The House of God

“And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves,
‘Take these things hence; make not My Father’s house an house of merchandise.’
And His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘The zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up.’
Then answered the Jews and said unto Him, ‘What sign shewest Thou unto us, seeing that Thou doest these things?’ Jesus answered and said unto them,
‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’
Then said the Jews, ‘Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt Thou rear it up in three days?’ But He spake of the temple of His body.
When therefore He was risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this unto them; and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.” John 2:13-22 (KJB)

Why would Jesus get angry over the selling of sacrificial goods in the temple area? Could it have been because it was an affront to the holiness and righteousness of God? That would certainly be one reason. Because of that it entailed the robbery also that was going on.

People would bring their own sacrificial lamb or meal offering, and the sellers would find some flaw on the people’s offering; most generally the poor who would bring the best they had; then they would name some flaw and then sell them one that was available. Then they would take that one and sell it to someone else.

If you think Jesus would never be angry you would be wrong. Read the above verses. Jesus was angry over His Father’s house becoming a place of corrupt business practices which was profiting the well to do and robbing from the poverty stricken.

Unrighteous acts and deeds; yes all unrighteousness causes anger in the One who is holy, righteous and just.

We are all unrighteous, unholy and unjust. We need a Savior and His name is Jesus. He died on the cross taking the judgment of the Father on Himself, becoming our sin, unrighteousness and unjustness; and became forsaken by His Father for us. He went to the grave dead for our sins, and He rose victoriously conquering sin, death, hell and the grave. Because He lives He gives us His righteousness when we by faith and repentance call on His name.

Will you call on Him today?  He will hear and He will save.

Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – 091820

“And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves,
‘Take these things hence; make not My Father’s house an house of merchandise.’
And His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘The zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up.’
Then answered the Jews and said unto Him, ‘What sign shewest Thou unto us, seeing that Thou doest these things?’ Jesus answered and said unto them,
‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’
Then said the Jews, ‘Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt Thou rear it up in three days?’ But He spake of the temple of His body.
When therefore He was risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this unto them; and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.”  John 2:13-22  (KJB)

Words Of Jesus; Son of God, God The Son – 071520

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.”
  Matthew 5:21-26  (KJB)

Reap What You Sow

“He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.”  Proverbs 22:8 (KJB)

“Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail.” (ESV)

“He that soweth iniquity shall reap calamity; And the rod of his wrath shall fail.” (ASV)

Mercy and Truth; Righteousness and Peace

“LORD, Thou hast been favourable unto Thy land: Thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of Thy people, Thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.
Thou hast taken away all Thy wrath: Thou hast turned from the fierceness of Thine anger.
Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause Thine anger toward us to cease.
Wilt Thou be angry with us for ever? Wilt Thou draw out Thine anger to all generations? Wilt Thou not revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee?
Shew us Thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us Thy salvation.
I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for He will speak peace unto His people, and to His saints: but let them not turn again to folly.
Surely His salvation is nigh them that fear Him; that glory may dwell in our land.
Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
Yea, the LORD shall give good; and our land shall yield her increase.
Righteousness shall go before Him; and shall set us in the way of His steps.”  Psalm 85:1-13  (KJB)

Kings; Meddling; and a Sluggard

“The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.
It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.
The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing. ”  Proverbs 20:2-4  (KJB)

For the Sake of Your Mercy

“O LORD, rebuke me not in Your anger, neither chasten me in Your hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but You, O LORD, how long? Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for Your mercies’ sake.” Psalm 6:1-4 (KJB)

Jonah’s Anger

“But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, ‘I pray Thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that Thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest Thee of the evil. Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech Thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.’ ” Jonah 4:1-3 (KJB)

It do not know, and yet I do know; I believe God was displeased with Jonah’s attitude; and he had to be disciplined.  I am not sure by the end of the chapter and short book that Jonah had learned about mercy and grace.

