If

What if you found an old letter describing a location in your yard where money was buried? Would you attempt to find it? Of course, most people would, but finding cash among your roses isn’t likely. However, the Bible’s promise of treasure is more certain. Consider Solomon’s instructions:

“My son, if you… receive my words…treasure my commands…apply your heart to understanding…cry out for discernment, and seek [wisdom]…then you’ll understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:1-5 NKJV

Gaining understanding and knowledge from the Lord isn’t a one-time, high-speed download, it’s an active process of listening, pondering, applying, asking, and seeking (7-12). He then goes on to say that incorporating the knowledge of the Lord will protect, preserve, keep, deliver, and lead the learner to walk in the way of goodness (2:20).

The journey of a disciple should be filled with conversation. We’re made for dialogue and when it comes to our spiritual development, the scripture prompts us to think, pray, ask, listen and dig deeper…searching for precious treasure.

What are you pondering today? What are you seeking? Have you mentioned it to the Lord…and are you listening for His reply?

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Perspective

Don’t confuse knowledge with wisdom.

Saul the Pharisee was a guy who knew the scriptures. As a matter of fact; with his many years of zealous study and verbatim memorization, he probably mumbled the entire book of Deuteronomy in his sleep. However, after encountering Christ on the road to Damascus; the text that previously made perfect sense in his mind, no longer fit together as before. His “knowledge files” needed some additional sorting and Jesus did just that for him.

God took him away to Arabia for three years to complete his training and reorder his thinking (Galatians 1:15-18). But if he already knew the scriptures so well, why did God set him aside for three years? What else was there to learn? The answer is perspective…God’s perspective, and that usually takes time. James reminds us this way:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives liberally and without reproach and it will be given to you.” – James 1:5

Knowledge is good, wisdom is better…and God’s wisdom is best.

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The Lord’s Day 8-12-18

“Oh Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!” – Psalm 8:1 NKJV

True excellence is defined by the character of God; pure, bright, holy, righteous, and loving. His glory shines all around us and His name is above every name.

Celebrate The Lord’s Day…He is worthy of worship and praise!

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Doubt

John the Baptist was rugged, bold and popular. He was a “man’s man” who wore camel hair clothes and lived outside. He fearlessly addressed self-centered leaders with words like “brood of vipers!”, so he wasn’t exactly the timid type. He even declared Jesus the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”. But later, his story took a drastic turn and we read these shocking words:

“And John…sent them to Jesus saying, Are you the Coming One, or do we look for another?” – Luke 7:19 NKJV

Suddenly, the mood changed. Why? It’s because John proved to be human. Not in a sinful, fall-from-grace kind of way, but in a real life, faith-in-motion kind of way. At the point of v.19, John was in prison, having faithfully executed what God commissioned him to do; but doubt crept in. That’s the way it is, you’re walking along with a sense of confidence and the path begins to feel strange and unfamiliar. For John, he had faithfully preached judgment, repentance and the Kingdom, but so far, it appeared nothing was happening. The Romans were still in charge, the Jewish leaders were still corrupt, and he wondered “Could I have been wrong?”

Jesus graciously replied and endorsed John’s ministry by saying, “…among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist…” but He also instructed them to return and tell what they had witnessed; “The blind seeing, the lame walking…etc.” (fulfilling prophecy- Is. 35:5-6).

So, what do you know to be true today? For a moment, set aside the circumstances and ask yourself, “What do I KNOW to be true?” How have you experienced God’s provision in the past and known Him to be faithful? Pause to thank Him for those moments, hold on tight to them, and look forward with confidence because:

“He who calls you is faithful…” (I Thess. 5:24) NKJV

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Rest

Does your life need a “pause button”?

When God created the world, He set certain “rhythms” in motion; such as day/night, wake/sleep and growth/dormancy. He even modeled it for us by creating six days, then resting one. If you’ve ever spent extended time in the woods, you’ve probably sensed nature’s “rhythm”. There’s activity, there’s silence, and there’s newness each morning.

In the Psalms, the word “Selah” is placed at strategic points to direct the reader (originally singers) to pause and reflect on the potency of the words. It’s a pattern worth noting and incorporating into daily life…a pause to reflect on the potency of God’s provision, protection, and presence. Consider this question for today:

“Will I incorporate a natural rhythm of work/rest, or will I continue to be “On” 24/7?”

Finding a way to pause and reflect is incredibly valuable. Of course it looks different with everyone, but maybe silencing your phone on occasion, turning off the radio while driving, or cramming less into Sunday afternoon would reveal a “pause button” previously hidden. Unfortunately, the problem of “busyness” is here to stay, but the Lord will provide guidance when asked.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
– Matthew 11:28 NKJV

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Work

Is your candle burning at both ends (while the middle melts too)? Truth is, balancing life in our modern world is challenging. A simple list of “what to do & what not to do” would be nice, but real life isn’t that “simple”. So, instead of a list, consider this question for today:

“Will the things I do (work, school, family) define me, or will I define them based on who I am in Christ?”

Paul charges us in Colossians 3:23 with this:

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord.”

It helps to remember just whose approval we should be seeking. Paul had known great success in Jerusalem’s inner circle. He was a popular “mover & shaker” with widespread name recognition, but after conversion he gained a new perspective on how to invest his time (Phil. chapter 3). He continued working hard with his hands making tents (Acts 18:3), but his goals and influence around the marketplace changed. Instead of trying to win, he modeled the attitude of laying aside hindrances to finish well (Hebrews 12:1-2). “Well” isn’t about busy, it’s about priorities and some of the lesser stuff may need to wait until later…way later…if ever.

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Wisdom 1.7

Are you wise? You’ll probably hesitate to answer “yes” because most people aren’t so bold as to refer to themselves as wise. However, consider what the Bible lists as the criteria for someone to be considered wise:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” – Proverbs 1:7 NKJV

And later this is also included:

“…and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” – Proverbs 9:10 NKJV

Wisdom is about seeing things God’s way. Knowing the Lord is to be aligned with Him. When a person embraces God as the source of absolute truth, there’s an admission of not having all the answers. That’s the point of being teachable and opportunities for true learning open-up. “Fearing the Lord” is maintaining a healthy respect for Him and His unique position as King over all creation. Reading, studying, praying, listening, trusting, asking, sharing; it’s all part of knowing Him and learning about His perspective on life, death, work, leisure, pleasure, relationships, and the future.

Seek to know Him more and your wisdom will increase too. Are you praying to be wise today…according to His definition?

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