn and the more you will grow spiritually. The more you study the more you will become like the Bible. It is not just learning what it has to say, it is to live the life that is contained within its pages. Jesus was the Word made flesh which came down from Heaven and dwelt among men. When you read and study the Bible it will get into the deepest recesses of your heart and you will become the person that God desires for you to be. It is to be conformed to the image of His dear Son. If He was the Word made flesh and we live the life that is contained in the Word, then we are going to become more like Christ. Living the Bible is to be conformed to the image of Christ and be closer to God.
Enoch was a man who walked with God every day of his life. He was close enough to God that one day God just took Enoch home with Him. That is what it is to spend time with God every day. You are walking and talking with Jehovah God. You are taking instruction from the One who made the heavens and the earth.
Jehovah is your God and your Saviour, the giver and the sustainer of life. He is your Father who will illuminate His Word and give you understanding of what He is telling you. He will instruct you in the things pertaining to life and happiness, reveal your purpose in life, and give you clear direction, but only if you stay close to Him. Draw yourself to Him and experience His best for you daily.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
The Salt of the Earth: Intentional Living
Matthew 5:13 ~ Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Jesus said we are the salt of the earth. When we think of salt we automatically think of seasoning the taste of food. It is also an important method of food preservation. But salt may also be very deadly. When we compare the Christian walk of faith to that of becoming the salt of the earth, there is a great deal of truth to that statement that we need to analyze and understand.
As the salt of the earth we can look at this verse as relating to Christians being a flavor and preservative of society. The meaning of the Greek word that was translated “salt” here carries the idea of having prudence. Prudence deals with being deliberate and quick to find the most suitable means for accomplishing something. Being prudent is exercising caution in foreseeing and avoiding evil while preserving truth.
So, what does all this mean? As the salt of the earth we are to carry out our God-given purpose in life with not only wisdom, but with prudence. We are to be intentional in our walk as Christians and to use caution to do the right thing the right way. We are not to allow the world’s influence to infiltrate our life. We are not to allow the world to muzzle our testimony. We are not to compromise the faith once delivered to the saints for the sake of increasing our influence. The truth is, when we compromise to gain influence or to be accepted by the world, we have been influenced by the world to do so.
Political correctness says that we should not bring our faith out into the public. But Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” You do not have to be a preacher to go out and lovingly share your testimony with others. If you keep silence because you do not want to offend people and because you want them to like you then your salt has lost its savor!
You are not out to please the world or the politically correct crowd. You are out to please your Father in Heaven and to tell the world about the Lord Jesus Christ. You are to fear God and keep His commandments (Ecc 12:13-14). The pilgrims aboard the Mayflower wrote the Mayflower Compact before getting off the boat at Plymouth. The very first paragraph starts out as thus: “In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereigne Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britaine, France and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, etc. having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, …” We bring glory to God by fearing Him, which means to have reverential trust and respect, by being obedient to the faith once delivered (Jude 3), and by telling others the good news of salvation brought down to man by the Lord Jesus Christ. This is how we are to be the salt of the earth, to season the lives of others with the truth of the Gospel and preserving society by being a strong voice for the good of mankind.
Jeremiah warned Judah, by the Word of God, that judgment was coming. God in His mercy gave them warning and command to repent and turn back to Him. God’s people answered and said, “We will not.” Jeremiah was a strong voice for the good of His people. God expects the very same thing from us. You are to “…shew forth praises of Him…” Who has called you out of darkness and has brought you into His light.
The world around us today is refusing to walk in the good ways of the Lord. Many think it is a pathway too narrow for their taste. No matter what the world does, we, the people of the Lord, must stand tall. We must stand unashamed of who we are. We must hold our heads high and walk in the paths that God has ordained without apology and without backing down. Let us be everything that the Lord commands us to be in His Word.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
The Salt of the Earth: Influencing Your World
Matthew 5:13 ~ Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Just as Jeremiah was a strong voice for the good of his people in the dark times in which he served God, so we too are to be a voice for the good of the people around us. You do not have to alienate people because they do not agree with what you believe. Someone asked me if they could be friends with someone who is outspokenly gay. My reply is that we should befriend them and not alienate them. You cannot condone their lifestyle choice, but you do not have to be critical and condescending to them; that is not love. We know the truth of the Word of God and that is what they need to hear and understand. They must see God’s love and God’s Word working in our life as we befriend them and love them.
You are a vessel that God desires to use for His glory. He allows people to come into your life so that you may be a witness of His love, mercy, and saving grace. He will allow people to meet you so that you may be a purveyor of His truth. You cannot condone sinful lifestyles no matter who it is or what they are doing. You can lovingly convey the truth of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Just share Christ with them at every opportunity that you have and do so without argument or conflict.
We can utilize opportunities to share our faith and to share Christ with them out of a heart of love for Christ and love for their immortal soul when we are friendly towards them. We cannot force them to hear or believe by trying to shove it down their throat, but we can love them to Christ by the love, help, and power of God. If we critically judge them then we put up a barrier that will make it nearly impossible for us or anyone else to share the love of God with them. Be a positive voice for what you believe.
All you can do is share truth with them and then only if they want to hear it. The truth they need to hear is the Gospel truth. You cannot compromise truth to be their friend. The truth is that they are in bondage to the confusion of the world’s lifestyle choices. They must be able to see the truth in you and when they come to know the truth then God can work in their heart to break the chains of bondage. Everything must point the way to Christ for He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. His saving power is what breaks the chains of sin and bondage and nothing else will do. Know Scripture and share Scripture that will be productive in opening their eyes to Christ and do so out of a genuine heart of compassion and love.
