Confront In Love The Wrongs Of Others


Matthew 18:15 (New Living Translation)

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“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.

If another does you wrong and sims against you go into private and confront them of their wrong if the other person accused accepts and confesses the offense the they have have listened and you have won and stated your feelings and made point of their actions making an impact

These instructions by Jesus on how to bring correction and forgiveness are directed specifically to Christian individuals, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone” (Matthew 18:15). … It’s obviously a very wise plan regardless of who the sin was against.

What Does Matthew 18:15 Mean? ►

“If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in private. If he listens to you, you have won your brother.

Matthew 18:15(HCSB)

Verse Thoughts

Christ gave a beautiful lesson in humility and meekness, when He set a little child in the midst of His disciples, to exemplify what our Christian lives should be like. And there continues to be a great need for humility in the church today, but the cost of true humility is high.

Too often today we quickly react to the offences of others with caustic remarks.. or an unkind attitude against a brother or sister.. who has consciously or unconsciously offended us, hurt our feelings or sinned against us. Too often we gossip about it to others.. rather than seeking to address the issue in a godly and gracious way.

But the Bible has set out clear guidelines on how to deal with a situation where a brother or sister in Christ has sinned against us.. or caused us some harm or distress – and it is rooted in humility and grace. The Lord Jesus Christ was our perfect example of a truly humble man.. for He set aside His eternal glory to seek and to save that which was lost. Just like a caring Shepherd is happy to find his lost sheep, so the Lord Jesus always rejoices when the straying sinner turns away from sin and back to Himself.

In like manner, if a brother wrongs us it is important to address the issue, so as to prevent it from fostering into bitterness or resentment, but it should be carried out in humility and grace – and it should be addressed in private. The first important step in addressing such as issue it to go to the person privately and explain the fault or wrong-doing, while speaking the truth in love. And we are told that if he listens to you, you have won your brother.

No matter how we have been wronged it is important to follow the scriptural guidelines. First, we should go and correct a Christian brother in private.. but our words should be seasoned with salt, and our attitude should reflect a Christ-like humility; a godly gentleness and Spirit-filled patience – so that we are enabled to give and to receive correction in truth and in love.

However deeply we have been wronged we should never permit ungodly communication to proceed out of our mouth.. for a righteous word fitly spoken is like golden apples on a beautiful silver tray. A gracious correction or a gentle answer is more likely to divert an angry response.. for a wholesome word is like a tree of life – but words that are spoken in haste or harshly delivered stir up anger and strife.

May our lives reflect Christ’s gentle humility. May we learn to speak the truth in love to our brothers and sisters in Christ.. in a godly and biblical way – and may we bow down our ear to the wise words of correction that we may receive from others.. so that we may grow in grace and in a knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to His praise and glory.


What does Matthew 18:15 mean?

In the previous verses, Jesus has warned His disciples about the grave seriousness of leading any of the other believers into sinfulness. He has also warned them not to despise or disrespect other believers, even ones who have gone astray. After all, God the Father’s will is that none of the believers in Jesus should perish or be eternally separated from Him (Matthew 18:10–14).

But what should the community of believers do if someone does fall into sin? How can they both take sinfulness seriously and attempt to bring the sinner back to faithfulness? Jesus gives a process for doing exactly that.

He begins by describing a scenario in which one among them sins. Some scholars question how the words “against you” should be read in this verse. Some earlier Greek manuscripts don’t have those two words, simply saying “If your brother sins.” Is Jesus talking about someone who sins only against another believer? Or someone who offends or does something disagreeable? Or is this someone who sins in any obviously and truly clear way? It’s reasonable that the same process should be applied in all cases.

If another believer in Jesus sins against us—or if we become aware of the clear and obvious sin of another Jesus-follower—Jesus insists that the first step is always to have a private conversation with the person. This is often the most effective step in helping anyone to recognize and repent from sin. However, it’s only likely to work if one approaches that person in childlike love and humility and without despising him or her. The goal is to keep this person as a brother or sister, not to shame or humiliate them.

If the result is not repentance, and we are still convinced of this person’s ongoing sin, it is time to carefully bring someone else into the conversation (Matthew 18:16).

Context Summary

Matthew 18:15–20 describes the process Jesus gives to the disciples for dealing with sin-related conflict among a group of believers. The first step is for the one who is wronged to go and speak privately with the one who has sinned in hopes of restoring the relationship. If the sinful person refuses to repent, the same wronged person should return with one or two others and then take the issue to the church or assembly. If repentance never happens, that person should be treated as an outsider. This is also the process Christians are expected to follow in cases of disagreements or other arguments: individually, then privately, then publicly.

Chapter Summary

Jesus uses two questions from the disciples to teach important lessons. The “greatest” in the kingdom is the one who humbles himself like a child. Temptation is unavoidable in earthly life, but it’s worth going to extremes to avoid falling for it. Even so, those who fall should not be hated and despised. God the Father values them highly and wants none of them to perish. In fact, Jesus lays out a clear, careful process to confront sin in others before removing them from the community. Christ also replies to Peter’s question about forgiveness with a parable. This story represents both God’s amazing forgiveness, and the way we ought to respond as Christians

Day 40: 40 Day Love Challenge

Day 40: But Ruth said, “Don’t force me to leave you! Don’t force me to go back to my own people. Let me go with you. Wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you sleep, I will sleep. Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God. (Ruth 1:16)

Don’t treat me wrongful making me feel uncomfortable to want to leave for with you is where I want to be. Don’t make me run back to where I came from back to the people I left to be with you. Let me remain by your side and go wherever you go,. Where you go I than shall go also. Where you sleep I shall sleep also. Your people shall be my people. Your God my god as well

Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

Double-edged sword: The power of the Word – Ruth 1:16,17


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But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

These words from Ruth are perhaps among the most well-known passages in the Old Testament. The book of Ruth is a story about the redemption of God’s people. It wonderfully contrasts the wisdom and ways of God with the wisdom of man. The book of Ruth takes place at the same time as the book of Judges. In Judges, “everybody did what is right in their own eyes.” Ruth and the other central characters in that book do what is right in the eyes of God.

Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, is in despair, broken-hearted, and she feels cursed. Her husband and sons have died. Presumably, as an older widow, she has no future. She decides to return to the Land of Judah to be among her people and persuades her daughters-in-laws that they must leave her or they too will be consigned to the same hopeless fate. They were Moabites and not Jews and faced better opportunity among their own people.

Ruth steps out in faith and defies human logic with her words to follow Naomi and God. Naomi decides to let her tag along because she realized there was no convincing Ruth despite her best efforts. As Naomi arrives back in Bethlehem, she continues her lament and demands to be called “Mara” or bitter. She is not even aware that she has returned with a blessing in Ruth.

A careful reading of the text of Chapter 1 shows a contrast in verse one and verse 22. A famine had enveloped the land but when Naomi and Ruth reached Bethlehem, it was the beginning of the harvest season. Bethlehem of course means “house of bread.” All the while through seemingly endless despair, God was working behind the scenes to bring the redemption of His people and all of humanity.

The beginning of Ruth starts out with seeming anguish and despair. It ends up as one of the greatest blessings in Scripture. Ruth’s marriage to Boaz sets up the genealogical line that will lead to the greatest redemption of all. The coming of Christ into the world. While things seemed hopeless and fruitless from a human standpoint, God was working behind the scenes to protect and redeem those who stay faithful to Him. Not only that, the Lord did it in a way that was more glorious and unimaginable than any human could comprehend.

What Does Ruth 1:16 Mean? ►

And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

Ruth 1:16(KJV)

Verse Thoughts

Despite the discouraging words of her mother-in-law, who was blaming God for her misfortune and wanted to change her name from Naomi, which means pleasant to Mara, which means bitter, the young widow Ruth, who had experienced the self-same difficult problems and tragic loss, clung fast to Naomi and her people – and remained devoted to the God of Israel in Whom this young gentile woman had placed her eternal trust.

Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after thee,  have become words of distinction, which have graced the lips of many a devoted follower or friend down through the centuries, but the roots of Ruth’s earnest entreaty reached far deeper that a close ‘woman-to-woman’ affection – for her desire was to know and to follow the true and living God, Creator of heaven and earth. Her yearning was to worship at the feet of the one and only God, Who had proved His faithfulness to her despite her many misfortunes – and so she firmly rejected forever the idols of wood and stone that she had grown with.. in her childhood in Moab.

What a glorious confession of love and devotion we see in Ruth’s words to Naomi: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Not only did she love her mother-in-law with a deep and tender love, but confessed her inner longing to unite with the people of Israel – and to forsake all, so that she might follow after the God of Abraham, Isaac, Israel and Naomi.