The prophet Jonah was a patriot to the nation of Israel. It was the godly nation.  It was the nation of God’s people. Here he is angry because God had mercy on a heathen people.

Let us who are saved by the grace of God through the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ; the only begotten Son of God; was buried, and He rose from the grave, always remember that God desires the whole world to know that He is the LORD God.  That is stated again and again through out Scripture.

Let us rejoice that enemies of God and our faith become our brethren, and love the Lord just as we do.  We too, were once enemies of God, and the cross of Christ (Romans 5:8-10).

Rejoice every time a soul is redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, who is Jesus Christ.

While in Thought the Fire Burned

“I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred.
My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue, ‘LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.  Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity.’ Selah.”  Psalm 39:1-5  (KJB)

The Psalmist, the singer, was refusing to speak and be silent.  While he is being silent his thoughts rage, the fire burns as he continues to add fuel to that fire.

I have been there.  I am fairly certain that all who are reading this has been in that place where you bridle your tongue, and wisely so, but the anger, the hurt continues to rage in your thoughts.  What do we do with that?

David realized he had a problem.  He took it to the LORD.  So must we take it to Him.

Going to God in prayer is the best place to vent, to complain about that man or woman or situation that has caused our thoughts to roar at us; rousing anger, rage, and maybe even bits of hatred.

I was asked not too long ago, ‘Don’t you ever get angry?’  My answer to that was, “Yes!”  If it is not seen by others there must be something going on. One of at least two things: 1.  I am just covering it and building a fire in me making me even angrier; or 2.  I have taken the rage, anger, and hatred to the throne of God.

The first can be dangerous.  The second is the way of the faithful Christian. When we take our complaints to the Lord, then we will have less of a problem getting along with others.

Jesus Christ died on the cross to deliver us from our sins.  He was buried to carry away our sins and shame.  He arose from the grave the victor over sin, death, and hell.  He is coming again.  Do you know Him?

Between the Rooftop and the Desert…

“It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.”  Proverbs 21:9
“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” Proverbs 21:19  (KJB)

Between the Rooftop and the Desert – Proverbs 21:9-19

Verses 9, 19 –  In the days of ancient Israel rooftops were flat, and used quite often for relaxing in the evening, or early morning.  The husband or wife could go to the rooftop, without leaving home, to get away from the other.
The desert or “wilderness” was not home.  This is leaving the house entirely.

Verse 10 –  Between home and the wilderness are many temptations.  The wicked desire evil, and one of those evils is no love for their neighbor.

Verse 11 –  There is also much learning.  The “simple” (Naive, foolish, open minded) learn by seeing the “scorner” (One who mocks God and religion) punished for their evil mouth and behavior.  The wise seek every opportunity to learn of God, holiness, righteousness, salvation- through the writings of others and reading them and applying them to their own lives.

Verse 12 –  “The righteous maketh the house of the wicked to prosper.”  Gersom from John Gill Commentary  e-Sword.  A good example is the house of Potipher with Joseph (Genesis 39:1-7).  God has blessed the United States of America because of the Righteous.  In the end the wicked will be overthrown.  Not by the United States, but by the breath of the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes again.

Taking out the italicized words consider this for verse 12…

“The righteous wisely considers the house of the wicked, overthrowing the wicked for wickedness.” v.12

Verse 13 –  A stern warning about turning away from the cries of the poor.  To willfully neglect to hear and help the poor when it is in the power of our hand to do it could bring the same judgment on ourselves.  Luke 16:10-31

Verse 14 –  See Proverbs 17:8; 18:16.  “The Bible often reports facts without approving them. Thus it observes that an angry man will quiet down if the offender slips him a gift, and a man who is in a rage is appeased by a bribe tucked in his pocket.”  From Believer’s Bible Commentary

Verse 15 –  People who are just rejoice when Judgment or justice is done.  There is ruin or destruction to those who work iniquity.  It is proper to rejoice in righteous judgment.  It is iniquity to rejoice when evil is done.

