Considering Proverbs 8:24

24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.

Genesis opens with:

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

On the second day of creation, God divided the waters and created a separation of heaven and earth. On the third day of creation, God gathered the waters upon the earth and dry land appeared.

John 1 says:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

He was in the beginning with God. 

All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

What if we were to look at this verse in Proverbs in-terms of Jesus and His relationship to us?

How does this show the love of God towards us and reflect the testimony of Jesus? Why was it wise for God to establish the creation in such a way?

Here are my thoughts:

God could have made a creation of darkness and no light, but He didn’t.

God could have made a creation that could sustain life without water, but He didn’t.

God could have made an earth with only fountains and pools of fresh water and no salty oceans, but He didn’t.

Just like the creation was without shape and void before the Spirit moved upon the face of the earth, so were we before the Light of Christ entered our life.

Jesus works in us, shaping us, conforming us to the will of God as adopted sons of God. Jesus is the beginning and end of our salvation, and without Him, we are nothing and we can do nothing. Without Jesus, we are separated from God, just as far from Him as the earth from the vastness of the heavens.

Just like a creation without fresh fountains of water, so were we before Jesus came into our life.

Without Jesus, we are like the desert with no water. We are thirsty, looking for something to bring life and meaning to us. As children of God, finding Jesus is the most refreshing thing there is. Jesus is called the fountain of life. He says that whosoever drinks from Him will never thirst. The Holy Spirit is compared to a well of living waters that springs up within us, unto ever-lasting life. In the eternity, we are given access to the river of life, freely.

God made is so that life cannot exist without fresh water. When we want to look for signs of life, that is the first thing we try to find. In like manner, Jesus is Life.

What about the depths of the oceans?

The sea is deep, dark, and dangerous. We can compare the depths of the sea to sin and death. Without the fresh water of Jesus, we would have nothing but dead water to drink.

We can also consider that God created the earth to be dangerous, filled with depths of knowledge that we cannot comprehend. Knowledge can lead to death as well as life, just as the ocean is a deadly thing, yet full of much life and mystery.

Man expends countless amounts of time and energy attempting to understand the creation, and we have barely scratched the surface. What’s worse is that for all our attempting to know the creation, many fail to know God. In-fact, many are so caught up in knowledge of the world that they are blind to God, because God is spirit and the world is flesh.

The oceans also make me think of God. God is not darkness, but He is hidden in the darkness. Who can pierce the depths and know God? Just as the oceans, God is also dangerous. Knowing Him can bring life, but also death. We cannot approach God and live—not without Jesus.

This is amazing to consider! God could have created the world in so many ways, but He chose this way. What does this mean for us? How can we see the love and wisdom of God in Jesus Christ through the creation of fresh water and oceans?

Sorry if these thoughts are scattered and confusing. I’m not as eloquent with this as I’d like to be. What are your thoughts?

Considering Proverbs 8:22-23

22 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

The subject of these verses is wisdom personified, and in this we can see that all things are set in motion according to God’s will and wisdom—and this is not just any creation—God is deeply invested in the lives of those He loves. So much so that He died for us.  

All of the creation speaks of the wisdom of God and His love towards us through His Son.

We will spend the next several days considering the above idea as we continue looking at Proverbs 8.

If we ever feel in doubt of God’s love for us, it might help if we consider that God had a plan for us before the creation was established, and the purpose of all creation is to raise the children of God.

If we ever feel afraid, we can find peace in knowing that God is in absolute control and His purposes are good. All things are working together for the good of the children of God, even the hard things.

Many Christians go through times of struggle, doubting that God could love them, that His mercy is for them, and that He cares enough to forgive them of sin and act powerfully in their lives.

Many Christians go through times of fear, worrying that the bad things happening to them means that God has forsaken them. Many Christians read about the stark judgments of God and warnings against unfaithful Christians then begin to fear that they will somehow fail as a Christian.

If we believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died for our sins and rose again, then we are Christians. We might be young Christians that need to grow in faith our we might be older Christians going through a trying time, but we should not lose hope.

Sometimes all we have is a very basic faith in the facts of Jesus, and sometimes God allows us to be stripped of all but these basics so that He can build us up again stronger.

Take whatever amount of faith you have, and don’t let go of it. Do not doubt that salvation is for you. Regardless of what we have done or where we are in life, it is always better to throw ourselves at His mercy and trust in His love for us rather than focus on His judgment and wrath.

The judgment and wrath of God is for unbelievers. As Christians, we do not expect wrath. However, we can expect chastisement, and this can feel like wrath depending on the level of the chastisement.

Though God chastises us as sons, and this can mean going through painful experiences that can try our faith to the core, we should not lose hope in God’s love for us and perfect will in all things.

There are unbelievers who claim the name of Jesus, and there are teachings that can lead to an unprofitable and unfaithful Christianity. I know because I fell for such things. Most importantly, I also know that God will not leave any of His “lost sheep” behind.

If we belong to Him, He will draw us closer to Him. He will not allow us to continue in unbelief and unprofitability in the things of His Kingdom.

So, let’s focus on the love of God, the patience of God, and the wise purposes of God in all things that work together for our good.

Suggested scripture for study: Hebrews 2, Ephesians 4, Romans 9, 1 John 4, Hebrews 12

Considering Proverbs 8:18-21

18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.

19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.

20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.

If we are upright people who deal honestly with others and work hard, then it is possible for us to build something valuable in this world—as of now in the United States.

However, Jesus makes mention of a better, more durable kind of wealth that we can pursue.

Jesus said:

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:19-21).

People will steal everything we have because of envy, self-righteous indignation, and entitlement. If this causes mass poverty in the United States and in the world, Christians can take comfort in the above idea.

This world can take everything of the world from us, but they can take nothing of the Kingdom of God from us.

It is crucial that Christians are built up in the things of the Kingdom of God, especially when times of trouble arise.

How can we build ourselves and others up in the things of the Kingdom of God, and what does that look like?

I believe this looks a lot like verse 20 from the above section of the Proverbs. We should “lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment.”

If we build ourselves up in the teachings of Jesus—which are righteousness and sound judgment—then we will have everything we need to withstand great troubles and temptations.

We will learn to discern evil from good, not according to the confusion of man but according to the light of Christ. We will love what is right and good, and the more this way of living becomes natural to us the easier it will be to stand firm in these things—even when the rest of the world is going in the other direction.

