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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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"If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small" (Proverbs 24:10 KJV).

Often as we read the Bible and run across a verse like this, we immediately start wondering what we are doing wrong and how we can change our lives so as to not be weak when things get tough. Sometimes the answer is not in us at all, but in something else. In this case, it is in our Saviour . . . as truly most answers are.

Paul boldly proclaimed that, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13 KJV).

But in my opinion, that statement would be impossible to understand without the preceding verse:

"I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need" (Php 4:11-12 KJV). Paul learned contentment, which is not an easy thing to learn--especially for those of us living in a country like America, where things are in abundance. Paul learned that "Godliness with contentment is great gain" (I Timothy 6:6).

Paul learned some lessons in life, and one of them is that in himself he is nothing, but with or in Christ he is everything.

Jesus Christ is the God-Man. We could illustrate His humanity with a pencil, which a child can break with a finger, and His Godhood with an iron bar which takes more strength than most men have to even bend. If we take that weak pencil and that strong iron and bind them together with duct tape--we have a very poor illustration of the God-Man. Weakness and strength in the same. That is the One that lives within us. This is our strength, so that we can face any trial, or any adversity, knowing that "all things work together for good," because our Saviour is using even those to prepare us.

If any are unsure whether they have a right to heaven, regard the fact that even in this Jesus Christ understands and has worked even that out for sinners!

"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6 KJV).

Why?

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8 KJV).

Lord, teach us not to fear. Help us understand that you are Lord on the mountains and You are Lord in the valleys. In the days of peace, and in the days of adversity, You are still the same, and You are good, all the time. Amen.

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"Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer" (Proverbs 25:4 KJV).

When the Holy Ghost has taken away by regeneration, the dross of our fallen nature, and newly forms us in Christ Jesus, then as gold and silver from the furnace, we are brought forth as vessels of honor for the master’s use.

Note that silver is refined through the furnace, and it takes as long as it takes, though it result in much discomfort for the refined. We are that dross, and we are that silver, but praise God, we are also that gold that will one day come forth through God's faithful hand on the potter's wheel and testing and trials designed for our good.

One of my favorite songs sung by Ron Hamilton (aka Patch the Pirate), Rejoice in the Lord has this for a chorus.

O Rejoice in the LORD
He makes no mistake,
He knoweth the end of each path that I take,
For when I am tried
And purified,
I shall come forth as gold.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=133GHmrfCx0

Lord, we may be going through trials, deep and puzzling, but assure our hearts that nothing happens to us that is not ultimately for our good, for You have designed them even for our growth. Bless us and ours this day that we set aside to remember Your birth and thank You for Your great gift of eternal life to whomsoever may come. Amen.

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"As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly" (Proverbs 26:11 KJV).

When an Old Testament verse in quoted in the New Testament, look for its primary meaning to be in the former passage. In this case, Peter writes: "For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire" (II Peter 2:21-22 KJV).

The salvation by works crowd love verses like this because it shows, in their minds, that a saved man can return to his former state and end up in hell because he didn't do his part to be saved.

We have been looking a lot at the fool in Proverbs, and the one thing that we know is that the fool is not interested in knowing God, “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?” (Proverbs 1:22 KJV).

The fool isn't interested in heaven. You speak of heavenly things and they'll say, "I'll worry about such things later." They only want to live for the present, and to have their fun. So, a fool will experiment with life. He'll try religion for a bit, so long as it is fun, but as soon as the preaching gets too hot--he'll return to the things that were more comfortable.

There is a huge difference between "knowing the way of righteousness," that is, knowing that salvation is in Christ, but not following it to its conclusion of receiving Christ. They have a head knowledge, but they never had a heart knowledge. So far, they are missing salvation by 18 inches.

The believer has embraced Him Who is the very embodiment, the personification of "wisdom" and have a different kind of knowledge: "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God" (I John 5:10-13 KJV).

Lord, we thank you for the gift of eternal life that You have given to us through the Cross and for the assurance that You are with us, even unto the very end of time. Amen.

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"Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?" (Proverbs 27:4)

At least with an angry, wrathful man, people are forewarned to avoid him lest he lash out at them for some supposed wrong he thinks they might have done to him, but the envious man is like a serpent slithering in tall grass. You just never know when he might strike.

