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Thursday, July 28, 2016
"Presenting A Heart Of Wisdom"
Personal note: Today I am feeling a bit better regarding my very sore back. When I stand up I still start out hunched over till I loosen up and tend to weary very easily, probably because when I walk I stress a muscle to compensate for the pain. But progress is being made for which I am very thankful. Thankful also for the compassionate prayers being lifted on my behalf.
Message Summary: Let us also incline our prayerful heart toward God and the Holy Scriptures so that He will guide us in the experiences of life with needed understanding that only He can provide. Let us do this today and everyday and truly present to God a heart of wisdom!
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"So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom" (Psalm 90:12). "Make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding" (Proverbs 2:2). Acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding" (Proverbs 4:7).
We often write about the brilliant sunset view we enjoy from our front yard. Last night's was certainly no exception. Due to a farm field our sunset views vary tremendously through the seasons. Our present view at sunset is a dense field of corn standing ten feet high with a couple of stone barns and tall silos in the background. The huge ball of orange fire glows high above the corn field. The sun's rays light the tassels that top the corn stalks making them look like glistening icicles in the distance. A photograph really doesn't catch the full splendor. Some sunsets look like an artist decided to pour out all his canvas paints in the sky resulting in dazzling colors that merge together bringing about a brilliant skyscape. It's not uncommon to see people walking or driving by our house suddenly stop and point their cameras to the sky.
Each sunset is a reminder that God is drawing yet another day to a close. I often get up in the morning as the sun is rising in the east, although we don't have a good view of sunrise from our home. Sunrise and Sunset are like a pair of daily "bookends", reminding us that the passing of our lives happens one day at a time.
We associate most of the Psalms with David but Moses wrote Psalm 90 and makes the petition found in our first daily text. "So teach us to number our days." Indeed our days are numbered. Today (July 28, 2016) my numbered days since my birth are 22,569. (That's 1,949,961,600 seconds, which happens to be about .1% of our national debt here in the US, just in case you needed a reminder.)*
We don't normally reckon the passing of life in days or let alone seconds or we would really say "life is flying by". We normally measure in years or trips we've made around the sun. But the Psalmist petitions "teach us to number our days".
Old tombstones often specified days such as the one to the right of John Strickler, a man who died in 1837. We have many such tombstones in the cemetery on our street. Written on Strickler's tombstone is this poetic truth, "Stop my friends and take a view, Of the cold grave allotted you, Remember well that you must die, And turn to dust as well as I."
All of us have an allotted number of days. These days are in God's hands. Certainly we have a responsibility in practicing safety and maintaining our health and can be very thankful for the role of modern medicine in prolonging life. But one day these allotted days will end for all of us.
According to this Scripture we are to number our days "that we may present to You (God) a heart of wisdom". We usually consider wisdom a faculty of the mind but today's text uses the term "heart of wisdom." This wisdom is not one's innate intellect or degree of education.
A dictionary definition of wisdom is "the knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action." As I ponder this subject I personally describe wisdom as the ability to see the sequential consequences of actions and this is largely a benefit of the life experience that comes as we age. That's why Scripture calls us to esteem the elderly, something there seems to be less of in our time, at least in our culture.
Another helpful understanding of the word wise is "seeing and responding to life’s situations from God’s frame of reference." That's why we should seek the counsel of those who are older and/or more spiritually mature than ourselves in areas where we might need wisdom and guidance.
The "heart of wisdom" is living each day with the implementation of God's eternal principles as we accumulate and process information. Let us also incline our prayerful heart toward God and the Holy Scriptures so that He will guide us in the experiences of life with needed understanding that only He can provide. Let us do this today and everyday and truly present back to God the heart of wisdom He has crafted in us!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we earnestly seek You for wisdom regarding the daily circumstances of our lives. Help us to incline our hearts toward You for understanding all that You have to teach us. During the quiet sessions when Your voice seems silent help us to trust You knowing that You work all things out for our good and for Your glory. When we are called upon to help another in need of guidance may we draw from the ancient words long preserved for our walk on this earth; the words from Scripture that guide us not only for our earthly pilgrimage but truths essential in guiding us toward our eternal abode in heaven.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"10,000 Reasons" Video Matt Redman
The sun comes up it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes
"Perfect Wisdom of Our God" Video Keith and Kristyn Getty
"Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise" Video The Smucker Family
* Actually I really didn't do the math for the days and seconds using a pencil and paper or even calculator. Here's an online widget. However I had to use old-fashioned math to determine the part about the national debt.
Tommy Carpenter is a friend from Arkansas who sent me an interesting note:
"I picked up on your back problems a few weeks ago while you were at the Chaplains Conference. Even Ester requested prayer for you on Facebook. I placed you on THE HEALING LIST! THE HEALING LIST reaches beyond being just a prayer list, but a contact of Faith believing that God will perform a miracle of healing!! My church member who triggered our Secretary to ask if he wanted to be on a HEALING LIST only wanted to feel better, but he was attempting to get on disability without much success. I know that you would rather be on THE HEALING LIST and I am expecting your recovery to be ministered by the HOLY SPIRIT!!"
"The HEALING LIST has over 300 names of those who are in need of healing, some are critically in need of a miracle, others are in process of recovery, then there are those who are in need of relief that only Jesus can give in His presence. Each day, in my devotions I pray for these precious people."
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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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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