Category Archives: Anger (unrighteous anger)

Be Doers of the Word Rather Than Just Hearers

As I mentioned while covering the first half of James 1, there is much to cover and we should be sure to go through it slowly and thoughtfully, careful not to skip over important points.

James 1:19-27

    19This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. 21Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

      26If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. 27Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Listen first, genuinely, before speaking. This is tough for a lot of folks, including myself at times. Avoid anger. Put aside wickedness. Receive the word with humility, avoiding defensiveness and avoiding the arrogance of assuming we already know everything, but really receiving the word and letting it transform us. YHWH does not want simply hearers of the word though, but doers of the word. In doing the word of YHWH, in abiding in his perfect law, we will be blessed.  Let us recognize also that when James refers to the perfect law of God, the law of liberty, he is talking about the Tanakh (the Torah and the writings of the prophets). The New Testament was not written yet. Clearly James did not find the law obsolete.

Control our tongue lest we hurt others and distract from YHWHs glory as we represent him. Let us help orphans and widows in their distress and remain set apart from the world, unstained by its wickedness, ready to be used by the LORD.

Prayerfully reflect on these and be sure to focus on a few for your life today. This guidance will help bring you closer to walking the way the LORD wants.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

 

Arrogance, Manipulation, Mistrust and Anger Lead To Trouble

Samson was very strong indeed, when the spirit of the LORD was with him. However, we see in Judges 14 a flaw that ultimately becomes his downfall even more than what he experiences here. He seems to lack wisdom in whom to trust and allows himself to be manipulated by women with whom he is interested.

One can have a debate about whether or not he should be marrying someone he did not feel he could trust for sure. However, he knew he did not trust her and thus was not telling her the secret at first. However, he allowed her crying to manipulate him and ultimately gave up his secret for the wrong reasons. He did not do so because of a loving and trusting relationship with a woman who was to become his wife. He did so because of crying and manipulation. He ultimately is manipulated again similarly by Delilah and to his ultimate downfall.

Let us take care and use wisdom in whom we trust and why. Let us neither be the person who makes a decision based on manipulative tears nor the person who uses the manipulative tears to coerce someone.

Imagine if she could have simply come to her soon to be husband and told him the truth, that she and her father were threatened. Perhaps Samson could have protected her and they could have built a trusting relationship. It is also fair to point out that Samson brought on some of this situation by pursuing a Philistine instead of an Israelite wife and also by arrogantly making a wager about his riddle. The Philistines and Israelites did not like one another and he antagonized the situation. We see also that he has an unrighteous anger and he goes and kills others who were not even involved and steals from them to pay his debt. Samson is not a righteous man, and yet the LORD saw fit to grant him strength and use him to bring victory to the Israelites against the Philistines. YHWH’s ways are not our ways. He chooses at times those whom we would not expect.

 

Judges 14:12-20

Samson’s Riddle

     12Then Samson said to them, “Let me now propound a riddle to you; if you will indeed tell it to me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen wraps and thirty changes of clothes. 13“But if you are unable to tell me, then you shall give me thirty linen wraps and thirty changes of clothes.” And they said to him, “Propound your riddle, that we may hear it.”

14So he said to them,
“Out of the eater came something to eat,
And out of the strong came something sweet.”
But they could not tell the riddle in three days.

      15Then it came about on the fourth day that they said to Samson’s wife, “Entice your husband, so that he will tell us the riddle, or we will burn you and your father’s house with fire. Have you invited us to impoverish us? Is this not so?16Samson’s wife wept before him and said, “You only hate me, and you do not love me; you have propounded a riddle to the sons of my people, and have not told it to me.” And he said to her, “Behold, I have not told it to my father or mother; so should I tell you?” 17However she wept before him seven days while their feast lasted. And on the seventh day he told her because she pressed him so hard. She then told the riddle to the sons of her people.

18So the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down,
“What is sweeter than honey?
And what is stronger than a lion?”
And he said to them,
“If you had not plowed with my heifer,
You would not have found out my riddle.”

19Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon and killed thirty of them and took their spoil and gave the changes of clothes to those who told the riddle. And his anger burned, and he went up to his father’s house. 20But Samson’s wife was given to his companion who had been his friend.

Perhaps one aspect which I find very interesting to reflect on is easy to miss as we think about the mess Samson made. There seems little argument that Samson was like a bull in a china shop. He breaks things. He is not acting in a righteous manner. Yet YHWH was using this situation to create “an occasion against the Philistines”.

Judges 4

4However, his father and mother did not know that it was of the LORD, for He was seeking an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines were ruling over Israel.

