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PROFITING FROM PROVERBS

Baptist_Bible_Believer

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Every day of the month, as the Lord leads, read that day's chapter of Proverbs and post whatever the Lord lays on your heart using any verse in the chapter as your text. It can range from a short devotional to a sermon to a commentary. The purpose is that this will stimulate Bible reading among some saints that just haven't gotten started yet, and allow folks to share hidden treasures from the dark sayings of Solomon. Enjoy, have fun, and above all, be edified from the living Word of the Living God.



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"But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil" (Proverbs 1:33 KJV).

First of all, who is this “me” referred to in the verse? Verse 20 tells us that it is “wisdom” crying in the streets. Who is this “wisdom?” Paul gives us the answer, "But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God . . . But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption" (I Corinthians 1:24, 30). Now, we all know that the name “Jesus” was unknown when Solomon wrote these words, but they did know the “I AM”, and Jesus clearly identifies Himself with that in the Book of John, "Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58).

In the first chapter of the Book of Proverbs, where better to see a glimpse of biblical salvation. Until the day when the Lamb of God would become the sacrifice for sins through His death, burial and resurrection, they still had the blood of the sacrifices that spoke of better things to come, and through them the Old Testament saint could enjoy the same deliverance as the New Testament believer, but just not the sealing of the Spirit and His presence.

Proverbs deals with sound judgment and right decisions that would allow those that listened and applied the truths to their lives, to have a safe and peaceful life. The man that walked with God also had God’s hedge of protection about him and his family, and under the special protection of heaven, nothing can ever do us any real harm, as we abide in His will. Only by God’s express permission can our earthly body be harmed, but our spirits are forever indestructible.

And any fear of a future judgement of hell (or, as it was known prior to the cross, prison) is absolutely unknown. Whether in this life, or the next, evil can never harm us.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early” (Psalms 46:1-5 KJV).

Father, we thank You for the promise of eternal life and for our angel of the LORD Who encampeth round about them that fear Him, Jesus Christ, our Saviour.

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For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints(Proverbs 2:6-8 KJV).

For the LORD giveth wisdom,” now, when you find the knowledge of God as verse 5 says, then verses 6-8 will be the result. The Lord gives wisdom (James 1:5).

Out of his mouth,” out of His Book, out of His prophets, out of His preachers, out of His Spirit “cometh knowledge and understanding.” There are three things in that verse of note. Wisdom—Knowledge—Understanding. Wisdom is what you know, knowledge is how you apply it, and understanding is relating it to God. “To depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).

He layeth up sound wisdom. . .” There are two kinds of wisdom over in the Book of James, godly and worldly. “. . . For the righteous,” “righteous” is a qualification. It is not just talking about somebody that is saved, but somebody that is doing right, and walking right—especially in the sense that it is an Old Testament situation. “He layeth up,” notice that expression. We lay things up for a rainy day. We often hear of folks laying something up for the future when they are going to need it. That is exactly what he is talking about—he ‘reserves” it—puts it away for you. Let’s look at some things about that.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal [Don’t put your heart there, don’t make that your life, because you’ll be disappointed]: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal(Matthew 6:19-20 KJV). Here we see that same expression, “lay up.” Lay up treasures in heaven. There is a bank in heaven. You can put things up there ahead. You can prepare for the next life in this life. We are told in the Book that if we “seek knowledge,” if we’ll “listen,” what that does is to put up in the heavenly bank “wisdom” and “strength” and everything you need for a future day. When will we need it? Look at Matthew 10.

The disciples were following the Lord Jesus Christ—what were they doing? They were listening to Him. What else were they doing? They were learning of Him, He said, “learn of Me.” What else were they doing? They were being like Him. They were walking after Him and doing His will. Notice what He said would happen, when He was getting ready to send them out.

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you(Matthew 10:16-20 KJV).

Do you know why Jesus could say that to those disciples? Because they had laid up something for the time when they will need it. And when the time came—and it did—there was a treasure of wisdom and knowledge laid up there to handle the situation, or the obstacle, or the hindrance that they would be faced with. So, he says, if you will learn, if you will listen, if you will apply it, if you will seek it; then God will put it up in store for you. And when the trouble comes, when the heartache comes, trials, troubles, disaster—you’ll be able to reach up into the heavenly bank and draw on that supply. And you’ll have wisdom to understand.

How ridiculous is it for someone that never has time for his Bible to try to apply this promise to himself? You have to have something in there to be able to find it when you need it. That is why people end up leaving the church. Something happens in their life and they have no spiritual compass with which to deal with it. Perhaps they hear something from the pulpit, or some brother Christian says something to them that they haven’t the spiritual discernment to understand—and it just bowls them over. At the time of testing, why have they not the spiritual resiliency to bounce back? Because they have nothing laid up in store. They are ignorant of the truth because they aren’t in the Word of God. They are still carnal babes in Christ, even if they have been saved for twenty years.

They haven’t got any wisdom, they haven’t got any understanding, they haven’t any about God and God’s people to be able to handle the situation; so, they get knocked out of the race. It happens all the time. It doesn’t need to. People can lay up in store in that heavenly bank for times such as these. When times of misunderstanding come, and troubles come, so they can draw on that strength, and draw on that reserve of God, to get them through that situation.

