"Verse of the Day" Bible Verses - Current Month
Note from Linda:
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"Verse of the Day"
"Verse of the Day"
King David wrote this psalm:
Psalm 101:3: "I will set no wicked thing [such as pornography] before mine [my] eyes: I hate the work [motives, plans, and deeds] of them that turn aside [from righteousness]; it ['the work,' or thoughts, words, and actions of unrighteous people] shall not cleave [stick, cling] to me."
Following King David's example, we shouldn't associate with bad people or look at, think about, read, or have anything to do with ungodly things because, if we do, they may lead us astray or affect us in a bad way (physically, mentally, spiritually, and/or emotionally).
God Doesn't Always Answer Prayer
This is what the man who had been blind from birth said to the Pharisees, after Jesus healed him, when they accused Jesus of being a sinner (in this case, an imposter or false prophet):
John 9:31: "Now we know that God heareth not [does not hear and answer] [the prayers of] sinners [especially false prophets, imposters to divine revelation, and people who sin willfully and/or make false professions of faith]: but if any man [or woman or child] be a worshipper of God [a born-again Christian], and doeth [does] his will [meaning he (or she) obeys God's word, or commandments, as found in the Bible], him [or her] he [God] heareth [hears]."
John 9:32-33: "Since the world began was it not heard that any man [person] opened the eyes [restored the sight] of one [someone] that was born blind. If this man [referring to Jesus] were not of [from] God, he could do nothing [extraordinary, such as perform this miraculous healing]."
Jesus was able to perform miracles because he is the Son of God, who came to earth to die on the cross as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind (1 Peter 1:18-19, Hebrews 10:12). As a human being, Jesus was always in communication with, and obedient to, his heavenly Father. Consequently, as stated by Jesus in John 11:42, God always heard and answered his prayers.
If you're not a Christian, you need to be born again (as stated by Jesus in John 3:3). (The "sinner's prayer," or prayer requesting salvation, is the only prayer from unsaved sinners that God promises to hear.) You'll find out how to be saved by visiting the "Printable Gospel Tracts" section of my website. Here's a direct link to that page: https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.
According to 1 John 1:9, if you are a Christian and want God to hear and answer your prayers, you need to ask his forgiveness whenever you realize that you have sinned against him.
King David prayed to God:
Psalm 141:4: "Incline not my heart to [don't let me desire or be willing to do] any evil thing, [or] to practise [practice, participate in] wicked works [evil deeds] with men [people] that work iniquity [break the law]: and let me not eat of their dainties [don't let me live a lifestyle like those bad people or enjoy sinful pleasures that are similar to theirs]."
If someone urges you to do drugs, join a gang, participate in illegal activities, become involved in riots, etc., follow the advice of Nancy Reagan (former first lady of the United States) and "just say no." Ask God to help you resist temptation.
Note: In an effort to bring awareness to the nationwide problem of drug abuse in America, Mrs. Reagan launched her "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign in 1982.
Ephesians 6:1: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord [according to the Bible, which is the word of God]: for this is right [or 'the right thing to do']."
Albert Barnes has an excellent commentary on this verse. This is most of what it says:
"Obey your parents - … It is particularly important:
"(1) Because the good order of a family, and hence of the community, depends on it; no community or family being prosperous where there is not due subordination in the household.
"(2) because the welfare of the child depends on it; it being of the highest importance that a child should be early taught obedience to 'law,' as no one can be prosperous or happy who is not thus obedient.
"(3) because the child is not competent as yet; to 'reason' on what is right, or qualified to direct himself; and, while that is the case, he must be subject to the will of some other person.
"(4) because the parent, by his age and experience, is to be presumed to be qualified to direct and guide a child. The love which God has implanted in the heart of a parent for a child secures, in general, the administration of this domestic government in such a way as not to injure the child. A father will not, unless under strong passion or the excitement of intoxication [drunkenness], abuse his authority. He loves the child too much. He desires his welfare; and the placing of the child under the authority of the parent is about the same thing in regard to the welfare of the child, as it would be to endow [provide] the child at once with all the wisdom and experience of the parent himself.
"(5) it is important, because the family government is designed to be an imitation of the government of God. The government of God is what a perfect family government would be; and to accustom a child to be obedient to a parent, is designed to be one method of leading him to be obedient to God. No child that is disobedient to a parent will be obedient to God; and that child that is most obedient to a father and mother will be most likely to become a Christian, and an heir of heaven. And it may be observed, in general, that no disobedient child is virtuous, prosperous, or happy. Everyone foresees the ruin of such a child; and most of the cases of crime that lead to the penitentiary [prison], or the gallows [a structure for the hanging of criminals], commence by [start with] disobedience to parents.
"In the Lord - That is, as far as their commandments agree with those of God, and no further. No parent can have a right to require a child to steal, or lie, or cheat, or assist him in committing murder, or in doing any other wrong thing. No parent has a right to forbid a child to pray, to read the Bible, to worship God, or to make a profession of religion … and in all cases, God is to be obeyed rather than man. When a parent, however, is opposed to a child; when he expresses an unwillingness that a child should attend a particular church, or make a profession of religion, such opposition should in all cases be a sufficient reason for the child to pause and re-examine the subject. he should pray much, and think much, and inquire much, before, in any case, he acts contrary to the will of a father or mother; and, when he does do it, he should state to them, with great gentleness and kindness, that he believes he ought to love and serve God.
