mm

(#128) The Proverbs of Solomon 17:18-Co-signers, Beware!

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 17:18: “A man devoid of understanding shakes hands in a pledge, And becomes surety for his friend.”

Contracts and deals are sealed with a “handshake,” a visible sign of a word of agreement. Signatures on paperwork are simply confirmation in writing of the contract that was decided.

These are binding in God’s sight. “Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes through much activity, And a fool’s voice is known by his many words. When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed- Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?” (Ecclesiastes 5:2-6) We all need to weigh heavily what we are getting ourselves into before we commit to it! The old adage is true, we should “look before we leap.” Other inspired proverbs support this warning: “Take the garment of one who is surety for a stranger, And hold it as a pledge when it is for a seductress” (Proverbs 20:16); “Do not be one of those who shakes hands in a pledge, One of those who is surety for debts; If you have nothing with which to pay, Why should he take away your bed from under you? (Proverbs 22:26-27); and again, “Take the garment of him who is surety for a stranger, And hold it in pledge when he is surety for a seductress” (Proverbs 27:13).

It was a seemingly insignificant thing for Esau to promise his birthright to his twin brother, Jacob, for a bowl of soup (Genesis 25:19-34), but it changed the course of the Middle East till today! Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ by conferring with “the chief priests and captains,” who “agreed” to pay him when “he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude” (Luke 22:1-6): a decision he regretted but couldn’t change (Matthew 27:1-5)! Jesus taught that when we decide to follow Him, we should be totally committed to that decision: “Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, ‘Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.’ Then He said to another, ‘Follow Me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.’ And another also said, ‘Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God’ (Luke 9:57-62).

Have you agreed to follow Jesus Christ? “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

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

#agreement, #bible-study, #bond, #co-signer, #contract, #friend, #god, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #shake-hands, #surety, #vow, #wisdom

mm

(#127) The Proverbs of Solomon 17:17-How To Choose A Friend

 

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 17:17: “A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.”

Genuine friendship doesn’t waver. “A friend” will always be there for you and will not abandon you when your money, fancy clothes, expensive gifts, or other “freebies” have run out! Anyone who leaves you when you are in hard times never was your friend to start with! Those who make a big show of being your friend are getting ready to renounce your friendship or to take unfair advantage of your friendship! “He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, It will be counted a curse to him” (Proverbs 27:14). A sage quote says: Too many of the footprints on the sands of time were made by heels. True, friends are made when we are friendly. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). We must be “a friend” to expect to have friends! A true friend:

1. “Loves at all times,” under all circumstances, regardless of our frailties;

2. NEVER will use our friendship for his/her own selfish purposes or advantages;

3. Always tells us what we need to know for our own good. Jesus made this clear when He described His friendship with His disciples: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:13-15);

4. Sticks closer and is quicker to help than even blood relatives! Often “friends of the family” began with our parents, and we should respect and keep them, in addition to our own. “Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel. Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, Nor go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away” (Proverbs 27:9-10);

5. Will be shared with other friends, as John indicated: “Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name” (3 John 14).

Are you a “friend of God” as Abraham was by his faith and works (James 2:21-24), and by our obeying God’s works today (Mark 16:16)?

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

#bible-study, #faith, #friend, #friendship, #life, #love, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #wisdom

Appreciation To My Many Christian Friends

As most of you know, today is another birthday for me. Actually, I’m celebrating the third anniversary of my 22nd year + 1. 🙂

There are many Facebook friends that I wrote personal notes to this morning, thanking them for their well-wishes for me on this day.

A person can never have too many friends. I pray that I’ll be a true and faithful friend in return.

Thank you TFR friends for your friendship as well. You are a bright light in an otherwise dark world. May God richly bless you and your work in the kingdom. I’m reminded of the encouraging words of the apostle Paul:

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Lovingly,

Mike Riley

#abound, #anniversary, #birthday, #bless, #facebook, #friend, #kingdom, #light, #note, #personal, #steadfast, #today, #well-wishes, #work, #world, #write

When I’m In Trouble

When I have a troubling or difficult problem to face, I want a friend I can confide in; one with whom I can pour out my innermost feelings to; one who understands what I’m going through, and one who can offer wisdom, insight, and if possible, a solution (or solutions) to the problem.

#confide, #difficult, #face, #feeling, #friend, #innermost, #insight, #pour, #problem, #solution, #troubling, #understand, #wisdom

A mother is the truest friend we have, w…

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.

Washington Irving

#adversity, #cling, #counsel, #desert, #friend, #mother, #peace, #precepts, #prosperity, #sunshine, #trials, #trouble

Catching up on some Daily Nudges

Who is my best friend? Out side of my wife, which is family I don’t really have one that is as close to me or me to them as my wife. The closest friend I have is my preacher friend that The good Lord, myself and 300 plus congregations and individuals have been helping financially to get a liver transplant. He considers that he owes me his life, but no, he owes his life to God and a lot of other people.

As for what question made the biggest difference in my life, I would have to say, “Now what will you do’? This question was asked after a very thorough Bible study. It’s like the question asked Peter in Acts 2:37, “What shall we do”? There are only two choices to these questions. One either walks away and let’s the choice bother them all the rest of their lives. Or they choose to do what God wants all of us to do by being baptized into Christ for the remission of our sins.

#friend, #question

Qualities of my best friend

So now that we’ve gotten past the “not your mate” thing… Here are the qualities that make for a best friend, IMHO:

1. someone you can talk to about anything and everything, knowing any advice you get will be from the perspective of looking out for your best interest.

2. knows you better than anyone else does.

3. shares your same goals and perspectives on life.

4. never get tired of “hanging out” with him or her

5. even when you disagree, you can never stay mad at each other.

6. things seem amiss if you don’t talk to each other a few times a day.

There’s probably more, but that’s a good start.

#friend

If my mate is excluded, I’m out of luck…

If my mate is excluded, I’m out of luck. I don’t have a best friend other than him.

#friend

Qualities of my best friend? Other than …

Qualities of my best friend? Other than the Lord (and my wife, of course), I don’t have a “best” friend. However, I thankfully have many friends both online and offline. I consider all of the members of TFR my friends as well as my fellow Christians that assemble with me on Sunday and Wednesday eve. A list of qualities that all my friends possess, can be summed up in one word: godly.

#assemble, #friend, #offline, #online, #qualities

Army Of The Lord

One of our church members, who is a stationed at Ft. Bliss, related the following story to me today:

A friend was in front of me coming out of the church building one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands. He grabbed my friend by the hand and pulled him aside. The preacher said to him, “You need to join the Army of the Lord!” My friend replied, “I’m already in the Army of the Lord, preacher! The preacher questioned him by asking, “How come I don’t see you except at Christmas and Easter?”

He whispered back, “I’m in the Secret Service.”

Now I know where some of our members are that are not in church services except on special occasions. 🙂

#army, #door, #friend, #hand, #member, #military, #preacher, #story