“. . .be ye therefore wise as serpents,” we are sheep, there is no doubt about that. That is what God says that we are. But we don’t have to be as dumb as sheep. The sheep has to be the dumbest animal in the world. We don’t have to be dumb! We’ve got a Book that tells us about every issue of life, and how to handle every problem. That is why we are told to be “wise as serpents.”

Lord, I thank you for Your presence in our lives. Truly you have given us richly all things, but especially, thank You for not giving us what we deserve. Cleanse us with You Blood as we confess before you are failures and fill us with Your Spirit for the day’s activities. Lord, make us holy, and let people see You in us. Amen.

Edited by Baptist_Bible_Believer

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My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth(Proverbs 3:11-12 KJV).

The same Lord that warns us to correct our children is the same Lord that will take us to the woodshed when necessary, because we all know that we need it from time to time just to remind us that we are to live by God’s standard, and not our own. It is so easy to become haughty and condescending to others, as though somehow, we were not a sinner saved by grace, just as they are.

God has a marvelous tool that He keeps close at hand for just such an occasion. In fact, even David, the shepherd had one as well. We see it in a very well-known verse in our Bibles, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me(Psalms 23:4 KJV). It is the shepherd’s staff.

On one end of the staff was a crook which the shepherd would use to guide a sheep back onto the path if he strays from it. A shepherd might have a very large number of sheep and he is responsible to see that his charges only graze in open pasture, and not in some farmer’s grain. In fact, he was financially responsible if his sheep damaged the grain either by eating it or trampling upon it. Each farm had footpaths that led through their land, and it was up to the shepherd to see that his sheep did not stray from it.

Sometimes a lamb might have a mind of its own and defy the shepherd and ignore the crook of the staff. On the other end of the staff was a point which the shepherd would use by jabbing the sheep—giving it enough discomfort to teach it that it is needs to stay on the path. When that doesn’t work, the shepherd also has a sling, but that is the subject for another day.

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth(Hebrews 12:5-6 KJV).

God’s chastening is actually quite wonderful. Sad is the man that never feels the sting of God’s chastening. This is so because the Lord never whups the Devil’s kids. When we feel God nudging us back on the path through our conscience or feel the pointy end of His staff by being overcome by the feeling of a distance between us and our Saviour—sin separates—and sin will break our close fellowship with God, we know that we are God’s kids. A lost man will never feel that emptiness, because he has nothing to compare true closeness with God to. The passage in Hebrews continues:

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons(Hebrews 12:7-8 KJV). A very strong verse with a very harsh message, but a necessary one.

Be thankful, my Christian friend, that God chastens us with a gentle rod, for it is our parent’s rod that helps to get us saved, it is the pastor’s rod that encourages us, and it is the Lord’s rod that helps to keep us straight. But thank God that because of these we will never know the rod of iron that will be used one day on the lost.

Father, we thank You for Your love, a love so great that You keep us from straying into the Devil’s grain. Help us to maintain a good, tender conscience so that we know when we are starting to drift and use You staff whenever it is needed. Amen.

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For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil(Proverbs 5:3 KJV).

The subjects of immorality and drunkenness make up the majority of warnings in the Book of Proverbs, which are certainly to be included under the broader transgression of foolishness. Both of these sins will destroy a man and leave him a wreck of a man. It is interesting that both are said to attack the liver. In one case, through hepatitis and their other through cirrhosis. It is these two violations of God’s law that seem to appeal to fools the most. They are also areas of a young man’s life where peer pressure is assuredly the greatest. If a man will not violate his conscience through carnal lusts, his manhood is suspect.

What young man has not gone through adolescence without being accused of being attracted to men because he will not carouse with women? And how great are the taunts of antisocialism toward the man that will not tie one on with the boys, by lingering in dark taverns or attending beer parties. And how closely the two sins are related. Alcohol leads to debauchery, and immorality leads to alcohol abuse. And both lead to death.

One story is told of a young man that led a clean, moral life that allowed his friends to give him alcohol at his bachelor party, and during the night he had a drunken night of immoral behavior with a guest at the party, with the result that his new wife soon contracted syphilis from him and his children were born blind, all because he allowed himself to forsake his purity for one night.

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners(I Corinthians 15:33 KJV).

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap(Galatians 6:7 KJV).

An ignorant, foolish decision lasting no more than mere minutes may well affect a man for the rest of his life and bring untold hurt to the lives of his most dear loved ones. Marriages are shattered due to unchecked carnal fantasies. Well for a young man to stand with Job, “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?(Job 31:1 KJV).

Father, next to our salvation, there is no greater treasure for a young man or woman to possess than personal purity. It is a gift meant for one person in this life, and a treasure to be dearly guarded. We struggle mightily with our flesh, but if we will keep close to the cross, and cling to Your Holy Spirit, we will walk in the light of Your strength. Help us to guard our gift and not give it away lightly. Amen.

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Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy(Proverbs 6:15 KJV).

This verse seems a fitting companion to another, as though they belong together although separated by chapters, “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy(Proverbs 29:1 KJV).

