The Wounds of a Friend

Proverbs 27:5-6 ESV

“Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”

In America we live in an era in our society as well as within much of today’s church (or what is falsely called “church”) where open rebuke, i.e. speaking the truth in love to one another is frowned upon, and where dishonesty and false compliments are encouraged. And so if you are someone who takes the Scriptures seriously, and who takes your role within the body of Christ seriously, and so you are actually doing what the Scriptures teach us to do, then you are probably going to be frowned upon, too.

So, if you are someone who speaks the truth in love to your fellow Christians, and who exhorts other believers in Christ so that they are not hardened by sin’s deceitfulness, and who warns against false teachers and false gospels, so that your brothers and sisters in Christ are not led astray by those who are cunning, and crafty, and deceitful in their scheming, then you are likely to be rebuked and asked to stop or else you may be called out as being a disunifier or as someone who is negative and to be avoided.

For there is a huge push today to say only pleasant things, happy things, things which make people feel good, and which do not offend people. And so if you actually do what the Scriptures teach that we, as the body of Christ, are to do with and for and to one another, you might be considered strange, or as an oddball, or as someone who is hyper-religious or crazy or out of touch with reality, etc. For we are to be exhorting one another and urging one another to live holy lives for the glory of God.

And we are to also be warning one another against walking in deliberate and habitual sin, and of its consequences, if that is the course any of us ends up taking instead of following Jesus in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). And we are to be encouraging one another to study the Scriptures in their context and to seek God’s face and his truth and to be testing what we hear and read against the Scriptures, in context, so that we don’t end up embracing the lies and rejecting the truth.

And although we will not be largely accepted, and we will probably face much opposition, rejection, and persecution, it is considered loving to speak the truth in love, and it is not regarded as loving to hide the truth from people out of fear that they may reject you or because you fear having your own motives and actions discovered. That is selfish. And lying to people, even if you mask it as being kind, is never kind. Even “white lies,” which are still lies, are not kind, but they are usually said from selfish motives.

[Romans 12:1-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; Ephesians 4:1-16; Ephesians 5:17-21; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 3:13; Philippians 2:1-8; Hebrews 10:23-25]

Proverbs 27:8,12,19,20 ESV

“Like a bird that strays from its nest
is a man who strays from his home.”
“The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.”
“As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man.
Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
and never satisfied are the eyes of man.”

In America we also live in a culture and within the gatherings of what is called “church” where sin is running rampant, and where church discipline is severely lacking, and where the gospel of our salvation is being diluted in order to appease human flesh so that the sinner does not feel judged and therefore does not get offended. But he also doesn’t leave his life of sin behind him to follow Jesus in obedience, for so many preachers and teachers are telling them that they do not have to repent or obey the Lord.

And since those who are still teaching/sharing the true gospel, and who are calling out sin and lies, and who are calling for repentance and obedience to our Lord, are largely being vilified and ignored and/or rejected, then sin is going to run rampant. And this is true especially since many people don’t want to hear the truth. They don’t want to be confronted in their sins. They are against open rebuke and the faithful wounds of a friend and they promote keeping those things to ourselves, and the kisses of an enemy.

And so statistics (on the internet) have it that as high as 75% of men who call themselves Christians are regularly engaged in viewing lewd and obscene material (pornography), and that about 35 to 45% of pastors are also regularly engaged in viewing what is sexually seductive and intended to arouse them sensually to lust and to engage in other sinful behaviors. And with so many people possessing smart phones, which are pocket computers, this opens up a whole world of evil to people to get involved in.

And this is not exclusive to men, but the stats are much higher for men that they are for women, but that doesn’t mean women are not engaged in other sinful behaviors habitually and deliberately. But the thing of it is that those who profess Christ as Savior appear to largely be living no different from those who make no profession of faith in Christ, and sin is running rampant in the church, and it is being given a blessing by the diluted gospel that they are largely teaching. And so the American church is largely on a huge moral and spiritual decline.

And this is a very sad reality. But this is one of the reasons why the Lord Jesus has called me to write these devotions each day, and to share the truth of the gospel, because so many professers of Christ are believing a lie while rejecting the truth. And the Scriptures teach that if we walk in sin, and sin is our practice, and righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, then we do not have eternal life with God, and heaven is not our eternal destiny (home), regardless of what our lips profess.

So, we need to take this to heart, and we need to know what the Scriptures teach, for we are all going to have to stand before our Lord one day and be judged by our works (our deeds). And those who sow to the flesh, will reap corruption (destruction, death), and those who sow to the Spirit, will reap eternal life. For how we live and what we do matters for eternity. For not everyone who says to Jesus, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father (Matthew 7:21-23).

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Full Release

An Original Work / April 15, 2012

Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.

Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
through salvation,
By His Spirit, from above.

Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.

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