We will learn what our Lord, Jesus is really about, so that we do not fall for imposters. We will follow the warnings He gave about imposters and how we can spot them—which is to judge the “fruit” of what they bring. We cannot judge “fruit” if we do not know how to properly discern good from evil and if we do not have understanding of basic Christian doctrines.

I take comfort in knowing that the ultimate preparedness against any threat we face rests in the grace and mercy of God. However, I am concerned for Christians in the United States.

Why am I concerned?

I am concerned because the love of money often overshadows love for the things of the Kingdom of God. I am concerned because there are common Christian teachings that are not correct, or at least partially incorrect or incomplete, and these common teachings can easily be used by the enemy to deceive.

I am concerned because many Christians seem to fall for social ploys that call good evil and evil good. I am concerned because many Christians fawn over pastors and prophets who do not teach things of real substance that will stand in times of trouble (2 Peter 2).

I don’t suggest “forsaking the gathering together,” but I do strongly suggest building yourself up in Christ with the goal of placing Jesus and His truth first, no matter what the consequences might be socially.

Above all things, talk to Jesus often. If He really knows us and if we have a relationship with Him, He will teach us and we will grow stronger in our faith. I strongly believe that Jesus is merciful to much misunderstanding, especially if we trust in Him.

However, there are some misunderstandings that are especially disastrous—the most critical in my estimation being the carelessness wherewith many claim the name of Jesus.

If we call ourselves Christians, then we take the name of Jesus upon ourselves. We wear His blood also. If we take His name and wear His blood without regard for living a righteous life, then something is off about our faith. We are taking Him for granted, and that is not love towards Him. How can we say that He is with us if we do not love Him?

We should care about what Jesus teaches, how He wants a Christian to live, and we should put Him first above all things or grow in this regard. We can all grow in these things, and we all struggle because the flesh is weak. However, Jesus said that “it is expedient for you that I go away” so that He could send the Holy Spirit. We need the Spirit within us because the Spirit brings the Kingdom of God to our hearts.

There are differing ideas about a Christian receiving the Holy Spirit, and I don’t think this has to go just one way. I have been confused by some of the things I have seen in charismatic churches. I have been confused by some of the things I have seen in cessationist churches. I think my beliefs fall some place in the middle—as with most things. I think my next article series will deal with this.

The takeaway here is this:

Remember what Jesus teaches about the importance and value of the Kingdom of Heaven and build yourself up there. We all need a measure of prosperity in this world, but that should not be our focus. Our focus should be Jesus and all that He has to offer—which is much. So much that there is no end of seeking Him and building treasures that will never be taken from us.

These treasures prepare us for times of trouble, making us strong in Him so that we can withstand temptations faithfully. This is so important, and I strongly believe that Christianity in the United States is sorely lacking in that which builds up and makes us able to stand in that day.

Therefore I encourage every Christian, regardless of how sincere and long you have been in the faith, the read your Bible and study strongly for yourself.

Maybe you can do like I did. Make a list of every core doctrine you believe. Get a pack of highlighters, assign each teaching a color, then comb through the entire New Testament, highlighting verses that pertain to these doctrines. Do so honestly, even when you come across something that seems to contradict. Once you have been through a couple times, gather the like-colored scriptures and see what you can see, and most importantly, pray about it.

Knowing good teaching is important, and since we have the scriptures we have responsibility to study. Trusting in our denomination leads to our demise because we place man above Jesus.

Our denominations will fall, just as all things that are exalted above Him must fall so that His kingdom can reign. How do they fall? They fall when the false Christ comes and persecutes Christians, and we carelessly welcome this when we place man above Jesus, this world above the Kingdom of God, and take the name of Jesus upon us without proper respect and love towards Him.

 That is a hard truth, but this is the cycle that repeats over and over again.

Do I think you should listen to me? I think you should, but I don’t want to be just another ruler over people. I want Jesus to be your ruler. I want you to seek Him above all else. I want to encourage every Christian to learn from Him above all denominational teachings and grow in His righteousness and judgments. He will cause you to “inherit substance” and He will “fill your treasures.”

If I can be of any assistance, or if you are concerned for me and think I am confused or deceived, don’t hesitate to reach out. I love talking about the things of the Kingdom of God, and I appreciate those who are the same even if we disagree.

Considering Proverbs 8:17

17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

This verse makes me think of something that is somewhat controversial, but if we can consider this idea openly and conscientiously, then I think we will find that we believe in this idea already.

The idea I refer to is actionable faith—or faith that is shown through works. I know, “works” is a dirty word among many Christians. I understand why. We are not saved by our works. It is not possible for us to be good enough to earn eternal life. We are saved by the grace of God through our faith in Jesus.

However, faith, once given of grace by God, will produce many good works within us.

I think of it this way: Jesus teaches that there are two kinds of reality. There is reality in the spirit and there is reality in the flesh. For example, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. That which is in the heart is spirit, and that which comes out of the person is the flesh.

If our hearts are full of faith in Jesus, then there is no way that our actions fail to follow in like manner—not because we are earning salvation—but because we believe that Jesus is real and alive.

If we believe in Jesus, then we will seek Him. As we seek Him, we will find Him. As we find Him, He reveals things to us, changes us, and uses us for His good purposes—which are many good works—all to the praise and honor of Jesus alone.

However, because Jesus is abundantly gracious and because it is the “Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom,” we also receive a kind of honor from Jesus. Our glory is to bring Him glory, both in this world and in the Kingdom to come.

I want to encourage everyone to seek Jesus diligently. There are many things we can seek of Jesus, and each person can ask according to their unique need. Wisdom is one thing we can seek, and this is an important thing to ask of Him because wisdom provides us with the ability to apply the ways of Jesus to our lives more effectually.

Seeking wisdom is the topic of this proverb, but let us consider all things we can seek of Jesus. What is on your heart most of all?

Maybe you aren’t sure who Jesus is and you want to know Him. That is a good starting point. Maybe you want to understand the scriptures. Maybe you want to find the will of God for your life. Maybe you need strength to continue down the path that God put before you.

Wherever we are in our Christian journey—whether at the beginning or nearing our end—we always need to seek Jesus, and if we seek Him first and foremost, He will direct us.

You might wonder, how does Jesus direct us? How do I know if I am hearing Him? I know I wondered about that. All I can do is share my experiences.

