Posts Tagged ‘lord jesus christ’


SIN

GET THE HELL OUT OF YOU! 

Proverbs: 06:16-19 (16) There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him, (17) haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, (18) a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, (19) a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. 

How bad is sin? God hates it with extreme disgust and intense distaste! Sin is an abomination to the LORD! What men call faults, errors, or mistakes – God calls sin! He despises and abhors sin – He hates it! With our degraded concept of God’s holiness, we cannot know the full extent of God’s incredible hatred of sin. With a degraded concept of God’s character, foolish men imagine that God must be like them.

There is none holy as the Lord (1 Sam 2:2). Even the heavens are not clean in His sight (Job 15:14-16). Worship Him!

The blessed LORD hates all sin equally, with an infinite hatred, but Solomon sought to warn his son about several that destroy wisdom and leave man exposed before his holy Creator. The seven sins are pride, lying, murder, evil thoughts, mischief, false witnesses, and sowing discord.

The fear of the LORD, which is the foundation of wisdom and understanding, includes a God-like hatred for sin. Solomon wrote later in Proverbs, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward (difficult to deal with) mouth, do I hate” (8:13). David wrote, “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil.”

In an effeminate and compromising society, it is impossible to get a proper view of sin. Criminals are pardoned; sin is glamorized by the entertainment industry and justified by the educational system; and all levels of authority allow sin to go unchecked or punish it mercifully and slowly – so leniently and slowly it is no deterrent at all (Eccl 8:11 When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong).

How bad is sin? God condemned Satan to an eternal hell for pride (Is 14:12-15; Matt 25:41). God condemned mankind to an eternal hell for Adam eating the fruit from a forbidden tree (Gen 2:16-17; 3:1-7; Rom 5:12-14). And He drowned the entire world in a flood of water, without regard to age or sex, for their sin and wickedness (Gen 7:21-23).

How bad is sin? The LORD annihilated seven nations of Canaan for abominable atrocities like adultery and sodomy, two sins glamorized in America (Lev 18:1-30; Acts 13:19). A man was stoned to death for picking up sticks on the Sabbath (Num 15:32-36). And God killed a man and his wife in church for fudging their giving (Acts 5:1-11).

How bad is sin? God required capital punishment for disrespectful children (30:17; Deut 27:16). He required the death penalty for adultery (Lev 20:10), and He measures even the desire for another woman as adultery (Matt 5:28). He considers unjust anger and cruel words as implicit murder (Matt 5:21-26). And He counts the violation of one instruction as breaking the entire law, for even one transgression is of infinite evil (Jas 2:10-11).

How bad is sin? In order for God to accept any man in His presence, He had to send His only begotten Son to be tortured to death in a substitutionary payment for sin! In the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, we clearly see God’s hatred for sin, for He forsook His beloved Son, when the sins of the elect were laid to His charge (Matt 27:46). God is able and willing to love His elect, only because He views them in Christ Jesus (Eph 1-3-6).

One of the greatest character traits of the Lord Jesus Christ was His love of righteousness and hatred of sin (Ps 45:7; Heb 1:8-9). For this glorious attribute, the blessed God honored Him far above all other men. From His example, we can see that nobility of spirit and approval before God is in direct proportion to love of virtue and hatred of sin.

Reader, if your knowledge of God is from a sweet Sunday School teacher, you probably think God hates the sin, but loves the sinner. Guess again! David wrote, “You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors. (Ps 5:4-6). 

What should you do? Reorder your value system! Hate Hollywood and the NEA! Teach your children to abhor sin and evil. Teach them to love righteousness and holiness. Exalt good men and women; despise bad men and women. Punish sin severely; reward virtue generously! Love the whole Bible, not just pet verses! Choose to be like David, and hate all evil influences in your holy desire to walk perfectly before your God

 

(Ps 101:2-8) (2)I will be carful to lead a blameless life – when will you come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart. (3)I will set before my eyes no vile thing.

The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me. (4) Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil.

(5) Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure. (6) My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me.

(7) No one who pratices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.

(8)Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the LORD.

 

Lets break these down 

Proverbs: 06:16-19 (16) There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him, (17) haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, (18) a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, (19) a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

 (17) haughty eyes, a lying tongue and hands that shed innocent blood

God hates seven things, and here are three! Though pride, lying, and murder are accepted today, the LORD Jehovah hates them. He has not changed, even remotely, since eternity! If you want war with the great and terrible God, who is holy, then allow one of these sins in yourself or those around you (Ps 47:2; 66:3-5; 68:35; 99:3).

An effeminate society may try to outlaw hatred, but the God of the Bible despises political correctness and still hates sin and sinners (Ps 5:5; 11:5; Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8)! Do not deceive yourself! The dreadful God of heaven is not the senile old man painted by Michelangelo for popes and cardinals to dream about! He is angry at the wicked every day (Ps 7:11)! And He will soon cast His enemies into hell (Ps 9:17; Rev 20:11-15)!

Before excusing or justifying yourself in the condemning light of this proverb, remember three things. God hates more than seven sins – He hates all sin and sinners (Ex 34:7; Nah 1:3). The application is very broad and includes much more than meets the eye (Ps 119:96; Matt 5:21-22). And you will give a full account to Him shortly (Eccl 12:13-14).

The right sense is important here, lest the self-righteous try to escape (Neh 8:8). When the Bible condemns a proud look, a lying tongue, and murdering hands, it intends much more than a sinful face, speech, or actions. It includes every associated sin that would fall under that general category. For example, a proud heart with a humble look is damned!

The LORD hates a proud look! He cannot stand any kind of pride in angels or men. He cast Lucifer and his angels out of heaven for pride (Is 14:12-15; I Tim 3:6; Jude 1:6). He hates self-esteem, strife, haughty thoughts, self-promotion, proud anger, an irreligious life, selfishness, boasting, conceited eyes, and stubbornness among other sins (13:10; 14:3; 21:24; 25:27; 26:16; 30:17; Ps 10:2-6; Is 2:11-12; Rom 12:3; Gal 6:3; II Tim 3:1-5).

The LORD hates a lying tongue! He loves truth, and He hates any kind of deception. The devil is the father of lies, and his children are just like him (John 8:44; Eph 2:1-3). Liars are going to hell (Rev 21:8; 22:15). God hates exaggeration, fraud, misrepresentation, false witnessing, slander, flattery, silence under oath, and joking among other sins of lying (10:18; 12:22; 19:5; 20:23; 26:18-19,28; Ex 23:1; Deut 19:16-21; Job 17:5).

