Proverbs 24:1-2 ESV
Be not envious of evil men,
nor desire to be with them,
for their hearts devise violence,
and their lips talk of trouble.
We, who are believers in Jesus Christ, have been given the heart and mind of Christ, because Christ dwells within us by his Spirit. And, the Spirit who lives within us now works within our hearts and minds to conform us to the likeness of Christ. Thus, he counsels us in the right way, and he gives us the power and strength to resist Satan, to flee temptation, and to draw near to God. And, he puts within us the right desires, which are God’s desires for us.
So, when we choose to follow Jesus Christ with our lives, to follow him in his ways, and to let his desires become our desires, then our old desires should change to new desires, which are God’s desires. And, thus, we shouldn’t want to hang out with those who make evil their practice, i.e. their lifestyle. And, that is because bad company corrupts good character.
It isn’t that we remove ourselves entirely from those who do evil, though, for how else can we love them and do good to them and share our faith with them? Yes, we are to be separate (unlike, different) from the world. We aren’t supposed to love (prefer) the world as our own, and they should not love us as their own, if we are truly walking with Christ. But, Jesus called us to go into the world, and to be a light shining his truth in the darkness.
So, don’t make people who practice evil your close companions, or you might become like them. And don’t join in with them in their evil deeds. And, don’t desire the evil that they desire or be jealous of them and want what they have. But, love the people of the world with Christ’s love. Do good to them. Minister to their needs. And, share with them the gospel of Christ.
Proverbs 24:3-7 ESV
By wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled
with all precious and pleasant riches.
A wise man is full of strength,
and a man of knowledge enhances his might,
for by wise guidance you can wage your war,
and in abundance of counselors there is victory.
Wisdom is too high for a fool;
in the gate he does not open his mouth.
Do you know that we can have all sorts of knowledge about all kinds of things and not be wise? And, that a person who may not have even a high school degree can be filled with wisdom? And, that is because it is not enough just to know the good that we ought to do, but we must do the good we know to do. For, wisdom is good knowledge applied to our lives.
In other words, what we know in our heads that is good, that is healthful and beneficial to our lives, means nothing if we don’t apply it to our lives. For, the good that we know needs to move from our heads to our hearts, and from our mouths to our deeds. Then, when we put into practice what we know is right and good, then that is wise. For, the foolish, although they may know right from wrong, will reject the right to go after the wrong.
So, I am going to exercise some wisdom here. Where it says here that “in abundance of counselors there is victory,” we must make certain we read that in context. For it is by wise guidance that we are able to wage war against the enemy of our souls, i.e. Satan. It is by wise counsel that we are able to be free from the control of fear and from sinful practices. And, “wise,” in this case, is also godly and biblical counsel, too.
For, there is not wisdom in numbers. Having a bunch of counselors may not be wise at all, if they are not people who are walking righteously, and if they are not sensitive to the Spirit’s voice, and if they are not people who practice listening to the Lord and doing what he says. For even many people who call themselves Christians are very worldly in their thinking. So, seek the face of the Lord, and seek his counsel, and be wise in seeking human counselors.
Proverbs 24:8-9 ESV
Whoever plans to do evil
will be called a schemer.
The devising of folly is sin,
and the scoffer is an abomination to mankind.
Obviously not everyone is wise, even if they claim to be. There are many who do evil, and who even plot evil against the righteous. There are many who disguise themselves as servants of righteousness who are really wolves in sheep’s clothing. And, they are out to steal, to kill and to destroy the Lord’s sheep, i.e. his followers. But, they will put on a mask in order to deceive the naïve and the immature. So, we need to be bathing our minds with the truths of God’s Word so that we are not taken in by their lies.
For, their goal is to turn people’s minds and hearts away from Jesus Christ and from his true gospel of salvation from sin. And, they do this by supplanting the true Jesus with another Jesus, and the true gospel with another gospel which tickles itching ears and tells people what their flesh wants to hear. So, we have to be in the Word of God, and we have to know what it says (in context), so that we are not taken in by their trickery and by their deceptions.
Yet, if we take a stand for Christ and for the gospel as he taught it, and as his NT apostles taught it, then those who are trying to lead everyone astray are going to come after us, and they already are. For, they have already devised a scheme in how to convince people not to believe the true gospel message, and it is a lot like this whole thing of “real news” vs. “fake news.” For, they convince you that the truth is a lie and that the lie is the truth.
Proverbs 24:10-12 ESV
If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?
Yet, when these evil doers, these workers of iniquity, come against us because we are teaching the truth of the gospel of our salvation, we need to not faint. We need to not fear their intimidation or their threats. We should not withdraw out of fear of what they might do to us or say about us. For, God is with us, and he is in control, and he is absolutely sovereign over all powers and authorities both on the earth and in the heavenly realms.
So, we need to remain strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. We must daily put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes and attacks against us. Again, we have to be in the Word of God, not just so we can combat our enemy, though, but so we can know what God requires of us so that we follow him in doing what he says to do. And, besides that, this is how he speaks to us and lets us know his will, and he comforts and encourages us through his written Word, too.
Despite all adversity, we need to keep on sharing the truth of the gospel, because it is the message that lets people know that Jesus died on that cross to rescue them from their slavery to sin, not just to forgive their sins. And, it tells them that he died that we might live with him to his righteousness, too, not just so we can go to heaven one day when we die. So, we need to tell them the truth, so that they are not taken away to death, and they end up dying in their sins, bound for hell, when they thought they were going to heaven.
And, we need to be encouraging one another, too, in our walks of faith, to remain steadfast in Christ and in His Word, and to walk in holiness, and to live godly lives which are pleasing to the Lord. We need to warn against complacency and idolatry and the thinking that says we can continue living in sin and it doesn’t matter. And, we need to be a voice of reason in this dark world in letting people know that what they sow in this life they are going to reap in the next life (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 6:7-8).
God is With Us
An Original Work / June 11, 2019
Based off Psalm 46
God’s our refuge. He is our strength,
A present help to us when in pain.
Therefore, we will not be afraid,
Although the earth beneath us gives way.
Though the mountains be moved to the sea,
Roaring waters abound so free,
And the mountains now tremble so,
We will not fear, God is near, we know.
God is with us and He makes glad
The hearts of all who to Christ have fled.
Christ is in us, so we’ll not fall
When on our Savior our hearts do call.
God will help us, as mornings arise,
To be faithful to His design.
Nations raging, and tempers flare.
Our God is with us. We know He cares.
Come and see the works of the Lord.
He’s armed for battle with His great sword.
He’s the Word, and He is the Life.
He gives us strength in all of our strife.
Be still and know that He is our God.
He’s exalted where’er He trods.
The Lord Almighty, with us still;
The God of Jacob, our citadel.
Saturday, June 15, 2019