Tag Archives: wisdom

November 25

I Corinthians 1-4

Paul spends a lot of time talking about wisdom here in these chapters. The intellectuals of the day may have put themselves above the message of faith and the apostle, who spoke their language, called them out on it.

1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.

Paul quoted Isaiah 29:4 where it says God will frustrate the intelligence of the intelligent.

Where is the wise man?… Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”

Paul, who was probably as smart and as schooled as any of the people he was writing to said he put aside everything except Jesus Christ, the crucified Savior so that their faith would be based on Jesus alone and not on Paul’s wisdom. 
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.” (3:19)

i don’t care how smart you think you are. You may have an IQ that rivals Einstein or you may have studied philosophy with the greatest thinkers of our time. My prayer, however, is that you won’t talk yourself out of a relationship with your Savior.

You may sit and imagine how you would have done things differently if you were God. But you aren’t God. You may question a God who allows evil, sickness, wars, famine. But you don’t know the mind of God and you never will this side of eternity. 

Don’t listen to the foolishness of men who deny God’s existence when the evidence is so apparent that not only does he exist, but his creation is beyond anything you could come up with on your own.

Do you doubt? Do you have questions? Have you read the Bible with an open mind? Put away the commentaries and the textbooks and just read God’s Word. Ask him to reveal himself to you and I promise you he will.

Dear God, I pray for those who read this blog today and are still unsure of the Truth. Open minds and hearts today, Lord, and may each one put away their foolishness and submit to your godship. Thank you for your Word, for Jesus and his sacrifice on our behalf. May we all bow before you, confess our sin and our helplessness, and allow you to pour your grace on each one. I pray for intelligent, thinking people today who still need the Savior.

November 16

James 1:1-3:18

I’ve always been partial to the book of James. It is probably the one book of the Bible I have read the most. I think I first realized how rich its content when I coached a Bible quiz team from my church and we studied this book word by word. 

James starts with talking about godly wisdom and ends chapter three talking about the same thing. He invites all believers to ask God for wisdom and believe and not doubt that God will answer that prayer. 

So do you have godly wisdom? Here is James’ checklist. See if you see yourself here.

Wisdom considers it pure joy to face trials, knowing it works to mature the one who suffers. (1:2-4)

Wisdom is humble in whatever circumstance of life one is given. (1:9-11)

Wisdom perseveres under trials, knowing the end of this life is eternal life with God. (1:12)

Wisdom recognizes temptation is not from God. And wisdom doesn’t give temptation a second thought because the more you think about it the more likely that desire leads to sin. (1:13-15) Which is why I watch very little prime time TV that portrays sin as the new normal. I don’t want those subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) attacks on the truth of Scripture to have any place in my mind or heart. And I certainly would not watch those shows if I had young people in my home!

Wisdom understands that God is never changing. (1:16-18) The God of Abraham is the God of today and his demands for holiness has not changed in order to be politically correct. 

Wisdom is quick to listen and slow to anger. And it gets rid of all moral filth.  (1:19-21)

Wisdom listens to God’s Word and obeys. (1:22-25)

Wisdom keeps a tight reign on the tongue. (1:26, 3:1-12)

Wisdom looks after orphans and widows and keeps oneself from being polluted by the world. (1:27)

Wisdom does not show favoritism, but realizes the Gospel of Jesus is for everyone in all walks of life.  (2:1-13)

Wisdom demonstrates faith by how one lives, the good one does in Jesus’ name. (2:14-26)

Wisdom does not harbor bitter envy or selfish ambition. (3:16)

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” (3:17-18)

So how did you do? Can you say, after reading these chapters today  that you possess godly wisdom? Or are there some things you need to talk to your Lord about? Remember 1:5-6 says:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

Gracious God, thank you for your Word to us today. I pray that your children will seek your wisdom, believing you want us to be wise in light of Scripture. Open our minds and hearts and give us understanding of your Word. And may we accept your wisdom and live out your truths today. Make us wise. And use us to do your will for Jesus’ sake.

 

 

July 14

Isaiah 33:1-37:13

There is a lot going on in these chapters of Isaiah. The story of Hezekiah is retold. The prophet stresses again that disobeying God leads to disaster.

But I want to share just two verses today. Simply put, this is my prayer for all of us today:

The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high:
he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness,
He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
The fear of The Lord is the key to this treasure.
Isaiah 33:5&6

AMEN.

May Jesus be your sure foundation today.

May 30

Proverbs 11-13

The themes for these three chapters are honesty and success. Each verse contains a proverb that could be put on any sign of any Bible-believing church and would give passers-by something to consider.

The thing is many of these proverbs sound like good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad. Remember that the Old Testament is a physical, material example of the Spiritual truths we live after the cross. If we get caught up with a material interpretation of the proverbs we might find ourselves thinking God lied to Solomon. Because it’s obvious that there are some pretty wealthy and ungodly people around and there are some dear brothers and sisters in Christ who are struggling to make ends meet.

What is God saying to us through these proverbs? 11:4 says “Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath but righteousness delivers from death”. We know that speaks of the day when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.

11:30 says, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise”.

Chapters 12 & 13 speak of success. Is it material success we read about? Some of the principles apply, certainly. But real success stems from a right relationship with God who blesses the obedient. There are wealthy Christians and there are Christians in poverty. There are rich non-Christians and poor people who don’t know Christ. The difference is not the dollar amount. It’s Jesus. It’s peace and hope and love and life and forgiveness. It’s the Presence of God in our lives. 

No earthly success can compare. We are rich indeed.

