Wednesday, April 23, 2014

“SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 27:1-2”

He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

Earthly Blessings From The Lord: Human Praise: Proverbs 27:1-2
1) Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
2) Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.

In this chapter, Solomon directs our attention to several different earthly blessings that given to us by our gracious Lord…

In this devotion, we will be looking at the blessing of praise given to us by other men….

1) Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
1.  Do not celebrate or exalt ourselves concerning the day that is coming
2.  We cannot observe what the next day may produce.

We cannot draw attention to ourselves by “bragging” about what we are going to accomplish tomorrow.  This is because we can never be certain what will take place tomorrow.  Our entire life, and our plans involving our life are in the hands of Almighty God… they can, literally, change in an instant. 

Stop and think about it, for us to assume that we know what we will do tomorrow is, in and of itself an act of pride.  We are saying that we believe that our future lies in our own hands.   It is so easy for us to forget that our Lord is truly the One who is in absolute control of our future.  If we accomplish anything on the morrow, it is only because He has graciously allowed us to do so. Therefore, we are to possess an attitude that says “For that ye [ought] to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.  This is showing a humble attitude which recognizes that, ultimately, He is in control of all things and we are to rely upon Him for all aspects of our future….

Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:  Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  For that ye [ought] to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.  But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
 (James 4:13-16)

A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.   (Proverbs 16:9)

[There are] many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.  (Proverbs 19:21)

Man's goings [are] of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?   (Proverbs 20:24)

O LORD, I know that the way of man [is] not in himself: [it is] not in man that walketh to direct his steps.  (Jeremiah 10:23)

2) Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.
1.  Let other individuals bring attention to us, this type of praise should not come from our own mouth
2.  It is best when those with no relationship with us bring attention to us and that it does not come from our own mouth

Many times we think that all earthly praise is a wicked thing, but this is not so.  If we are praised due to acts of service to Christ it can be a good thing.  How is it good?  By others pointing out our good works, if we handle the praise properly, it can end up glorifying the Lord and not ourselves….

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  (Matthew 5:14-16)

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].    (Romans 13:12-14)
(Please note in the above text: “put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ” is describing us living a Godly life for His glory.  Paul is equating that to putting on a suit of clothing that clearly tells others we are a servant of Jesus Christ.  This is like putting on a military uniform that tells others what nation we are serving.  This is our good works being used to bring glory to the Lord and not ourselves.)

The key to turning the praise of man meant for us to the Lord is all in our hands.  When we are praised for our faithful living, it then becomes our responsibility to explain to others why we are living faithful lives for Christ.  It is only because of His love, grace and enabling.  It is giving Him the credit for any good that others may see in us. It is by telling others of how He has worked so greatly in our lives.  This is the key to turning human praise from us to the Lord’s glory…

“To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.  He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, [and] established my goings.  And he hath put a new song in my mouth, [even] praise unto our God: many shall see [it], and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.  Blessed [is] that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.  Many, O LORD my God, [are] thy wonderful works [which] thou hast done, and thy thoughts [which are] to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: [if] I would declare and speak [of them], they are more than can be numbered.   (Psalms 40:1-5)

(The above text is one of my favorite Bible texts and the theme verse for Settled In Heaven Ministries.)

Earthly blessings from the Lord include the blessing of human praise.  This is can be a very valuable tool in our service for Him when we are faithful in directing that praise from off of us onto the Lord and all He has done for us.  What a privilege it is to receive the praise of man and then to give honor to the Lord for the enabling grace He has given to us which allows to live Godly lives before others.

May we all possess Godly wisdom and live our lives for Him.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

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