Ruth no doubt knew of God’s divine law that permanently excluded all Moabites from the congregation of Israel, and yet she threw herself on God’s mercy – and by grace through faith in Him, Ruth became one of the most exquisite ‘types’ of the Church we discover in the pages of Scripture and found herself elevated to be grandmother to the great king David and a descendent of the Messiah of Israel – the Lord Jesus Christ, causing Boaz.. her own kinsman-redeemer to become a glorious ‘type’ of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, Jesus is the Kinsman- Redeemer of His own beloved bride, the Church which is His Body, for we were bought with a price – the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who died to free us from our own slavery to sin – returning us into glorious fellowship with our Creator God. Let us like Ruth.. in humility of heart and self-confessed love and devotion for him, follow after the perfect Kinsman-Redeemer – Who loved us so much that He gave Himself for love of us.


What does Ruth 1:16 mean?

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

Ruth 1:16

And Ruth said, entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from

following after thee

Do not make use of any arguments to persuade me to go back: or “do not meet me”, or “be against me” F8; do not meet me with objections, or be in my way, or an hinderance to me, in going along with thee; do not be against it, for to be against that was to be against her inclination, desires, and resolutions, and against her interest:

for whither thou goest I will go:

let the country she was going to be what it would, though unknown to her, and though she should never see her own country any more:

and where thou lodgest I will lodge;

though in ever so mean a cottage, or under the open air:

thy people shall be my people;

whom I shall choose to dwell among, and converse with; whose religion, laws, and customs she should readily comply with, having heard much of them, their wisdom, goodness, and piety, of which she had a specimen and an example in Naomi, and by whom she judged of the rest:

and thy God my God;

not Chemosh, nor Baalpeor, nor other gods of the Moabites, be they what they will, but Jehovah, the God of Naomi, and of the people of Israel. So a soul that is truly brought to Christ affectionately loves him, and heartily cleaves unto him, resolves in the strength of divine grace to follow him, the Lamb, whithersoever he goes or directs; and is desirous to have communion with none but him, and that he also would not be as a wayfaring man, that tarries but a night; his people are the excellent of the earth, whom to converse with is all his delight and pleasure; and Christ’s God is his God, and his Father is his Father: and, in a word, he determines to have no other Saviour but him, and to walk in all his commands and ordinances.


F8 (yb yegpt le) “ne occurras mihi”, Vatablus, Rambachius; “ne obstes me”, Tigurine version; “ne adverseris mihi”, V. L. Drusius; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Day 39: 40 Day Love Challenge

Day 39: Love will never end. But all those gifts will come to an end even the gift of prophecy, the gift of speaking in different kinds of languages, and the gift of knowledge. (1 Corinthians 13:8)

Love never diminishes but all the gifts planted throughout it will come to an end even the gift of prophecy yes the gift of speaking different languages and the gift of knowledge they will all one day cease and pass away

1 Corinthians 13:8

New International Version

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies,(A) they will cease; where there are tongues,(B) they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

What Does 1 Corinthians 13:8 Mean? ►

Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.

1 Corinthians 13:8(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

How the Corinthian church prided themselves on the multiplicity of gifts with which they were endowed, indeed of all of the groups of believers recorded in Scripture it was the Corinthian Christians who were gifted with a greater abundance of spiritual gifts than any other named church. And yet as we discover this group of saved believers were more carnal and worldly-minded than any group of New Testament Christians. They were babes in Christ who had never grown in the faith – they were not maturing spiritually – they were not growing in grace – they remained carnal, worldly-minded believers – eternally saved yet spiritually immature. They were a sad apology for the body of Christ.

The gifts of the holy Spirit are truly wonderful, and we should all desire the gifts of the Spirit – but the fruit of the Spirit is so much more to be earnestly pursued. The gifts of the Spirit are just for the present, but the fruit of the Spirit will remain throughout all eternity. The gifts of the Spirit will one day be done away with – but the fruit of the Spirit will continue forever – the temporal gifts of the Spirit are for the current age, but the fruit of the everlasting Spirit will abide through the eternal ages to come – the gifts of prophecy, tongues, knowledge and all the many ministerial gifts with which the Holy Spirit graciously endows each one of His children according to His choosing – will one day will vanish away, forever. My gifts will one day stop and so will yours.

As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is the difference between the fruit of the Sprit with His gifts, for the fruit of the Spirit is Love – pure, holy, unconditional, everlasting, godly Love. The fruit of the Spirit is personified in the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, which fragments into joy and peace, patient-endurance and kindness; goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – and these will last forever and ever and into the eternal ages to come… for LOVE NEVER FAILS


What does 1 Corinthians 13 verse 8 mean when it says prophecies will fail?

Posted on Nov 4, 2010

by United Church of God


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

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How can prophecies “fail” since they are God’s word?

In 1 Corinthians 13:8 the apostle Paul wrote: “Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.”

Stepping back to look at the broader context helps us to get the perspective Paul had in mind. This section on the subject of bringing order to the Corinthian church begins with chapter 12 and continues through chapter 14. Chaos reigned as many misused their spiritual gifts. Paul wanted them to see their special abilities in the proper perspective, which is that they should always serve others, rather than simply show off their abilities (1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 25, 27).

Paul was encouraging everyone to work together for their mutual benefit, which leads us to the 13th chapter about the character of love. It opens with several analogies, all of which demonstrate that love is more important than any gift or ability. That is, Christians should have the internal motivation of outflowing concern for others. This reflects God’s nature, as opposed to the selfish nature of human beings.

Now, we come to verses 4-8 of chapter 13, which amplify love in a beautiful and poetic manner. Verse 8 concludes and summarizes the definition. “Prophecies” can mean either inspired preaching or foretelling the future. How will prophecies “fail”? The word “fail” can be misleading; as it might give the impression that some of God’s prophecies will not occur. The Greek for “fail,” katargeo, is defined as, “1. to render idle… 2. to cause to cease” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). Notice the following renderings—”they will cease” (NIV), “they will be caused to cease” (Literal Translation Version), “they shall pass away” (English Standard Version).

The need to speak under God’s inspiration will never cease. We cannot understand God’s Word, written over thousands of years, without inspired speaking or teaching. On the other hand, in the sense of future events, prophecies are time-sensitive. Consequently, once the prophecy is accomplished, it ceases in that there’s no longer a need to wait for the event. For example, prophecies about events preceding the return of Christ will cease, or become idle, after His return. Said another way, prophecies are helpful for a limited time, in contrast to the eternal benefit of love.

The analogy continues with languages. They are only meaningful as long as there are people who speak them. When there is only one language, the need to speak other languages ceases. And knowledge about a specific matter is temporary. For example, knowing how to operate a typewriter is no longer a useful skill. Love, however, never becomes obsolete.

1 Corinthians 13:8, NLT: “Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!”

1 Corinthians 13:8, CSB: “Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.”

What does 1 Corinthians 13:8 mean?

Paul ends his description of God’s kind of love, using the Greek term agape. This is an unselfish, sacrificial, active love, different from romantic or brotherly love, which use the terms eros and phileo, respectively. Wrapping up this section, Paul introduces a statement that may make believers feel it is truly impossible to love as God does, after all: Love never fails.

However, the truth of this statement does not mean no human can ever love as Christ does. It is true that believers will sometimes fail to love. When we do choose to love in this selfless, sacrificing way, love will not fail to be effective. One person’s choice to love, selflessly, never fails to build up the church in a powerful way.

The other way in which love never fails is that love is eternal. Selfless love will continue in the Lord and in His people forever. It is absolutely the way we will live in relationship with each other in eternity. Examples of selfless love in the present are glimpses of the normal state of things in eternity.

This is not true of the spiritual gifts, Paul says. The gifts of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge will all pass away. By this, Paul means that eventually these gifts will not be needed.

Some Christians believe that the time for these specific three gifts has mostly come to an end already, that they were intended by God to help establish the church and show that the message of the gospel was from Him. All Christians understand that at the end of time, when we live with God in person (Revelation 21:1–5), there will be no need for these gifts. They exist only in human history for a limited time and purpose.

God’s love, though, and our reflection of it to each other, will go on endlessly.

Context Summary

First Corinthians 13:1–13 is one of the most loved and well-known passages in the Bible, but Paul places it after his teaching on the spiritual gifts for a specific reason. Some of the gifts may seem impressive, but if attempted without self-sacrificing love for others, they become meaningless, even destructive. Paul uses 14 verbs to describe what love does and does not do. Love is the foundation for Paul’s teaching in the following chapter on prophecy, tongues, and even orderly worship. While this section is often quoted in romantic settings, such as a wedding, the concept in mind is that of agape: a self-sacrificing, godly love.

Chapter Summary

Paul responds to the Corinthians’ over-emphasis on certain spiritual gifts by showing them that all gifts are worthless if not practiced through godly love. Paul provides 14 descriptors of love, all action verbs, all choices made out of a commitment to set self aside and serve others. Choosing to love each other in this way would solve many of the problems Paul has confronted in this letter. The spiritual gifts provide a glimpse of what is knowable, but when the perfect comes, we will know all. Love is the greatest of all the virtues

Day 38: 40 Day Love Challenge

Day 38: Enjoy serving the Lord,and he will give you whatever you ask for. (Psalm 37:4)

Psalm 37:4

New International Version

Take delight(A) in the Lord,

    and he will give you the desires of your heart.(B)


JULY 2016



When we want what He wants, He’ll give us those desires because they are in accordance with His will.

