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Posts Tagged ‘evil’


– Be angry, and do not sin.  Do not let the sun go down upon your wrath.  For anger rests in the bosom of fools God has no pleasure in. – Ephesians 4:26, Ecclesiastes 7:19, and Ecclesiastes 5:4

– A moment of anger can destroy a lifetime of work, whereas a moment of love can break barriers that took a lifetime to build. – Leon Brown

“Anger” has many negative connotations attached to it.  It can mean to irk, irritate, or infuriate.  It can be indignation provoked by perceived unfairness.  Even though it can conjure up images of ungodly behavior, anger does not always birth sin.  What matters to God is how we handle any anger before going to bed.

There are several forms of good anger, such as in instances of moral injustice or righteous indignation. Christ was justly upset when casting out those who bought and sold within God’s temple (Luke 19:45). Overthrowing the tables of the money changers, and upsetting the seats of the dove sellers (Mark 11:15).

However, our Father’s anger is always right, perfect, and true (Deuteronomy 32:4), even though He is slow to wrath (Psalm 103:8).  Long suffering towards all, not wanting us to perish (2 Peter 3:9).  Always ready to pardon (Nehemiah 9:17), if we turn from our sin and don’t offend Him anymore with it (Job 34:31).

On the other hand, Christian anger is generally a manifestation of flesh – and not Spirit.  Although it’s understandable (Galatians 5:17), it does not make it acceptable.  Human wrath is typically rooted in the world – not the Word.  Something or somebody is causing feelings of annoyance, hostility, or discontent.

Souls are like container vessels that can only hold so much in.  Once filled to the brim, something spills out in word or action.  The mouth will always speak out of the heart’s abundance (Luke 6:45).  The longer any anger resides inside, the more it gets pent-up like a spiritual pressure cooker ready to burst any second.

Anyone in such a volatile state within can go through what appear to be a string of normal days outwardly. Nothing much seems to be bugging them externally. However, they’ve foolishly left anger unaddressed nightly for a week.  It can detonate at the worst time, directed at one who is not the cause of their wrath.

It can result in instant fireworks.  The fuse ignited by anger days before – sparked by another person or situation – finally hits the bundle of dynamite sticks in the heart and everything blows up without warning. The one who explodes not only hurts the innocent party with words, but is left scrambling to save face.

This is wrath that doesn’t work the righteousness of God (James 1:20).  This is a type of anger keeping some wrapped up in unrighteous rage throughout their life.  Keeping them playing hurtful, harmful games of trying to get even with others – instead of leaving all vengeance to God (Hebrews 10:30-31).

Unless it is taken care off, all anger can start ticking like a time bomb in the heart.  It starts behaving like a spiritual toxin if it isn’t brought up and addressed on a regular basis (lead verse).  Toxins can easily create disease.  Physical ones harm the health of a human body; spiritual ones harm the health of a human soul.

Harboring unrighteous anger in the heart as the sun sets, is allowing it to be unaddressed with whomever or whatever it is focused upon – and with God.  It has to be brought up.  The longer wrath rests in a soul, the more foolishness it births.  Any Christian folly isn’t faith.  It gives place to Satan (Ephesians 4:27)

Our days on this earth are evil.  Therefore, we are to walk circumspectly – not foolishly (Ephesians 5:15-16).  Anger born of folly corrupts production of the spiritual fruits God commands us to bring forth meet for repentance – and which are to remain (Galatians 5:22-23, Acts 17:30, Matthew 3:8, John 15:16).

However, even righteous anger has to be watched very closely so we don’t get too high-minded and start jumping to conclusions.  We rarely have all the facts needed to justify wrath – right or wrong – while everything is naked before Him (Hebrews 4:12-13). Things aren’t always as they seem (Joshua 22:6-34).

There is an old saying of “cooler heads prevail” and it’s why we have to keep our anger in constant check so we don’t sin.  We are being purified as Christians through the blood of Jesus, but we will never be as perfect (1 Peter 1:19).  Having any kind of mind like this means God’s truth isn’t in us (1 John 1:8,10).

Does our Father give us ways to address and handle anger so we keep it at bay?  Yes – He does.  There are several throughout His Word, but perhaps one of the best remedies is to remember the words of David: “Stand in awe and do not sin.  Commune with your heart upon your bed – and be still (Psalm 4:4).”

In Psalm 77:6, we read “I call to remembrance my song in the night.  I commune with my own heart, and my spirit makes diligent search.”  If we do these and can’t find our anger source, then we ask God to make intercession.  To reveal deep and secret things only He can see (Daniel 2:22, Romans 8:26-27).

