The Cultural Spiral–Proverbs 29 Part 1

While there are many aspects of wisdom, one of the most curious aspects is the envy and violence that those who fail to seek it possess.  There has been the misconception that an absence of reverence has no effect on order. In fact, as respect for God wanes, so does respect for authority and respect for life. From the time of Noah, societies that alienate themselves from God—become lawless, chaotic, self-destructive messes.

Solomon contrasts the lives of the people affected by the wise and the foolish. That societal dysfunction is visited down to the individual. In current culture, removal of all vestiges of God from Government and education started a downward spiral that eliminated respect for authority—military, law enforcement, educators and parents. Additionally, we eliminated respect for life—abortion, euthanasia, genocide and violent crime. Finally, we eliminated respect for institution—marriage, family, and even gender roles.  The result is a society like Noah’s wrought with lawlessness, chaos and self-destruction.

Sadly, history does not reflect a society’s restoration once it has reached the level of chaos described. Time and again, the Sodomites, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans saw their cultures destroyed as chaos overtook them. Even in current culture, one need only look across the globe to Europe to see the crumbling of civilization occurring before our very eyes. As Christians, we need to pray for restoration and revival. Passionately, we need to call on God for mercy and for direction to regain a semblance of order and polite society in our nation—otherwise, we will fade into obscurity as great cultures have done before us. Have mercy Mighty Lord!!!

God Bless You

1Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes     will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice;     when the wicked rule, the people groan.

A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,     but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

By justice a king gives a country stability,     but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down.

Those who flatter their neighbors     are spreading nets for their feet.

Evildoers are snared by their own sin,     but the righteous shout for joy and are glad.

The righteous care about justice for the poor,     but the wicked have no such concern.

Mockers stir up a city,     but the wise turn away anger.

If a wise person goes to court with a fool,     the fool rages and scoffs, and there is no peace.

10 The bloodthirsty hate a person of integrity     and seek to kill the upright

Wise Sayings From a Wise Guy–Proverbs 1 Part 1

Giving back—that is the answer of why the wisest, richest and most powerful leader of Israel took time out of his day to write the proverbs. To understand the proverbs, one must understand the author.  Solomon was the Son of David.  He was God’s pick for King.  When he became king—God met him directly, offered him anything he wanted as King–wealth, power, fame—Solomon told God, as a young king, he wanted wisdom.  God was thrilled.  God said, as you have asked for wisdom—I will make you the wisest king that has ever lived.  In addition, since you chose wisdom over fame, power and fortune, I will also give you all of those things. So it was—Solomon became the wisest, most powerful, most wealthy and most influential king of the nation of Israel.

Sadly, despite all that God had provided the king—like many of us—Solomon began to believe the hype.  He became proud of his wisdom, his wealth and his power.  He literally made his life an experiment.  He did everything that men do to find happiness.  He sought treasure-and accumulated more than he could ever spend—it left him empty.  He sought love—he had 1000 wives and 300 concubines—it left him lonely.  He sought world renown as the most prominent and wealthiest leader in the world—yet his power gave him nothing more than the kings before him. He dived head first into every sin imaginable—still he was unsatisfied.  At the end of his life, the “wonder king” realized all his ventures were nothing more than foolishness and his original plan as a boy king—to have and use God’s wisdom to lead justly and selflessly was the most amazing life of all.

It is from that place, that the wisest man of all time penned the proverbs.  He wrote them for his son—the one who would be king.  His hope was that he could help him to avoid the wasteful empty life Solomon made for himself.  While, the proverbs did not mold and save Rehoboam- his son and successor, it has shaped lives through the centuries and gives men some very practical life directing wisdom, that if followed, will unleash the power of a Godly king.

God Bless You

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

for gaining wisdom and instruction;     for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,     doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple,     knowledge and discretion to the young— let the wise listen and add to their learning,     and let the discerning get guidance— for understanding proverbs and parables,     the sayings and riddles of the wise.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,     but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

A False Teacher’s Destiny–2 Peter 2

God takes seriously the diluting or falsifying of his message of hope and freedom.  He does not tolerate those that would use his name to extort, intimidate, control or in any other way deceive his chosen ones.  Like any father, he could tolerate someone attacking or trying to lead him astray, but if you mess with his kids, it will not go well for you.

So many have tried to use God’s message of freedom for personal gain or glory.  He tells us that the end for them will be awful.  We have to seek the truth.  We also have to carefully discern the message those who teach are spreading.  If their focus is on anyone other than the Lord, it is a sign they are not teaching the truth.  Their message should be clear, consistent and Christ centered, otherwise its veracity is suspect.  We need to follow the true message and teachers that are committed to its communication.  Help me Lord to listen to and teach the truth!

God Bless You

But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.

