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  • Eugene Adkins 7:35 am on 2013-10-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , work   

    A minister without the “title” 

    For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (Hebrews 6:10 – NKJV)

    God isn’t impressed with titles. Titles bring responsibility (James 3:1) but they don’t get the work finished.

    People crave titles but God wants us to crave His work (Titus 2:14, 3:8; Galatians 4:18; 1 Timothy 3:1; Ephesians 2:10; Matthew 5:16).

    Liberals love to praise people who have pushed the envelope for titles for they equate titles with “equality” in the church. God praises people who work in His name and in His will, for He equates equality with being in Jesus and working within the bounds of the body of Christ (Galatians 3:26-29; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13:3).

    Conservatives love to praise people who have held firm to tradition for they equate tradition alone with working God’s will. God praises people who work within the tradition of the church’s faith through love, for God refuses to accept service done in His name if it’s not done in His will (Galatians 5:5-6; Romans 12:1-3).

    Let’s stick to the middle of the road (or the middle of the channel) and start showing more of a concern for rowing the boat instead of where we sit in the boat. An oar moving in unison with another oar will get much more done than an oar trying to go solo not matter how big the solo oar thinks it is.

    I may have gotten a little off track with the last three comments, but then again maybe not; either way let me bring it back to my original sentence: If we’re waiting around for a title to make our work have some sort of significance in the sight of man or in the sight of God then we’re not ready for that work – whatever the work is!

    And by the way, try looking up what the word “minister” actually means if you don’t already know and you might get what I’m trying to say.

    But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:8-12 – NKJV)

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-10-15 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , communism, , , , , , laboring, , , non-worker, , , , re-distribute wealth, , , welfare state, , work, worker   

    (#86) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:23-No “Communism” Here! 

    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 14:23: “In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty.”

    Since God established the “work ethic,” where there is no “labor,” there is no “profit” (capital, benefit, earnings). In the Garden of Eden, God gave man a job, “to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). After Adam sinned, God expelled him with a job: “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread” (Genesis 3:19).

    God’s endorsement of this principle, through Solomon, was: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10); “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, Whether he eats little or much; But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep” (Ecclesiastes 5:12). A communistic welfare state, which takes from the workers and re-distributes to non-workers, promotes slothfulness: “The desire of the lazy man kills him, For his hands refuse to labor. He covets greedily all day long, But the righteous gives and does not spare” (Proverbs 21:25-26). This proverb is added to Christ’s Law: “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need” (Ephesians 4:28). Another proverb of Solomon is taught in the New Testament: “The person who labors, labors for himself, For his hungry mouth drives him on” (Proverbs 16:26); “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). God’s damnation is upon all efforts to by-pass His “work ethic” principle: covetousness, stealing, extortion, excessive or punitive taxes, scams, schemes, gambling and lotteries (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

    Solomon also showed the “vanity” of giving workers’ profits to non-workers: “Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me. And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity. Therefore I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled under the sun. For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, knowledge, and skill; yet he must leave his heritage to a man who has not labored for it. This also is vanity and a great evil” (Ecclesiastes 2:18-21). Whatever “profit” that comes from honest “labor” belongs to the “laborer,” and no one else! Losing control of what one has worked for kills any incentive for working. Since God charged men with “work,” Marxism/socialism is a direct attack on manhood, and an enslaving of womanhood who must do man’s work!

    “Idle chatter” (empty talk) profits nothing, and destroys people who believe it. All who talk about work instead of working are leading to “poverty” and NOT “profit!” Marxism, and all who follow it, is rebellion against God that impoverishes nations. It has never been a success, and never will! Jesus shows a spiritual application when He said: “’Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.’ Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent’” (John 6:26-29). Neither physical nor spiritual “profits” are for those who “will not work!” America was rich as long as it was not a “welfare state” that “re-distributed” the wealth of its workers! All economies bankrupt when workers’ profits are used by non-workers!

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-09-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , forced labor, Frederic Bastiat, Karl Marx, , Libertarian, , rugged individualism, , work   

    (#62) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:24-Who Deserves Slavery? 

    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 12:24: “The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor.”

