That You May Know for Certain

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed. Luke 1:1-4

Arise, O God, plead Thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth Thee daily.
Forget not the voice of Thine enemies: the tumult of those that rise up against Thee increaseth continually.  Psalm 74:22-23

The only way to know for certain of God, the power of His word, and the truth of who Jesus is is to read the Scriptures, hear the Scriptures, and believe  the Scriptures as the Spirit of God opens your eyes and your heart to who He is.

Jesus Christ died for your sins according to the Scriptures, He was buried, and He was raised again and came out of that stone cold grave alive; and He forever lives, and reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords.  Call on His name today and be delivered from the darkness, and evil of your sin.

Prayer for this Lord’s Day January 10, 2021

“Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  Matthew 20:28
“He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.”  Proverbs 10:17

Father, Lord and God, You are holy, holy, holy. There is none like You. By You all things were created. By You all things consist, You are the Sovereign of the Universe and there is no other.

Lord, there are many hearts that are grieved by the events of the past week, and even the months and years past. We have seen evil for many years now; though it seems many are seeing evil as good, and good as evil. It is time for You Lord to work, for many have made void Your law, Your word and Your will.

Let this judgment begin at Your house Lord, let it begin in the hearts of all who call themselves Christian. Show us our sins and convict us of our unrighteous and sinful ways and lead us to repentance. Forgive our sins.

Lord, even if our nation is past saving, touch Your Church, and make her holy. Show Yourself strong in the hearts of those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and lift up the name that is above every name. The name of Jesus our Lord, our Savior and our God. Amen.

Prayer for January 4, 2021

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding…
Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.”  Proverbs 4:7, 13

“When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His word, and healed all that were sick: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, ‘Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.’ ”  Matthew 8:16-17

Father and Lord of all, I praise You and lift up Your thrice holy name. The name of Your Son Jesus is above every name as the apostle Paul proclaimed to the people of Philippi.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus the sweetest name I know. He is the personification of wisdom and in and through Him all wisdom comes. I pray for wisdom.

I pray for wisdom in living, in finances, in marriage, in family matters, in matters with my neighbor, in making decisions that will affect my life as well as others. Father the men of God who stand and preach Your word need Your wisdom; and the women who teach other women and children need Your wisdom in Your word and in life and living.

Forgive us, O God, the ignorance in us of Your word and Your work in our midst. We give more credence of power to science than Your word; and it is to a science that is not science but mere supposition, and deception.

I ask, Lord, that You get Your people to open their eyes and realize that You are God indeed, that Your word from Genesis 1 through Revelation 22 is the truth just as You gave it, and that every word You have spoken will come to pass just as You have said.

Forgive us our sins and heal our land; and lead us into Your Glorious Land.

Thank You for Your wonderful grace shown on display as Your Son Jesus bled and died on the cross, He was buried taking away all our sin, guilt and shame, then He left it in the grave and He rose the Victor and forever lives and intercedes for all who are His.

Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus. Amen.

The Path Of The Just

“Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.
I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.”  Proverbs 4:10-19  (KJB)

The Deceit Of Evil

“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. If they say, ‘Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: we shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse.’  My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: for their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.
So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.”   Proverbs 1:8-19  (KJB)

Wisdom Giving Instruction

“He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.
Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.”  Proverbs 9:7-11  (KJB)

Wisdom Is Better Than Rubies

“For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.
Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.”  Proverbs 8:7-12 (KJB)

Stand Guard Against the Evil

“Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.
Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; and thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, and say, ‘How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!’ ”  Proverbs 5:7-13 (KJB)

The Authority of Scripture

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:12-17  (KJB)

The Eyes of the LORD

Proverbs 15:1-33

1. THE ALL-SEARCHING EYES OF THE LORD (vv. 1-7) focus 3).
He watches from a “lofty tower” or a very high place.

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

22 times in the Old Testament is the “Eyes of the LORD” written and only once in the New Testament in 1 Peter 3:12
How John describes the eyes of the LORD – “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;” Revelation 1:14

2. THE SACRIFICE AND WAY THAT IS ABOMINATION TO THE LORD (vv. 8-10) focus 8-9).
Think of Cain’s sacrifice. Think of Saul’s sacrifice of disobedience (1 Samuel 15:22). God is not delighted by wicked sacrifice (Jeremiah 6:20).

3. THE INESCAPABLE PRESENCE OF THE LORD (vv. 10-24)focus v. 11).
Verse 11-

“If God knows the secrets of the world beyond the grave, much more does he know the secret thoughts of men on earth. The heart is the source of action. (see Mat_15:19, etc.)” Pulpit Commentary

4. THE DESTROYED HOUSE (v. 25).
The house of pride will be torn down, destroyed.
Psalm 52:1-5; 138:6; Isaiah 2:12; 1 Peter 5:5

“The proud, self-confident man, with his family and household and wealth, shall be rooted up. The heathen saw how retribution overtook the arrogant.” Pulpit Commentary

5. THE ABOMINATION AND THE PLEASANT WORDS (vv. 26-28)focus 26).
The righteous or good man or woman thinks before they speak. The tongue; a mighty force; will show the heart of an individual.

