[Spruce Pine] Proverbs 5 Questions

Chapter 5 – Discernment & Self-Control

1) How does he describe discernment? (Verses 1-2)

2) What does he say about immoral women? (Verses 3-6, 8)

3) What dies he say about sex within a god ordained marriage? (Verses 15-19)

4) Why does a man die? (Verse 23)

Cross References

How does 2 Peter 2:17-19 in the new testament confirm and agree with what we have read in Proverbs chapter 5 (especially verse 23)?

How does 2 Timothy 1:7 in the new testament confirm and agree with what we have read in Proverbs chapter 5 (especially verse 23)?

Full vent? Or self control?

Proverbs 29:11 ESV
A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

Self control.

Not letting our emotions and desires control our lives.

Not letting our own opinions and our own will lead us, but examining and understanding which voice we are listening to, which master we are serving.

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

Some who are heading towards destruction will say things like, “I’m not convicted against that” or “I think that we can…” and they will even claim the name of Jesus and talk about grace and forgiveness while they have no interest in loving Him, or following Him, or keeping His commandments, or serving others. They have no interest in learning or being changed. I know this, because that used to be me. I had no interest in a restored relationship with God, but I thought that I had bought my heaven ticket with a prayer and a little bit of religion “once upon a time”.

I was a fool.

I had no self control, I chased after whatever my flesh desired.

I had no interest in God’s will being done on earth through my life – I was only intrigued by the idea of escaping the consequences for my hellish actions.

I was a fool.

I had no fear of God, because I thought of Him as “buddy Jesus” who loved the sinners and hated the religious – which is true – but I had missed the why.

It wasn’t so they could remain where they were. He didn’t bring Good News so things would stay the same – He brings change, uncovering what is on the inside, shining light on the motives underneath that are hidden many times by the masks of outward appearance.

We can all recognize the lost sinners who are bearing only thorns and thistles in their lives, right? Can we agree they are not serving God of they don’t believe – if they have no interest in repentance?

But what about those who want to appear honorable but who have interest only in repentance as far as it is visible to others?

Thrre are those who want to appear religious in their words and who go to great lengths to be seen are the very ones who are working hard to hide their dark hearts. Those who want to be exalted and honored by other men as a “good man” or as someone worthy of honor are the very souls who are most lacking and in need of true integrity and honor. Yes, those areas of deficiency are the areas we try hardest to mask and to hide and to protect when we have no hope of healing.

But there is one who heals both of these ailments, and His name is Jesus Christ. He restores and makes us whole so that we have no need to hide those weaknesses anymore, nor do we have to remain fruitless. In fact, by removing the masks and admitting our weaknesses, He does an amazing thing – He changes us and what was once an embarrassment and a disgrace becomes an area of our lives c touched and changed by the annointing power of Jesus Christ.

My old ways when I had no interest in God’s will led me down some dark paths. Many lessons I had to learn the hard way,  because I didn’t yet believe our understand the value of the Word of God. I didn’t understand that God c truly has provided His divine instruction so that we might have the fullest and beat life by walking in His will and purpose,  protecting ourselves from the influence of the enemy and the inevitable consequences of being wrapped up in their traps.

But today,  those mistakes allow me to go into the jails and talk with others from a common perspective of understanding the struggles that they are going through,  because I have seen a similar path. Today,  those mistakes allow me to talk with someone dealing with addiction and not just be “some preacher with a perfect life that doesn’t know what he’s talking about”. Today those mistakes allow me to counsel someone who is wrapped up in sexual sin, pornography, adultery,  or going through a divorce and let them know without a doubt that Jesus Christ is strong enough to bring them through it and turn it to good – but only when we truly turn to Him.

And I share that turning to Him doesn’t guarantee freedom from the consequences. I see the consequences of my old actions and how it led others down rocky paths. I see how little eyes watched my old example and later followed in my footsteps into consequences of their own. I see that our life choices and our actions have more influence than our words or our Sunday church attendance records.

So I don’t want to be a fool any longer.

I don’t want you to be a fool any longer.

If you think that I’m talking about religion, look into the message within my words,  because my words alone are to weak to explain to your mind what my heart is trying to share with your heart. Don’t try to wrap your head around it. Let your heart chew on it.

Genesis 2:7 ESV
Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

John 3:16 ESV
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”
Luke 3:7-9 NLT
http://bible.com/116/luk.3.7-9.NLT

Revelation 2:17
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.

Isaiah 62:2
The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give.

