Wisdom & Understanding

Wisdom & Understanding

In the Bible, we often see that wisdom and understanding are linked together strongly.

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens . . .  (Pro 3:19 NKJV)

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.  (Pro 2:6 NIV)

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.  (Pro 4:7 NIV)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.  (Pro 9:10 NIV)

He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, and stretched out the heaven by His understanding.  (Jer 51:15 NKJV)

The Lord uses wisdom and understanding together in combination to establish and accomplish great and mighty things.  Because we are made in God’s image (Gen 9:6 NKJV) and since Christ is our example (1 Pet 2:21 NKJV), we too are strongly encouraged by the Word to gain wisdom and understanding. 

Wisdom means prudence, insight, perceptiveness, or good judgment. 

Understanding means empathy, kindness, or awareness.  In considering these two attributes, we can see how they would work together quite effectively and supportively.

Daily, we can expand and increase both of these characteristics in our lives by reading the Bible faithfully.  No matter what book of the Bible or what topic we may read, the Word of God is filled with the Spirit and the power of God—as well as God’s wisdom and understanding.  The more we fill our hearts and minds with the Word, the more that we will operate with the wisdom and understanding of God.

Be eager students of the Word and you will reap the blessed and life-changing benefits. 

The Words of Eternal Life

The Words of Eternal Life

Who has the Words of Eternal Life?  The Word tells us,

From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”  68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  (Joh 6:66-69, underscoring added) 

What did Peter mean when he said that Jesus had the “words of eternal life”?  He meant that everything that Jesus taught and lived by His example would lead us into eternal life. 

Jesus came to die in order to purchase our salvation.  John 3:16 reminds us that all who believe in Jesus Christ receive eternal life.  And the Lord Jesus Himself said,

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.  (Joh 6:63)  Jesus’ very Words carry life!

These are deep spiritual concepts that are worth meditating upon and asking the Holy Spirit for insight into.  Here is another point of view:

“He is the way, the truth, and the life (Joh 14:6). And the aim of giving Himself as the truth to the world is freedom. You will know the truth and the truth will make you free. Free from the guilt and power of sin.  Free from deadness and blindness and judgment.” – Excerpt from John Piper teaching.

Jesus gives us freedom from “deadness,” as John Piper says above.  That’s a spiritually intense idea worth time in meditation and prayer.

Study the life and words of Jesus Christ and you will be studying the Words of Eternal Life.  God bless you.

Song in the Night

Song in the Night

I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart, and my spirit makes diligent search.  (Ps 77:6)

The psalmist ransacked his knowledge, his memory, his intelligence—his whole nature, and his entire soul, either to find comfort or to recall the songs of praise that he remembered singing in past times unto the Lord.  He was recalling his songs of praise, making a diligent search for them in his heart.

The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me—a prayer to the God of my life.  (Ps 42:8) 

The psalmist is trusting in the mercy of God.  His song in the night is a song of praise to God for His salvation and goodness.  It’s a remembrance of all the good things that God has done for him.

You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept, and gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute, to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Mighty One of Israel. (Isa 30:29)

In this Bible verse, the prophet reminds the people that the song in the night arises due to gladness of heart, such as the joyous sound of a flute, when praising God and approaching Him in worship.  A wakeful, unsettled night may be relieved with a heartfelt song in the night.

At such times, it’s good for us to remember the Lord, and to know that we need Him.  When troubles, trials, or pains assail us in the night, keeping us awake and in anguish, it is the time to allow the Holy Spirit to instruct us.  It’s a time to feed upon and meditate upon the Word of God—which has the power to comfort us and to teach us. 

This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.  (Ps 119:50, emphasis added)

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.  (Rom 15:4, emphasis added)

Permit a song in the night and the comfort of God’s Word to minister to your heart when illness, turmoil, or anxieties assail you and attack your sleep.  God’s loving plan for you is that you have peaceful sleep.

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.  (Ps 4:8)

. . . For so He gives His beloved sleep.  (Ps 127:2)

The Power of God

The Power of God

The Bible has quite a lot to say about the power of God.  Here are some selected verses.

. . . and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.  (Rom 1:4)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  (Rom 1:16)

. . . but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  (1 Cor 1:24)

And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.  (1 Cor 2:4-5)

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  (1 Cor 1:18)

I’m sure that you’ve noticed the recurring theme in these verses that Jesus is called the power of God or the verse may state that power comes through His good news.  How did Jesus access His Father’s power?  He accessed it through the Holy Spirit, for our Lord said:

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.  (Ac 1:8)  Jesus spoke this to His disciples, and told them that they would receive power through the Holy Spirit.

Further on in the New Testament, we read:

For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.  (1 Thes 1:5)

Each believer receives power in the same way that Jesus did, through the Holy Spirit and His presence in us.  We must learn to cooperate with the Lord and the Holy Spirit through our knowledge of the Word and through our obedience to it.  As we obediently serve Him and allow Him to lead and guide us, we will move and operate in His mighty power.

