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wisdom

Can we put a price on wisdom?
We do that with property and stocks, technology and education. It seems that everything in our world has some value to someone. Some things are more valuable than other things. And almost everything is worth something to someone.
Solomon had just about everything anyone could want. Perhaps, he was simply thinking about “things” one day and gave some great advice: “You know what?” he said. “Get wisdom!” Why? Because wisdom is more profitable than silver, it yields better returns than gold and is more precious than rubies. Nothing compares to it, because it leads to a long and peaceful life, riches, honor and pleasant paths. Oh, those who embrace wisdom will be blessed.
What a return on a simple investment! When we invest in the things of this world, we have no assurance that we will ever see their value grow. Often, the opposite happens. And, if our investments exceed our expectations, what will we gain in the end? Will it include any of the benefits or gifts that Solomon describes? Or, who can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that any of the “things” the world has to offer will bring any happiness?
Years ago I had a friend who advised me: “Larry, you always know how wise a man is by whose advice he listens to and follows.” I discovered he was and is right.
God, through Solomon, gave us “great advice.” Over the years it has proven to be accurate, trustworthy and reliable. To follow it has endless rewards!
Prayer: Lord, there is no better investment, if we want eternal returns, than to pursue Your wisdom and ways. Give us Your strength to do this. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 3:14 For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold.
Can we put a price on wisdom?
We do that with property and stocks, technology and education. It seems that everything in our world has some value to someone. Some things are more valuable than other things. And almost everything is worth something to someone.
Solomon had just about everything anyone could want. Perhaps, he was simply thinking about “things” one day and gave some great advice: “You know what?” he said. “Get wisdom!” Why? Because wisdom is more profitable than silver, it yields better returns than gold and is more precious than rubies. Nothing compares to it, because it leads to a long and peaceful life, riches, honor and pleasant paths. Oh, those who embrace wisdom will be blessed.
What a return on a simple investment! When we invest in the things of this world, we have no assurance that we will ever see their value grow. Often, the opposite happens. And, if our investments exceed our expectations, what will we gain in the end? Will it include any of the benefits or gifts that Solomon describes? Or, who can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that any of the “things” the world has to offer will bring any happiness?
Years ago I had a friend who advised me: “Larry, you always know how wise a man is by whose advice he listens to and follows.” I discovered he was and is right.
God, through Solomon, gave us “great advice.” Over the years it has proven to be accurate, trustworthy and reliable. To follow it has endless rewards!
Prayer: Lord, there is no better investment, if we want eternal returns, than to pursue Your wisdom and ways. Give us Your strength to do this. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 3:14 For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold.

What’s A Proverb?

February 02, 2019
Little Ruby was saying her bedtime prayers. “Dear God,” she prayed, “please help bad people to be good and good people to be nice.” Whether Ruby knew it or not, she provided a simple way of describing what the book of Proverbs is: “a guidebook for living a life that pleases God.”
Over the years, various cultures and societies have established different criteria to describe whether or not one is “successful.” Many have put “wealth” at the top of the list. And, money, to some degree, is important and necessary if one is to have the necessities of life. Others would speak of power, prestige, and one’s position in society as being critical. Those words express the core values of individuals who want to be recognized for what they have accomplished on the world’s stage in politics, the military, banking, or finance. No doubt some want to be remembered for doing some “thing” that no one else has done - like discovering a medicine that extends life or setting a record in a particular sport, inventing a product or procedure that makes life better or is useful, valuable or delightful.
But, those whose lives are guided by the lessons that we find in The Proverbs are those who fear God and allow Him to guide them, guard them and give them His gifts.
We often talk about hindsight, sometimes we wish we had foresight, but Solomon’s Proverbs gives us the insight to make decisions based on God’s laws. Proverbs provide us with God’s wisdom that is underwritten by God to give us His power to live good, godly lives.
Prayer: Grant us willful hearts, Lord, to obey Your laws. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Proverbs 1:1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel.

