Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January, 2012

verses 13-14: “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. How blessed is the man who fears always, But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.”

These verses had already been marked in my Bible from a previous sermon delivered by either our pastor or a former associate pastor. I can’t remember exactly which one gave the sermon, but I think the notes from it deserve repeating. I hope I can convey the notes from that message adequately.

People have faulty thinking about their sin. They like to HIDE it. HIDE here stands for ways that people hide their sin:
Handle their sin…like most in denial, some people think, “oh I can handle it”.
Ignore their sin…”oh, I don’t have a sin problem” or even if they acknowledge it, “it’ll go away”.
Deny their sin… “I DO NOT have any problem with sin.” That’s like saying you don’t have any trouble with gravity: you trip, gravity pulls you down, you hit the ground…no problem.
Enjoy their sin…and then you have those with no guilt about their sin…they just enjoy it.

But what people need is forgiveness for their sins; they need to:
Confess the sin – the Latin term is “homo lagetto” (my apologies, I know I have misspelled it but I can’t find the proper spelling of the Latin term)
Forsake the sin – leave it, loathe it, don’t go back to it.
Mercy – and that’s something we get from Jesus

Something to think about today.

Read Full Post »

verse 5: “Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the LORD understand all things.”

I’ve mentioned before enjoying the old Saturday morning cartoon Superfriends. During that first season of the show, the majority, if not all, of the “villains” were not really evil, just misguided in their attempts. They usually learned that what they did was wrong, or at least saw that they could’ve accomplished their goals through less selfish means. Most of them regretted the harm they caused.

But there are those in the world today who do not understand the concept of justice; they only see “their” way as the right way…because they don’t know God’s way. We are not dumb or misguided (as the world says) for wanting to follow God’s way; He knows what’s best for us. Because we follow God’s teachings, we can understand it all. Like Him, we need to love the sinner, but hate the sin. To quote the old question in our daily walk on this old world: “what would Jesus do?”

Something to think about today.

Read Full Post »

Proverbs 27:19-27

verse 19: “As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects man.”

It’s amazing to observe your reflection in a perfectly still body of water. I pass a lake every morning on my way to work, and there are times when it is so still (no wind or breeze) that the surface looks just like glass. It is in that glass that you can observe your reflection, and the clarity of detail you can see in that reflection can be astounding. I’ve looked at my reflection before and sometimes wondered: “Is that really what I look like?”

Our hearts are that mirror. Outward beauty or appearance (or lack thereof) are sometimes mirrored perfectly on the inside…and in some people what we observe is not what is reflected. The inside can be totally different. Whatever is in our hearts is the true litmus test of what we are. If you have Jesus in your heart, then you should be reflecting Him. So what do you see in the mirror today?

Something to think about.

Read Full Post »

verse 17: “Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.”

Two co-workers of mine used to go to the gym and work out together during lunch time. They were both very serious about training, but one day they got into a humorous “competition”. They were doing arm curls with dumbbells, and did a number of repetitions. When they got to the end of the set of “reps”, one of them performed one more “rep”. Seeing this as a challenge, the other one did the set again, adding one more rep past what the first one did. Not to be outdone, the first one repeated the set, and added one more rep on the top of the other one’s last total! And so on, and so forth. Finally, with both of their arms screaming in pain, they mutually declared “Uncle!” and ended their spontaneous competition! Oh, boy, were they sore for a few days!

Despite their competitive nature, my friends used their working out together to keep each other to their promises to exercise. It’s easy to not follow up on a promise when you’re only accountable to yourself. Iron sharpens iron, so one person can hold another accountable when they ask them to keep them “sharp”. Christians need to do this, too. I know my pastor has a confidant in the ministry he uses to keep him accountable on things; so do our deacons. God holds us accountable for our actions. He provides ways for us to stick to our promises. Sometimes that way can take the form of a trusted Christian “workout partner”.

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Read Full Post »

verse 10: “Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, And do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother far away.”

My wife and I became close friends with a co-worker of mine some years ago. We were there for her as she went through a divorce and a job change. We were even part of her wedding to her second husband. Most memorable of all is when we found out that she had accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, after she had moved away for another job change. We rejoiced with her in that most wonderful decision. We consider her our “little sister” and she has referred to us as her “big siblings”. She did tell me once that I had been more of a brother than her true brother who lives many states away; I’ve always considered that a high compliment.

That memory above is a good example of today’s verse. Footnotes in my Bible and in the Holman Concordance on Proverbs (page 176) clarify that this verse doesn’t slam familial relationships; it praises the neighbor who is a friend in need. Sometimes family can live too far away to be of immediate help in times of crisis; that’s where, as a Christian friend and neighbor, we should be ready to step in and help our fellow neighbors. After all…what would Jesus do?

Something to think about today.

Read Full Post »

verse 6: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”

I can’t remember if I have ever mentioned this story, but here goes anyway. Back when I officiated high school football, I had a friend of mine who was a veteran referee, who decided to have a heart-to-heart chat with me while driving to a game. What he had to tell me wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but he gave me some honest criticism on how I was coming across as a know-it-all in meetings (I hadn’t intended to be that, I actually asked a lot of questions wanting to learn.) Though it stung at first, I realized that he was doing it because he was my friend. Once I realized the wisdom in his words, I actually came to value his advice even more and to value his friendship because he had been honest with me.

Contrast the “wounds of a friend” with the “kisses of an enemy”…in my Bible, I had a footnote reference to Matthew 26:49. It’s the verse where Judas betrays Jesus to the soldiers with a kiss. I don’t think I need to even elaborate on that, you get the point.

Sometimes as friends, we have to tell other friends things they don’t want to hear or may not like. However, we wouldn’t be friends who care though, unless we did that. Remember, Jesus is our friend, and yes He does rebuke and correct us when we need it.

Something to think about.

Read Full Post »

verse 1: “Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth.”

“There is a saying: Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” —Master Oogway to Po, Kung Fu Panda.

In the movie, Master Oogway made that statement to Po the panda; Po was fretting over his past and worried about tomorrow. Oogway was pointing out that he should focus on today.

The Proverbs verse above is a warning to those who think that tomorrow will always be there. James 4:13-15 says otherwise; verse 15 says it best…”Instead, you ought to say, “If the LORD wills, we shall live and also do this or that.”” We need to take care of today, of now, of what the Lord wants us to do…today! We are not promised tomorrow, thus the urgency in reaching a lost world for Jesus. It’s okay to plan for tomorrow, but don’t let plans for tomorrow interfere with action for today.

Something to think about.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »