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Friday, May 27, 2011

Old water pump & chair
Old water pump & chair
Both of these bring back memories of my childhood.
This was the kind of chair so many had sitting on their front porch.

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"Professing To Be Wise"

"Professing to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:22).  "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10).

All I once held dear built my life upon
All this world reveres, and wars to own
All I once thought gain I have counted loss
Spent and worthless now, compared to this

Knowing you, Jesus, knowing you
There is no greater thing
You're my all you're the best
You're my joy, my righteousness
And I love you, Lord

In Wednesday's message we acknowledged graduates and gave a challenge to our readers, especially graduates to consider the best way;
"This is what the LORD says-- Your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: 'I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go'" (Isaiah 48:17).

We are in the midst of graduation season. The school year is ending and young people (mostly) are celebrating a long-term accomplishment as they also begin a new chapter in their adult lives.  We congratulate them for their hard work and accomplishing far reaching goals.

And yet, with all due respect to formal education, it is a very poor determinant of one's smartness or  wisdom, let alone spiritual knowledge and understanding! Some of the wisest, most productive people I have known are not college educated and in some cases were unable to finish high school. And yet they very well may be filled with knowledge, spiritual understanding and discernment.  The issue is not the amount of formal education but the source of wisdom.

Our daily verse describes the human condition, "Professing to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:22). It is in a context concerning the human response to God. The Greeks and Roman unbelievers boasted of their wisdom and held the rest of the world in contempt, but at the same time their idolatry showed their utter folly. 

Modern man claims to be so wise.  We are surely the most educated age in history based on years of formal education. Modern humanity feels they are intellectually superior and enlightened compared to previous generations. This is commonly seen in the attitude of the younger toward the elder population.

C.S. LewisC.S. Lewis referred to this attitude as "chronological snobbery". Chronological snobbery is the presumption that the thinking, art, or science of an earlier time is inherently inferior when compared to that of the present.

By and large the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible are scoffed at or ignored by those in our time who profess to be wise. Modern man has no use for them in this "enlightened" age. But the Bible gives a not so flattering, but rather scathing description, "They became fools."

Today I encourage you to sharpen your sense of spiritual discernment.  This is possible through regular study of the Scriptures dowsed in prayerful communion with God.

I note several potential dangers in my life on this matter: 

1) I can become so disgusted with the slide into godlessness that I lose my proper focus on God. I also lose the joy and peace that are my inheritance as His child. 

2) I can get so focused on the problems, which are a natural consequence of man's rejection of God, and then become cynical and negative. 

3) I become so accustomed to the incremental slide into moral depravity and decadence that I no longer take notice.  Consider the content and language in major media outlets that many Christians no longer reject due to becoming desensitized over the years!  The slide continues and in fact increases.

May God give us spiritual discernment so we don't just "go with the flow" since the swirling current from that flow may take you to a deadly vortex. Instead let us acknowledge that "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10).  

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, help me to keep the godly perspective presented in Your Word regarding sinfulness and righteousness.  There is no true sophistication in sinful behavior, for it is abhorrent and unacceptable in Your sight and destructive to the human heart.  Though the world might dress it up, classify it with a new trendy name, sin is still sin and it brings about disastrous consequences.  May my heart's desires be drawn to righteousness.  I want those things which are true, honest, lovely, and praiseworthy to occupy my thoughts and be visible in my interaction with others.  I seek the wisdom imparted through the inspirational writing of Your holy Word.  May it always be the filter I use to screen the wisdom of this age with the wisdom that comes from the God of the ages.

Update on Ester: For the latest update on Ester see here. (This is a page Brooksyne can update.)

Additional note: "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved" (Matthew 24:12,13). I believe all earnest followers of Christ should memorize and hide this verse deep in their hearts. Jesus is speaking of conditions that will characterize the times prior to His return. (Lately we've seen much foolishness and outright disobedience regarding the return of the Lord by those setting dates, yet this does not negate what Jesus said and the clear teaching of the Bible.) An increase in wickedness will cause the love of most to grow cold.  I find that to be a very interesting cause and effect relationship. 

Why is this?  I believe it speaks of the very deceptive nature of wickedness or lawlessness. For many years moral standards have been eroding and so many in the professing church are blinded to it.  The incremental erosion slowly hacks away at our moral sensitivities and many scarcely notice. This is especially true here in America because of the accompanying prosperity. Sodom was also prosperous. (See Genesis 13:9-11.)

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Knowing You"  Video  
The hymn mentioned in the first paragraph.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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