Month: July 2019

Correction accepted or Correction rejected?

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Proverbs 15

10 Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path;

the one who hates correction will die.

11 Death and Destruction lie open before the Lord—

how much more do human hearts!

12 Mockers resent correction,

so they avoid the wise.

The most difficult times of parenting might be when parents need to discipline their children. True discipline is both fair and painful while inflicting pain on your child is so hard to do. This section looks at those who reject instruction and find themselves under the stern discipline of God and of men. In Hebrews 12 we read that those whom the Lord loves He corrects like a father who delights in his son and corrects him for his own good. Discipline is not a hateful act but a loving act. Discipline is the desire of those inflicting it to change the heart and the path of the one who is going astray.

One of the more painful realizations of life is that there are people who hate correction. They mock the truth and seem to always run toward more and more rebellion. They avoid people of wisdom because they neither want their wisdom nor do they want their rebuke. And while I have known many mockers who resented correction, that same desire has also been in my own heart and I find the need to fight against it. You see, none of us likes correction, especially when we think we did it right. But correction is a necessary part of life.

The 11th verse provides a very interesting point in the middle of two verses about correction. Everything is before, or in front of, the eyes of the Lord. When we do well, God sees it. When we don’t do well, God sees it. In fact, God sees us from the cradle to the grave and everywhere in-between. So when we deserve correction God knows that we need it and God knows how we receive it. Let’s work at being people who receive the correction that we need and even thank those who correct us for caring enough to give us instruction on the way of life.

 

Yesterday, I invited you to view the sermon on 1 John 5:21 by clicking the link below. The link wasn’t working and the sermon was not posted yet. I think we have fixed all of that now so you should be able to click the link and go to the church website’s sermon page. This sermon was on idolatry itself while next Sunday’s message will be on how to overcome idols of the heart.

 If you would like to hear Sunday’s  message go to:  https://sites.google.com/jibc.or.id/jibc/sermons?authuser=0 
If you are in Indonesia the link is:

https://sites.google.com/jibc.or.id/jibc/sermons

 Whom are you praying to come to Christ? I am meeting a man today whose faith I am not sure of. Look for people to care about for Jesus’ sake. Love them and point them to the Savior.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

What is acting with Prudence?

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Proverbs 15

5     A fool despises his father’s instruction,

But he who receives correction is prudent.

In trying to understand what it meant to be “prudent,” I went to a lexicon and to a dictionary. The dictionary says that one who is prudent is one who is “marked by wisdom, shrewd in the management of practical affairs, and marked by circumspection.” The lexicon said that prudent actions were “to be subtle, be shrewd, be crafty, beware.” From this, a prudent person is one who gives thought to what they do before they act and then acts in such a way that their actions are for their own good.

When Bobbi was in junior high, her father said that she could not do something that she wanted to do. When Bobbi responded to her dad that everyone was doing it, he asked her if everyone was jumping off a bridge, would she?   The pressure of the crowd around us is very powerful so there are times when we need to receive the correction that we have been taught and to act in a prudent manner for our own good.

Going back to the first part of the Proverb, we all have two fathers. We have an earthly father and we have a heavenly Father. As a human son, I don’t want to disappoint my earthly father. As a spiritual son, I don’t want to disappoint my heavenly Father. Yet, whenever I reject one of their instruction, I am acting foolishly. Do you realize how easy it is to act against instructions that we know? Without planning it, we can respond to a momentary situation in a way that we later regret. It might be words, it might be plans, it might be activities, and in the moment we need to remember our Father’s instruction and act prudently not despising the instruction that we have been taught.

Father’s are given for their children’s protection. If you were raised without one, God has good instructions for your life. If you father was not good to you, your eternal Father is good to you and has good instructions for your life. Regardless of our human parentage, we have a heavenly Father who does not want us to despise His instruction. He then also calls us to obey and to honor our human fathers.

Let us consider what it means today to act in a prudent manner when faced with decisions of words, plans, or actions. Let us receive the correction and the instruction that we need and go forward with a better view of what we should do.

