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Issue 14, January 2010. Faith&Works. “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth” - Ecclesiastes 12:1. This Month. The writers and subjects for this month are: ► Bro. Joel Ritmeyer (SWYPG) Entitled “Practical lessons from the Proverbs” ► Works - Bro. John Emanuel (TFY)

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remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth ecclesiastes 12 1

Issue 14, January 2010

Faith&Works

“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth” - Ecclesiastes 12:1

slide2

This Month...

The writers and subjects for this month are:

► Bro. Joel Ritmeyer (SWYPG)

Entitled “Practical lessons from the Proverbs”

► Works - Bro. John Emanuel (TFY)

Will be leading us in “You are the Light of this World”, taken from Matt 5:14

practical lessons from proverbs

Email: [email protected]

Practical Lessons from Proverbs

Bro Joel Ritmeyer (SWYPG)

“Proverbs”

slide4

Introduction to Proverbs

  • The Bible tells us that Solomon was amongst the wisest men who have ever lived. It was under inspiration that Solomon and others wrote the Proverbs - a practical, personal and thought provoking book which provides the wisdom to guide us through life. Overall, the book contains advice on all aspects of life, including:
    • Our relationship with God
    • Relationships with one another
    • Friendships
    • Resisting temptation
    • Our attitude
    • Responsibilities
    • Dealing with money
    • Dealing in business
  • Proverbs is a guide book to life.

“Proverbs”

slide5

The Structure of Proverbs

The book of Proverbs was written by of a number of inspired authors. King Solomon did not write all of the Proverbs, but it is likely that he collated them all.

“Proverbs”

slide6

Comparisons in Proverbs

Proverbs contains many comparisons between extremities:

Note: The passages in bold are particularly good examples. The passages above are not an exhaustive list.

“Proverbs”

slide7

Knowledge, Understanding & Wisdom

  • There is a very strong theme in the book of Proverbs between knowledge, understanding and wisdom.
  • A good way to understand the difference between knowledge, understanding and wisdom is to consider the analogy of the traffic light. (I can’t take credit for this analogy as it is not mine!)
    • Knowledge is knowing the light is red.
    • Understanding is interpreting the knowledge to mean that the red light means you should stop.
    • Wisdom is applying the understanding and acting upon it – stopping.

“Proverbs”

slide8

The Fear of Yahweh

The very first Proverb in 1:7 states that \'the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…[whereas] fools despise wisdom and instruction.’

The word \'fear\' is the word ‘yireh’, which means a reverential fear, not an intimidating fear. Below and on the next slide are a series of Proverbs which show the power of the fear of Yahweh.

Prov. 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Prov. 19:23 The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.

“Proverbs”

slide9

The Fear of Yahweh

Prov. 10:27 The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.

Prov. 14:26 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

Prov. 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

Prov. 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

“Proverbs”

slide10

The Theme of Friendship

  • As mentioned earlier, Proverbs provides wisdom on a wide range of topics.
  • We are going to consider just one: Friendship.
  • Why do we need friends?
    • Prov. 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
  • Our friends have a huge influence on the type of people we can become. We need to consider who we spend our time with. Are we in good company? Are our friends positive or negative influences on us? Are we positive or negative influences on our friends?

“Proverbs”

slide11

Friendship

  • How do we make friends?
    • Prov. 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
  • To be a good friend we need to be friendly and approachable. But most importantly we need to support our friends in their time of need. A friendship is a two-way relationship – giving and taking. Christ taught that ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’ (Acts 20:35) and showed us the ultimate example of friendship:
    • John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

“Proverbs”

slide12

Friendship

  • What should we look for in a friend?
    • Prov. 19:6 Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.
  • Friends need to be willing to put in just as much or more than they take. Royalty, riches, position, reputation or any other selfish advantage should have nothing to do with the friendship.
    • Prov. 22:11 He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.
  • This verse directly contrasts the verse above. If we have a pure heart, not only will we be friends with princes, but also Kings!
  • Christ is our future King; we need to purify our hearts if we want him to consider us to be his friend.

“Proverbs”

slide13

Friendship

  • What should friends do for one another?
    • Prov. 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
  • Both a friend and a brother need to be there in times of difficulty. A brother is born to be there for his brother when he is faced with adversity.
    • Prov. 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
  • True friends do not always say the things that his/her friend wants to hear. They are saying them for their edification. On the other hand, the kisses of an enemy are false, deceitful and are only meant as a cover-up or are sometimes spiteful stabs in the back. Think of Judas…
    • Luke 22:48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?