If one thing should be clear, it is the finality of the judgment. It is sudden, and it is complete, and there is no coming back from it. From the first, this end is in sight. God, knowing the end from the beginning, knows that this soul is set in its course, but patiently He waits until his iniquity has run its full course.

We are told that in Sierra Leone the white ants will sometimes occupy a house, and eat their way into all the woodwork, until every article in the house is hollow, so that it will collapse into dust directly it is touched. It is so with this deceitful character, so honeycombed, and eaten through, that though for years it may maintain its plausible appearance in the world, few people even suspecting the extent of the inward decay on a sudden the end will come; there will be one touch of the finger of God, and the whole ill-compacted, worm-devoured thing will crumble into matchwood: "He shall be broken, and that without remedy.”

Not so, for the child of God. “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief(Proverbs 24:16 KJV). For a Blood-bought believer, we are being fashioned in grace though the process be often painful, yet our hearts are constantly aware of our failure, and we seek His cleansing, forgiveness, and chastening: “Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it(Jeremiah 18:3-4 KJV).

For the unbelieving scoundrel, judgment is approaching and it will be quick and complete when it falls, for the child of God our judgment fell hard at the Cross on another’s stead, so that we are now becoming that which God would have us to be—through patience and loving care, He is shaping the servant.

Father, how is it possible to comprehend the greatness and mystery of grace. In many ways we may be just as mean as the lost, but though we be sinners and imperfect creatures, we are adopted into Your great family. Keep us mindful of that daily, and daily keep us near the Cross where the cleansing Blood fell and falls. Amen.

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For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart(Proverbs 7:6-10 KJV).

The woman in this passage could be applied to sin, in general. There are about four applications that you can make. The woman is a picture of sin. And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart(Proverbs 7:10 KJV). Before it is all over with, we see the results in verse 23. This man starts out in an innocent situation, but it doesn’t end well for him. “Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life(Proverbs 7:23 KJV). By the time it is all over this young man is killed—perhaps by the husband—of this woman.

How did it start out?

1. It starts out with bad companions, “a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (13:20). Choose your friends wisely. Fellowship with Bible-believing Christians, with good Christians (not those in name only). That is not to say that you stay away from lost people completely, witness to them—try to win them to Christ, try to get them to go to church, try to have Bible study with them—but you are not to have fellowship with them. Bad companions will get you into trouble. We saw that in verse 7, “beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths . . .”

2. Then we see an empty head, “a young man void of understanding.” A lot of kids today are ‘empty headed.” They don’t want to learn anything. They don’t want to do anything but hang around and lay around, just be lazy. Notice in verse 8, “idle time,” just going by the way, up and down. You can drive through some areas and see dozens of teenagers just doing nothing, and if you can’t find them during the winter months, just go into a shopping mall. Just doing nothing, going nowhere. Nothing but idle times—too much idle time on their hands. This is what gets them in trouble. They pick bad companions and they just loiter around doing nothing good with their time.

The sin of Israel is given to us in Ezekiel 16 . . . you might not think this, but this is what got Israel into trouble and led to it being taken into captivity. And this is the curse of America.

As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good(Eze 16:48-50 KJV).

As I live, saith the Lord GOD,” He lives forever, so what He is about to say is important. He is talking to Judea, Jerusalem, the southern kingdom. 1. Pride, 2. Fulness of bread, 3. Abundance of idleness.

3. He’s out too late. “In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night” (Proverbs 7:9 KJV). You can go out late at night and ride up and down the streets, and they’ll still be out there just gathering around, loitering (despite laws against it). Nobody knows where they are, they just out there looking for trouble—and they are going to find it. Hundreds of them are shot to death in Chicago every year, because they are empty-headed kids running with bad companions out to late at night. Our young man in Proverbs 7 has too much of this business, and he is going to end up in a graveyard. “It will never happen to me!” Never say never, especially if you are living the same lifestyle as this young man.

Father, sometimes your message is harsh, but always does it have our health, safety, and eternal prospects in view. Thank you for saving us, and for putting our feet on a solid foundation, and giving us a real purpose in life. May You richly use us in Your service, and in the reaching of these lost, young wanderers. Amen.

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You are welcome.

Here is today's offering.

I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength(Proverbs 8:12-14 KJV).

 The world has a very low view of Jesus Christ. They will begrudgingly admit that He was a good teacher, that is, if they admit to Him as an historical figure at all, but they assume, there were multitudes of good teachers in the world’s history—so, what is one more. The Bible, which the heathen reject, goes far beyond even what many of the mainline protestant denominational groups admit. And it says it in short, yet very comprehensive statements.

 Note first of all, it does not claim that Jesus Christ will give us wisdom, though James does make that promise to those that seek it, it says that He is wisdom itself. It does not tell us that Jesus will give us understanding, it says that He is understanding. Wisdom and understanding can not be found in any other source. James also tells us that wisdom is from above—Christ is from above. There is a wisdom which is of this earth, but compared to heavenly truths, it is nothing more than folly. Scientists, so call, consider themselves very wise and understanding in the ways of the world, yet the Bible brands them as fools—because they refuse to see that which cannot be seen by their human intellect.