    “Diligence” means to never give up, or to be persistent. The “diligent” have an objective, work toward their objective, and achieve their objective, hence they “will rule,” always! Solomon wisely appointed Jeroboam, who was “industrious,” over his workers (1 Kings 11:28). Any government, society, or corporation populated by those who haven’t worked their way up will fail, falter, and fall! Workers who are more concerned about their own benefits than benefitting the company are accomplishing little. While Karl Marx was writing his book of class conflict wherein workers coveted the profits of companies, Frederic Bastiat’s writings were defending Libertarian principles of individual freedom and limited government, which included: “Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone.”

    The grand fallacy that profits are created at the expense of workers has become a rallying cry of the increasingly lazy souls who desire more tyranny and dictatorship in order to share in profits they have done little or nothing to create! “He who is slothful in his work Is a brother to him who is a great destroyer” (Proverbs 18:9). The lazy destroy productivity by attaching themselves to those who are diligent!

    Other proverbs describe characteristics of the “lazy” one: (1) “The lazy man says, ‘There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!’” (Proverbs 22:13). The lazy imagine fear of failure to justify their lack of effort. (2) “I went by the field of the lazy man, And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; Its surface was covered with nettles; Its stone wall was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an armed man” (Proverbs 24:30-34 ). Laziness spreads incrementally with “a little” sleep, slumber, folding of the hands. This creeping “poverty” attacks by stealth, very much like the creeping socialism which has very slowly consumed Constitutional protections of “rugged individualism.”  Every country, state, or city that has implemented Karl Marx’s socialism ended in depression, dereliction, and destruction, because it gave to the lazy by taking from the productive. (3) “The lazy man says, ‘There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!’ As a door turns on its hinges, So does the lazy man on his bed. The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl; It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth. The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes Than seven men who can answer sensibly” (Proverbs 26:13-16). The lazy man gives up personal independence because of “a lion;” has no personal progress, like a door; has no personal responsibility to even feed himself; and common sense is crowded out of his mind! The lazy support bigger government to provide all the things they are too lazy to do for themselves. And plantation politicians love to have it so! The lazy may think they have won their “free existence,” when they actually have only produced “forced labor.” There is nothing “free” for being lazy!

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-08-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , frivolous, , , , , , , work   

    (#56) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:11-Don’t “Buy the Farm”—Yet! 

    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 12:11: “He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.”

    The association of agriculture and hard work goes back to the Garden of Eden. God “planted a garden” (Genesis 2:8), but when man was created, he was “put in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). After sin entered the world, man was burdened with: “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). Hard working farmers should be able to share in their harvest, for “he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope” (1 Corinthians 9:10). Rulers must accept the fact that, without farmers, they have no kingdom! Solomon later would say: “Moreover the profit of the land is for all; even the king is served from the field” (Ecclesiastes 5:9). Eating “bread” is another way of saying farmers should be in the plowing and profiting business. The “hope” of hard work is profiting from it and providing for one’s family. It is hypocrisy to curse the farmer with a mouthful of food! Whatever is done to discourage farming, or force farmers to sell their farms, is destroying the entire country.

    Instead of working the land when needed, “frivolity” distracts from the real task at hand. The parallel proverb shows how wrong “frivolity” really is: Proverbs 28:19: “He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!” Entertainment instead of agriculture reveals one as being “devoid of understanding,” or worse, having “poverty enough!” It is senseless to neglect food production for fun and games! Other proverbs on this subject include: Proverbs 13:23: “Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor, And for lack of justice there is waste;” Proverbs 27:18: “Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit; So he who waits on his master will be honored;” Proverbs 27:23: “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, And attend to your herds.” Hard work is always the answer for poor economy, and “the poor” are often that way because of a lack of effort! Only thieves and robbers would steal “bread” (from the profits) without engaging in the hard work it took to produce it! Over-emphasizing entertainment is simply spreading “poverty” instead of encouraging bread-winners!

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-07-01 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , earners, , , , , slothfulness, sluggard, , takers, , work,   

    Studies in the Book of Proverbs #16 

    (#16) Six Hasty Misjudgments of Youth: 6:1-7-27 – ONE AT A TIME.

    6:6-11: (2) Don’t Be Lazy!