You are to be a vessel of honor, a preserver of truth; God’s Word is truth. You preserve that truth by incorporating His Word into your heart and into your life. The world tells you to leave your faith at home or inside the church, but your faith should be the core dictate of your life. Your life - your thoughts, words, and conduct, the way you live, your work ethic, your relationships, your worship practices, and your integrity, all that you are - is dictated by the fundamental doctrines of the faith that God has given you out of His Holy Word.
Determine that you will have the fortitude to stand your ground and be the Christian God desires for you to be. Do so with love and compassion for those who do not know the truth. Help them to see there is a better life with Christ than there is without Him. Help them to see and know His love through you. People do not care what you know until they know that you care.
Your impact on the world is this: Be the thermostat and not the thermometer. The thermostat controls and sets the conditions while the thermometer just measures and matches the conditions.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
Salt & Light: Ignited From Within
Matthew 5:13-14 ~ Ye are the salt of the earth: … Ye are the light of the world….
People are praying for revival in our nation and God knows that we need revival. He wants to send that revival, but His people must get back to basics before He can do it. We are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Too many Christians have lost their “savour” in the world. They have indebted themselves. They must compromise or lose everything they have. They are slaves and they have lost the energizing power to let their light shine.
When Christians get back to being the salt and the light then we will see changes take place in our communities and our nation. If we are going to see revival and see change there must be a change of heart. The only way we can save our people from destruction is by changing their hearts. The only way to change their hearts is to lead them to saving faith in the Lord Jesus. Saving faith is a working faith that changes lives. Changed lives will change a society for the good. It will take intentional sacrifice on the part of God’s people.
We are to not only be the salt of the earth when we are in the world, not only when we are in the church, but we must maintain our walk even when there is nobody around. This is a place where a great number of individual Christians fail. “Well nobody will know if I just peek at this, or if I just have a little taste of that. What harm is there if I listen to this, read that, or watch something foul.” Our integrity should hold to our profession and it will if we have possession. God the Holy Ghost is always there watching, so, technically speaking, you are never alone.
But we must also realize that there is a right way for doing the right thing. God has outlined all through His Word the guidelines for living the Christian life. We must follow the whole counsel of the whole Word of God from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (See also Pro 16:25). The right way to accomplish God’s work is outlined in our instruction manual known as the Holy Bible. After all, it is our Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. It is the Gospel truth that people need to hear and that is what we need to convey and share with them.
If we are allowing the Word of God to govern our lives so that we can be the salt of the earth, then the natural effect of that would be a light shining within us. But this can only be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit within us. His presence within us is like the oil in an old coal oil lamp. Without that oil there is no light because there is no fuel to burn. He is like the electricity that flows through an incandescent light bulb. Without the electricity to heat the element there is no light.
So, we can read the Word of God and it can influence our lives, but for the light to truly shine we must have that power of the Holy Spirit within. He can produce a work within that will begin to show up in our outward life. He is the one who gives us the ability to understand the Word and to apply that understanding to our hearts and lives. Without Him we could only accomplish so much but the light will not burn without the oil of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives you understanding and even helps you with the application of God’s Word.
But there must be an effort on your part to keep the light burning. The Lord does not force you into anything, but He does reward those who are diligent in their quest to live the Christian life. Be the salt of the earth that you are supposed to be. Always be the one to season the lives of those around you. Always be the one who will hold to the truth of God’s Word. Yield to the Spirit and allow Him to work in you. Allow Him access to every area of your life so that He may clean you up (Eph 5:26). The cleaner you are inside the brighter your light will shine through. The more you yield, the greater your influence and your impact on the world around you. You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
The Light of the World: Intensifying the Light
Matthew 5:14-15 ~ Ye are the light of the world… Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Following the Lord Jesus Christ and becoming His disciples will allow us to shine like a city set upon a hill. The Psalmist wrote, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way“ (Psa 37:23). As we stated before, the Bible is our Instruction Book. God has outlined the best way to live our life in His Word and that is where we will find the delight of our life. You need to incorporate some things into your life so your light can shine brightly.
First, read the Bible daily. We should have a time set aside every day that we just sit down and read through the Bible. So many Christians have such a weak testimony because they do not read their Bible every day. Let’s say that we have a glass full of old dirty, muddy water. Then we start pouring good fresh, clean water into that glass of dirty water every day. Some days we pour a cup, some days a glass full, and other days just a few ounces. Over time we will affect that old dirty, muddy water and it will begin to become clean and clear. The same is true with our lives. As we keep pouring in the Word of God our hearts will become cleaner and the things of God will become a delight to us. Read the Bible daily.
Secondly, study the Word of God. Sometimes in our reading there will be a verse or a portion of Scripture that will catch our attention. When this happens, take the time, whether then and there, or later when you have more time, to study it out further. If you do not have time right then to do it, set a definite time to sit down and do it or you will find that you never will.
I have always believed that if God illuminates something in the Scriptures while I’m reading it is because I need it. If I do not need it now, I will need it in the future for myself or to help someone else. The first time I sat down and started reading through the whole Bible there were instances every week where God allowed me to minister to others with Scriptures that He had illuminated while I was reading. Study helps you to be a better Christian because it develops growth, strength, and allows you to be a help to others.
Thirdly, meditate on and pray over the Word. After reading and studying Scripture, take some time to just sit and meditate. Unplug from the world and all social media devices. Turn off the TV and the music. Get alone and just think about what God is telling you and what He is trying to teach you.
Jogging is one of my times to meditate and pray about that which God is teaching me. How can you pray and jog at the same time? God is my Father and He hears me when I talk to Him. I have times every day when I get alone in my prayer closet with God, on my knees before Him, over His Word, and making supplication for the saints. But when I’m out running I just like to think about the things that God has revealed to me in His Word and to talk to Him about it. I do meditate at other times as well.