Although there are many other ways (e.g. Psalm 141:3, Proverbs 15:1, Philippians 4:8-9), remember we do not know what any day will bring (Proverbs 27:1) that could arouse angry behavior.  Our soul has to be kept in a constant state of peace and calm.  If it’s being filled with the world, wrong wrath emerges.

Anger is a very complex issue and its triggering factors are many.  It’s a topic far too broad to cover here and this piece is not intended to proclaim of knowing all the causes and answers concerning wrath. However, bottled up anger is a joy and peace stealer, and it can shipwreck relationships beyond repair.

As God tells us in the lead verse, we can be angry, but we cannot let the sun set on it.  We have to come to grips with it before going to sleep.  Wrath will rob us of rest required to walk soberly with Him the next day.  Instead, we will wake up stressed and tense due to anger left lingering in our soul during the night.

Unaddressed, unconfessed anger to others and God – and left uncorrected before retiring in the evening – is a catalyst for committing sin the next morning.  We’ll likely leave the house meditating on the wrath; not the Word.  Sin always lies waiting at our front door (Genesis 4:7), and withholds good (Jeremiah 5:25).

Remember a lot of unrighteous anger in life can put us in a lot of contention with other people – or God. This is nothing more than pride (Proverbs 13:10).  It frequently creates conflict and friction, and leads to disagreements within relationships – even with Jesus – because life just is not going exactly as wanted.

Who is ever going to get mad, angry, or upset when everything is going precisely the way they desire (Psalm 23:1, James 1:4)?  So, if wrath exists before the sun sets, it might mean swallowing some pride and taking a bite of humble pie.  Visiting or calling a person we’re angry at, to hear their side of the story.

This is showing grace, and how we grow in it (2 Peter 3:18) – so we don’t wallow in wrath day after day.  If we are Christians, then we’ve been born again of the Spirit (John 3:5).  We have been given the only power we’ll ever get to put off things like lying, anger, wrath and filthy talk from our mouth (Colossians 3:8-9).

In conclusion, remember our Father above is always ready to pardon us, gracious and merciful, and slow to anger (Nehemiah 9:17).  As Christians, we are to be the same way to everyone else, no matter if they fail to do the same in return.  Otherwise, we are not learning Jesus as commanded (Ephesians 4:20-32).

Repeated troubles and problems dealing with anger, and letting it go, shows this is not being done.  One may be hearing and studying a lot about truth, but never applying it to life from the inside out (2 Timothy 3:7).  More wrath is likely in store until it is finally dealt with as God commands; before each day ends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers; especially they of the circumcision.  Whose mouths must be stopped – who subvert whole houses teaching things which they ought not for filthy lucre’s sake. – Titus 1:10-11

– For the love of money is the root of all evil.  Which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. – 1 Timothy 6:10

Money taints and money talks – and it can rapidly turn any house of God into a den of robbers.  Money corrupts, causing people to behave dishonestly and fraudulently against others and God.  Obtained in such a sordid manner, money is known as lucre, and arouses moral distaste in the mouths of others.

Lucre soils the soul with lust and spoils godly love (1 Peter 1:22).  Following its filth keeps any Christian far from heaven (Mark 7:6), despite feigned words often smooth as butter to the contrary of following Jesus (Psalm 55:21).  Unbelievers can stay far from the Word if they see believers “in it” for worldly gain.

However, people following the path of dishonest profit and lucre is nothing new to God (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10). It can exist as much in the church as outside of it.  In Jeremiah’s days, Judah was so saturated with idolatry and immorality, they could not see they had made God’s house into a den of robbers (Jeremiah 7:11).

We see similar money scenes in the New Testament. Simon the sorcerer thought the gift of the Holy Ghost could be bought with money.  Although he had been baptized with water, Peter told Simon his heart wasn’t right with God (Acts 8:13-21).  The Spirit couldn’t be received, as he was still in iniquity’s bond (Acts 8:23).

Jesus was recorded as being angry just once – when He went into God’s temple and cast out those who bought and sold within (Luke 19:45).  Overthrowing the tables of the money changers, and upsetting the seats of dove sellers (Mark 11:15).  No one must ever have to buy something and pay a price to hear Christ.

These people had turned God’s house of prayer into a house of profit – a deceitful den of greedy thieves (Matthew 21:13).  A pack of grievous wolves Paul warns us about, who speak perverse things to draw disciples after them (Acts 20:29-30).  Altering and distorting God’s gospel for dollars (Galatians 1:6-7).

And, Titus warns us of whole houses being subverted, with preachers teaching things they should not for filthy lucre’s sake (lead verse).  They are greedy dogs who can never have enough; nor understand (Isaiah 56:11).  Scratching itching ears with unsound words; but sure sounding good (2 Timothy 4:3, Titus 2:1).

