“Lean Not On Your Own Understanding”

7  Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.  Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. — Proverbs 3:7 NLT 

Proverbs 3:5-8 NLT

Verses 5 and 6 are well-known verses from Proverbs but how many times a day do we violate those scriptures? Instead of taking a second to whisper or just think a prayer, do we just react to a situation and say or do something that is unkind? In our modern, hurry, hurry society, we just don’t have the time to do that, do we? But, you see, it really takes a lot less time to do it right (seek His will) the first time then it does to have to go back and correct all those situations.
We are so impressed with our own wisdom that we think we can go through most of our day with little or no contact with God. How much is a computer worth to you when you have no internet connection? Your brain is the most amazing computer known but unless it is connected to the Spiritual internet (God) it isn’t worth nearly as much to you as it could be. There are some functions you can do on a computer without the internet, but you probably would not have purchased one for any of those functions. There are some life functions that the brain performs on its own, but it can’t make the proper decisions without being connected to the Great Server in the heavens. If you stay connected, you will truly find “healing for your body and strength for your bones”. And you will also find something else, a peace that passes understanding which is worth more than gold.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 07-19-2019

“The Confident Hope”

18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.   — Ephesians 1:18

Eph. 1:15-20 NLT

We have access to all wisdom and revelation.  Having access to something does not mean that you already have it.  Access means we have the right to enter into a particular building or room. In the computing world, it can mean that we have the right to obtain and examine a file. I think this definition fits the passage here.  So, having that right, we need to enter into studying and examining God’s Word.  As we do that, God gives us more wisdom and revelation. As we receive that, the eyes of our hearts are enlightened.  In other words, we have a deeper understanding of the blessed hope that God has called us to receive.  We have access to that same resurrection power that was exhibited when God raised Jesus from the dead.  It is freely given to us, because God loved His Son and made Him the head of the church.  We, as Christians are all a part of the body of Christ.  So this wisdom, revelation, and power flows from the head to the body.  Jesus gives it to each of us in proportion to the call He has placed on us. It is a free gift, it is not something you can work to earn. We must walk humbly before our God.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 07-01-2019

“Complete Knowledge of His Will”

9 So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. — Colossians 1:9 NLT

Colossians 1:9-14 NLT

Though we may have never met or heard about each other, it is still our duty to pray for one another. We need to pray fervently for God to fill each of us with His Spirit. His Spirit is the only way we will gain knowledge of God’s will and purpose for each of our lives. God has promised us wisdom if we ask for it sincerely without doubting or wavering. In Proverbs, we are reminded to get wisdom and knowledge and with all of our getting to get understanding. While we may never have complete knowledge of all of God’s plans that does not excuse us from asking for and receiving as much as God knows that we can handle. Wisdom is knowledge understood and applied to our lives. With God’s wisdom, we can live lives that please and honor Him. That type of lifestyle will produce good fruit and add souls to God’s kingdom. We must continue to study God’s Word and grow spiritually. As we do this, we can be assured that we have access to the same Resurrection power that brought Jesus back from the grave. That enables us to share in His inheritance and therefore we will be filled with joy. He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness where we have been bound in the service of satan. Now, that He has purchased our freedom and forgiven us, we live in His kingdom and walk in the light. We can live without worry and fear, both of which are fruits of the lifestyle we had before we came into the Light.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 06-27-2019

“Become A Fool To Be Truly Wise”

18 Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. — 1 Cor. 3:18 NLT

1 Cor. 3:18-23 NLT

It is good to have knowledge, but just having knowledge is not being wise. Wisdom is the application of that knowledge to life situations. As we are told in Proverbs “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”.  To discover Who God is and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is the first step. In the book of James, we are told to ask God for wisdom and he will give it to us abundantly. Reading commentaries and listening to sermons can add to our knowledge, but for wisdom, we need to go straight to the source. No matter how wise someone thinks they are and no matter how much we respect them and their ministry, we need to always check everything we hear to see if it aligns with the Holy Scriptures. There is a lot of misinformation being taught as Scriptural. Don’t be deceived.  God is waiting to give you more wisdom. Don’t be caught up with a person’s charisma or their passion. There is only one perfect person and that is Jesus Christ. Humans make errors and it is up to each of us to discern the truth and walk in it.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-28-2019

Listen! Wisdom Call!

