Tag: wisdom

Wisdom to rule and live!

Scripture reading for July 9: Proverbs 22-24

The Bible teaches that we are all designed to rule and have dominion!  Adam was given dominion over creation in order to tend and care for it as God desired and instructed.  (Genesis 1:27-28)   We need God’s wisdom because He is the source of all wisdom and authority and created all things for His purposes.  The proverbs offer wisdom to those in authority to enable them to effectively rule with the mind of God.

Proverbs emphasizes our need for humility.  (Proverbs 22:4)  When we fear the Lord, God gives us discernment between good and evil.  When we choose the good consistently we get wealth, honor and life  as added benefits.  We also get a good name and reputation, something that money can’t buy! (Proverbs 22:1)  Keeping humility when God has blessed you can be a real test, for many times prosperity causes pride and God is forgotten or not honored.

When a king rules, he acts on behalf of God.   Rulers are to treat the poor with equity and respect.  (Proverbs 22:16, 22-23)  When the poor are mistreated, God Himself promises to take up their case and rule on their behalf!  Rulers must stay away from the adulteress and the hot-tempered man.  (Proverbs 22:14, 24; 23:26-28)  Both of those people lead to trouble.  When rulers judge in court, they must be sure to convict the guilty and not show partiality or take a bribe.  God will bless righteous judgment and integrity!  (Proverbs 24:23-25)  Also, do not seek revenge because that is for God alone!  (Proverbs 24:29)

Those in authority must avoid drunkenness and laziness.  (Proverbs 23:29-35)  Drinking takes away your ability to have sound judgment and to see clearly.  It causes violence and strife and quarrels.  A hangover comes the next day and bloodshot eyes!  It poisons our life like a snake-bite!  The second warning is against laziness.  (Proverbs 24:30-34)   Laziness causes life to fall into ruin around you.  Your life looks like a field that is not tended.  Walls of protection are broken down and enemies steal the crop.  Weeds grow and choke it out and thorns are a sign that the curse is at work.  Laziness leads to poverty and lack!

Is you life marked by humility and respect for God? In your leadership, are you applying the wisdom of God in setting a good example? “Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.” Proverbs 22:4

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Hearing or listening?

Scripture reading for July 3th: Proverbs 1-4

I have personally read Proverbs dozens of times over the last forty years.  For many years I read the entire book of Proverbs each month as a daily discipline.  Even though I have read or heard Proverbs many times, I am still impressed at how they speak to us about our daily lives.  Wisdom is a bubbling brook!

Hearing and listening can be two different things.  Almost everyone can hear what is being said but listening in order to learn and apply truth is a different process requiring humility and a teachable spirit.  As we begin the book of Proverbs, take a moment to check your hearing and listening abilities.  Ask the Holy Spirit to show you new insights about successful living and decision making.

Solomon was David’s son through his wife Bathsheba.  Solomon was visited by God and given an opportunity to ask for anything he desired.  He asked for wisdom to rule God’s people.  God was pleased and the proverbs are some of the written record of the wisdom God blessed Solomon with.  Solomon wanted to pass that wisdom on to his sons (and us).  The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.  (Proverbs 1:7)  There are those who either don’t want wisdom and Solomon gives them names like ‘simple’, ‘fool’, and ‘mocker’. (Proverbs 1:7, 22)  Thankfully, those names are not descriptive of any of us!

Wisdom’s blessings include knowledge and discretion to the young as well as guidance.  (Proverbs 1:4-5)  It brings safety to those who listen and they have rest and no fear of harm.  (Proverbs 1:33)  A person who listens to wisdom understands the fear of the Lord and finds knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:5) You will be kept safe from wicked men who are on crooked paths leading to destruction.  (Proverbs 2:12-15)   You will also avoid the adulterous woman and her path that leads to death. (Proverbs 2:16-19)  Listening and keeping wisdom brings long life and prosperity.  (Proverbs 3:2)  Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her and they will be richly blessed!  (Proverbs 3:18)

Wisdom is to be prized above any other treasure.  (Proverbs 3:13-15)  We must lay hold of wisdom by taking hold of the words given by the Father.  (Proverbs 4:1-5)  We must hold onto instructions of wisdom and guard them.  Wisdom is our life and health to our whole body!  (Proverbs 4:22)  Wisdom is to reside in our heart! (Proverbs 4:23)  Wisdom sounds a lot like Jesus Christ, in Whom is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge! (Colossians 2:2-3)

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“The half has not been told!”