Getting those in the pews to turn away from truth – and to fables (2 Timothy 4:4).  This is when people get tired about hearing the plain gospel of Christ, the one preaching against worldly gain (Matthew 6:19-20).  Dull of listening to such (Hebrews 5:11), and weary of being unprofitable servants (Luke 17:7-10).

We are to buy the truth placed inside us a Christians, and not sell it.  Nor, are we to market and charge for any godly wisdom, understanding, or instruction we have acquired (Proverbs 23:23).  Paul would work occasionally as a tent maker so he could come to people and preach without gainsaying (Acts 10:29).

Again, goals of earthly gain is not new to God.  There were those back in Old Testament days who couldn’t see any worldly profit by following His ways; including Job.  Job had said “What profit shall I have, if I am cleansed from my sins (Job 35:1-3)?”  Some men in Malachi’s times had similar minds (Malachi 3:14).

God will give us a mouth and wisdom to where our adversaries will be unable to gainsay from – or resist what we speak (Luke 21:15).  However, gainsayers want others to turn from attending to truths of the Word.  Leading greedy souls astray with deceptive words of how to get profit from it (Matthew 24:4).

This has led to ungodly pursuits like the creation of Christian investment programs.  Where participants pool their money and put it into such, so they can all be of one purse when they get a profitable return. Exacting more than God has appointed; and filling their homes with spoil (Luke 3:13, Proverbs 1:13-14).

Greed is an intense and selfish desire for gain.  It has also fueled the explosive growth of merchandising His Word.  It’s turned the church into one giant mall of countless products for Christians to purchase.  This is deceiving masses into believing spiritual growth can occur by spending money on such – over and over.

The damnation of all those who market Christian merchandise for even a penny – does not slumber (2 Peter 2:3).  Those who preach for profit are running greedily after the error of Balaam for reward.  They’re heading for woe – and shall perish in the gainsaying of Core if not repented of (Jude 1:11, Luke 13:3).

All for a love of money and lucre.  All because their god is their belly, and their belief is based on bank account balances.  Bolstered when there is more – bottoming out when there is less.  Minding earthly matters like money and materialism, but whose end is always destruction (Philippians 3:19).

Given everything written so far, keep in mind money by itself is neutral.  If left out of mortal hands, it is harmless.  However, when one has just a little bit of money, it can start wreaking havoc in any home – any life.  Challenging and questioning one’s motives for doing anything, even within a church or ministry.

Even if money is gained honorably from God through humble obedience (e.g. Malachi 3:10, Luke 6:38), it can put people at odds with Him.  Creating more problems than providing any lasting sense of inner peace.  They are never fully satisfied with having riches once dreamed of in the past (Proverbs 27:20).

At one time, Solomon was richer and wiser than any king on earth (1 Kings 10:23).  He had obtained this fortune through unselfish means (2 Chronicles 1:11-12).  Because of this, there was a later time where Solomon withheld no joy from his heart.  He could have whatever he set his eyes on (Ecclesiastes 2:10).

It was not enough.  Solomon foolishly began doing evil in God’s sight.  His father David had fully gone after the Lord – Solomon did not in disobedience (1 Kings 11:6, Acts 13:22, Mark 12:30).  It caused God to stir up an adversary for Israel and Solomon the rest of his days as king (1 Kings 11:14-25).

Wealth can make people many friends.  However, it can make them wonder who their real ones are, and who would disappear when the money does (Proverbs 19:4).  In a similar vein, wealth can cause people to live in constant worry of having worst fears realized. Losing all their riches, regardless of reason or season.

This happened to another man of God in Scripture – Job (Job 3:25).  Worldly prosperity will always drive a wedge between even how the most upright believers (Job 1:8) talk of following God, and how they actually walk.  Spirits must never waver or wander – spiking or dipping based on having favorable finances or not.

Earthly riches are hedges for honoring God.  It is easy to raise hands to heaven and praise His name when one has the money they want.  However, it is a hedge Satan is always ready to cut down.  All he needs is a green light from God as with Job.  Job lost everything short of his life and wife in one day (Job 1:2-3, 9-19)

Jesus warned that our lives do not consist in the abundance of things we possess (Luke 12:15).  We brought nothing into this world – and it is certain we can carry nothing out (1 Timothy 6:7).  What does it profit if we gain the whole world and lose our soul in the end?  One penny can’t save us (Matthew 16:26).

As Christians, we serve the Messiah or Mammon (Luke 16:13).  We cannot do both (1 Corinthians 10:21).  Mammon is wealth considered as an evil influence, or a false object of worship and devotion. Pursuing it debases and demeans God.  It shows Him where faith is really focused (Colossians 3:2).