 

As we look forward to Sunday, we are called to pray for God to do His work amongst us, His people, gathered in His house. Let us pray that distractions will be removed, that sickness will be healed, and that the enemy will not keep us and others from not attending the Lord’s church this Sunday. We will pray for all of those involved in the services to be prepared to seek the Lord. We will pray for the preaching of the Word to sink deep into the hearts and lives of all who hear that God will turn on lights to penetrate our darkness.

Here at JIBC we will return to our Sunday school schedule meeting at 9:30. Ladies are still in the book of Job, the men are beginning a new series teaching them how to prepare a lesson from God’s word. The class for those searching for understanding of the faith will be Foundations of Faith, taught by Rene Salvatierra.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

Holy Spirit led words are temporal and eternal

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Proverbs 15

1      A soft answer turns away wrath,

but a harsh word stirs up anger.

    The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,

but the mouths of fools pour out folly.

    The eyes of the Lord are in every place,

keeping watch on the evil and the good.

    A gentle tongue is a tree of life,

but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

 

Harsh words, foolish words, and a perverse tongue bring wrath and folly, and will break the spirit of the one thus spoken to.   Oh, how important it is to chose our words wisely. To stop and to think before we speak or to stop and wait before we press “send” are actions of wisdom to keep us from breaking the spirit of the ones we are speaking to. The pain of harsh words poured out in foolishness is long lasting and nothing to brag about.

The flip side of this is a soft answer, commending knowledge, and giving out life as in the tree of life. Our words have both temporary and eternal benefits when used wisely. Just as we are so thankful when treated with wise words so should we be people of wise words. Anyone can stir up anger, it takes a person of wisdom to respond to anger with a calm and soft answer. I am thankful for people who have modeled this to me. Some of you know Tom Hymers, Tom has been a man who has modeled a soft answer in the face of anger. As a fellow elder, Tom’s words were led by the Holy Spirit and always came out with gentleness and with strength. May each of allow the Holy Spirit to so guide our words to give life to those who hear us.

In verse 3 we see a very good reason for being careful with our words, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” Yes, we have the Holy Spirit and we also are under the watchful eye of God. What we say matters for the Lord is keeping watch. May the Lord be pleased with our words today as our words are words that give life to those who hear us.

Tomorrow at 11:45 is our Friday prayer time. We would love to have you join us in prayer. Tomorrow at 7:00 is our small group meeting at our apartment here in Kemang. If you would like to attend just let us know and we can get you the address.

On July 29th my dad is going in for a test to see if his Aortic valve can be replaced. In 2016 a test revealed that there was calcification in the valve. A recent test has shown that it is now critical and needs to be replaced. Pray with us for dad’s protection during this time.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

Sin brings reproach while wisdom will be made known

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Proverbs 14

33     Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding,

but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools.

34     Righteousness exalts a nation,

but sin is a reproach to any people.

Are you noticing in Proverbs the continual contrast between those who act in wisdom and those who act in foolishness? A walk through Proverbs is, by itself, an expose of our own hearts and the hearts of those around us.

In verse 33 we learn that a man of wisdom is also a man of understanding. This person is willing to listen and seeks to understand a matter before they throw in their opinion. It seems to me that most young people and arrogant adults do not listen to a matter before expressing their opinion. Young people have not yet learned that there are other opinions besides their own and arrogant adults don’t care about the thoughts of others for they see themselves as superior. The second part of verse 33 tells us that even in the midst of fool’s wisdom is made known. No one can get away from wisdom for long. Foolishness and its cousin, arrogance, lack the wisdom of understanding but their foolish arrogance is eventually obvious to all.

Verse 34 is a continuation of this thought and is as timeless as the rising and the setting of the sun. A nation that exalts righteousness through its laws and churches is a nation that will succeed and will be exalted by God. The history of the nation of Israel bears this truth out over and over again. Every king that exalted the righteousness of God was exalted by God. A righteous nation is going to be an exalted nation.

