Dread vs. Desire

Your Choice – Dreams or Nightmares Come True – Lift Up Your Eyes!

Lo que el impío teme, eso le vendrá;
Pero a los justos les será dado lo que desean. (RVR 1960)

CONTEXT: 

Unlike most books and chapters of the bible putting this one in context is hard because Chapter 10 is a collection of wise sayings of Solomon. Yet it does help to look at the preceding and following verse when we break it down:


v.23 To do evil is like sport to a fool, But a man of understanding has wisdom.

To do evil, that is to willfully commit sin. For anyone to do so shows the wickedness of their heart, their complete and utter depravity and their true desires. 

a man of understanding, is described in Job’s discourse on the matter 28:20-28 he closes with ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’  In other words to avoid evil (sin), and not to do it, that is true wisdom.

v.24 The fear of the wicked will come upon him, And the desire of the righteous will be granted.

The fear of the wicked, what is it that the wicked can fear (many translation render this Dread) ? Although most sinners (wicked people as applied here) those doing evil against the Holy God, think they are all good, deep down their conscience betrays them in the end. Their greatest fear is the evil they have bestowed being brought down on them even more so. They fear they will be brought down from their roost, their places of self imposed power. 

the desire of the righteous, this is not some fanciful desire, some worldly desire that modern day, name it and claim it or prosperity gospel charlatans expound. Instead of claiming they are blessed a righteous man cries out for God’s blessings daily. This is the desire of a man of understanding who has wisdom. A desire born from a man who delights themselves in reverential fear of Yahweh, the God of the Holy Bible. You cannot be righteous if you desire anything above God.

v.25 When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.

When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, a whirlwind or twister passes by quickly and with great power, destroying most everything in its path. (I know I live in a prime tornado alley areas of the South) As fast as a evil sinner rises to power and mischief the quicker and usually harder their fall. Their greatest fears realized.

the righteous has an everlasting foundation. As many of you know one of my ministries if Church Building so I know the foundation of any building project is key to its success. It needs to be built upon solid ground. Jesus used the example of building upon solid rock Matthew 7:24-25. That foundation is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It is the foundation of Salvation and Eternal Life that we read in Paul’s First letter to the Corinthians in which he writes For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (3:11). 

CONCLUSION: 

Apart from a solid foundation in Christ man will always do evil by resorting to his fallen sinful nature. Sinful man will always Fear or Dread the consequences of his actions because he lives without hope or righteous desire. A righteous man, one who has understanding and wisdom will always Desire the will of God in for their lives and shun evil at every turn. 

The question is are you living a life of Dread or Desire?

 

Made Righteous In HIM!

As Isaiah foretold the Messiah would be not only ignored but completely rejected by man and so acquainted with grief He would be known as the “Man of many sorrows.”  He whom God stuck down and afflicted with our sins.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:3-4

  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. ISAIAH 53:3-4

Despreciado y desechado entre los hombres, varón de dolores, experimentado en quebranto; y como que escondimos de él el rostro, fue menospreciado, y no lo estimamos. Ciertamente llevó él nuestras enfermedades, y sufrió nuestros dolores; y nosotros le tuvimos por azotado, por herido de Dios y abatido. Reina-Valera 1960 (RVR1960)


Man deep in his core knows that there is a God (Romans 1:20). Some on there own will try and live a “good” life that they deem acceptable. Unfortunately they will ALWAYS fall short of the standard set forth by the righteous Holy God of all creation. 

So what is man to do, give up?  Far from it, God from before time understood man would screw up, couldn’t measure up and had a plan (Ephesians 1:11) in place for him. Christ is the plan (1 Peter 1:13-21), the only means of our being made acceptable (righteous) before God. Are you on God’s plan or your own? 

