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  • Glenda Williams 8:10 pm on 2016-03-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: practical lessons   

    Spiritual lessons from the birds 

    Cardinals

    Nothing is more enjoyable to me than watching the birds at this time of the year. If possible I would have bird houses all over the yard. I especially love seeing the robins come to our yard. They are always the first birds to arrive, and I know that springtime is near. I always sing, “When the red, red, robin comes bob, bob, bobbing along…along.”

    Red birds, or cardinals, are my favorite as shown in the above picture which I made, but I enjoy watching the bluebirds, and also find the hummingbirds fascinating.

    I remember being with Doug’s brother, Charles, on one occasion, and I was fretting about needing to feed the birds. He said, “Now Genna, (that’s what he calls me), you know that those birds are going to be alright. God is going to take care of them.” Yes, I do know that and am reminded of his comment every time I look out and see the feeders empty.

    Perhaps we can gain something from the Scriptures as we watch the birds at this time of the year, and anytime, really. Let’s look at this Scripture when we don’t value our worth very much. Matthew 10:31: “Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.”

    And when we are concerned about not having enough, or that our future may look bleak, let us think about these Scriptures.

    Matthew 6:25-27:  “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

    Luke 12:24: “Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!”

    And when we feel we are all alone, and nobody cares for us, let us remember this Scripture. Luke 12:6-7; “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” And remember Matthew 10:29; “But not even one of those little birds can die without your Father knowing it.” ESV.

    There is much beauty and comfort to gain from watching the birds.

     
  • Glenda Williams 11:35 am on 2016-02-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: practical lessons,   

    What does the Bible say about life’s burdens 

    By: Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

    Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

    (More …)

     
  • Glenda Williams 11:06 pm on 2015-03-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: practical lessons   

    My brother Hoyt Williams passed away Friday March… 

    My brother, Hoyt Williams, passed away Friday, March 6. His funeral was Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Union Springs, AL. I really hated to give him up. All I am left with are memories. I wrote a poem while thinking of him the day before he died. It was posted earlier on this site.

    When Herschel, my other brother, suffered a stroke and was in the hospital in Dothan, Doug and I were visiting him when Hoyt and Ella came in. They had driven well over an hour to get to Dothan. I said, “I’m so glad you came.” Hoyt replied, “It was the thing to do.” I’ve been thinking a lot about his statement, “It was the thing to do,” this week.

    In life we have occasions to do many things. Some we will want to do, and some we had rather not do, but because it is the thing to do we push on and make ourselves do them.

    A student may be facing a test in school. Studying is necessary to pass the test. Because it is the thing to do, the student makes himself study.

    A friend may be in the hospital or nursing home and we need to go visit them. We think we don’t have time to visit the hospital, and we don’t enjoy going to nursing homes, but because it is the thing to do, we push and do it anyway.

    We have to “step up to the plate” and do things that are out of our comfort zone, things that we rather not do sometimes, because it is the thing to do.

    Reading the Bible regularly is hard for some people. They say they can’t understand it and can’t remember what they read. Paul writing to Timothy told him to study to show himself approved unto God. The more we read the Bible, the easier it is to understand. We do it because it is the thing to do if we want to learn more about Jesus and His will for our lives.

    Attending church services faithfully is hard for some people, but it should be done because it is the thing to do. Taking part as a leader in the worship service often takes people out of their comfort zone, but it should be done because it is the thing to do. The church depends upon Christian leaders.

    Obeying the Lord and identifying with the church makes others know whose side we are on. It should be done because it is the thing to do. We need to be happy to tell others we are a member of the church of Christ.

    We need to do all the good we can, to as many as we can, for as long as we can…because it is the thing to do. Jesus said, “In as much as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me.”

    What will you do this week because it is “the thing to do?”

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 6:24 am on 2015-02-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , practical lessons   

    How to avoid taking preeminence in the kingdom of God 

    A denominational study site required extra confirmation for comments, and I refused to jump through that extra hoop. So you get these comments on their study for today here on TFR, answering specifically one of their “To Ponder” questions. Feel free to use the comments below in any form you’d like (except online, where etiquette demands a link). (More …)

     
    • J. Randal Matheny 1:36 pm on 2015-02-13 Permalink | Reply

    • Eliza 2:13 am on 2015-02-14 Permalink | Reply

      3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond-servant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:3-11
      Christ is our perfect example for genuine humility. God bless you:)

  • John T. Polk II 8:34 am on 2014-10-29 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , practical lessons, , textbook, ,   

    The Bible IS a “Christian Evidence” Textbook! 

