What a Friend!

After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home. And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt.
1 Samuel 18:1‭-‬4 NLT

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
John 13:34‭-‬35 NLT

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
1 John 4:10‭-‬11 NLT

We can see how Jonathan in 1 Samuel chapter 18-20 loved David dearly and even intervened on David’s behalf with his father. What friendship and love we can see here!

And even moreso, what friendship and love we can see in Jesus doing the same, even greater, for us!

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:13 NLT

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
John 10:14‭-‬18 NLT

So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Hebrews 4:14‭-‬16 NLT

Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” ) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:33‭-‬39 NLT

Faith not Forecast

Worried about the forecast, or trusting that He has supplied and sealed those who are sent?

David wasn’t listening to the Goliath forecast.

Caleb wasn’t concerned in his receiving the land with the greatest forecast for himself.

But they knew that the Lord was with them. They might say, “Let the others have their good forecasts and human efforts, I have the Lord who will faithfully see me through every trial and circumstance! I have found my greatest treasure and it isn’t in the land, or even in this life, but in the Lord!”

David’s perspective:

“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!” “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the Lord be with you!”
1 Samuel 17:32‭-‬37 NLT

Caleb’s perspective:

https://www.gotquestions.org/Joshua-and-Caleb.html

Do you trust in the Lord?

Do you believe that He has set you apart with a purpose, that He is the one that has supplied you, that He has sealed you with His Holy Spirit, and that He has sent you to do His will on earth as it is in heaven?

Don’t listen to the whispering lies of the enemy — who wants to cut you off from the great and eternal things the Lord has for you!

Don’t let fear and doubt and distractions of this world deter you from your purpose.

See the forecast of your trials ahead as opportunity for an even greater testimony of the peace, love, joy, and patience that flows from the Lord.

He has won the victory!

Don’t run your life, your ministry, like a well thought out business based only on verifiable forecasts! Yes, that can testify to your own human skills, knowledge, and puffery. But good business skills alone don’t demonstrate faith. Don’t go where you know you can be profitable and paid and configurable by your own skills, but step out in faith and let God show Himself faithful.

I’m not saying to test God for the sake of testing Him, No! But I am saying that it is only by faith that we can please God. Not faith in ourselves and pour own abilities, but faith in Him.

And Caleb wasn’t some great chess player, thinking to himself, “If I prove that I’m willing to trust the Lord, He will have to bless me.” No! He trusted the Lord, He valued the Lord, He sought first the Lord wholeheartedly in faithful abandon instead of through reasonable consideration of the “forecast” — and “all these things were added to him”.

See how the Lord responds to Moses (the one whom God some to “face to face”) when Moses was praying (interceding on behalf of the people) — the Lord honors Caleb (and we know that He resists the proud and honors the contrite of heart):

“Please, Lord, prove that your power is as great as you have claimed. For you said, ‘The Lord is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. But he does not excuse the guilty. He lays the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.’ In keeping with your magnificent, unfailing love, please pardon the sins of this people, just as you have forgiven them ever since they left Egypt.” Then the Lord said, “I will pardon them as you have requested. But as surely as I live, and as surely as the earth is filled with the Lord ’s glory, not one of these people will ever enter that land. They have all seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they have tested me by refusing to listen to my voice. They will never even see the land I swore to give their ancestors. None of those who have treated me with contempt will ever see it. But my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the others have. He has remained loyal to me, so I will bring him into the land he explored. His descendants will possess their full share of that land.
Numbers 14:17‭-‬24 NLT

Who’s your daddy?

A King’s children are ordained to be Princesses and Princes even before they are conceived.

Not by virtue of their earning a title on their own, but by virtue of who their father is.

After they are born, and as they live out their lives, and as the world can see them standing beside the example of the King — it becomes clearly evident whether they are truly His or are illegitimate.

ELECTION

https://www.openbible.info/topics/election

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan.
Ephesians 1:4‭-‬9 NLT

BOASTING

https://www.openbible.info/topics/boasting

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:4‭-‬10 NLT

CHILD

https://www.openbible.info/topics/child_of_god

https://www.openbible.info/topics/illegitimate_children

And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord ’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.
Hebrews 12:5‭-‬8 NLT

Need some encouragement like Paul gave Timothy?

Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:12 NLT

“Fight the good fight”

– put in work and effort, not primarily because you are working to gain something in return, but because you have received so much through Christ and have realized that His way is best and that He is worthy of all glory and honor

– resist the evil schemes of the enemy, and the trappings of worldliness, and the desires of your eyes, the cravings of your flesh, and the pride that wells up

– serve, love, and do not grow weary in your good works

“the true faith”

– there are many false faiths, many false gospels, many deceived but professing Christians who have not been born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, who only have religion, ceremony, tradition, knowledge, theology but who have no true understanding that comes from the spirit and not just the mind.

– have that true faith that comes from the one true source, that is taught and led by the Spirit of Truth and that tests all things by the Word of God

– have that true faith that produces outward fruit that is evidence of the deeply rooted vine of life — that the Law of Christ that fulfills the law and that overcomes sin and darkness is written upon our hearts and convicts, teaches, disciplines and corrects our thoughts, words and actions by the Holy Spirit that abides in us

“Hold tightly to the eternal life”

– we hold tightly to that which we truly treasure, so of we trample upon something even though we say we value it, we would prove ourselves deceived liars. So we value this gift of eternal life, and we value Christ, and we value His instruction and guidance in godly living and we turn away from the ways of the world and away from wickedness and from self serving to a life laid down to live in Christ, walking in Spirit not in flesh, bearing the fruit of His Spirit, sharing this Good News, and teaching and equipping and helping and loving one another

“to which God has called you”

– this salvation, this faith, it is not something that you have earned by your own striving or effort, but it is a gift from God, a spring of life that has welled up in you from the source, so do not boast in yourself or compare yourself to others, because your grace, your faith, your gifts and your talents are a gift from God — and to whom much is given in planting, much is to be returned at harvest

“which you have declared so well”

– some are quite better at declaring than abiding, and these should find peace and quiet like Martha’s sister Mary, rather than find themselves the very busy bodies and vocal hypocrites that Jesus opposed so strongly

“before many witnesses”

– you have many eyes upon how you live and how your life speaks each day. Many are looking for a sign, some evidence that this gospel that we speak about Jesus Christ come to live in and through His people is true. What will your witnesses have to say about your life’s evidence today? Will they see Jesus Christ living in and through you? Are you alive in Christ?

[Home Group] Psalm 1 Wiersbe “BE Worshipful” Commentary

REF: “STUDY THIS” link @ https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalms+1&version=NLThttps://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalms+1&version=NLT

Be Worshipful (Psalms 1-89): Glorifying God for Who He Is (The BE Series Commentary) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1434767396/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_PI.6zbQX0EV8V

NOTE: This is a reference link/post for our small group who are going through the Wiersbe Study of Psalms this fall season. See this post

Psalm 1

The editor who placed this jewel at the beginning of the Psalms did a wise thing, for it points the way to blessing and warns about divine judgment. These are frequent themes in the Psalms. The images in this psalm would remind the reader of earlier teachings in the Old Testament. In Genesis, you find people walking with God (5:21, 24; 6:9; 17:1), the life-giving river (2:10-14), and trees and fruit (2:8-10). The law of the Lord connects the psalm with Exodus through Deuteronomy. Finding success by meditating on that law and obeying it reminds us of Joshua 1:8. The psalm presents two ways–the way of blessing and the way of judgment–which was the choice Israel had to make (Deut. 30:15, 19). Jesus used a similar image (Matt. 7:13-14). Bible history seems to be built around the concept of “two men”: the “first Adam” and the “last Adam” (Rom. 5; 1 Cor. 15:45)–Cain and Abel, Ishmael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob, David and Saul–and Bible history culminates in Christ and Antichrist. Two men, two ways, two destinies.

