Tag Archives: Prayer

“…who takes away the sin of the world!”

Read Me First

“The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”—John 1:29

—(Elijah) John the Baptist
Matthew 17:11 And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; 12 but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist. 

MY FOCUS

As I focus on these journal entry posts, I learn and understand more about myself and my deepest concern, the salvation of souls. Ever since I’ve heard and believed in the gospel, the question of whether someone is saved or not has always been at the core of my desire to understand. More on that in other posts.

In my previous post, which is a building block to this one, I wrote, “God didn’t create me to be good or evil, or even to be as in-between—under the curse of sin as a sinner while alive by the grace of God to exist separate from Him (And thank God for that!).” Which has compelled me to expound.

GOOD OR EVIL, OBSERVE:

  • Thinking about whether God created me to be good or evil?

I don’t think God created me to be good or evil, meaning there is a difference between ‘knowing good and evil‘ and ‘being good or evil‘. God saw all that He had made, then declared it ‘all‘ as … ‘very good‘; that didn’t mean that what He created innocent from the knowledge of good and evil to be limited by that innocence as programmed robots without risk, eating that fruit to have the knowledge of good and evil, of which existed altogether in harmony with the Lord God in the garden of Eden.

So sin existed in consequence of God warning Adam and Eve not to eat, or surely they would die (Genesis 2:17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”), and since Adam and Eve ate that fruit we all die because God means what He says; God is Holy and Just to execute the punishment deemed worthy of those attributes against His enemies. When mankind disobeyed God, we became enemies of God that reaps the consequences of that disobedience, and so therefore, we all suffer death.

1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

CREATED AS A SINNER?

I’m confident that God didn’t create me to be a sinner, which was what I meant by “in-between”—forever separated from God in the prison of death and Hades if it had-been that Adam ate from the tree of life (Genesis 3:22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—) to live forever in the consequence of our due penalty and present state of death; It would be miserable if this world of suffering … is without end, (Revelation 1:18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.).

Thank God for Jesus taking away the sin of the world!

  • Thinking about what it means to be separated from God?

I know that I’m separated from God through knowledge gained by experience in this flesh and blood of sin and death under the grace of God (1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.) by guilt that is incapable of inheriting the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.). Truth testifies to the death that I am dying as the last enemy to God yet to be abolished by the return of Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.).

SO AGAIN I SAY!

THANK GOD FOR HIS LAMB!

So all that to say that when Jesus took away the sin of the world at the cross as the Lamb of God, all entered into a new covenant of which saves us through faith.

The gift of God does not come without responsibility, that is to say, without repentance; repentance is experienced through much discipline by the Helper—the Holy Spirit (John 14:25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.). (John 16:6 But because I have said these things to you, grief has filled your heart. 7 But I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I am leaving; for if I do not leave, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world regarding sin, and righteousness, and judgment: 9 regarding sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and regarding righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you no longer are going to see Me; 11 and regarding judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.).

Who is the ruler of this world?

I’ll leave that to build on in the next post.

Matthew 17:11 And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; 12 but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.

NATHAN’S JOURNAL 2021 — Winter Storm Uri | VI

I’ve missed you people! Or well I’ve missed the meditative prayerful thoughts of you people when writing! There is a time for everything the Preacher says, and it was time for my writing to be on hold during last week’s winter storm “Uri” for the care of my family. But we’re okay! We’re alive … sort of!

I’ve had a little longer than a week to think about some things, ‘thinking’ can be quite dangerous if not spiritually healthy, and by healthy, I mean, trusting in the Holy Spirit of God to guide, even and especially when nothing makes sense: Like how does – “The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages scheduling on an electric grid carrying 90 percent of Texas’ load.” – resolve the issue of people freezing to death if the math forecasts dead cold temperatures upon us (said playfully to mean a very serious problem)? Not that I’m complaining, necessarily, because my faith is in Christ my Lord and Savior while being Texas proud, but being without power intermittently and for longer than 24hrs in freezing temperatures does cause pause, not to mention caring for someone sick—in a COVID stigmatized nation—to “help” our situation. So … needless to say; I’ve been thinking … “time to go off grid?!”