I was raised a Christian, but I was not always serious about it. I was very depressed and confused. I did not know which version of Christianity I should believe in, or if Jesus was really hearing me at all. I asked to know what was true, even if I did not like it. This led me to a bible study series. I learned of the teachings of Jesus, and I wanted to apply these to my life. I saw that I could not possibly order my life according to His ways because my nature was in direct opposition. I learned that the Holy Spirit could be given to me in a meaningful way, so I started praying for that.

I received the Holy Spirit about a year later (I think I wrote something about it being two years. I was counting the years—2014 to 2016—without stopping to think that I began seeking towards the end of 2014. It felt like two years, but it was closer to one year. It felt like a very long time because I wanted it badly, and I asked nearly every day. I take that as an example of earnest and continual seeking. We are rewarded accordingly very often, but ultimately the measure of God’s grace towards us and His purposes are the cause. For some, waiting a long time provided a needful lesson that can help others.

Once I received the Spirit, having a critical nature that wanted to understand everything and know what God wants from Christians, I started seeking those answers. I did not know what I was really asking for, however. I did not know that learning of these things would mean going through a lot of trial and errors, so that I could make mistakes and learn the hard way. I did not know that I would have to face the weakest aspects of myself in order to be faithful to that which I was given.

I know that those who seek will find—but the process of finding that which we seek might challenge us to our very core. This makes us strong, and this shows us that faith that is fruitful will have an effect. There is no such thing as faith without works. Faith plus nothing is death, because there is no way that faith does not at least inspire us to know who Jesus is, and our lives will change as a result.

The point is this: Seek Jesus and if you are sincere, and if that which you seek is in alignment for what God wants, you will get it. Once you receive it, you will grow in faithfulness to that which you received as you learn to listen to the Spirit and be guided of Him. Following the Spirit is a harder thing to explain, and I think this is best learned through personal experience. I believe that the Spirit can act on us in a variety of ways.

In any case, it is a good idea to consider what you are asking for if you are able. Is it worth the price you might have to pay?

Salvation is free, but service is not.

We can seek many things according to our heart’s desire. However, I believe that our heart’s desire was preordained by our Creator, so all things are His will.

What do you desire of Jesus? Seek Him and find it.

Prepare to have your world changed, maybe even shattered and rebuilt. But know that Jesus is kind and wise, and though He does allow us to go through necessary pain at times, He will provide us with the ability to carry on.

This is not the easy-peasy Christian message that many people like to hear, but it is true. We cannot earn our salvation, but when we receive salvation, we also enter the service of Jesus. We have a part to play in His kingdom, now and in the eternity. This service produces works—work for Jesus to bring Him glory as He works in us, changing us into His likeness according to His purposes for us.

We are all on the same path as Christians, but we each have our own walk to take. We each have something of Jesus that we must seek, and if we seek, we will find. Once found, we will have purpose in this world and in the world to come—and I know purpose and place is something humanity craves. This world has much purpose and place to offer—but these often lead to destruction. Jesus offers purpose and place of life—even everlasting life in His kingdom.

Hebrews 11

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

For by it the elders obtained a good report.

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.

24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;

25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.

34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:

37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;

38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

If you want to learn more about Christian faith, this series might be helpful for you:

No Enabling in Love

If we have faith in the love of God towards us, then we know that we can trust in Him without fear of condemnation. However, because God loves us, He will not allow us to continue in destruction. Because He first loved us and we love Him, we will not condone or excuse sin within ourselves. Because we love our brethren, we will not condone or excuse sin in them.

Sin is destructive and the result of all sin is death. If we love people, we will not enable them to continue in sin. What keeps us from speaking up against sin? Is this not fear?

Do we fear upsetting people or making people mad at us more than we love the person who is behaving destructively?

It is good to be compassionate towards people. We should not get enjoyment from calling out the sins of others. If we feel a sense of gratification, then we might be calling out sin out of a sense of vengeance or murder rather than love.

We might deceive ourselves with claims of “tough love” when in reality, we are not in the right spirit. We need to be careful of what spirit we are of. As it is written, “test the spirits.” Jesus even said once “you know not what spirit you are of.” We are not the one in Revelation whose spirit is to “call down fire from heaven in the sight of man.” We see so much of that today. So much calling out of the “sins” of others with a murderous intent. So much self-righteous indignation. That is not the right way.

On the other hand, we do not “love” people by ignoring sin, justifying sin, or calling good evil and evil good. Enabling is not love.

There is a form of Christianity that is very enabling of sin, all in the name of love. There are many who will use the love of God as an excuse for sin, and if a person tries to call their sin to light, the first thing that person will do is hide under the love of God. They do not repent. They do not feel sorry. They blame shift and use the grace of God as a cloak for sin. This is not acceptable—this is not fruitful faith that brings life. This is something else. This is abomination and blasphemy. It is this sort of spirit that warrants delivering others to Satan so they might learn not to take the blood of Jesus for granted.

However, it is of critical importance that we use caution. We remember that an honest and ongoing struggle with sin is not the same thing as disregard for righteousness and the blood of Jesus that was shed to forgive them.

We remember that many kill thinking that they do God’s service. If we have beams in our own eye, we cannot judge properly. If we are not judging properly, then we are most likely murderous whether we can see that or not.

That is why we always focus on our own sin first and foremost. If we see our own sin, then we can approach people who struggle in like maker with compassion, not murder. If they refuse to repent, then we go our way. We can hope for the best, and depending on how destructive they are towards others, we can deliver them to Satan—especially if they call themselves Christian.

That is not something many Christians talk about. Binding and loosing is something we need to relearn in today’s Christian society. Whatsoever we bind on earth is bound in heaven and whatsoever we loose on earth is loosed in heaven. Christians are supposed to judge. However, we are judged by the judgments we make because our hearts are revealed by our judgments.

I believe that as Christians, we are striving to strike the right balance in all things. Here is something else to consider:

Not all people experience Jesus in the same way. For some, it is unconditional love and patience. It is peace and safety. It is a place where you can be flawed and find healing. Those who are honest about their sin and truly want to do what is right are given abundant mercy and the resources of God necessary to overcome sin. They are shown their sin in a loving way, though sometimes this means pain. They do not abuse the blood of Jesus but respect it. He does not condone their sin. He shows them their sin and helps them find a way out. He forgives and He heals.

Those who do not want to be healed from sin, but instead want to use His blood as an excuse for sin while at the same time abusing others will not receive mercy and patience from Jesus. If they are His children, then they will receive chastisement. If they are not His, they will find Jesus to be hateful. They will find the truth to be hateful.

They will treat us in the same manner.