"For this is right - It is right:
"(1)because it is so appointed by God as a duty;
"(2)because children owe a debt of gratitude to their parents for what they have done for them;
"(3)because it will be for the good of the children themselves, and for the welfare of society."
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ephesians-6.html, "Verse 1")
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Also commenting on today's verse, Dr. Thomas Constable wrote:
"… Children should obey their parents as long as they are children living under their parents' authority. When a child becomes an adult, he or she no longer has to obey parents but should continue to honor them …"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/ephesians/6-1.html, "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable")
Some helpful advice that the apostle Paul gave to Timothy, a minister of the gospel:
1 Timothy 4:12: "Let no man [or woman or child] despise thy [your] youth [or 'feel contempt for your young age'] [in other words, don't let people think you are too young to preach; act like an adult, not like a child]; but be thou [you be] an example of the believers [in Christ, referring to born-again Christians] [by showing how Christians (in this case, the members of Timothy's church) should behave:]
in word [speech],
in conversation [conduct, behavior, lifestyle],
in charity [love--of God and people],
in spirit [disposition, temperament (e.g., humble, submissive, forgiving, etc.)],
in faith [belief or trust in God],
in purity [innocence of heart and life (i.e., freedom from immorality, especially of a sexual nature)]."
Not all Christians are pastors, like Timothy, but it won't hurt us to follow Paul's advice. No matter how old we are, we should always try to "practice what we preach.."
Proverbs 20:6: "Most men [and women and children] will proclaim [declare, announce] [to] every one his [or her] own goodness [referring to their good qualities (such as kindness) and good works (the good things they have done); in other words, most people brag about themselves]: but a faithful man [or woman or child--who really is a 'good' person and can be trusted to tell the whole truth about himself (or herself), and will faithfully and honestly recount all of the facts regarding things that happen in life, without embellishment, exaggeration, or withholding information,] who can find [such a person (i.e., 'a faithful man')]?"
Most people think they're good, but few people really are good. As Christians, we should resist the urge to brag about ourselves and "spin" facts (as is commonly done in politics).
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Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on today's verse. Here are some excerpts:
"5. Solomon suggests by his language here that men who proclaim their own goodness are not faithful to the truth!
"a. We have a tendency to exaggerate our goodness…
"b. We have a tendency to minimize our failures and faults.
"c. As we proclaim our goodness, we have a tendency to leave out details that put us in a less than favorable light.
"d. We may tell the truth, but not always the WHOLE truth.
"e. We have a tendency to see ourselves through rose tinted glasses.
"f. That slant is not being faithful to the truth… to reality.
"g. We have serious blind spots when it comes to how we see self.
"h. We easily see our good points and delight to point them [out]… along with a little embellishment…
6. For this reason it is necessary to hear BOTH sides of a story before drawing any conclusions."
Regarding boasting, the commentary says:
"People who boast about their charity, kindness, piety and faithfulness rarely possess those qualities. … Those who are ACTUALLY good, kind, and faithful do NOT normally proclaim it. They do not boast about it. … That is because those good qualities are usually accompanied by another good quality: humility."
"Men who SAY they are good and faithful are a dime a dozen. … But men who are TRULY good and faithful are hard to come by. It is a rare breed."
If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-20-index/proverbs-20_6/.
A warning to parents from King Solomon:
Proverbs 19:18: "Chasten [correct, punish, discipline] thy [your] son [or daughter] [the Bible way--see note below*] while there is hope [that your child's behavior will change and that his (or her) future life will be good], and let not thy soul spare for [don't withhold spankings due to, or because of,] his [or her] crying."
The Bible tells us to discipline our children the proper way (as explained in Pastor Jim Delany's commentary--see note below*) when they are young, before they become adults, develop bad habits, make friends with bad people, and get into trouble. As the saying goes," You can't teach an old dog new tricks."
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Regarding disciplining children while they are young, one Bible commentator wrote:
"Better the child is corrected by a parent than by a law enforcement officer in a correctional institution …"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/19-18.html, "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable")
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In his commentary on today's verse, Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church says that spanking (using "a switch [a flexible branch] from a tree, etc. NOT a baseball bat or anything that would harm him physically" so as"to make the spanking STING") is the biblical way of disciplining our children.
If you want to read the above commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-19-index/proverbs-19_18/.
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*For detailed information about the biblical form of spanking, including why, how, and when it should be done, see Pastor Delany's excellent commentary entitled "The Benefits of Corporal Punishment," which can be found here: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-23-index/proverbs-23_13b-14/.
Proverbs 18:6: "A fool's lips enter into contention [a foolish person who speaks his (or her) mind will cause controversy and become involved in arguments and disagreements], and his [or her] mouth calleth [calls] for strokes [punches or blows, which means that the fool's words may also start a fight (either accidentally or on purpose), resulting in trouble not only for others but also for the fool]."
Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on this verse. In the conclusion, it says, "If you use your tongue like a sword and go around lashing out at people, eventually, you're going to have to pay a price."
The commentary also says:"If you use your tongue to stir up the pot, eventually, you are going to get a whipping." "Depending on the circles you are traveling in, that 'whipping' could mean losing your job; it could mean losing your front teeth; a law suit; a gangster style assassination; loss of friends; getting beat up out of revenge… or publicly castigated [reprimanded, criticized severely] on the six o'clock news.'"
If you want to read the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-18-index/proverbs-18_6/.
Proverbs 17:11: "An evil man [or woman or child] seeketh [seeks] only rebellion [resistance to authority, disobedience] [against God and/or mankind]: therefore a cruel messenger [a message of justice--see note below for examples*] shall be sent against him [or her--the evil person]."