The LORD hates murderous hands! He loves life, for He is the living God, and He gives life and breath to all (Gen 2:7; Is 42:5; Acts 17:25). Life is sacred, not because man is special, but because God created it and defends it! The devil was a murderer from the beginning, and so are his children, who are all going to hell (John 8:44; Rev 21:8; 22:15).

God hates abortion, backbiting, bitterness, debate, envy, grudges, malice, manslaughter, negligent homicide, strife, foolish anger, neglecting child discipline, railing, foolish killing of animals, ignoring cries for help, lack of mercy, wrath, withholding capital punishment, and talebearing among other sins of murder (12:20; 13:24; 22:6-7; 23:13-14; 31:8-9; Ex 21:22-25,28-29; Deut 22:6-8; Matt 5:21-26; Gal 5:19-21; Eph 4:31-32).

God’s word is to be interpreted and applied broadly. Its commandments go far beyond what meets the eye, or the limitations your heart wishes were on them! These are things God hates, and yet they are hardly preached against today! Seeker sensitive types want you to think all is well! But you can see there might be one or two sins that condemn you! You need to teach these things to your children, and you need to humble yourself.

Reader! You are condemned! David put it this way, “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? (Ps 130:3.) If God marks and records sins, then every man is doomed to eternal judgment. And He does just that! He will show you every violation of this proverb in a day fast approaching (Eccl 12:13-14; Rev 20:11-15).

But that is not the end of the story, for David wrote next, “But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared” (Ps 130:4). Without forgiveness, God would be unapproachable; but there is mercy for those that call upon Him, which only the elect will ever do (John 3:19; 5:40; 6:44; 8:45)! Faith is the result of predestination (Acts 13:48).

God chose to forgive His elect before the world began by ordaining Jesus Christ as a perfect substitute to die for them (John 6:38-39; 10:26-29; 17:2; Rom 5:6-21; 8:29-39; Eph 1:3-11; I Pet 1:20). God owes His mercy and love to none; and He gives it to those He chooses (Ex 33:19; Rom 9:15). If you love Him, He loved you first (I John 4:19).

18) a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,

God is watching your heart and your feet. How well are you ruling your thoughts? He will hold you accountable for them in this life and the next. He hates the wicked imaginations and fantasies of your foolish heart. How well are you restraining and guiding your feet? He hates hasty and impulsive sinners who rush from sin to sin.

Contrary to popular opinion, hate is good. God hates seven sins and sinners, as our context clearly shows (6:16-19). God hates the foolish workers of iniquity (Ps 5:5); He hates lovers of violence (Ps 11:5); He will declare soon that He never knew them – He never had any affection for them (Matt 7:23). David also hated them (Ps 139:21-22). Two of the sins and sinners that God hates are listed in this proverb. Reader, are you guilty?

You cannot hide from Jehovah’s all-seeing eyes (15:3; Ps 11:4). The Creator God sees and ponders all you do (5:21; Jer 17:10). In His holy sight, foolish thoughts are sin (24:9; Ezek 14:4; Matt 5:28). He can divide between your soul and spirit, and every thought and intent of your heart is naked before Him (Heb 4:12-14). He sees where you go and what you do, no matter how well you hide them from others (Job 34:21; Ps 139:1-6).

What is a heart that devises wicked imaginations? It is a heart that forms sinful thoughts from lustful affections and emotions. God described Noah’s generation with very similar words (Gen 6:5). Do you allow lusts of your heart to form sinful ideas and thoughts? This is precisely how sin gets started (Jas 1:13-16). You must guard and rule your heart (4:23).

Do you have sexual fantasies (6:25; Job 31:1)? Do you surmise evil about others (I Tim 6:3-5)? Do you hold grudges (Lev 19:18; Matt 18:35)? Are you puffed up about yourself (Col 2:18)? Do you envy the advantages of others (Jas 3:14-16)? Do you hate anyone in your heart (Lev 19:17)? Do you curse authority at all under your breath (Eccl 10:20)?

What are feet that are swift in running to mischief? They describe a man who is hasty and impulsive to sin (1:16). He has a greedy desire for it; for he not only lacks conscience and restraint, but he also lasciviously craves sin (Eph 4:19). Revenge is sweet to him, and he races to exact vengeance. He is often in trouble, as he speedily goes from sin to sin.

If you have a temper, it is your duty to rule it, or your quick anger will offend the holy God (14:29; 16:32; Jas 1:19-21). Stay away from angry persons, for they will lead you to sin (22:24-25; 29:22). Are you cautious and slow in dealings, or do you rush impetuously ahead (19:2,11; 22:3)? If you have sinned in the past, then turn, run away, and stay away!

The all-seeing eyes of Jehovah are looking for faithful men, for He will put forth His might to bless them (II Chr 16:9; Ps 34:11-16). Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life (4:23). Love the true God with all your heart (Deut 6:4-5). Keep your feet in the way of understanding (21:19). Do not go near the strange woman (5:8). Avoid the wide gate and broad way that leads to destruction (Matt 7:13).

(19) a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

Here are two of seven things and persons God hates (6:16-19). He hates liars who falsely witness against others, and He hates pests who cause division in a church. He could have said He hated the lies and discord, but He clearly said He hates the ones doing these sins.

God is holy (Is 6:3; Rev 4:8). He hates sin (8:13; Heb 1:9). He is too holy to love sin or sinners (Job 15:5; Hab 1:13). He hates sinners (Ps 5:4-6; 11:4-7; 139:21-22). In spite of effeminate objections, God hates sin and sinners. The Sunday school lie that God hates sin but loves the sinner is false. God hates sinners, and here He lists two of them.

He will tell the wicked in the last day that He never knew them – He never loved them (Matt 7:23; 13:47-50). He will tell them to get lost, and rightly so! He loves and accepts only those He made holy through Jesus Christ – His beloved elect (Eph 1:3-6; Rom 9:15).

Men bark against this holy doctrine, but let God be true! Does He love Satan, too? They don’t fret about the devil, because their profane and vain babbling is pure selfish pride and love for themselves. They are too arrogant to submit to a holy and sovereign God.

The LORD said, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Ex 20:16). God hates this sin much, so He included it in the summary list of ten. He knew the terrible damage a wicked mouth could do to others, and how little defense there is against it, so He condemned it forcefully (19:5,9; 25:18; Ex 23:1; Zech 8:17). The Bible strongly attacks lying, false accusing, slandering, whispering, backbiting, and talebearing.

When men are tried for their lives, freedom, or fortune, it is imperative witnesses tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth; so our nation solemnly swears them to this duty before taking testimony or cross-examination. God required at least two witnesses in all cases to protect from false testimony (Deut 19:15); if a man testified falsely in Israel, he was punished with the very judgment at stake, no matter how horrible (Deut 19:16-21).

