Thursday, July 7, 2016

Proverbs in June 2016

When you walk with friends, you will end up where they a going.
Lord, help my ear be attentive to Your wise voice.
Proverbs 1.15-18
15 My son, do not walk in the way with them,
Keep your foot from their path;
16 For their feet run to evil,
And they make haste to shed blood.
17 Surely, in vain the net is spread In the sight of any bird;
18 But they lie in wait for their own blood,
They lurk secretly for their own lives.

Proverbs 2.4-6
4 If you seek her (wisdom) as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,
And find the knowledge of God. 
6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
I was struck by the juxtaposition of the command to seek wisdom and reality that we will understand because the Lord gives wisdom. It kinda sounds soteriological.
Lord help the seek you. Fill me Your Spirit of wisdom.

Verses 5-6 are iconic favorites that are often understood in the sense of individual decisions like which car to buy. 7-8 seem to complement trusting the Lord with fearing the Lord, and pairing leaning on your own understanding with being wise in your own eyes, etc...
Proverbs 3.5-8
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding; 
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and depart from evil.
8 It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.
Lord, keep me leaning on You and walking in Your paths.

Proverbs 4.20-22
20 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them, 
And health to all their flesh.
Another series of proverbs that encourages us in consistent and continuous Bible reading and meditation.
Lord, don't let me forget your wisdom.

Proverbs 5.5-6 (NASA)
Her feet go down to death,
Her steps take hold of Sheol.
She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable,
she does not know it.
The description of the woman the son should avoid is striking, especially in light of the mention in chapter seven of her offering purification sacrifices. She does not know she is on the path to Sheol because she doesn't ponder (to weigh, prepare) the way of life.
Lord, give me the Spirit of understanding to take the time and thought to truly contemplate on Your way, the way of life.

Proverbs 6.23-25
For the commandment is a lamp,
And the law a light;
Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,
To keep you from the evil woman, 
From the flattering tongue of a seductress.
Do not lust after her beauty in your heart,
Nor let her allure you with her eyelids.
Do I resent the "reproof of instruction" from the commandment more than the seductress (or fill in the blank with your besetting sin)?
Lord, give me a heart and desire for Your law that eclipses other things that seduce my affections.

The contrast between the opening call to wisdom in verses 1 & 2 and the senseless young man wandering thoughtlessly to his doom is heartbreaking.
Proverbs 7.1-2 & 7-9
1 My son, keep my words,
And treasure my commands within you. 

2 Keep my commands and live,
And my law as the apple of your eye.

7 And saw among the simple,
I perceived among the youths,
A young man devoid of understanding,
8 Passing along the street near her corner;
And he took the path to her house
9 In the twilight, in the evening,
In the black and dark night.
"I want a principle within of watchful Godly fear,
A sensibility of sin, a pain to feel it near."

How often do I sin against my soul by disdaining correction? Lord, help me to love Your wisdom, watch daily, and obtain your favor.
Proverbs 8.33-36
33 Hear instruction and be wise, And do not disdain it.
34 Blessed is the man who listens to me (Wisdom),
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at the posts of my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life,
And obtains favor from the LORD;
36 But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;
All those who hate me love death."

Proverbs 9.10-12
10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you. 
12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself,
And if you scoff, you will bear it alone."
Wisdom in this sense is grounded in our relationship with the Lord, The Holy One. I am thinking about how "fear" and knowledge fit together in a salvation sense.
Lord, help me respect you more and joyfully know You in Your holiness.

Proverbs 10:23-25
23 To do evil is like sport to a fool,
But a man of understanding has wisdom.
24 The fear of the wicked will come upon him,
And the desire of the righteous will be granted.
25 When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more,
But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.
The shortsighted fool's life has no enduring future.
Lord, grant me the wisdom to live for keeps.

Dishonesty and pride drive one to obtain riches, which have no eternal value of themselves, by any means, but, it is integrity, humility, and righteousness that have eternal value.
Proverbs 11.1-4
Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD,
But a just weight is His delight. 
When pride comes, then comes shame;
But with the humble is wisdom.
The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.
Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
But righteousness delivers from death.
Lord, help me seek those things which are above where Christ sits at Your right hand.

