8 Quotes Worth Studying From “Proverbs”

ProverbsIn my review of Proverbs by Charles Bridges (which you can read by clicking here), I noted how he weaved the principles in the biblical book of Proverbs into the teaching that occurs throughout the Scripture. In others words, he showed that the wisdom in Proverbs wasn’t just a “stand-alone” wisdom, but integrated into the whole.

In the quotes I’m sharing today, I trust you will get a glimpse of what I mean. The reference in brackets before the quote indicate the Proverb to which Bridges is commenting. I have also linked all of the Scripture references to my friends at Bible Gateway, so you can look them up easily (and I encourage you to do so!).

[Proverbs 1:10-16] “If the temptation prevail, charge it not on God; no—nor on the devil. As the worst he can do, he can only tempt, he cannot force us, to sin. When he has plied us with his utmost power, and most subtle artifice, it is at the choice of our own will, whether we yield or no (see James 1:13-15). The habitual resistance of the will clears us of responsibility (cp. Romans 7:14-17, 19-20, 23). The consent, even if it be not carried out into the act, lays the responsibility at our own door.”

[Proverbs 2:10-11] “The forsaken sin only makes way for some more plausible, but not less deadly passion. The heart, cast into the mold of the Gospel, is the only cover from those snares within and without (Romans 6:17, 18; 2 Corinthians 3:18), which so imperceptibly, yet so fatally, estrange us from God. Never, till the vital principle is implanted, is their mischief discerned. Never, till then, does the heart find its proper object, its true resting-place.”

[Proverbs 3:5-6] “Take one step at a time, every step under Divine warrant and direction (cp. Ezekiel 18:21-23; Nehemiah 1:11). Ever plan for yourself in simple dependence on God. It is nothing less than self-idolatry to conceive that we can carry on even the ordinary matters of the day without His counsel. He loves to be consulted. Therefore, take all thy difficulties to be resolved by Him. Be in the habit of going to Him in the first place—before self-will, self-pleasing, self-wisdom, human friends, convenience, expediency. Before any of these have been consulted, go to God at once. Consider no circumstances too clear to need His direction. In all thy ways, small as well as great; in all thy concerns, personal or relative, temporal or eternal, let Him be supreme.”

[Proverbs 3:11-12] “Faith understands the reasons of the discipline (1 Peter 1:6, 7); acknowledges it as a part of His gracious providence (Deuteronomy 8:2, 15, 16), and the provision of His everlasting covenant (Psalm 89:30-32); waits to see the end of the Lord (James 5:11); and meanwhile draws its main support from the seal of adoption.”

[Proverbs 4:14-17] “To pray not to be led into temptation; yet not to watch, that we enter not into it (Matthew 6:13; 26:41)—is practically to contradict our prayers; to mock our God, by asking for what we do not heartily wish.”

[Proverbs 11:18-19] “Righteousness is the seed; happiness is the harvest. The reward indeed is not from cause, but of consequence; not of debt, but of grace depending upon a free promise; mercifully yet surely linked with Christian perseverance (Ecclesiastes 11:6; Hosea 10:12; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:7, 8).”

[Proverbs 17:22] “If then, Christian, you believe the Gospel to be ‘glad tidings’ (Luke 1:19; 8:1), show that you believe it, by lighting up your face with a smile.”

[Proverbs 28:13] “The love of sin struggles with the power of conscience. The door of access to God is barred (Psalm 66:18). Christian confidence is clouded (Psalm 32:3, 4); and, unless Sovereign mercy interpose, it must end in the sting of ‘the never-dying worm’ (Isaiah 66:24; Mark 9:44-48). The covering of the disease precludes the possibility of the cure. Only the penitent confessor can be the pardoned sinner.”

“The best work on the Proverbs. While explaining the passage in hand, he sets other portions of the Word in new lights.” —C.H. Spurgeon, commenting on this book

William Tyndale & Charles Spurgeon On Sacred Words And Deeds

William TyndaleThis morning in my message, we looked at the example of William Tyndale.

