Category Archives: Harvest Baptist Church

Proverbs 27:2 – There are few things as repulsive as a man or woman who glories in boasting their own achievements.

Proverbs-27-Verse-2pThe Book of Proverbs is a king’s instructions to his son.  On several occasions we have read proverbs where Solomon expressed a concern that the heart of his son might be lifted up in pride. Born into a household of wealth and privilege, I can imagine how easy it would be for a young prince to be carried away by the grandeur of the palace and servants ready to do his beckoning.

Solomon urged his son to understand how uncomely it is for a man to praise himself [or as some say, “beat his own drum”].

Proverbs 27:2“Let another man praise [boast; celebrate; sing your praises] thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips [speech].”

There are few things as repulsive as a man or woman who glories in boasting their own achievements. It is the nature of man to “proclaim every one his own goodness” (Proverbs 20:6), but such a man has forgotten the raw clay out of which he was self-centeredtaken. Praise and acknowledgement is rewarding, but they ring hollow when expressed by our own lips.

Why is this self-congratulatory spirit so distasteful to man and inappropriate before God?

Answer – Because it is not the Spirit of God, but the spirit of the devil.  Notice in the following passage the number of times Satan, here addressed as the fallen angel Lucifer, boasts with the personal pronoun “I”.

Isaiah 14:12-15 – “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15  Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

it's all about meHow much of your conversations with others is focused on yourself? Are you given to bragging and boasting? Look at your Facebook page, pictures and blog and be honest about where you tend to focus. The ugly little secret is—others have already noticed how much of your life is self-focused.

Proverbs 24:3-4 – Any fool can father a child.

farmhouse1I have had the opportunity to tear down a few buildings in my lifetime and do some home renovations. I remember as a boy, assisting my dad with tearing down a couple of old weathered, clapboard-sided farmhouses whose wood Dad recycled to build barns on our property in the country.  Unlike a contractor who follows meticulously drawn blueprints when building a house, my dad’s de-construction required little more than hammers, ladders and blunt physical force!

Solomon, using the analogy of building a house, emphasizes the necessity of exercising wisdom and understanding when building a life and family.

Proverbs 24:3“Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:”

If you will allow me a frank observation: Any fool can father a child and start a family; however, a wise man knows that to build a family requires commitment, wisdom, discernment jesse jacksonand understanding.  Sadly, our society faces the challenge of having few who have any concept of the personal discipline and sacrifice required to make a house a home!  The majority lacks the wisdom and discernment only God can give (James 1:5).

For the sake of application, let’s take the house in verse 3 as an allegory of one’s personal life and family. The question that should follow is, “How would wisdom and understanding have us to furnish this house?”  Proverbs 24:4 answers that question.

Proverbs 24:4“And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”

I confess I lack my wife’s vision and motivation when it comes to decorating. Four walls, a roof that does not leak and a floor that is clean are plenty! Add a comfortable chair and I am content.  Sheilah, however, has an eye for style, furnishings and placement. She is able to take a chamber, add a few furnishings, and make our house a comfortable, attractive home!decorating

The house and chambers Solomon is portraying represent a life or family built by godly wisdom.  Spiritual understanding is the foundation of the home and the knowledge of God and His Word are the furnishings. Where can you attain such furnishings for your life and family? Answer—The Word of God!

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

The disciplined study and application of the golden nuggets of wisdom from Proverbs is a great beginning!  Remember—A fool can start a family, but a wise man meticulously follows God’s blueprint for a building a home.  

Psalm 119:9-11 – “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. 10  With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. 11  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”blueprints

Proverbs 13:1-3 – Bite Your Tongue

Power-of-wordsYou will notice that Proverbs 13 continues with Solomon’s familiar form—using the conjunction “but” to draw a contrast between two opposing thoughts. For today, we will focus on the power of the tongue to bless or to destroy.

Solomon exhorts his son to be a “wise son” and heed his father’s instructions, unlike the scorner who scoffs at loving discipline and correction (13:1).  Solomon exhorts his son to consider the influence of a man’s words and conversation. Words are powerful and the force of them, for good or evil, can shadow a person for a lifetime!  Notice that a man’s words can minister grace and kindness or provoke violence and conflict. Solomon writes:

Proverbs 13:2 –A man shall eat [consume; devour] good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul [desire] of the transgressors shall eat violence.”

     

The words of a good man are a blessing, like fruit to a hungry soul. However, the words_can_hurt_or_heal_smallwords of the wicked alienate and promote strife.  Many families have suffered alienation of loved ones and wasted precious years because of words spoken in anger and haste. Comprehending the power of words, Solomon exhorts his son to guard his lips and restrain his mouth for the sake of his testimony and reputation.

Proverbs 13:3 – “He that keepeth [bridles; watches] his mouth keepeth [preserves] his life [Guard your lips]: but he that openeth wide his lips [a big mouth; rash with words] shall have destruction [come to ruin].”

A man who opens his mouth without weighing his words sows the seeds that lead to his own destruction (13:3b).

What a practical truth for us all.  We would spare our loved ones and ourselves a lot of sorrow if we would learn to bridle our lips!  Too many families have suffered irreparable harm because of ill-advised words and proud, unrepentant spirits.

tongueJames 1:26“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”

The Birth of a Church…And How You Can Help Today!

church-planting_thumb I was tempted to begin this special announcement with the header: “We’re Having a Baby!”; however, I was afraid that phrase would take flight before someone read the context and Sheilah would kill me [meaning this brief blog would be followed by my obituary]!

I am excited to announce that Dennis and Melanie Rodgers, Hillsdale’s northwest church planting missionaries, have rented a building for their Bible study family and “Harvest Baptist Church” is being born…and you can help!

Rodgers church plantTransitioning from a Bible study group to a congregation with regular services requires more than a building. The following are items needed immediately for this infant church: Chairs ($2,000), tables ($150), sound system ($500), Piano/keyboard ($250), projector screen ($115), Communion set, table and linens ($430), misc Nursery items ($550), Children’s ministry furniture ($550), church signs ($250), Curtains/Decor ($150), American flag ($130) and custodial items that include vacuum and brooms ($150).

You can give special gifts to assist the birth of this church in several ways: 1) Go to Hillsdale’s website [http://hillsdalebaptist.org] and click on the Donations tab at the top of the page and designate a special gift; 2) Mail a check to Hillsdale Baptist Church and designate it for the Rodgers’ Church plant;  3) Rodgers pictureDesignate a special offering on your church envelope this Sunday for the Rodgers’ church plant.

Join Hillsdale Baptist Church as we celebrate the birth of  Harvest Baptist Church on the Idaho/Washington state line near Pullman, WA!