6  Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live;  learn to use good judgment.” — Proverbs 9:6 NLT
Proverbs 9:1-6 NLT

The word proverb means “to be like” .  The book of Proverbs is a collection of thoughts or sayings teaching us what we should be like.  The Proverbs and there are many proverbs in the Bible that are outside of the Book of Proverbs show us aspects of our lives and how we should look at them and how we should respond to them.  In other words, Proverbs gives us a picture of the lifestyle of a Christian versus a non-Christian by contrasting how we respond to situations.  Proverbs teaches us to respect wisdom and to seek wisdom for every decision we make.  As in the passage we are looking at today, we are invited to partake of God’s wisdom as we would of food and drink.  We need to sit with Jesus and ask Him for Godly wisdom before we make our decisions.  Not just the decisions that we would consider as major, life-changing decisions but all of our decisions because God is concerned with the smallest things in our lives.  Whether we turn left or right at the next intersection (be it on the physical highway or the Spiritual highway) could be the difference in whether we make it home safely or not.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-01-2019

Focus On Jesus

22  I was so foolish and ignorant—    I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. — Psalm 73:22

 Psalm 73:22-28 NLT
Have you ever wondered if God thinks about us in these terms?  I am sure that satan, the old deceiver, would like for us to believe that He does.  If we have ever had these kind of thoughts, we should be like the Psalmist here. In his very next breath (or verse in this case), he immediately gets his head on straight by remembering what has happened in every instance in the past. The Psalmist realizes that he is speaking from a bitter heart and he has been questioning God’s wisdom.  God never leaves us nor forsakes us nor does He cast us from His presence.  Instead, He reaches down to us and if we reach up to Him, He takes us by the hand and continues to lead us toward our glorious destiny.  The Psalmist remembers that God is our strength, our fortress and our shield.  We allow satan to sneak these silly ideas into our minds when we are focused on the horizontal.   We need to stay focused on the vertical.  That means spending time alone with God, praising and thanking Him for His goodness and His blessings.  If we do this, we can be assured that God will set the rest of the world straight in His own time.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-02-2019

“We Are Without Excuse”

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14 No, the word is very near you—it’s within your mouth and heart for you to attain.” – Deut. 30:14 ISV
At this time, the Holy Spirit had not yet been given to us to remain on the earth until Jesus returns, so God gave the Israelis their instructions and commands through Moses.  In  the following chapters of Deuteronomy, we read that God instructed Moses to write all of these instructions in a Book.  That Book is now included as the first five books of the Bible.  Moses instructed the priests to keep the Book of Instructions beside the Ark of the Covenant at all times as a sign of remembrance to the Israelis of their covenant with God.  It would also serve as a witness against them in times of disobedience. It was to be read to the people, in its entirety, every seventh year during the Festival of Shelters.  God is a just God and never holds anyone accountable for things they can not know.  He can and does hold us responsible for those we could know but refuse to learn.

Now, since Jesus has returned to Heaven, He has sent the Holy Spirit to abide in us and lead us into all truth.  We have no reason for our disobedience.  We may try to excuse ourselves because of a lack of knowledge, but that excuse won’t hold water since God has made the Holy Spirit available to be our Teacher. His love for us and our love for Him is more than sufficient reason to study, learn and obey as much as we possibly can.  The Lord, our God, is a jealous God and he is unhappy with anything less than a total commitment to our relationship with Him.