William Tyndale believed the Bible should be read by all (not just by the “enlightened” clergy), and he undertook the process of translating the Hebrew and Greek into English. In the preface to the first five books of the Old Testament, he wrote, “I had perceived by experience, how that it was impossible to stablish the lay people in any truth, except the Scripture were plainly laid before their eyes in their mother tongue, that they might see the process, order, and meaning of the text.”

  • The clergy tried to intimidate Tyndale into stopping his work, but he said, “I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plough to know more of the Scripture, than he doust.”
  • Eventually he was put on trial for heresy, where he was also accused of trying to profit from his work. He replied, “I call God to record against the day we shall appear before our Lord Jesus, that I never altered one syllable of God’s Word against my conscience, nor would do this day, if all that is in earth, whether it be honor, pleasure, or riches, might be given me.”
  • Ultimately Tyndale was strangled to death, and then burned at the stake. But his dying words were, “Lord, open the eyes of the king.”

William Tyndale was notable in his struggle to break down the unbiblical clergy/laity (or sacred/secular) divide. Another great man who addressed this topic over 300 years after the death of Tyndale was Charles Spurgeon—

C.H. Spurgeon“To a man who lives unto God nothing is secular, everything is sacred. He puts on his workday garment and it is a vestment to Him. He sits down to his meal and it is a sacrament. He goes forth to his labor, and therein exercises the office of the priesthood. His breath is incense and his life a sacrifice. He sleeps on the bosom of God, and lives and moves in the divine presence. …The Lord hath cleansed your houses, He has cleansed your bed chambers, your tables, your shops, He has made the bells upon your horses holiness to the Lord, He has made the common pots and pans of your kitchens to be as the bowls before the altar, if you know what you are and live according to your high calling. You housemaids, you cooks, you nurses, you ploughmen, you housewives, you traders, you sailors, your labor is holy if you serve the Lord Christ in it, by living unto Him as you ought to live. The sacred has absorbed the secular.”

Links & Quotes

link quote

“The question, then, isn’t, ‘when am I going to get promoted?’ No, I think the question is, ‘will I grab these openings to become someone who’s already doing work at a higher level?’” Read more from Seth Godin’s post.

“Faith is not a distant view but a warm embrace of Christ.” —John Calvin

“The honest truth is that I have seen God do more in people’s lives during ten minutes of real prayer than in ten of my sermons.” Read more of Jim Cymbala’s post The Day Jesus Got Mad.

“Success is a tale of obstacles overcome, and for every obstacle overcome, an excuse not used.” —Robert Brault

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Wishing is not enough; we must do.” —Goethe

“The good news of the Bible is that God is not at all disinclined to satisfy the hearts of those who hope in Him. Just the opposite: The very thing that can make us happiest is what God delights in with all His heart and with all His soul. With all His heart and with all His soul, God joins us in the pursuit of our everlasting joy because the consummation of that joy in Him redounds to the glory of His own infinite worth.” —John Piper

You may need to bookmark this: 15 Scriptures on starting over.

60+ eminent legal scholars call on elected officials to not recognize the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision on homosexual “marriage.”

Another place to reject culture’s language is on the issue of abortion.

Jeff Jacoby has an important look at Christopher Columbus.


Light And Truth—The Gospels (book review)

Light and Truth GospelsI love reading the “old guys.” I mean the ones who have stood the test of time, and their lives have backed up their writing. Recently I just finished going through the Gospels in my personal Bible reading time, and I did so with the help of Horatius Bonar, a very notable old guy.

Horatius Bonar was a pastor in the mid- to late-1800s in Scotland. He came from a family tree loaded with pastors, and this rich heritage shines brightly in his writings! In Light And Truth, Dr. Bonar doesn’t shine a light on the Scripture, but he points out where the light is already shining brightly.