So I am once again reminded to take care in what assumptions I make about whom YHWH chooses to use and how. I am also reminded not to assume every time something gets messy that somehow it is not YHWH’s plan. Sometimes he does use conflict for his purposes, sometimes he uses unrighteous people to his righteous purposes.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Remove Grief and Anger From Your Heart

Ecclesiastes 11 is an interesting chapter. He seems to suddenly give financial advice. I would need to reflect or study longer on verse 1, but in verse 2 he is clearly talking about diversifying assets / investments. He then seems to lay out some principles about rain and trees which seem to indicate that there are simply some things we cannot predict perfectly or control. It builds upon the end of verse 2.I find it particularly on point when he points out that those of us who are looking for a perfect time to do something, he refers to sowing seed, may never have a harvest. If we always wait for the perfect time, it never comes.

He then ties it back in towards YHWH by reminding us that just as in these events (e.g. rain, wind, trees falling, etc.), we will not always understand the will of YHWH, our Father.

He finishes the financial advice by encouraging us to diversify again. Do not sow all your seed in the morning or evening, but do both.

He then pivots in verse 7 and highlights that we should enjoy the good times in life because there will certainly be hard times. I think he gives forth bad advice in verse 9, encouraging us to follow the impulses of our heart and then promptly warns us that we will be judged by YHWH for these actions. Following impulses by our hearts is plain bad advice. Perhaps he did not mean it the way it sounds. After all, he clearly warns that we will be judged for it.

Jeremiah 17:9

   9“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?

Clearly we should not “follow our hearts, but rather YHWH himself”.

He closes with some very good advice to not let grief and anger in our heart pull down our joy in life. Life is fleeting and we must not waste it on our own impulses or on grief and anger in our heart.

Ecclesiastes 11

Cast Your Bread on the Waters

      1Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days. 2Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth. 3If the clouds are full, they pour out rain upon the earth; and whether a tree falls toward the south or toward the north, wherever the tree falls, there it lies. 4He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap. 5Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.

      6Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.

      7The light is pleasant, and it is good for the eyes to see the sun. 8Indeed, if a man should live many years, let him rejoice in them all, and let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything that is to come will be futility.

      9Rejoice, young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during the days of young manhood. And follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes. Yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things. 10So, remove grief and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Leadership Qualifications for the Church

Paul provides some timeless guidance on how carefully we should choose leaders within our church body. They high standards and appropriately so. Someone not only needs to meet these standards to lead in the church but also to remain in leadership within the church. If they fall, even if they repent, one must still consider very carefully if they are “beyond reproach” and if it is appropriate for them to retake a leadership position again. The emphasis is really about helping those they lead to grow closer to YHWH and it is not about maintaining the career interest of the leader.

1 Timothy 3

Overseers and Deacons

     1It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5(but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

      8Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, 9but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. 11Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

      14I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

16By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness:
He who was revealed in the flesh,
Was vindicated in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Proclaimed among the nations,
Believed on in the world,
Taken up in glory.

I think this is an valuable standard to consider for all of us who wish to lead lives pleasing to YHWH, whether or not we take a formal position in the church. Prayerfully reflect and ask the Spirit to show you, without bias and defensiveness, how you and your household stack up to this standard. Ask him help to lead you in change as needed or continued growth in these areas. Pray for one another in this regard, that we would grow toward this standard.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

To Stand Boldly With and For Christ Means Others Will Come Against You

Today we are digging in a bit deeper into John 7. In a previous article, we highlighted that Yeshua was documented as participating in the appointed times of YHWH as laid out in Leviticus 23, in this case Feast of Booths or Tabernacles. Though this has largely been dropped from mainstream Christianity, those who seek truth by following Christ’s example should study more and consider participating in the appointed times as Yeshua did. My family has been doing so for years now and it is very rewarding, though a bit awkward as you get started.

There are a few main points I want to highlight as we dive a bit deeper into the beginning of John 7.