    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is based upon “evidence” and it is a solid conviction of “things not seen.” Since “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17), then the best “evidence” for faith is “the word of God” and the Creator’s Wisdom to which it points!  If not, why not?

    The Bible makes statements that point to external data, and that makes it a “Christian evidence” textbook. For example:

    1. Every effect must have an adequate cause. “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4); “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1);

    “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3).    All scientific evidences and facts prove that matter is not eternal and must have had a beginning. The Bible begins with one of the strongest proofs possible that there had to have been The Creator: from nothing came something caused by The Power (“God”) who is the uncaused First Cause!

    1. There is magnificent design and order to life. 

      Jesus pointed to the inherent order in agriculture when He said: “For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”  (Mark 4:28-29)

    Such order is impossible without the imposition of law from a Higher Power.

    Speaking of the intricacies of human development and birth, David said: “You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.”    (Psalm 139:13-16)

    The millions of details involved in each human’s normal birth are mind-boggling, and faith-building, indeed. The birth of one human demands an imposing attention to details totally impossible without completing the plan of God, the Maker.

    Abraham “waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder [Greek, “technician, craftsman”] and maker [Greek, “framer”] is God” (Hebrews 11:10). Truly, the “technology” of life is impossible and nonsensical without the All-powerful, All-intelligent Creator God!

    1. Life cannot/has not/will not come from non-living matter. It is the “God, who made the world and everything in it…gives to all life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:24-25). There is no construction of material substance that has been brought to life without adding some living components to the experiment. Scientific fact shows that life had to be added to the material earth from an outside source in order for anything living to exist.  It is only prejudiced ignorance that would attack Christian faith without dealing with what the Bible, itself, says!

    Atheism Equals Ignorance

    Speaking of “prejudiced ignorance,” one readily thinks of an “atheist,” a word meaning, “without faith in deity,” hence a person who is without faith in God. No one can be an atheist without denying all the evidence for God’s existence and the scientific conclusion that necessitates it as fact. In other words, atheists are known for what they confess they do not or cannot know. “Ignorance” is defined as “the absence of knowledge.” It is practically impossible, then, for any atheist to ridicule a believer’s “faith” because a Bible-believer has evidence for that faith, but an atheist has reduced his or her intelligence to denial! The evidence for God is so abundant that an atheist can believe there is no God only by closing his/her mind to the factual evidence that would prove otherwise! Atheists have a big void throughout their core intellect, and are as Gentiles, “in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart…” (Ephesians 4:17-18).

    By willfully omitting God from their consideration, the Atheists have “blacked out” their understanding, “gutted” their rationality, and grope about like blind people who have rejected any assistance they have been offered! Belief in God is a normal conclusion of a natural mind that has been given all the evidence.

    Atheism is, thus, an unnatural response.

    Since God does exist, then His power as Creator justifies His power to: (1) define marriage as one man and one woman united for life (Genesis 2:18-25), and accept no other (Mark 10:2-12); (2) give a day of rest to the Israelites in Moses’ Law (Deuteronomy 5:12-15) and not to anyone else; (3) be remembered in our days of youth (Ecclesiastes 12:1), not just “old age;” (4) come to earth as the Christ with total miraculous power over the Creation (John 1:1-18) unlike everyone else who has ever lived; (5) hand over the scroll of judgment against the Jews into the hand of His Son (Revelation 4:1-5:8) which was carried out in the 1st Century. Since God, as Creator, can do with His Creation as He wishes (“our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases,” Psalm 115:3); and, since no human is Creator (God asked: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding,” Job 38:4); then all humans who are created beings (“creature,” Mark 16:15-16) will fail to conquer and control the world! There is no policy, people, or plan that God will allow to take His place as Controller of His Creation (Romans 1:19-25). “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19).                                —–John T. Polk II

     
  • John T. Polk II 8:10 am on 2014-10-29 Permalink | Reply
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    (#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.

     
  • John T. Polk II 1:51 pm on 2014-08-15 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , majestic, , practical lessons, ,   

    (#206) The Proverbs of Solomon 30:29-31-Walk the Royal Walk 

    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 30:29-31: “There are three things which are majestic in pace, Yes, four which are stately in walk: A lion, which is mighty among beasts And does not turn away from any; A greyhound, A male goat also, And a king whose troops are with him.”

