28 June 2019

A Few Thoughts About Truth

This is not an article on the philosophy of truth, but some things the Bible teaches about truth.

The Bible assumes truth to be reality, factual, and accurate.

The Hebrew word for truth is אֶמֶת ʼemeth (H571). It means truth, reliability, stability, faithfulness, etc.
B1 Exodus 34:6 WEB Yahweh passed by before him, and proclaimed, “Yahweh! Yahweh, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness and truth. (Many translations have faithfulness instead of truth. This is correct as far as translation, but the Septuagint has truth (ἀληθινός alēthinos G228)).
B2 1 Kings 22:16 NLT But the king replied sharply, "How many times must I demand that you speak only the truth to me when you speak for the LORD?"
The Greek word is ἀληθής alēthḗs (G227).
B1 1 John 2:27 MKJV But the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true and no lie, and as He has taught you, abide in Him.
B2 John 4:18 NLT For you have had five husbands, and you aren't even married to the man you're living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!

The God of the Bible, Yahweh, cannot lie. He is the nonlying god.
B1 Titus 1:2 MKJV On hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the eternal times.
B2 Hebrews 6:17-18 MKJV In this way desiring to declare more fully to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, God interposed by an oath, (18) so that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.

He expects us to tell the truth also. It is a Kingdom rule.
B1 Matthew 5:37 CSB But let your 'yes' mean 'yes,' and your 'no' mean 'no.' Anything more than this is from the evil one.
B2 Ephesians 4:25 CSB Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another.

We need to speak the truth to ourselves, too. We have to admit what we are. If we sin, we must tell the truth. If we are addicted to something, we first must tell the truth. Telling the truth is the first step in agreeing with God, after the Holy Spirit has opened our eyes, minds, and hearts that we are sinners.
B1 Abraham believed that God was telling the truth: Genesis 15:3-6 NRSV And Abram said, "You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir." (4) But the word of the LORD came to him, "This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir." (5) He brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your descendants be." (6) And he believed the LORD; and the LORD reckoned it to him as righteousness.
B2 Telling the truth when convicted by the Holy Spirit concerning sin:
C1 Proverbs 28:13 NRSV No one who conceals transgressions will prosper, but one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
C2 1 John 1:9 NKJV If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We are to tell each other the truth as a ministry:
B1 2 Timothy 2:25 NRSV correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth.
B2 Galatians 4:16 NRSV Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?

Truth separates from what is false, what is lies, about God and us: John 17:17 BSB Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.

What we say, and what we do must match. This is both in private and in public:
B1 1 John 3:18 NIV Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
B2 3 John 1:4 NRSV I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

We need to interpret the Bible in its plain, normal sense. Too often, the Scriptures are distorted by novel methods of interpretation. God is omniscient and omnisapient and knows how to perfectly communicate. Abraham believed God. David believed God. Those who believed Jesus Christ were redeemed. God’s yes is yes and His no is no.
B1 2 Corinthians 4:2 NLT We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don't try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.
B2 2 Peter 3:15-16 NLT And remember, our Lord's patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him-- speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.

Believing God sanctifies and results in a changed life: 1 Peter 1:22 PickNT Since you have purified your souls by obeying the truth through the Spirit, resulting in sincere brotherly love, you must love one another fervently from a pure heart.

God’s judgment is in truth and justice: Psalm 96:13 NLT Before the LORD, for he is coming! He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth.

God knows our heart. We cannot fake it. He wants truth, so do we. We want true love from our friends, family, children, parents, and spouse. Acts 15:8 NRSV And God, who knows the human heart, testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us.

We need to love the truth: John 18:37 NLT Pilate said, "So you are a king?" Jesus responded, "You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true."

God loves those who tell and live the truth: Proverbs 12:22 NLT The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.

Of Messiah (Jesus) it is written: Isaiah 11:5 NLT He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment.

John 1:17 NIV For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

27 June 2019

A Few Thoughts About Christian Rewards

Romans 6:23 NLT For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
B1 We earn (work for) wages. This wage is death.
B2 We do not earn salvation, despite what many Reformed claim about Classical/Reformed and Wesleyian Arminians believe. It is a free gift, not earned.