“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12:34-37 (KJB)

6. THE PRAYER THE LORD WILL HEAR (vv. 29-33)focus v. 29).
“A MAN”S NEARNESS TO GOD IS TO BE MEASURED BY HIS CHARACTER.” Pulpit Commentary. Long prayers are not a sign of one’s nearness to God, neither are big and impressive words.

God is impressed with the humble and contrite heart. See Psalm 51:17

Instruction and Authority from Proverbs 13

Instruction, Transgressions, and Authority – Proverbs 13:1-25

Verses 1 – 6 –  Once again we are dealing with the issues of the “mouth”.  Eating here seems to be speaking of much more than physical food; but rather of self-control with food and with the tongue.
Also speaking of control of one’s work habits; and speaking the truth.

Verses 7 – 8 –  When one makes themselves “rich” they are usually poor in many other ways.  Jesus said of the poor; “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
Riches are counted, by God, to be much more than material gain or wealth.  When the wealthy pay “ransom” in fear for their lives; they are genuinely poor.

Verses 9 – 19 –  Verse 13 is the central part of these verses; and words to be heeded by all who will trust the Lord.

“Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.”

The instruction of God’s Word gives wisdom, grace, knowledge, salvation, fellowship with God, Peace with God, and peace with Mankind.

Verses 20 – 21 –  How many times have parents guarded the people their children hang out with?  Good parents will keep watch.  “Evil communications corrupt good manners” 1 Corinthians 15:33  “Communications” in the KJV can be interpreted “companionship”
All Christians need to learn and know that there is much to be said about who you keep company with.  You can be known by who your friends and who your enemies are.

Verses 22 – 25 –  There is work and labor involved in caring for our future.  It begins by self discipline, and teaching our children.

“Prov. 13:24 Physical discipline is a common theme in Proverbs (see e.g., 10:13; 17:10; 22:15; 23:13–24; 29:15). It is viewed as an important part of the correction and training of a child, to teach him to avoid wrong behavior, to embrace what is right, and to build godly character. Equally important, physical discipline is an expression of love for a child, while the one who spares the rod hates his son. Taking into account all of the teaching of Proverbs, physical discipline of a child must never be severe and must always be exercised in love. Cf. Heb. 12:5–11.”  ESV Study Bible note.

The rod spoken of in verse 24 is one that speaks of “authority”.  The shepherd had a staff with a crook on the upper end; the king held a sceptre.  Both of these were signs of authority.
Our children need to learn to recognize authority.  When we have some who yell about corporal punishment as teaching children violence they are teaching children to disrespect authority.  Those who are in authority have the power to discipline.  God is the ultimate Authority.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Some Thoughts from Proverbs 12

Proverbs 12:1-28

Verses 1-4 –  There is a need for instruction.  “Instruction” is speaking of the need for correction or chastisement “Instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
To be “brutish” is a sign of stupidity; and foolishness.

Verses 5-7 –  The thoughts, purposes or devices of the righteous are right.  The advice of the wicked are deceitful.  This compares the counsel of the righteous with the wicked.
The wicked and the righteous are again compared in verses 6 and 7.

Verses 8-11 –  Acting and/or speaking with wisdom gains the respect of others.

“Prov. 12:9–11 These are sayings about ordinary workers that illustrate either the “good sense” or the “twisted mind” of v. 8. Lack bread (end of v. 9) is paralleled by lacks sense (end of v. 11), and both verses speak of the importance of prudent labor in order to provide enough to eat. The point of the whole is that the righteous person cares even for his animals (v. 10a) and provides for his household by a sensible perspective on life (v. 9a) and sensible labors (v. 11a). By contrast, he who follows worthless pursuits (v. 11; such as get-rich-quick schemes, gambling, or lotteries, in a modern context) lacks sense and, by contrast with the first half of the verse, will probably live in poverty as well (cf. 28:19).”  ESV Study Bible notes

Verses 12-14 –  Sensible labor and worthless pursuits are in contrast in these verses.  Those who practice sensible labors have a yield of fruit.  Those who go in worthless pursuits find themselves ensnared.

Verses 15-23 –  The foolish person has the perspective of being right in his/her own eyes, and can rarely if ever be taught anything contrary to what they see of themselves.

With verse 15 see the following verses: 3:7;  16:2;  21:2;  26:12; 14:12.

Note the contrast in the prudent and the foolish.  Their words and their actions are the product of the heart.

Verses 24-28 –  A contrast between the diligent and the slothful.  The hard working individual is diligent about their tasks; and will see it through to completion.  The slothful will find any excust not to even begin the job.  See Proverbs 20:4.