A lying and false accusing mouth can cause enormous harm, for rape of reputation and character is surely worse than that of the body (Ps 35:11-12). Physical violence is horrible, but allows for some defense and recovery; verbal slander and false accusations are worse, and there is very little defense with long lasting damage.

Readers beloved of God, it is your duty to be men and women of truth and principle (Ex 18:21). Carefully consider your thoughts, words, and intent before saying anything about others. Let your lips praise others rather than detract from them, and if you ever must testify of or for another, be scrupulously faithful and honest with every word (14:5).

God also loves unity, especially among His people (Ps 133:1-3; I Cor 1:10; Eph 4:3-4). He hates those who openly or subtly disturb fellowship and peace (6:12-15; 16:28; 26:20; Rom 16:17-18). He condemns variance, debate, envy, implacability, emulations, evil surmising, strife, sedition, tumults, and whispering. Instead He commands and commends peace (Matt 5:9; II Cor 13:11; Phil 3:16; Col 3:15; Jas 3:17-18).

A chord is harmonious blending of coordinated notes; accord is agreement and harmony; and concord is the state of peace and agreement between parties. All three words are related, meaning agreement, harmony, and peace. But discord is an antonym, meaning absence of concord or harmony. It is disagreement, variance, dissension, and strife. Is your church as harmonious as it should be? Do you labor to make all notes blend?

Wicked persons sow discord when they disrupt the harmony, agreement, unity, and peace of a church or other society by spreading the poison of division and enmity. They alienate the affections of men and stir up their passions against one another. They foment strife, contention, jealousies, and confusion by talebearing, insinuations, foolish questions, seditious doubts, forming of cliques, and other perverse means. These separatists are sensual enemies of true saints, and they have not the Spirit (Jude 1:19).

Beloved reader, let us be the peacemakers our Saviour blessed (Matt 5:9). Take every opportunity to promote unity and agreement; work hard to keep yourself and others in harmony with the congregation. Let us seek peace and pursue it (I Pet 3:11). Make the holy endeavour of peace and reconciliation a priority in your life (Eph 4:3; Matt 5:23-24).

Consider well our blessed Lord and His perfect conduct in light of these two sins. The Jews used false witnesses to condemn Jesus to death (Matt 26:59), but He is the faithful and true witness (Rev 3:14; 19:11). The wicked Jews divided over Jesus and stirred up the Gentiles against the apostles (John 9:16; Acts 14:2), but the Prince of Peace destroyed Jew/Gentile enmity and made both one by His cross (Is 9:6; John 11:52; Eph 2:11-22)!

SIN

KEEP THE HELL OUT OF YOU!

 


Under Gods Command

2 Corinthians 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Paul’s farewell blessing invokes all three members of the Trinity: Father (God), Son (Lord Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. Although the term Trinity is not explicitly used in Scripture, verses such as this one show that it was believed and experienced through knowing God’s grace, love, and fellowship. See Luke 1:35—the angel Gabriel’s announcement of Jesus’ birth to Mary; Matthew 3:17—the Father’s voice heard at the baptism of Jesus; and Matthew 28:19—Jesus’ commission to the disciples.

Paul was dealing with an ongoing problem in the Corinthian church. He could have refused to communicate until they cleared up their situation, but he loved them and reached out to them again with the love of Christ.

Lets Bring it Home: Love, however, means that sometimes we must confront those we care about. Both authority and personal concern are needed in dealing with people who are ruining their lives with sin. But there are several wrong approaches in confronting others, and these can further break relationships rather than heal them. We can be legalistic and blast people away with the laws they should be obeying. We can turn away from them because we don’t want to face the situation. We can isolate them by gossiping about their problem and turning others against them as well. Or, like Paul, we can seek to build relationships by taking a better approach—sharing, communicating, and caring. This is a difficult approach that can drain us emotionally, but it is the best way for other people, and it is the only Christlike way to deal with others’ sin.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 17:24 A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

You have known fools. They bounce from one thing to another. They are excited with this and then that. They are always seeking happiness and success, which they never find. They love new things. They cannot focus on important matters. They are easily distracted from their duties like children. They look in strange places for answers. They dream. They talk a lot. They are not content. They are fickle, unsettled, and easily confused.

But a wise man is very different. He has understanding as the guide and rule of his conduct. He is focused on all aspects of life with the resolute purpose of keeping God’s commandments. He has not forgotten what he was taught, nor is he ignorant of the Scriptures. He searches the Bible for knowledge and wisdom, and he proves all things by it (Acts 17:11; I Thess 5:21). He is content with life and confident in most any dilemma.

Fools are often scorners – resenting correction and instruction – so they learn very little (Pr 14:6). A fool is so thrilled with foolishness that he avoids wisdom and understanding (Pr 15:14). A fool is so lazy that he never applies the diligence it takes to acquire wisdom, for he would rather enjoy and tell his own thoughts (Pr 18:1-2). Fools are often arrogant, which makes it impossible for them to identify and learn wisdom (Pr 26:12).

Wise men do not daydream or speculate. They would rather muse than be amused (Ps 143:5). They prefer meditation over imagination, instruction over recreation, and self-examination over self-actualization. They want truth, and they define it as God’s certain words in the Bible (Pr 22:17-21). They have no regard for man’s opinions (Ps 119:98-100). They do not have to look for wisdom, because they know it (Pr 14:6). They have it hid in their hearts (Ps 119:11,128), and they meditate on it day and night (Ps 1:3).

You arrived on earth knowing nothing. You are here a short time, and your whole duty is to fear God and keep His commandments (Eccl 12:13-14). Your flesh, the sinfully depraved part of your being, sees with the lust of the eyes (I John 2:15-17). Satan and the world offer many things to see (Luke 4:5-7). The fool gives in to his lusts and wastes his life chasing illusions. But David prayed to be saved from looking at vanity (Ps 119:37)!

It is foolish to spend your life craving something better, while you race toward something bitter – death! Godliness with contentment is great gain (I Tim 6:6). You cannot beat this simple rule for a successful life. Godliness is living prudently with wisdom as your great pursuit (Pr 4:5-9; 8:17). Contentment is appreciation for God being your friend and trusting Him for the things you have as being best (Heb 13:5-6). But fools must dream!

The fool is always seeking greener pastures near and far. His mind is an open sieve, receiving much froth from vain ideas and retaining nothing of value. Solomon warned of the vanity and vexation of a wandering desire (Eccl 6:9). But the fool would rather study U.N. politics, Ben Spock child training hallucinations, practice yoga, or watch lifestyles of the rich and famous on television than apply God’s word to the salvation of his family.