  • For those facing persecution for their faith in Christ, note that Christ in this chapter also chose the time and place for His teaching. He knew there were those who wanted to harm him. He was clearly actively proclaiming the truth of the gospel, but did so strategically and at times remained private or hidden. We should take care not to use this as an excuse to avoid standing for YHWH. Clearly Yeshua proclaimed His ways publicly.
  • For many of us who come to know Christ and then proclaim the truth of His message, the fullness of His instruction, our own families and friends may reject us. It is uncomfortable for many who claim to follow Christ, and perhaps genuinely do, to accept that much of what the church has taught them is wrong and they should change based on study of the whole word of YHWH, the whole Bible. The appointed times are a great example. You will face resistance and discouragement from some for pursuing the same celebrations of YHWH that Yeshua participated in just because they are not wanting to face the change themselves. Do not be discouraged. For Yeshua, even His own brothers were not believing in Him.
  • Do not fear rejection. Ask YHWH for the grace to accept and deal with it, as Christ did. The world will hate us, as it did Yeshua, if we testify that their deeds are evil. You can see it plainly today. If you share with someone the love of Christ for unborn children and the fact that abortion is offensive to YHWH and should be to us… you will be likely scorned by half the population not just as “disagreeing” but labeled all sorts of mean and nasty things. They will say you hate women and such. None the less, we must stand up for the ways of YHWH as Christ did.
  • If we teach the full word of YHWH it will be different from what most Christians are now accustomed to. Many ignore Sabbath. Those that don’t, celebrate on Sunday instead of Saturday (as Christ and His disciples did), gluttony is a significant problem in our culture but it is taboo to say anything, sexual relations outside of a husband and wife relationship are out of control in society, and coveting is practically a national pastime more than baseball. Our society does not accept rebuke or correction, each claiming offense if someone tries to point out where they may be in need of repentance.  People don’t like change and they like admitting they are wrong even less. Though some people will agree with you and say good things, so too will many disagree with you, grumble and say bad things about you… as they did Yeshua. Be prepared for this and ask YHWH to help you with it.

You can not preach the truth of the gospel without offending those who reject it or accept only parts of it. To stand boldly for Christ means others will come against you. If no one is coming against you, you may want to reflect if you are really living and speaking boldly for Christ in your daily life and if you are doing so to those that do not necessarily already agree with you.

John 7:1-13

Jesus Teaches at the Feast

     1After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. 2Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near. 3Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. 4“For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5For not even His brothers were believing in Him. 6So Jesus said to them, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. 7“The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. 8“Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.” 9Having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee.

      10But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as if, in secret. 11So the Jews were seeking Him at the feast and were saying, “Where is He?” 12There was much grumbling among the crowds concerning Him; some were saying, “He is a good man”; others were saying, “No, on the contrary, He leads the people astray.” 13Yet no one was speaking openly of Him for fear of the Jews.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Put On The New Self; Do Not Remain The Same

When we become disciples of Christ, we are not to remain the same as we were before and simply “add Jesus” on top of everything else we were already doing. There are behaviors and thought patterns which we must die to and others we must pursue. With God’s help, we become more like Him and less like our old selves… but we have to choose to pursue righteousness and reject sinfulness. He will not simply force it on us because we said His name once. This transformation is typically a journey, not typically like turning on a light switch. It is like cooking in a crock pot rather than a microwave. It takes longer, but it tastes so much better when it is done.

Colossians 3:1-17

Put On the New Self

      1Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

      5Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.6For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. 8But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— 11a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.

      12So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.14Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Take time to reflect on your life. Ask the Spirit to give you insight specific to you. Are you living according to the description above? If not, ask forgiveness from God and ask God for help. Renew you commitment to live for Him and seek repentance… seek to change yourself to be more like our Lord.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

When The Righteous Increase, The People Rejoice

Let us pray for an increase of righteous, godly people in our churches, communities, states, nation, and across the world. Let us seek righteousness in God’s word and through relationship with Him. Do not pursue the deceptions of worldly teaching on what is righteous and what is wicked for Satan revels in deception as those that claim God all the while rebel against His ways.

Proverbs 29

Warnings and Instructions

       1A man who hardens his neck after much reproof
Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.

      2When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
But when a wicked man rules, people groan.

      3A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
But he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth.

      4The king gives stability to the land by justice,
But a man who takes bribes overthrows it.

      5A man who flatters his neighbor
Is spreading a net for his steps.

      6By transgression an evil man is ensnared,
But the righteous sings and rejoices.

      7The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor,
The wicked does not understand such concern.

      8Scorners set a city aflame,
But wise men turn away anger.

      9When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man,
The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.

      10Men of bloodshed hate the blameless,
But the upright are concerned for his life.

      11A fool always loses his temper,
But a wise man holds it back.

      12If a ruler pays attention to falsehood,
All his ministers become wicked.

      13The poor man and the oppressor have this in common:
The LORD gives light to the eyes of both.

      14If a king judges the poor with truth,
His throne will be established forever.

      15The rod and reproof give wisdom,
But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.

      16When the wicked increase, transgression increases;
But the righteous will see their fall.

      17Correct your son, and he will give you comfort;
He will also delight your soul.

      18Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained,
But happy is he who keeps the law.

      19A slave will not be instructed by words alone;
For though he understands, there will be no response.

