God's Truth In Love

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How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 4:5-9 – Wisdom and The Ornament of Grace

In Advice, Anxiety, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Confusion, Decision Making, Discretion, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Proverbs, Prudence, Renewal, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on August 29, 2018 at 9:00 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. 7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. 9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

It certainly appears that God, through King Solomon, makes it a point to repeat over and over in Proverbs the need for obtaining and applying godly wisdom. How easily we must forget this important aspect of life, otherwise, God would not have seen the need to mention it so often within just one of His books of the Bible, not to mention all the other books of the Bible He saw fit to bring the subject up in (verse 5).

Wisdom, the gathering of godly knowledge, godly understanding, godly insight, learning from your experiences with God, learning about God, His character, His expectations of us, and the application of all of these rolled into one, wisdom, will dramatically change your life for the better if you stick with the practice. Here are just some of the things God has stated in these verses that it will do for you.

Note – All words or phrases found in quotation marks are actual parts of the Hebrew definitions of the word or phrases found in the verses we are examining.

If you continue in that practice mentioned earlier of obtaining godly wisdom and applying godly wisdom and understanding, it will preserve and keep your life. Meaning according to the Hebrew language it will place a “hedge of thrones about” you that will “guard, protect, and attend to” the care and preservation of your life, from the forces without and the forces within that would seek to harm or destroy you (verse 6).

It is easy to understand that godly wisdom applied to a person’s life will enable God’s divine protection from evil forces and the evil actions of other people but understanding how it protects us from ourselves is a bit more difficult to understand.

When we seek, obtain, and apply godly wisdom, and it must be godly wisdom, not the wisdom of the world or man, it instills in us an alarm that sounds via the Holy Spirit when we should “beware” or ‘be circumspect” or “take heed to ourselves” or be cautious to “keep ourselves” on the “narrow path” being ever so careful to “observe” our motives, desires, and actions to ensure we are walking in wisdom. We are required by God to be our own “watchman” with the aide of the Holy Spirit, to see to it that we are walking in the Wisdom of God. To “obey” God and His godly wisdom is to allow Him to “keep” us by His Wisdom. This is what it is to be preserved and kept by wisdom (verse 6).

Verse seven makes it clear that in order to walk in that care and protection a person must make godly wisdom “principal” in their life. For something to be principal means it holds the highest of rank, according to the Hebrew “the first, in place, in time, order or rank – among our firstfruits.” Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines principal as, “a matter or thing of primary importance.”

Godly wisdom must take priority over our own ideas, our own desires, our own thoughts about what is best, worldly wisdom, ideas or principles set down by man regardless of how worthy those principles might be, and godly wisdom must take priority regardless of what other people think is best for us. In order for godly wisdom to preserve and keep you properly it must be your number one source of instruction for how you will choose to live your life and make your decisions (verse 7).

Once we have truly embraced godly wisdom and are applying it consistently to our life, we can expect to see the benefits that God has ordained for those who listen to Him and apply His Wisdom. Wisdom will bring promotion and honor to the life that embraces living by its principles (verse 8).

The Hebrew language makes it clear that to be promoted by Wisdom through God is to “rise and be raised in a variety of application both literally and figuratively – to bring up and exalt, to extol honor.” That “honour,” honor that comes from God as a result of applying wisdom will “bring a weighty richness” to life that results in God’s ‘glory being able to shine through your life’(verses 8 and 9).

Application of wisdom results in living a “noble” life where you “prevail” thanks to God’s “ornament of grace” that He has placed upon you because you have chosen to “obey” Him in obtaining and applying godly wisdom (verses 6, 7, 8, and 9).

An “ornament of grace” how splendid! Grace become “attached to” a person who embraces godly wisdom and applies godly wisdom (verse 9).

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

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Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 9 – Abuse and The Church (Mental and Emotional Abuse)

In Abuse, Advice, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Christian Living, Church Growth, Confusion, Depression, Exhortation, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Persecution, Renewal, Repentance, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Suffering, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized on August 22, 2018 at 9:00 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

Mental abuse is much more subtle. Harder to spot and much harder to get help with once realized. This type of abuse can be found in the hard and harsh corrections, which have gone in the name of Christ. Abuses disguised either as a form of church discipline or under the guise of being motivated and directed by God to correct a person and proceeding to do so in a horribly cruel manner. Threats and insinuations that are meant to wound more than help. Often bringing about confusion and despair to the hearer instead of repentance, help, and healing.