Psalm 1 is a wisdom psalm and focuses on God’s Word, God’s blessing on those who obey it and meditate on it, and God’s ultimate judgment on those who rebel. Wisdom psalms also wrestle with the problem of evil in the world and why God permits the prosperity of the wicked who reject His law. Other wisdom psalms include 10; 12; 15; 19; 32; 34; 37; 49–50; 52–53; 73; 78; 82; 91–92; 94; 111–112; 119; 127–128; 133; and 139. While this psalm depicts two ways, it actually describes three different persons and how they relate to the blessing of the Lord.

1. The Person Who Receives a Blessing from God (vv. 1-2). God’s covenant with Israel made it clear that He would bless their obedience and judge their disobedience (Lev. 26; Deut. 28). The word blessed is asher, the name of one of Jacob’s sons (Gen. 30:12-13). It’s plural: “O the happinesses! O the blessednesses!” The person described here met the conditions, and therefore God blessed him. If we want God’s blessing, we, too, must meet the conditions.

We must be directed by the Word (v. 1). Israel was a unique and separate people; they were among the other nations but not to be contaminated by them (Num. 23:9; Ex. 19:5-6; Deut. 32:8-10; 33:28). So it is with God’s people today: We are in the world but not of the world (John 17:11-17). We must beware of friendship with the world (James 4:4) that leads to being spotted by the world (James 1:27) and even loving the world (1 John 2:15-17). The result will be conforming to the world (Rom. 12:1-2) and, if we don’t repent, being condemned with the world (1 Cor. 11:32). Lot looked toward Sodom, pitched his tent toward Sodom, and soon moved into Sodom (Gen. 13:10-12; 14:12). Though he was a saved man (2 Peter 2:7-8), Lot lost all that he had when the Lord destroyed the cities of the plain (Gen. 18–19; 1 Cor. 3:11-23). We move into sin and disobedience gradually (see Prov. 4:14-15; 7:6ff.). If you follow the wrong counsel, then you will stand with the wrong companions and finally sit with the wrong crowd. When Jesus was arrested, Peter didn’t follow Christ’s counsel and flee from the garden (Matt. 26:31; John 16:32; 18:8) but followed and entered the high priest’s courtyard. There he stood with the enemy (John 18:15-18) and ultimately sat with them (Luke 22:55). The result was denying Christ three times. The “ungodly” are people who are willfully and persistently evil; “sinners” are those who miss the mark of God’s standards but who don’t care; the “scornful” make light of God’s laws and ridicule that which is sacred (see Prov. 1:22; 3:34; 21:24). When laughing at holy things and disobeying holy laws become entertainment, then people have reached a low level indeed.

We must be delighted with the Word (v. 2). We move from the negative in verse 1 to the positive. Delighting in the Word and meditating on the Word must go together (119:15-16, 23-24, 47-48, 77-78), for whatever we enjoy, we think about and pursue. “Meditate” in the Hebrew means “to mutter, to read in an undertone,” for Orthodox Jews speak as they read the Scriptures, meditate, and pray. God’s Word is in their mouth (Josh. 1:8). If we speak to the Lord about the Word, the Word will speak to us about the Lord. This is what is meant by “abiding in the Word” (1 John 2:14, 24). As God’s people, we should prefer God’s Word to food (119:103; Job 23:12; Jer. 15:17; Matt. 4:4; 1 Peter 2:2), sleep(119:55, 62, 147-148, 164), wealth (119:14, 72, 127, 162), and friends (119:23, 51, 95, 119). The way we treat the Bible is the way we treat Jesus Christ, for the Bible is His Word to us. The verbs in verse 1 are in the perfect tense and speak of a settled way of life, while in verse 2, “meditate” is the imperfect tense and speaks of constant practice: “He keeps meditating.”

2. The Person Who Is a Blessing (v. 3). God blesses us that we might be a blessing to others (Gen. 12:2). If the blessing stays with us, then the gifts become more important than the Giver, and this is idolatry. We are to become channels of God’s blessing to others. It’s a joy to receive a blessing but an even greater joy to be a blessing. “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

The tree is a familiar image in Scripture, symbolizing both a kingdom (Ezek. 17:24; Dan. 4; Matt. 13:32) and an individual (52:8; 92:12-14; Prov. 11:30; Isa. 44:4; 58:11; Jer. 17:5-8; Matt. 7:15-23). Balaam saw the people of Israel as a “garden by a river” with trees in abundance (Num. 24:6). Like a tree, the godly person is alive, beautiful, fruitful, useful, and enduring. The most important part of a tree is the hidden root system that draws up water and nourishment, and the most important part of the believer’s life is the “spiritual root system” that draws on the hidden resources we have in Christ (Eph. 3:17; Col. 2:7). This is known as “abiding in Christ” (John 15:1-9).