By Charles F. Stanley

There is an aspect of our humanity that affects every single area of our lives—our character, accomplishments, priorities, thoughts, motivations, choices, direction, and relationships. What I’m talking about is our desires. If you doubt this, just think what would happen if you didn’t want anything. What would you accomplish? How would you spend your time? What would you think about? Our desires prompt us into action, cause us to seek out companions and mates, and guide us to make decisions that will lead us to whatever we long to have.

This is part of being made in God’s image because He Himself has desires. However, what we want is not always good, whereas the Lord’s desires are always right. We have a limited perspective, but He’s omniscient and knows when a particular path, person, or object we want will lead us to ruin. Sometimes our desires are sinful, selfish, greedy, and foolish, but God is motivated by divine love. He always seeks what’s best for us.


There’s a verse in the Bible that’s sometimes misused by people in an attempt to get what they want from God. They come to Him with their prayer requests claiming His promise in Psalm 37: “He will give you the desires of your heart” (v. 4). However, the context of this passage reveals that there are conditions attached to this promise. If we want God to give us the desires of our heart, we must abide by His requirements.

First of all, we are told, “Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4). To delight in someone means we enjoy being with that person and spending time together, talking and listening to one another. We make that relationship a priority and seek to please him or her with our words and actions. Now let’s think about this in terms of our relationship with God.

Do you love talking to the Father in prayer and listening to Him as you read and study His Word? Are you longing to know Him more fully? Do you think about Him often throughout the day and find great pleasure in obeying Him and walking in His ways?

This is what it means to delight in the Lord. Psalm 37:4 is not a blanket promise that God will give us whatever we want but a call to align our desires with the Lord’s. When we want what He wants, He’ll give us those desires because they are in accordance with His will. 

Second, we read, “Commit your way to the LORD” (v. 5). Every desire should be sifted through God’s Word and His will for our lives. When we commit our way to the Lord, we are acknowledging His rightful authority to decide whether our desires fit into His plan for our lives. But sometimes we’re reluctant to turn everything over to God because we’re afraid things won’t turn out the way we want. And the stronger our desire, the more determined we become to maneuver and manipulate circumstances to get our way. The reason we struggle to commit ourselves—and our desires—to the Lord is because we lack trust.

The third requirement is: “Trust also in Him, and He will do it” (v. 5). Who has proved Himself more faithful than our God? He’s rescued us from sin by sending His Son to pay the penalty we deserve. He’s given His Spirit as a pledge of our eternal security and promised us a home in heaven. Why would we ever doubt that He has the best plan for our lives? We can trust Him to make the right decision regarding our desires because He always does what’s best, and in the process, transforms us into people who reflect His own righteousness (v. 6).

Fourth, we are to “rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him” (v. 7). The opposite of resting is fretting, and David says three times in this psalm, “Do not fret” (vv. 1, 7, 8). When we fret, we are essentially disagreeing with God because He is not cooperating with our plans. The solution is to lay all our desires and expectations in His sovereign and loving hands, acknowledging that He is always right. Then we are to wait patiently, trusting in His love, wisdom, and power. If what we desire fits His will, nothing will prevent Him from accomplishing it in His perfect timing. But if it’s not His will, no amount of pleading will make Him bow to our wishes.

In order to adopt God’s desires as our own, we must know what He wants. That’s why it’s important to discover what pleases Him by reading through the Scriptures. We can’t simply pull a verse from its context and claim we’re standing on the Word. If we want a sure foundation, we must stand on the entire Word of God.

What do you desire most? I pray that whatever it is, you’ll be willing to trust God and lay it down before Him. I have learned from experience that His way is always the best and never results in regret.

Prayerfully yours,

Charles F. Stanley

P.S. We’d like to wish you a happy Fourth of July as we celebrate our nation’s independence. We have many reasons to be thankful for the liberties we enjoy, especially the freedom to share the gospel with as many people as possible. Our prayer is that God will continue to hold this door open so more people can be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. 

ome Content Index Books of the Bible Psalms Delight yourself in the Lord


What does it mean to delight yourself in the Lord (Psalm 37:4)?


Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Taking delight in the Lord means that our hearts truly find peace and fulfillment in Him. If we truly find satisfaction and worth in Christ, Scripture says He will give us the longings of our hearts. Does that mean, if we go to church every Sunday, God will give us a new Rolls Royce? No. The idea behind this verse and others like it is that, when we truly rejoice or “delight” in the eternal things of God, our desires will begin to parallel His and we will never go unfulfilled. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [the necessities of life] will be given to you as well.”

Many delight in wealth, status, material possessions, and other temporary things of this world, but they are never satisfied. They never truly get what they want, hence the reason they are always wanting more. This is the lesson King Solomon learned in his pursuit of earthly treasure: “Everything is meaningless!” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). On the other hand, delighting in the Lord is true treasure indeed: “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).

First John 2:15–17 says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” We will never be deeply fulfilled or “happy” with the things this world has to offer. If we place our joy and hope in God first, He will meet all of our needs. He will even grant our wants, as our hearts’ desires begin to match up with His will. If we truly place priority on the Lord, chances are our heart’s greatest desire will not be a brand-new Rolls Royce, but eternal treasures in Christ.

This world can never satisfy our deepest longings, but if we choose to delight in God’s way, He will always provide above and beyond our expectations. Jesus said, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).


Praying: Finding Our Way Through Duty to Delight by Packer & Nystrom

More insights from your Bible study – Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free!


What does it mean to commit your way to the Lord (Psalm 37:5)?

How can we “rest in the Lord” (Psalm 37:7)?

What does it mean to taste and see that the Lord is good in Psalm 34:8?

How are the steps of a man ordered by the Lord (Psalm 37:23)?

What does it mean that deep calls to deep (Psalm 42:7)?

Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”


 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).


Yes, I have heard several interpretations about this scripture’s meaning. Does it mean He will change our desires or is He truly interested in our desires? I’m not talking about sinful desires. What if someone desires a child, or what if someone desires to be married, etc.?


It can be very difficult for us, from our limited human perspective, to tell the difference between the ‘desires of our heart’ and the desires of our minds and/or our senses. However, it is very easy for the Christ Presence within us to know the difference.

God’s answer to the desires of our heart is always “Yes!” Always. But God knows—as our ego minds do not—that what seems to be an expression of our heart’s desire is actually not. So the Power of God responds to the heart desire, not to how we’ve decided that desire should express—how it should look, who it should be. For example, your heart’s desire may be for a loving relationship and a loving life experience. God’s answer is a joyful ‘Yes.’ But your ego mind may decide that one particular person is the perfect outpicturing of that heart’s desire. God knows that he is not, and you do not receive the relationship with that particular person you thought you wanted. So from your human perspective it seems that your heart’s desire was denied you. In spiritual truth, you have just been spared the often painful process of learning that we are not necessarily the best judges of what or who our heart’s desire is, and how it will look when it appears.

Please note that the three words that begin Psalm 37—and that are repeated throughout—are “Do not fret.” And the verse immediately following the one you asked about reads “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” Your heart’s desire is moving to you now through time and space, quickly, clearly and peacefully.


Rev. Ed

What Does Psalm 37:4 Mean? ►

Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Earlier in the Psalm we are told not to fret about evil-doers, nor to be envious of those that work iniquity, for when our mind is correctly focused on the Lord, then our hearts are not weighed down with the troublesome behaviour of the wicked, nor overwhelmed with the continuous influx of evil in the world.

Rather, we are instructed to keep the eyes of our heart upon Jesus, Who has promised to carry all our burdens, and to comfort us in all our affliction, by the God of all comforts – so that we may offer solace to others, who are also weighed down by the cares of this world, and oppressed by evil-doers.

As we change our focus onto the Lord, so our faith in Him is excited within our heart, and we are encouraged, by David, to trust in the Lord and do good – to feed on His faithfulness, so that we may become strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. We are to believe His promises and hold fast to the word of truth.

Just as fretting should be overtaken by trust, when God is the focus of our attention, so faith expands into joy, when we delight ourselves in the Lord, and make Him the singular joy and rejoicing of our heart. Delight yourself in the Lord, we are told. Be captivated by His beauty and wonder. Make Him the cornerstone of your hope and linchpin or your life, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

The Lord Jesus is the perfect example of a Man, who delighted Himself in the Lord. His was not an easy path. Indeed, He learnt obedience by the things that He suffered. Nevertheless, the Lord Jesus delighted Himself in His God and Father, throughout His life, and even endured the cross and despised its shame – for the JOY that was set before Him. I seek not My will, was His daily desire, but the will of Him that sent Me.

When the will of man is aligned with the will of God, as was intended in the beginning, then the things that delight our heavenly Father will naturally become the joy of our own heart. When we delight ourselves in the Lord, and take pleasure in the things that are uppermost on God’s own heart, we will discover that they become the joy of our heart – and we will be able to spiritual appraise all things, and to say with Paul, that we are one with Him and have the mind of Christ.


