with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for November 19
By their fruits ye shall know them.—MATT. 7:20.
Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.—Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.—Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.—A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?
“Avoid foolish questions.”
Our days are few, and are far better spent in doing good, than in disputing over matters which are, at best, of minor importance. The old schoolmen did a world of mischief by their incessant discussion of subjects of no practical importance; and our Churches suffer much from petty wars over abstruse points and unimportant questions. After everything has been said that can be said, neither party is any the wiser, and therefore the discussion no more promotes knowledge than love, and it is foolish to sow in so barren a field. Questions upon points wherein Scripture is silent; upon mysteries which belong to God alone; upon prophecies of doubtful interpretation; and upon mere modes of observing human ceremonials, are all foolish, and wise men avoid them. Our business is neither to ask nor answer foolish questions, but to avoid them altogether; and if we observe the apostle’s precept (Titus 3:8) to be careful to maintain good works, we shall find ourselves far too much occupied with profitable business to take much interest in unworthy, contentious, and needless strivings.
There are, however, some questions which are the reverse of foolish, which we must not avoid, but fairly and honestly meet, such as these: Do I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? Am I renewed in the spirit of my mind? Am I walking not after the flesh, but after the Spirit? Am I growing in grace? Does my conversation adorn the doctrine of God my Saviour? Am I looking for the coming of the Lord, and watching as a servant should do who expects his master? What more can I do for Jesus? Such enquiries as these urgently demand our attention; and if we have been at all given to cavilling, let us now turn our critical abilities to a service so much more profitable. Let us be peace-makers, and endeavour to lead others both by our precept and example, to “avoid foolish questions.”
Wise Sayings of Solomon
The proverbs of Solomon.
A wise child makes a glad father,
but a foolish child is a mother’s grief.
Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
but righteousness delivers from death.
The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
A slack hand causes poverty,
but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
A child who gathers in summer is prudent,
but a child who sleeps in harvest brings shame.
Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
but the name of the wicked will rot.
The wise of heart will heed commandments,
but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
but whoever follows perverse ways will be found out.
Whoever winks the eye causes trouble,
but the one who rebukes boldly makes peace.
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
Hatred stirs up strife,
but love covers all offenses.
On the lips of one who has understanding wisdom is found,
but a rod is for the back of one who lacks sense.
The wise lay up knowledge,
but the babbling of a fool brings ruin near.
The wealth of the rich is their fortress;
the poverty of the poor is their ruin.
The wage of the righteous leads to life,
the gain of the wicked to sin.
Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life,
but one who rejects a rebuke goes astray.
Lying lips conceal hatred,
and whoever utters slander is a fool.
When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but the prudent are restrained in speech.
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
the mind of the wicked is of little worth.
The lips of the righteous feed many,
but fools die for lack of sense.
The blessing of the Lord makes rich,
and he adds no sorrow with it.
Doing wrong is like sport to a fool,
but wise conduct is pleasure to a person of understanding.
What the wicked dread will come upon them,
but the desire of the righteous will be granted.
When the tempest passes, the wicked are no more,
but the righteous are established forever.
Like vinegar to the teeth, and smoke to the eyes,
so are the lazy to their employers.
The fear of the Lord prolongs life,
but the years of the wicked will be short.
The hope of the righteous ends in gladness,
but the expectation of the wicked comes to nothing.
The way of the Lord is a stronghold for the upright,
but destruction for evildoers.
The righteous will never be removed,
but the wicked will not remain in the land.
The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
but the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.
5. Expel the Immoral Brother
1It is actually reported that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not even among the Gentiles, that one of you hath his father's wife. 2And ye are puffed up, and did not rather mourn, that he that had done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3For I verily, being absent in body but present in spirit, have already as though I were present judged him that hath so wrought this thing, 4in the name of our Lord Jesus, ye being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5to deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Assurance of Victory for God’s Priest-King
Of David. A Psalm.
The Lord says to my lord,
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies your footstool.”
The Lord sends out from Zion
your mighty scepter.
Rule in the midst of your foes.
Your people will offer themselves willingly
on the day you lead your forces
on the holy mountains.
From the womb of the morning,
like dew, your youth will come to you.
The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
The Lord is at your right hand;
he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
He will execute judgment among the nations,
filling them with corpses;
he will shatter heads
over the wide earth.
He will drink from the stream by the path;
therefore he will lift up his head.