Don’t Choose to Oppress Others

Don’t Choose to Oppress Others

Today we’re looking at the wisdom of God’s Word, as well as the grave importance of choosing to be on God’s side at all times.

Do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways . . .  (Pro 3:31 NKJV)

An oppressor is also known as a “man of mischief”—a person who is an evildoer and who is destined to reap the eternal harvest of his wickedness.  That harvest of wickedness often begins to unfold while the oppressor is still on earth.

Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them . . .   (Pro 24:1 NKJV)

This verse warns us all to recognize that there’s nothing whatsoever to envy in those who are evil.  At times when evil men seem to succeed, we may become jealous of them, and then want to be with them.  The type of evil this proverb is discussing is associated with troublemaking and violence.  The Lord knows the end from the beginning, and He knows what torment awaits these cruel people. 

If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them.  (Eccl 5:8 NKJV)

In this verse, we are told not to marvel over the fact that in a certain province [district, municipality, county, or state] there is a person or people in authority who practice violent perverting of judgment and justice, and who oppress the poor under rule of law, backed with power. 

God is higher than the highest of officials. God has set other people in higher levels of authority who oversee the province where evil is being done.  If those higher officials do nothing to correct the situation, rest assured that God wields his own hierarchy of power.

There is a realm of angels who are employed by divine justice to protect the injured and to punish those responsible for harming the poor.  Our Supreme God in heaven demands that oppressors answer to Him.  And they will certainly do so, and they will not escape God’s judgment. So in all of your trials and tribulations, trust the Lord to rescue and to deliver you.  God bless you.

Wisdom is Proven Right

Wisdom is Proven Right

In the real world, in everyday living, a wise person is one who follows Biblical standards in their personal lives; and in consequence, experiences startling results. 

I’m describing a person who lives out their faith in Jesus Christ daily, moment by moment.  They extend their help and friendship to those in need; they share the love of Christ with all those who cross their paths; and they even make decisions on practical and political matters based upon their faith in Jesus Christ and in God’s Word.

Yet Wisdom is shown to be right by what its followers do.  (Lk 7:35 CEV)

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”  (Mt 11:19 NIV)  This verse is talking about Jesus being called a glutton and a friend of drunkards and sinners.  However, Jesus was wise in obeying the plan that Father God had for His live. 

Jesus knew that these were the very people that He had been sent to redeem.

Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.  (Hos 14:9 NIV)  As this verse reminds us, wisdom understands that the ways of the Lord are righteous and the just person walks in those ways.  Only the rebellious trip over them and end up struggling through life.

Do you want to acquire wisdom? 

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  (Jas 1:5 NKJV) With all sincerity of heart, ask the Lord to give you His wisdom today. He will certainly hear and answer your prayer, dear reader.

Don’t Seek the Dead

Don’t Seek the Dead

The Bible gives believers important instructions and guidelines for living a life of faith.  One point that is very important is that we should never turn to mediums, wizards, or fortunetellers for information about our future

Wisdom teaches us to place our trust in the Lord, knowing that He loves us and has plans to give us a blessed and meaningful future.  We already know that we will spend eternity in heaven with the Lord, and we may surely rejoice in this truth.

And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?  (Isa 8:19, emphasis added)

Note, this passage asks: “Should not a people seek their God?”  This is a hint from the Holy Spirit to us that it is only the Lord, Himself, who is capable of knowing the future.  And He is the only Being who has the power to change the future! So, we must turn only to the Lord Jesus when we are grieving, sad, or uncertain about what is to come.

And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people.  (Lev 20:6)

In the above Scripture, the Lord warns us that He will be in opposition to anyone who puts their trust or hope in mediums or soothsayers; and that He will cut such a person “off from their people” which is actually a sentence of death upon that person.

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.  (2 Pet 2:1)

2 Peter 2:1 states plainly that believers who turn to false prophets have brought upon themselves SUDDEN destruction.  We must avoid this at all costs! 

We are called to turn to the Lord Jesus for direction and guidance in the course of our daily lives.  As believers in Jesus Christ, we must jealously and conscientiously protect, defend and cherish our relationship with our Savior.  It is the most important aspect of our lives. May God surround you with His love and wisdom.

God Knows Those Who Trust in Him

God Knows Those Who Trust in Him

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.  (Nah 1:7)

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.  (Joh 10:14)

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.  (Pro 18:10)

But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.  (1 Cor 8:3)

Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”  (2 Tim 2:19)

Our God is full of power, wisdom and knowledge.  He knows when a person turns to Him with love, and when a person has put their trust in Him.  To such people, God is a fortress, a good shepherd, and a place of safety.

God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.  (Isa 64:4)  What a magnificent promise!