Day 37: 40 Day Love Challenge

Day 37: To say it another way, if two of you on earth agree on anything you pray for, my Father in heaven will do what you ask. (Matthew 18:19).

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” This verse, Matthew 18:19, is commonly used to teach that where two Christians pray in agreement, their prayer request will be answered without exception.Jul 23, 2015

What does Matthew 18:19-20 really mean?

Christian ambassador (Shawn Brasseaux)

6 years ago


by Shawn Brasseaux

“Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” This verse, Matthew 18:19, is commonly used to teach that where two Christians pray in agreement, their prayer request will be answered without exception. They can pray for anything and have the assurance that God will hear them and grant their request. Is this really what this verse teaches?

Interestingly, the next verse is also used in a bizarre manner: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). How should we take this verse? Today, it is taught that where two or three Christians are gathered, God mysteriously manifests Himself. When these two or three Christians disband, God allegedly leaves too. (And just where does He go?! Is that an implication of loss of salvation?!)

Verses 15 through 20 are one unit, so the key to understanding Matthew 18:19-20 is to get the thought flow of all six verses: “[15] Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. [16] But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. [17] And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. [18] Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. [19] Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. [20] For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Firstly, we note the context—the local assembly of Jewish believers, Israel’s little flock. Please note that, contrary to popular belief, the “church” of verse 17 is not the Church the Body of Christ or a local assembly of Christians today. It refers to Israel’s believing remnant, her kingdom saints, those who have accepted Jesus as Messiah. In verse 18, the Bible talks about whatever is bound on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever is loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven. Of what phrase is this reminiscent? Jesus had uttered similar words in Matthew 16:19 when discussing the divine authority He had given to Peter and the other 11 apostles of the Jerusalem Church.

We read in Matthew 16:16-19 about the Messianic Church: “[16] And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. [17] And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. [18] And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [19] And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

With this fresh in our minds, we return to Matthew 18:15-20 to expound. Re-scanning the text, we understand that it is how rebellious believing kingdom Jews were to be corrected from their error. In short, the passage describes authority in the Messianic Church. If a believing Jew is disorderly, he or she should be reprimanded before the leaders of the kingdom church, particularly the 12 apostles. Remember, once Jesus Christ leaves planet earth in Acts chapter 1, He leaves the 12 apostles to function in His absence. On the day of Pentecost, Acts chapter 2, He will send the Holy Spirit on them. The Spirit of God will empower them to continue preaching and doing what He had preached and done for the previous three years in Matthew through John. To take official action in Jesus Christ’s absence, two or three kingdom Jews in the leadership position had to agree. These verses have nothing to do with Gentiles in the Dispensation of Grace and members of the Church the body of Christ claiming prayer promises and spiritual breakthroughs. But, those verses did have a fascinating impact on us!


Oddly, people who enjoy stressing Matthew 18:19-20 in the context of prayer promises, usually never bother to study and learn how that passage sheds great light on the famous Acts-15 Jerusalem Council that Paul described in Galatians chapter 2: “[6] But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: [7] But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; [8] (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) [9] And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. [10] Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.”

When James, Cephas (Peter) and John—note three individuals leading the Jerusalem Church—were deliberating how to address Paul’s ministry amongst the Gentiles, they agreed to loose themselves from their Gentile commission (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8). These three apostles turned Gentiles over to Paul and Barnabas. Jesus Christ Himself by the Holy Ghost—in the apostles/persons of James, Peter, and John—further validated Paul’s ministry as being a part of God’s plan. Thus, the expression is fulfilled, “That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Also see:

» What is “the Lord’s house?”

» Is the Church the Body of Christ the “church” spoken of in Matthew 16:18?

» Who was Judas’ replacement—Matthias or Paul?

What does Matthew 18:19 mean?

In these words, often misinterpreted and misapplied, Jesus is talking to the Twelve within the context of a sinful believer who is being removed from the community of Christians. These men will become the apostles of Jesus, given enormous power to represent Him on earth after He departs for heaven and the church is born. One power He will give to them is accurately presenting godly truth (John 14:25–26).

Jesus does not give these men authority over heaven by saying that whatever they bind or loose on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven. Rather, when they describe a person as bound by sin or freed from sin, they are speaking truth. If they describe someone as included in the church or removed from it—according to these teachings of Jesus—that statement holds true. It is an enormous responsibility.

Likewise, Jesus’ comments on prayer must be carefully understood. This promise follows the statement on binding and loosing, which itself is a continuation of remarks about church discipline. In this case, that seems to limit application to the disciples’ prayer of removing a believer from the community for a refusal to repent. Again, this would be a very solemn and heavy responsibility.

It is drastically against the context of this passage to assume this is a promise from God that any two or three Christians who come together to ask for anything from God will receive what they ask for.

Context Summary

Matthew 18:15–20 describes the process Jesus gives to the disciples for dealing with sin-related conflict among a group of believers. The first step is for the one who is wronged to go and speak privately with the one who has sinned in hopes of restoring the relationship. If the sinful person refuses to repent, the same wronged person should return with one or two others and then take the issue to the church or assembly. If repentance never happens, that person should be treated as an outsider. This is also the process Christians are expected to follow in cases of disagreements or other arguments: individually, then privately, then publicly.

Chapter Summary

Jesus uses two questions from the disciples to teach important lessons. The “greatest” in the kingdom is the one who humbles himself like a child. Temptation is unavoidable in earthly life, but it’s worth going to extremes to avoid falling for it. Even so, those who fall should not be hated and despised. God the Father values them highly and wants none of them to perish. In fact, Jesus lays out a clear, careful process to confront sin in others before removing them from the community. Christ also replies to Peter’s question about forgiveness with a parable. This story represents both God’s amazing forgiveness, and the way we ought to respond as Christians.

Day 36: 40 Day Love Challenge

Day 36: Your word is like a lamp that guides my steps, a light that shows the path I should take. ( Psalm 119:105).

Psalm 119:105

New International Version

נ Nun


Your word is a lamp(A) for my feet,

    a light(B) on my path.

What Does Psalm 119:105 Mean? ►

Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.

Psalm 119:105(NLT)

Verse Thoughts

We journey through a fallen world with many dangerous pitfalls, slippery places, and dark foes seeking to destroy our close fellowship with our Lord, but in Psalm 119, we are given a beautiful promise and an eternal truth… that God’s Word is a gleaming lamp to our feet that will guide us through the darkness of this fallen world and it is a shining light to brighten the pathway we take.

Not only are there external difficulties and dangers to face in life’s journey, but also there are internal failings and weaknesses that lurk deep within our soul which can cause us to walk away from our ‘First Love’… but God’s Word provides a sure foundation upon which to stand in a darkened world that is falling apart.

Scripture is our secure guidebook to return us into a right relationship with the Lord when we abandon the road of righteousness or stray from the path of peace.

The Word of God is an inextinguishable lamp to guide us along the right path, and it is a radiant light that banishes the shadows of uncertainty, by illuminating the next step in this sin-soaked world.

Opening-up of the pages of Scripture will brighten the path we take, re-energise our hope in Christ, and provide understanding to the one who walks humbly before the Lord.

God’s Word is the light of truth that is written for our learning to lead us away from each shadowy danger that crosses our path and to strengthen our faith in our Saviour as He gently leads us. It lifts the darkness before us… and straightens every crooked path.

His Word not only brightens our pathway, guards us on our journey through life, and warns us of each lurking danger, but it is a treasure-trove of precious gemstones to be hidden deep within our heart – for it contains words of wisdom to guide our thinking, precious promises to encourage our hearts, godly instruction on how to live as the Lord desires us to live, and it is the perfect pattern for Christian living as well as the qualified adjudicator of our daily conduct.

The Bible is the sure Word of the living God, Who has told us the end from the beginning, and all God’s children do well to take heed to its precious pages as unto a light that shines in a dark place.

We do well to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the Word of God, and to guard it within our hearts, for it is a lamp


What does this psalm say?

Verse 105. 

Without God’s Word, we would be sunk into total darkness. We are incapable of knowing anything without access to God’s knowledge. Beyond this, the world is also very dark because of the constant deception that goes on everywhere around us. To make matters worse, our minds have been darkened due to Adam’s fall into sin.  Our only hope to lighten our path is the Word of God.  Of course, light does not help blind men at all, so we need our minds enlightened before the light can illuminate our way. 

When we say that God’s Word is a light to our path, this means more than guiding us towards the right breakfast cereal in the morning. It gives us big-picture direction that inevitably affects all other decisions we make.  It constantly rearranges our priorities and checks our motivations. It drives us from the paths of sin and destruction. Where would we be without this light? Every Christian knows that God’s Word is a constant corrective. Just as we must correct the steering wheel of a car twenty times every minute (so as not to run the vehicle into the ditch), God’s Word steers us down the straight path. It is God’s means of saving us and keeping us saved. 


