Posts Tagged ‘Book of Proverbs’

Who killed JFK? What is the Illuminati? Was there equipment on the space shuttle that caused earthquakes? If God reveals the answer to any of these speculations, we should be thankful He has brought light to our mysteries. If not, we should leave well enough alone—especially if dwelling on those mysteries brings fear.
On one level, conspiracy theories are entertaining. Trying to connect the dots through disparate historical events brings a sense of order to chaos. Speculating about mysteries incites a titillating anxiety of the future that relieves boredom and distracts from more pressing dilemmas.

Speaking up and uncovering the truth is certainly biblical. The prophet Nathan uncovered David’s conspiracy to cover up his sin of murder (2 Samuel 12). Paul’s nephew uncovered a plot to assassinate Paul, and his knowledge foiled the attempt (Acts 23). Wickedness likes to hide.John 3:20says, “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” We should always seek the truth. “Love truth and peace” (Zechariah 8:19).

Two warnings concerning conspiracy theories: first, we should never get ahead of what God wishes to reveal to us.Godreveals the truth in mystery (Daniel 2:30;Genesis 40:8). He will tell us what we need to know in His time, and there are things we do not need to know (Mark 13:32;Revelation 10:4). We should not indulge in useless speculation that takes time and effort away from our work for Christ (1 Timothy 1:4).

Second, we should not fear. “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). Many conspiracy theories feed fear and prey on ignorance and gullibility. God has called us to something better.

One problem with conspiracy theories is that they place too much emphasis on worldly matters. It’s good for political intrigue to come to light, but that is not a necessary condition for the Christian life (2 Timothy 3:12). It is right for corruption to be brought to justice (Isaiah 1:17), but it is still possible to live a godly life, even if justice never happens. In our search for truth,Romans 8:31should always be in mind: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”

Exposing the truth is good. Obsessing over rumor and hearsay and half-proven theories is harmful.Ephesians 5:11-14is an excellent guideline. Verse 11 says to expose “the fruitless deeds of darkness.” But verse 12 says not to mention them. How do we expose them? Not by conjecture or worry or fear or never-ending deliberation, but by waiting on the words of verses 13 and 14: “Everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible.” Speak the truth and wait for God’s timing.

Endless speculation about conspiracy theories is, at best, a waste of time. At worst, the obsession induces paralyzing fear as our attention is drawn away from Christ. Avoid the mysteries God hasn’t chosen to reveal yet. Let Him work according to His timing. Rest in His plan, which can never be thwarted (Job 42:2).

Above all, do not fear. “The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed.” But “He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them” (Psalm 2:2,4).

The troubles of this world are cold and relentless. It’s not easy to stay so focused on heaven that we are being bombarded with the problems of earthly life. We’re commanded, of course, to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things (Col. 3:2), but even the most committed believer will testify that earthly trials sometimes obscure the heavenly perspective.


We worry. We grieve. We stumble. We strain under the toil of our daily labors. We feel the guilt of our fallen condition. Meanwhile, we are assaulted with troubles of all kinds. Those are just a few of the many worldly burdens that  keep our thoughts from rising to heaven.

And yet we are commanded repeatedly to “seek the things that are above” (Col. 3:1). We are instructed to “look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen” (2 Cor. 4:18). We can’t allow the burdens of this life to divert our hearts from heaven.

How is that possible? When the load weighs us down and the troubles become too much for one person to bear, pie-in-the-sky sentiments can sound very far away.

But that is precisely why the church is so important. It is our duty as believers to help bear each others burdens (Gal. 6:2). When someone staggers, we help steady the load. If he is straining, we help bear the burden. And if he stumbles, we lift him up. Helping fellow believers carry the weight of their worldly troubles is one of the chief practical duties that should be something every Christian WANTS to do.

Of course, that concept is contrary to the thoughts of our culture, with secular society’s tendency to focus on ourselves. Our generation has developed an unhealthy obsession with entertainment; we are daily bombarded with a bunch of trivial diversions; and we tend to interact with one another in sound-bites or through faceless media. We live in crowded cities and over-populated neighborhoods; yet most individuals are more isolated than ever.

