The Flattering Tongue

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Flattery is to compliment excessively and often insincerely given, especially in order to win favor.  Sincerity is sorely lacking in human relations today.  Flattery or sweet talk, which is another way that the tongue can be used for evil. People flatter continually starting from home to workplace. In the work place and offices people continually involved in internal politics and flattering in order to seek favour or, to get promoted to higher level.

Flattery is also a sin of the tongue. The Bible speaks of flattery as a characteristic of the wicked and of a sinful person. People from different walks of life trying to keep a record of the flattering speeches and conversations. Flattery is just a form of lying, and it has no place in the life of a Christian. It is an another produce of the misuse of the tongue.

He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder. When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery,
(Daniel 11:32-34 ESV)

We are encountering people with flattering nature everywhere, speaking something before us and contrarily with others, in other occasions, in order to please others or to fulfil their self-centred wishes. Continue reading

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Discerning Between the Righteous and the Wicked

Malachi 3 v 13 to  18

“Our Lord tells us to let the tares grow with the wheat. We are never to attempt to separate them. Why? Because we do not have the ability to know the one from the other. If the task of separating them were ours, we would pull up the wheat and keep the tares every time. None of us knows who is saved and who is lost. Those who pretend to have such knowledge are as arrogant as they are ignorant.”

DISCERNING BETWEEN THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED

Don Fortner 

My subject tonight is Discerning Between the Righteous and the Wicked. — Our Lord Jesus tells us plainly that in every age, wherever the righteous are found the wicked will be found among them. In every field of wheat, there tares grow and thrive. Wherever sheep find pasture, goats will be found grazing beside them. He also tells us to let the tares grow together with the wheat and let the goats graze with the sheep. We are never to try to separate them. That is the Lord’s work, and he will do it by the gospel.

 

We must never try to separate the tares from the wheat; and we must never try to separate the wicked from the righteous. But that does not mean that they be discerned and will not be separated. In Malachi 3, the Lord God makes a very clear discernment and assures us that, when he has finished all things, we shall with him — “discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” Continue reading

Faith And Love

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Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
(Habakkuk 2:4 KJV)

Don Fortner

“In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 4:6

Here is the law of Christ’s church and kingdom. This is the believer’s rule of life. And this must be the principle by which we function as a church. “This is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as he gave us commandment” (I John 3:24). Being united to Christ by faith and to one another in the bond of love, let us endeavor always to demonstrate these two graces.

1. WE LIVE BY FAITH IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.  “The Just shall live by faith.” First and foremost, this means Continue reading

We Must Not Give Ear To Talebearers, For They Feed The Fire Of Contention

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Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
(Proverbs 26:20 KJV)

He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears. As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport? Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross. He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him; When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart. Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation. Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him. A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.
(Proverbs 26:17-28 KJV)

Here below follows Mathew Henry’s exposition of these verses, taken from e-Sword.

Proverbs 26:17

1. That which is here condemned is meddling with strife that belongs not to us. If we must not be hasty to strive in our own cause (Pro_25:8), much less in other people’s, especially theirs that we are no way related to or concerned in, but light on accidentally as we pass by. If we can be instrumental to make peace between those that are at variance we must do it, though we should thereby get the ill-will of both sides, at least while they are in their heat; but to make ourselves busy in other men’s matters, and parties in other men’s quarrels, is not only to court our own trouble, but to thrust ourselves into temptation. Who made me a judge? Let them end it, as they began it, between themselves. 2. We are cautioned against it because of the danger it exposes us to; it is like taking a snarling cur by the ears, that will snap at you and bite you; you had better have let him alone, for you cannot get clear of him when you would, and must thank yourselves if you come off with a wound and dishonour. He that has got a dog by the ears, if he lets him go he flies at him, if he keeps his hold, he has his hands full, and can do nothing else. Let every one with quietness work and mind his own business, and not with unquietness quarrel and meddle with other people’s business.