As you do you will find that your desires come from the Lord Himself. Psalm 37: says, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Listen to the words in this song and then look very closely at this verse and you will understand: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and Grace.”
The closer you get to Him the more you become like Him; your will, your ways, and your desires. And the exciting thing is that it is natural, and you do not have to struggle to be a good Christian; it becomes your nature. That Christian nature is the light of the world that allows others to see the truth of what real life - life more abundant and free - is all about.
Do these things - read, study, and meditate – and bathe it all in prayer with thanksgiving, and you too will become a light unto all those around you.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
The Light of the World: Illuminating God’s Goodness
Matthew 5:16 ~ Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. God is not doing all this work on us just so that we can consume it upon our lusts. We are not doing all of this just for ourselves. If we do, then we are not truly following in the footsteps of Christ. He did not come into the world and do all His good works just so that people would love Him. He came into the world because He loved us. He came to offer His life a sacrifice and a ransom for our life so we could have a more abundant life today and eternal life at the end. That abundant life is the life that Christ lived; it was abundant in good works towards others. Our added blessings come from being a blessing to others.
Jesus taught, “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain” (Matt. 5:41). The origin of this custom finds its beginnings in Persia with the Persian government who had regular couriers to carry letters and news to different locations. They had the power to command help by pressing horses, and sometimes their owners, or ships, into service for the king. This was a custom picked up by the Romans. A Roman soldier could call upon anyone he chose to carry his burden (backpack, payload, government dispatches, etc.). When compelled to do so, Jesus said that if he called upon you to go a mile, to go with him two miles.
Why would anybody in their right mind do this for a Roman soldier, an enemy, one who thought that you were the lowest of the low? Because by doing so you accomplish three things. First, in the context of the Scripture, Matthew Henry says, “The plain instruction is, suffer any injury that can be borne, for the sake of peace, committing your concerns to the Lord's keeping. And the sum of all is that Christians must avoid disputing and striving. If any say, flesh and blood cannot pass by such an affront, let them remember, that flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God; and those who act upon right principles will have most peace and comfort.” You will have peace and comfort in doing so.
Secondly, our Christian joy starts with the first step of the second mile because now we are doing that which is not required of us and this is our blessing. And thirdly, we show forth the love of Christ who not only left Heaven to come into the world and free us from the bondage of sin but went the second mile to take our place so that we could go free. We are letting our light so shine that others may see our good works – the transforming work of God in our life - and glorify our Father.
Our nation is “dumbing down” our citizens so that they will only accomplish what is required. We can’t get ahead of anyone else so why go the extra mile, why do the extra work? We all get the same grade in school whether we do extraordinary work or just do a bad job. Everyone gets a trophy and we do not leave anyone out, even if they did not do the hard work. This is the mentality of the secular progressive, worldly crowd. But with God this is not so. God rewards the faithful. He will prosper you as your soul prospers (3 Jn 1:2). But you must have the right mindset and realize that all that God blesses us with is for us to use to share the Gospel with others and to lead them in their Journey of Faith.
You are to let your light “so shine” before men. “So shine” literally means to influence the world around you as Christ would. When asked to do something at work, do you just do what is expected and then stop? That is the world’s way of doing things. As a Christian you are to do more than is required. You are to go beyond what is expected. That is when you are letting your light “so shine.” That is when men will “glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” Your good work ethic and your shameless wearing of the name of Christ brings glory to God.
Be the salt, be the light, and so shine that others may recognize God in you and give Him glory.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
Direction and Deliverance
Proverbs 11:5-6 ~ The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.
The righteousness of Christ applied to our life deserves for us to live a righteous and upright life before God and before the world. It is this righteousness that leads us to strive for perfection in our spiritual walk and our relationship with the Lord. The word “perfect” means “whole or complete.” It is referring to spiritual maturity not sinless perfection.
All believers should desire to be sinless and perfect. But the truth is that as long as we live in these fleshly bodies we will struggle with sin. It will creep into our life from time to time and rear its ugly head. However, that is no excuse to let down your guard and allow sin free access.
Spiritual maturity means that you are grown in the Lord. But it also means that you are in a constant state of spiritual growth. You will never “arrive”, as some might say, as long as you are in this world. You will always struggle to maintain your Christian character and walk. The good thing is that the longer you walk with the Lord the easier the struggle becomes; Christian character will become first nature to you.
When you walk with the Lord He will direct your life. He will lead you as a Shepherd leads His sheep. As you follow Him you will experience more and more victories. The more victories you experience the easier it is to maintain spiritual integrity. His righteousness leads you to live a godly life for His glory. Praise God that when we live for His glory we prosper and benefit from it.
“Righteousness” is a principle of life while “upright” means the practice of that principle of righteousness. Your righteousness will lead to direction and stability for yourself and for others. Your uprightness can encourage your brothers and sisters to be more dedicated and devoted in their relationship with the Lord.
Are you devoted to the Lord? Are you wholly given to His leading in your life? To wholly follow the Lord is to be committed spirit, soul, and body to living for Him. To follow means that you are consistently moving forward. As the Apostle Paul said, “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” To “press toward the mark” is to keep moving forward in your spiritual growth (receiving and embracing the things of God), in your spiritual walk (applying the things you have received of God), and in your relationship with the Lord (getting closer, giving more, and doing more).
You must live this before the world and allow them to see your closeness to God develop and grow. Those who do not know the Lord need to see that He is real and that He rewards and provides for His own. This will give the Spirit an opportunity to compel them and draw them to repentance and surrender. Your daily walk could be the thing that will help others be convicted of their sinfulness. It could lead them to turn to Christ for salvation.