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Al que no conoció pecado, por nosotros lo hizo pecado, para que nosotros fuésemos hechos justicia de Dios en él. Reina-Valera 1960 (RVR1960)

Daily Devotional – God is Faithful

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I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.” Genesis 9:13-17 (NKJV) 
Mi arco he puesto en las nubes, el cual será por señal del pacto entre mí y la tierra. 14 Y sucederá que cuando haga venir nubes sobre la tierra, se dejará ver entonces mi arco en las nubes. 15 Y me acordaré del pacto mío, que hay entre mí y vosotros y todo ser viviente de toda carne; y no habrá más diluvio de aguas para destruir toda carne. 16 Estará el arco en las nubes, y lo veré, y me acordaré del pacto perpetuo entre Dios y todo ser viviente, con toda carne que hay sobre la tierra. 17 Dijo, pues, Dios a Noé: Esta es la señal del pacto que he establecido entre mí y toda carne que está sobre la tierra. (RVR 1960)

The rainbow is GOD’S symbol though many have tried to appropriate it as their own, God, as the above verse shows, has the copyright as it were to it. It is God’s promise to mankind never to destroy him (even though we deserve it) for our sinful actions and disobedience against God. It is a symbol of God’s faithfulness.

Today I would like to list and briefly comment on some other verses that tell of God’s faithfulness.

1 Cor 1:9 (KJV) God is faithful [He is reliable, trustworthy and ever true to His promise—He can be depended on], and through Him you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Note here the implication is that God is faithful to persevere the saints that is those who are blessed to be called into fellowship 1 John 1:3 with Christ. 

Deuteronomy 7:9 – Therefore know [without any doubt] and understand that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who is keeping His covenant and His [steadfast] lovingkindness to a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;  There is a condition for God’s faithfulness, before anyone freaks out and thinks I have gone heretical, let me finish; that condition is our own faithfulness. He is God, the faithful God, who is keeping His covenant…with those who love Him and keep His commandments. I do not care what language you read this in but I encourage you to get a Hebrew Lexicon and a English bible and compare side by side, it is clearly saying God is faithful to those who are faithful in loving Him and keeping His commandments. Here is the catch though, as Dr. Gill in his commentary points out “which are not the causes or conditions of his covenant and mercy, nor of his keeping them, but descriptive of the persons that enjoy the benefit thereof.”

Joshua 1:8 – This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall read [and meditate on] it day and night, so that you may be careful to do [everything] in accordance with all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will be [a]successful.  This is one of my favorite scriptures, I once preached it at a very conservative church. I opened with “God wants everyone to be successful and I can prove it in Scripture”. They thought I had joined the name it and claim it crowd. But I quoted this text and demonstrated that God is faithful to us, in that spiritual success comes to those who diligently study, apply and keep God’s commandments on a daily basis. No small task, which is why success is so elusive.

Psalm 36:5 – Your lovingkindness and graciousness, O Lord, extend to the skies, Your faithfulness [reaches] to the clouds. I remember as a kid laying on my back looking up at the sky and pretending I could touch the clouds, (Little did I know then I would one day jump {skydive} through one) they seemed unreachable. Yet God’s love, grace and faithfulness knows no boundaries. 

Psalm 119:90 – Your faithfulness continues from generation to generation;
You have established the earth, and it stands [securely].  I think we have all heard the so called “climate” expert doomsayers pontificating their wares to anyone in the media that will listen. Yet the bible makes it clear God created all, He is sovereign over all and faithfully secures all until He determines differently. 

Proverbs 20:6 – Many a man proclaims his own loyalty and goodness,
But who can find a faithful and trustworthy man?
  I live in Jackson, MS the local starting wage for most jobs is 8.00/hr (Fast foods etc.) for kids in HS. WalMart is having such a hard time finding faithful and trustworthy employees that they are starting HS students as cashiers part time at 11.00/hr. We can always count on God but our fellow man (even our “Christian” friends) should never be put on the same pedestal. Yet all should strive for the title A faithful and trustworthy man!

2 Timothy 2:13 – If we are faithless, He remains faithful [true to His word and His righteous character], for He cannot deny Himself. How many of you know a perfect Christian one that never has a harsh word, never complains, is always helpful. If you answered I do, there is a problem, for only Christ was perfect and we are flawed at times faithless but God remains faithful no matter our faults. 

1 John 1:9 – If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose].  Well speaking of our faults (sins), is it not again amazing that God is so willing to forgive and forget those sins forgive our sins and cleanse us continually. All we have to do is sincerely repent [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins to Him. 