The fool’s mantra is, “I live life with an open mind.” His mind is so open that anything can fly in and nothing of value will stay. The world sends a steady stream of advertising, fads, public opinion, peer pressure, questions, and other forms of manipulation to bend his mind to the will of Satan, who grins with wicked glee at his foolish mantra that gives the father of lies entrance to his soul. Seal your mind with God’s word (Ps 119:128)!

There are important goals for life, and there are foolish wastes of life. Knowledge is better than ignorance, wisdom than folly, righteousness than wickedness, heaven than hell, and God than man. While Martha was worried about distracting details, Mary knew the one thing needful for her life was hearing instruction from the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 10:38-42). Reader, how would the Saviour classify you? Like Martha? Or Mary?

In order to save you from yourself and your wandering desire, the Lord of heaven has called, prepared, and sent men to be pastors and teachers (Ps 68:18; Eccl 12:8-14; Jer 3:15; Mal 2:7; Eph 4:8-12; II Tim 3:16-17). What is their job? Not social work! Not administration! Not weddings and funerals! Not monasteries! Not stuffy theological work! Their job is to keep your eyes in your head and your heart in the truth: they will perfect you from being tossed to and fro like the fool (Eph 4:13-14; Col 1:28-29).

Have you searched for one of these men? Can you submit to his instruction about the true priorities of life? If you can, you will be full of understanding, and wisdom is directly before you. He will reject foolish and unlearned questions, for he wants you settled in the faith once delivered to the saints. He will work with the Spirit of God to conform your every imagination and thought to the inspired and infallible words of God (II Cor 10:4-6).

But can you stay focused for the one or two hours a week of his instruction? Most cannot. Jesus Christ described them as wayside hearers. The preaching finds no lodging place in their unprepared minds and hearts, and the devil quickly takes it away. They leave every church assembly more ignorant than before. Literally! Read it (Luke 8:12,18)!

Because fools dislike insistence on correction, instruction, reproofs, and warnings, they look for flattering teachers. They want teachers to entertain them with fables and help them explore the cesspools of human imagination and education (Is 30:8-11; I Tim 6:3-5,20-21; II Tim 4:3-4). Oh, how they love such junk! Teach me more, they cry! But God has promised to send them strong delusion to believe a lie (II Thess 2:9-12; II Tim 3:6-7).

Reader, you have a choice. It is a serious choice. You are reading one of many offers of wisdom in the Bible. God has again approached you with His word to make you wise. It is right in front of you, if you have an understanding heart. It is disgusting, if your eyes prefer the ends of the earth. Eliminate any distractions and seek wisdom (Pr 4:7; 18:1).


Under Gods Command

2 Corinthians 8:7-8 But just as you excel in everything thing in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.    I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

The Corinthian believers excelled in everything—they had faith, good preaching (“speech”), much knowledge, much enthusiasm (“earnestness”), much love.. Paul encouraged them to also excel in the grace of giving. Too often, stewardship of money is given a different status than other aspects of discipleship. Most believers would not want growth in faith, knowledge, or love to stop at a certain level. Yet many decide a fixed percentage of their money to give and stay there for life. True discipleship includes growing in the mature use of all resources, so giving should expand as well. God can give you the desire and enable you to increase your capacity to give. Don’t miss this opportunity for growth.

Lets Bring it Home: God can give you the desire and enable you to increase your capacity to give. Don’t miss this opportunity for growth.


UNDER GODS COMMAND 

Proverbs 8:36 But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death. 

Do it my way, or die! This is the ultimatum of Lady Wisdom! She freely offered you wisdom, which is more precious than anything on earth (Pr 8:1-11). She listed fabulous blessings that follow it (Pr 8:12-21), and she described wisdom’s existence with God and role in creation (Pr 8:22-31). If you refuse her, you are choosing a slow and painful death for yourself (Pr 1:24-33). She has no mercy for those rejecting her (Pr 8:33; 9:12; 29:1).

Proverbs chapter 8 is a lengthy personification of wisdom as a woman. It is a beautiful and powerful figure of speech, but it hides the ferocious severity of this woman, if you spurn her. Calamities will surely come in your life, if you reject wisdom, and she will laugh and mock at your pain and trouble (Pr 1:26-27). She will ignore your cries, when you are drowning in anguish, distress, and fear, while your soul and life are destroyed.

She is not unjustly cruel; fools are wickedly profane! If an offer of wisdom is rejected, then the brute beast that despised it deserves to suffer. There is nothing unjust here. Since wisdom is the principal matter of life and eternity, rejecting it is arrogant suicide. Those that sin against wisdom by choosing their own ideas are wronging their own souls. Those that hate wisdom and scorn her correction and instruction must love a painful death.

Wisdom is the only way to live a happy, prosperous, safe, and successful life. If you rebel against it, you must love the dysfunctional lives that torture the souls of most today. Dysfunction is epidemic; divorce, drugs, debt, disobedient children, disease, depression, and drunkenness are rampant. Lady Wisdom offers the cure. If you reject her, you wrong your own soul. If you scorn her, you must love death, for that is where you are headed.

Neither God, nor wisdom, nor the Bible is a take-it-or-leave-it matter. There is no option for agreeing to disagree with the God of heaven (Eccl 12:13-14; John 4:24). There is no option to accept parts of the Bible and reject others (Ps 119:128; I Tim 6:3-5). Mankind has two branches – the small minority following the strait and narrow way to life, and the large majority following the wide and broad way to destruction (Matt 7:13-14).

The great and dreadful God of heaven is infinitely sovereign over your life. You are nothing. He is the Potter; you are the clay (Is 45:9-10; Rom 9:20-21). He does according to His will in heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; no one can resist or question Him (Dan 4:35). He has made all things for Himself (Pr 16:4; Rev 4:11). He created you with an eternal soul that you cannot turn off – without even asking you. He did not ask you for approval for even one circumstance of your life. Humble yourself before Him!

He revealed Himself in creation, so that all men are without excuse for not worshipping and thanking Him (Ps 19:1-6; Acts 14:17; Rom 1:18-20). Because man thinks himself wise, He hardens their hearts and blinds their minds to defile themselves with sodomy and other abominable and inconvenient sins (Rom 1:21-32). Do you know the God of the Bible (Is 45:5-7; Acts 17:23)? He changes not, and He never will (Heb 12:28-29; 13:8).

The world has entered its final stages of existence. The perilous times of the last days have brought an effeminate and compromising brand of Christianity (II Tim 3:1-7). These carnal and worldly Christians despise Bible preaching – they much prefer fables and entertainment, especially if they can wear cutoffs and flip-flops and sip Starbucks coffee while skimming 10-15 different Bible versions on a big screen (II Tim 4:3-4).

