These Severn Things (Proverbs 6:16-19)

Turning once again to Proverbs 6 (what a rich chapter this is!), we are now given a list of things that God hates. Let us not underestimate the strength of these words. Verse 16 begins by saying these are things that God “hates”; things that are an “abomination” to Him! I do not know about you, but that makes me sit up and pay attention. I do not want any of these things to be found in me!

So, what are they?

There are six things which Yahweh hates;

    yes, seven which are an abomination to him:

17 arrogant eyes, a lying tongue,

    hands that shed innocent blood,

18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,

    feet that are swift in running to mischief,

19 a false witness who utters lies,

    and he who sows discord among brothers.

Proverbs 6:16-19 WEB

The first item on the list is “arrogant eyes.” Arrogance stems from pride, and an overinflated sense of oneself. To have arrogant eyes is to look down on other people, and to believe that we are better, superior and more important than they. Not so! Each of us is made in the image of God, and are equally valuable in His eyes. Looking down on other people and favouring some over others breaks the command to love one another. The arrogant eye sees others’ faults, but not their own. Instead, we must look on ourselves with sober judgement and recognise that we are no more important than anyone else we meet; irrespective of class or position. That is not to say we look down on ourselves either, but merely to be honest and treat others fairly.

God hates a lying tongue. Lying is the devil’s language, and we ought to have no part in it. When talking to Christians, it is rare to find examples of blatant or outright lies. More often, in my experience at least, it is far more subtle. Take the arrogant eye as above, it is far more likely that we might “bend the truth” to make others think better of us or to hide certain truths to please people. Honesty is not the same as rudeness of course, and so we can find ways of being truthful without being blunt or harsh. Our words should be clear and honest, not shrouded in deceit. It sounds simple, yet I wonder how often our words in a typical day are completely truthful? When someone asks how we are, how honest is our response? If someone wants us to sign up to some rota, do we add our names honestly intending to fulfil it? If we have people-pleasing tendencies, do we feel pressure to say what we think they want to hear instead of genuine truth? Something to think about.

#God hates #lies. #SpeakTruth Christians should be #honest. People must be able to #trust our #words #Bible #Christianity

The third item on the list needs little explanation. God hates the hand that sheds innocent blood. To murder is to destroy those who are made in God’s image. From the very first murderer – Cain, who slew his own brother – to the countless murderers we hear of today, the killing of innocent people is abominable to God. To kill another is one of the most serious crimes in most places in the world, and this comes from the fact that life is valuable. You may not be guilty of shedding blood yourself, but do not forget Jesus’ words when He was speaking of the Commandment not to murder.

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’[c] shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, [d]‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of [e]hell fire.

Matthew 5:21-22 NKJV

Many of us may not be guilty of committing murder, yet how many of us have felt anger toward someone without cause? Both are equally sinful before God.

#Murder is a #sin, yet #Jesus reminds us that #anger toward others is equally bad #Bible

Verse 18 gives us the fourth and fifth items in this list of things God hates. Firstly, we see that a heart that plans wicked schemes is something to avoid. I would hope that, for most of us, when we do cause harm to others, it is done in ignorance or without thinking. It is quite another thing to plan to do harm in one’s heart. If you find yourself lying in bed at night, devising ways of getting back at someone (for example) then you need to carefully consider your ways. Likewise, the second point in this verse, warns against being swift to do evil. Do not be misled by the crowd, jumping into trouble without thinking first. Just because others are doing it, does not mean you have to! Do not be quick to get into mischief, instead learn this lesson and keep well out of it!

Verse 19 seems to repeat something we touched on earlier, namely a lying tongue. Yet there is a slight distinction here. A false witness can indeed lie, but a false witness can also paint a distorted picture of the truth without actually saying something dishonest. For example, when giving a witness statement to the police, you do not have to totally fabricate what you saw to be a “false witness.” You might simply omit certain parts of the account. God hates lies of course, but He equally hates deception and falsity which leads people down the wrong path. “I didn’t actually lie…” is no real defence. Certain politicians I could name have clearly been rather economical with the truth. They cannot be accused of outright lying, but have certainly not been totally open about what really happened. Let us not be like that!