This is another verse about the consequences of our actions.
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*According to Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church, "The cruel messenger here refers to a message of JUSTICE and judgment to be meted out against [given out or dispensed to] the one who sought rebellion."
In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Delany discusses various types of cruel messages that people might receive for being disobedient to God and man. They include the following: "Your son ran away … Your 14 year old daughter is pregnant … You're fired! … you're staying back a year at school! … you're going to jail!"
If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-17-index/proverbs-17_11/.
Proverbs 16:7: "When a man's [or woman's or child's] ways please the LORD, he [God] maketh [makes] even his [or her, or 'that person's'] enemies to be at peace with him [or her]."
In his commentary on the above verse, Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church said, "In a roundabout way, [King] Solomon is teaching in this passage that much of the turmoil [disturbance, confusion, uncertainty] we have to endure in life is self-inflicted!"
The commentary gives examples of how the things that we say and do can affect how our enemies (and God!) will react. Things that people do that are NOT pleasing to the Lord include lying, stealing, adultery, and gossip. Some things that ARE pleasing to the Lord are a worthy walk, children obeying their parents, a life of praise and thanksgiving, giving, and honesty.
Regarding God being able to make our enemies to be at peace with us, Pastor Delany wrote:
"3. We would do well to realize that even our enemies are in the hands of the Lord…
"a. God raises up friends in a time of need; and He is able to turn enemies into friends.
"b. The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. (Prov. 21:1)
"c. Whether our enemy is the king or anyone else… God is sovereign [the most powerful ruler], omniscient [all-seeing and all-knowing], and omnipotent [able to do anything].
"d. God can change their [our enemies'] minds…
"e. God can reverse circumstances…
"f. He can cause enemies to exert their energies elsewhere…
"g. He can force them [our enemies] into submission…
"h. He can cause them to run away with their tails between their legs.
"i. He can slay [kill] them if He so chooses…
"j. God is plenty ABLE to handle all of our enemies…
"k. Even the Goliaths [an unusually strong, courageous person, like the giant Philistine warrior that young David killed in the Bible] we face which cause us to tremble [involuntarily shake with fear], are nothing to the Lord.
"l. And God delights in giving peace to those whose ways please Him."
If you want to read more of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-16-index/proverbs-16_7/.
Proverbs 15:29: "The LORD [God] is far [away--figuratively, not literally] from the wicked [people--meaning, in this verse, that the prayers of disobedient Christians and of unbelievers, or unsaved sinners (i.e., people who have not been born again according to the Bible), are usually ignored by God]: but he [God] heareth [hears--and usually answers] the prayer of the righteous [person, referring to a born-again Christian who loves God and has a desire to read and obey his word--see note below*]."
In his commentary on this verse, Pastor Delany of Salem Bible Church explains when and why God would choose to hear and answer prayer. Here are some excerpts:
"3f. • If men choose to cling to their sins, they are choosing to distance themselves from God… regardless of how religious they are."
Normally, God does not answer the prayers of unbelievers. However, once in a while, he does. For example, he answered the prayer of Cornelius (one of the first Gentiles, non-Jewish people, to be saved) because:
"3g. • When God sees that the heart of an unbeliever is WILLING to know the Lord… willing to come to Him… willing but ignorant… God makes a distinction.
"• Acts 10:1-4
"» Cornelius was NOT saved. (Cf. Acts 11:14)
"» Yet he feared God and was devout [religious] (10:2)
"» He gave alms [charitable things--money, food, etc.] to the people and prayed continually.
"» It does not say God heard… but it says his prayers went up as a memorial before God. (10:4)
"» 10:31 says that at some point God CHOSE to hear those prayers.
"» God knows the hearts of the unsaved. He knows when they are ready to receive Him.
"» Perhaps Cornelius was praying, 'Lord God of Israel. I know you are the true and living God. I have read your Word and have been stirred by it. I want to know MORE about you.'
"» God will answer prayers like that… even from an unbeliever! This is the exception.
Regarding the prayers of born-again Christians:
"3h. • Wrong behavior and the wrong heart attitude of a believer can hinder God from hearing our prayers."
"4. God listens not only to the words prayed, but He also observes the heart from which that prayer flows.
"a. He can tell if we are praying to consume it on our own lusts… He can tell if we are praying to please God!
"b. He can tell if we are praying because we desire to see OUR will done… or HIS will done.
"c. He can tell if we are praying for our own glory or for the glory of God.
"d. He can tell if we are praying out of a sense of duty and religious obligation… or if we are praying from the heart.
"5. When a righteous [born-again, saved] man prays… praying the RIGHT way… with the RIGHT heart attitude… God is delighted… and He [God] answers that prayer."
If you want to read more of Pastor Delany's commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-15-index/proverbs-15_29/.
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*For the definition and explanation of righteousness, please read "What is righteousness?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/righteousness.html.
Proverbs 14:9: "Fools [morally foolish people, who apparently have no conscience] make a mock at [laugh at, ridicule, joke about, make fun of] sin [and sinful things, and they also make fun of: hell and the lake of fire, God and those who love him, salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, etc.]: but among the righteous [people] [i.e., those with a right attitude about sin, meaning they hate it because God says it's bad] there is favour [of, or approval from and acceptance by, God--and people, too]."
According to Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church: "Fools live in sin and make light of it… eventually, they will pay a price. But the righteous lead godly lives and find the favor of God."
