Foolish or Virtuous?

Proverbs 9:13 A foolish woman [is] clamorous: [she is] simple, and knoweth nothing.

The Book of Proverbs is such a wonderful instruction book. God reveals to us how He views foolishness and what He thinks of being virtuous – all in one book! I find that when I don’t know what to read in my Bible, I can always turn to Proverbs and walk away with something that the Lord wants to say to me! 🙂

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the words “foolish” and “clamorous” as:

FOOL’ISH, a. 1. Void of understanding or sound judgment; weak in intellect; applied to general character. 2. Unwise; imprudent; acting without judgment or discretion in particular things. 3. Proceeding from folly, or marked with folly; silly; vain; trifling. But foolish questions avoid. 2 Tim 2. 4. Ridiculous; despicable. A foolish figure he must make. 5. In scripture, wicked; sinful; acting without regard to the divine law and glory, or to one’s own eternal happiness. O foolish Galatians – Gal 3. 6. Proceeding from depravity; sinful; as foolish lusts. 1 Tim

 CLAMOROUS, a. Speaking and repeating loud words; noisy; vociferous; loud; turbulent.

What a wonderful way for a Christian woman to learn to judge her own walk with the Lord, ladies! I’ll put my name in front of all of the definitions and see what the Lord is trying to teach me this morning! 🙂

Kate is void of understanding. Kate is void of sound judgment and weak in intellect.

Kate is unwise; Kate is imprudent; Kate is acting without judgment or discretion.

Kate is silly and vain.

Kate is dispicable and ridiculous.

Kate is wicked.

Kate is depraved and sinful.

Kate speaks and repeats loud words; Kate is noisy and turbulent.

Ouch! Let’s pause for a moment while I lick my wounds! 😉 This verse is packed with instruction. Our “How To” Manual, the Bible, says it perfectly! Our hearts have to desire to change. We remain miserable only when we remain fixed and continue to walk down our current path. Change can only happen when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct. He will never lead us down the wrong path, amen? He wants to teach us and to mold us into the image of Christ. That is the Holy Spirit’s job, after all. So as we look at that uphill path of spiritual growth, let’s remember that the changes will bring glory to the Lord!

So what must I do to change? I believe that acknowledgment of my sin is the best place to start. The Holy Spirit will reveal to me exactly what I’m guilty of and those statements above will pop right out at me… and they do! Then once I have acknowledged those areas, I seek the Lord’s forgiveness and move on! It is then that the Holy Spirit can work with a yielded heart and start a work of “opposites.” I can now gain wisdom and not be void of understanding or weak in intellect. I can now become wise through the Scriptures. As a result, I will no longer be silly or vain, etc. etc. I think you get my drift!

Lord, reveal to me those areas where I am weak. Help me to be molded in your image and help me to yield myself to the Holy Spirit! Father, I would rather be a virtuous woman than this foolish woman of Proverbs 9:13. Forgive me, Lord! Restore me and mold me into the image of your Son, Jesus, for it’s in His name that I pray! Amen.

In a Book

From the beginning, God has desired to have His Word recorded in a book of some kind. I believe that it was so important to have God’s Words written in a book that He stated in His Word 12 times! The first historical record of God’s desire for His Word in written form can be found in the oldest book of the Bible, Job: (Job 19:23) Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!

Why do you think God would want us to have His Word in written form?

(1) For an on-going memorial:

(Exo 17:14) And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.

What was so important about this this first recorded war with Israel? Why did God request it be recorded in a book as a memorial? Matthew Henry’s comment is a precious blessing:

It was great encouragement to the people to see Joshua before them in the field of battle, and Moses above them on the hill. Christ is both to us; our Joshua, the Captain of our salvation, who fights our battles, and our Moses, who ever lives, making intercession above, that our faith fail not. Weapons formed against God’s Israel cannot prosper long, and shall be broken at last. Moses must write what had been done, what Amalek had done against Israel; write their bitter hatred; write their cruel attempts; let them never be forgotten, nor what God had done for Israel in saving them from Amalek. Write what should be done; that in process of time Amalek should be totally ruined and rooted out. Amalek’s destruction was typical of the destruction of all the enemies of Christ and his kingdom.

