Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wisdom of God

S JOB 12:12 NASB

"Wisdom is with aged men, With long life is understanding.

O  -  It is interesting to hear this Proverb coming from Job's mouth in the middle of his trials.  Job is so complete in describing his suffering and experience when being tested by the devil, that we get to experience his spiritual, emotional, and physical journey.  On this day it looks like Job in having discourse with his so called friends who are trying to tell him he or his family must have some sort of sin and need to repent to God, they go as far as implying Job is foolish.  Likely these same friends had been living in the shadow of Job's prosperity for many years, and to see Job in this sorrowful state gave them an opportunity to criticize rather than support him while in need of comfort.    Job's reply was likely to them who would give him poor advice on what he should do.  He simply stated, I have been walking with God for many years, and my wisdom and understanding guide me today, and I will go with what I know of God, and from God in deciding my response, not of men that have little wisdom and understanding.

A -  The application for me is to understand that in order to claim wisdom and understanding, I must spend years walking with God, and not when the time comes, avoid the tendency to listen to unwise advice. I too easily can get caught up in what other think and say, and internal reacting to their thoughts and opinions.  As I have grown older and more experienced I am gaining a confidence in my relationship with God, his Word in my life, and the sum of my experiences.

P - Dear heavenly father, thank you for the years of speaking into my life, and shaping my wisdom and understanding.  Lord I pray that I would humbly process this idea of being wise, and boldly follow your wisdom, and would filter those who would speak distracting thoughts and ideas.  I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Waiting patiently on the Lord

S ACT 1:6-8 NASB
So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;  but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."

O - Jesus is spending His last moments on earth with His disciples after His resurrection but before His ascension.  The disciples who know exactly who Jesus is, and have seen him first hand do so many things, seem to ask these simple but naive questions.  Likely naive because they didn't have the benefit of years of study of the new testament (my own mental model).   In this case they asked, is it now Lord you are restoring the kingdom of God to Israel.  This was the prophesy of what the Messiah would do, and having seen Jesus, not lead a revolution and take over the Nation of Israel and kick out the Romans, but instead die unjustly on the cross.   Jesus reply is one that we all can learn from in How God works :  "it is not for you to know the times...which the Father has fixed by His own authority".  In other words,  don't focus on When but what His promise is.

A -  The application for me is to recognize that I must grow comfortable and confident on God's promises to me;  promises received through His word and through His Holy spirit.  I can still remember asking God what His plans for me are and Him responding - "I could tell you but I can not trust you to try and take control."    

P -  Dear heavenly Father, thank you for being a faithful God , who has a plan for my life.  I surrender to your will and your plan for me life and pray for the patience and strength to wait on you and your plan.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.    

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Disciplining sin

S LUK 17:3-4 NASB
Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.  And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him."

O -  Jesus, thank you for your word and commandment.  You have high standards,  and great grace.  God is a god of righteousness and one of forgiveness.   Jesus is speaking to his disciples who are about to start the first church, and Jesus knows even though we are saved from eternal death through His sacrifice, we are not spared from living a life of excellence.  Excellence in loving God, and loving others.   We love God when we obey him.  We make mistakes,  others will make mistake in our life, if they are repentant we are to forgive them.  If they are not, we are to rebuke them.

A - The application is timely, as I am facing many disciplinary actions at my work place.   Ones in which I am accountable to decide is the person guilty of sin,  repentant of that sin, and given the facts what discipline or grace am I to show.  Today I am convinced to follow God's word in these decision.  I must obey the just and righteous laws that are passed and with a humbleness be ready to forgive.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank  you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Serve the God of the universe, not the god of wealth

S LUK 16:10-13 NASB
"He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.  Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?  And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?  No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."

O - It is never too many times I need to be reminded that I am here to serve God and not strive for wealth.  The paradox of course that Jesus delivers is that being faithful more than working hard  with a little is what allows God to entrust you with more of His wealth to steward.  The commandment to to serve the one true God and  to put no other god before Him is one that challenges even those called out by God to lead His people.   This was the case of the Pharisees, the nation of Israel, and of course at time me.

A - The application for me is to be humbled by the truth of my weaknesses, and to be thankful for the saving Grace of Christ.  I know turn my eyes, hands, and heart toward the Lord.

P - Dear heavenly Father thank  you for today's lesson, message, and conviction, may it be sealed to my heart.  I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Serving my wife without expectation

S LUK 14:12-14 NASB
And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, "When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment.  But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,  and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

 O -  Jesus was doing some good preachin when he spoke these words.  They were primarily to his disciples as he tried to get them to think differently than the current culture.    He had just finished explaining to them to not sit in the place of honor when arriving at a place you are invited, but rather sit at the low place for it is much better to be asked to move up, than move back.   Now he turns and explains how to be a good host.   Do not invite those who will repay you with good deeds for that is what they will do and you will not receive the blessing of giving to those who cannot repay you. These are kingdom principles, first and foremost that we cannot repay God for the sacrifice His son made on our behalf, we can simply be thankful, and out of a thankful heart, love God.  Second we are called to serve, and the very act of service is full of joy when it is done without expected repayment.

A - The application for me is broad across my life, but I feel the spirit of God speaking today into my marriage, that my acts of service to serve my wife cannot be done with the expectations of repayment or quid pro quo.  It can only be done out of love, with no expectations of repayment.  When I later get frustrated that my good deeds are not acknowledge or what I feel is reciprocated,  I become embittered and defensive, create cracks of separation.  Today I am exhorted by this word of God to continue to serve my wife how Jesus served us, without expectation of repayment, but only to provide a closer relationship.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your willingness to help me disect your word, so that you may disect my heart.  I pray that you continue to speak life into my life and my marriage to Abby.  I pray that you would protect our marriage from external influences, and continue to build ourselves closer to each other, for your glory.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.