The pastor's commentary on today's verse gives some examples of the price that fools pay for mocking sin. They include jail time, physical suffering, and illness for a sinful lifestyle. Pastor Delany also notes that "… it can be a waste of time to attempt to correct a mocker… a scorner… you will just cause more trouble. Sad but true. When a person has arrived at a place where they have no conscience… no sensitivity to God or spiritual things… and they laugh them to scorn--attempting to correct that man is often a waste of time."
If you want to read the above-mentioned commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-14-index/proverbs-14_9/.
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In "The Biblical Illustrator," another Bible commentator said:
"I. What is it to mock at sin? Sin is the transgression [violation] of the law; doing what God forbids, or omitting to do what He commands. The term 'mock,' as applied to the law of God, may include ridiculing [it], trifling with [or treating as unimportant] its authority and sanctions, or palliating [covering up] and excusing the breach [violation, breaking] of it."
He goes on to explain:
"1. There are some who scoff [ridicule], openly profane [disrespect], and set at defiance [resistance] the law of God. Of these there are two classes, the one urged by their sensual appetites, the other by their intellectual pride. There are others who see the necessity of a certain attention to moral conduct, but look with a sullen [bad-tempered, gloomy], contemptuous [scornful], sceptical [doubtful] eye upon revelation.
"2. There are some who mock at sin by ' trifling' with it. They suffer almost anything to set aside obedience to God; they expose themselves unnecessarily to temptation; they frequent companies and places, involve themselves in employments, which are likely to lead them to sin, and yet mock at the idea of danger from them. They do not give the law of God, in reference to the regulation of their daily conduct, a thought either one way or the other.
"3. There are others who may be said to mock at sin by 'excusing and palliating it.' They contend that there is more good than evil in the world. They think the gospel dispensation has lowered the requirements of the law …"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/14-9.html, "The Biblical Illustrator," "The folly of mocking at sin")
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In another commentary on the above verse, John Gill wrote:
"Fools make a mock at sin,.... At sinful actions, their own or others; they make light of them, a jest [joke] of them, call evil good, and good evil; take pleasure in doing them [sinful actions] themselves, and in those that do them; yea, sport themselves with the mischief that arises from them unto others; they make a mock at [or 'make fun of'] reproofs for them, and scoff at those that instruct and rebuke them; and laugh at a future state [of torment in hell and the lake of fire], and an awful judgment they are warned of [which will occur in heaven on judgment day], and in a scoffing [mocking] manner say, "where is the promise of his [Jesus'] coming [back to earth a second time]? …"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/14-9.html, "John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible")
Proverbs 12:26: "The righteous [person, referring to someone who is born again, studies and obeys the Bible, and is right with God] is more excellent than his [or her] neighbour [in this case, a person (friend, neighbor, companion, etc.) who is not saved, does not study and obey the Bible, and is not right with God]: but the way [lifestyle] of the wicked [people, who tend to love worldly pleasures more than they love God] seduceth them [seduces 'righteous' people, or tempts them to sin]."
Salem Bible Church has a good commentary on the above verse. Here's an excerpt from the section entitled "But the way of the wicked seduceth them":
"4. Examples of being seduced or led astray by the ways of the wicked…
"a. Prov. 7:25-27 -- sexually seducing…
"• There are those who seek to lure believers into a life of sin…
"• Hollywood movies and the pornography industry all lure men astray…
"• This sort of thing can be life dominating…
"• The way of the wicked is seductive--stay away!
"b. Ps. 95:10 -- erring in the heart… their hearts were seduced away from loving God wholeheartedly.
"• The ways of the wicked can be seductive in a physical sense, but can also be seductive to the inner man.
"• They can lead men, women, and children astray in the HEART…
"• It is possible to be led astray in our heart… in our thinking… our attitudes… our world views… our philosophy of life…
"• II Cor. 10:3-5 -- Don't allow your heart… your thoughts… your mind to be brought into captivity by the seduction of evil men!
"c. Col. 2:4 -- Seduced into false doctrine -- And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
"• Here Paul speaks of the seduction of false teachers…
"• They use enticing words of men's wisdom to lure aside those who are NOT willing to study for themselves… to think… to investigate into the Scriptures for themselves…
"d. Prov. 14:15 -- seduced by gossip… The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.
"• Gossips attempt to lure us into their evil tactics…
"• The wicked love to tell juicy stories… and there is something seductive about hearing such juicy stories about others.
"• It is the FOOL who believes every word of the gossiper.
"• The righteous man searches things out."
If you want to read the rest of the commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-12-index/proverbs-12_26/.
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In "The Biblical Illustrator," one of the commentaries on the above verse included this very interesting comparison between Christians and non-Christians:
"The difference between the religious and irreligious man
"Men without religion will sometimes ask, 'Do not all men sin--even the religious? And, if so, is not the whole difference between them and ourselves that our offences are somewhat more numerous than theirs?' Now this must unquestionably be admitted. Still, whatever may be the resemblance upon this point, it is nevertheless true that men with and without religion differ in many other most important particulars.
"1. The first difference between the sins of the religious and the irreligious man is, that the one does not allow himself in his sins and the other does. The real Christian never says, 'I know such an action to be wrong, but yet I will do it--I know such an action to be right, but yet I will neglect to do it.' But in the other class of men we shall be often struck with the contrary line of conduct. Charge them with their neglect of God, and of their souls, and they say, perhaps, 'We confess it to be wrong.' Consider the case as between man and man. We may conceive the affectionate child surprised into an act of disobedience or unkindness to the parent whom it loves; but we cannot conceive that child, if truly affectionate, setting itself deliberately and knowingly to wound that parent at the tenderest point. In the one case, an act of disobedience discovers a man in whom, though the flesh is weak, the spirit may be willing--in whom a momentary temptation has prevailed over the settled purpose and desire of his heart. In the other you have a man whose settled purpose is to do wrong. The language of a true Christian must be that of his Master: 'I come to do Thy will, O God.'