If they do not see it in you then who will be a light to them? As we have said before, their wicked ways will be their utter ruin and destruction. Their pride, their self-sufficiency, their hostility to God and His ways, and their contentment to live in sin will cause them to fall prey to their own devices. Those who accused Daniel and had him put into the lion’s den were the ones who were next cast in and were devoured by the lions themselves.
The only difference between you and a lost person is that you have Christ as your Saviour. Therefore, you have the strength and power of God to overcome temptations and sin. If they had Christ they could have victory just like you. Live so that your direction and deliverance will help direct and deliver others.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
Where Is Your Voice?
Proverbs 11:11 ~ By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Pro 14:34). When Israel followed the righteousness of God’s commandments they were the powerful nation whose enemies feared them. But when they turned from the righteousness of God’s commandments they fell into defeat and captivity.
America was once a righteous nation; she was founded as a Christian nation whose sole belief was the Word of God. Her laws originally had to be backed up by the Scriptures. Her leaders had to attest to a firm belief in the Triune God as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost just so they could sign up to run for office. In some colonies the leaders had to profess faith in Christ as their personal Saviour before they could register to run for office.
All these truths can be found in the documents and the writings of the founding fathers and in the compacts and state constitutions. These documents were mostly written in cursive writing. Today they have ceased to teach children to read and write in cursive writing. That means that they will not be able to read the documents that were written in the founding our nation. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are some of those documents. They affirm that our nation was built a Christian nation that was founded upon the Word of God as a righteous nation that God blessed and exalted.
America as a nation has strayed far away from what she originally was. The leaders today are progressive liberals that do not want to hear the Word of God or even acknowledge that it is what was used as a guiding principle in the founding of our nation. They do not believe that God blessed and raised us up as the most powerful nation on earth because of our allegiance to Him.
The wicked have painted America as a sadistic, intolerant, racist nation that owes the world an apology for its exceptionalism. Our nation is about to go over a cliff because of the mouths of the wicked. They have lied for so long, so loudly, and so often that their lies have been accepted as truth. They will deny, distort, and twist the truth to make it seem like the worst possible thing that could exist.
Christians and the Bible have now been targeted as the problems with America rather than the solution to America’s problems. If the Word of God says that it is sin then you cannot call it anything else. It does not matter if it is sodomy, adultery, sex outside of the marriage, homosexuality, bestiality, incest, drunkenness, murder, theft, or lying, the Bible says it is SIN and that is exactly what it is. But our nation has become a feel good, entertainment conglomerate.
Therefore, anything goes if it feels good and does not go against what the individual person thinks truth is. They say today that there is no absolute truth. Their mentality is that your truth may not be my truth. Your sin may not be my sin. The truth is that there is absolute truth and it is the Word of God and it does tell us that sin is sin no matter who you are.
They have so denigrated Christians that they will not speak out against the insanity that is occurring today. When men are allowed to enter a ladies restroom, when they say a child can now be aborted up to the time of birth, when they tell our children they cannot carry a Bible or pray, then every Christian in America should shout out loud a resounding “NO!!!” But the Christian majority has grown silent.
Today there is no godly counsel, no knowledge of truth, no principle followed, no lifting up of Christ, and no true wisdom because the progressive liberals have done a great job at silencing the Christian voice. Where do you stand today? Is your voice silenced? Are you living in a way that God can bless you as He did our forefathers? God said it is “By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted.” Our nation needs to get its Christian voice back. Will you let your voice be heard, or have you been silenced?
-Dr. Todd Taylor
The Fear of the LORD
Psa 19:9a ~ The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever:
The fear of the LORD is simply reverential respect and trust of God with a hatred for evil. The only thing that you as a Christian are allowed to hate, according to the Word of God, is evil (Psa 97:10 and Pro 8:13). You are to love the LORD and to hate all that is opposed to Him and His ways.
The fear of the LORD is to respect the LORD your God. It is to hold Him with the greatest of honor and value within your heart. Nothing – not family, occupation, or anything – should ever come before God in thought, word, or action. He should be the Preeminent Person that occupies your heart. He should never take a backseat to anything or anyone in your life, not even your spouse or family.
There was a time when our nation had a respect and reverence for the things of God. They had a reverence for His Word, for His people, for the preaching – whether they agreed with it or not -, and for the Lord’s Day. There was a time when businesses did not open their doors during church hours. Many did not open at all on the Lord’s Day.
Today our nation does not reverence the Lord or His things. They have gone the way of the world and have turned against all that is godly. Our nation has a great disdain for the Word of God, for His people, for the preaching of His Word, and for His Day of Worship. There is a battle in our nation that is labeled as a culture war. The truth is that it is the same battle that has been raging for all of time, the spiritual battle between good and evil.
Where you put God in your heart and life determines which side of that battle you are on. Many claim to be on God’s side, but the truth is that they do not hold Him preeminent in their heart. They honor Him with their words, but with their heart they deny Him. They do not allow Him unfettered access to all their life. They do not allow Him to govern their heart. They do not allow Him to take precedence over the things of the world.
When you stand before Him what will be your testimony? Do you still have a healthy fear of the Lord? Not a fear that causes you to run from Him or to keep you at a distance from Him, but a fear that leads you to reverently respect Him and to trust Him. You must put everything on Him and trust His will, His plans, and His purpose for your life. You must look to and be obedient to His Word. You must walk daily by the Saviour’s side. He will never let you down and He will never do you wrong. His desire is to prosper all that you do and to work everything in your life to bring benefit to you.
