5-5-2015 Follow Jesus At Age 12

Proverbs 21:17: “He who loves pleasure will be a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.” Pleasure derived from wickedness is a waste of time, effort, money, and souls. There is nothing at all wrong with real enjoyment and fun, but to “love” it means it has taken a place within the heart that crowds out the loves that should be greater: God, Jesus Christ, Word of God, husband or wife, children and family. Even a 12-year-old Jesus understood that He “must be about My Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). But today, 12-year-olds are so occupied with ball games, social activities, iphones, ipads, texting on: Instagram, Facebook, Kik, Snapchat, and the like, they don’t know WHICH Father, or WHOSE BUSINESS they should be about!

Teach them to follow Jesus by age 12!

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

#love-pleasure, #pleasure, #wickedness

(#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

(#178) The Proverbs of Solomon 26:2-Don’t Fear Useless Cursing

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

Proverbs 26:2: “Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight.”

The “flitting sparrow” and “flying swallow” hardly ever seem to use their feet because they are darting around. This illustration from real life shows the reason one should not worry when cursed “without cause” – “it shall not alight.”

Useless curses include those made:

(1) using false gods: as Goliath did to David before the giant came down: “So the Philistine said to David, ‘Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?’ And the Philistine cursed David by his gods” (1 Samuel 17:43). Those curses did nothing to David. So, also, are the “curses” made from voo-doo, sorcery, witchcraft, or any other false religion: “And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, ‘So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time’” (1 Kings 19:1-2). This never happened to Elijah!

(2) falsely using Jehovah God, as with the expression, “Godd__n you.” Only God can damn or condemn anyone, and He has stated who that is in His Bible: “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 3:18-19); “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16); “Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!” (James 5:9). People cannot command God’s condemnation upon anyone God has not condemned!

(3) from a heart full of wickedness, for God can turn them back upon the wicked person who said them: “His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; Under his tongue is trouble and iniquity” (Psalm 10:7, read verses 2-11); “As he loved cursing, so let it come to him; As he did not delight in blessing, so let it be far from him” (Psalm 109:17, read verses 6-20); “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness” (Romans 3:14, read verses 10-18).

The only condemnation anyone should fear is from God, and He has cleared the way for everyone to be saved by their obedience, for He: “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4); is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9); sent Jesus, who said: “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). Save yourself from the curse with cause!

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

#bible-study, #condemn, #condemnation, #curses, #false-gods, #god, #obedience, #proverbs, #wickedness

(#108) The Proverbs of Solomon 16:12-13-Governing the Government (#3)

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 16:12-13: “It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, For a throne is established by righteousness. 13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings, And they love him who speaks what is right.”

Verse 12: An “abomination” with God is as bad as anything can be: in Proverbs alone, it is used in some 19 verses. For “kings to commit wickedness” is the same with God as: a perverse person (3:32), The Big Seven (pride, lies, killing the innocent, wicked planning, eager participation in evil, bearing false witness with lies, sowing discord among brethren, 6:16-19), dishonesty in business (11:1), justifying the wicked and condemning the just (17:15), prayer from one refusing to listen to God (28:9), in short, “whatever is highly esteemed among men” (Luke 16:15).

What can government leaders do that is “wickedness?” (1) They are pleased that their people act wickedly, like Ephraimites who “make a king glad with their wickedness, And princes with their lies” (Hosea 7:3). Samuel had shown where this will end when he said, “if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king” (1 Samuel 12:25); (2) Manasseh encouraged: foreign religions, idolatry, child sacrifice, superstition, immorality, shedding innocent blood (2 Chronicles 33:1-10; 2 Kings 21:16). Not all “laws of the land” are “righteous.”

To establish a throne (or seat of power) requires “righteousness,” or respect for God and His Principles, throughout the nation (top to bottom), for “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people. The king’s favor is toward a wise servant, But his wrath is against him who causes shame” (Proverbs 14:34-35).

Verse 13: “Righteous lips” on government leaders are but a faint, distant memory for most people, but should remain a goal with every vote! Even wicked Israelite King Ahab, put pressure upon the prophet, Micaiah, by saying: “”How many times shall I make you swear that you tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?” (1 Kings 22:16) Speaking what is right is the only solid foundation of any nation or kingdom! The King of Kings has established His spiritual kingdom entirely upon truth, for He told the Roman, Pilate: “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37).