Well I could go on for there are many more but I think you get the drift. We serve a faithful God who expects our faithfulness (obedience) in return but understands we are sinners saved by Grace and will need to repent of our sins regularly. 

 

 

 

 

Who Leadeth Thee?

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Other Translations of this verse

There is a popular TV show on at the moment calledThe Profit  it is an American documentary-style reality television show broadcast on CNBC. In each episode, Marcus Lemonis typically offers a capital investment and his expertise to struggling small businesses in exchange for an ownership stake in the company, but a series of “Inside Look” episodes have commentary by Lemonis and executive producer Amber Mazzola as they watch past episodes.”¹

Let me be clear I am not knocking Marcus’s initiative, his entrepreneurship nor his dedication to America. What I am not sure about (admittedly having only seen one episode) is that it follows the Biblical  Mandate(s) for good. 

God has a set a standard for “Good” it is His standard as laid out in His inerrant Word. Natural Man can do good but if it does not meet God’s standard is it really “Good”? I suppose the best way I can describe it is to ask if you have ever heard of someone describe as a decent (conforming with generally accepted standards of respectable or moral behavior) man? Compared to someone described as a Good (morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious: man) man. The natural man is decent but the man whom has God leading Him is much better off. God requires us to be lead, He teaches us to be that righteous, virtuous man not to be automatons bit for our to “PROFIT”.

Matthew Poole’s English Annotations
on the Holy Bible

Which teacheth thee to profit; which from time to time have made known unto thee, not vain and frivolous things, but all necessary and useful doctrines; which, if believed and observed by thee, would have been infinitely profitable to thee, both for this life and that to come. So that it is not my fault, but thine own, if thou dost not profit.

Which leadethwhich acquainteth thee with thy duty and interest in all the parts and concerns of thy life; so that thou canst not pretend ignorance.

A Mixed Body

Matthew 13:47–50 (ESV) “So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous” (v. 49).

The parable of the wheat and the tares (Matt. 13:24–30, 36–43) is probably not first and foremost about the presence of people who profess the Christian faith falsely in the institutional church. However, this does not mean that Jesus has nothing to say on the subject. The parable of the net apparently deals with the fact that those who do not really know Christ will “worship” beside true believers in the visible covenant community.

Several hints in Matthew 13:47–50 indicate that the parable of the net is about the church. First among these is Jesus’ use of a fishing metaphor (v. 47). He calls His disciples to be “fishers of men” and four of the Twelve — Peter, Andrew, James, and John — were professional fishermen before our Lord made them apostles (4:18–22). Fishermen casting a net brings to mind the call of the Twelve (and all believers) to preach the Gospel and catch people for the kingdom.

Second, the indiscriminate casting of the net reminds us of the external call of the Gospel (13:47). In Jesus’ day, Jewish fishermen used a net with weights and floaters that, when pulled by rope out of the water, ensnared a multitude of various kinds of fish. Similarly, Christ calls His church to evangelize all mankind without regard to the distinctions between human beings (28:18–20).

Our Lord’s contemporaries are again familiar with the imagery in this parable. Those who had worked on the seas knew well the task of sorting out the edible fish from those not fit for consumption (13:48), which is likened to the angelic separation of the righteous from the unrighteous when the kingdom is consummated (vv. 49–50). Like a net catching fish, the church will bring in many kinds of people. Yet just as not all fish are fit for eating, so too are not all members of the visible church fit for heaven. The church we can see is a mixed body until the Savior returns. All those whom we see professing Christ (the visible church) do not necessarily have faith; some join the church for motives other than serving Jesus. These false professors are mixed with true believers in the visible church, but not forever. For on Judgment Day those who never possessed saving trust in Christ will find eternal punishment (vv. 49–50).

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

When people abandon Christ, they prove that they never had faith at all, since those with true faith are preserved by God, never to fall away permanently (1 John 2:19). Still, when we see people leave Jesus, it does not necessarily mean there is no hope for them. Only God knows the state of a person’s heart, and He may be pleased to bring one who has backslidden back into His fold. That is why we must never cease praying for those who have left the church.