Those who will be rich in this life fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts; drowning them in the worldly waters of destruction and perdition (1 Timothy 6:9).  Those who are rich are charged not to be high-minded.  They are not to trust in uncertain riches, but God (1 Timothy 6:17).

Regardless, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than it is for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God (Mark 10:25).  Riches do not profit in the day of our death, but righteousness will deliver us from it (Proverbs 11:4).  The former will cause falling, the latter flourishing (Proverbs 11:28).

Jesus Christ is the only foundation we can lay and build upon as believers.  God warns us to take heed how we build on it (1 Corinthians 3:10-11).  Chasing after greenbacks or greed is building upon a flimsy foundation of Mammon, and another man’s – but not the Son of Man’s (Luke 6:48-49, Romans 15:20).

We are to follow spiritual riches and desire such gifts from our Father.  These are the peaceable fruits He commands us to produce until death (Galatians 5:22-23, Acts 17:30, John 15:16). – meet for repentance (Matthew 3:8).  It is so our faith grows exceedingly, as does our love towards all (2 Thessalonians 1:3).

If we earnestly covet these best gifts, God will show us a more excellent way (1 Corinthians 12:4-31).  If we desire something, then we do all we can to get it. Spiritual gifts cannot come from spending or seeking money, but by spending alone time with God and His Word – away from the steady noise of the world.

We do this through private prayer (Matthew 6:6), studying the Bible to be approved to Him (2 Timothy 2:15), and by being doers of the Word – not just hearers (James 1:22).  This is the godly exercise required to gain contentment in life.  This is how we gain the profit and promise of heaven (1 Timothy 6:6)

Broad is the road to destruction (Matthew 7:13).  God warns us not to err from our walk on the straight and narrow (James 1:16, Matthew 7:14).  Satan is always waiting to lead us away to a faith shipwreck (2 Peter 3:17, 1 Timothy 1:19).  Instead of the Almighty – following the almighty dollar is a sure-fire way to err.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. – 2 Timothy 3:1

– The first steps to apostasy are forgetting the true and adoring the false. – from Charles Spurgeon

Apostasy is the willful abandonment or renunciation of a belief.  It comes from the Greek “apostasia.”  It means a defection, departure, revolt, or rebellion.  A person cannot become an apostate without holding some sort of belief to begin with.  God warns about the approaching Christian apostasy of man’s last days in many New Testament verses.  Believers will depart from their faith and rebel once again.

No Christian is ever immune from apostasy; and becoming an apostate does not require any open declaration.  The first step on abandonment’s avenue starts in a heart no longer abiding side-by-side with Him (John 15:1-6).  Despite feigned belief within, apostasy can be masked with public proclamations of love and praise for Him – often to gain or maintain worldly admiration or advantage (Jude 1:16)

Internal apostasy in one Christian may not be noticed by others for years.  The believer may be maintaining such a convincing show of external Christianity – it is never suspected.  Although they might be abounding in several open works, the real work of believing God left their heart long ago (John 6:28-29, Romans 4:5). Such a departure can fool the masses for a long time; but never Him (Hebrews 4:12-13).

A warning signal of apostasy approaching or being present is when ears are dull of hearing about God and His Word (Hebrews 5:11).  A hardened heart is not far behind.  Or, one has already been formed – maybe by God (Exodus 7:13).  In such a state, it’s hard to prick them again with talk about truth (Acts 2:37).  Passive belief permeates the being.  Apathy is soon to follow – with apostasy hot on its heels.

Apostasy has many causes – but the results are always the same.  Evil hearts of unbelief are born. Unbelief is no longer drawing back from one’s faith (Hebrews 10:38), but a departure from the living God (Hebrews 3:12-19).  It might begin by getting too complacent and comfortable with one’s Christianity.   A convenient faith is formed – one fitting in nicely with worldly plans, pursuits, and activities.

Going to church on Sunday and/or attending a weekly Bible study; but following and loving the world for the remainder of the week (1 John 2:15) – is having a convenient faith.  It isn’t consistent with steadfast belief.  Apostasy could be knocking on the door if one approaches belief in God like this.  If the extent of one’s life with Him remains restricted to weekly sermons and Bible studies, it may have been let in.

God does not recommend our committed love of Him. It is commanded before loving anything or anyone else (Matthew 22:36-38).  We can’t sit down to drink and dine with God and Satan at the same time (1 Corinthians 10:21).  This makes us all about the Word one second – all about the world the next.  When the world gets favored, the Word has been temporarily abandoned.  If so, guess what seeds are taking root?