I have experienced this myself. There are some who would say that I am one of the safest people they know. They can be themselves without fear of judgment. These are Christians who strive to do what is right. They love others, they hate their own sin, and they want support towards taking the faith more seriously and growing in righteousness.

There are some who would say that I am one of the most judgmental and hateful people they know. These are those who want to hurt others and excuse themselves. These are those who do not like having their sins revealed, but instead want to distort reality so that they are the victims. These are those who live in hypocrisy and delusion. I have no patience for this. Maybe I need to grow, but we see that Jesus was the same way, so maybe not.

There is balance in all things, and if we want to “hit the mark” instead of “miss the mark” then we need to learn the judgments of God in Jesus. Christians are supposed to be judgmental. We must be judgmental if we want to know what the right course of action is.

However, judgement is a two-edged sword, and we might hurt ourselves sometimes too. Jesus knows this. He is patient with those who sincerely want to judge righteously and do what is best for the brethren and the unbelievers. He will correct us. He will not enable us.

Jesus has a lot to say to this generation. I believe this with my whole heart. I know that those who seek find, and there is nothing special about me. To speak the judgments of God is what it means to be prophetic—and the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. We all have this available to us. Seek Him and know. The testimony of Jesus is our defense. If we die in defense of His testimony, then we will live.

In Conclusion:

Love is perfected in trust and not fear. We trust in God and we want others to trust in us also. We offer a place of safe reflection so that people can face their sin and be led to the One who can help. We know that many people will take advantage of us if we love unconditionally, but we do so anyway because we know that Jesus will raise us from the dead.

However, because we love, we do not enable sin. Even though we might fear people getting angry and hostile towards us when we bring sin to light, we will do so anyway because we do not want people to continue down a path of destruction.

In all things, we test the spirits we are of. If we are of love, then that is good. If we are of fear, then that is not good. If we are acting out of vengeance or murder, all the while calling it love, that is not good.

When we love, people will hate us. They hated Jesus too. We can learn what love is by following His example. We can ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that we can learn righteous judgements of love and have the strength to do what is right even though we might be afraid to do so. We trust in God. We reveal our own sin first and deal with it so that we have the right tools to help others.

I have wrestled with all of this, and I stand firm by these judgments because these judgements are Christ. This is what it means to be a Christian. People shy away from Christians being like Jesus, and that is a shame, and it seems that the more we are like Jesus the more they hate us. “You make yourself like Christ. You are an antichrist. Who do you think you are?”

They did the same to Jesus when He boldly claimed to be the Son of God. If we are Christians, then we are the sons of God too. If we are Christians, then in some realm of time we too inhabit eternity because God exists in all time already. There is a mind-bender for you. “Is it not written that you are gods?”  

Our nation has so many ideas about what it means to be Christian, and many are right but only partially so. Many are deceived by partial truths. Our Christianity is invaded by legalism, worship of man, pride, and love of sin.

It is not love for me to enable this, so I won’t. God as my witness, if His grace abounds towards me, I will love without fear—in all that entails—and I hope to help others do the same.

Please do not mistake this bold claim for boasting, because I know my history of confusion and sin. I know what I have had to endure to get to this point, and I boast in Jesus alone.

I know what He can do for us, and I know that I am still poor in spirit. There is more to learn, and I still need to practice what I have learned. That is the scary part, because that is the cross. We can help each other bear the cross, but we must take ours up first. Jesus gives us strength.

I pray that the grace of God will abound to all of us. I understand why Paul the apostle wrote so much of grace. We need the favor of God in this fallen world. It is by grace alone that we can stand before God without fear, learn what it means to love, and learn to love others without fear all the while knowing that doing so means death in this life. However, doing so also means life everlasting in the Kingdom of Heaven.  

All of this is scriptural. If you want a certain idea backed up by scripture, you can search for it on the internet or you can ask me to show you. I do recommend reading 1 John.

I don’t always cite scripture because I want to challenge others to study for themselves, and I know how easy it is for people to use scripture to back partial or incorrect teachings. I quote scripture as the Spirit leads, hopefully. You should not believe me just because I can cite scripture. So does Satan and His ministers.

Yet, I do know that the sheep hear the voice of Jesus, so if I am speaking for Him of a truth then you should hear me. If I am not, then I trust that you would not hear me. I don’t trust myself, but I trust Jesus and I know He will chastise me if I need it. That is why my confidence waxes and wanes. I am faulty. I am not God. There should be a balance of humility because of our flesh and confidence in Jesus, and I struggle to find that balance.

In any case, study for yourself, and if you want help with bible study send me a message. I know of someone who I trust to teach honestly. Having my beliefs challenged inspired me to study, and I hope you will also.

I always feel like I should say this too: feel free to disagree. If you see a blind spot, please love me enough to say so and I will love you for it. We need to help each other grow, and I need that too. Discuss below. I know I still need to create an email for this website. I will do that soon, if I remember. 🙂

Note (inserted a few hours after publishing) – I do want to say something about the “don’t you know that you are gods” statement. This came from John 10: 32-38

32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

Jesus also said that He would be in us, and the Father in us, just as He is in the Father and the Father in Him (John 14). It is not a far-fetched idea. If the things we do are of Jesus, then others should believe them. If they are not, then not. Sometimes too much of ourselves corrupt the work we do. I know that is true for me too. We have to judge each other among the Christian faith and submit ourselves to the judgment of each other. I welcome it and love those who would speak up if needed. I think I might write about that.

However, we are not gods like God is God. We are not sons of God like Jesus is the Son of God. There is one who will “sit in the temple of God showing himself that He is God.” That is not for us to do.

We need to know our place–far below Jesus Christ–yet of Him at the same time because He gives Himself to us. Without Jesus, we are nothing.

I hope that makes sense, and maybe I am over thinking and over cautious. Christians know that we are far below Jesus already, but I’d rather be over cautious. Sometimes I get hung up on big ideas, write a lot, then think of something I wish I had made clearer. That’s one of my biggest flaws. Keep that in mind. If something sounds off or like it needs further clarification, never hesitate to ask.

No Fear in Love

I’ve been thinking today about the things I am afraid of. I am afraid of betrayal. I am afraid of being misunderstood, slandered, and accused. I am afraid of the words I write being misused, either as a tool against myself or others. I am afraid of being taken advantage of until there is nothing left of me to give.  I am afraid of the conflicts in this world that target certain groups. I am afraid that war is coming to our nation and maybe our world.

