#974 Wisdom – The Prerequisite

Good Day Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As a divine gift, there is a prerequisite for this “wisdom,” that being the fear of the Lord.  Contrary to cringing before Him in terror, “the fear of the Lord” is having an attitude of reverence and awe toward God.  Two quotes from unknown authors assist in describing this prerequisite:  “The foundation of wisdom lies in knowing what to fear.  Wisdom is fearing the right thing.”  “Perhaps if we feared God more, we would fear everything else less.”  Fearing the Lord is a desire to follow and imitate God as He revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, without self-reliance, and not in a spirit of pride.  Likewise, though, wisdom herself cries out for those who will do everything to pursue her.[1]  It is our choice whether or not to seek wisdom, the first step being to fear the Lord.

Are you diligently seeking wisdom through fearing the Lord?

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge:  but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  (Proverbs 1:7)

May God Richly Bless You Today

[1] Proverbs 1:20

#973 Wisdom – Right Choices

Good Day Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Unger’s Bible Dictionary describes wisdom in its dominant use in the Bible as, “An attribute of God, intimately related to the divine knowledge, but manifesting itself in the selection of proper ends and the proper means for their accomplishment…Wisdom is in the deepest sense a divine gift.”[1]  Essentially, wisdom is the art of successful living, living this life in preparation for the next life, and allowing wisdom to lead in the path to living forever with God.  When we live life in such a manner we will exercise the knowledge and ability to make the right choices at the right time, the consistency of making the right choice being an indication of maturity and development.  It is evident that spiritual wisdom differs from the secular usage of human cunning and shrewdness.

Are your choices made with Heaven in mind or to get ahead in this life at any cost?

“O LORD, how manifold are Thy works! In wisdom hast Thou made them all:  the earth is full of Thy riches.”  (Psalms 104:24)

May God Richly Bless You Today

[1] Unger, Merrill F., Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Chicago, Ill.:  Moody Press, 1966.

#972 Wisdom – Components of Wisdom

Good Day Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Forty-five times in the book of Proverbs the same Hebrew word for “wisdom” is used, basically meaning experience and shrewdness.  It is used of the skill of craftsmen, sailors, singers, administrators, and counselors.  Being knowledgeable, experienced, and efficient in their areas of expertise, they were considered skillful, thus “wise.”   Cleverness and shrewdness characterized this type of wisdom.  In the spiritual realm, a person who possesses this “wisdom” in reference to God is one who is both knowledgeable and experienced in following God’s way.  This means being skilled in godly living, focused on the application of moral and ethical principles that result in skillful, godly living as well as being able to cope with life in a God-honoring way.  Let us continue tomorrow.

As you think about wisdom in connection with godly living, can you say that your way of living meets these standards?

“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.”  (Proverbs 1:5)

May God Richly Bless You Today

#971 Wisdom – A Complex Idea

Good Day Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Think with me of the wisest person we know.  How does this person demonstrate his or her wisdom?  The Bible speaks frequently of wisdom with wisdom in Old Testament writings being a complex idea, especially in the book of Proverbs.  Even though it is difficult to define simply, Marvin Tate attempted to do so in the Broadman Bible Commentary when he stated:  “Wisdom in the book of Proverbs is very much concerned with the art of good living; the techniques of the well-lived life.  On a broad basis of experience, tradition, and piety, he seeks to master life and live successfully, making the correct ethical decisions.”  The book of Proverbs is God’s book on how to wise up and live, and is often called His “treasure book of wisdom.”  In the next number of days, let us look at “wisdom,” primarily as it is used in the book of Proverbs and Old Testament.

Do you know someone you consider to have wisdom?  Is this person’s wisdom spiritual or worldly?

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding.”  (Proverbs 1:1-2)

May God Richly Bless You Today

#970 Image of God – Love

Good Day Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“God is love.”  Love is the highest characteristic of God, and all other characteristics of God blend with love.  Likewise, love is the finest virtue produced by Christianity in man.  Man originally bore this attribute in the image of God, but through sin there is a general necessity for restoration.  That restoration has come to us as Christians through faith in Jesus Christ, but some Christians fail to show this love to others or anywhere in their Christian life.  God’s love and our love of God should be the prevailing motive for Christian living.  As we Christians allow God’s love to saturate our body and soul, it cannot help but flow outward to others, demonstrating to the world the true meaning of our being created in the image of God.

As you live your life as a Christian, allow God’s love to fill your body and soul to the extent you cannot help but allow His love to flow out and dictate how you live your life!

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.  God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”   (I John 4:8)

May God Richly Bless You Today

#969 Image of God – Holiness and Righteousness

Good Day Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We tend to identify and emphasize individual characteristics when we examine man’s creation as being in the image of God; however, we must recognize that it is best to understand all the characteristics that belonged, or belong, to man which constitute his likeness to his Creator.  Because of sin, man’s nature has generally suffered loss, but because of God’s grace, man can receive divine renewal.  Holiness and righteousness are characteristics of the Holy God, and characteristics with which man was created.  Man was created with no tendency to sin, in the exact image of God; nevertheless, sin brought forth the need for renewal through salvation and holy living, “putting on the new man.”  Then we can be identified in a way that demonstrates we were created in righteousness and holiness, in the image of God.

Does your life reflect the righteousness and holiness that you have through Jesus Christ your Lord?

“And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”   (Ephesians 4:24)

May God Richly Bless You Today

#968 Image of God – Personality

Good Day Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

There is no argument over the fact that man is a person, distinct from things and animals, created in the image and likeness of God who is likewise a person.  There are beliefs that disagree that God is a person, such as atheism which denies His existence and pantheism which merges His existence in that of the universe; however, we as Christians worship God, a living Being, not an inanimate object, animal, or ideal.  The God we worship is conscious of His own existence, the Supreme Intelligence, and is free; man also being self-conscious, endowed with intelligence, rationality, and freedom.  Christ, as the perfect manifestation of God, came to earth as a human to pay for our sins on the cross.  He, the Son of God, was described as “the express image of His image,” referring to God the Father.  Likewise, we as Christians are personalities just as God.

You as a Christian should live as a person who glorifies God, the person of whom you are the image or likeness!

“Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”   (Hebrews 1:3)

May God Richly Bless You Today