Light And Truth is not a verse-by-verse commentary on the Scripture, but more of a theme-by-theme commentary. Bonar dives deep into the biblical account of the life of Jesus. Sometimes he elaborates on a well-known Gospel story, and sometimes he turns his attention to an aspect that not many people would notice.

Light And Truth is not meant to be read in place of the Bible (like a devotional book might be), but alongside the Bible. Allowing Dr. Bonar to show you the light and truth he has seen in the Gospels will add a richness and depth to your own Bible reading.

Thursdays With Oswald—Quick Snippets

Oswald ChambersThis is a periodic series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Quick Snippets 

(Normally I share a longer passage from Oswald Chambers, but his book Disciples Indeed contains so many short, power-packed statements, that I wanted to share a few of those with you.) 

  • “If we understood what happens when we use the Word of God, we would use it oftener.” 
  • “Everything the devil does, God over-reaches to serve His own purpose.”
  • “There is nothing so still and gentle as the checks of the Holy Spirit if they are yielded to, emancipation is the result; but let them be trifled with, and there will come a hardening of the life away from God.”
  • “My conscience makes me know what I ought to do, but it does not empower me to do it.”
  • “In the moral realm if you don’t do things quickly you will never do them.”
  • “Second thoughts on moral matters are always the deflections.”
  • “The greatest test of Christianity is the wear and tear of daily life, it is like the shining of silver, the more it is rubbed the brighter it grows.”
  • “We have to do more than we are built to do naturally; we have to do all the Almighty builds us to do.”
  • “When I began to be satisfied with where I am spiritually, instantly I begin to degenerate.

Which of these is your favorite?

Preach Like John

John the BaptistThis is a post for my fellow preachers (but the rest of you are free to listen in as well).

When Jesus says someone is the greatest preacher in history, it gets my full attention. Think about what John didn’t have…

  • No church building
  • No platform or pulpit
  • No worship team
  • No sound system
  • No Logos software
  • No library or study
  • No commentaries
  • No PowerPoint or handouts

He only had the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.

His sermons were thoroughly grounded in Scripture (Luke 3:4-6).

His sermons were anointed by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:66).

His message was simple: “Repent from your sins, and produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:3, 8).

His messages prompted people to ask, “What should we do?” and he gave them Spirit-anointed answers (Luke 3:10-14).

His messages “exhorted the people” and brought “the good news to them” (Luke 3:18).

His sermons unashamedly called out sin (Luke 3:19).

And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (Luke 1:17)

Fellow preachers, may we be of the same spirit in our preaching!

Making Hearts Burn

Living WordThere is an interesting line the angels speak to the ladies who came to anoint Christ’s dead body in the tomb: “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5).

That phrase sums up much of our culture. People are looking for life, but they are looking for it among dead things. Wise King Solomon wrote that God has placed a God-shaped void in the heart of every human being (Ecclesiastes 3:11). But Solomon went on to say that anything “under the sun” that we try to use to fill that God-void will be utterly meaningless.

Peter wrote to aliens and strangers about living such good lives that will point people to God. This means Christians need to help people who are looking for the living among the dead see that real life is in Christ. To do this, we need to be immersed in the Living Word of God.

In the conversations after Christ’s resurrection, look at the references to God’s Living Word:

  • Remember how He told you … Then they remembered His words (Luke 24:6-8)
  • what was said in all the Scripture concerning Himself… (Luke 24:27)
  • …written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms … so they could understand the Scriptures ( Luke 24:44-45)

There is life in God’s Word! When the two disciples of Jesus remembered His Living Word, they said their hearts burned inside them (Luke 24:32).

If you want to help those searching for life to find it, let them hear God’s Living Word coming from your lips. This will make their hearts burn, and lead them to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

We will be continuing our series on Aliens And Strangers this Sunday, and I’d love to have you join me either in-person or on Periscope (search for @craigtowens).


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