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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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Pastor's Pen - July 17, 2007
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July 17, 2007

Proverbs 13-15
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Proverbs
Chapter 13
  1. A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
  2. A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.
  3. He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.
  4. The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
  5. A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.
  6. Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.
  7. There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
  8. The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.
  9. The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
  10. Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
  11. Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.
  12. Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
  13. Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
  14. The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
  15. Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
  16. Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.
  17. A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.
  18. Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.
  19. The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.
  20. He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
  21. Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.
  22. A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
  23. Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.
  24. He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
  25. The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.


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Proverbs
Chapter 14
  1. Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
  2. He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.
  3. In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.
  4. Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.
  5. A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.
  6. A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.
  7. Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.
  8. The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.
  9. Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.
  10. The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
  11. The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.
  12. There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
  13. Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
  14. The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
  15. The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.
  16. A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.
  17. He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
  18. The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
  19. The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
  20. The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.
  21. He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
  22. Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.
  23. In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
  24. The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.
  25. A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.
  26. In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
  27. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
  28. In the multitude of people is the king's honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.
  29. He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
  30. A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
  31. He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
  32. The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.
  33. Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.
  34. Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
  35. The king's favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.


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Proverbs
Chapter 15
  1. A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
  2. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
  3. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
  4. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
  5. A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.
  6. In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.
  7. The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.
  8. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
  9. The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.
  10. Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.
  11. Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?
  12. A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.
  13. A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
  14. The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.
  15. All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.
  16. Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.
  17. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
  18. A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.
  19. The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.
  20. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.
  21. Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.
  22. Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.
  23. A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!
  24. The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.
  25. The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.
  26. The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.
  27. He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.
  28. The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.
  29. The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
  30. The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.
  31. The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.
  32. He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.
  33. The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.


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Thought for the day:
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 A verse which has been a great help to me over my years of ministry has been Proverbs 14:4, which states,

"Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox."
A good understanding of this verse can alleviate many of the improper attitudes that we can get towards others. The picture given to us here is of an old-time farm. The owner has livestock, which he uses to pull his plow and other equipment. Periodically, he has to go into the barn and clean it up because of the mess that the animals leave behind. It is a dirty, smelly job, and one that he does not want to do. As he does the work, he thinks to himself, "You know, if I would just get rid of these oxen, I wouldn't have to clean this barn anymore, and I could spend my time doing other things that would be more enjoyable." However, in the midst of his reverie, he comes to the realization that if he got rid of his oxen he wouldn't have a farm anymore, because he would not have anyone to pull his equipment, and therefore he would not be able to get any work done. Thus, he keeps the oxen because he would rather have to clean up after them than not have them at all.

 How true this principle is in our lives. Sometimes people can really get on our nerves. Perhaps they are family members, or fellow church members. They make mistakes, and we are left to clean up after them. Nobody enjoys having to deal with the problems that someone else has caused, and we may think to ourselves that we would be better off if those people simply weren't around anymore. However, we need to be reminded that it is only by the strength of those people that the work gets accomplished. I believe all people in leadership, and particularly those in pastoral leadership, can struggle in this area. How often has a pastor said to himself, "This would be a great church if it weren't for the people." Yes, sometimes the people that we have been called to lead will make foolish mistakes. Sometimes they will make decisions that require us to get involved in areas that we would, quite frankly, rather stay out of. The temptation is to wish that these people would just go away. Yet we need to be reminded that if our church consisted of only my family, we wouldn't get very much done. The messes would be fewer, but so would the accomplishments. I might not get called out anymore at night, but the bills wouldn't get paid. I might have fewer issues to face, but we would not impact the community and the world very much with the Gospel. We certainly don't want to see other people dirty up the barn, and we want to do our best to keep it from happening. However, when it does, we need to remember the value that individual brings to the farm. This doesn't mean that a cleansing shouldn't take place, or that the oxen don't need to be dealt with. It does mean that our first reaction ought not to be to kill the ox!

 Let's do our best to keep the barn clean. Each one of us needs to work at making correct decisions that will not sully the name of our Lord or His church. If other people mess up the barn, may we go to them with an appreciation for all that they have done, realizing that they have provided strength to the farm in the past, and do our best to help them clean up their mess, and to help them make fewer messes in the future.

Pastor Mark J Montgomery

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1926 Babcock Blvd
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(412)822-7255
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