    Walking regally is an indication of inner confidence and fearlessness. Regality is born out of security, violence from hatred and fear. There is a reason for these four to illustrate “majestic pace” which Christians, especially, should add to their lives:

    “A lion” because of strength and power. As our “adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8), so the wicked “have closed up their fat hearts; With their mouths they speak proudly. They have now surrounded us in our steps; They have set their eyes, crouching down to the earth, As a lion is eager to tear his prey, And like a young lion lurking in secret places (Psalm 17:10-12). Those who follow God should have every reason to be secure. “In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge” (Proverbs 14:26); “The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1); “But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict (1 Thessalonians 2:2). Christians must realize that we are to “abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28).

    “A greyhound” because of speed and agility. God hates “feet that are swift in running to evil” (Proverbs 6:18), but faithful followers of God, who are “swift to hear” (James 1:19), often receive help from Him quickly. “In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, For You will answer me” (Psalm 86:7); Answer me speedily, O LORD; My spirit fails! Do not hide Your face from me, Lest I be like those who go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You” (Psalm 143:7-8); “For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:12).

    “A male goat” because of place and leadership. A man was created first (1 Timothy 2:13), and should be the leader of righteousness in his home (Ephesians 5:22-24). Those who refuse this God-given responsibility are rejected by God. “For the perverse person is an abomination to the LORD, But His secret counsel is with the upright” (Proverbs 3:32).

    “A king” because of trust and loyalty. “If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them” (Ecclesiastes 5:8). All government officials should take care to rule with righteousness, lest their enemies come from within.

    These four illustrations give a “majestic” walk to the faithful. “You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield” (Psalm 115:11). “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 2:21 pm on 2014-08-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ants, , , kings palaces, locusts, practical lessons, , rock badgers, , , ,   

    (#205) The Proverbs of Solomon 30:24-28-Learn From The Little People 

    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 30:24-28: “There are four things which are little on the earth, But they are exceedingly wise: The ants are a people not strong, Yet they prepare their food in the summer; The rock badgers are a feeble folk, Yet they make their homes in the crags; The locusts have no king, Yet they all advance in ranks; The spider skillfully grasps with its hands, And it is in kings’ palaces.”

    It is a truly foolish person who fails or refuses to see that the living God has incorporated intelligence and wisdom into His Creation, and that there is NO TRUTH to the blind, unscientific, ungodly false doctrine of Evolution! What the willfully ignorant professors of Evolution attribute to blind chance, the Bible points out as yet another example of the wisdom of God. “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; By understanding He established the heavens; By His knowledge the depths were broken up, And clouds drop down the dew” (Proverbs 3:19-20). Even the least of His Creation shows us His brilliant planning. In a society bulked-up with athleticism, wisdom is often unnoticed!

    “The ants” are not known for their strength (although for their size, it is tremendous!), but for the wisdom of continual preparation for the future. This intelligence shows us that we should be industriously preparing for the future with what we have at the present. “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest” (Proverbs 6:6-8).

    “The rock badgers” (possibly rabbits, conies, or hyraxes) build no houses for themselves, but use the solid rock “crags” for their protection. Under Moses’ Law, an unclean animal (Leviticus 11:5), noted for living in the hills (Psalm 104:18), this is probably the “rock badger.” The wisdom of using what God provides for our protection should be applied to our soul salvation, also. “Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.’ They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed” (1 Peter 2:7-8).

    “The locusts” descend upon grain fields “in ranks” and can completely consume the crops. This is done without “a king,” that is, orderliness is their “natural” disposition. They have been used by God as punishment upon a nation (Exodus 10:12-14; Psalm 105:34-35) only to be blown away by a wind (Exodus 10:19). They may also be useful for food (Mark 1:6). They show the wisdom of being organized and what that can accomplish. When people unite, they can overpower almost anything (Judges 20:11)! Voters need to realize their potential power!

    “The spider” can build its webs anywhere, even “in kings’ palaces.” Artistically designed, devastatingly efficient, spiders’ webs show the wisdom of persistently applying design wherever we are for whatever we need to do, and hope for its success. Though easily destroyed, spiders’ webs will be immediately rebuilt showing us the persistence of hope, for once the web is built, the spider waits for its victim to be caught in it.

    Jesus used “the birds of the air,” “lilies of the field,” and “the grass of the field” to teach us not to be anxious (Matthew 6:25-30). The wisdom in God’s Creation can provide useful lessons, if we have not been blinded by the stubborn ignorance of those who make their money promoting Evolution. Jesus said, “if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14).