These modern frauds despise the words of the living God. They want to hear smooth things, just like the truth rejecters before them (Is 30:8-11). They want Jesus rap, Christian rock, and heavenly funk rather than sound doctrine. They want purpose driven drivel and seeker sensitive sap rather than, “Thus saith the Lord.” Lady Wisdom says, “But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.”

How did the Lord Jesus Christ state the same sentiments to the Jews that killed Him, “For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:43-44). And He fulfilled it perfectly – to the letter – in 70AD with the Roman armies under Titus.

Reader, what will you do? The God of heaven has revealed Himself to you in creation. Lady Wisdom has spoken to you from the book of Proverbs. The Bible is the only source of righteousness, truth, and wisdom in the world, and its primary message is the supreme authority of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God. What is His message for those who reject Him? If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. Let him be cursed at the coming of Jesus Christ (I Cor 16:22). Seek Him today.


Under Gods Command

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

Many think that when God comforts us, our troubles should go away. But if that were always so, people would turn to God only out of a desire to be relieved of pain and not out of love for him. We must understand that being comforted can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles. The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us.

Lets Bring it Home: If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you. Remember that every trial you endure will help you comfort other people who are suffering similar troubles.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 12:26 A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray

All men are not equal, not even close. A righteous man is superior to his wicked neighbor in character, conduct, situation, and expectation. But this superiority does his neighbor and other wicked men no good, for they are seduced by the world to continue in their wickedness. They cannot and will not choose the more excellent way of righteousness.

Saul and David, the first two kings of Israel, illustrate this proverb perfectly. Solomon would have known the comparison very well from childhood, so the Holy Spirit reduced the royal history preceding him to this pithy and precious statement of wisdom.

David was a righteous man after God’s own heart (I Sam 13:14; Acts 13:22). He conducted himself so perfectly his name was much revered in Israel (I Sam 18:30). Every king had to be compared to him (I Kgs 15:1-5), and even the Lord Jesus is known as David and the Son of David (Jer 30:9; Matt 22:42). The sweet psalmist of Israel was more excellent than his neighbor. He was a noble man, as all still admit to this day.

Saul was his neighbor. Saul was a profane man. He would not wait for Samuel, but offered a sacrifice himself (I Sam 13:10-14). He tried to kill his own son for eating a little honey, but the people stopped him (I Sam 14:43-45). In the matter of the Amalekites, God compared his rebellion and stubbornness to witchcraft and idolatry (I Sam 15:22-23). Rather than waiting on the Lord, he consulted the witch of Endor (I Sam 28:1-7).

God compared these two men. Samuel said, “The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou” (I Sam 15:28). Samuel also said, “And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David” (I Sam 28:17). Understand the proverb. Be attentive to comparisons God makes.

Saul knew the superior excellency of David. He heard him play the harp skillfully; he watched him kill Goliath; he heard his modest response; he watched his son Jonathan prefer David; he saw the people accept David; and he knew that God was with David. He said to David, “Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil” (I Sam 24:17). Saul also said to David, “Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail” (I Sam 26:25).

But this knowledge about David’s superiority did Saul no good, for the envy of his wicked heart found greater comfort and satisfaction in the way of the wicked. He was seduced away from David’s righteousness to his own folly. Rather than begging God for forgiveness and befriending David, he sought repeatedly to kill him in jealous rages. He degenerated in wickedness until he was lying on the ground before the witch of Endor. Two days later his head was cut off and his body nailed to the wall of a Philistine village.

“The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour.” Righteousness is the goal. You need to live like the sons of God (Matt 5:43-48; Eph 5:8; I Thess 5:5-11; I Pet 2:9-11). If the world hates you, rejoice and be very glad, for they hated the Saviour and all His disciples, though this wicked world was not worthy of even their presence (Heb 11:38).

“But the way of the wicked seduceth them.” Worldly men may heap up riches and live extravagantly; they may give themselves over greedily to all sort of carnal pleasures; they may live ever so fine with the groupies of this world singing their praise; but they are rushing through the wide gate and down the broad way to destruction both now and later.

The righteous and the wicked have equality in their nature from Adam, but they are totally different by other measures. The character of the righteous is more excellent, for they have the Spirit of God within them, conforming them to the image of Jesus Christ and bearing much virtuous fruit against which there is no law (Gal 5:22-23; Eph 2:10; 4:24; II Pet 1:3). They love, forgive, serve, and die like no others of the human race.

The conduct of the righteous is more excellent, for they have intimate knowledge of coming judgment and Christ’s infinite love to motivate them (II Cor 5:9-15). They have the glorious example of the Lord Jesus Christ to follow (I Pet 2:18-25). And they have the perfect rules of heaven’s wisdom in the Scriptures that the world despises (Is 8:20).

The situation of the righteous is more excellent, for he is a child of God, a king and priest with full privileges at the throne of God, the temple of the Holy Ghost, with God’s ears open to His prayers, a sympathetic mediator at God’s right hand, perfectly righteous by justification in Christ, a friend of God, and with heaven’s angels for his personal servants.

The expectation of the righteous is more excellent, for they shall be admitted to heaven’s glory with great joy, while Jesus Christ shall repudiate the wicked and cast them into the lake of fire. Which neighbor is more excellent, Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom, or the rich man in hell? Which inheritance is more excellent, heaven’s mansions or hell’s fires?

Wicked men cannot see the superiority of the righteous, for they are seduced by sin and Satan to follow the world to hell. Balaam prophesied of Israel’s excellence, but his love of money seduced him (Num 23:10; II Pet 2:15). Herod gladly heard John the Baptist, but his wicked wife seduced him to behead John (Mark 6:17-29). Stephen’s face glowed like an angel; the Jews could not resist his wisdom; he preached a great sermon; but the rabid Jews were provoked by their hatred of Jesus Christ to stone him (Acts 6:8 – 7:60).

The way of the righteous and the way of the wicked are totally incompatible with each other. The righteous hate the wicked, and the wicked hate the righteous (Pr 29:27). It has always been that way, and it will always be this way. Righteous men seek out other good men to love (Ps 16:3; 119:63; Tit 1:8), and they do all they can to avoid the wicked (Ps 101:1-8; II Thess 3:1-2). The wicked are happy in their large crowd rushing down the slippery slope into hell, and the righteous rejoice with a few believers seeking holiness.

