8-19-2015 Who Is Mother?

Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me” (Psalm 131:2 NKJV). There is no more calming, tranquil picture among humans than that of a child settled within the comfort and protection of his, or her, mother. And, yet, that is exactly what is missing from millions of children in the United States today. For their own sins and corruption, God seemingly had abandoned His people for good to punish them. Yet, to illustrate that He had not, He asked: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you” (Isaiah 49:15 NKJV). To be ignored or forgotten by our own mother, indeed, does permanent damage!

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

#child, #mother, #nursing-child

8-17-2015 Where Is Father?

Last year, 4 out of 10 children in the U.S.A. were born to unwed mothers, 2/3 of whom are under the age of 30. Of the 12 million single-parent families, 80% are headed by mothers. Of children under 18, 1 in 4 (about 17.4 million) are raised without a father, and 45% live below the poverty level. “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged” (Colossians 3:21 NKJV). Every male who sires a child, but isn’t around to “bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4 NKJV), will give account on the Day of Judgment! “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1). But what if they don’t know who their parents are? “The LORD has been very angry with your fathers” (Zechariah 1:2 NKJV).

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

#father, #male, #mother, #single-parent

(#208) The Proverbs of Solomon Proverbs 31:1-3-Listen to Your Mama About Women

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 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 31:1-3: “The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him: 2 What, my son? And what, son of my womb? And what, son of my vows? 3 Do not give your strength to women, Nor your ways to that which destroys kings.”

Verse 1: These have been the Proverbs of Solomon: for his son (Chapters 1-9); for his people (Chapters 10-24); for his legacy (Chapters 25-29); for his influence (Chapters 30-31). The Book of Proverbs began with a father instructing his son, and ends in this last chapter with the mother’s wise words, or “hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother” (Proverbs 1:8).

Verse 2: Almost asking: “What can I say for the best benefit for my son, my flesh and blood?”

“Son of my womb” refers to the closeness of the mother-son bond, for she was his home before he was born.

“Son of my vows” can refer to the legitimate son born after marriage vows of his parents (Malachi 2:14), or to parental commitment to raise the child “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

In any case, these words should be regarded as precious to a beloved son.

Verse 3: Two serious warnings against ways that destroy every man’s life: disrespect for marriage and disregard for authority.

To not “give your strength to women” is a major theme in Proverbs (2:16-22; 5:1-23; 6:20-35; 7:1-27; 9:13-18). Examples of what not to do are found in Samson (Judges 13-16), David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11-12), and Solomon, himself (1 Kings 11). Sexual satisfaction (“strength”) should be reserved only for one’s own wife (Proverbs 5:15-20).

“That which destroys kings” refers to subversive and violent methods of destroying respect for civil authority, “For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1). Moses recognized this danger (Deuteronomy 31:26-27); King Saul (1 Samuel 15:22-24); Barabbas (Mark 15:7). Solomon had said: “An evil man seeks only rebellion; Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him” (Proverbs 17:11), and Jesus said: “all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). It is never wrong to insist that rulers abide by God’s rules (the Bible) and the laws of the land (Constitution) which restricts their “authority” (as Libertarians insist), but it is wrong to advocate no authority (as Libertines claim)!

Men, listen to a godly mother!

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

#bible-study, #marriage, #mother, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #rebellion, #wisdom, #women

In Memory of Christine Adcock

A promise beyond comprehending; a promise that will require an experience to fully grasp the depth of Jesus’ words when he relayed that “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”” (Revelation 21:4)

While I believe that there is a modern and present day application concerning the oft quoted words of comfort, I also know that the deepest aspect will be brought to light at a later time. For there will be no tears in Heaven, but the Earth is a much different place.

The knowledge and memory of Paul’s words when he told the Thessalonians that he did not want them, “…to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14) definitely says that the pain and tears do not come from no assurance of Jesus’ work, but rather from the hurt of loss and sorrow that pierces the heart because of love.

My mother-in-law, Christine, will be sadly and painfully missed for now, but not forever. She has been a blessing beyond measure for the 16 years that I have known her. This causes me to only ponder the pain that her daughter of 31 years and husband of 55 years feel within their heart. But she was a matriarch to us, and to many others who were not her own flesh and blood, which leaves us with a certain joy. A mother-in-law in respect to the technical side – but a mother in every other way to me.

My words will always fail to describe her to those who did not know her personally but my heart will not forget what it was like, which leaves my mind to wonder what it will be like when I get to meet her again in a place where tears of joy will even be a thing of the past.

She loved the God of the Bible, the church that she supported and her family that was so dear – and love is what we strove to give in return. Lord willing, her influence will continue to be seen for at least another generation to come through us and her granddaughter.