Too many today claim the name of the Lord and live in a way that dishonors Him. They love the things of the world. They love the world’s entertainment and the world’s ideology of having more stuff – even to the point of indebting themselves to the world. Many Christians have fallen into the trap of the devil and cannot fear the Lord as they should. They have brought themselves into a position in life where they do not have time for the Lord’s things; His Word, His people, the preaching, and His Day of Worship. Israel and Judah were taken into captivity for these very same things.
What will become of America? What will become of those who feed into this disrespect of God and His things? Guard your heart and do not allow the devil to draw you into His trap this year. He will find ways for you to spend less time with God, His people, and His Word. It will seem like the responsible and reasonable thing to do, but it leads you away from God not to God.
The fear of the LORD is to respect and trust God. You must trust Him for your every need. You must walk by faith in Him and in His will; His plans and His purpose for your life. When you walk in the fear of the LORD you will see great things come to pass in your life and the lives of those around you.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
Psalm 37:4 ~ Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
The thought translated as “delight thyself” has to do with “rejoicing or finding one’s happiness in.” He is to be the object of your delight. Make Him the focus of your joy and fulfillment. The joy of the LORD is your strength in both the good and the bad times of life. And as you make Him the focus of your life He will give you the desires of your heart.
This is God’s Word and it is an imperative. You must delight in Him; there is no other. To delight yourself in the LORD is to first know Him as your Saviour. Only then can you truly be delighted in Him. He is perfect, powerful, good, and faithful. He is wisdom, love, mercy, grace, and redemption. He is the Creator of all that exists, especially of all life. He knew you before ever you were formed in the womb. You trust in His redemption, His Word, His Gospel, and the truths and the ordinances of it.
This is where the erroneous “prosperity gospel” preachers misinterpret the Scriptures. Through their misinterpretation they themselves have missed out on great blessings from the Lord. The Word of the LORD is always true, but it must be interpreted correctly. There is no private interpretation of the Scriptures.
The “prosperity gospel” preachers say that God will “give” you “whatever” you want. Their misinterpretation comes from the lusts of the fleshly desires. This is where they apply this verse. This is wrong interpretation and wrong application. God is not going to feed the desires of your flesh. Your flesh is always at odds – contrary to and at enmity – with the leading and influence of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:17).
God will “give” you your heart’s desires. But that word “give” means that He will “add, apply, appoint, or ascribe.” This means that He will put His desires for you, according to His purpose and plans for your life, in your heart.
A great example of this is your salvation. Before you yielded to the Holy Spirit and received Christ as your Saviour, did you really want to read and study the Bible? Did you really want to go to church, sing Gospel hymns and Christian music, talk to others about the Lord, or hang out with Christian people? I know that I did not have any of these desires in my heart. But after my salvation God put these desires in my heart.
Another example is that I did not want to stand in front of people and speak. I would skip oral reports in school because I had a great fear of standing in front of people and speaking. My self-esteem for this activity was null and void. But when God saved me He put the desire in my heart to be a Gospel preacher.
The point is simple: God gives – adds, applies, appoints, ascribes, puts – these desires in your heart. As your delight in the Lord increases He will give you desires and then He will give you the opportunities to have these God-given desires fulfilled. This just adds to the delight that you have in Him.
Though this is an imperative to “delight thyself” in the LORD, it becomes a delightful desire to do so as the Lord gives you the desires of your heart. What a blessing that God would give you desires that He will gladly fulfill for your benefit and for you sheer and utter joy.
Think on, meditate upon, this verse today and you will find many reasons to worship, praise, and rejoice in the Lord for His ever-loving goodness and kindness towards you. “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
- Dr. Todd Taylor
Commit, Trust, and Experience His Promises
Psalm 37:5 ~ Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
The word translated “commit” in this verse means “roll”. It has the idea of entrusting your all to the LORD. Your whole life and being is to be committed unto Him. The way you live, all your affairs, and your manner of living is to be committed unto the LORD.
It should go without saying that this does not mean that you are to sit still, be inactive, and do nothing while leaving everything up to God. It means that you should seek His counsel and His direction for your life. Your Father is the all-knowing God. He knows your past, your heart and your thoughts, the trials and difficulties ahead, and the battles that you will face. He knows everything about you; past, present, and future.
Does it not make sense to turn to Him and seek His direction so that you can face and conquer what lies ahead? Here is Someone who knows what is ahead and what is coming in your life. He will not tell you exactly what is coming for that would spoil you and be the ruin of your life. However, He has made provision in your life to help you get through whatever comes your way. He will guide your steps and your path so that you can correctly navigate your life.
He has given you a compass and a navigator to help you with what you must face. The Compass is His Word and the Navigator is His Holy Spirit. Therefore, in whatever situation or circumstance you find yourself in, you have God’s presence and you have God’s Word. Wisdom is to commit to Him who knows the right way to navigate your life.
The Psalmist wrote, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved, ” (55:22). God cares more deeply for you than you will ever be able to comprehend. He loves you supremely. His heart’s desire is to give unto you His very best. To commit your all to Him is to make Him preeminent in your life so that no person or thing will ever come between you.
Then we are told to “Trust also in Him.” You have peace with God because of Christ. You are a child of the Most High because you chose to believe His Word and put your faith for salvation in Christ, His Son. You trusted Him to save you because He said if you would repent and believe on Him that He would.
By the same rule you are to trust Him for all your need for every day. His supply is endless, and He has enough for whosoever will come to Him (Php 4:19). To “trust also in” means to be at ease because you know the One who saved you is the One who will sustain you. He will finish what He started. He may not have promised you a smooth road through life – we do live in a sin-sick world – but He did promise you a sure road (Php 1:6).