Verse 16 – 18 –  The wandering individual, the one who goes astray from the paths of God and understanding find themselves with the dead.  When pleasure is all that one seeks they will not be rich.
For verse 18 consider Haman’s taking the place of Mordecai (Esther 7).

Verse 19 –  Between the Rooftop and the Desert there are many things to understand and learn.  There are sometimes troubles at home, and there are in the desert as well; with or without a spouse.  The thing is for the people of God to be faithful and true to Him who is with us always.

Words of the Prophets – Genesis (4)

The Tragic Results of Sin

“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.” Genesis 4:1-12 (KJV)

What Gift?

Just some thoughts from these sermon notes:

What Gift?

Matthew 5:21-26

OLD LAW – Concerning murder; meaning Pre-meditated having to do with planning before hand with malice and forethought.

ANGER – Leading to hatred. “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”1 John 3:14-15 (KJV).

GIFT – A gift is above the requirements of the law;

– A gift is given, usually in sacrifice;

– When giving God a “Gift”, and realizing your offense/debt to another: leave the gift at the altar, then go and pay the debt.

TERMS/AGREEMENT – Do it with haste;

– First with God;

– Second, with brethren, and with your fellow man when possible;

– Only when in right fellowship with God can there be right fellowship with brethren;

– It is also possible, that if we be out of fellowship with brethren, we are out with God too.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Steward of God’s Stuff (3)

Stewardship Of Repentance

Malachi 3:1:18

OUTLINE –

I. LOOKING FOR HIS COMING WITH UNREPENTANT SIN (vv. 1-2).
II. THE COMING OF THE LORD IS LIKE A DEVOURING FIRE, PURGING THE DROSS OF SIN FROM THE HEARTS OF HIS PEOPLE (vv. 3-4).
III. A LETHARGIC PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW THEY HAVE DEPARTED FROM THE LIVING GOD (vv. 5-12).
IV. IN THE WRONG ATTITUDES OF THEIR HEARTS, THEY ARE ANGRY TOWARD GOD (vv. 13-15).
V. GOD WILL SANCTIFY HIS PEOPLE, AS PRECIOUS JEWELS (vv. 16-18).

Thus far we have saw the STEWARDSHIP which Malachi teaches in chapter 1 we saw THE STEWARDSHIP OF WORSHIP; in chapter 2 THE STEWARDSHIP OF RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP; and now in chapter 3 we will see THE STEWARDSHIP OF REPENTANCE.

Are these things really a matter of personal stewardship? This may be a whole new way of looking at the book of Malachi, and I do believe that God’s people are to be responsible stewards of what God has entrusted to our care. This message is as much, or more to me, as it is to others, and is much needed by all God’s people.

The stewardship of the people of Israel was not in good order. It is sad to say that the stewardship of the church today, is not in good order either. There are people who have their names on church rolls as members of that church, but rarely if ever attend services. If they do it might be on Easter Sunday, for a special program, or for the Christmas program. There are over 16,000,000 (sixteen million) names on the rolls of more than 40,000 Southern Baptist Convention churches, yet, we would be extremely blessed to have half of them in attendance on Sunday. There is certainly a need for repentance for the neglect of the worship of Jesus Christ. There is also a need for repentance for lacking in fellowship with fellow believers. How can you encourage your brother or sister in Christ when you are absent from worship? How can you be encouraged when you are absent?

I. ABIDING IN SIN AND LOOKING FOR THE COMING OF JESUS.

“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.  But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:“ Malachi 3:1-2 (KJV).

A. God’s messenger has come to prepare the way for the coming of Christ.

1. That messenger was sent to every believer following the ascension of Christ to the Father.
2. That messenger is God’s Spirit who will convict of sin, righteousness and judgment.

B. There are many Christians who will say they long for the coming of the Lord, yet abide in sin.

1. The coming of Jesus would not be the longing of their hearts – it would be more like that of Lot’s wife whose heart was still in Sodom, and she turned into a pillar of salt, due to her lack of faith and obedience, “Remember Lot’s wife” JESUS (Luke 17:32).
2. The Lord will come to His temple – how will He find His vessel?

