Tag: wisdom

Rejoicing apostles!

Scripture reading for January 30th: Acts 5, Psalm 21, Proverbs 21

Acts 5:38-42 “So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice, and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the Name of Jesus, and let them go. They left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name. And every day, in the temple and house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.”

The religious leaders were agitated at the apostles, who continued to draw crowds and faithfully preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They sought to take violent action against the apostles and had them thrown into jail but an angel of the Lord freed them and instructed them to continue preaching. When the religious leaders called for the apostles from their jail cell, the guards found it locked but no one there. Then they received a report of the apostles preaching again and they hurriedly brought them from there before the council. Gamaliel gave advice to the elders: let these men alone for if they are from God, you might be fighting against God! After warning them to stop, they had the apostles flogged and set free. They went on their way rejoicing in God’s salvation! Fear of man is a snare! We must, like the apostles, follow the counsel of God alone! Gamaliel also gave God’s truth.

Psalm 21:1-2 “O Lord, in Your strength the king rejoices, and in Your salvation how greatly he exults! You have given him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips.”

Prayer: O Lord, like David of old, I rejoice in Your strength and wise counsel! Thank You for Your miraculous intervention in placing the apostles and me right where I can be Your witness and reach even those hardened by sin and religion. All victory belongs to You! Success belongs to You. Use me to give wise counsel and godly wisdom to those needing salvation and those making decisions about Jesus.

Proverbs 21:30-31 “No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord. The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.”

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Focus on the mission

Scripture reading for January 24th: Acts 1, Psalms 17, Proverbs 17

Acts 1:6-11 “So when they had come together, they asked Him, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority. But You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when He had said these things, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven, as He went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, Who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.””

Jesus had been with HIs disciples for nearly 40 days after His resurrection. He appeared to them, allowed them to touch Him and taught them, opening their minds to the Scriptures. As He prepared to leave them and ascend into heaven, they asked Him about the time of revealing the full kingdom of heaven. Jesus told them not to be concerned about the timing. Rather, they would receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit soon to empower them in their calling and mission: reaching the lost world with the Gospel Good News. He sent two angels to assure them that He would return just as He promised and He arose with the clouds of heaven in great glory!

Psalm 17:15 “As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with Your presence.”

Prayer: Lord, thank You for clearly defining the focus and mission of Your disciples as that of witnesses of You and Your power and glory and saving message of repentance and faith. Thank You for the assurance that we will see Your face again and dwell in Your presence forever. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit in me, I set my face towards Jesus Christ, Wisdom from God, and ask to be used as a witness today.

Proverbs 17:24 “The discerning sets his face toward wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.”

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Greatness through serving!

Scripture reading for January 12th: Mark 9, Psalm 9, Proverbs 9

Mark 9: 33-37 “And they came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another abut who was the greatest. And He sat down and called the twelve. And He said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And He took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in My Name receives Me, and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him Who sent Me.”

Jesus was the Wisdom of God in human flesh. His disciples had been arguing about who of them was the greatest of disciples. Jesus asked them what they had been discussing so energetically, not that He did not know! They kept silent at His question but He answered it for them with a short statement: “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” He then picked up a child, considered among the least of that culture. He encouraged them to receive a child in His Name. That act was equivalent of receiving Jesus Himself, and not only that, receiving His Father Who sent Him! That is true greatness–serving the least in Jesus’ Name and for the Father’s glory.

Proverbs 9:9-10 “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”

Prayer: Father, thank You for sending Your Son to instruct Your disciples in true greatness. I am seeking to follow Jesus’ teaching and example by applying this wisdom to my life and modeling it for those in my family and in the church. Guide me today into more wisdom and knowledge of how to properly serve each person that I meet or have relationships with. I trust You and seek You today in this time of trouble.

Psalm 9:9-10 “The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know Your Name put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

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Be careful, don’t judge legalistically!

Scripture reading for June 10th: Proverbs 14-15, Romans 14

Romans 14:1-4 “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”

In the culture of the church in Rome there were those who were weaker in their faith because of being immature and untaught in God’s Word. They still held some cultural beliefs or held to portions of the law although they had repented and come to salvation through believing on Jesus. Those who were more mature were passing judgment on these and looking down on them because they refused to eat meat that may have come from idols. Some became ‘vegetarians’ and both sides were critical of the other. Paul told them emphatically not to pass judgment by asking them a question. “Who are you to pass judgment?” He also added another truth: each person would stand before Christ and give an account!

Romans 14:10-12 “Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for setting Your people free from dietary laws and condemnation. Forgive me when I have been haughty and critical of others whose faith may not have been developed yet. You alone are the Judge. Thank You for ‘life-giving’ reproof from Your Word to instruct me in the fear and respect for Your Word and Your people whom You have redeemed.

Proverbs 15:31-33 “The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence. The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom and humility comes before honor.”

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Trials and faithfulness

Scripture reading for October 5th: James 1

Key Scriptures: James 1: 2-8 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, Who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

James was the half-brother of Jesus and the pastor of the church in Jerusalem. He was a man of prayer and some commentators say had the nickname of “camel knees” from spending time in prayer. As he wrote this letter to the church, James encouraged the believers to embrace trials of various kinds. He knew that this was part of being a follower of Christ and that these trials, if properly embraced, would produce spiritual growth in faithfulness and patience. During these trials, believers were encouraged to pray to God for wisdom and to expect answers from a Father Who would give generously to those having faith. He warned them about doubting and being double-minded. This would not bring steadfastness, but instability and a tossing and turbulence to life liken to that of a wave of the sea in a strong wind. His Mentor was his brother, Jesus Christ!

