Archive for the ‘Fear of rejection’ Category


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 21:18 The wicked become a ransom for the righteous, and the unfaithful for the upright.

The God of heaven loves the righteous, and He gladly sacrifices the wicked for them. The ransom price to purchase and bless the righteous is the lives of wicked transgressors. He will save the righteous by sacrificing their wicked enemies, and He will return their wicked designs against the righteous upon their own heads. Consider Psalm 7:10-17!

Are you envious at the prosperity of the wicked? Are you troubled by their hatred for the righteous? Are you afraid of their proud waves? They shall foam out their shame in everlasting darkness! But before they get to that dark place, they shall be sold to trouble. There is a righteous God, and He makes differences in how He treats men (Ps 58:10-11 The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked. Then men will say, “Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth.”)

The best example to illustrate this lesson is the ransom of Egypt for Israel. The LORD loved His people Israel, and He heard their cry by reason of the hard bondage the Egyptians put upon them (Ex 1:13-14; 2:23-25). He had respect for them, but He did not have respect for Egypt. They were about to become the ransom for His righteous nation.

He sent ten plagues and horribly destroyed them before drowning Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea. Pharaoh’s counselors admitted the plagues had destroyed the nation (Ex 10:7). With the firstborn dead in every home, the Egyptians begged for Israel to leave, so Israel “borrowed” the wealth of the whole nation to never return it. And the Lord joyfully directed Israel to spoil the Egyptians this way (Ex 12:35-36). Give God the glory!

The LORD declares of this transaction, “For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life” (Isaiah 43:3-4). This is the lesson.

God directed Joshua to stone Achan and his family to save Israel (Josh 7:1-26). Saul’s seven sons were hanged to ransom Israel from a famine from the LORD (II Sam 21:1-14). And Haman and his ten sons were hanged on the gallows he had built for Mordecai and the Jews (Esther 7:10). There is a God that treats men differently (Ps 58:10-11).

Consider the words in another proverb, “The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead” (Pr 11:8). The Lord will pluck the righteous out of trouble and put the wicked in his place! The Lord will punish the wicked instead of the righteous.

God used Assyria as his tool to chasten Israel; then He turned and crushed Assyria for their actions and attitude (Is 10:5-19). And He did the same to Babylon, whom He used to punish Israel and other nations for seventy years before punishing them (Jer 25:8-14).

The servant that did not earn a return on his single talent was punished severely, and his talent was taken and given to the man with ten. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer; yes, the poor are sacrificed for the rich in this spiritual parable (Matt 25:14-30).

Dear reader, if you fear the Lord and seek to live righteously, the Lord loves you and will gladly sacrifice the wicked for you. There is no need to fear them at all. The Lord is in His holy temple, and He will never let the wicked have their way with you. Your lesson in this proverb is the glorious providence of Almighty God in disposing of events in this life for the benefit of His people. He will sacrifice others for the benefit of His children.

The day is coming when Christians will judge the world and angels (I Cor 6:2-3). The devils and sinners have persecuted them for thousands of years, but the day of vengeance is coming, when the martyrs under the altar of God shall have their great desire fulfilled (Rev 6:9-11). Both wicked men and angels shall be sacrificed in place of His children.

Let this lesson drive away any fear or intimidation of the wicked, and let it replace that fear with a humble desire to be the honourable and beloved people of the most High. For “no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper” (Is 54:11-17). And “he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of mine eye” (Zech 2:8-9). Thank you, Lord, for defending and saving the upright in heart. Consider Psalm 7:10-17 again. Glory!


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 20:26 A wise king winnows out the wicked; he drives the threshing wheel over them.

Great rulers crush criminals. A powerful king that will not tolerate civil opposition is a beautiful thing (Pr 30:31). Solomon and his father David were both wise and successful kings. Here Solomon gives inspired and learned political advice to kings and others in authority. Wise rulers will fight and destroy wicked persons under their authority.

The origin and purpose of civil government are not mysteries. The LORD God ordained rulers over nations and other political principalities to punish evildoers (Rom 13:1-4; I Pet 2:13-14). Resisting or resenting this authority is to resist and resent God Himself. Civil government has the right to capital punishment in enforcing its laws, and God sends these rulers as His ministers to execute revenge upon criminals that break the law.