And let’s be honest — Most churches nowadays often imitate the culture exactly where we most need to confront and contradict its influence. As churches seek to become bigger, flashier, and more technologically savvy, they usually tend to become more cold and impersonal. Contemporary churches sometimes even seem to encourage the “me first” agenda of self-love rather than the “one another” commands of Scripture. As a result, we don’t bear one another’s burdens like we should.

Paul made this duty a high priority. It was the centerpiece of his sermons to the Galatian churches. The first half (or more) of Galatians is a defense of  faith and a series of arguments against the false teaching that threatened to place those churches in bondage to the Law. In Galatians 5:14 he reminded them: “The whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

How is that love best shown? “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (6:2).

Do you want to fulfill the moral requirements of the Law? Love your neighbor. How do you love him? By bearing his burdens.

It’s interesting that Paul would emphasize this theme in an epistle written to confront people who were falling into legalism. It’s as if he were saying, “You want to observe a law? Let it be the law of Christ. If you have to impose burdens on yourselves, let it be through acts of love toward your neighbor.”

If you will do that faithfully, your own burden won’t seem so heavy. Best of all, you will find it easier to keep your focus heavenward, regardless of the trials you suffer in this life.

They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. (John 17:16 )


We live here, we walk here, we eat and drink here, but may we never call it home. The ground beneath our feet and sky above our heads are the scenery we enjoy momentarily, but they will pass away (Matthew 24:35). Our family is more than people with the same last name (Mark 3:35), as believers we are united by blood, literally the shed blood of Jesus the risen Savior. We, the family, walk as sojourners (1 Peter 2:11), as travelers, loving and serving the people around us, all the while remembering we will one day be home. A home that has been prepared for us (John 14:3), where we will live in ever increasing joy.

Our lips will never again say, “It was fun while it lasted”, as the smile fades from our face. In our home there is no sorrow, there is no disease, there is no end to joy (Revelation 21:4). In our home our treasure does not fail, there is no thief to steal, no moneybag to grow old (Luke 12:33). In your heart, and in your head, where is your treasure and your home? For “there will your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34).

Where is your home?

John 7:37-38 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Frozen Niagara Falls

An estimated 500,000 tons of water go over Niagara Falls every minute. On March 29, 1948, the falls suddenly stopped. Those who lived near enough heard the overwhelming silence, and immediately they thought it was a sign – the end of the world had come! However, after thirty hours had passed – the flow of water resumed.

What happened? Heavy winds had set the ice fields of Lake Erie in motion and tons of ice had jammed the Niagara River entrance near Buffalo. The ice blocked the flow of water until finally, there was a shift in the blockage and the river began flowing again.

The river had stopped flowing because of ice.

If we really want the flow of God’s love, peace, joy, and anointing in our lives – we cannot allow our hearts to become like ice. If we do, His life-giving current will stop.

Let the Lord search your heart for those areas where the ice has built up and needs to thaw out. He will show you where they are if you ask. Our hearts should be burning for Him, so let the river flow…. once again.

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16)

Even in the middle of our Christian lives, arguments, disagreements, and tension-filled conflict will come, but when it does, here are five Biblical principles to consider before we ever open our lips:

  1. Listen. Be silent in your mind as well as your mouth. “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent” (Proverbs 17:27-28).
  2. Be teachable. Are you in the wrong? If so, how can you respond in humility, grace, and repentance? If you genuinely desire to grow in Christ-likeness, then remember that God uses iron to sharpen iron, and frequently, there will be sparks (Proverbs 27:17).
  3. Think. Take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). We are in a spiritual struggle against an enemy who seeks to divide us. Don’t let your thoughts grow vengeful, spiteful, or believe lies about others. Be disciplined in your thought life.
  4. Seek unity. We are one body with many parts. If this is true (which today’s text says it is), that means each believer’s mission is the same. Think about it, is the eye’s mission different than the heart’s? In its function—what it does—yes. In its mission—why it does it—no. Remember, we are one, a unified whole. Seek unity between yourself and your brothers and sisters because we’re playing for the same team.
  5. Model love over winning an argument. Always speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), because love seeks unity over division, and peace over strife (See especially 1 Corinthians 13:1-7). Sometimes, though, people are simply wrong, misled, or in sin. When this is the case, don’t shrink from the truth, but don’t use it as a weapon to wound, either. Love reconciles, pride dominates.