All who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior have been given many promises in the Bible.  Here are just a handful of such treasures:

  • Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.  (Deu 31:6)
  • The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence.
    I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.
      (2 Sam 22:3-4)
  • “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”  (Joh 10:28-30)
  • The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  (Ps 23:1-5)

Let me reassure you that God knows your heart.  He knows that you love Him, trust Him, and turn to Him in times of need and trouble.  He will not fail you nor will He ever forsake you.  He will meet your needs and fulfill His promises to you.  What joyous facts to know! Hallelujah!

God’s Counsels

God’s Counsels

Our Lord has given us His counsel and wisdom through His Holy Word.  We can’t enjoy these benefits of salvation if we don’t pay attention to the Bible and obey it.

O Lord, You are my God.  I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, for You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.  (Isa 25:1, emphasis added)

So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, to walk in their own counsels.  13 “Oh, that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways!  (Ps 81:12-13)

So that your trust may be in the Lord; I have instructed you today, even you.  20 Have I not written to you excellent things, of counsels and knowledge, 21 that I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send to you?  (Pro 22:19-21, underscoring added)

It’s a dangerous thing when man is permitted to walk in his own counsels, according to Psalm 81:12-13, above.  Counsels means advice, guidance, assistance, direction or warning. 

God’s counsels are blessings in our lives, and we need to recognize this truth.  We need to hunger and thirst for His counsels. 

The Bible says that God’s counsels are faithfulness and truth. (Isa 25:1)   What beautiful and blessed encouragements that the Lord, our God, bestows upon His people!

Faithfulness means truthfulness, reliability, loyalty, and commitment.  Truth means reality, integrity, and honesty.  What precious blessings these qualities are to all believers who pursue them and desire them! 

Only as we obey the Word and fill our hearts with passages from the Bible will we come to know and understand the counsels of God.  As we memorize and meditate upon the Word of God, our faith will be strengthened and we will grow in wisdom.  We will become qualified to answer with words of truth when people question us about our faith, or about the Bible.

As we honor and obey God’s word, by diligent search and study of God’s Word, we will sow God’s precious counsels into our own lives and hearts.  And the longer we walk with and serve the Lord, the more evidence we will see of this taking place in our lives.  And we will grow in wisdom, mercy, and understanding.  God bless you!

The Message of the Cross

The Message of the Cross

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  (1 Cor 1:18 NIV, underlining and emphasis added) 

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  (Rom 1:16, emphasis added)

 . . .  but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  (1 Cor 1:23-25, emphasis added)

. . . because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.  (1 Thes 1:5 ESV, emphasis added)

The message of the cross is sometimes referred to as the:

  • Gospel of Christ (Rom 1:16)
  • Good News (1 Thes 3:6)
  • Power of God (1 Cor 1:23-25)
  • Wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:23-25)
  • Resurrection Gospel (1 Cor 15, entire chapter)

What is the message of the cross?  It is that God LOVES the world, and desires to be in RELATIONSHIP with each and every one of us.  Thanks to this truth, the Father God provided salvation to all mankind through Jesus Christ.

Jesus humbled himself in coming to earth as a newborn baby.  He grew up as a normal, human boy and learned the trade of carpentry.  He lived a sinless, perfect life serving His heavenly Father.  Jesus preached Good News, and demonstrated the love of His heavenly Father by performing signs, wonders, and miracles. 

Jesus displayed the need for continuous fellowship with His Father, as well as drawing apart for prayer.  He modeled forgiveness, wisdom, and walking in the Spirit for us all.

The symbol of the cross is an icon of grim human suffering and public humiliation.  Jesus’ suffering and subsequent death and resurrection are all part of the message of the cross.  In the light of Christ’s resurrection, there is restoration of hope, complete joy, and utter triumph.  Hallelujah!

Notice that the preaching of this gospel of salvation is always accompanied by the POWER of God.

The message of the cross proves the magnitude of the love that God has for mankind.

God is Worthy to be Praised

God is Worthy to be Praised

Our God is worthy to be praised at all times!  The Bible tells us this in many and various ways.  The Word of God enumerates God’s qualities and character traits for us, so that we may understand Him and love Him.  It also helps us to praise Him regularly when we realize His greatness and love.

God has revealed Himself to mankind according to the Scriptures shown below.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  (Rom 1:19)

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse . . .  (Rom 1:20)

Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.  (Isa 40:26)

I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.  (Ps 18:3, emphasis added)

. . . saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”  (Rev 5:12)

Why has God revealed Himself to us?  Because He wants to be in relationship with His people.

He reminds us that He is the creator of all things, and that He is Omnipotent.  The Lord tells us to call upon Him, and also to worship Him.  We are even told to worship Him at all times!

Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. (Dan 2:20, underscoring added)

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  (Ps 34:1)

From the rising of the sun to its going down the Lord’s name is to be praised.  (Ps 113:3)  See also Psalm 71:8, 15; 104:33; and Hebrews 13:15.