For further study: Ruth 1:1–18

INTO the WORD daily Bible studies from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.

Wisdom From the Psalms – April 2

Psalms 34:19
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

Carla couldn’t believe how things were going in her life. She’d always thought Christians didn’t have to face the same kinds of problems everyone else had. What good was being a Christian, if your problems didn’t let up? It seemed that since she became a Christian, everything had gotten worse. NO matter how hard she prayed, she never felt God close at hand.

It is folly to believe that God liberates us from all discomfort and affliction. What He does do is give us the will and determination to go on, even in the face of tough times. He works within us to give us peace and strength and courage; those things necessary to get through life. We can be sure that our trails will not come to an end, but the love of God will see that we get through anything that comes our way.

Prayer: Lord, I sometimes feel I just can’t go on. Please fill me with the strength I need, both of body and of character. Don’t let me give up, but deliver me. Amen.

From: http://www.Crosswalk.com

 

PURITAN QUOTE(S) FOR TODAY – 03 February

p-day-byJUSTICE

 The justice of the Lord – Deuteronomy 32:21

 My justice was as a robe and a diadem – Job 29:14 R.V.

 Without justice, great commonwealths are but great troops of robbers. – John Owen

 His will is the rule of righteousness, and righteousness is the rule of His will. – Elisha Coles

 Justice in rigor is oft extreme injustice. – Richard Stock

 Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

** Note for a daily devotional this year check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent “Walking with God”

Rebuilding a Future Nehemiah Part XI

Finding Favor

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5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.

6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

7 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;

8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

Nehemiah 2:5-8

            When last we met we looked at the first four verses of Chapter two which I had entitled “Carpe Diem or Seize the Day”.  It is my hope that everyone got the message that when God provides the opportunity for us we must not be gripped by fear but by courage and Seize that occasion for God’s glory.

            As you will see in as our study continues Nehemiah was very good at seizing the circumstance God so graciously provided. He patiently waited on the Lord but when He opened doors Nehemiah did not hesitate to stick his foot in there. So to must we, as we set about rebuilding the brokenness in our lives be patient but ever ready to plant our foot securely in the opening(s) God delivers?

            Like anything else in life; when those doors open there is a correct (righteous) and wrong (unrighteous) way to proceed. I for one am like a bull in a china closet. Yes sir, a type “A” personality pedal to the metal kind of guy. For sure it has gotten me in some trouble over the years. I thank God I am learning to slow down some (yeah, getting older is having something to do with it). But mostly it is God working in me to correct my faults.

            I often joke that for some folks God needed a 2×4 upside the head to bring them around well for me it was a 6×6. There are days when I bet He wishes He used a 10×10. That is why I have entitled this sermon “Finding Favor”. When the time comes to enter the path God has put before you, you must do so with a proper attitude. One that will find favor with those you encounter along the way and of course with God too.

            Look at verse 5 with me again. Nehemiah says And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it. Twice Nehemiah asks “if”, if it please the king and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight.  I thought Nehemiah was a trusted servant of the King why is he asking “if”? It is because Nehemiah understands his position in life, at that moment in time. Although a trusted servant he is in fact a servant and slave and to ask otherwise would be presumptuous (arrogantly bold) and he would be asking amiss.

            Let me chase a rabbit for a moment. Far too often today I hear of preachers saying (in print, radio and TV) that we have this power of faith and we have no need to ask God if. That is “if it be your will Lord”.  They would have us cast a seeming magic spell by claiming things in Jesus’s name. That is unbiblical; somehow these men and women feeding this garbage to the masses have forgotten to read “The Book”. For in my bible I find Jesus at Gethsemane where He prays Matt 26:3942  And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done. Listen “if” it was good enough for Jesus the living God to pray and ask “if”; you better believe it is good enough for you and me. Further who are you to claim things in Jesus’s name? Are you sinless and able to pay back that marker?

            Ok, back to our text. Let us explore the means by which we find favor with God and Man. I believe there are FIVE (5) essential elements of finding favor with God and man. They are prayer, obedience, humility, diligence and sensibility.