I know that I should trust in God and not be afraid, but I am. I am afraid because I know what people are capable of. I am afraid because I know that even though Jesus says that the meek will inherit the earth, life has taught me that the meek get trampled. People take advantage. How should a Christian handle this?

I am reminded of this scripture:

1 John 4:15-21

15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

19 We love him, because he first loved us.

20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

I was hung up at first by verse 18. Then I understood. When we know that God really loves us, there is no need for us to be afraid of His judgment. We trust in Him. There is a productive fear of the Lord, but that’s not what this is about. This is about fear of condemnation. If we know that God loves us, then we do not fear condemnation. Since we know that God first loved us, we should love God. If we love God, then we should love our brothers.

Who are our brothers?

Our brothers are fellow Christians, but what about those who have not yet converted? We cannot know which unbelievers might become brothers, so we must love our enemies also.

Why? Why should a Christian love their enemies?

If people felt real, unconditional love from us, then maybe they would be more inclined to trust in us without fear of condemnation. This creates a place of safety, allowing a person to be fully vulnerable and honest about who they are, sin and all. This provides space for preaching the gospel. If we offer people a place of unconditional love, we can lead the lost to the One who loves us: Jesus.

How can we say that we love God if we do not love others as He loves us? How can we love others as He loves us if we allow fear of what people might do keep us from loving them fully?

Do I risk being ran over by people in hopes that they might feel loved and safe so that they can face themselves honestly, repent, and turn to Jesus? Should I be afraid of being crushed by people or should I trust in the love of God towards me instead, knowing that should the worst things happen, God will raise me from the dead?

As a Christian, my first example should always be Jesus. What did He do? He chose the path of His death so that we can live. He was afraid, but He loved more. His love for the Father and love for us was stronger. Can we love Jesus as He loved us? Can we love others as Jesus loved us? Isn’t that what it means to be a Christian?

Love makes us vulnerable. Love means we can get hurt. However, if we love others more than we love ourselves, then we will endure it. We will hope for the best in all things, because we know that God is good and He loves us. He loved us enough to send His Son to die for us. We can trust in Him. He is safe, and we should be that safe place for others too—especially now in this time of fear.

Will people walk all over us? Yes. Many will. However, because we love God, we will choose love anyway. We will choose love for the sake of the fearful and confused, so that they might find peace and light in Jesus Christ.

For the sake of others and for the sake of the One who laid His life down for us, we should prepare ourselves to choose love, even if it means death for us.

I want to love like that. What a high calling that is. Maybe that is what it means to take up our cross. We cannot love so vulnerably without dying to self, because people will hurt you in this world if you love them unconditionally. However, many will not. Many will love you back, especially those who love Jesus.

We are not alone in this world of fear and hate, and we do not need to be overcome by it. This is so hard, and I know the temptation to fear is strong. I am afraid too. We need Jesus to help us love more than we fear, even if our love means our death because we know that God loved us first and through faith in Jesus we will live again.

What does it mean to love? That is another topic. Jesus shows us, and one thing Jesus said is that “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” If we love people as God loves us—as Jesus loves us—then we lay our life down for others. We lay aside our selfish desires and even our self-preservation if it means we might lead others towards Jesus, because we know that we will live again but without Jesus the world will die.

This world is dying. This nation is dying. Are we willing to lay our lives down for a nation that hates us and hates Jesus so that some might be saved? Am I ready?

We should be thinking about this strongly right now. What if our nation is consumed by violence? Do we start killing people too? Do we sin to save ourselves or others? The non-Christians can do as they please, and those who appreciate what is right will fight for what is right. However, as Christians, we do not fight against flesh and blood. We can fight with the Truth, but I’m not sure we should go beyond that.

Did the Christians of the early church fight back and kill, or were they killed themselves as they proclaimed the gospel boldly? This is a scary thing to think about, but we should.

Maybe if we show ourselves willing to lay our lives down, Jesus will give us power to defend ourselves with His Word. The apostles had power through the Word of God. Paul delivered brethren to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme. Peter spoke words of death over Ananias and Sapphira after they lied to the Holy Spirit.

There is a time for all things, but that is not the go-to way. Jesus will not give His power to those who are unable to control themselves and willing to lay their lives down when necessary as He did. That I am certain of. If we show ourselves to be lovers of self, full of fear and murder, then why should God offer any help?

If you disagree, I understand. Leave a reply if you agree or not. This is an important thing to consider in this time of fear and murder. What are your thoughts?

Exhortation Against Projection Accusation

I don’t know how common this is, but I know this is something I have done, and this is also something I have seen and received from others a lot in my life.

What I refer to is false accusations that are rooted in projection.

What is projection?

Projection is when we take something from within ourselves and place it onto another person.

Projection accusations are when we take a fault of our own, or a bad experience we’ve had with others, and falsely accuse another person of holding that same fault.  

These kinds of accusations almost always have to do with intentions of the heart.

We cannot really know what is going on inside of the heart and mind of another. If we think that we can see that which is unseen, how is it that we see it?

How can we see that which is unseen unless we are dealing with something we have “seen” before?

We might notice behavior patterns or other subtle cues that remind us of a painful event within our past, or maybe the patterns and cues speak to us subconsciously regarding a deep fault of our own.

When we see these patterns of behavior, a red flag goes off in our mind. We think we see exactly what is happening. Maybe we do. Maybe we don’t.

If we find ourselves making assumptions about the intentions or heart of another, the first thing we should do is question ourselves.

Why do I think I see this in the person I am accusing? What experience in my life am I drawing from in order to make this accusation?

Very often, the experiences we are drawing from are our own internal battles. What deep issues might we be hiding from ourselves—things about our nature that we hate but would rather not deal with? When we think we see that issue in another, it is possible that we are projecting our own self-hatred onto them.

Very often, the experiences we are drawing from are also found within our history with other harmful people. When we think we see a similar pattern, we lump a person in with the offenders—and sometimes wrongfully.

Sometimes, we do in-fact see hidden things within another because of our own experiences, but we should make sure that we do not assume that we are right.

We can seek Jesus for wisdom so that we can exercise appropriate caution, but unless we are certain we should not accuse people. If we are dealing with a person we are comfortable with, maybe we can relay our past experiences and fears with the understanding that we could be looking at the person through the lens of our experiences.

We can ask the person if the thing we assume is something they are in-fact struggling with, and mention that we think we recognize this issue because it is something we have dealt with ourselves. This puts us in a place of compassion and helps the person feel safe in addressing these hard things.