We are to live daily doing God’s will.
B1 Working at our occupation: Colossians 3:23-24 NIV Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
B2 Working at daily life in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds: Galatians 6:9-10 GW We can't allow ourselves to get tired of living the right way. Certainly, each of us will receive everlasting life at the proper time, if we don't give up. (10) Whenever we have the opportunity, we have to do what is good for everyone, especially for the family of believers.
B3 Working at spiritual things: 2 John 1:8 GW Be careful that you don't destroy what we've worked for, but that you receive your full reward.
B4 Working for heavenly treasures: Matthew 6:19-21 GW "Stop storing up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. (20) Instead, store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust don't destroy and thieves don't break in and steal. (21) Your heart will be where your treasure is.
B5 We will give an account to the Lord Jesus, the Judge: 2 Corinthians 5:10 NKJV For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
B6 Blessing for enduring trials: James 1:12 GW Blessed are those who endure when they are tested. When they pass the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Failure at living daily doing God’s will: Galatians 6:7-8 GW Make no mistake about this: You can never make a fool out of God. Whatever you plant is what you'll harvest. (8) If you plant in the soil of your corrupt nature, you will harvest destruction. But if you plant in the soil of your spiritual nature, you will harvest everlasting life.

Believing the Gospel is the foundation. We are the ones who must build on it. 1 Corinthians 3:10-18 GW As a skilled and experienced builder, I used the gift that God gave me to lay the foundation for that building. However, someone else is building on it. Each person must be careful how he builds on it. (11) After all, no one can lay any other foundation than the one that is already laid, and that foundation is Jesus Christ. (12) People may build on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw. (13) The day will make what each one does clearly visible because fire will reveal it. That fire will determine what kind of work each person has done. (14) If what a person has built survives, he will receive a reward. (15) If his work is burned up, he will suffer the loss. However, he will be saved, though it will be like going through a fire. (16) Don't you know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? (17) If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him because God's temple is holy. You are that holy temple! (18) Don't deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise in the ways of this world, you should give up that wisdom in order to become really wise.

B1 Crown of glory: 1 Peter 5:4 NIV And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
B2 Crown of righteousness: 2 Timothy 4:8 NRSV From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
B3 Crown of life:
C1 James 1:12 GW Blessed are those who endure when they are tested. When they pass the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
C2 Revelation 2:10 GW Don't be afraid of what you are going to suffer. The devil is going to throw some of you into prison so that you may be tested. Your suffering will go on for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
B4 Crown of rejoicing (soul winner's crown): 1 Thessalonians 2:19 WEL For what is our hope, joy, or crown of rejoicing in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? Isn't even you?
B5 Often another crown is mentioned, but to me all the crowns listed above are eternal and imperishable: 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 NKJV Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
B6 God gives these rewards because
C1 He is kind.
C2 He says He will.
C3 He recognizes our level of love and priority for God and His ways. Are we loyal? John 15:8-10 WEL My Father is glorified by this: that you bear much fruit, and you will become disciples for me. 9 Just as the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Continue in my love. 10 If you obey my commandments, you will continue in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commandments and continue in his love.
C4 Those who receive crowns do so because they believed God and did His ways (with the help of His grace). Hebrews 11:6 GNB No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him.
C5 We are in a race, so will we run to the goal or give up? Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
C6 God rewards faithfulness: Hebrews 3:14 NLT For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.
C7 The start is important, but so is the ending: Luke 9:62 NIV Jesus replied, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

C1 Are we faithful?
C2 Do we even know what to do, how to do it, and why?
C3 He is watching.
C4 He is recording.
C5 There is a judgment for rewards.
C6 Let us encourage one another to be faithful.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Hebrews 3:13 NIV But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called "Today," so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

26 June 2019

A Few Thoughts About Christian Character Traits

James 3:8-9 WEL But the tongue can no one tame. [It is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless God, even the Father, and with the same we curse people, who are made according to God's likeness.
Colossians 3:9-10 WEL Don't lie to one another, seeing that you have completely rid yourself of the old nature with his deeds, 10 And have put on the new [nature], which is being renewed into knowledge according to the image of him who created him.

A Christian is to be acting in God’s image, that is, in reason and in God’s character.