Christian reader, what can you learn? What the world thinks of the righteous is irrelevant! The world may offer temporary pleasure, but it is only seduction to destruction. Wise men reject this world and all its pleasures, philosophies, parties, and privileges. And your life should be more excellent to raise questions from other righteous souls (I Pet 3:15). Grasp these four applications. Choose to grow in favor with God and good men, by rejecting the ways of this wicked world (Luke 2:52; James 4:4; I John 2:15-17). God forbid that any reader of this proverb should be seduced by the insanity of this world.

The blessed Lord Christ was more excellent than all men, yet this world despised and hated Him. They lied about Him, falsely accused Him, exchanged a murderer for Him, mocked Him, tortured Him, and nailed Him naked on a cruel cross in public. The Jews’ love of hypocrisy and ceremonial religion seduced them to get rid of the most excellent neighbor the earth has ever seen! They would do it again today, if they had the chance. And they will do the same to His followers, who are also more excellent than they.

 


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 22:01 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

Your reputation is an asset far more important than anything you can buy. The respect of others and their affection for you is an asset you should pursue with great zeal. Your character is a precious treasure that you should enhance each day by wise choices.

What do people think, when they hear your name? Do they think graciousness, godliness, diligence, and faithfulness? Is your name sweet to their ears and thoughts? How do they speak of you to others? Are you often praised in your absence? Do others crave your company? Do they want to honor you with affection, gifts, and service?

Or is your name a bitter thought? Do they think harshness, selfishness, stubbornness, pride, moodiness, or indiscretion? Do they try to avoid you? Do they avoid you? When others talk about you, do they have to make excuses for your conduct? Do they pass over you for invitations or assignments, because you are more irritating than pleasing?

You cannot ignore these questions and be wise. Your reputation and relationships are a great measure of your life. Stop and examine your reputation with others. What others think of you is a far more accurate picture of your life than what you think about yourself, for you have an obvious bias to distort facts in your favor, and you have a deceitful heart that is deeply infatuated with yourself (Pr 16:2; 20:6; 21:2; Jer 17:9; Gal 6:3).

Some people are used as well known examples of specific virtues or all virtues. Others are used as examples of poor character and problems. How is your name used? Are you spoken about affectionately and respectfully, or critically and negatively? Many have no outstanding virtues at all, so they pass through life without any honor or favor, which shows a lack of diligence and priority in pursuing godliness and virtue.

What is a good name? It is not your parents’ choice of a distinguished combination of syllables that sounds sophisticated, classy, or pleasant. It is not merely being named after a respected ancestor. Your bare name has no value at all. Solomon used “good name” as a metonym for a good reputation. He exhorted his son to emphasize having a good reputation with God and good men as one of the chief goals of life (Pr 3:4).

What is loving favour here? It is not giving love and favour to others, but rather receiving love and favour from others. It is obtaining affection and respect from other virtuous persons. It is obtaining their acceptance and approval of your life. Of course, reaching such a position requires you to carefully rule your conduct to please others. It requires consistent righteous behavior to hold the esteem and trust of others (Eccl 10:1).

The proverb has an ellipsis, which is missing words that shorten the sentence and give it boldness. The second clause may be read, “And loving favour is to be chosen rather than silver and gold.” These words taken from the first clause are important to fill out the whole sense of the proverb. A comparison and choice is being taught in both clauses.

In each case it is your choice. You can choose a good reputation and the loving approval of others. It is your choice. Both should be a priority. Both are more important than other measures of success. Circumstances or discrimination are excuses for foolish or lazy men who have not properly pursued these important goals. A wise man will pursue both.

What is the lesson? You should put great emphasis on your reputation and relationships. While many men chase financial and professional success with all their might, Solomon exhorted his son to value his reputation and relationships higher than these other goals. He wanted his son to grow in favor with God and men, and he ranked the importance of this achievement as more valuable than great riches (Pr 3:4; I Sam 2:26; Luke 2:52).

How do you measure by Solomon’s lesson? How important is your reputation to you? Is it more important than any amount of money or success? Do you work harder to improve your name than to get ahead financially? How much do you value the esteem and respect of good men? Do you regularly examine your conduct to be without offence? Do you go out of your way to make sure each thing you do is done very well for all concerned?

God measures you by what others think. You cannot please God and offend good men at the same time. It is impossible. If you are pleasing God and keeping His commandments, you will please others (I Sam 18:14-16; I John 5:2). And your family and close friends do not count, for it is your reputation before good men that is the key. You can easily tell a person’s character by the number and kind of friends he has. These facts do not lie.

Of course, others’ opinions are not your only measure, or the most important (John 5:44). But they are a measure. You foolishly deceive yourself to approve your life and conduct, if good men and women have a low regard of you. Joseph and Daniel were highly regarded even as captives in foreign lands by their excellent spirits and blameless lives.

Demetrius had a great name and reputation of the apostles and all men (III John 1:12); Timothy was highly regarded both before and after he met Paul (Acts 16:1-2; Phil 2:19-22). This high measure of a good reputation in the world is a necessary qualification for the bishops of Jesus Christ’s churches (I Tim 3:7). How do you measure up?

A good reputation before the world is possible, but some ungodly men will not appreciate your righteousness (I Thess 4:12; I Pet 2:12; Dan 6:3-5; Luke 6:26). Solomon primarily intended good and wise men, who know the heart and will of God and measure other men by godliness. Compromise or friendship with the world is a trait of sinners (Jas 4:4).

Your opinion of yourself is quite worthless. It is usually contrary to fact. People with good reputations generally think poorly of themselves, which keeps them humble and sensitive to others; but those with bad reputations think themselves quite desirable, leading to offensive arrogance. The difference between humble modesty and self-righteousness is a large part of a good name, which is built on low self-esteem.

Your great goal is to grow in “loving favour” with God and men, as did Samuel and the Lord Jesus Christ (3:4; I Sam 2:26; Luke 2:52). This happens when you keep the two great commandments – love of God and love of neighbor. The “loving favour” of the proverb is how God and others treat you, which you can choose by living a consistent life of godliness and love toward them. An excellent spirit will cause others to love you.

So great are these goals – your reputation and esteem by others – they should exceed any other goal. Men work long days of hard labor for many years to get rich, but building a good name and reputation are more important. If you had a choice between a good reputation and precious ointment, which was of great value in Israel’s very dry climate and provided much personal pleasure, you should choose the good name (Eccl 7:1).

Consider your funeral (Pr 10:7). The memory of just men is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot. How will you be remembered? How long will you be remembered? Will your memory bring pleasant thoughts to hearts? Or will most cringe and be relieved? The number of persons, and their character, and their reaction at a funeral say a great deal.