In any case, the way the person responds might be revealing, but even that can be tricky because people are complicated. For example, if a person responds with hostility this could be because they are guilty. This could also be because they are being falsely accused, and they have dealt with a lot of false accusations and criticism in the past, so they are sensitive to such a thing.

People are complicated—too complicated to lump people into categories we create because of our painful experiences or because of our own character flaws.

There is a balance here.

On one hand, we know that life teaches us so we should pay attention. On the other hand, we should appreciate the nearly endless variables that can make a person seem to be something they are not.

I know I do not like to be accused falsely, and in my experience many accuse through passive-aggressive jabs so that they can deny the attack later as a figment of my imagination, or they accuse me of being the one who is projecting when I question the perceived attack. Maybe that is true sometimes. Maybe I do expect others to see the worst in me, so sometimes I perceive attack when there is none.

This is a good example. As someone who’s history is riddled with false accusations and unfair criticisms, I am hyper aware of the ways in which a person could falsely accuse me, and I am hyper aware of passive aggressive remarks. Maybe I think I see attacks when in reality I am projecting my past experiences onto others.

What is the root of all of this? In the world of psychology, we are dealing with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I think a lot of people have CPTSD without realizing it. Abusive parenting causes this. The public-school system causes this. Media causes this. Our cultural surroundings cause this. There are so many causes, that it is no wonder we have a nation of fearful people.

Jesus rebukes the “fearful and unbelieving” but He is also compassionate. He knows the world we have grown up in. He knows the nation we have grown up in. If we turn to Him, He will free us from all unproductive fears. He will help us see the truth of our deepest struggles so that we can recognize projection accusations and learn how to stop.

This is still something I struggle with, and I wonder how much of my ministry is tainted by projection. However, I know that God ordains all things for good, so my life experiences do in-fact teach me. However, I need to be on-guard against projection accusations.

I think our nation at large needs to be on-guard against projection accusations. Maybe I see this because of experience or maybe because I still do this—but this problem seems to be everywhere. I will pray on this more, and I encourage any who reads this to do the same.

FYI, I am not a mental health professional. I have long found clinical psychology very interesting, so this is one thing that I study on my own time. Take the above accordingly.  

Considering Proverbs 8:14-16

14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.

15 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.

16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

This morning I’m thinking about the topic of God’s sovereignty. Who can really know the wisdom of God and His sovereignty over all things? I’m often overwhelmed by the idea of God’s sovereignty.

I know that God is in control of all things, even the things we would call evil. Yet, God is not evil. All things that God ordains are for good, even if evil is brought about in the short term.

When God brings evil or destruction, it is often a constructive form of destruction—at least for those who belong to Him. For those who do not, there is no mercy found in the destruction God brings. The flood in the days of Noah is an example of this.

What about the leaders of this world? Whether they seem to be good or evil, doesn’t God appoint them ultimately?

We see this illustrated in the first king of Israel, Saul. For those of you who might not know or remember, David was a servant of Saul. Saul turned on David and tried to have him killed. David fled. David had opportunity to kill Saul, but he did not because he respected that God had appointed Saul.

What does this mean for us?

For one, there is one thought that comes to mind often when I consider the authorities in my life that I feel powerless against. When Jesus was being questioned by Pilate, Jesus said, “you would have no power over me if it were not given to you from the Father.”

Here is the controversy: Many believe that there is an on-going battle between good and evil. Many believe that there is an on-going battle between Satan and God. I do not believe this way.

I believe that God is in full control of all things—even Satan who God created. Is it at all possible for God’s creation to surprise Him? Didn’t God know exactly who and what Satan would be? Didn’t God set all things in motion for a purpose, including the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which He created?

I believe in the absolute sovereignty of God, and this is comforting because I know that evil cannot simply fight against God and get at me—unless God has ordained it—and if God has ordained it, then this must be for my good somehow.

God allows us to be crushed by worldly authorities. This is nothing new. Why does He do this? We can learn somewhat of this from the scriptures.

We know that God sends enemies against His people when they go too far astray from Him. This is a form of constructive destruction in the long term because it rids His people of those who are unfaithful and strengthens those who are loyal to Him.

God also allows many of His servants to suffer and die, not because of chastisement, but because God wants to be glorified in them for the sake of others who would see.

What about the unjust rulers of today?

What about the unjust rulers in politics and religion? What about the unjust rulers in the realm of ideas, such as social ideologies, political ideologies, and religious ideologies? Doesn’t God have control over these things also?

I believe so. Why do they exist?

That is the difficult question, and we can speculate, though we should be careful in thinking we know what God is up to. Though, it bears repeating that whatever His purposes are, the result is ultimate good for those who belong to Him.

Maybe He gives us over to our whims and desires so that we can see the futility of our ways and turn more fully to Him. Maybe He brings destructive forces that will remove worldly prosperity from us so that we can grow in spirit. Maybe He brings destructive forces that will tear down all the rulers in our life that we look to instead of Him.

Maybe He brings death to us in order to preserve what goodness we had left, because He knew that we would not withstand the temptations to come. Maybe He brings death to us in order to limit future suffering. Maybe He brings death to us so that He is glorified, and we get to participate in His glory.

What about all the different Christian leaders and denominations?

Maybe they exist to keep one central power from rising over us all. Maybe they exist so that people of differing struggles can find a place to learn of Jesus that relates to their human existence. Maybe they exist as a net that catches people in their desires, and the way His word is used judges them. Maybe they exist so that some would feel ostracized and seek Jesus on their own apart from the rulers of man.

There could be a lot of reasons, all of which are good for those who love Him and are chosen of Him.

We can consider a lot of good reasons for evils in this world, including the evil powers. That is comforting to consider.

However, knowing that God created all things, what should our response be towards evil rulers? Should we fight them?

I think we should, but only if we are truly speaking the judgment of God. If we are not, then we are only going to make matters worse—then we become one of the unjust rulers.

If we have judgments of God to speak, then we should also make sure that we are in the right spirit—a spirit of love towards God and others—not a spirit of murder.

Some might say that my going against ideas in the Christian church is destructive, and it is. Sometimes things need to be torn down so that something better can result.

However, as a Christian, my fight is not in the flesh but in the spirit. I will never attack a church or a person physically. I will bring the false ideas to light. I will fight with Truth, as Christian should.

