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  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-06-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , false knowledge, , , , , , , , teaching,   

    Studies in the Book of Proverbs #9 

    (#9) God’s Wisdom is Beneficial, Universal, Calming 3:13-26

    Verses 13-18: Wisdom is described as a woman with benefits, who appears to have only good things to bring to a person’s life. The contrast with the “immoral woman” (Proverbs 2:16-22) could not be greater, and should correct those who might think Solomon was against all women! An immoral woman can destroy a man, but Wisdom appearing as a woman can preserve a man. Wisdom makes a man “happy” (verse 13) because she is:

    Profitable (verse 14) beyond possessing silver and gold. A wise life will make money to enjoy (Ecclesiastes 5:19), but a foolish one doesn’t know how to enjoy wealth (Ecclesiastes 6:2).

    Precious (verse 15) beyond rubies, and nothing else is as desirable.

    Prolongs life (verse 16) with her “right hand,” and the main rewards in life (“riches and honor”) in her “left hand.” This shows Wisdom has nothing in her hands but good.

    Pleasant (verse 17) ways and paths of peace, instead of crooked ways and devious paths of the immoral woman. Could Wisdom be more appealing? Who does not look forward to a pleasant life, lived in peace?

    Paradise (verse 18) is where the “tree of life” was when access was lost for all of us by Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:9; 3:22-24; Revelation 2:7). Wisdom will help us find the way back to that tree to live with God.

    Verses 19-20: God’s Creation was designed with such wisdom, that all scientific discoveries are simply the uncovering of the Wisdom of God! The expression, “scientific discoveries” does not include “what is falsely called knowledge” (1 Timothy 6:20), such as Evolution, Global Warming, Global Cooling, ad nauseum. God imbedded “Wisdom” in Creating the earth, itself; God showed “understanding” in making “the heavens” so precisely; God used “knowledge” in Noah’s day when “all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened” (Genesis 7:11). The terms, “wisdom,” “understanding,” “knowledge,”  are not mutually exclusive, but complement each other.

    Verses 21-26: The Wisdom of God inside a heart means there is NO FEAR in life! If we keep focused on sound Wisdom and discretion (good judgment), our life will be with grace (verses 21-22). Instead of blindly falling into sin(s), we can be more sure footed in our way (verse 23). Knowing that God’s Wisdom brings order to Creation, so His Wisdom brings order to our life (verses 24-26). Following God’s Wisdom is better than Benedryl, Lunesta or Ambien! Since the most-prescribed class of drugs in the United States is anti-depressants, God’s Wisdom is sorely needed! Jesus echoed this wise teaching about high anxiety in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:19-34).

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:01 am on 2013-06-19 Permalink | Reply
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    Studies in the Book of Proverbs #8 

    (#8) The Wise Trust God And Improve Their Lives 3:1-12

    Following God’s Wisdom brings out the best qualities in us, as we learn to have total confidence in God’s guidance. Heeding Wisdom will give one:

    Verses 1-2: Longer Life. “My son” is an expression used some 15 times in the first 7 chapters of Proverbs, for it is written as if Solomon is instructing his son. The way to “not forget” law is to “let your heart keep” the commands. This is explained in James 1:21-25 and applied to Christian obedience. Obedience comes from the “heart,” as do all our words (Matthew 12:35-37), sins (Mark 7:21-23), jobs (Ephesians 6:5-8). Blessings promised include “length of days” as in good health, “long life” as in living to old age, and “peace” as assistance to abundance or prosperity. Statistics show that those who regularly go to church live longer.

    Verses 3-4: Better Relations. If “mercy” (feelings for the plight of our fellowmen) and “truth” (factual and accurate knowledge of our, and others’, actions) are written on our heart, we will wear them like jewelry. These two qualities of character are appreciated (“favor and high esteem”) among men and by God. All deep friendships are based upon understanding the friend, and honesty.

    Verses 5-6: Higher Direction. Total trust in God in all our ways is possible because He made us (Genesis 1:26-27), greatly loved us (Ephesians 2:4-7), gave His Son for us (Ephesians 5:1-2). Why should we not believe He wants to help us make the best decisions in our lives? Trust “with all our heart” means we give up our “own understanding” and defer to His direction. It reduces tension to know what to do.

    Verses 7-8: Better Health. To be “wise in your own eyes” is another way of describing “loftiness and arrogance and pride” (Jeremiah 48:29-31), but it takes “fear” (respect, awe) of the LORD, and the desire to “depart from evil” (or leave sinful practices, also known as repentance). By listening to God, we may keep our physical bodies from the dissipation and disease of sins, and live healthier and stronger lives, just as God promised His Israelites (Deuteronomy 15:26). Humility is the way of recognizing realistically our place in this vast world, without hypocrisy.

    Verses 9-10: Better Prosperity.  Thank God first with whatever we prosper, and He will think of us when we prosper. “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). God always has required that giving to Him come before any other consideration, and be freewill (Leviticus 23:37-38).

    Verses 11-12: Better Attitude. A person who wants to be a spiritual “child of God” will accept some things that happen in life as God’s “chastening” (teaching) or “correction” (sometimes hurtful reminders not to stray from the path of good). No parent loves his/her child who will not “correct” (discipline) the child, when needed. These two verses are used to show Christians not to become discouraged at God’s correction, for it proves that God is dealing with them as a child whom He loves (Hebrews 12:3-11).