Envy is ugly in all of its manifestations. It led to the death of Cain's brother Abel, whose offering was well-pleasing to the Lord while his own was rejected. It led to Esau and his progeny hating the people of Israel because God had chosen them over the Arabs to make his covenants with. Today, millions are dead because of the adherents of the Moon God. How the Pharisees and the Sadducees envied the successes of Jesus Christ. Consider the misfortune of Joseph, all because his brothers were zealous of a coat of many colors--and he would have died at their hands--except for God's hand in preserving Israel through Joseph. His brothers had meant evil against Joseph, but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, to save much people alive.

If we are faithfully serving God in whatever capacity God has called us and are being blessed through it--others will envy us and seek our hurt. But bless God, He is still in the business of meaning His plans for good, and will see us through, even though an army might assail against us.

Paul dealt with envy in his ministry, "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself" (I Timothy 6:3-5 KJV).

Lord, You have opened unto us a great door of ministry--even this final mission field called the internet--and yet, there are many adversaries. Give us strength, Lord, to weather the storm and minister as You have directed until the day when our ministry here or there is over. Bless our work, Lord, with the saving of much souls for Your glory. Amen.

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"Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once" (Proverbs 28:18 KJV).

A double contrast: “whoso walketh uprightly” vs. “he that is perverse in his ways” and “shall be delivered” vs. “shall fall at once”. “He that walketh uprightly walketh surely; But he that perverteth his ways shall be known” (Proverbs 10:9). The right way to live proves to be the best way to live!

We should note that when the word "saved" is used in the Bible, it is not always talking about spiritual redemption. Often it refers to a physical safety. Stories have been told about men living for the Lord that have been protected in a dangerous situation because they had not yet finished their course, and the Lord still had a purpose for them on this earth. Honestly, when I've nothing left to do for the Lord in this life, I would not want to stay here five minutes more than absolutely necessary. I have family I'm in a hurry to see again.

This verse will have a future component for the remnant of Israel during the horrendous days of the Tribulation period, when they will flee from the Antichrist's grasp to enter into the mountainside fortress of Petra where they will be cared for, fed and protected for the remainder of the time of Jacob's trouble. These will be those that are living for the Lord in the midst of unprecedented evil, and in this case, God will certainly make a way of escape for them.

As to the wicked, well, "He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1 KJV).

This is one good argument for not fellowshipping and accompanying a fool that is openly and violently at odds with the God of the universe. At any moment God may say, "Enough!" and judgment may fall. It is best not to be in the same car as that person when it happens.

Lord, we thank You for Your watchcare over us in our daily walk. Please fill us with Your Holy Spirit, and cleanse us with Your Blood. Keep us near the cross at all times, and bless our activities of the day. He thank You, Lord, for Your love and comfort. Help us today to walk in the Spirit that we will not fulfill the lusts of our flesh. Amen.

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Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV).

This verse is often used at mission’s conferences to convict a young man’s heart that he is needed out on the field because the heathen are dying and going to hell, and will continue to do so unless he surrenders his life and goes there. Often we also hear as a companion verse, “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us” (Acts 16:9 KJV). Now, when God leads a missionary or a preacher to apply this verse in that way, God bless him and his message. Would to God that it would bear fruit and more men would respond to the missionary call.

However, this verse also speaks to the believer. No, certainly not is it speaking of eternal damnation as if a true believer can lose their salvation, for did not Jesus tell us that he gives us “eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28, 29). If we fell out of the Saviour’s hand, we would fall into the Father’s hand, and He would put us right back in His Son’s hand. Salvation is eternal!

How can it be applied to Christians? It is possible to grow weak and powerless in our Christian lives. Here the idea of the word “perish” could be seen as “withering on the vine.” How is that possible? Through weak, anemic preaching of the Word of God. Pulpits today are filled with men that afraid to preach on sin. Churches are filled with people that have no fear of God and their lives reflect it. They don’t read their Bibles, they don’t pray to God for the filling of His Spirit for service, and they rarely plead the Blood for their cleansing from the filth of this world.

Paul wrote: “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father” (Galatians 1:3-4 KJV). Frankly, the majority of those that “name the name of Christ” refuse to “depart from iniquity” (II Timothy 2:19) and could be said to have lost the effectiveness of the present tense of their salvation. They are “in” the world, and sadly, for the time being, they are also “in” the world.