When you “trust” in Him you have peace of mind knowing that He will provide the ways and means to get through this life in this world. When you “commit” and “trust” you have His promise that “He shall bring it to pass.” What He has promised He will do. He will not go against His own Word. Bring your needs and your requests to Him and experience the peace of knowing He will take care of you.
Go beyond simply believing what God can do. Take action and step out on faith so that He can do what He desires to do for you. You must walk by faith to please Him. It is His good pleasure to give you His very best, to answer your prayers, to protect, prosper, and to provide for you and yours.
You must commit to entrusting your all to Him. This is to step out on faith in His promises. You must trust that He will give you His very best. When you do this, you will experience the fullness of His love towards you and you will be very blessed indeed.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
The Blessing of God’s Blessing
Proverbs 10:22 ~ The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
“The hand of the diligent maketh rich,” (v. 4b). Those who are diligent to use what the Lord has given them will find that they will be blessed beyond measure. Now the riches of the grace of God have made us all very spiritually wealthy. We do not have to worry about death or dying or what eternity holds for us. We shall not taste of death because Christ has already done that for us. You are eternally wealthy.
But what you do with the blessings of God’s grace will determine your blessings in this world. We have been given the promise of the abundant life. Our life is replete with love, grace, wisdom, mercy, truth, fellowship, peace, and so much more. Now we are to take that life and put it to use by being a blessing to other people in this world.
We should bless others with the message of the Gospel. How can they have what we have if we are not willing to share it with them? Someone told you how to be saved and therefore you must tell others how to be saved. This is sharing the blessing of salvation that God has given you with others so that they also may be blessed.
Now it goes without saying that God’s blessing of life extends even to physical wealth. God blesses you according to what you do with His blessings. I am not preaching a prosperity gospel, but the blessing of God can make you rich spiritually and financially. It does not mean that you are to allow financial gain to become the reason for living for the Lord for that will ultimately fail you, nor are you to expect to become “filthy rich.”
You are given the ability to gain wealth by the power of God (Deu 8:18). But he gives that wealth to those who will use it for His glory. Those who would consume it upon their lusts have lost out already for He says that a stranger will take it away (Ecc 6:2). Remember the Lord and share His blessings with others.
R. G. Le Toureanu was a prolific inventor of earthmoving equipment during the period that our interstate road system was being built across the USA. In the beginning of his life he gave 10% of his net profits in tithe to the Lord. By the end of his life in the late 1960’s his tithes and offerings consisted of 90% of his profits and he still had more than he could possibly live on. He gave to churches and Christian schools and whatever he could give to in the Lord’s work. The more he gave away the more the Lord gave him.
When you are walking with the Lord daily and you are sharing His blessings with others He will give you more than you can stand. He blesses you so that you might bless others. When you see God’s blessing upon your life in that light then you can never out give the Lord. The more you give in service to Him – of your tithe and offering, talent, and especially time – the more He will give to you.
God will give you what you desire in life. In Romans One the people wanted to be given to the pleasure and the sinfulness of their flesh. That is the way our culture is today. God allowed them to have the desires of their heart; He turned them over to uncleanness (v. 24), to vile affections (v. 26), and to a reprobate mind (v. 28). For those who want to please and glorify God with your life God will give you the desires of your heart and mind. He will give you what you want more of.
When things are not going so well, what we might call “going through the valley”, God still blesses you. When God blesses in these times it is His manifold blessing. This verse is saying that the blessing of God - His favor and goodness towards us - has no sorrow attached to it. So, on bad days when God blesses you it is an added blessing to your blessing because it always brings joy, rejoicing, peace, wisdom, and grace, but it never brings sorrow.
God’s blessing always comes with blessing attached to it. Count your blessings today and give verbal out loud praise to God for His goodness towards you. And remember, the Lord inhabits the praises of His people.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
How Is Your Outlook?
Proverbs 10:27 ~ The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
Remember that the fear of the LORD is a reverential trust of God with a hatred for all that is evil. Those who have the fear of the LORD are going to see a longer life simply because of the life they live. Those who live godly will separate from the world and from the wicked lifestyles that bring danger and destruction with it.
Those who live wickedly live a dangerous life in more ways than one. Spiritually they lack true wisdom to make good, safe, and wise choices in life. Many who live wickedly live a self-destructive lifestyle. They are given to the lusts of the flesh participating in all manner of sins that are detrimental to physical health. Therefore, it is true that they will have a shorter lifespan than they would if they lived a godly life.
It thus becomes true that those who do live godly in the fear of the LORD shall have hope and gladness on their radar. They can expect the blessing of God upon their life. They can look forward in happiness to what tomorrow holds because of Who holds tomorrow. Your hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. You have a sure foundation and a sure anchor of hope that is steadfast and unmovable.
The hope of the wicked is not so. It can be positively optimistic with wishful thinking but that is as deep as it goes. They do not know what tomorrow brings and they have no one to hold their tomorrows together. Their sinful living pays terrible dividends because the pleasure for a season is shortened by the long-term consequences. Sinful living, however long it may be, pays the wage of eternal damnation.
As a Christian you can continue getting up and facing every day with joy and gladness. God has blessed you with another day to live and breathe and to move about and have your being. Even for those who are living in unfortunate circumstances there is joy and blessing to know the Lord as your Saviour. We have the greater outlook. The way of the LORD is wisdom to the upright. The joy of the LORD is your strength. You can get up and face every day with the wisdom and the joy of the LORD for they give you the courage to enter into and make it through another day, even when things are tough.
Those who do not have the LORD are starting out every day in a deficit. They compose their own life and their own destruction because they do not know, nor do they have the Lord’s blessings. Without God they can do nothing but expect the worse that the devil and the world have to offer them. Some may know the truth and reject it; they shall rue the day when they open their eyes in eternity. But so many more are ignorant of what they do not have; they are deceived. They need our help to see the truth. They need the Gospel; it is the power of God to save them from their deception and an eternal hell.