Even if we are completely devoted to God with our heart, mind, and soul – much of what goes on in the world today can make us question many things about God and His heavenly court system.  Apostasy can begin brewing if we don’t know where to find answers in His Word.  We may stew over why evil seems to be on the increase, and why God doesn’t appear to be doing much about it (Exodus 34:7, Nahum 1:3).

With spoiling and rioting abounding all around the globe now – it’s easy for some to see God’s laws as being slack, and wrong judgements proceeding from heaven (Habakkuk 1:3-4).  It is an understandable mindset when the righteous and merciful are taken too soon, while evil ones seem to keep getting away with too much wickedness (Isaiah 57:1, Ecclesiastes 8:11-13, Ezra 9:13, Hebrews 2:2-3).

This can lead even the most devout Christians to doubt the eventual return of Jesus.  Causing some to ask, “Where is this promise of Christ coming back (2 Peter 3:3-4)?  Such uncertainty is the mark of an evil and apostate heart – one saying “My Lord delays His coming (Matthew 24:48).”  Implying God’s prophecies are lies or far off – it permits one to easily justify continuance of sinful living (Ezekiel 12:22-28).

Although inner apostasy is hard to detect by humans – outward apostasy is not.  It is apparent in the lives of Christians just by observing their actions, and listening to their words.  Apostasy appears to be speaking louder and clearer across a wide swath of the Christian landscape lately.  It doesn’t take inner spiritual discernment to decide it is happening, or external guessing or supposing.  It’s plainly exposed.

It comes across in Sunday sermons when preachers strut all over a stage puffed up in pride (1 Corinthians 4:6,19).  It comes across when TV pastors spend portions of a broadcast pitching their latest book and trying to get viewers to buy it (2 Peter 2:3).  It comes across when believers publicly boast about all their amazing works for God (Galatians 6:4) … or call constant attention to their faith (Romans 14:22).

Mostly through Timothy, Jude, and the book of Hebrews, God gives us a preview of all the signs pointing to apostasy’s existence – and proof its roots are being produced.  One of them is pride.  Pride will likely keep anyone lifted up in it – in a destructive state of denial about apostasy.  They will keep falling for Satan’s lies and into his condemnation – and resisted by God (1 Timothy 3:6, James 4:6).

Along with arrogant pride (1 Samuel 2:3), here are some other signs:  Men will be lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, and blasphemers.  They’ll be disobedient to parents, unholy, and unthankful (2 Timothy 3:2).  They will be truce-breakers and false accusers without natural affection.  Incontinent (lacking restraint and self-control), fierce and despisers of those who are good (2 Timothy 3:3).

They will be traitors.  They will be heady and high-minded – loving pleasure more than God (2 Timothy 3:4, 2 Corinthians 10:5, 1 Timothy 5:6, James 5:5). Having a form of godliness – but denying the power thereof (2 Timothy 3:5).  Ever learning, and never able to come unto the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:7).  Still minding earthly things with their belly as god (Philippians 3:19, Colossians 3:2).

Others will no longer contend for the faith, but will turn God’s grace into a license for lasciviousness (offensively and overt sexual desire) – and denying Him by doing so (Jude 1:3-4).  There will be those despising dominion or speaking evil of dignities (Jude 1:8).  God will be mocked as people walk after their own ungodly lusts (Jude 1:18).  Sensual – having separated from the Spirit in doing so (Jude 1:19).

At a time older and mature Christians should be teachers and speakers of sound doctrine – they will have need of being taught the principles of God’s oracles once again.  Unskilled with Scripture – and still requiring spiritual milk they should have been weaned from long ago (Titus 2:1, Hebrews 5:12-13, 1 Peter 2:2).  Never having their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:14).

All in all, apostasy will cause countless Christians to depart from their inner faith in Jesus – despite any external claims to the contrary.  Giving heed to the doctrine of devils and to seducing spirits (1 Timothy 4:1).  It’s all part of the falling away to occur on earth prior to the revelation of perdition’s son.  The one who will show he is God to all who did not receive the love of truth (2 Thessalonians 2:2-3,10).

Once faith and belief in life are established in another person – then lost – it is impossible to regain such in any unwavering fashion again.  There’ll always be a level of doubt or distrust.  The same goes with God. We can only fall away so far from our belief in Him before apostasy sets in.  If it does, all that is left to believe in, and be in bondage once again to – is the world (Hebrews 6:4-6, 2 Peter 2:20-22, 1 John 2:15).

