6-15-2017 Take It To The Streets

Violence in the streets is of great concern to puzzled survivors. But, there is no amount of discussions, panels, candles, demonstrations or government intervention that can deal with the problem. The problem is sin and evil, but without God’s explanation and guidance, no one can help. When sin had entered the world, Cain killed his brother, Abel, because he “was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous” (1 John 3:12 NKJV). Preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ gives evil sinners an opportunity to change their lives for good. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16 NKJV).
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#evil-works, #streets, #violence

2-17-2017 Fighting God

“When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to see the business that is done on earth, even though one sees no sleep day or night, then I saw all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. For though a man labors to discover it, yet he will not find it; moreover, though a wise man attempts to know it, he will not be able to find it(Ecclesiastes 8:16-17 NKJV). If Solomon, the wisest man of the Old Testament, did not know everything God does on Earth, what makes us think we can? God proved “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses” (Daniel 4:32 NKJV). Those who have only hatred and violence for the elected officials are fighting against God! If not, why not?

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

#elected-officials, #hatred, #violence

5-20-2016 Daily Christianity

Jesus “said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me’” (Luke 9:23 NKJV).  Jesus taught disciples to pray, “Give us day by day our daily bread.’” (Luke 11:3 NKJV).  In His final week before crucifixion, Jesus “was teaching daily in the temple” (Luke 19:47 NKJV).  To every creature, Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16 NKJV).  Scripture promised, “the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47 NKJV).  Christians followed Jesus because “daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:42 NKJV).  Obeying Christ gives someone “daily” work–not “gangs,” “drugs,” or “violence!”

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

#christianity, #daily, #drugs, #gangs, #violence

4-21-2016 Take It To The Streets

Violence in the streets is of great concern to puzzled survivors.  But, there is no amount of discussions, panels, candles, demonstrations or government intervention that can deal with the problem.  The problem is sin and evil, but without God’s explanation and guidance, no one can help.  When sin had entered the world, Cain killed his brother, Abel, because he “was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous” (1 John 3:12 NKJV).  Preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ gives evil sinners an opportunity to change their lives for good.  Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16 NKJV).

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

#evil, #gospel, #sin, #violence

4-29-2015 Street Crime

David prayed, “Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; Preserve me from violent men” (Psalm 140:1 NKJV). Solomon gave a reason for that, “A violent man entices his neighbor, And leads him in a way that is not good” (Proverbs 16:29 NKJV). Destructive violence in a land of laws is not the way of “Justice.” “The violence of the wicked will destroy them, Because they refuse to do justice” (Proverbs 21:7 NKJV). The people who call for “justice” but preach violence are against “justice.” “Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them; For their heart devises violence, And their lips talk of troublemaking” (Proverbs 24:1-2 NKJV). Whether a city, state, or country, or a neighborhood gang, advocates of violence and plundering are nothing but lawless criminals!

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

#justice, #lawless-criminals, #plundering, #violence, #violent-man

(#194) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:8-10-We Didn’t Start The Fire

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 29:8-10: “Scoffers set a city aflame, But wise men turn away wrath. 9 If a wise man contends with a foolish man, Whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace. 10 The bloodthirsty hate the blameless, But the upright seek his well-being.”

Who burns down the town, keeps things stirred up, and promotes hatred? NOT those who follow God’s Will, the “wise,” and “upright,” but the “scoffers,” “fools,” and “bloodthirsty.” A “scoffer” “acts with arrogant pride” (Proverbs 21:24) and hates those who correct him (Proverbs 9:8). A “fool” “despises his father’s instruction” (Proverbs 15:5); starts quarrels (Proverbs 20:3); “trusts in his own heart (Proverbs 28:26); and “walks in darkness” (Ecclesiastes 2:14). Since “the devil” “was a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44), then “The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man” (Psalm 5:6); who “shall not live out half their days” (Psalm 55:23); and “hate the blameless” (Proverbs 29:10).

Wars of retaliation in the Middle East, violence approved and conducted by a religion, or fighting by forces of interference in other countries’ affairs, are all under the direction of the Devil! Only those who are in rebellion against God and His righteousness would “set a city aflame,” that is, hurt and destroy someone’s homeland. Arguing with “scoffers” and “fools” never settles the matter, which is why “Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And beatings for the backs of fools” (Proverbs 19:29).

The answer to all the violence in the world is NOT United States “police action,” but the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Jesus left His disciples with these assurances: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27); “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 6:33); and this was offered to the Gentiles “The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ–He is Lord of all– that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:36-38).

Jesus Christ said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity” (Ephesians 2:14-16). So we boldly say to the scoffers, fools, and bloodthirsty people in this world: “Tear down this wall” by obeying Jesus Christ as Lord.

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

#bible-study, #bloodthirsty, #enmity, #fool, #interference, #proverbs, #scoffer, #united-states, #violence, #wall, #wars, #wisdom

Peacemaker or Peace-Breaker

Percival Wilde once described a man with these memorable words: “He made enemies as naturally as soap makes suds.” Think about soap and suds for a moment. You don’t have to work very hard to get soap to make suds. Just mix a little water with the soap and agitate it slightly — and presto — out come the suds. Some people are like that. They make enemies easily. Agitate them ever so slightly and they are ready to go to war, if not with weapons at least with words. It just seems to be in some people’s nature to make and see other people as enemies. Thousands of years ago the psalmist found himself living around people who didn’t care about getting along with others — “My soul has dwelt too long with one who hates peace. I am for peace; But when I speak, they are for war” (Psalm 120:6-7). Sadly, daily headlines and simple observation reveal that our own world is populated by far too few who are for peace and far too many who are for war. The proof of that is all around us. The God Christians worship is called the “God of peace” (Romans 15:13). The Christ Christians seek to follow was described by a prophet as the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). And the gospel Christians preach to the world is referred to in the Bible as the “gospel of peace” (Romans 10:15). All the more tragic, then, that we live in a world at war. Unless you are from another planet and just arrived today, you know there is war between nations. And here at home in America there is a lack of peace on our streets. The FBI “crime clock” reports a violent crime is committed every 23.5 seconds (huffingtonpost.com, 1/16/13). We are disgusted and stunned that violence now frequently enters the hallways and classrooms of our public schools, turning them into war-zones and killing fields. TV programming is saturated with violent acts. In many homes in America children and spouses are abused and even murdered. And thanks to “a woman’s right to choose,” violence has invaded and destroyed even the peace of the womb, making the womb, statistically, the most dangerous place to live in America. As some anonymous wag has noted, the most amazing thing about someone being arrested for disturbing the peace these days is that they found any peace to disturb.

How challenging, then, the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called the children of God.” God’s children are known for trying to make peace. Now, while there is more to being a child of God than being a “peacemaker” (see John 3:3-5; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-38, etc.), there certainly is not less. That’s why an inspired writer directed us bluntly in Hebrews 12:14 to “Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” To be God’s sons and daughters is to take on His nature. And the gospel forcefully demonstrates His nature is to make peace, even when the cost is supreme (see Ephesians 2:12-17 and Colossians 1:20). It is no surprise then that Romans 14:19 lays down this directive to Christians: “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” Christians must seek to make peace, even as we wage “the good warfare” and “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 1:18; 6:12). Get real and search your heart: are you making war or peace? Are you a peacemaker or a peace-breaker? Think about it.

Dan Gulley – Smithville Church of Christ

#beattitudes, #christianity, #culture, #god, #jesus, #peace, #peacemaker, #violence