In Scripture, water for drinking is a picture of the Spirit of God (John 7:37-39; 1 Cor. 10:4), while water for washing pictures the Word of God (Ps. 119:9; John 15:3; Eph. 5:26). Thirst for water is an image of thirst for God (42:1; 63:1; 143:6; Matt. 5:6; Rev. 22:17), and the river is often a picture of God’s provision of spiritual blessing and help for His people (36:8; 46:4; 78:16; 105:41; Ex. 17:5-6; Num. 20:9-11; Ezek. 47; Rev. 22:1-2). We can’t nourish and support ourselves; we need to be rooted in Christ and drawing upon His spiritual power. To meditate on the Word (v. 2) is one source of spiritual energy, as are prayer and fellowship with God’s people. “Religion lacks depth and volume because it is not fed by hidden springs,” wrote Alexander Maclaren.

Trees may wither and die, but the believer who abides in Christ stays fresh, green, and fruitful (see 92:12-14). “Fruit” speaks of many different blessings: winning people to Christ (Rom. 1:13), godly character (Rom. 6:22; Gal. 5:22-23), money given to the Lord’s work (Rom. 15:28), service and good works (Col. 1:10), and praise to the Lord (Heb. 13:15). It’s a tragedy when a believer ignores the “root system” and begins to wither. We must remember that the tree doesn’t eat the fruit; others eat it. We must also remember that fruit isn’t the same as “results,” because fruit has in it the seed for more fruit. Fruit comes from life, the life of God flowing in and through us.

The godly person described in verses 1-3 is surely a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to John 14:6, is the way (v. 1), the truth (v. 2), and the life (v. 3).

3. The Person Who Needs a Blessing (vv. 4-6).The first half of the psalm describes the godly person, while the last half focuses on the ungodly, the people the godly must seek to reach with the gospel. How desperately these people need to know God and receive His blessings in Christ! The wicked are pictured in many ways in Scripture, but the image here is chaff. In contrast to the righteous, who are like trees, the ungodly are dead, rootless, blown about, and destined for the fire. Chaff is worth nothing. When the grain is winnowed, the wind blows the chaff away, and what chaff remains is thrown into the fire. John the Baptist used these same images of the tree, fruit, and chaff to warn sinners to repent (Matt. 3:7-12). The wicked of this world seem rich and substantial, but from God’s point of view, they are cheap, unsubstantial, and destined for judgment. (See Ps. 73.) No wonder Jesus used the garbage dump outside Jerusalem (gehenna) as a picture of hell, because that’s where the cheap waste ends up in the fire (Mark 9:43-48). The chaff is so near the grain, but in the end, the two are separated, and the chaff is blown away or burned. But until that happens, we have the opportunity to witness to them and seek to bring them to Christ.

There is a coming day of judgment, and the Lord, the Righteous Judge, will separate the wheat from the tares, the sheep from the goats, and the trees from the chaff; and no unbeliever will be able to stand in the assembly of the righteous. The verb knows in verse 6 doesn’t mean that God is aware of them intellectually and has the godly in his mind. Rather, it means that God has chosen them and providentially watched over them and brought them finally to His glory. The word know is used, as in Amos 3:2, to mean “to choose, to enter into covenant relationship with, to be personally acquainted with.” The Jewish Publication Society translation of Amos 3:2 is “You alone have I singled out of all the families of the earth.” That same translation gives verse 6 as “For the Lordcherishes the way of the righteous.…” At the last judgment, Jesus says to the wicked, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matt. 7:23 nkjv).

This psalm begins with “blessed” and ends with “perish.” True believers are blessed in Christ (Eph. 1:3ff.). They have received God’s blessing, and they ought to be a blessing to others, especially to the chaff that will one day be thrown into the fire. Let’s seek to win as many of them as we can.