C. “He is like a refiners fire, and like fullers soap…” When you are in the faith of the Lord Jesus you will stand, endure, and be cleansed in His sight.

II. THE COMING OF THE LORD IS LIKE A DEVOURING FIRE, PURGING AWAY THE FILTH, AND WASTEFULNESS OF SIN FROM THE HEARTS OF GOD’S PEOPLE.

“And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.“ Malachi 3:3-4 (KJV)

A. There must be a cleansing of Christian leadership, then, it will pass to rest of God’s people.

1. When the leadership is living as the world, it is no wonder the Church is worship less, weak, and weary.
2. When the leadership is clean, then, there will be a worthy offering unto the LORD in righteousness.

B. There will be pleasant offering unto the LORD, just as it was in the beginning.

III. A LETHARGIC PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW THEY HAVE DEPARTED FROM THE LIVING GOD.

“And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.  For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.’

‘Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?  Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.  Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.” Malachi 3:5-12 (KJV).

A. It is almost as though these religious leaders copied their behavior from the church of Sardis in Revelation 3:1, Jesus said, “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.” (NKJV).
B. The people had gone to trusting the word of sorcerers, adulterers, and had gone to oppressing the poor, the widow, the orphan, and turning strangers away.

1. This was all being done due to a lack of fear of the LORD.
2. They had changed, and forgotten that God is IMMUTABLE, ie., Unchanging.

C. God in His grace still calls for His wayward people to return to Him, and at His call to return, they wonder how, or why they need to return (v. 7).
D. His people have deserted the tithe, thus robbing God, and again wondering, “How have we robbed Thee?”

1. “In tithes and offerings” was God’s answer.

Now some are going to say, “That was law. The law has been done away. We are not under law any longer, but under grace”. My answer to that is this; The law has not been “done away”, rather it has been fulfilled in Christ. If Christ fulfilled the law, then, we are to let it shine forth from our lives. That means that the tithe is only the place that the Christian is to begin. If the ‘tithe’ is of the law, should the ones who are the fulfillment of the law in Jesus Christ give less than the requirement of that law. The Christian should begin with the tithe which is ten percent (10%) of one’s income.

If we look into the lives of the patriarchs of the Old Testament, like Abraham, w see that he paid tithes unto Melchizedek, and Jacob vowed to give God a tithe of all his possessions. These were before the law.

2. God’s people have been cursed by over indebtedness, and that due, at least in part, to lack of faith in God, and putting trust in perishable, material goods, and gain.
3. God says, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse…” and that for God’s people today, is His local church.

a. The tithe does not go for missions offering, building fund, a television ministry, or the Red Cross, or any other charitable organization – it belongs to God and goes into the local congregations general fund, and to be distributed as God directs that congregation.
b. When someone “Gives” with stipulations, [as long as you have it where you can control it] it has not been given to God.

4. God will bless those who give to God as He directs, and as He says, “…That there shall not be room enough to receive it”.

E. When God’s people begin recognizing God’s ownership of all things, then, God will bless us in the eyes of others (vv. 11-12).

IV. WITH THE WRONG ATTITUDES IN THEIR HEARTS, THEY ARE ANGRY TOWARD GOD.

“Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?  Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?  And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.“ Malachi 3:13-15 (KJV)

A. The people of God have the attitude that it does no good to serve the Lord – “What profit is it…” accusing God of being unjust.
B. By declaring God unjust, they have the wrong attitude about holiness, righteousness, justice, peace, joy, and God.

1. How can the people of God get to the place where they question His faithfulness, His sustenance, His providence, His power, His presence, or His knowledge?
2. We can get in that way by becoming bored in our “Worship”, faithless in our work of ministry – losing our love for Jesus – and lacking repentance for our sins.

