VOTD: 1 Kings 20.11 ‘Should not boast’

“The king of Israel replied, ‘Tell him the one who puts on his battle gear should not boast like one who is taking it off.'”

1 Kings 20.11

Within the story of the war between Syria and Israel, great ironies lie in Ahab’s phrase.

What truths in this phrase apply to Christians?

#boasting #VOTD #victory

VOTD: Romans 12.21 ‘Overcome with good’

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Romans 12.21

Evil is prevalent, but not overpowering.

How is goodness the superior force?

#evil, #goodness, #victory, #votd

5-30-2016 An Annual Memorial

Memorial Day started as Decoration Day for the graves of those who died in the War Between The States.  It became a federal holiday in 1971.  Remembering the war dead each year should remind us how precious is our national Freedom.  Have you noticed, there is no “memorial day” for enemies?  David reminded Israel, “O enemy, destructions are finished forever! And you have destroyed cities; Even their memory has perished” (Psalm 9:6 NKJV).  It has become devoted to baseball games, racing, grilling, and traveling.  For Christians, the Lord’s Supper is to “proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26 NKJV) every “first day of the week” (Acts 20:7 NKJV), which keeps it fresh!  We don’t decorate Christ’s grave, we celebrate His victory, and ours: “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4 NKJV).

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

#christs-grave, #freedom, #lords-supper, #memorial-day, #victory

Who is on the watch?

In his book Christian Devotion, John Baillie recalls winter evenings of blackout during World War II in which he reread a good many books growing out of the previous war. One of them posed the questions: “Who really won the war for us?” “What kind of man was he?”

Discussion led to the answer that “he was a plain man awake all night in a ditch.” Professor Baillie adds as comment, a confession of faith: “Is that not the kind of man who by the grace of God will always win the battle of life—a plain man on the watch?”

—John Baillie, Christian Devotion (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1976.)

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 – But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 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. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day, by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock, Warner Robins church of Christ, Warner Robins, Georgia

#victory, #vigilance, #watchfulness

(#112) The Proverbs of Solomon 16:19-Victory Is For The Lowly

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 16:19: “Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud.”

The way “up” is “down.” No one will ever enter Heaven by self-elevation, but by lowliness of heart in serving the Lord. Jesus warned of seeking the best seats without earning the respect of others: “So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: ‘When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, “Give place to this man,” and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, “Friend, go up higher.” Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:7-11).

“Dividing the spoil” is what is done by the proud, following a victory. Serving with the lowly means more than only counting the victories. Many World War II military veterans seem to recount more memories of their shared struggles with fellow-soldiers than they do the campaigns and victories.

Going to Heaven is not for the “proud,” and there will be no “spoil” to share. We must serve God on Earth before we can enjoy the blessedness of Heaven. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith” (1 John 5:4). “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Being of “a humble spirit” will put one in the best company on Earth. The lowly Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem in the last week of His life on earth (Matthew 21:1-9) in complete fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9). Jesus invites all who will become lowly in heart to follow Him: “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). Christians are those who will follow the lowly Jesus: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20-21). As Christians, we must conduct ourselves with the attitude of our Master: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Philippians 2:3).

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

#bible-study, #humble-spirit, #jesus-christ, #lowly, #obedience, #proud, #proverbs, #salvation, #victory

(#72) The Proverbs of Solomon 13:19-What’s Your “Sweet” Spot?

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 13:19: “A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul, But it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil.”

Waiting and anticipation heighten the satisfaction of any desire (Proverbs 13:12), and when hard work and persistence are finally rewarded, the human soul responds with that “sweet” feeling. Interesting, isn’t it, how “sweet” is still the term for something pleasing? Whether it’s personal victory over affliction or illness, national victory over oppressive enemies, spiritual victory over the Devil, that “sweetness” is better than any other moment. Moments connected with God’s blessings like these are highlights in a person’s life: marriage as God would have it (Ephesians 5:33), intimate love (1 Corinthians 7:2-5), a baby’s birth (John 16:21), being born again in baptism (1 Peter 3:21-22), restoring a fallen brother to Christ (James 5:19-20). “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward” (Hebrews 11:24-26).

No one in sin, or using sins as an artificial sweetener, can ever experience such sweetness of soul, hence, they consider it “abomination” “to depart from evil.” They are driven further into sin by their bitterness and hatred of “the life of God.” “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, 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; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:17-19). Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). A sinner must “deny” that the way of righteousness is an “abomination,” and ask “Lord, what do You want me to do?” (Acts 9:6), and hear Jesus’ answer: “”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.

#achievement, #bible-study, #christian-living, #desire, #jesus-christ, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #salvation, #sin, #sweet-moments, #sweetness-of-soul, #victory

Psalm 76

Vs. 1-3 mention the place of the victory;

Vs. 4-6 describe the strength of the victory;

Vs. 7-12 point the praise to the Power behind the victory.

There seems to be consesus that this Psalm was written concerning the invasion of Judah and attack on Jerusalem by Assyrian King, Sennacherib (2 Kings 18-19; Isaiah 37:1-38) in Hezekiah’s day. This Psalm is one of victory by God’s power, not man.

Verses 1-3: Isaiah 37:31-33 seem to form the outline for these verses in the Psalm. God’s reputation is great in: (verse 1) Judah (the Southern Kingdom), Israel (the Northern Kingdom), (verse 2) Salem (the chosen city, Jerusalem, where the “tabernacle” was built), Zion (the Holy mount upon which the tabernacle dwelt). In verse 3, we find the thought of Isaiah 37:33: it is impossible to shoot broken arrows, protect with broken shields, or attack with broken swords!

Verses 4-6: God distinguished His Mount above all other mounts (verse 4). With the Assyrian weapons broken, they were “plundered,” put in the “sleep” of death, and their hands were idled (verse 5). Verse 6 shows the suddenness and completeness with which “the angel of the LORD” killed 185,000 Assyrians.

Verses 7-12: God has distinguished Himself above all “gods” (verse 7), because “God arose to judgment” like no other “god” could (verses 8-9). “All the oppressed of the earth,” in this historical setting, referred to all of God’s People back then who had suffered in the invasion of Assyria. Since “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20), then man’s wrath can only bring a response from God that will defeat it. God’s righteousness wins over man’s wrath every time! What’s left over of man’s wrath only strengthens God’s resolve to defeat it (verse 10). Vows of obedience should only be made to God, but must be kept (verse 11; Ecclesiastes 5:4-6), and “presents” of sacrifice belong only to God! To “cut off the spirit of princes” is to use an expression for a gardener or farmer to sever the harvest from its plant (verse 12)! One may now understand why the description is given in Revelation 14:14-20 to show God’s wrath harvesting those who persecuted Christians before the Destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. When Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, God “seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:20-21). Truly, “there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1), and can be brought down by God (Ezekiel 31:18).

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

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #defeat, #faith, #god, #victory