Don’t Abandon A Friend

Never abandon a friend—
either yours or your father’s.
When disaster strikes, you won’t have to
ask your brother for assistance.
It’s better to go to a neighbor than
to a brother who lives far away (Proverbs 27:10 NLT).

Solomon gives wise advice which seems counter culture to what the Israelites believe and maybe we believe today. Do not abandon a friend or neighbor when disaster strikes — whatever the cause. Keep this in mind, especially if your family isn’t geographically near.

Value Relationships

Solomon and Jesus alike taught a good relationship with a friend or neighbor is valuable and worth the effort. Jesus even stated the difficult command “love your neighbor.” Love your neighbor and living in harmony with them infers also helping to meet each other’s needs whenever the occasion arises. *

Be Aware of Needs

Disaster may strike any of us at any time. So be aware of each other’s needs, especially those who are live close to you — frends and neighbors. They, like you, can be affected by disaster without warning. So, when critical needs are present, you can be a first responder and readily help in some manner.

Friends and neighbors you’ve cultivated in kindness and love have lasting value. Remember, you too may be that one in times of disaster or trial. Keep this in mind, especially if your family isn’t geographically near.

Prayer: Father, I value family, help me value my neighbor as well.

* Study Guide for Proverbs 27, David Guzik, blueletterbible.org.

Kindness and Grace Extended

If the wild olive branches were grafted in, which is contrary to nature, it’s even more likely that the cultivated branches would be grafted in to their own olive tree (Romans 11:24 by Frank Ball).

Romans 11 by Frank Ball
In your Bible Romans 11

Paul wanted the Jews to be jealous of his evangelism and hear the Good News. He warns that few Israelites have received Christ Jesus. Sadly that remains the same today.

Call Still Offered

Isaiah prophesied about the time when Jesus would come to Jerusalem . . . And then I will keep my covenant with them and take away their sins (Romans 11:27 New Living Translation).

God hasn’t withdrawn his call for them [Jews seeking God] to believe and receive his gift of salvation . . . God has allowed everyone to live in disobedience so they could see the error of their ways and receive his mercy (Romans 11:29,32 by Frank Ball).

Remain in Christ

Believers are warned that there is a cost to pay for straying. Those in Christ must stay close, listen to his voice, obey his teachings and do as he told us to do.vine

Pay attention to both the kindness and the judgment of God. Remain in his kindness to avoid being cut off. If those discarded branches were to turn from their unbelief, God is able to graft them back onto the tree (Romans 11:22,23 by Frank Ball).Paul ends with a statement for meditation:

… Everything we have, everything we are, and everything we do is because of him. He gets all the credit forever. We can’t praise him enough or do enough to equal what he has done for us, that is for sure(Romans 11:36 by Frank Ball).

Prayer: Father, I know your love and salvation through Jesus. Thank you for allowing me to be grafted in to the true vine.

Questions: How do you reconcile the Salvation God provides with the judgment in store for those not receiving Jesus his Son? What do you think when you realize for centuries many Jews have missed knowing Jesus?

Written on Our Hearts

If your heart is to please God continually, you will find honor and glory and eternal life (Romans 2:7 by Frank Ball).

Romans Chapter 2 – by Frank Ball
Romans Chapter 2 – in Da Jesus Book
In Your Bible: Romans Chapter 2

Do not to think God’s kindness is weakness. Sifting through Romans, I want to extract (and spend more time on) the edifying messages Paul has for us, amidst his warnings.

Live to Please God

Paul points out that the believer in Christ needs to continually aim at pleasing God – and not judge or condemn others. God sees all things and makes no mistakes in judging what [all] people do (Romans 2:2b,c by Frank Ball).

Believers need to have the true goal in mind. Yes, affliction, troubles, and pain fall upon everyone. “But, glory, honor, and peace belong to everyone who does well. This is true without regard to nationality or heritage or social class, because God judges all people by the same standard” (Romans 2:10,11 by Frank Ball). Jesus is the standard… What Would Jesus Do?

Written on Our Hearts

The knowledge of right and wrong is written on hearts, not paper, blogs, or eBooks. People’s own conscience either condemn or commend their deeds. One day, through Jesus Christ, God will judge that which has been hidden – our thoughts and motives in secret behavior (Romans 2:15,16 by Frank Ball).

This Bible passage (in Hawaiian Pidgin) reads like this: Da peopo dat not Jews, dey donno dat God’s Rules stay. But if get peope dat by demself do jalike God’s Rules say, but dey dono dat da Rules stay ack jalike dey get um. Dea heart tell dem bout wat dey doing. Wen dey go tink wat say right an wat stay wrong, den dey figga (Romans 2:14,15 Da Jesus Book).

Prayer: Father, guide my heart daily to what you want. Help me please you in all I do.

Questions: What do you feel when you read that a believer must live to please God? Knowing there are different religions, do you think it’s possible that all mankind has the knowledge of right and wrong in their hearts?