Scripture reading for April 23: 2 Chronicles 6-9

Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived other than Jesus Christ.  Solomon got his wisdom by asking for it! (James 1:5)  God appeared to him early in his rule and asked him what he needed.  Solomon asked for wisdom to rule God’s people and knowledge.  (2 Chronicles 1:7-10) God granted him his request and  gave him fame and fortune as well.  Solomon became well-known for his wisdom and for the wealth that God had lavished on him.

The Queen of Sheba was a foreign dignitary of Solomon’s time who had heard reports of Solomon’s wisdom and wealth.  She traveled great distance to see for herself. Her recorded remark was “not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me”.  (2 Chronicles 9:6)    Even though a pagan, she praised Solomon’s God for delighting in him and placing him on the throne.  She noted that the Lord loved His people and appointed Solomon as king to uphold them and rule them for God!  She had great understanding herself as she stood in Solomon’s presence.  It appears that this wisdom rubs off! The Queen of Sheba also lavished gifts of gold and spices on Solomon.  She gave him over 25 tons of gold by our measure!  A king who is full of wisdom deserves great honor and recognition!

Solomon has a distant grandson, Jesus Christ, who was also filled with wisdom from God.  Luke records that He grew in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man. (Luke 2:51)  Paul records that in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  (Colossians 2:2-3)  This same Jesus has been made unto us wisdom from God.  (1st Corinthians 1:30)  If we need wisdom, we can simply ask God and He will give us liberally!  (James 1:5)  We have record of Jesus’ unequaled wisdom, yet the half has not been told!

As the Queen of Sheba gave lavish gifts to Solomon, so we are to honor Jesus Christ and give our tithes and lives to Him Who is worthy!  We are to tell of the riches of His glorious Kingdom and publish His fame and wisdom for all who will listen!  We bring Him the precious “gold” of our faith and the “spices” of prayer and worship.  All nations will worship Him of Whom “the half has not been told”!

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Asking for wisdom!

Scripture Reading for April 2: 1st Kings1-4

1 Kings 3:3 “Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places.” . . vs. 5-6 “At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before You in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you.” . .vs 9 “Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern Your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this Your great people?”

Newly crowned King Solomon had an encounter with the Lord.  He had gone to Gibeon to sacrifice to the Lord and that day offered a thousand burnt offerings!  Extravagant worship marked the life of this newly anointed king!  That night as Solomon lay asleep, the Lord appeared to him  in a dream and said: “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” (1st Kings 3:4-5)  Solomon first thanked the Lord for his kindness to his father David in placing him on the throne.  Then he confessed his need for God’s help in ruling His people, asking for a discerning heart and wisdom to rule wisely.  (1st Kings 3:7-9)

This pleased the Lord!  Solomon was granted what he asked for and also given by grace what he did not ask for!  God gave him riches and honor so that there would be no equal among kings of that time. (1st Kings 3:10-14)  Jesus Christ has been made to us wisdom from God! (1st Corinthians 1:30)  We are told that if we lack wisdom, we can ask God for it and He will give us liberally! James 1:5-7) Praise the Lord!

In considering Solomon’s walk with the Lord, how would God say that you felt toward Him? How might God describe your walk with Him? How are you at asking God for what you want or need?

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Complete joy!

Scripture reading for September 28th: 1st John 1, Psalm 44, Proverbs 8

1st John 1: 1-4 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life–the Life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the Eternal Life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us–that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.”