"2. A second distinction between a real Christian and one who is not a real Christian is this--the real Christian does not seek or find his happiness in sin. A man who is not really religious, if he wants amusement or indulgence, seeks for it, generally, either in the society of men without religion or in practices which the Word of God [the Bible] condemns. He sins, and it gives him no pain. On the contrary, the real Christian finds no happiness in sin. His pleasure is in prayer, in communion with God. He seeks his happiness in the fields of his duties. 'O,' says he, 'how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day.' The state and character of any person may to a great extent be judged by the nature of his pleasures. Does he seek them in trifles [things of little value or importance]? he is a trifling man; does he seek them in worldly pursuits? he is a worldly man; does he seek them in vice [immoral or wicked behavior]? he is a vicious man; does he seek them in God and Christ? he is a Christian.
"3. Thirdly, the habits of a real Christian are holy. Men are not to be judged by a few solitary actions of their lives. There is scarcely any life so dark as not to be lighted up by a few brighter actions--as a single star may glimmer [shine faintly] through the most cloudy atmosphere; and there is no life so bright as not to be darkened by many spots--as many small clouds are apt to chequer [checker] even the clearest sky. But then we determine the real state of the heavens not by the single star, in the one case, or by the few clouds in the other. We ask what is the general aspect, the prevalent [widespread] appearance: does night or day, does shade or sunshine, prevail? Thus also must we proceed in estimating the character of men. It is the habitual frame of the mind--it is what we may call the work-day character--it is the general, habitual, prevalent temper, conduct, conversation, in the family or the parish, in the shop or the farm, which are the only true tests of our condition. But let us bring the two classes to this standard, and we shall find that in the real Christian the habits are holy--in the insincere Christian they are unholy; that the one is habitually right and accidentally wrong, and the other habitually wrong and accidentally right. Such, then, is another highly important distinction between these classes.
"4. Fourthly, every act of sin in real Christians is followed by sincere repentance. No feature is more essentially characteristic of a holy mind than a feeling of deep penitence [feeling of sorrow or regret] for transgression. 'My sin,' said the 'man after God's own heart,' 'is ever [always] before me.'
"5. A fifth no less important feature by which the real Christian is distinguished is, that he anxiously seeks the pardon of his sins through Jesus Christ. Others too often seem to imagine their sins cancelled immediately upon their bare and cold acknowledgment of them. He [the Christian], on the contrary, knows that the hatred of sin and indignation at the sinner must be deeply lodged in a mind of infinite purity. And his consolation is this--not that he can save himself, but that 'he has an Advocate [someone to plead the case for him] with the Father [God; i.e.], Jesus Christ the righteous.'
"6. The sixth and last point of distinction which I shall have time to notice between the real Christian and every other character is, that he [the Christian] alone seeks diligently from God a power to abstain [voluntarily stay away] from sin in [the] future. If others even desire the pardon of their past sins, they are careless about future advancement in holiness. They, perhaps, persist in a course of sinning and repeating, through the whole stage of their lives. Heaven is every day mocked by the language of an unmeaning sorrow. No real hatred for the sin is felt. In the Christian a different feeling prevails. A deep abhorrence [disgust] of sin mingles [mixes together] with his regret for it. His are tears of hatred as well as grief. There is a substantial distinction between a real Christian and every other character: something more than a mere line or shadowy difference here. If we carefully observe the several points of distinction which I have noticed, we shall find that they imply in the two classes of characters, in each particular instance, a different state of heart or mind …"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/proverbs/12-26.html, "The Biblical Illustrator," "Verse 26")
Romans 12:17: "Recompense [repay, return] to no man [person] evil [words or deeds] for evil [words or deeds]. Provide things honest [honorable] in the sight of all men [people]."
We shouldn't "recompense … evil for evil" because, according to the Bible (i.e., Deuteronomy 32:35 and other verses), revenge is up to God, not us. Instead of retaliating or seeking revenge, we should treat everyone with kindness, patience, and respect and always try to do what is right.
In a letter to the church of the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul wrote:
2 Thessalonians 3:10: "For even when we [Paul, Silas, and Timothy] were with you [in person], this we commanded you, that if any[one] would not work [or 'refuses to work for a living, if he or she is able to do so'], neither should he [or she] eat [at public expense]."
In other words, laziness should not be excused or rewarded.
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According to Donald C. Flemming: "… If people refuse to work, others should not support them, because this only encourages them to remain idle … These people are not only an unnecessary financial burden, but because they have nothing to do, they become nuisances and busybodies …"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/2-thessalonians/3-10.html, "Bridgeway Bible Commentary")
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Regarding the above verse, Albert Barnes wrote:
"… That if any would not work, neither should he eat - … The law here laid down by the apostle [Paul] extends to all who are able to work for a living, and who will not do it, and binds us not to contribute to their support if they will not labor for it. It should be regarded as extending:
"(1)To the members of a church - who, though poor, should not be supported by their brethren [fellow Christians], unless they are willing to work in any way they can for their own maintenance.