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 11:35 pm on 2013-06-17 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "show of humility", , , , , , , , , , , teaching   

    God and “The Pope” Agree! 

              According to the “Living faith” section C of The Huntsville Times, Friday, June 14, 2013, the article on Religion & Church News carried an item titled, “NO, I did not want to be Pope.” It was an interview from McClatchy-Tribune that quoted the 3-month-in-office “Pope” of the Roman Catholic Church, Francis, as saying: “’No, I didn’t want to be pope. A person who wants to be pope does not love himself,’ the pontiff added, in a trademark show of humility.’”  Based upon his comments, God would agree that:

    1. Since “Pope” is a Latin term for “father,” and since Jesus Christ forbade anyone using the term “father” as a term for a spiritual leader (Matthew 23:9), then God would agree that Francis should not be “pope!”

    2. Francis “didn’t want to be pope,” a position which is supposed to be the head of the Roman Catholic Church. But the Apostle Paul claimed that “the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:9-11). Since God’s “mighty power” raised Jesus from the dead and “put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23), then God placed Jesus Christ over His church, not a “pope!” Thus, God would agree that He didn’t want Francis to be “pope” over the church!”

    3. Francis said, “A person who wants to be pope does not love himself.” God’s Word has said that, after “the falling away,” “and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), but whose followers would be “among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:10), then Francis must not “love himself” for taking the position of apostasy that God condemns! God would agree that any man who takes such a position “does not love himself” or the truth, either!

    4. Contrary to the article cited above, there is no “trademark show of humility” in anyone who opposes God, sits in God’s temple, or claims to forgive sins which only God can do (Matthew 9:1-8)! Jesus Christ condemned public displays of the Pharisees, which are remarkably like that of a “pope:” “all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues” (Matthew 23:5-6). No “pope” has ever manifested a “trademark show of humility,” while claiming to be equal with God! The real head of the church of Christ, “humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). No “pope” has ever humbled himself to die on a cross for the church of Christ! God would agree that there is no “trademark show of humility” in this, or any other “pope.”

    It’s too bad the “pope” refuses to tell his followers what Jesus said would give salvation in Mark 16:16: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Will this “pope” agree with God?

     
    • Joseph Richardson 3:31 pm on 2013-06-22 Permalink | Reply

      Catholics do believe in Christ and are baptized (and do believe they are saved by that faith).

      • John T. Polk II 4:01 pm on 2013-06-22 Permalink | Reply

        Joseph,
        Believing in Christ includes the fact that He is the only Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), but why, then, do Catholics use Mary as their Mediatrix?
        “Baptism” throughout the New Testament was a “burial” (Romans 6:3-4), but what Catholics are taught that it is an immersion?
        Mark 16:16 is Jesus’ statement concerning salvation, and it is to be defined as His Holy Spirit led the Apostles to write about these factors (John 16:7-13; Jude 3), not as “Roman Catholicism” has changed its terms over the centuries. What “pope” has explained Mark 16:16 with these Scriptures?
        Thank you for reading and replying. Please tell me wherein this answer isn’t helpful.

        • Joseph Richardson 4:32 pm on 2013-06-22 Permalink | Reply

          Hi John, glad to be reading. I reckon you are a neighbor. I’ve grown up in and live in Decatur; I lived in Huntsville for a few years before I moved back here, and consider Huntsville my second home.

          Catholics definitely affirm that Christ is the only Mediator between God and man, as Scripture itself affirms. Mary is a mediator (“mediatrix” is just the Latin feminine) in the sense that she intercedes for us — in the same way we intercede for each other. That’s not the same way Christ is Mediator, in the sacred relationship between the Persons of God in the Trinity — He doesn’t just intercede; He intervenes.

          I could give you a lot of quotes, but then then would be very long. So here’s just a bit:

          There is but one Mediator as we know from the words of the apostle, ‘for there is one God and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a redemption for all. ‘ (1 Tim. 2:5-6) The maternal duty of Mary toward men in no wise obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows His power. (Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church), Second Vatican Council, 1964)

          Regarding Baptism — the Church definitely teaches that immersion is the ideal method. Infusion (pouring) has been practiced in some cases since the very beginning of the Church, probably since Pentecost itself (how else are you going to baptize 3,000 men in a day, and their families?), and continuing to other cases of necessity (being being baptized on their deathbeds and the like). Pouring didn’t really become as common as it is today until the Middle Ages (there are medieval immersion baptisteries all over Europe), but recently more and more Catholic churches are going back to immersion. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

          The essential rite of the sacrament follows: Baptism properly speaking. It signifies and actually brings about death to sin and entry into the life of the Most Holy Trinity through configuration to the Paschal mystery of Christ. Baptism is performed in the most expressive way by triple immersion in the baptismal water. However, from ancient times it has also been able to be conferred by pouring the water three times over the candidate’s head. (CCC 1239)

          According to the Didache, believed to be the oldest Christian document outside the Bible, possibly dated as early A.D. 60 or 70:

          And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19) in living water. But if you have not living water, baptize into other water; and if you can not in cold, in warm. But if you have not either, pour out water thrice upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit.

          I’m not sure what you mean about the Catholic Church changing its terms. But definitely, through Baptism we die with Christ and are buried and born again (Romans 6:3-4, John 3:5); we receive the Holy Spirit and become a part of Christ’s Body (Gal 3:27, 1 Cor 12:13, Eph 4:5).

