Seduction of Sin

If you are a parent, teacher, or ever worked with and cared for children, you can relate to this Proverb.  “Why don’t you just listen to me?” is a cry often heard in the classroom, home, and stores across our land as a frustrated caregiver laments the disobedience of a child.  Even more tragic is when a child grows up to be a rebellious teen or out of control adult.

 

If only they would learn from our mistakes.  We could save them a world of pain and trouble.

 

Solomon begins by saying, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.” Pr 1:8 This proverb begins with the same familiar plea from a father.  Wisdom is being shared and Solomon longs for his listen to his plea and not turn from his mother’s teaching.

 

What is so serious that demands such a preface?  The seduction of sin.  In Prov. 1:9-19, Solomon explores ways sinners attempt to entice the foolish to join them.  They will make offers of wealth and pleasures, but it is all folly.  Truly, they are ambushing and destroying themselves.

 

Sinners love to bring along company in their sin.  Mobs grow and turn into rioters because they feel empowered by the crowd.  Sinners try to entice us by showing the alleged benefits.  “Look at the fame, look at the fortune, look at the influence you can gain”, they say.  Any temporary gains, lead to ruin.  If not in this life, then in eternity.

 

Let us hear Solomon today and not go with the sinner when enticed.

Wisdom

God wanted us to know wisdom. He desires us to have good judgment based upon His knowledge and experience.

We all need wisdom. We need the quality of “showing experience, knowledge, and good judgment.” Oxford English Dictionary.

Our world offers many sources of wisdom. You can find knowledge and hear of the experiences of others easily. Just go online and search for it, and page after page of opinions will be displayed before you all offering knowledge.

Good judgment on the other hand, is much harder to find. Thankfully, we don’t have to search very far for true wisdom. God inspired Solomon to record the Proverbs as v. 2-7 say:

“To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth—
Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
to understand a proverb and a saying,
the words of the wise and their riddles.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction. ”

God wanted us to know wisdom. He desires us to have good judgment based upon His knowledge and experience. Here, He reveals that as His purpose in inspiring Proverbs.

Notice where it all begins. v. 7 says “the fear of the Lord” is the starting place for wisdom. The word fear means reverence, a state of piety and respect toward a superior. We must respect God as our superior and him Him in reverence. In other words, wisdom begins to grow in our lives when we have deep respect for our heavenly Father and recognize Him is our Superior in all things. This attitude puts us in the right frame of mind to begin to receive His wisdom.

Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

 

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Pr 1:2–7). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Thanks!

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Once again we find ourselves in November.  Social media is being filled with various posts of gratitude, and that is a great thing.  I too am very grateful today for God’s blessings.

Thanksgiving falls immediately after October, which is traditionally pastor appreciation month.  My church, Craft Baptist Church, is an expert at showing appreciation.  I am so grateful for their support and encouragement throughout the year.  There are very few weeks that go by without someone expressing their love to us.  During October, they reached a fever pitch of cards, hugs, kind words, and gifts.  I am overwhelmed by the love and appreciation they show us.   I am grateful to have the privilege of being their pastor.

As children of God, we should always be grateful, not just during November.  Let us use this month to start showing gratitude and then simply not stop.  Why don’t we have a thanksgiving post every week?

Remember 1 Chronicles 16:34:

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!” ESV

Talent and Timing (Ecclesiastes 9:11-12)

A good one from my brother.

Life Meets Theology

“Plan Hard, Work Harder, and Rest Easy”

I don’t know where I picked this up from but it resides on a list I call “Personal Axioms and Plum Lines”.  The idea is to plan your work, work the plan, and then rest in the providence of God.

Perhaps the more “theologically astute” of my readers might have heard another, similar expression: “Work like an Armenian; sleep like a Calvinist”.  Granted, that expression is equally offensive to both Armenians and Calvinists alike (sorry!), but the idea works.

As Christians, we know we have an obligation to use the gray matter between our ears and the bodies we’ve been given and not resign ourselves to fatalism.

But is it possible we can take on a concept of “functional atheism”?  In other words, we profess God but write off things to “chance”, “timing”, and “circumstances” instead of providence.  Is it possible we as…

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Holy Ground

10 of us from Craft spent last week at Daniel Springs Baptist Camp.  Our Bible studies this were focused on the life of Moses.  When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, He told Moses to remove his shoes because he was on holy ground.

Like Moses, I feel like I am walking on holy ground every time I am on the campus of Daniel Springs.  I have attended camp there nearly every summer of my life.  God has spoken to me under the trees, in the tabernacles and worship center.  Revisiting the camp, is like a walk through memory lane where I can review the lessons learned, friendships gained and commitments made.

This year, I was once again reminded of the call of God to use my life in His service.  When I answered that call, I had no idea what that would entail, but as preteen, I knew He called me to serve and I committed my life to serve Him.  Later, He clarified that I was be a preacher.  Seeing the alter where that commitment was made  brought it all back to my mind.

It is a good for us to pause occasionally and reflect on where we have been and what God has done in our lives.  The good news is that we don’t have to be at a special place.  We can pause wherever we are and go over those pivotal moments in our lives.  Review those special times in your life where God met with you and revealed more of Himself, His purposes and His ways. As we remember what God has done in our lives, we should also renew our commitments to serve Him.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to return to Daniel Springs and the reminders of God’s work in my life.

Thank You

Wow!  One year has now passed since I was called me to be pastor at Craft Baptist Church.  Thank you for making us feel so at home here at Craft Baptist Church.  Craft has had a special place in my heart since I started attending here in 1986 as a Freshman in JBC.  You were welcoming and were willing to help educate us young preachers then and that hasn’t changed.  I would never have dreamed God would bring me back here, this time with a family to be your pastor.

We are so blessed to serve the Lord here with you.  Thank you for celebrating our1 year anniversary last week and for the generous love offering.  We are overwhelmed by your love and support.  You set an example for all churches in showing appreciation and support for us.

I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us in the future at Craft Baptist Church.   I pray that He continues to bless us and gives us many years together to bring glory to Him as we share His love with our community.

Bro. James