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5-24-2017 Graduation To Learning

Many are graduating, or advancing in institutional instruction. Some think they have learned enough to quit learning altogether! Solomon said: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning” (Proverbs 9:9 NKJV). You must know that learning is a life-time experience! Solomon could say: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7 NKJV); “And the complacency of fools will destroy them” (Proverbs 1:32 NKJV). Don’t turn your back on more learning, but education doesn’t begin and end in the classroom. In fact, some try to live their lives in a “class-womb,” by “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 NKJV). Their treadmill of ignorance leads to nowhere that is good and productive.

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

#class-womb, #fools, #graduation, #learning

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4-1-2016 Who Is God #5

Comparative Religion courses, or television programs, reduce “The God” to the level of man-made “gods.” David said, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; There is none who does good” (Psalm 53:1 NKJV). Truly “a fool” makes his/her moral rule to live as though God did not exist. God’s moral judgment on them is, “There is none who does good.” Living as if there was no Law of God would mean none of these are wrong: “fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NKJV). “To do evil is like sport to a fool, But a man of understanding has wisdom” (Proverbs 10:23 NKJV). All who think evil is “fun” are fools!

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

#fools, #god-exists, #law-of-god

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(#180) The Proverbs of Solomon 26:6-7, 9-10-Misplaced Trust

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 26:6-7, 9-10: “He who sends a message by the hand of a fool Cuts off his own feet and drinks violence. Like the legs of the lame that hang limp Is a proverb in the mouth of fools…Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunkard Is a proverb in the mouth of fools. The great God who formed all things Gives the fool his hire and the transgressor his wages.

“Fools” are people who live worldly lives and ignore God’s Laws: “A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident” (Proverbs 14:16); “A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, But a fool’s wrath is heavier than both of them” (Proverbs 27:3); “A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back” (Proverbs 29:11); “A wise man’s heart is at his right hand, But a fool’s heart at his left” (Ecclesiastes 10:2). Therefore they cannot be trusted like someone who is obedient to God: “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Colossians 3:8-10).

Verse 6: After reading about “fools” in the Book of Proverbs, knowing they do not respect God, truth, responsibility, or concern about others, depending upon “a fool” to accurately pass along “a message” makes the sender seem as lame as the message! Such is the stuff of gossip, slander, and libel: “He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips” (Proverbs 20:19). People who refuse to work are usually guilty of “gossip” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12).

Verse 7: “A proverb” is designed to parallel an earthly truth with heavenly understanding. Solomon said: “And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and set in order many proverbs. The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright-words of truth” (Ecclesiastes 12:9-10). Jesus said: “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12). “Lame legs” cannot bear their user, neither can a “proverb” convey truth to “a fool.” Jesus used “parables” for that reason (Matthew 13:10-13).

Verse 9: “A drunkard” has lost sensitivity to pain (Proverbs 23:35), so would not consciously understand a parable that he/she taught!

Verse 10: ALL of this inequity, uncertainty, and lack of dependability will be paid back, for God will judge and punish “fools” by giving them their “hire” and pay them back what they have earned, for “he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality” (Colossians 3:25).

“Fools” can be saved, but only if they repent of being foolish. Christians were “once foolish,” but saved by the “kindness and love of God our Savior” when they repented and were baptized “for the remission of sins” (Titus 3:3-7; Acts 2:38, 41, 47). Don’t trust in foolishness!

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

#bible-study, #christian-living, #drunkard, #fools, #gossip, #judgment, #lame, #proverbs

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(#177) The Proverbs of Solomon 26:1-Wasted R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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 26:1: “As snow in summer and rain in harvest, So honor is not fitting for a fool.”

Some things don’t even belong together in real life, for God “gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season. He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest” (Jeremiah 5:24); and “snow” cannot fall in the hottest part of the year! Another proverb says “Like one who binds a stone in a sling Is he who gives honor to a fool” (Proverbs 26:8), for if a stone doesn’t leave the sling, it is a completely wasted effort.

“Honor” is “respect, esteem, admiration, reverence,” and God’s rule throughout the Bible is “those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed” (1 Samuel 2:30); “glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God” (Romans 2:10-11); “knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality” (Colossians 3:24-25).

It is to be given selectively to people who show it toward God and His Word: “And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen. Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen” (Exodus 14:17-18; Psalm 66:1-7); “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down” (Daniel 4:37); “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17).

“Honor” should be given to: “father and mother” (Ephesians 6:2-3), “the presence of an old man” (Leviticus 19:32), church “elders” (1 Timothy 5:17), “all” people (1 Peter 2:17), and “the king” (1 Peter 2:17).

“Honor” should not go to people just because they are: “mighty” (Leviticus 19:15), “receive honor from one another” (John 5:44), or a “fool” (Proverbs 26:1). It profanes our honor of God when we waste it upon people who “do not seek the honor that comes from the only God” (John 5:44). We should give “honor to whom honor” (Romans 13:7). Be careful whom you honor.

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

#bible-study, #fools, #god, #honor, #proverbs, #rain, #respect, #snow, #summer

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(#114) The Proverbs of Solomon 16:22-Expanding the Mind

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 16:22: “Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it. But the correction of fools is folly.”