"(2)To those who beg from door to door, who should never be assisted unless they are willing to do all they can do for their own support. No one can be justified in assisting a lazy man. In no possible circumstances are we to contribute to foster indolence [encourage laziness]. A man might as properly help to maintain open vice [immoral or wicked behavior]."
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-thessalonians-3.html, "Verse 10")
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Applying today's verse to Christians, in "The Biblical Illustrator," another Bible commentator told the following story:
"Here is a large vineyard. Many men and maidens are busy on the hillside. They are coming and going, and singing the vintage songs [perhaps referring to songs from the year that the wine was being produced]. Here is the master. He sees that the rules are kept. There must be no disorder, no profanity [swearing]. Each [worker] must keep his place. The baskets must be clean. The master is counting the baskets that are brought to the vats. After each name he writes the number of baskets brought. At last the week is ended, and the men and maidens come to receive their pay. Here among them is a man whom the master has been watching day by day. He kept his basket clean; he kept his place; he used no profane language; he enjoyed the companionship of the others; he joined merrily in the vintage songs. But in all this time he gathered no grapes. 'What is your name?' says the master. 'Menalque,' says the man. 'I find your name upon the book,' replies the master, 'but I do not find that you gathered a single cluster [of grapes]; there is therefore no pay for you.' 'No pay?' says the man. 'What have I done wrong? I have kept my place, used no improper language, kept my basket clean, and joined heartily in the songs.' 'You did no wrong,' says the master, 'but you did no work. There is nothing for you.' 'No pay for me!' exclaimed the man. 'Why, that is the one thing I came in the vineyard for. The pay constituted my chief interest in it.' Is not this the history of thousands [of born-again Christians] in the Lord's [God's] vineyard? They come, their names are upon the book [of life]. They do no special wrong; they do not swear, or steal, or commit adultery. They break no rule. They sing the vintage songs [Christian hymns]. They hear sermons, if they are entertaining. They attend church, if it is quite convenient. But are they in any true sense labourers in God's vineyard? Have they done any honest work for Christ and His Church? Have they performed one hard task, done one unpleasant duty, spoken one brave word, lifted one fallen sinner, lightened one heavy burden, crucified one loved comfort, or done any one thing or series of things that would justly entitle them to the name of labourer, or the hope of reward when the great day of reckoning [in heaven, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, when Christians receive their eternal rewards] comes? …"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tbi/2-thessalonians-3.html, "Verse 10," "No work, no pay")
Only the Lord Jesus Christ Can Save Us From Hell
In a letter to Christians in Asia Minor, the apostle Peter wrote these verses to explain why believers should try to live lives that are pleasing to God (see 1 Peter 1:15):
1 Peter 1:18: "Forasmuch as [because] ye [you] know that ye were not redeemed [ransomed (rescued) from sin and death, meaning the gift of eternal life was not obtained, paid for, bought] with corruptible things [i.e., those that are capable of being corrupted or are subject to decay and destruction], as [like] silver and gold [i.e., money], [or] from [by] your vain conversation [your fruitless (useless) behavior] received by tradition from your fathers [your ancestors, referring to customs and beliefs (especially religious ones, like the worshiping of idols) that have been passed down from generation to generation];"
1 Peter 1:19: "But [you were redeemed] with the precious blood of Christ [Jesus,] [who died once on the cross to pay for the sins of all people (per Hebrews 9:25,26 and 1 John 2:2)], as of a lamb without blemish and without spot [just like the innocent lambs and other animals (having no imperfections or defects) that were sacrificed on a daily basis to pay for the sins of the Jewish people in Old Testament times--see note below*]:"
In other words, eternal life is FREE and can't be bought. It's a gift from God, paid for with the blood that Jesus shed on the cross on the day that he was crucified. It's offered to all people but can only be received by faith, not works, as stated in Ephesians 2:8-9.
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For information on animal sacrifices, read "Why did God require animal sacrifices in the Old Testament?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/animal-sacrifices.html.
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If you want to be saved God's way but don't know how, visit the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website. Here's the link: https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.
A Warning About Sexual Immorality
In the 7th chapter of Proverbs, King Solomon is telling his son to stay away from "strange women" (referring to sexually immoral women, commonly called prostitutes, harlots, whores, adulteresses, mistresses, etc.).
Regarding the sexually immoral woman, Solomon says:
Proverbs 7:25: "Let not thine [don't let your] heart decline to [turn aside to, lean toward] her ways, go not [don't go] astray in her paths [i.e., stay on the right path and don't follow hers]."
Proverbs 7:26: For she [the sexually immoral woman] hath [has] cast down many wounded [men, like soldiers on a battlefield]: yea [yes], many strong men have been slain [killed, destroyed] by her." [In other words, sexually immoral women have afflicted many men with disease, guilt, shame, etc., and/or ruined their reputations. Examples from the Bible of men who were 'wounded' or 'slain' by sexually immoral women include King David, King Solomon, and Samson.]
Proverbs 7:27: "Her [the sexually immoral woman's] house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers [rooms] of death."
Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on verses 7-27 (click here to read those verses: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%207%3A5-27&version=KJV), which tells of a young man who becomes involved with a prostitute. In his commentary, Pastor Jim Delany describes the young man and his failures, the consequences of his actions, and the moral of the story. Verses 25-27 are addressed in the commentary under the heading "The Moral of the Story."
If you want to read Pastor Delany's commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-7-index/proverbs-7_7-27/.
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The GotQuestions.org article entitled "What is sexual immorality?" has even more reasons for heeding (paying attention to) King Solomon's advice. If you want to read it, here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/sexual-immorality.html.