    Verses 6-8: After pointing out the danger of being too hasty in co-signing and participating in agreements without proper thoughtfulness, Solomon now turns to those who make no plans at all! “Sluggard” is the term for a person who moves like a “slug,” or shell-less snail. This is not meant to be complimentary! The “sluggard” doesn’t like to move, so the verse urges “go to” and “consider” the “ant.” This parallel is instructive to anyone who will put out effort to learn it. The “ant” is a very small, but effective teacher of God’s Wisdom, which is seen in the Creation (Proverbs 3:19-20). The ant colony has no “captain” (leader), “Overseer” (superintendent), or “ruler” (authority figure). Who has given ants such knowledge, but God? Ants are industrious, organized, adventurous, and efficient. Ants show that an organized society is possible as long as its’ members follow God’s Wisdom. Ants are orderly and opportunistic, because they take advantage of the seasons, gaining “supplies” in the summertime when plentiful, and “gathering food” in “harvest” when ready.

    Verses 9-10: “How long” is a question that puts emphasis upon ending the practice, in this case, of sleeping. “When” puts emphasis upon a time limit of “sleeping.” The point is, that sluggards must make a choice to end their slothfulness. The lazy person’s response to these questions is to plan more of what is already being done: “sleep,” “slumber,” “folding of the hands to sleep.” A lazy person takes “little” steps, and thereby feels no twinge of conscience at being lazy. The sluggard rationalizes him/herself into further laziness, which is a by-product of being lazy!

    Verse 11: Laziness overcomes a person subtlety, as a “prowler,” and creates “need” (steals) like “an armed man” (robber). Laziness robs one of opportunity, passion, determination, progress, individual strength, and family. God worked six days in creating the world and then rested (Genesis 2:1-2); God ordered Israelites to work six days and then rest (Exodus 20:9-11); the Apostle Paul worked to support himself so that the Thessalonians would not be burdened (2 Thessalonians 3:7-9). Then Paul said: “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). God’s solution in exterminating “sluggards” is to let them starve to death! Every society whose “takers” outnumbers and outvotes the “earners” is doomed to crumble. Politicians who cater to “sluggards” and penalize the “workers” are in direct contradiction to the Wisdom of God. “Go to the ants” and see what we once were and could be again.

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

     
  • Eugene Adkins 11:36 am on 2013-05-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , high school students, , , Students, work   

    4 Pointers for Graduates to Head in the Right Direction 

    An blue icon with a graduation cap and tassel.

    Here’s the basic points with a scripture that I’m using for tomorrow’s “graduation night” at Keltonburg for our High School students. This’ll work whether they’re heading to college or the job market:

    • It’s time to grow up (1 Corinthians 13:11)
    • Prepare for hard times (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
    • When you think you have the world conquered its conquered you (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
    • Don’t compromise your faith for a “good grade” or a “good job” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

    Whatever comes to your hand to do with all your power, do it because there is no work, or thought, or knowledge, or wisdom in the place of the dead to which you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10 – BBE)

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:11 am on 2013-04-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , work   

    Psalm 123 What Shall I Do, Lord? 

    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.”

    Verse 1 directs our eyes;

    Verse 2 directs our obedience;

    Verse 3 directs our hearts;

    Verse 4 directs our pleas.

    Verse 1: Since “heavens” means upper expanse, whenever we need to look for God, we must “lift up our eyes.” Jesus, as God, now is “dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see” (1 Timothy 6:16). Morally, to “see God” is to see the effects of His Will in the obedient heart. Jesus said: “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Peter taught how a heart becomes pure: “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:22-23). John added: “He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God” (3 John 11).

    Verse 2: It is not enough just to “look” for God, but it must be with a humble heart: “as” the servant’s eyes look in anticipation of what the master desires to be done; “as” the maid looks for whatever detail she may provide for her mistress’s satisfaction; “so” we look toward God for instruction. Our eagerness to obey Him prompts His willingness to extend “mercy” to us! He, however, has already given all of His instruction in His Book “once for all” (Jude 3). No one should look toward God without seeing Jesus in His Word: “Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works” (John 14:9-10).