            Psalm 90 is in fact a prayer. In fact many bibles have a heading at its beginning defining it as a prayer of Moses. Moses acknowledges that God is there refuge or hope, that he is Glorious and the creator of all, eternal and powerful. That is we, his children, must be willing to be taught by Him.  It is the final verse that stands out as Moses closes with; PS 90:17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! Moses calls upon God to find favor in their work. Not because their work is so good but because it is in fact the work God ordains or establishes and they wish it to be pleases to Him. Prayer is essential to all we do, never more so than if we desire to find favor in the sight of God and Man.

            Prayers are of no help if we are in a state of disobedience (sin).  Proverbs 3:1-4 tells us My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.  3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.  4 So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Note what is says if we wish to find favor we must keep God’s commandments not just some, not just the ones we find easy or agree with, no all of them. I know, I know that is impossible. True but it is what every true believer strives for daily; to be perfect in the Lord.

            Next we read in Proverbs 3:33-35: The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous. 34 Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor. 35 The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace. One of the things I see most often in today’s society is the attitude that I am on equal footing with everyone else. Folks I am here to tell you that is simply a lie. A private in the Army is in no way equal to his squad leader never mind the company commander. It’s called the chain of command for a reason. A person living in South Central Los Angeles has in no way equal financial footing as a person living in Beverly Hills. Obviously one has inherent advantages over the other. An inmate is on no way on equal footing with a guard. It should be obvious but I constantly see inmates mouthing off like they are completely equal. While the private, the kid from South Central and inmates may have some advantages (knowledge, health or a relationship with Christ) over the others they are still disadvantaged in many ways. It is here that this verse speaks to us.

            We must be willing to humble ourselves before God and Man is we wish to secure favor from God. This is a no brainer there is no better example than of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:5-8; Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. It may seem simplistic but if Christ could humble Himself for me it’s the least I can do towards Him.

          We must diligent seek God and Mans favor. Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. In today’s society if you mention this most folks think your nuts. “I do not care what others think of me” is an often heard quote. But it is totally unbiblical for a Christian. We should be very concerned what others think of us. Oh not in the sense that they think we are crazy to be a believer but in the sense that they think of us as a person. Our actions as seen by others are a BIG part of our witness for Christ. How many times after you have done something and heard “and I thought you were a Christian” or “and you call yourself a Christian”. I know we have all heard it undeservedly but I for one have had that comment justifiably leveled at me more than one time. Just as importantly we must not be shocked or offended if we cannot find favor simply because of our faith.

            Noah is a great example of this. The language of Genesis 6:8 gives us insight into Noah’s character. “Found” is a simple active perfect verb, not a passive one. Thus, Noah found favor—grace—in God’s eyes because he was diligent that is actively looking for it. He diligently worked at his standing with God. So should we.

            Common or good sense is another thing I find lacking today. People do the dumbest things. If you have driven anywhere lately cell phones are a HUGE problem. Last fall I rounded a corner on our motorcycle and there was a car backing up at full pedal to the metal because they missed the turn into the Gas station. Of course they were taking on the phone. I was blessed and avoided the collision but a friend was not so fortunate and his bike was nearly totaled in a similar incident. What were these folks thinking? The answer is they were not thinking.

            Another sensible thing I see absent amongst so called believers is a lack of understanding there position. Working hand in hand with a lack of humility is this attitude of “Entitlement”. We make demands upon God and others because we feel we deserve to be _______________ you fill in the blank. Really, who am I to make demands on God that is the all-powerful, all-knowing and ever present God of all? It makes no sense.

            In Proverbs 13:14-16 we find: The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life that one may turn away from the snares of death. 15 Good sense wins favor, but the way of the treacherous is their ruin. 16 In everything the prudent acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly. In all things we need to be asking ourselves does doing this make sense. For a Christian that means does it Glorify God and edify others. If not why are you even thinking of it?

            In closing I am not advocating you become some push over. Nor am I suggesting that you should be overly concerned about pleasing everyone. I am however strongly encouraging you to diligently seek to find favor (approval) with God and mam as you work to rebuild your future. That means praying, obeying His commands, humbling ourselves before him and those he has appointed over us. In short doing what is right and sensible to His glory.

            In HIS Service.