Tag: righteous

Contrasting life-styles!

Scripture reading for July 5: Proverbs 10-13

Contrast is a literary device used in many of the proverbs to help convey truth.  One of the contrasts is of the righteous man and the wicked man.  The righteous man is wise and fears the Lord and the wicked man is foolish and hates God’s Word and God’s laws.   Let’s  look at these two types of people and try to evaluate our own lives as we read about them.  We can learn from good examples as well as bad!  I often say that if a person is not good for anything else, he can always be a bad example! Ouch!

Let’s look first at the foolish or wicked man.  Proverbs 10:1 states that the foolish son brings grief to his mother.  The foolish man is lazy and sleeps during harvest instead of working. (Proverbs 10:4-5) The wicked man’s mouth is filled with violence and his hatred causes dissension and strife.  They speak perverse things. (Proverbs 10:11-12, 31-32) The wicked earn wages of punishment and poverty.  (Proverbs 10:15-16)  The fool finds pleasure in evil conduct and lives in fear and dread of punishment that is sure to come upon him.  (Proverbs 10:23-24)  The wicked have no hope! (Proverbs 10:28, 11:23)  Their own ways insure judgment and ruin in their lives and in the lives of those around them.  (Proverbs 10:27-29)  The wicked may gain wealth, but it will not help them in the day of judgment! (Proverbs 11:4, 18)  There will be shouts of joy when the wicked perish from the land.  (Proverbs 11:10, 20-21) 

The righteous man or wise son is a joy to his father!  (Proverbs 10:1)  His righteousness delivers him from death and hunger and lack.  He is a worker and enjoys plenty because he gathers the crops during harvest season.  (Proverbs 10:3-5)  He is blessed and his memory is a blessing to those he has touched.  (Proverbs 10:6-7)  He is always open to correction and is teachable. (Proverbs 10:17)   His mouth is a fountain of life and wisdom is found on his lips. (Proverbs 10:8-11)   He is a man of integrity and rests securely.  His love covers over many wrongs. (Proverbs 10:12)  He enjoys a long and joyful life because his way is the Lord’s way!  (Proverbs 10:27-29)   He is rescued from trouble and escapes destruction because of his wisdom and faithfulness to the Lord!  His life blesses the city he lives in and he prospers!  (Proverbs 11:10-11)  God delights in the righteous man because his ways are blameless!  He is generous and gives, yet gains even more! (Proverbs 11:20,24-25)  He is a tree of life and wins souls!  (Proverbs 11:30)

Which of these contrasting life-styles have you chosen to walk in? Do you have the fruit of a righteous life-style or that of the wicked?  The choice is yours and today may be your only day to choose!

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Paul speaks boldly to authority!

Scripture reading for February 28th: Acts 26, Psalm 42, Proverbs 11

Acts 26: 24-29 “And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am–except for these chains.””

God gave Paul the opportunity, at King Agrippa’s request, to hear Paul’s defense. Paul spoke boldly to King Agrippa, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, he presented the Gospel message of his own testimony and Christ’s resurrection. He directly appealed to King Agrippa, and even to Festus, the governor, to become followers of Christ. There was resistance as Festus accused Paul of being mentally unstable, and King Agrippa and his wife felt pressure and resisted action of faith. But Paul boldly proclaimed the Gospel message to those God had set before him, a prisoner of Jesus Christ!

Psalm 42:1-2 “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirst for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your amazing care to place Your people where they may reach even those in authority with Good News. I ask for open doors today and each day to present my testimony of Your saving grace in my life and the forgiveness of sins through Your Son Jesus Christ. May my life bring glory to You and much fruit in souls partaking of Jesus Christ the Tree of Life Eternal!

Proverbs 11:30 “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.”

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“Abba! Father!”

Scripture reading for August 20th:  Galatians 4, Psalm 16, Proverbs 12

Key Scriptures:  Galatians 4:4-7  “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”

Those who place their faith in Jesus Christ are adopted into God’s forever family, the Church, as sons of God.  The proof of this is the cry of the Holy Spirit within the believer “Abba! Father!”  We are no longer slaves of sin and Satan, but truly free.  The Holy Spirit enables us to confess this truth.

Faith Confession:  I am adopted into God’s forever family, the Church, and now call God my “Abba, Father!”  I have been set free from slavery to sin by faith in Jesus Christ.  Jesus is my Lord!