Yes, there are times when a harsh or hard to listen to Word is spoken in the name of Christ for the edification of the Body of Christ. These postings is one of those times. However, when that word leaves the hearer[s] mentally beaten and bloody with no hope for or direction to change it is useless and can even be an instrument of the devil to further damage the church.

Shunning when used improperly, which it often is, is very much a form of mental and emotional abuse. People look to their local congregations, as a source of community, which they should, and it should be. However, if someone with enough clout and persuasion becomes displeased with a person they can sow seeds of discord with other people and bring about a shunning or rejection of this person. Rejection by a person’s Christian Community can be extremely emotionally and mentally damaging. The Church is Christ representative on earth and we should seek reconciliation and unity. Using rejection as a form of manipulation in order to get what we want from another brings shame on the Body of Christ. Sowing seed of discord through gossip is sinful behavior, which Scripture condemns (Prov. 6:14,19 and 1 Tim. 5:13).

Gossip is a hideous form of emotional abuse. Gossip is a huge problem in any group but is deeply rooted in the Christian Community. People find it easier to talk about people than to talk to people when they feel threatened or concerned. If you carefully examine the content and nature of gossip you find that the gossiper is feeling quite threatened by the person, about which they are gossiping. Often these feeling of intimidation are not realistic or warranted but it is hard to get the gossiper to understand that truth. They must tear the other person down, so they can feel better.

Additionally, you have the classic, ‘I share this, so we might pray for…’ gossipers. I have never had one of these people ask me when they were done sharing their information if we could pray right now for that person. I have my doubts whether they have ever prayed for that person. I find it is best, and I have gotten to where, I cut these people off immediately when they first begin to attempt the conversation. Most of the time the agenda is not one you want to share in.

Emotional abuse can come in other forms as well. Manipulation is a common form of emotional abuse. People have a very tough time being forthright about their wants, needs, and desires. Instead, they choose various forms of manipulation to get what they want. From something as subtle as asking leading questions to find out what one wants to know, instead of asking directly, to acts of extreme manipulation such as attempting to interfere behind someone back and rearrange their circumstances for their own good. These types of manipulations leave people emotionally scarred by the treatment.

Next, we will address spiritual abuse. In my view the worse possible form of abuse found within the Christian community, as to affect someone spiritually is to enter God’s area and sphere of influence and sinning against a person in this area is by far the worse.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

How Do We Make Godly Decisions? – Study of Proverbs 4:1-4 – Two Father’s Words

In Advice, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian Living, Decision Making, Discretion, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Proverbs, Prudence, Trust, Uncategorized, Wisdom on August 15, 2018 at 9:00 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

The Scripture passages are identified with bold upright font and the author’s notes are identified with italic regular font.

1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 3 For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. 4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

Two Father’s Words

In these verses both the earthly father and the Heavenly Father are represented. Earthly fathers can falter and fail but our Heavenly Father’s wisdom is always above reproach.

In these writing God was and is imparting His Wisdom to His children through the avenue of King Solomon sharing wisdom with his earthly son. As previously stated, King Solomon was the wises man to ever live, having obtained his wisdom directly from God when God told Solomon to ask Him for anything Solomon wanted, and God would give it to him. Solomon asked for godly wisdom and he got godly wisdom and much more.

The wisdom in this book, Proverbs, is fail-proof. As verse two indicates it is its own form of doctrine. Wisdom is a spiritual law, a law with cause and effect, it works regardless. Therefore, we must embrace the wisdom of our earthly fathers and most importantly our Heavenly Father.

It is not enough just to obtain wisdom, we must also apply wisdom. We are to ‘keep the commandments’ once we know them. Unapplied knowledge is useless knowledge, it is knowledge for knowledge sake, worthless.

Note – All words or phrases found in quotation marks are actual parts of the Hebrew definition.

In verse four it states to “Let thine heart retain” wisdom. When the Hebrew definition of the word “retain” is researched one finds that to retain wisdom is to allow it “to sustain” you, “by implication to obtain, keep fast” what you have learned from wisdom, and “ figuratively to allow wisdom “to help” you, as you “follow close” to its instruction. Wisdom will “hold you up, “maintain” your life, and help you “stay up” and keep from falling.

Verse four makes it clear the results of obtaining and adhering to wisdom is that one will “live” – truly live – as God intended.

