Posts from December 2020

“The mind of man plans his way,But the LORD directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

Planning for a New Year is a very good idea.Some resolutions may not make it to the end of January, but that shouldn’t be the death of all good planning.Since all that we do is done in the name of the Lord (Col.3:17), we are forever adjusting to the results of good and bad ideas. Christians are blessed beyond measure with insight and wisdom (Eph.1:18f), but guidance through the vicissitudes of everyday life ultimately belongs to God—and it must!Having placed…

“Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise;When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent” (Proverbs 17:28)

Thought to be WiseLeningrad was under siege by the Nazi forces in the winter of 1942. Death was everywhere. Bodies left in doorways having died of cold and starvation. The despair was palpable. Musicians were brought together to form an orchestra. Some, not wanting to be bothered with what they saw as a waste of their last days on earth, only stayed for the extra rations offered. But they knew not the future impact of the music they were preparing…

A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;He rages against all wise judgment” (Proverbs 18:1)

‘Cult’ is a branding that no church desires.Gloriavale is a 500 member religious group that has organized itself into a community in an isolated part of the South Island of New Zealand. They have allowed TV to film their activities and at least once a year they have invited visitors to join them in an open house banquet. They wear standardized clothing (like Quakers), the women wear head coverings, the KJV is the only translation allowed and all possessions are…

The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out” (Proverbs 18:15)

Spiritual SuccessYou will do well to organise your own spiritual life. Because if you don’t, someone else will! And guess what they have planned for you…?Setting oneself up for ‘Spiritual Success’ is the topic of an unending number of books, seminars, and sermons. Not to go on about it, but TV evangelists are clear examples of experts promoting their own brands—to understand how this specific enemy operates against sanctification is wise.True Spiritual Success is summed up in our salvation experience.…

Proverbs 18:17

Beware Joining ‘The Classic Enablers Club.’ With rare exception, the nicest people you know are brilliant conversationalists. They listen to your stories with intense interest and have an amazing ability to nod and smile knowingly in all the right places. Everyone loves them and praise is heaped upon them by all—and understandably so! I will not fault these good souls by adding lesser mortals to their numbers, but I must warn you before I proceed, that these same delightful creatures…

“A truthful witness saves lives, But he who utters lies is treacherous” (Proverbs 14:25)

Hans Christian Anderson’s classic story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is not likely to disappear from our shelves in the near future. The pivotal point in the story, where a child yells out the obvious, “The Emperor has got no clothes,” (the adults stayed silent in the face of fear, vanity and greed), speaks sense into us all. This is reminiscent of the children praising Jesus as Messiah at his Triumphal Entry. When the religious leaders complained, Jesus replied, “Yea; have…

Proverbs 19:22 .“What is desirable in a man is his kindness,And it is better to be a poor man than a liar”

I have on more than one occasion been almost embarrassed to have received gifts from those whom I know could not afford to be so generous. Naturally, I received the gifts with thankfulness and have prayed God’s richest blessings upon them.My prayers were heard, I know, but I could rest assured they were answered before I even uttered them. These givers are blessed of God. For they already have a heart to give—and long to give more. Others say they…

Proverbs 19:28 Like a city that is broken into and without walls Is a man who has no control over his spirit

Like a city that is broken into and without walls Is a man who has no control over his spirit (Proverbs 19:28).Being called a loose cannon is never a compliment.Action movies are usually very good at employing characters who specialize in shock and confusion to heighten the sense of drama. The unpredictability of the antagonist forms the framework for the challenges that the hero must overcome.Such a person is fine in a movie. But in real life he is best…

Proverbs 19:11 “A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger,And it is his glory to overlook a transgression”

Abraham Lincoln was not always the wise, calm, and long-suffering man we know him to have been as President.In 1842 (18 years before becoming President) he decided to criticise James Shields for his part in the bankrupting of an Illinois bank. Many depositors were disadvantaged.Not only did Lincoln publicly chastise Shields in an open debate, he also wrote a letter to the Editor of a newspaper, under the pen name, ‘Rebecca’, mocking him. Shields found out it was Lincoln and…

Proverbs 27:12 “The prudent see danger and take refuge,but the simple keep going and pay the penalty”

My favourite story about the ‘triumph-of-the-common-man’ comes out of India. In recent years the Indian government, wanting to move its citizens closer to a cashless society, arbitrarily replaced the larger banknotes with new ones. But worse was that they put an automatic use-by date on to old ones. Old banknotes had to be spent or deposited into a bank account and new ones issued. If held on to, they became glorified monopoly money. Since many Indians preferred to store their…