19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. 20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. 24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
Verse 19 reveals to us the truth of the wicked man’s way. The wicked man lives as if he is in total control of his life but the text pulls back the coverings of his life and shines a light on his reality.
stumble = to cause to stumble, bring injury or ruin to, overthrow 1c2) to make feeble, make weak
The wicked man is living a life of calamity and eventual destruction. They live in this world’s grasp without really knowing the true joy of Jesus.
Verses 20-22 implores us to retain, remember, or to never forget the words of wisdom. Just as the darkness brings destruction to the wicked man, wisdom brings life.
Attend = be attentive, hearken, pay attention
Incline = to stretch out, extend, spread out, pitch, turn, incline, bend, bow, to turn aside
These are words expressing the necessity for hearing and retaining wisdom…
Here in verse 23 we are instructed to fortify our lives with wisdom.
Keep = to guard, to blockade, preserve, garrison
Diligence = place of confinement, prison, guard, jail, guard post, watch, observance 1a) jail, prison, guard-house 1b) guard, guard post, act of guarding
We are instructed here to guard thy heart… this has a very practical meaning. when we hear wisdom we should then keep it, or guard it. In simple terms it means to do what ever necessary that so that wisdom can guide your life.
This will not be an uncontended task… the world will attempt to counterfeit and deceive you to think there is a better way or a new way. Younger generations are more easily persuaded in change. This is why it is so important to know your Bible… It is absolute truth.
Keep thy heart with all DILIGENCE… when you get truth and wisdom lock it away so the world can never dilute the truth you live by,
Vinegar straight out of the bottle can be very difficult to drink but when you add water and honey you can tolerate it… that is exactly what the world is attempting to do… add a little here and a litter there… to make you think God’s Word is impossible to live by unless you add a little of the world’s excitement to it.. or add a little of the world’s tolerance there… the world is attempting to dilute God’s Word..
The word diligence has the meaning of locking away or put in prison. When in prison a person has no influence from the outside world. That is the very idea… Don’t allow the world to have an influence in your life.
The Importance of knowing God’s Word
1 Corinthians 14:8
For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
Don’t miss the importance of verse 8
Unless the soldier can identify the sound of the trumpet he is not aware of the impending danger.
6 He only [is] my rock and my salvation: [he is] my defence; I shall not be moved. 7 In God [is] my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, [and] my refuge, [is] in God. 8 Trust in him at all times; [ye] people, pour out your heart before him: God [is] a refuge for us. Selah.
Verse 6 Defense = security, stronghold... has the picture of a parent lifting a child above the ocean waves.
Verse 7 Refuge = shelter, safety, protection. Picture of a child running to hide behind the parent. The child is frightened till it has safely found refuge behind the parent.
Verse 8 Trust = confidence, feel safe, to be careless. The picture here is you don’t have to be on guard when you are trusting in the Lord. You can allow yourself to let down your guard knowing you are protected.
Verse 10 tells us that "if sinners entice thee, consent thou not."
The word Entice means "to be simple, deceive, persuade, be naive, or seduce. We are given a heads up on the tactics of the enemy. They will attempt to seduce or persuade you. Thats exactly what satan did in the garden when he spoke to Eve. He deceived her, he seduced her and caused her to act against God's Word.
But we do have weapons or tools to combat the enemies attack. Notice, this same verse tell us to "consent thou not."
The word consent means to be willing, to yield to, to accept, or to desire. Here God's Word gives us wisdom to defend ourselves. We are told not to accept, not to be willing, or not to desire the enticements offered by the world.
The old saying is misery loves company... Let's listen to God's wisdom and let misery be lonely.
November 22, 2013 - Friday Morning
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.2 We ... have access by one Spirit unto the Father.3
O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.4
The Spirit ... helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.5 This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.6 When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.7
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication.8
1Jud 1:20; 2Joh 4:24; 3Eph 2:18; 4Mat 26:39; 5Rom 8:26,27; 61Jo 5:14; 7Joh 16:13; 8Eph 6:18
So what about the outcome of the election...? It is clearly evident America has made a choice. In this choice America has stated what she wants and what she is willing to give up in order to get it. We are living in a dangerous day when people knowingly turn from the Word of God. In my view.... this election wasn't about a political party but about whether or not America would stand on the principles that has made us different and stronger than any nation on earth.
So who is to blame..?? We don't have to look any further than our churches.... We have failed to instill and instruct godly values into individuals who can then adequately hold office and govern our land. Pastors shy away from the thoughts of mentioning "politics" from the pulpit and then we complain when the ballot is void of a Christian candidate to vote for. There will never be another Christian on the ballot if we continue to fail our Country, our Children, and our Congregations and continue to neglect our call. We, as Pastors, must shoulder the God-given responsibility to educate and equip our congregations to be leaders. Leaders with Biblical convictions concerning abortion, homosexuality, family values, and ethics. If the church continues to ignore its failures, America will be no different than Sodom and Gomorrah.
2 Chronicles 29:1 Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah.
2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.
3 He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them.
4 And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street,
5 And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.
6 For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs.
7 Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place unto the God of Israel.
8 Wherefore the wrath of the LORD was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes.
9 For, lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this.
10 Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us.
11 My sons, be not now negligent: for the LORD hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.
Hezehiah called for repentance and rebuilding. He called on God's people to restore what had previously been rejected. We need to hear the same call today... Notice the results...
2 Chronicles 29:17 Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the LORD: so they sanctified the house of the LORD in eight days; and in the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end.