I will leave you with the Hebrew definition of the last phrase in verse four, “and live” so you might have a greater understanding of the living one can do when they obtain, retain, and adhere to godly wisdom.

“and live” in the Hebrew language is defined as follows:

2421. חָיָה châyâh, khaw-yaw’; a prim. root [comp. 2331, 2421]; to live, whether literally or figuratively; causative to revive:— keep (leave, make) alive, × certainly, give (promise) life, (let, suffer to) live, nourish up, preserve (alive), quicken, recover, repair, restore (to life), revive, (× God) save (alive, life, lives), × surely, be whole.

I do not know about you, but I know I certainly want to be given the promise life from God, and to be revived in my life and spirit. I want to have my life preserved by God while allowing Him to recover, repair, and restore to life the damaged areas. Most of all I want to “surely be whole” in every conceivable way.

Throughout this study if you need the wisdom of God on a matter, and you wish to receive the counsel of another Believer in Christ, please use the “comments” link to send your question to me.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Why My Church is NOT Growing – Part 8 – Abuse and The Church (Physical Abuse)

In Abuse, Advice, Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christ, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Church Growth, Compassion, Confusion, Courage, Evil, Exhortation, Forgiveness, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Masculinity, Mercy, Persecution, Renewal, Repentance, Suffering, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized on August 9, 2018 at 11:16 am

This blog will alternate with each post between two subjects. One week will address why churches are not growing, and the coming move of God. The alternate week the blog will continue with the in-depth study through the Book of Proverbs.

Physical abuse also takes place within the walls of our congregations. I have personally read outlines for physical disciple of wives. I have heard the stories of children being physically abused under the guidelines of church discipline. There is no place within the church for the physical abuse of another human being.

In an outline for how to discipline your wife, it was stated that if a woman would not submit to her husband then a certain amount of physical discipline could be used. You could inflict pain but where not to bring about too much bruising, no lacerations, and you were not to break bones. This physical abuse would be increased in nature until the woman “repented” and submitted regardless of how long it took or how many sessions of discipline were necessary to bring about the woman’s change of attitude. These sessions could not however result in broken bones or cuts on the woman’s body.

How horrid that a person would believe that they had the right to inflict physical pain on a woman until she agreed to agree with them! How could one possibly believe that this is real submission? Conformity maybe, submission no.

I once counseled a woman who would not enter a church building. When we started our relationship, she hated the church and all its members. When we were done she still had not entered a church building but was willing to give God another try and Christians a second glance.

Why did this woman have such a hard attitude? She had loved God very dearly and was an extremely dedicated church member, as was her husband who was an elder in their local church. Each Sunday they went to church, worshipped God, and serviced in their congregation. Each Sunday after church they went home where her husband proceeded to beat her. Like clockwork every Sunday after church he would beat her that way she would be healed up enough by the following Sunday to attend church and play the role of his faithful wife always at his side.

My heart broke when she told her story. It was obviously true and very difficult for her to disclose to me, yet, she found the courage to do so. As time went on this woman’s pain eased and her understanding that not all Christians were this way increased.

At a conference once, a woman was struggling with guilt. She felt inside herself that she had allowed her child to be abused but she was wrestling with the biblical principle that she was to submit to her spiritual leaders. In her church children were brought up to the front, next to the pulpit, and physically struck with a belt by the pastor for various infractions at both church and home. The number of licks they received from the belt depended on the degree of their offense. This woman was riddled with confusion and guilt, this was after all how their congregation handled discipline. Everyone else did it and everyone was afraid to question their Christian spiritual leader since this might be viewed as be rebellious or as a refusal to submit. The church and local congregations should play no role in the physical discipline of children.

It takes courage to speak up when we know physical abuse is going on in our congregations. It is easier to tell ourselves it is not our business. How can that be true however? Do we not carry a certain amount of Christian responsibility and accountability with our brothers and sisters? According to Scripture we do. We are required to hold each other accountable for our actions. There must have been someone at some point who suspected this woman was being abused or even knew firsthand she was being mistreated. Many people sat in the pews on those days when the children were humiliated and physically abused in the name of God and correction. There had to some of people who knew in their spirits that this behavior was wrong, yet, they remained silent. We cannot do such, we must speak up! We cannot allow leaders to go off the rails because we are concerned other Christians will think us out of line or rebellious. Our responsibility is to Truth and too upholding the principles of Scripture not to uphold man or man’s ideas.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers, and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.