Psalm 1

  1. What does Psalm 1 identify as the key to success? How do you personally measure true success?
  2. According to Psalm 1, what conditions must you meet in order to be “blessed”? Are you willing to meet these conditions?
  3. What will you do this week to be a blessing to others?

[Home Group] Psalm 1: Follow, Join in, or Stand around with?

Oh, the joys of those who do not

follow the advice of the wicked,

or stand around with sinners,

or join in with mockers.

But they delight in the law of the Lord ,

meditating on it day and night.

They are like trees planted along the riverbank,

bearing fruit each season.

Their leaves never wither,

and they prosper in all they do.

But not the wicked!

They are like worthless chaff,

scattered by the wind.

They will be condemned at the time of judgment.

Sinners will have no place among the godly.

For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,

but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
Psalms 1:1‭-‬6 NLT

NOTE: For the full Wiersbe commentary for this chapter, click here

Those Blessed

Verse one tells us an interesting contrast about ” the joys of those who do not…” compared to those who associate with sinners/wicked/mockers. This tells us about those blessed with wisdom and integrity to live set apart from such dark things. It is a joy that comes from a blessed life. So this verse is primarily about those who are receiving the joy of the Lord, blessings that come from a life that isn’t knee deep in filth.

Those Blessing

Verses two and three tell us not just about what is received for themselves, but what they produce. Not only are they blessed, but they reap fruit and prosperity that is a blessing to others. Their delight is not centered in the gifts and blessings God gives, but in God, as those who “delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.”

Those in Need of Blessing

Verses four and five contrast the wicked and condemned, who are neither blessed nor are a blessing to others.

The LORD

And there is another party to all of this who is made clear in verse 6, and that is the Lord. He is not only the source of the law, He is not only the source from whom all blessings flow (by His watching over the godly), but He is also the source of judgement upon those who rebel. Revelation 6:16 reminds us that it is “the wrath of the Lamb” that is poured out in judgement, and Revelation 19:15 reminds us that “He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

Wisdom Psalms

This chapter is considered a “Wisdom Psalm”. For more information on Wisdom Psalms, check out this video:

Why is psalm 1 a “Wisdom psalm”?

It focuses on God’s Word. It confirms God’s blessing on those who obey it and mediate on it. It confirms His abiding presence and the results of His fruit/ character/outpouring through those who abide in Him. It confirms God’s judgement on those who rebel.

It contrasts:

The Way vs broad way

Wickedness vs faithfulness

It speaks to relationships between these groups:

Wicked Sinners

Godly saints

The Lord

It speaks to either:

the foolishness of bonds and ties to the foolish and the wicked —

Or the wisdom of turning to God and being separate from the worldly.

Conditional?

Can we see a “conditional” playing out in all of this? Can we see the “if we are this, God is this towards us…” start to play out in this psalm? If we in fact believe that His Word is true, can we see how aligning ourselves incorrectly can hinder the blessings of God according to this passage?

At this point, I must interject, to reference another blog entry, because someone will read this and say “but it isn’t my perfection that I’m relying upon, but upon Christ’s righteousness — to which I say “Amen!” If this is you, click here — otherwise, continue on.

So can we agree that we want to align ourselves with the will of God, to turn and follow in the footsteps of Christ, to walk in The Way, to not hinder the Holy Spirit of God, but to reverently fear and respect God and live godly lives as children of our Father in Heaven even now?

With that settled, this Psalm instructs us to:

1) Be set apart from:

– wicked advice

– ongoing fellowship with sinners or mockers

2) Delight in the law of the Lord & meditate on it (cherish it, consider it, ponder it) day and night

3) Through abidung in and not hindering the power of the Holy Spirit, be a blessing to others

This is a great contrast to the wicked mentioned in verses 4-5.

And there are very different consequences demonstrated in verse 6 for the two different conditions laid out. Depending on the “IF”, there is a very different “THEN” that is born out in the end.

Our Responsibility to the Wicked?