Proverbs 26:18-19

See here, 1. How mischievous those are that make no scruple of deceiving their neighbours; they are as madmen that cast firebrands, arrows, and death, so much hurt may they do by their deceits. They value themselves upon it as polite cunning men, but really they are as madmen. Continue reading

Santa Claus, Antichrist and Angus Buchan: more interesting than the Book of Proverbs?

Controversy Cycle 1

Grant Swart

It never ceases to amaze, how controversial personalities and questionable professing Christians succeed in occupying the thoughts, imagination and time of those who regard the internet news feed as a worthy place to spend a lot of their valuable time. It is evident that the debate about characters and events such as Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, The Elephant Room, Rob Bell and Passion 2013, takes on a greater importance for many, than does for example, the studying and discussion surrounding the wonderful wisdom and humour held within the Book of Proverbs.

The statistics on this blog represent no exception. As administrator, I was able to gain access to those. The following list should be indicative of what I have just said. These are the names of the controversial personalities attached to the most widely read articles on this blog over the past year or two. The list tells its own story:

Santa Claus (father Christmas)

Antichrist

Angus Buchan

TB Joshua

Rick Joyner

Rick Warren

John Piper

Joseph Prince

Eugene Peterson (author of The Message)

Bill Johnson

Beth Moore

Ann Voskamp

Kay Arthur

I do concede that, on the greater scale of things, this blog cannot be representative of global tendencies, but these stats are nevertheless disturbing, particularly as there are so many more expository articles on this blog, than there are articles of tabloid interest.

While I realize that it is not any sort of requirement or justification, I wonder how many of the people who have read and commented with much fervour on the blog postings regarding the above personalities, are able to fill in (more or less) the missing words from these well-known Bible verses?

OK, so let us try, beloved readers:

1) “I will lift up mine eyes unto the….., from whence cometh my …… My ….  cometh from the …., which made …… and earth…”

2) LORD, how are they increased that……. me! many are they that …… up against me.

Many there be which say of my soul, There is no….. for him in God

One more try, this time, from the most beautiful benediction from the Book of Jude. Simply fill in the blanks in your mind’s eye:

Now to him who is able to keep you from…….. and to present you blameless before the presence of his…… with great……, to the only God, our ……, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, …….. and ………., before all time ..… and  forever. Amen

It seems unacceptable that, when placed on a balance, the time set aside by Christians to partake in conferences, debates, forums and discussions surrounding controversial personalities and subjects, it far outweighs that which is spent in contemplating God’s Grace and applying the simplicity of His Sovereign will to our lives.

I wish there to be great blessings of peace in your lives, and less strife and confusion over subjects and people who cannot as much as influence the passage of a single day in Creation.

Irrespective of how many seats on international jet-liners, people such as CJ Mahaney, John Piper or Benny Hinn fill, or how many hotel rooms they rent as they criss-cross the globe, or how many deceived souls they draw into their conference halls, the form of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ will remain unaffected (Matthew 16:18).  Maybe Rick Warren or Louis Giglio will have a street, a building or a new model of some four cylinder Korean car named after themselves,  but in terms of that which they successfully merchandise to the unbelieving world, they are worthy only of our disregard.

Blessings to all.

elephant and mouse

 

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The Wisdom of Proverbs

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Proverbs 13:1-25

A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. (2) From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good, but the desire of the treacherous is for violence. (3) Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. (4) The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. (5) The righteous hates falsehood, but the wicked brings shame and disgrace. (6) Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless, but sin overthrows the wicked. (7) One pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth. (8) The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth, but a poor man hears no threat. (9) The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked will be put out. (10) By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom. (11) Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. (12) Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (13) Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded. (14) The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. (15) Good sense wins favor, but the way of the treacherous is their ruin. (16) In everything the prudent acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly. (17) A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a faithful envoy brings healing. (18) Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored. (19) A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools. (20) Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (21) Disaster pursues sinners, but the righteous are rewarded with good. (22) A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous. (23) The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice. (24) Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. (25) The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want.  (ESV)

John Gills commentary  on some verses :  Continue reading