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 7:56 am on 2014-08-05 Permalink | Reply
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    (#202) The Proverbs of Solomon-30:11-14-Generation D(estroyed) 

    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 30:11-14: “There is a generation that curses its father, And does not bless its mother. 12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness. 13 There is a generation-oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. 14 There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, And whose fangs are like knives, To devour the poor from off the earth, And the needy from among men.”

    After Jacob had worked 14 years to “earn” his wife, his father-in-law, Laban, said, “I have learned by experience that the LORD has blessed me for your sake” (Genesis 30:27). “Experience” is a great teacher, and often, a hard teacher. It has been truly said, “Happiness will never come to those who do not appreciate what they already have.” “A generation” without the experiences of life becomes (v.11) Loveless; (v.12) Hypocritical; (v.13) Arrogant; and (v.14) Cruel, and will need few enemies, for it will self-destruct. Children whose world consists of a video screen, whose mind is filled with make-believe, and whose heart seldom connects with real people, have no experiences to help them grow, and become slaves who serve without conscience! It is a lost generation that never sees “the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied” (Ecclesiastes 3:10).

    Verse 11: Those who disrespect the two who gave them life will not appreciate The God, His plan, and the life they have been given, “For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God” (1 Corinthians 11:12). Although the prevalence of divorce and single-parenthood has shattered the “DNA” of marriage, and taught successive generations this disrespect, those who turn to God’s Way will start a new generation of parental respect. It is when sin abounds that “the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).

    Verse 12: It is difficult, almost impossible, for one to see one’s own sins. To such a generation, God send Jeremiah to say: “’For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, Yet your iniquity is marked before Me,’ says the Lord God. How can you say, ‘I am not polluted’” (Jeremiah 2:22-23). The Apostle Paul wrote: “For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:4). Any generation that is known for major problems with drunkenness, irresponsibility, sexually-transmitted diseases, drug abuses, recklessness, and hatefulness (Titus 3:3) has its hands full and should not be pointing fingers at the previous generation(s)! Jesus Christ condemned those who “outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:28).

    Verse 13: Jesus Christ described this attitude when He said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:29-33) While a generation may protest against their parents sins, it becomes guilty of its own sins, many of which are even worse than before (1 Kings 16:25)!

    Verse 14: The cruelty is seen because they don’t care about the “poor” and “needy.” Selfishness is so narrow-minded that it cannot admit, nor allow, others to benefit who have greater needs. Jesus Christ said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation” (Matthew 23:14)!

    A generation may be changed if enough of them “are converted and become as little children…Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4). Obeying the command to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” will let a soul “Be saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:38, 40).

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 7:16 am on 2014-07-22 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: antagonism, , , Evolutionists, , practical lessons, , ridicule, , scientific, , , unscientific,   

    (#199) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:27-Sticks and Stones and Intimidation 

    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 29:27: “An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, And he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.”

    There has always been bitter antagonism between those who practice evil and those who practice good. The explanation for the first murder in the world (Genesis 4:1-15) is clearly given in the New Testament: “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4); “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you” (1 John 3:10-13).

    Which is exactly why it is useless and wrong for those who follow God’s Way (the righteous) to seek the approval and acclaim from the worldly. Ungodly teachers refuse to let righteous students get good grades if they have written truthfully about the Bible, Jesus Christ, or moral goodness! Ungodly entertainers ridicule the righteous who speak out from their honest, godly convictions! Ungodly parents punish and discourage their righteous children from Bible classes or studying the Word of God! Ungodly propagandists who use overwhelming headlines to “beat back” any and every attempt of the righteous to uphold and defend the existence of God! Ungodly Evolutionists and Global Warming fanatics who falsely label as “unscientific” any and all who use scientific facts to debunk and discredit those attacks on Bible faith! Ungodly accrediting boards set materialistic standards which, when “Christian Schools” accept and meet those standards, have made “Christian schools” nothing more than another worldly school!

    Jesus offered His reward to the righteous: “Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets” (Luke 6:22-23).

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

     

     
  • John T. Polk II 7:07 am on 2014-07-17 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , practical lessons, , , ,   

    (#198) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:24-Wanna Abet? 

    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 29:24: “Whoever is a partner with a thief hates his own life; He swears to tell the truth, but reveals nothing.”