Verse 105.—”Thy word is a lamp unto my feet.” We are walkers through the city of this world, and we are often called to go out into its darkness; let us never venture there without the light giving word, lest we slip with our feet. Each man should use the word of God personally, practically, and habitually, that he may see his way and see what lies in it. When darkness settles down upon all around me, the word of the Lord, like a flaming torch, reveals my way. Having no fixed lamps in eastern towns, in old time each passenger carried a lantern with him that he might not fall into the open sewer, or stumble over the heaps of ordure which defiled the road. This is a true picture of our path through this dark world: we should not know the way, or how to walk in it, if Scripture, like a blazing flambeau, did not reveal it. One of the most practical benefits of Holy Writ is guidance in the acts of daily life: it is not sent to astound us with its brilliance, but to guide us by its instruction. It is true the head needs illumination, but even more the feet need direction, else head and feet may both fall into a ditch. Happy is the man who personally appropriates God’s word, and practically uses it as his comfort and counsellor,—a lamp to his own feet.

“And a light unto my path.” It is a lamp by night, a light by day, and a delight at all times. David guided his own steps by it, and also saw the difficulties of his road by its beams. He who walks in darkness is sure, sooner or later, to stumble; while he who walks by the light of day, or by the lamp of night, stumbleth not, but keeps his uprightness. Ignorance is painful upon practical subjects; it breeds indecision and suspense, and these are uncomfortable: the word of God, by imparting heavenly knowledge, leads to decision, and when that is followed by determined resolution, as in this case, it brings with it great restfulness of heart.

This verse converses with God in adoring and yet familiar tones. Have we not something of like tenor to address to our heavenly Father?

Note how like this verse is to the first verse of the first octave, and the first of the second and other octaves. The seconds also are often in unison.


Verse 105.—”Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light,” etc. David was a man of very good wit and natural understanding; but he gives to God the glory of his wisdom, and owns that his best light was but darkness when he was not lightened and ruled by the word of God. Oh that we would consider this, that in all our ways wherein the word of God shines not unto us to direct us, we do but walk in darkness, and our ways without it can lead us to none other end but utter darkness. If we hearken not to the word of God, if we walk not by the rule thereof, how is it possible we can come to the face of God?

—William Cowper.

Verse 105.—”Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” The use of a lamp is by night, while the light of the sun shineth by day. Whether it be day or night with us, we clearly understand our duty by the Word of God. The night signifieth adversity, and the day prosperity. Hence we may learn how to behave ourselves in all conditions. The word “path” notes our general choice and course of life; the word “feet” our particular actions. Now whether the matter, wherein we would be informed, concerneth our choice of the way that leadeth to true happiness, or our dexterous prosecution of the way, still the word of God will direct a humble and well disposed mind.

—Thomas Manton.

Verse 105.—”Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,” etc. Basil the Great, interpreting the “word” as God’s will revealed in Holy Scripture, observes that the Old Testament, and in especial the Law, was only a lantern (lamp or candle) because an artificial light, imperfectly illumining the darkness, whereas the Gospel, given by the Lord Jesus himself, is a light of the Sun of Righteousness, giving brightness to all things. Ambrose, going yet deeper, tells us that Christ is himself both lamp and light. He, the Word of God, is a great light to some, to others he is a lamp. To me he is a lamp; to angels a light. He was a light to Peter, when the angel stood by him in the prison, and the light shined about him. He was a light to Paul when the light from heaven shined round about him, and he heard Christ saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” And Christ is truly a lamp to me when I speak of him with my mouth. He shineth in clay, he shineth in a potter’s vessel: he is that treasure which we bear in earthen vessels.

—Neale and Littledale.

Verse 105.—”Thy word is a lamp…and a light.” Except the “lamp” be lighted—except the teaching of the Spirit accompany the word—all is “darkness, gross darkness” still. Did we more habitually malt to receive, and watch to improve, the light of the word, we should not so often complain of the perplexity of our path.

—Charles Bridges.

Verse 105.—”Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,” etc. What we all want, is not to see wonders that daze us, and to be rapt in ecstatic visions and splendours, but a little light on the dark and troubled path we have to tread, a lamp that will burn steadfastly and helpfully over the work we have to do. The stars are infinitely more sublime, meteors infinitely more superb and dazzling; but the lamp shining in a dark place is infinitely closer to our practical needs.

—From “The Expositor,” 1864.

Verse 105.—”Thy word is a lamp unto my feet.” Going two miles into a neighbourhood where very few could read, to spend an evening in reading to a company who were assembled to listen, and about to return by a narrow path through the woods, where paths diverged, I was provided with a torch of light wood, or “pitch pine.” I objected; it was too small, weighing not over half a pound. “It will light you home,” answered my host. I said, “The wind may blow it out.” He said, “It will light you home.” “But if it should rain?” I again objected. “It will light you home,” he insisted.

Contrary to my fears, it gave abundant light to my path all the way home, furnishing an apt illustration, I often think, of the way in which doubting hearts would be led safely along the “narrow way.” If they would take the Bible as their guide, it would be a lamp to their feet, leading to the heavenly home. One man had five objections to the Bible. If he would take it as a lamp to his feet, it would “light him home.” Another told me he had two faults to find with the Bible. I answered him in the words of my good friend who furnished the torch, “It will light you home.”

—From “The American Messenger,” 1881.

Verse 105.—”A lamp unto my feet,” etc. All depends on our way of using the lamp. A man tells that when a boy he was proud to carry the lantern for his Sabbath school teacher. The way to their school led through unlit, muddy streets. The boy held the lantern far too high, and both sank in the deep mud. “Ah! you must hold the lamp lower,” the teacher exclaimed, as they gained a firm footing on the farther side of the slough. The teacher then beautifully explained our text, and the man declares that he never forgot the lesson of that night. You may easily hold the lamp too high; but you can hardly hold it too low.

—James Wells, in “Bible Images,” 1882.

Verse 105.—”Light.”

Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom

    Lead thou me on.

The night is dark, and I am far from home,

    Lead thou me on.

Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see

The distant scene; one step enough for me.

—John Henry Newman (1801-1890).

Verses 105-106.—”A light unto my path. I have sworn, and I will perform it,” etc. I have looked upon thy word as a lamp to my own feet, as a thing nearly concerning myself, and then I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments. It is a mighty means to stir up a man’s spirit, and quicken him to obedience, to look upon the word as written to himself, as a lamp and a light for him. When you come to hear out of God’s Word, and God directs the minister so that you apprehend the truth as spoken to you, it will stir and awaken you, and you will say, “Oh me thought this day every word the minister spoke was directed to me; I must take heed thereto.” And so every word in the Scripture that concerns thee God writes to thee; and if thou wilt take it so, it will be a mighty means to stir thee up to obedience.

—Jeremiah Burroughs, 1599-1646.


Verses 105-112.—”The word a lamp.”

For guidance (Psa 119:105-106).

For life in affliction (Psa 119:107).

For preservation in peril of enemies (Psa 119:109-110).

For joy of heart (Psa 119:111-112).

—Outlines Upon Keywords of the Psalm, by Pastor C. A. Davis.


Verses 105-108.—

1. Illumination (Psa 119:105).

2. Decision (Psa 119:106).

3. Testing: “I am afflicted” (Psa 119:107).

4. Consecration (Psa 119:108).

5. Education: “teach me,” etc. (Psa 119:108).

Verse 105.—The practical, personal, everyday use of the word of God.

Verse 105.—Lamp light.

1. The believer’s dangerous night journey through the world.

2. The lamp that illumines his path.

3. The eternal day towards which he travels (when the lamp will be laid aside: Rev 22:5).

—C. A. D.


Verse 106.—”I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.” Under the influence of the clear light of knowledge he had firmly made up his mind, and solemnly declared his resolve in the sight of God. Perhaps mistrusting his own fickle mind, he had pledged himself in sacred form to abide faithful to the determinations and decisions of his God. Whatever path might open before him, he was sworn to follow that only upon which the lamp of the word was shining. The Scriptures are God’s judgments, or verdicts, upon great moral questions; these are all righteous, and hence righteous men should be resolved to keep them at all hazards, since it must always be right to do right. Experience shows that the less of covenanting and swearing men formally enter upon the better, and the genius of our Saviour’s teaching is against all supererogatory pledging and swearing; and yet under the gospel we ought to feel ourselves as much bound to obey the word of the Lord as if we had taken an oath so to do. The bonds of love are not less sacred than the fetters of law. When a man has vowed he must be careful to “perform it,” and when a man has not vowed in so many words to keep the Lord’s judgments, yet is he equally bound to do so by obligations which exist apart from any promise on our part,—obligations founded in the eternal fitness of things, and confirmed by the abounding goodness of the Lord our God. Will not every believer own that he is under bonds to the redeeming Lord to follow his example, and keep his words? Yes, the vows of the Lord are upon us, especially upon such as have made profession of discipleship, have been baptized into the thrice holy name, have eaten of the consecrated memorials, and have spoken in the name of the Lord Jesus: We are enlisted, and sworn in, and are bound to be loyal soldiers all through the war. Thus having taken the word into our hearts by a firm resolve to obey it, we have a lamp within our souls as well as in the Book, and our course will be light unto the end.