I did actually think that though, to go off grid, and even brainstormed with Laura (my wife) on how to go about doing that while camped out in our living room with my mother-in-law to try and stay warm. We had candles lit all around us like we’re performing some sort of witch craft or something—”you should’ve seen it! We made my mother-in-law levitate off the couch in subzero temperatures and everything! It was awesome!” (I’m definitely getting in trouble for that joke). But while freezing to death, decided to reach out to every Christian Texan on the cost of going off grid as a way of protest … unfortunately … it would ultimately mean war. That’s me confessing how my thoughts can take shape to form dangerous ideas in the wake of difficult circumstances if not governed by the Holy Spirit of God.

front yard

Anyway, apart from uneducated thoughts, my Christian brothers and sisters did take great care of us while in the midst of this Uri storm. I’m eternally grateful for Christian community! Going on 24+ hrs with no power, a Christian family of close Christian friends invited us into their warm home until our power was restored and remained on. They even took us in at the risk of one of us having COVID.

No one should deny the magnificent beauty through a costly storm as the language of it’s existence declares the scientific presence of God.

neighborhood “park”

This storm called life is not over, and thank God for that! The experience of being alive should not be taken for granted, nor used to deny it’s Author. God is with us no matter what storm we are going through, but will the person reading this trust in the testimony of that truth? Man, I hope so! Jesus died, was buried, and rose on the third day taking away the sin of the world, defeating death! The Word of God is declaring His coming judgement, and if you died today … are you ready? I’m excited to write again, thank You Lord! I’ll leave you with this scripture to think about:

John 16:7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

“Truth without love is ice cold.”

Nathan Dooley

Ecclesiastes 3

So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man | P3-V4

The Rewards of Wisdom

Proverbs 3; I die daily devotional.

 So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man. 


It was at twelve years of age that our Lord stayed at Jerusalem, in the temple, to be about His Father’s business. And in case you think I mean His earthly “father” figure (Joseph), I don’t. It would appear as though Mary and Joseph had left Jesus behind, after all, we ARE talking about raising the Son of God here! I mean what better excuse to be released from such a responsibility of raising the Son of the living God than to leave Him with His “Biological” Father at the temple?

*Mary: Here! It’s your weekend! Good luck!

*God: … Sigh … Ah—Come Onnn!

*Mary and God: (…dialogue…)

*Meanwhile Jesus is in the background revealing the issues of divorce to the Teachers of the Law as they sit and watch with popcorn at the drama between God and Mary.

*Jesus: annnd that’s why I’m not getting married.

*Teachers of the Law: (Luk 2:47 — “…amazed at His understanding and His answers.”) Awwwe, I see…

*Joseph: I knew there was a reason we brought the table we just finished carving out during our journey, gather round, hand me the popcorn … this is gettin good!

But what actually happened was that Jesus stayed behind, He wasn’t left as though forgotten. Jesus understood the nature of His purpose, but Mary and Joseph had yet to understand. Jesus stayed behind in the temple to be with His Father … to be home. Jesus is the true Priest and King of everything, not just in Jerusalem of Israel. God chose Israel for the revelation of His Son, the Lamb of God that took away the sin of the world. Everything the old law represents, culminates, in the flesh and blood of Jesus. We would all be dead in hell if it wasn’t for the grace of God established by the cross of Christ; the old law demands such perfection that none could keep it and live because of the sin that would match the law in its effect, thereby condemning the people obeying the law because of the sin that matched its effect. This is why it was inevitable Christ our Lord, Jesus, would die on the cross. This is why Jesus was predestined for our salvation because there was no other logical way for us to be redeemed from the sin of ONE man! The law can NOT redeem without Jesus. And so now that we have Jesus through the Holy Spirit (upon belief through faith), the gospel makes us alive to a new purpose (born again).

We now possess the capacity to truly repent of sin because of the gift of God!

Luke 2:41 Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.  42 And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast; 43 and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. But His parents were unaware of it, 44 but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a day’s journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem looking for Him. 46 Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. 48 When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” 49 And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them. 51 And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

As a people of God evolving intelligently in the 21st century during a time when the world has connected in a way never thought imaginable, this verse excites me all the more! Jesus is still finding favor today through His Church across the globe, just as He had when in the flesh of His ministry.

Luke 2:52 — And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and  stature, and in favor with God and men.