A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth. 
It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart. 
Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face the heart is made glad. 
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. 
It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools. 
For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fools; this also is vanity. 
Surely oppression drives the wise into madness, and a bribe corrupts the heart. 
Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. 
Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools. 
Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. 
Wisdom is good with an inheritance, an advantage to those who see the sun.  For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it. 
Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked?  In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.
Ecclesiastes 7:1-14 ESV
http://bible.com/59/ecc.7.1-14.ESV

Change in Me

Hebrews 4:12 ESV
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

PERSONAL COMMENTARY
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It can be painful to realize those things that need to change in ourselves, but it is encouraging to know that Christ in us will bring us through – IF we lean in and follow His will and have faith in Him. Yes, sometimes letting go of those familiar sins in our lives can be a but unsettling, but growth and change come from a broken will and surrender.

Help me to use what I learn to fix the many things that still née work in me.

Help me be a light to the world not just in my sharing these words, but in my living a life loving and serving others – demonstrating an example of both an upright and a merciful life.

This living word, written on my heart – this Holy Spirit comforter, teacher, and spirit of conviction – this Christ in me – it is the light of change in my life bearing a repentant heart seeking God’s will and no longer chasing or being imprisoned to a life of sin and bearing the fruits of the spirit that now lives inside me.

Jesus Christ, my hope of glory.

The truth, the life, the way.

Love, mercy, and forgiveness – freedom FROM sin, not freedom TO sin.

The change that comes when Christ lives in us and through us.

I have so much that He is still changing in me, but He is changing me on the inside – and one day someone will even see a change on the outside – because this isn’t a light to be hidden, but shared.

You might not be able to see Christ in me, I understand. Some days I struggle to understand whether I’ve even shared light a single time without stumbling over myself. But if you knew where He started with me, you might see a change and know that He is at work.

I love you, friend. As usual, these are my journals for what I am being taught. I don’t have all of the answers, but I know the man who does.

Jesus Christ. Is He alive in you?

What am I Chasing?

HEB 13:5-6 ESV

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said,

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

So we can confidently say,

“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”

PERSONAL COMMENTARY
——————————————–

What am I chasing?

We can usually tell by our excitement or disappointment over things that are happening in our lives.

The trick for me is to actually sit back and think about my reactions to things that have happened to me each day. How did I react?

What choice did I make when faced with a tough decision?

This begins to tell me what is guiding my thoughts,  actions,  and words.

If I see something wrong and I lash out AT IT in “punishment mode” – that tells me something different than if I choose to respond TO THEM in “loving guidance” mode – and that tells me something different than if I choose to wisely examine the situation,  pray about it,  and follow God’s instructions on how to deal with the situation.

Situation one can mean that I am being led by my emotions – an EMOTIONAL RESPONSE/REACTION to the situation.

Situation two can mean that I am being led by my pride – a SELF CENTERED or IMMATURE “I know what they need to be doing” response/reaction.

Situation three can mean that I am being patient and wise, waiting to be led by the Holy Spirit – a SPIRITUALLY MATURE evaluation of whether or not there is an opportunity for the Lord to use me as a vessel.

If I am going to chase anything,  I should be chasing the Lord.

If I have caught hold of this Holy Spirit, I surely shouldn’t want to let go of Him.

And if I have hold of this Holy Spirit in my life, if my life is being changed before my eyes,  if I am surrendered and following Him wherever He is leading, if He is welcomed into my life as a trusted friend – then what is there to fear?

That I will let go of His hand? That is probably worthy to fear if I was the only one holding on, because my grip at times may be weak – but His grip is strong. His grace is sufficient. My surrender is complete,  His victory is won,  and His promises are true.

So I don’t fear man. I don’t fear the enemy’s stumbling blocks that Christ turns into His stepping stones.

I don’t fear weapons formed against me, because Christ uses them to sharpen my skills with this sword.

I am not perfect,  and I will stumble at times because I am not yet free from this flesh – but my stumbling are not from chasing sin,  they are from running so fast towards the arms of my Savior that I may trip over something in my zeal to be in His arms and in His presence.

So even my stumblings, even my shortcomings,  let them be because I am trusting Him to guide my feet, because my whole heart,  body,  mind and soul is running to Him – is chasing after the way,  the truth, the life, down this narrow path.

I do not like the trials, but I do not fear them,  because they prove my faith.

I do not like the chastening and correction,  but I do not fear it,  because it refines my life and strengthens my walk with God.

And what can man do to me? Hurt this body I wait to be freed from? Yes,  pain and suffering may come, but even that is a blessing to be counted as sharing in the sufferings of Christ.

So help me be content.

Help me trust that God has me exactly where He needs me.

Help me be thankful that He has made me for this purpose.

Help me be mindful and obedient to His will and His teachings and His guidance for my life.
Pray for me friend,  not because I don’t trust God to fulfill His promises – pray for me that I will not forget this mercy and grace and power and honor and glory and blessing of His touch and presence.