Our final item is a very important one in my opinion. God cannot abide those who would sow discord among the brothers; by this, it means troublemakers who seek to cause mischief and damage relationships. There are those who would infiltrate a group or church, for the sole purpose of disrupting unity. I have sadly seen this in churches in the past, and if left untackled, can lead to entire congregations splitting or breaking apart. Focussing on the church, we are stronger when we stand united, and that is why the enemy may seek to disrupt the fellowship we hold. Guard against this as best you can! And do not forget that even seemingly small things like criticism, gossip or complaining can lead to discord. Watch your words and seek to bring people together, not divide them apart.

This is quite a list, and I am struck at how many of the points correlate with the Ten Commandments. We, Christians, may look at the list and dismiss it thinking, “That doesn’t apply to me…” and hopefully so! But do be sure. It is all too easy to fall into lies or false witness, or to grumble about the leadership team leading to discord, or to waste time thinking about how to get someone back for hurting you. These are all things that the Lord hates, so steer well clear of them!

Thanks for reading and do share your thoughts below.

Trapped by our Words (Proverbs 6:1-5)

Proverbs 6 opens with a warning, and one that may not immediately strike a cord with you. When was the last time you acted as collateral for your neighbour? Not recently I’d wager, so does that mean we can ignore these words of warning? Let’s read them and see if there are elements which do apply to us.

My son, if you have become collateral for your neighbor,

    if you have struck your hands in pledge for a stranger,

2 you are trapped by the words of your mouth;

    you are ensnared with the words of your mouth.

3 Do this now, my son, and deliver yourself,

    since you have come into the hand of your neighbor.

Go, humble yourself.

    Press your plea with your neighbor.

4 Give no sleep to your eyes,

    nor slumber to your eyelids.

5 Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,

    like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

Proverbs 6:1-5 WEB

Verses one and two describe a situation where someone has trapped themselves with their words. In our modern day world, we might imagine someone signing up as a guarantor for someone else. For example, when signing a rental agreement, you may need to provide a guarantor who will back you in the event that you cannot pay. The guarantor, like this person in Proverbs, is “trapped” in that contract.

Have you ever been asked to be a guarantor for someone else? If so, then the chances are it was a good friend or family member. In such cases, you may have been rather hesitant to sign up. How so? Usually it is because we do not want to end up footing the bill for someone else when we have our own bills to pay. There may, of course, be situations where it is appropriate to enter into such an agreement – most commonly in my experience, this is when a parent acts as guarantor for their (adult) child.

What about a stranger though? What if someone you had never met before advanced on you, pen and clipboard in hand, seeking your signature on a contract… run my friend, as fast as you can!

Verses one and two describe becoming entangled in a situation with either a neighbour or stranger, and this risking your own situation to do so. In the time these words were first written, there were no bankruptcy courts, and no administrators to mediate between you and your debtors. You paid up what you owed, or could end up becoming enslaved. The warning is clear then, do not jump into such agreements.

Verse two in particular opens out the meaning for us here. It is our words that have ensnared us; our ill thought through commitments have led us into danger. While you may not be at risk of becoming someone’s guarantor any time soon, have you made commitments with your words that you now regret?

Do not be trapped by the #words of your mouth! #Bible #Jesus #Christianity #Wisdom

When I think back, there have been a number of times when I have committed to something in the moment, and later regretted it. “Yes, I can do that…” I say, and then the time comes and the effort, energy or cost is more than I wanted to offer.

I heard someone telling a story about a time they visited a city, met some new friends and casually said to them they should come visit with them “sometime.” Several weeks later, these new friends called up and said, “We’re ready to come.” “Ready to come where?” the individual thought… They had been hung by their tongue. It was simply not convenient, and not really something the person wanted to do. They even prayed for a way out of it, and God told them that they would indeed honour their own words, put these people up and show them around, and perhaps learn a lesson not to be so flippant with their invites in future. What a lesson!

What commitments have you made that you later regretted?

Verses three to five then turn to what we should do if we have entered into something we shouldn’t have.

Firstly, they advise us not to wait! Go now! Do not let yourself sleep, and do not put it off until tomorrow! Go! Resolve it straightaway!

It can be difficult to undo words we have spoken. Yet, it is better to put things right than to let other people down by not meeting our commitments. How often do people sign up for one church rota or another, and yet the tasks go unfulfilled? I know there have been times when I’ve signed up, and not done it. This isn’t the way excellent Christians should live.

It can be difficult to undo #words we have spoken. It is better to put things right than to let other people down #Bible #Christianity #wisdom

It is indeed difficult to admit we are wrong. Two little words in the midst of verse three are key here, “humble yourself.” It does certainly take humility to recognise our faults, and it can hurt our pride to tell someone else. I will let you in on a secret though… it will not surprise anyone else to learn that you are not perfect!

