Category Archives: Mockers

He Who Listens To Correction Will Dwell Among The Wise

How do you feel when someone corrects you? Most of us do not cheerfully thank them. Instead, our natural tendency is to become defensive and try to deny we did wrong… even to ourselves we rationalize why we were right to do what we did. However, take care… that is not the path to wisdom but rather leads us to remain in our folly.

Proverbs 15:31 He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.

God provided wisdom to Solomon beyond that of anyone else and led Solomon to record much that can help us even today, if we are willing to listen carefully to this life-giving reproof and let it guide us to change our behaviors where we need to. So to it can be affirming and encouraging for those areas where we are living according to God’s word. As we read Proverbs 15, let us consider the wisdom as coming directly from God and applying to our lives today as much as it did to Solomon in his time. Human nature has not changed in all that time, despite advances in technology. Prayerfully consider Solomon’s wisdom.

      1A gentle answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.

      2The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable,
But the mouth of fools spouts folly.

      3The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
Watching the evil and the good.

      4A soothing tongue is a tree of life,
But perversion in it crushes the spirit.

      5A fool rejects his father’s discipline,
But he who regards reproof is sensible.

      6Great wealth is in the house of the righteous,
But trouble is in the income of the wicked.

      7The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
But the hearts of fools are not so.

      8The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.

      9The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
But He loves one who pursues righteousness.

      10Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way;
He who hates reproof will die.

      11Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD,
How much more the hearts of men!

      12A scoffer does not love one who reproves him,
He will not go to the wise.

      13A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,
But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.

      14The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge,
But the mouth of fools feeds on folly.

      15All the days of the afflicted are bad,
But a cheerful heart has a continual feast.

      16Better is a little with the fear of the LORD
Than great treasure and turmoil with it.

      17Better is a dish of vegetables where love is
Than a fattened ox served with hatred.

      18A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
But the slow to anger calms a dispute.

      19The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns,
But the path of the upright is a highway.

      20A wise son makes a father glad,
But a foolish man despises his mother.

      21Folly is joy to him who lacks sense,
But a man of understanding walks straight.

      22Without consultation, plans are frustrated,
But with many counselors they succeed.

      23A man has joy in an apt answer,
And how delightful is a timely word!

      24The path of life leads upward for the wise
That he may keep away from Sheol below.

      25The LORD will tear down the house of the proud,
But He will establish the boundary of the widow.

      26Evil plans are an abomination to the LORD,
But pleasant words are pure.

      27He who profits illicitly troubles his own house,
But he who hates bribes will live.

      28The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

      29The LORD is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.

      30Bright eyes gladden the heart;
Good news puts fat on the bones.

      31He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof
Will dwell among the wise.

      32He who neglects discipline despises himself,
But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.

      33The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom,
And before honor comes humility.

I encourage you to prayerfully re-read this list a few times. Mark a few that seem to apply to you, both affirming things you do well as well as things that point you to changing your behavior and attitude. Then write them down and apply them in your life over the next week or so. Come back and revisit in a few weeks to see how you are doing.

For me, the first part of verse 28 resonates…

28The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

I often respond quickly without taking time to ponder how to answer in a way that may be most gratifying and honoring to God and the person with whom I am speaking. I have grown much in the last decade and a half with God and do not struggle as much with saying wicked things, but I want to do more than avoid wicked responses. I want to edify the Lord and honor Him and others with my words. I want to choose them more carefully because words bring the power to build up or to destroy.

I also gather encouragement from reminding myself how much God has changed me such that I accept His reproof through His word and embrace more and more living the way His word commands… even if it requires me to be set apart from others and their worldly behaviors or compromises in their faith. It was hard when I started down this path as I would try to rationalize my behavior rather than change it. I would compare myself to others rather than to God’s word. Glory to God I have come a long way thanks to His help in the Holy Spirit living inside me and guiding me… convicting me of my errors and need to change. But I must not let down my guard as our internal nature is to rationalize why whatever we do was right to do… even when it is not.

What do you need to work on? In what areas can you thank God for helping you get on the right path? Truly making progress is made possible with humility and prayer and made easier with an accountability partner… someone you can trust to help you identify the good and the “needs improvement” areas of your life!

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Let Those Who Have Eyes See… But Many Dismiss Even Miracles

Preparing for His departure, Jesus had instructed His disciples to wait for the Helper whom God was going to send to them… the Holy Spirit. His disciples obeyed. They were right to trust and obey Jesus Christ, as we should also in our daily lives. When the day of Pentecost had come… God made the event clear to those who believe so they would have no doubt and be encouraged. It was an incredible and dramatic event. Once again, however, we see that those who refuse to believe… who refuse to see truth… can always come up with an excuse to let them turn aside from God even as He demonstrates the miraculous!

Acts 2:1-13

      1When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

      5Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8“And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9“Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.” 12And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.”

What an exciting event. I can only imagine being there to experience it. What rejoicing must have been going on among the believers. Such a dramatic event that God Himself brought the crowds. There was no need for advertising or grandstanding. The believers just obeyed Jesus and let God bring the crowds. Then they seized the opportunity, with God’s power, and engaged the people who came for the sake of sharing the good news of the gospel!

