Tag

wisdom

A father and his son were walking through a grove of oak trees. Suddenly the boy turned to his Dad and said, “You know, I think God really goofed. He put a watermelon on a small vine and an acorn on a big oak. I would have done it the exact opposite.”
As he was about to continue his speech, an acorn fell from a tree, landed on his head and bounced to the ground.
Quickly the father said, “Aren’t you glad that wasn’t a watermelon?”
We are often puzzled by the events that occur in our lives. We do our best to understand them only to realize that we lack wisdom and insight to interpret them. Try as we might, there are some things that simply do not make sense to us. What then?
God’s Word reminds us that “If any of you lack wisdom and insight, ask Me for help and I’ll give them to you.” These are two of God’s greatest gifts that are available to any of us. But they only come from reading His Word and taking time to be with Him in prayer and meditation. He is willing to give us all the knowledge and courage to do whatever He asks of us but it will take time and discipline. His answers are always available but we must show Him that we are willing to do our part to get them.
Prayer: Lord, may we hear and obey Your instructions and find direction and protection for our lives.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Proverbs 3:5-7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
Little Sara came home from school and proudly said to her mother, “I learned a new song today!”
“Sing it to me,” came the request.
“God bless America, land that I love: Stand beside her, and guide her, through the night with the light from a bulb,” sang Sara.
There is a great difference between “light from a bulb” and “light from above.” As we look at our nation today, we find that much “light” has come from education, information, training and knowledge that enables individuals to earn a living. However, the “light” that comes from wisdom – the ability to judge what is true or right or something with lasting value or worth – appears to be in short supply.
James reminds us that if we want to have the ability to make wise decisions in troubling situations we can always pray and ask God for guidance and wisdom.
We do not have to stumble in the darkness hoping to find good answers while looking for a “bulb” to light our path. We can ask God for His directions and He will gladly tell us what to do.
God’s wisdom always leads us to the right decision and guarantees us good results. But we must have God-centered goals that come from knowing, accepting and living His Word if we expect His wisdom.
Prayer: Lord, fill our minds with Your wisdom as we look to You for guidance to live lives worthy of You. 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.
It was that quiet time of the day just before the sun set. Sitting on his front porch, H. C. Booth was fascinated as columns of dust swirled past him and then suddenly disappeared from sight.
As he watched, he wondered and asked himself a question: “What if it was possible to reverse the wind and instead of it blowing the dust, pull it back?” After much thought and many experiments, he invented the vacuum cleaner in 1901.
Each day God brings many “columns of dust and dirt” into our lives. Often they seem routine and repetitive, troubling or trying, frustrating or frivolous. We are disturbed by them, become exasperated with them and wish they would go away. Our peace evaporates and our rage rises. But, there is hope!
James has some good advice for us. He says, “If you need wisdom – if you want to know what God wants you to do – ask Him and He will gladly tell you.” This wisdom he speaks of is “practical discernment” – the ability to make wise decisions during difficult times. And, we have His promise that at all times and in every situation, if we only ask, He’ll give us insight and guide our choices.
Prayer: Lord, open our eyes to see that things do not need to remain as they are if we look to You for insight. 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 psychiatrist was deeply troubled by the sadness of one of his dear friends. Curiously he asked, “What’s troubling you?”
After some time he responded, “I’ve been reviewing the ‘If onlys’ of my life. I’ve made so many mistakes.”
Wanting to help he said, “Let’s go to my office. I have some recordings I want you to hear.”
Sitting quietly he played a tape containing the stories of three very depressed patients. After a moment he asked, “Did you notice that each one kept repeating, ‘if only’?” The “if onlys” bring about a sense of hopelessness and helplessness, depression and discouragement. All of us must learn to say, “Next time I’ll do things differently. I’ll seek God’s will and ask for guidance before I make a decision.”
James said, “If you need wisdom – if you want to know what God wants you to do – ask Him and He will gladly tell you!” Wisdom here means “practical discernment or guidance” that will lead the Christian to right living and eliminate the “if onlys” of life.
Prayer: Father, may we look to You for guidance before we make decisions and trust Your directions. 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.

Bill Bowerman was the track coach for the University of Oregon. Every time he watched his athletes run he would ask himself one question: “What can I do to help him run faster?”
Often he would think of their shoes and wondered if a different design would enable them to increase their speed. One morning while thinking about this concern his wife served him a waffle for breakfast. As he looked at the waffle he thought of a slab of rubber with the imprint of a waffle pressed deep inside of it.
From that concern came the beginning of the now famous waffle-pattern running sole that became the birth of the Nike shoe line.
“If any of you is deficient in wisdom” is the way one translator begins James 1:5. James was a Christian teacher with a Jewish background and saw wisdom as something that was entirely practical – something that was concerned with the business of living.
We must always remember that our God is a giving God and gives us the wisdom we need to make right choices, solve difficult problems and find directions for right living. However, as willing as God is to give, the responsibility for asking lies with the Christian. When we ask for anything in faith believing, God will grant the request as long as it is in His and our best interest.
Prayer: We pray, Father, that we will rely on You for the wisdom we need to meet and solve our problems. 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.
It was the first time he had been asked to be in a wedding. As he came down the aisle, he would take a step, turn his hands into claw-like instruments, grasp at the air and growl like a bear, lips curled and forehead furrowed.

The people were laughing at such an unusual sight. When he got to the row where the bride’s mother was sitting, she pulled him to the side and asked, “What are you doing?”