“Proverbs”

slide14

Friendship

  • What should friends do for one another?
    • Prov. 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.
  • As friends we need to be ready to give sound, hearty counsel when a friend needs is. On the flip side, we need to be willing to accept wisdom and advice even when we don’t want to hear it.A good friend says what needs to be said in a gentle way. He doesn’t just offer the advice that suits human nature.
  • In 2 Chronicles 10:1-14 the people of Israel were pleading with Rehoboam in verse 4 to “ease though somewhat the grievous servitude of thy father” (Solomon). He asked for the counsel of the old men who encouraged him to answer the pleas of the people saying that “they will be thy servants for ever.” Rehoboam foolishly forsook this advice and followed the advice given by his false friends; to make the lives of the people even harder. His friends told him what he wanted to hear, not what he needed to hear.

“Proverbs”

slide15

Friendship

  • What should friends do for one another?
    • Prov. 27:10 Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.
  • We can’t expect to give our advice to a brother or friend at the last minute. We need to be there from the start in order to build up trust. Otherwise our brother or friend may not accept our words regardless how sincere or wise the advice.
  • For a true friend, the day of adversity is too late. A friend needs to be close from the beginning to be a support before their issue becomes a desperate or seemingly un-fixable situation.

“Proverbs”

slide16

Friendship

  • Iron sharpeneth Iron
    • Prov. 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
  • This is a very familiar verse to many of us. But if we look more into the meaning of the verse we can notice something more under the surface.
  • “Iron sharpeneth iron” – This is referring to the process that a blacksmith goes through when making a sword. The blacksmith strikes the sword with another piece of iron, and this sharpens the sword. It is the blacksmith who is doing the work, the iron is simply one of the blacksmith’s tools.
  • There are two levels. A friend needs to help his friend by sharpening his character. But God is the blacksmith and we are just a tool for God to use.

“Proverbs”

slide17

Friendship

  • Iron sharpeneth Iron
    • 1Sam. 13:19 Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears:
  • During the reign of Saul, there were no blacksmiths in the land of Israel. So they had to turn to the Philistine blacksmiths to provide their armour. God is our blacksmith, and we should be turning nowhere else than his word to provide us with protection. We need to wear the armour of God (see Ephesians 6).
  • Things are not always easy. When iron sharpens iron, sparks will fly!
  • We must therefore endeavour to be good friends, modelling our actions on the Lord Jesus Christ, who lay down his life for his friends. We need support our friends through the good and the bad, giving them the counsel that is needed for them to become better servants of God. We must also understand that it is “God that giveth the increase.”

“Proverbs”

slide18

Conclusion

The book of Proverbs contains many lessons for everyday life. We need to develop knowledge, understanding and wisdom as they are inextricably linked.

We need to learn to fear God and keep his commandments for “this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl 12:13).

We must strive to be good friends and be willing to give more than we receive. We must ensure that we make good friendships with those who share our Hope. It is in these friendships that we can mutually support each other towards the Kingdom.

The Proverbs is a guide book to the life of a disciple of Christ.

“Proverbs”

you are the light of the world

Email: [email protected]

“You are the LIGHT of the WORLD”

Bro. John Emanuel

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

introduction
Introduction
  • In this month’s works section, we are going to look at one of Jesus’s first parables and in preparation it would be helpful if you familiarised yourselves with Matt 5:14-16, Mark 4:21-23 & Luke 11:33-36
  • Whilst reading the passages, you may want to consider the following questions:-
  • Where do we look for our light?
  • What is your lampstand?
  • Who is in the house?
  • What is our light?
  • What is the secret that has been revealed?
  • How we should SHINE as lights?

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

where do we look for our light
Where do we look for our light?
  • We constantly look toward the word of God to gain wisdom and understanding of God and how to serve God more perfectly.
  • Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a LIGHT unto my path”
  • We are able to draw not only on our personal experiences but also those of Israel in the Old Testament and also from Jesus in the Gospels and the effect of the marvellous gift of the Gospel on the Apostles and early followers of Christ.
  • But what if we don’t have the Bible in our lives?
  • How do they see the glorious light of the Gospel?

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

parable of the light
Parable of the light
  • Right from the beginning of Jesus’s ministry, Jesus focused on preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God.
  • In one of his earliest parables, he described his Disciples as lights who can share in this light and spread it to the dark world around us.

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

you are the light of the world1
“You are the Light of the World”
  • Matt 5:14 “You are the LIGHT of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
  • We can see in this parable that we have the potential collectively to be such a great light, a light to the world.
  • Therefore, we should aim to project our light to as many as possible around us.
  • This is as daunting for us today as it would have been to his first century audience.
  • It is relatively easier for us to hide ourselves in a corner reading our Bible and then fail to take the next step and share the Good News of our glorious hope in the return of Jesus Christ to establish the Kingdom of God on earth.

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

a city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden
A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden
  • The city can be seen by all if it is on the top of a hill.
  • Our light too should be visible to all around us and therefore we should be thinking about what our light is and how we shine?

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

lighting the lamp
Lighting the Lamp
  • Jesus went on to expand on his message in verse 15 “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”
  • It is a parable that we can all relate to as everyone is familiar with the concept of light and darkness.
  • But have you ever thought about how much harder creating light would have been in the first century and it would have required a lot of effort.
  • There would have been no instant switch and it would have been a slow process.
  • With us too, it represents how we too must work patiently to become lights, it is not instantaneous but something that must be worked at.