What a blessing! I also noticed that it was to be rehearsed – repeated. Noah Webster defines the word as:

1. To recite; to repeat the words of a passage or composition; to repeat the words of another.

God’s Word was not to be put away on a shelf or interpreted only by “certain” people. (2Pe 1:20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. It was to be repeated over and over. That is how we get to know God’s Word so completely that we no longer stumble. We have it committed to memory. (Deu 6:6-8 ) And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: (6) And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (7) And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. (8 ) What was to be a sign and as frontlets between our eyes? Verse six says God’s Words! Noah Webster defines frontlets as:

[from front.] A frontal or browband; a fillet or band worn on the forehead. Deu 6.

God wants us to keep His Word ever present in our hand and in our heads, as well as in our hearts (verse 6). We are to teach our children and others diligently in every aspect of our lives (verse 7). Why?

2. To point to Christ:

(Deu 31:24-26) And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, (24) That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, (25) Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee. (26)

The priesthood (the Levites) was charged with baring the ark. The ark symbolizes the Lord Jesus Christ. The Ark was made of shittim wood, an extremely strong and durable wood which represents our Saviour’s incorruptibility. It was covered with a gold in and out to represent Christ’s complete deity together with His humanity. The golden crown represents Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Ten Commandments were kept inside the Ark showing us that Christ kept these Commandments. The books of the Law were kept on the side of the Ark. Since Jesus is the Word of God, the Law (the books) were kept on the side of the Ark. The Law is made perfect through Him. (Mat 5:17) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. The Law is what makes us realize that we are sinners. (Gal 3:24) Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Gal 3:25) But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. The book of the Law shows mankind that it is impossible to keep the whole Law (James 2:10). I love how the Law was kept on the side of the Ark. It reminded me that Christ’s side was pierced at His death. (Joh 19:34) But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

What a beautiful picture of the Ark and Christ! The Ark is permanent – everlasting. Christ is everlasting – His Word is everlasting. God pointed that out in His Word as well. (Psa 119:144) The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.

3. To make it permanent:

(Isa 30:8 ) Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:

God’s Word does not expire – it does not become outdated – it is forever and ever. I was excited to find that there are seven occurrences in Scripture that contain the words “word, for ever”! Seven symbolizes perfection – God’s perfect number! The Word is perfect.

(2Sa 7:25) And now, O LORD God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said.

(Psa 105:8 ) He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.

(Psa 119:89) LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

(Psa 119:160) Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

(Isa 40:8 ) The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

(1 Pe 1:23) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

(1 Pe 1:25) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

For the Word to be everlasting, never ending, we must have it in its entirety.

4. To make it complete:

(Jer 30:2) Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.

(Jer 36:2) Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.

Notice that God told Jeremiah to write ALL the words. God said this twice! What good is just some words? What good is a story without a beginning or an end? What good is a contract without the signature line? God’s Word is complete and God’s Word will come to pass.

(Num 11:23) And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD’S hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.

(Isa 55:11) So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shal
l prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

(Jer 1:12) Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.

(Mat 5:18 ) For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

The written Word of God in a Book, complete and perfect without error, points us to Christ and His coming judgment.

5. To warn us about what is to come:

(Jer 51:60) So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, even all these words that are written against Babylon.

(Rev 1:1) The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

(Rev 1:11) Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

We are without excuse, dear lady. God has not left us without direction. He has given us a Book that contains His Words for mankind! From the beginning there has been an effort to corrupt God’s Word because of ole slew foot! (Gen 3:1) Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? The devil caused man to question God’s Word in the Garden of Eden and it continues today.

But Satan continues his attacks and tries to corrupt God’s Word because he knows that the Truth lies within its pages. (Rom 1:25) Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. This is Satan’s primary goal. If he can succeed in keeping people from reading God’s True Word, he can keep people from being saved. He can keep believers from growing and having power through Christ.

Please, Father, don’t let me get complacent
When it comes to reading Your blessed Word
May I keep it as frontlets ‘tween my eyes
Keeping e’er before me, the Spirit’s sword.