These two antithetical proverbs contrast the rash, impulsive fool with the thoughtful listener who is wise.
Proverbs 12.15-16
The way of a fool is right in his own opinion,
but the one who listens to advice is wise.
A fool's annoyance is known at once,
but the prudent overlooks an insult.
Lord, give me the patient wisdom to patiently and thoughtfully response.thoughtfully

Proverbs 13.5-6
A righteous man hates lying,
But a wicked man is loathsome and comes to shame.
Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless,
But wickedness overthrows the sinner.
Verse 5 & 6b are pretty straightforward, but I am intrigued by the idea of how righteousness guards.
Lord, help me be the man that righteousness guards.

The awareness that God is watching and waiting and rewarding all that we do, say, and think can have a powerful and positive impact on our life when we are walking with the Lord.
Proverbs 15.26-27
In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence,
And His children will have a place of refuge. 
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life,
To turn one away from the snares of death.
Lord, help me live for You and rest in You.

Three sayings contrast gentle, healing speech that uses knowledge correctly with a harsh, foolish tongue that breaks the spirit. In the middle is a reminder that the Lord is keeping watch on all we say.
Proverbs 15.1-4
1 A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger. 
2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,
But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
4 A wholesome (healing) tongue is a tree of life,
But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Lord help me speak good words that heal and bring peace.

Three proverbs in a set of five about wisdom and our speech that end with a reminder about the healing potential of words.
Proverbs 16.22-24 (net)
22 Insight is like a life-giving fountain to the one who possesses it,
but folly leads to the discipline of fools.
23 A wise person's heart makes his speech wise
and it adds persuasiveness to his words.
24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Lord, let my tongue bring Your healing to others.

The evil person who is always causing trouble will continually have trouble and should be avoided.
Proverbs 17.11-13
11 An evil man seeks only rebellion;
Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him. 
12 Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs,
Rather than a fool in his folly.
13 Whoever rewards evil for good,
Evil will not depart from his house.
Lord help we love goodness and kindness and have the discernment to avoid those that don't.

The foolish resistance to understanding wise council begins a downward spiral.
Proverbs 18.1-3
1 A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
He rages against all wise judgment. 
2 A fool has no delight in understanding,
But in expressing his own heart.
3 When the wicked comes, contempt comes also;
And with dishonor comes reproach.
Lord, help me love and listen to Your wisdom.

These proverbs expound on the truth that there are few choices more important than choosing a wife (or husband) and few blessings better than a good one.
Proverbs 19.13-14
13 A foolish son is the ruin of his father,
And the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping. 
14 Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the LORD.
Lord, thank you for blessing me with my wife.

Proverbs 20.26-28
26 A wise king sifts out the wicked,
And brings the threshing wheel over them.
27 The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD,
Searching all the inner depths of his heart.
28 Mercy and truth preserve the king,
And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne.
Proverbs 20:27 (HCSB)
The Lord's lamp sheds light on a person's life, searching the innermost parts.

Prepare AND pray because it is the Lord and not our preparation alone that bring victory.
Proverbs 21.30-31
30 There is no wisdom or understanding
Or counsel against the LORD.
31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But deliverance is of the LORD.

Verses 3-5 help clarify "the way he should go." Teaching children prudence, humility, and the straight and true path will set them on course to a good end.
Proverbs 22.3-6
3 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself,
But the simple pass on and are punished. 
4 By humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches and honor and life.
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards his soul will be far from them.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Lord, help me stay out of the thorns and teach children to say on the way.

These two Sayings of the Wise balance the critical and eternally important duty of raising children to follow the Lord's way with the joy of having children who walk in the Lord's wisdom.
Proverbs 23.13-14, 15-16
Do not withhold correction from a child,
For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell.
My son, if your heart is wise,
My heart will rejoice—indeed, I myself;
Yes, my inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak right things.

Revenge is not the way of wisdom, especially to a neighbor.
Proverbs 24.28-29
28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,
For would you deceive with your lips? 
29 Do not say,
"I will do to him just as he has done to me;
I will render to the man according to his work."
Lord, help me experience and practice your forgiveness.

This concept makes a great prayer request for our country's leaders and those who lead large organizations.
Proverbs 25.4-5
Take away the dross from silver,
And it will go to the silversmith for jewelry. 
Take away the wicked from before the king,
And his throne will be established in righteousness.

Proverbs 26.16-17
The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven men who can answer sensibly.
He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own
Is like one who takes a dog by the ears.
The lazy man who does not have the initiative and wisdom to tackle his own problems is quick with a solution for other's quarrels.
Lord, make me diligent to work on my challenges and wise to know which quarrels I should leave alone.