“Grrrrr,” he growled. “I’m being a ring bear.” Unfortunately, no one taught him how a “ring bear” behaved.

Parents and teachers have an obligation and responsibility to educate and encourage children to learn and behave appropriately. Often we place expectations on the young when they have no experience or have had no one to explain how they are to behave. When they make mistakes or when things go wrong, we put the blame on them even if they have had no opportunity to learn differently.

That is the reason Solomon gave such wise guidance, “Listen to your father’s experience…” True wisdom comes from God and parents must invest time with Him and in His Word if they are to prepare their children for the demands of life. Often we expect our children to know how to behave and what to do when we have neither taught them nor provided an example for them. That’s why we have “Ring Bears.”

Prayer: Help us, Father, to accept our responsibility to faithfully teach our children in “the way they should go.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 4:1-13 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, And the years of your life will be many.

Little Sara came home from school and proudly said to her mother, “I learned a new song today!”

“Sing it to me,” came the request.

“God bless America, land that I love: Stand beside her, and guide her, through the night with the light from a bulb,” sang Sara.

There is a great difference between “light from a bulb” and “light from above.” As we look at our nation today, we find that much “light” has come from education, information, training and knowledge that enables individuals to earn a living. However, the “light” that comes from wisdom – the ability to judge what is true or right or something with lasting value or worth – appears to be in short supply.

James reminds us that if we want to have the ability to make wise decisions in troubling situations we can always pray and ask God for guidance and wisdom.

We do not have to stumble in the darkness hoping to find good answers while looking for a “bulb” to light our path. We can ask God for His directions and He will gladly tell us what to do.

God’s wisdom always leads us to the right decision and guarantees us good results. But we must have God-centered goals that come from knowing, accepting and living His Word if we expect His wisdom.

Prayer: Lord, fill our minds with Your wisdom as we look to You for guidance to live lives worthy of You. 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.

Imagine what it would be like to go to bed at night and wonder if the sun would be there to greet us in the morning. Or, to fear that the sun would stand still and scorch the earth because the universe lost its way. Or, to see a drought begin and worry that the rain will never come again.

We live in an orderly, predictable universe. It’s the way God created and planned it to be. It is, simply stated, a picture of a God who is faithful, dependable, reliable and trustworthy. Who He was yesterday He will be today and when the sun sets this evening, it will not go into hiding but will rise again tomorrow because of the enduring faithfulness of God.

Faithfulness is important because it gives us the assurance of stability and structure. It creates trust and the possibility of planning. Though we may not desire some of the “contents” that come with predictability, at least we can prepare for them.

God’s covenant with the children of Israel gave them the assurance of His faithfulness. Other gods were created by men but our God is the One who created man. He promised to guide, guard and grant us mercy, grace and salvation because of His great love for His creation.

“Wisdom” speaks of this God, to be sure. But, to be faithful to Him in all things and pass this wisdom on to children as mothers and mentors is something our God desires to be an important priority in Christian homes. “She speaks with God’s wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”

Prayer:  Father, we pray for Your strength and dignity to fill all who are called by You to be mothers and mentors. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 31:26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

Years ago while I was a graduate student studying human behavior it was the “rule” of the day to take an endless number of pencil and paper tests. The object, so often stated, was to “provide an understanding of who we were and to bring self-enlightenment and understanding.” Some were insightful, some worthless and some actually, if I might say it with respect, really stupid.

Proverbs 18:15 has some great advice for students of all ages and disciplines: “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, the ears of the wise seek it out.” The first step of a wise person is to understand that he is not wise. How very interesting. Many think their professors possess knowledge and wisdom and sitting in their classes and listening to their lectures will impart the information they need and elevate them intellectually. Others who believe they are learned persons seek to prove their knowledge by having someone or some source validate it. Some think that true knowledge can be discovered apart from God.

The truly wise person is one who is willing to admit that getting knowledge and wisdom is a life long journey that begins and ends with God. Proverbs reminds us over and over again to “let the wise listen and add to their knowledge and let the discerning get knowledge.”

But Solomon never strays from the indisputable fact that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
Teachers and books pass, but God’s Word abides!

Prayer:  Give us teachers who know, love and honor You to teach students that wisdom begins with fearing You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 18:15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.

Many years ago I had a friend who wrote a book on decision making. He carefully researched the decision making process of world leaders through history as far as was possible. He concluded that a leader could be known and understood by the people he went to for information before making a decision. He looked at character traits, religious beliefs, education and friends. Simply stated, who we look to for advice before making a decision reveals who we are and what to expect of us.

But advice is not wisdom. Advice, stated by line “authority” is an “opinion about what could or should be done about a situation or problem.” One can purchase advice or seek advice from friends or associates, but it is not wisdom. Heed the words of Solomon: “Of what use is money in the hands of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom.”

It is foolish, according to Solomon, to think that anyone can buy wisdom since it is a gift of God. It can only be acquired by studying His Word and depending on Him for insight and foresight through prayer. Even if someone could buy His wisdom they would be a “fool” for they would lack the sense to know what to do with it.

God’s wisdom is not for sale. It is available to those who have a desire to get to know Him by spending time with Him and seeking wisdom from Him. God makes Himself known to those who willingly seek Him with all their heart. The only requirement for those who want God’s wisdom is to seek it in His Word and invest time in prayer.

Prayer:  Father, help us to understand the importance of true, Godly wisdom. May we seek it with all our hearts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 17:16 Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom, when they are not able to understand it?

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