But, just as foolishness is made known, so a nation that exalts sin becomes a reproach. We should be afraid of the judgment of God upon all nations of the world that exalt sin and foolishness. Make no mistake, sin is a reproach to God and causes reproach among people. In the U.S. today there is more hatred than there ever has been. The hatred comes from those who want to legalize and justify their sin and is against those who believe that there is a standard of righteousness that should be upheld. As those who reject God and embrace sin have been allowed to do so, they want the rest of us to accept their sinful foolishness and even to support them in it. Sin has always been a reproach to God and to man and will continue to be so no matter how popular it becomes.

Wisdom will make itself known even in the midst of fools. Pray for wisdom and then walk in it.

 

I asked prayer last week for Bobbi’s brother, Shawn. He and Donna are in North Carolina seeking medical help for the stroke that he had in his eye and the continual pain he is enduring. So far, the doctors have not found the cause of the pain. Apparently 2% of those who have cataract surgery have this trouble. Please join us in prayer for someone to have the wisdom that Shawn and Donna need to find out the cause and be able to treat him. Pray for Donna who has also been having some health issues as she cares for her husband while dealing with her own weakness. God knows all of this and they are trusting Him as they ask us to join in prayer for them.

Pray for God’s wisdom for Zachery’s family as he seeks to get pilot training to serve as a missionary pilot here in Indonesia. The U.S, denied his visa this week. We are meeting with them today.

 Bobbi has made friends of a woman who works in the fruit section of the local grocery store. Last night, Diane and three of her friends came to dinner. It was the first time that foreigners have invited them to a meal. We long to show people here the love of the Lord Jesus that they might see His light through their darkness.

 Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

The True Christ is both Eternal God and Eternal Life

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1 John 5

20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Years ago there was a commercial about an investment firm. In the commercial, whenever anyone said, “E.F. Hutton said…” all the people in the room stopped talking to listen to what E.F Hutton did say. I do not know if this company is even in business anymore but I do know that when God speaks everyone should listen. God has spoken to us through His word, the Bible, and has given us all the instruction that we need for eternal life and for present life.

Here, near the end of the Apostle John’s 1st epistle, we learn a great deal from God’s word. We are told that we can know that the Son of God has come and we can know Him who is true. In a day when God is put in the margin and truth is subjected to human desires and passions, we can know God and we can have His truth in us. Jesus is God; this is a fact of eternal proportions. Someone can deny electricity but if they stick a metal fork into an outlet they cannot deny its power. Someone can deny that Jesus Christ is God but when they stand before Him they will not be able to deny His godly His power.

Three times in this verse we are told that something is true, it is real, it cannot be denied: Christ is true, we are in Him who is true, He is the true God and eternal life.

This is a most striking sentence. Christ came to give us an understanding of God the Father, we can know God as the true and real God because we have Christ in us and we are in Him. Jesus Christ, the image of the Father, is the true God and He is eternal life. Earlier John said, “He who has the Son has life.” Eternal life and Jesus Christ as synonyms!

We must not be drawn away to any other gospel for no other gospel has this truth, this reality, and no other gospel offers us eternal life in the eternal God. May our faith in Jesus Christ, the eternal God and eternal life be increased.

 

We are almost finished with 1 John here at JIBC. Next Sunday will be our last Sunday in this epistle. This has been a wonderful study into the many things God wants us to know. Yesterday I read 27 references in 1 John that tell us we can know something. Near the end of the letter, John brings back three of those things we can know. If you want to listen to this message, follow the link below.

I met a family in the elevator last week and the wife was from Croatia, the husband from Brazil. I invited them to church and then to lunch. They did not make church but they came for lunch. We have a family in our church from Croatia and they also came for lunch. We visited for nearly five hours. It was a wonderful of getting to know each other. We did talk about the Lord and look forward to future opportunities for friendship and for sharing Christ. You never know what a day might bring forth.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

 

 

 

Regardless of how popular evil is, it is still evil to God

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Proverbs 15:26–29 (ESV)

26     The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but gracious words are pure.

27     Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household, but he who hates bribes will live.