In a letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul wrote:
1 Corinthians 15:58: "Therefore, my beloved brethren [brothers (and sisters) in Christ, or 'my fellow Christians'], be ye stedfast [be firm, and fixed in your faith (belief) concerning the truth of the gospel and the resurrection of the dead], [and be] unmoveable [in your expectation of having eternal life], always abounding in the work of the Lord [such as doing things for God and/or the church and to promote the gospel], forasmuch as [because, since] ye [you] know that your labour is not in vain [is not fruitless (without success or results)] in the Lord [which means when it's done under God's direction and by his influence]."
With this verse, Paul encourages the Corinthians--and all born-again Christians--to remain faithful and hopeful, and he reminds them (and us) that they (and we) will be rewarded in heaven for the things that they (and we) do for God during our lives here on earth.
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In the last paragraph of his commentary on the above verse, Brad Price wrote:
"… Someone has said there are three kinds of people in the church: (1) Tow boat Christians (these never go unless someone drags them along). (2) Sail boat Christians (these are only found in 'fair weather'). (3) Steam boat Christians (these are ready to go all the time). This observation, plus the fact that abounding is expressed with the present tense, reminds us that the Christian life is a life of commitment and activity. God does not want His people to work for a while then grow 'faint' or 'weary' (Galatians 6:9). Neither does He want people to 'spiritually retire' in their later years and rest on their previous accomplishments. God knows about the pitfalls that face His people so Christians are warned to 'stand fast in the faith,' 'act like men,' and 'be strong' (1 Corinthians 16:13). Even though our physical bodies weaken with age, our inward man can be 'renewed day by day' (2 Corinthians 4:16) and we can 'set our minds on what is above' (Colossians 3:2). If Christians do seem to become somewhat lax [loose, careless, negligent] in their service to God, they should be exhorted [encouraged] to again turn to God and serve Him with eagerness (compare 2 Timothy 1:6-7 and Colossians 4:17)."
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/1-corinthians/15-58.html, "Living By Faith: Commentary on Romans & 1st Corinthians")
Psalm 49:6-7: "They that [those who] trust in their wealth [have confidence in, or depend upon, their money], and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches [brag about how much money they have]; None of them can by any means [with their riches] redeem his [or her] brother [or 'save his (or her) brother or other relatives from death and hell'], nor [can they] give to God a ransom [pay money to buy the gift of eternal life] for him [or her, meaning the wealthy person's brother and other relatives]:"
According to the Bible, eternal life is free--a gift from God (Romans 6:23)--paid for by the death of God's precious Son, Jesus, on the cross (1 Peter 1:18,19) on a skull-shaped hill called Golgotha, or Calvary. Eternal life (salvation) can't be bought or earned. The only way you can get it is through faith, by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior (Ephesians 2:8-9).
You can find instructions on how to "accept God's gift of eternal life," "ask Jesus to come into your heart," "trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior," "be born again or saved," and similar things (all of which essentially have the same meaning) by reading most of the tracts located in the "Printable Gospel Tracts" section of my website. Here's the direct link to that page: https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.
Jesus Created All Things
Colossians 1:16: "For by him [Jesus] were all things created [out of nothing], [all things] that are in heaven [in the heavens, meaning everything in the universe], and [all things] that are in [and on the] earth, [both] visible [able to be seen] and invisible [hidden, unable to be seen], whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers [see note below*]: all things were created by him [Jesus], and for him [for his pleasure, glory, and service]:"
Colossians 1:17: "And he [Jesus] is [was in existence, or existed] before all things, and by him [by his power] all things consist [are composed (made up), preserved, kept together; continue in existence]."
*According to Matthew Henry's commentary, the invisible things in verse 16 (thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers) refer to several orders (classes or ranks) of angels.
(Source: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/colossians/1.html, "Verses 12-29," "v. 16")
Making Promises to God
Ecclesiastes 5:4: "When thou vowest a vow [when you make a solemn (sincere) promise] unto God [either silently or out loud], defer not to pay it [don't wait to keep that promise until a later time or indefinitely; do it right away]; for he [God] hath [has] no pleasure [delight] in fools: pay that which thou hast [you have] vowed."
Ecclesiastes 5:5: "Better is it [it is better] that thou shouldest not vow [you should not make a promise to God at all], than that thou shouldest vow [make a promise to God] and not pay [see note below*]."
*An example of making a vow to God and not paying it would be if you were in trouble and prayed something like this: "Lord, if you help (or save or rescue) me this one time, I'll start going to church" (or "start reading the Bible," etc.). And then, after things turned out okay, you didn't keep your promise.
In his second letter to Timothy (a minister of the gospel), after warning him that false teachers would attempt to mislead people and destroy the church of God, the apostle Paul writes:
2 Timothy 2:19: "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth [stands] sure [or 'the foundation of the Christian church remains strong, steady, firm'], having this seal [this inscription, or these words written] [on its cornerstone], The Lord [Jesus Christ] knoweth [knows] them that are his [those who have received him as their personal Savior]. And, Let every one that nameth [names, bears] the name of Christ [referring to all true born-again Christians] depart from iniquity [wickedness, sin].
In a letter to the church at Ephesus, the apostle Paul wrote:
Ephesians 6:4: "And, ye [you] fathers [and mothers], provoke not your children to wrath [don't make your children angry by saying mean things, having unreasonable rules, punishing from anger rather than love, etc.]: but bring them up in the nurture [training and education, instruction, discipline] and admonition [counsel, warning] of the Lord."
