No one established through wickedness: Proverbs 12.3 VOTD

“No one can be established through wickedness,
but a righteous root cannot be moved.”

Proverbs 12.3

Many think they can’t succeed in life without doing wrong; else they’ll be at a disadvantage in their projects. The rules of life say otherwise, however. The wrongdoer is at greater risk and more likely to lose.

How does righteousness promote success? Where have you seen this at work in your own experience?

#righteousness #success #VOTD

‘The city’ Proverbs 11.10 VOTD

“When the righteous do well, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there is joy.”

Proverbs 11.10

A society flourishes when righteousness prevails. Righteousness and wickedness cannot coexist.

In what ways do righteous people bless a society?

#VOTD #righteousness #society

The righteousness that exceeds

Jesus told his disciples their righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. What did he mean?

Righteousness is right doing according to the standard of God’s word (Psalm 119:160; 145:17). The Pharisees thought they were righteous —they were not— they thought they were righteous because of their ritual observance of the ceremonial law of Moses. They were, however, certainly unrighteous. The righteousness that exceeds that Jesus describes is one based on obedience to God’s word.

Today, many people don’t understand that obedience is what God wants. It is what he has always wanted. Righteousness is not “infused” in people. It is what they are because of obedience.

#obedience-to-god, #pharisees, #righteousness

‘Slaves to righteousness’ Romans 6.19 VOTD

“(I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.) For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.”

Romans 6.19

Conversion defines our relationship to sin (separation) and to righteousness (decision to live right).

What is involved in presenting our members as slaves to righteousness?

#VOTD #righteousness #conversion

What does it mean that God is not a respecter of persons?

Asking what the Bible means by the phrase “God is not a respecter of persons” shows at least a couple of things:

  1. It shows what translation we’re used to reading (or at least which translation we’ve done most of our memorization from…either the KJV or the ASV), and
  2. We’re interested in learning something that we don’t know.

Read other translations of verses that state our studied principle, such as Acts 10:34 (which in the King James Version says, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:”), and you’ll find,

  • Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.” (NKJV)
  • So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,” (ESV)
  • Then Peter started speaking: “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people,” (NET)
  • Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism” (NIV).

The word translated as “respecter” (in Acts 10:34) comes from the Greek word “Prosopoleptes” which means, “an acceptor of persons” or “one who discriminates.” In the other places of scripture where the same basic phrase is recorded but a different specific Greek word is used, the meaning of the various Greek words are, for all practical purposes, the same (maybe think of it like the English words great, fine, good and well and their relation). But regardless, when one considers the definition of the Greek word under consideration in Acts 10:34 and then combines that with the way several translators use the word based on the context, it soon becomes rather clear what the phrase “no respecter of persons” means…it means that God has the same standard for every person – and that standard is his to decide and ours to live by accordingly.

Our position of authority upon the Earth, our fame, our heritage, our race, our height, our hair or eye-color, our wealth, our sex, our education (amongst many other etceteras)…none of these gain anything with God in and of themselves. Some of these things may impress others and buy us some favoritism upon this Earth, but not with God. Some of these things bring different responsibilities in God’s eyes, but none of these things mean that God requires something of us that he will ignore in others when it comes to his righteousness.

Now therefore, let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes.” (2 Chronicles 19:7)

Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” (Acts 10:34-35)

 

#bible-questions, #god, #respecter-of-persons, #righteousness

Life a constant learning process

After 45-plus years of typing and keyboarding according to the proper system taught back then in the public schools, I learned that this too has a right-handed bias. I had always had a bit of problem reaching the number 6 with the index finger of the right hand. Recently, I tried it — against all True and Proper Doctrine of Typing — with my left hand. Problem solved!

But could I adapt easily to reaching the 6 with my left hand, after all these years of forcing the right? I found I could, after just a short time. Continue reading

#corollaries, #law, #learning, #persecution, #righteousness

No matter what language we speak, people understand what our clothes say

I had the opportunity to have a small, but good, spiritual conversation with a stranger today. How so? It was all because of the clothes that I was wearing!

I had already started the conversation with small talk while I was waiting on my family. I was alone. He was alone. So I decided to try to be friendly. He decided to be the same in return.