We cannot say that we didn’t know that God desires our continuous praise because it is so clearly shown to us in His Word.  Let this serve as a gentle reminder to us all to be mindful and obedient to God’s instructions.  Praising God will bless us and will strengthen our faith as well as our relationship with the Lord.  God bless you!

A Steadfast Heart

A Steadfast Heart

Steadfast means committed, unwavering, reliable and trustworthy.

He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.  (Ps 112:7, underscoring added)

But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.  (Pro 1:33)  Wisdom is speaking in the passage.  When we obey wisdom, we obey God.

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.  Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yahweh, the Lord, is everlasting strength.  (Isa 26:3-4)  When we are focused upon the Lord, with absolute trust, our hearts will be filled with the peace that passes all understanding.

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  (Joh 14:1) Jesus is speaking in this verse, and He’s encouraging us to believe in Him.  He’s inviting us to rely upon Him and to have confidence in Him.

The point of these verses that I’ve shared is that under all circumstances, even in the midst of challenges and painful trials, a believer knows the beautiful character of Jesus, and is able to trust Him effortlessly.  Why?  Because Jesus is a good and loving Savior.

The Lord’s plans for us are good plans intended to give us a good future.  We can see the only person who can prevent those plans from coming to pass when we look into the mirror! 

If we don’t cooperate with the Lord, if we don’t trust Him and place all of our faith in Him, then we cannot blame God for whatever mess in which we eventually find ourselves.

Place all of your hope, faith and trust in the Lord.  Yield to God’s plans and His ways, and you will be blessed.  Hallelujah!

Not Stumbling In Our Words

Not Stumbling In Our Words

The Bible tells us something rather surprising in James 3—that the person who does not stumble in word is a perfect man or woman.  This person is one who is able to control everything about themselves.  Wow!

For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.  (Jas 3:2-3, emphasis added

Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.  (Ps 34:13)

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.  (Pro 16:24)

The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook.  (Pro 18:4)

“He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.”  (1 Pet 3:10)

Controlling our words is one of the most difficult things for human beings.  As 1 Peter 3 reminds us, we should refrain from speaking evil.  Do you know that “speaking evil” means some different things to God?  It means:

  • Saying anything that is less than 100% true;
  • Repeating gossip—even if it’s true;
  • Agreeing with other people who spread lies or say unpleasant things;
  • Saying negative or bad things about ourselves;
  • Repeating negative things;
  • Speaking anything that does not agree with God’s Word.

It surprises people to realize that even if they say something negative about themselves, it is unpleasing to God.  God wants us to agree with what HE says about each one of us.  He says that His children are:

  • Fearfully and wonderfully made,  (Ps 139:14)
  • His special treasure, (Ps 135:4)
  • The apple of His eye, (Zech 2:8)
  • Chosen and dearly loved, (1 Pet 2:4)
  • Given His approval, (1 Thes 2:4) and
  • Accepted in Jesus. (Eph 1:6)

From this list, we can understand that the Lord loves us and has said many wonderful things concerning His children—those who love Him and obey Him.  Since our words proceed from our thoughts, a key Scripture to meditate upon regularly is:

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.  (Phil 4:8)

As we think about God’s blessings and meditate upon His Words, our own words will begin to change and will correspond to what the Scripture has to say about everything.  God bless you!

As a Little Child

As a Little Child

Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.  (1 Kgs 3:7, emphasis added) 

This verse in 1 Kings reflects the wisdom of Solomon—who considered himself as a little child in comparison to the wisdom and the eternal knowledge of God.

Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.  (Mk 10:15)

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  (Mt 18:3-4)

What do you think are the characteristics of a little child that Jesus is referring to in these passages?  Here are some ideas to consider.  Very young children were, in ancient, biblical times:

  • Humble and not envious of each other;
  • Did not think about advancing themselves to a place of power;
  • Didn’t have status or rights; and
  • Were completely dependent upon the good will of others to care for them.

Jesus humbles Himself in identifying with the little child.  Jesus came to meet the needs of all those who are marginal, needy, and powerless.  He came to save the lost—and there are many ways to be “lost.” 

Jesus says that the way that WE should respond to such marginal, needy people is the same way that we respond to HIM.  (see Mt 18:5)  If we love Jesus, we should show love and concern for the lost. Jesus wants to remind us of the spiritual nature of His kingdom, and desires that we be heavenly-minded. 

The Bible says that we are strangers and pilgrims upon the earth (Heb 11:13) because our King is a heavenly King, and our country is with our heavenly King. 

As we submit our lives to the guidance and leading of the Holy Spirit, we shall suddenly move from earthly life into eternity—into humility and total dependence upon God.  (1 Cor 15:51-52)