Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Proverbs 27:5

Better is open rebuke than hidden love.
(NIV)


Confrontation of wrong is an absolute necessity in a true Biblical friendship. That is hard to do many times. Most people don't enjoy confronting their friends, but rebuking your friend does so much more than a hidden love could ever do. In fact, you might say that an open rebuke, if done in the right spirit, is the fulfillment of love, whereas if love remains hidden, it goes unfulfilled.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Proverbs 27:4

Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming,
but who can stand before jealousy?

(NIV)

The wisdom of the Proverbs is sometimes amazingly simple. Sometimes, so much so that I find it hard to add any commentary to a verse, lest I mess it up in some way. This is one of those verses.

A word about jealousy though: Jealousy is many times looked at in such a negative light, but it isn't always a negative emotion. The Bible even says that God is a jealous God. He is jealous for our time and energy. He doesn't want us to be with another, kind of like a husband is jealous for his wife.

And true jealousy, who can stand before it? Unlike cruelty or fury, it stands justified and pure in its teeming energy. Don't get in its way, it will surely get what belongs to it.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Proverbs 27:3

Stone is heavy and sand a burden,
but provocation by a fool is heavier than both.

(NIV)


As tiresome and ongoing as the most basic of physical labors, so is the provocation of a fool. In every situation, it seems like there is at least one fool present. And that ongoing provocation most definitely can be burdensome.

As you go through your day today, pray that God gives you the strength to endure these provocations the way he has done.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Proverbs 27:2

Let another praise you,
  and not your own mouth;
someone else,
  and not your own lips.

(NIV)


Most definitely, words of wisdom.

Don't be a self-promoter. Allow God to handle that for you. If He wants you to be lifted up, He will handle it.

Instead, let your words mirror those of John the Baptist, "He must increase, but I must decrease."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Proverbs 27:1

Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring forth.

(NIV)


This is an unchanging truth. No matter how hard you try, "...you do not know what a day may bring forth." It might be easy, it might be difficult, it might be the hardest, saddest day of your life... or it might be the most exciting day you have ever had. There is just no way of knowing.

So don't even try. Don't brag about or boast about your control over tomorrow, because you don't have control over it.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I John 1:10

If we claim we have not sinned,
we make him out to be a liar
and his word has no place in our lives.

(NIV)


This verse was aimed at those in the church who were denying the sinfulness of man. We have those types today, and they were around back when this book was written.

Every age seems to have a group who spend their time trying to tear down God's word, and in essence, make God a liar.

People who fall into that have no place with God, and His word has no place in their hearts.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I John 1:9

If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just
and will forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness.

(NIV)


To confess our sins means to agree with God about our sins. To agree that we have once again missed the mark. But agreeing with God is walking in the light, therefore God, who is faithful and just no matter how we are, forgives and purifies us.

Are you in agreement with God about your sins? Or do you try to justify your actions?

Friday, February 03, 2006

I John 1:8

If we claim to be without sin,
we deceive ourselves
and the truth is not in us.

(NIV)


Now, most people, when asked, would say that they are sinners. Most people wouldn't claim to be without sin. They know that they mess up all of the time.

But what does their lifestyle say?

It is so easy to know the "theological" answer, but ignore that truth in our lives. So we can say that we are sinners, but we lack all of the signs of a person who truly believes that they are currently with sin. There is no Godly sorrow, no repentance, and no desire to clear oneself of these things (2 Cor. 7:11).

So they claim sinlessness by their actions.

If you claim sinlessness, you are truly deceived. Everyday should be a day of seeking to be right with God by repenting of our sins.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I John 1:7

But if we walk in the light,
as he is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus, his Son,
purifies us from all sin.

(NIV)


John has been telling us about the message. The message that he heard from Christ and is declaring to us. We now know that God is light. Darkness is not allowed to dwell in Him. But he continues on, revealing to us the good news.

Here is an explanation of the belief that John talked about in his now famous statement of God's love: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John is now telling us what "belief" looks like.

True belief is a change in our walk.

There are so many passages in the Bible that tell us how this is possible; how mortal man can have a change of walk. But this passage is telling us how we can know if our belief is real.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I John 1:6

If we claim to have fellowship with Him
yet walk in the darkness,
we lie
and do not live by the truth.

(NIV)


First, I want to point out that it is possible to claim fellowship with God, yet have no idea what that is all about. It is possible to say with your mouth one thing, but in your life, completely deny those words.

The truth that is wrapped up in this verse, and so many others like it, is a truth that has been overlooked in so many of the churches today. We are so caught up in God's love and grace, that are real and true... that we forget that we also must be real and true.

Our walk absolutely must be a representation of the work of God in us. If it is not, then the reality is that God is not working in us. But Philippians 1:6 says, "Be confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ." The work of salvation is Christ's work. He began it, He is going to perform it, and He will complete it.

Or what about Ephesians 2:8-10, which says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith; and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; not by works, so that no one can boast." (We love that first part don't we? See, we say, no works required for salvation! ... But keep reading. The passage doesn't stop there.) "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Can you see it? Works is the natural result of true salvation. Because that is what salvation is! It is a saving from one walk (or way) of life, into a different walk - a walk in the light!