After the small talk, the conversation led to the man saying, “I noticed the way you are dressed. Did you go to church today?” (He had also “been to church” by the way.) From there we were able to have a pleasant conversation about the Bible; and because of that conversation I was able to invite him to the church’s services. After my family and I left the restaurant I thought that it was neat that I got to talk about the Bible simply because of what my clothes said to him.

Now my purpose with this post isn’t to say that clothes make the person, that clothes determine the value of one’s soul, or that clothes are even close to being the first thing that we should allow to make a spiritual impression on us; far from it (James 2:1-4; Luke 20:46; Matthew 23:5). My purpose is simply this – no matter what language we speak, people understand what our clothes say.

Clothing is often worn to make an impression on others or because it’s made an impression on us…that’s why certain name-brand tags can double, triple, quadruple, etc. the price of a shirt or a pair of pants. So clothing talks, no arguments or doubt about it. Not only does the kind of clothes we wear talk, but so does the way we wear them. On top of that, the amount of clothing we wear says that much more!

Many Christians, both men and women alike, will be tempted this summer to wear “clothing” that is not fitting of God’s calling. If fig-leaf bikini’s didn’t work in Eden (Genesis 3:7, 21), then no bikini, regardless of the material that’s used, will work outside of Eden’s garden. God uses water to save us through Jesus (1 Peter 3:21), but God doesn’t use water to change wrong to right. The temptation to “look good” and the call to be dressed in and dressed with righteous isn’t the same thing! (Romans 14:17; 1 Corinthians 15:34; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 1:11; 2 Timothy 2:22; Titus 2:12; 1 Peter 2:24)

If we know that “dressing up” says something to the general public (and we know that it does), then by default we should know what the lack of clothing also says (and we know that it does whether we want to admit it or not). So don’t forget – when it comes to modesty, whether we think about it or not, when we’re in the public, people are ease dropping on what our clothes, or the lack thereof, are spiritually saying to them all of the time.

I will be full of joy in the Lord, my soul will be glad in my God; for he has put on me the clothing of salvation, covering me with the robe of righteousness, as the husband puts on a fair head-dress, and the bride makes herself beautiful with jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)

#clothing, #fashion, #good-influence, #impressions, #modesty, #righteousness

They have their “gay marriages” but they still aren’t happy

One thing that I’ve noticed over the last several weeks, despite the media’s best effort to hide it, during the whole Kentucky clerk denial of marriage licenses’ to homosexual couples situation, is the vitriol hate and anger that has come from the side of those who support homosexual marriages. If you, like myself, have watched any talk shows on news stations with leanings that are left of the center line then you have heard one guest after another (several of which were practicing homosexuals) openly make fun of, ridicule and speak hatefully about Kim Davis. Behind the scenes, several sources have even revealed the threatening phone calls and other forms of communication that the Davis legal team received.

For people who are constantly trying to tell Christians how to practice their faith (with the whole “judge not lest you be judged” misquotation while at the same time being completely ignorant of the “judge with righteous judgment” teaching), all of this just doesn’t sound very “gay” to me! Or does it?

Reality is, since the beginning of the homosexual movement in America, we have been told that the homosexual community just wants to be tolerated and left alone. That has been their supposed doctrine. But now that the political pendulum has swung the other way the real colors of the rainbow are showing. The movement isn’t about being tolerated. The movement is about forcing others to accept, and even praise, their lifestyle…a lifestyle that was “legalized” by activist judges and not the law of the constitution or the vast majority of the states! What was whispered in the closet is now starting to be shouted on the rooftops.

For anyone who thinks that homosexuality is an innocent and harmless sin, think again. Homosexuality is like any other sin – it is aggressive and it despises righteousness in any form because righteousness will always remind its practitioners of its error no matter how many human judges wink at it; and additionally, it needs the grace of God that teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts so we may live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age (Titus 2:12).

Even though they have their gay marriages, to me it’s no surprise that homosexuals still aren’t happy with anyone who reminds them about the true definition of marriage. Truth is, they won’t be happy until every sense of a “traditional” marriage is changed and the speech that counters their “freedom” is taken away.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:16-19)

#homosexual-agenda, #righteousness, #spiritual-darkness, #spiritual-light

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4-9-2015 What Is Discrimination #4

Solomon said, “a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment, Because for every matter there is a time and judgment” (Ecclesiastes 8:5-6 NKJV). Today, Christians are “those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14 NKJV). Skin color is no basis for discrimination, but a moral decision is! If discrimination against skin is opposed along with discrimination against the immoral, then Solomon “saw under the sun: In the place of judgment, Wickedness was there; And in the place of righteousness, Iniquity was there” (Ecclesiastes 3:16 NKJV). This is “throwing out the baby with the bathwater.”

