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Words of Wisdom Articles

Words of Wisdom Articles are mini articles printed in the Oneida Herald-Tribune newspaper since September 2019.

6-29-2020                    Cause or Case?

“The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him” (Proverbs 18:17). When “news” often becomes “noise,” surely we see Solomon’s wisdom. Just because someone claims to have been wronged, there may be another “side” (or facts!) to be considered. We cannot jump into a decision with signs, slogans, or street mobs and act too hastily.  

“The simple believes every word, But the prudent considers well his steps” (Proverbs 14:15). A “prudent” person uses the responsible filter of personal judgment before any action. “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3). Prejudice does not help for: “He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him” (Proverbs 18:13). Timeless truth for our times!

6-22-2020                    Bullhorn “Brothers?”

“An ungodly man digs up evil, And it is on his lips like a burning fire. A perverse man sows strife, And a whisperer separates the best of friends. A violent man entices his neighbor, And leads him in a way that is not good” (Proverbs 16:27-29).

The “ungodly” never forgive for they dig up and live in the past. “A perverse man” (one who “devises evil continually,” Proverbs 6:14) “sows strife,” and where there is no “talebearer, the strife ceases” (Proverbs 26:20). Interestingly, the “ungodly,” “perverse,” “whisperer,” and “violent” people are the ones in mobs with the bullhorns! Quell the riot with Jesus’ words: "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).

6-15-2020                    Keep The Sword

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God…For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil…But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Romans 13:1-4).

God gave “the sword” to government to execute God’s wrath on evil-doers. Attacking the police is rebellion against God. Good Policemen should be respected because of the authority God has given them, while bad Policemen should suffer God’s wrath. Solomon’s Wisdom said: “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11). Remove that “sword,” and the godless will rule!

6-8-2020                      Upside-down Judgment

No one who resorts to violence is for justice.  “Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them; For their heart devises violence, And their lips talk of troublemaking” (Proverbs 24:1-2). “Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, But such as keep the law contend with them” (Proverbs 28:4).  

Only lawbreakers praise lawbreakers.  Only the wicked defend the wicked. Those who live lawfully must stand up against them.  “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 17:15). It is an injustice department that releases the guilty and punishes the obedient. “The violence of the wicked will destroy them, Because they refuse to do justice (Proverbs 21:7). “The LORD tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates” (Psalm 11:5).

6-1-2020                      Who Can Predict?

Peter emphasized knowing what the prophets and Apostles of Christ had written (2 Peter 3:1-2) because some: question the Flood in Noah’s day (2 Peter 3:3-7), doubt the Second Coming of Jesus (2 Peter 3:8-13), or twist the meaning in Paul’s epistles           (2 Peter 3:14-16). He said his readers “know this beforehand” (2 Peter 3:17-18), literally “have knowledge in advance.” No one can have knowledge of the future without God’s help!

Solomon said: “Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).

All uninspired predictions of the future are nothing but speculation or opinion, and are uncertain! No doctor, politician, financial advisor, fortune teller, parent, preacher, educator, etc. can make accurate predictions of the future. Jesus said, “he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going” (John 12:35).

5-25-2020           A Memorial 

Before His cross, “a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head” to anoint His body for burial beforehand (Mark 14:3-9). Jesus said: "Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her" (Mark 14:9). Statues, headstones, monuments, buildings oftentimes obscure the meaning of what they are for. It’s the telling with words what people or events they represent, the history to be heard and learned. Wisdom says, “Do not remove the ancient landmark Which your fathers have set” (Proverbs 22:28). This is another way of saying “don’t rewrite history—read it and learn.”

5-18-2020           “Sticks & Stones”  FEATURED

A childhood chant was, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Really? Maybe that is true with physical pain, but words intended to hurt, do indeed, hurt. Otherwise, why would some people hurl so many hateful, hurtful, obscene, filthy, or vile words at a fellow human being? Sometimes these come from parents, children, friends, associates, or relatives. God knows how words can hurt, and He has tried to help the situation by telling His children:

“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). “Corrupt” literally means “rotten, putrid, like fruit.” Slinging “corrupt” speech splatters even the slinger! God’s way is best for all concerned; don’t you think? 