    • John T. Polk II 1:38 pm on 2013-06-24 Permalink | Reply

      Joseph, you have proven my point: Nothing in the New Testament teaches Roman Catholic doctrine. You claim “Mary is a mediator” who “intercedes for us” but “not the same way Christ is Mediator.” In the New Testament, “mediator” is used of the Prophets Moses (Galatians 3:19-20) and Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:6; 9:15; 12:24), AND NOT ONCE OF MARY, OR CHRISTIANS FOR ONE ANOTHER! Roman Catholicism has had to add Mary as a Mediatrix after God finished writing the New Testament! That explains what you were not sure of when you said: “I’m not sure what you mean about the Catholic Church changing its terms.”
      All of the next quotes you used to establish RC doctrine were written after, and outside of, the New Testament, and therefore are worthless for “the faith” (Jude 3), for it was “once for all delivered to the saints” by the end of the 1st Century. It is meaningless to try to define “the faith” by quoting: (Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church), Second Vatican Council, 1964); The Catechism of the Catholic Church; (CCC 1239); the Didache; none of which are contained inside the New Testament.
      IF, as you say, “Catholics do believe in Christ and are baptized (and do believe they are saved by that faith),” then why would they not simply obey the terms of faith and baptism as described in the New Testament, without any or all of the additions of the Roman Catholic Church? “Baptism,” which itself means “immersion,” was never a sprinkling or pouring in the New Testament. Since immersion was required, the logistics involved on the Day of Pentecost were solved by the Apostles without changing “immersion” into “sprinkling;” and there is no New Testament record of any “being baptized on their deathbeds and the like.”
      By-the-way, you haven’t even begun to deal with my original premise: The office of RC “pope” has no New Testament right to even exist, nor is qualified to be the head of the church of Christ!

  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-06-13 Permalink | Reply
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    Studies in the Book of Proverbs 

    (#4) Listen to Your Parents, not a “Gang!” 1:8-19

    Verses 8-9: The father, whose work may occupy much time, gives “instruction,” while the mother, whose work principally should be family, gives “law.” The assumption here is that both have spiritually agreed to enforce God’s law as best they might, therefore they are not in conflict with each other, nor undermine the other’s authority with the children. This formula is clearly upheld in the Law of Christ (Ephesians 6:1-4). “Human fathers” also chasten us (Hebrews 12:9) and enforce the discipline of teaching. Societies that encourage, sanction, or teach children to ignore and disrespect their parents or to rebel against them, will not long survive. “Single parenting” is not the best way to raise a child. God has planned for both a “father” and a “mother” to be required, and included, in a child’s proper instruction. The highest percentage of poverty in America is found in single-parent homes, mostly where the mother is the single parent! Properly teaching a child is like fine jewelry.

    Verse 10: No one may be misled into sin without consent. Children are “in the wrong crowd” when they haven’t been shown how to recognize “the wrong crowd,” or to refuse to go along with “the wrong crowd,” or taught to conform and give consent to “the wrong crowd.” Parents who let their children be led by peers instead of by rightful parental advice have abdicated their duty and will be held accountable for it. “Sinners” refers to the willfully disobedient, not an occasional sin.

    Verses 11-14: “The wrong crowd” will propose: (vss. 11-12) anything up to the point of murder to gain their advantage; (vs. 13) stealing anything and everything; (vs.14) becoming an equal partner in all matters. There is no clearer description of “gangs,” “brotherhoods,” “mobs,” “cliques,” “unions,” or any other group devoted to violence. It is truly foolish ignorance to join such power associations, and must surely be referred to by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

    Verses 15-19: Such groups are to be avoided by not taking the first step with them (v. 15); for they are always in a hurry to do their evil (v. 16) and ignore the open net of judgment awaiting them (v. 17); the wicked openly seek blood with no prompting (v. 18); those “greedy for gain” (covetous) are so involved in pursuing “gain” they lose their own lives, and others’ lives, if necessary!

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-06-11 Permalink | Reply
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    Studies in the Book of Proverbs 

    (#2) Five Ways A Proverb Helps 1:1-4:

    Just as Jesus explained why He spoke in parables (Matthew 13:10-17), Solomon begins in Proverbs 1:1-4 by explaining why “proverbs” should be understood:

    1. “To know wisdom and instruction”

    God wants us “to know,” that is, to have confidence in helpful information we gain. Certainty is a confidence ignored, minimized, or ridiculed by many in the “Education Profession,” because if pupils are uncertain of what they learn, they’ll keep hiring the “professionals.” But, what makes the “professionals” certain of anything? Teachers of false things emphasize that pupils must be “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:6-7). By contrast, however, there is certainty in God’s Word, for He “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). “Wisdom” may be defined as “learned lessons” which are gained by experience and/or study, either or both of which are easier when God interprets it. “Instruction” refers to the “discipline of teaching” or the “how to” manual. All three of these mean someone whose life follows God’s insight by obeying His instructions, will have certainty in the outcome!

    2. “To perceive the words of understanding”

    Perception is a clear vision of the words of understanding. “Understanding” is horse sense or common sense. Though often missing, it is obvious when it is! Duh!

    3. “To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity”

    These first three are how wisdom is obtained: “know,” “perceive,” “receive.” When a teacher gives out proper information, good pupils accept it. Since no one can live long enough to experience everything, “wisdom” is learned either by one’s own experiences, or someone else’s. God’s insight into human behavior cannot be excelled, for it is absolutely accurate. “Justice” is what is right; “judgment” is awareness of responsibility for action(s); “equity” is evenness or consistency.

