Sin Resistant

Read: Proverbs 1

“My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them!” (Proverbs 1:10, NLT)

It was Oscar Wilde who said, “I can resist just about anything—except temptation,” Oh yeah, me too!

God’s Word says that you and I are on a glorious journey, but the truth is, this is no easy trip. An infinitely glorious and eternally rewarding one—yes; but easy—no!  In fact, Jesus said that the path we’ll travel on is straight and narrow, and not too many will actually find it, much less successfully walk it. To stay on this path, Jesus went on to say, there will need to be some self-denial, cross bearing, and intense focus.

That means today (let’s let tomorrow worry about tomorrow), you will have to say “no” to what this Proverb calls sinners: “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.” (Proverbs 1:10) The fact of the matter is, these “sinners” are all along your way, devilish hecklers disguised as adoring fans whose one and only assignment is to entice you down an alternative path, a shortcut to pleasure that, in reality, always fails to deliver what it promises while saddling you instead with nothing but disappointment, pain and loss.

Sorry to have to be the one to break it to you like this, but those “sinners” are waiting for you as you head out the door to wherever your glorious journey will take you today—to work, to school, to play, or even staying indoors to serve God in the daily routine required by your assignment at home.  Here’s the thing: You’ve got to be alert to them, be discerning to their sugar-coated manipulations, and ready to give them a throaty “no way” when they ply you with their counterfeit divines.

I’m sure you already know this, but these enticing “sinners” may not be real, live people.  They may be subtle arguments that enter your mind, or slick operators coming through the airwaves, or simple desires at work within your soul, or sinful systems at work in the world that throughout the day routinely pull you away from God as sure as the gravitational pull of the moon working twice a day on the tides.

They’re called temptations, by the way, and you are called to resist them.  And you can!  And if you will, the real prize at your journey’s end will far outweigh any of their mouthwatering promises.

“Temptation usually comes in through a door that has deliberately been left open.” ~Arnold Glasow

Winning At Life:

Read and meditate on I Corinthians 10:1-13.  Identify some of the “ways out” God has given you in every temptation.  Today, look for those divine exits—and take them.

Nothing To Fear Except Fear Itself

Read: Proverbs 1:33

Whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Those famous words were spoken at a time when a lot of people were living in fear. America was in the middle of its deepest economic depression ever—before or since—and the newly elected president, Franklin Roosevelt, uttered those immortal words during his first inaugural address in 1933.

There are several kinds of fear, and they can either be good or bad, depending on their source.  The first kind of fear is based in an irrational worry of “what if”, and it debilitates a lot of people.  Someone has described this fear with a clever acronym as “False Enemies Appearing Real”.  A second kind of debilitating fear—and it’s definitely a real one—is the fear that comes from foolish living.  Foolish living (see Psalm 14:1, 53:1) by its Biblical definition is to live as if God and his laws do not exist—to live as a practical atheist.  Those who live in disregard to the Almighty and his ways cannot help but have an underlying and chronic dread of looming trouble.

But Proverbs speaks of a third kind of fear—one that is healthy to body and good for the soul: The fear of the Lord.  To fear God is to be in awe of his person, to respect his commands, and to live in knee-knocking terror at the consequences of ignoring both.  As a kid, I loved my father immensely, and I respected his laws—most of the time.  When I didn’t, I suffered swift and sure consequences. And over time, I grew to understand that love, respect and fear were not mutually exclusive realities.  In fact, the mixture of all three produced a pretty tasty cocktail of security and confidence in my life.

Such is the fear of the Lord. Those who imbibe will have nothing to fear except the loss of fear—fear of the third kind, that is.

Live in Christ, live in Christ, and the flesh need not fear death.
~John Knox

Your Assignment, Should You Choose To Accept It:

Every human being lives life in five domains: personal, familial, social, vocational and spiritual.  Take some time today to assess if you are living, in reality, as a “practical atheist” in any of these areas—without regard for God and his laws.  If you are, simply and sincerely repent and take corrective action; if not, “be afraid, be very afraid.”