We see a sampling of God’s character as seen in
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
  • 2 Peter 1:3-8
  • Galatians 5:22-23

These traits must be seen in us. Perhaps, it is only briefly at first, but with time and God’s training (chastening), it develops, so we become more consistent in the character traits that He is pleased with.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a WEL Love is very patient and kind; love is not envious; love doesn't brag about itself, is not haughty, 5 Doesn't behave improperly, is not self-seeking; love isn't easily aggravated, doesn’t keep a list of wrongs, 6 Doesn't rejoice in injustice, but rejoices in the truth, 7 Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends
B1 Love is part of the central character of God. Truth is the other.
C1 1 John 4:8 CSB The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
C2 Hebrews 6:18 CSB So that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us.
B2 Love, God’s love, is a choice. He chooses to love. The actions of love towards others are seen in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a.
B3 We are to love God in this way and other humans. Luke 10:27 MKJV And answering, he said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. Jesus then gives an example in the illustration of the Good Samaritan.
B4 We are even to love our enemies. Clearly, this has to be a choice. Matthew 5: 44-45 PickeringNT But I say to you: love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, 45, that you may prove to be sons of your Father in the heavens; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust.

2 Peter 1:3-9 WEL Since his divine power has given to us everything [needful] for life and godliness through the thorough knowledge of him who has called us to glory and moral excellence. 4 Through this he has given very great and precious promises, so that by them we may become partakers of the divine nature, [since] we have escaped the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire. 5 Beside this, be diligent to add to your faith moral excellence; to moral excellence add knowledge. 6 To knowledge add self-control; to self-control add perseverance; to perseverance add godliness. 7 To godliness add brotherly love; to brotherly love add unselfish, unconditional love. 8 For if these qualities are in you and are plentiful, they will make you not to be barren or unfruitful in the thorough knowledge concerning our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he who lacks these qualities is blind, short sighted and become forgetful that he was totally cleansed from his past sins.
B1 This list encourages us to become partakers of the divine nature, that is, God’s communicable character traits. We need to have our thoughts, desires, words, and deeds as Jesus character traits are.
B2 God gives us the grace to do this. He also gives us the training and testing that we need. Hebrews 12:10 WEL Truly, they disciplined us for only a few days according to what seemed best to them, but he for our benefit, so that we may be partakers of his holiness.
B3 This is God’s desire for us: Romans 8:29 WEL Because whom he foreknew he also already appointed to conform to the image of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
B4 We add to these traits by
C1 Knowing them, so we must study the New Testament, not only precepts but examples from the life of our Lord Jesus.
C2 Praying for them, so God will give us grace to do them.
C3 Fellowshipping with others, so we can encourage others and they encourage us.
B5 Note the warning: 2 Peter 1:9 But he who lacks these qualities is blind, short sighted and become forgetful that he was totally cleansed from his past sins.
Galatians 5:22-23 WEL But, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
B1 The Spirit in this passage is the Holy Spirit.
B2 God, the Holy Spirit, works into us these traits, if we are willing.
B3 We must not resist His grace.
B4 If they are not seen privately and publicly, God will convict us. When He does we must repent. The fruit of repentance must be seen in that we do not practice these things anymore. Matthew 3:8 ESV Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. (Another translation: Matthew 3:8 NLT Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God).
B5 Our lives, our families, our churches, our society, our country, our government, our business, our world would be a different place, if all lived by this fruit.

Some questions
B1 Do we have the character traits that God wishes for us to have?
B2 What can we do to increase these traits?
B3 Why must we be consistent in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds in private as well as in public?

Psalm 124:8 NLT Our help is from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 119:20 NIV My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times.

Psalm 119:34-36 NIV Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.

23 June 2019

A Few Thoughts on Proverbs 1:7

Proverbs 1:7 NKJV The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

There are 4 things I would like to speak about this evening: Fear, Knowledge, Wisdom, and Discipline.