    Verses 3-4: We keenly feel the need for God’s “mercy” because we are “exceedingly filled” with “the contempt of the proud.” These are the people who, Jesus said, “this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause’” (John 15:25). Jesus had also taught: “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also” (John 15:20).

    Thought: It is pitiful to see people “look up to:” Gandhi, Marx, Einstein, Darwin, Mohammed, “the Pope,” a pastor, ancestors, a teacher, philosophers, or gurus but look down on (denigrate) Jesus Christ! Truth is entirely the other way: “we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:23-25). We quote the statements that have influenced us the most: Do we quote Jesus Christ above all?

     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
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , work   

    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 4:47 am on 2013-03-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , double-minded, , , , , , , , , , work   

    Psalm 119:113-120 Samek The Certainty of 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 119:113-120  Samek                  The Certainty of the Word

    Verses 113-114 tell why God is our choice;

    Verse 115 tells which direction we are going;

    Verses 116-117 describe how God helps;

    Verses 118-119 show how certain God is of the outcome;

    Verse 120 describes how this certainty should affect us.

    Verses 113-114: (Verse 113) “The double-minded” are people who are torn between two opinions, skeptical of truth, and can’t decide which to follow. Elijah, the prophet, called for people to make up their minds: “And Elijah came to all the people, and said, ‘How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him.’ But the people answered him not a word” (1 Kings 18:21). Faith is to be “with no doubting,” or else we are “a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8). To love God’s “law” (words that make straight) means we have made a definite decision. (Verse 114) God’s “word” (what God actually has said) keeps our “hope” alive, so that we know God is our “hiding place” and our “shield.”

    Verse 115: Once we have decided whose “commandments” (authoritative orders) we “will keep,” it is easier to reject the “evil doers.” Jesus will, on the Judgment Day, say these very words (Matthew 7:21-23).

    Verses 116-117: (Verse 116) We need to be upheld (propped up) by God’s “word,” “that I may live” (the believer knows life begins with faith) without “shame” (timidity). “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). (Verse 117) We need for God to “hold [us] up” (above evil) that we may be “safe.” But this requires “observing” God’s “statutes” (words marking out proper conduct) “continually” (cannot dismiss it from thought).

    Verses 118-119: (Verse 118) God has made His decision, not about individual names, but of whoever follows “deceit” and “falsehood.” They have made a definite decision to “stray” from God’s “statutes,” and God has decided He will “reject” them “all.” (Verse 119) God definitely will “put away all the wicked of the earth” (which He has before, in Noah’s day, Genesis 6:5-7), as if they were “dross” (rejected impurities of melted metal, Ezekiel 22:18-22). The obedient believer decides to “love” God’s “testimonies” (words proving God’s character to be true) because His decision is final.

    Verse 120: This verse glimpses into the Judgment Day, as described by the Apostle Paul: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences” (2 Corinthians 5:10-11).

    Thought: Every believer should be certain in knowing what way to go, and what way God will reject. “Have I not written to you excellent things Of counsels and knowledge, That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, That you may answer words of truth To those who send to you?” (Proverbs 22:20-21)

     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
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , work   

    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 4:00 am on 2013-03-14 Permalink | Reply
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    Psalm 119:81-88 Kaph “Finding Strength In Weakness” 

    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 119:81-88 Kaph                          “Finding Strength In Weakness”

    Verses 81-83 describe our weakened condition;

    Verses 84-87 show how much worse it gets;

    Verse 88 make an appeal for strength.

    Verses 81-83: (Verse 81) A soul may “faint” (grow weaker, dims) waiting for God’s salvation, but nothing else will do, for “hope” (anticipation) is still in God’s “word” (actual statements). (Verse 82) Eyes “fail” (strain, ache) from constant peering into God’s “word,” searching for God’s answer to: “When will You comfort me?” Under stress, strain, duress, distress, pain, or anguish, we can only tolerate so much. We ask God, not whether or not He will help, but “When.” (Verse 83) “A wineskin in smoke” dries out, becomes brittle, and useless as a liquid container. Before we become useless, we continue to remember God’s “statutes” (words defining proper conduct, lines marking out what we must do).