Proverbs 27.3-6
A stone is heavy and sand is weighty,
But a fool's wrath is heavier than both of them.
Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent,
But who is able to stand before jealousy? 
Open rebuke is better
Than love carefully concealed.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
We see a fool's silent wrath turning to jealously contrasted with the open relationship of friends who are willing to speak honest words that bring reconciliation.
Lord, give me those friends.

Proverbs 28.6
Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
Proverbs is full of sayings that highlight the expected benefits of wisdom and righteousness. This one reminds us that integrity is better even if material prosperity hasn't come yet (or doesn't on this side of glory).
Lord, give me the grace to walk with you in Your way through thick or thin. (Philippians 4.12-13)

When the iconic phrase from Proverbs 29.18, "Where there is no vision the people perish," is seen in its context, it transforms from a mushy thought about some vague inspirational urge to a practical precept highlighting the need to correct and teach (especially your children) the Word.
Proverbs 29.17-18
17 Correct your son, and he will give you rest;
Yes, he will give delight to your soul. 
18 Where there is no revelation [prophetic vision], the people cast off restraint;
But happy is he who keeps the law.
Lord, help the correction of the Word make me and my children a delight.

Proverbs 30.32-33
If you have been foolish in exalting yourself,
Or if you have devised evil,
Put your hand on your mouth.
For as the churning of milk produces butter, 
And wringing the nose produces blood,
So the forcing (stirring up) of wrath produces strife.
We probably don't do that third line often enough. 

Hebrews 12.7-8
But if you are without chastening ... Then you are illegitimate and not sons.
I remember my mom warning me over and over that I should be concerned when I sin and do not get caught because getting caught was a sign of God's concern for me.
"All God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on Him being with them.” Hudson Taylor

2 Corinthians 4:1-18 Sermon Notes for 160628PM@TBC

 Review Background
  Historical background----------------
·         Church established (Acts 18:1-18)  18 m0s. there during 2nd Missionary Journey
·         1 Corinthians to correct problems. (while in Ephesus)
·         Paul made a painful visit (2 Cor. 2:1)
·         Severe unpublished letter sent with Titus (7:5-16) resulted in repentance.
·         Onset of false teachers who maligned Paul’s ministry.  They questioned his ministry, reliability, and motives.
·         2 Corinthians in anticipation of another visit.
1. Theme of 2 Corinthians
q  Suffering and weakness are the pattern of Gospel ministry.
  Oratory and style do not make up for Gospel content.

2. Outline
q  Overview of book (2 Corinthians)----------------
1-7  General Defense of New Covenant Ministry
8-9  Right Response (ill. by Jerusalem offering)
10-13  Personal Defense of Paul’s Ministry / Apostleship

q  3. Segway
Matthew 13.44
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
Treasures were often buried for safekeeping. The most likely circumstance envisioned here is that of a peasant who, while working the field of a wealthy landowner, found the treasure but covered it again lest the landowner claim it for himself. The peasant then invested all his own resources into that field to procure the treasure. Stories of finding lost treasures naturally circulated among the poor; Jesus uses the story line to stir his hearers to seek for a treasure far greater than any on earth.[1]

q  4. Read passage   The whole chapter 4.1-18----- 2 Corinthians 4
Take note of the four references to God the Father.  One of them is a pronoun.

q  5. BIG IDEA: 
After the glorious pronouncement God has shown in our hearts and given the light of the knowledge of God in Jesus Christ, Paul addresses his current sufferings and pressures.  How does he keep going?
Verses 7-18 Paul gives his key to persevering in the face of afflictions.  Paul was convinced of this truth…
“Our temporary afflictions are worth eternal glory.”
In this passage, Paul will progress through a discussion of his physical sufferings and how the spirit of faith kept him from loosing heart.
 q  I.  Clay Jars  (7-12)
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed;
we are perplexed, but not in despair;
persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed—
10Always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.
A. Treasure  (7)  refering back to 4.6
“But we have this treasure” refers to God’s indwelling Spirit that magnifies, reveals, and forms the person of Christ in our lives. (cf. John 16:8-14; Romans 8.9; Colossians 1.27; 2 Peter 1:3-4).  --Bob Utley
B. Jugs of Mud  (7-8)
·       Paul’s frailty caused many to question his standing as an Apostle.  (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
·       à     2 Corinthians 12.7-10     Turn to passage and read.
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.  8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 
·       Gideon -- 32K, 10K, to 300
·       “It may be that our greatest obstacle to spiritual usefulness is not our inabilities, but our abilities.”  (This quote is most certainly not original.)   

