Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.
Christian, never forget that your Heavenly Father knows where you are and what is happening to you and around you. He knows! Let no one ever imagine God is unaware of their plight. He sees. He knows. He cares. What a loving, faithful God we serve.
Unbeliever, never forget that your Creator knows where you are and is happening to you and around you. He knows! Let no one ever imagine God is unaware of their plight – nor of their sin and rebellion against Him. Would you gain a sense of how patient and kind He is toward you? He knows all this, and yet He calls to you with the Gospel of grace, to come and be reconciled to Him. To have your sins forgiven. To obtain the gift of eternal life in Jesus. To become His child. What a loving and faithful God He is. How long will you wait?
Proverbs 15:4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
It takes gentleness to minister to weak, weary and bruised souls – but sometimes in trying to be gentle, we can massage the truth so as to communicate falsehood. When this happens, when truth suffers in our attempt to be gentle, we end up not only failing to truly minster, we do positive harm – we break the spirit of the one we are trying to encourage. Eventually, the truth WILL come to them, and they will be disheartened and resentful at how we failed to be courageously loving in dealing truthfully and straightforwardly. They will see why our counsel failed to give them real aid. We will be seen to have put mere band-aids on their cancer and led them to believe all will be well. We must speak the truth in love. And neither aspect, the truth nor the love can be safely neglected. It is never a question of “would you rather have the truth, or the love?” That is a false dichotomy. Scripture demands both.
Proverbs 15:19 The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.
To a lazy person, every step forward is painful and full of trial and danger. Not that it is really so – but this is how they imagine it, so as to keep themselves from having to move forward. They have convinced themselves of every possible objection. The road is too steep, or plunges too quickly. The smiles of others make me suspicious, the frowns of others discourage me. If I do this – that will happen, and if I do that, this will happen – every path is a no-win. Everything is too hard, too dangerous, too painful. So it only makes sense to do nothing, and lament then about not making any progress.
And how this slips over in the Christian life in terms of spiritual progress. Many a Believer seems to make precious little progress because they have erected all kinds of real, exaggerated and even imaginary barriers to how difficult it is. We need to see this as sluggardliness at its root and repent of it. It was the Victorian preacher J. C. Ryle who coined the phrase “no pain, no gain.” And he did so in the context of growing in sanctification, of maturing in Christ. Eternal glories have been freely won for us by Christ – but we must go into the fields He has planted them in, and gather them up for ourselves. Manna falls each morning, but it must be sought out and harvested. Grace is dropping all around us, but we must put our hands out to cup the sweet elixir, and bring it to our own mouths to drink.
…. Would never have guessed a Victorian preacher
Yeah, mind bender isn’t it?