B1 The Hebrew word is יִרְאָה yir'ah. It means
C1 Fear and terror as in Jonah 1:10 GW Then the men were terrified. They knew that he was running away from the LORD, because he had told them. They asked Jonah, "Why have you done this?"
C2 Reverential fear as in speaking of Messiah Isaiah 11:2 MEV The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.
B2 We who have reverential fear must remember who the Boss is. We all have to give an account to Him one day. 2 Corinthians 5:10 GW All of us must appear in front of Christ's judgment seat. Then all people will receive what they deserve for the good or evil they have done while living in their bodies.
B1 The Hebrew word is דַּעַת daʻath. It means
C1 Knowledge, knowing as in
D2 Hosea 4:6 MEV My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from being My priest. And because you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.
D2 1 Kings 7:14 NIV Whose mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father was from Tyre and a skilled craftsman in bronze. Huram was filled with wisdom, with understanding and with knowledge to do all kinds of bronze work. He came to King Solomon and did all the work assigned to him.
D3 Knowing something as facts, skills, and daily life as a journeyman plumber, surgeon, lawyer, etc.
C2 Knowledge of how to act wisely in society and in situations as Proverbs 17:27 YLT One acquainted with knowledge is sparing his words, And the cool of temper is a man of understanding. The NET versions has the sense, the meaning of the passage: Proverbs 17:27 NET The truly wise person restrains his words, and the one who stays calm is discerning.
C3 As Christians, we know that our God is omniscience—all knowing.
B2 The fear of the Lord is the first step. It is the foundation of this wisdom and knowledge. God’s ways are always best—best for individuals, families, businesses, governments, societies, churches, just everything!
B1 The Hebrew word is חׇכְמָה chokmâh. It means
C1 Skill as in Exodus 31:2-5 WEB “Behold, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: (3) and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all kinds of workmanship, (4) to devise skillful works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, (5) and in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all kinds of workmanship.
C2 We understand that wisdom is not only the highest intelligence possible (as in IQ) but also in common sense. God is omnisapient—all wise. Example: Jeremiah 10:12 NKJV He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion.
B1 The Hebrew word is מוּסָר mûwçâr. It means
C1 Correction as an experienced and skilled worker, “You can do that project easier if you…”
D1 It can be physical correction as choices have consequences: Proverbs 22:15 NIV Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.
D2 It can involve punishment for crimes: Isaiah 53:5 GNB But because of our sins he was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment he suffered, made whole by the blows he received.
C2 Instruction, warning, giving knowing, and coaching. Proverbs 10:17 GNB People who listen when they are corrected will live, but those who will not admit that they are wrong are in danger.
B2 Despising (H936) means feeling contempt for and detesting something. Destesting wisdom and instruction leads to wrong life attitudes and choices that corrupts and causes misery to society.
We learn
  1. Decisions have consequences. Galatians 6:7 NKJV Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
  2. Right decisions lead to a good society, family life, married life, church life, etc.
  3. Wrong decisions lead to a corrupt society, crime, discord, dysfunctional families, etc.
  4. God teaches the right way Matthew 6:33 NIV But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Things as Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law).
  5. God is the source, THE educator for our wisdom and learning, so we need to read and study His word the Bible.
Questions to ask ourselves:
  1. Why is God’s way best?
  2. How can we learn God’s ways?
  3. How can I apply God’s ways?
  4. How do we help each other, encouraging one another, and teach each other God’s ways?
  5. Are we doing God’s ways in public and private?
  6. Ask yourself, as I must ask myself, “Am I doing God’s ways in my thoughts, desires, words and deeds?

Luke 6:40 NIV The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.

John 13:13 NIV "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am.

