The Good Man by Mike Waters
In the book of Proverbs, we find an interesting statement concerning the man with whom God will be pleased: “A good man will obtain favor from the Lord, but He will condemn a man who devises evil” (Proverbs 12:2). This verse can serve as a powerful motivator for the Christian if properly understood. It will be the purpose of this article to discuss both the meaning and the implications of this simple passage.
Who is the good man? Very simply, it is the man who exercises his free will choice to do good. Jesus set an example for us in this area as “He went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). The good man of the Proverb is the one who seeks to imitate his Lord in this regard. Jesus sought the welfare of others—He was concerned about the spiritual and physical afflictions of mankind.
The good man is also defined by way of contrast. Specifically, his character is set against the man who devises evil. The latter chooses to act with evil motives. He plans to do that which is contrary to the will of God. Oftentimes, his actions are harmful to others.
How do we know when we are doing good? We are doing good when we follow the directives of God. When we study the Scriptures we will find ourselves “equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17). The Bible provides commandments, principles, and examples that instruct us in the good that God expects of us.
Thus, the Proverb writer challenges us to seek out God’s will as revealed in the Scriptures. We then choose to do the good works as defined by God. In so doing, we become the good man of Proverbs 12:2.
Now, let us consider the implications of this verse. In this Proverb, we find both positive and negative consequences that result from our actions. Once again, the outcome will be based upon our decisions.
If we choose to do good, then we will obtain favor from the Lord. Does this mean that life will always “work out” as we desire? No. In fact, adversity may be what we need most to draw us closer to God. At times, the favor of God may come in the form of suffering that “yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:11).
Receiving favor from the Lord may, at other times, be in the form of material blessing. In his epistle to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul encouraged the brethren to give of their means to assist the needy saints in Jerusalem. This was certainly doing good. God’s favor would result in their financial prosperity: “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness” (2 Corinthians 9:10).
The negative side of the Proverb is expressed as receiving condemnation from God. Again, this is the consequence of an intentional choice to do evil (in contrast to good). Those who choose this path of life have not taken time to seriously consider what it means to receive God’s condemnation. Condemn is a very powerful word. Given that the creator of the universe is the source of this condemnation, the implications of this statement become even more frightening.
We grow spiritually as we reflect upon God’s love, mercy, and compassion; at the same time, it is profitable to soberly meditate upon the condemnation (or judgment) of God. Consider the following: “There will tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil . . . For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries . . . It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God: (Romans 2:9; Hebrews 10:26-27, 31).
In conclusion, use the principles set forth in this Proverb as a means of positive motivation. Choose to do good while abstaining from evil. Plan works that will result in God’s favor. Your life will be blessed and you will be a blessing to others!
In the article below, Brother Lynn Huggins helps us to explore the reasons we attend (or fail to attend) the services of the congregation where we are a member. Members failing to attend as they should is a problem in many, if not all congregations of the Lord's church. It is our hope that the thoughts presented below will help us all to see the importance of being at every service, but also to look more closely at the reasons why we should attend.
By E. Lynn Huggins
Why do you attend the assemblies and Bible class periods of the church? Someone answers, “To worship God and to be encouraged and edified.” Indeed, these are reasons we attend. We love God and want to worship Him, and we also desire to grow spiritually. We understand that attending the services of the church will help us to be what God wants us to be. The assemblies are provisions God has made to help us grow and become more like our Lord. But if these are the only reasons we believe we should attend the assemblies and Bible class periods of the church, we are failing in our attendance.
Another very important reason why the Lord calls upon us to attend the assemblies of the church is to exhort and encourage our brethren. We attend not just for ourselves, but also for one another. The reason the Hebrew writer tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together is because we are to “consider one another.” “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Heb. 10:24-25 NKJV; emphasis mine, elh) A Christian does not live on an island all by himself. A Christian lives in a world surrounded by other people, and some of those people are his brethren in the family of God. The Christian has special responsibilities (that God has placed upon him) to his brethren. “Love the brotherhood” (1 Peter 2:17); “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (Rom. 12:15); “warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.” (1 Thess. 5:14); “do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Gal. 6:10); “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…but exhorting one another” (Heb. 10:25) -- just to name a few. As we minister to our brethren, we are ministering to Jesus. Jesus said, “…inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” and “inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” (Read Matt. 25:34-46) When we attend the assemblies and Bible class periods on Sunday morning and Wednesday nights to encourage and exhort our brethren, we are ministering to Jesus. When we fail to attend and do not render encouragement and exhortation to our brethren, we fail in our service to Jesus.
A brother may say, “I can worship God at home, and I get more out of my own worship and Bible study at home than I do in the assemblies and Bible classes of the church.” If that be true, and if the only reasons to attend are to worship God and to be edified myself, then the brother may have a point. Why attend the assemblies of the church when it would be better for me to stay at home? But when I understand that I attend not just for myself, but for my brothers and sisters, then I will attend in order to be an encouragement to them. If the assemblies of the church are not that edifying, I should attend to help change what is lacking so that not only will I be edified, but my brethren will be edified also. My failure to attend will surely not solve the problem.