    Verses 84-87: (Verse 84) We ask, “how long will we live,” and “when will God payback our persecutors?” The souls of those who died in the Jewish persecution of the churches of Christ (Acts 8:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16) asked the same question: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Revelation 6:9-10). That answer came back in Revelation 19:1-2. (Verse 85) “The proud” (those lifted in their own minds above God and His word) create pitfalls (or problems) for those who serve God. “The proud” are mentioned 5 times just in this Psalm (verses 51, 69, 78, 85, 122) as representing all who disobey God’s “law” (words that guide in a straight path). (Verse 86) Dangers are not caused by God’s “commandments” (words that tell us what we should and should not do), all of which are “faithful” (producing faith), but are caused by “wrongful persecution” (undeserved, unprovoked, uncaused). “Help me!” is our appeal to our God who cares, can help, and considers our immediate plight. Christians may “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). The help we need always comes from the Lord, and His way to help is revealed in His word. (Verse 87) Though oppressed near death, we should never “forsake” (give up, quit) on God’s “precepts” (words that highlight or point out what is important).

    Verse 88: With fainting soul, strained eyes, strength drying up, problems caused by “the proud,” we ask to be “revived” (have our spirit refreshed, renewed vigor, restored ability) that we may finish our task of keeping His “testimony” (words of His character and will), not that God would take over and finish what we are capable of doing. Paul said of Philemon, “For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother” (Philemon 7).

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

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:00 am on 2012-12-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , work   

    Quick Bible Fact 

    Do you know the only time (at least that I’m aware of) that the Bible straight up says someone is worse than an unbeliever?

    But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8)

    This does not reflect upon those who try hard but struggle due to uncontrollable circumstances – it reflects upon those who make it someone else’s responsibility to provide for their own due to laziness and apathy toward controllable circumstances!

    “…But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.” (1 Thessalonians 4:10-11)

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:06 am on 2012-11-13 Permalink | Reply
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    “Proverbs Are The Piths” (15) 

    Proverbs 10 is where the “pithiness” begins due to the mouthful of wisdom served on spoon sized verses. For this chapter I’ll only comment on certain verses that stand out (at least to me) instead of commenting on whole passages like I have done previously for Proverbs 1-9.  Bon appetit!

    Verse 1: Interesting due to the bluntness of the statement. Building up the self-esteem of a child is an essential task of a parent, but psychologists today get it all wrong if they say any sort of guilt is bad. Solomon flat-out tells his child if he listens to his father he will make him a better child and he will make his parents proud – ignore the advice and he’ll remain a child of constant sorrow to his mother!

    Verse 2: The Bible in Basic English translates this verse, “Wealth which comes from sin is of no profit, but righteousness gives salvation from death.” Reminds me so very much of what Paul said in Romans 6:23.

    Verse 5: There is a time to rest and a time to work – don’t confuse the two! If only this nation’s parents taught more children this principle many of the problems that our young people face would simply fix themselves. Busy hands have a harder time getting into trouble!!!

    Verse 10: When I read verses like this it reminds of how much the characteristics of sneakiness in people has not changed since the days the Bible speaks of. The devious, destructive and deterring “wink of the eye” still remains one of the quickest markers of something when it’s not what it appears to be.

    Verse 12: A wonderful verse! Not only do I think so, but so did Peter and James! Peter quotes the verse directly while you can’t help but think of it when you read what James said. They were obviously both fans of the Proverbs.

    Verse 13: It’s a ‘hard knock life’ for those who have a hard head – at least that’s how I’d sum it up.

    Verses 15-16: Wealth is a tool! Some have more tools than others but we’re all responsible for how we take care of our own tools. Wealth does not always make things better. Use some tools with ignorance and you’ll end up getting hurt. Wealth is one of them! To the untrained heart physical wealth will replace the spiritual treasure of the heart (Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 16:1-14).

    Verse 19: I quoted this verse just the other day…but I accidentally left out a word in my comment. I wasn’t following the verse per say; just made a mistake. Shutting a door and window – yeah, we’ve got that! Shutting our mouth – I wish I had it down as much as the doors and windows.