      20Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

      21He who pampers his slave from childhood
Will in the end find him to be a son.

      22An angry man stirs up strife,
And a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.

      23A man’s pride will bring him low,
But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

      24He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life;
He hears the oath but tells nothing.

      25The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.

      26Many seek the ruler’s favor,
But justice for man comes from the LORD.

      27An unjust man is abominable to the righteous,
And he who is upright in the way is abominable to the wicked.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Let Bitterness And Wrath Be Put Away From You

To live a life the way Christ calls us to live means we change our ways and are become different from the world. We do not blend in with those around us. It is not easy, but by the grace of God we can live as He directs us. So many today in our culture create reasons to be offended. They are bitter and angry without justifiable cause. It sours their own life as well as adversely impacting those who must be around them. God calls us to a different path.

Ephesians 4:31-32

31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Prayerfully reflect on this scripture. Really challenge yourself to see if there are areas or people in your life where you are not living up to this standard. Ask the Lord’s help  to do as this scripture instructs. Make a conscious choice to ask forgiveness from God, and if appropriate from people as well. Choose to repent and live differently. If you stumble into old habits, try again. It is an imperfect walk we follow as Christians, but a perfect master.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

 

The Reward of Humility And The Fear Of The Lord

The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor, and life. Pause and ask the Spirit to guide you and speak to you as you read Proverbs today. May He open our eyes to the truth of God’s word and how it applies in our lives. May we be humble enough to identify and admit where we need to make changes.

Proverbs 22

On Life and Conduct

     1A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,
Favor is better than silver and gold.

      2The rich and the poor have a common bond,
The LORD is the maker of them all.

      3The prudent sees the evil and hides himself,
But the naive go on, and are punished for it.

      4The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches, honor and life.

      5Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards himself will be far from them.

      6Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

      7The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.

      8He who sows iniquity will reap vanity,
And the rod of his fury will perish.

      9He who is generous will be blessed,
For he gives some of his food to the poor.

      10Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out,
Even strife and dishonor will cease.

      11He who loves purity of heart
And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.

      12The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the treacherous man.

      13The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside;
I will be killed in the streets!”

      14The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit;
He who is cursed of the LORD will fall into it.

      15Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

      16He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself
Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

      17Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;

      18For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.

      19So that your trust may be in the LORD,
I have taught you today, even you.

      20Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,

      21To make you know the certainty of the words of truth
That you may correctly answer him who sent you?

      22Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Or crush the afflicted at the gate;

      23For the LORD will plead their case
And take the life of those who rob them.

      24Do not associate with a man given to anger;
Or go with a hot-tempered man,

      25Or you will learn his ways
And find a snare for yourself.

      26Do not be among those who give pledges,
Among those who become guarantors for debts.

      27If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take your bed from under you?

      28Do not move the ancient boundary
Which your fathers have set.

      29Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.

There is much wisdom, much treasure, in Proverbs. Read it slowly and carefully. Reflect on how each part applies in your life and the lives of others around you. Pray for insight and help to make necessary changes in your life to come more in line with God’s wisdom and advice rather than “how you have always done things” or “how the world does things” or what is “normal”.

Only God is truly wise, so let us listen and obey.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

People Can Be Fickle; Don’t Let Them Be Your Guide

People can be fickle, often changing from hot to cold and back again. They accept what they like and then reject the rest. Do not let people be your guide, but only the word and Spirit of God.

As Jesus started His public ministry, He did so “in the power of the Spirit”. He began teaching and was “praised by all”. Then He comes to His hometown of Nazareth. Even here, at first they spoke well of Him, though a little surprised, until He said something they did not like. Then they turned on Him so fast that they literally drove Him out of town and tried to throw Him off a cliff.  They were willing to accept Him as teacher and prophet so long as He did not displease them in what He said.

People are like this still today. They have not changed. As the scripture points out, it is particularly hard for people to accept as prophet or teacher someone they knew as they grew up, or perhaps someone from their own family. People’s faith is often tested when they hear a true message from the Lord which they do not want to hear. It is very important if we are to represent the Lord and take His word to others, we must rely on the truth of His word and His Spirit and not what people want to hear. If not, we will quickly stray from the truth and become useless to the Lord, or worse… lead people away from Him and help them feel good about it while claiming His name.

Luke 4:14-30

Jesus’ Public Ministry

     14And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. 15And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.

      16And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

      18“THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,
BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.
HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,
AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,
TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,

      19TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”
20And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” 23And He said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” 24And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown. 25“But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; 26and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27“And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; 29and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. 30But passing through their midst, He went His way.

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