Many of the ungodly may seem to have the upper hand in this life. They may seem as if they are prospering and getting ahead. It may look like they have it all figured out and are living high on the hog. But the truth is that they will not inhabit eternity. Only the godly will inherit the earth in the Millennium and enter the Eternal Kingdom while the wicked will enter into the eternal damnation of the Lake of Fire.
Knowing what we know, possessing what we have, we have the greater responsibility to speak to those who are so deceived and to warn them from their wicked ways. We must show them the goodness of a life with Christ. They must see our joy and our rejoicing, our hope for tomorrow and for eternity, what they are missing, and how they can benefit from having Christ and the life we have.
Your lifestyle should emulate and be an example of the goodness of God upon humanity. They must see the benefit of the grace of God in your life. Those who claim to have Christ and are never happy, never joyful, are always struggling, and complain about their life all the time, turn people away from God and away from trusting Christ as their Saviour. Be sure this is not you. Go out into the world in the joy, the blessing, and the goodness of God and let others see your joy. Smile like God loves you because He really does.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
The Weight of The Word
Proverbs 11:1 ~ Balances of deceit are an abomination to Jehovah, And a perfect weight is His delight.
“A perfect weight” refers to the weights that were certified for the use of weighing things out. There must be a standard from which all weights may be certified. In the international community today, there is a kilogram of platinum and platinum-iridium alloy stored in France at a constant room temperature to ensure its perfect weight. Unfortunately, it is no longer a perfect weight; it has gained some 50 microns of weight from surface contamination. But it was designed as the standard for all other weights to be compared to for certification.
God has no pleasure in the dishonest dealings of commerce. In fact, it is something that truly disgusts Him. The dishonesty of some brings injury and harm to estates and properties of families. It is costly to those who are trying to live honestly in a crooked and perverse world.
Even more so is the dishonesty in spiritual and religious matters. To defraud those who are trying to live righteously and godly is to harm the relationship that God has with His children. As any good parent, I am sure that God is not pleased when someone tries to defraud others with heretical and apostate teachings.
A great many of protesters came out of the Catholic Church after Martin Luther tacked his thesis to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Those who came out of that church became known as the Protestant religions. The one thing they all had in common is that when they came out they each brought the parts of the Catholic religion that they agreed with and liked with them. Thus, we have many different Christian denominations today.
The one good thing I can tell you is that the true Baptist did not come out from the Catholic Church. It was never a part of that religious organization. True Baptists were always those who were on the outside of the Catholic Church and always hunted and persecuted by them for “heresy.” They were not always called by the Baptist name but were known by many different names; some were called by the name of their leaders and others by the name of their location.
The one thing that the Baptist Faith can attest to is that they truly received their doctrine directly from the Lord Jesus Himself. Jude wrote, “Beloved, … it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” (v. 3). “The faith” is the body of doctrinal beliefs that true Baptist follow. Once delivered has to do with the teachings of Christ and the writings of the New Testament.
Therefore, we have a surer Word to follow which is the perfect Word of God. Everything spiritual and godly must be compared to and certified by this Weight. It is given to us by the process of revelation, inspiration, and illumination. God gave it to men whom He chose to write it, His Spirit gave them the very words to put down in their writing, and His Spirit teaches it to us through a process of illumination. Illumination is God giving us what we need when we need it. It is infallible which tells us that it will never fail us. It is inerrant which tells us that it contains no errors. It is alive and powerful for it will save lives, homes, and families from doom and despair.
This Perfect Word is preserved by God in the Old King James Bible. We do not have to worry about corruption if we stay with the original that comes out of the 1611 King James Translation Project. It has been tried and proven for over 409 years. Beware, for the devil has been working to change God’s Inspired, Preserved Word for 150 years now. He has accomplished this through the many different perversions of the Bible that have come out of the corrupt manuscripts of the 1870 Bible Revision Committee.
We have the Perfect Written Word, but we also have a more Perfect Weight in the Living Word of God that is Christ Jesus our Lord. He will never change. He is always the same and you can trust Him when all else fails.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
Wear The Name Without Shame
Proverbs 11:2 ~ When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
There is no wisdom in pride. Pride promotes self as superior in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, knowledge, etc. Pride brings contention because of its excessive self-esteem. But pride will bring shame to the prideful heart because it comes before destruction and failure. Adam and Eve, Haman, Nebuchadnezzar, and many others have fallen prey to their own pride.
God tells us in His Word that the pride of life does not come from Him. God will resist the proud for pride is contrary to God. Psalm 34:18 tells us, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” The broken in heart are those who are broken over their sin; the contrite spirit literally means “crushed”. When you realize you have sinned, and you regret it from deep down within, wishing you could have a “do over”, then you are of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
Therefore, those who are lowly and humble have wisdom. They have turned from sin and have turned to God. They have disowned the things of darkness and have turned to the light. They see the crucified, risen, and living Saviour as high and lifted up above all things while seeing themselves as the least of all saints and the chief of all sinners. These are they who are wise unto salvation. These are they who will draw close to the Father and live in His honor and glory. These are they who will unashamedly wear the name of Christ.
I was at a basketball game this past week and I saw a lady with a “Witness-T” on. I could not read all the writing on the shirt due to the distance I was from her. But there were five letters that were emblazoned across her shirt that I could read. They stood out in large bold print like a sore thumb. Those five letters were the name “JESUS.” She was wearing His name unashamedly. That is how He should be in our hearts and minds; standing out amidst all the other stuff that is going on in us and around us.
