Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wise Man or Scoffer?

Proverbs 9:8: “Do not reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you." 

Ecclesiastes 7:5 "It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools."

No one likes to be called out on something that they are doing wrong. We don't intentionally seek out to do wrong, but our need to justify our actions, to protect our image and ego, to show that we are the victim will ultimately numb our conscience to the point where we cannot receive correction from another (even someone we love). Yet we all know that we need correction, because we don't want to do something wrong if it can be shown that through sound counsel and the Word of God that it is in fact wrong.

The question we need to ask ourselves: when it comes to receiving correction from others, am I a scoffer or a wise man? 

Apart from the work of Christ in our lives, we all act as fools and hate the rebuker. But through the work of Christ in our lives, God matures us and enables us to be wise in our choices over difficult decisions and in our responses to the endless challenges we face. Romans 8:28 teaches us that God causes all things to work together for the good of those that love Him, that are called according to His purposes. That includes His use of discipline and rebuke in our lives. In Revelation 3:19 Jesus says that "as many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent." Only when we realize that God loves us, that He is faithful to complete the good work that He began in us (Phil. 1:6), and that discipline in our life brings about His work in our lives, only after we realize all of this will we be able to rejoice when we are disciplined and truly love the person who has shown us the error of our way.

Praise God for those who have the courage to confront us in humility before God to bring about the correction and discipline we need in our lives to mature us and draw us ever closer to Christ Jesus.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

God: our confidence, our assurance, our hope

Our confidence:
23 A man's steps are established by the Lord, and He takes pleasure in his way. 24 Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the Lord holds his hand. Psalm 37:23-24

Our assurance:
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Our hope:
I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

God is faithful, God is trustworthy, God is good, and He cares for us! When our ways leave us with no hope, we need not panic, for He has been holding us up all along, and though we may fall (not if, but when), we can rest in His peace because the temporary struggles we face are for our good, as God is sovereignly working out His perfect plan. When we remember that God loves us and that He is in control, we can have true peace, and will not be able to be overwhelmed, because we know that "to live is Christ, and to die is gain!" If God is for us, who can be against us? Whom shall we fear?

Run with confidence, with assurance, with hope, for God is on His throne. Run without fear, without doubt, without worry. Run with all your heart as unto the Lord- delight yourself in Him, in all you do! Get off the fence; leave passivity and apathy behind- leave the gray! For when we do these things, we are running in such a way as to win the prize, and will not be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Our sovereign, omnipresent, omniscient, and loving God: read Psalm 139

1 For the choir director. A Davidic psalm. Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I stand up; You understand my thoughts from far away. 3 You observe my travels and my rest; You are aware of all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue, You know all about it, Lord. 5 You have encircled me; You have placed Your hand on me. 6 This extraordinary knowledge is beyond me. It is lofty; I am unable to reach it. 7 Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I go up to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. 9 If I live at the eastern horizon or settle at the western limits, 10 even there Your hand will lead me; Your right hand will hold on to me. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me, and the light around me will become night"- 12 even the darkness is not dark to You. The night shines like the day; darkness and light are alike to You. 13 For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I will praise You, because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. 15 My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began. 17 God, how difficult Your thoughts are for me to comprehend; how vast their sum is! 18 If I counted them, they would outnumber the grains of sand; when I wake up, I am still with You. 19 God, if only You would kill the wicked- you bloodthirsty men, stay away from me- 20 who invoke You deceitfully. Your enemies swear by You falsely. 21 Lord, don't I hate those who hate You, and detest those who rebel against You? 22 I hate them with extreme hatred; I consider them my enemies. 23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way. Psalm 139
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