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?”

Often we are puzzled by what is occurring around us. We try to understand what is happening to us only to discover that we lack wisdom and insight. Try as we might, some things do not make sense. What do we do and where do we look for answers?

Wisdom and insight come from two sources: First, they are gifts that God wants to give us. Second, they come from studying God’s Word and seeking His knowledge about His will for us. They take time to get and discipline to use. But the wonderful fact for us to know is that they are available to us if we earnestly seek them, have hearts open to receive them, minds ready to apply them and lives willing to use 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
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 events 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 wait!

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. 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: 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.
One Sunday morning after church as the family was driving home, Molly asked, “Mom, the preacher said that God was bigger than any of us. Is that really true?”

“Yes, He is!” answered her mother.

“Well, Mom,” she continued, “the preacher also said that God lives in us. Is that also true?”

“Yes,” admitted the mother.

“Well, then,” she asked rather confused, “why doesn’t He show through?”

How much of God is seen in our lives each day?

We speak of Him often, turn to Him quickly and rely on Him totally, but do we consult with Him continually?

When we make plans, we need to include Him. If we visit with a friend, we need to invite Him into the conversation. As we leave for a journey, we need to ask Him to travel with us. Throughout the day at work, we need to ask Him for His wisdom.

Perhaps if we consulted God for His advice in everything we do and were more conscious that His Spirit is actually within us, we would realize that He is bigger than we are and allow Him to “show through.”

Prayer: Our Father, we often talk of Your greatness but rarely show Your greatness. Help us to change! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture: Galatians 2:20

A psychiatrist was deeply troubled by the sadness of one of his dear friends. Curiously he asked, "What's troubling you?"

Came the response, "I've been reviewing the ‘If only's’ 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 only's” 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" that will lead the Christian to right living and eliminate the "if only's" of life.

Prayer: Father, may we look to You for guidance before we make decisions and trust Your directions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture: 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.
Two men had not seen each for quite some time and were renewing their friendship.

"How's your wife, Fred?" asked Al.

"Haven't you heard? She's in heaven," said Fred.

"Oh, I'm sorry," replied Al. Catching himself, he apologized and said, "I mean, I'm glad."

But it still did not come out right, so he said, "What I really mean is that I'm surprised."

Seeing the confusion on Fred's face, Al tried once again. "What I'm trying to say is that I'm sure you are relieved."

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, our words just do not come out right. Try as we might, we get them twisted or turned in the wrong direction. What we want to say is not what we actually say. And then they become quite discouraging or devastating to the person we are talking to.

The wise writer of Proverbs said, "We gather our thoughts, but the Lord gives us the right answer." When others come to us for help or counsel, we must always be thoughtful and ask the Lord to guide us as we talk. When we speak without thinking or give advice without carefully considering all of the possibilities or alternatives, we may do more harm than good.

Prayer: Help us, Father, to be careful in all that we say. May our words encourage and enlighten. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture: Proverbs 16:1 The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
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 interprets 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: 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.
One evening a mother was busily straining vegetables to feed her infant daughter. Stomping into the kitchen, her husband demanded, “Hurry up. I want to eat, too.”

Exasperated, she dumped a whole container of peas into a strainer, walked into the living room where he was sitting, placed them in his lap and asked, “How would you like to do this three times a day, seven days a week for who knows how long?”

The next day when he went to his cannery, Dan Gerber could not forget the experience from the night before. As he thought about what had happened and about his wife’s problem, he suddenly had an idea for something new to put into cans – strained baby food.

There are many times when life seems to place problems in our laps that require the wisdom that only comes from God. In fact, He gave us an entire book of the Bible that provides wonderful wisdom, Proverbs. It is ours for the taking.

God gives us His wisdom because it is greater than any of life’s problems, His strength can overcome every weakness and His power can get us through every difficulty.

Prayer: I am so thankful, Lord, that You specialize in solutions. May I constantly turn to Your Word for the wisdom I need for the problems I face. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: James 1:5-8
1 6 7 8