Confession With Passion–2 Peter 1 Final

Peter’s confession is unrivaled in passion and in credibility.  Here, he is writing to the church–soon before being hung upside down on a cross, letting them know this is a passion he gained through eye witness experience.  This same Peter–that denied Christ the night of his arrest.  The Peter that told God he did not like his cooking on a roof in Joppa.  The Peter that avoided the barbeque when Paul and kosher Christians showed up to meet with Gentile Christians–now is telling what he saw and heard that would convince anyone of the deity of Christ!

We are the same. We can go from fear to Fanatic by simply clinging to the truth of Christ as it has been shown in our lives.  We have all seen and experienced the difference the relationship has brought in our lives.  We have done great things and we have failed–but, no matter what we can stand before others and passionately tell them What a difference he has made in our lives.  We simply need to remember and cling to the countless times he has intervened on  our behalf.

We need not be afraid–He loves us as we are and knows us as the frail children that we sadly remain.  We simply need to also know him for the mighty God he is and follow him accordingly!

God Bless You

For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life,[e] 15 so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone.

16 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes 17 when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”[f] 18 We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.

19 Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines[g] in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding,[h] 21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

Only the sick need a Doctor–Matt 2 part 2

Jesus knew what he was getting when he came to earth.  He came to show the world the true face of the Father. The miracles he did were to show His father’s nature and Love.  When Jesus called Matthew, he did so to show the world he takes us as we are.  He did not want teachers or royalty, he wanted just folks, in their sinful condition-to save and to lead in a right relationship to God.  Thousands of years of reading and teaching the law had not given the Jewish people how the Lord loved and wanted to have a relationship with us.  So, God sent Jesus to seek and save the lost…(the sick).  Jesus surrounded himself with people that were lost, hurting and hopeless.  He then met them where they were and gave them what they were missing—health hope and love.

It is still the same today.  God still looks to love the loveless, heal the sick and give hope to the hopeless.  There is still only one answer to men’s condition.  The answer is Jesus.  He died to give us salvation.  He lived to show us the Father’s love.  The word’s he spoke, the miracles he performed and the sacrifice he made were all to help those who were hopeless to gain hope.  We only need to accept that love and follow him. We do not need to earn it nor can we.  The harder we try to earn it the farther from his love we move.  The most we could do is to simply surrender to his love and leadership.  He then will fill the void we never could.  Help me Lord, to simply trust, follow and experience the life he gives.

God Bless You

13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Go Big or Go Home 2 Samuel 14 part 2

David brought his son Absolom back from Geshur. But when he brought him back, he refused to rebuild the relationship.  David simply ignored him.  This drove Absolom crazy.  He wanted to restore his relationship with his dad and did everything requested to make that happen.  David continued to ignore and avoid the situation and would ultimately make things worse.  If we are willing to move to correct our sin and repent, we cannot take a minimal approach.  That approach will cause even more damage. 

In our lives, we need to move ahead in our journey as if we fully believe God is God and has a plan.  We do not have the luxury of hedging our bets.  We cannot be double minded.  In fact, When God talks of double minded attitudes and half hearted commitment he is quite adamant that it makes him sick.  Follow God and his plan or don’t.  Going halfway makes God sick.  Help me Lord to walk with you completely committed to your leadership.

God Bless You

28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years, but he never got to see the king. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab to ask him to intercede for him, but Joab refused to come. Absalom sent for him a second time, but again Joab refused to come. 30 So Absalom said to his servants, “Go and set fire to Joab’s barley field, the field next to mine.” So they set his field on fire, as Absalom had commanded.

31 Then Joab came to Absalom at his house and demanded, “Why did your servants set my field on fire?”

32 And Absalom replied, “Because I wanted you to ask the king why he brought me back from Geshur if he didn’t intend to see me. I might as well have stayed there. Let me see the king; if he finds me guilty of anything, then let him kill me.”

Psalms 91–God is My Refuge

Where is your refuge? Is it in your career, family, possessions, Government? The Lord calls us to allow him to be our refuge. David was on the run for his life.  He was being pursued by Saul and his army, he was portrayed as an outlaw and traitor to the nation.  He was scorned by a farmer whose land he had been protecting—Clearly David found out that his refuge was not in any normal human, place or thing.  God stripped them away and left David with the best refuge of all, God himself. David quickly found that when all that is left is all that you need—You have an amazing God and an amazing refuge.

In our lives, we too have sought refuge in a variety of established places—family, friends, position, power, money and a host of other things.  When circumstances are difficult, however, we realize that the only and best refuge is the Lord God. When we hide in him, no matter the circumstance—he shows himself faithful and amazing in protecting, providing and granting us the peace we need to face the chaos of life.  He promises us that we will not be defeated or destroyed if we are willing to follow him.  Help me Lord to make you my refuge.  Help me to allow you to protect, provide ad grant me peace.

God Bless You

If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”