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(Proverbs 9:7-12)

    The faithful exercise of reproof is not always easy. Though some accept it with gratitude, others are highly offended and begin to strike back - attempting to intimidate the one who has shown concern, (vs. 7). It is not the nature of scorners to love the one who rebukes them, (Prov. 15:12; cf. Gen. 19:4-11; 2 Chron. 24:20-21; 25:14-16). Correction is grievous to them because they have forsaken the way of truth (Prov. 15:10), and do not want to be reminded of it, (comp. I Kings 18:17; 21:20; 22:8; Jn. 3:19-10; 7:7).
    Brutish (Prov. 21:1), hating reproof, and refusing to receive correction, the scorner will die in his sins, (Prov. 1:30-32; 13:18a 29:1; comp. Jn. 8:36; 3:36; Psa. 92:6-7; Lk. 12:16-21; 16:19-25; Jas. 5:5-6).
    To reprove a scorner is to become the object of his hatred, (vs. 8a; 23:9; Num. 14:6-10; Matt. 7:6; 15:12-14; Heb. 6:4-8; Lk. 16:14; Jn. 8:52; 9:30-34, 40; 10:19-20; Acts 17:18, 32; I Cor. 1:21-24; 4:10-13).
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"For even Christ pleased not himself" "I do always those things that please Him", (Rom. 15:3; John 8:29).

     "For God's Pleasure!" is the highest, most glorious motto by which a man can live. It is the very essence of true and pure religion - as of angelic bliss, and the motive-principle of angelic action. "Ye ministers of His, that do his pleasure". The Lord of angels Himself knew no higher motive. During the days of His incarnation it regulated His daily living. Midst the depressing sorrow of His wearysome path, it was His constant support. And it upheld Him in the termination of His suffering - both in the garden and on the cross. Though the flesh rebelled at the prospect before Him, the prospect of pleasing the Heavenly Father sustained Him in the renewal of His glad committment: "Not my will, but Thine be done!"
    Such a desire (and committment) may be ours ONLY as the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. In the holy bosom of Jesus that love was supreme; it admitted no rival or competing affection. And though of inferior degree, this same impelling principle moves His

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people to link enjoyment with His service - making consecration of heart and life to Him its own best compensation and reward. When the love of God exercises its rightful sway over our wills, it gathers, as satellites around itself, all the other desires of the soul and whirls them along with it in its orbit around the center of attraction.
    The world, self, sin - these are the gods of the unregenerate soul. Even when renewed, there is far too much rising and falling in our tide of devotion! But Jesus could say, "I do ALWAYS those things that please the Father". Like a fire within His bosom burned the yearning to glorify God. Many waters could not quench it. He was not moved by fitful and inconsistent moods and feelings; His was the persistent practice of a holy life - with a single end in view, from which he never deviated. So it ought to be with us.

    Let us not leave consideration of God's pleasure and service to special days and occasions. May we, rather, like sweet perfume, ever be giving forth the fragrant aroma of holiness. Whether in sunshine or shadow, our chief desire ought ever be to please and glorify God.
    Do we shrink from trials, duties or crosses - because they involve hardship and self-denial? or because they are frowned on by the world? The thought of our heavenly Father's approving countenance should be enough. Let us dread no censure so long as we are conscious of walking in God's will - remembering the words of the apostle:
"If I please men, I am not the servant of Christ!"


    The loving rebuke of a wise man, however, will strengthen his love for the one who manifests such care (vs. 8b; 13:18b; 25:12; Psa. 141:5; Prov. 28:23; 27:5-6; Lev. 19:17; 2 Sam. 12:7-14; Gal. 2:11-14; 2 Pet. 3:15-16).
    A wise man will receive instruction, and be wiser still, (vs. 9; 1:5; Matt. 13:10-12). And a just man who is taught will increase in learning.
    True wisdom ALWAYS begins with the fear of the Lord, (vs. 10; 1:7; Job 28:28; Psa. 111:10; Eccl. 12:13); and true understanding is found in "the knowledge of the holy", (Prov. 2:1-5; I Chron. 28:9; 2 Chron. 1:10-12; Hos. 6:3; Matt. 7:7-8; Lk. 11:9-13; Jas. 1:5; Matt.
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Studies in I Corinthians


(I Corinthians 7:25-35)

    In this address to the unmarried Paul suggests that there are both advantages and disadvantages to the single life; while there are certain liberties that the single alone may enjoy, there are also tremendous pressures that they must face. Though he has no specific word, or command, from the Lord (vs. 25), Paul is ready, by the Lord's mercy, to give his faithful counsel.


    I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress. I say, that it is good for a man so to be. Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. But if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I would spare you.

    1. In times of crisis (Lk. 21:23; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 2 Thes. 2:1-2), there is an advantage in being single; one may be more flexible, and adapt more quickly, to sudden, unexpected and even seemingly catastrophic events, (vs. 1, 8).
    2. Marriage certainly increases one's personal responsibility in life, and those who marry in a time of crisis will face increasing burdens.
    3. If one is already married, he must make the best of the situation; he must not try to get loose from his responsibility; but,

Paul thinks there is a definite advantage to the single life - until the crisis passes.

    4. Paul does NOT say that it is wrong for one to marry in such a situation - only that life will become increasingly complicated thereby, (vs. 28).


    But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

    1. Christians must always have priorities; and the priorities that are placed on the use of our TIME are of the utmost importance!
      a. Our days or opportunity for Christian service are very brief, (vs. 13; Rom. 13:11-12).
      b. Thus, we must "redeem the time" - using wisely the days that are allotted to us, (Eph. 5:16; Phil. 2:16).
    2. Nothing must be permitted to hinder us from using our precious TIME (our moments, as well as our days, weeks and years) for the service and glory of the living Christ!
      a. Married wives (or husbands) must not be permitted to interfere; this relationship is time-bound; we must give ourselves to something higher, and eternal.
      b. Weeping and rejoicing must not be permitted to delay us; they look quite differently from the

perspective of eternity, (Psalm 30:5).
    c. Though there is a proper way to USE this world, we must not become attached to things; business success is NOT a worthwhile goal!
    d. We must never forget that this present world is transitory; it is giving way to a "new order", (I Jn. 2:15-17).


    But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that

is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

    1. If one has been endowed with the gift of celibacy (singleness), it makes possible a degree of committment, dedication and devotion that is impossible to the man who must give attention to pleasing his wife (or the woman to pleasing her husband).
    2. Paul is not trying to place any restraint upon his brethren; he is merely voicing his concern for deeper devotedness to the Lord - while insisting that there is nothing dishonorable, or worthy of shame, about a celibate (single) life - as it is devoted to the glory of Christ, (comp. I Tim. 5:5).
    3. It was such a life that the apostle himself lived (though it appears that he did have a wife before he became a Christian); and no man was ever more greatly used of the Lord - as evidenced by his ministry of preaching, writing and suffering "for Jesus' sake"!


11:27; Jn. 17:3; I Jn. 5:20). If truly wise, we will never forget that "our times" are in the Lord's hands, (Psa. 31:15). By Him our days are multiplied, and the years of our lives increased.

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