John 14:23-24 NIV Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

21 June 2019

A Few Thoughts On the Book of Proverbs Part 3

Part 3: Special topics

B1 Proverbs 30
C1 The writer: Proverbs 30:1 NLT The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh contain this message. I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God.
C2 Outline
D1 Statements comparing God’s wisdom and Agur’s.
E1 Agur confesses his ignorance: Proverbs 30:2-3 NLT I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense. I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One.
E2 Agur has some questions that he cannot answer, so he asks God: Proverbs 30:2-3 NLT I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense. I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One.
D2 Statements regarding what God says: Proverbs 30:5-6 NLT Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection. Do not add to his words, or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.
D3 Statements of Agur’s prayer: Proverbs 30:7-9 NLT O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, "Who is the LORD?" And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God's holy name.
D4 Statements that are foolish and evil: Proverbs 30:7-9 NLT O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, "Who is the LORD?" And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God's holy name.
D5 Statements regarding those who have an evil attitude, heart, and actions:
E1 What they say: Proverbs 30:10-14 NLT Never slander a worker to the employer, or the person will curse you, and you will pay for it. Some people curse their father and do not thank their mother. They are pure in their own eyes, but they are filthy and unwashed. They look proudly around, casting disdainful glances. They have teeth like swords and fangs like knives. They devour the poor from the earth and the needy from among humanity.
E2 What they crave: Proverbs 30:15-17 NLT The leech has two suckers that cry out, "More, more!" There are three things that are never satisfied--no, four that never say, "Enough!": the grave, the barren womb, the thirsty desert, the blazing fire. The eye that mocks a father and despises a mother's instructions will be plucked out by ravens of the valley and eaten by vultures.
D6 Statements of things he does not understand: Proverbs 30:18-19 NLT There are three things that amaze me--no, four things that I don't understand: how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean, how a man loves a woman.
D7 Statement of a seared conscious: Proverbs 30:20 NLT An adulterous woman consumes a man, then wipes her mouth and says, "What's wrong with that?"
D8 Statements of things hard to endure: Proverbs 30:21-23 NLT There are three things that make the earth tremble--no, four it cannot endure: a slave who becomes a king, an overbearing fool who prospers, a bitter woman who finally gets a husband, a servant girl who supplants her mistress.
D9 Statements regarding illustrations of wise actions: Proverbs 30:24-28 NLT There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise: Ants--they aren't strong, but they store up food all summer. Hyraxes--they aren't powerful, but they make their homes among the rocks. Locusts--they have no king, but they march in formation. Lizards--they are easy to catch, but they are found even in kings' palaces.
D10 Statements regarding four things that are impressive to watch as they walk: Proverbs 30:24-28 NLT There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise: Ants--they aren't strong, but they store up food all summer. Hyraxes--they aren't powerful, but they make their homes among the rocks. Locusts--they have no king, but they march in formation. Lizards--they are easy to catch, but they are found even in kings' palaces.
D11 Statement regarding a need for repentance: Proverbs 30:32-33 NLT If you have been a fool by being proud or plotting evil, cover your mouth in shame. As the beating of cream yields butter and striking the nose causes bleeding, so stirring up anger causes quarrels.
B2 Proverbs 31
C1 The writer: Proverbs 31:1 NLT The sayings of King Lemuel contain this message, which his mother taught him.
C2 The Bridgeway Bible Commentary notes: King Lemuel was probably a non-Israelite from a neighbouring nation, but his mother appears to have been a God-fearing woman who vowed her son to God (31:1-2). The main desire of some kings was to get themselves as much pleasure as possible, chiefly through women and wine. Lemuel is warned that such interests distract a king from his proper duties and result in lawlessness and injustice (3-5). Strong drink deadens pain and dulls the mind. Therefore, among the people who seek after it are those whose distress is so great that life seems to have no more hope for them. The king should not seek after it, for he must have a clear mind at all times, so that he can judge with justice and defend the downtrodden (6-9).
C3 The king is warned to avoid spending his life on women and alcohol. These things ruin kings and in turn ruins nations.
C4 The rest of Proverbs 31 is about this wonderful woman. The point is: Why should the king have many women when he could have one wonderful wife.
C5 Some interpret this passage as patriarchal and amounts to nothing but the wife being a slave who meets all her hellish husband’s needs and wants. This interpretation is very simplistic and wrong.
D1 She is a delegator. She does not do all the work. She is a manager who has the maidservants to do the work. She delegates the works and makes sure it is done.
E1 Proverbs 31:15 NLT She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work for her servant girls.
E2 Another translation: Proverbs 31:15 GNB She gets up before daylight to prepare food for her family and to tell her servant women what to do.
E3 Another translation: Proverbs 31:15 NRSV She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and tasks for her servant-girls.
E4 I understand this verse to teach
F1 She plans the menu and her maidservants prepare the meals.
F2 She plans the day for the maidservants whether working the fields, sewing, making cloth, etc.
D2 She buys, sells, invests and many other tasks. Proverbs 31:16, 18 NLT She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. ... She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.
D3 Even though the passage states, “She did this and that,” this means she gets the credit as the manager who delegates.
C6 Having worked with women for most of my career (I’m a nurse), I can testify to the hard work, managing time and family, organizing, etc. I’m simply amazed at all my wife does efficiently, too.
C7 I shouldn’t have to mention that the husband must help with raising the children, cleaning the house, washing dishes, changing diapers, too. I tire of men with 17 inch biceps who are scared to death to get their hands dirty. I shoveled manure in the barn, cleaned old folk, the sick, the children, and whatever else I could do to help. The children worked too. Proverbs 18:9 NLT A lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things.