Our lives will not be free of controversy until Jesus returns. Until then, let’s remember his words, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17 ESV)

When you are stuck in sin, what are you compelled to do? Are you compelled to engage other believers and prayerfully work through sin’s power in your life? Hopefully that is the case, but for many believers we urge ourselves to withdraw, retract, and disengage from those who would walk through our sin with us. This is the last thing we should do! It can be embarrassing admitting we have messed up.

Let us remember, as Christians, we are called to confess our sins to one another (James 5:16).  This is not an irrational rule meant to shame us into compliance. Contrarily, it is intended for our benefit and building one another up in love and grace. What we seem to forget is that what we struggle with others have or do as well. Our Christian brother or sister has already been through what we have and can be there to help us through it. Don’t let pride keep you in sin!! We may be grieved by our sin but continue to live in it because we aren’t confessing it and being sharpened in our fight against it. Repentance is much more than feeling sorry about our sin, it is literally turning around and going the opposite direction.  Rather than living in the dark and returning to sin, confess your sin to a brother or sister and stay accountable to him or her. When this happens, you will find you both become sharper, more useful tools for the Lord.

Who sharpens you?

bibleThere’s a story about a proud young man who came to Socrates asking for knowledge. He walked up to the muscular philosopher and said, “O great Socrates, I come to you for knowledge.”

Socrates recognized a pompous numbskull when he saw one. He led the young man through the streets, to the sea, and chest deep into water. Then he asked, “What do you want?”

“Knowledge, O wise Socrates,” said the young man with a smile.

Socrates put his strong hands on the man’s shoulders and pushed him under. Thirty seconds later Socrates let him up. “What do you want?” he asked again.

“Wisdom,” the young man sputtered, “O great and wise Socrates.”

Socrates crunched him under again. Thirty seconds passed, thirty-five. Forty. Socrates let him up. The man was gasping. “What do you want, young man?”

Between heavy, heaving breaths the fellow wheezed, “Knowledge, O wise and wonderful…”

Socrates jammed him under again Forty seconds passed. Fifty. “What do you want?”

“Air!” the young man screeched. “I need air!”

“When you want knowledge as you have just wanted air, then you will have knowledge.”


Scripture on being a learned Christian

Proverbs 18:15 An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.


Proverbs 2:10 For wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;


Hosea 4:6-7 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. The more they increased, the more they sinned against me; I will change their glory into shame.


Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.


Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.


Proverbs 8:10 Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold,


Proverbs 3:1-35 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. …


Proverbs 24:5 A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might,


godly-living-004There’s a great debate on whether or not we as Christians should “hang out” with people who don’t believe in the Lord. Some will say that we need to reach out to the lost and I’m a big advocate of that, but there needs to be a line drawn somewhere.

Reaching out to the lost where they’re at is a great thing, but we need to make sure that we don’t go to deep into their world. Or worse yet, we don’t start living with one foot in the secular world, and one in the Christian world. This doesn’t work. In fact it’s like dieting hard during the day, and hitting the buffets at night. The clean living gets wiped out by the bad living.

So to support my thoughts on this I’ve listed some Biblical guidelines on the subject below. Hopefully it will help to clarify the deabte. Read and enjoy…:)

1. We are influenced, for better or for worse, by those with whom we associate.

*  Proverbs 13:20  He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
*  1 Corinthians 15:33  Be not deceived: evil communications [companions] corrupt good manners.
*  Galatians 5:7-9  [The influence of bad company can be disastrous.] Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8 This persuasion cometh not of Him that calleth you. 9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

2. We should associate with those by whom we will be influenced for the good.

Psalm 119:63  I am a companion of all them that fear Thee, and of them that keep Thy precepts.
Proverbs 2:20  Walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.
*  Proverbs 15:31  The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.