Doing Life Well

Proverbs, Chapter 1:

“You ignorant outfit!” If I heard that scathing remark from my red-faced-vein-in-the-forehead-about-to-explode father once when I was growing up, I heard it a couple dozen times.  Obviously my childhood home wasn’t one of those touchy-feely places where mom and dad gave a whole lot of thought to my self-esteem.  They were determined not to produce an offspring who turned out to be a fool—someone who is, as the Bible defines it, morally deficient.

The older I get, the more I appreciate their old-school approach.  As columnist George Will writes, Modern parents want to nurture so skillfully that Mother Nature will gasp in admiration at the marvels their parenting produces from the soft clay of children.” Not my parents; they were more concerned that one day I would stand before God, at which point all three of us—dad, mom and child—would hear, “well done, good and faithful servants.”

Whether you are doing life as a parent, or you are simply doing life as a child of God, remember that holiness is a far better attribute than happiness and fear of God outshines feeling good every time.  So learn to lean into the Lord’s discipline, and help your children to embrace it, too.  Put wisdom at the top of your wish list—for you and them.  And if you desire for you and yours to do life well, make “the fear of the Lord” the center and the circumference of your home. Solomon said it this way in Proverbs 1:7,

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

My friend, the fear of the Lord is what enables us to do life courageously, confidently and flourishingly well—and by the way, it’s the only way that produces the kind of esteem worth having: Not self-esteem but God’s esteem!

Where there is fear of God to keep the house, the enemy can find no way to enter. ~Francis of Assisi

Your Assignment, Should You Choose To Accept It:

Read George Will’s article, “Self-Esteem, Self-Destruction”, Also, find an opportunity as soon as possible to talk with your children about 1) what the fear of the Lord really is, and 2) the important distinction between eternal holiness and temporal happiness.

Proverbs 1

Read Proverbs 1

The Attainment Of Wisdom

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
Proverbs 1:7

Nobody sets out in life to be a fool. No kid ever says, “You know, when I grow up, I want to be an idiot!” As far as I know, there has never been a college student who majored in stupidity (although some parents may wonder). We are just not geared that way. Have you noticed the booming market for self-help books and personal coaching? Just about everybody wants to improve their lot in life and will spend countless hours and untold dollars to educate themselves in order to have a better shot at successful living.

But wisdom doesn’t reside in do-it-yourself manuals or personal coaching programs. Wisdom isn’t even found in the classroom or in the university library. The true book of wisdom, the Bible, says wisdom starts with “the fear of the Lord.” That is the key. Solomon says the beginning of the process for gaining knowledge, living wisely and being successful begins with the fear of the Lord. What does it mean to fear the Lord?

So just what does that mean? Well, what it doesn’t mean is to huddle in the corner in abject terror of the Almighty. Only those who have no relationship with God do that. Only those who have a jaded or limited view of God live in that kind of fear. Only those who are, in fact, enemies of God, are the ones who rightly cower in terror, at least in their minds, when they give serious consideration to God.

The fear that Solomon is talking about is simply a loving reverence for God. It is respect that evidences itself in submission to God’s will, obedience to his Word, awe of his great power and love for who he is. That is what it means to fear the Lord.

That kind of healthy fear leads us to grow in knowledge—the absorption of God’s Word. It keeps us from living as fools—one who is morally deficient and lives with no regard for God. It allows us to develop wisdom—the correct application of Biblical truth. And it causes us to appreciate discipline—that which moves us to say no to temporal pleasures and immediate gratification in order to grow in wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

Do you desire to be a wise person? Understand, then, that the attainment of wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. And the fear of the Lord recognizes that wisdom comes from God. God is true wisdom and the source of all wisdom. And God will give wisdom to all who fear him.

Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the Lord gives wisdom.”

Why not ask him today for some of it!


“Christ is the wisdom of God; and in the knowledge of this Christ there is wisdom for you. Not wisdom only, but life, forgiveness, peace, glory, and an endless kingdom! Study Him! Acquaint yourself with Him! Whatever you are ignorant of, be not ignorant of Him. Whatever you overlook, overlook not Him. What ever you lose, lose not Him. To gain Him is to gain eternal life, to gain a kingdom, to gain everlasting blessedness. To lose Him is to lose your soul, to lose God, to lose God’s favour, to lose God’s heaven, to lose the eternal crown!”
—Horatius Bonar