Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool,
And so is wisdom to a man of understanding.
(Proverbs 10:23 NASB)
God views godliness as wisdom and wickedness as foolishness. A fool enjoys doing wickedness, looks at it like a contest – he’s always trying to be more wicked. A man of understanding enjoys acting wisely, being godly, and always seeks to be more wise and godly.
When we sin, we act foolishly. We enjoy sin because we’re fools. If we had understanding, we’d delight in being godly. Find delight in acting wisely.
God expects wisdom. But much of what we enjoy is sinful, wicked, foolish. When we forget what God expects of us, we look on our sin as a good thing.
Pray that God will help you find joy in godliness, in seeking Him, growing in Him. Each of us needs a fundamental heart change – a change in the things that naturally delight us.
Only by the grace of Christ can our hearts be changed so fundamentally.
I have become estranged from my brothers
And an alien to my mother’s sons.
For zeal for Your house has consumed me,
And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.
When I wept in my soul with fasting,
It became my reproach.
When I made sackcloth my clothing,
I became a byword to them.
Those who sit in the gate talk about me,
And I am the song of the drunkards.
But as for me, my prayer is to You, O LORD, at an acceptable time;
O God, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness,
Answer me with Your saving truth.
(Psalm 69:8-13 NASB)
God protects His children. The obedience He expects is enough to make us the objects of ridicule, reproach, and persecution. If we are His children, if we obey Him, we are under the protection of His great lovingkindness. But we must we willing to trust Him enough to truly be obedient.
Have you ever trusted God enough or been obedient enough to Him to be the object of ridicule, reproach, or persecution. Or have you always been disobedient?
He protects us. We can trust Him.
When we forget this, we become afraid and hopeless when facing ridicule, reproach, or persecution. Or perhaps, if we are not obedient, we feel falsely confident and comfortable. We are called to obedience. We are called to zeal. We are called to faith.
The grace of Jesus is the source of faith, and His lovingkindness is the source of our protection.
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NASB)
God’s grace is all we need. Let’s glory in our weakness, be content in it, even when we suffer or face persecution. When we know we’re weak, when we stop pretending to be strong, we can rely on His strength to truly make us strong.
God’s power is best displayed in us when we’re weak, when we’re humbled. When we admit our weakness, His strength takes over.
His grace provides everything we need.
Pride keeps us from truly experiencing the power of God. So, embrace weakness. Acknowledge it. Be content in it. Boast in it.
That’s when God’s power dwells in us.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
(Romans 10:17 (NASB)
He gives faith. He gives the word that creates faith. Faith comes from truly hearing (heeding) the Gospel, and the hearing itself comes from Christ.
God is ultimately in control of our hearing and heeding the Gospel. Therefore, He is the source of our faith and salvation.
We owe everything to God. I really don’t control anything.
If we truly hear the Gospel, God will give us faith.
We need God to give me even the most fundamental of spiritual things, even the ability to hear Him.
When we truly accept this truth, we become dependent on God for everything. We have real faith.
Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all transgressions.
Proverbs 10:12 (NASB)
God doesn’t want us to stir up strife, but to love one another, forgiving sins, preserving peace. He wants us to love as He has loved us.
Hatred, pride are our nature. We must be reminded to love rather than hate.
Rather than wanting to expose the sins of others, we should want to love them, forgive their transgressions, and keep peace.
We need love, and we need to give love. Jesus is the example and source of this love.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For by me your days will be multiplied,
And years of life will be added to you.
Proverbs 9:10-11 (NASB)
God is the source of wisdom and understanding. Wisdom is about more than objective intelligence. It translates into making right choices – intellectually, spiritually, morally.
We can only begin on the path to wisdom by fearing Him. Since He is the source and sustainer of life, we reap the benefits of this by fearing and knowing Him. Wisdom and understanding, fearing and knowing God, are the path to life.
When we forget this truth, we embrace worldly wisdom, which is no wisdom at all.
We need wisdom and understanding, and they only come from God.
We need to have the deepest possible fear, reverence, awe, and knowledge of God. We can know God intimately, thereby gaining deep understanding of Him, only through the grace of Christ.
We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
1 John 3:14-18 NASB
Love for our brothers and sisters is the evidence of our salvation. Hate for a brother or sister is evidence against it. Christ showed us what love is when He died for us. In light of that, how can we go without helping brothers and sisters in need and still say that we love God?
Love in word only is not love. True love is evidenced by deeds.
If we hate a brother, it’s clear that we don’t love God, and we don’t have eternal life. If we close our hearts against a brother in need when we can help, the love of God is not in us.
To hate a brother or sister is a sin. But so is not loving one.
Christ gave us the supreme example of love – He died for us. Love is no less than this. Let His example be the one we follow.
He loves us and gave us the greatest example of love when He died for us.
We need God’s supernatural love in us to give. We’re really not capable on our own. Only by His grace can we have the capacity for real love.