Day 35: 40 Day Love Challenge

Day 35: If you don’t ask for advice, your plans will fail. With many advisors, they will succeed. (Proverbs 15:22)

Those who don’t ask for help will have plans go wrong yet with many advisers and trust plans formed right will successfully be done

New Living Translation

Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.

English Standard Version

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 15:22

Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.

Play Audio:

Here is great advice. From a king! Do not make decisions in a vacuum. Do not trust your research, analysis, forecast, or strategy. Other perspectives and experiences can save you trouble and refine your plan. Do you have wisdom and humility to appreciate this advice? Fools rush ahead. Wise men are prudent. Here is a way to avoid danger (Pr 22:3; 27:12).

A sure rule for success in life is to submit decisions to the review of wise counselors. King Solomon, seeking to prepare his son to govern Israel, repeated this axiom several times in his manual of wisdom (Pr 11:14; 20:18; 24:6). He knew that many factors could distort a man’s decision making, especially when he is personally involved in a matter.

People make plans – to get married, change jobs, respond to an enemy, go back to school, buy a house, find a new church, teach children at home, invest in a business, borrow money, etc. If you push ahead without using wise and emotionally-neutral friends to criticize your ideas, you will likely be disappointed. But if you humbly allow prudent acquaintances to review your plans, you can settle on a surer course for your life.

This rule for success is basic and simple. Why do most ignore it? They presume they are right (Pr 14:12; 16:25). They are too proud to ask anyone else (Pr 26:12,16). They do not want to hear any negative criticism (Pr 18:2,17). They are too impatient to take the time (Pr 14:29; 19:2; 21:5; 25:8; 28:22). They are already committed, and it is too humbling to turn back (Pr 6:1-5). They have no wise counselors. They know their reasons are weak.

When you plan for yourself or family, you are already biased toward your conclusion. You are emotionally involved, and you cannot see as clearly as others. Your desires, experiences, knowledge, circumstances, and other factors distort your perception of reality. You do not see the danger or weaknesses as easily as a disinterested third party.

To apply this rule, you need wise counselors. Most men cannot be counselors. You need knowledgeable, insightful, sober, and critical persons. Why settle for less? Because you can easily persuade them? You want pessimistic persons, who see dangers in everything, because you are already positive enough, or you would not be considering the matter.

You need more than one counselor. Safety and success depend on the multiplied wisdom of many counselors. It takes more humility and time to consult several counselors, but the benefits gained cannot be appreciated until you have been burned a few times by your own decisions. King Ahasuerus of Persia wisely trusted seven men to guide him in a matter of passion (Esther 1:10-22). God gave you royal advice by inspiring Solomon.

You must then put everything on the table with your counselors. You must be transparent about your goal and strategy and any threats to them. You cannot hold back aspects of your proposal you know are weak or wrong. You must come totally clean with them, so they can rightly and quickly analyze the major factors and final objective of your plan.

Then you must listen and incorporate their advice. Consulting advisors is not an empty exercise to merely discuss ideas to flatter them or honor yourself. The purpose is to get an answer to save you and help you. You must accept their judgment as far as it goes. You must consider their counsel. To hear criticism of a bad plan and do it anyway is two sins.

What men are useful for counsel? Men that fear God and know His word can help, for unbelievers have no real wisdom (Is 8:20). The children of this world are wise in earthly matters only, like picking a heat pump manufacturer (Luke 16:8). Any decision affecting your heart, your walk with God, morality, or a Bible subject, even if loosely connected, requires faithful and sober Christians, for they only have true wisdom (Pr 1:7; 9:10).

You can become such a counselor by learning the Bible. Just the book of Proverbs has a large amount of practical wisdom to save men from foolish decisions involving business ethics, child training, communication, friends, investment scams, marriage, money, speech, whores, wine, work ethics, and many other subjects. Scripture can make simple men wise, and it is your duty and privilege to learn it (Pr 22:17-21; Ps 19:7; 119:130).

What about truth itself from scripture – correct doctrine about God and the most important matters of life and eternity? There is no verse in the Bible you should interpret by itself, for you must let the rest of scripture guide and limit your interpretation, for it was all written by the Holy Ghost (II Pet 1:20-21; I Cor 2:13). This is the first and most important rule of Bible study – you must not take a position that contradicts other verses.

What about truth from preachers – the correct doctrine and practice of true religion? There are few men today that exalt truth over popularity, numbers, revenue, or approval. If you find such a man, he is one among a thousand (Job 33:23; Jer 23:28). But even then, you must prove him by the many counselors of scripture (I Thess 5:21; Acts 17:11). And in this age of Internet access, you can further check him by faithful preachers of the past.

Plans . . . Fractured or Fantastic? Proverbs 15:22


Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed.

Proverbs 15:22

What needs to be done to make sure our plans succeed? Today’s proverb gives us that information. We find that the counsel God gives us on this helps us to grasp that to be a good leader who is able to make and succeed in plans, we do not need to be someone who can do it all themselves. Contrary to that thought – a good leader is one who when making plans is willing to consult with others. A great leader is one who also regularly consults with God.

Counsel is absolutely necessary when making good plans. Our passage today reminds us that plans are broken and frustrated when we do not do this. The word for frustration here is “parar” which means to break, divide, or frustrate. What is interesting is that the Bible speaks several times to the effect that God is the One Who will frustrate our plans if we do not seek Him in the midst of making them. What is even more fascinating is that we read in Isaiah 14:27, that the Lord’s purposes cannot be frustrated. This leads us to the conclusion that the best plans are those made in concert with the will of God. Those are the plans that will stand – and will be established.

The second word that is interesting, especially in light of our plans and purposes needing to be those of God, is the word “consultation.” This word is the Hebrew word, “sod” which means counsel or advice. The word has with it the concept of confidentiality and intimacy. Thus this refers to what some would call, “intimate counsel.” The idea is that of great intimacy with the one from whom you are receiving counsel. Thus we come to the conclusion that in order to make solid, successful plans we need to have an intimacy with God. This takes planning out of a boring, man-centered process – and puts it into the category of fellowship and intimacy with God. If we lack this intimacy with God in planning – seeking His heart and His purposes to be fullfilled – we can expect some level of frustration and a fracturing of our plans.

When we have many counselors our plans succeed. The reason for this is because many counselors will help us to see our thinking and our personal planning from multiple perspectives. This will help us not fall into the trap of our own personal agenda taking over our plans. Another way of saying this is it keeps us from planning in the flesh. There will be enough feedback and counsel to rescue us from just doing what we want.

Planning is a good thing, but it breaks down when we make it too “me-centric.” We are not farsighted enough to see everything that needs to be seen. We are too selfish not to see that we need multimple perspectives on a planned undertaking. The wise man therefore surrounds himself with a group of people who will help him see through another perspective than his own. The wiser man also spends much time in the presence of the Lord as he seeks to know what is the best course of action – and the best way to make his plans. This man will succeed.

Why is a multitude of counselors valuable (Proverbs 15:22)?


Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established” (KJV). Proverbs 11:14 and 24:6 also mention the value of a “multitude of counselors” or having “many advisers.” The general principle is that there is wisdom in seeking a wide range of advice from others instead of relying solely on one’s own knowledge or intuition. Considering other points of view and drawing on the experience of others is good.

Of course, twenty foolish advisers are no better than one, so the kind of counselors one seeks makes all the difference in the outcome. The Bible gives examples of people who listened to the wrong type of counsel and reaped disastrous results (Genesis 3:17; 16:2; Joshua 9:14; 1 Chronicles 10: 13–14; 2 Chronicles 22:4). A multitude of counselors won’t help if those counselors are fools.

Human beings are fallible. No one gets it right 100 percent of the time. The wisest and most godly among us are still subject to human error. We set ourselves up for disappointment and often disaster when we build our lives or ministries based upon the counsel of just one person. It is good to surround ourselves with trusted advisers—a multitude of counselors—realizing that even wise people can see many things differently.

Having a multitude of counselors is valuable because hearing varied viewpoints gives us a healthier foundation upon which to form opinions. We make the soundest decisions when we have fully investigated the issue from many angles, sought the Lord’s wisdom (James 1:5), and moved forward in faith (2 Corinthians 5:7).


Proverbs NIV Application Commentary by Paul Koptak

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Why did Jesus teach in parables?

What should we learn from the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31?

Do Proverbs 26:4 and 26:5 contradict? How can both verses be true?

What does it mean to lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6)?

What is wisdom? What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge?

Day 34: 40 Day Love Challenge

Day 34: Love is never happy when others do wrong, but it is always happy with the truth. (1 Corinthians 13:6)

Love is never happy when wronged but is at peace on happiness by truth

1 Corinthians 13:6, ESV: “it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.” 1 Corinthians 13:6, NLT: “It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.”

1 Corinthians 13:6, CSB: “Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.”

What does it mean that love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6)?