5-11-2020           Confining the Righteous

“When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory; But when the wicked arise, men hide themselves” (Proverbs 28:12). “The righteous” today are those who obey Christ: “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him” (1 John 2:29). “The wicked” disregard God’s Word: “A good man obtains favor from the LORD, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn” (Proverbs 12:2). Those who obey God are free to move about and “do good” (Galatians 6:10), unless “the wicked arise” and confine them. Peter said, kings or governors are sent by God “for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good” (1 Peter 2:14). Only “the wicked” would prevent “the righteous” from “doing good.” 

5-7-2020             Maintaining “Social Distance”

The suggested “safe distance” from each other, to avoid viral contamination, is “6 feet.” This may, or may not work, since viruses have other ways of spreading. However, “spiritual separation” is a rule a Christian must follow to avoid being drawn back into sin. “For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light “(Ephesians 5:5-8). A Christian must: “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise” (Ephesians 5:15). Don’t be “re-infected.”

4-30-2020           Wash Your Hands

We’ve heard this repeated thousands of times in the past weeks. Soap, water, and thorough application removes contaminants and makes our hands safe to use. This illustrates a spiritual application: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:7-8). Obviously, this hand-washing represents the repentant heart choosing righteous actions for the hands in resisting the Devil. Surely this cannot mean the rest of a sinner’s body should still be used for sinning! The “hands” will do what the heart demands, so if a heart is right before God, the hands will be, also. Jesus authors eternal salvation “to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). This time, really, “wash your hands.”

 

4-23-2020           Salvation And Bible Faith

No one has received a revelation from God since the New Testament was finished.  God’s last word to Israel was: “Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments” (Malachi 4:4). 400 years of silence from God followed.  Since Jesus came, God has similar statements for the New Testament: “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3); “remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 17); “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37).  The written Scriptures are God’s last words to the world. Whoever claims more is sadly mistaken!

 

4-16-2020           Is Your Life Real?

An angel of the Lord led Peter out of prison, “So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.” After leaving the prison without incident, “they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. And when Peter had come to himself, he said, ‘Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people’" (Acts 12:9-11). What showed Peter this was not a “vision?” The reality of where he actually was, out of prison! A video game, movie, TV program, “reality show,” or social media are not reality. Peter came to himself when reality set in. How “real” is your “reality?” 

4-6-2020             Try, Again   

Crimes come from the heart, not the neighborhood. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). But at Paul’s preaching in the sinfully corrupted city of Corinth, “many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized” (Acts 18:8). More laws on the books, newer housing projects, larger police forces, and longer prison sentences cannot change one heart like Jesus Christ can. To a world of sinners who need to change, Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16).  The church of Christ is composed of scrubbed sinners.      

3-30-2020               Wuhan Woe

Despite the extreme efforts to contain and stop the Wuhan Virus, there is an even more devastating virus that is being overlooked. A fear of the Wuhan Virus is of those who may have it and not know it, but be spreading it to others. Wuhan only affects the body; the Virus of Sin affects souls forever. John said, “He who sins is of the Devil” (1 John 3:8). Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:34). Jesus also said, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mark 7:21-23). The cure “is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith” (1 John 5:4). 

3-23-2020        Hate-filled Strife    

There can be no question that in the world, “hatred” is preached and practiced! Christians should leave this behind, for Paul wrote in Titus 3:3: “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.” There is another, different, word for “hatred” listed as a “work of the flesh” that disqualifies anyone from inheriting “the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). Only the hateful stir up strife: “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife” (Proverbs 26:20-21). Christians are those drawn from the hateful world by God’s love. It is for the “love of God,” we should “keep His commandments” (1 John 5:3).   

3-16-2020      Is This “The End?” 

Every time a catastrophe occurs, gloom & doomsday predictors turn to Scripture to justify their glum attitude. Scriptures are twisted beyond recognition as predicted in 2 Peter 3:14-18. All Old Testament Prophecies about Jesus Christ were fulfilled in the 1st Century, as Peter said: “Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days” (Acts 3:24). Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem that occurred in A.D. 70 as being preceded by “signs” (Matthew 24:1-35). But Jesus said nothing is known to predict His Second Coming when He said: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36). He gave five illustrations to prove “no one knows” (Matthew 24:37-25:30). Nothing in Scripture, nor in world events, is a “sign” of the end!

