Posts Tagged ‘Fear of rejection’


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 1:10-19

      10 My son, if sinful men entice you,

            do not give in to them.

      11 If they say, “Come along with us;

            let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,

            let’s ambush some harmless soul;

      12 let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,

            and whole, like those who go down to the pit;

      13 we will get all sorts of valuable things

            and fill our houses with plunder;

      14 cast lots with us;

            we will all share the loot”—

      15 my son, do not go along with them,

            do not set foot on their paths;

      16 for their feet rush into evil,

            they are swift to shed blood.

      17 How useless to spread a net

            where every bird can see it!

      18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;

            they ambush only themselves!

      19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;

            it takes away the life of those who get it. 

Sin is enticing because it offers a quick route to prosperity or pleasure and makes us feel like we belong. But when we go along with others and refuse to listen to the truth, our own appetites become our masters, and we’ll do anything to satisfy them. Sin, even when attractive, is deadly. We must learn to make choices, not on the basis of flashy appeal or short-range pleasure, but in view of the long-range effects. Sometimes this means steering clear of people who want to draw us into activities that we know are wrong. We can’t be friendly with sin and expect our lives to remain unaffected.

Going after “ill-gotten gain” is one of Satan’s surest traps. It begins when he plants the suggestion that we can’t live without some possession or more money. Then that desire fans its own fire until it becomes an all-consuming obsession. Ask God for wisdom to recognize any greedy desire before it destroys you. God through his Spirit will give you wisdom and help you overcome it.

Proverbs 1:10 “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.”

You see, we are a free moral agent. We decide whether we will sin or not. Just because the crowd is sinning, is no reason to get involved. Use your own free will and say “no” to sin, even if it is inviting. In the long run, we are responsible for our own decisions.

Sinners is a term reserved in Scripture to describe unbelievers for whom sin is continual and who endeavor to persuade even believers to sin with them. The sins of murder and robbery are used as illustrations of such folly.

Proverbs 1:11 “If they say, “Come along with us; lets lie in wait for someone’s blood, let’s waylay some harmless soul:”

“Come with us”. The intimidating force of peer pressure is often the way to entice those who lack wisdom.

Proverbs 1:12 “Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:”

The wicked devise a plot of deception in which the innocent are captured and victimized like one who is taken by death itself, as with Joseph (Gen. 37:20); Jeremiah (Jer. 38:6-13); and Daniel (Dan. 6:16-17.

“The Pit … Shoel” is the place of death. For the wicked it is a place of no return (Job 7:9), darkness (Psalms 143:3) and torment (Isaiah 14:11). 

Proverbs 1:13-14 “we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our house with plunder:” (14)”Throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse.”

This is the enlisting of the innocent without full disclosure of intent. Abundant spoil is promised by this outright robbery, which is made to appear easy and safe for the thieves and murderers.

Proverbs 1:15 “My son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths thy foot from their path:”

This directly confronts the invitation of v.11. Sin must be rejected at the first temptation, by refusing even the association that can lead to sin. Avoid the beginnings of sin (see Proverbs 4:14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men)

Proverbs 1:16 “for their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood.”

This is warning not to keep evil company. There is guilt by association. You may not be guilty of their sins; but if you are caught with them, you will pay the terrible penalty with them. Many a youngster has gotten into serious trouble because he wanted to be part of the gang. Children’s favorite saying to parents is, “everyone is doing it”.  Sometimes peer pressure causes a youngster to join a gang. He probably has no idea they are stealing or killing when he joins; but the longer he stays, the more deeply involved he becomes. The only way to avoid this is just what the Scripture advises. Don’t go with them in the first place. The time to say “no” is before you get in deep.

Proverbs 1:17 “How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds!”

As a bird flies into a net and is caught, so will the sinner get caught if he goes head long into sin. We know the net is there, but get into it anyway.

It would be ineffective to set up a net for catching a bird in full view of the bird. Taken with v.18, this analogy means that the sinner sets up his trap for the innocent in secret, but in the end the trap is sprung on him (v.19). This greed entraps him. Stupid sinners rush to their own ruin.

Proverbs 1:18 “These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves!.”

A person laying in wait to kill someone else is actually sealing their own doom. 

Proverbs 1:19 “Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it.”

Greed for things that do not belong to you is certainly the cause of most sin toward your fellow man.


Under Gods Command

 JESUS DROPPED THE CHARGES

John 8:3-11 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such woman. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

This is a significant statement about judging others. Because Jesus upheld the legal penalty for adultery, stoning, he could not be accused of being against the law. But by saying that only a sinless person could throw the first stone, he highlighted the importance of compassion and forgiveness. When others are caught in sin, are you quick to pass judgment? To do so is to act as through you have never sinned. It is God’s role to judge, not ours. Our role is to show forgiveness and compassion. Take an honest look at your life. Recognize your sinful nature, and look for ways to help others rather than hurt them.

Jesus didn’t condemn the woman accused of adultery, but neither did he ignore or condone her sin. He told her to leave her life of sin. Jesus stands ready to forgive any sin in your life, but confession and repentance mean a change of heart. With God’s help we can accept Christ’s forgiveness and stop our wrongdoing.