V. GOD WILL SANCTIFY – SET APART – HIS PEOPLE AS PRECIOUS JEWELLS.

“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.  And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.“ Malachi 3:16-18 (KJV).

A. A book of remembrance is written for those that feared the LORD, and thought on His name.
B. God says, “They shall be Mine”.
C. There is coming a day when God will make Israel His precious jewels; His people are a treasured possession, and He will have all those who are His as such.
D. There is coming a day when He will spare His people and give discernment of the righteous and the wicked, and of those who serve the LORD, and those who do not.
E. You are called to be separate, apart from the world of sin and wickedness; you have the power of the Spirit of Christ to discern good from evil, godliness from wickedness.
F. God has set you apart as a precious Jewel

SUMMARY –

I. THE STEWARDSHIP OF REPENTANCE IS TO AWAKE FROM SINS WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN REPENTED OF, AND REPENT.
II. THE STEWARDSHIP OF REPENTANCE IS TO BE PREPARED FOR THE COMING OF THE LORD, AND TO KNOW HE IS COMING LIKE A THEIF.
III. REMEMBER TO WORSHIP THE LORD IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH, AND TRUST THE LORD, LEAN ON HIM, AND LETHARGY WILL FLEE.
IV. TRUST YOUR FAITH; NOT YOUR FEELINGS, AND WRONG ATTITUDES, AND YOU WILL HAVE NO ANGER TOWARD GOD.
V. LET GOD SANCTIFY HIMSELF IN YOUR LIFE, AND BE HIS PRECIOUS JEWEL.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Issue of Anger

Shiloah Baptist Church

Reading today from 1 Samuel 11 – 13…

“And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.” 1 Samuel 11:6 (KJB)

The person who is never angry never truly loves.  I can just about hear some readers here saying, “Wait just one minute.” In a tone of anger probably.

Reading the text from Scripture above caused me to think about anger.  I have heard some say that anger is bad.  I certainly cannot agree with that statement because God is angry with evil everyday (Psalm 7:11); Jesus was angry at least twice at the temple – the first time early in His ministry (John 2:14) and the second time, possibly in His final week before He was crucified (Matthew 21:12).

I heard a pastor a few years ago say, “You can tell the character of a man by what makes…

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Wisdom, Praise, and Boasting

“Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.
A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool’s wrath is heavier than them both. Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?
Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.
Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.” Proverbs 27:1-10 (KJV)

Some thoughts on Proverbs 27:1-10…

Verses 1-6 – Boasting, pride, arrogance, leads to sorrow (vv. 1-2). The anger and wrath of the cruel is heavier on their own lives than is a stone over a wells mouth (vv. 3-4).

“The rabbins have a curious story on this subject, and it has been formed by the moderns into a fable. There were two persons, one covetous and the other envious, to whom a certain person promised to grant whatever they should ask; but double to him who should ask last. The covetous man would not ask first, because he wished to get the double portion, and the envious man would not make the first request because he could not bear the thoughts of thus benefiting his neighbor. However, at last he requested that one of his eyes should be taken out, in order that his neighbor might lose both.” Unknown

The rebuke of a friend is sweeter than the flattery of an enemy (vv. 5-6).

Verses 7-10 –

“Prov. 27:7–10 These four proverbs each teach an element of wisdom that can stand on its own, but they have additional application when taken together. Verse 7 deals with honey, a pleasant treat, and v. 9 deals with oil and perfume, luxuries that here represent a banquet (an ancient host provided perfumed oils for his guests at a banquet). Also, v. 7 says that something bitter is sweet to a hungry man, while v. 9 speaks of the sweetness of earnest counsel. Together, vv. 7 and 9 suggest that it is good to have friends for the occasional party, but it is better yet to have a friend willing and able to give good advice. Verse 8 speaks of someone who wanders far from his home (his immediate family) and leaves it unprotected, while v. 10 concerns someone in need whose brother (his immediate family) is far away. Together, they teach that there are benefits in remaining close to family, but a person should not hesitate to turn to a true friend when in need.” From the ESV Study Bible pp. 1181 & 1182.

