Proverbs in Light of the Cross; Rebukes

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.. Proverbs 27:5-6 NLT

When I was about 9 or so I was playing soccer (futball) with my neighbor. An argument broke out about what the out of bounds markers were. It must have gotten a little out of hand, because my neighbor’s father came over and started lecturing us about sportsmanship. He was quite stern. So stern, I started thinking to myself, he’s not my dad! He can’t talk to me like that! Who does he think he is?

Later I read where Jesus said in Revelation 3:19 NLT

I correct and discipline everyone I love.

I realized how my neighbor’s father always made me feel like family. I was always over at their house watching soccer games together on TV. They took me to the lake and to the park. I was family! I realized my friend’s dad had a right to rebuke and lecture me because he cared about me!

They say rules without relationship leads to rebellion. Having rules and relationships make us feel loved and wanted. Years ago I went with the church youth group leader and the youth to a baseball game. The game went into extra innings. This was just before everyone and their dog had a cell phone, so I had the teens use the pay phones to call and let their parents know the game was going into extra innings and we would be back later. After several kids completed their calls, a girl called her mother. She hung up, and looked at the rest of the group with disappointment and hurt. It wasn’t that her mom was upset her daughter would be home late. The girl said, “My mom just chewed me out for waking her up.” The other kids looked at each other puzzled. Who chews their kid out for offering accountability? 

While none of the kids were rebuked or disciplined for the game going into extra innings, they were still offering accountability and recognizing boundaries in their relationship with their parents. I think the girl who got chewed out for waking her mother up, would rather have been rebuked for being out too late. At least then she would have known her mother cared!

With loving relationships comes rules, boundaries and accountability, which make us feel safe, secure and loved.

You may study this week’s lesson on Proverbs here.

Garments of Grace; From Exalted to CAST DOWN

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Study this week’s SS lesson here. Download the SS lesson guides to your cell phone here.

“Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee” (Ezekiel 28:15).

Some have the idea that we will keep sinning here on earth, and then when we  get to heaven our characters will be suddenly changed to where we can’t sin. They forget that heaven is exactly where sin began. The mystery of iniquity is when sin began in a perfect world. The mystery of godliness is when sin is overcome while living on a sinful planet. (See 2 Thessalonians 2:7 and Colossians 1:26-18.) Many people believe the solution to changing our sins is having a new nature and better flesh. However, Lucifer sinned with a perfect nature and Jesus lived a perfect life with a human nature.  Lucifer was not made a robot up in heaven. We are not robots here on earth and we never will be robots up in heaven. We always have had and always will have free choice. So how do we know sin will not occur again in heaven?  

The Spirit of Prophecy points out that whether we are in heaven or earth, there is only one solution for rebellion in the whole universe. “That which alone can effectually restrain from sin in this world of darkness, will prevent sin in heaven. The significance of the death of Christ will be seen by saints and angels. Fallen men could not have a home in the paradise of God without the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Shall we not then exalt the cross of Christ? The angels ascribe honor and glory to Christ, for even they are not secure except by looking to the sufferings of the Son of God. It is through the efficacy of the cross that the angels of heaven are guarded from apostasy. Without the cross they would be no more secure against evil than were the angels before the fall of Satan. Angelic perfection failed in heaven. Human perfection failed in Eden, the paradise of bliss. All who wish for security in earth or heaven must look to the Lamb of God. {Signs of the Times, Dec. 30 1889}

The plan of salvation, making manifest the justice and love of God, provides an eternal safeguard against defection in unfallen worlds, as well as among those who shall be redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Our only hope is perfect trust in the blood of Him who can save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. The death of Christ on the cross of Calvary is our only hope in this world, and it will be our theme in the world to come. Oh, we do not comprehend the value of the atonement! If we did, we would talk more about it. The gift of God in His beloved Son was the expression of an incomprehensible love. It was the utmost that God could do to preserve the honor of His law, and still save the transgressor.  {Our High Calling 45} 

 It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones. As we thus dwell upon His great sacrifice for us, our confidence in Him will be more constant, our love will be quickened, and we shall be more deeply imbued with His spirit. If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross.  {Desire of Ages 83

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 1 John 4:17

The solution for perfection in heaven is available here on earth.