    Solomon has already judged against agreeing to uphold someone else’s debt (Proverbs 11:15; 17:18; 20:16; 22:26-27; 27:13), now he warns against sharing in someone’s sin! The gang members, driver of the get-away vehicle, owner/renter of a meth lab house, participants in the crime, are all as guilty as the one who actually commits the sin! This proverb shows that the one who shares in “thievery,” for instance, will end up losing his/her honesty and integrity by swearing “to tell the truth, but reveal[ing] nothing.”

    The truth of this proverb remains unchanged in the New Testament Law of Jesus Christ: “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22); “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (2 John 9-11); “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:28-32). Saul of Tarsus may not have stoned the first martyr for Jesus Christ, Stephen, but Saul protected the coats of those who did the stoning (Acts 7:54-60)! This still bothered him toward the end of his spiritually-productive life (1 Timothy 1:12-16)!

    Choose your associates and friends carefully; be well aware of what they’re up to; have the courage to avoid damning situations! They may actually “think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you” (1 Peter 4:4).

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 pm on 2014-07-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , goverment, , , , practical lessons, ,   

    (#195) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:14-How to be Re-elected 

     

    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 29:14: “The king who judges the poor with truth, His throne will be established forever.”

    “The king” (or any government leader who thinks he/she is a “king”) represents the administration and its governance;

    Judging the “poor with truth,” means that:

    1) no law or court decision should favor the “poor” (Exodus 23:3, 6; Leviticus 19:15), either by taking more from the “rich” or artificially raising the minimum wage of the “poor;”

    2) no law or court decision should seek to do away with the condition of being “poor,” for Jesus Christ said “the poor you have with you always” (John 12:8), and Solomon said: “The rich and the poor have this in common, The LORD is the maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2);

    3) no law or court decision should make life harder for the “poor.” Solomon had said: “Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate; For the LORD will plead their cause, And plunder the soul of those who plunder them” (Proverbs 22:22-23);

    4) no law or court decision should define or describe being “poor” so as to include more as being “poor” than there really is!  “Poor” in Moses’ Law, meant one was reduced to selling off his possessions or even himself (Leviticus 25:25-48)! “Poverty” can be the result of: laziness (Proverbs 6:9-11); stinginess (Proverbs 11:24); refusal to be disciplined (Proverbs 13:18); empty talk (Proverbs 14:23); reckless planning (Proverbs 21:5); constant fun (Proverbs 28:19).

    The truly wise will enjoy being a part of “the middle class:” “Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches-Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, And say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God” (Proverbs 30:7-9).

    A country whose people received the condemnation of God “used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger” (Ezekiel 22:29).

    “The king” who wants to be re-elected will take note and be wise.

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

     
    • Jack Wirtz 12:20 pm on 2014-07-11 Permalink | Reply

      All that you say is true; for the rulers serve at the will of GOD to fulfill HIS purposes, and they will surely give answer to JEHOVAH for how they have judged. Since we do not, nor can we know the heart of man, David Lipscomb from that, and from the teachings concerning our relation to those that rule made a fair argument against voting.

      America great moral and spiritual decline is the product of a hundred years of false teaching. Her continuation in whatever form shall be at GOD’s pleasure, but regardless let us remain faithful to HIM that has called us. Be anxious about nothing taking nothing away from our zeal for The Lord.

      2Ti 3:1-4 But this know, that in [the] last days difficult times shall be there; for men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, evil speakers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, profane, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, of unsubdued passions, savage, having no love for what is good, 4 traitors, headlong, of vain pretensions, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of GOD…

  • John T. Polk II 5:00 am on 2014-06-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , practical lessons, , , , ,   

    (#188) The Proverbs of Solomon 28:2-For Which Leader Do You Vote? 

    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 28:2: “Because of the transgression of a land, many are its princes; But by a man of understanding and knowledge Right will be prolonged.”

    A country, nation, and people who become corrupted by “transgression,” has frequent, often violent, turnovers in leaders. Solomon later said: “When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory; But when the wicked arise, men hide themselves” (Proverbs 28:12). God spoke through Jeremiah and said, “‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?’ says the LORD. ‘Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it’” (Jeremiah 18:6-10). God’s case against Israel was because they followed their wicked king, instead of obeying God: “When I would have healed Israel, Then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered, And the wickedness of Samaria. For they have committed fraud; A thief comes in; A band of robbers takes spoil outside. They do not consider in their hearts That I remember all their wickedness; Now their own deeds have surrounded them; They are before My face. They make a king glad with their wickedness, And princes with their lies” (Hosea 7:1-3). A nation that chooses corrupt leaders has chosen its own destruction!

