Proverbs 29 (Selected Verses) ESV
He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,
will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
Do you profess faith in Jesus Christ? Many people in America do. Yet, not all who profess the name of Jesus truly know him intimately, personally, and in reality. For, they never really gave him their hearts and lives. They say they believe in him. They say it with their lips. But, their actions speak the opposite, and actions speak louder than words.
Thus, when God’s Word reproves them, some of them stiffen their necks, and they refuse to listen. Oh, maybe they listen with their ears, but not with their hearts. For, they are like the man who looked at himself in the mirror and then walked away and forgot what he looked like (Jas. 1:22-25).
These who profess faith in Jesus Christ, but when God speaks they stiffen their necks, and they refuse to listen to him, will not endure with Christ for eternity. For, they are still captive to their own flesh, to doing what the lusts of their flesh desire. And, many of them in our society truly are companions of prostitutes, maybe not in a literal sense, but via addiction to porn.
A man who flatters his neighbor
spreads a net for his feet.
An evil man is ensnared in his transgression,
but a righteous man sings and rejoices.
Those who profess one thing, but live another, live a lie. And, so as is often the case, those who live a lie will be those who flatter others for the purpose to deceive them, to manipulate them into believing one thing is true while the opposite is the reality. So, they will give off a false impression of being righteous, while in the dark, in secret, they are living in wickedness.
I have often wondered, “Why bother?” I mean, if you intend to live for the flesh, and not for God, then why the charade? Why make a show of righteousness if you fully intend to keep on in your sinful practices? Why not just say that you don’t really believe in Jesus and that you want to live in sin? Although living in sin and in sexual immorality is bad enough, the lies just make it so much worse. For, then you are insulting God, too.
Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless
and seek the life of the upright.
A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
but a wise man quietly holds it back.
I have found this to be true that those who profess faith in Jesus Christ, and yet are living a lie, will hate those who are walking in purity of devotion to Jesus Christ. They will be jealous of them, much like the Pharisees were jealous of Jesus, and they will be offended by them, too, because their righteousness will make them feel guilty, and they don’t want to feel guilty.
So, they will prefer the companionship of those who are living in the gutter, too, and especially of those who will join them in their degradation. For, then they don’t have to be conscious of their own sin, but they can ignore it, or excuse it away, or even justify it as something deserved or earned.
And, many who are in this category will actually go after those who are walking in righteousness, and they will attack them, gossip about them, smear them with lies, or try to discredit them, as the Pharisees did to Jesus. For, they don’t want the truth shined on their sin, but they want to be able to continue on in their sin, living their double lives, and fooling most people.
Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,
but blessed is he who keeps the law.
By mere words a servant is not disciplined,
for though he understands, he will not respond.
Now here we have stated for us a big part of the problem. At least here in America, evangelical Christianity has suffered a huge nose dive. The evangelical churches in America used to preach repentance and obedience to Christ, but now it seems that the vast majority of them have gone the way of the world and the flesh, and now many are saying we don’t have to repent, and we don’t have to obey Jesus, but we can still go to heaven.
Thus, since the true gospel of our salvation has taken a huge hit by the cheap grace gospel being spread throughout our nation, people have cast off restraint. And, this is because they have been convinced that a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ is enough to secure heaven for them, but that they are not required by God to repent of their sins or to obey Him.
And, so they have been convinced that they can “believe” in Jesus and that they can still continue in their sinful lifestyles. And, some are even being told that they can sin as much as they want, because they now have their “fire insurance,” or because God’s grace now covers it all.
Or, they are being told that when God looks at them all he sees is Jesus, and thus he smiles on them even if they are engaged in all sorts of wickedness and immoral behaviors. And, so if they feel guilty that they are sinning, they are being told just to claim who they are in Christ, and that will make them feel better.
A man of wrath stirs up strife,
and one given to anger causes much transgression.
One’s pride will bring him low,
but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
I have found, too, that those who are living a lie are often those who are filled with anger, bitterness, resentment, jealousy and hatred, too. They are angry with God because he didn’t do what they thought he ought to do, or they are angry with other people who did not perform up to their expectations, or they are angry over their own failures because of their own pride and their own inability, in their own flesh, to maintain self-control.
They can’t be at peace, because they are not at peace with God. They know they are doing wrong, and yet they continue. And, being around those who are doing right just makes them angrier. For, the righteous are a continual reminder to those living the lie that they, themselves, are not doing right, just by the mere fact that the righteous are living for God, and they are seeking his will, and they are walking in obedience to the Lord, though not in sinless perfection.
The fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
We are not to fear their anger. We are not to fear what they might do to us or say about us, or how they might try to trip us up or attempt to discredit us, for that is what the Pharisees (hypocrites) of Jesus’ day did to him. But, we are never to fear humans. For, they have no real power over us.
For, our God is still on the throne. He is still sovereign over all things. He is absolutely in control. Nothing can thwart his purposes. His Word will be fulfilled! His truth will go forward, no matter how much the wicked try to suppress the truth by their unrighteousness, and by their schemes to dilute and/or to discredit the true gospel of our salvation.
Our Lord doesn’t promise us, though, that we won’t be mistreated, or that we won’t be gossiped about or slandered, or that we won’t be hated or falsely accused. In fact, he promises us that we will, and that suffering is part of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. So, we need to just give it all over to Jesus, and keep walking in his truth, and we need to keep praying for those who are living a lie that they will be brought to repentance.
An Original Work / August 29, 2018
Your bond is broken
With your Lord and Savior
And, your testimony is
Separate from Him.
Your words not matching
Your actions today.
Repent of your sin and
Bow down and pray.
Live what you testify
In truth always.
Purity’s lacking in
Your life and witness,
For you profess one thing,
But other you do.
Not moral, spiritual.
Still of the flesh.
Not living in truth to
What you confess.
Lying about it
Puts you in a mess.
Living a lie is your practice,
‘tis true of you.
Masquerade righteousness –
None of it true.
Your heart is not given
To your Lord God.
Because of how you live,
You are a fraud.
Turn from your sin and
Give your life to God.