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

under the basket
Under the Basket
  • Consequently, the thought of putting the light under a basket or bed would have seemed ridiculous to his first century audience as they would have recognised the enormous waste it would result in.
  • It is the same for us, if we have spent time and effort working to get to know God, then we too should not waste that effort and hide ourselves away, but share our joy and light.

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

lampstand
Lampstand
  • I think that Jesus tells us what our lampstand should be in verse 16:-
  • “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works & glorify your Father in heaven.”
  • So we can see that our light should shine through our actions and we therefore should make sure those actions are as Christ like as possible so others may glorify God.
  • 1 Peter 2:12 “Having your conduct honourable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

who is in the house
Who is in the house?
  • It is a simple question, but it is an important one.
  • I think the people who are in the house are those who have their eyes and ears open to God.
  • However, this could be anyone and we should actively be seeking these people like Christ did.

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

what is our light
What is our light?
  • I think the light we shine is a mixture of the spreading of the good news of the gospel of the resurrection and coming Kingdom of God.
  • But also the out flowing of love, which we develop and nurture as a result of knowing and understanding of the gospel.
  • These are nicely summarised in Galatians 5:22-23 “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, against such there is no law.”

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

nothing hidden which will not be revealed
Nothing hidden which will not be revealed?
  • In the gospel of Mark account, we have an additional verse to consider.

Mark 4:22-23 “For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor anything kept secret but that it should come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

  • So we have been told that all has been revealed and if anyone desires to hear the gospel message, we should be able to bring to light that glorious hope we have in the gospel.
  • The apostle Paul reiterates this in the epistle to the Colossians. We should be preaching, warning and teaching everyone about the gospel.
  • Colossians 1:26-28 “The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to the saints. To them God willed to make known what the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

nothing hidden which will not be revealed1
Nothing hidden which will not be revealed?
  • We can take get courage from the example of Paul, who was transformed after being blinded by the light on the road to Damascus.
  • The effect this experience had in his life is something we can all learn from. He recalls his efforts to the church at Ephesus.
  • Acts 20:20-21 “How I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • You may want to read verses 17 -24 to see the verses in context.

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

example moses
Example - Moses
  • After witnessing the presence of the Lord pass before him, Moses was able to reflect the glory of God.
  • Exodus 34:29-30 “Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’s hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.”

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

example jesus
Example - Jesus
  • John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the LIGHT of LIFE.”
  • In Jesus, we have the perfect example of how to be lights in this world and how to never cease to preach the gospel through everything he did, from the parables he taught, the people he healed and how he lived.
  • Matthew 17:2 “and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.”
  • After the transfiguration, he was a light to his disciples and this was just a taste of the light he will be when he returns and the Kingdom is established.

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

when will we be filled with the light
When will we be filled with the light?
  • We can look forward to that day when Jesus returns to set up the Kingdom and we will no longer need the natural lights but the spiritual light will shine brightly.
  • Revelation 22:4-5 “And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no lamp nor light of the sun; for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.”

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

warnings
Warnings
  • Later in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus gives us a warning not to fade from our work in the parable of the ten virgins, where the 5 foolish virgins let their oil run out.
  • This reminds me of the fireworks which are often associated with New Year and we must be careful to ensure our light does not fade away quickly after blossoming.

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

luke 11 34 36
Luke 11:34-36
  • “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

luke 11 34 361
Luke 11:34-36
  • These verses highlight choice between light and darkness.
  • We have had the choice earlier between the light hidden under the basket and on a lampstand.
  • Similarly, we now have the choice between the eye being good or the eye being bad.
  • So are your eyes open to the light of the gospel or are they blind?
  • What condition are our eyes in?
  • Are we shining bright?

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

summary
Summary
  • To summarise the parable,we can see that we have great potential to be bright lights in a dark world.
  • We can take some simple steps to ensure our light is shining as bright as possible.
  • Constantly look to God’s word.
  • Psalm 119: 105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
  • Follow the example of Jesus: -
  • Developing the SAME CHARACTER
  • Producing GOOD WORKS
  • PREACHING the GOSPEL wherever we may find ourselves

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

summary1
Summary
  • Finally, this light is not ours but is a reflection of our Heavenly Father’s light. The light of the gospel can be summarised in the following verses.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
  • “You are the light of the world.”
  • We are in a privileged position, so let us SHINE.

"You are the light of the world" January 2010

questions thoughts
Questions&Thoughts

Faith&Works will soon be opening a “Questions&Thoughts” page. God willing, this will encourage edifying discussion over the coming year.

If there are any points you’d like to discuss, please send them to [email protected], with your name and Ecclesia. After this, they will hopefully appear on the last few slides on the next issue.

We look forward to you contribution.

Many thanks and God bless,

Faith&Works

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