You have two names. Your first name is your personal name, a unique identifier among the billions on earth. How you live and treat others creates the reputation of your first name. God gave you that name at birth with a blank reputation. What have you done with it since? You have either enhanced it or damaged it. With a single word, your name, reactions and thoughts are triggered in others. What are those thoughts?

Your second name is your surname or family name. How your family lives and treats others creates its reputation. Do you promote your family name? Or are you letting it decay? Do others desire to be with your family? Or have they been offended enough to back away? Do others want to marry into your family to obtain an interest in a good name? A good surname takes consistent godliness from many different persons.

David had a great name in the Bible. His name was much set by in Israel (I Sam 16:18; 18:30). Though Saul was king with a princely son, Jonathan and the nation loved David, for he was better than any other (I Sam 18:1-16). Everyone wanted to be with David, be like David, or be married to David. He earned this by being gracious, humble, and wise at all times. God chose this man, though a sinner, as an example of a great name in Israel.

Blessings at Solomon’s coronation included having a name greater than his father David’s name, which was easily the greatest in Israel (I Kings 1:47). Even God compared all later kings to David, and he was described as a man after God’s own heart. What a goal! How do you measure up, reader? Good fathers will want their sons to exceed them in reputation and loving favour, for they will know the many mistakes they have made.

Nabal was the opposite. He was churlish – overbearing, harsh, and difficult (I Sam 25:2). His name meant fool, and even his wife said he was a fool (I Sam 25:25). He was a man of Belial – wicked and profane. The Lord let him think about dying for ten days before killing him, so David could marry his beautiful wife right after his funeral (I Sam 25:39).

Consider Joseph. Though a slave, he earned the loving favour of God and Potiphar by his exemplary conduct (Gen 39:1-6). Though charged with attempted rape, he earned the loving favour of God and the jailor (Gen 39:19-23). Though a long-term prisoner, he earned the loving favour of God and Pharaoh (Gen 41:38-45; Acts 7:10). Anyone who says their circumstances or past have poorly affected their name is just making excuses.

Consider Daniel. Though a captive eunuch from a strange, small country, he earned the loving favour of God and Ashpenaz, the prince of the eunuchs in Babylon (Dan 1:9). Though living a public life for many decades, his enemies could not find a single error or fault by which to accuse him to the king (Dan 6:1-5). What a role model for young men!

What can you do to build your name and reputation and win the loving favour of others?

Everything you do every day contributes toward your reputation and the favour of others. No matter how small or large, the accumulated effect of your words and actions combine to give God and men an appraisal of your character and faithfulness. Therefore, it is your solemn duty and privilege to keep your heart, lips, and feet with all prudent diligence.

Graciousness is the greatest trait for a good name and the loving favour of others, for it can win the friendship of kings and cause women to be always honored (Pr 22:11; 11:16). It is the perfect combination of gentleness, kindness, humility, and cheerfulness that makes men and women charming and delightful. How gracious are you?

Men love those who help build their lives (Pr 27:9,17; Ps 141:3). Are you a tree of life to others (Pr 11:30; 15:4)? Do they benefit by being around you (Pr 9:8; 25:12; 28:23)? Do they seek you for help? Would you help fellow prisoners like Joseph did? Or your captors like Daniel did? Or a lustful king like Esther did? Or many widows like Dorcas did?

Is your speech a healing balm, a sarcastic whip, or a foolish noise? Men love pleasant and good words that are kind, gentle, friendly, and helpful (Pr 12:18; 16:24; 18:21; 25:11). Is your speech always gracious with only a slight saltiness of rebuke to it (Col 4:6)?

Charity never fails! If you learn and apply the fifteen phrases describing true love (I Cor 13:4-7), your name will blossom as a beautiful flower. If your name is not great and your friends are few, it is evidence you have not learned true love. Charity never fails!

Just a little folly can spoil a reputation quickly (Eccl 10:1), so you must avoid even the appearance of evil (I Thess 5:22). And you must quickly make amends for offences (Matt 5:23-24). Ruling your spirit constantly is necessary to stay virtuous (Pr 16:32). Paul took extra measures to make sure he could never be accused of dishonesty (II Cor 8:21).

Warren Buffet, one of the world’s richest men and well received most anywhere, knows the wisdom of this proverb. He teaches others, “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.”

John D. Rockefeller, one of the wealthiest men in human history, said, “The most important thing for a young man is to establish a credit – a reputation, character.” He also said, “Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.” This latter idea agrees well with Paul (Ro 12:17; II Cor 8:21).

If you are young, you have an advantage.  Your reputation is still being formed, and you should apply yourself with all diligence to make it the very best before God and men. If you are young, you have not made as many mistakes as older persons, meaning you have less to live down. Choose today to make this proverb a high goal and live according to it.

Have you blown your reputation already? Do you think it is too late? It is never too late, if you will repent before God, confess your sins to him, confess your faults to others, and make amends or restitution for any wrongs you have done. David recovered his reputation after terrible sins, and so did Zacchaeus and Peter (Luke 19:1-9; Gal 2:9).

Your name and reputation are daily choices, and you should choose to build them and preserve them more than any other project or goal. You can change your name and reputation, so consider it a blessed privilege, duty, and a high priority for your life. Rather than emphasizing exercise, diet, and sleep to build your body, which has little value to God or men, exercise yourself unto godliness and loving others (I Tim 4:7).

Husband, do you love your wife enough to help build her name and loving favour with others? Parent, do you understand the importance of this proverb as a goal for your children? Diligent efforts should be made every day to make sure your family name and that of each family member is clear of offence. What a wonderful family objective!

If you have taken the name of Jesus Christ as a Christian, it is important that your name and reputation give honor to your religion and its Leader (II Tim 2:19). Be like those of Pentecost, who grew in favor with all the people (Acts 2:47; Phil 2:14-16). Let your life adorn the doctrine of God with glory and beauty (Titus 2:5,8,10). Be like those nameless brethren endorsed by Paul as “the glory of Christ” (II Cor 8:23).

Jesus of Nazareth grew in favour with God and men during his youth (Luke 2:52). He was most gracious in conduct and speech (Ps 45:2; Luke 4:22). Because He loved righteousness and hated wickedness, God’s loving favour blessed Him with the oil of gladness above His fellows (Heb 1:9). His name is above every name by many measures. Choose to have a perfect name, even as His name is perfect in heaven and in earth.