God uses His enemies to bring about destruction. God uses His faithful to bring life despite it. We need to make sure that we are of the right spirit. That is very important.

However, that does not mean there will never come a time in which his faithful also bring a sort of constructive destruction in the flesh.

That is a hard thing for me to come to terms with.

We see this in Revelation 11 concerning the ministry of the two witnesses. I have non-violent ways of interpreting these passages, and maybe that is the truth of it. Maybe not. Maybe it doesn’t have to be just one interpretation, but both. In any case, I know that God tells us what we need to know—no sooner and no later than we need to know it.

In any case, the take-away is this:

God is in control of all things, and all things are working according to His wisdom. This includes the rulers of this earth—good and evil. Even the evil rulers serve a good purpose ultimately, though the destruction they bring does not seem good at the time.

Though God is in control and ordains all things, those who know the truth should speak out because God does not intend for all people to be destroyed and deceived. We bring life and truth, not death. Though, those who confuse evil with good would think otherwise. They thought the same of Jesus, and we should expect no different.

One day Jesus will reign over all in a real and present way, and He will establish just rulers in His kingdom. He will establish just judges. He will give authority to His faithful servants, and peace will finally come to this world. Satan will try to mimic this, but He will fail. He can only bring death, and this is good in the purposes of God whether we understand this or not.

All things that happen in this world, God ordains. He looks at it and says, “it is good.” Take comfort in that. Yet know that God does hate evil. Though God purposes it, and He will destroy it because He is good. God is not evil.

I know there are some controversial ideas here. Feel free to disagree and discuss below.

Considering Proverbs 8:13

13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

Yesterday, I mentioned that fear of man over fear of the Lord is one of the biggest issues we have today, and it is a problem we can sympathize with.

I think this problem is compounded by the fact that mankind can be very merciless and unforgiving, and we know that as Christians, we have received the mercy and forgiveness of Jesus.

We know that He is extraordinarily patient with us, He knows our frame, and nothing can separate us from His love. We trust in Him.

However, if we allow His goodness to harden our hearts towards fearing God over man, then there is a problem that we need to think about deeply and honestly:

Do we take advantage of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us?

I know many would argue the plausibility of such a thing. Jesus died for our sins, and there is no sin that cannot be forgiven, arguably.

However, this is not about what we might “technically” be able to get away with. This is about right and wrong.

On some level, we must know that it is wrong to take advantage of the sacrifice of Jesus, and that is precisely what we are doing when we fear man over the Lord.

That being said, who has not done this?

In some measure, who has not chosen sin or the ways of man in general over Jesus because we were afraid of what others would do or think?

I think it is safe to assume that we have all experienced this, and I think it is safe to assume that we all need a more perfected fear of the Lord.

What does it mean to fear the Lord? According to the above scripture, the fear of the Lord is to hate evil.

What is evil? I think we can understand evil as the destruction of that which was good. All things that God ordains are good. From the beginning of creation, God looks upon His doings and says, “it is good.”

Should we destroy the good workings of God? We need to learn what God is doing, and most importantly, what He has done through the Son, Jesus.

All things that Jesus teach are good. All things that were inspired of the Holy Spirit and written by the followers of Jesus and gathered as the New Testament are good. Within these words, we can learn of the goodness of God through Jesus.

However, there are things that will get in the way of proper fear of the Lord, and God rightfully hates such things: “pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth.”

Pride refuses correction. Pride lifts itself above others. Pride is entitled, selfish, and unyielding. Pride hardens hearts and blinds.

Humility is paramount if we want to know the ways of Jesus and His Kingdom. He said so Himself. How can we learn the ways of the Lord if we think we know it all already? How can we fear the Lord if we do not know Him and value Him?

Following pride comes arrogancy, which is exaggerated sense of one’s worth or importance. When we value ourselves over others, we are arrogant. When we value the ways of man over the ways of God, we are arrogant.

If we are proud and arrogant, then we are going to value the ways of evil above the ways of God. We will continue on a destructive path without regard for what the Lord would have us to do: love one another and love God.

We cannot properly love God if we do not know Jesus. We cannot know Jesus if we do not talk to Him and learn of Him through His Word. We cannot learn of Him appropriately though His word when we are listening to the prideful interpretations of man without questioning them—interpretations that cause division that’s often worsened by slander, accusation, and spiritual murder among believers.

If we do not properly value the teachings of Jesus and the love we are to learn and show the world, then we will hold other things in His place.

For example, will we forget love when one of our ideologies are challenged politically or socially? It is love to stand up for what is right and attempt to convince others. It is not love to simply prove you are right at all costs without regard for the person who disagrees. It is not love to destroy those who disagree with you, either in word or in deed.

If we stoop to these levels, then our hearts are full of murder—and murder cannot exist without pride, arrogancy, and love of the evil way. Murder cannot exist if we fear the Lord properly because Jesus is Life.

People can find ways to justify most any action they want to justify. This is pride, and pride blinds.

What’s worse is when we use the blood of Jesus to justify ourselves in an unrighteous manner. His blood does justify us, but we must repent of sin, not use His blood as a loophole for sin.

Why? Sin is destructive. Jesus came so that we can have life, not so that we can bring death without consequence.

If we fear man more than God, and we know that Jesus forgives us, then there is a temptation to take His sacrifice for granted, and I think we have all dealt with that in some measure.

It is also worth repeating that a struggle against sin is not the same as blatant disregard. I think we all struggle with some form of sin, but we should feel sorry. We should approach Jesus honestly about our sin struggles, and we can trust in Him when we do so. He is patient with us. He knows our frame.

All of this is true. It all comes down to our attitude towards Jesus and His sacrifice—whether we respect Him or take advantage of Him.

If we respect Him, we will want to do what is right and we will not excuse our sins. If we respect Him, we will revere Him more than man in all regards, or continue growing in that direction.

If we put Jesus first, we will find that a lot of the things we have held in high regard are in opposition to Him in some way, even among the household of the faith. That is a hard thing to realize, but we also know this: All things are working together for our good. God has ordained all things, even division among believers, and “it is good.”

I think He does so for our protection so that no singular power arises over us, and I also think our denominations are created in a way that speaks to the uniqueness of our human existence. There could be other reasons.

Yet, these things are not good: accusation, slander, and spiritual murder of those who disagree with us. It is not good to be proud and think that our way is the only way. It is not good to make it so that congregants are not allowed to disagree with our leaders, and if they do, they are ostracized.