Self Esteem


And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (Luk 16:15) I truly believe that the worse “new teaching” from the world today is the one of self esteem. This teaching is definitely not scriptural and it has done so much damage. It is not a new teaching but it is certainly more prevalent in today’s world than in the past. Everyone is focused on me, myself and I. What’s in it for me? You offended me! You hurt my feelings. You’re no better than I am. Don’t tell Johnny, who’s in the tenth grade that he is only reading at fifth grade level, you’ll ruin his self esteem! No where in God’s Word does it say that we should esteem ourselves! Why do you think people are conceited and full of themselves? They have been “self esteemed” to the point of nausea!

Noah Webster’s definition of the word esteem is SO very different from today’s.

1. To set a value on, whether high or low; to estimate; to value.

Then he forsook God who made him, and lightly esteemed the rock of his salvation. Deu 32.

They that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 Sam 2.

2. To prize; to set a high value on; to regard with reverence, respect or friendship. When our minds are not biased, we always esteem the industrious, the generous, the brave, the virtuous, and the learned.

Will he esteem thy riches? Job 36.

Merriam-Webster’s definition 

is the regard in which one is held; especially: high regard

Merriam’s definition is quite diluted, isn’t it?  His diluted definition reminds me of how diluted our teaching from God’s Word is to our children.  We don’t follow the Word of God to the letter – we add our own twist to it and that leads to dysfunction children.

What things in God’s Word are we to esteem? Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. (Job 23:12) Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. (Psa 119:128 ) God’s Word should be esteemed. If you were to place the emphasis of Merriam’s definition for esteem to God’s Word, you would not be totally convinced that it deserved such a high rating, right? But if you put Noah’s definition, you see that the Bible is to be prized and reverenced. This is a much different viewpoint! No wonder the worldly Christians do not look to the Word of God to change them. They don’t revere it, therefore, it’s impact on their lives is minimal.

Does God regard esteem as sin? And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (Luk 16:15) (emphasis mine) God considers it an abomination if you esteem that which is ungodly.

Whom should we esteem? Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (Phi 2:3) and And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. (1 Th 5:13) We should esteem the brethren better than ourselves and we should esteem those who are over us – our deacons and our Pastors. No where in my 27 years of salvation have I ever read in God’s Word that I should think highly of myself. If I love the brethren, they will always take precedence over me. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, (1 Cor 13:4) Paul says that our love for each other will cause us to be longsuffering with each other, be kind to each other, not envy one another, and not think highly of ourselves. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. (Rom 12:16)

Dear lady, these are not the Bible verses encouraging us to have self esteem! These verses are encouraging us to be humble, meek and low in pride. What will happen to the one who thinks highly of himself? Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him. (Job 40:11)

Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. (Eze 21:26)

Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase. (Dan 4:37)

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. (Mat 23:12)

For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luk 14:11)

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luk 18:14)

None of these verses sound like words from a support group for self-esteem. Quite the opposite. We should rather be humble and be promoted to the front of the line by the Lord than to think more of ourselves and have Him tell us to get to the back of the line. If anyone had reason for self-esteem, it was the Lord Jesus Christ. But He humbled Himself to the point of dying for you and I. If we are to walk in His footsteps, how can we possibly have self-esteem and say that it comes from God? This is hypocrisy – we should do well to learn from the account of the Pharisee and the Publican.

Dear God…
May our eyes be off ourselves
And focused on others instead
May we be as humble as You were
As You walked the path to your death

Worldiness

Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (Tit 2:12)

Denying ourselves of ungodly things and worldly lusts is a battle indeed. The first step is to be able to recognize these things in our lives. How can one recognize them if one is knee-deep in the world? I have seen what allowing the world into one’s life can do to a person. I know someone personally who use to live right. Somehow the devil has gotten compromise in this brother’s life and now he is doing things I never dreamed I’d ever see him do. He still goes to church and serves in different ministries. The sad thing is he no longer sees these compromises as sin but as his “right” and “liberty” in Christ! It grieves me to see someone use Christianity as an excuse to do whatever they want. There’s no consideration given to the weaker brother who is watching and may be pushed to sin because of the poor testimony displayed.