According to Holy Scripture, joy and rejoicing mark the Holy Trinity. God delighted in creation and He and His Son were there from the beginning. God is the ‘Living God’ Who gives the ‘breath of life’ to mankind. He created man and set him in the Garden of Eden (delights)! The psalmist says that God planted Israel in their land and set them free because He delighted in them. The writer of Proverbs stated that “Wisdom” was beside God as a ‘master Workman’, daily delighting in God and rejoicing before Him. I believe that “Wisdom” is Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the Master Workman! He also delighted in the children of men! Now in 1st John, John states he writes this letter concerning the Word of Life that our joy may be complete!

Psalm 44:1-3 “O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us, what deeds You performed in their days, in the days of old: You with Your own hand drove out the nations, but them You planted; You afflicted the peoples, but them You set free; for not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm save them, but Your right hand and Your arm, and the light of Your face, for You delighted in them.”

Prayer: Praise the Father! Praise the Son! Praise the Holy Spirit! Three in One, all our Joy and Delight! Thank You for making Jesus Christ, Son of God, our Wisdom, our Joy, our Salvation, and our Eternal Life! Thank You for making us in Your image and delighting over us! Thank You for making our joy complete by forgiveness of our sins and adoption into Your forever family! May I proclaim this truth each day!

Proverbs 8:29-31 “. . .when He (Wisdom) marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside Him, like a master Workman, and I was daily His Delight, rejoicing before Him always, rejoicing in His inhabited world and delighting in the children of man.”

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The mutually dependent church!

Scripture reading for August 16th: 1st Corinthians 12, Psalm 13, Proverbs 8

1st Corinthians 12:24-28 “But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.”

Pride and envy can easily slip into the church around the spiritual gifts and gift people God appoints. Paul here carefully points out that God puts His body together with many varied parts and different giftings. This is not to cause division, but to bring greater unity and interdependence. Not everyone has every gift or is appointed by God to fill positions of leadership. God calls leaders to be servants and those with gifts to serve others to His glory. Each person should care for the others. We are mutually dependent on God and those whom He has gifted. God has dealt bountifully with His family in supplying abundant gifts and gift people to serve. His wisdom through the Holy Spirit brings justice and blessings.

Psalm 13:5-6 “But I have trusted in Your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your church! I am amazed and blessed by the various members and the gifts You have placed in them and through them to serve Your people. Help me to walk in wisdom to use the gifts You have formed in me of teaching and evangelism and helps. I rejoice each day at new opportunities to serve You by serving others! You have dealt bountifully with me and Your family!

Proverbs 8:20-21 “I (wisdom) walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice, granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.”

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God’s saving wisdom!

Scripture reading for August 1st: 1st Corinthians 1, Psalm 2, Proverbs 28

1st Corinthians 1:18-25 “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

Paul wrote this letter to the believers in Corinth, a city where he had spend considerable time preaching the Gospel. The result was many were saved as they believed in the message of the cross and Christ Jesus offering Himself there for the sins of the world. This message was foolishness to all who were perishing, both Jew and Gentile. But God, in His infinite wisdom, chose this simple message to save those who would believe. This put all men on level ground at the foot of Christ’s cross. Anyone who trusts in his own mind and reasoning will be a fool. Those who choose Christ will become wise and walk in wisdom. The choice is available to all for a limited time! Today is the best day to kiss the Son!

Psalm 2:10-12 “Now therefore, O kings, be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him,”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your amazing wisdom and mercy found in the message of the cross and the Son of God Who offered Himself there for all as a sacrifice for sin. I humbly bow before You and pay homage to Jesus Christ, Son of God. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and wisdom to share this message with both wise and foolish that they may believe and be saved from the coming wrath.

Proverbs 28:26 “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.”

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Speech with authority!

Scripture reading for July 6th: Luke 7, Psalm 134, Proverbs 10

Luke 7:6-10 “And Jesus went with them. When He was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy to have You come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the Word, and let my servant be healed. For I am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed Him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.”