First Corinthians 13:4-6 contains a list of several things love “does not” do. The final item in this list is that love “does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” Love loves the truth. Love does not love evil, or, as the ESV puts it, “it does not rejoice at wrongdoing.”

Corinth was an evil place with pervasive idol worship and rampant sexual immorality. The recently converted Christians in Corinth sometimes had a hard time shaking the old habits. One man involved in egregious immorality had been tolerated in the church (chapter 5), and the Lord’s Supper had been dishonored to the point of including gluttony and drunkenness (chapter 11). To combat these evils, Paul taught that love does not enjoy or “delight in” such actions; rather, true love finds joy in truth and righteousness.

Psalm 1:1-2 offers the proper attitude concerning truth: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” The “blessed” person despises evil but loves God’s truth, reflecting upon it constantly.

Psalm 5:4 says, “You are not a God who delights in wickedness.” The God who is love (1 John 4:8) delights in what is true and just. God loves us, and He “desire[s] truth in the inner parts” (Psalm 51:6). In other words, God does not ignore our sin just because He loves us. In fact, it is because of His great love that He provided the means of cleansing our sin in Christ (1 John 4:10).

True love rejoices in what is right and good. Anything that covers up sin or seeks to justify wrongdoing is the polar opposite of godly love. Love does not sweep sin under the rug. Love does not try to find ways to get away with bad behavior, and it does not put up with injustice. Instead, it treasures truth, celebrates good behavior, and promotes virtue. True love has nothing to hide.

Further, to “not delight in evil” carries the idea of not gloating over someone else’s guilt. It is common for people to rejoice when an enemy is found guilty of a crime or caught in a sin. This is not love. Love rejoices in the virtue of others, not in their vices. Sin is an occasion for sorrow, not for joy.

Basically, to exhibit God’s kind of love, we must have God’s perspective on sin and righteousness. The better we understand love, the more we will sorrow over those who commit sin. The more we love the truth, the better we can love those around us.


Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Philip Ryken

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What does it mean that love is not rude (1 Corinthians 13:5)?

What does it mean that love is not self-seeking (1 Corinthians 13:5)?

What does it mean that love is not easily angered (1 Corinthians 13:5)?

What does it mean that love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5)?

What does it mean that love is not proud (1 Corinthians 13:4)?

What Does 1 Corinthians 13:6 Mean? ►

does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

1 Corinthians 13:6(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Man was made in the image and likeness of God, but that image became distorted and marred when sin reared its ugly head, and man chose the path of disobedience over the pathway to peace, the highway to holiness or the road of righteousness.

Instead of choosing to live in innocent dependence upon their Creator, man freely chose to rebel against the true and living God, which resulted in an inputed sin nature and an inherited tendency towards sin.

The true nature of fallen man.. not only delights in evil but has a predisposition towards giving a half-truth, a distorted truth, a part truth or a non-truth, and yet we are told that LOVE does not delight in evil but LOVE rejoices in the truth.

The true nature of man is diametrically opposite to the godly nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we can only attain to the standard that God requires of all his children, if we die to self and live to Christ – if we keep the old sin nature nailed to the cross and live and move and have our being in the new born-again nature.. of the Christ-life, that we receive at salvation.

If the spiritual fruit of love is to bud, blossom and mature in our life, we must keep our eyes looking to Jesus and our hearts submitted to the Spirit.. as we humbly kneel before the Father and say, ‘Thy will not mine be done..’


What does 1 Corinthians 13:6 mean?

Paul is describing true, Christlike love. This is from the Greek root word agape. That term means a godly, selfless love. This is distinguished from other terms such as phileo, meaning brotherly love, or eros, meaning sexual attraction. Paul provides 14 descriptors of agape love, half are positive and half are negative, to capture the essence of how believers should live in relationship with each other. Most of the problems Paul has addressed in this letter could be boiled down to the Corinthians’ refusal to love each other in this way.

Paul now adds to the list.

Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, or unrighteousness or injustice. In short, love does not delight in evil. Paul may have been referring to several specific issues among the Christians in Corinth, but this statement is true in all cases. Anytime a believer finds him- or herself tempted to root for or enjoy injustice or wrong choices, we can know we are not motivated by love for God or for each other.

Why would anyone rejoice over wrongdoing? Perhaps we root for someone who has been wronged to get revenge. Perhaps we pick a side and cheer for one believer to defeat another in a lawsuit (1 Corinthians 6:1–11). Perhaps we enjoy seeing two people connect in a romantic relationship despite its sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 5:1–2).

In such cases, our motive is not love for brothers and sisters in Christ.

Love does rejoice with the truth, however. The truth, no matter how difficult it may be, is always the best path through any situation. It is the way of and to Christ, who is the Truth (John 14:6). Wanting what is true to be understood and accepted by others is one way we express love.

Context Summary

First Corinthians 13:1–13 is one of the most loved and well-known passages in the Bible, but Paul places it after his teaching on the spiritual gifts for a specific reason. Some of the gifts may seem impressive, but if attempted without self-sacrificing love for others, they become meaningless, even destructive. Paul uses 14 verbs to describe what love does and does not do. Love is the foundation for Paul’s teaching in the following chapter on prophecy, tongues, and even orderly worship. While this section is often quoted in romantic settings, such as a wedding, the concept in mind is that of agape: a self-sacrificing, godly love.

Chapter Summary

Paul responds to the Corinthians’ over-emphasis on certain spiritual gifts by showing them that all gifts are worthless if not practiced through godly love. Paul provides 14 descriptors of love, all action verbs, all choices made out of a commitment to set self aside and serve others. Choosing to love each other in this way would solve many of the problems Paul has confronted in this letter. The spiritual gifts provide a glimpse of what is knowable, but when the perfect comes, we will know all. Love is the greatest of all the virtues.

Day 33: 40 Day Love Challenge

Day 33: If two people sleep together, they will be warm. But a person sleeping alone will not be warm. (Ecclesiastes 4:11)

If two people sleep together, they will be warm and comfortable but one person sleeping alone will not be at rest or warm to sleep

Ecclesiastes 4:11

New International Version


Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.

    But how can one keep warm alone?

What Does Ecclesiastes 4:12 Mean? ►

And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

Ecclesiastes 4:12(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

As Ecclesiastes unfolds, contrasting pictures emerge from its pages. We see secular wisdom at variance with the divine wisdom from on high. We discover the wonderful hope we have in our eternal God, as the antithesis of man’s devastating despair in this fallen world system.

We hear of the futility of man’s fleshly accomplishments and the emptiness and pain that permeates every aspect of life, when God is excluded. We discover that the continuous ebb and flow of human activity, secures the soul of every man in the iron-grip of death, and no-one is exempt. Yet Solomon’s conclusion, when all had been evaluated, is that man’s duty is to fear God and to keep His commandments.

At times, the contents of this book sound like the ramblings of a depressed man, interspersed with little glimmers of hope and injections of joy here and there. At other times it appears to contradict other passages in Scripture, causing some to question its legitimacy as an integral part of the Scriptures. However, it must never be forgotten that these are the reflections of Soloman, as he approached the end of his life. And there is much that we can learn from its pages, for all Scripture is written by inspiration of God and is profitable for our learning. 

Having been endowed with wisdom, wealth, fame, and nobility, this royal son of David strayed far from the truth and dishonoured the Lord, Who had blessed him mightily. However, he finally recognised his folly and concluded that life without God is futile, false, and fruitless. As Solomon reflected on the choices in his search for the meaning in life, his conclusions help us to focus on what is beneficial, to prioritise wisely and not to crave the passing pleasures this world has to offer.

Chapter 4 opens by lamenting that the oppression of secular society brings nothing but misery to a man, while the accumulation of wealth brings emptiness, unless there is someone with whom it can be shared! Despite his great wisdom, intellect, fame, and fortune, Solomon discovered all his privileges and accomplishments were vain and futile.

Although Solomon was a man who forgot to pay heed to the advice of his own father, he wanted his sons to make wise choices in their life-journeys. He recognised his own personal achievements, intellectual greatness, fabulous wealth, military might and far-reaching fame were no more beneficial to a man’s eternal soul than chasing after the wind or trying to catch hold of a passing breeze.

Solomon acknowledged that paying heed to wise counsel is prudent, companionship is valuable, and friends and family bring encouragement in our passage through life. “Two are better than one”, he observed, “for if someone can overpower a man who is alone, two can resist him – and a cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”

Amidst all the futility and foolishness that Solomon identified in his own life, he realised the value in human relationships and the benefits of not being alone. Two are stronger and two are more productive. Two provide one another with warmth on a cold night, protection from an enemy attack and companionship instead of isolation. It is as he reflects on the benefits of two that he adds, “And a cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart – a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

This sudden departure from a partnership of two to include a third party is often quoted or interpreted to mean the Lord as the third strand in the cord of three. And in consideration of Solomon’s life of foolishness and folly, where he ignored the godly wisdom of the wise and strayed from the path of righteousness, this observation appears to be one of his fleeting moments of clarity, where Solomon recognised the wisdom of including the Lord in every earthly partnership and each area of life.