To have favor with God and humankind is to reveal the commandments written on the tablets of our hearts by believing in the gospel of God. If we do not believe the gospel of God … the commandments will condemn us to hell because we think that it’s the commandments that save. The commandments do not save, Jesus saves because He is the commandments. The commandments testified of Jesus and is how we have eternal life … because we believe in the Person of God that fulfilled the power of the law while taking upon Himself our sin so we can believe in Him.

To believe in Jesus means we have two distinct qualities that make us standout as a separate people (sheep) in the midst of all destructive people (wolves).

  • favor
  • good repute

Favor

We have the favor of God by our testimony of belief in His ONE and ONLY begotten Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Messiah.

GOOD REPUTE

Faith produces sanctification by the help of the Holy Spirit in the believer. This means your entire behavior changes to reflect the gospel while in this life … because the gospel is our good repute … the gospel is Jesus in the flesh of His Bride, the Church.

John 20:26 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus *came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said,  “Peace  be  with you.” 27 Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

The bible is something we see much like Thomas; we can see it, touch it and therefore, believe it. But the bible is not meant to be idolized as to be worshipped; it’s only meant as a compass, guide, and mirror, for all who are drawn to Jesus; Jesus produces our confidence through belief to turn from our sin by repentance, having truly been saved from our present trajectory of hell, to a life everlasting in the name of Jesus! But if we hold to our state of sin that the Word of God convicts in us to change by warning us of the nature it will destine; what then is the consequence? Have you truly believed? Or are you just believing for sheer want of being favored? That is why those of us who believe without the bible, are blessed … because we’ve believed in Jesus, without seeing!


RESOURCE

Proverbs 3 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; 2 For length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you. 3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones. 9 Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine. 11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof, 12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father  corrects the son in whom he delights. 13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding. 14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver And her gain better than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways And all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast. 19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens. 20 By His knowledge the deeps were broken up And the skies drip with dew. 21 My son, let them not vanish from your sight; Keep sound wisdom and discretion, 22 So they will be life to your soul And adornment to your neck. 23 Then you will walk in your way securely And your foot will not stumble. 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Do not be afraid of sudden fear Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; 26 For the LORD will be your confidence And will keep your foot from being caught. 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it, ”When you have it with you. 29 Do not devise harm against your neighbor, While he lives securely beside you. 30 Do not contend with a man without cause, If he has done you no harm. 31 Do not envy a man of violence And do not choose any of his ways. 32 For the devious are an abomination to the LORD; But He is intimate with the upright. 33 The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous. 34 Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the afflicted. 35 The wise will inherit honor, But fools  display dishonor.


COMMENTARY

Chapter 3

Matthew Henry (P3-V4) Commentary
To encourage us to do this we are assured (v. 4) that this is the way to recommend ourselves both to our Creator and fellow-creatures: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding.

1. A good man seeks the favour of God in the first place, is ambitious of the honour of being accepted of the Lord, and he shall find that favour, and with it a good understanding; God will make the best of him, and put a favourable construction upon what he says and does. He shall be owned as one of Wisdom’s children, and shall have praise with God, as one having that good understanding which is ascribed to all those that do his commandments.

2. He wishes to have favour with men also (as Christ had, Lu. 2:52), to be accepted of the multitude of his brethren (Esth. 10:3), and that he shall have; they shall understand him aright, and in his dealings with them he shall appear to be prudent, shall act intelligently and with discretion. He shall have good success (so some translate it), the common effect of good understanding.

III. We must have a continual regard to God’s providence, must own and depend upon it in all our affairs, both by faith and prayer.

Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart | P3-V3

The Rewards of Wisdom

Proverbs 3; I die daily devotional.

3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.