18 Then they went in to Hezekiah the king, and said, We have cleansed all the house of the LORD, and the altar of burnt offering, with all the vessels thereof, and the shewbread table, with all the vessels thereof.
19 Moreover all the vessels, which king Ahaz in his reign did cast away in his transgression, have we prepared and sanctified, and, behold, they are before the altar of the LORD.
The Promise God has made to His people...
II Chronicles 30:7 And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.
8 Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.
9 For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.
God, forgive us of our neglect, be merciful on America and may our hearts turn again unto You... Amen
October 23, 2012 - Tuesday Morning
A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.2 Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.3 Godliness with contentment is great gain. Having food and raiment let us be therewith content.4
Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.5 Give us this day our daily bread.6
Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?7 When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.8 Let your conversation be without covetousness: and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.9
1Luk 12:15; 2Psa 37:16; 3Pro 15:16; 41Ti 6:6,8; 5Pro 30:8,9; 6Mat 6:11,25; 7Luk 22:35; 8Heb 13:5; BibleWorks8
Isn't it amazing when God begins to use certain individuals some become offended? Take for example David. David brothers didn't have a problem with him while he was obscurely tending sheep but trouble begin when Samuel showed up. The brothers were brought before Samuel and God rejected them. One would think the older, stronger, or maybe even wiser brother would be the finest choice but God had other plans. Jesse didn't even consider David but Samuel ask if there were any of his house. God knew where David was positioned. Can you see David? Out on the backside of the farm; out of sight, lonely, in a laborious job and defending the father's sheep even if it meant his life.
Again his brothers didn't mind David following them to battle in I Samuel 17... Notice what takes place in this chapter.
1. David's Work was Unnoticed... in the first 11 verses of chapter 17 David isn't mentioned. Our work and service sometimes goes unnoticed and we tend to feel our service doesn't matter to anyone. Don't be hoodwinked by the devil's tactics. Your service is very important.
2. David's Help was Unwanted... when david showed up with the bread and cheese Goliath appeared and began to blaspheme David's God. David took offense and ask the question "who is this uncircumcised Philistine"? When David initiated action his eldest brother turns on him and even Saul tells him he wasn't ABLE to face Goliath. The word "ABLE" used by the Holy Spirit in verse 33 means to prevail, overcome, endure, or accomplish. Saul wasn't much of a cheerleader. He is telling David he can't overcome or prevail over his giant. Thank God he didn't give up because his help wasn't wanted. Many of you may feel the same way but be encouraged your help is needed.
3. David's Heart was Unwavering... with all the disappointments and discouragements David wasn't deterred in his quest to please God. He was strengthened by past victories where one would see as inevitable defeat. Don't allow the giant in your life to hinder you. Don't allow disappointments from friends or family to discourage you. Remember God had already chosen and anointed David and God was placing David in a training session that he might be well equipped for future engagements.
I'm all for a good education. I am currently studying at West Lenoir Baptist School of Ministry for my Master's degree. Extended learning is good and it is productive in the life of a pastor but when the paper on the wall gets more attention than does the pages in the Word of God we have missed it.
Seminaries are building men to stand in a pulpit and lead a congregation of people. The only problem is we are seeking the tangible without ever longing for the touch of God. Far too many men stand in the pulpit and deliver an alliterated sermon and feel they have fed God's people. God's people don't need a perfectly prepared sermon, they need God's man to receive God's message and deliver to them in power, authority, and compassion.
I Thessalonians 1:5... For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were amount you for your sakes.
(1)Notice the gospel came to them also not in word only, but in power; they not only heard the sound of it, but submitted to the power of it. It did not merely tickle the ear and please the fancy, not merely fill their heads with notions and amuse their minds for awhile, but it affected their hearts: a divine power went along with it for convincing their consciences and amending their lives. Note, By this we may know our election, if we not only speak of the things of God by rote as parrots, but feel the influence of these things in our hearts, mortifying our lusts, weaning us from the world, and raising us up to heavenly things.
(2.) It came in the Holy Ghost, that is, with the powerful energy of the divine Spirit. Note, Wherever the gospel comes in power, it is to be attributed to the operation of the Holy Ghost; and unless the Spirit of God accompany the word of God, to render it effectual by his power, it will be to us but as a dead letter; and the letter killeth, it is the Spirit that giveth life.
(3.) The gospel came to them in much assurance. Thus did they entertain it by the power of the Holy Ghost. They were fully convinced of the truth of it, so as not to be easily shaken in mind by objections and doubts; they were willing to leave all for Christ, and to venture their souls and everlasting condition upon the verity of the gospel revelation. The word was not to them, like the sentiments of some philosophers about matters of opinion and doubtful speculation, but the object of their faith and assurance. Their faith was the evidence of things not seen; and the Thessalonians thus knew what manner of men the apostle and his fellow-labourers were among them, and what they did for their sake, and with what good success.
One thing every Pastor loves to see is the spiritual growth of his people. We pray and ask God to touch and speak to the people. We preach and encourage the people to have an intimate relationship with Jesus and it is an overwhelming joy when growth is evident. However not everyone will grow. You see in order for a person to grow they will have to change and some people refuse change.
John Maxwell says "change is inevitable. Everybody has to deal with change in their lives. On the other hand GROWTH is OPTIONAL. You can choose to grow or to fight it. But know this: people unwilling to grow will never reach their full potential".
Are you fighting the change? Are you resisting growth? All change is not bad. Matthew was a tax collector before the Lord called him as a disciple and I was a lost sinner before the Lord saved me. I'm not afraid a change but what I am afraid of is WHAT is changing us.
Open the Word of God today and allow the power of His Word to change and mature your life.