Many Christians have for their life verse Proverbs 3:5-6:

    “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

If you haven’t already done so this morning, I encourage you to read all of Proverbs 3, which is the proverb for the day. In its totality this is a very powerful chapter and particularly the succeeding verse of the passage above.

    “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil.” (Proverbs 3:7)

Fifteen simple words if followed would simplify people’s lives in ways they cannot even imagine.

The first half Solomon warns against conceit, which is an exaggerated opinion of oneself. The Bible is filled with verses that speak out against conceit, but I particularly like what Paul wrote to the Galatian church:

    “For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Galatians 6:3)

If I envision myself to have anything good outside of the grace of God I am a fool; I am deceiving myself. This type of behavior is destructive:

    “Do not be overly righteous, nor be overly wise: why should you destroy yourself?” (Ecclesiastes 7:16)

The second part of Proverbs 3:7 has a two-part warning; fear God and shun evil. Fearing God is often misunderstood to mean I am afraid of God. That is not what Solomon is saying here; he is telling us to have reverence for God. Now part of reverence is to be fearful of the consequences of violating God’s law; I do not want to underplay that. However, if we truly love our Heavenly Father, similar to how we love our earthly fathers, then we will not disobey Him out of a desire to be pleasing to Him. This has been required of us from the beginning:

    “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)

The second part of this warning is with what I want to end this morning: shunning evil.

I cannot tell you all the times I have tried to justify evil behavior or ask what I should do when the Word clearly teaches us how to deal with sin. Remember this one?

    “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8-10)

It may just be me, but I don’t think that passage requires a theology degree to figure out what it is saying. Sin must be confessed; and if we try to pretend we haven’t sinned or convolute what sin is, then we are deceivers. And worse than that, we make Jesus out to be a liar and His Living Word is not living inside of us.

That, my dear brothers and sisters, is a bad place to be. I know; I’ve visited that hellish pit too many times.

Do you have unconfessed sin?

Are you walking around today trying to justify some sinful behavior, coming up with twenty reasons why “I think the Lord would understand” about your sin?

Don’t be a fool.

Confess your sin because we have a Savior who is faithful and just to forgive us our sin. Isn’t that wonderful news?

Oh but wait, it gets better!

He, our wonderful Jesus, will cleanse us from all, that is ALL, unrighteousness.

If that won’t make you depart from evil, then I don’t know what will.

In Christ
Ps. 37:4

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    Copyright © 2010 David Jeffers


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