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Good Doctrine

The Detour

As of this writing I’m sitting in a hotel bed in Conyers, Georgia. My wife and I were on our way to visit our daughter and son-in-law in South Carolina, but the long arm of Murphy’s Law caught up with us, causing us to make an unplanned stop.

Thank God for Gideons!

Now, because I woke up this morning with nothing in our room but the clothes we wore and our tooth brushes, I don’t have my Bible, nor do I have a computer in front of me (we left everything in the car during the rain storm). All I have is a Gideon Bible and my iPhone.

But I guess that’s good enough 🙂

So, here are my thoughts before I take an elevator down to breakfast – and as I tell our little dog to be quiet lest he get us in trouble.

The Doctrine

Solomon tells his son, “For I give you good doctrine…” (Proverbs 4:2a).

Doctrine is another word for teaching. Do you ever stop to consider the quality of what you’re teaching others? Solomon obviously had, and he was able to distinguish between good doctrine and bad.

But how do we know if what we teach others – our children, co-workers, class members, congregations, etc. – is “good doctrine?” How can we say with confidence “I give you good doctrine”?

Let me be honest, this is deep stuff, and I’ve yet to have a cup of hotel coffee. But the first thing that comes to mind is that we should know what is true, and that takes work.

Do you know why a Pastor of a church should not be a “novice” (1 Timothy 3:6)? One reason is because he has little life experience. You see, a seminary degree is great, but textbook knowledge is not as comforting to the brokenhearted as is a word based on experience.

But do you know why parenting is difficult? Because you learn on the go. All you have is the advice (doctrine) of others who’ve been there before and have learned from their mistakes.

Solomon had made mistakes. His father, David had made mistakes, leaving Solomon with several dead brothers. Now it was time for Solomon to write it all down – how to avoid the mistakes and live.

But for you and me, are we giving much thought to what we are teaching? Do we follow Paul’s advice to Timothy?

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee (1 Timothy 4:16).

My brain isn’t completely awake and out of bed, yet, but what I think we should take away from this morning’s Thought is a renewed determination to make sure what we teach, what we preach, and all our general advice is wholesome, beneficial, and true.

In order to do that, we must maintain wise counsel, pray a lot more, and stay in the Word – that’s where the most trustworthy doctrine can be found.

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The Preciousness of Wisdom

Hello, Dear Reader. I am a rarity to this blog, but I have come to share with you some truths of Wisdom which I have gleaned.

Last Summer, I found myself in a particularly tough place in regards to dating relationships. The person I was with for a period of three months was someone of immoral character and rebellion. He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, so to speak, and I, being the naïve woman looking for a nice and caring fellow, fell into the trap of enticement.

During the last couple of weeks of my relationship, I was interested in reading Scripture, but it was rooted in how I wanted to prove to my parents that this person I spent time with was worth the time I had invested. I began to read through Proverbs for a short time, but once my relationship ended I began to have a bitterness fester within my heart due to some underlying problems with self-image and self-value.

I have always hated the possibility that one day I would live up to my middle name which means “bitterness,” yet that is exactly what I had become: a bitter young woman, full of rebellion against my upbringing. I spent a majority of my time during the last half of last year and the first part of this year in hate and corruption of the mind and heart, and the worst part was that I knew exactly how to remedy that pain I put myself through.

In a paper I wrote at the beginning of this semester, I stated:

“I know that God is real and loving and forgiving; I know with all certainty that He wants me to come to Him. Even so, I do not want the help that He has to offer my wounded and rotting spirit. I do not want to muster up the courage it takes to allow Him to scrape the putrid rot from my soul, just as a doctor must scrape and clean a burn victim. I do not want the comfort that He sends me through the gracious acts of others as they hold me and speak life into my heart. I do not want what I need. I want my own efforts to win over. Never have I understood so clearly how a dying man fights for his last breath – until now. I know that God is real, but I would rather trust my fingernails for security.” – The Strength of My Own Fingernails

Now, as I am recovering from this season of life, I can look at Scripture again with a refreshed mind and soul. Here is what I have learned from Proverbs 2:

Wisdom is:

  • A protector via discernment (v. 3)
  • A saving grace from wicked people (v. 12-19)
  • Something which only comes from the Lord (v. 6)
  • Something which must be sought out (v. 1-5)
  • Something which has value (v. 4)

Sterling Silver

In verse 4, Solomon refers to the value of Wisdom as being like that of the value of silver. This precious metal has been used in jewelry for thousands of years, including a piece which is now on my left ring finger. I wear a sterling silver band for several reasons, one of which to serve as a reminder that God’s Wisdom is something to be cherished. If only I had listened to the teachings of this Word and my parent’s concerns before taking my course of actions last year! I would have saved myself so much heartache and regret!

Wisdom is worth seeking out; it is a treasure to obtain. The catch is this: you must be willing to sacrifice your personal agenda in order to journey to find this treasure. It was only after I sacrificed my lifestyle and my hurt to Christ that I was able to access the Lord’s Wisdom again. If you want this treasure, it must be the only thing you seek.


Wisdom With God

For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth [cometh] knowledge and understanding. – Proverbs 2:6

Think about the above verse for just a moment. From where does wisdom come?

As you look at the verse from a grammatical perspective, do you notice the colon that comes after “wisdom”? In this case what we see is the colon being used to separate two independent clauses, the second explaining or illustrating the first. Wisdom comes from the mouth of God, and that wisdom is His knowledge and understanding.

Now, take a moment and think about John 1:1.

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

What does John 1:14 say?

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

Is it beginning to make sense? Let’s talk about it in the comment section.


Here’s a New Thought

On the 1st day of April 2012, a new blog was born. Now, exactly six years later, ProverbialThought.com is being reborn…re-envisioned…rebooted…reinforced.

Welcome to Proverbial Thought (& More)!

More Contributors

Over the years we’ve had contributors come and go. Therefore, as we do a reboot, a new generation of authors will be joining our ranks, offering new and fresh perspectives. As a matter of fact, we are looking forward to having a few more ladies join our ranks this time around.

Just be aware, it will probably take a little time for everyone to get on board…some have yet to be asked.

A More Flexible Format

The last time we went through Proverbs we had a specific format. Every day we looked at a new proverb, one at a time in consecutive order, until we eventually commented on every proverb from chapter 1 to 31.

The last time around our contributors pre-selected what verses we would cover, put our names to them, then submitted a post in the proper order and (usually) at the appropriate time.

This time is going to be different.

This time we are going to cover a chapter a week. This time there will be no schedule. This time there will be no preselection of verses. This time we are going to be sharing our thoughts only on the verses that stand out, the ones God selects for us. If two people happen to pick the same proverb/verse, that’s OK – none of us will have the same perspective.

We haven’t worked out all the details at this point, but we hope to at least have a post a day from somebody, even if it’s only me (Anthony).

More Thoughts

All of our previous “proverbial thoughts” had a goal of around 500 words, give or take. Each post was to be like a mini-commentary with personal observation and application. The idea was to explain the proverb then give examples from our personal experiences how the wisdom of each proverb played out.

This time around we are simply going to share what the Holy Spirit is showing us, whether it be about ourselves, each other, our communities, or life in general.

And then we will ask for your thoughts.

More Than Practical

The book of Proverbs is a book of practical wisdom, but it’s more than that; it’s inspired Scripture. In 1 Corinthians 1:24 we read that Jesus Christ is “the wisdom of God.” In Luke 24 we read where Jesus expounded the Scripture, “beginning at Moses and all the prophets,” and explained to the disciples how He was the subject of it all.

In Proverbs, Jesus is Wisdom personified.

As we start afresh in our relationship with Proverbs, it is our prayer that this blog will do more than offer practical advice for life. This time around we hope you get to know the Author of Life and the Wisdom that makes life worth living.


And speaking of living, happy Resurrection Day! He is RISEN!


Updating Archive Tabs

For everyone’s convenience, I am going to be updating the chapter tabs at the top of the main page. As of this post, I only have chapters 1 and 2 uploaded, but more will come very soon.

As for April 1st (Easter), I’m still open to suggestions as to where to go next. Let me know.

Anthony


Listen Live!

When you get a chance, listen to Proverbial Thought on the radio or online by checking out the link below.

Every Sunday afternoon at 2:45 eastern on am1070, WFLI.


Free Recordings Available

Dear subscribers and readers,

As mentioned earlier, I have been given the opportunity to do a weekly radio program which airs each Sunday morning at 10 a.m. (eastern). If you cannot pick up the station, or if you cannot listen online at the time it airs, the option is still available to receive a recording.

I do not have access to the program that is aired with the intro and outro added by the station. However, I do have the edited mp3 files which are sent to the radio station. If you would like copies of them each week, just let me know by either commenting below or emailing me.

PastorACBaker@yahoo.com

Thank you for your prayers!

Anthony