    4. “To give prudence to the simple”

    “Prudence” is the use of good judgment. “Simple,” once a virtue meaning “honest, without complexity,” in this Book, carries the idea of one who refuses to complicate life with any advice or instruction from God or man! “Simple,” “scorner,” “fool” are interchangeable in the Book of Proverbs (1:22). The “simple” refuse to look ahead with foresight, or judgment based upon consequences.

    5. “To the young man knowledge and discretion”

    “The young man” signifies inexperience, one subject to learning the hard way. “Knowledge” is beneficial information acquired by observation and study. “Discretion” is respect for what is appropriate, or the modesty of good judgment.

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-06-10 Permalink | Reply
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    Studies in the Book of Proverbs 

    (#1) What are “Proverbs?”

    “Proverbs” (Hebrew “mashal”) which means “dominant meaning,” but which may not be obvious unless it is pointed out. The New Testament word “parable” means “cast alongside” so that a fact of life helps illustrate a spiritual truth. The English word “proverb” (John 10:6; 16:25) carries the sense of “original, deeper meaning.”  The first time the word occurs (Numbers 21:27), the first proverb made (I Samuel 10:12), the first proverb of experience quoted (1 Samuel 24:13), all speak of observation(s) of life.

    Jesus Christ is known for teaching in “parables” (Matthew 13:3-53), which are true statements of life that illustrate a spiritual truth from God. Parables needed an explanation “because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand” (Matthew 13:13). In Matthew 7:21-27, Jesus divided the human race between those who hear and obey (“wise”), and those who do not (“fools”). “Proverbs” are true statements of human behavior that are explained by the God Who made us. Solomon divided the human race between those who hear and understand (“wise”), and those who do not (“fools”).

    Though Solomon “spoke three thousand proverbs” (1 Kings 4:32), those that have been written down are in Proverbs 1:1-29:27; Ecclesiastes; and Song of Solomon. Of about 915 proverbs, Solomon wrote about 800, many in the Book of Proverbs (Proverbs 1:1; 10:1; 25:1). In 1 Kings 3:5-15, Solomon had asked God for “an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil” (verse 9), which God granted (verse 12), and that made Solomon the wisest man in the history of mankind, until Jesus Christ, “a greater than Solomon” (Matthew 12:42).

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:09 am on 2013-05-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , judgment in writing, , , , , teaching   

    Psalm 149 The God Who Will Not Be Conquered 

    These last 5 Psalms (146-150) are called “Hallelujah Psalms” because they begin and end with that expression: “Praise – Jehovah,” or “Hallelujah.” The author, date, and setting of each Psalm are undetermined, but their acceptance is unquestioned.

    Verses 1-5 call for God’s People to praise Him for victory;

    Verses 6-9 call for praise and defeat of their enemies.

    Verses 1-5: (Verse 1) “A new song” indicates a “new heart,” celebrating a “new victory,” and a “new life.” “The assembly of the saints” is a worship service, where “God is greatly to be feared” (Psalm 89:7). In America, every time there is disaster, trouble, destruction, criminal death, or missing person, there is some candlelight “coming together.” When Peter was kept in prison with the intent of killing him, the church of Christ gathered for prayer (Acts 12:12), not candles! (Verse 2) The people, Israel, especially their religious center, Zion, should rejoice with (verse 3) “dance” and “timbrel and harp,” just as their forefathers had done when God parted the Red Sea for them to escape Egypt and be their own Nation (Exodus 14:21-15:21). (Verse 4) God’s “pleasure” is in His People, who develop beautiful, spiritual character. (Verse 5) “Saints” should be joyful, even on “their beds,” formerly places of sorrow.

    Verses 6-9: (Verse 6) While praising God with their “mouth,” “And a two-edged sword in their hand.” This sounds like the Israelites re-building the wall of Jerusalem when they were returned to their Promised Land (Nehemiah 4:17). Apparently, there was no “gun control” then! A dis-armed people can do nothing against the enemies of God! (Verse 7) “Bearing the sword” in “vain” (meaninglessly), or using the power of the sword against “good works,” violates God’s intended purpose for “governing authorities” (Romans 13:1-5). Today, Christians are to praise God while Government uses the sword to be “God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Romans 13:4).

    (Verse 8) God’s government, acting as His minister, defeats evil. (Verse 9) God’s “judgment” in writing was: “When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, and when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them” (Deuteronomy 7:1-2). Today, the “sword of the Spirit” in a Christian hand, “is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17), and the “nations,” “peoples,” “kings,” and “nobles” must be conquered by teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20). Since Jesus Christ established His spiritual kingdom on Earth in the 1st Century, there has been NO “Christian carnal war” waged against Muslims, Jews, or anyone else, for that matter, and therefore NO justification for persecuting the churches of Christ! All of those who persecute Christians, even to death, are persecuting Jesus (Acts 9:1-5), and, unless they repent, He will damn them forever (2 Thessalonians 1:3-10)!

    “Praise the LORD!”

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:20 am on 2013-04-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , hyphenated "Christians", , teaching,   

    Psalm 133 Unity of Brethren 

    There is uncertainty regarding the author, time, or circumstances of these Psalms, but it is apparent Psalms 120-134 work together, and are called the “Songs of Degrees,” and sometimes “Songs of Ascension.” This Psalm is attributed to David.

