Monday, October 30, 2006

Wisdom and the Word


How very faithful our Lord is!!! After three week-ends of ministry away from home, I am delighted to be "at home" this morning and able to put some thoughts on my blog. I want to share just a bit of what I taught in our ministry's Fall Conference a couple of week-ends ago. The entire conference was on receiving the wisdom of God.

We must always keep in mind that wisdom is always available for the asking, for those who ask in faith. (James 1:5-6) That being understood, there is a wisdom that is developed and given as we spend time with our Lord in His Word. We generally think of wisdom as the ability to use our knowledge correctly and appropriately. (First image) However, when we go to Proverbs 2:1-5 we find it coming out differently. (Second image)

We find that wisdom is given as a gift for those who receive, treasure, listen, cry, shout, dig our Lord's Word, insight, discernment. As we receive His Word and intensify our search and "dig" through it, treasuring it and listening, wisdom is given as a gift. The fear of the Lord is also given. It is as if these are by-products of the treasuring of the Word. (I was first introduced to this concept through a very fine article by Michael Rodhouse at www.biblical-life.com. It is a good place to start looking at this concept).

To discover that wisdom is a gift for loving His word is a wonderful discovery. When I was 9 years old, my Dad told me to begin reading my New Testament through by reading one chapter each evening when I went to bed. He said, "You won't understand a lot of it, and many times the names will be too hard for you to say, but read it anyway. Then by the end of the year you will have read your New Testament completely through." My Dad was very precious to me, and his word was law in my heart. So I began my journey, and I am still on that journey with the Word. I have for most of my adult years read Bible through as my "daily manna." Dad knew something I am just discovering.
If we will diligently read, study, and mediate on the Word, we will have a precious fear of the Lord in our persons, and the wisdom of God has an opportunity to lead and to guide. The Scriptures do say that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth, that the Lord is our teacher, and on and on. This kind of "knowledge" does not lead to arrogrance (1 Cor. 8:1) but instead provides guidance for a life in Him. The knowledge that comes first through the brain, is a a part of the transformation process of that very vital and ever to be used tool of the mind. However, it is not the main part of our journey. No matter how "old" we become by His grace in Him, we must always be open to what others in the body have learned -- always be willing to expose the mind to good books and training. However, we have far too long made that the important part of our learning.
I am beginning to be convinced, that the preacher and teacher of the word are basically giving words to things the people should already "know" but not yet have words to express. This is a bit tough to explain in this expression, but I pray you will take Proverbs 2 and let the Lord show you the truth that I am trying to express. It is so encouraging!
I encourage you to read His word. We have for so long stumbled over what we do not understand. Receiving this understanding on the Word, means that we are given of Him on the basis of our choosing to treasure Him through His word. Now how awesome is that! Even when I do not "understand," still He ministers Himself and His wisdom to me.

Grace, grace, grace -- may we breathe it deeply as we read, study, meditate.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Not Forgotten

Isn't that a wonderful title for a post? Well, it will have to wait for a few more days. I have just finished teaching a conference, have a couple of days home and then am away again for a couple -- teaching at a retreat. I will get back here. If you check in regularly, don't give up, I will be back with more on Wisdom...or something in just a few days.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wisdom

I took this picture earlier this fall as my husband and I took a small trip for our 45th wedding anniversary. This waterfall is beautiful. It reminds me of God's abundant wisdom--always available and flowing to whosoever will ask. James 1:5-6 "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given him. But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind." WOW! That is just awesome.

I recently had a very difficult problem to tackle, and I had no idea how best to do it. If I did it one way, it looked like it would end in disaster, if I did it another -- same result. So I took my camera and went away by myself -- just me and my Lord -- and I was just very honest with Him about my need for wisdom in the situation. I wanted to bless all involved, not hurt anyone, yet I had to do what needed to be done. One of my friends' calls times like this "sticky steps." Well it really was just that.

Within an hour the Lord showed me just how to handle the situation. It was clear, yet I never would have thought of that. Indeed it was "wisdom." I knew He would come through for me, but He did so very beautifully that it almost made my head swim it was so precious.

So do you need to know wisdom in a situation? He is the one to talk with. He is so gracious and loving as He gently explains and shows us what to do. His wisdom is like this waterfall -- flowing preciously, full and for any who will ask in faith.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Amazing Faithfulness

Our Lord gives to us His amazing faithfulness. In every corner, in every moment, and as we watch year pile upon year, it is the same abundance of Himself that He showers. What a wonderful Friend!

As a child I sang "What a Friend we have in Jesus," and it has come to mean my life. I am a person who loves friends. Yet, only the Lord Jesus is truly my "Best Friend." I have a wonderful husband, daughter, sons, friends (some very close and dear ones), yet it is the Lord who is always there. It is the Lord who makes my paths straight. It is the Lord who gives me songs in the night. It is the Lord who greets me with Himself each morning. It is the Lord.

When he told us in 2 Peter 1:3 that He has given us all things for life and godliness, He really wasn't kidding. He is the "all things." Now just how wonderful can it get?!!!

Today is a study day, because tonight is our Friday Fellowship night in Psalm 19 Ministries. I am preaching on "Giving Grace," and looking forward to the time both in study and in flight on my feet in the Holy Spirit through the Word.

Overshowed by His presence and His holding -- I turn to digging in the Word. What joy!!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tuesdays are Grand

Tuesdays are grand because I get to teach an Institute level Bible Class tonight. Tonight it is Matthew 8-9. What a wonderful passage of Scripture. We (13 adult students and myself) will spend 21/2 hrs. enjoying the Spirit's leading through these chapters. We get to discuss the relationship between authority and faith; sin and disease (ohhh that's a biggie -- it'll be an exciting discussion I imagine); fasting, patching old cloth and filling new wine skins -- another goody; demon possession and the Lord's treatment of it (interesting--no fasting involved--hummmm) and then there is this call to pray for workers for the harvest.

The Lord's Word is so alive and so rich for today. I am amazed as He allows me to work with such precious Words in such precious lives. My study, so far, is exciting to me. The PowerPoint is about ready for both chapters, now after some lunch, I will go further into the passages. I have to watch myself and not let it all "pop" before I get to class.

Hope your day is as special as this one is for me! Blessings.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Monday Morning

Well, that is what it is -- Monday morning! I am blessed to be up and excited about my activities for the week. Last week (Wed.-Sat.) I was out of commission with a bad cold, and with that now mostly past, I am really looking forward to enjoy participating in this week. (Activities and schedule on ministry web site).

Last evening I attended the play Eternity, which is being produced at my local church. I must say I am impressed with the unvarnished truth of the Gospel that is presented in this production. I am not one to generally "go" for this type of evangelism, but I am blessed by this one. It is a broad "net" which is doing a marvelous job. (First night 37 responses; second night 42). I am a one-on-one type of person when it comes to evangelism, but this is doing a wonderful job. Plus, I do believe the follow up is in place to keep the time effective long after the play closes. Our congregation is not a large one, yet the acting is superb. I am thankful to have gone and thankful my church is producing it.

In the past, I have had a tendency to be critical of such efforts, especially when they are such "in-your-face" efforts. However, I am learning that the Lord uses many and various kinds of outreaches to get people into His Kingdom. I may not be led to be a part of any one kind, but that does not mean it is not to be used. We need to take our "critical caps" off and throw them to the wind. (Repentence -- that is what it is called). If the gospel and love of our Lord is boldly proclaimed, then we need to bless the efforts.

May the Lord continue to bless Eternity!