3. God‘s Word likens bad associations to “snares” or traps set by the Devil.

*  Exodus 23:33  [As the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, God was specific in commanding them not to associate with the heathen living there:] They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against Me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee. [See also  Numbers 33:52 .]
*  Exodus 34:12  Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee.
*  Deuteronomy 12:30  Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following [unbelievers], after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise.
*  Psalm 106:34-43  [Here is what resulted when God’s people didn’t keep themselves separate from their worldly neighbors, whom the Lord forbade them to live with:] They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the Lord commanded them: 35 But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. 36 And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. 37 Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils.… 39 Thus were they defiled with their own works.… 40 Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against His people, insomuch that He abhorred His own inheritance. 41 And He gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. 42 Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand. 43 Many times did He deliver them; but they provoked Him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.
*  Proverbs 22:5  Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward [false, perverse]: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.

4. Bad associations can cause us to compromise our convictions.

*  Proverbs 12:26  The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.
*  Proverbs 16:29  A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.
*  Proverbs 19:27  [Overexposure to worldly counsel and the media, such as music, movies and TV, can lead you astray.] Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.
*  Proverbs 22:24,25  Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: 25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
*  Ecclesiastes 9:18b  One sinner destroyeth much good.
*  1 Corinthians 5:6b  Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

5. The Enemy tempts us by making the way of the ungodly appear desirable — but consider their end!

*  Proverbs 24:1  Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.
*  Psalm 37:1b,2  [Remember, the “good things” that the ungodly seem to be enjoying now are only temporary:] Neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
*  Psalm 73:3,17,18  For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked … 17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. 18 Surely Thou didst set them in slippery places: Thou castedst them down into destruction.
*  Psalm 141:4  Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.
*  Proverbs 23:6  Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats. 7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

6. We need conviction to separate ourselves from ungodly, unfruitful associations.

*  Psalm 1:1  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. [See also  Genesis 49:6a .]
*  Psalm 26:4,5  I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. 5 I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.
*  Psalm 84:10  For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
*  Psalm 101:4,7  A froward [stubbornly contrary, disobedient] heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.… 7 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.
*  Psalm 119:115  Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.
*  Psalm 139:19-22  Surely Thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. 20 For they speak against Thee wickedly, and Thine enemies take Thy Name in vain. 21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate Thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against Thee? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
*  Proverbs 1:10,15  My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.… 15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path.
*  Proverbs 9:6  Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
*  2 Corinthians 6:14,17  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? … 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
*  Ephesians 5:11  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
*  Revelation 18:4  And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come out of her [Babylon], My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. [See also  Jeremiah 51:6 .]

7. If we continue to keep bad company, we will be punished with them.

*  Genesis 13:12,13 ;  2 Peter 2:7,8  [Lot chose to live a life of ease in the wicked city of Sodom and suffered the consequences; he lost his wife and troubled his own soul:] Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly. [Although God delivered Lot out of Sodom, he suffered from having lived with them for many years:] 2 Peter 2:7,8 And [God] delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) (See  Genesis chapter 19 .)
*  Numbers 16:26  [Moses warned his brethren not to associate with those who sowed dissension in the ranks of the Children of Israel.] And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins. [The Lord later destroyed them, see verses 31-35.]
*  2 Chronicles 19:2b  Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? Therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord.
*  Ezra 9:14  Should we again break Thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? Wouldest not Thou be angry with us till Thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping?
*  Proverbs 21:16  The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead. [See also  Proverbs 27:8 .]
*  Proverbs 28:19b  He that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough.
*  Ephesians 5:6-8  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
*  2 John 1:10,11  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

8. We should not even associate with other Christians who persist in being wilfully disobedient.

*  Romans 16:17  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. [See also  Matthew 18:15-17 .]
*  1 Corinthians 5:11  But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
*  2 Thessalonians 3:6  Now we command you, brethren, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
*  2 Thessalonians 3:14,15  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish [gently warn or reprove] him as a brother.
*  1 Timothy 6:3-5  If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the Words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to Godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
*  2 Timothy 3:5  [In the Last Days, some men will be] having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
*  Titus 3:10  A man that is an heretick [one who sows dissension, or holds to false beliefs] after the first and second admonition reject.
*  2 Peter 2:18-22  For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

9. Pray for the Lord’s help, wisdom and discernment to escape the snare of bad associations.

*  Genesis 49:6  [The patriarch, Jacob, even prayed that he wouldn’t listen to the bad counsel of his own errant sons, Simeon and Levi:] O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.
*  Psalm 56:13  For Thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not Thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?
*  Psalm 141:4  [King David prayed:] Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.
*  Psalm 119:51  The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from Thy law.
*  Proverbs 2:11,12  Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: 12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things.
*  Proverbs 9:6  Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
*  Proverbs 14:7  Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.
*  Matthew 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

imagesThe last year or two has been a very difficult time in my life. It’s been full of some of the biggest hurdles that I have ever had to face, and despite what I preach and teach, it’s taken it’s toll on me. I have become emotionally and spiritually worn down. These aren’t things that one typically like to admit, but there’s a reason I bring it up…an example of how to recharge your batteries in a way that so few of us think about.