What about you, dearl lady? You can’t be around a skunk for more than just a few seconds and the smell disgusts you. You also come away feeling like you smell like a skunk, don’t you? However, the longer you’re around the stench, the less you smell it. I grew up in Northern Maine. A few times a year, we would drive to Massachusetts to visit my sister. The route my father used went right through Lincoln, Maine. We always knew when we were getting close because of the awful smell of their paper mill. This town would have been a great stopping point to eat but we never would stop there because we just could not stand the smell! As children, we would block our noses and breathe through our mouths as we went through that town, it was that bad. We actually met people who had lived there all their lives and they claimed they couldn’t smell it! It’s the same with worldliness. The longer you are exposed to it and allow it to come into your life, the more it will permeate your life and your ability to discern it will deteriorate. Not only that, but think of what it’s doing to the Lord???  The One who died for us and paid the debt for our wretched sin is watching us discard the appreciation we once had and exchange it for living like the world!  It’s comparable to the Israelites in the wilderness who wanted to return to Egypt!!!

I find this type of worldly behavior by Christians as immature. They are like toddlers who keep saying, “Mine!” “Give me!” “I want!” “Don’t tell me what to do!” A dear brother in Christ shared this spiritual growth chart with me and I thought it fit perfectly here 🙂

Spiritual Growth Chart

Babies

Pacifier – Always needing to feel like you are eating but happy with just going through the motions and not really having to swallow anything or digest any truth. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (Heb 5:13)

Diaper Changes – Making messes uncontrollably that must be cleaned up by other more mature people. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. (1Th 5:14)

Crying for attention – Crying not because of pain or hunger, cold or hot, or any other discomfort but because you want attention. Babies lie to get attention! Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Phi 4:11)

Thoughts – They know that they exist and they begin to learn. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: (Psa 139:23)

Toddlers

Banging Heads – They see what they want and plunge in after it but they never see any danger. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. (Pro 4:19)

Poison – They will put anything in their mouths But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Heb 5:14)

Falls – They will walk right off of the edge or trip over the most obvious hazards. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. (Joh 11:10)

Undisciplined – This is the age where discipline must be taught, this is where we learn what no means. He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. (Pro 13:24)

Learning – Begin to learn the first hard lessons of life usually the hard way. Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. (Psa 25:4)

Childhood

Newness – Everything is new and must be discovered. This is where the greatest learning takes place. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:4)

Recognition – We begin to recognize what causes sickness and pain, joy and pleasure. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. (Psa 119:7)

Socialization – We learn to play with others and learn from someone other than our parents. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Eph 4:32)

Independence – We can feed ourselves and maintain ourselves with only a little help and nudging. We begin to make decisions. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. (1Jo 2:14)

Education – The beginning of a formal education they learn the basics from adults. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psa 111:10)

Pre-Teen – Teen

Assertion – We begin to assert ourselves as individuals and demand some control over our lives. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. (Deu 8:6)

Rebellion – We rebel against the authority of others over our life. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (1Sa 15:23)

Individuality – We begin to show our individuality and uniqueness. But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. (1Co 12:18 )

Abilities – We now have the ability to do constructive work or to destroy the work of others. If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? (1Co 12:17)

Pride – We gain pride thus reaching the age of accountability. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (Pro 16:18 )

Self centered – The world is there to serve us. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. (Phi 2:4)

Knowledge – Begins to become knowledgeable of the deeper things of the World around them. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Pro 1:7)

Adult

Responsibility – Takes responsibility for his own actions good or bad. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. (1Jo 2:10)

Wisdom – Understands truth and his own limitations thus reverences the Creator. The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. (Pro 16:31)

Service – Works for the benefit of others and not just for self. A
nd the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, (2Ti 2:24) In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (2Ti 2:25) And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2Ti 2:26)

Sacrifice – Gives of themselves for their family and the ones that they love. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Rom 12:1)

Diligence – Does the routine things and the things that are expected of them. Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. (Pro 22:29)

Higher Education – They can now gain that higher knowledge of the mysterious things of creation and beyond. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. (Psa 143:10)

So, dear lady, where are you in the Spiritual Growth Chart? Are you as far away from the stench of worldliness or have you hung around it long enough that the “scent” is all over you? This need not be your story. Paul said you can turn it around by living soberly, righteously, and godly. Get in the Word …. stop quenching the Holy Spirit of God and allow Him to prick your heart and point out the areas of compromise and worldliness you to need to work on. It’s never too late to turn your life around and be at peace once again. If you were to be totally honest, you cannot say that your worldly life has brought you any true peace. Won’t you turn today and serve the Lord again? Now teach your children to do the same.