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

#abomination, #bible-study, #god, #king, #nation, #obedience, #proverbs, #righteousness, #wickedness

(#90) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:35-Who Is Responsible For Good Government?

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 14:35: “The king’s favor is toward a wise servant, But his wrath is against him who causes shame.”

Any government leader is wise to desire the wisdom of God, even if it is through “a wise servant.” “A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, To understand a proverb and an enigma, The words of the wise and their riddles” (Proverbs 1:5-6). Daniel was a “wise” choice: “Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm” (Daniel 6:3). Even counsel for war should be based upon wisdom: “Plans are established by counsel; By wise counsel wage war (Proverbs 20:18); “For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, And in a multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 24:6). Jesus reflected this in His teaching: “Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:31-33).

A “king” shows what kind of heart he has by his speech(es). “He who loves purity of heart And has grace on his lips, The king will be his friend” (Proverbs 22:11). It is up to the government leader to determine his direction: “A king who sits on the throne of judgment Scatters all evil with his eyes” (Proverbs 20:8); “It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, For a throne is established by righteousness. Righteous lips are the delight of kings, And they love him who speaks what is right” (Proverbs 16:12-13); “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter” (Proverbs 25:2). A “king” who is not diligently filtering the purity of those around him cannot be helping his people.

Many, however, seem to surround themselves with fools and liars! “Take away the wicked from before the king, And his throne will be established in righteousness” (Proverbs 25:5); “If a ruler pays attention to lies, All his servants become wicked” (Proverbs 29:12). It is impossible for government to be staffed with “the wicked” and rule rightly! Government is no better, or worse, than those who run it! Haman incurred the wrath of his king because he had abused the king’s influence: “And Esther said, ‘The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman!’ So Haman was terrified before the king and queen. Then the king arose in his wrath from the banquet of wine and went into the palace garden; but Haman stood before Queen Esther, pleading for his life, for he saw that evil was determined against him by the king” (Esther 7:6-7). If a government is unjust, ungodly, willfully ignorant of God’s Wisdom, then the leader(s) should be replaced!

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

#bible-study, #gods-wisdom, #government, #king, #leaders, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #wicked, #wickedness, #wisdom, #wise

Psalm 125 “Limits of Evil”

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.”

Verses 1-2 show the security of saints;

Verse 3 shows the limit of wickedness;

Verses 4-5 show the distinction between the two.

Verses 1-2: (Verse 1) To “trust in the LORD” is to “lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5), nor on “men” nor on “princes” (Psalm 118:8-9), but to leave God in charge. “In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: ‘We have a strong city; God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, That the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in. You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength’” (Isaiah 26:1-4). Until God changed from the Law of Moses, “the LORD of hosts will reign On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem (Jeremiah 23:24). After the change to the Law of Christ, “you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Hebrews 12:22). (Verse 2) So, as the mountains of Jerusalem give protection, “so the LORD surrounds His people.” “From this time forth and forever” applies even today because God’s vigilance is upon the “heavenly Jerusalem” His church (2 Corinthians 1:1; 6:16).

Verse 3: “The scepter” (rod signifying rule, dominance) of “wickedness” would not be allowed to “rest” on the land of the “righteous” to avoid their being beaten down to submission of evil. “He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, And the rod of his anger will fail” (Proverbs 22:8). Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 A.D., Jesus prophesied, “then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:21-22). God knows when and how to stop sinners.

Verses 4-5: (Verse 4) The LORD knows whom to reward, those who are “good” and “upright in their hearts.” Jesus said, “No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17). He had been asked, “what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16. To Jesus, keeping the commandments of God is the “good thing” that makes one good enough to have eternal life. (Verse 5) The “wicked” are those who “turn aside to their crooked ways,” that is, do not obey God’s “strait” and “narrow” way (Matthew 7:13-14). “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity’” (2 Timothy 2:19). Since God will help the good, and limit and “lead away” the wicked, good judgment would be to walk on God’s side.

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

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #church-of-christ, #daily-bible-reading, #god, #obedience, #trust-in-the-lord, #wickedness