So do we bear any responsibility to the wicked, if we consider ourselves the blessed and the ones bringing blessing?

I will point you to a compelling blog with reading and considering honestly: http://www.biblelineministries.org/articles/basearch.php3?action=full&mainkey=BLOOD+ON+YOUR+HANDS%3F

What practical implications should this have on our lives?

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “ Lord , who has believed our message?” So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
Romans 10:9‭-‬17 NLT

Important Question, Eternally Important.

Someone will read some of my posts encouraging righteous living and say “but it isn’t my own perfection that I’m relying upon, but upon Christ’s righteousness” — to which I say “Amen!”

But don’t we need to know if we in fact have Christ’s righteousness upon which we claim that we can strand upon so firmly?

NOTE: This page exists PRIMARILY because of that reoccurring question that comes from folks who are opposed to such discussions pressing each other on in godly living, and who claim “that is works based speech”.

Paul speaks of this deception many times and specifically mentions it to Timothy in a way that is hard to dismiss or twist and pervert:

Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
2 Timothy 3:12 NLT

Those who want to use their own comfortable ideas, opinions, and feelings about Jesus to justify their continuing in a sinful, worldly life that bears little difference to anyone else who is lost and living for themselves — That type of people don’t face risk of persecution — they fit right in with everyone else headed down the broad way to destruction.

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
John 8:12 NLT

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.
John 8:34‭-‬36 NLT

Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living. Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:15‭-‬23 NLT

Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6:9‭-‬11 NLT

Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. For we know the one who said, “I will take revenge. I will pay them back.” He also said, “The Lord will judge his own people.” It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Hebrews 10:26‭-‬31 NLT

Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil. Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.
1 Thessalonians 5:14‭-‬24 NLT

So someone will then ask, “What must I do?”

Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away —all who have been called by the Lord our God.” Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all. All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper ), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity — all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
Acts of the Apostles 2:37‭-‬47 NLT

[Home Group] Study Tools

We talked tonight about several online tools that I find helpful in studying, counseling, making decisions, etc. So I’ve gathered links from several of my favorite sites (and apps), along with an explanation of how I use them.

Youversion.com/Bible.com App

This website (and especially their app) makes it easy to flip through, read, highlight, and even copy/paste sections of scripture for use in messages, Facebook posts, etc. It offers any easy drop down to switch to your favorite translation, and the app even allows you to have the whole bible downloaded for offline reading, and it even offers listening to recorded audio readings in your choice of translation that are very good quality.

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Open Bible Topical Search

This is a great search for finding scripture about a specific topics, for study, counseling, or whatever the purpose when you want to know what the Bible has to say about a particular topic. If you type into Google search “Bible say about willful sin” (or any other topic), the first option is probably going to be Open Bible’s topical search results on that subject. This is a heat resource, because it doesn’t give commentary, opinion, or application, it just gives you a list of related verses. Now I do suggest you then go and read that whole section of surrounding scripture and not just that one verse alone– so that you understand the context, original meaning, and right application.

https://www.openbible.info/topics/

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Bible Project / Read Scripture App

Need an overall understanding of a book of the Bible or concept/thread in the Bible drawn out for you in an easier to understand graphical explanation? This group is your source for the 10,000ft view. Their smartphone app is also pretty awesome.

https://thebibleproject.com

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Bible Study Tools Commentaries

This is a great resource for commentary on specific chapters and verses you are studying. If you type into Google search “Proverbs 1 commentary” (or any other book and chapter), the first option is probably going to be Matthew Henry’s whole Bible commentary from this site for that particular chapter — and if you add to the end of your Google search “Proverbs 1 commentary gill” you will probably get Gills exposition from this site as the guest result. There are also other valuable commentaries and resources on this site:

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/

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Bible Hub Parallel

This is a great resource for understanding different nuances that are a part of the translation process for varying Bible translations. If you type into Google search “biblehub proverbs 1:1” this site’s parallel result are usually the first result and you can see multiple translations of that one verse all on the same page for comparison.

http://biblehub.com/genesis/1-1.htm

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Blue Letter Bible Intralinear

