Just men reading, memorizing and studying the bible together!

July 27, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: Isaiah 40-43
Old Testament Only: Job 15–16
New Testament Only: Acts 20:7–38

Hope For America

Today’s Passage: Song of Solomon 5 – Isaiah 1

Flag - American tattered on groundWell, we have gone through the Song of Solomon in two days and I have got to tell you that to make sense of this book I think we would need two months! I’ve been reading the commentaries and even if we just look at this book as a story about Godly marital love there is still a lot of explaining to do. I cannot do this book justice in this format. So, of necessity, not wishing to slight the Song of Solomon in the least, but unable to do it justice, we’ll just move on to Isaiah.

Isaiah is the first of 17 prophetic books, not because it was written first but because it is the most comprehensive in content. Isaiah lived around 700 B.C. and prophesied to the Southern Kingdom of Judah. The Northern Kingdom had fallen to the Assyrian Empire in 722 B.C. and things weren’t looking too good for Judah as well. Judah was in political and spiritual decline and it was in this atmosphere that Isaiah rose to urge God’s people to return to Him, trust in Him, and obey Him. He urged them to look to God for salvation.

Now I’ve heard it said that the book of Isaiah has two major divisions, each with their own theme. It has been suggested that chapters 1-39 are about God’s judgment and chapters 40-66 about God’s salvation. We Christians think in terms of the necessity for salvation prior to judgment, but we must remember that Isaiah had the Law of Moses as his only Scripture, and that salvation in the form of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was not something of which he would be familiar. The theology found in the book of Deuteronomy would have likely colored his perspective. Deuteronomy emphasizes that punishment for failure to live according to Mosaic Law must take place before blessing can be obtained.

Now let’s not be too hard on Isaiah. From his vantage point in history his approach makes sense, and it is true that if one does not deal with sin in one’s life it is hard to receive God’s blessings. As Isaiah points out in chapters 1-39, the problem of Israel’s sin had to be addressed before proper relationship with God could be restored. Judgment can be a purifying force that helps us see our need for forgiveness.

Sin gets in between us and God. It produces a barrier that leaves us feeling alone and dried up. This is not only true for the Lost but for Christians as well. If you have sin in your life you have separated yourself from God. Do you think God won’t know about your sin until you arrive before Him in Heaven? No, of course not. He knows your sin the moment you conceive the idea to sin. Since God has already judged sin you stand judged the moment you commit the sin. There is no need for a future court date and presentment of evidence. You know you did it and God does to. He saw you. He heard your thoughts. Case closed.

If we want to experience the blessings that only flow from God we have to deal with our sin. Thankfully we don’t have to be punished. We can confess our sin and if we have truly turned our back on it and ask for forgiveness, if we accept Christ’s sacrifice upon the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, then we will be saved from judgment and we will be restored to right relationship with God. Not only is this true for us Christians, not only is it true for the Lost, it can also be true for nations.

As I read the first chapter of Isaiah I felt I was reading the entire case stating our need for a savior. I also found myself thinking of our nation. Billy Graham once said “If God doesn’t punish America He will owe Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.”

Isaiah 1:21-236 ESV
“How the faithful city
has become a whore,
she who was full of justice!
Righteousness lodged in her,
but now murderers.
Your silver has become dross,
your best wine mixed with water.
Your princes are rebels
and companions of thieves.
Everyone loves a bribe
and runs after gifts.
They do not bring justice to the fatherless,
and the widow’s cause does not come to them.”

I’m afraid I see my country that way; once faithful, now full of greed. Our “princes”, or politicians, are rebels and companions of thieves. God speaks of judgment for sinful ways. He also speaks of the fact that He will wash our sins away if we are willing and obedient.

Isaiah 1:18-19 ESV
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;”

This is the hope we have in Jesus Christ. I believe this hope is available for our nation as well. A nation is made up of people. The deplorable moral state of our nation exists because of the lostness of our countrymen. How do you change a nation? You change it one heart at a time. I found this verse particularly apropos.

Isaiah 1:9 ESV
“If the Lord of hosts
had not left us a few survivors,
we should have been like Sodom,
and become like Gomorrah.”