Bringing the wheel over the wicked is to crush them. Grain was crushed in King Solomon’s day by turning or rolling a heavy wheel over it (Is 28:27-28; Judges 16:21). This separated the wheat from the husk. Wise government will take heavy measures to crush wicked men who have set themselves against the state, law, and other citizens.

The wisdom here teaches that civil government should be strict and severe. There can be no tolerance or compromise with criminals. Compromise and delay cause an increase in crime by hardening the hearts of criminals. You can see this in current issues of hung juries, appeals, delay tactics, further appeals, and stays of execution (Eccl 8:11).

There are several references to kings in this chapter of Proverbs. Solomon was providing wisdom for his son Rehoboam, the next king of Israel, and for rulers in general. He described the positive virtue of great fear (Pr 20:2), their holy execution of judgment (Pr 20:8), and their balance of mercy and truth in protecting the innocent (Pr 20:28).

Wise rulers seek quiet and peaceable lives for their productive citizens. These people can only have such lives, if the wicked are scattered and crushed. Leaders must take the justice part of their office seriously and do all they can to destroy criminals and crime. They must be free of sentimentality to aid, abet, respect, or pardon criminals.

There is not room for one wicked person, one criminal, in a just and good nation. Death row in the U.S. should be emptied of 3700 monsters by way of public stoning on pay-per-view television, with the proceeds going to the victims’ families. One cent spent on their upkeep in the penal system is a waste and encourages crime. Stones are cheap. David, a king after God’s own heart, had zero tolerance for criminals (II Sam 4:1-12; Ps 101:4-8).

Those who resist civil government or speak evil or lightly of those in authority should be dealt with most severely. God Himself opened up the earth to swallow men and their families alive for speaking against Moses (Num 16:1-34). The New Testament says they should be destroyed like rabid dogs, for they obviously do not understand the basic necessity or duties of authority (II Pet 2:10-12; Jude 1:8-10). There is no such thing as freedom of speech against authority in God’s wisdom (Ex 22:28; Ec 10:20; Job 34:18).

Let every man in a position of authority use strict and severe measures against the wicked in his realm of control. This applies to employers, fathers, husbands, and pastors, as well as kings and presidents, governors and sheriffs. Righteousness, peace, and quiet in any society depend on strong leaders ridding it of fools and their rebellion (Pr 19:25; 21:11).

Jesus Christ is the greatest of Kings, with the most wisdom. He is King of kings! When the Jews rejected God and their O.T. scriptures and crucified Him, He promised to return and miserably destroy those wicked men (Matt 21:41), tear down their temple, send His armies to burn up their city (Matt 22:7), and grind them to powder (Matt 21:44).

He promised to not leave one stone on another when He destroyed Jerusalem (Luke 19:44). He promised more distress and trouble on them than any nation had suffered before or since (Matt 24:21). He fulfilled all this and more in 70 AD by Roman armies under Titus Vespasian Augustus. But at the same time, to those who feared His name and loved Him, Jesus the Sun of Righteousness came with healing in His wings (Mal 4:2).

The Lord Jesus Christ is soon coming again with His mighty angels in flaming fire to wreck vengeance on all those that have rejected God and disobeyed the apostolic gospel (II Thess 1:7-9). But He will be admired that day by all those who believe the gospel and love His appearing, and He will bring eternal blessing and reward for them (II Thess 1:10; Titus 2:13). Reader, repent of your crimes against heaven and beg for His mercy!


Under Gods Command (Messing with Believers is messing with God)

Zechariah 2:08 For this is what the LORD Almighty says: “After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you-for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye. 

Believers are precious to God (Psalm 116:15); they are his very own children (Psalm 103:13). Treating any believer unkindly is the same as treating God that way. As Jesus told his disciples, when we help others we are helping him; when we neglect or abuse them, we are neglecting or abusing him (Mathew 25:34-46).

Lets Bring it Home: Be careful, therefore, how you treat fellow believers-that is the way you are treating God.