Wisdom

February 01, 2019
Some have it. Some seek it. Some use it. Some avoid it. Some write it. Some ignore it. Some deride it. Some see it. Some share it. Some chose it. Some lose it.
Wisdom can be an essential part of life. Most people, from the dawn of creation until this very moment, have wanted their share. Not all of them, however, have gone to the right place to find it or looked to the right Person to get it.
Take Eve, for example, in the Garden. It seems as though she had everything she needed. And, a little bit more. But, like many today, she was not satisfied. In fact, in spite of everything she had, she asked for one more thing: to be wise. Being wise is a good thing. Surely, God wants each of us to be wise, to make the right choice every time we come to a “Y” in the road. But, we must be very, very cautious about our sources of wisdom.
Look at what happened to Eve. “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.”
God carefully instructed Eve not to eat from that one tree. But, the serpent said, “You don’t need God’s wisdom. If you follow Him, you’re going to miss out on some wonderful things in life.” And he was right! She missed the best God had to offer!
Rather than following the wisdom of God, she decided that she wanted wisdom apart from God. And, look what happened. She did receive what she asked for, but the results destroyed her, and God’s perfect plan for all of His creation.
Prayer: Father, You have a plan for each of us as You did Eve. May we be wise enough to seek, find and follow it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 
Michael Jordan, the legendary basketball player is quoted as having said, “I’ve lost more than 300 games. There were twenty-six games when I was given the ball in the last seconds to make the basket that would have won the game. But it didn’t happen – I missed the shot and we lost. I have failed over and over. And that’s why I succeed.”
Strange quote from someone who elevated basketball to a higher level through his skills. We rarely think of such an achiever in any sport as someone who turned failure into success. High-achievers seem to come fully developed and highly skilled.
However, experience is always part of failure. And if we chose, we can use the experience to gain insight and from insight we can gain knowledge and from the knowledge we can gain wisdom and learn to turn failure into success.
The Christian has a wonderful resource to help in this process: the Holy Spirit. He dwells within us and is present, ready and willing to give us the wisdom we need to become successful in life.
There is one condition, however. If we want wisdom, we must go to God in humility and ask for it and then use it for His glory. God will give us whatever we need if we willingly use His gifts for His glory and not our own self-interests or self-advancement.