The Lord of hosts has left America a few survivors; a remnant, you and me. America does not have to be like Sodom and Gomorrah. If a few good men will stand in the gap, if they will share their faith with the Lost, if they will be faithful and obedient to the will of God, then this nation will be changed. What an awesome responsibility God has given us. By sharing our faith, we can be part of God’s saving grace. We can be part of changing hearts and changing this nation. The solution to the problems of this nation will not be found in political parties and programs but in Jesus Christ.

I’m looking forward to reading through this book as it has a lot to tell us about the Messiah and His saving grace!

May you have a day that offers you the chance to share Jesus with others!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

July 26, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: Isaiah 37-39, Psalms 76
Old Testament Only: Job 12–14
New Testament Only: Acts 19:21–20:6

Sex, Love, and Marriage

Today’s Passage: Ecclesiastes 11 – Song of Solomon 4

Wedding ring hands man and womanWell guys, we’ve arrived at the Song of Solomon. I thought Ecclesiastes was challenging but the Song of Solomon has given me fits. There are a lot of theories about why this book is in the Bible and what it means. There are a lot of scholars who see this book as some kind of allegory for God and Israel, or for Christ and the believer or church. Some think it is some kind of play with two or three actors. I’m going to attempt to summarize some of those scholar’s thoughts.

Those that view this book as an allegory believe the details herein are supposed to possess some kind of spiritual meaning. They attach little importance to the actual meaning of the words themselves. Jewish scholars tend to view this book as a picture of God’s love for His Chosen People. To them the Chosen People are “Israel”. Early Christian scholars believed the book was a picture of Christ’s love for the Church; He as the groom and the Church as the bride.

One such theologian, Origen, felt that the reference to the dark skin of the “beloved” was a picture of the Church ugly with sin but references to her loveliness a picture of her beauty after conversion. I wonder how one could be considered in the Church prior to conversion but hey, no one ever called me a great theologian. I’ve read that he cooing of doves is an allegory for the preaching of the Gospel by the Apostles. Others feel that chapter five verse one is a reference to the Lord’s Supper.

The problem with all of this is that it is highly subjective and allows the users of this approach to claim just about anything without any way for others to verify whether their interpretations are on target. We must remember that nowhere in this book are we given the suggestion that it should be understood as allegory. The Bible is full of allegory but I think it tends to be fairly clear when allegory is being used. Perhaps I am wrong about that but I find it hard to believe that an entire book of the Bible is some kind of allegory with no way for us to know for sure. While I believe the Bible can be understood on many different levels, we should never ignore the most obvious and basic meaning of the text. The Song of Solomon is about the beauty of marital love.

Any boy of 12 or 13, and maybe even younger these days, can tell you about sex. Far too many grown men have no understanding of true, God-ordained, marital love. Every living creature has sex. If you believe the humanist, we are no better than animals. I could not disagree more. The union of man and wife is a spiritual matter; we are to become one flesh. Marriage is of such a spiritual make-up that it is itself used in the Bible as an allegory for Christ and the church. When we look at the opposite sex as simply a receptacle for our sexual desires, we are no better than animals; but that is not what God intended. He did not create women to be your receptacle. He created women to be a partner to man; one man, one woman becoming one flesh.

Why are we to become one flesh? Brothers, it is my contention that we are not complete without a wife. I realize I’m going out on a limb with that statement and I stand ready to hear opposing views, but here is why I believe that. When God formed man out of the dust, in His own image, and breathed life into him (something He did not do with the other creatures He created, by the way) man was one complete being. Let me repeat myself; this complete being was made in the image of God. Realizing that it was not good for man to be alone, He brought various animals forward to be man’s companion. None were suitable.

At this point God put this original man to sleep and divided him. Woman was taken out of man. The image of God was split. A man is not complete, in terms of the image of God, without a woman. When we view women as objects, we are not only demeaning them, we are demeaning ourselves. We are also rejecting the sumptuous banquet that is marital love for the scrapes under the table that are animal sex.

Brother, as we consider this book, let us consider our wives, our partners, our help-meets. Let us put sex in its rightful place. It is a glorious blessing from God when it is viewed and enjoyed as God intended. It is sin when we do otherwise. God has much to teach us. I pray we will learn our lesson well!

