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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jeremiah 9:23,24

"Able To Make You Wise"

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"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:14-15).

God's Not DeadThe other night Ester and I went to see the movie, "God's Not Dead". It features an atheist philosophy professor who gleefully challenges the students to disbelief. The main character, Josh, refuses to bend and courageously refutes the professor! The professor carries himself in such a haughty way, mocking any belief in God. We've met a few people like that through the course of life!

It seems in recent years there is more and more mocking of the Bible and people of faith in an attempt to associate unbelief as being wise or elitist such as the professor in the "God's Not Dead" movie.

What a mean, ugly, hateful trap! Sadly, young people are especially prone to falling for it. After all, the professor is much more educated and "wise" and he is provided a platform. It seems to me advanced education has become one of the gods of our age. Now certainly we may esteem those who have a lot of education and use it wisely. But any wisdom attained in this manner should not conflict but rather align with the wisdom dispensed from God above. There are those with brilliant minds who have degrees from Harvard, Yale and other elite type universities. The world clamors for their wisdom on all issues. Some have faith in God, including several longtime subscribers to our postings. Yet many also, to use a phrase  I recall my dad using, "just don't have their heads screwed on right." Indeed some of the most foolish notions come out of these elite places!

A powerful verse in this regard is from Jeremiah who speaks to people in all ages: "This is what the Lord says: 'Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,' declares the Lord" (Jeremiah 9:23,24).

For several days we've been studying the Bible text from 2 Timothy phrase by phrase. Today let us consider the phrase, "You have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."

People often wonder about the distinction between knowledge and wisdom and at times we use them interchangeably. The dictionary defines wisdom as “the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting.” This is a theme that is recurring throughout the Bible. Knowledge, on the other hand, is defined as having information through experience, reasoning or acquaintance. God wants us to have knowledge of Him, His Word and what He expects of us. But equally important is having wisdom, that is,
“the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting.”

James 1:5 Knowing facts about God and the Bible is not all there is to having wisdom. Wisdom is a gift from God. James 1:5 states, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Wisdom is what God will bless us with in order for us to glorify Him with the knowledge we have of Him. (gotquestions.org)

Mankind has a great pursuit of knowledge and wisdom and we live in an age where so much can be easily researched from our own home via computer (or tablet or smart phone). Later this month we are visiting Texas and I am already learning about the places we will visit as I am mapping out an itinerary.

The Holy Scriptures are able to make one wise. For centuries people, even those who did not have faith in Christ, have acknowledged this and valued the Bible for the wisdom it conveys. It would be true to merely make the statement,
"You have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise.

But we will study tomorrow the foundational purpose of this wisdom in the two words that follow, "for salvation". From the spiritual and eternal perspective this is by far the most important and lasting type of wisdom!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, we are advised by the apostle James to ask for any wisdom we lack, and You will give generously to us that which we ask. So much wisdom is attained by carefully reading, studying, and applying the Scripture. Additional wisdom is granted through the experiences we go through in life and also observing others, their response to critical situations along with their life choices and the results that follow. There are many things we observe and learn as we go through life's journey. Help us to hold on to that which will profit us, that which will benefit or broaden our understanding. Enable us to reject and dispense of that which is in direct contrast to Your Holy Word so that we are not led astray or misguided by teachings the world deems to be knowledgeable or wise. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Several days ago we discussed the importance of godly grandparents and alluded to Timothy's faith which first dwelt in his grandmother and mother. A little boy described grandmothers like this:

"A grandmother is a lady who has no children of her own, so she loves everybody else's. Grandmas don't have to do anything but be there. If they take you for a walk, they slow down past leaves and caterpillars. . . . They can answer questions like why dogs hate cats and why God isn't married. When they read to you, they don't skip parts or mind if it's the same story again. Everyone should have a grandmother because they are the only grown-ups who have time for you."

Timothy is a prime example of how a young life can be greatly influenced by a grandmother, especially if she is a godly woman. He held a position of great responsibility in leading the congregation at Ephesus. It was a difficult assignment for a young man who was timid by nature. To help his young protégé stand firm, the apostle Paul reminded him of the faith of his grandmother Lois (2 Timothy 1:5). It isn't hard to imagine her playing with him when he was little, teaching him Scripture passages, putting him to bed with hugs and kisses and childlike prayers, and in the process nurturing the faith of her grandson.

Haddon W. Robinson observed, "God is a wise Father who knows how to help grandmothers and all of us to influence young lives."

Yesterday we shared a photo of an old farm tool. It is a dehorner used to dehorn cattle. A vivid memory I have from my Uncle Gentry's farm in southern Missouri was the bawling sound from the cattle being dehorned! Nice job for those who responded and the very first was quite unexpected, from Wendy Gambini, with some help from her co-workers in a dental office. 

Mystery farm equipment
Today we have another piece of equipment from Galen's barn for the consideration of old-timers and farm stuff buffs. It might be a little more difficult. If
you recognize what it is respond here.  We'll post the correct answer tomorrow along with another photo quiz.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise "  Video  Steve Green

"Perfect Wisdom of Our God
Video  Keith and Kristyn Getty

"Wisdom Song"  Video  Sharon Irving

"The Power of the Cross"  Video 
Keith & Kristyn Getty

"The Glory of the Cross"  Video  Sovereign Grace

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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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