Archive for November, 2008
I love watching “man on the street” type of videos. They can be very eye-opening. I wonder how people would respond to the question, “What does God hate?”
I think we’d hear things like murder, adultery, blasphemy, rape, etc. Today in Proverbs 6, we are given the list of six things God hates:
16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.
Some made the list (murderer or hands that shed innocent blood) but some may surprise you: haughty (which I had to look up – it means “having or showing excessive pride or arrogance”) eyes, liars, wicked heart, lack of self-control, liar (again).
To be honest, I was disappointed that religion didn’t make the list. I suppose it’s a good thing I’m not God!
From the writer’s comment “seven that are detestable to Him”, I get the impression that there is a special emphasis on the last one in the list, which is “a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.” I think we are to be especially vigilant for this type of person. They can do a severe amount of damage in a short time.
Contrast these to the things God loves (found in Galatians chapter 5): love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.
God, I wish to do those things you love. Yet, like Paul writes about in Romans chapter 7, I usually find myself doing the things I hate, and not doing the things I want to be doing. I love Your mercy, God, and declare that I need You more than ever. Help me today to be found doing those things that please You.
grace & peace,
This morning I woke up with the word “freedom” on my mind. Perhaps it had something to do with last night’s election results, perhaps it was not. I wondered if I would find anything in today’s reading in Proverbs chapter 4.
Here is what jumped out at me today:
21 For a man’s ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths
22 The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast.
23 He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.
These verses spoke to me about freedom. A man may think he has freedom apart from God. Yet, his ways are in full view. Just because a man does not choose to believe or follow God’s law, he is still held accountable. Without God’s law, we are not free. We will be bound by our evil deeds. We will be led astray by our own sinful nature (our own great folly).
Do you desire freedom? Then submit yourself to God. It goes against our nature, but that is the sweet irony of a life committed to God.
It reminds me of this passage in Matthew 16:
24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.
Lord, I long for this kind of freedom… a life free of the snare of sin, free to walk with You uninhibited by my own selfish desires.
grace & peace,
Today’s reading brought me to this treasure in Proverbs chapter 4:
23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
God wants our hearts. The heart is the center of our faith and belief in Him. It is the basis for our relationship with our creator:
“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10).
TD Jakes said:
Finally, my brother, guard your heart. The enemy wants to embitter and corrupt you. Guard your heart against contamination by lust and loneliness, bigotry and arrogance, and everything in between. Your enemies may even hide in good deeds done for evil motives. Only you can mount this guard because no other man can discern your motives and intentions.
If Samson had guarded his heart, Delilah wouldn’t have weakened him. Had Samson guarded his heart with the breastplate of righteousness that Paul talked about, he would have continued to be productive in Israel. But in the heat of his passion and the weariness of his life, Samson “told her all his heart” (Judges 16:17). What a tragedy! Samson’s weakness caused him to pollute his heart with lust and loneliness, and he gave it to someone other than God.
Lord, I give You my heart. Help me guard it. Help me to keep it pure and reserved only for You.
grace & peace,
The coolest thing about reading the Bible is how you can read the same passage on two different days and get completely different meaning. Concerning the weight of this week’s Presidential election and all the craziness surrounding McCain vs Obama, I found great comfort in verses 21 through 26 in Proverbs 3 today:
21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight;
22 they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.
23 Then you will go on your way in safety, 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 Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
Lord, Your timing is impecable. Thank You for the comfort of Your words this morning.
grace & peace,