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  • TFRStaff 4:57 am on 2017-03-22 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: correction, , ,   

    Encouragement Note: On failure, weakness, the way back 

    Note: The following text is from Chris Underwood, from Chicago. Chris is in SJCampos for three months working with Embraer. It’s been a pleasure to have him in the congregations here. He sends out a monthly “Encouragement Note” and graciously allowed us to share it here.

    “Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” ―Mary Tyler Moore

    Romans 5:2-4 “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:”

    No one plans at an early age to lose a child, to become an alcoholic, fail in marriage, file bankruptcy, lose their faith in God, or find a point in their life trying to figure out how I got myself in this much trouble. Failure happens to all of us at some level physically or spiritually. (More …)

     
  • John T. Polk II 2:00 am on 2013-12-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , chastening, , correction, dross, , , , , , , , , refining,   

    (#120) The Proverbs of Solomon 17:3-Christians Must Do “Hard Time” 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 17:3: “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests the hearts.”

    “Silver” increases in value when “refined” by extreme heat, which drives off its dross (non-silver particles). “Gold,” likewise, requires a fiery “furnace” to release its impurities. The point of the proverb begins with the stated, understood fact that passing through an extreme circumstance is part of the refining process that purifies our precious metals. “Take away the dross from silver, And it will go to the silversmith for jewelry” (Proverbs 25:4). Our experience in life is our “refining pot” or “furnace,” which should be used for purifying our character. “You reject all those who stray from Your statutes, For their deceit is falsehood. You put away all the wicked of the earth like dross; Therefore I love Your testimonies” (Psalm 119:118-119). All who obey God’s “statutes” can endure the process.

    “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, And a man is valued by what others say of him” (Proverbs 27:21). We are tested by compliments, and no one should take credit for all of his accomplishments or blessings and ignore God’s part in it, as King Herod did (Acts 12:20-24). Jesus warned against letting others’ opinions direct our way: “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26).

    When Jerusalem “became a harlot,” it was like their silver became dross, so God promised to turn His hand against them “And thoroughly purge away your dross, And take away all your alloy” (Isaiah 1:21-25). The process was detailed in Ezekiel 22:17-22: “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to Me; they are all bronze, tin, iron, and lead, in the midst of a furnace; they have become dross from silver. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Because you have all become dross, therefore behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. As men gather silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin into the midst of a furnace, to blow fire on it, to melt it; so I will gather you in My anger and in My fury, and I will leave you there and melt you. Yes, I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and you shall be melted in its midst. As silver is melted in the midst of a furnace, so shall you be melted in its midst; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have poured out My fury on you.'”

    Evidence that God lives, cares, and interacts to help Christians’ faith is that we are tested: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction; For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights” (Proverbs 3:11-12, quoted and applied to Christians in Hebrews 12:3-11). When things seem to go wrong for us, maybe we should examine ourselves to see if our faith needs refining. “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? –unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-09-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , correction, , , illegitimate, , , , , , , spare the rod, ,   

    (#73) The Proverbs of Solomon 13:24-It Doesn’t Take A Village To Raise A Child Who Has Both Parents! 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 13:24: “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”

    The old “spare the rod, spoil the child” is truthful but not a quotation of Scripture. No amount of beatings can ever replace the effect of parental love, understanding, patience, and instruction. Children are to “obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1), but fathers are specifically commanded “do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Fathers must “bring them up,” not beat them down! Discipline includes instruction and enforcement of what is “right,” not dictatorial and tyrannical outbursts arbitrarily enforced with a “rod!” THIS PROVERB GIVES ABSOLUTELY NO PERMISSION TO ABUSE CHILDREN! Listen to the other proverbs on the subject: “Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction” (Proverbs 19:18); “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15); “Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die” (Proverbs 23:13); “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15); “Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul” (Proverbs 29:17). “The rod” is the last line of discipline to be applied (not the first or only line), but children must be reminded that there is a limit placed on their actions, beyond which they must not go in respect for parental authority. There is a time limit on good parental guidance, and that is “while there is hope,” or while the child is formative. It is “the rod and rebuke” that “give wisdom,” not just “the rod” without explanation and corrective instruction, but not “rebuke” without “the rod.” All the “rod of correction” is designed to do is sober up the child’s attitude and focus on the seriousness of the parent’s instruction, basically, “wipe that smile off your face!” Unfortunately, in this society filled with divorce and remarriage, custody battles, sexual relations without marriage commitment, a child is “left to himself.” The mother or father who thinks the child can handle things all alone is self-deceived and has abdicated the greatest authority on earth: nurturing a soul. They will give account on the Day of Judgment. Every child raised without proper discipline is a child raised without proper love, for discipline indicates loving care. The “father,” specifically, should be the obedience school for a child.