I thank God that we have technology so advanced that we can connect with each other around the world, but not only that, a plethora of information to sift through upon need of instantaneous education on any given subject as even these topics of kindness and truth, only … those principles are not taught by an online inquiry … they’re learned by meditating on the Person of Jesus, our Christ. The only way to develop such principles is by observing the Person of Christ in the churches of God across the globe. You’ll notice all throughout the apostolic testimonies, how they addressed our churches still alive today:

Romans 16:16 — Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

1 Thessalonians 1:1 — Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the  church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

1 Corinthians 16:19 — The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Prisca greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

Galatians 1:2 — and all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:

1 Thessalonians 2:13- — For this reason we also constantly  thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of mere men, but as what it really is, the word of God,  which also is at work in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, 15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all people,

Hebrews 12:23 — to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,

I hope you experience the joy in these words that were sent out from the hearts of churches 2000 years ago to be written on the tablets of our hearts today, right now. I pray you’ll do that. Write to remember the kindness and truth of God, that when you’re addressing people of the faith you’re addressing the Bride of the Lamb. And when addressing the world of sin, you’re proclaiming the good news from your tablets within. By faith we have the Word of God made secure in hope for our salvation, but there might be eyes that see not nor ears that hear not for the glory of God written in you to reveal Him in the name of Jesus.

The churches are still greeting us today … will you hear the kindness and truth of their voices, and see those principles as a favorite necklace around your neck? If you’re reading this … the church from the household of Laura and Nathan greet you.


RESOURCE

Proverbs 3 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; 2 For length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you. 3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones. 9 Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine. 11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof, 12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father  corrects the son in whom he delights. 13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding. 14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver And her gain better than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways And all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast. 19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens. 20 By His knowledge the deeps were broken up And the skies drip with dew. 21 My son, let them not vanish from your sight; Keep sound wisdom and discretion, 22 So they will be life to your soul And adornment to your neck. 23 Then you will walk in your way securely And your foot will not stumble. 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Do not be afraid of sudden fear Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; 26 For the LORD will be your confidence And will keep your foot from being caught. 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it, ”When you have it with you. 29 Do not devise harm against your neighbor, While he lives securely beside you. 30 Do not contend with a man without cause, If he has done you no harm. 31 Do not envy a man of violence And do not choose any of his ways. 32 For the devious are an abomination to the LORD; But He is intimate with the upright. 33 The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous. 34 Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the afflicted. 35 The wise will inherit honor, But fools  display dishonor.


COMMENTARY

Chapter 3

Matthew Henry (P3-V3) Commentary
II. We must have a continual regard to God’s promises, which go along with his precepts, and are to be received, and retained, with them (v. 3): “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee, God’s mercy in promising, and his truth in performing. Do not forfeit these, but live up to them, and preserve thy interest in them; do not forget these, but live upon them, and take the comfort of them. Bind them about thy neck, as the most graceful ornament.’ It is the greatest honour we are capable of in this world to have an interest in the mercy and truth of God. “Write to them upon the table of thy heart, as dear to thee, thy portion, and most delightful entertainment; take a pleasure in applying them and thinking them over.’ Or it may be meant of the mercy and truth which are our duty, piety and sincerity, charity towards men, fidelity towards God. Let these be fixed and commanding principles in thee. To encourage us to do this we are assured (v. 4) that this is the way to recommend ourselves both to our Creator and fellow-creatures: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding.

Because they hated knowledge | P1-V29

Wisdom Warns 

Proverbs 1; I die daily devotional.

29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD.


When I think of the idea of hating knowledge, I think of the apostle Paul telling me… Galatians 6:11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. 12 Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh. I was guilty of this wrong in the past for the comfort of myself, not wanting to share the gospel—to avoid the persecution of the cross—for the sake of my environment mixed with tempting desires to experience in this life, or what’s worse, to share the gospel with words of faith, but a heart filled with fear and want, not actually taking serious the power of the Word—my faith was in vain.

HATED KNOWLEDGE

When I think about my disobedience to God I think of what the bond-servant James says… James 1:21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For 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; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But 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. I ask the question, “Why do people choose not the fear of the Lord?” And then clarity comes, the answers’ so evident, so true; yet here I remain as a man regretful of who I once was… the man in the mirror, until … I looked intently upon the perfect law of liberty. However, there are still those present with us today that choose rather to hate the knowledge of the cross and don’t fear the Lord. Don’t lose hope, keep praying for these people, but remain faithful to respect the justice of God in Christ our Lord. Let’s not fear persecution and keep looking intently at the perfect law of liberty.

  • What do you, and I, think of to be “hated knowledge”?
  • Why do these people choose not the fear of the Lord?
  • Are you and I looking intently at the perfect law of liberty?
  • How can we serve those who hate knowledge?
  • What can we do about those who don’t fear the Lord?