C. Dying to Live  (10-12)
dying of the Lord Jesus 
·       “The dying of Jesus refers to the constant hardships Jesus experienced, which were reproduced in the hardships of Paul.”  --David Woodall in the Moody Bible Commentary, p 1812
·       “And the suffering was a result of attacks against the Lord Jesus, not Paul and other believers.  Those who hated Jesus took out their vengeance on those who represented Him (cf. John 15:18-21; Gal. 6:17; Col. 1:24).”  John McArthur Bible Commentary  p1626
·       Dr. John Henry Jowett said, “Ministry that costs nothing, accomplishes nothing.”[2]
·       The test of a true ministry is not stars, but scars.  From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks [brands] of the Lord Jesus” (Gal. 6:17).[3]

I can just imagine what kind of shape Paul was in when he entered a new city after having been beaten, put in jail, barely escaping, etc.
Our frailty provides an excellent backdrop for the power of God in us.
“Do not lose heart when you feel fragile and plain and broken.  It’s not your ability.”

q  II.  The Spirit of Faith  (13-15)
13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

A. Paul believed as the Psalmist
Psalm 116.10 
(2 Peter 1.1)   Peter Balla in CoNTUoOT
·       vv. 3, 8-19In the first nine verses of Psalm 116 the psalmist gives thanks for God’s intervention in his need. …  He cried for God’s deliverance, and God saved him from deep dangers, even from death. 
·       Then the psalmist gives thanks, using the expression of lifting up “the cup of salvation” (116:13 [cf. Paul’s use of “the cup of blessing” in 1 Cor. 10:16]): “I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.”
·      It is interesting to note that in the psalm the phrase “I said” can be regarded as an introduction to what the psalmist said, but Paul stops at this point, thus emphasizing the act of speaking per se.
·       Paul’s choice of the psalm passage is excellent from the point of view of content: he shares the sufferings with the psalmist and also his faith that enables him to speak (to bear witness to Christ) boldly (so also Kruse 1987: 108).
·      “The psalmist spoke from a context of deliverance from suffering.  He had trusted in God, and God had vindicated him (Ps. 115:12-19).   Thomas Constable
·      It is of great significance that Paul uses a quotation from the OT in order to emphasize his faith shared with the psalmist.  His faith is in line with the faith of his ancestors; he stands in continuity with the faith of the OT writers.[4]

B. The resurrection of the dead…(14)
14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.
à 1 Corinthians 15.19
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.  20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.   21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.   22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
It was
Paul’s confidence in the resurrection,
Paul’s confidence that He who had begun a good work in him would complete it
that kept him going.
C. The glory of God.   (15)
15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
Romans 8
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 
This verse parallels Romans 8:28 and gives us the assurance that our sufferings are not wasted: God uses them to minister to others and also to bring glory to His name.[5]
Ephesians 1.3-6   predestined us to adoption, the praise of His glory

Paul seems to have in view people coming to the Lord that he had no personal part in.  His rejoicing was that people were thankful to God
When not getting the credit upsets us, it may be a red flag.
TS:  Faith redirects our focus and gives us the confidence in things eternal.

q  III.  Fruits of Affliction (16-18)
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
A. The inward man being renewed  (16-17)
The outward body is in a state of decline.
The beatings and hardships Paul had experienced would have taken their toll on his physical body.
If Paul had had an inward, self centered perspective, it would have been easy for him to become bitter and discouraged.
B. The Coming Glory  (18)
“Affliction” versus “glory,”
“momentary” versus “eternal,”
“lightness” versus “weight”—these contrasts tell why it is that confidence trumps giving up.[6]
Hebrews 11. 24-26
24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
Dr. A.W. Tozer used to remind us that the invisible world described in the Bible was the only “real world.” If we would only see the visible world the way God wants us to see it, we would never be attracted by what it offers (1 John 2:15–17).[7]

q  APPLICATION:  Do not lose hope.

[1] Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Mt 13:44.
[2] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 643.
[3] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 643.
[4] Peter Balla, “2 Corinthians,” in Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI;  Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic;  Apollos, 2007), 765.
[5] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 643.
[6] Robert H. Gundry, Commentary on the New Testament: Verse-by-Verse Explanations with a Literal Translation (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2010), 701.
[7] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 644.