Father, help your people to recognize that having you in our lives is better than any kind of income. I know it doesn’t pay the bills. But I thank you that you are faithful to provide what we need. It might not always be what we want. But when we offer you ourselves with no strings attached, you provide perfectly. Guide us. Show us what you would have us do to pay those bills that keep coming. Help parents who struggle to feed their children. And put a desire in the hearts of those who have enough, to reach out to someone who needs a helping hand. Let us be the answer to their prayer today.

May 29

Proverbs 8-10

Wisdom is speaking. And in 8:22-36 who do you see described there? Isn’t it Jesus? 

‘Before the oceans or mountains I was given birth. I was there when the heavens were created. I was the craftsman at his side. Whoever finds me finds life.’

Those are things we know about Jesus, aren’t they? So I re-read these chapters and substituted the word “wisdom” with the name of Jesus. It’s Jesus who bids me come to him. It’s Jesus who sets a table and invites me to sit and eat. It’s Jesus who promises to be found when I look for him. It’s Jesus who delights in mankind.

Once again I am reminded that it’s all about Jesus. We were created by and for him. And in the end, nothing else will matter. I can accept him and be blessed or reject him and be rejected by him. That’s a scary thought.

Choosing Jesus is wisdom. Choosing anything else is foolishness.

I paraphrase Proverbs 8:11:

For Jesus is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with him.

Dear Father, I thank you for Jesus. He is more precious than rubies and when he comes into a heart nothing can compare. I thank you for your Word that never ceases to speak to me. I pray that today I will be aware of how important Jesus is in my life and how important I am to him. Give me wisdom. Give me Jesus.

May 27

Proverbs 2-4

Solomon is talking about wisdom and the benefit of godly wisdom. It’s wise to follow God, to turn from evil. Sound judgement and discernment are life to you, he says. Listen to your parents and don’t step foot on the path of the wicked. Trust in God and he will straighten you out. 

Then Solomon says in 2:23, “Above all, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Is that a little anatomy lesson from Dr Solomon about exercise and watching your cholesterol? Those things are wise. But he goes on to say don’t swear or tell dirty jokes, keep your eyes from wandering, stay on the straight and narrow and keep your foot from evil.

I’ve heard married people say, “There’s no harm in looking” when they notice an attractive person of the opposite sex. Solomon begs to differ. 

What we read, watch on TV, listen to in our music, laugh at during break time at work are feeding our hearts. Don’t kid yourself that it doesn’t effect you. That’s foolishness to think.

I imagine very few people wake up one day and say – I think I’ll have an affair today. Or I think I’ll become an alcoholic today. Or I want to lose all my money on a card game today. But affairs happen, alcoholism is a reality, and families suffer because of gambling. Those and other sins begin one choice at a time.

Sure you don’t become an alcoholic by having that first drink. But that first drink can lead to another and another. One look at an attractive person isn’t an affair. But that look can lead to longing, imagining, desire. What starts out as innocent, as harmless fun or recreation too often leads to full blown sin and heartache.

So Solomon warns us to guard our hearts. Pay attention to what you feed it. Control your impulses while you can. Don’t be foolish enough to think you are different than anyone else, that you can control yourself when others can’t. That’s putting your toe on the road to destruction. And that’s the first step to real trouble.

There’s going to be a lot of wisdom thrown at us in the next few days as we read Proverbs. May God find our hearts eager to be nourished by his word.

May 26

I Kings 10:1-13, 4:1-19, 29-34; 2 Chronicles 9:1-12; Proverbs 1

I think Solomon just might be the very first science professor. People came from all around to learn about God’s creation from Dr. Solomon. And he could answer all their questions. Solomon’s wisdom and his love for God were very well known.

The Queen of Sheba said something that stood out to me this morning. After spending time with Solomon she said… how happy your men must be.

The Queen acknowledged God’s power and his love for the nation of Israel. She recognized God’s blessing on Solomon. And she realized those around Solomon were blessed because of him.

So the question is – what do people say about your family because you are in it? Are you a husband, wife, dad or mom? Are you a grandparent, aunt, uncle, son or daughter? And are you representing God in such a way that people recognize it and say – how happy his family must be?

Do your children recognize Christ in you in the home you share with them? Are they blessed because Christ lives in you?

Solomon’s proverbs begin with “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Let’s put God first in our lives and receive his wisdom. And let that wisdom spill over into our every day lives.

May others look at our example and be able to say about our family, our church, our workplace – how happy they must be to have him (her) with them.

Father, I find myself wanting to pray for parents again this morning. May they live such godly lives that their children are blessed, that observers recognize your presence in their families, and when it is said … how happy they must be… may it truly be so. May parents fear and honor you, and raise their children with Godly wisdom. Bless Christian households today in such a way that unsaved neighbors and friends will want you in their lives, too.

May 19

I Kings2:13-3:28; 2 Chronicles 1:1-13; Psalm 72

So Solomon is king and the first thing he does as king is to marry an Egyptian girl. Just one of about 600 poor choices Solomon will make in his lifetime. We will see later how this trend effected Solomon’s reign. Because at first, and in what we read today it was a little thing, barely worth mentioning.

Solomon is remembered for being the wisest man who ever lived. His proverbs alone still impact wisdom to 21st century readers. Given a blank check, Solomon chose wisdom over riches, over health or long life, over peace. When God asked him what was the one thing Solomon wanted more than anything, Solomon asked for wisdom. God granted Solomon his wish beyond what Solomon could have imagined and threw in abundant wealth, too.

I wonder, if God asked me the same thing, what I would want more than anything in the world. More money? Youth? A perfect husband? Health? To change the past? Or would I ask for wisdom? Would I ask for power over sin? A better witness? More of Jesus?

I feel like God is asking me to prioritize my desires and find out where he fits. Is he asking the same of you today?