Dear God…
Compromise and worldliness
An awful stench they leave
May Your Holy Spirit cleanse me
While to Your Side I cleave

Submission and Obedience

One cannot be submissive without obedience – one cannot be obedient without being submissive. They go hand-in-hand, don’t they?

Our children are commanded to obey. We are commanded to obey God. We are commanded to submit ourselves to God. Woman are commanded to submit themselves to their own husbands. We can glean much if we read verses dealing with this topic and applying it to our lives. If we practice true biblical obedience and submission, how can an unsaved husband or disobedient husband to the Word help but see God’s goodness through our actions? If we, as wives, are not obedient and submissive to our husbands, how can we expect our children to be obedient to us? If we’re not practicing what we preach to our children, are we not hypocrites?

But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers. (1Sa 12:15)

When we know that God wants us to do something, yet we don’t do it, we are being disobedient. We are sinning. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (Jam 4:17) Therefore, if God tells us to submit to our own husbands in all things, and we don’t submit in one little area, are we not sinning?

And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. (1Sa 15:22) We can play the game of sacrifice all we want, but if we disobey in one area, we are not a delight to the Lord. Let’s say my husband tells me to do something I don’t want to do. Instead I make up for it by going the extra mile in doing other things for him – that is the game of sacrifice rather than obedience. I may have all the warm fuzzy feelings in the world because I did all those extra things for him, but I did not do what he asked me to do.

But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. (Jer 7:23) When we obey, God says it will be well with us. We will have peace in our homes and foremost in our hearts. Women are emotional creatures. God made us that way. If we are trying to be a yielded vessel to God, we know automatically when we are not doing right. We do not have that peace that our actions are what God wants. We lie to our own selves when we say that we are doing the “right” thing yet we know it is not our husband’s will.

Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. (Col 3:20) Don’t expect your children to obey you if you don’t obey/submit to your husband. Your children do not have to witness your unsubmissive spirit – it will be evident in other ways and you will reap with disobedient children. When your children are disobedient, look inward – examine yourself first. Are you a submissive wife? If you are, then deal with your children accordingly. If you’re not, then deal with yourself accordingly. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Gal 6:7)

Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: (Col 3:22) Obedience and submission is such an important lesson for us to learn. Without it, there is chaos. That is the reason the world is in the shape it’s in. We have lost our singleness of heart (purity of heart – separation) and our fear of God. We do not see our disobedience as sin. We think we know better or have more wisdom than our husband. But the Word does not say to submit only when we think it’s right.

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; (1 Pe 3:1) Why would Peter say this? The “conversation” of a meek and submissive wife speaks volumes to her unsaved or disobedient husband. He does not need the Word. He sees the Word in action by her submission!

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (Eph 5:22) Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. (Col 3:18 ) Twice Paul commands the wives to submit their own husbands. Take notice and obey. To do otherwise, is sin.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (Jam 4:7) When we submit ourselves to our husbands, we are submitting to God’s will for our lives – as unto the Lord. God did not create us to rule our homes. No matter if we could do a better job than our husbands can, it is not our place to rule and go against his wishes. We do not have the God-given wisdom and discernment that God gives to men. We were made to nurtur, not lead. We women are emotional and do not base our decisions on logic as a man does. The devil will whisper in our ear and say that we know better but we should not succumb. We are to resist the devil – submit ourselves to God by submitting ourselves to our husbands.

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. (Eph 5:33) The word reverence is only ever used in Scriptures as it relates to God, a king, superiors or our husbands. That should tell you something. Noah Webster says reverence means:

…to regard with fear mingled with respect and affection. We reverence superiors for their age, their authority and their virtues. We ought to reverence parents and upright judges and magistrates. We ought to reverence the Supreme Being, his word and his ordinances.