Father, encourage us today to walk close to You and Your Word, through the ministry of Your Word. Forgive us if we have strayed and cleanse us and fill us with Your Holy Spirit that we would not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. We thank You again for loving us. Amen.

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Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:5-6 KJV).

The Word of God is eternally true and above man’s comprehension without the indwelling Holy Spirit sent to us to be our Teacher in all things spiritual and holy. How is it that mere man dares to sit as it’s judge and critic? The Word of God is God’s Word on paper. It is sealed with His promise to preserve His Word unto all generations, and He tells us that His Word is even above His name.

I find it utterly amazing that most of the “higher critics” of the Bible are themselves unredeemed men that denied many of the essential doctrines of the Bible. How is it possible that men, devoid of the Holy Spirit, should assume the responsibility to correct and manipulate the Bible to fit into their theological system—when the primary requirement for even understanding John 3:16 is that very same Spirit Whom they know not of?

Man has been playing a dangerous game with God for centuries, but it really become manifest in the 1800’s with the onset of German rationalism and the discovery of Egyptian copies of the Word in St. Catherine’s monastery by Count Tischendorf. Since that time, man has been the final authority over the Final Authority and has threatened man with many woes as a result.

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19 KJV).

In order to ignore these dire warnings from God, the ‘critics’, have deemed the Book of Revelation to be nothing more than parabolic allegory and completely figurative. “There,” they assume, “God can’t touch me now!”

But what about the very next verse in our passage today? Is Proverbs also figurative?

Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (vs. 6).

But, as it is necessary to have two or three witness to a matter, shall we see that Moses had something to say on the issue as well?

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:2 KJV).

I know the view that the Word of God is perfect and that it is preserved unto all generations is not a popular position, but somehow, I believe that standing with God in this is the better option.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15 KJV).

Father, You have asked us to believe some pretty incredible things in our Christian experience. Why should it seem any more difficult to simply take you at Your word about Your Word? Can we understand it? No more than we can understand all that happened the instant we accepted You as our personal Saviour. But, Lord, all I really have to prove I’m saved is my Bible. If that Book is riddled with error and allegory, as man say, then I have nothing. But I know in whom I have believed, and I am persuaded! Guide as we stand on the truth of Your Word. Amen.

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It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted” (Proverbs 31:4-5 KJV).

We see much about drinking alcohol in the Book of Proverbs. Most of it is directed at the fool who either doesn’t know, or doesn’t care, what liquor can do to them. The passage in Proverbs 23:29-35 is the most complete picture of drunkard available in the Word of God.

But in this passage, the subject is kings. Now, this is not to say that a king cannot be a fool, but this is likely spoken by a mother to a young prince Lemuel that would one day become a king as a warning to heed. Lemuel ascribes his wisdom to what his mother had taught him.

A king, in order to rule his domain, must always have full access to his reasoning abilities. He cannot be impaired in his judgment, for he may be called upon at any time to render a judgment that will affect the lives of the people. Kingdoms have been overthrown because of liquor.

What of Ben-hadad and the thirty-two kings that were with him, who were defeated at the hands of Israel, because they were drunk (I Kings 20:16-21); or Belshazzar and his drunken feast, when the handwriting on the wall appear and his kingdom was lost that very same night (Daniel 5:1-5, 25-28). Further, “Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!” (Ecclesiastes 10:17 KJV).

Christian, whether you be a preacher or a Christian worker, you also need to have sound judgment and sobriety for you may be called upon at any moment to render spiritual aid to a lost man, or advice to one in need of a clear word from the Lord. God says that you too need to be ready at any moment: “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8 KJV).

Someone might be thinking, “Whew! That leaves me out! I’m neither a king nor a prince!”

John, writing to the seven churches in Asia, to the pastors first, and through them, to the saints, wrote:

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:5-6 KJV).

Father, impress upon us the great responsibilities that You have placed upon us that name the name of the Lord, teach us through Your Word that we can only accomplish what You would have us do through a sound mind and good judgment. Use us in Your service as we are filled with Your Spirit, and not drunk with wine. Amen.

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Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets(Proverbs 1:20 KJV).

