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Showing posts from September, 2006

Elements of Wisdom - Finances

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"Honor the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine." (Proverbs 3:9-10)


The Lord has so much to teach us about money especially in the book of Proverbs. Someone has said: You can tell a lot about a man’s spirituality by his pocket book. This is an extremely practical way to determine one’s love for God. I will make what would look like a leap, but not really…ready…Tithing. I believe that this verse teaches us principles of giving and specifically about tithing.

When we tithe, we recognize that every monetary blessing comes from God, and we are simply returning to Him what is rightfully His. Next, God deserves our finest or our ‘firstfruits.’ The word ‘increase’ in this verse can also be translated ‘income’ (Strong). Another truth is that we can and should honor the LORD with our ‘substance’ or ‘part from our wealth or riches’ (Strong). It is really “squandero…

Elements of Wisdom - Friends

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"A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." (Pro. 18:24)

If you do not have friends, you have no one to blame but yourself. The verse in Proverbs is clear as can be. Friends can either be an asset or a liability. Someone said, you are who your friends are. I believe that to be true. Selecting friends is a very important choice especially in light of some verses in Proverbs:

"He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed." (Pro. 13:20)

"Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father." (Pro. 28:7)

The pendulum swings both ways. In one extreme some Christians avoid total contact with 'the world,' they protect themselves from 'worldly influences' therefore they do not have any associations with the 'outside' 'world.' They believe themselves to be 'separatists' whe…

Elements of Wisdom - Filial Respect and Responsibilities

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"My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:" (Pro. 1:8)

"My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:" (Pro. 6:20)

"Hearken unto thy father that begot thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old." (Pro. 23:22)



Based on these verses we can say that sons (and daughters for that matter) must be taught to honor his/her parents. Parents are to be instruments of instructions to train their children in the way he should go. We must teach them the importance of honoring their parents. In honoring our parents, we honor God. Pro. 1:8 immediately follows the fear of the LORD (v.7), thus we see that parental relationships are a priority within God's economy. Even the 10 Commandments places the honoring of father and mother immediately after man's responsibilities towards God. Proverbs has some pretty harsh statements about parental disrespect:

"He that wasteth his father, and c…

Elements of Wisdom - The Fear of the Lord

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"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Prov. 1:7)

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." (Pro. 9:10)

The word fear carries the ideas of terror, awe and reverence. In regards to God and the things of God our attitude must be that of reverence. There is very little fear of the Lord nowadays. Many of our young people seem to lack a healthy fear of the Lord. Sometimes even jokes get carried away, thus turning into levity. Some people treat church as though it is nothing but a social club. Whatever happened to the fear of the Lord? Maybe perhaps this is why our day and age is so doctrinally insipid. In looking at the book of Proverbs we find some very practical lessons about the fear of the LORD.

1. The Fear of the LORD is foundational. (9:10) - It is the 'beginning' or the commencement of both knowledge and wisdom. Part of the Old Testament Gospel …

Elements of Wisdom - Introduction

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"The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;" (Prov. 1:1)

Proverbs is a practical book on wisdom. Although there are many themes in the book, as we shall explore, there is a central theme and that is wisdom. Solomon obviously instructed his son in Proverbs, but because of sin he became a bad object lesson contradicting his God-given wisdom in multiplying wives unto himself, among other things. It is absolutely foolish to strive to teach people spiritual truths without living a life that examplifies the truth. I believe there are a few things that could be as damaging to saints as a pastor who lives a double-standard life. The same goes with a parent who desires the best for their kid and yet will not lead by example. Jesus Christ himself did not condemn what the pharisees taught, but rather warned his disciples not to follow what they do (Matt. 23:3). In other words, just like Solomon, they did not have a life that matched their "Bible" lesson. Hypocri…

Some thoughts on Psalm 1:2

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"But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night."
(Ps. 1:2)

A godly man is not just someone who is 'in the book,' rather the book is 'in' him. He considers God's Word, studies it, he is knows that it is worth reading, pondering (which is what 'meditate' means) and applying. I like to collect quaint sayings. Sometimes I even write them in the inside cover of my Bible. In thinking about this verse, a quote from someone 'anonymous' captures verse 2 rather well.

"The Bible in the hand is good,
The Bible in the mind is better,
The Bible in the heart is best,
Never rest till your good is better,
and your better is best."

The Wise and the Foolish (concluding "Labor Day" thoughts)

"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." (Matt. 7:24-27)
Sometimes it gets a little hard to decipher the wise from the foolish because they both 'work' similar activities. In this passage both men were builders. Both must have been 'hard workers.' They both must have had some type of work ethic, high expectation, and a great degree of perseverance to accomplish their building project. It wasn't until after the storm that we see whose house stands mani…

Hearing and Doing (continuing "Labor Day" thoughts)

"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." (Matt. 7:24-27)

Hearing (that is to give audience to, to understand) and doing (i.e. to apply) are both important elements in building a meaningful relationship with God. The 'sayings' of Jesus Christ are the objects that we need to hear. By application we need to take great heed to the Bible, God's Holy Word. When the pastor preaches the Word (as he is instructed to do) - - it is certainly an appointment that can and…

"Labor Day" greetings and thoughts

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I certainly hope that you are enjoying some time together with family and friends. This day is set to commemorate the 'working class' which I think is a noble thing to do. God is certainly a worker, He 'built' all things (see Heb. 3:4), and because we are created in His image, work is a neccesary part of our lives that we must submit to Him, and give Him glory in it.

In Matthew 7 at the conclusion of the "Sermon on the Mount" Jesus summarizes for us the very heart of the matter of Salvation in verses 24-27.

"Therefore whosoeverheareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the flood…

"JACKHAMMER"

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A blog dedicated to 'hammering-out' relevant theological as well as practical issues. This site is managed by three independent Baptist pastors (Kent Brandenburg, Dave Mallinak, and Jeff Voegtlin). Check it out.

Jackhammer