May your thoughts today be on the blessing of your wife!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

July 25, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: Isaiah 35-36
Old Testament Only: Job 9–11
New Testament Only: Acts 19:11–20

Empty and Meaningless

Today’s Passage: Ecclesiastes 7-10

Fuel gage - emptyI keep thinking of Job as I read Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes. With all that happened to Job you can kind of understand his being down and even fatalistic at times. Job’s children were destroyed, his house was destroyed, and all that he had was taken from him. Solomon, however, had everything a man could want; I mean everything. He was the wealthiest man in the world. He was the most famous man in the world. He had a harem of women to meet every sexual desire. He was king of a nation favored by God. His every wish was the command of all the people. The best wine and food the land had to offer was set on his table. With all of this you would think Solomon would be the happiest man on earth.

Now we all know that money can’t buy happiness but I don’t think we live as if we believe it. That would be another case of having knowledge but not wisdom. Solomon, the man who had everything, wrote a fatalistic book. As I’ve already said, the lesson here is not what Solomon says, which is often wrong, but the fact that life is empty and meaningless without right relationship with God. I’m sorry to keep harping on that but when are we going to get that through our self-centered brains?

Solomon tried everything in his quest for happiness, for satisfaction. He pursued hedonism and materialism. He studied psychology and philosophy. He tried egoism and fatalism and even “religion”. We know that Solomon had taken many pagan wives. They brought their pagan beliefs with them. When Solomon tells us that he tried “religion”, I believe he is saying he tried them all. Realize that this includes worship of the One True God. Why did he not find satisfaction in worship of the One True God?

I have said repeatedly over the past couple of days that happiness can only be found in “right relationship with God”. You see, going to church doesn’t make you right with God. Reading your Bible doesn’t make you right with God. Being nice to people, following the Golden Rule, doesn’t make you right with God. All of those things happen naturally when one is in right relationship with God, but they are the result not the cause.

No. Being right with God means truly, from the bottom of your heart, accepting that He is God and you are not. It means that you have truly turned your back on sin, accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins, gotten off the throne of your own heart and joyfully surrendered it to Jesus. With Him as Lord of your life you find yourself in right relationship with God.

Does all of that mean you won’t stumble in sin from time to time? I wish it did, but submitting one’s life to Christ is the beginning of a journey on which we slowly discover who we are in Him. Along the way we stumble in sin and are called back to right relationship. The closer we get to Christ-likeness the greater our joy, happiness, and satisfaction in life even in the face of worldly suffering and struggle.

Today people try to have what can only be found in Christ, by being “good”. They seek satisfaction in life through their own sense of morality. They hope to build a better world by legislating this sense of morality. In other words, they seek to force their man-made beliefs on everyone else. They pass laws to protect the environment, to make abortion easier and cheaper, to change the definition of marriage. They seem to think that if they can get rid of sin by passing a law that states something is no longer a sin, life will be full of peace and joy and humans will finally live forever in peace and harmony.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s God’s planet and He expects us to take care of it so I’m all for protecting the environment. I am also heartbroken over the people in our society who suffer from the consequences of sexual confusion and perversion. Wouldn’t it be nice if passing laws solved those problems? Unfortunately, laws don’t have the power to change the human heart. Only Christ can do that. You can’t have what only Christ can provide without Him.

Brother, do we live as we believe or do we live like the world, like Solomon, pursuing elusive joy in empty and meaningless worldly pleasures? Do we seek in the world what only Christ can provide? Let’s get our priorities right. Let’s focus first on our relationship with Christ, the joy will follow!

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

July 24, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: Isaiah 31-34
Old Testament Only: Job 7–8
New Testament Only: Acts 18:18–19:10

The Secret Of A Joyful Life

Today’s Passage: Ecclesiastes 3-6

Cross with happy manI don’t know about you, but as I read Solomon’s words I envision an extremely depressed man. He is spouting a morose, fatalistic view point. I want to give a warning here that you need to be careful in what you take away from what he says. Solomon has wandered away from God. He has married foreign women and they have pulled him away from right relationship with God with their foreign gods. In the meantime, he has been hailed across the known world for his wisdom in ruling his people. He has wealth beyond belief. He has a palace full of wives and concubines. He has wealth, power, and fame; everything the secular world has to offer, and you can hear in his words the emptiness of his life. Considering all with which God has blessed him, why is he so down?