If a woman willingly submits to her husband, she reverences him. She shows him that she gives him the respect he rightly deserves. He should not receive it only when he earns it – his position as husband and head of your home says he deserves reverence. This is God appointed and God commanded. Without this order, there is chaos in the home.

Godly submission, obedience and reverence are our goals in life, ladies. We are to practice, practice, practice! When you go against your husband’s wishes, can you honestly admit that your heart and your home are at peace? Honestly? If you are experiencing strife in your home, look to your heart first and see if you are being the submissive wife God has commanded you to be. Only then will you know for sure. If you’re not, repent and ask forgiveness from God and from your dear husband.

If you are submitting to your husband as unto the Lord, God will give you grace during your trial and will provide for every need you have. He does not forsake us!!!

Temptation

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Pet 5:8) As I was meditating on this verse this morning, I thought of ways I could be sober and vigilant to avoid temptation. Truly, the only way to be able to do this is if I stay in God’s Word. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psa 119:11) The more we are in His Word, the more we will be able to be sober and vigilant. We’ll have Scripture fresh in our minds and available to meet our spiritual need of the moment. We’ll have filled our mind with spiritual vitamins to strengthen ourselves.

James says that it is our own lusts that entice us to sin. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (Jam 1:14) If a believer has been in the Word and is drawing nigh to God, he will be able to be sober and vigilant when the devil comes as a roaring lion. But even when our defenses are down, our Heavenly Father pities us and knows what we are going through and He promises to help us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (Psa 103:13) God knows what we need and is able to deliver us. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations… (2 Pet 2:9a) Because He knows and is able to deliver us, He goes to great lengths to help us. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Cor 10:13) (Emphasis mine)

Oh Christian, we don’t need to wallow in sin like the world. We have the ability to ward off temptation. Each time we are in the Word drawing nigh to God, we are building up our defenses. Each day we should start by asking the Lord to protect us against the day’s temptations. Christ taught us this in His model prayer. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Mat 6:13)

As I am being sober and vigilant, I find that I am not so easily led astray. I’m aware of my surroundings and I do not place myself in situations where I know I will be tempted. I will not be quick to go out with unsaved acquaintances because I know that they will not have my spiritual interests at heart. Instead, I will ward off temptation and steer clear. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (2 Pet 3:17)

My morning manna from God’s Word prepares me to be spiritually fueled for the day. I feel like I have armor on and am ready for battle. My thoughts are filled with the Word and what I have gleaned. My thoughts are not on my troubles of the day because I’ve already shared those with the Lord and left them with Him. I also find that when my thoughts are not on myself, I am not easily tempted. There is nothing like a good pity party to get one focused on self and everything we lack in life. The lust of the flesh is aroused and bang! The roaring lion pounces and we are tempted to sin. But do not be discouraged, my friend, Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4) What lovely words those are! Thank You, Lord!

 

God’s Mercy

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. Psalm 103:10,11

Praise the Lord that our Heavenly Father does not reward us according to our sins the way we deserve to be dealt with. Had it not been for our Saviour’s work on the cross, we would all be gonners! But the fact that we no longer have to worry about spending eternity in hell’s burning flames does not mean that it stops there.

A good study on hell and what it has in store for those who are not born again and blood bought is so needful today! I can probably count on one hand the number of times the topic of hell has been the center of conversation in those Christians around me. I have maybe heard two messages in my 33+ years of salvation on the teaching of hell. Why is that? Not only do the lost need to hear where they will be spending eternity but I believe the saved would be more challenged to be soul winners if they had a clear understanding of where these lost souls are going!

What is hell all about? The Bible mentions the word “hell” 54 times. There are three terms that are used to reference hell: Sheol, Hades and Gehenna. Most of Christ’s accounts of hell were referring to Hades and Gehenna. The most popular use of Hades was the account of the rich man in Luke 16:22-24. Here all of the rich man’s natural senses were affected by being in Hades. The account shows that the rich man could see what was happening, he spoke to Father Abraham, he could hear Father Abraham’s response, his mind was clear because he recognized where he was and where Father Abraham was, he cried to him for mercy, he asked Father Abraham to help his family on earth, he felt the pain because he thirsted and asked for water. All his senses were affected, as well as his emotions. He was so aware of his surroundings and what he was suffering that he did not want his family to go through the same thing. He knew he could not escape the torment he was in and it was too late for him, but not too late for his family. It was too late for him to be a soul winner at this point.