Yesterday was my birthday,and the first part of it was filled with the typical stress and hurdles that I’ve become used to for so long. I was beginning to think that even my Birthday would be a downer. I know this sounds negative, but here comes the positive in it..:)

Last week, a very long time friend of mine  had emailed me and announced that him and his wife were coming to Vegas and wanted to know if they could take us out to dinner for my Birthday. I have known this man since childhood, and had a treasure chest of amazing memories of our friendship, but a part of me wanted to just say no, and stay home and wallow in self pity. But I could never say no to this guy because of how much he means to me. Wow, am I ever glad I did.

My wife and I drove to the hotel to meet Larry and his wife, and as soon as I saw them, I remembered how great it was to have such a friend. The four of us ate dinner, went over old times, and made new memories. But as we sat there laughing and reminiscing, I suddenly noticed my mood and thoughts changing from gloomy Gus to one of hope. Knowing that we could talk to someone about or fears and concerns just took the weight right off of our shoulders, and it was such a blessing. This morning as I write this, I am sleepy, but recharged. I have found another piece of the puzzle, and that’s called friendship.

God never made us to be alone.There are times in our lives that are going to be rough, and it’s better to go through it with someone than to try to do it alone. I call it the wolf-pack syndrome, Satan is like a wolf, they always go for the weakest in the herd. the ones that try to face the adversary alone. They leave the safety of the herd and try to defend themselves alone. When we try to face our trials and tribulations alone, the wolf will attack us at our weakest point, and will often win. Our strength comes from our bonds… with other believers of the herd.

If you’re feeling like I had been recently, alone and vulnerable to Satan’s attack, run for the safety of a friendship. Don’t try to do it alone, you’re at your wekest point if you do. It’s easier to face a trial with the comfort of a good frined than to try to do it alone. Don’t be the straggler in the herd, be part of the strength found in a herd. I promise you that it will make you a lot  stronger, and will bring you more joy in the times of crisis.

Below are some great verses on friendship, and I hope tou enjoy the,


Proverbs 18:24 ESV / 281 helpful votes

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.


John 15:13 ESV / 207 helpful votes

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.


Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV / 198 helpful votes

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.


Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.


Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.


1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.


Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.


Proverbs 27:9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.


Work Home Life signHave you ever had one of those days where the last thing you want to do is go to work? I’m what they call a bi-vocational Pastor. In other words, I work a secualr job while pastoring. This morning when I got up, I knew that I absolutely was NOT in the mood to go to work and face the drama that I knew awaited me. But since I live in Las Vegas, I know that I need to be grateful to have a job that doesn’t involve drinking or gambling. Having said that, it made me think about though there will be times that we wish we could make a living on permanent vacation, we still need to be grateful for the chance to work.

While I’m blessed to have some great bosses, not everyone enjoys that same blessing. While I face some “interesting” people that I have to work with, the bottom line is that there will always be something that we don’t like about our jobs. While that may be true, we have to learn to look at our jobs from a more positive perspective in order to have a happier and more spiritually mature attitude. Don’t look at your job as something you have to do, because there’s someone unemployed who would love to have that same chance at unhappiness. Don’t look at the job as beeing around ungodly people, see it as a witnessing field. Don’t look at your job as a chance to complain, think of it a an opportunity to be an example of Godly strength to others. I think you see where I’m going with this.

To inspire those of you around the world who struggle with happiness at your workplace, I offer the verses below to inspire you. Please take the chance to read them and become renewed as you think about your job.


Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,


2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.


Proverbs 14:23 In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.


Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.


Proverbs 10:4 A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.


Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”


Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.


Proverbs 12:11 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.


Proverbs 21:25 The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.


1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.


1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.


Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.