It is not good to create doctrines that call evil good and good evil. It is not good to create doctrines that take advantage of the sacrifice of Jesus using a confused focus on forgiveness and grace without the necessary response of faith which is a change of heart towards the ways of God.

What about a froward mouth? This is a mouth that speaks profane and destructive things, and as Jesus teaches, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

As we grow in fear of the Lord, our hearts will turn to Jesus. This is especially true as our fears of man become nothing when compared to our fear of the Lord.

If we no longer fear what people think or what they can do to us, we can find freedom from all evil ways.

That is what Jesus offers.

If we trust that He will forgive us and raise us from the dead, then why should we care about what mere man can do to us? We have the victory ultimately.

If we trust in Jesus, He will forgive us and He will show us what His will is. He will make a way for us to escape temptation if we want to escape it. However, if we want to sin—if we want to bring death and destruction—He will allow us to do that too.

Yet, only for a time so that we can learn. He will not leave us to our own devises without showing us a better way, and He will do whatever is needful so that we can turn away from destruction and turn to Him. What will it take?

Considering Proverbs 8:10-13

10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

12 I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

Today, my thoughts are mostly directed towards my own self. I have a long way yet to go in this Proverbs study, and I committed to posting these on social media and on my new blog page.

Is this arrogance? Is this wise in well doing, or is this foolishness?

Not many people seem interested in what I have to say. In any other instance, I would say, yes. To continue is a blatant disregard for what other people value in favor of what I value. That is arrogance. That is not wise in well doing, but foolish.

However, these are not normal circumstances, and it is not my judgments that are being rejected—but God’s. If you ever want to seem arrogant, that’s the way to do it; claim that you receive insight from God concerning today’s Christianity in the United States.

I was feeling tempted to back off, even though each time I do something happens to pull me back. I am a faulty human like all of us. I understand why the disciples fled when Jesus was being led away to His trial and death. That is the kind of feeling I have (to a smaller degree, of course) when I am tempted to stop these writings.

I am glad to know that it is not some strange thing for the Lord to use His words to answer our prayers. This morning I was reminded of something Jesus said:

35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels (Mark 8:35-38).

What will I give in exchange for my soul? The Kingdom of Heaven and the wisdom that Jesus offers is indeed more valuable than any earthly treasure, as stated in the above section of Proverbs.

I cannot neglect or be ashamed of Jesus and the words He gives me for this generation.

I do fully sympathize with the temptation to do so.

I know how that sounds, and although I appreciate a direct approach, I do try to be tactful and I do not enjoy upsetting people. I care a great deal for the feelings of other people. But it is needful, in some small way, to be an example of loving Jesus more than man. Yet, in doing so, I find that loving Jesus means loving my fellow man—especially my Christian brethren.

It is not love to sit by and watch the deception and destruction of my brethren—to know full well what is coming and who we are welcoming. If we love death and destruction so much, we will have him.

So, I do my best to “dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions” by seeking Jesus often in these things.

What does it mean to dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions?

I could be wrong, but I think it means that wisdom gets to the bottom of things. I think of a Messianic scripture that wrote this of Jesus: “he shall not judge by the sight of his eyes neither reprove after the hearing of the ears.” Jesus teaches us that we should judge righteous judgement, and this often goes against what we immediately see or hear.

I seek Jesus so that I can avoid judging “according to outward appearances” so that I might find His “righteous judgement.” I have found that these judgments or perspectives cut to the core, and people do not like that.

However, we must get past all of the superficial layers of Christianity we have clothed ourselves in so that we can stand before Jesus fully clothed with Him and His righteousness. That is essential.

People do not like feeling exposed, and neither do I. So, I do try to expose somewhat of myself in these writings too. I do not want anyone to go through a difficulty that I am not willing to go through myself first. That is what Jesus does for us, so I think that is fitting. Jesus also freely gives all things that He received to us, and He suffered to do so.

It is fitting that Christians should do the same for one another. All things He gives me, I must give back to my brethren. If they don’t want it, I will keep it for myself, but the offer must be made. Otherwise, I am the one who is being unfaithful.

That is my current situation, but what do I hope others will take away from the above scriptures in Proverbs?

The instruction of the wisdom of Jesus is far more valuable that any earthly riches, but we must seek them out. We must seek Jesus out, and there are many things standing in our way. The number one thing is fear of man over fear of God.

Who are we loyal to? Are we most loyal to our denomination or pastors, or are we most loyal to Jesus? Do we worship the act of going to church, or do we worship Jesus?

It is easy to say that because we worship Jesus, we will hold our pastors in high regard and we will go to church. That was true for a time, but that time will come to an end—and there is a lot of corruption in mainstream Christianity already that we need to get away from. That does not mean we have to stop going to church, but we need to be willing to question some things. We need to get our priorities right.

This will not happen, but this is food for thought: If Jesus were to return again in the flesh as He did in His first coming, would he approve of Christianity in the United States? If the apostles were to return, would they approve? Would we not receive some correction?

Jesus will return, not in the flesh, but in glory and in victory over all things that are exalted above Him. However, before that day, He will send The Destroyer and Death. Why? Because we welcome him already. We love him. We will have him.

Everything I try to teach is centered around life according to He who IS LIFE. Shouldn’t it be so for Christians? Yet, in so many ways, we bring death.

Stand by Jesus above all else and He will show you life—and not the life that the enemy brings which is death disguised as everything we want—even disguised as Christian. It is not wonder, is it? It is not easy to consider that we have fallen for the ways of Satan, all the while praising Jesus. Yet, we do. It is so easy to do. Jesus does not leave us in this state, however. He teaches some so that they can teach others. Please listen and consider.

I do not want followers, but I do want you to follow Jesus. I want you to consider all the things that you are choosing over Him. I want you to consider what lays at the bottom of all the loyalties of your life, including your loyalties politically, in social ideologies, and in church. If your loyalties bring death, then something is off. Even if you are loyal to the right causes, if you justify destroying others who are on the wrong side of things, something is off.

“Many will kill you thinking they do God’s service.”

This time is so full of murder. We look at the obvious murders of groups like BLM, Antifa, abortion, and the like. Yet do we consider our own murderous ways? Do we consider that death comes because we have welcomed it? If we listen, the Spirit will convict us and show us our murderous ways. If our hearts are hard, then we will not hear. If we do not hear, then Death will come for all—starting with the church.

I want to think more about verse 13 in the next article.

As always, I would appreciate hearing from others, whether you agree with me or not.