Wisdom crieth without,” one of the thoughts that come to mind is that picture of Jesus Christ in the book of Revelation? “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me(Revelation 3:20 KJV). In that verse, Christ is on the outside wanting entrance, but the door remained closed, just as the ears are shut to him in this first chapter of Proverbs. The people in the streets ignore that voice, for, one might conclude, that they don’t need what He is offering. They have all they need and are full, just as the last church before His return will think of themselves: “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked(Revelation 3:17 KJV).

In both instances, the end result of ignoring the voice of Wisdom is utter destruction and a new sound upon their ears, the mocking laughter of the God of the universe, “I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD(Proverbs 1:26-29 KJV). Just as will be true of our modern day scoffers: “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness(I Thessalonians 2:10-12 KJV).

“. . . she uttereth her voice in the streets,” a most urgent message. What was it? Perhaps it was, “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you(Hosea 10:12 KJV). Or, maybe, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else(Isaiah 45:22 KJV). A few centuries later, that save voice of Wisdom cried again in the streets of Jerusalem, “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. . . Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest(Matthew 11:21, 28 KJV).

That voice is still crying in the streets, in the broad way to lost sinners to come home. How dare some suggest that God is only interested in a chosen few, and that the Blood of Jesus Christ was not sufficient to cover the sins of the entire world, but just a limited number. How does the Saviour call man to search for Him when they have been denied that privilege by the Father? How long will the heretical false gospel of Calvin be allowed?

The Saviour/Wisdom is also crying in the narrow road, Christian. He is calling for the wandering believer to return to fellowship. While it is blessedly true that we will not hear the mocking, taunting voice of God on some future day—we still stand the peril of “suffering loss” at His glorious throne of judgment. In many ways, and to a great degree, that may well be worse.

Father, we long to walk with You in grace and mercy and truth. We long to one day hear the words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Thank You for our tender hearts that immediately feel the distance when we begin to stray, and thank You for your chastening in our lives. Bless us today, and strengthen our walk. Amen.

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Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding” (Proverbs 2:3 KJV).

Yesterday we saw that wisdom cries in the broad way and in the narrow way for any that will hear, today we see that if we would be wise we must cry after wisdom and seek her as one would a hidden treasure. Wisdom initially calls any that would hear and offer to bear their load of guilt and free them from the shackles of sin, but wisdom has so much more to offer, to any that will diligently seek after her.

I remember that when I was about ten years old, we went shopping at our local Eagle grocery store and were given volume one of some encyclopedia set which had, I believer, about 30 volumes. If we wanted to complete the set, we had to return to the store on a weekly basis and pay a modest $4.99 for the next volume. The first was a free gift, but the rest cost $144.71 on the store’s installment-type plan. I even saw that first volume in my parent’s house some years later. We only had the one that was free.

I have often thought of that in relation to salvation. The initial act of accepting God’s gift of eternal life always seemed to me similar to getting that free book. However, if you wanted to grow in faith, it was going to cost something in the area of commitment and faithfulness to spiritual things. Peter writes: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Peter 1:4-8 KJV).

The promises were ours, and yes, they were exceeding great and precious, but to enjoy them to their fullest it was required of us to give all diligence and to add those promises one by one. As we were faithful to attain one, we would work (yes, I said work, Christian growth is surely a work) to reach the next level, so to speak. If we became stagnate in our life for Christ, we would not grow in our faith. God would not give us something new until we worked out the old. And Peter warned, “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins” (II Peter 1:9 KJV).

I believe that we, then, see two characteristics of Divine Wisdom: She is found in her fullest expression only by those that are willing to diligently seek her; and, if rejected, she turns into a most scornful and unforgiving foe.

If the lost reject her, they will hear the mocking laughter of God as they seek for help where none is; for the child of God, they will stand empty of rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ where it is written that they “shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (I Corinthians 3:15).

If you are reading this, and not sure where you will spend eternity, come to Jesus Christ now, He is the embodiment of the Wisdom spoken of here, and know for certain that you’ll have a home in heaven. If you know that you are saved but have stopped growing in the Lord, rededicate your life at the Cross and be washed anew by the Blood of cleansing and resolve to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Lord, thank You for Your great love towards us, even when we were yet sinners, You died for us in a most cruel way. Thank You for letting us have a part in Your eternal plans. Amen.