Thank you to those of you who kept her and my family in your prayers during her time of physical trial. God bless you.

One more thing, I don’t know her name but the woman that Paul spoke of in Romans 16:13 must have been a lot like the woman that I was proud to call my mother in my own way.

Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.

#death, #heaven, #in-memory-of, #mother, #obituaries, #tears

(#191) The Proverbs of Solomon 28:24-Robbing “The Greatest Generation”

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 28:24: “Whoever robs his father or his mother, And says, ‘It is no transgression,’ The same is companion to a destroyer.”

Respect for parents keeps civilization alive. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12) is repeated in the Law of Jesus Christ: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth’” (Ephesians 6:1-3). It is this endearing quality in humanity that is the backbone of an enduring society. In addition to our fathers passing along to us “life,” they should have “corrected us,” and we should have “paid them respect” (Hebrews 12:9). But the commandment honors both father “and mother!” A mother’s womb is a person’s first safe house where God develops it (Psalm 139:13-16), and while unborn, the baby has not done “any good or evil” (Romans 9:11). The “fruit of the womb” is our inheritance from God (Psalm 127:3), and only godless, vicious people would “have no pity on the fruit of the womb” (Isaiah 13:17-18).

It’s too bad in our society, often it is honoring one or the other parent, or neither at all! Whether we break into their houses and rob their possessions, or stealing our time away from them, or letting greedy government take their earnings, when      and how do we honor our parents? Because they have lived through deprivation and destruction, they have been termed “the greatest generation.” But do they deserve our dereliction of duty to “honor” them? Not just that generation, but each generation that includes our parents deserves our “honor” and “respect.”

The Israelite Nation rejected God’s Son (John 1:11-12), and their destruction also included what they had done at home: “Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death” (Mark 13:12). What have we done to either protect or rob our parents? No child should dishonor its parent(s) and pass it off by saying “it is no transgression”—because it is! No society can last that disrespects its parents!

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

#bible-study, #christian-living, #father, #honor, #mother, #parents, #proverbs, #respect, #unborn, #wisdom, #womb

(#97) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:20-Home-grown Heartbreak

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 15:20: “A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish man despises his mother.”

“A wise son” has learned God’s Wisdom and nothing is more satisfying than for a father to see that in his son! “A foolish man” has rejected God’s Wisdom and nothing hurts a mother more than to see her son “despise” (lightly regard, disregard, disdain) her! Too often the son who is overindulged and overprotected by his mother is neither prepared to love and appreciate her, or any other woman, for that matter! Before marrying any man, a woman should know, firsthand, his attitude toward his own mother! Reverse the proverb for the father and it reads: “A foolish son is a grief to his father, And bitterness to her who bore him” (Proverbs 17:25). Both parents share in the “grief” and “bitterness” when their “son” is “foolish.” There is no joy, and only anguish, when parents see their son a “fool.” Another proverb shows how it could be even worse: “A foolish son is the ruin of his father, And the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping” (Proverbs 19:13). The situation becomes intolerable for both the father and the son if the woman engages in “a continual dripping” (nagging, blaming, berating) for that condition! Each soul has made free choices and is responsible for his, or her, own. “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). No son can justify his disrespect of his parents, disregard for others’ safety, or disgraceful conduct by what his parents did, or didn’t do, if he is trying to “be his own man!” Yet another proverb shows that the son who pushes away from his parents has nothing of which to be proud: “He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother Is a son who causes shame and brings reproach” (Proverbs 19:26). Still another proverb shows what parents can anticipate when home values work: “The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who begets a wise child will delight in him. Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice” (Proverbs 23:24-25).

“Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice, But a companion of harlots wastes his wealth” (Proverbs 29:3). Jesus used such a “foolish son” who “wasted his possessions with prodigal living” to show how the father (like the Father in Heaven!) waited in hopes that his son would repent and return of his own humbled choice, which happened (Luke 15:11-24)! Many treasures and family fortunes have been squandered in wasteful sins which helped no one in a beneficial way. God has waited for foolish sons to come to Him, for “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).  Isn’t it about time you returned to God? “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

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

#bible-study, #bitterness, #delight, #family, #father, #foolish-son, #glad, #grief, #mother, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #prodigal, #proverbs, #rejoice, #salvation, #sin, #wisdom, #wise-son

Single Worst Phrase

In my opinion, the single worst phrase, would have to be the rendering of Psalm 51:5 in the NIV:

“Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”

Brother Wayne Jackson comments: http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/276-original-sin-and-a-misapplied-passage

#birth, #conceived, #mother, #phrase, #sinful, #single, #sinner, #time, #worst