    The only remedy is to turn to God and choose “a man of understanding and knowledge” so that “right will be prolonged.” Not all government leaders are to be followed if they abandon God: “Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: ‘Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion’” (Psalm 2:1-6). No concerted effort of “the kings of the earth” can overthrow God’s “King,” Jesus Christ, who now is on the throne of David in Heaven (Acts 2:25-32). Only a President and Congressional leaders who understand and know God’s Will can and should lead a country in the right way! It is by God’s Wisdom that “kings reign, And rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, All the judges of the earth” (Proverbs 8:15-16).

    It is a wicked people who elect (and re-elect!) wicked leaders who justify their wickedness!

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 6:26 am on 2014-06-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , practical lessons, , , radar,   

    (#186) The Proverbs of Solomon 27:11-12-Use Your Radar 

    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 27:11-12: “My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, That I may answer him who reproaches me. A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; The simple pass on and are punished.”

    Radar (an acronym for radio detection and ranging first used in 1941) is an application of radio waves that extends human “sight” far beyond the range of the normal eye. It has use in trains, planes, automobiles, weather forecasting, cooking, space exploration, et. al. It has come to be associated with “an awareness, sensitivity, or foreboding of things to come.”

    According to the Bible, humans have access to moral “radar” that should be very helpful:

    1) The God Who Sees All. “The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works” (Psalm 33:13-15); “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3); and even in the New Testament: “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things” (1 John 3:20). Whatever God commands, advises, or explains about the future result of human behavior should alert each of us to “watch out” for what is ahead.

    2) Our Consciences. Everyone has been given by God an inner “radar” to sense whether a thought or action is right or wrong. This is not, by itself, a moral standard, for we can ignorantly violate God’s standard of righteousness while we have a “good conscience” (example, Saul of Tarsus killing Christians, Acts 9:1, with a “good conscience,” Acts 23:1); a conscience can become “evil” (Hebrews 10:22); or even “seared” (1 Timothy 4:1-3). When educated by studying God’s Word, however, a conscience can project ahead to sense whether a thought or action should be followed, for “the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). A “good conscience” lets us know we have done God’s Will even though others say we haven’t (1 Peter 3:16), and it won’t let us claim to be saved before we are baptized (1 Peter 3:21). Our Bible-oriented conscience should alert each of us to “watch out” for what is ahead.

    3) Our Prudence (or good judgment). Christians must use their good judgment (be prudent) by heeding the warning signs (God’s Word, consciences, experiences): “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14). Regarding His Second Coming and destruction of the world, Jesus has said: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matthew 25:13). There is NO “radar” for the exact “day nor the hour,” but the moral “radar” sweep should show us to be constantly prepared: “You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6).

    “The simple” will “pass on and be punished.” Which are you? Use your “radar.”

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 8:33 am on 2014-06-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , good judgment, joking, , madmen, , practical jokes, practical lessons, ,   

    (#181) The Proverbs of Solomon 26:18-19-Impractical Jokes 

    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 26:18-19: “Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, Is the man who deceives his neighbor, And says, ‘I was only joking!’”

    A “madman” is a person who is out of control because he/she isn’t bothered by moral restraint, sympathetic feeling, or consideration for others. Anyone who indiscriminately “throws” around “firebrands” (or torches, bombs), “arrows” (or bullets, missiles), “death” (or ieds, drones, or other instruments of death) leaves a path of burned, wounded, or dead people! It does not excuse such behavior by simply saying, “I was only joking!” So-called “reality” TV shows that see “what people would do” set a standard of lies, deceit, and trickery that hardens the consciences of their audience against good judgment and sympathy. When angels of God warned Lot that Sodom would be destroyed for its perversions, “Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, ‘Get up, get out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!’ But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking” (Genesis 19:14). When something is taken as a “joke,” then the responses to it are not real, and in their case, they died because of it!

    Christians are not to participate in such madness: “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:3-6). Such behavior doesn’t become a Christian. What is condemned is: “filthiness” which is behavior without morals; “foolish talking” which is empty conversation that shows contempt or ridicule; “coarse jesting” which is the double-entendre, underhanded, turned meaning of words. All of these are what worldly comedy, practical jokes, and other types of madness are made of. Christians can have “fun,” just not like “a madman.”

    Do not be deceived by “empty words” that say otherwise, God will hold each individual responsible for his/her behavior on: “the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ” (Romans 2:16). No joke!

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

     
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