He is down because life has no meaning without a right relationship with God. Notice that Solomon acknowledges God’s existence, sovereignty, and even the need to show Him proper respect but none of this means that he is in right relationship with God. In one of my posts on Proverbs I wrote about the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is the possession of information. Wisdom is the right use of that information. For example, if I know that to be healthy I need to exercise and eat right then I have knowledge. If I actually exercise and eat right I have wisdom. In what “Solomon the Wise” writes in Ecclesiastes we discover that he is lacking in both knowledge and wisdom.

I found the following set of verses particularly instructive.

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 ESV
“Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God.  For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.”

In verse 20 Solomon says “…because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart”. Now I have had joy in my heart and I have got to tell you that there is no joy like that which comes from being in right relationship with God. It is an incredible thing! Joy just radiates from you. Everything just seems to be coming up roses and others notice the joy in you; they are drawn to it. This joy is indeed a gift from God as is everything you are, have, and see. Solomon is correct that God can fill your heart with this kind of joy but he is incorrect to suggest that it comes from taking pleasure in worldly things.

Appropriate pleasure in worldly things only comes when one is in right relationship with God. The overarching message Solomon communicates in Ecclesiastes is that the best the world has to offer is emptiness and yet he says you should take pleasure in that emptiness. How can you take pleasure in something you know does not bring pleasure? You can’t. The pleasure in life comes from God. It is in right relationship with God that one can truly enjoy His creation and all that He has provided.

Solomon is experiencing the same disease that permeates our world today. People have no sense of purpose. Their existence seems empty and meaningless. They try to fill the hole in their lives with eating, drinking, the pursuit of wealth and sex, and any number of meaningless pursuits. You cannot fill a God sized hole with meaningless stuff. Enjoying your life, having a sense of contentment and purpose, are by-products of right relationship with God. The problem is the world tries to get the by-product rather than the “main-product”. Solomon’s solution to the emptiness of life is no solution at all.

You want to be happy? Praise God, trust and obey Him, read your Bible every day, pray every day, make the focus of your life right relationship with Him and as Christ told us, “all these things will be added to you“.

Matthew 6:33 ESV
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

The secret of a joyful life is no secret; it has been known since God first breathed life into Adam. The secret to a joyful life is a right relationship with God.

Have a joyful day brothers!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

A Wise Fool

by | July 23, 2016 | In Daily Reading No Comments

July 23, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: Isaiah 28-30
Old Testament Only: Job 4–6
New Testament Only: Acts 18:1–17

A Wise Fool

Today’s Passage: Proverbs 31 – Ecclesiastes 2

Dunce cap on booksWell, we finish Proverbs today and start Ecclesiastes. I really enjoyed Proverbs and intend to spend some more time in them on my own. I think I could take one verse a day and find great profit in pondering the truth there-in. I think it is fascinating that Proverbs ends with a discussion on the makings of an excellent wife. I know many of us have an excellent wife while others are still searching. I also know there are some who read this description and think their wife doesn’t measure up. If you are thinking along that line, I’d like to turn the question around on you. When your wife reads in the scriptures what makes an excellent husband would she feel you measure up?

Fellas, we can’t control how others act or think or speak; we can only control ourselves. The problem with griping that our wife doesn’t measure up to the biblical standard is that the same can be said of us. Instead of focusing on the speck in our wife’s eye maybe we should be looking at the plank in our own. As the spiritual head of our home it is incumbent on us to live a godly life. It is by our faithful example that our family will be led.

I remember a story of a brother in Christ who was married to an unbeliever. I’m not sure if he married her after he was already a believer or not, but regardless, his wife was antagonistic toward his faith. She ridiculed him, berated him, and put him down. The demands of his employment and marital situation left him little time to read his Bible. His response was to make time. He got up every morning at 3am to read his Bible. I’m saying every morning! He was faithful.