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My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments(Proverbs 3:1 KJV).

In this and succeeding verses the material divides itself into couplet thoughts, the first verse giving the commandment and the second verse the promise or explanation. Check this for yourself. Too many children instead of not forgetting their parent’s law and keeping the commandments get it backwards: they “keep forgetting” what they were told. If one remembers his father’s instruction, his father should not have to keep reminding him of his duty. Remembering what one is told is a necessary part of obedience.

Now, there is a way to keep it in your head by stowing it in your heart. You see that? A lot of religious people have the law in their head. You’ve seen those people that talk about keeping the commandments and then they don’t. The problem is that it is in their heads, but not in their hearts. You get the law in a man’s heart, and there is a good chance it will stick in his head—and he’ll be more likely to keep it. That is why a Christian is more likely to keep the law than anybody else. Now you have to remember that our flesh is contrary to law so that you can’t move the flesh to keep it. Paul said in Romans 1, “For God is my witness whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel” (1:9).

You serve God in spirit, and your body will follow suit. It doesn’t want to—believe me—it is just a slave to your will.

I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin(Rom 7:25 KJV).

Now, a Christian can sin and go against the law, but what is the problem? The problem is that he will be miserable doing it. If a man is truly saved, and he knows it is wrong to commit any sin—he will suffer for it—if he commits it. Now he might try it, he might think he can do it like a lost person, but he can’t. There is something in you that magnifies the law, that upholds the law—and that is that Holy Spirit that is in you. Something that is not in the unsaved man. He can break the law and enjoy it. A Christian can’t. The Christian blessedly has one thing the lost man does not, I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Are you washed in the blood
In the soul-cleansing blood of the lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the lamb?

Solomon says, “Let thine heart keep my commandments.” That is why we try to get folks, especially young kids, to memorize Scripture. Especially if they are saved—it is a lot easier for them to memorize Scripture with their inner Teacher. There is no appeal to the flesh to keep the law, it’s the heart where the matter is.

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He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live(Proverbs 4:4 KJV).

Most of the Book of Proverbs, of course, are the words of Solomon, who was the son of David, the king of Israel. It is David’s words that are being quoted in this passage. The immediate thought that comes to my mind is that my own children have heard words from me, that they will no doubt remember long after I am gone. I honestly hope that they are more meaningful than, “Were you born in a barn?” or “Because I said so!” I hope that, in some good way, that their lives will be affected for eternity by counsel that I have given them. Praise the Lord that their mother and I led them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ while they were born, but did they always see the Lord in their father? Unfortunately, no.

Think of Solomon here. He had to know that his older brother was the result of an adulterous affair that led to the murder of his mother’s first husband, Uriah, and further led to the death of his brother as God’s punishment of David. He probably had every cause to despise his father. At least that is what Jerry Springer tells the world every day on his program from hell.

But that is not the case at all. Solomon obviously loved his father, and in large part, because even though his dad was a grievous sinner, he was also a man that loved the Lord with all his heart and a man that was after God’s own heart. Solomon saw also that his father was a man of great faith, and great devotion.

We do not know if Solomon read Psalm 51. He may well have. It is not often that a son gets a glimpse so deeply into their own father’s soul. It is a psalm that we all do well to read often, and memorize parts of it:

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee(Psalms 51:1-13 KJV).

David sinned, yet David repented, and God did not kill him. David was likely a very different man after this tragic occasion in his life, but rather than become bitter and raise an angry family, David made things right with God and put it behind him. How often Christians will forget the forgiveness and cleansing of the Lord and carry their guilt to the destruction of their own families. As we face this new year, a verse I like to think about was given to us in Philippians.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14 KJV).

Edited by Baptist_Bible_Believer

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I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly(Proverbs 5:14 KJV).

It is a most wonderful miracle when a young child, before he has had the misfortune to discover the depths of sin, is miraculously saved because a parent, Sunday school teacher, bus worker, or friend cared enough to give him the gospel and show him how to be saved. To meet a young man that has kept himself pure, that has grown into a strong, vibrant Christian unscathed from the ravages of sin is to have a glimpse into the very throne room of God. To attend a wedding where two chaste virgins are uniting their love for one another to a life where God is honored is a treasure to behold. And to know that these things are still possible in our debauched society gives one a modicum of hope.

