Proverbs and Galatians spoke right to today’s culture and climate. God’s Word always delivers the truth and sometimes pokes us awake.
I knew we had found the church God had for us in Omaha when I learned the heartbeat of the church: develop self-feeders, people who read the Bible for themselves every single day. Today’s readings from our church reading guide were perfect for what we see today in this climate and culture.
“Mockers inflame a city but the wise turn away anger.” Proverbs 29:8
“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man holds it in check.” Proverbs 29:11
“When the wicked increase rebellion increases, but the righteous will see their downfall.” Proverbs 29:16
(I confess I felt guilty when this verse made me feel better. But keep reading with me and you will see why I let that guilt go.)
“An angry man stirs up conflict and a hot tempered man increases rebellion.” Proverbs 29:22
“A person’s pride will humble him but a humble spirit will gain honor.” Proverbs 29:23
“The fear of man is a snare but the one who trusts in the Lord is protected.” Proverbs 29:25
“An unjust man is detestable to the righteous, and one whose way is upright is detestable to the wicked.” Proverbs 29:27 (Well doesn’t that just explain why when we post about Jesus or anything in line with His teachings we receive such pushback)
Ok, now let’s move to Galatians.
“You were running well. Who prevented you from obeying the truth? This persuasion did not come from the One who called you. A little yeast leavens the whole lump of dough. I have confidence in the Lord you will not accept any other view. But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty.” Galatians 5:7-10
Here’s where I let go of my guilt over wanting to see the downfall of the wicked. Paul continues explaining to the Galatians why they weren’t bound to the Jewish law of circumcision because the cross fulfilled all the law and now they lived under grace. But Paul says this and I have to admit, I love when I see a little fire and sarcasm from Paul. “I wish those who are disturbing you might also get themselves castrated!”
Then in verses 16-18 we are instructed to walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh. To be sure we knew the difference, Paul calls it out directly to us. Emphasis added by me….
“Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, HATREDS, STRIFE, jealousy, OUTBURSTS OF ANGER, SELFISH AMBITIONS, DISSENSIONS, FACTIONS, ENVY, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance – as I told you before- that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21
The definition of
dissension: disagreement that leads to discord.
factions: a small organized dissenting group within a larger one, especially in politics.
Please don’t miss this. It’s in the bible for a reason.
“Believers” everywhere are splitting by joining dissensions and factions. We are called to a higher standard.
We have the mind of Christ. We are called to live in unity.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:22-26
God’s Word changes me every single day. It convicts me when I’ve been walking in my flesh. It guides me back to His heart. It shows me the better path. It fills me with joy I can’t get in the world.