RECOURCE

Proverbs 1 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; To give prudence to the naïve, To the youth knowledge and discretion, 5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, 6 To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.  8 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; 9 Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head And ornaments about your neck. 10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. 11 If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause; 12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, Even whole, as those who go down to the pit; 13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth, We will fill our houses with spoil; 14 Throw in your lot with us, We shall all have one purse,” 15 My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, 16 For their feet run to evil And they hasten to shed blood. 17 Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net In the sight of any bird; 18 But they lie in wait for their own blood; They ambush their own lives. 19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; It takes away the life of its possessors. Wisdom Warns 20 Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; 21 At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: 22 “How long, O naïve ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? 23  “Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 24 “Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; 25 And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof; 26 I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, 27 When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. 28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me, 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD. 30 “They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof. 31 “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices. 32 “For the waywardness of the naïve will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them. 33 “But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”


COMMENTARY

Matthew Henry (P1-V29) Commentary
[4.] Now they are eager upon their own way, and fond of their own devices; but then they will have enough of them (v. 31), according to the proverb, Let men drink as they brew; they shall eat the fruit of their own way; their wages shall be according to their work, and, as was their choice, so shall their doom be, Gal. 6:7, 8. Note,

  • First, There is a natural tendency in sin to destruction, Jam. 1:15. Sinners are certainly miserable if they do but eat the fruit of their own way.
  • Secondly, Those that perish must thank themselves, and can lay no blame upon any other. It is their own device; let them make their boast of it. God chooses their delusions, Isa. 66:4.

Iron sharpens iron

Warnings and Instructions

Proverbs 27; I die daily devotional.

17 Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another. 18 He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit, And he who cares for his master will be honored. 19 As in water face reflects face, So the heart of man reflects man.

I think it has nearly been more than a few years since I was a maintenance engineer of a German company by the name of Gaedeke at a 14-story class double AA office building close to Frisco Tx before leaving to help a friend startup a moving company that will hopefully succeed to achieve the million dollar status projection and then go beyond, but I won’t forget the iron tools used to give keys their identity for a possessor. I was the… “keymaster”! Well it felt that way after watching “The Matrix Reloaded” representing the cause of Neo to save Zion! That was my ambition, to save people from corporations that suck the life blood out of capitalism, but I’d missed the mark by a long shot considering I was engineer to help maintain its present course. That’s time past, my trajectory has changed, or … it’s simply dissolving … expanding rather, in the heat as the iron that represents my soul is forged into a sword that belongs to Christ my Lord.

IRON SHARPENS IRON

Hammering keys into their identity wasn’t all I did, but believe it or not, it was what I enjoyed the most as an engineer. It was during that time that I was inspired to organize what I called… “Salvational Engineering”.

I would pick up trash around my neighborhood with a neon orange or green long sleeve shirt that had “Numbers 21:6-9” and “John 3:12-15” painted on them. And now as I write this devotional out, I especially enjoyed punching those keys into their identity because symbolically that is exactly what Christ is doing with those that believe in the testimony of His Name. As we believers come together to converse the kingdom of God on earth until Jesus come, the Word of God sharpens us into the tool of salvation. A key that proclaims the name of Jesus Christ and the gospel.

IT TAKES TIME

But see, the thing is, it takes what feels like an eternity to make a tool perfect for it purpose. “Why is that?” I think to myself. Well, from my experience it’s because I didn’t start out as a tool in the kingdom of God, but was born as tool of sin that is separated from God until… yes until I decided for myself that I would read the gospel without an indoctrinated view, but purely from a heart willing to believe, and as long as I’m separated from God the pain of death is no more than a tool forged to serve its purpose. Jesus holds the keys!

Rev 1:17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. 19 Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things.

We are now alive to a purpose like that of salvational engineers, ever being trained as blacksmiths to sharpen each other into the Word of God by the name of Jesus Christ. Use us Lord, please. In your name, Jesus. Amen.

  • How do you need to be sharpened?
  • Who are you sharpening?
  • Are you willing to believe?
  • Are you a key of separation or reconciliation?

