3-13-2017 Good & Evil

God, through Moses, told Israelites: “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil” (Deuteronomy 30:15 NKJV). Solomon ask God for “an understanding heart” “that I may discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:9 NKJV). God’s prophet, Amos, said: “Hate evil, love good” (Amos 5:15 NKJV). To Christians, Paul wrote: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9 NKJV). The difference between “good” and “evil” is clearly drawn, described, and determined. Jesus said, “the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth–those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29 NKJV). There are not enough “shades of gray” to confuse those who follow God’s Word.

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

#evil, #good

2-16-2017 Those Who Love God

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 NKJV). Does this mean that everything in everyone’s life produces good? Only “those who love God.” 1) John wrote: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3 NKJV). Jesus said: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16 NKJV). Anyone who makes baptism a “burdensome” commandment keeps a person from loving God! 2) God’s “purpose” is for anyone “to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29 NKJV). In the burial of baptism, a sinner is “united together in the likeness of His death” (Romans 6:5 NKJV). Is God’s “good” in your life?

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

#burial-in-baptism, #good, #purpose

Sin Is Good

How can that be? That is how Eve saw the fruit God had forbidden that she or Adam eat. She observed that it was “good for food…a delight to the eyes, and…desired to make one wise” (Gen. 3:6).

It was “good” but it ruined the blessing of life in the garden.

It was “good” but it damaged the first couple’s marriage.

It was “good” but it destroyed a family.

It was “good” but it made worship worthless.

It was “good” but severed man’s intimate relationship with God.

No matter how “good” we may consider sin to be, it will have the last word and it will destroy what is genuinely good.

Through the Bible, January 3

#good, #sin

9-15-2015 Turning Good Into Bad

Through Isaiah, God pronounced a “woe” to “those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20 NKJV). There have always been people who condemn what is good and approve of what is evil. David said, his enemies would: “All day they twist my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil” (Psalm 56:5 NKJV). Jesus Christ said of the Devil, “there is no truth in him,” “But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me” (John 8:45 NKJV). Paul preached Jesus in Thessalonica, but envious Jews cried out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too” (Acts 17:2-3, 6 NKJV). Preaching Christ turns worldly morals right-side up, not the other way!

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

#evil, #good, #morals

Have a Good Day

Each person probably has their own definition or standard for what a good day is. Some might think being able to watch football all day would be great. Some might think that spending the whole day with family would be the best day ever. There are as many different ways to have a good day as there are people. Continue reading

#days, #focus, #good, #relationships

(#125) The Proverbs of Solomon 17:13-Many Happy Returns

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 17:13: “Whoever rewards evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house.”

There are only four ways to payback deeds: 1) Good for Good; 2) Evil for Evil; 3) Evil for Good; or 4) Good for Evil.

1) While a good gratitude level, it is doing what would be expected from anyone: “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back” (Luke 6:32-34).

2) This human response may “feel good,” but is totally contrary to God’s example in Jesus Christ, “who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23). Other proverbs repeat this principle: “Do not say, ‘I will recompense evil;’ Wait for the LORD, and He will save you” (Proverbs 20:22); “Do not say, ‘I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work’” (Proverbs 24:29).

3) This is the way to curse one’s own future, household, job, friendships, or eternal destiny.

Everything God Created “was very good” (Genesis 1:31), but Adam and Eve repaid Him by violating His rule in sin (“through one man sin entered the world,” Romans 5:12).

The southern kingdom, Judah, gave God evil for good: “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: ‘I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me; The ox knows its owner And the donkey its master’s crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider.’ Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away backward” (Isaiah 1:2-4).

The history of the Jews’ dealings with God’s Prophets justified His destruction of their Nation in A.D. 70. “For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost” (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16; also Matthew 21:33-46).

4) The superior method is: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:18-21).

This not humanly possible without having the inner “Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus” (1 Peter 5:14), who will “be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).

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

#bible-study, #deeds, #evil, #good, #gratitude, #ingratitude, #life, #payback, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #salvation, #sin, #wisdom

(#91) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:3-God Knows More Than “TSA” and “NSA”

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 15:3: “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.”

This is not saying God’s “eyes” are everywhere, but they see “in every place” all the behaviors of mankind, both “the evil and the good.” One thread throughout the Scriptures is that God is Omniscient, that is, He sees everything at all times. When “Big Brother’s” TSA in airports and NSA in communications invade personal space as they do, how can anyone question God’s complete knowledge of all that happens on the Earth? To say “God wound up the universe and then sat back and watched From a Distance (as a song used to teach, and Deists believe)” is a complete denial of the Word of God, which is a record of God’s dealings with mankind since the Creation!

In the Garden of Eden, after Adam and Eve sinned, they “hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8), but God called them out (Genesis 3:9-13). When Abraham proved his faith, but was stopped before he actually offered his son, Isaac, on the altar, and offered “a ram caught in a thicket” for a burnt offering “instead of his son,” he “called the name of the place, The-LORD-will-provide” (Genesis 22:1-14). Israelites sinned while Moses was in Mount Sinai receiving God’s Law, “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people!’” (Exodus 32:9). King Hezekiah was “sick and near death” and God told His prophet, Isaiah, to say, “Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you” (2 Kings 20:5).

God can also see all that is done that is good. Upon completion of His Creation, “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Upon Jonah’s preaching “Repent or Perish,” the King of Nineveh led his people in repentance, and, “Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it” (Jonah 3:10).

Other proverbs teach this: “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He ponders all his paths” (Proverbs 5:21); “Hell and Destruction are before the LORD; So how much more the hearts of the sons of men” (Proverbs 15:11); “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The LORD has made them both” (Proverbs 20:12). Since God created “the seeing eye” of humans, doesn’t it follow that God is a “seeing” God? “He who planted the ear, shall He not hear? He who formed the eye, shall He not see?” (Psalm 94:9)

“’Am I a God near at hand,’ says the LORD, ‘And not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him? says the LORD; ‘Do I not fill heaven and earth?’ says the LORD” (Jeremiah 23:23-24).

This major doctrine about God is summarized in the New Testament, for Jesus taught that our charitable deeds, prayers, and fasting, that are done in “secret” before God, and not for show “before men,” would be seen by our “Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (Matthew 6:4,6,18). “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

Since nothing is hidden from God, why hide our evils behind husband, wife, children, house, job, friends, nighttime, dim lights, doors, walls, or any other supposed barrier? God know these, our consciences know these, and more often than not, some other people know them as well. Truly, “Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden” (1 Timothy 5:24-25). Let God cleanse your soul from hidden sins, and “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).

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

#from-a-distance, #baptized, #bible-study, #big-brother, #deists, #evil, #god, #good, #nsa, #omniscience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #repent, #secret, #truth, #tsa, #wisdom