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
Unity and Diversity in the Body                                                                                        

1 Corinthians 12:12-13 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 

Paul compares the body of Christ to a human body. Each part has a specific function that is necessary to the body as a whole. The parts are different for a purpose, and in their differences they must work together. Christians must avoid two common errors: (1) being too proud of their abilities, or (2) thinking they have nothing to give to the body of believers. Instead of comparing ourselves to one another, we should use our different gifts, together, to spread the Good News of salvation.

The church is composed of many types of people from a variety of backgrounds with a multitude of gifts and abilities. It is easy for these differences to divide people, as was the case in Corinth. But despite the differences, all believers have one thing in common—faith in Christ. On this essential truth the church finds unity. All believers are baptized by one Holy Spirit into one body of believers, the church. We don’t lose our individual identities, but we have an overriding oneness in Christ. When a person becomes a Christian, the Holy Spirit takes up residence, and he or she is born into God’s family.

Lets Bring it Home: “We were all given the one Spirit to drink” means that the same Holy Spirit completely fills our innermost beings. As members of God’s family, we may have different interests and gifts, but we have a common goal.
 


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

(Reference: 1 Corinthians Chapter 12)

Spiritual Gifts: The spiritual gifts given to each person by the Holy Spirit are special abilities that are to be used to minister to the needs of the body of believers. This chapter is not an exhaustive list of spiritual gifts (see Romans 12; Ephesians 4; 1 Peter 4:10, 11 for more examples). There are many gifts, people have different gifts, some people have more than one gift, and one gift is not superior to another. All spiritual gifts come from the Holy Spirit, and their purpose is to build up Christ’s body, the church.

Instead of building up and unifying the Corinthian church, the issue of spiritual gifts was splitting it. Spiritual gifts had become symbols of spiritual power, causing rivalries because some people thought they were more “spiritual” than others because of their gifts. This was a terrible misuse of spiritual gifts because their purpose is always to help the church function more effectively, not to divide it. We can be divisive if we insist on using our gift our own way without being sensitive to others. We must never use gifts as a means of manipulating others or serving our own self-interest.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 26:11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.

A disgusting trait of dogs is to eat their vomit. When their belly must reject offending matter, they return and eat it again. It is a shame we do not have the same sickening horror for sin that we do for this picture of a dog vomiting his filth and eating it.

Peter declared this to be a true proverb (II Pet 2:20-22). He used it to condemn those who forsake their conversion and return to the vomit of this world. To escape the pollutions of this world and then return to be entangled and overcome in them again puts a man in a worse condition than before conversion.

A bad heart attack will get a man’s attention. A couple days after bypass surgery, he wants the intimate details of super nutrition and the best exercise program. He makes resolutions, plans his schedule, and orders a year’s worth of pita bread and lettuce and two treadmills. But after three months of no angina, he is again a couch potato inhaling pounds of cheese nachos and candy! Did he forget the crushing pain of his heart attack? Or does he crave the poison that almost killed him? Or both?

Consider a drunkard (23:29-35). He has woe, sorrow, contentions, babbling, and wounds from his binges. He loses his job, his driving license, his wife, his children, and his reputation. He gets sick and feels as if he spent the night lying on the top of a ship’s mast! Yet he says, “When shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.” Fool! Dog!

What filth have we vomited up and cast away by the grace of God and the conviction of His Spirit? What folly have we rejected? We will be tempted to return to it. Which vomit tempts us? Complaining? Pornography? Ungodly music? Drunkenness? Lustful fantasies? Gluttony? Television? Bitterness? Fornication? Disobedience to parents? Marital defrauding? An unscriptural church? Lack of submission? Backbiting?

There can be no partial turning from sin. It never works! It never will work! You can still smell the vomit, and you will turn to it again. We must flee from our temptations and sins with all our might and speed! We must eliminate the sources of the temptation! We must completely satisfy your appetite with spiritual things, so we have no hunger for vomit. There are no shortcuts. If we hang around the filth, you will take it up again.

If a dog had a conscience, it would be ashamed of its vile nature. But what of human sinners! Our return to defiling sin is worse! Where is their shame? We will soon have everlasting shame and contempt, unless saved by the Lord Jesus Christ (Dan 12:2).

Only by the grace of God and the gift of repentance can a man be saved from his folly and the snare of Satan (II Tim 2:25-26). If you have the least degree of conviction about any sin at this moment, repent immediately and take drastic measures to rid your life of that folly. Flee to Jesus Christ. Perhaps the grace of God will save you today.

Let us say with the psalmist, “I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly” (Ps 85:8). Let us hear the warning of our Savior, “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John 5:14).

 

 

 


Under Gods Command                                                                                                

1 Corinthians 10:21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.   

As followers of Christ we must give him our total allegiance. We cannot, as Paul explains, have a part in “both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. “Eating at the Lord’s Table means communicating with Christ and identifying with his death. Eating at the demons’ table means identifying with Satan by worshiping or promoting pagan (or evil) activities.

Lets Bring it Home: Are you trying to lead two lives, following the desires of both Christ and the crowd? The Bible says that you can’t do both at the same time.