and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to observe
all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to
the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19-20).
September 1, 2019
1) Pearls From Proverbs (Irven Himmel)
2) Correct Me, O Lord (Grady Huggins)
3) News & Notes
Pearls from Proverbs
A Rough Road
"Good understanding giveth favor: but the way of transgressors is
hard" (Proverbs 13:15).
Things are not always what they seem. The course which looks good
may offer more misery than happiness, more heartaches than comfort,
and more disappointments than satisfaction.
The Hebrew word sekel denotes intelligence, sound judgment,
good sense, or prudence. It is translated "wisdom" in Proverbs 12:8;
in 19:11 it is "prudence."
Abigail, Nabal's wife, was a woman of good understanding (1 Sam.
25:3). In contrast, her husband was churlish and evil in his deeds.
We show sound judgment and prudence in yielding to the will of God.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good
understanding have all they that do his commandments” (Psa. 111:10).
"Obedience to God proves that our judgment is sound. Why should he
not be obeyed? Does not reason itself claim obedience for the Lord
of all? Only a man void of understanding will ever justify rebellion
against the holy God. Practical godliness is the test of wisdom. Men
may know and be very orthodox, they may talk and be very eloquent,
they may speculate and be very profound; but the best proof of their
intelligence must be found in their actually doing the will of the
Lord" (C.H. Spurgeon).
Giving of Favor
It is a fact that good understanding gives favor. "A man shall be
commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse
heart shall be despised" (Prov. 12:8). Favor and good understanding
are connected in Proverbs 3:4.
Joseph gained favor with Pharaoh, king of Egypt, through sound
judgment and prudence. Pharaoh remarked concerning Joseph, "Can we
find such a one as this is, a man in whom the spirit of God is?" He
said to Joseph, "There is none so discreet and wise as thou art"
Daniel gained favor with Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, through
wisdom and good understanding. In all matters of wisdom and
understanding, the king found Daniel and his three companions ten
times better than all the magicians and astrologers in his realm
The youthful years of Jesus are summed up in Luke 2:52: "And Jesus
increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."
Wise judgment is appreciated by right-thinking people. Good
understanding brings esteem, honor, admiration, and respect.
The Hebrew word for "transgresssors" in our text is bagad.
It is a term pointing to such as deal deceitfully or treacherously.
It appears in Psalm 119:158, which says, "I beheld the
transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word." It
is used in Isaiah 21:2 where the prophet said, "the treacherous
dealer dealeth treacherously."
Our text refers especially to the unfaithful, the offensive, the
treacherous. The New American Standard Bible renders it, "Good
understanding produces favor, But the way of the treacherous is
A Hard Way
The course of transgressors is rugged and rough. Often there is
violence. "A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the
soul of the transgressors shall eat violence" (Prov. 13:2).
Many transgressors have no compassion. ". . . The manner in which
they transact with men, is stiff, as hard as stone, and repulsive;
they follow selfish views, never placing themselves in sympathy with
the condition of their neighbour; they are without the tenderness
which is connected with fine culture; they remain destitute of
feeling in things which, as we say, would soften a stone" (F.
The way of transgressors is hard because the pleasures of sin are
for limited duration and are deceitful. How dreadful to reach the
end of life and realize that one has taken the road to perdition.
Transgression brings suffering, not only to the transgressor, but
even to his family and friends in many cases. Some have plunged
headlong into some wicked act without stopping to think of the
consequences. Innocent people are hurt. Although the sin may be
forgiven, some of its effects may never be erased during the
lifetime of the offender.
No relief is in sight for one who continues in transgression.
Sometimes one treacherous act leads to another, and then another.
Deeper and deeper into evil plunges the unfaithful person. He heaps
misery on top of misery. Guilt weighs heavily until his conscience
becomes as hardened as the stones along a rugged path.
The narrow way that leads to life requires sacrifice, self-denial,
and discipline. But there is no road as rough as that which the
— Via the Guardian of Truth XXX: 13, p. 393, July 3, 1986
Correct Me, O Lord
“I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself, nor is it in a
man who walks to direct his steps” (Jer 10:23).
We are simply not capable of navigating our own way through
life. God is the potter, we are the clay, and we desperately
need Him to mold us (Jer 18:1-6). Trying to take control of
our own lives has just ruined the original beauty that God had
envisioned for us. “All of us like sheep have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way…” (Isa 53:6). God had a
safe path plotted out for us, but we refused to listen to His
guidance. We have rejected the narrow way for an easier road
of our own devising. With the world cheering us on all around,
we rush headlong toward destruction (Matt 7:13-14).
Yet, trusting our own instincts we are often blissfully unaware of
the danger we are in. “There is a way which seems right to a
man, but its end is the way of death!” (Prov 14:12). We
convince ourselves that we have it all under control. Stop and
ask for directions? Never! In our certainty we forget
the warning of Jeremiah. “The heart is more deceitful than all
else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer
17:9). Is it possible that our heart is deceiving us? Is
it possible that we are mistaken? Maybe we don’t have it all
figured out and under control. Maybe we need help.
Recognizing we cannot direct our own steps, we must cry out with the
prayer of Jeremiah: “Correct me, O LORD, but with justice; not with
Your anger, or You will bring me to nothing” (Jer 10:24). Yes,
we need correction. We need God to show us where we are
deceiving ourselves. With His help we can stop covering up and
minimizing our faults. We can rather expose and address them.
This process is not quick and painless. It is very difficult
to see ourselves the way God sees us and constantly grapple with our
insufficiencies. Yet, this struggle is exactly what we should
expect traveling along the narrow way. And we can find comfort
in God’s grace. He does not correct us in anger, but in
love. He is always there to pick us up when we fall and
strengthen us to press on to higher ground. Though we
continually fall short of His perfect character, He has made a way
for us to bridge the gap through Jesus (Rom 3:23-24).
The important thing is that we never harden our heart to His
correction. It’s when we are most at ease in our faith that we
are most at danger (1 Cor 10:13). We must allow God’s word
to function as a mirror, showing us what corrections need to
be made (James 1:23-25). We must allow it to function as a
scalpel, opening up the innermost thoughts of our hearts (Heb
4:12). Like Jeremiah, we must pray for and welcome God’s
correction at all times, because there is no doubt we need it.
— Via the Kirkwood church of Christ, July 10, 2017
News & Notes
Folks to be praying for:
Shirley Davis’ heel has not yet healed from the ulcer.
She is still in need of a right knee replacement, but doesn't feel
strong enough for it right now. It is hard for her to get around.
Eva Mabry and Stephanie Fals are in the hospital and
have requested prayer.
Jan Bartlett has decided to take follow-up treatments, as a
safety precaution, following her recent surgery that eliminated
Melontine Davis thinks she might hear this week of when her
upcoming surgery will be on her herniated disk.
Let us also continue to remember in prayer: Barbara Thompson,
Rick Cuthbertson, Jim Lively; Pat & A.J. Joyner; James,
Bennie, Deborah, and Penny Medlock; Mary Vandevander; and
Rex and Frankie Hadley.
WordPress version of this bulletin:
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that
is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ
(John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5;
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom.
10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the
remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4;
Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be
lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00
a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912)
http://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with
pictures in WordPress)
(Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but
back to March 1990)