Throwing out all “discrimination” because some of it is wrong, destroys the difference between ”good and evil.” Jesus said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24 NKJV).

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

#appearance, #discern, #discrimination, #heart, #iniquity, #judge, #judgment, #righteousness, #skin-color, #solomon

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3-4-2015    Can Moses’ Law Save Today?

God’s Word plainly shows no law before Jesus Christ’s Law was intended to save. “For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe” (Galatians 3:21-22 NKJV). The Law of Moses can save no one today, for “if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain” (Galatians 2:21 NKJV). To keep the Law of Moses today, severs one from obedience to Christ. “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4 NKJV). It is either Moses or Christ, but not both! The Gospel saves, not 10 commandments!

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

#10-commandments, #christ, #fallen-away, #gospel, #moses-law, #righteousness, #sever, #sin

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1-30-2015           What Makes Sunday “Super?”

According to Monday’s Toronto (Canada) Sun paper, “It’s back! North America’s annual tribute to chicken wings, expensive commercials, dancing cheerleaders, overhyped halftime shows and – we probably shouldn’t forget this one – the tradition of NFL football takes place this weekend…”

They are right, except the game, itself, is often drab and dull. It’s too bad many millions have forgotten what makes every 1st day of the week, called “Sunday” actually “awesome” – Jesus Christ “Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness–by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24 NKJV). Go above “super,” “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16 NKJV). You’ll never forget it, nor regret it.

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

#awesome, #jesus-christ, #righteousness, #super-bowl

Scripture, Thought and a Prayer on Hypocrisy

Scripture: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.” (Matthew 23:25)

Thought: Who wants to drink from a cup that’s dirty on the outside, or eat off of a plate that has leftover food on the bottom? No one, right? But when it comes to cleanliness, how much good does it do to only wash the outside? We know the answer! And if we know the answer when it comes to dishes, then how much more so do we know the answer when it comes to our soul.

Prayer: Lord, help our righteousness to be right in your sight. Help us to focus on our heart so the things that we do in your name are done because you are in us. Help to us to be holy as you are holy, from the inside out, so we may continue to grow as disciples of your son.

#hypocrisy, #righteousness, #scripture-thought-prayer

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(#192) The Proverbs of Solomon 28:28-Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

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 28:28: “When the wicked arise, men hide themselves; But when they perish, the righteous increase.”

It is a moral world turned upside-down when wickedness rules. It was when “the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5) that God destroyed the entire earth with a flood of water, preserving only the life in Noah’s ark (Genesis 7:11-24; 1 Peter 3:18-22).

God promised to drive out the wicked inhabitants of the land He Promised to the Israelites with this explanation: “Do not think in your heart, after the LORD your God has cast them out before you, saying, ‘Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land’; but it is  because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out from before you” (Deuteronomy 9:4). When the Israelites became wicked, He drove them out of that land and then returned them after 70 years. “Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,’ says the LORD; ‘and I will make it a perpetual desolation” (Jeremiah 25:12); “’They shall be carried to Babylon, and there they shall be until the day that I visit them,’ says the LORD. ‘Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place'” (Jeremiah 27:22). This restoration to that land has already occurred (2 Chronicles 36:15-23; Ezra 1:1-11; Nehemiah 8:1-18)!

Jesus Christ’s Second Coming will see that wickedness is once again destroyed: “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37-39; Acts 17:30-31).

Before Solomon, David had recognized this truth: “The wicked prowl on every side, When vileness is exalted among the sons of men” (Psalm 12:8).

Other proverbs state this, even from the other side: “When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory; But when the wicked arise, men hide themselves” (Proverbs 28:12); “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan” (Proverbs 29:2); “When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases; But the righteous will see their fall” (Proverbs 29:16).

When the wicked rule, the righteous want no part of that administration, and “hide.” However, the righteous must let their voices continue to pray to God for relief, and continue to teach righteousness to all who will hear. Paul reminded the Thessalonians “that our coming to you was not in vain. 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. For our exhortation did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit. But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:1-4), and to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:7).