3-9-2020       When Tornadoes Happen   

On God’s earth, things happen to all alike, both good and  evil. There are blessings, as Jesus said: "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven: for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). There will be death: “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). There is destruction: “The fear of the wicked will come upon him, And the desire of the righteous will be granted. When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, But the righteous has an everlasting foundation” (Proverbs 10:24-25). “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous” (1 John 3:7). The difference is, the righteous have faith to explain it all!        

3-2-2020            Is It Your Time to Die?     

Some think “when it’s your time to die, there’s nothing you can do about it.” David wrote: "LORD, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am. Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah Surely every man walks about like a shadow” (Psalm 39:4-5). To “measure my days,” means we should count our birthdays to remind us “how frail” we are. This expression does NOT say, “God has predetermined the length of every life,” BUT we need “to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). We should “number our days” but nothing says that God has our days numbered!

2-10-2020          What Love Is     

“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16). Love is not flowers, candy, jewelry, or sex. This verse describes “love” as a voluntary choice and commitment. Jesus chose to obey God and die for us. In Wyoming, Illinois, on January 30, 2017, Shelby Ann Carter, forever age 21, strapped her 12 day-old baby in a car seat, broke the 2nd story window of the burning house, and, with her dying breath, tossed her baby to safety. Shelby Ann died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Her mother’s love placed the baby’s safety above her own. Since Roe v. Wade (1973), enabling Planned Parenthood’s propaganda, 61,711,569 babies have been slaughtered in America without love! Shelby Ann should be a hero to all women who conceive.

12-9-2019            Stop Thief!       

Stealing is, and always has been, a sin! Jesus Christ told us what a thief does: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). For a Christian, God demands: “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need” (Ephesians 4:28).  When things are stolen in war, it’s called pillaging; in a violent mob protest, it’s called looting; in a store, it’s shoplifting. "There is no truth or mercy Or knowledge of God in the land. By swearing and lying, Killing and stealing and committing adultery, They break all restraint, With bloodshed upon bloodshed. Therefore the land will mourn (Hosea 4:2-3). God has not, does not, and will not bless a country like this!       

11/04/19                     Diversity is One-Sided.      Updated

“Diverse weights and diverse measures, They are both alike, an abomination to the LORD. (Proverbs 20:10).

“Diverse” means having two weights, one with which to sell and one with which to buy. People who advocate “diversity” usually are using a double-standard, that is, one for other people, and one for themselves. They generally mean someone else needs to accept them, while they stubbornly refuse to accept others. People push “diversity:” with minority’s rights; with religions (Muslim & churches); while seeking corporate monopoly; “free speech” on school campuses; however it seems to be a cloak for deception, for when they are in charge, they stamp out the “diversity” they advocated! God will have none of it, for “he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality” (Colossians 3:25).  

 

10/21/19                          Jesus Is Only Begotten       

“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him” (Acts 3:18).  Even unbelievers carried out God’s will, "For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him” (Acts 13:27).  If “wise men” “have rejected the word of the LORD; So what wisdom do they have?” (Jeremiah 8:9).  An ignorant opinion is still ignorance! 

9/12/19                    Intelligent Design In Creation      

“The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God” (Psalm 14:2).  “Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches” (Proverbs 24:3-4).  Every house shows the intelligent design by which it is built, kept up, and adorned.  Common sense demands that we see intelligence in every building around us. 

“For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4).  It is the “the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them” (Acts 14:15) Who intelligently designed it.  It takes someone with uncommon ignorance to say   “there is no intelligent design in the Created World.”             

9/5/19                             Profane Pleas       

“Profanity” literally means “making it as common as a doorsill.”  Few give a passing thought to a doorsill when crossing it.  That is exactly the attitude toward God’s Name that is forbidden.  When Israel used to be God’s chosen people, He said: “And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:12). 

Jesus’  New Law teaches Christians to pray: “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name” (Luke  11:2). It is only when Bible history is ignored that people profane God’s Name.  Constant “OMG’s” profane God.  When disaster comes, how can a profane person mean it when he says: “God, help me”?  If we wish to call on God to help, don’t profane His Name. “The LORD is for me among those who help me” (Psalm 118:7).               

 

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