 If we have the mind of Christ, and the Bible says that we do, and if He is all in all in wisdom and understanding, then are we capable of seeing through His eyes, hearing through His ears, and loving through His heart. And with ‘witty inventions’ discover unique ways to do the old work of winning the lost. One certainly is this world-wide web, perhaps the final mission field.

 Oh! precious wisdom! give me to know You as I know You as Saviour. As I gain the more excellent knowledge of these things, then I’ll apprehend more of the love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit towards this lost and dying world, and perhaps see this world through Your eyes and hold for them the same love as You.

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The first seven chapters contain advice and counsel to sons. Chapters 8 and 9 deal with the praise of wisdom, and chapter 10 you really begin to look at the proverbs of Solomon. The whole book is a collection of things, called proverbs, but we’ll see in chapter ten that they truly begin in earnest. We’ll see that clearer when we get there, from chapter ten to seventeen.

You basically have a homiletical outline in chapter 9. Christ is the Person of wisdom (he is made wisdom to us), the place of wisdom is the Bible (or a Bible-preaching Church), and the price of wisdom is costly (above rubies). There can be no real wisdom without the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Person of Wisdom: The only wisdom you will find outside of Christ is a worldly wisdom, which does not come from above—so it comes from Satan.

The Place of Wisdom: Most people would not think that the wisdom would come from church. They would say it comes from universities of higher learning or a Seminary. You’ll learn more true wisdom from a local church than you’ll ever learn from any university if you have a faithful man teaching the Word of God.

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit(Ephesians 2:20-22 KJV).

As we saw yesterday, if wisdom be Christ Himself, then the house of wisdom must be that which Christ built, and He only built one church. It is a Bible-believing, Bible-preaching,, local, New Testament church which is built on the Blood, the Book, and the Blessed Hope of our Lord’s return for His bride. If a church does not preach the Blood of Jesus Christ it is the worst counterfeit imaginable, and its followers are unwashed from their sin.

The Price of Wisdom: Priceless. It took the death of Jesus Christ to impart unto us the true wisdom which comes from above (James). To get it, we will have to sell out our all to attain it.

Father, I thank You for establishing the local, New Testament church. I thank You for strong, faithful men whom You have called to be their undershepherds. Protect Your church, O Lord, especially from those that are mere hirelings, that see the pulpit as a mere job and not an holy calling. Direct our way this day, Amen.

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The proverbs of Solomon.”

Now we get into the proverbs. The first seven chapters deal with instructions to a son, chapters 8 and 9 are the praise of wisdom, compared to non-wisdom (or stupidity). Now we get into the individual proverbs. A proverb is to “make like,” a similitude or a comparison, to set alongside—to place side-by-side— “like as.”

In chapter nine, we see the good woman, the bad woman, the good house, the bad house, good wisdom, bad wisdom—those were compared. Now, instead of going through a whole chapter—he is going to make the comparisons in one verse. Short proverbs.

A wise son maketh a glad father: BUT a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother” (Proverbs 10:1 KJV).

Think about that! Why would the father be related to the wise one, and the mother to the foolish? What would be the difference? Generally, when a man is successful the man will take the credit for it. “A chip of the old block,” “I taught him everything I know.”  But if that bird turns out to be a turkey, you know what the dad does? He disinherits him, writes him off and goes and plays golf—but that mother broods over the boy, and bears the burden of that individual. I guarantee, she doesn’t forget it, and she doesn’t write him off.

The man will just write him off, the man is very pragmatic. The kid turns out to be a success, he’ll take all the credit, but the kid turns out to be a dud—he just writes him off! But that woman, she bore him, she fed him, she’ll never write him off. She’ll bear that “heaviness.” It’ll be a burden to her. She’ll never give up on him.

A wise son maketh a glad father” –true. “but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.” –a burden.

Parents, the message of this verse is not only directed at your sons, it also has a very strong message for you. The way that you are now raising your kids will have much to do with your own future joy or sorrow. If you are raising an unruly, spoiled child you should not be surprised to reap an unruly, spoiled adult. If your child is not now being taught to respect authority, he’ll not follow the rules of society when he is older. It is sad, yet true, many young men sitting in a prison cell can trace their wickedness back to parents that preferred to let the public school system and its humanistic philosophies direct their paths rather than godly parents and the Word of God.

What blessings might mothers be to families, churches, and nations, would they but carefully educate their children from the crib to love the Lord and to desire His Word! It is unnatural and irreligious when they do otherwise. In this is one of the clearest examples of Hosea’s words: “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up” (Hosea 8:7 KJV).

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Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety(Proverbs 11:14 KJV).

Where are there no good and wise counsel? The company break room is one place. A bar is another. There is no proper counsel at the lodge club. To be honest, there really isn’t any place where you’ll find good, godly, and wise counsel other than your local church. And there is like to be no good counsel from any other than your faithful pastor who has been serving up the Word of God to you and your family for a long enough time that you know that his understanding is a grounded wisdom from God.

This is, for me, the best argument for attending a church with no more than a hundred or so members, or less. When a church becomes too big, the pastor becomes less and less visible except for when he is preaching. If a man needs wise counsel, he is generally sent to a co-pastor or a Sunday school teacher. When churches reach a certain threshold, perhaps it is time to start a new work on the other side of town. A pastor needs to be accessible. The sheep don’t go around looking for a shepherd, their shepherd is constantly looking after them.

