He’s Keeping Watch
Proverbs 15:3 ESV
“The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
keeping watch on the evil and the good.”
This is a great encouragement to us! Our God is absolutely sovereign and in control over all things. Nothing escapes his notice, and not anything can thwart his purposes. Even as evil appears to be rapidly increasing in the world, still God is in control, and he has his eye on it all.
After all, he never promised us that we would not have troubles in this world. He never said that while we live on this earth that evil will not reign. He said it would, and he said that we would have troubles, heartaches, trials, and tribulations to test our faith.
So, no matter what you are going through, no matter what persecutions you may be facing, or what trials you are having to endure, God is not absent, and he is still all powerful, and he knows what is going on, and he will accomplish good through it. Trust him!
But He Loves
Proverbs 15:8-10 ESV
“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.
The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
but he loves him who pursues righteousness.
There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way;
whoever hates reproof will die.”
Do you know that this is taught in the New Testament, too? This is not just Old Testament teaching. And in the NT the righteous are described not only as believers in Jesus Christ but as those who make righteousness their practice, their way of life. And it is those who practice evil who are evil.
And do you know that this includes those who profess faith in Jesus Christ? We aren’t righteous merely by what we may call “faith” in Jesus, which many times is not biblical faith. But it is us who practice righteousness in the power and strength of our Lord who are righteous in God’s eyes.
And the wicked aren’t merely all those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but they are all those who practice evil (sin), which includes many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ, too. So, a profession of faith in Jesus doesn’t make you righteous or not wicked.
So, what this is saying is that any sacrifice, supposedly made to God, by a person who is living in sin deliberately and habitually, in rebellion against God, is not acceptable to God. It is a revulsion to him. He doesn’t like it. He is not pleased with it. God loathes the ways of the wicked.
But the prayer of the upright (the one living uprightly, walking in righteousness) is acceptable to God. For, our Lord loves (adores) those who actively pursue (practice, engage in) righteousness (what is right in the eyes of God). And, again, this is what is taught in the New Testament.
And know this, too. There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way of righteousness and who hates reproof, who refuses to be corrected by God and to turn from his/her evil ways. For, if we live in sin, we will die in our sins, but if we live to righteousness, we will have eternal life.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:7; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10]
The Ear that Listens
Proverbs 15:31-33 ESV
“The ear that listens to life-giving reproof
will dwell among the wise.
Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,
but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom,
and humility comes before honor.”
Life-giving reproof is found in the gospel of our salvation which teaches us that we must die with Christ to sin and live to Christ and to his righteousness if we want salvation from sin and eternal life with God. And it teaches that we must walk (in conduct) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh.
Yes, God’s gift of grace to us did not cost us anything. Jesus is the one who gave his life up for us on that cross. It cost him everything. We can do nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation. But his grace to us is not free license to continue living in sin without guilt.
God’s grace to us delivers us from our slavery to sin so we can now become slaves of God and of his righteousness. God’s grace, which brings salvation, trains us, in fact, to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return.
And God’s grace to us empowers us to live righteously, and to obey our Lord in all things, and to submit to him as Lord, and to leave our lives of sin behind us. But whoever will not listen to the Lord’s instructions to us, and who feels he doesn’t have to obey the Lord, will not inherit eternal life with God.
So, we must walk in the fear of the Lord. We must conduct our lives in practice according to the Spirit of God in respect, honor, and obedience to our Lord Jesus. For, if we continue going our own way, doing what we want to do, living for sin and self, and not for God, we will die in our sins.
So, walk in the fear of the Lord. Do what he says to do. Go where he sends you and say whatever he gives you to say. Don’t fear those who can kill the body but who can’t kill your soul. And don’t be afraid of all the evil going on in the world. Trust the Lord. Surrender to him. Live at peace.
[Tit 2:11-14; Eph 4:17-24; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Php 2:12-13; 2 Co 5:6-11; Lu 9:23-26; Gal 6:7-8; 1 Pet 2:24]
Forever with Us
An Original Work / February 5, 2016
Based off Psalm 46
Be still and know
God is over all things.
Throughout the earth,
He’ll be honored as King.
The Lord Almighty,
Forever with us.
He is our refuge
When we’re in distress.
Therefore, we have
Not a reason to fear.
Trials will come,
But our God is still near.
He is our helper,
So we do not fall.
Mountains will quake,
But on Jesus we call.
Joy to the Church,
Even if sorrow comes.
But our faith marches on.
God’s Holy Spirit,
Now living within,
Gives peace and comfort,
And grace without end.