Sunday, June 17, 2012

June 17, 2012 … Surrounded by Good People

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Proverbs, Chapters 27-29 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage: Proverbs 27: 6, 17, 21 :[NIV] … 6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. … 17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. … 21 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but people are tested by their praise. 
Highlight Passage #2: Proverbs 28: 9, 13 :[NIV] … 9 If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable. … 13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.  

Reference Passage #1: Jeremiah 17: 9 :[NKJV] … The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? 

My Journal for Today: When you were growing up, did you ever have a parent or a mentor tell you, “You will become like the people you run with and the books you read.” That’s proverbial and biblically sound advice, … and you can read it above.

As I seem to be doing often, going through this chronological read of the Bible this year, I end up referring myself from Scripture memory and my followers here to the truth of Jeremiah 17: 9, which I’ve copied above. My friends, our very being (i.e., “the heart”) is deceitful – to the very core of who we are spiritually. Our flesh is wicked; and it will always make us vulnerable to our spiritual enemies … UNLESS we take action to protect ourselves against self, Satan, and the world. And one of the best ways to do that is to live in the light and avoid the darkness. … BUT, how do we do that?

Well, one of the best battle strategies is to take the advice of our parents who probably did all they could to shepherd us to be surrounded by good and Godly friends, … real friends who would not try to influence us with evil thoughts or choices. I’ve learned in my life that it’s wise, as it says above in Proverbs 27: 6, 17 to be surrounded by people who will give me the straight stuff, not just trying to tickle my fancy with flattery. It is absolutely true that “iron sharpens iron;” and I will never grow sharper and stronger if I only want people around me who’ll soothe my deceitful heart with niceties. What we all need in the everyday battles of life is real friends, Godly wise friends, who’re able and willing to tell us the hard truth when we need to hear it.

As Proverbs 28: 9, 13 tell us (see above), we have this default, human tendency to hide ourselves in the darkness when we sin. It’s inherited! We can’t help the tendency to cover-up our selfish choices. Even two-year-olds will lie to cover up when they know they’ve done wrong. You may have seen it in your kids or grandkids. As sinful creatures, we are much like cockroaches; … we want to hide our dirty selves in the darkness. Again, as Jeremiah 17: 9 attests, our hearts are just naturally deceitful and wicked; and we desperately need to have assistance in living in the light rather than more easily and naturally bolting back into the darkness.

Hence is our need to surround ourselves with Godly wisdom and staunchly righteous people who’ll hold us accountable to the truth. These are the real “friends” in life; and the more of these who “have our backs” in life, calling us out when we have sinned or when we’re trying to defend the evil in our lives, the more we’ll be able to live in God’s light, rather than succumbing to the darkness in our sin-ridden hearts.

 I pray, as I do below, you are connected with and closely surrounded by cohorts of warriors who “have your back” by being willing to continually shine the light of Christ on your life, never allowing you to bolt and run back into the darkness; and always being willing to sharpen you with God’s truth, gleaned from the ultimate source of light – the Bible. If you have such “real friends,” you’re very likely living in the light of Godliness; but if you are trying to do life as a lone ranger Christian, you’re very vulnerable to a very coy and crafty enemy who wants to draw you back into the darkness of your very vulnerable and deceit-ridden heart.  
 Beware, my dear one! Go to the light of God’s truth and surround yourselves with honorable and Godly friends who’ll have your back in the battles we face everyday. Be surrounded by fellow warriors who’re wearing God’s full armor, swordsmen who’re adept with the sword of the Spirit, and warriors who know how to take you to the high ground of battle in prayer. When you are surrounded by such co-warriors, my friend, you’ll be surrounded by God’s light and you’ll stay out of the darkness.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, I pray here that all who read here will be surrounded by Your light and love in the honest and realness of friends who live in the light and honestly follow You. Amen

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