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– See then that you walk circumspectly – not as fools, but as wise.  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. – Ephesians 5:15-17

– Things never go wrong at the moment you expect them to.  When you are completely relaxed – totally oblivious to any potential danger – that’s when things go wrong. – C.K. Martin

Did you ever have a chore, job, or task – either where you worked or while at home – requiring your utmost concentration and focus throughout?  Maybe it was a major project necessitating continual communication between two or more people … perhaps pertaining to the construction of something.  Regardless of what it was, you knew that a steady hand, keen eye, and an attentive mind were called for at all times.

Whatever the nature, you knew one false move, any failure to follow a single step in a set of instructions – such as forgetting to turn something on or off at a precise time – could have catastrophic results.  One little slip – one bit of sloppiness could spell disaster. You knew you had to be alert and aware, carefully operating without haste – to keep something from falling down or apart – now or in the future.

All of this wariness described above fits the definition of being circumspect.  It is a word derived from both the Latin “circumspectus” – meaning to be cautious – and “circumspicere” – meaning to look around.  It is how all believers are to walk and follow Jesus – so we are not seen as fools in God’s eyes.  Our days on this earth are evil, and we must do everything we can to evade it (Matthew 6:34, lead passage).

In the classic country tune “I Walk the Line” sung by Johnny Cash, we hear these words: “I keep a close watch on this heart of mine – I keep my eyes wide open all the time.”  Lyrics like these could fit quite nicely into Proverbs.  Why?  God tells us to keep our heart with all diligence (constant care); for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).  The substance of a diligent man is precious (Proverbs 12:27).

God also tell us to keep our eyes wide open – always watching what’s going on around us.  Staying sober and vigilant as the devil roars around like a starving lion daily trying to devour even the most steadfast Christians (1 Peter 5:8-9).  We’re also to watch as we don’t know what hour Jesus is returning – and we don’t want to be found doing something other than His will (Matthew 24:42, Luke 12:43, Revelation 3:3).

Therefore, Christian circumspection is the quality of always being alert, wary, and on guard against things going wrong.  Unwilling to take any risks without thinking prudently beforehand about all possible consequences, prior to doing or saying anything.  It requires daily submission and humble obedience to God, persisting in prayer, and resisting Satan (1 Thessalonians 5:17, James 4:7, Ephesians 6:11-18).

It is a daily walk of weighing all possible outcomes against each other.  It is asking ourselves questions such as “Is this going to give an appearance of evil to another (1 Thessalonians 5:22)?”  Or, “Is this going to cause a brother or sister to stumble in their walk with God (Romans 14:21)?”  Just like Uzza, people we don’t even know can die if we fail to circumspectly seek His counsel first (1 Chronicles 13:3-11).

Circumspection means taking heed unto ourselves – diligently keeping our soul and God’s commandments (Deuteronomy 4:9, Joshua 22:5).  Continuing in His sound doctrine and speaking words becoming such – so we do not start doing things to the contrary (1 Timothy 1:10, 1 Timothy 4:16, Titus 2:1).  So we don’t get tossed to and fro – or get moved away to another gospel (Ephesians 4:14, Galatians 1:6)

Therefore, we are well-advised to take fast hold of God’s instructions, for such is our life (Proverbs 4:13, Proverbs 13:10).  If we do not, we will die, going astray in our greatness of our folly (Proverbs 5:23). Folly means lacking normal prudence or foresight.  If we are hasty in our spirit, we exalt this folly.  If we are circumspect, we are slow to wrath and of great understanding (Proverbs 14:29).

In today’s Christianity, any church presenting an image to their members of having fun, entertainment, and excitement with their faith, will likely find few circumspect Christians in their pews.  Circumspect believers are ready to hear God’s Word – not have a good time with it (Ecclesiastes 5:1).  A rocking, rowdy service is not their idea of church; much preferring a house of mourning – not mirth (Ecclesiastes 7:4).

Words such as fun, entertainment, and excitement don’t appear anywhere in the KJV.  Sober, vigilant, diligence, and watch are found several times.  Our Father warns us all against being spiritually asleep throughout Scripture.  For there is a sinister spirit by the name of Satan who must delight in sneaking up on snoozing or unrepentant saints to take captive at will (2 Timothy 2:25-26, Revelation 3:2-3).

Christians are to be children of the light – and of the day; not of the nighttime or darkness.  We are not to slumber spiritually – but to stay sober and watchful. Putting on our breastplate of faith and love, and salvation’s hope as a helmet (Ephesians 6:13-18, 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8).  Girding up the loins of our mind and staying sober to the very end in hopes of receiving His grace (Ephesians 2:8, 1 Peter 1:13).

The more we learn circumspection in our Christian life, the more it should reflect in what comes out of our mouths.  We have had our conversation in this world (2 Corinthians 1:12).  If our talk remains centered on worldly things, full of idle or idol words, we’re still minding earthly matters (Matthew 12:36, Philippians 3:19).  We’re still entangled with affairs of this life (2 Timothy 2:4).  Our walk will follow.

