December 18

We Need Jesus Because We Are Deceitful

“Do they not go astray who devise evil? Those who devise good meet steadfast love and faithfulness. In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly. A truthful witness saves lives, but one who breathes out lies is deceitful. In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:22-27)

Sometimes when I am tired and have something pleasant that needs to be done, I push my way through it; I may even forget that I am tired. Other times, when I feel weary but am doing something unpleasant but needful, I reluctantly work at the task with a disagreeable attitude and feel more tired every moment. My physical therapist is wise to engage in interesting discussions with me as I work through the swelling and pain, to keep me distracted. After meals, I walk around the halls just a little and feel horrible. But later, getting out of the shower, I had little trouble blow drying my hair as I stood on that same knee that hurt so much before. I deceive myself, thinking that the pain is greater when the task is unpleasant. How many times each day do we delude ourselves? Do we unconsciously believe life is easy when it is acceptable, but hard when our circumstances are disagreeable? Is God only using us when others complement our efforts or praise our accomplishments, or are we equally (or even more useful) when someone is unhappy with our witness or disagrees with our biblical theology? 

This passage from Proverbs 14 speaks to the sin nature of every human being. We go astray, devise evil (pridefully and vainly), talk casually, engage in folly because we are fools who lie, and venture too far from the Lord, the giver of life. Here are many reasons why we need the grace of Jesus Christ. Only through his Spirit can we know and devise what is good with love and faithfulness. Only with faith in the Son can we talk about what we truly know and refrain from boasts and empty promises. With the help of Jesus, our work for him and others bears profit and crowns us with wisdom. In him, we are truthful witnesses, used to warn and guide others into eternal life with confidence. Our children find a refuge in his Word, and his life-giving water saves them from eternal thirst by his grace and power. “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence…Such who fear the Lord may be confident that he has a love to them, a delight in them; that his eye is upon them, and his heart towards them; and will communicate every needful good to them, and protect and defend them.” *

Will you delight in Jesus, whom you need today?

* John Gill’s Exposition on the Whole Bible, Proverbs 14:26

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