Proverbs 14:2, 3, 5, 6 ESV
Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord,
but he who is devious in his ways despises him.
By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back,
but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
A faithful witness does not lie,
but a false witness breathes out lies.
A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain,
but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to all walk in uprightness in the fear of the Lord. We are to honor God with our lives, and we are to treat our Lord with full respect and reverence, walking in obedience to him, and following him in his ways and in his truth. We should be those who walk in integrity, in all honesty, in trustworthiness, and in purity of devotion to our Lord.
For, if we truly love God, we will walk in obedience to him. Those who choose not to obey him, as a matter of course (practice, lifestyle), do not love him, but they despise him. They have chosen their own path to follow rather than to follow the way of holiness and righteousness. So, instead of being truth tellers, they are liars and deceivers. And, instead of honoring God with their lives, they scoff at him and his Word, instead.
Yet, those of us who love the Lord our God should speak words of wisdom and discernment – the words of life and of love for God and for our fellow humans. Our speech should be truthful and never mixed with lies or deceit. We should always show faithfulness and honesty in all our speech, and false testimonies should never be on our tongues. Our tongues should reflect Christ and not our flesh, and definitely not our culture, because we love God.
Proverbs 14:7, 8, 11, 12 ESV
Leave the presence of a fool,
for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way,
but the folly of fools is deceiving.
The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will flourish.
There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
Scripture teaches us that bad company corrupts good character. So, it is wise for us not to become companions of fools. And, fools are people who do not act wisely, but who make it their practice to behave recklessly, irrationally, and thoughtlessly, for they are lacking in good sense, judgment and discretion. So, it is better for us to make close friends with those who will influence us in ways that are good, upright, godly and wise, too.
It is foolishness to follow after our own flesh, to do what our flesh desires, rather than to walk in obedience to our Lord. It is foolishness to go the way of worldly wisdom rather than to make the Lord our counsel. The foolish are not in the practice of following good counsel or discernment, but they tend to let their feelings and their flesh rule their hearts, minds and actions. And, in the end, it will not go well for them, for if we walk according to our flesh, scripture says we will die in our sins, not live with Christ for eternity.
Nonetheless, if we walk in the ways of the Lord, and we do not follow after the ways of the foolish, then we are wise, and we are discerning. And, we will be blessed in what we do. Our lives will have purpose and direction, we will be at peace with God, and we will have the joy and the presence of the Lord in our daily walks of faith. And, in the end, we will have eternal life with God, and we will have no fear of death, for we will be with our Lord forever.
Proverbs 14:15, 16, 22, 23 ESV
The simple believes everything,
but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil,
but a fool is reckless and careless.
Do they not go astray who devise evil?
Those who devise good meet steadfast love and faithfulness.
In all toil there is profit,
but mere talk tends only to poverty.
Another word for “simple” is “naïve.” In some ways, it is good to be those who are trusting and childlike, when it comes to trusting in God our Lord. But, it is not good if it means we remain immature spiritually and we lack in discernment, and therefore we are easily tossed here and there by every wind of teaching by those who are deceitful and wicked, and who would lead us astray from our pure devotion to Christ to follow after them, instead.
So, we should believe God, and we should believe his Word, but even there we must give thought to our steps, for many are led astray by taking scriptures out of context to make them mean what will support their sinful lifestyles. So, when it comes to believing the Word of God, we need to make certain that we are reading the Word in context, and that we are comparing scripture with scripture, so that we get its full meaning, rather than making it say what tickles itching ears. For, the wise turn away from evil. They don’t excuse it away and coddle themselves in their sin.
If we truly are followers of Jesus Christ, not in name only, but in practice, then we will seek to do good and not evil. For, we understand that when Jesus Christ died on that cross, he did not die merely to forgive us our sins and to promise us heaven when we die, but he died that we might die with him to sin, and he lives that we might live with him to righteousness. Therefore, we will follow our Lord in obedience, and we will not live for the flesh, but we will live for God to do what he has called us to do and to be.
Proverbs 14:25, 32, 33, 34 ESV
A truthful witness saves lives,
but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.
The wicked is overthrown through his evildoing,
but the righteous finds refuge in his death.
Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding,
but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools.
Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin is a reproach to any people.
So many people today are teaching a false grace gospel which does not save lives from sin or from hell, because it does not require death to sin or living to righteousness. Rather it teaches a profession of faith that does not have to be accompanied by action. It says you can “believe” in Jesus and have heaven secured as your eternal destiny, but that God does not require you to leave your lives of sin behind you or to follow him in obedience.
So, someone who tells the truth, and who teaches the whole counsel of God, and who does not teach a half-truth gospel, is one who saves lives, because he or she is teaching the truth which sets people free. He or she is teaching that we must leave our lives of sin behind us to follow our Lord in obedience if we want to have eternal life with God, because that is what God’s Word teaches (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Tit. 2:11-14).
Yet, those who are teaching the truth which saves lives also understand that teaching the truth will bring upon them much rejection, persecution and even death for the sake of the name of Jesus, and for the sake of the gospel of our salvation. For, many are following after the lies, and they are denying the truth, and they are excusing away their sin, and they are rejecting righteousness. So, they don’t want to hear or to believe the truth that sets people free from their slavery to sin. And, some of them will, thus, attack those of us who are telling the truth. Yet, we are not to fear them or what they may do to us, but we are to keep on telling the truth that sets people free. Amen!
An Original Work / June 19, 2013
Based off Acts 20-22, 26; Mt. 28:18-20; Ac. 1:8
Why are you weeping and breaking my heart?
I’m fully ready to suffer for Christ.
If I must die for the sake of His name,
I am convinced it will not be in vain.
Glory to God and to His Son Jesus,
Who has redeemed us; bought with His blood.
May I speak to you? Jesus came to me;
Asked of me, “Why do you persecute me?”
He said, “Now get up and stand on your feet.
Go, and you’ll be told all I have for you.
I have appointed you as a servant,
And as a witness; you have been sent.”
“Go into the world and preach the gospel.
Open the blind eyes. They will receive sight.
Turn them from darkness to the light of Christ;
From power of the evil one to God,
So they may receive forgiveness of sins,
And a place among those who’re in heav’n.”
Wednesday, July 3, 2019