28     The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

29     The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

In today’s passage we see the thoughts of the wicked, those greedy for unjust gain, the mouth of the wicked and the distance of God from the wicked. It is always interesting to me that words penned some 3,000 years ago are still as true today as they were then. People have not changed, and wisdom is still a benefit to those who seek it. Evil people have the same issues now that they had then.

In my lifetime the proliferation of evil men and women into the leadership of the United States has been astounding. I call them wicked because they want to live without consequences of their sinful desires. They want to be sexually active without the consequence of having a child, so the abortion industry has killed well over 50,000,000 people and still wants more. Government leaders want to approve all sorts of sexual deviancy through laws enabling homosexual marriage (an oxymoron if there ever was one), enabling homosexuals to adopt innocent children and more. Transgenderism is confusing the youngest in society. The legalization of drinking and of marijuana use as a recreational drug goes against every spiritual instruction of not becoming enslaved to anything. But since it is people in leadership and popularity that are flying these flags, wickedness is becoming more and more acceptable. Regardless of their level of popularity, the thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord.

It is no surprise to read that the Lord is far from the wicked.

On the other side, the words of those filled with grace are still pure words; those who hate bribes live a better and more secure life; the heart of the righteous thinks about the right answer, and the Lord hears the prayer of the righteous.

We may be on the wrong side of the political and the popular elite, but we are on the right side with God. May we not be swayed by the voices of abomination that are working diligently to turn society to their evil desires, but may we recognize true grace and true wisdom continuing to walk in them.

My brother-in-law, Shawn, has appointments this week to seek to understand what is happening with his eyes. Thank you for your prayers for him, please continue to seek the Lord on Shawn and Donna’s behalf.

Tomorrow we will again host a prayer time at 11:45 at JIBC. These have become precious times of opening God’s word and praying together. Join us if you can.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

Walking a good and safe road

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Proverbs 15:19–21 (ESV)

19     The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.

20     A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother.

21     Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.

The Scripture writers often used the illustration of the kind of roads someone was travelling on as a description of their life. In verses 19 and 21 the idea of a level highway and walking straight ahead indicate the life of one who knows where he or she is going, is making good progress, and does not make needless turns to the right or the left. A level highway makes for good travel, good speed, and little danger of a crash or of making a wrong turn. All in all, travelling straight ahead on a good and level highway is where all of us want to be.

This level highway is contrasted with walking through a hedge of thorns while living in folly, or in useless activities. If you have ever had to walk in thorns, you choose your steps very carefully and you really cannot help but getting scratched. You do not make much progress and a short distance can take a very long time. This struggle of direction and progress is used to describe one who is lazy and one who lacks good sense. By the choices of their lives they do not make much progress, they are easily distracted from their purpose, and nothing seems to come easy for them.

In the middle of this contrast of the paths of life is a simple and repeated statement about a wise son who makes a glad father and a foolish son who despises his mother (he despises her because she wants to help guide him but he would rather live in the folly of the thorns). Parents want to help their children to avoid the thorns while enjoying the level highways of life. Parents want to see their children walking in wisdom and reaching their goals. Young people, let your parents help you. They are heavily invested in you and know you better than anyone else. As you benefit from your parents as a wisdom source, you will avoid the thorns and the folly of senseless living. You will enjoy your parents and they will be glad for your life.

 

We would request your prayer for Bobbi’s brother, Shawn. Shawn had to make an emergency trip to the US from Brazil due to an issue in his eye. It is very painful and has a risk of losing his eyesight. They were at Duke University Hospital where tests were run. Pray for wisdom for the doctors and comfort and healing for Shawn. Pray for peace for Shawn’s wife Donna and for their children, Andrew and Anna-shay are still living at home.

Pray for a man named Midian, his sons Patrick and Torino attend JIBC. Midian was admitted to a local hospital with cancer at serious levels in his body. I hope to see Median today.

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS