Tag Archives: discipline

Being Fruitful and Ready

Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured. -Proverbs 27:18, KJV

I could not help but think of Jesus’ parables here.

First was the fig tree He cursed in Matthew 21, which is a reminder to us that our Lord is coming and expects to find fruit of repentance and love in our lives.

Then are the parables of the virgins and the talents in Matthew 25, which are reminders to stay ready for His return and use the fruit He has planted in us, to not be lazy or unprepared. He has given his expectations and commands, and we are to be doing those things (read Matthew 28:18-20 for our shared mission).

Finally, Jesus finished chapter 25 talking of those servants who follow His will: those who care for the Masters house and other servants. If we think He is not coming soon and begin mistreating each other, it will show we are not His true servants and deserve the same punishment as those who were never a part of His household.

May we be found faithful and ready when our Lord returns!

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When to Answer the Fool

Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. -Proverbs 26:5, KJV

This is a fairly easy verse to understand: tell someone when they are doing something wrong, otherwise they may think they have it all figured out and are doing nothing wrong.

I could stop there, but perhaps some examples could help.

Children need to be told what is right and wrong, or they grow up thinking everything they do is okay and even good, if they survive! (My parents told me not to run I to the street, for example.)

A gossip will continue spreading lies and mistruths unless they are confronted and corrected.

Most importantly, people are on their way to Hell, thinking they are okay or even right in their beliefs, unless the Gospel is shared with them.

There are times to know when to stop and “shake the dust off your feet,” as mentioned in the previous verse or by Jesus Himself (Matthew 10, Luke 9, Mark 6). That is for another post!


Define free.

laptop-3087585_1920If you are reading this and you haven’t yet taken advantage the various WordPress University sites, I highly recommend you look into it!  First of all, they’re free. 

Well, okay, we all know what that means.  There is a cost somewhere to somebody.  Those who write for and administrate the courses have to get a paycheck somehow, and time is money.  So in the interest of accuracy, we’ll just say it’s FREE to those of us who take the courses.

Alright, try again.  There is no “pecuniary remuneration” on the part of the student, but one does need to invest a currency concerning which there is no refund—TIME.  To get out of the course, you have to dig, experiment, and try, try again.  These courses are intentional, at times frustrating, but to new writers, very rewarding.  As usual, you get out of it what you put into it. Continue reading


Your Christian Duty

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. -Proverbs 25:2, KJV

We are wise to remember that Jesus is the Son of God, and therefore He is God.

Jesus spoke in parables so that those who are willing to listen and see can find the truth, but those who are unwilling to listen and see the truth will ignore and even hate truth. (Matthew 13:10-17)

We are co-heirs with Christ, our King. (Romans 8:17) We are called priests – servants of God – but even a royal priesthood. (1 Peter 2)

As Audio Adrenaline put it, “boys become kings, girls will be queens,” so we are tasked with the honor of searching out the truths of God as revealed through Scripture.

Do not neglect your royal priestly duties as a Christian. Study the Word of God for yourself. Rely on those saints on whom we have the labors of faithful study that divulge the deep truths of the Bible. Go to church and be fed by your local shepherd and brothers and sisters in Christ.

Do not merely say a prayer and attend a church. Make your Christianity your own, and seek Christ with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

And then love your neighbor by sharing that truth. (Matthew 28:18-20)


Beware: Fierce lions in my yard

cat-2536662_1920“A man generally has two reasons for doing a thing.  One that sounds good, and a real one.”

That’s from the practical wisdom of J.P. Morgan, one of most influential bankers of the early 20th century. 

Of course, then there are those who are a bit more honest about their motivation, like Phyllis Diller:

“Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance?”

On the one hand:

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
    The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

On the other hand:

The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion out there!
    If I go outside, I might be killed!”

Why is one cautious person congratulated for being prudent while the other is vilified as a three-toed sloth?

It really all has to do with motive. 

The prudent (wise, forward-thinking) one “foresees”, meaning he’s diligently done his research and understands the probabilities (are lions endemic to this area?), and based on those probabilities, he may take his gun out with him and search the area before proceeding. 

The lazy person, by contrast, stays on the coach and opens another beer…because that’s what he really prefers to do.  Making excuses for his decision assuages his own conscience, regardless of how ridiculous those excuses seem.

In fact, humans are probably the only part of God’s creation who uses the art of rationalization, that finely tuned skill of making excuses, even deluding ourselves into thinking those excuses are true.  

Here’s interesting application: “I don’t read the Bible because I don’t understand it.”

I’m glad medical students don’t adhere to that philosophy: “I don’t read my A&P text because I don’t understand it.”  A student—a real one, that is—does something about their lack of understanding. 

And for my sake, I’m glad they do!

Proverbs 22:3,13  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


T-bones or corncobs?

bag-147782_1280I love the story of the Prodigal Son, on several layers.  Did you know that the word prodigal doesn’t mean “sinful”?  It means extravagant.  Wasteful.  Lavish.  I guess I didn’t know that until well into my adulthood.  The kid in the story certainly exemplifies the concept quite well.

But do you ever wonder why that father acquiesced to his son’s request for the early payout on his inheritance?  Maybe I just don’t know the Jewish custom back in that day, or maybe it isn’t relevant to the point Jesus was trying to make, because here’s the thing:

An inheritance obtained too early in life
    is not a blessing in the end.

This kid was in no way ready to handle his inheritance wisely.  His father had to know that, but handed over his intended wealth anyway and, well, we know the end result…something about trading T-bone steaks for empty corncobs.

Recent brain studies are telling us more about the frontal lobe of the human brain; in particular, how this part of our brain (which determines good judgment, actions/consequences, as well as being the reasonable brakes on otherwise impulsive emotions) does not fully mature—are you ready for this one?—until early to mid-twenties. 

I wonder how long it takes my spiritual frontal lobe to mature? 

Here’s an example: I heard a pastor say, (see? I really do listen!), that many times God intentionally withholds His blessing because we’re not ready to use it properly.  That this withholding is, in fact, God’s discipline preparing us to handle the blessing in the most sustainable way, in the way which produces the highest return to bless others and build His kingdom. 

Maybe instead of asking for blessing, I need to pray for disciplined maturity.  I think somehow the blessing will naturally follow.

Proverbs 20:21 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Take Me To Church!

Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom. -Proverbs 18:1 KJV

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. -Proverbs 18:1, ESV

This entry is on Sunday, the day most churches meet.

If you are not attending, why?

Do not forsake the meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing. -Hebrews 10:25

We have the biblical command to meet with other Christians regularly.

This does a few things:

  • Gives us opportunities to encourage each other (the rest of Hebrews 10:25)
  • Gives us opportunities to spur each other on to loving others and doing good works (Hebrews 10:24) It can be easy to only “seek his own desire” or be lazy apart from the Church.
  • Keeps us on the straight and narrow path (Hebrews 10:23). It can be easy to stray from sound doctrine and teachings. Why do you think there are so many cults and people who believe crazy things? (How many raptures have we survived in the last decade alone?)

It is important to meet with others, if for no other reason than to keep us from getting weird ideas.

Most importantly, being together helps us grow more Christ-like.

Therefore, take me to church!

Then I know you came to!