Proverbs 12:28 “In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.”  

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Living by faith!

Scripture reading for August 16th:  Galatians 2, Psalm 14, Proverbs 10

Key Scriptures: Galatians 2:19-21 “For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.  I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.”  

Paul carefully explained to the Galatian believers that the law could only reveal sin and our separation from God.  But through identification with Christ Jesus in His death and resurrection, real life comes through Christ living in us .  This life is a gift of God coming through faith in Jesus Christ, not by man’s effort of trying to keep the law.  If we could do it ourselves, Christ Jesus died in vain!

Faith confession:  I identify with Christ Jesus in His crucifixion and His resurrection from the dead.  I receive by grace His indwelling presence and righteousness.  Thank You Jesus, I am free and truly live!

Proverbs 10:24-25 “What the wicked dreads will come upon him; but the desire of the righteous will be granted.  When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more, but the righteous is established forever.”  

 

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Power for salvation!

Scripture reading for June 13th:  Romans 1, Psalm 118, Proverbs 25

Key Scriptures:  Romans 1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.””

Paul made a faith confession concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He stated clearly that this Gospel was the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.  Faith to believe comes from hearing the Word of God in Christ Jesus.  It is available to everyone, Jew or Gentile, because God does not respect persons.  The Gospel reveals God’s righteousness in the person of Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God.  Those believing in Jesus live by faith in Him, going from faith to deeper faith.  They possess righteousness by faith.

Faith Confession: I believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God, my Savior and the gate of salvation for all people, through His death, burial and resurrection from the dead.  I possess His righteousness now by faith in Him alone and am saved from eternal death.

Psalm 118:14, 19-20 “The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.”  . . .”Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.  This is the Gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.”    

 

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Contrasts: the wicked and the righteous!

Scripture reading for July 6th: Proverbs 10-13

Solomon used the literary device of contrasts to highlight God’s wisdom and truth.  Two types of people were contrasted to help the reader discern which path of life to choose and evaluate how they wanted to live.  The righteous man was wise and feared the Lord but the wicked man was foolish and hated God’s Word.   These paths each had consequences.

Let’s look first at the foolish or wicked man.  Proverbs 10:1 states that the foolish son brought grief to his mother.  The foolish man was lazy and slept during harvest instead of working. (Proverbs 10:4-5) The wicked man’s mouth was filled with violence and caused dissension and strife.  (Proverbs 10:11-12, 31-32) The wicked earned wages of punishment and poverty and have no hope.  (Proverbs 10:15-16)  (Proverbs 10:28, 11:23)  Their own ways brought judgment and ruin into their lives and those around them.  (Proverbs 10:27-29)  The wicked may gain wealth, but it would not help them in the day of judgment! (Proverbs 11:4, 18)  There would be shouts of joy when the wicked perished from the land.  (Proverbs 11:10)  God, Himself, detested those with perverse hearts and makes sure they were punished!  (Proverbs 11:20-21)

By contrast, the righteous man was a joy to his father!  (Proverbs 10:1)  His righteousness delivered him from death,  hunger and lack.  He was a worker and enjoyed plenty because he gathered his crops during harvest season.  (Proverbs 10:3-5)  He was blessed and his would be remembered as one who was a blessing.  (Proverbs 10:6-7)  He was always open to correction and was teachable. (Proverbs 10:17)   His mouth was a fountain of life and wisdom was found on his lips. (Proverbs 10:8-11)   He was a man of integrity and rested securely.  His love covered over many wrongs. (Proverbs 10:12)  He would enjoy a long life filled with joy because his way is the Lord’s way!  (Proverbs 10:27-29)   He would be rescued from trouble and escape destruction because of his faithfulness to the Lord!  His life would bless the city he lived in!  (Proverbs 11:10-11)  He was generous and gave, yet gained even more! (Proverbs 11:20,24-25)  He would become a tree of life and win souls for the Lord!  (Proverbs 11:30)

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out which way is the most profitable and blessed!  If you are wise, you will enjoy the blessings listed for the righteous!  If you are a fool and unteachable, no one can help you!  The choice is yours!