    Verse 21: I think this is one of the most overlooked gems in Proverbs. How do the lips of the righteous feed others? Advice, encouragement, warnings, admonitions…it all feeds the soul.

    Verse 22: Solomon has much to say throughout Proverbs about work, wealth and blessings from God. I wonder why? True financial blessings from God come without the sorrow…and the fact that all financial “blessings” are not without that issue reveals the source of some “financial aid.” 1 Timothy 6:9-10 preaches right along side with the Proverbs today as strongly as the day they were written. Solomon was a man who felt the sting of wealth and sorrow!!!

    Verse 27: Accidents do happen to those who strive to live after the Lord, but foolishness happens to more people than you can shake a stick at. Watch the news! Foolishness affects our lives much more than accidents. Bottom line is a life lived in accordance with God’s will is most-often a life of wiser and more fulfilling days.

    Verse 29: The Lord can be for you. But never forget that the Lord can be against if you chose to work evil! You can hear Solomon saying that we don’t want to be on the wrong side of the Lord.

    Next up, Proverbs 11.

     
    • robertebarger 10:35 am on 2012-11-13 Permalink | Reply

      Proverbs 22:15
      Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
      The scriptures tells us that by the sin of one man, (Adam) death entered into the world, and death upon all men, (Romans 5) When a child is born into the world, they are born sinners, and are in rebellion against God,
      (Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity (at war) against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.) The mind of a person that is carnal, babe or adult, is at war with God. This is the reason that the Proverbs tells us, foolishness is “bound in the heart” of a child, it’s there by the sin of Adam. the rod if correction will drive it far from him! Foolishness is a spirit that the child is born with!
      In the graden of Eden, Eve was drawn away by the love of the world “in her”. The lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. (1 John 1) When she gave in to what the devil tempted her with, she agreed with what Satan was feeding her, and sin conceived. (James chapter 1) When Jesus went into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, He was tempted by the same things that Eve was tempted with, but He was not fooled like Eve but overcome Satan by knowing what to stop Satan with, the Word of God, It is written!

      • Eugene Adkins 6:02 pm on 2012-11-13 Permalink | Reply

        Robert, I’ll give you some credit, your commment is sorta, kinda, a little close to the topic at hand…I think? Despite this, I’ll take you to task on your position.

        Answer the following question, please. If you don’t and you choose to sidestep the issue (which you have a bad haibt of doing) I’ll end the conversation on this post myself.

        Here’s the setup – According to your logic with Romans 5:12 every person ever born after Adam was born a sinner because of what he did. But have you ever bothered to read Romans 5:18 and what it says about Jesus and salvation?

        Here’s the question(s) – According to your logic, since every person born after Adam is automatically born (i.e. without being personally responsible for anything) spiritually depraved and deserving of judgment does that mean every person born/living after the death/resurrection of Jesus is automatically saved (i.e. without being personally responsible for anything)? Yes or No? If all are automatically condemned, then why aren’t all automatically saved??? I’m just using your logic here.

        Now, be fair and use your own logic with your answer, Robert. If you choose not to then the conversation is finished.

        By the way, a person can read a systematic dismantling of the perverted and false doctrine of Calvinism’s supposed ‘Total Hereditary Depravity’ by clicking on this first of a three part series on my own blog as well as this one here in the Fellowship Room.

        I have said it before and I’ll say it again, shame on any person who has to condemn babies to defend their terrible doctrine that says Jesus didn’t die for all the world!

  • TFRStaff 10:17 am on 2012-09-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , work   

     
    • Eugene Adkins 5:45 pm on 2012-09-05 Permalink | Reply

      Well said! I thought of 1 Corinthians 15:58 when I read this – “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

  • Eugene Adkins 6:40 am on 2012-08-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , work   

    Some Links You Might Find Useful 

    Here are two links with information that goes in two different directions…well, maybe not that different after I think about it.

    The first one brings you to an article by Brett Pertillo about giraffes and evolution called: Why Giraffes Don’t Have Brain Damage. It’s a really good read.

    The second one brings you to some information about a benefit dinner for Apologetics Press on September 6th down in Florence, AL. I thought some people would like to know about this. Apologetics Press does great work.

    Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58 – NKJV)

     
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