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8-31-2017  Are You Double-Hearted?

David said: “Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men. They speak idly everyone with his neighbor; With flattering lips and a double heart they speak” (Psalm 12:1-2 NKJV). In this day of “political correctness,” right-words are shouted down and right-actions are condemned. The “godly” and “faithful” may resort to idle speech and flattery “with his neighbor,” hiding within his heart the knowledge of what’s right and the fact he is wrong. This “double heart” is one of sin, guilt, and misery. Christians should pray: “Do not take me away with the wicked And with the workers of iniquity, Who speak peace to their neighbors, But evil is in their hearts” (Psalm 28:3 NKJV). “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so” (Psalm 107:2 NKJV).
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#faithful, #godly

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6-11-2015 Are You Double-Hearted?

David said: “Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men. They speak idly everyone with his neighbor; With flattering lips and a double heart they speak” (Psalm 12:1-2 NKJV). In this day of “political correctness,” right-words are shouted down and right-actions are condemned. The “godly” and “faithful” may resort to idle speech and flattery “with his neighbor,” hiding within his heart the knowledge of what’s right and the fact he is wrong. This “double heart” is one of sin, guilt, and misery. Christians should pray: “Do not take me away with the wicked And with the workers of iniquity, Who speak peace to their neighbors, But evil is in their hearts” (Psalm 28:3 NKJV). “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so” (Psalm 107:2 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#faithful, #flattery, #godly, #idle-speech, #political-correctness

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Studies in the Book of Proverbs #14

(#14) A Father’s Wisdom: Be Faithful In Marriage 5:1-23

Verses 1-2: The Thoughts

If a son ever needed this admonition to focus on a father’s “wisdom” heeded, “understanding” heard, “discretion” (good judgment) unharmed, “knowledge” kept, this is it.

Verses 3-6: The Temptation

“An immoral woman” is the “strange” one in Proverbs, or one who doesn’t respect the purity of marriage. Her loose “lips” sound sweet, “her mouth” slick as oil, but to listen to her and taste her is “bitter as wormwood,” one of the bitterest substances known to man. That she slices like a “two-edged sword” shows what kind of wounds to expect, cutting both ways. Her “feet” lead to “death,” both spiritual and the possibility of physical, as well. Her “steps” go to “hell.” Listening and letting her lead will end in pain and punishment. To even think about her “path of life” can make a man become “unstable,” and is an experience a married man should never “know.”

Verses 7-14: The Threat

“Children” involves young men who must listen to reason. Go out of your way to avoid such women, and do not go “near” her door, for it is your “honor” you’ll be giving up, your “years” of faithfulness in marriage “to the cruel one,” and “aliens” and “foreigners” will receive all your “wealth” you have worked for. In other words, every married man who is enticed by a “strange woman” is gambling away his whole livelihood, and future.

Verses 15-20: The Treasure

Your own “cistern” (tank for collecting drinking water) and your own “well” are safe water supplies and become ways of saying: “Don’t drink the water” of another woman. “Your fountains” would be your ability to make children who would not have Scriptural parentage, when your children should only be from you and your own wife. Satisfy “your fountain” only with your own “wife of your youth.” Since most men marry early in life, the safest sexual relationship anyone can have is to remain faithful in your commitment to your first love! Safe sex and deep love are bonds God has based a monogamous, heterosexual marriage relationship upon (Ephesians 5:22-33). “Rejoice” (be happy) with your own wife; view her as lovely and graceful as deer and a doe; “at all times” be “satisfied” with her “breasts” and no one else’s; “always be enraptured with her love,” never thinking any other should be equal or better. Be satisfied with your decision to marry her, always! How could you possibly “be enraptured” by “an immoral woman” whose arms are of “a seductress,” who leads to HELL? There is no good truth in an adultress!

Verses 21-23: The Terror

There is nothing hidden from God, certainly not adultery (Hebrews 4:13; 13:4). A man’s sins are his own trap. Adulterous men will die for their ignorance and in tremendous “folly” (worthlessness) “he shall go astray” (wander off like a drunkard). How wasted are men who dishonor their marriage vow!

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

#adultery, #bible-study, #faithful, #immoral-woman, #love, #marriage, #marriage-vow, #proverbs, #safe-sex, #truth, #wisdom

JUDGMENTAL

Are you judgmental? This is much easier to be guilty of than one realizes. We all have opinions, and we think our opinions are right. Thus, when we are asked, some of us can come across in a rather judgmental way. The topic of discussion does not matter. I have heard it countless times that any conservative republican is a legalistic and narrow-minded radical, or a liberal democrat does not have any rationality to him (her), and neither does that one live by a moral code higher than self. Comments like these are not helpful to serious conversation.

Christians are not immune to such sentiments. There are many who will talk about “our” church as being the only faithful congregation around. Some will talk against another’s church concerning their unfaithfulness and eternal destiny. This is not wise; the truth of it (or not) may be obvious, but who determines this? Is it anyone of us (2 Timothy 2:19)? My encouragement to one an all is simply this: judgment belongs exclusively to the Lord; those who fail to obey His will, will experience that soon enough. Our responsibilities lie with helping another understand what the Bible teaches and encourage all to obey it, and this includes you and me. RT

#bible-teaching, #church, #faithful, #judgmental

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Psalm 119 He

It is fitting that the greatest tribute to the Word of God is IN the Word of God, itself, and is in the longest chapter of the Word of God! This Psalm has no author’s name, historical incident, or other distraction from its theme. It is divided into 22 sections (one for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet), each consisting of 8 lines, each line beginning with the alphabet letter of that section (aleph is the first letter of each line under the aleph section, for instance). The chapter uses some 8-10 different words to describe the Word of God, each bringing something extra to the total picture of the Word of Truth. In order to savor the depth and richness of teaching in this Psalm, we will examine each portion as if it were its own chapter.