All of our best efforts to bring the people to our podium amount to little if the Holy Spirit is not in it. And if God is in it… no one can stop Him. We are to obey God and pray for His Holy Spirit to move us and those to whom He would have us share the gospel.

Romans 8:26-31

      26In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

      28And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

      31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

Scripture consistently shows us that there are many who will just reject God and mock His people. In this case they dismissed the entire miraculous event claiming that the believers must be drunk… which is silly even given that people could clearly understand them speaking in multiple languages. Do not be discouraged when you encounter these mockers. It is not a personal reflection on you as God’s faithful follower, but rather a condition of their heart that they are responsible for changing with the help of the Spirit.

The Lord has instructed us in regards to the wicked and the mockers (also scorners). We do not prosper by listening to their counsel or letting them discourage us but rather by delighting in the law of the Lord and focusing on that day and night!

Psalm 1:1-3 1How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. 3He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.

Be encouraged. Live for God, applying His word to how you live your life. Let the Holy Spirit lead you. Thank God that He has given you eyes to see and ears to hear.

Proverbs 20:12 12The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the LORD has made both of them.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

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No Greater Act of Love

The dreadful treatment that Jesus received up to and including dying on the cross gives us insight into what we deserve for our wrong behaviors and attitudes. He deserved no such treatment. Jesus lived without sin, in perfect obedience to God. God willingly chose to become man in the person of Jesus Christ and to suffer and die for our sins. There is no greater and more clear act of love than to take our punishment in our place. Picture yourself going through this suffering and death instead of Jesus… what would it be like? Then praise God for showing us love, grace, and mercy in taking our punishment for us.

Matthew 27:27-56

Jesus Is Mocked

      27Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him. 28They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. 31After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him.

      32As they were coming out, they found a man of Cyrene named Simon, whom they pressed into service to bear His cross.

The Crucifixion

      33And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull, 34they gave Him wine to drink mixed with gall; and after tasting it, He was unwilling to drink.

      35And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting lots. 36And sitting down, they began to keep watch over Him there. 37And above His head they put up the charge against Him which read, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

      38At that time two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left. 39And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads 40and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, 42“He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. 43“HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words.

      45Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. 46About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” 47And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it, began saying, “This man is calling for Elijah.” 48Immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink. 49But the rest of them said, “Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him.” 50And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

      55Many women were there looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee while ministering to Him. 56Among them was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

There are consequences for our sin, for our wrong behaviors and attitudes. The wages of sin are death, but God offers us mercy and grace through Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:23 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God offers mercy in that He will withhold from us the punishment we deserve if we accept the lordship of Jesus Christ. God offers grace in His offer of eternal life and forgiveness, which we do not deserve. God shows us love by paying accepting upon Himself the punishment we deserve. The consequences of sin had to be dealt with. They could not be ignored.  Jesus suffered for us.

We see also the wicked, who mock and scorn Jesus and those who follow Him. They reject and rebel against God. Ultimately, all shall recognize Jesus as Lord, but for those who reject Him throughout their lives on earth, it will be too late to accept His offer of forgiveness when they stand before Him after they die.

Romans 14:11-12

11For it is written,
“AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME,
AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.”

12So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

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Choose Wisdom or Folly… Many Are Ignorant And Do Not Know It

Proverbs 9 is another scripture in the rich book of Proverbs that makes the case for wisdom. Each of us must decide in our lives whether to pursue true wisdom or folly. The greatest challenge, perhaps, is not related to our level of intelligence. There are many “smart” people who are complete fools. Instead, it is the ability to recognize folly and wisdom. Many are ignorant and do not know it. They are brash and confident… but wrong.

Wisdom has built her house;
    she has carved its seven columns.
She has prepared a great banquet,
    mixed the wines, and set the table.
She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come.
    She calls out from the heights overlooking the city.
“Come in with me,” she urges the simple.
    To those who lack good judgment, she says,
“Come, eat my food,
    and drink the wine I have mixed.
Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live;
    learn to use good judgment.”

Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return.
    Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.
So don’t bother correcting mockers;
    they will only hate you.
But correct the wise,
    and they will love you.
Instruct the wise,
    and they will be even wiser.
Teach the righteous,
    and they will learn even more.

10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom.
    Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.

11 Wisdom will multiply your days
    and add years to your life.
12 If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit.
    If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.

Folly Calls for a Hearing

13 The woman named Folly is brash.
    She is ignorant and doesn’t know it.
14 She sits in her doorway
    on the heights overlooking the city.
15 She calls out to men going by
    who are minding their own business.
16 “Come in with me,” she urges the simple.
    To those who lack good judgment, she says,
17 “Stolen water is refreshing;
    food eaten in secret tastes the best!”
18 But little do they know that the dead are there.
    Her guests are in the depths of the grave.

How are we to recognize wisdom and folly?

10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom.
    Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment

Study God’s word in the Bible and come before Him humbly in prayer.  Validate what the world tells you against the truth of scripture. Receive correction graciously and let it help you to grow in wisdom. If you stand for Jesus Christ and live your life based on Biblical truth, expect to live differently from the world, and be prepared to be mocked because of it.  Be strong and courageous as you stand for God’s instruction and submit to following Him.

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