I have no small amount of pride, and am constantly wrestling with it. Admitting my faults is time consuming (he says, somewhat tongue in cheek!) but I must humble myself before God and others. If I trap myself with my words, like a gazelle (as above in verse 5) then it is right that I correct things. If it causes me some small amount of embarrassment, then that is a lesson to learn.

I want to close this post by picking up similar words of instruction from the Lord Jesus Himself.

Whoever doesn’t bear his own cross, and come after me, can’t be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and count the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Or perhaps, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, everyone who sees begins to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build, and wasn’t able to finish.’

Luke 14:27-30 WEB

Jesus’ words here refer to the cost of being a disciple. Of course, they do apply more widely than this, but in context are crucially important. Reflecting on the importance of our words, and not making commitments we cannot fulfil, are you prepared to fulfil the requirements of claiming Jesus as Lord? In my post – Lord, Lord! – I pointed out that it is one thing to call Jesus Lord, and yet quite another to live a life serving Him.

Do not let your words be worthless. Do not sign up to do something unless you are able to fulfil it. This applies to small things in life, but even more so to the commitment to follow Christ.

Hidden in my Heart

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

My family and I are experiencing a challenging time at the moment. this means I am blogging on the go, and so please excuse any formatting or lack thereof!

Over the past few days, I do not think I have stood still for one moment! My time with God has been seriously restricted, as has my time in his word.

Can you relate? Have you had similar seasons in life?

I rejoice that I have had opportunities to store God’s word in my heart in the past, and can draw on those resources now.

I strongly encourage you to hide God’s word in your heart during the sunny seasons in life. Life will always throw times of trouble at us, but we can prepare ahead of time.

This verse tells us that by hiding God’s word in our hearts, we will reduce the risk of sin. The more Bible we have within us, the stronger we will be to face temptation when it comes. And temptation is harder to resist during times of trouble, when we are tired or stressed.

Thank God for his precious word!

If Truth is Silenced, Will Evil Prevail?

When should we be silent? And when should we speak up? It is not always an easy thing to decide. This thought-provoking blog shares some insights for us to consider. I enjoyed reading this over the weekend, so I thought I would share it with you today.

It seems like people will believe just about anything these days (and that includes Christians). The question that hounds me is this: Should I be …

If Truth is Silenced, Will Evil Prevail?

A Gentle Answer – Andy Brown

“A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”Proverbs 15:1 (NLT) This particular verse came up in my Bible reading this morning. It may be very familiar to you or perhaps it’s the first time you’ve read it. Either way, there is much wisdom in its words. A gentle answer can make a…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2021/02/24/a-gentle-answer/

No Way Out (Daniel 6:11-15)

Continuing on with our look at Daniel 6 and his experience in the Lion’s Den, we pick up the passage at verse 11.

11 Then, by agreement, these men came [together] and found Daniel praying and making requests before his God. 12 Then they approached and spoke before the king regarding his injunction, “Have you not signed an injunction that anyone who petitions (prays to) any god or man except you, O king, within the designated thirty days, is to be thrown into the den of lions?” The king answered, “The statement is true, in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be altered or revoked.” 13 Then they answered and said before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, does not pay any attention to you, O king, or to the injunction which you have signed, but keeps praying [to his God] three times a day.”

14 Then, as soon as the king heard these words, he was deeply distressed [over what he had done] and set his mind on rescuing Daniel; and he struggled until the sun went down [trying to work out a way] to save him. 15 Then, by agreement, these same men came to the king and said, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or statute which the king establishes may be altered or revoked.”

Daniel 6:11-15 (AMP)

As a reminder, the governors and commissioners were jealous of this successful man – Daniel. He is rising to the top because of his faithfulness to God. They cannot find fault with him, so lay a trap for him by asking the King to sign a law that states no one can pray to any god or man except to King Darius himself. Daniel, not willing to compromise, goes home and prays to God just as he always did. The governors catch him in the act.

These wicked men approach the king and ask him, “O King, did you not sign some kind of law about praying to any God or man except you? Didn’t you say anyone caught doing this would be thrown into the lion’s den?” The king replies in the affirmative, and confirms he did indeed sign such a law. The governors are quick to point out that Daniel has broken the law.

