My Favorite Proverbs: The Deadly Way that Seems Right (Prov. 14:12)
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
There are some things that are beyond our language to adequately describe. The gap between our mortal intelligence and God’s intelligence is one of those things. Isaiah sounds awe-struck when he writes, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:9). While thinking on that, add this verse into your meditation: “Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psa. 119:105). He is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. By comparison, we are mortal and limited, and utterly dependent on Him every day (Matt. 5:45).
Men are too proud when they boast of their life choices that are contrary to the Bible, while none of them have died and returned to tell how things worked out for them. They are replaced by yet more worldly men who “preach” their methods of living. Every generation produces its hedonists, agnostics and atheists. In addition, for those who love to be religious but don’t feel religion necessarily has to reflect the Scriptural pattern, here’s Jesus’ warning, “And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ (Matt. 15:9).
In the church of Christ we want the Bible to be our final authority for our faith and practice. Some of our practices may seem strange to people…practices such as eating the Lord’s Supper every Sunday or insisting that baptism is necessary to be saved, or having only men to be our preachers. But we practice these because of our determination to adhere to God’s word on these subjects (Acts 20:7, 1 Pet. 3:21, Acts 22:16, 1 Tim. 2:11-14). There is no biblical authority for telling a lost person that, to be saved, he must pray the sinner’s prayer or “accept Christ as your personal Savior.” Where did any of the New Testament churches use instrumental music with their vocal/a capella music? It isn’t there. Do we read of women preaching for the church assemblies in the New Testament? Was sprinkling ever a God-approved substitute for immersion in water when a person was baptized? If these are matters that seem unimportant or ambiguous to you, I’d love to communicate with you about them. Let’s talk about the importance of authority.
Today, meditate on this proverb and then, “… whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col. 3:17).
Bible time with Glenn and Cindy:
Whoosh! Tonight (as I’m writing, it’s Sunday) was an exciting night at the Colley’s house. The wind became fierce and a huge tree fell down on the power lines on our street, placing a live wire across our yard and, of course, knocking out transformers and power. Our neighbors across the street had a pretty good sized tree right on their front porch! I was planning to share something else tonight, but since this huge wind came through some of your neighborhoods tonight, let’s think about some of the times in our lives when we might have instant needs around us, that we, as God’s people could fill. Are there some times when we can more easily show people a servant heart?
It was pretty fun tonight to see neighbors immediately working with chain saws, loaning generators and going to check on each other, even in the middle of a pandemic. Let’s see, tonight, if we can get our kids to think about times when it might be easier to find opportunities to serve.
- Try to get them to think of the things we’ve been able to do during this COVID time that we otherwise would not have done (making masks, doing drive-by parades for cheer etc…).
- What are some “extra” ways people minister to needy people when there are storms? Help them think of these ways.
- What are some times in life when we have the chance to, on-the-spot, pray for people who are in an emergency situation? Do you do this when you see a wreck or a house on fire, even if you do not know the people involved? Start this practice with your children if you do not already do this.
- Review with your children the definition and consequences of a famine. Turn with them to 1 Kings 17 and tell them the account of Elijah going to the widow of Zarephath. Explain to them that she was not a citizen of Israel, the nation that really knew God. Elijah had a chance to do some really needed things for her; first because of a famine and, then, because of a death in her family. Make sure they see that, in the beginning of the account she referred to your God (verse12), but by the end (verse 24), she believed in Jehovah and the truth of Elijah’s message.
- Do you think that people sometimes come to trust God because they can see the good things that His people do? Read Matthew 5:16 and discuss this with your children. We cannot do miracles like Elijah, but can we still show people the love that God has for them when we minister to their needs? Try to get your children to think of some occasion when your family has helped someone who has later come to the Lord.
- If you’ve never experienced this wonderful phenomenon, try to think with your kids about someone you know who doesn’t know the Lord. Is there something good that you can do for this person or family this week to try and develop a relationship in which you can show them the Lord? Pray about this endeavor with your kids tonight.
Tomorrow night, we’ll try to get back into the meat of Matthew 25, if the Colleys have power to transmit. There are a few more nuggets there that we are hoping to cover.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.