Suffering

Romans 5:3-5
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

1 Peter 5:10
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

James 1:2-4
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Romans 8:18
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

1 Peter 4:12-19
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

Revelation 21:4
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

2 Corinthians 4:8-10
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

John 16:33
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

1 Peter 4:12-13
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

2 Timothy 3:12
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

Luke 14:27
Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

Psalm 34:19
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Hebrews 12:11
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

1 Peter 4:12
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

Isaiah 55:9
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Philippians 1:29
For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Philippians 3:10
That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

Matthew 5:10
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

2 Corinthians 4:17
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Colossians 1:24
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,

Luke 9:23-25
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

1 Peter 1:6-7
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

Psalm 119:71
It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.

Psalm 22:24
For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.

2 Timothy 2:3-4
Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Matthew 5:10-12
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—

Matthew 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Job 13:15
Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.

1 Peter 2:19-21
For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

James 1:12
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Romans 8:35-39
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

James 5:10
As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

Philippians 3:8-11
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Philippians 1:29-30
For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

Mark 13:13
And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Matthew 24:13
But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Hosea 5:15-6:3
I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me. “Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

John 11:35
Jesus wept.

Mark 4:17
And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.

Matthew 25:46
And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Matthew 10:22
And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

1 John 4:8
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

James 5:10-11
As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

James 2:19
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

Philippians 4:12-14
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.

Romans 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

Matthew 13:20-21
As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.

Matthew 5:1-48
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Habakkuk 3:16-18
I hear, and my body trembles; my lips quiver at the sound; rottenness enters into my bones; my legs tremble beneath me. Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us. Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

Hebrews 12:10
For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

Hebrews 11:36-38
Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Romans 8:29
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Romans 6:4
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Acts 5:40-42
And when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

Exodus 3:7
Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings,

Revelation 21:8
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Romans 8:28 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28-29 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Matthew 14:14 

When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Matthew 4:24 

So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them.

Nahum 1:9 

What do you plot against the Lord? He will make a complete end; trouble will not rise up a second time.

Ecclesiastes 7:14 

In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.

John 18:11 

So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

Matthew 25:41 

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

2 Timothy 2:12
If we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;

Ephesians 4:14
So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

2 Corinthians 7:5-7
For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.

John 15:1-5
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Lamentations 3:21-33
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.

Job 2:3-7
And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

1 Peter 3:13-16
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

James 1:3
For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

Hebrews 12:2
Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

Romans 8:17-18
And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Romans 5:3
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,

John 12:24
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

John 11:1-4
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

John 9:1-3
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

Matthew 11:28
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Isaiah 45:7
I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.

Psalm 126:6
He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

Psalm 94:17
If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.

Psalm 94:12
Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law,

Job 2:7
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.

Job 1:9-12
Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 1:23 If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.

Today can be a turning point in your life. Lady Wisdom calls you to receive her free blessing of instruction. Honor, riches, peace, and life can be yours, if you will accept her reproving invitation and enjoy the feast she has prepared for those that want to be wise.

If you have turned toward wisdom, there is higher ground to which she calls you. You do not have all the wisdom you need. You are not yet perfect. A wise man will hear and increase learning, and he will attain unto wise counsels (Pr 1:5). Press forward for more!

Lady Wisdom cries for fools to end their foolish and destructive ways of living (Pr 1:20-22). How much more pain and trouble must you have, before you will appreciate her offer? If you slight her invitation, she will cause your worst nightmares to come to pass (Pr 29:1). She will bring distress and anguish upon you. Instead of helping in your time of need, she will laugh at you (Pr 1:24-32). Consider it soberly, for this is the certain truth.

Turning requires two things – stop moving in one direction and start moving in a new direction (Rom 12:1-2; I Thess 1:9). You end foolish habits and ways; you start forward in wise and righteous ways. You reject wrong training, traditions, and thoughts; you learn and obey truth and godliness. You cut out and kill things in your life she does not approve; you add approved things to replace them. You reject sin; you choose holiness.

Change can be difficult, and it takes conviction; but the little trouble in choosing to change is nothing compared to the trouble that is coming if you do not change. If former friends ridicule your new priorities, ignore and leave them. Let nothing hinder your turn.

Personified wisdom, the lady here, promises two things – she will personally give herself to you, and she will teach you an internal knowledge of her words and ways. If you accept her sincere invitation, she will respond with full affection to save and perfect you.

Yet beyond the figure of personification, you should see the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is filled with all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3; I Cor 1:30). He will pour out His Spirit to those who turn to Him, and He will teach them true wisdom (Eph 1:17-18; 3:14-19; Col 1:9-11; I Cor 2:6-16; John 14:15-27; I John 2:20).

But most men rush madly through life in ignorance, stubbornness, and rebellion; they suffer the consequences of dysfunctional and painful lives now and eternal judgment later. Why? Because they scorned the wisdom offered at various points in their lives, and God blinded their eyes so He might destroy them (Rom 1:18-32; II Thes 2:9-12).

What is a fool? He has a better idea; he protects his sins; he will not give up his habits; he keeps foolish friends; he feeds himself the foolishness of the world; he dislikes change. The Lord of wisdom crushes fools with frustrated souls, broken hearts, failed businesses, dysfunctional families, loveless marriages, bitter spirits, and hopeless lives. Fools laugh today at wisdom’s offer; but wisdom will laugh tomorrow at the fool’s painful calamity. Ah, Lord God, thou art very great, and man is so very foolish, proud, and stubborn!

The choice and its consequences are so clear. How could any man or woman even hesitate? How is it with you, reader? Do not rush through these words without fearing your future, hearing the sincere offer, and turning your heart completely to the Lord Jesus Christ and heavenly wisdom. The reward is incredible, but so is the punishment!

This proverb addresses those who fear the Lord, spiritual men. Though the rules of wisdom could benefit all men, only the righteous can hear and heed wisdom’s call. Only those turned by the Lord can truly turn from their folly and embrace wisdom. If you can consider it, the Lord has already turned your heart (Jer 31:18; Lam 5:21). Now turn!

Pursue wisdom. Buy it, and sell it not. Pray for it. Practice it. Reject foolish friends. Hate your sinful ways. Love truth. Despise the world and its ideas. Choose righteousness. Cut off bad habits. Seek first the kingdom of God. Put your flesh to death.

Understand and appreciate conviction – it is God’s way of drawing you back to Him – and you should run with it as far and as fast as you can. If you resist His conviction long enough, He will leave you to your own thoughts and life, and you will think everything is fine, though it will be the most terrible of predicaments. Think Saul. Think Judas.

Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you; it is His promise (Jas 4:8). Open the door, and the Lord Jesus will come in to fellowship with the truly repentant (Rev 3:19-20). Walking with God in heavenly wisdom and favor is a choice, and suffering the torments of a painful, God-forsaken life is the opposite choice.

Hear the prophet Isaiah warn the nation of Israel, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.  If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:  But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it” (Is 1:18-20). Turn at God’s reproof today.