I imagine the look on King Darius’ face as realisation dawns. Verse 14 tells us he was deeply distressed. Why? I would like to think he is particularly fond of Daniel, and the thought of losing his friendship was a very sad one. However, I suspect another reason may lie behind the king’s distress. We learned from earlier on in the chapter that the governors and commissioners were there to protect the king’s interests. No one did that better than Daniel. The king knows that to lose Daniel to the lions is to lose a valuable asset, and leaves him with only corrupt officials unlikely to act with integrity toward him.

Verse 14 may seem a little odd to our ears. If he is the king, why not just change the laws or pardon Daniel to save him from the lions? You will notice the phrase, repeated more than once in this chapter, “in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be altered or revoked.” Once a law was made in Persia, that was it. No take-backs, no changes. Not even the king could undo a law that he had signed.

We see this at work in the book of Esther. King Artaxerxes, under the influence of the wicked Haman, signs a law that will mean the Jewish people will be killed on a certain day. The actions of Queen Esther exposes the plot, but the king cannot revoke the law. Instead, he puts in place a second law that means the Jewish people can gather together, arm and protect themselves from harm.

King Darius spends the entire day trying to figure out a way out of the predicament. He finds none. There are a number of lessons for us here, but I want to point out the importance of our words. We must not make a commitment we cannot fulfil. We see the impact of hasty words in Judges 11 when Jephthah makes a vow that he will sacrifice the first thing that comes out of his house. Sadly, it was his daughter who came to greet him. Jesus, likewise, urges us to count the cost before we begin (see Luke 14). King Darius here has been flattered by the governors and they have taken full advantage. He no doubt regrets his words, and can find no way out.

We ought to be very careful about what we commit to. When we talked about Daniel being an excellent man, I am certain that part of his excellence lie in the fact that he meant what he said. Too few of us are bound by our words. If we say we are going to be there at a certain time, then we should make sure we are. If we are not sure, then neither should we commit.

Too few of us are bound by our #words – #Bible #Jesus

There is no recourse for the king. He finds no way out. Daniel is surely doomed! We will find out what happens when we look at the rest of this chapter another time.

Catch up on previous posts in this series:

Thanks for reading!

10 STEPS TO A STRESS-FREE LIFE

Hey friends, how are you today? Phew!! There’s been a lot of happenings in our world recently, haven’t there? It’s enough to grey the hairs of most …

10 STEPS TO A STRESS-FREE LIFE

Turn Your Ear & Fix Your Eyes (Proverbs 4:20-27)

My son, attend to my words.

    Turn your ear to my sayings.

21 Let them not depart from your eyes.

    Keep them in the center of your heart.

22 For they are life to those who find them,

    and health to their whole body.

23 Keep your heart with all diligence,

    for out of it is the wellspring of life.

24 Put away from yourself a perverse mouth.

    Put corrupt lips far from you.

25 Let your eyes look straight ahead.

    Fix your gaze directly before you.

26 Make the path of your feet level.

    Let all of your ways be established.

27 Don’t turn to the right hand nor to the left.

    Remove your foot from evil.

Proverbs 4:20-27 (WEB)

The other day my wife was talking to me, and like a dutiful husband, I was nodding and saying “Uh-huh…” in all the right places. My mind however, was somewhere else! I had to hold my hands up and admit that although I was hearing the words, I wasn’t really listening.

Verse 20 of Proverbs 4 is a rather eloquent way of saying “Listen up!” Attending to someone’s words is not simply to hear them, but rather to engage with them. Likewise, turning one’s head in the right direction (so that the ear is pointed at the speaker) is not nearly enough to ensure the instruction hits home.

Solomon is again entreating us to listen, to take on board and to respond to the wisdom of his teaching.

In a similar way, verse 21 encourages us to keep Wisdom’s teachings before our eyes and thus planted in our hearts. This idea of God’s Word and wisdom not departing from our eyes is an exhortation to be both regular and consistently reading and studying the Scripture.

A 30-minute sermon on a Sunday is not enough. A 5-minute devotional each morning may be encouraging, but it may be insufficient to receive the full counsel of God’s Word.

For me at least, little and often may be the key. I have followed “Bible in a year” plans before, and while useful in some cases, it can become a burden or even chore as we wade through six or more chapters each morning.

Better to read and meditate on a few Bible verses regularly, than read a dozen pages without taking it in.

Better to read and #meditate on a few #Bible verses regularly, than read a dozen pages without taking it in.