Resources

Proverbs 27(NASB)—blueletterbible
1 Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth. 2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips. 3 A stone is heavy and the sand weighty, But the provocation of a fool is heavier than both of them. 4 Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, But who can stand before jealousy? Better is open rebuke Than love that is concealed. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. 7 A sated man loathes honey, But to a famished man any bitter thing is sweet. 8 Like a bird that wanders from her nest, So is a man who wanders from his home. 9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad, So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend. 10 Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, And do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother far away. 11 Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad, That I may reply to him who reproaches me. 12 A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, The naïve proceed and pay the penalty. 13 Take his garment when he becomes surety for a stranger; And for an adulterous woman hold him in pledge. 14 He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, It will be reckoned a curse to him. 15 A constant dripping on a day of steady rain And a contentious woman are alike; 16 He who would restrain her restrains the wind, And grasps oil with his right hand. 17 Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another. 18 He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit, And he who cares for his master will be honored. 19 As in water face reflects face, So the heart of man reflects man. 20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied. 21 The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold, And each is tested by the praise accorded him. 22 Though you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, Yet his foolishness will not depart from him. 23 Know well the condition of your flocks, And pay attention to your herds; 24 For riches are not forever, Nor does a crown endure to all generations. 25 When the grass disappears, the new growth is seen, And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in, 26 The lambs will be for your clothing, And the goats will bring the price of a field, 27 And there will be goats’ milk enough for your food, For the food of your household, And sustenance for your maidens.

Why The HECK Should We Pray Anyways?

Let’s read through Luke 18 together.

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” ‭‭Luke‬ 18:1

Always pray. Don’t give up praying. That is the meaning of the parable Jesus is about to tell us. We don’t even need to read it to find the meaning. It’s clear.

When we do read it we find the parable of the unjust judge who provides justice for the widow because she is a persistent (maybe even annoying) person. Jesus is saying to us, if that is what an unjust, powerful official does for their subjects, God will surely bring justice to his chosen ones. 

He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Luke 18: 2-8

A little while after this parable we come to the story of the rich young ruler. A man who would not give up his great wealth and follow Jesus to earn his salvation.

18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’[a]21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” Luke 18:18-26

I feel for the rich young ruler. Immediately after I read this I hesitated to pray, ‘Lord take my riches if that’s what it takes for me to be a true follower of you.’ Clearly – there is still room for sanctification to happen in my heart. But Jesus tells us, “What is impossible with man is possible with God” (Luke 18:27), so there’s hope for me yet.

In fact Jesus goes on to promise us that those who leave everything to follow him will get more than that in this age… and in the age to come. That means in this life and the next! What a promise!? It just takes some trust. 

2“Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.” Luke 18:29-30

At the end of this chapter we see a little bit of a call back to the parable of the unjust judge. A blind man yells at Jesus as he is walking by and continues to call out to him despite others telling him to stop and to be quiet. The blind man is persistent. Jesus hears him. Asks him how he can help. And then gives him sight.

35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. 42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. Luke 18:35-43

Conclusion

Always pray. Don’t give up praying. Our just God will hear you. 


SIN

It’s funny, the featured photo represents the theme well. If you look closely you’ll see little unintended “dots” where I was trying to edit the photo using the “Markup” tool on my iPhone proving that I was “missing the mark” in finalizing the photo. According to the Greek, I “sinned“. Okay, not technically because we’re not dealing with a simple mistake.

It is so much more difficult to try an communicate this understanding on camera than it is to write. But I enjoy the practice, ever learning.

Laying the foundation of spiritual understanding is the practice of putting the desires of your flesh (your life) to death. Because we need to be born again for a new life that will not die. When Adam and Eve “missed the mark” by eating the fruit God commanded them not to eat, they fell short of the glory they once had by not eating that fruit; so they were given over to their choice, which was to die, but that’s not the end.

Adam and Eve were convicted upon hearing the sound of the Lord God among the trees of the garden and hid themselves because they were afraid. Why is that? I believe it’s because they recognized their shame due to enlightenment that fruit possessed. However, they both responded to God’s call. You are also being called. “Where are you?”.