When God is included in any alliance, partnership, family, or company, it is a successful association. When a marriage, a business partnership or close friendship invites God to be that third cord in their relationship, it is strengthened, enduring and satisfying. Whether or not this was in Solomon’s mind when he wrote, “a cord of three strands is not easily broken”, including God in our relationships and activities is something we should all consider.

When two people are of the same heart and mind, there is greater potential to stand firm, stay true, resist the enemy, maintain unity of spirit and not fall prey to an alternative philosophy or unwholesome mindset. And when God becomes the third Person in such a partnership, life takes on new purpose and meaning.

The foolish choices Solomon made in his later life, when he walked away from the God of his father, ignored the Law of Moses, indulged in ungodly ways and permitted pagan activities to defile the land and infect his kingdom, it is not surprising that Solomon’s life lacked meaning and he found himself surrounded by so much gloom and despondency.

The little pockets of hope, glimmers of joy and infusions of encouragement that percolate throughout the book of Ecclesiastes, suggest that.. had this great king of Israel been a man after God’s own heart, like his father, David, and remained true to the Lord and humble before Him, his experiences in life may have been very different from the disappointments he underwent in his secular pursuits and the futility he found in the life he lived. 

Had he kept God as the third strand of every relationship and allowed Him to direct the decisions he made and guide the activities he undertook, I suspect his memoirs may have reached a very different conclusion and his spiritual understanding of the God, in Whom he trusted, may have been broadened, like that of Job – who heard of God by the hearing of the ear – but finally received a depth of spiritual understanding he had never experienced before.

Life on earth is difficult, and our time is fleeting, but we have choices to make every day of our lives – in the relationships we make and activities we undertake. May we ensure that the choices we





This verse talks about strength in numbers with two or more people together being stronger (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12).

The first pair of people in biblical history came about through the need for companionship. In Genesis, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” according to the New International Version (NIV). Later in Genesis chapter 2 God creates this helper, a woman named Eve from a rib of Adam as he sleeps.

“Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?”

Ecclesiastes 4:11 Translation & Meaning

What does this verse really mean? Use this table to get a word-for-word translation of the original Hebrew Scripture. This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. Follow the buttons in the right-hand column for detailed definitions and verses that use the same root words. Use this reference information to gain deeper insight into the Bible and enrich your understanding. Information based on Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance[1].

Meaning/ Definition 

This is a simplified translation of the original Hebrew word. Follow the buttons on the right to get more detail.

More 

Use the buttons below to get details on the Hebrew word and view related Bible verses that use the same root word.



Properly, assemblage; used only adverbially also, even, yea, though; often repeated as correl. both…and




Used very widely as demonstrative, lo!; interrogative, whether?; or conditional, if, although; also Oh that!, when; hence, as a negative, not




Two; also (as ordinal) twofold


“lie together,”


To lie down (for rest, sexual connection, decease or any other purpose)

lie together

“then they have heat:”


To be hot (literally or figuratively)

then heat

“but how”


How? or how!; also where


“can one”


Properly, united, i.e., one; or (as an ordinal) first

can one

“be warm”


Probably to be hot; figuratively, to conceive



Verse Context

• • 9  Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

• 10  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

• 11  Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?

• 12  And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

• 13 Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.

Day 32: 40 Day Love Challenge

Day 32: The husband should give his wife what she deserves as his wife. And the wife should give her husband what he deserves as her husband. (1 Corinthians 7:3)

The man who becomes husband should provide to all needs of his wife giving her what she deserves as his very own wife. The wife as well should give her husband what he needs and deserves just the same as her husband they are committed by spirit, faith, love and guidance no longer separated as ones own

1 Corinthians 7:3, NLT: “The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs.”

1 Corinthians 7:3, CSB: “A husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband.”

What Does 2 Corinthians 7:3 Mean? ►

I do not speak to condemn you, for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together.

2 Corinthians 7:3(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthian church, concentrated on teaching and correction, whilst his second letter is more pastoral, and exposes the deep love Paul has for these people. It shows the concern he shows for their spiritual welfare, and the establishment in their faith.

Paul’s first communication concentrated on correction, while the focus of this second message is on comfort, victory in the cross and the sufficient grace that is ours in Christ. It reminds us of our eternal perspective, our future inheritance, our labour in the Lord and the rewards that are promised to those that die to self and live for Christ.

It talks of the glory and grace we have, through the indwelling Spirit of God, and the wisdom and power that comes from our Father in heaven – and it encourages us to endeavour to keep the unity of the Body – for which we should seek after and strive for, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Paul knew that the serious chastisement and constructive correction he was obliged to deliver in his earlier writings, had significantly affected the morale of his Corinthian brothers and sisters, and it appears that the apostle was concerned that it had damaged their relationship, with one other. And in this section he is seeking to comfort them in the pain they had to endure, and to re-establish their close communion and mutual love, by commending them for their changed behaviour, and empathising with the hurt and suffering they had endured.

“Make room for us in your hearts,’ Paul writes, “we wronged no one, we corrupted no one and we took advantage of no one’. Paul’s reproof and correction in his earlier letter was for their spiritual benefit. It was to train them in righteousness, mature them in the faith, arrest their carnality and put them back on the path to spiritual growth, and so he wrote, I do not speak to condemn you, for I have said before that you are in our hearts – to die together and to live together.

Paul’s earlier correction may have pained these believers, but it did not stifle the deep love he had for this little flock. He was prepared to die for these Christians as well as to live for them. And so Paul was able to rejoice – not because they were made sorrowful, but because their sorrow brought them to godly repentance, which is our Father’s will for all His straying children.

Indeed, the sorrow that is according to the will of God, brings salvation.. i.e. it returns the backsliding believer into fellowship with our Father in heaven. In order to bring the gospel to these people, and to us, Paul himself, had to undergo terrible trials – but he found great joy when his corrective training brought spiritual fruit.

Paul provided these brothers and sisters in Christ with corrective teaching through the Word, and like them.. we should be ready to receive teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness, whenever it is necessary. Spiritual reproof comes to us in various ways – through increased familiarity with the Word of God, from brothers in the faith, and through a humble heart that has a teachable spirit. May we be ready and willing to receive reproof, correction and training in righteousness, for the glory of God, in our spiritual journey through life.


What does 1 Corinthians 7:3 mean?

Paul has rejected an idea, perhaps held by some of the Corinthians, that even married Christians should not have sex with each other. The statement made in verse 1 of this chapter seems to be a quote from the people of Corinth as posed to Paul: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”

Instead, Scripture declares the exact opposite. Married people should have sex with their spouses because of the ongoing temptation to engage in sexual immorality.

Here, Paul makes this point more directly. Both spouses should fulfill the sexual rights that are due the other, the husband to his wife and the wife to her husband. As emphasized in verse 4, Christian marriage is to be understood as mutual surrender of oneself to meet the needs of the other person. Paul’s teaching here shows that God intends this surrender to include meeting the sexual needs of one’s spouse.

It’s important to note a few things. First, properly-functioning marriage is defined by the self-sacrificing love described in 1 Corinthians 13:4–7. The command here is to act in love to meet the sexual needs of one’s husband or wife. Though Paul does not address it here, that same sacrificial approach may require not insisting that one’s “conjugal rights” be honored. In other words, the command to be sacrificially loving also encourages spouses not to be demanding or unkind in their sexual relationship.

Second, Paul avoids setting up any parameters. Scripture provides no list, description, or timeframe regarding how a spouse’s marital rights are to be honored. This teaching simply forbids a blanket refusal to participate in sex on some kind of regular basis. Christlike love should be the motive in all things. A spouse should neither withhold themselves sexually nor try to coerce sex from the other.

Finally, in great contrast to the standards of his culture, Paul does not distinguish between men and women here. Both sexes are understood to face sexual temptation. Both are commanded to honor the rights of the other. Although the statement in verse 1, apparently posed by the Corinthians, focuses only on men, Paul makes it perfectly clear in his answer that both husband and wife have sexual rights and both husband and wife must submit to each other in this area of marriage. Once more, Christlike love should be the motive in all things.

Context Summary

First Corinthians 7:1–16 includes Paul’s teaching about sex and marriage for Christians. Some in Corinth apparently thought even married believers should not have sex. Paul rejects that idea, insisting that married Christians belong to each other and should not deprive each other in this way because of the temptation to sexual sin. Also, married believers should not divorce in order to somehow be closer to God. The Lord intends marriage to be for life. Those married to unbelievers may, by staying in the marriage, help lead the other person to Christ.

Chapter Summary

Paul rejects an idea concerning the Corinthian believers: that married Christians should not have sex. Perhaps some even though marriages should be dissolved and avoided. On the contrary, Scripture says married Christians should have regular sex in order to avoid temptation. Those who are married ought to remain married. Unmarried believers with the gift of celibacy, however, should consider remaining single in order to avoid the troubles of marriage. That is Paul’s personal preference, though that gift is not given to all others. Single believers can devote themselves to serving Christ without distraction. The time is short. All believers should live and serve Christ now as if this world is passing away