Avoid at all Cost

Proverbs 6:16-19 

16There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

Valentine’s Date

            Some of you may have Valentine’s date. If you did not have one, you are not alone. Some people don’t prioritize Valentine’s Day. They can celebrate anytime of the year. They can make any day special like Valentine’s Day.

            To those who had Valentine’s date, you may have agreed to meet at certain place and time. Did you arrive at your meeting place at the exact time? Did you arrive at least 15 minutes earlier? Did you feel great to be early at your date?

            Many people would make sure not to be late on their Valentine’s date. Possibly, they want to impress their partner, and if they value their relationship. But how many people would make it very sure that they arrive on time or earlier at every appointment that they have agreed upon, whether it’s important or not?

            Naturally, we wish to please people. Can you believe that arrival on time or even earlier to your appointment could help you build a very good reputation?

Seriously consider arriving on time or earlier in all your appointments. If you were to travel or drive to the place of appointment within the city, plan your arrival thirty minutes earlier, at least. Why will you do that? Isn’t that very early?

            Well, traffic flow is not stable. Possible accidents may slow down traffic or even force a detour and take another path. If you hate to make excuses, you don’t want to be late at your appointment, may it be important or ordinary. Why?

You personally want to build good habit and great character for yourselves.

            Can you agree that it’s foolishness to be intentionally late at appointments?

            Really? How do you reflect on what it says in James 4:17? 17If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

            It is good to be on time, and it is better to be early. Right? So, intentional lateness is foolishness because it’s sinful. How many believers have realized that?

            Without a doubt, there’ll always be unexpected situations that may cause us to be late at any appointment. We should pray to practise the habit of arriving on time or earlier than appointed time at any meeting. Can you believe that God will also bless us so that we may continue to practise good habits? Can you agree that God himself will make sure we can avoid any possible excuses, if we ask him?

            We don’t refute that God is love. He also loves to bless the good intention of becoming better Christian. In contrast, there are disgusting things to the Lord. God won’t bless the proud, liars and shedding of innocent blood.

1.  Shed

16There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,

God is love, but disgusting things are despicable to him. What does it mean when it says that hands that shed innocent blood are repulsive to the Lord?

            It is mostly understood as killing innocent people. Shedding of blood can be interpreted as simple injury that causes hurt and shedding of blood. Do you know anyone with bleeding heart because their partner forgot their Valentine’s date?

Anyway, we also believe that everything that God says is true, and there is no lie that comes from the Lord; therefore, lying tongue is not acceptable to him.

“Haughty eyes” are detestable to the Lord? Proud individuals look down at others. They size you up, and gaze at you from head to foot if you have signature clothing or even just ordinary one. Arrogant people assume that they are very important.

Pharisee and Tax Collector

            Jesus Christ had narrated the parable of the arrogant Pharisee and the humble Tax Collector in Luke 18:9-14, 9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:

 10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

 13“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Shedding of innocent blood, lying tongue and haughty eyes are disgusting to the Lord. Why many Pharisees were overconfident of their righteousness? They follow the Jewish laws by the book. What’s wrong with that?

Actually, the Lord Jesus teaches about the Pharisees in Matthew 5:20: 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

            Christ implies that Pharisees hold the highest level of human righteousness. But still, it’s not enough to enter heaven. Why? The Pharisees were legally blameless; they follow Jewish laws by the book. But God hates their scheme.

2.  Scheme

18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

            Wicked schemes, evil practices, false witness and troublemakers are very disgusting to the Lord. And the Lord won’t just leave them as they are. He won’t ignore repulsive activities. Anything that God hates, we must avoid them.

Let’s reflect on what Apostle Paul had preached in Ephesians 5:11-12: 11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 

            It should embarrass us to discuss about activities that are disgusting to God.

How about preaching against wickedness? There are numerous church attendees who would rather want to hear sermons about blessing instead of attacking sin.

We believe that the Lord blesses attitudes acceptable and pleasant to him.

How do you personally reflect on what Jesus teaches in Matthew 5:8-10? 8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

            Everyone loves to be blessed, but who qualifies for blessedness? Do you strive to meet the requirement for blessedness? If we just accept our situation that we cannot qualify for blessedness, if we disregard the requirements for us to be blessed by the Lord, does that imply haughtiness or arrogance from us?

            If we want blessings, if we really hunger and thirst blessings from the Lord, we have to humble ourselves before him and ask him to help us qualify for his blessings. Such practice of faith and humility before God is inspiration of his Holy Spirit.

            We practice faith when we ask God for his blessing. We practice faith when we avoid disgusting things to God. Blessing from the Lord is best experience we can ever have even while we are still on earth. His blessing is extreme happiness.

            Let’s pray that God helps us to avoid disgusting, undesirable things to him.

Let’s pray to be filled by his Holy Spirit and for us to be always humble before him.

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