Do battle

2 Samuel 22:31-43 NLT
“God’s way is perfect. All the lord ’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
For who is God except the lord ? Who but our God is a solid rock?
God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect.
He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
You have given me your shield of victory; your help has made me great.
You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping.
“I chased my enemies and destroyed them;
I did not stop until they were conquered.
I consumed them;
I struck them down so they did not get up;
they fell beneath my feet.
You have armed me with strength for the battle;
you have subdued my enemies under my feet.
You placed my foot on their necks.
I have destroyed all who hated me.
They looked for help, but no one came to their rescue.
They even cried to the lord , but he refused to answer.
I ground them as fine as the dust of the earth;
I trampled them in the gutter like dirt.

PERSONAL COMMENTARY
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Reading this, it is important for me to keep in mind our instructions for preparing for battle in Ephesians 6, with the key verse being:

Ephesians 6:12 NLT
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

And the Lord is the solid rock, the foundation on which we can stand and we can see the evil in our lives being crushed and swept out of our thoughts, out of our words, and our of our actions.

When we have this Holy Spirit of Christ in us, alive and active and teaching and guiding us – change is happening in us, because He is overcoming those enemies, those evil strongholds in our lives. We learn His will throughthe Word of God, we seek out those things that we need to change in our lives, we lift them to him in prayer, and we put on this armor to do spiritual battle – not battle against other people, but battle against those evil things that are contrary to the Holy Spirit of God.

So if we are going to do spiritual battle, first we need this Holy Spirit of Christ in us. So we should pray and believe and have hope and faith in Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. Once we have Him, we can wear His armor.

Ephesians 6:13-18 NLT
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

And we will face enemies, we will face trials – but if we are equipped, and if we hold fast and cling close to our risen Savior and King, Jesus Christ – the battle is already won.

Let’s see the enemy fall defeated at our feet today, friends. Let’s cast off those chains of sin and temptation and evil that are a part of our lives that are keeping us from experiencing the full life that we know is waiting for us.

And let’s praise Him all day long, knowing the wonderful blessing that He is in our life. Thankful for His guidance, His healing, His love, His mercy, His forgiveness, His power, and His faithfulness.

Have a blessed day, friend!

Am I resisting?

1 Peter 5:8-9 ESV
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

PERSONAL COMMENTARY
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How much resistance am I showing today?

Am I examining those things in my life that need to change that aren’t glorifying God?

When I’m aware of those things that need to change (and when I’ve prayed for change in that area) –

Am I walking through that trial by resisting the temptation AND relying on my faith in Christ to carry me through – or am I expecting God to be a personal genie and make everything easy with no trials or challenges?

Resisting requires effort and faith on our part. This is the testing and proving of our faith. And it is through this testing and proving that we truly learn that God’s promises are true and He is faithful.

So daily, I look at myself and ask – am I trying to sail through on this promise of heaven, using Jesus as a get out of hell free card for myself, buy missing out on my purpose in this Kingdom work that is in front of me today?

How many opportunities will I miss to make corrections in my own life that might have an impact either positively or negatively on others based on my decisions, actions, and words today?

Every decision that I make carries consequences – it can either bring more of Christ’s light into this world today, or it can allow more darkness. My attitude, which is visible in my actions and words will have an impact on others today.

Every action that I take – even whether or not I hold the door for someone at a restaurant today will either be an opportunity for more love or a lost opportunity.

Every word that I speak can either draw someone closer, or push them further away. Words have power.

Truth spoken from a hard, hardened and judgemental stance is still truth, but it may push people away from light and truth if there is no VISIBLE love in the eyes of the person receiving.

Truth spoken as loving, kind, and gentle is easier to be received by those who don’t yet know whether or not they can trust you. If you don’t have someone’s trust, hitting them over the head with a sword isn’t the best way to show them that they are not your enemy.

Yes, truth sometimes must be spoken boldly and directly as a warning, but without any foundation for trust – will we look like an enemy or a friend?

Let’s remember, everyone struggles just as we do. Other men and women of flesh and blood need mercy and forgiveness and healing just like we do. Let’s not forget the sinners that we are if it was not for this free gift of grace and salvation. Is there anyone foolish enough to think they are worthy by their own works?

So, I hope that I can be prepared for those opportunities today – those opportunities to see what in me can be a better example of the Christ that I have in me. That I will not overlook the opportunities to show love and share love in my thoughts, attitude, actions, and words today.

And that somewhere, beneath all of these imperfections and shortcomings and failings of my walk in the flesh – a ray of light of Christ’s love might break through and shine or to touch another life today. Not so that anyone might see me doing good, but so they might experience for themselves this Christ that is mine.

I love you, friend.

Let’s be the Christ in us.

Let’s follow this Holy Spirit guidance.

Let’s resist the evil.

And let’s see the truth of Christ’s love, and of this free gift of grace touch lives today and until He returns.