His wife noticed. One morning, while he sat reading his Bible, she came down stairs and spoke to him. She told him that she couldn’t understand how he could be so consistent in his faith in the face of all that she threw at him. He never rose to the bait she kept throwing out. He never failed to get up to read his Bible. His behavior led her to believe that maybe, just maybe, there was something to his faith after all. She asked him to tell her about it.

Now I know most of us are married to Christian women; what a blessing! I’m also sure that if we focused on how they are supposed to be we would find fault. As I’ve said, however, if they look at you they will find fault as well. You can do nothing directly about their faults but you can do everything about your own. By doing so you may just provide the leadership they need to address theirs.

Now, about Ecclesiastes, Solomon wrote this book along with Proverbs and the Song of Solomon. As J. Vernon McGee says, Proverbs is the wisdom of Solomon and Ecclesiastes is the foolishness of Solomon. He says that Ecclesiastes is “the dramatic autobiography of his life when he was away from God.” Remember that Solomon was eventually led away from God by his intermarriage with foreign women and the influence of their foreign gods.

What we see in Ecclesiastes is life without God. The conclusions that Solomon reaches at the end of this book are the conclusions one reaches when one is separated from God. Some will read Ecclesiastes and scratch their head because of the contradictory statements found here compared to the rest of Scripture. Atheists love to quote from Ecclesiastes as do cynics and cults. They read this book out of context finding in it what they want rather than the message it actually delivers.

If you look at the world today, you will see billions attempting to be happy absent right relationship with God. What you read in this book is the emptiness and foolishness of trying to do so. This writer, this king, this Solomon, this man possessing God-given wisdom, who attempted every pleasure and activity known to man, came to view life as empty and purposeless. That is the meaning of the word translated as “vanity”. Solomon came to believe that everything in life was “vanity”, empty and purposeless.

What is the message of this book? The message is simply this: life, absent a right relationship with God, is empty and without purpose. A particular verse comes to mind.

Mark 8:36 ESV
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

Dr. McGee tells us that Job, who was known as a “righteous” man, was shown by God to be a sinner and that Solomon, who was known as a “wise” man, was shown to be a fool. No matter how wealthy, no matter how intelligent, no matter how famous, no matter how good, no matter anything, before God the lost person is a poor, foolish, sinner deserving of eternal separation from Him. There is no good thing, no worthwhile pursuit, no value to life to be found within a man separate from Christ.

Solomon had everything, and he tells us that he tried everything. He was perhaps the wealthiest individual in all of history. Think of the most famous person that comes to mind and then tell me if anyone will remember them as long as Solomon has been remembered? In a time without mass media or mechanical locomotion, Solomon was known throughout the world. He had multitudes of women at his beck and call. He not only had the wherewithal to do anything he wanted, and have anything he wanted, he tried everything he could think of. He looked for fulfillment in wealth, in philosophy, in materialism, in hedonism, in anything the mind of man can conceive. The conclusion he comes to, a conclusion arrived at while separated from God, is that life has no purpose or meaning, that one should live for today because there is nothing more.

The atheists love that one. That conclusion doesn’t sound like the rest of Scripture does it? You see, God calls us to a life full of hope and meaning. When we pursue the things of this world and run from God, we experience the opposite of what God wants for us. It is only in right relationship with God that we find fulfillment. It is only with God that life becomes worth living. The book of Ecclesiastes is here to teach us this truth.

Let us not be fools my friend. Let us learn wisdom from Solomon’s foolishness!

Have a faithful day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Doing Right

by | July 22, 2016 | In Daily Reading No Comments

July 22, 2016

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: Hosea 8-14
Old Testament Only: Job 1–3
New Testament Only: Acts 17:10–34

Doing Right

Today’s Passage: Proverbs 28-30

Dudley DorightBoy, there are so many proverbs I’d like to comment on today! It doesn’t look like I’m going to stay on just one but let’s see how it goes. I was reminded of the world of politics today as I read the following proverb.

Proverbs 28:5 ESV
“Evil men do not understand justice,
but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.”