This is a great resource for looking into the original language and wording (Hebrew, Greek). I suggest the desktop version of this site as opposed to the mobile version. For this site, go to the main site, then enter chapter and verse or search terms and then dig in from there, once you click on a specific verse, you will see both English and original language weeds for comparison, along with strong’s concordance numbers for reference that you can click to see the original meanings for the original language. You can even see other verses in the Bible where that word was used so you understand it’s biblical context and use.

https://www.blueletterbible.org

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PrayerMate App

Want to keep up with varying prayer requests and sort them into lists so you don’t forget someone’s request? Want to be able to say, give me X number of folks to pray for right now based on how much time you have and our roll through your lists fairly, eventually getting to everyone by rotating through your various lists of requests? This is your app for that!

https://www.prayermate.net

[Home Group] Book of Psalms – Intro

Tonight, we are beginning a 12 week study on the book of Psalms that meets in our house each Wednesday night at 6:30-8:00PM. This is a study for adult couples, and throughout the time that the adults meet at our house, childcare is available at The Well in Landrum, SC from 6:15-8:30PM.

Our group study guide:

The Wiersbe Bible Study Series: Psalms: Glorifying God for Who He Is https://www.amazon.com/dp/1434764877/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_t.Z5zb0S0A0ZD

“Reading Psalms” Overview

OPTIONAL: Supplimental Materials for the Wiersbe Study

Be Worshipful (Psalms 1-89): Glorifying God for Who He Is (The BE Series Commentary) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1434767396/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_Aa05zb9SSYGP0

Be Exultant (Psalms 90-150): Praising God for His Mighty Works (The BE Series Commentary) https://www.amazon.com/dp/143476737X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_ib05zb7QHGN1G

OPTIONAL: “Psalms for Beginners” Study Videos

Lesson 1 – Intro

Lesson 2 – Literary Devices

Lesson 3 – Wisdom Psalms

Lesson 4 – Nature Psalms

Lesson 5 – Word Psalms

Lesson 6 – Penitential Psalms

Lesson 7 – Worship Psalms

Lesson 8 – Suffering Psalms

Lesson 9 – Assurance Psalms

Lesson 10 – Praise Psalms

Lesson 11 – Royal Psalms

[Spruce Pine] Proverbs 12 NLT

Proverbs 12 (NLT)

12 To learn, you must love discipline;
it is stupid to hate correction.
2 The Lord approves of those who are good,
but he condemns those who plan wickedness.
3 Wickedness never brings stability,
but the godly have deep roots.
4 A worthy wife is a crown for her husband,
but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones.
5 The plans of the godly are just;
the advice of the wicked is treacherous.
6 The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush,
but the words of the godly save lives.
7 The wicked die and disappear,
but the family of the godly stands firm.
8 A sensible person wins admiration,
but a warped mind is despised.
9 Better to be an ordinary person with a servant
than to be self-important but have no food.
10 The godly care for their animals,
but the wicked are always cruel.
11 A hard worker has plenty of food,
but a person who chases fantasies has no sense.
12 Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot,
but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit.
13 The wicked are trapped by their own words,
but the godly escape such trouble.
14 Wise words bring many benefits,
and hard work brings rewards.
15 Fools think their own way is right,
but the wise listen to others.
16 A fool is quick-tempered,
but a wise person stays calm when insulted.
17 An honest witness tells the truth;
a false witness tells lies.
18 Some people make cutting remarks,
but the words of the wise bring healing.
19 Truthful words stand the test of time,
but lies are soon exposed.
20 Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil;
joy fills hearts that are planning peace!
21 No harm comes to the godly,
but the wicked have their fill of trouble.
22 The Lord detests lying lips,
but he delights in those who tell the truth.
23 The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge,
but fools broadcast their foolishness.
24 Work hard and become a leader;
be lazy and become a slave.
25 Worry weighs a person down;
an encouraging word cheers a person up.
26 The godly give good advice to their friends;
the wicked lead them astray.
27 Lazy people don’t even cook the game they catch,
but the diligent make use of everything they find.
28 The way of the godly leads to life;
that path does not lead to death.

COMMENTARY

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/proverbs/12.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/proverbs-12/

Videos/Sermons