Now, this is not to say that a Sunday school teacher can not offer wise counsel, or another faithful brother in Christ, but the pastor should be consulted when a problem is too big. Yet, we are told of a “multitude of counsellors.” That would be at least three, maybe more. But before even going to the preacher, perhaps we should start at the same place where he would begin—the Word of God. Within the Bible you will receive the counsel of a great God. Often, men like David will offer their wisdom, even if it is seeing how they handled a situation wrong—but has similarities to something you might be contemplating.

Paul has much doctrinal advice, James will offer his practical advice. There are forty men in the Bible that have something to say and are worthy to be consulted. We can speak to our Lord Jesus Christ, and often the solution to our problems may just be an application of His cleansing Blood for forgiveness accompanied with a cleansed heart and renewed conscience. And, thankfully, we have our constant teacher residing within: “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him(I John 2:27 KJV).

Father, we thank You for the Word which is a lamp in a very dark world, and a light which removes all darkness and guides us through the night. We thank You for not simply saving us and then leaving us to fend for ourselves, but that You instruct us moment by moment as we walk with You, to keep us from falling and provides safety to us and our loved ones. Amen.

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Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish(Proverbs 12:1 KJV).

Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge . . .” If you love knowledge, then obviously you have to love instruction, because that is how you get it. Not a whole lot to that, just a axiom, just a truth,

We learn through correction. Learning is often called a discipline. One must discipline themselves if they are to excel in learning a subject. It is not a pleasant thought to think that the pilot of the 747 you are riding in got through his studies by the skin of his teeth, or the doctor about to open up their chest cavity and explore the recesses of your heart was more interested in partying and drinking. We would hope that we are being treated by the utmost of professionals.

The best way to learn a trade is to work as an apprentice under a master. That specialized type of one-on-one training is priceless. This is also true of the spiritual life. If we want to learn to please God and be the right kind of believer, we have One that said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls(Matthew 11:29 KJV). He is certainly our example, not to become saved, but to live a holy life after we are saved. Also, Paul tells us, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ(I Corinthians 11:1 KJV).

How many good and faithful pastors have learned more about their trade under the tutelage of the Apostle Paul then they could ever learn from their professors in Bible college?

But . . .

But he that hateth reproof is brutish.” He’s like an animal. Did you ever try to teach a cow anything? Did you ever try to teach an animal something? I mean other than ‘come’, ‘go’, ‘sit’, etc.? A person that hates reproof is just like an animal. There just isn’t any hope for them. Honestly, what can you do for someone that just refuses to learn? They are only interested in self-gratification, self-preservation, and self-propagation. The best dog you got is only interested in that. When a man won’t learn the principles of life and to be above those things, are no better than animals.

But he that hateth reproof is brutish.” Our society seems to be geared to appease these brutish people. In our country, an able-bodied, healthy man, can get on government doles and be handed a living while he sits around the house all day collecting a check. He is content to allow hard working Americans to pay his way through their tax dollars, and it isn’t just a handful of welfare recipients, but whole cities full of them. And their only contribution to society is to somehow make it to the polls where he votes for the party which promises to continue to hand him free things. I’ve been in their homes, and in many ways, they are enjoying life and have more things than those that sweat day-in and day-out to earn their living.

But he that hateth reproof is brutish.” You take an evolutionist. He is brutish. He will not accept reproof, he will not believe what the Bible has to say about Creation, about God. And so, he winds up being a monkey’s uncle. And that is exactly his own claim—we came from the monkeys. They act like it. You go out here in the world and they dress like it, and they even smell like it. And they look like it. They get more brutish all the time. As a result, they hate reproof and they live for the body and the flesh, and for the lust of it.

Father, You have so much to teach us if we have a mind to learn. Teach us that it is far better to be faithful to our convictions and to love Your Word more than our necessary food. Use us, Lord, to reflect You in our daily lives that others might see You in us. Amen.

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Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12 KJV).

One can only imagine what it must have been like for Jacob to wake up that morning after his marriage to Rachel only to find out that her cross-eyed sister was looking back at him across the pillow. Such a thing would be nightmarish in our western culture. I believe that we would be fit to be tied! After the shock wore off, though, Jacob had to abide by the custom of the land. One day, his agonizing wait was over and his truly beloved was by his side, his great desire had come.

We that are saved have a great desire and it is found in 1 John: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure(I John 3:2-3 KJV).

We have a great desire for a coming day when we will be like our Saviour, to be as He is. Until then, our hearts are sick with not only the anticipation of waiting, but with the agony of not being like Him. How our heart melts as we consider that we are still so far from that likeness. Yet, because of our heartsickness, we strive to be pure as he is pure, and Jesus’ Blood is ever near to cleanse us and make us right. Still yet, the pain of our personal failures is heartbreaking.

We, as the church, are in possession of a quite blessed hope, as Paul reminds us: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works(Titus 2:11-14 KJV).

This holds for us both the glorious anticipation of our Lord’s return for us, His bride, at the rapture and the reminder that we will be purified and saved from the very presence of sin. Our heart is often heavy as we watch a loved one leave this world in death, and wish that the Lord had only come already, but we have a hope (assured knowledge) that we will see them again one day, because we “sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” But our hope will be deferred, just for a little while.