Proverbs 31:30-31 NLT Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

Ephesians 5:28-29 NLT In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.

20 June 2019

A Few Thoughts on the Book of Proverbs Part 2

A few example verses are given in each major category.
B1 Family
C1 Parents
D1 Proverbs 20:7 NLT The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.
D2 Proverbs 6:20-22 GNB Son, do what your father tells you and never forget what your mother taught you. 21 Keep their words with you always, locked in your heart. 22 Their teaching will lead you when you travel, protect you at night, and advise you during the day.
C2 Marriage
D1 Premarital
D2 Wedding
D3 Sex
E1 Faithful with spouse
E2 Unfaithful
D4 Relationship
D5 Do’s
D6 Don'ts
D7 Some verses for both husband and wife
E1 Proverbs 18:22 NLT The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD.
E2 Proverbs 31:26 NLT When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
E3 Proverbs 14:22 NLT If you plan to do evil, you will be lost; if you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness.
C3 Children
D1 Teaching
D2 Raising
D3 Education
E1 Belief in God
E2 Basics as reading, etc.
E3 Work
E4 Responsibility
E5 Good character traits
D4 Some verses
E1 Proverbs 20:11 NLT Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.
E2 Proverbs 22:6 NLT Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
B2 Finance
C1 Money
D1 Attitude
D2 Poverty
D3 Riches
D4 Debt
C2 Work
C3 Some verses
D1 Proverbs 10:16 NLT The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin.
D2 Proverbs 27:23 NLT Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds,
D3 Proverbs 28:11 NLT Rich people may think they are wise, but a poor person with discernment can see right through them.
B3 Government
C1 Proverbs 21:1 NLT The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases.
C2 Proverbs 21:30 NLT No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the LORD.
B4 Addictions
C1 Alcohol
C2 Mind altering
C3 Some verses
D1 Proverbs 20:1 NLT Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.
D2 Changes perceptions and thus people’s action: Proverbs 23:29-35 NLT Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new drinks. Don't gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is, how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down. For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake; it stings like a viper. You will see hallucinations, and you will say crazy things. You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea, clinging to a swaying mast. And you will say, "They hit me, but I didn't feel it. I didn't even know it when they beat me up. When will I wake up so I can look for another drink?"
D3 Because one’s sense of judgment is altered: Proverbs 31:4 NLT It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine. Rulers should not crave alcohol.
B5 Human problems
C1 Anger
C2 Envy
C3 Fools
C4 Happiness
C5 Laziness
C6 Hope
C7 Trials
C8 Truth vs lies
C9 Some verses
D1 Proverbs 24:1 NLT Don't envy evil people or desire their company.
D2 Proverbs 18:2 NLT Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.
D3 Proverbs 10:28 NIV The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.
D4 Proverbs 30:5 NLT Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.
B6 Religion
C1 Proverbs 21:3 NLT The LORD is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.
C2 Regarding our prayers and pious statements: Proverbs 12:22 NLT The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.
B7 A great resource is Proverbs Topically Arranged. The Topics are listed with a Scripture tooltip for making it easy to read.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