    Verse 1 pictures a “good” thing;

    Verses 2-3 illustrate what it is “like.”

    Verse 1: It is “good and pleasant” “For brethren to dwell together in unity!” One of the most satisfying sights is to see “unity” form from many, the very Latin phrase for the United Stated (e pluribus unum). Every hyphenated American has rejected this motto. All hyphenated “Christians” have missed entirely the New Testament teaching. Those who obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15-16) are “baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13), and are called “Christians” (Acts 11:26). There are no kinds of Christians in the New Testament. When Paul and Barnabas went their separate ways, it was because of a conflict of judgment, not over doctrine (Acts 15:36-40). “Unity,” however, doesn’t mean brethren must stay on top of each other, for there are plenty in the world who need the Gospel. “The unity of the Spirit” includes “the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3), and narrowness in doctrine (Ephesians 4:4-6).

    Verse 2: Brethren’s “unity” shows how obedience to God’s teaching sanctifies (devotes, dedicates), just like, under Moses’ Law, Aaron was dedicated with  anointing oil (Leviticus 8:10-12).

    Verse 3: “Unity” of brethren reminds us that the unifying doctrine originates with God, not men (James 3:13-18), just like looking at Mount Hermon’s “dew” which settles “upon the mountains of Zion.”

    Thought: “Unity” is not a goal, it is a product of obeying the same doctrine (Galatians 3:26-29; 1 John 1:5-7). No “Unity Forum” can unite better than, or equally with, plain preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:54 am on 2013-04-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , teaching, weaned child   

    Psalm 131 What It Means To “Grow Up” 

    There is uncertainty regarding the author, time, or circumstances of these Psalms, but it is apparent Psalms 120-134 work together, and are called the “Songs of Degrees,” and sometimes “Songs of Ascension.” This Psalm is attributed to David, but also could have been written about David, for it seems to express his child-like humility before God.

    Verse 1 defines humility;

    Verse 2 describes contentment;

    Verse 3 distributes this among his countrymen.

    Verse 1: “LORD, my heart is not haughty.” Humility is not downgrading oneself, but accepting oneself in view of God. “Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility” (Proverbs 18:12). “By humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches and honor and life” (Proverbs 22:4).

    “Nor my eyes lofty.” The way up is down, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Paul taught Christians “to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men” (Titus 3:2). Moses was humble (Numbers 12:3), but God can: “Exalt the humble, and humble the exalted” (Ezekiel 21:26). Every person is a “creature” needing the Gospel (Mark 16:15-16).

    “Neither do I concern myself with great matters…Nor with things too profound for me.” “Great matters” are out of my control, and “profound” things are above my head. In other words, everything in this world doesn’t need everybody’s opinion! Facebook or Tweet that! This is not a “head-in-the-sand” approach to life, but a realization that all matters may not be our personal concern. Probably this verse is in the Law of Jesus Christ in Romans 12:16: “Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.”

    Verse 2: “A weaned child” has made the transition from suckling to satisfied.  Comfort in the mother’s breast is no longer also the child’s sustaining food. “A weaned child” has learned that life is no longer dependent upon mother alone. The process of maturing has progressed. To be a Christian, one must be “converted and become as little children, [or else] you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). Then spiritual progress in the faith is expressed by Peter: “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1 Peter 2:1-3). Many who do not become Christians have refused the humility of repentance and baptism “in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Many of those who have become Christians have refused to be “weaned” from the “milk” of the Word of God. “For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 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 5:13-14). Spiritual growth is stunted without study.

    Verse 3: “O Israel, hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever.” This is a challenge for David’s brethren to move forward in their faith. The church of Christ is thus challenged: “We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel” (Colossians 1:3-5).

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:26 am on 2013-04-10 Permalink | Reply
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    Psalm 127 Living in a Safe House 

    There is uncertainty regarding the author, time, or circumstances of these Psalms, but it is apparent Psalms 120-134 work together, and are called the “Songs of Degrees,” and sometimes “Songs of Ascension.” This one is attributed to Solomon.

    Verses 1-2 describe a Safe House is the Lord’s House;

    Verses 3-5 describe a family in a Safe House.

    Verses 1-2: (Verse 1) Since this is credited to Solomon who had built God’s House (the Temple in Jerusalem, 1 Kings 5:1-5), this naturally fits. Moses’ “house” was the family of Israelites under Moses’ Law: “And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end” (Hebrews 3:5-6). Today the “household of God” (1 Timothy 3:15) is the church of Christ, thus the application would be that it is useless to establish any other church, or claim to be a part of the church of Christ, unless one goes all the way by obeying all of what God demands (Acts 2:36-47). Jesus said: “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men'” (Matthew 15:7-9). Since the “home” must be established upon the heterosexual love relationship in a marriage (Genesis 2:18-24; Matthew 19:4-6), then all attempts to build a family (house) based upon homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality is “in vain.” The same applies to Solomon’s Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:7-9), and every other city that has no foundation of faith in God! There is no purpose in building a house without God, and the sleepless watchman of a city is useless “unless the LORD guards the city.” There is no security in a church, home, or city, without God’s blessing. (Verse 2) It is “vain” (useless) to get up for work early, sit up late, suffering for food, when God is blessing. Diligence is good, as Solomon said: “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent makes rich” (Proverbs 10:4).    Solomon also said: “The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22). Jesus, the wisest Man of all, said: “The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22).

