Book Reviews From 2015

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

Proverbs (book review)

ProverbsWhat’s the difference between a travel agent and a tour guide? A travel agents simply points the way, a tour guide goes on the trip alongside you, pointing out things they’ve seen and experienced firsthand. I love reading the book of Proverbs in the Bible, but this time I read it with Charles Bridges’ book Proverbs as my tour guide.

Charles Bridges was a pastor par excellence who skillfully wove together supporting Scriptures to give a fuller picture of the particular text on which he was teaching. As a result, you are able to see more clearly how individual lines in each of the Proverbs was supported and integrated into other Scriptures, and how it was immediately applicable to daily life.

My only disappointment with this book is that Bridges only offers commentaries on 22 of the Proverbs. But what he does show is brilliant, and it gave me a new light for my own tour of the remaining Proverbs.

Check this book out the next time you would like to read the rich wisdom in the biblical Proverbs.

Links & Quotes

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“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.” —Charles Bridges

“God’s yardstick for measuring faithfulness is how faithful you are with your own gifts. You are not responsible for the nature of your gift. But you are responsible for how you use it!” —Max Lucado

J. Warner Wallace shares some of his favorite sources for Christians to make their case.

How to keep your gratitude going after Thanksgiving Day.

From Live Action: “Extremists have made the 2016 election about attacking reproductive rights,” Cecile Richards says in the video. “Enough is enough.” Yes, Ms. Richards—enough IS enough:

  • when it comes to the slaughter of preborn babies in the womb. (327,653 reported in their 2013-2014 annual report)
  • when it comes to harvesting their body parts for profit.
  • when it comes to $528 million tax dollars annually to the abortion chain while Planned Parenthood directors receive six digit salaries.
  • when it comes to Planned Parenthood pushing sexual deviancy on teens.
  • when Planned Parenthood covers up the sexual abuse of young girls.
  • when Planned Parenthood names its highest award after its founder, Margaret Sanger, a known Klan speaker and supporter of racist eugenics.
  • of ambulances summoned to Planned Parenthood due to abortion complications.
  • of the silence when Planned Parenthood leaves a Black woman on the table to bleed to death after an abortion.
  • of Planned Parenthood’s lies.
  • nearly one-quarter of all Planned Parenthood’s revenue comes from abortions.

[VIDEO] I like what Barnabas Piper says about how the church should handle questions—

4 Reasons Why God’s Way Is Better

Notice the contrasts (see the conjunction “but”) in these wise words from King Solomon—

For the Lord detests a perverse man but takes the upright into His confidence.

The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the righteous.

He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.

The wise inherit honor, but fools He holds up to shame. (Proverbs 3:32-35)

Solomon is inviting us to compare God’s way with our way.

God's way or man's way

Looking at this, it’s not too hard to figure out which way is the better way to live! 

Charles Bridges commented on these verses, “The value of our inheritance is beyond all price; its happiness unspeakable; its security unchangeable; its duration eternity. The wise shall inherit glory. ‘They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament for ever and ever’ (Daniel 12:3; Matthew 13:43).”

(To download a PDF version of the chart above, click here → God’s way or man’s way)

Links & Quotes

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“How may I tell when satan hinders me? I think you may tell thus: first by the object. satan’s object in hindering us is to prevent our glorifying God. If anything has happened to you which has prevented your growing holy, useful, humble, and sanctified, then you may trace that to satan. If the distinct object of the interference to the general current of your life has been that you may be turned from righteousness into sin, then from the object you may guess the author.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Every step on satan’s ground deprives us of the security of the promises of God. Often has ruin followed by not refraining from the first step (cp. Mark 14:54, 71). The only safety is in flight (Genesis 39:10, 12). Run then into ’thy hiding-place, and behind thy shield,’ and boldly bid thy tempter ‘depart from thee’ (Psalm 119:114, 115; cp. Matthew 4:10).” —Charles Bridges

“The corruption of the first sinner consists not in choosing some evil thing (there are no evil things for him to choose) but in preferring a lesser good (himself) before a greater (God).” —C.S. Lewis

“We may think we’re living in dark days, that things are going from bad to worse, and there’s no end in sight. But the truth is just the opposite. satan is back on his heels, bound and reeling; the rulers of this world are deceived and deceiving; the Church is complacent, at least in the West, but always a spiritual tinder box, ready for a new spark of the Spirit; and the Kingdom of God is advancing wherever men and women cling to Jesus’ compelling vision and seek the Kingdom of God as their highest priority in life.” —T.M. Moore

“Science and research are proving that porn harms the brain, damages relationships, and is also linked to prostitution and sex trafficking. Porn is a fantasy that is proven to make it harder for users to have real loving relationships.” Read more reasons why pornography is harmful.

Pastors, check out Rev. Dave Barringer’s spot-on post: confronting the diva pastor.

Sheriff David Clarke has some facts that refute the “Black Lives Matter” chatter.

[VIDEO] Ted Cruz is exactly right. The media doesn’t care about substance, but about style—

Bright Lamps

photoPastor, please carefully consider these words from Charles Bridge (1794-1869)—

“It is indeed a ‘neglect of the gift of God that is in us,’ to trifle either in the study or in the pulpit. God will bless our endeavors—not our idleness. Our Master, and our people for our Master’s sake, have a just claim to our best time and talents, our most matured thoughts, and most careful studies. To venture upon this infinite work of God with slender furniture, proves a guilty unconcern to our high responsibility.” 

These words remind me of Christ’s words at the end of the parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Luke 12): Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their Master to return.

We cannot be idle. Even our “down time” should be preparation time for renewed ministry.

Don’t neglect the gift God has given you to minister to others, to glorify Him, and to be a servant working to hear his Master say, “Well done!”

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