Christmas Day 80

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to be angry at what makes God angry, and to direct that anger to fulfilling the will and glory of God in my life; to not let the anger fester and become hatred, sin and evil.

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, ‘My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.'” Matthew 21:12-13 (KJV)

Prophets Speak – Christmas Day 130

“Then He said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke Me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury: Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in Mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.” Ezekiel 8:17-18 (KJV)

The anger of God concerning the sins of humanity is not a popular topic.  We are more aspiring toward the “Love of God”.  The love of God is awesome; however, without the anger and wrath of God toward sin His love would be a moot issue.

Ezekiel the prophet of the above verses had been taken, by vision, to Jerusalem to witness the atrocities of the temple previously to their captivity.  They were atrocious sins against God and the temple.  Now, though I do believe the prophet already had some understanding of their captivity, Ezekiel had a fuller understanding.  The priests and the prophets and the people had “Thumbed their nose” at God, His Word, and the prophets who spoke God’s truths.

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to never have contempt  in my heart, mind or being for God, His Word, His preachers who declare the Word of the LORD, or His people;  I want to always declare the truth of God’s Word even when it is not popular to do so; I want to preach and teach the Word of God so that God is glorified, and the cross of Jesus – His death, burial and resurrection is declared, and people know the price God has paid to redeem fallen humans from our sins.

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Eighty and Seven

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Matthew 5:21-22 (KJV)

We live in a day where we have Political Correctness, and that has opened the door for many to just say whatever comes to mind, because whether most of us like to admit it or not; we are rebels.

Now I am not speaking for PC.  I cannot stand what it does.  Dismissing, or deleting words, or flags does not answer our question, or our need.

So, What do I want for Christmas?

Since words have the power of life and death; I want to always remember that power when I speak; I want to always remember that my words can kill, murder, and destroy; or they can give life, encouragement and strength; in love and truth.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21

Day Two Hundred Eighty and Five

What do I want for Christmas?

I want people to know that there is no peace to the wicked.

There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.” Isaiah 48:22 (KJV)
“God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” Psalm 7:11

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” Romans 5:1

Transgressions Removed

“The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will He keep His anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:8-12 (KJV)

The mercy and grace of God is to me without question. I do believe sometimes we misunderstand mercy and grace, so let me give you my interpretation of mercy, then of grace.

Mercy = Since the fall of Adam and Eve mankind has been apart from God, born in that state; yet GOD who created them, did not immediately destroy them (Genesis 3). He chose rather to provide a means of salvation for them and their seed. They did not receive what they deserved, that was death that day. So let me say it this way; Mercy is not receiving from God what we justly deserve, and that is death, and destruction.

Grace = Adam and Eve experienced grace that day too (Genesis 3). An animal or two; I suspect probably sheep, were sacrificed by God Himself, to provide covering for them; thus something else paid the price for their sin. This event foreshadowed the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christ Jesus took our sin upon Himself, received the judgment that was ours, and sin was put to death in His death (2 Corinthians 5:21); and by looking to Jesus, believing on Him we receive from God what we do not deserve. That is deliverance, salvation from our sins; to dwell eternally in the presence of God. Grace is God providing for us that which we do not deserve. Eternal salvation.

The Psalmist knew and believed in the promise of God’s coming Saviour, and rested in that promise. The only way of redemption is provided by the shed blood of God’s Lamb who suffered, bled and died on the altar of the cross for the sins of the world.

Through Christ Jesus all our sins are cast far, far away. How far away? “As far as east is from west”. I used to think that that had limits, then I started thinking about east and west. There is no end to it. For instance; if you start traveling west, keep going west, you will end up back where you began, and still be going west. The same if you go east. North and south are not that way. So why did God not say “As far as north is from south”? Because His grace is greater than that. His mercy is greater than that.