Our hope is a real hope! It is not like the hope I had in a birthday present that I yearned for weeks to possess only to shove it in a closet the day after because the joy was but fleeting. Our hope in heavenly things will far surpass the wonders of it all, when we see our loved ones, when we see our new home, and when we see Jesus! And when we are like Him at last.

Father, only You can fill our hearts with a grandeur that the world can never give, and it can never take away. We thank you for the promises of Your Word, and only wish that the lost world could understand what is ours can be theirs by simply coming to You for life. Use us in Your field today, Amen.

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"The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things" (Proverbs 15:28 KJV).

The Word of God is our "necessary food" for without it we would starve spiritually, just as we do physically when we refuse to eat physical food. Yet, apart from serious illnesses, how many folks do we know that just don't like to eat? We rarely miss our three squares a day, but what of that man that can go weeks, if not months, at a time failing to read their Bible?

Why do we need to read and study God's Book of instructions to man? Peter answers that, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (I Peter 3:15 KJV).

We need to know how to answer their reasonable questions. This, of course, does not mean that we spend hours debating what Scripture refers to as “doubtful disputations,” that is but a waste of time.

We need to have a testimony and be able to clearly tell others what took place in us when we came to know the Lord. A lost friend is not going to benefit from a theological explanation of the rapture, or any of the many doctrinal truths—they’ll not understand them without the Holy Spirit. They only need to understand the Cross and what God did there for them. Well, in a true sense, we were there—and we can tell them what He did for us. After all, we are all blind beggars telling other blind beggars where we found food. And if their soul is hungry, they’ll gladly have some of it as well.

But, “the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.”

There are plenty of cultists out there that are fully trained by their leaders to give answers--but those things are "damnable heresies" that unfortunately, make sense to the unsaved man. A lot of things seem reasonable to unsaved man—such as the whole salvation-by-works heresy. When they come to the Lord, the Holy Spirit awakens their understanding to the point where they can see that such teachings as the cultist brings are from the pits of hell, as well as any idea that God elects man to reprobation without any say in the matter. That is because “the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.”

For us that are saved, who are witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver(Proverbs 25:11 KJV).

Lord God, we have all wisdom at our fingertips and the promise of the "mind of Christ" as we devour Your Word as though it were our "necessary food." Make us more like You every day and use us as we make ourselves available, and dependable. Give us fruit from our labors. Amen!

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"A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies" (Proverbs 14:25 KJV).

Nowhere does this seem to be truer than in the realm of "religion." A faithful preacher speaking the truth is not very popular in this world, yet those that consider him their undershepherd are blessed and strengthened by his sermons. They know that when they listen to Him they are going to hear the Word of God in such a way that it applies to them personally and results in them becoming fully equipped to live the life that pleases the Lord.

Unfortunately, the multitudes prefer to hear messages that tell them how wonderful they are and how sins are simply mistakes but that God loves them anyway and accepts them just the way they are. They prefer the lies that make them feel good and doesn't convict them of sin and hell, while the Bible-believer prefers the truth that makes them feel bad but points them to the Cross, the Blood, and the Saviour.

After being convinced by the false witness that there is nothing to fear from God, that He is a loving grandfatherly-type being that loves all and accepts all, the lost continue to bear their sin under the false notion that God will excuse them, while the Word of God as a faithful witness says that they are “condemned already” and that they are “without Christ,” “without hope,” and “without God in the world.” The megachurches are filled with those that are wish to feel good in this world, but eternity is a long time to ponder their willful act of letting themselves be deceived, for they are without excuse. The lying and false preacher is only reinforcing what they themselves want to believe for the invisible things from the beginning of the world are clearly seen, but rejected.

The believer clings to the cross where the Blood of Christ cleanses them from all sin and unrighteousness and makes it possible for them to serve the living and true God, as they await the day when their faith will become sight in the very presence of their Saviour.

Paul strengthened many by his epistles, and still does in the written word, yet he had those that hated him and his message. At one point he asked, "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" (Galatians 4:16 KJV). Ever will it be true, that, “Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful(Proverbs 27:5-6 KJV).

Lord, help us to be honest and tell our friends what they need to hear, and not only what they want to hear. Give us stars for our crown as we share your precious gospel with our lost loved ones and friends. But above all, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer" (Psalm 19:14 KJV). Amen!

Edited by Baptist_Bible_Believer

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"By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil" (Proverbs 16:6 KJV).

Is not Jesus Himself called Mercy, and that mercy promised? Doesn’t He say that He is truth? Those attributes have met together at the Cross, where we first saw the light, and the burden of our sin fell away. It was there that He became “our righteousness.” And that rises or falls on “thus saith the Lord!

God has given us His Word! Titus tells us that our God "cannot lie," so we can depend on whatever He tells us, but sadly, many Christians claim to have faith in a Bible that doesn’t exist. They say they believe the “original autographs” were without error, but they don’t have them. We need a Bible we can trust that we can actually hold in our hands. We have such a Bible! Because it is such a Bible, we can appreciate what Titus adds to the believer's hope (which is assured faith, not wishful thinking).

"But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:4-5 KJV).