He Psalm 119:33-40                     Living Faithfully “To The End”

 Verses 33-35 picture a heart open to God’s Word;

Verses 36-37 mention some pitfalls to be avoided;

Verses 38-40 express the on-going need of help from God.

Verses 33-35: (Verse 33) Any education must begin with a student who realizes the need for information, and “statutes” (lines laid down to mark-off life’s limits) make the way of knowledge clear. There is no degree or graduation in this education, only obedience “to the end,” presumably, of life. (Verse 34) God gives more “understanding” as we study and “keep” His “law” (direction) with our “whole heart,” a desire to learn, for knowledge cannot be forced. “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20). (Verse 35) If we have been taught, and understand what God wants, the “Make me” simply shows an eagerness to put it into practice, because the student sees the “delight in it.”

Verses 36-37: (Verse 36) The heart must remain tilted (“inclined”) toward God’s “testimonies” (words about the beyond, God’s part in our salvation), and not lean toward “covetousness” (desire for the forbidden stronger than faith in God’s way). Jesus said, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15). The best person is NOT the one who dies with the most: clothing, sexual partners, fame, lands, money, power, “gods,” fans, or bastard children! Notice, the medicine for a covetous heart is leaning away from such toward God’s Bible! (Verse 37) Whatever becomes the heart’s ambition that points away from God’s “way” is defined as “worthless things.” A worthless person is described in Proverbs 6:12-15. “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8). This lapse back into nothingness is cured by being “Revived” (brought back to life), or returning to God’s “way.”

Verses 38-40: (Verse 38) To be “established” means placed back upon the firm ground of Bible study, and will be done by one who will “fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). (Verse 39) The false condemnation from others can be discouraging, but is cancelled by returning to God’s “good” “judgments” (decisions about the obedient and the disobedient!). (Verse 40) One “longs for” (desires to live with) God’s “precepts” (clarifications or descriptions designed to help), which are “righteousness” (always right, clean, holy, wholesome).

Thought: People who expect God to miraculously intervene, the Holy Spirit to spiritually overwhelm, or Jesus Christ to immediately change their heart and make it better should re-read this section many times. God has placed all such transforming power within His Word, and it works only in those who are “diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

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

#bible, #bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #faithful, #life, #obedience, #teaching

Living Room Pictures

There are three very special pictures of our children, prominently displayed in the living room, that are our favorite wall-hangings.

Our two beautiful daughters flank our youngest son. The pictures were made during their high school years, or shortly thereafter. Below are their wedding pictures, except for Scott.

He’s in his Marine uniform standing in front of a sign over the main road at Parris Island Recruit Training Depot in South Carolina. The sign says, “Marines” and “Semper Fidelis.” Most everyone knows the Latin phrase means, “always faithful.”

The Marine motto reminds me of how Christians are to live the same way: always faithful to the Lord God, even if it means death (Revelation 2:10). That’s just like the Marines, too.

#faithful, #wall-hangings

Favorite Pet

My favorite type of pet is the faithful dog. We have a miniature dachshund that we’ve had for over 13 years. She is one spoiled animal – has her own chair and sleeps on my pillow until I get ready to get in bed at night. Then, I move her under the cover (dachshunds like to burrow under things). Dachshunds make wonderful companions for both old and young alike.

#bed, #chair, #cover, #dog, #faithful, #miniature, #pillo, #sleep, #spoil

What description of God means the most t…

What description of God means the most to me?
It’s hard to rank them, but the fact that God is faithful rests high on my list. I can trust Him to do as He has said He will do (regarding blessings & curses). If our God was unfaithful, even just a little–well, I shudder to think of it.

#attributes, #faithful, #god

The Twitter Fad Is Over

This is the latest article regarding the social network called “Twitter”:

http://www.itworld.com/mobile-amp-wireless/93692/twitter-fad-over-its-about-time

The article brings out the fact that only those who are die hard Twitter users remain faithful in using the service.

A quote from the article:

“The trend-followers, Oprah fans, curious tire kickers and others have gotten bored or frustrated and wandered away. Meanwhile, the kinds of people who can take advantage of Twitter are really getting into it and getting more out of it.”

Personally, I like the quick and concise communication concept of Twitter. You can’t “beat-around-the-bush” on Twitter. You’ve got to get what you want said in as few words as possible – not like the never ending talk shows on T.V.

It’s a very quick and practical way of promoting your congregation’s web site, a personal blog, or any other medium of spreading the gospel of Christ. We need to take advantage of every opportunity and means we have at our disposal in promoting the saving gospel of Christ – Twitter is one of those means.

#communication, #faithful, #gospel, #opportunity, #promoting, #service, #trend, #twitter

My blessings in the gospel? Too many to …

My blessings in the gospel? Too many to enumerate (Ephesians 1:3). The greatest blessing to me is the assurance of an eternal abode if I remain faithful (1 Peter 1:3-4; Revelation 2:10).

#assurance, #blessings, #eternal, #faithful

Books I’m Reading

Already Gone by Ken Ham & Britt Beemer

I’m also reading Deceiving Winds by Bruce Morton, just published by 21st Century Christian. An excellent read about culture and Christianity.

#apologetics, #faithful, #parenting, #postmodernism