Category Archives: Paths of Life

A True Prophetic Vision

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law. -Proverbs 29:18, ESV

A prophet declares the word of the Lord. In that sense, pastors and evangelists are prophets!

But we tend to hear the word “prophetic” and think “telling the future.” There certainly is an element of this, but we must remember the the other part of prophecy: revealing what is hidden … not just the future, but in our lives.

Most importantly, prophecy reveals God’s expectations.

Therefore, a good pastor and evangelist remind people that God has set His expectation for how we are to live (summed up in the Ten Commandments, which are summed up as “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself”), and that we will one day be judged by how we have done. More specifically, we will be judged by whether or not we followed God’s Son, Jesus.

The prophetic vision we have is that God has a standard, as modeled in Jssus, and He will be coming back to the earth in judgment.

If we neglect to teach and remind this world of this, people will throw off restraint and wantonly sin, either because they see no need for a Savior (“We’re basically good!”), or because they see grace giving them license (“We can do whatever we want, because God forgives!”)

We are either going to be judged guilty by how we rejected Christ or how we defiled Christ.

Only by believing in and emulating Christ’s sacrificial work – allowing His cleansing blood to cover us with forgiveness and grace to live a life of forgiveness, grace, and love – will we be ready for His imminent return.

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Leaving a Murderer Alone

A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him. -Proverbs 28:17, KJV

It may seem like this verse is saying “Leave a murderer alone,” but we must remember that proverbs tend to speak on truths, not necessarily declare truths.

Rather, what Solomon was saying is more akin to “Avoid the violent person who refuses to change.” It does not mean that person should not be imprisoned or otherwise punished, but do not try to change the person.

That may seem like a strange thing for a Christian to say. Hear me out.

We can not change a person. Only God can do that. We can pray for God to change them, but it is His to do.

In fact, that was a big reason Jesus came, and it points to the ultimate truth of this verse.

Jesus shed His blood and sent the Holy Spirit to change us. If a person refuses the Holy Spirit and denies Jesus’ sacrifice (the full definition of “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit”), they remain under the wrath of God and responsibility for Christ’s blood being spilled. They are still on their way to the pit, to eternal death.

There is nothing else we can do after telling them the truth of the gospel.

Share the truth, but do not force the truth on them.


Am I jumping to conclusions?

Image result for jump to conclusionsUh oh! Here we go.

How often do I jump to conclusions about what I saw or heard? Way too often. More than I like to admit. Probably much more than I actually know.

It is wise advise to not assume and take time to discover what is really going on. Maybe it is what I thought. It is entirely possible that it isn’t what I thought.

God is God. He is the only one who knows for sure. It will be up to Jesus to be the final judge and clearly not up to me.

“Don’t jump to conclusions — there may be
    a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.” ~King Solomon

Source: Proverbs 25:8

The main theme of the sayings in this section is the nature of conflict and the way to avoid or resolve it.

  • Do not rush into public conflict, certain that right is on your side, nor if you make it a private matter, reveal all your sources; either way you may end up humiliated (8–10).
  • Don’t lose your self-control, or you may find you have lost everything (28).
  • Don’t be put off from speaking the truth in love and resisting evil but be careful how you do it.

What is good leadership?

AgendaGod has a goal for me. My job is to focus on it.

Some times my thoughts wander off when I am praying and meditating. They move away to my “agenda” and what I believed I should be focused on.

The Messiah Jesus has His own agenda. Better to follow it. Jesus directs my thoughts where He wants them to go. My heart is in His hand. It moves according to His direction.

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The Message I Shall Repeat

He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour. -Proverbs 21:21, KJV

Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor. -Proverbs 21:21, ESV

Sometimes I feel like all I do is repeat myself.

But with the words of Life, it is good and proper to have things repeated.

Case in point, there is only one way to find righteousness, and it is summed up in the [two] Greatest Commandment[s]:

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”
Luke 10:27

Jesus also tells us,

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness
Matthew 6:33a

“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
John 14:6

If you truly desire life, righteousness, and honor, seek God through Christ. It is His righteousness gifted to us through His sacrifice on the cross and imputed by the Holy Spirit that brings these rewards.

And I will repeat it all my days.


In the Pit of Your Stomach

The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord , searching all the inward parts of the belly. -Proverbs 20:27, KJV

In Matthew 5, Jesus said we Christians are the light of the world who should let that light shine by doing good works that bring others to the Lord.

Now, many people attempt to do good works without bothering to include God, both Christians and non-Christians.

Isaiah was the one who reminded us that our works done apart from God are … *ahem* … dirty rags. (64:6. Ask your pastor if you do not know the full meaning of “dirty rags”.)

What does all of this have to do with Proverbs 20:27?

The light within us is God, the one who sustains our lives, even when we are living apart from His ways. In both Jeremiah (31:33) and Hebrews we are told that in these last days God has written His Law on our minds and hearts.

One way of looking at this is that He has seared our conscience with what is right. We “instinctively know” what is right and wrong.

Yet, when we do not live in accordance with His Spirit, even our best intentions are tainted by our selfish, sinful desires and actions.

It is when you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach that something is not right. So, when God searches our “inward parts of the belly” (i.e. our hearts), He can see our selfish, sinful leanings.

But He also regenerates our hearts and minds by His Spirit to do truly good, God-honoring and glorifying works.


A Beauty of Gray

The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head. -Proverbs 20:29, KJV

I have always wanted gray (or even white) hair.

I know. I am fairly odd.

I have three friends who all went white-haired in their twenties. A few others were noticeably gray by 25.

As for yours truly, I have earned a few gray hairs over my few short years.

At least I am tall and lanky so that I have some semblance of strength. I am a bit of a gentle giant, and that garners some respect (mostly from my wife who can’t reach top shelves or move heavy boxes or bags easily.)

But why do I want gray hair?

I instinctively understood it as a child, but grew to understand it better as I grew.

It is not just that it can look dignified. Gray hairs tell others we have been through life. They tell others we have struggled through some of life’s problems and come out wiser.

Gray hairs are earned by learning life lessons the hard way.

I have been through my share of struggles and have earned some grays, but the Lord blessed me with thick, persistently dark hair.

It almost scares me to consider how much wisdom He yet wants me to learn (“fear the Lord”), but the few grays I do own have taught me to trust His lessons and timing.

And that is beautiful.