And, because we have confidence in such a book, we can know that we are saved and have an unique relationship with the Father, we are filled with a deep and abiding fear of His holiness, so that we would not dream of offending Him . . . though we do. I have given God a million reasons not to love me. None of them changed His mind.

If we do not have a perfect Bible, how can we claim to have a perfect salvation? How can we trust that our iniquities have been purged? How can we truly claim to know that we have a home in heaven? An imperfect Bible speaks to me of an imperfect God, Who can do nothing more than make imperfect promises.

"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity" (II Timothy 2:19 KJV).

Lord, help us to love you even more than we do now. Let that love grow daily, and let our love teach us to avoid those things which offend you. We choose to keep these words in our Lord's prayer, "Lead us not into temptation!" Despite what the religious "leader" says.  Amen!

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"Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding" (Proverbs 17:28 KJV).

I guess we've all heard the quote, attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but certainly derived from Proverbs, that is: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt." Ecclesiastes add to the thought: “For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words(Ecclesiastes 5:3 KJV).

We can almost feel Job’s exasperation when he said, “Oh that ye would altogether hold your peace! And it would be your wisdom” (Job_13:5 KJB).

The wise man would do well to heed the Apostle Paul, he had an answer for just about everything thanks to the indwelling Spirit of God that he listened to every moment, "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man" (Colossians 4:6 KJV).

How many words will the Devil yet try to steal and change. Today, we must carefully consider our context when we use a word like “gay. It is sickening and disgusting to take what once meant happy to where it now mean a person that is incredibly sad, and without hope. Even the word “salt” is now “salty,” which means profanity—the total opposite of Paul’s usage. Put it down, if our Saviour owns a word, the Devil will try to steal it: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men(Matthew 5:13 KJV).

Another old saying is that to keep a bird from flying, sprinkle a little salt on his tail. I have not proven this, so I don't know if it is true or not . . . but you can bet that the way to keep the tongue from running off is to use a little "spiritual" salt on it.

A man that possesses the “mind of Christ,” should never be guilty of wicked, stupid speech. We represent the Lord Jesus Christ as ambassadors of heaven. This makes us dignitaries, and that ought to make us sober, grave, temperate in all things. God has no use for court jesters.

Lord, You know we are prone to speak our own opinion and that gets us into trouble, as You did for Job, please do for us . . . "Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred" (Job 6:24). Amen.

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"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24 KJV).

What a Friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry Ev'rything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry Ev'rything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged-Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness-Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge-Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He'll take and shield thee-Thou wilt find a solace there.

-Joseph Scriven, written 1855

Joseph Scriven knew heartache and devastation first hand. As a young man his hopes and dreams vanished on the day before his wedding when he watched in horror as the lifeless body of his beloved was pulled from the water where she had drowned. Sorrow overwhelmed him, yet in the months and years that followed, Scriven turned repeatedly to the only Friend who would never leave him. Although he battled loneliness and depression for the rest of his life, he never let go of the hand of his Savior. Scriven knew that Jesus cared and that He was acquainted with loneliness and sorrow. This man knew that he could take his grief to Jesus and find strength and peace that no one else could give. Years later Scriven took what he had learned through his pain and put it into the words of a poem that we now sing as "What A Friend We Have In Jesus."

Lord, I have had friends in the past that have led me far from Your purpose and will for my life, but I thank You that You have become my personal friend and have led me into all riches and honour and grace through You. You gave all You had in order to give me all that I have, and I thank You. Amen.

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"A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape" (Proverbs 19:5 KJV).

"A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish" (Proverbs 19:9 KJV).

Often, in Scripture, when the word "witness" is used it is speaking of a spiritual, or godly, testimony. Of course, that includes lying to others, or bearing a false witness. In this instance I believe it is pointing to the false shepherd assuming to speak for the Lord, giving directions to the people, when he was not sent by God. And I doubt there is anything more loathsome to the Lord than a lying shepherd . . .

"My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace" (Jeremiah 50:6 KJV).

Someone presuming to speak for the Lord and telling lies to the people is forewarned that not only will he not escape [God's righteous judgment] but he shall perish [spend an eternity in hell]. I do not unjustly judge, for if a man preaches another gospel other than the one that Paul delivered of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a salvation of grace and not works - that man is accursed - and cannot possibly be saved himself for that would mean that he knew the true gospel and would teach it.

Lord, help us to always carefully handle Your Word so that we do not allow error to creep in. We know we are saved, but in some areas of the Word we are prone to wonder into error. Help us, dear Lord, to rightly divide the Word of truth which has been delivered to us and preserved unto all generations. Amen.

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"The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him" (Proverbs 20:7 KJV).

Nowhere is this more vividly illustrated than in the lives of Jonathan Edwards and Max Jukes.

This anecdote is taken from "America is Too Young to Die by Leonard Ravenhill, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany Fellowship, 1979, p. 112)

Max Jukes, [an] atheist, lived a godless life. He married an ungodly [woman], and from this union there were 310 who died as paupers, 150 were criminals, 7 were murderers, 100 were drunkards, and more than half of the women were prostitutes. His 540 descendants cost the State one and a quarter million dollars [before inflation].