We cannot do this and be circumspect in all things as God commands according to His Word – for we are still talking about worldly gods such as favorite movie stars or pro athletes (Exodus 23:13).  We are still freely and foolishly following idolatry – not keeping ourselves from it by fleeing (1 John 5:21).  Far from circumspection, for we haven’t separated from such yet (1 Corinthians 10:14-15, 2 Corinthians 6:16-17).

Although God does not respect any person (Romans 2:11), it seems quite certain He is well-pleased when we have learned how to be circumspect.  Carefully walking around soberly and wide-awake daily (Titus 2:12) as we grow in His grace (2 Peter 3:18).  Not giving any place to the devil (Ephesians 4:27), and thoroughly thinking through all we say and do in keeping with His truth – ready to redeem our time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– But the tongue no man can tame … it is an unruly evil, full of poison. – James 3:8

– Therefore, if we seem to be religious, and we cannot bridle our tongues, we deceive our own heart – and our religion is in vain. – James 1:26

Just by putting the smallest of bits in the mouths of big horses, man has been able to get such creatures to obey him.  Mighty ships driven on the oceans by the fiercest of winds, can still be kept on course and controlled with the smallest of helms.  Even so, the talk from our tiny tongues can chart the course of our days.  They can bring forth obedience or disobedience – blessings or curses (James 3:3-5,10).

However, no man can tame them.  They are unruly. We can speak right words or wrong ones.  We can emotionally or spiritually poison another person just by the talk from our tongues.  We can corrupt any good manners we may have established, simply by the words we speak ( 1 Corinthians 15:33).  If we love life and want to see good days – we are to refrain from speaking evil and guile (1 Peter 3:10).

Death and life are in the power of our tongues (Proverbs 18:21).  One slip of them can shipwreck the faith of even the closet brother or sister (1 Timothy 1:19).  Another slip can set off sparks and kindle a fire like hell (James 3:6).  Burning down spiritual buildings, consuming belief, and leaving Christian lives smoldering in the ashes.  We are not like the phoenix.  We cannot always rise from such ruin.

We are to ask God to set a watch before our mouths, and to keep the door of our lips (Psalm 141:3).  We can pray, preach, go to church, do charitable work – and appear to be very religious in the eyes of many others.  However, once a single wrong word escapes our mouth – it is on the lam.  It is not like a fleeing convict trying to make a breakaway – whom we can just go capture again and bring back to prison.

God warns us repeatedly about the power of our words to others … in His Word to us.  A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse one can break spirits (Proverbs 15:4).  We can increase the joy or sorrow of another.  We can wound their heart or mar their mind with thoughtless talk.  Just one careless word can reopen an emotional scar from years ago, or aggravate an inner wound from yesterday.

Be warned – we will all give an account of every idle word we speak on earth to God.  By our talk and communications below heaven – will be justified or condemned by our Father above (Matthew 12:36-37). However, only God can teach us to tame our tongues (lead verse).  This comes from being born again of the Spirit (John 3:5) – when Christ comes to dwell in our hearts by faith (Ephesians 3:16-17),

So we are taught the truth with no lie – and learn to put off lying tongues (Jeremiah 9:5, 1 John 2:27).  So we learn to speak and act more and more like Jesus each day (Ephesians 4:20-32).  So we practice the gospel we preach (Romans 2:19-23, 1 Corinthians 9:14).  So we don’t just weigh in on whatever is going on in Christianity – but so our words start having weight – in showing the lost the way to the Cross.

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us – by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. – Titus 3:5

– Let us draw near with a true heart in all assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. – Hebrews 10:22

When you were a kid, did you ever go outside and play in clean clothes your mother had just washed? How much time did it take – at times – for you to get them all covered with grime or grass stains again? When you came in, did your mom say something like, “Well, it sure didn’t take you long to get dirty, did it?” Perhaps this was followed by a heavy sigh, and “Guess I’ll just have to wash them all over again.”

A similar scene plays out daily for Christians.  Even though God’s Word resides in us by faith in Jesus (Ephesians 3:16-17), we still have to go outside into the world to live and work.  It often does not take long for our hearts to get filled and filthy with its grime.  If this dirt is not washed away on a regular basis by God, sin will begin to taint our talk once again (Luke 6:45, Ephesians 4:29, Colossians 3:8).

We know the benefits of regular bathing.  Clogged pores can create all kinds of skin problems if they remain uncleansed too long.  However, clogged hearts can create all kinds of sin problems if they remain unwashed too long.  We can wash outer skin daily with the soap and water of the world – but inner sin can only be cleansed daily – by the washing of our hearts with the water by the Word (Ephesians 5:26).