Others may say they don’t believe they have to be there on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights. How can a Christian say this knowing that his brothers and sisters in the family of God are there needing his encouragement and exhortation? If Jesus was there needing encouragement, would I then say I don’t have to be there? The fact is He is there. His body is there. His brethren are there. “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”
Why do you attend the assemblies and Bible class periods of the church? Or why do you not attend?
The Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is a part of the New Testament that has been misunderstood and misapplied by many in the world today. Brother Bill Hall, while working with the Westview church in Hartselle Alabama, presented a lesson in 2008 that gave an overview of this inspired writing. We encourage you download or listen to the sermon in our online sermon section, and hope that it will spur you on to further study of this very encouraging letter.
"Does God Approve of Homosexuality?"
Does God Approve of Homosexuality?
Homosexuals and lesbians are increasing rapidly in our society because the general public is accepting this "lifestyle" as an alternative to what they call "straight." This perverted sexuality is corrupting the minds and lives of our children and young people. It is growing among young people, in spite of venereal diseases that continue on the rise. Some denominational churches are accepting this as a way of life. A few liberal denominations are now encouraging those who are guilty of this sexual sin to be active members of their churches.
The drive of the Women’s Liberation Movement is to gain complete freedom and license for homosexual lifestyles in all parts of the country. "Marriages" of woman to woman and man to man are becoming more and more acceptable to some people of this nation. It is nauseating to those who revere God and love His word to witness these perverted "marriages" on television and read about them in the newspapers. It is surprising that some Methodists and Episcopal churches are promoting and encouraging these "marriages" of homosexuals. There is one certain thing about this: if they continue this lifestyle we will not have to worry about another generation of homosexuals because there will be no children from such marriages. They will have to depend on the copulation of a male and a female for their children.
God created the woman for the first man, to be a suitable helper for him. He created male and female and joined them together in what we call marriage. God created them in such a way that they could reproduce after their kind. He instituted marriage in which children could be conceived and born with the favor of God. Children can only come from the sexual union of a man and a woman. God further ordained that the man and the woman who cohabit to bring children into the world must first be joined by Him in marriage prior to conception.
Homosexual activity of both men and women is against nature. We are being flooded via news- papers, magazines, T. V., and radio that men and women are "created" with this desire, and that is proof that God sanctions that lifestyle. That is a lie! It is not scientific or logically true in any sense of the word. I know of none in the animal kingdom that engage in homosexual activity. Only the degenerate element of the human society boldly engages in such sin.
The word of God describes homosexual conduct in the first chapter of Romans. It is necessary to get the full context before the reader will understand the nature of this sin. If one believes there is a God, and accepts His word, he will know exactly what God thinks about this sin. Read carefully these verses from the pen of the inspired apostle Paul and see if you can find any approval from God for homosexuality.
Romans 1:22-32: "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."
This lifestyle is being accepted by a large segment of this nation because they think they have changed God to accept this practice. After all, most of them think that God is everywhere and is whatever they think Him to be. God is not affected with the desires of the flesh. That is the reason God is not tempted to do evil. James said: "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man . . ." (James 1:13). But man is led away into sin by his own lusts. "But everyman is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (James 1:14-15).
A common profane utterance is to speak of God as the "man upstairs" or the "old man in the sky." People who speak thus of God do not have a correct understanding of Him. "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent . . . " (Num. 23:19). Man does not think like God thinks; man's ways are not God's ways. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isa. 55:8-9).
We may be facing an increasing hostile society, whose honor and worship of their god of sexual lusts, greed, murder, blasphemy and all ungodliness will cause them to come upon those who believe in and honor the Almighty God in heaven with great wrath. We may find ourselves in jail. We may find ourselves without any property, without any money, but we had better keep doing what God says for us to do in the way He says to do it. GOD DOESN'T CHANGE! We are not going to change Him or remake Him into some other being because we are undergoing change ourselves. We do not change the compass when we get out to sea and find the compass is not reading like we want it to read. We do not make things right by bending the hand of the compass to make it point where we want it to point. We will not be going in the right way if we do. We do not change the calendar by just writing in another date. We do not change the word of God by trying to reform God into the image we want Him to be. That is a fatal mistake men are making. If we think the Godhead is like unto gold and silver, and we can change Him at will, we do not have an understanding of God, and we have missed it all the way along: we are reprobates by God's definition. And the heathen in the first chapter of Romans are exactly what that is.
Preacher of the Word (Vol. 1, July 28, 1996, #31
...And you fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4.
...Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Colossians 3:21
On this day when we as a nation remember and honor our fathers, let us who are fathers never forget the responsibility and duty that we have to our children. Let us resolve to begin anew today to set an example of faithful service to our God and to our families. Let us lead in the way of Joshua so that we can say as he did "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15
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Thank you for visiting our website!! We appreciate you for having stopped by!! Over time we plan to add more content, including making available audio files of the sermons that are presented at our regular services, and any Gospel Meetings that we have. Please come back again or better still, come visit with us at one of our regular assembly times. We meet each Lord's Day morning at 9:30 for a period of Bible study, and at 10:30 for worship. On Sunday evenings we meet at 5pm. On Wednesday evenings we meet at 7pm for another period of Bible study. You are always welcome!!!