Then there is a record of a great man of God, Jonathan Edwards. He lived at the same time as Max Jukes, but he married a godly [woman]. An investigation was made of 1,394 known descendants of Jonathan Edwards, of which 13 became college presidents, 65 college professors, 3 United States Senators, 30 judges, 100 lawyers, 60 physicians, 75 army and navy officers, 100 preachers and missionaries, 60 authors of prominence, one Vice-President of the United States, 80 public officials in other capacities, 295 college graduates, among whom were governors of states and ministers to foreign countries. Jonathan Edwards' descendants did not cost the state a penny.

Today, in the name of tolerance and multiculturalism, we are told that God must be kept out of public view. It is even wrong to say, "God bless America" or "Merry Christmas," according to these "politically correct" demagogues. Instead of the blessings that came to Jonathan Edwards' progeny, we see a growing multitude like the descendants of Max Jukes! "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34).

Lord, let us live our lives not for today, but for the generations that shall follow us, should You tarry Your return. Perhaps, by Your grace, it might be said a couple of hundred years from now that the reason a family is godly and serving Jesus is because of the life of their great, great grandfather. Give us, O Lord, a godly heritage and progeny! Amen!

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"Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts" (Proverbs 21:2 KJV).

The Bible is written to God's people. The message is primarily directed to the believer, but from time-to-time, God points to the unbeliever and says, "This is for you." Verse 2 seems to be one of those verses, though it can certainly also be applied to a disobedient believer, whether Old Testament saint or New Testament Blood-washed believer.

Ask almost any man and he will tell you that he is a decent fellow. Often when asked if they know they are going to heaven they will answer, "Of course!" When pushed for the reason they are sure, they respond with, "Well, I'm a good person. I go to church, I donate to charity, I follow the golden rule in my life." The basis of their belief is that being good is the only requirement for gaining God's presence.

This verse takes that man's belief and shreds it to pieces. He thinks he is good in his own eyes, because he has only himself to compare with. God's Word sets up Jesus Christ as the One to Whom we are to judge our own life against, and when we do that, we must admit that we fall far, far short of His perfection. The Lord ponders our heart . . . He can see it just as it is, and He can see us just as we are. The truth is, though, that even a man knows his own heart and knows that if the truth were known--he would be ashamed of what folks would see.

The Old Testament Law can only reveal the justice and judgment of God. God gave us the whole Bible to find His grace and love as well. God's greatest expression of love is found at a hill that looked very much like a human skull where Jesus Christ died a cruel death to exchange the vileness of our own heart for the beauty of a new creature in Him.

Come to the cross, and let God give you a new heart!

"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26 KJV).

Lord, let us love the lost in the same way that you loved us. Amen.

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"That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee. Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?" (Proverbs 22:19-21 KJV)

In the New Testament we are told that the purpose of the Scriptures are to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, all Christians are ministers. All saints have been given the ministry of reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:18-20).

In Acts 8, an Ethiopian Eunuch did not understand what he read, though it was from the salvation chapter of Isaiah 53. He needed that a man be sent to him that could explain it all to him. That man was Philip.

In Acts 10, Cornelius had a vision of an angel that instructed him to send for Peter to show him the answer of what he sought--he was seeking for God but needed a man to guide him. Notice that the angel could not explain salvation to a man for the angels of God do not know how (I Peter 1:12).

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (I Peter 3:15 KJV).

So, we learn from our passage in Proverbs today that the words of the book were given to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, sort of an Old Testament version of "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:11-13 KJV).

Father, equip us so that we also may be able to explain why and how we were saved to whomsoever will may ask us, that we might have children, and even grand-children, in heaven. Amen.

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"Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words" (Proverbs 23:9 KJV).

As Bible believers, the only thing we have is our Bible to comfort, to counsel, to edify, to correct, and to equip. If a man rejects the Final Authority, he is a fool, for he has heard it all before and now he is wiser than the One that gave us His Word. Now, he is a mocker, and a scoffer. Whatever is offered to him from God's precious table is but that which is to be laughed at and put under his feet. Jesus told us how to handle such people, "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you" (Matthew 7:6 KJV).

Now, I know that this does not fit the modern concept of the loving Saviour Who would never offend anyone, the One that would gladly sit at a bar and drink with the patrons, and never, no never, judge them. To manufacture such a picture as this of our Holy and Righteous God is only the banter of fools, and very likely the ones of whom 23:9 is addressing.

We know that our Redeemer is coming again, many signs point to His return for His Bride. Among those "signs" are the scoffers and the mockers, those that "despise the wisdom" of the Word of God. Those that can no longer blush in the face of their puny attempts to joke about and blaspheme the very One that paid for their sins on the cross, the One that "bought them," as Peter says.

As believers, we need to know when to walk away from a fool and leave them to their folly. If we continue to engage them in theological arguments, they will only despise us and the One that sent us. Leave them to their own devices. Perhaps you may have planted a seed, but it is best to let another water it, and pray that another might one day harvest it.

Lord, teach us that the battle is Yours. We are merely your ambassadors. You have given us a message to those that are lost, but help us to know when pursuing a soul can bring more harm than good. Teach us to be your gentle servants, wise as serpents, yet harmless as doves. Amen.

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