    Verses 3-5: (Verse 3) There is no greater tribute to the blessing of a child than these verses. First, children are a “heritage” (inheritance) from God. There is no godly way to decide to have an abortion. The miniscule percentage of women whose lives would be in jeopardy should they birth the baby inside them in no way justifies the bloodthirsty, murderous, savage, brutal, sacrificing of human lives called “abortion.” (Verse 4) Second, children of our youthful years become a parent’s strength to endure, like arrows arming a warrior. Parents are people God is preparing to “take on” the struggle of life. (Verse 5) Third, the man should be “happy” because of his responsibility of fatherhood.  His children, unashamed by his duties common to man have his guidance that helps them to be able to take leadership in civic matters, as well. Good parenting affects the future, also.

    Thought:  Males who won’t commit to the responsibility of producing a child with their own marriage spouse, should never be given the opportunity by any female. Females who encourage or accept males as sires and not permanently married mates, are reducing child-bearing to an animal level. Having children without marriage is ugly, degrading, deceptive, and destructive, and should never be judged lightly.

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:24 am on 2013-03-29 Permalink | Reply
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    Psalm 119:169-176 Tau Speaking to God – Hearing His Word 

    It is fitting that the greatest tribute to the Word of God is IN the Word of God, itself, and is in the longest chapter of the Word of God! This Psalm has no author’s name, historical incident, or other distraction from its theme. It is divided into 22 sections (one for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet), each consisting of 8 lines, each line beginning with the alphabet letter of that section (aleph is the first letter of each line under the aleph section, for instance). The chapter uses some 8-10 different words to describe the Word of God, each bringing something extra to the total picture of the Word of Truth. In order to savor the depth and richness of teaching in this Psalm, we will examine each portion as if it were its own chapter.

    Psalm 119:169-176  Tau                       Speaking to God – Hearing His Word

    Verses 169-172 give the connection from my mouth to God’s ear;

    Verses 173-176 summarize God’s blessings from the Word.

    Verses 169-172: (Verse 169) The only concern expressed is that the believer will be heard; the only thing asked for with this “cry” is for “understanding,” is this not what Solomon later will do? (1 Kings 3:5-14) (Verse 170) “Supplication” is presenting sincere needs and asking that something be done; “deliverance” is the blessing asked for that is described in God’s Word. (Verse 171) Coming from “my lips” indicates a heart full of lessons from God’s “statutes” (words marking out the right way). Jesus later would say: “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things” (Matthew 12:34-35). (Verse 172) Just as a healthy tree bursts forth with signs of life; a bird sings when it shares its life; a flower shares its color and fragrance; a believer full of the “righteousness” of God’s “commands” cannot be silent. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:16-17).

    Verses 173-176: (Verse 173) Choosing God’s “precepts” (words that superintend our way) will cause a believer to reach out for God’s leadership. (Verse 174) “Longing” (continuing desire) for God’s “salvation,” means the method of obtaining it is a “delight.” Wanting to be saved is not enough, a person must enjoy obeying God to reach for it. “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:21-22). Since baptism into Christ is the moment of salvation (1 Peter 3:21), it is a delightful response for one who longs to be saved. (Verse 175) Knowing how perfect God’s “judgments” have always been, the soul blessed by God with physical and spiritual life “praises” God for all of these. (Verse 176) All of us can, and probably will, “go astray” by wandering off “like a lost sheep.” Most of us sin without intending to violate God’s Will, but by simply becoming too focused upon what we are doing at the time, and not paying attention to what should be important. God “seeks” “servants,” in other words, those who seek Him. “The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him” (Lamentations 3:25). “Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).

    Thought: By using different words to convey facets of God’s Word, its brilliance is better than any gemstone, diamond, or other precious jewelry. Psalm 119 shows that the Word of God is not a “dead book,” but bursting with life that brings to life any soul that has been numbed, deadened, or abused by the world. God’s Word brings from us a zest for life, enjoyment of life, and praise for the Giver of life!

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

     
    • preachercarter 10:34 am on 2013-03-30 Permalink | Reply

      Your closing statement rings very true. God’s Word is not dead rather His Word (that is the personification of God) lives in all that choose to honour His, well, Word.

    • John T. Polk II 11:39 am on 2013-03-30 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for your agreement. Truly, Jesus Christ is the Word of God in the flesh Who has shown all men what it means to follow Him (Titus 2:11-12; Mark 16:15-16). Feel free to visit our church website for further Bible studies. Please contact me if you have any questions or comments.

  • John T. Polk II 4:33 am on 2013-03-22 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , redeem, , teaching, ,   

    Psalm 119:129-136 Pe Why The Word Is Wonderful 

    It is fitting that the greatest tribute to the Word of God is IN the Word of God, itself, and is in the longest chapter of the Word of God! This Psalm has no author’s name, historical incident, or other distraction from its theme. It is divided into 22 sections (one for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet), each consisting of 8 lines, each line beginning with the alphabet letter of that section (aleph is the first letter of each line under the aleph section, for instance). The chapter uses some 8-10 different words to describe the Word of God, each bringing something extra to the total picture of the Word of Truth. In order to savor the depth and richness of teaching in this Psalm, we will examine each portion as if it were its own chapter.

    Psalm 119:129-136  Pe                                 Why The Word Is Wonderful

    Verses 129-131 give admiration for God’s Word;

    Verses 132-135 make humble requests for God’s help;

    Verse 136 shows concern for those who haven’t appreciated God’s Word.