Prayer: Help us, Lord, to know that when we fail we need to “fall forward” into Your waiting arms, knowing that Your desire is to work with us to help us succeed. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5
He rose from slavery to become one of the greatest scientists of the twentieth century. He discovered hundreds of uses for various crops, including 300 products from peanuts, 100 products for the sweet potato, 75 for pecans and introduced crop rotation for plant nutrition and many products for cosmetics.
Quite a legacy for one man.
As the son of a slave he understood one problem that the farmers of the South faced: How to expand the number of crops they could grow. He first thought about peanuts – but realized that there was no market for them. He soon recognized his need for God’s help.
So, he prayed: “Mr. Creator, why did You make the peanut?”
One day he said, “God gave me a handful of peanuts and went with me to the laboratory and together we got down to work.” That was the beginning of a career that was founded on a simple prayer, a man who honored God and brought great things to the world.
“If you need wisdom,” James wrote, “if you want to know what God wants you to do, ask Him and He will gladly tell you!”
The word wisdom means practical, insightful discernment. It begins with recognizing the power of God, respecting His power and depending upon Him to show us what we can do with the gifts He has given us.
Prayer: How blest we are, Heavenly Father, that we do not have to waste time and worry about what to do with our lives. May we look to You for Your guidance every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Andrew Bradford was an early American printer in colonial Philadelphia. In fact, he printed the first newspaper in Pennsylvania in 1729. He also had the contract for all of the public printing in the state.
One day the governor delivered an important speech and Bradford printed it in his newspaper. It contained several mistakes. A young printer saw the poor work and decided to reprint it with care and precision and make it an excellent presentation of his workmanship. He then mailed a copy of it to the governor and his co-workers.
The next year when it was time to issue a new contract for state printing, it was awarded to that young printer: Ben Franklin. He received the contract for all of the public printing for the state of Pennsylvania because he understood what really mattered: excellence.
Paul, in writing to the Corinthians, said this: “For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives.” He wanted them to know the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, what was important and what was unimportant, separating the vital from the trivial. He wanted them to have a desire for moral integrity and spiritual discernment. He wanted them to understand the importance of living their Christian values because what they did and how they behaved reflected the importance and meaning of salvation. Their lives were a reflection of what being a Christian was all about.
Paul also prayed that they would keep growing in knowledge and understanding which is the foundation for discernment. It is His discernment that enables us to make the right choices in life.
Prayer: Lord, we pause and pray that we will be pure and blameless in all that we do so that our lives will be an excellent representation of You to those around us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Philippians 1:9-10 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,
Sewing was very important to Mrs. Lofting. Whenever she had a moment to spare, she would go to her sewing room and take out her needle and thread and the sewing project she was working on.
But she had a problem. Whenever she was working with a piece of thick, heavy material, the needle she was pushing with her thumb would often pierce it.
One day her sympathetic husband seeing her happiness interrupted with pain became concerned. He went to his shop, found a piece of soft metal and turned it into a bell-shaped covering for her thumb. Jokingly he called it a “thumb-bell.” Soon, other seamstresses became aware of the “thumb-bell” and wanted one for their sewing. Now they are called “thimbles” and are found in nearly every home.
What we do when faced with a problem should come as a result of our dependence upon God. James wrote, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God and He will give it to you.” This “wisdom” he is talking about not only means knowledge, but the ability to make wise decisions, gain insight and get us through difficult times. This promise of God is ours to accept and act upon whenever life seems to be beyond us.
Prayer: How gracious of You, Father, to provide Your wisdom to guide us, guard us and grant us answers in all that we do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
A reporter was visiting a number of farmers who had been identified as “successful.” He had been traveling from state to state and farm to farm. His last interviewee was the farmer who was known for being more successful than all of the others.
“Tell, me, Sir,” began the reporter, “how much education have you had?”
Reflecting for a moment, the farmer answered, “Six years of schooling, but fifty years of learning.”
From His birth to His baptism, we only have one glimpse into the life of Jesus. It was when His parents took Him to celebrate the Passover in Jerusalem. He was so overwhelmed and impressed by the events that took place that He lingered a little longer than they did and became separated from them. Luke says that they found Jesus listening to the religious teachers and asking questions and adds that they were “amazed at his understanding and answers.”
Imagine, if you can, the Son of God eagerly searching for knowledge to grow in “wisdom and stature and favor with God and all the people.”
In every area of His life, Jesus set examples for us to follow. But none more important than learning the ways of His Father.
Prayer: Father, if we would serve You fully and faithfully, we can only do so if we come to know You through understanding Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Luke 2:47, 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
George Washington Carver was a botanist, educator, inventor and scientist. As the son of a slave, he was aware of the difficulty facing farmers, knowing that they needed more than cotton for their fields. He became interested in peanuts. Soon he realized that there was no market for them. Needing help, he turned to God, in prayer.

One day he prayed, “Mr. Creator, why did You make the peanut?”

Later in life he was to say, “God gave me a handful of peanuts, and went with me to the laboratory and together we got down to work.” Before he died, his research and influence produced over 300 products from peanuts including cosmetics, dyes, plastics, gasoline, and nitroglycerine. He published many books, including one with over 100 recipes using peanuts.

James has an interesting bit of advice. He said, “If you need wisdom - if you want to know what God wants you to do, ask Him and He will gladly tell you.” True wisdom begins with respect for God, leads to right living in the sight of God and enables us to align our goals with the goals God has for us. When we do this, we honor God, and in time, He will honor us.

Prayer: Help us, Father, to look to You for Your wisdom in all that we do, knowing it is always available. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
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