The Righteous

The Righteous

. . . and the desire of the righteous will be granted.  (Pro 10:24b)

. . . the righteous has an everlasting foundation.  (Pro 10:25b)

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.  (Pro 11:4)

Let us understand that when the Bible refers to the righteous it is talking about those who have been justified by Jesus Christ by accepting Him as their Savior.  Now I’m going to share some thoughts about each verse shown above, in order.

  1. How often does the Bible say that God will give us the desires of our hearts? It may be stated in different ways, but this theme is mentioned in Ps 37:4-5; Ro 4:21; Jer 1:12; Mt 6:33; 7:7-8; Lk 11:9-10 as well as the first verse shown above.  How often do you really believe and trust that the Lord wishes to give you the desires of your heart?  Yes, we do need to live obediently to Him and to seek His kingdom, and as we are doing that, we have been encouraged by these Scriptures to ask Him to give us what we desire.  So many people think only of monetary things, but what we desire may be the salvation of a loved one or the healing of a relationship or any of a number of other spiritually worthy things.  And if you do need physical healing or financial blessings, the Bible gives us many promises to encourage our faith in these areas, as well.  So, I encourage you to share your desires with the Lord.
  2. The foundation that the righteous have that is everlasting is Jesus Christ, the Chief Cornerstone. (Mt 21:42; 1 Cor 3:11)  In Him, we are secure and anchored, so don’t let go of your foundation of faith.
  3. Humanly speaking, people appreciate having more than enough money because it solves so many challenges and problems in the natural realm. But even more important than wealth (according to the Bible) is righteousness, because righteousness liberates us from spiritual death, and from the fear of physical  death.
    1. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (Jo 14:6, emphasis added)
    2. And He said to me, “It is done!  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.  (Rev 21:6, emphasis added)

Today we may rejoice in the blessings and the promises that God has given to us—His righteous, blessed children.

A Kiss for a Right Answer!

A Kiss for a Right Answer!

But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.  (25) He who gives a right answer kisses the lips.  (Pro 24:25-26)

This passage from the Bible has a couple of good spiritual points to make. 

  • The first recommends that we admonish those who commit evil, depraved, or heinous acts, rather than justifying or remaining neutral to what they do. Verse 24 says that that when we reprove the wicked, a blessing will come upon us.
  • The second point (v. 25 above) is shown like this in a reverse interlinear: “Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer.”  In short, this means that plain, direct words are preferable to deceptive or ambiguous ones.  And that when someone speaks plainly to us, we should appreciate and value them. 

The “right answer” spoken of here is an answer that is filled with the wisdom of God.  The more we are acquainted with the Bible and familiar with the voice of the Holy Spirit, the easier it will be to recognize and value a “right answer” when we hear it.

All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; nothing crooked or perverse is in them.  They are all plain to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.  10 Receive my instruction, and not silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold . . .  (Pro 8:8-10, emphasis added)

I believe that the purpose of these two verses is to help us to remember that ALL of the words of our lips are colossally important, both in the natural and spiritual realms.  Additionally, the Lord is giving us His advice on when to be critical of someone’s actions, as well as when to welcome and to be grateful for wise counsel or a useful and eye-opening insight.

By God’s empowering gift of grace, we’ll know when and how to apply this biblical wisdom.

A Word Fitly Spoken

A Word Fitly Spoken

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.  (12)  Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise rebuke to an obedient ear.  (Pro 25:11-12)

A word fitly spoken implies words of wise counsel given just in the nick of time, even as events unfold.  Comparing this word of wise guidance to golden apples set in a woven, silver basket is designed to help us to realize just how valuable and desirable this advice is to the person who receives it.  Unless we value and use such guidance, which is sent to us by God through another human being, it cannot help us!

Along similar lines, verse 12 of Proverbs 25 wants us to open our eyes to this truth:  those who want to KNOW and DO rightly are the people who most highly cherish good counsel.  For a listening ear [listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit] surpasses one hung with gold!