    Verses 129-131: (Verse 129) God’s “testimonies” (words describing and manifesting God’s character) are “wonderful” (wonder-full, brilliant, captivating), therefore “my soul keeps them.” We are drawn to that which fascinates us: Moses to a burning bush (Exodus 3:1-3); Jesus’ power over afflictions (Matthew 15:29-38); multitude on Pentecost hearing Jesus preached in their own languages by the Holy Spirit’s power (Acts 2:1-11); the man born lame “walking, leaping and praising God” (Acts 3:1-11); Peter’s vision of life without prejudice (Acts 10:9-17). Our rapt attention should be centered in God’s Word. (Verse 130) The Bible is the gradual unfolding of the revelation of God. A light turned on in the darkness draws attention not to the light, but to what can now be seen. There is no surprise, therefore, when Scripture’s “light” enters the darkened soul, and gives “understanding to the simple.” (Verse 131) A soul struggling to be free from the entanglements of sin, trying to be distant from temptations, fighting the influence of ungodliness, “pants” (gasps, gulps) for God’s “commandments” (words authorizing the path to follow).

    Verses 132-135: Having expressed how much God’s Word means, it is appropriate to ask for help from God. It is in His Word we learn that: (Verse 132) He looks mercifully as His “custom is toward those who love” His “name.” God’s habit is always to be merciful to lovers of His name. (Verse 133) His Word “directs” (guides, leads) our “steps,” so that “iniquity” (having no right value) has no “dominion” over us. Obeying God’s Word does not keep on from single sins, but from sinful practices becoming habitual, the thoughts of Jesus (John 8:34) and John (1 John 3:4-8). (Verse 134) He “redeems” (frees, ransoms) the obedient “from the oppression” that comes from “man,” so that we “may keep Your precepts” (words highlighting what is right). Jesus Christ “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14). “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5). (Verse 135) Since “God is light” (1 John 1:5) He brightens the way of all who are willing to be taught His “statutes” (words marking the right and the wrong way).

    Verse 136: The Word of God is so full of wonder, the obedient weep because the God of love, mercy, salvation, and comfort is ignored by those who need Him most; and because the souls yet burdened down with the toils, tears, troubles, and terrors of sin haven’t seen the wonders of The Word, The God, The Christ. “Jesus wept” (John 11:35) for you and me, and so should every Christian.

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 5:48 am on 2013-03-21 Permalink | Reply
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    Psalm 119:121-128 Ayin Justice In The Word 

    It is fitting that the greatest tribute to the Word of God is IN the Word of God, itself, and is in the longest chapter of the Word of God! This Psalm has no author’s name, historical incident, or other distraction from its theme. It is divided into 22 sections (one for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet), each consisting of 8 lines, each line beginning with the alphabet letter of that section (aleph is the first letter of each line under the aleph section, for instance). The chapter uses some 8-10 different words to describe the Word of God, each bringing something extra to the total picture of the Word of Truth. In order to savor the depth and richness of teaching in this Psalm, we will examine each portion as if it were its own chapter.

    Psalm 119:121-128  Ayin                               Justice In The Word           

    Verses 121-123 describe a righteous person before God;

    Verses 124-125 make a request of God;

    Verse 126 asks God to help with the godless;

    Verses 127-128 mention good things God’s Word does for the obedient.

    Verses 121-123: (Verse 121) Keeping covenant with God, man’s part is not a statement from pride (Luke 18:9-14), but from a clear conscience (1 John 3:21), and asks God to keep His part: not to abandon the obedient among “oppressors;” (Verse 122) guarantee His “servant’s” goodness; relief from the oppression of the “proud.” (Verse 123) Mention is made of a servant’s diligence with tired eyes searching God’s “righteous word” (statements which make clear what God expects).

    Verse 124-125: (Verse 124) Obedience to God justly brings the hope of “mercy” in one willing to be taught God’s “statutes” (words that trace around to make clear). (Verse 125) A “servant” of God will be given “understanding” (insight, comprehension) “to know” God’s “testimonies” (proof of His good character). “Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things” (2 Timothy 2:7). “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).

    Verse 126: (Verse 126) The “proud” are those who think God’s “law” (words that make a straight path) is empty of force. Maybe God will choose to do something promptly that turns the godless back to the Bible.

    Verses 127-128: (Verse 127) Because of the straight path, clear law, hopeful promises, and God’s character, His “commandments” (words authorizing or forbidding conduct) deserve: our greatest bond (“love”), our highest esteem (“more than fine gold”), and (Verse 128) our purest judgment (“all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right”). We, therefore, accept God’s justice and “hate every false way.” God’s command to “Hate evil, love good” (Amos 5:15) is repeated for Christians in Romans 12:9: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.” Thanks to God and His Word, there is no confusion as to which is which!

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:39 am on 2013-03-19 Permalink | Reply
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    Psalm 119:105-112 Nun The Light In The Tunnel 

    It is fitting that the greatest tribute to the Word of God is IN the Word of God, itself, and is in the longest chapter of the Word of God! This Psalm has no author’s name, historical incident, or other distraction from its theme. It is divided into 22 sections (one for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet), each consisting of 8 lines, each line beginning with the alphabet letter of that section (aleph is the first letter of each line under the aleph section, for instance). The chapter uses some 8-10 different words to describe the Word of God, each bringing something extra to the total picture of the Word of Truth. In order to savor the depth and richness of teaching in this Psalm, we will examine each portion as if it were its own chapter.