Sadly, this is not always the case. Thank God that He is still saving men and women who have been ravished by the world, the flesh and the Devil. I believe that in every instance of authentic salvation, there is a moment of realization unlike anything ever experienced in that person’s life. It is a moment where a pit is exposed, and one is able to see themselves in exactly the way that God sees them. Thoroughly lost and completely condemned.

I was almost in all evil,” is the instant that a sinner recognized that there is but a step between him and hell. In fact, in a very real sense, the gates of hell are thrust open and a future glimpse of themselves burning in that preternatural furnace is lain open for display. As if that were not frightening enough, it is accompanied with the secure knowledge that that is where we belong, that that is our just deserts. It is at that moment in time when all the sins of our life are revealed of the things that we are guilty; our contempt for God, our parents, all authority and all the lewdness of our preceding years are laid bare. It is then that we are forced to realize that we are existing at the very brink of hell itself, except for a single heartbeat, we are standing on the precipice of eternity.

“. . . in the midst of the congregation and assembly,” we discover that our supposed morality was nothing more than a cheap whitewash, and, though we had not a name for it, somehow we understood that “we were an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as a filthy rag,” and we understand as we never had before the true cost of our iniquities, for “the wages of sin is death.”

In order to be truly saved, my friends, we must first become truly lost. It is at this heavenly vision that I believe that every man and woman experience the fact that the greatest transaction of heaven or earth is completed. It is at that moment when our dirty hands reach out to receive the purest prize available in all the universe, and upon receiving, our filthy hands become washed in the soap of Christ’s Blood. And we are “new creatures in Christ!

It is a beautiful thing when a child receives Christ and is permitted to escape the life of sin that we who are saved later in live are exposed to. However, that is not completely the best thing, for there is nothing to compare to the realization that years of debauchery of a lifetime are suddenly and completely and eternally gone and left in its place is a child of the living God as holy and as pure as a new born babe. I have yet to hear, and am unable to communicate, any word that truly describes the translation from being a child of Satan to becoming a son of God in as quick a time as the tick of a clock.

Father, all I can say, all anyone can say, is thank You for saving us, for showing us what we were, and what we are now. Thank You for the blessed anticipation of the day that we will one day be as our Saviour—glorified and free from even the very presence of sin. Amen.

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These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look . . .” (Proverbs 6:16-17 KJV).

A proud look,” is the first in the list, therefore, it might stand to reason that it is the worst, but sin is sin is sin. Disdainful arrogancy is an attitude which can creep into a man’s life without him even noticing it.

When considering this attitude, one is immediately drawn to a scene where the prayers of two men are related as a parable: “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner(Luke 18:10-13 KJV).

Do we ever catch ourselves praying a similar prayer as we look out onto the harvest field? From experience I can relate that there are some mighty pitiful situations out there. Police officers and ministers look on the worst of society at times. Often, the police officer finds himself hardened to what he sees, and at times even uses what we call “gallows humor” to deal with what he finds hard to observe. The minister, or soul winner, does not have this option available to him ever. Of course, we pity the situation, but we must never begin to gauge our own holiness against the lives of others.

Without Jesus Christ, God sees no difference in one sin versus another. We are all sinners in Adam as are all men, we are all sinners by nature as are all men, and we have the same iniquities and corruptions in our hearts as other people. The blanket of righteousness that covers us is not of our own making, but it is the pure righteousness of Jesus Christ that justifies us. In other words, we are only a sinner saved by grace. The lost are only sinners not yet saved by grace.

Pride was the sin of the cherubic Lucifer that resulted in his designation as Satan, the father of lies. Pride was the sin of the angels, that left their first estate to roam without rudder, or to be chained in chains in outer darkness. Perhaps pride is the first on the list because it is the sin that gives rise to every other sin.

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall(Proverbs 16:18 KJV).

Father, help us to keep away from pride in our lives, Let us ever be grateful that everything we have is so much more than we deserve. Let us not forget where we were when you lifted us from the miry clay and placed us on the firm foundation of our salvation. Whenever we begin to think that we are better in any way than others that are less fortunate to us, impress us with the need to run to the mourner’s bench and get it right. Thank You again, for loving us, help us to love others through You. Amen.