19 June 2019

A Few Thoughts on the Book of Proverbs Part 1

Part 1:Introduction

B1 Author: Solomon, Lemuel, and Agar. The Holy Spirit inspired them.
B2 Purpose: to show the contrast between God’s wisdom and human wisdom.
B3 Why read and study? Proverbs 1:2-6 NRSV For learning about wisdom and instruction, for understanding words of insight, 3 for gaining instruction in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity; 4 to teach shrewdness to the simple, knowledge and prudence to the young— 5 let the wise also hear and gain in learning, and the discerning acquire skill, 6 to understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles.
C1 For learning
D1 Wisdom (thinking God’s way)
D2 Instruction (correction and training)
C2 For understanding words of insight (skills and attitudes that wise men and women have learned)
C3 Gaining instruction
D1 In wise dealing (behavior)
D2 In righteousness (doing the right thing, thinking the right way, in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds in public and private)
D3 In justice (in deciding cases, making the right decisions)
D4 In equity (evenhandedness, impartiality, treating poor and rich, powerless and powerful, etc. the same)
C4 Teaching the simple (naive, unskilled, inexperienced)
D1 Shrewdness (discretion, forethought, caution, sensibleness)
D2 Knowledge (knowing facts, having experience)
D3 Prudence (having a reasonable plan, purpose)
C5 Increasing in those who have wisdom
D1 More wisdom than before (on how to speak to impart understanding)
D2 Greater skills in life (giving direction and wise counsel)
C6 Other translations
D1 Proverbs 1:2-6 NLT Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles.
D2 Proverbs 1:2-6 GNB Here are proverbs that will help you recognize wisdom and good advice, and understand sayings with deep meaning. 3 They can teach you how to live intelligently and how to be honest, just, and fair. 4 They can make an inexperienced person clever and teach young people how to be resourceful. 5 These proverbs can even add to the knowledge of the wise and give guidance to the educated, 6 so that they can understand the hidden meanings of proverbs and the problems that the wise raise.
C7 All these proverbs are to be applied to spiritual life as well as daily life and interaction with people.
B4 The most important is the start
C1 Salvation
C2 Not resisting, not refusing to believe, not suppressing, not rejecting truth, God’s truth, which is perfect truth. Truth is reality, not opinion.
C3 The Fear of the Lord: Proverbs 1:7 NKJV The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
D1 G. Campbell Morgan wrote that there are two kinds of fear:
E1 The fear that God will hurt me; but that is a selfish fear.
E2 The fear that I will hurt Him; a fear founded in love and producing holiness of character and righteousness of conduct. (See Ezekiel 6:9+). (Source)
D2 Personally, I believe there are 2 kinds of fear, too:
E1 Fear of God because of sin: Genesis 3:8 NIV Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
E2 Fear of God because of accountability (for Christians this is the Bema Seat judgment, where we must all give account. It has nothing to do with salvation, hell, heaven, etc. It does deal with rewards).
F1 Judgment Seat (Bema Seat)
G1 Romans 14:10 WEB But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
B2 2 Corinthians 5:10 WEB For we must all be revealed before the judgment seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
F2 As Christians, all of our deeds will be tested. This includes private and public, known and unknown, thoughts, desires, words, and deeds: 1 Corinthians 3:12-16 WEB But if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or stubble; 13 each man’s work will be revealed. For the Day will declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself will test what sort of work each man’s work is. 14 If any man’s work remains which he built on it, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, but as through fire. 16 Don’t you know that you are a temple of God, and that God’s Spirit lives in you?


Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

16 June 2019

A Few Thoughts About Preaching

2 Timothy 3:16-17 CSB All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

All preaching is to be based solidly on the Bible.

To teach
B1 To know what we believe
C1 Gospel
C2 Doctrine
B2 To know why we believe what we do
C1 Apologetics (we have a reasonable faith)
C2 How Christianity answers the big questions of life
B3 To know what a Christian worldview and lifestyle is
To convict
B1 Of sin
B2 Of truth
To expose sin leading to repentance
B1 The purpose of exposure is to lead to repentance and be converted (from their sin whether Christian or non-Christian).
B2 It is not unloving to preach about sins listed in the Bible
B3 We do NOT have to mention names or situations, unless it is abuse or other crime that we have to warn others of
B4 It protects the church, so we will be more pleasing to our Father
B5 To explain heresies
To encourage
B1 In words
B2 In deeds
B3 In help
B4 In fellowship
B5 In emotions
B6 In faith
B7 In families
B8 In persecution
To strengthen
B1 Faith
B2 Belief
B3 Trust
B4 Bible study
B5 Prayer
B6 Fellowship
B7 Serving
B8 Evangelism

Some things to not preach
B1 People are naturally good
B2 A pep talk
B3 A little tidbit to entertain
B4 A cute story to amuse
B5 A little story
B6 Politics
B7 Only current events
B8 Only social issues
B9 And many other similar things that can be discussed elsewhere other than church