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A day in Noah’s life

Scripture reading for January 4th: Genesis 6-9

As we read this familiar story of Noah and the flood, let’s  listen for God’s heart.  God saw that the man that He had made in His own image had turned to wickedness instead of  the walk of faith God had planned for him.  Man’s sin had caused God’s heart to become grieved and filled with pain.   That same sin had consequences for mankind.  Man has the freedom to choose his own will instead of God’s, but no freedom to choose the consequences.  Sin always brings God’s wrath and ultimately death.

“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:8)  God’s eyes are always looking for a way to show favor and mercy!  (2nd Chronicles 16:9)   His eyes are looking for any who would listen to Him so He might save and bless them. God revealed His plans to Noah  for judgment of wicked mankind and a polluted earth.  He gave specific instructions for saving Noah, his family, and the animals.  Noah did everything just as God commanded Him.” (Genesis 6:22)

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the 17th day of the second month–on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of heaven were opened.” (Genesis 7:11)  God did exactly what He said He would do on a specific day in Noah’s life!  Jesus taught that it would be just like the days of Noah when God would finally and completely judge the wicked of the earth.  (Matthew 24:36-39)  This time it would be by fire!   Are you a person like Noah of old who is declared “righteous” in God’s sight by faith in Jesus Christ?  Does your walk with God demonstrate separation from the sins of the world and obedience to God?  There is a day coming when the fire of God will fall!

“For He has set a day when He will judge the wold with justice by the Man He has appointed.  He  has given proof of this to all men by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31)

“By these  same waters the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.” 2nd Peter 3:6-7

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Deception: faith and deeds don’t match!

Scripture reading for December 3rd: 1st John 3:7-24

There is good and evil in the world we live in.  John, writing to the churches under his oversight, warned the believers about being deceived by the false teachers who would try to get them to twist the concepts of what was good and what was evil.  This practice is going on in the Church, even today!

“Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray.  He who does what is right is righteous, just as He  is righteous.  He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.  The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.  No one who has been born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning because he has been born of God.” (1st John 3:7-9)   When a person has been truly ‘born again’, the desire to sin is replaced by a desire to live for God.  The seed of God’s word has brought a ‘new creation’ into being.  This is why Jesus came.  He destroyed the devil’s work of sinning at it’s source, man’s heart.

When a person is really ‘born again’, actions and attitudes change.  Instead of doing evil and choosing to sin and live in sin, that person now begins to choose to do what is righteous and pleasing to God.   This change will not be loved or accepted by those still in the world and doing evil.  John cites Cain and Abel as an example.  Cain killed his brother because his brother’s actions were righteous while his own were evil.  (1st John 3:11-15)  We know Cain was of the Evil One because he murdered his brother.  No murderer has eternal life in them.  Actions must change when we are born of God by faith in Christ!.

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (1st John 3:18)  John’s exhortation to these believers is good for us today.  We must not just give lip service to the truth.  If we are really God’s children, we must show it by living a righteous life.  We must take the truth of God’s word that we know and apply it in our daily living.  If we are not doing this, we are under deception.  Faith and deeds must match!

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The King is Coming!

Scripture reading for October 2nd: Zechariah 9-11

“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!  Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!  See, your King comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.  I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken.  He will proclaim peace to the nations.  His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.” (Zechariah 9:9-10) (Matthew 21:1-9)

Zechariah had amazing insight given to him by God!  From over 500 years before the coming of Christ into Jerusalem, Zechariah described the event with amazing details.  He saw a King coming into Jerusalem riding on the colt of a donkey.  He saw this King having salvation for those who would receive it.  He also saw this King proclaiming peace to all the nations and that His rule would be extended to the ends of the earth!

“From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler.” (Zechariah 10:4) (Matthew 21:42-46)  Zechariah correctly saw that it would be from Judah that God would raise up the cornerstone of His new temple.  Judah would bring forth the tent peg that would support the weight of His people.  Judah would bring forth the ultimate warrior who would win the victory and rule!

“I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.”  So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.  And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”–the handsome price at which they priced me!  So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord to the potter.” (Zechariah 11:12-13)  (Matthew 27:1-9)  Zechariah saw a person who would be paid thirty pieces of silver for the price of a person.  This person was then told to throw it into the house of the Lord to be given to the potter.

We know today that Jesus Christ and Judas fulfilled these prophesies over 500 years after they were given.  God is in control and knows all things.  He alone can declare the end from the beginning!  Our King is still coming!  He will rule over the nations and rule to the ends of the earth!  Are you ready to meet Him?

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