A Gentile army commander sent word to Jesus that his servant was sick and near death. He humbly sent some elders to Jesus to ask for help. Upon hearing the request, Jesus went to help. On the way, the centurion sent other servants to plead with Jesus not to come, but to ‘just say the Word, and my servant will be healed.’ This statement of faith caused Jesus to marvel and commend the centurion for his understanding of authority and the power that comes from speaking truth. Believers have authority given to them by God through Jesus’ Name to speak healing, blessing, provision and life as directed by the Holy Spirit. We bless others and bless our Lord when we act and speak in faith!

Psalm 134:1-3 “Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who stand by night in the house of the Lord! Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord! May the Lord bless you from Zion, He Who made heaven and earth!”

Prayer: Father God, we bless You today and lift up our hands to Your supreme authority! You have blessed us with authority through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Fill us with the Holy Spirit and wisdom and direction to have faith like that centurion who trusted in the power of Your Word. Use my mouth to speak wisdom and what is right and bless Your Name. Let Your blessing flow to me from heaven!

Proverbs 10:31-32 “The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.”

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Calling all sinners!

Scripture reading for July 4th: Luke 5, Psalm 132, Proverbs 8

Luke 5: 27-32 “After this He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” And leaving everything, he rose and followed Him. And Levi made Him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.””

No one can come to Christ unless they are called. God, Who is Wisdom, sent His Son, Jesus Christ, Who was made Wisdom from God to call lost sinners and broken ‘children of men’ to follow Him. Those humble enough to listen and respond find joy and rejoicing in God’s House and look forward to table fellowship with Jesus. He blesses the poor with salvation and takes care of their needs. He brings beauty for ashes and the oil of joy instead of mourning and death. But in Jesus’ time on earth, religious folks stood in judgment of His call to sinners. They refused to listen to the fact that all have sinned and need a physician! Are you listening today? What is your response to Jesus’ call?

Psalm 132:13-16 “For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place; “This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread. Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy.””

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your call to me in my life as a young child to follow Jesus and to preach Your Good News. My heart is grieved because of many who judge instead of listen and respond. Help me to model Your love and patience and mercy towards the lost. Anoint my life with power and purity to clearly present Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior. May heaven rejoice with each new saint born of God!

Proverbs 8:4-5 “”To you, O men, I call, and My cry is to the children of man. O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense. Hear, for I will speak noble things and from My lips will come what is right.””

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Great joy and worship!

Scripture reading for April 7th: Matthew 2, Psalm 70, Proverbs 8

Matthew 2: 7-11 “Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found Him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship Him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.”

“Wise men (and women) still seek Him!” is a popular bumper sticker with believers in our culture. In the time of Jesus’ birth, God revealed to some men renowned for their wisdom the birth of a King, the Son of God. God sent a “star” to lead them across the desert and wilderness to the exact location of this Child Who was a King. They stopped to inquire of the local king, Herod, about this Child’s birth and location. Herod had asked the Jewish leaders about where the King would be born and they had revealed “Bethlehem” through the prophesies of Micah. Herod sent them to locate this Child with instructions to return and reveal the location. They went onward, led by the star, and found the child. Great joy and worship and the giving of expensive gifts resulted! They were warned not to return to Herod. They obeyed as only “wise” men could! Show your wisdom by seeking Him, worshiping Him and obeying!

Psalm 70:4 “May all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You! May those who love Your salvation say evermore, “God is great!””

Prayer: Father God, You Alone are the All-Wise God! In Your Son is hidden all the treasures of true Wisdom and Knowledge! I seek Your instruction as silver and Your Wisdom as fine gold and jewels! Nothing I desire can compare with Jesus Christ, the Wisdom and Knowledge of God My Father! I shout with the psalmist: “God is Great!” and thank You for leading me to Jesus, the Pearl of great price.

Proverbs 8:20-23 “Take My instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.”

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