With verse 25 see Proverbs 15:13 and Proverbs 17:22

-Tim A. Blankenship

Hold On to Wisdom

In the study of Proverbs we must keep in mind that these proverbs are not promises.  They are rather a collection of sayings  which do happen in the general sense of things.

“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.” Proverbs 4:1-13 (KJV)

Hold on to wisdom; like a family heirloom. Children are the fruit of marriage, and the responsibility of their teaching, their learning is that of the father and mother. It is, however the responsibility of the child to learn the teachings which they are taught. Hearing instruction; godly instruction; as lived by the parent is necessary for the child to see as well as hear.

Cramming Scripture into the child’s life; especially for correction; will make the child hate it rather than love Scripture and God.  When they see their mother and father reading and studying Scripture, praying, and living their lives like they teach them then it will have an affect on the child’s life as well.

When God is our Father, our Instructor/Teacher we know that His teaching is never in error. If we err from His teaching it is the child who errs not the Father. Remember Wisdom is personified in Proverbs, and is seen in the New Testament as Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God; God the Living Son.

Christmas Day Thirty and Three

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to always, always value truth, and realize that the words of Holy Scripture are the truth in every part of my life; and that truth is never for sale.

John 17:17

“Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” Proverbs 23:23 (KJV)

I heard somewhere that “If you always tell the truth, you never have to remember what you said.”  I have, for many years, remembered that.

Christmas Day Forty Seven

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to always be the type of man who will listen to and accept the wise instruction and teaching from those who know better than I on a subject; and to live in the instruction and wisdom given me.

“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” Proverbs 9:9 (KJV)

Day Two Hundred Eighty and Four

What do I want for Christmas?

I want the wisdom and knowledge that comes only from God, and I want all those who love God to have them as well.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7 (KJV)

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 3:17-18

What Price Truth?

“Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” Proverbs 23:23 (KJV)

How much value do you place on Truth? There is one thing about Truth that cannot be said much of anything else. Truth is truth no matter what part of the world you are in, or what your culture may be, or whatever your traditions might be. Truth is not a philosophy, nor is it a religion. Truth stands pat, and never changes.

What is the worth of Truth? Without Truth there would be no wisdom, instruction or understanding.

The following are quotes from commentaries, and we all need to realize there is much value in the truth; and that value is to stand on the truth even if it cost us our lives, because without the truth there is really no life.

“Do not sell the truth at any price (v. 23)! It costs something to live by the truth, but it costs even more to abandon the truth.” Warren Wiersbe from With the Word Bible Commentary.

“We should be willing to pay a great price for truth, but unwilling to sell it for any consideration. The same goes for wisdom and instruction and understanding. We should spare no pains to acquire them, but never surrender them for anything in this world.” Believer’s Bible Commentary

Truth does not change with the times. It does not change with a changing culture. The Truth is personified in the person of Jesus Christ (John 14:6); and in Him we must trust.

Day 84 – Instructions To a Young Preacher

The title does not mean that I am giving instructions to young preachers.  God knows I still need instruction.  There are many young pastors and preachers who are better instructed, than myself, and do so much better a job than myself, and some other older pastors I know.

Paul, in giving instructions to Timothy instructs all who will hear God’s call and follow Him.  My reading today was in the first two Pastoral Epistles – First and Second Timothy.  They are “Instructions To a Young Preacher” that we all need to hear and heed.  There is much sorrow on my mind and life for the many things I have not done according to these instructions.

First we can see that Timothy must have been struggling a bit with timidity and fear.  We hear Paul say to him,

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God…” 2 Timothy 1:6-8 (KJV)

As you can see this is addressed in the second epistle.  It was probably a problem with Timothy from the first, though it could have also have became a problem following some time in ministry.  Timothy needed encouragement from his teacher, the apostle Paul; and Paul was giving it.

In these letters the apostle addresses several issues; prayer, leadership, and praying for those in authority.  He addresses the matter of women teaching men.  Because of the cultural prostitution, there is even instruction for women concerning the way they dress.  Do not dress like prostitutes.  Which, still needs to be heard.   It is a matter of creation  order, not equality that we should realize.  It was not a cultural issue it is a life issue for every culture.   The apostle Paul addresses the qualifications of pastors and deacons.  Who can fully measure up to these, but by the grace of God?

The apostle reveals Jesus Christ as “the man” in Heaven,

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”  1 Timothy 2:5-6

The young pastor is also instructed to “Flee youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22).  The young pastor, preacher; and the old pastor/preacher needs to heed this cautions.  Youthful lust is not the only problem.  Old men can lust too.  There have been far too many pastors and preachers, young and old who have fallen to the seductive calling of applause, approval, and power.

There is much in these two letters for us to read, to hear and to heed.  Let me leave you with these last verses,

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”  2 Timothy 4:1-2

It is needed by the world of 2012 just as much; if not more than in the first century A.D.  Let us all be faithful to preaching the inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired Word of God.

-Tim A. Blankenship