Monday, April 18, 2016

Christ in the Proverbs: Proverbs 19:19

Proverbs 19:19
A man of great wrath will pay the penalty,
for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.

The undisciplined boy grows up to be the "man of great wrath," who lives according to his prideful passions and lusts.  His anger is triggered when anyone or anything crosses him.

One of our children used to throw a tantrum that was quite unforgettable.  She would stiffen up her entire body while placing her hands over her ears to indicate she did not want to hear what her parents were telling her.  This proverb teaches us it is unwise to give in to the raging demands of children or adults, for adults have their own ways of throwing tantrums, even if they are not quite as dramatic as young children!

As followers of Christ Jesus, who have been baptized into his name, we need to realize this truth:

"And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires"     (Galatians 5:24).
Galatians 5:24 describes who we are in Christ Jesus.  We have died and risen with him.  But this truth must be lived out daily.  Each day we must put off the old man (the sinful nature or the flesh), which is governed by the passions and desires of the flesh, and put on the new man in likeness to Christ.  This requires that each day we die with Christ through repentance and rise to live with him by faith.

Christ's resurrection power is such that he can change tantrum-throwing children, and self-willed adults, who live according to their passions and lusts, into his own perfect likeness.  "Take my yoke upon you," he says, "and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:29). May he make us like himself as we learn to love and receive his gracious, wise and authoritative Word.

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