All hearts are desperately wicked from the womb – deceitful above all other things (Jeremiah 17:9).  This wickedness has to be washed away – so we may be saved (Jeremiah 4:14).  However, this has to be done from heaven.  God has to steadily scrub away our sins – washing them by the regeneration of the Holy Ghost.  If we resist our daily bath by failing to confess our sins (1 John 1:9), we remain dirty in them.

The longer dirt stays on clothes, the deeper it can set into the fabric.  It can often take repeated washings to remove any stains.  Likewise, the longer sin stays in our hearts, the deeper it can set into our souls.  It can take repeated washings from above.  Failing to repent on a daily basis is just repeating the sin cycle over and over.  Our old man cannot pass away if our hearts are not purified daily (2 Corinthians 5:17).

While this washing is going on, we are still walking around in the world and collecting more dirt from different sins.  More dirt requires more cleaning. However, this process will never make our heart completely clean and pure from sin (Proverbs 20:9). If we should ever believe we are completely clean from sin – we have made God a liar.  We deceive ourselves, and His truth is not in us (1 John 1:8-10).

If we’ve been born again of the Spirit (John 3:3-7) – we have a well of water springing up inside us to eternal life (John 4:14).  We are still broken vessels if we should forsake this fountain (Jeremiah 2:13). However, if we believe in Jesus, we shall have rivers of living water flowing from our bellies (John 7:38-39).  We just have to bathe in it – for it is forever clean and pure, no matter how dirty our sins are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– God is angry with the wicked every day. – Psalm 7:11

– This is your wickedness.  Because it is bitter – because it reaches unto your heart. – Jeremiah 4:18

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just wipe out wickedness in the world once and for all?  Wouldn’t our lives then be no trouble at all, and evil would never befall us again?  There would finally be the world peace pursued by so many prophets, poets, and politicians alike – for so long?  However, if it were all so easy, wouldn’t our human intelligence and inventions have eliminated evil by now?

If you’re reading this right now, you may already be asking yourself questions about the lead verse. Maybe one such as: “If Christ is the Prince of Peace, then where is the peace (Isaiah 9:6)?”  Perhaps the query is, “Why do bad things always seem to happen to good people (Isaiah 57:1, Daniel 9:5-14, Mark 10:18)?”  Or, “If He is angry with the wicked daily, why isn’t He doing anything about them?”

Well, He is.  However, our Father handles wickedness from heaven with long-suffering, and the mercy He abounds and delights in every morning we are able to wake up (Exodus 34:6, Lamentations 3:22-23, Micah 7:18, 2 Peter 3:9),  How often does man deal with evil the same way, with such patience and much pardoning?  How often do we want someone to get what we think they deserve?

God is always ready to pardon, if we return to Him when we err and go astray.  Our Father is gracious and merciful – being slow to anger and of great kindness (Nehemiah 9:17).  It means every evil work or wicked act is not going to be met with heavenly discipline.  If God did punish us each time we messed up, who among us would be able to stand the pain for very long (Ezra 9:13, Hebrews 2:2-3)?

Still, some just can’t stand letting others get away with the evil God seems to permit freely.  They can have attitudes of  “I have to do something about this matter here on earth – because it does not seem to matter very much in heaven.”  Many movie and TV show story lines these days seem to be centered on characters seeking vengeance.  This is never wise with God (Hebrews 10:30-31).

However, maybe this is you.  Have you ever thought, “Where is this loving God I hear about?  Where is this God of justice?  Everyone who does evil is good in His sight – why He even seems to delight in such people sometimes.”  Or, “God’s law is slack and His judgement never goes forth.  The wicked surround the righteous – therefore, wrong judgement has to be proceeding from heaven.  I must fix it.”

There is never anything new to God (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  Some felt like this in Biblical times (Malachi 2:17, Habakkuk 1:4).  However, projecting the wickedness problem on others is not the solution.  It is easier – for it keeps us from pointing the finger of fault at our hearts.  But – God did not fashion them to be wonderful.  If He had made perfect hearts, He never would have had to sacrifice Christ.

Our hearts were designed to be desperately wicked and deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9).  So we would not foolishly trust them (Proverbs 28:26). So we could not pave our own path to heaven – proclaiming our own goodness or innocence as the way to get there (Proverbs 20:6, Jeremiah 2:35).  So we would have to get there how God designed before this world began (Titus 1:2).

Next Sunday:  Why the road to heaven is narrow (Matthew 7:14), why the righteous scarcely get saved (1 Peter 4:18), and where we can err and go off course so many times along the way – even as Christians.

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