Oh, friend, fall into the hands of your loving God and Saviour today.

Participate in Righteousness – Inherit the Earth

“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.” Psalm 37:8-10 (KJV)

Many times when I see an evil deed done, my first thought is; “Death to the evil one”. If you have any righteous thought in you at all then when you see evil done you will have the thoughts too.

Defining evil in our day has gotten a bit complicated to many though. What used to be evil is now good; and what used to be good is now evil. The complication has come in due to evil itself.

Evil through the lies of Satan has been confused by what is deemed as love, which is actually tolerance mixed up with hatred. If someone is genuinely loved those who love them will correct them when they are in error; and endeavor to aid them, and direct them the right direction. The new idea of “love” is just let them be who they are; and they continue on in their self lies and affliction, misery and sin. What would you think of a doctor who discovers a cancer in your body, but does not tell you of the cancer because he “loves” you and is willing to let you continue as you are?

The Psalmist says to us. “Relax! Don’t React!” at least not with anger. We ought always be angry with evil, and the outcome of it; but let us also realize that in the end days evil will be judged, and those who practice it will be judged, and it shall be done away.

To “Wait upon the LORD” is not sitting idly by, but to keep on believing, trusting, doing those things we know we are to do. Be busy about the word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. We cannot change evil, but evil will be judged. They that wait upon the LORD shall inherit the earth, they shall also “renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31). Those who “Wait upon the LORD” are the meek who inherit the earth (v. 11; Matthew 5:5), as well.

Part of living a righteous life through Jesus Christ is living a life that confronts evil with the power of the word of God, and the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the strength against evil in our world. The Psalmist believed evil would lose in the end. So do we.

Put an end to the evil in your life by trusting Jesus Christ and His work on the cross, His burial and resurrection. He removes the evil, and gives you His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).

No Matter What; Stand

“But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? Will they fortify themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they make an end in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall. Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: and cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before Thee: for they have provoked Thee to anger before the builders. So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.” Nehemiah 4:1-6 (KJV)

The enemy will always try and thwart the will, way and word of the LORD. It was by God’s direction that God called Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. It was those who did not believe God, hated Him, and His people who tried to stop it.

Even so it is today. While the people of God stand upon the word of the LORD, and declare righteousness, justice, and peace through knowing Christ Jesus and His love through His word and the Spirit; there are those who call us the evil ones.

Are we to buckle under and let them have their way; or are we to stand in the truth of God, His word, His way, His truth and His life? We are to stand with God. We are to pray for the enemies of God and His people.

If the evil people persist in their rebellion against God, their sins will not be blotted out, not forgiven; and their iniquity will not be covered.

Let be said of the followers of Christ that we never stopped building the wall of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Just as the wall of Jerusalem protected the city from her enemies; so too the gospel of Jesus Christ separates and protects the Believer from the liar, the deceiver, the unjust; from the wicked.

Vengeance and Justice

“O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew Thyself.” Psalm 94:1 (KJV)

“I don’t get mad; I get even.”  A statement I have heard from others at time.  That thought is one of vengeance.

Our world cries out for justice.  We think of justice as being what is fair and just in payment for a crime that has been done.  We have seen that recently in conflicts where white police officers have killed young black men in the line of duty.  Justice is almost a war cry; and yet in their protest they are not doing justly themselves.

We long for justice; but we ought never take vengeance into our own hands.  We are prone to act with high emotion; especially anger; and when we are angry we sometimes act without thought.

The Bible tells us that “Vengeance is Gods”.  True justice also belongs to God; and in the final assessment justice will be done (Leviticus 19:18;  Deuteronomy 32:35; Isaiah 63:4;  Romans 12:19).

The Psalmist recognized to whom vengeance belonged.  In this day of darkness and evil as followers of Jesus Christ we too must acknowledge that justice and vengeance is God’s.  In too many cases we take vengeance when it is God’s to have.  Remember to “Love your neighbor as you do yourself” (Matthew 22:39).