    Every male who sires a child without a marriage commitment to its mother is: (1) profaning god’s sacredness of life; (2) disrespecting the mother of a life; (3) ignoring the God-given responsibility to properly instruct and guide the child’s life; (4) creating an illegitimate child without love (Hebrews 12:5-11); (5) and will be held accountable on the day of judgment for each and every soul he has neglected! It still requires a married couple (male and female) to properly raise every child.

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:01 am on 2013-06-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , correction, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Studies in the Book of Proverbs #8 

    (#8) The Wise Trust God And Improve Their Lives 3:1-12

    Following God’s Wisdom brings out the best qualities in us, as we learn to have total confidence in God’s guidance. Heeding Wisdom will give one:

    Verses 1-2: Longer Life. “My son” is an expression used some 15 times in the first 7 chapters of Proverbs, for it is written as if Solomon is instructing his son. The way to “not forget” law is to “let your heart keep” the commands. This is explained in James 1:21-25 and applied to Christian obedience. Obedience comes from the “heart,” as do all our words (Matthew 12:35-37), sins (Mark 7:21-23), jobs (Ephesians 6:5-8). Blessings promised include “length of days” as in good health, “long life” as in living to old age, and “peace” as assistance to abundance or prosperity. Statistics show that those who regularly go to church live longer.

    Verses 3-4: Better Relations. If “mercy” (feelings for the plight of our fellowmen) and “truth” (factual and accurate knowledge of our, and others’, actions) are written on our heart, we will wear them like jewelry. These two qualities of character are appreciated (“favor and high esteem”) among men and by God. All deep friendships are based upon understanding the friend, and honesty.

    Verses 5-6: Higher Direction. Total trust in God in all our ways is possible because He made us (Genesis 1:26-27), greatly loved us (Ephesians 2:4-7), gave His Son for us (Ephesians 5:1-2). Why should we not believe He wants to help us make the best decisions in our lives? Trust “with all our heart” means we give up our “own understanding” and defer to His direction. It reduces tension to know what to do.

    Verses 7-8: Better Health. To be “wise in your own eyes” is another way of describing “loftiness and arrogance and pride” (Jeremiah 48:29-31), but it takes “fear” (respect, awe) of the LORD, and the desire to “depart from evil” (or leave sinful practices, also known as repentance). By listening to God, we may keep our physical bodies from the dissipation and disease of sins, and live healthier and stronger lives, just as God promised His Israelites (Deuteronomy 15:26). Humility is the way of recognizing realistically our place in this vast world, without hypocrisy.

    Verses 9-10: Better Prosperity.  Thank God first with whatever we prosper, and He will think of us when we prosper. “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). God always has required that giving to Him come before any other consideration, and be freewill (Leviticus 23:37-38).

    Verses 11-12: Better Attitude. A person who wants to be a spiritual “child of God” will accept some things that happen in life as God’s “chastening” (teaching) or “correction” (sometimes hurtful reminders not to stray from the path of good). No parent loves his/her child who will not “correct” (discipline) the child, when needed. These two verses are used to show Christians not to become discouraged at God’s correction, for it proves that God is dealing with them as a child whom He loves (Hebrews 12:3-11).

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version,  unless otherwise noted.

     
  • Laura 2:16 pm on 2010-02-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: correction, ,   

    I dread pointing out any kind of error to my fellow Christians 

    Unfortunately, more often than not, I’ve found that many brethren simply do not want to receive any kind of edification that requires changing what they are doing. I’ve been bitten by brethren more often than I can count. Even gently approaching issues from a standpoint of “have you considered what the Bible says here”, rather that being blunt has yielded poor reactions, which as Randal has pointed out, result in the messenger being attacked. I know full well it is my duty as a Christian to help my brethren, but I fear many suffer from heart disease. We all need to be of the heart of David, willing to honestly self-examine and change at the drop of a hat because we want to please our God. Being one who abhors confrontation to the point I get physically ill from it, the reaction of brethren in such cases has caused me to dread obeying this command.

     
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