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My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee(Proverbs 7:1 KJV).

Why does the father go over and over this godly instruction in Proverbs? Because he is “training up” his son for the future day when he won’t be there to act as his guide and tutor: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it(Proverbs 22:6 KJV).

There will come a day in every person’s life that only memories will suffice when they need a word of advice from a parent. It is our divine duty as parents to see that those memories are Bible rich and not worldly wise. Oh, friend, this is why we must guard our emotions at all times so that our words are not words of anger and frustration, but words laced “alway with grace, seasoned with salt” which will be repeated countless times in tomorrow’s thought life of our children.

No wonder that we live in a world filled with angry men; for growing up all they knew was anger from those whose duty it was to nurture and prepare them for the coming of adulthood, but as anger was all the parent knew, that was all the parent could bestow. Those families that know the Lord and are blessed to be able to name the name of Christ in their home, are doubly blessed to be able to influence the next generation with a legacy of faith.

Proverbs uses a lot of repetition. The Word takes it for granted that we do not remember everything we hear, so it says it over and over again. That’s one way we learn—through repetition, through association, and experience—so he says again, My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.” In 3:8 it says that if we keep my commandments, and live” (vs. 2), “It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (3:8).

Even for a Christian, this is true, for “if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live(Rom 8:13 KJV). Words to the wise is sufficient.

Bind them upon thy fingers.” A book is bound, and we talk about that being the Bible. “write them upon the table of thine heart. Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman(Proverbs 7:3-4 KJV). In other words, get as close as you can as you would to your own family. “That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words(Proverbs 7:5 KJV).

Father, impress upon us the importance of guarding our thoughts and our emotions at all times, understanding that the next generation is more likely to remember the wrong things we say. Let us live in such as way that years from now our children will continue to rise and call us blessed, and the instruction that we gave them will, along with the Word of God, be their anchor in this world. Amen.

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Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?(Proverbs 8:1 KJV).

In chapter 8, we have a picture of a preacher that is wise to sin, and the discourse is on the fact that we ought to listen to the preacher. Not only that, but Christ is personified—in other words, wisdom is given human attributes. Wisdom in the chapter is going to personify Jesus Christ.

How does the Oxford English Dictionary define Personification? “Attribution of personal form, nature, or characteristics; the representation of a thing or abstraction as a person, as a rhetorical figure or species of metaphor.”

Doth not wisdom cry?  Did that young man in chapter 7 die because there was no one to warn him? No, wisdom was crying in the streets. We saw that when we started the book of Proverbs. The young man just wouldn’t listen to wisdom. He listened to wickedness. Do you know what sin is like? Sin is like something that looks good, feels good, tastes good, sounds good—everything’s ‘good’ about it—but then it ends up sour.

O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart(Proverbs 8:5 KJV).

Doing it God’s way is just the reverse. It starts out sour—repentance, rebuke, weeping, getting right, then it starts to get good. Then the heart is full of joy, the heart is full of peace, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God” (Ro 5:1). Then you get that Holy Ghost leading, guiding, directing; and you start helping folks to get saved, you go to the right church, you start giving to missionaries. Wow! What started out sour starts turning sweet.

The world doesn’t want anything sour . . . they want it sweet all the way through . . . but there ain’t nothing sweet all the way through. Nothing. Everything in this world starts out sweet and then turns sour or starts out sour and turns out sweet. Is there any fruit that starts out sour and ends up sweet? Well, yea, all fruit when it is ripe. Bananas are horrible when they are green, but give them some time. Let the sun shine on them a while until they turn a golden yellow – and then there is nothing sweeter!

Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?” She does. See what God told Isaiah: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins(Isa 58:1 KJV). In every age, God has someone preaching for him. In every place, God’s got a witness.

Father, we have learned the bitterness of a life without Christ, and we now know the joy and sweetness of being Your children. And yet, we know that we live in a world that does not love You or Your people, so we may be called upon to suffer for Your Name’s sake. As we grow in grace and in the knowledge of You and Your Word, help us to understand that the “sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Amen

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I am sorry, I can't see any limitation or anything else that would keep you from continuing. I think we will just have to wait until BroMatt sees this so he cna look into it.

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