Gehenna is another term for hell which refers to the Lake of Fire after Great White Throne judgment. Rev. 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. The souls in hell (Hades) will experience a second death at this point and be thrown into Gehenna (the lake of fire). Gehenna’s fires are so real that Jesus warned that it would be better to lose an eye or other part of our bodies than to be whole in the Lake of Fire! (Mark 9:43-48 ) That’s pretty serious stuff – to be told to cut off a part of your own body! Jesus said it is better that we cut off a hand and enter heaven a partial man than to be in that Lake of Fire with a whole body!

Jesus also said in Matt. 18:8 that the flames are everlasting! Have you ever burned yourself on the stove or with a hot iron? The first thing I do is run to get a cold glass of cold water filled with icecubes and dip my finger in it until the pain subsides. But this won’t be an option to the unsaved person who is cast here! Matthew 3:12 also says that the fires are unquenchable. It’s not like a campfire that dies down after a while. These flames keep going.

The Bible shows us that the Lake of Fire will have different degrees of punishment also. God’s punishment will be given out to the lost in same degree that they denied His Word. Luke 12:47-48 describes it well: And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. (47) But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (48 ) I also think of Rom. 2:5-6, But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; (5) Who will render to every man according to his deeds:(6)

My friend, all will stand before Christ and give an account of every action we have done. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Cor. 5:10) It’s reiterated in Rev. 2:23, And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

I look at it this way, those unsaved who get “few stripes” will burn for all eternity at a level like being burned all over with the most horrible sun burn he’s ever had. The unsaved who gets “many stripes” will be burning at a level of being totally engulfed with fire!! Both will be suffering but at different degrees. However, they will all share equally in hell’s permanence (eternity) and its unquenching flames – there will be no reprieve – there will be no death as a result of these burns. Granted, there is no way for me to know exactly the pain levels the lost will experience – this is just my interpretation which helps me to imagine. Whatever it takes for you to get a burden for the lost soul, do it! This is just my way of keeping myself motivated to win the lost.

The unsaved stand no chance. Luke’s account of the rich man says it all. Once the unsaved dies, it is too late. There is no going back and changing one’s mind. The Hitlers and Neros of this world will suffer greater punishment once they are released from Hades and cast into that Lake of Fire. In my soul winning efforts, I’ve come across people who just don’t see their sin. They can’t be saved if they don’t know they are lost. But upon death, it will be a horrible awakening in a place where the worm dieth not. Christ spoke this statement three times in Mark 9:44-48. Not only is there no escaping hell’s fire for the unbeliever, but the pain and torment of being burned continuously goes on for all eternity. I cannot even begin to imagine what it will be like for a person to be engulfed in flames and to continuously be burned and their body not turning to ash – just continuously burning and burning and burning. Not for just an hour, a day, or a week – but forever!

Christian, have I helped you to realize your need to tell your lost loved ones about where they will be spending eternity if they don’t repent and get saved? Prayerfully, this has renewed your zeal for lost souls! If not, shame on you.

If you are reading this and you are not born again, won’t you reconsider what you believe today? You may not believe in a literal hell. Many may say that hell is here on earth. But Jesus did not preach that at all. Don’t take what others say and make it your belief. Could you possibly be wrong? Have you been right about everything in your life? What if you’re wrong about this?

God created hell for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41). It is your choice to remain in the lost condition you are in right now. No one is forcing you to get saved. But admit this one thing … deep down inside you, you’re wondering if what I have said is even remotely true. I would rather exercise my little faith, be saved, and find out when I die that the Bible was true than to ignore my little faith and enjoy life full of sin only to find out that everything about hell was true and now I have to spend an eternity burning, writhing in pain for all eternity.

A wise Senior Saint once told me, “Hell’s fire is too hot and eternity is too long for me to ignore salvation!”

Dear God…
Please open the heart of the one who reads
What You have laid on my heart today
Create in me a burden so heavy and great
That I need to show someone salvation’s way.