“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so” (Psalm 107:2), and pray “that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4:3).

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

#bible-study, #god, #promised-land, #proverbs, #restoration-of-israel, #righteous, #righteousness, #second-coming-of-jesus-christ, #wicked, #wickedness

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(#168) The Proverbs of Solomon 24:13-14-How Sweet It Is

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 24:13-14: “My son, eat honey because it is good, And the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste; So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul; If you have found it, there is a prospect, And your hope will not be cut off.”

“Honey” represents a fruitful land, for God promised Israel “a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8; Deuteronomy 8:7-9). It is the sweetest natural substance known to man (Judges 14:18), which brightens up the mind (1 Samuel 14:24-29), but too much at once can overload our body’s system (Proverbs 25:16). Glorifying our own selves is, to our egos, as sickening as too much honey. Proverbs 25:27: It is not good to eat much honey; So to seek one’s own glory is not glory.” Think about this when Harlotwood actors give themselves Academy Awards, the Music Industry gives itself Grammy Awards, and the Broadway Stage professionals give themselves Tony Awards!

Sweeter than honey (better for our souls than honey for our bodies!) are God’s judgments (Psalm 19:9-10) and God’s Word (Ezekiel 3:1-4; Revelation 10:8-11). It is possible, however, to try to understand and do too much at one time. Solomon later will teach: “I have seen everything in my days of vanity: There is a just man who perishes in his righteousness, And there is a wicked man who prolongs life in his wickedness. Do not be overly righteous, Nor be overly wise: Why should you destroy yourself? Do not be overly wicked, Nor be foolish: Why should you die before your time? It is good that you grasp this, And also not remove your hand from the other; For he who fears God will escape them all” (Ecclesiastes 7:15-18). Righteousness is developed by processing the Word of God (John 10:37-38) and obeying it (1 John 3:5-7).

Don’t try to do too much at once, because, as Jesus said, “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34). Begin with: “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.

#bible-study, #honey, #proverbs, #righteousness, #sweeter, #wisdom

SIGNIFICANCE OF A FEW!

Power and significance in outcomes is not always associated with large numbers. God brought some great victories for Israel with just a few. Remember the victory He brought through Gideon with only 300 men. (Judges 7:7-8) Also, prior to entering the promised land, Israel was reminded of what had been done because God had been with them, in that one had been able to chase a thousand and two to have put ten thousand to flight. (Deuteronomy 32:30) This was to be a reminder that with God it mattered not what the count looked like; whether it be few or many.

Let us also remember all it would have taken was the presence of ten righteous souls to have spared the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding cities. (Genesis 18:32) What if Abraham had asked if God would have spared for the sake of four: Lot, his wife, and their two daughters?

Now, consider a focus during the days of the prophet Jeremiah where we read. . .

“(1) Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, look and take note! Search her squares to SEE IF YOU CAN FIND A MAN, ONE WHO DOES JUSTICE AND SEEKS TRUTH, THAT I MAY PARDON HER.” (Jeremiah 5:1 ESV)

The New Living Translation reads, “”Run up and down every street in Jerusalem,” says the LORD. “Look high and low; search throughout the city! IF YOU CAN FIND EVEN ONE JUST AND HONEST PERSON, I WILL NOT DESTROY THE CITY.”” (NLT) Find JUST ONE? Only ONE would have made the difference? How sad that at this time Jerusalem refused to repent and a period of captivity followed.

Consider the significance of OUR OWN LIFE in connection with our trust in God. Regardless of what the world around us might be doing, let us never underestimate the significance of our continued living by God’s standard. Though God has made clear there is a day coming for His judgment (1 Peter 3:10), perhaps — in His patience (2 Peter 3:9) — He is presently sparing the world because He wants our godliness to have more OPPORTUNITY TO INFLUENCE a few more souls around us.

Let us not give up living according to what God has revealed to be right. Those around us need to come to grips with that! With our life lived for Him, His work of sparing souls can still take place. To Him be the glory!

Have a great day BEING ONE FOUND TO BE HONEST AND JUST! – Carl Hanson

“teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Come visit us if in the area. www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org

#christian-living, #christianity, #holy-living, #judgment-of-god, #making-a-difference, #righteousness, #spiritual-influence, #the-power-of-influence