There is great value in wearing the name of Jesus unashamedly. You will benefit from His protections. When something holds you up from getting somewhere in a timely manner, it could be the Lord keeping you from harm. I believe when you get home you will find out He was protecting you when you had no knowledge of it.
We also benefit from the providence of the Almighty. We live in a free nation as a free people because of the providence of God. It was His providence that led the Pilgrims to come over and start the settlements in a new world. This led to colonies, states, and the greatest nation on the earth.
We benefit from His purpose. The purpose of God was to evangelize the world through the mission programs and the missionaries that came from America. There was a time when we were the light of the world and the salt of the earth. This was all due to the providence and the purpose of God to establish our nation as a beacon of Christian hope to evangelize the world. Unfortunately, like Israel, we have forgotten God and all His blessings and benefits. We are not the nation we once were. The only thing that will truly make America great again is for God in His mercy and providence to send a great and mighty revival.
When we as a people will humble ourselves and pray and seek His face we can get His attention. But the one thing that will cause God to move and intervene on our behalf is for His people as a whole to turn from their wicked ways; the worldliness we have become so comfortable with. Then will God prosper His people once again and forgive our sin and heal our land. The question is, “Will God’s people turn from their wicked ways so that He can forgive and heal?”
Pride causes trouble and brings shame, disgrace, and dishonor. But the humble heart will draw God’s attention as it seeks to draw closer to God. Wear the name of Christ unashamedly. Be humble, draw close to God, and He will draw close to you.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
Righteousness Applied Deserves Righteous Living
Proverbs 11:3-4 ~ The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
The word “integrity” comes from the Greek word tummah (too-maw’) which means “innocence.” It is doing the right thing even when there is no one around. The word “upright” comes from the Greek word yashar (yaw-shawr’) which means “straight.” It refers to honesty and truthfulness. These are the guiding principles for good character. You cannot have integrity without honesty and truthfulness, and you cannot have honesty and truthfulness without integrity.
While these may be the guiding principles for good character, the Spirit of God is the best guide that you can have. He is the one who will lead you into all truth and uprightness. He will be your guide and overseer as you yield to His leading. This means that you will go against the desires of the flesh which tend to lean towards following feelings and pleasures. Following Him is following His Word and denying selfish desires.
There is more to following the Word of God than simply reading, hearing, and studying. These are necessary food to the soul but then there must be exercise and application. You must put the Word to work in your life. What it says to do you must do. What it says to stay away from you must stay away from. These are the guidelines and the guardrails to a safe and blessed life. His righteousness has been applied to your life and deserves for you to live accordingly; yielding, obedient, and abiding.
On the other hand, there is the “perverseness” which is the distortion and deception of transgressors. The transgressor is one who violates the commands and principles of God. These deal treacherously with God and with men. They care only for themselves. They follow the path of least resistance which tends to lean towards fulfilling the desires and the feelings of the flesh. These will live contrary to the leading of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
These will fall into ruin for they will be deceitful in business, in marriage, and in relationships of every kind. Their dishonesty causes loss in business, in family, and more importantly in their spiritual walk. They have corrupted their way and it will catch up to them sooner or later. God will deal with them for He alone owns vengeance. He will repay the works of the transgressor. For you who are saved your transgression was paid in Christ on the Cross. For the lost, they will stand before Him and give an account of their corrupt dealings. Their prosperity in this life will not buy nor shield them from the wrath to come.
We will all stand before God and give an accounting to Him of what we have done in this life. Both those who are saved and those who are lost will give an account of every idle word that you have spoken. You will give an account of what you have done in your body, good and bad. You will answer for what you did with the Word of God. The lost will answer for what they did with the Son of God.
For the saved it will mean the receiving or the loss of reward. But for the lost it will mean the level of eternal punishment received. First, they will spend eternity paying for their refusal to trust Christ. Second, they will be given a level of punishment and torment that is determined by how they lived their life. The greater their sinfulness the worse their eternal punishment will be. That is why “the Books” (God’s Word) will be opened at the judgment to judge them according to the Word of God. This is the second death (Rev 20:14 & 21:8).
You were created to have a relationship with God your Father. Your original design was to live a life free from sin and its consequences. However, we have all failed because all have sinned. By the loving Grace of God His sacrifice has paid in full the debt you owed and has delivered you from the second death - eternity in the Lake of Fire. By faith in Christ you were given a second birth to become a child of His. You are justified, cleansed, adopted, and given abundant and eternal life because of His righteousness applied to your account. Therefore, His righteousness applied deserves righteous living from His children.
- Dr. Todd Taylor
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
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
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
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
Quick To Hear, Slow To Speak
Proverbs 10:19b ~ … he that refraineth his lips is wise.
In verses 18-21 there is a sequence of contrasts set forth between the mouth of the just and the mouth of the fool. The first thought is that of a person who pretends to be a friend when truly they are not. “He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool,” (v. 18). There are several examples in the Bible, but the greatest example is that of Judas Iscariot who betrayed the Lord for 30 pieces of silver. He lied to deceive and hide his true intentions. This is folly and it is wicked in the eyes of the Lord.
It is also said that to slander another is the way of the fool. He does not even try to hide the hatred within. He just spews forth the poison from his lips that causes great harm to his neighbor’s reputation, good name, and his credibility. We see much of this in the “leadership” of our nation today with their lack of civility. They spew forth their vile hatred for one another openly and now we see it in every facet of our society.
“In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin, (v. 19).” The multitude of words is the issue of those who 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- You will reap in a different season. You will reap in the harvest season not in the planting season.
- 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.
- You will reap in proportion to what you sow. The more you sow the more you will reap in the harvest.
- 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.
- 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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