For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ.  ​ — 2 Cor. 11:2 NLT​

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 11-08-2018

Using Our Talents to Witness

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and I’ve filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and all kinds of craftsmanship – Exodus 31:3 ISV
 
 
Not only did God choose these specific men to make all the things needed to fulfill the laws of worshiping Him, but He gave each a special skill.  God is still doing the same thing with those He has chosen.  He has called each one of us and filled us with the Holy Spirit.  Not to sit on the sidelines but to accomplish a specific task for His glory.  If we are unwilling to do that task, whether it be cleaning the bathrooms or preaching the sermon, then the worship service is incomplete.  Most of our sins are those of omission rather than commission.  Our choices of what we do and/or don’t do and the attitude with which we do them preaches a message that is louder than words. That message is seen and heard by everyone we pass by each day.  Does our message draw people closer to Jesus or does it leave them wondering if they even want to be a part of His Kingdom? As we go along life’s journey, are we more like the priest, the temple assistant or the good Samaritan?  Do we soothe and bandage wounds or do we cross the street rather than taking the time and effort to help those who are hurting? (Parable of the good Samaritan- Luke 10:30-37)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Poat 09-30-2018

The Mystery is the Victory

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12b Even angels long to look into these things. ​- 1 Peter 1:12b ISV

When the Holy Spirit would come upon the Old Testament prophets, they would prophesy about the coming Messiah, His suffering, His resurrection and the magnificence of His glory.  How their hearts must have longed for the day that He would come, But it was revealed to them, that they would not see it with their eyes. Even the angels longed to look into the mystery of this plan of salvation. But only hints and shadows would be revealed to each prophet, that the complete plan would be kept a mystery until the exact time that God chose to reveal more of it. God had a reason for not revealing the whole mystery any earlier than He did.  If satan had been aware of God’s plan, the crucifixion would never have taken place.

 

7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. — 1 Cor. 2:7, 8 NIV

The revelations that the Holy Spirit was giving them were for our benefit that we might understand the faithfulness of God in keeping His promises. It is also a lesson to us that there is a reason that God sometimes delays the answer to our prayers. We measure time by seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc.  The eternal God has planned eternity and knows exactly when we to give us the things we need.   Just as the Old Testament prophets prophesied and longed for the first appearance of the Messiah, we should be longing for and telling the world that Jesus is coming again. Just as Ezekiel (read Ezekiel 33) and the other prophets were the “watchmen on the wall” to spread the warning, so are we the modern day watchmen.  We are to just keep telling the “Old, Old Story” until Jesus comes back!

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 08-19-2018

Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding

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17 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. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. — James 3:17,18 NIV

As we read yesterday, wisdom is defined as more than just getting facts and knowledge of things, places and people,  It includes the ability to use that knowledge to make proper decisions that lead to correct actions.  We can have knowledge upon knowledge, but it is worthless, perhaps, even dangerous, if it is built on the wrong foundation, a foundation of inerrant knowledge. That is why the Holy Spirit, through the writer of Proverbs, tells us

7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. ​– Prov. 4:7
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. — Prov. 9:10
 
So, we lay the foundation with knowledge, we build walls with wisdom and the finishing touch is understanding.  Therefore, we must be very sure that our knowledge is based on a foundation of knowledge that includes The Holy One (Jehovah God) and Jesus Christ. Then we must be sure that our wisdom comes from heaven.  We can know this if it is ” first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere”‘  So, any so-called wisdom that advocates anything less than these qualities is not from heaven and is not of God. (Kind of reminds me of the parable of the houses — one built on the Rock and one built on the sand,) If we want others to recognize us as the children of God, then we must show love to our brothers and sisters.
10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. — 1 John 3:10
Since the wisdom that is from above is impartial, we must show love to all of our fellow human beings. This love requires us to be peacemakers.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers,  for they will be called children of God. — Matt. 5:9
If we want to be obedient to our Father in heaven, we will endeavor to become peacemakers unless that action requires us to violate the Holy Scriptures. Jesus was/is the ultimate peacemaker, but He had limits as shown by His words to the Pharisees and His actions when chasing the traders out of the temple. He had perfect knowledge, perfect wisdom and perfect understanding.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-06-2018