Oracles of God

Featured photo: Ben Jacobi www.bdjphoto.com 

Prayer is a place to go to empty the soul.  Where darkness is not judged by the light; condemned, to Hell.  But is a place to become invisible with God; completely vulnerable, as a child, broken before their parent, trusting it’s going to be okay when reasoning the pain away.  Sometimes the process to mend what was broken…is more painful than when the break itself occurred.  The experience is…  Difficult to bear.  But out of that pain produces character.  Now what of the pain of the Parent/s?  …Having to operate on their broken child screaming and lashing out “IT HURTS” because of the unexpected consequence.  That pain, brings a unique revelation.  God is mending to fix my spiritual brokenness…as my parent.  When I close my eyes to enter the closet of my soul and the darkness of my life closes in around me…  There comes a LIGHT!  That LIGHT reflects the glory of a transformed nature.  A new creation!  The light is operating on me through conviction.  The experience feels like Hell (whatever that place feels like) but just like a child would trust their parent to fix what is broken.  I trust this spiritual process for the sake of my salvation.  Emotions flood the system that produce questions compacted with surrender.  Exclaiming in anguish:  

I DON’T GET IT!!!  I DON’T!!  I DON’T UNDERSTAND!!!  I’M ANGRY!  IM SO ANGRY!!!  IS THIS WHAT LIFE IS!?  WHY WAS I ABUSED!?  WHY WAS I ABANDONED!?  WHY WASN’T I TAUGHT!?  WHY WASN’T THIS EXPLAINED!?  WHERE WAS MY CHOICE!?  MY PROTECTION!? WHAT IS THE POINT!?  I DON’T UNDERSTAND!?  YOU PROMISED!!!  YOU PROMISED!!!  YOU ARE AN ETERNAL GOD AND MY FATHER!  YOU KNEW MY LIFE BEFORE I KNEW MYSELF!  WHAT IS THE REASON FOR THIS PAIN!?  WHAT HAVE I DONE!?  WHAT DID I DO!?  AM I THE DEVIL!?  FORGIVE ME?  PLEASE! WILL YOU FORGIVE ME?  HELP ME!

Ben’s photo so beautifully depicts a difference between the darkness that compliments the light and the darkness on the cabin by the light.  The darkness on the cabin reflect my broken soul.  The light within the cabin is the work of God that has transformed my soul into a spirit that cries out “DAD”!  A evidential condition to every soul claiming Jesus for salvation.  So the experience of our broken lives are not without meaning.  In fact, the meaning for me is this…  Every decision I’ve made right or wrong is consequential.  Coming to the end of myself is the beginning of my existence.  Everything about who I am was nailed to the Only Son of God on His cross.  God is the Heavenly Father of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the Son of God that bore my sinful flesh to the point of His cross.  Jesus obediently accepted to receive the consequence of my sin that should have killed me to Hell.  But not just killed me…  all the world!  Because none is capable of enduring a consequence of that magnitude other than God Himself in Christ Jesus!

Death is the result of sin but not everyone will die because of their Life received by acknowledging Jesus as their reason of and for salvation.  Because no one will be saved by any other name than His.  And, the only way of truly knowing that, is by conviction through the Holy Spirit that seals our fate.  Faith is the evidence of an invisible God at work in the life of a believer.  The evidence is judged by the fruit of our lives  The Holy Spirit of God is our Eternal Law Informant; letting us know we are dying for a reason; and with that understanding, teaching us how to conduct ourselves as a people saved by grace through faith.  God related to us by sending His only Son for our example to follow what pleases Him as our Father.  He was killed by sin at the beginning.  My God and Father knew it would cost the life of His only innocent Son to redeem a guilty one.

I hope that is making sense.  If not I pray you reason with me by going into a secluded place to pray.  And, before you move the tongue of your mind; address God in the Name of Jesus; then communicate about who you are; what’ been done to you and what you’ve done.  Listen with anticipation for His voice…  I promise, He does answer.

Sooo…  There is a man I know who reasoned with God for an example.  He reasoned with God for sake of a city much like the world is today.  I pray the reader will reason with God for the sake of their soul for salvation.  In Jesus Name…  Amen.


“And the LORD said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the LORD. Abraham came near and said, “Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” So the LORD said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.” And Abraham replied, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord, although I am but dust and ashes. Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five, will You destroy the whole city because of five?” And He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” He spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose forty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it on account of the forty.” Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?” And He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” And he said, “Now behold, I have ventured to speak to the Lord; suppose twenty are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the twenty.” Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten.” As soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham the LORD departed, and Abraham returned to his place.”
~ ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭18:20-33