Beauty

Beauty

“Beauty will save the world.”  ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth.  (Ps 50:2)

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation,
Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
  (Isa 52:7)

What is Zion and why is it important to Christians? 

Jerusalem and Zion are one and the same city.  Zion was the place of God’s special presence among His people, and the place where they turned for help and deliverance.  Jerusalem has been the holiest city in Judaism and the ancestral and spiritual homeland of the Jewish people since the 10th century BCE (before Common Era).  During classical antiquity, Jerusalem was considered the center of the world, where God resided.

What does all of this have to do with our topic of beauty?  Because God promises to shine forth out of Zion, which is called the perfection of beauty

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.  (Ps 33:1)

The Word of God reminds us that praise is beautiful—not only in the sight of God but in the sight of men, as well.  If I happen to find a television program that is broadcasting a praise and worship service, I find it so beautiful to see that I’m moved to tears.

. . . rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.  (1 Pet 3:4, emphasis added)

In this verse from first Peter, the Word of God tells us that a gentle and quiet spirit is indestructibly beautiful!  It is also very treasured by our God.  So, we see that God considers salvation to be a beautiful thing, along with our praises to Him.

It is this inner quality of beauty that God commends and which the entire world unerringly recognizes!  We will achieve this level of beauty as we obey God and seek to follow Him.  He is the only One who transforms lives because He is the glory and the lifter of our heads!  (Ps 3:3)  Because His Spirit lives within each one of us, His beauty will shine forth through us.

This is why Isaiah 52:7 (at top of this article) calls the feet of those who spread the Gospel “beautiful feet”!  We all may confidently pursue this beauty that shines forth from our inner man.

 

HOW Does a Soul Prosper?

HOW Does a Soul Prosper?

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.  (3 Joh 1:2)

How does a soul prosper?  What is a soul?  According to the Bible, we each have three parts:  a body, a soul, and a spirit.  (see 1 Thes 5:23) 

Each one of us is a spirit; we live in our own body; and we each have a soul.  Mankind was made in the image of God (Gen 1:26); and God is a Spirit (Joh 4:24).  Therefore we, too, are spirit-beings. 

We can see that we each have a soul that is distinctly separate and different from our spirit:

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  (Heb 4:12) 

Even though the spirit and the soul are joined together, they are still separate parts of every individual.  So, we live in a body (2 Cor 5:6, 8) that has a soul.  The soul is where the emotions, the will, and the intellect dwell. 

Did you see that according to 3 John 1:2, the level or degree to which we prosper, and/or obtain the health and healing of God is directly related to the level or degree that our soul (the thinking, reasoning part of us: The Mind) is prospering?

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  (Rom 12:2)

So our circumstances and situations can be changed once we have changed the way that we think about them!  How may we change our thoughts?  When we renew our minds with God’s promises contained in His Word, we change the way that we think about our situation.  And what naturally follows is that our emotions and will then follow where our thoughts take us.

God has given each one of us the gift of grace (Eph 2:8).  By God’s gift of grace, we may obediently and intentionally place our soul upon the path of prosperity.

Does God Perform Miracles Today?

Does God Perform Miracles Today?

I’ve spent some time online recently reading published articles about whether God performs miracles today or not—in 2017.  What concerns me gravely is that many Christians who love God are of the decided opinion that miracles are NOT being performed now!  I want to read what the Bible has to say.

Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles.  (Acts 15:12)  Barnabas and Paul reminded the multitude that GOD worked the miracles and wonders—not man.  Yes, He worked through the apostles, but God is named as the Miracle Worker.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  (1 Cor 12:7-10)  This passage of the Bible names spiritual gifts given to the church by God.  The spiritual gifts given to believers names “the working of miracles.”  I don’t see a time limit on this nor a statement saying that this would only occur in a certain age of the church.  Notice that this passage opens with the statement that these spiritual gifts are given to individuals for the profit of ALL.  So, clearly the spiritual gifts are a blessing to the entire church.  Why would anyone desire that miracles stop?

This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?  Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”  (Gal 3:2-8)  In this excerpt from the Bible, the Lord reminds us that He supplies the Spirit to us AND He works the miracles among us—all in response to faith on the part of human beings. 

Shall we who trust in Jesus as our Lord and Savior now abandon faith?  Faith is clearly a prerequisite for the operation of any miracle.  Since God Himself, the Ancient of Days, is the One who performs miracles, who are we to dictate in what era He may  or may not perform them? 

I personally have experienced quite a number of miracles from my loving God.  I have seen the Lord perform miracles right in front of me, and I know other believers who have also received miracles from the Lord Jesus Christ.  I can say from my own knowledge and experience that the Lord does indeed perform miracles today.