Today we begin our walk through the book of Proverbs. Beloved, know this truth that will guide you step by step through life: “It All Begins with Fearing the Lord“
Every person has a life journey that ultimately leads to everlasting comfort and peace or eternal destruction. Proverbs is in the Holy Scriptures to help us understand the meaning of life through practical examples and also riddles.
Solomon will instruct us how to discern the fool and the wise man. Thus, Proverbs is a book to garner the unbeliever’s attention to see how he is wallowing in his foolishness and how to turn from his wicked ways to become wise. “Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.”
The book of Proverbs will help us learn three things: wisdom, moral instruction (correction or discipline), and how to discern wise counsel. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding and acknowledge him in all your ways…”
As we walk through Proverbs, allow the Holy Spirit to train you practically to discern good and evil.
Thus today we choose [Prov 1:7] as our verse for today:
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of discernment or knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
What verse jumped out at you as you read, and what verse are you meditating on for today?
Jesus told a parable of the Pharisee and the publican. The Pharisee, in his boasting, left his time of worship just as he came, unforgiven and unloved by God. The publican in his humility left his time of worship full of joy because the Father God saw his heart. This is where the intellectually wise and the simple fool part ways. If truth be told, sometimes we find ourselves wearing the shoes of one or the other.
We need discernment to decide the character of each before us. There is the Pharisee; loud, prideful and pushy who can’t see beyond their noses; speaking gracious words that belie what they really think. They are only wise in their own opinion. It is certain that there is more hope for a fool than them.
There is the publican graciously waiting his turn in the line of the faithful as Esther did. She waited patiently to seek the ear of the king and see the scepter extended her way.
The Father God sees it all.
He sees through the Pharisees words as evil deceit from a lying tongue and a flattering mouth—all of which will bring down their ruin. Beware of them. Like the rich man in Luke 16, their earthly pomposity will lead them to the eternal pit of hell where they will look over and see the humble, basking in Paradise.
Who Am I? Who are you? One day we will stand before the wisest king who will hand down his judgments. Ask God now to:
The One who has the sharp two-edged sword speaks and says “remain faithful as Antipas.” [Revelation 2]
Just as then, today there are the faithful in their stand for Christ and do not deny the name of Christ. However, just as then, these had to navigate and choose the road that is narrow because they lived and moved amongst those who are part of the kingdom of darkness. The false teachers had infiltrated with and were accepting of immorality. They, like many today, were failing to rebuke these teachers who espoused false doctrine. Although still bearing the title of being Christ’s church they were not rebuking and removing these teachers. And unlike the church at Ephesus who hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans, this church was in danger of being like the frog placed in cold water which slowly dies when the heat is elevated. The danger is real and very present for these Pergamum believers and why Christ calls them to be like the Bereans to be discerning. Christ called them with His two-edged sword to repent and to remove the stumbling blocks that cause others to go astray.
Father God, today our churches are being assaulted by those who are the “pc” police. They seek to water down the truth of the gospel message and seek to cause our little ones to stumble. Give us Your spirit of discernment so that we may not compromise but be like Antipas who was faithful even to the point of death.
Hebrews chapter 5: The author of Hebrews has not been remiss to remind the reader that even though they are facing persecution and difficulty in their lives they should beware of drifting and disbelief which is part of the disease of the deadly d’s.
Christ is supremely appointed as our high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. He is and was the perfect Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. As the Son, Jesus is superior to angels, superior to Moses and now superior to Aaron. And yet in his humanity he suffered, prayed deeply, was tempted yet without sin. This is why he could “[become] the source of [our] eternal salvation.”
The next deadly d has to do with diet. The readers were still infants feeding upon milk, the basic principles of the gospel and not feeding upon the meat of the Word. They knew Jn 3:16 but not the greater implication. They were like the disciples who over and over asked: “what does he mean?” They should have been teachers but just want their ears tickled. Instead of hungering, thirsting and being trained to discern truth from error they were satisfied just being spectators leaving the study of the scriptures to others. We see them today in our churches. They come faithfully to service but do not attend classes for instruction and fellowship. They may have accepted the WORD but are not feeding upon the WORD.
We need to be asking if we too are failing. Do I hunger for the solid food of the Word? Can I discern truth from error? Am I obeying Matt 28: “go and make disciples?”
This chapter has two definite sections: vs 1-6 warnings about those who are false and vs 7-21 living out the faith in love. We must remember that John was called the “son of thunder” by Jesus for a reason. He was headstrong, impulsive and quick to make judgments. He learned from the Savior how to be discerning and now wants his “friends” and “children” to also be wise and discerning. The author of Hebrews tells us that only those who are mature in the Word are able to distinguish or discern truth from error. John is saying to his beloved followers and to us there are several ways you can discern who is a true follower/teacher/prophet and one who is false.
Often when we are faced with discernment it seems like we are walking in a maze. Distinguish truth by words, not works. What is said when you ask “Who is Jesus.” Is he is “the” Christ come in the flesh; lived, died and rose again according to the scriptures (1Cor 15); the one who atoned for sin? Listen with a discerning ear.
The second say is to distinguish by their life. Follow the Holy Spirit’s leading and observe their life. “The love of God displayed in His people is the strongest apologetic that God has in the world.” [Bruce].
The Holy Spirit will not lead you astray; love is the end of this maze.