James 1: 12 “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, forgive me for not counting it all joy when life’s various trials come. Fill me with fresh wisdom to discern Your plan and purpose in each trial and to grow in faithfulness and Christ’s character. Thank You for Your generosity in giving wisdom to those who will humbly ask for it. I desire the crown of life for me and those I love!

James 1:19 “Know this, my beloved brothers (and sisters): be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

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God’s extravagant grace!

Scripture reading for May 24th: Ephesians 1

Key Scriptures: Ephesians 1:7-11 “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight, making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him Who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory.”

God does all things extravagantly because He is loaded with riches! He doesn’t lack anything. He needs nothing. He has an abundant supply of everything that His children might need and is a loving Father Who provides. Paul states that our redemption through Christ’s blood came from the riches of God’s grace. He has all wisdom and insight and He lavishes that upon us unmerited favor as the way all can be saved by simple faith in His Son. He reveals to us the mystery of His will to unite as one in Christ and in the fullness of time to bring all things together in heaven and earth. Through Christ He lavishes upon His children an inheritance that will be to the eternal praise of God’s glory! Amen!

Ephesians 1:16-17 “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,”

Faith confession and prayer: Thank You Father God and Lord Jesus for our amazing and lavish inheritance and gifts through Your love and mercy in taking our place on Calvary’s cross. Grant me a fresh infilling of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ that I might be conformed to His image and share the Good News of Your lavish riches found in Jesus Christ and His shed blood.

Colossians 2:2-3 “. .that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in who are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

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Jesus growing up!

Scripture reading for March 4th: Luke 2

Key Scriptures: Luke 2:46-51 “After three days they found Him in the temple sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. And when His parents saw Him, they were astonished. And His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us so? Behold, Your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” And He said to them, “Why were you looking for Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying that He spoke to them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them and His mother treasured up all these things in her heart.

There is not much written in the Gospels concerning Jesus’ early years. This short passage from Luke’s Gospel offers a glimpse of Jesus as a child of about twelve years of age visiting the temple during Passover week. Jesus sat with the teachers and leaders and listened and asked questions. He amazed all who heard Him in both His questions and answers. His mom and dad had already left for home when they found He was not with them. When they returned and found Him in the temple, His mother rebuked Him for causing them distress. Jesus simply stated that He must be in His Father’s house! This statement did not bring understanding and He went with them submissive and obediently.

Luke 2:52 “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for being with me as I am now Your house and helping me to grow in wisdom as I walk with You. Give me favor with You and with men, that I might accomplish Your will on earth as in heaven.

Proverbs 1:6-8 For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the oaths of justice and watching over the way of His saints.”

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Christ crucified–wisdom from God!

Scripture reading for August 25th: Isaiah 17-19, Psalm 62, 1st Corinthians 1

Key Scriptures: 1st Corinthians 1:21-25 “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’s letter to the Corinthian church, which he had founded by preaching there for over two years, was written to help correct some wrong doctrine caused by false teachers and to recenter them on Jesus Christ and the Gospel. This church had both Jews and Gentiles. The Gentile Greeks used intellectual pursuits to find God and the Jews were seeking supernatural signs. But Paul preached Jesus Christ crucified as his central message. Those who humbly listened and received, found God’s wisdom in Jesus Christ and the supernatural life He offers.

Psalm 62:7 “On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty Rock, my Refuge is God.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I have found wisdom in Jesus Christ, my Salvation, my Rock, my Glory, and my Refuge! Help me to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified and resurrected to the nations, as You have planned!

Isaiah 19:21 “And the Lord will make Himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them.”

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Interceding for the brothers!

Scripture reading for June 3rd:  1st Kings 4, Proverbs 1-2, Psalm 43, Romans 9

Key Scriptures:  Romans 9:1-5 “I am speaking the truth in Christ–I am not lying; my conscience bears witness in the Holy Spirit–that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.  For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.  They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.  To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever.  Amen.”

Paul shared with the Romans his heart for the Israelites, his own brothers.  He identified with them in their lost condition, having been lost himself at one time and proud of his heritage.  The Jews had great blessings through the patriarchs and their relationship with God.  God had promised them eternal blessings through covenant.  But they had rejected Christ Jesus, One of their own, Who was God over all men.  Intercession is the heart of God and the Holy Spirit in us.  God acts when His people identify with His heart to save all men and they ask Him for their salvation.

Psalm 43:3  “Send out Your light and Your Truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling.”  

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, help me to learn to cooperate with Your Holy Spirit in intercession for those in need of a relationship with You.  Thank You that You desire all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the Truth!

Proverbs 2:6 “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; . . .”

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Casting our crowns before the Throne!

Scripture reading for December 4th:  Revelation 4, Psalm 111-12, Proverbs 26

Key Scriptures:  Revelation 4:8-11 “And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”  And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him Who is seated on the throne and worship Him Who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him Who is seated on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever.  They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created.” 

John was caught up through a door in heaven to behold the throne of God and the worship going on there.  Magnificent living creatures full of eyes and wings worshiped, and the twenty-four elders followed their example.  The One on the Throne is “Holy, Holy, Holy.”  All creation belongs to Him and He alone is worthy of worship.

Faith Confession:  I look forward to being caught up to heaven and to behold My Lord and participate in the worship there.  God Almighty and Jesus Christ are worthy of all glory, honor, and power, for by their Wisdom I have an eternal home.

Proverbs 24:3  “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”  

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