This is good advice for all parents, not just Christians.
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Adam Clarke said that when disciplining children, parents should:
"… Avoid all severity; this will hurt your own souls, and do them [the children] no good; on the contrary, if punished with severity or cruelty, they will be only hardened and made desperate in their sins. Cruel parents generally have bad children. …"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentary/ephesians/6-4.html, "Adam Clarke Commentary")
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Albert Barnes makes some very good points in his excellent commentary on this verse. Here are excerpts from the sections on wrath and admonition:
"Provoke not your children to wrath - That is, by unreasonable commands; by needless severity; by the manifestation of anger. So govern them, and so punish them - if punishment is necessary - that they shall not lose their confidence in you, but shall love you. The apostle here has hit on the very danger to which parents are most exposed in the government of their children. It is that of souring their temper; of making them feel that the parent is under the influence of anger, and that it is right for them [the children] to be so too. This is done:
"(1) when the commands of a parent are unreasonable and severe. The spirit of a child then becomes irritated, and he is 'discouraged;' …
"(2) when a parent is evidently 'excited' when he punishes a child. The child then feels:
"(a)that if his 'father' is angry, it is not wrong for him to be angry; and,
"(b)the very fact of anger in a parent kindles anger in his bosom [chest, heart] - just as it does when two men are contending [arguing, fighting].
"If he [the child] submits in the case, it is only because the parent is the 'strongest,' not because he is 'right,' and the child cherishes 'anger,' while he yields to power. There is no principle of parental government more important than that a father should command his own temper when he inflicts punishment. He should punish a child not because he is 'angry,' but because it is 'right;' not because it has become a matter of 'personal contest,' but because God requires that he should do it, and the welfare of the child demands it. The moment when a child seem that a parent punishes him under the influence of anger, that moment the child will be likely to be angry too - and his anger will be as proper as that of the parent. And yet, how often is punishment inflicted in this manner! And how often does the child feel that the parent punished him simply because he was the 'strongest,' not because it was 'right;' and how often is the mind of a child left with a strong conviction that wrong has been done him by the punishment which he has received, rather than with repentance for the wrong that he has himself done."
"And admonition - … The sense here is, that they were to put them in mind of the Lord - of his existence, perfections, law, and claims on their hearts and lives. This command is positive, and is in accordance with all the requirements of the Bible on the subject. No one can doubt that the Bible enjoins on parents the duty of endeavoring to train up their children in the ways of religion, and of making it the grand purpose of this life to prepare them for heaven. It has been often objected that children should be left on religious subjects to form their own opinions when they are able to judge for themselves. Infidels [unbelievers] and irreligious people always oppose or neglect the duty here enjoined; and the plea commonly is, that to teach religion to children is to make them prejudiced; to destroy their independence of mind; and to prevent their judging as impartially on so important a subject as they ought to. In reply to this, and in defense of the requirements of the Bible on the subject, we may remark:
"(1) That to suffer a child to grow up without any instruction in religion, is about the same as to suffer a garden to lie without any culture. Such a garden would soon be overrun with weeds, and briars, and thorns - but not sooner, or more certainly, than the mind of a child would.
"(2) people do instruct their children in a great many things, and why should they not in religion? They teach them how to behave in company; the art of farming; the way to make or use tools; how to make money; how to avoid the arts of the cunning seducer. But why should it not be said that all this tends to destroy their independence, and to make them prejudiced? Why not leave their minds open and free, and suffer them to form their own judgments about farming and the mechanic arts when their minds are matured?
"(3) people do inculcate [teach by frequent repetition] their own sentiments in religion. An infidel is not usually 'very' anxious to conceal his views from his children. People teach by example; by incidental remarks; by the 'neglect' of that which they regard as of no value. A man who does not pray, is teaching his children not to pray; he who neglects the public worship of God, is teaching his children to neglect it; he who does not read the Bible, is teaching his children not to read it. Such is the constitution of things, that it is impossible for a parent not to inculcate his own religious views on his children. Since this is so, all that the Bible requires is, that his instructions should be right.
"(4) to inculcate the truths of religion is not to make the mind narrow, prejudiced, and indisposed to perceive the truth. Religion makes the mind candid, conscientious, open to conviction, ready to follow the truth. Superstition, bigotry [prejudice], infidelity, and 'all' error and falsehood, make the mind narrow and prejudiced.
"(5) if a man does not teach his children truth, others will teach them 'error.' The young sceptic [doubter] that the child meets in the street; the artful infidel; the hater of God; the unprincipled stranger; 'will' teach the child. But is it not better for a parent to teach his child the 'truth' than for a stranger to teach him error?
"(6) Religion is the most important of all subjects, and 'therefore' it is of most importance that children on that subject should he taught truth. Of whom can God so properly require this as of a parent? If it be asked 'in what way' a parent is to bring up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, I answer:
"I. By directly inculcating the doctrines and duties of religion - just as he does anything else that he regards as of value.
"II. By placing them in the Sunday school, where he may have a guarantee that they will be taught the truth.
"III. By 'conducting' them - not merely 'sending' them - to the sanctuary [of the church], that they may be taught in the house of God.
"IV. By example - all teaching being valueless without that.
"V.By prayer for the divine aid in his efforts, and for the salvation of their souls. These duties are plain, simple, easy to be performed, and are such as a man 'knows' he ought to perform. If neglected, and the soul of the child be lost, a parent has a most fearful account to render to God."
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ephesians-6.html, "Verse 4")