We hear so much out of Washington about “justice”; that this, that, or the other is unfair and must be redressed by legislation that punishes one group to the benefit of another. Now I don’t wish to paint with too wide a brush here, but I worry that we don’t have enough people “who seek the Lord” in elected office. I am sure there are some but it’s getting pretty hard to identify them. All we see any more are backroom deals for special interests that feed the personal interests of our elected officials. They tell us they are going to “take care of us”, “make things fair”, “solve our problems”, all the while they are doing anything but, and lining their pockets along the way.

I have got to tell you that the last thing I want is a bunch of lying, self-seeking, good for nothing politicians and bureaucratic nincompoops taking care of me or solving my problems. They know nothing about me and I believe I am far more capable of taking care of me than they are. More importantly, these folks don’t “understand justice”. Man is unjust because he seeks after himself. To be just one must seek after God and we have far too little of that in our society today. Those who seek God understand justice completely which is why there is no justice coming out of Washington.

Proverbs 28:9 ESV
“If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer is an abomination.”

Have you ever heard the saying “There are no atheists in fox holes”? I know a man who claims that there is no such thing as God. I also know that he has confessed that in his darkest hours he has been known to pray to God for help. The Bible in general, and Proverbs specifically, tell us that one who rejects God’s Word is a fool. Can you really reject God’s Word and then expect Him to hear your prayers in a favorable light? After 9/11 there were people rushing into church and praying. People that hadn’t been to church in years, who only prayed when they wanted something, suddenly started calling on the Lord.

Such momentary outbreaks of piety show that they have turned their ear from hearing the law. They do not understand the context in which God answers prayer. To them, God is simply the Great Blessing Bestower in the sky just waiting to serve up whatever you request the moment you are ready to put Him to work. My friends, if that is your approach to prayer understand that your prayers are an abomination. They aren’t simply ignored; they are an abomination. Do you know the definition of that word? An abomination is a “cause of abhorrence and disgust”. I had to look up “abhorrence” as well which means “a feeling of repugnance or loathing”. Whoa! God views the prayers of those who turn their ear away from His law with repugnance, loathing, and disgust! Praying from such a place is not just a waste time it evokes a pretty strong negative reaction from God! It is heartbreaking to see the futile flailing of the Lost. They have no hope unless they reject themselves and accept Christ.

Proverbs 28:13 ESV
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”

This stood out to me because we so often forget that there is more to accepting Christ than simply accepting His sacrifice. We must not only confess our sins but “forsake” our sins to obtain mercy. Just so we are clear, forsake means to “give up, renounce, leave all together, abandon”. We must do all of that with our sin to gain mercy, forgiveness, eternal life. How many have walked the aisle, prayed for forgiveness, been baptized and yet have not abandoned their sin? As Christ said there will be those in the last days who call on the name of the Lord to whom He will say “I do not know you.”

Luke 13:24-28 ESV
“Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!'”

Proverbs 28:26 ESV
“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.”

Some time back I tried to explain to my daughter the difference between knowledge and wisdom. We covered this very topic a few days ago in this blog. One can have all the knowledge in the world and be a fool. Knowledge is simply information; it is not of value in and of itself. I’m reminded of Dave Ramsey saying that money is no different from a brick; it can be used for good or bad, to break a window or build a hospital. This is true of knowledge. Wisdom is the rightful use of knowledge. If I don’t know that I should eat right and exercise, well I don’t have knowledge or wisdom. If I know that I should eat right and exercise but don’t, I simply do not have wisdom.

There are those who know a lot and think they know more than they do. They can be very intelligent people but intelligence and knowledge are not wisdom. The Bible is clear, if you have all the knowledge and intelligence in the world, but do not walk in the way of the Lord, you have not wisdom; you are not wise. If you wish to be delivered, be wise and walk in Christ!

Proverbs 29:1-2 ESV
“He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,
will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
but when the wicked rule, the people groan.”

How do you respond to correction? Do you shoot the messenger that says you are not doing right? God will reprove you. He will send people and circumstances to correct you. If you willfully oppose His correction you will be broken beyond healing. Pharaoh comes to mind.

Finally, I look at our nation and I hear the people groan; the wicked rule. If we want to see a revived and joyful nation then we must start calling each other, as well as the Lost, to righteousness. It is the only way.

Have a righteous day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!