Under Gods Command

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (24) Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. (25) Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

 Whatever happened to self-discipline? Many books and speakers guide wandering souls to self-fulfillment, self-satisfaction, and self-awareness. Not many tackle self-discipline. Self-discipline requires an honest look at your strengths and weaknesses, with emphasis on the latter. It means building the will to say no when a powerful appetite inside you screams yes. For example, when you have self-discipline, you can

(1) say no to friends or situations that will lead you away from Christ

(2) say no to casual sex, saving intimacy for marriage, and

(3) say no to laziness in favor of “can do” and “will do.”

 Self-discipline is a long, steady course in learning attitudes that do not come naturally, and channeling natural appetites toward God’s purposes.

Lets Bring it Home: Where are your weak points? Pray with a friend for God’s help to redirect weakness into strength.


Under Gods Command
Forgiving Others
Matthew 6:14 – For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Why? Those who are unwilling to forgive have not become one with Christ who was willing to forgive even those who crucified him Luke 23:34 – Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. We are also denying our common ground as sinners in need of God’s forgiveness. God’s forgiveness of sin is not the direct result of our forgiving others, but it is based on our realizing what forgiveness means. We cannot live as Children of Light walking around with sin and hate towards others.

Ephesians 4:28-32 – He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

We can grieve the Holy Spirit by the way we live. Paul warns us against unwholesome language, bitterness, improper use of anger, brawling, slander, and bad attitudes toward others. Instead of acting that way, we should be forgiving, just as God has forgiven us. Are you grieving or pleasing God with your attitudes and actions? Act in love toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, just as God acted in love by sending his Son to die for our sins.


UNDER GODS COMMAND
LIVING IN UNITY! WAKE UP CHURCHES! WE ARE THE ONES RUNNING PEOPLE AWAY FROM THE CHURCH

I went to Church Sunday and the preacher told a story about a young man who had to go through a beat down in order to be accepted in the gang he joined. Well, sometime later the Preacher got the young man to turn away from the gang and to turn to the Church, well he did this and joined the Church. Sometime later, the young man stop coming to Church and no one knew why, and could not contact him. The Preacher finally caught up with him, and asked him why he stop coming to Church. The young man said, that when he joined the church he thought he would experience the same family love from Christians that he did with his gang, but he didn’t. So he went back to where he felt part of a family.

A good friend reminded me of this Scripture.

Psalm 133:1-3 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is life precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

David stated that unity is pleasant and precious. Unfortunately, unity does not abound in the Church, as it should. People disagree and cause division over unimportant issues. Some delight in causing tension by discrediting others. Unity is important because

(1) it makes the church a positive example to the world and helps draw others to us;
(2) it helps us cooperate as a body of believers as God meant us to, giving us a foretaste of heaven;
(3) it renews and revitalizes ministry because there is less tension to sap our energy.


Under Gods Command
Jesus Rides into Jerusalem on a Young Donkey

John 12: 12-15 The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, “Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”

Jesus began his last week on earth by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey under a canopy of palm branches, with crowds hailing him as their king. To announce that he was indeed the Messiah, Jesus chose a time when all Israel would be gathered at Jerusalem, a place where huge crowds could see him, and a way of proclaiming his mission that was unmistakable. On Palm Sunday we celebrate Jesus Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem as Lord of lords and King of Peace.

The people who were praising God for giving them a King had the wrong idea about Jesus. They were sure he would be a national leader who would restore their nation to its former glory, and thus they were deaf to the words of their prophets and blind to Jesus real mission. When it became apparent that Jesus was not going to fulfill their hopes, many people turned against him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (6) in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 8:32-36 “Now then, my sons listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD. But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.”

God approves of those who listen to wisdom’s counsel. Those who hate wisdom love death. Wisdom should affect every aspect of one’s life, from beginning to end. Be sure to open all corners of your life to God’s direction and guidance.


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 5:3-10 – For the lips of an adulterous drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edge sword.  Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.  She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths are crooked, but she knows it not. Now then, my sons listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say.  Keep to a path far from her; do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man’s house.   

This “adulteress” is a prostitute.  Proverbs includes many warnings against illicit sex for several reasons.  First, a prostitute’s charm is used as an example of any temptation to do wrong or to leave the pursuit of wisdom.  Second, sexual immorality of any kind was and still is extremely dangerous.  It destroys family life.  It erodes a person’s ability to love.  It degrades human beings and turns them into objects.  It can lead to disease.  It can result in unwanted children. Third, sexual immorality is against God’s law.