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.  (Pro 9:9)

The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise.  (Pro 15:31)

It’s spiritually healthy for us to remember that all children receive instruction and rebuke from a loving parent.  The Lord will send us wisdom, instruction, and correction through other people.  This message from the Lord can turn our lives around; help us to make mid-course corrections, and help us to avoid shipwreck in the future. 

The moral of this article is that all of us who believe in Jesus Christ need to have an obedient and receptive ear,  and to be willing to receive correction.

Grieving (Over Anything) Is a Process

Grieving (Over Anything) Is a Process

When tragic situations enter our lives, it’s vital for us to learn how to meet and grieve that loss. Grieving after a significant loss in a person’s life takes time.  The loss could be any one of a number of things: 

  • the death of a loved one;
  • the loss of financial security;
  • the loss of a relationship;
  • a lost career; or
  • losing a home, or any other kind of loss.

Grief is a process; and everyone grieves in different ways and heals in different ways.  So, no one can say how long it will take, or what it will look like. 

However, we can know that Jesus will be with us every step of the way for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Heb 13:5)  He understands what we’re going through, and His love for us is constant and unwavering.

Since each person will experience the grieving process differently, it means that they will have different needs.  Loss is a painful but unavoidable part of life.  Even Jesus mourned.  (Joh 11:35; Mat 23:37-39)  Grieving (mourning) eventually takes a person to a place of acceptance and healing. 

Some people prefer to go through this process alone, and others need someone to come alongside them to assist them through it.  Whichever way works well for a person is the route that they should take. 

Since grief is a natural, human response to pain and loss, we must accept that it serves a purpose for good in our lives.  It does not displease the Lord, and there is no reason to feel ashamed of it, or to need to defend it to anyone.

Remember to receive comfort from the Scriptures and from the presence of the Lord; and to share what you’re experiencing with trusted friends and relatives.  The Lord is with you surrounding you with His love, peace, and presence.

How to Grieve After the Death of a Loved One

How to Grieve After the Death of a Loved One

These are some of the Bible characters who experienced loss and sorrow:  Job, Naomi, Hannah, and David.  We can see that grieving (mourning) is a normal human experience that comes to all people at some point in their lives.  There is nothing wrong with grief or mourning.

Grief can serve a purpose in that it can revitalize our assessment of life.   There is a boundary to grieving—after a season, it comes to an end.  Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.  (Ps 30:5)

One very important truth to remember is that God is always faithful, even in times of mourning. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  (Ps 23:4)

You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?  (Ps 56:8)

The Lord not only sees our tears, but He accumulates them!  He sees our tears and our grief, and does not disdain them.  Rather, He accompanies us in our grief.  He supports us with the knowledge that He is with us; He’s in control; He is praiseworthy; and that He will carry us through into a good place.

Be still, and know that I am God . . . (Ps 46:10a)

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night . . . (Ps 91:1-2) 

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  (Rom 8:28)

Thankfully, the Lord is strong and He desires to carry our burdens, including this very heavy one.  (Mat 11:30) 

In the grieving process, it’s vital to communicate our grief to the Lord.  Feel free to pour out your heart to Him.  We can see this happening in various Psalms.  (Psalm 13; 23:4; 30:11-12; 56)  Note that the psalmist frequently ends in a different emotional state than when he began—often by praising God.  God hears us, and He understands what we’re going through.

You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.  (Ps 139:2)

As we share ourselves with the Lord, we’re able to open our minds to His truths.  We come to sense His love, His faithfulness, and His comfort.  As we turn to the Lord and communicate with Him, His peace settles within us.

Another way in which we can help ourselves as we mourn, is to speak with trusted friends, church members, and relatives about our pain and loss.  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  (Gal 6:2)  We, as members of the body of Christ, know that we’re called to “weep with those who weep.”  (Rom 12:15b)  As we share our stories with the Lord and with loved ones, we can actually lessen our grief.

The Lord is the One who is the anchor of our souls (Heb 6:19), and He cares for us.  (1 Pet 5:7)  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  (Heb 13:8)  So we KNOW that because the Lord never leaves us, He will forever be our anchor, our beloved, and our security—into eternity.  God bless you.