Another proverb says, “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; The wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook” (Proverbs 18:4). “Understanding” is a constant “flowing book” providing “deep waters” of knowledge. A person of “understanding” always has information to share that has been influenced by God’s Wisdom, studied with an open mind, and reflected in conversation.

In the wilderness wandering, Moses was advised to get men to help him judge the people’s problems: “Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens” (Exodus 18:21). Moses commanded the people to “Choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men from among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you” (Deuteronomy 1:13). Only by carefully studying God’s Wisdom can anyone accurately “understand” human behaviors and know how to guide them to a proper solution! Solomon, himself, asked God to “give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:9). Wisdom and understanding are closely associated, so it is not surprising, then, that wise Solomon’s Book of Proverbs refers to “understanding” in more than 50 verses! Meeting His Apostles after His resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ “opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45). Christians know about life and the life to come! “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17).

Since inspired Scriptures provide “correction” (2 Timothy 3:16-17), only “fools” will refuse to hear them. The Old Testament Prophet, Jeremiah, wrote: “O LORD, are not Your eyes on the truth? You have stricken them, But they have not grieved; You have consumed them, But they have refused to receive correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; They have refused to return. Therefore I said, ‘Surely these are poor. They are foolish; For they do not know the way of the LORD, The judgment of their God’” (Jeremiah 5:3-4). Fools feed on “folly” and have nothing positive to add to “understanding.” Until and unless they repent and turn to God’s Word, a fool may refuse to be corrected by God’s Word!

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

#bible-study, #folly, #fools, #jesus-christ, #open-mind, #proverbs, #understanding, #wisdom

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(#94) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:14-You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Covers

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 15:14: “The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.”

Fools feed on foolishness, which is why they are “fools!” These are the people who read: headlines touting ungodly ways without reading the articles showing their failures; magazine covers showing beautiful pictures of perverse and ungodly people without seeing how vain and spiritless their lives prove to be; TV programs whose interviews with celebrity baby-makers completely ignore their ungodly rejection of God’s marriage and home pattern for protective developing of a human life; social media expressions of freedom from rules, restrictions, and regulations, which have been developed from Biblical principles! Other proverbs have this teaching incorporated in them:

(1) “Wisdom is in the sight of him who has understanding, But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth” (Proverbs 17:24). It is foolish for everything to be done for “the world economy,” or “for all of humanity,” or “for history’s sake,” and to neglect the near, immediate, and personal concerns! Having one’s head in the clouds, eyes on the horizon, or feet on the go often prevents meeting the needs of those closest to us.

(2) “Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the LORD understand all” (Proverbs 28:5). It takes a studied effort to learn the LORD’s way, and “evil men” are on a different path to knowledge of the wrong things. “Those who seek the LORD” learn more of the LORD and of themselves as their experience grows, but those who are “evil” never learn “justice” (fair play, good moral rules, good godly sense).

If you’d rather feed on foolishness, you’ve chosen your companions. But if you wish to change your mind, seek the wisdom that is from above and revealed in Scripture: “Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your heart to my knowledge; For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; Let them all be fixed upon your lips, So that your trust may be in the LORD; I have instructed you today, even you. Have I not written to you excellent things Of counsels and knowledge, That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, That you may answer words of truth To those who send to you?” (Proverbs 22:17-21)

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

#bible-study, #evil, #fools, #head-in-the-clouds, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #seek-the-lord, #sin, #ungodly, #wisdom, #wisdom-from-above, #world-economy

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(#81) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:9-Don’t Drown In A Rainstorm!

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 14:9: “Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is favor.”

To “mock” is to scoff at like a child, childish ridicule, or taunt someone else. Jesus showed a lack of planning ahead opens one to mocking (Luke 14:25-33), but this was falsely heaped upon Jesus, Himself, by the soldiers who crucified Him (Matthew 20:17-19), for Jesus had, indeed, planned ahead for His cross (Mark 8:31-33). Zophar, mis-representing Job, asked, “when you mock, should no one rebuke you?” (Job 11:3) Job, defending God, retorted, “can you mock Him as one mocks a man?” (Job 13:9) Mocking men is childish, but mocking God is insane! The Apostle Paul used the word “mock,” (turn up the nose) to press the issue: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). An up-turned nose can only drown someone in a rainstorm! God cannot be “mocked” without punishment, and all who “mock at sin” will reap their due reward! God considered sin so serious, that: (1) men have no remedy by themselves (Colossians 1:12-23); (2) He gave His only begotten Son to atone for our sins (Hebrews 9:24-28); (3) it is only through immersion a sinner receives the saving benefits of Jesus’ cross (Colossians 2:9-15). All who “mock” at this plan must face God on that day (Mark 16:15-16). All the comedians, sitcoms, entertainers, and propaganda press who childishly turn up their noses at the seriousness of sin and its consequences, will reap their reward from God, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences” (2 Corinthians 5:10-11).

Only “among the upright” (obedient to God’s Will) is the “favor” of God found. “And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him “and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house (Acts 7:9-10; referring to Genesis 39-41). King David “found favor before God and asked to find a dwelling for the God of Jacob” (Acts 7:46). Another proverb says, “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3). A word to the wise is sufficient.

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

#bible-study, #favor, #fools, #god, #gospel, #jesus-christ, #mock, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #salvation, #sin, #upright