That is not to take Scripture out of context, I hasten to add. There is just as much danger in reading your favourite few verses all the time, and not engaging with the wider text or understand its place in the big picture.

Verse 22 says:

For they are life to those who find them,

    and health to their whole body.

Proverbs 4:22 (WEB)

Verse 22 has always been a verse which fascinates me. It says that God’s word, or the instruction of wisdom, provides life to those who find them and even health to our physical bodies. We touched on this in previous posts on the book of Proverbs, and clearly living wisely will lengthen your life. Smoking, drinking or eating to excess, or not looking after oneself is not wise, and as a consequence will of course reduce one’s lifespan.

The word translated as “health” here is the Hebrew word marpe’ and is most often translated as “health” (as above) or “healing.” It can also be rendered as “cure” or “remedy” also.

Could it be that the very studying of God’s Word can bring health to us, and I mean in some supernatural way rather than as a natural consequence of living right? While some would give a definite yes to that question, others would dispute it. I would encourage you to study its meaning for yourself.

The WEB translation of verse 23 is a little confusing, to me at least! Here it is from the NLT:

Guard your heart above all else,

    for it determines the course of your life.

Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)

Despite talking of the health of the body in the last verse, this one is not referring to our blood pump, but rather our inner self. Guarding our heart is very much in line with what this passage has been talking about. Too few of us take seriously what we allow into our hearts and minds. Instead of keeping the Word of God before us constantly, we fill ourselves with ungodly entertainment or gossip. We are foolish if we think our hearts can go unscathed by such continual battering.

Your heart, that is, your inner self, will determine how your life goes. It is like a child who is constantly criticised or put down, they will struggle in life to overcome such negativity. Our hearts, in a similar way, cannot be soaked in negativity and produce positive results.

Verse 24 deals not with what we put into ourselves, but rather what comes out of us. It strongly advises us to be careful about how we speak, and I cannot emphasise enough the power of our words.

Paul also instructs us to:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

What a challenging verse this is! I say a lot of things in a day, but can hardly confess to all of it being helpful for building others up. I try to add value with my words, always having in the back of my mind that one day I will give account for them to the Lord. Yet too frequently I find my words are not wholesome, but instead are negative, critical or just wasteful. How about you?

Verse 25 to 27 all echo the same sentiment. Keep your eyes fixed ahead, and your feet on level ground. This is clearly not to advise us against turning our heads nor to ascend inclined ground in our hometowns! Instead, the Proverbs are warning us to keep fixed on what is right, and not to turn aside to evil.

If we do not do this, if we just wander along aimlessly, then we will find ourselves in trouble. Our focus and our determined purpose must be to seek after what is right and good. Our sinful nature has been programmed into us since birth, and despite the new life Christ brings, we do tend towards selfishness and evil unless we are set against it.

What are your eyes fixed on? Are locked ahead, gazing upon God’s Word, or do they wander and lead you astray? How about those feet? Are they shod with the Gospel, and following after Jesus, or do they stumble or meander away?

Make a decision right here and now that you will seek after wisdom all day long. Fix those eyes and discipline those feet, and you will life in God’s Word.

Sharp Words

We are often discouraged from using sharp words when talking to others. It is usually meant by this that we Christians should talk to people with gentleness and humility, and not to be rude, hard or harsh. This is all quite true, but not the point of my post today.

I instead want to think about another form of sharp words:

For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 There is no creature that is hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.

Hebrews 4:12-13 WEB

The Bible, here called the Word of God, is a sharp word. While it is never intended to be harsh, it can be a difficult pill to swallow at times.

These verses tell us that the Word is both living and active. To be “living and active” means that the Bible is not some ancient, dead or irrelevant work with no bearing on life today. The culture may have changed, but the Word has not, yet this does not make it outdated. God does not change, and neither does His Word. Our design and purpose as humans has remained the same, even if the world around us is different from what it once was.

If you want to know your purpose, and if you want to know how to live well on this Earth, then you will need to engage with this living Word. It teaches us who God is. It tells us how we ought to live. It instructs us in how to please our Creator. It sets out how we can be saved from our sin, and be united with Christ for all eternity. There is nothing more relevant; nothing more necessary.

The Word of God is sharp, indeed sharper than a two-edged sword. It can pierce. It can divide.