     Psalm 119:105-112  Nun                      The Light In The Tunnel    

    Verse 105 shows what God’s Word provides;

    Verses 106-112 show how God’s Word helps.

    Verse 105: God’s “word” (message of instruction) provides “a lamp” for “my feet” (which represents specific action). Lamps usually provide illumination in dark situations. “A light” (usually associated with day) to “my path” (which represents constant course of conduct).

    Verses 106-112: GOD’S WORD HELPS US: (Verse 106) KEEP OUR PROMISES. With the respect as in a court of law, God’s “righteous judgments” (always right decisions) prevail, and people must swear and confirm to keep them. “For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute” (Hebrews 6:16), but God accepts a person’s oath seriously: “Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2). (Verse 107) RENEW EFFORTS IN AFFLICTION. When “affliction” (stress, depression, strife, conflict, pain) grows in effect to “very much,” we need to be “revived” (by reconsidering our responsibility before God). (Verse 108) GIVE FERVENT WORSHIP. “Freewill offerings of my mouth” are our prayers, songs, and teaching centered upon God and His Will for us. If worship is begrudging, forced, intimidated, or coerced, it is NOT “freewill.” “Therefore by Him [Jesus] let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Hebrews 13:15-16). (Verse 109) MAKE GOD’S WILL MY WILL. No plainer statement is ever made about the freewill nature of humans than: “My life is continually in my hand.” That means no one makes us do anything we do not choose to do, for our decisions come from within our hearts (Proverbs 4:3; Matthew 5:8; Mark 7:20-23). Since God’s “law” (words showing the straight path) must always govern our way, we must never “forget” it. (Verse 110) STAY ON COURSE. The “wicked” are all who “have laid a snare for me,” but the faithful are those who “have not strayed from” God’s “precepts” (words highlighting what is pure). “Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught” (Proverbs 3:25-26). (Verse 111) ENJOY GOD’S CHARACTER. “Testimonies” about God are His dealings with mankind from His Word, and the promise of Heaven is “a heritage forever.” In Christ, we are “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light” (Ephesians 1:12). We are “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). (Verse 112) KEEP LOOKING UP. An “incline” is designed to go upward, so God’s “statutes” (words marking out our limits) lift us heavenward if we “perform” them. “Forever, to the very end” shows we should leave this life actively serving God. Eternity is determined, not by the height of the pile of good works or absolute purity we have attained, but the direction we are going when we die! “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me” (Philippians 3:12).

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:08 am on 2013-03-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , hate every false way, , , , refrain from sin, teaching   

    Psalm 119:97-104 Mem What “I Have” From The Word 

    It is fitting that the greatest tribute to the Word of God is IN the Word of God, itself, and is in the longest chapter of the Word of God! This Psalm has no author’s name, historical incident, or other distraction from its theme. It is divided into 22 sections (one for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet), each consisting of 8 lines, each line beginning with the alphabet letter of that section (aleph is the first letter of each line under the aleph section, for instance). The chapter uses some 8-10 different words to describe the Word of God, each bringing something extra to the total picture of the Word of Truth. In order to savor the depth and richness of teaching in this Psalm, we will examine each portion as if it were its own chapter.

    Psalm 119:97-104 Mem                         What “I Have” From The Word

    Verse 97 expresses total devotion to God’s Word;

    Verses 98-102 give advantages from learning God’s Word;

    Verses 103-104 show the blessings keep coming.

    Verse 97: The love of our life cannot be shunted aside.  “Oh, how I love” (the extent of love); God’s “law” (words showing the right way)—object of love; it has become our “meditation” (main thought)—evidence of love. The “love of the truth” saves our soul (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

    Verses 98-102: (Verse 98) God’s “commandments” (words to obey) “make me wiser than my enemies” because obeying God shows a greater grasp of what life should be. (Verse 99) “Meditating” (thinking through) upon God’s “testimonies” (words witnessing God’s character) gives more “understanding” (practical explanation) than “all my teachers.” Jesus had it (Luke 2:41-47). Teachers may convey information; God’s Word explains how that impacts our own hearts. (Verse 100) God’s “precepts” (instructions to govern conduct) can guide us better than “ancients” (older people) can with their experiences. We may learn from others’ mistakes, but God’s Word can help us see those mistakes coming up in our lives. (Verse 101) To “keep” (obey) God’s “word” (expressions of His Will), we steer clear away from “every evil way.” “I have restrained” shows that it is a personal decision of will to avoid sin, hence, John wrote: “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18). (Verse 102) God’s “judgments” (decisions about right and wrong) are so impressive, that one who loves them would not want to depart from them. “Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:1-2).

    Verses 103-104: (Verse 103) To know, understand, and obey God’s Word, is to know, understand, and accept the sweetest flavor that can be given to a life. It’s sweeter to a soul than honey is to the mouth! (Verse 104) It is through (and only through) God’s “precepts” (words that point out, highlight, the right way) we gain “understanding” (a grasp of life, breath, all things), and that no “false way” is for good. One cannot love God’s Word without hating everything that would adversely affect that love.

    Thought: By thoroughly immersing oneself into the Word of God (the Bible), one has more: understanding than one’s enemies, teachers, or elders; control over sin(s); and the greatest happiness life can give. Nothing known to mankind offers better.

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

     
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