Any person should be on guard against those who use flattery and smooth speech (lips that drip honey) that would lead him or her into sin.  The best advice is to take a detour and even avoid conversation with such people.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 9:06 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.

Precious advice! Reject foolish friends and influences! Life, a blessed and peaceful life pleasing God and men, depends on it. Get away from all fools. Go in the way – choose the lifestyle – of understanding. Pursue a holy and righteous life, and let no one hinder or tempt you in any other direction. Your survival, and your family’s, is at stake. Foolish friends will take you down.
The single best thing you can do for yourself is to cut off fools and their evil influence. Bad company will drag you down and destroy your life, no matter how strong you think you are. If you want to live, really live, get away from fools, and choose a godly life of wisdom and understanding.
It is a simple concept – foolish influences corrupt good manners (I Cor 15:33). Yet Paul had to warn, “Be not deceived.” Your heart, agreeing with Satan to destroy you, will justify foolish influences. He whispers, “They will not affect you,” or, “You should not be unfriendly,” or, “Everyone is doing it, and they’re okay,” or worst of all, “You might influence them for good.” You may be trying to justify foolish influences at this moment!
Have you rejected all fools in your neighborhood, in the schools for your children, in your profession or employment, in your church, and in your and your wife’s social contacts? Any friend or influence not equal to or greater in holiness and wisdom than yourself will eventually drag you down to their level. Guaranteed! Do not lie to yourself!
How do you choose friends? David chose them this way: “I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts” (Ps 119:63). I will not know a wicked person” (Ps 101:4). He was very selective in his friends. Are you? Of course, you will have fewer friends this way, but that saves time and bother! Who needs extra friends, especially when they are destroying you!
The influence of the foolish can be subtle. Foolish friends apparently getting away with sin dull your hatred for it; their lack of spiritual conversation represses yours; and their cheerful encouragement for you to join them creates a strong temptation. Television presentations of a godless and carnal lifestyle numb your sensitivity to spiritual thinking and holy living. The powerful audio-video glorification of sin excites your lusts horribly.
What about your church? Most churches today use folly to keep the children, soothe the unregenerate, and increase attendance and cash flow. Is every word from the pulpit, and every activity of the church, defendable by Scripture alone? If it is not, then you are choosing folly even in your religion. Evil communications corrupt good manners there as well as anywhere (I Cor 15:33). Measured by an effeminate manual from denominational headquarters, your church may pass as wise. But if by the Word of God, it well may not!
Parent, would you let your child spend the night with a serial child molester and murderer? You resent even the question! But Lady Wisdom right here warns you that foolish influences will destroy their lives. Do you see the danger? Their souls are far more important than their bodies! How can you let them choose their own friends, listen to their own music, select their own spouse, or have a television in their room?
The danger is clear! The fork in the road is right before you! To the left is the wide-open gate that leads to hell. Everyone else is entering that gate with laughter and a great community spirit – and they call for you to travel with them. To the right is a very restrictive and confining gate that leads to life. Hardly anyone at all is entering that gate, and they seem unusually sober and grave about it. Run for it, reader! And run through it!
Your heart is desperately wicked and lies to you more than you know (Jer 17:9). Without God’s grace and diligent care, you will default to folly and sin. But exposing yourself to folly in any form is certain disaster. It will take you down! Instead, “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof” (Rom 13:14). Pure religion before God is to keep yourself unspotted from the world (Jas 1:27).


Under Gods Command

Joshua 24:24-26 -And the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the LORD and obey him.” On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he drew up for them decrees and laws. And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD. “See!” he said to all the people. “This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the LORD has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God.”

The covenant between Israel and God was that the people would worship and obey the Lord alone. Their purpose was to become holy nation that would influence the rest of the world for God. The conquest of Canaan was a means to achieve this purpose, but Israel became preoccupied with the land and lost sight of the Lord God.

The same can happen in our lives. We can spend so much time on the means that we forget the end-to glorify God. Churches may make this mistake as well. For example, the congregation may pour all of its energies into a new facility, only to become self-satisfied or fearful of letting certain groups use it. If this happens, they have focused on the building and lost sight of its purpose-to bring other to God.