When we venture into sin, the Bible can pierce our hearts. That stab of guilt and shame we feel as we face our sinfulness is found only in knowing we have fallen short of God’s standards. The Word does not condemn us, but it does convict, prompting us to change. Condemnation leads only to death, but conviction through the Word and the Spirit leads to life. Practically, if your feelings of guilt and consciousness of sin lead you away from God, then that is condemnation. If they spur you on to live better and follow Him more deeply, then that is conviction.

The Word of God can divide. It separates flesh from spirit, showing us when our desires are selfish or selfless. It discerns, as it says above, between the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. This is a key point. Too many of us do the right thing, but for the wrong reasons. We pray loudly and earnestly in front of others, hoping they will think us saintly. We sing loudly and robustly in church, while at the same time wondering what we will eat for lunch. We bless our brother or sister in Christ, then tear them down with gossip over coffee the next day.

The Bible reveals all such things to us. It is a mirror that we can gaze deeply into, and as we do, it will show us not just where our actions fall short, but where our heart does as well. The wonderful thing about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (from Matthew 5-7) is that He shows us that the thoughts of our heart are every bit as important as our actions.

If you look lustfully on someone who is not your spouse, then you commit adultery. Even if you do not physically go near them, your heart betrays you as you have gone there in your mind. To hate your brother is the same as killing them, as surely to hate is to wish someone dead. Such thoughts are every bit as bad as their corresponding actions.

Verse 13, quoted above, tells us that we are naked before Him to whom we must give an account. This means there is no place to hide. We cannot push our sins under the rug and hope He does not notice them. All will be uncovered; the good we did with wrong motives, and the good we did not do for similar reasons.

That is why the Bible is a sharp word. It forces us to face ourselves and a level of honesty most of us do not dare enter.

If you find this difficult, then that is exactly right. If the thought of exposing your heart makes you uncomfortable, then you are feeling precisely the correct emotion. If our sinfulness does not make us squirm, then we have not fully understood it, nor our need for a Saviour.

If our sinfulness does not make us squirm, then we have not fully understood it, nor our need for a #Saviour. #Jesus #Bible #Christianity #sin

The poisonous feelings of guilt and shame must lead us to the antidote – and His name is Jesus. As we gaze into the Bible, it shows us of our need of rescue and points us to the One who indeed saves.

The sharp words ought to make us turn more fully to God. We cannot approach Him in our own merit, but instead come to Him cleansed in the blood of the Lamb.

As you study Scripture, try not to stick with your favourite passages or books. Look at the parts of the Bible that challenge you. If you notice you are falling short in some way, rejoice that God has shown you and then work with Him to come up higher. Instead of feeling guilty about your failures, turn them into reasons to praise God for sending His Son to save you.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16 WEB

Praise God that He has given us His precious Son that we might be freed from all guilt and shame. Thank God for His Word, sharp as it may be at times, that shows us the way of salvation.

Have a blessed day!

Let Me Love You, Lord (A Poem)

Last week I published a post on a poem based on Psalm 150. if you enjoyed that, then I hope you will enjoy reading this to.

I might look at poverty in the eye,Suffer lack with a hopeful sigh,I may feel down and ready to cry,But Lord let me love you without asking why!I …

Let Me Love You, Lord (A Poem)

And here is a link to my poem published last week in case you missed it…

Psalm 150 Poetry

Word Count

WordPress helpfully keeps a total of the words you have written on your blog each year. Although we are only about a week into 2022, I am reliably informed that I have written nearly 4500 words so far.

This is good for me to know, because I really do want to make good progress on some unfinished books I am writing this year.

One project has around 10,000 words written, and another approximately 17,000 words completed.

Knowing that I’ve already written 4500 words on the blog this year, helps me to believe that it may even be possible to complete both projects in the coming 12 months!

why am I telling you this? Simply for accountability!

I want to try to post regular updates on how the books are progressing, as a way of keeping myself honest! Do pull me up dear reader, if I do not do this!

I also ask for your prayers, and that my writing would be fruitful. Please ask the Lord to help me complete these projects this year, but more importantly that they will be a vehicle for him to bless those who read them.

Word count is not the best way to measure the quality of a book… But in this stage of the project, it sure does help me keep track!

Thank you for your ongoing support and prayers!

Don’t Speak Out of Your Pain (Best of 2021)

You have probably heard it said that people don’t always mean what they say when they are angry. Perhaps, you’ve even said things you didn’t mean when emotions were running high? Among other things, I’m quite certain the Apostle Paul had such things in mind when he wrote these words from Ephesians: Be angry, and…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2021/05/07/dont-speak-out-of-your-pain/